Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Check out the Link to this guy "Living the Dream". He is 28 years old and found my dream job.


Sure he was a brewer at the Alaskan Brewing Company, sure he has worked in the beer industry since he could drink and sure...he beat out almost 8000 applicants for this job. I like to think I could give him a run for his money.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Brooklyn Lands...Maredsous coming?

In just a matter of a couple hours Brooklyn’s Brewmaster’s Revserve series will be starting up. Throw the keys away, put some cash in your pocket and taxi home with belly full of Extra Brune! We are gonna carry all these so hard to find beers for a year. Nope you can’t get them in brew stores or any other bar in Raleigh. Here and here only will you find them and it’s going to be a very cool thing. We might just have a party.

What coming next…Oh I don’t know…maybe Maredsous 8 Dubbel on tap. Yeah toss the keys, it will be a beautiful ride indeed.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Jim Koch. Man of the People

Benevolent. No. Man of the People. Maybe. Almighty Lord Of Hop Hord....Maybe. Check out this article on Boston Beer Co.'s attempt to help out the little guy.


Pretty cool, alot of small breweries have been hit hard by the shortage especially locally. If they act fast maybe this could help them out.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Eupen, Rochefort, Chouffe and fighting bushes...

Towards the end of my trip to Belgium last year, i spent about three days in Eupen which sits about 14 miles from the border of Germany. Mike and i started our foray by going to a bar which had La Chouffe on draught, and after about 13 of those, meeting two belgian indie-rock kids and talking about whether or not the hot bartender was making eyes at me, i realized that there's more to belgian beer than simply taste. Yeah, you can get properly ass-hatted on this stuff, which i did with the decorum of a drunken american pig dog. The two belgian boys kept insisting that the bartender was eyeing me, but i kept insisting that the bathroom had moved since i last used it.

at any rate, on the hike home (over a veritable alpine terrain of suburban homes built on a hill and then down a steep hill lined with handrails) i decided to fall into a holly bush. the bush decided to hold on and i then decided to wage an all out war by flailing myself back and forth, punching deeper into my new arch-enemy. mike just laughed...but i think he may have fallen down at one point and was simply unable to help me. at least that better be his excuse.

the next day, despite the look of fighting eight cats bare-knuckled, we walked across the street (a very level and non-hillocked stroll) and ate a wonderful dinner at a restaurant the name of which escapes me.

the proprietor was one of those rare examples of the service-industry breed who either absolutely loves what he is doing, or has a cocaine IV strapped to his sinus. he zoomed around, took orders, filled wine glasses, made us taste different genever vintages and when it came time for dessert, offered up his wares. i chose a cake made with a Rochefort 12 sauce. when i asked him to pair a beer with that, he looked at me like he was about to lecture a child and simply said "weeellllllll?" getting his drift, i let him order for me. Rochefort 12. duh.

at one point in the meal as we were winding down, he told a story. he asks how i would order a rare steak, to which i reply "rare". he goes on about a british tourist the previous week who demanded "a bloody rare steak" and was adamant in that british naval officer kind of way about it. all he could think to say in response was "you want f*cking potatos?"

the point of all of this (except for the fighting bush bit) is that i realized, as i was being professionally served by this enigmatic juggernaut of energy, that by experiencing beer and investigating its qualities, we all close the cultural gap between source and supply chain. he was impressed by my knowledge of belgium's beers and i was duly impressed with his passion for something he undoubtedly grew up taking for granted. between raleigh and belgium, then, there is a cable that tunnels beneath the sea. it is imaginary and it is obviously not there, but it carries the warm feelings of two quite disparate beer cultures. and the conversations are becoming clearer and clearer.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Dry Life

writing about beer is tough. it's like trying to explain in simple adjectives how whales sing or why clouds appear as they do. it's a wonderful challenge; realizing that you care enough about something that can be so ethereal and personal, to be able to put it into words that 1 out of 100 people will read and agree with. it's even harder when you're not drinking it.

i've been sick since getting off work last tuesday. since then, i've tried to drink beer, but it's the wrong thing to do when the flu is in town. i'm sure there are people that swear beer and alcohol will cure what ails/ales you...i just don't buy it.

so i can't really write about what i've tried lately that i've loved/liked/disdained. i can hardly write a tasting-note piece around a style, as my taste-buds are like little concrete midgets lying dead on my tongue. it would be one thing to write a style history, and i may still DO that (tomorrow is another day), but i feel like talking about how a drinker of american macro lager became enamored with the beauty of beer as an artform and not a way to get wasted.

my friends taylor, ryan and john drove up to richmond back in the fall of 2003. john was looking for rochefort 10 and i was looking for an excuse to get out of raleigh for a few hours. during the drive up, john spoke about beer with the wistful lilt in his voice that i have come to realize is due to love and respect. he drawled out his syllables when he tried to describe the westvleteren he had had in st. louis. listening, i tried to concoct a perfect beer in my mind based on what i knew i liked. no dice. i simply had no idea at that point what i was capable of enjoying. all i knew is that we stopped every few miles for lottery tickets and diet coke.

on the way back, stopped at a mexican restaurant. john and taylor passed around a small bottle of the rochefort 10 they had found. we sat in the car, sipping and sighing as the day grew to an end. after lunch, i realized what i had had in the car to drink reminded me of the mole sauce i had strewn across my chicken. it fancied raisins; but i didn't realize that until i found myself craving raisin bread on the ride home.

i don't think i bought anything on that first foray into virginia. i remember, though, that by the time we got home and they dropped me off at the jackpot so i could make it to work on time, i was full-blown sick with some kind of flu. which brings us back to present-day.

here i am, how ever many years later...i've managed to explore beer like a modern-day viking. i've met two of the purest souls in beerdom at the raleigh times and together, we tend to catch ourselves grinning when talking about what's new and exciting. i've turned people on to beer; my parents, my sister in south carolina and my friend peter (god bless him...he's got the fever for this stuff now, too). and the beautiful part of this "sickness" that i have is that i hope it never goes away. i hope the fever builds and spreads into uncharted areas and makes me gasp for air out of sheer pleasure and surprise of what good beer can be. until then...i could do without the constant 102.5 and the body aches.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

la fin du monde

when the quebeqois stretched themselves out and wiggled their toes, they got as far into the hinterland forests as montreal. when the arcadians were escorted out of montreal, the boat carrying hundreds of them sank. one man decided he would walk back to montreal from the lonely sea-side off of newfoundland. and he made it.

he was a latter-day red cross knight, escaping the bowels of hell through the literal bowels of satan. according to the cosmological ideals of the time, that was the only way to reach true enlightenment; marching through the literal and figurative shit of the world in a final bid to find god.

the end of the world. a lonely place of unspeakable beauty and horrible mystery. golden with promise and daunting with the unknown.

what better way to celebrate the ephemeral and factual escape from ourselves and tyranny than by reaching la fin du monde on your own.

beautifully golden and triple-fermented, this is the effective opus of a genius brewing system out of those very same forests of canada. and the only marching you'll have to do is from your seat to the bathroom.

welcome to the first round of canadian perfection of traditional belgian-style beers. and there's much more to come.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

McChouffe a slam?

We have 3 new additions to the cellar stash. We just got McChouffe 750ml's, Bells Hopslam, and Allagash Black. All of these beers are very limited amounts.
I fell in love with Hopslam! on first quaff. It smells like driving through the Cascade Valley with the windows down. And when you pack that much aromatic hops into a single beer, you know there will be some alcohol to boot. This one is brewed with honey so as not to complicate the flavor with maltiness.
McChouffe is a Belgian-Style Brown ale. It has the warm round malt-iness of an American Brown Ale and finishes with the funky fermentation taste of a Belgian Classic.
Allagash Black. Most people on the East Coast have tasted Allagash White. The shining beacon of sanity in a world full of orange and lemon flavored counterfeits. Well this is Brewer Rob Todds' foray into the world of dark beer. Well more likely pitch black beer. Its the brewery's first mass marketed move into the world of Stout. And as with the rest of their beers, you wont be disappointed.

All of these beers are in limited supply so they arent on the list. You'll have to ask a bartender for details.