Friday, May 23, 2008

Ommegang!!! It's McChouffe!!!

I have kegs, that's right blink your eyes a couple of times, KEGS of McChouffe ready for those empty bellies out there. Your not going to find it anywhere on tap...anywhere at all in these parts.
St Bernardus has won hands down the battle of the summer Wits so Ommegang is moving over for the beautiful Belgian strong dark that is McChouffe.
So what we have here is an 8% abv strong dark that tastes of sweet caramel, a balance of sour apples with splashes yeast and fizz. Yum...
McChouffe will surprise you because it is so drinkable, yep one after the other is done easy as you like. This is a great summer brown that you better try with our spicy wings. That is beer bar heaven with food and drink buzz.
The year is shaping up to be a real pounder. It is absolutely astonishing how much draft you folks are drinking.
You people are all responsible for the world wide shortage of urinal cakes I hope you know. Nice job indeed.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Belgium Bound!

So its finally here.........the trip I have been waiting for. I will be travelling to Belgium this Tuesday May 20th. I am fortunate enough to be going with some fellow beer lovers and will have a ball. Here is our itinerary as it stands and I plan on updating the blog as we travel!

*Huyghe Brewery Thursday May 22
-Take train from Airport to Gent St Peters train station. Bus will pick us up and take us to the brewery from there.

-Lunch at 1:00PM at the brewery.

-Tasting of 20 beers.

-Visit of Gent and specialty beer bars.

-Dinner in Gent with the brewery.

*Van Honsebrouck Brewery Friday May 23

-Brewery Tour

-Visit the Chateau and lunch at the Chateau.

-Have a beer at the local pub next to the brewery

-Tour some typical/traditional Belgian pubs in the area. (i.e. get lost/drunk)

-Dinner with the brewery

-Visit the new Van Honsebrouck pub in Gent.

*Het Anker Brewery Saturday May 24

-Brewery tour starts at 11:00AM

-12:30 Lunch

-Tour around Mechelin and visit of typical pubs

- Dinner at typical rustic local restaurant/Pub around Mechelin

*Sunday May 25

-Free day! Probably Brugge!!

-On Sunday evening we have a dinner at Brasserie Carolus at 7:00PM.

Its going to be an amazing time and like I said, I will attempt to update the blog frequently with pictures and stories of the misadventures.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

i took one home...

...and it is one of the best drafts I have ever had in my keg box. The Schneider-Brooklyner Hopfen-Weisse is quite the beautiful brew indeed. We picked up all available, which isn't much it all so you better stop by very soon.
The beer is a collaboration between good friends Hans-Peter Drexler and Garret Oliver of the respective brew houses. The idea was each to brew a hopped up weissebock at the friends brewery's yet use the local slant on hop character.
We have both. Garret's is in the bottle, Hans's offering on tap. You have to really think about this brew when you drink it. Get in there and get what it has to offer. Hops here, hops there and a splash more of hops. All different yet harmonious and creates the entire character. The malt balances on a wire in the body and finish and leaves you reaching for the glass again. I won't bother with breaking this beer's flavors down. If you can't get it just stop drinking altogether.
We had to adjust our draft system quite a bit to get this beer pouring right. Another example why it stands alone and rightfully proud. Hopefully you'll get a chance to get 'the dregs' on the bottom of the barrel. It'll be about a full inch of yeast sediment, a hangover helper for sure. Hopfen holds the 8.2% down well as you go through a couple of glasses.
Please don't pass up this one. At writing this there are about 7 canisters left. Here that goes quick. This one will most certainly make your belly glow.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Jager Obama anyone?

it's true. our future president swung through the times bar lasterday like a politician through alaska. it was crowded to say the least!

it was a mitzvah!

in other news! we have powered our dead taste-buds through the avery maharaja IPA and are now tapping the Schneider-Brooklyn Hopfen Weisse. this is the Schneider interpretation of the same yeast-base and hop choice and it is DELICATE. like a flowah! delicious and yeasty, yet pale, golden and affirmative on the tongue. i plan on drinking several tonight before they hop a boat back to germany.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Bill Pugh

this is bill pugh. the first day i worked at the raleigh times, way back in march of 2005, he walked in the door smiling and took a seat right smack in front of the PBR tap. and he didn't move till he was done talking to all of us and having three pints. since then, he's made it down almost every single day.

bill is full of stories. sometimes he just wants to drink his beer, but there are days when his eyes twinkle and his voice trails off. he talks of the good old days when there was a bar on the corner (where the Mechanics and Farmers Bank is now) and the dance clubs and nightlife he had "back in the day". yet, he welcomes the new and relishes the old.

for that reason, we treat bill as one of our own, because he well and truly IS the raleigh times bar. if you ever meet him, introduce yourself and have a seat. he may not say much, but if you look at him in the right light, you can almost see the shimmers of history rising off of his brow. rising up into the air and settling back down on what he has claimed as his old/new bar.

thanks bill!