Paper Cup Diaries: Relic Brewing One Foot in the Grave

Another weekend in Connecticut, another night in a hotel room, another pirated movie, and another delicious bottle of beer. But this is no regular beer.

I decided today, after panning for gold, and mining for gems, that I was in dire need for some love from my local favorite, Relic Brewing. I was elated as I walked through the door and saw Mark standing behind the bar. I couldn't get my tiny glass filled fast enough. I worked my way through the 6 beers on tap, and with each one being delicious in its own right, "One Foot in the Grave" stood out to me the most. On tap, OFitG had a light citrus, lemongrass, almost tart taste to it. A nice malty body, and just crisp and refreshing overall. I immediately pictured myself slaving away, mowing my lawn, and coming in afterwards to a nice pint of this. I loved it, I had two tastings, and asked Mark to put aside one of the two bottles for me.

Now it's a bunch of hours later, I'm less sober, and my daughters headphones are terrible (I left mine at home). This beer however, is still delicious. Just....different from the tap version I had earlier today. The nose is sweet, floral, and  even yeast is getting in on the action. If the smell had a look, it would be pretty. The taste is all kinds of lager-y (despite being the "made-up" Imperial Kellerbier). Strong malts, a very clean finish, drinks smooth. But the two things that stand out are the spice and the alcohol. This beer has no shame in it's mystery ABV that I can't find on the bottle. I could Google it...but I'm not going to. Because lazy. The tart-y, lemongrass-y taste from the tap is nowhere to be found, but I'm ok with this.

Go, go get some now, before it's too late. Because there is a slight chance I got one of the last two bottles.

I was able to blog while watching this. I am amazing.


State of the Brewnion Address

Good evening America,

I travel a lot, and I also go shopping a lot. With all this shopping, and all the damn traveling, I find myself having to eat at some less than stellar places. And more often than not, their beer choices are less than stellar. BUT....That is not the point of today's piece. If you want to hear me bitch about InBev or other non-craft beer, than you came to the wrong place (here is why). Instead, I'm going to nit-pick, name call, and be whiny and snarky.

There are a few things I'm starting to notice (that I'm sure have been prevalent for some time) in the restaurant business that I'm beginning to take umbrage with. It doesn't affect me, but I just like to complain.

My first issue is this:

Olive Garden: Specialty? Where? Oh you mean the Blue Moon? YOU DON'T SAY!
And the availability is limited? MUST BE MY LUCKY DAY! And don't even get me
started on their "Premium" selection. 

Applebees:  I took this picture in Connecticut, Manchester to be exact. Literally
zero of those beers are "local." Sure, Boston is only an hour and a half away,
but there are a bunch more local beers in Connecticut that aren't Sam Adams.

Buffalo Wild Wings: Probably the "best" of the bunch.  But still, their
"craft and specialty" includes things like Mike's, Smirnoff, and Shock Top.
I was still able to get a Breckenridge Vanilla Porter, and a 90 Minute.

Relatively harmless, right? It's just that I..hate wrong information. With the Olive Garden, I could very well be arguing semantics. Premium? Specialties? Who gives a shit, right? Right. NO! Not right! Budweiser is not a "Premium" beer. It's just not, and I feel trying to market it as such to customers is dishonest. Applebees and their "Local" selection? Again, I feel its just preying on the ignorance of people. And Buffalo Wild Wings? Well, believe it or not, they actually have a semi-decent selection. But marketing the Blue Moon, Shock Top, Bud Light Lime, and Killian's as "Craft and Specialty" is again, misleading and dishonest.

This all makes me think of the whole Yankee Stadium debacle.

Look, I really don't care what beer these places serve. I just do not care one bit. There are plenty of places I can go to if I want some craft beer goodness, that wouldn't sell a InBev product in a million years. I don't expect every restaurant to cater to my wants, but I do expect every restaurant to not be a bunch of lying, manipulating, jerks.

Captivating segue.

Which brings me to my next point. Kind of. Not really. But still...

Look at the frost on that glass. LOOK AT IT!


Seriously, enough. If you're already taking the time to serve beer craft beer, or even something like Sam Adams Oktoberfest, I believe you have a responsibility to serve it correctly. Now, I'm not talking about proper glassware (that's a whole other bag of "what the fuck??" for another day), I mean something as simple as not serving a good beer in a glass that's colder than a witches tit in a brass bra. Call me crazy, but I actually do enjoy the taste of beer. It is not a purely a functional drink. It is not an American Adjunct Lager that I chug down to blot out the memory of a life gone awry. It is a $6 a glass luxury that I afford myself, and enjoy immensely. So when you serve me my bottle of Kona Koko Brown, and I ask for a glass and you give me a hollow cylinder of ice, I'm going to be upset for a couple reason. First, It's just not right. Secondly, now I have to sit there glass in hand, breathing on it like a weirdo, just to get it to a reasonable temperature so I can enjoy my beer that didn't pair well at all with your delicious, spicy, half rack of ribs. That was my own fault.

Being the obnoxious guy that I am, I took the the Internet to find some vocal support in my crusade, because damnit, this has to stop! I asked some of my favorite beer folk on Twitter what their thoughts were, and the responses made me laugh, and nod in agreement. And helped me validate that the tears I shed are not in vain.

And then The Beer Babe said something that I skimmed over a bit in the preceding paragraph:

I may have pumped my fists in victory.

I even asked some local breweries what they would think of their beer being served in frozen glasses, but I've yet to hear back from them.

Facebookers weighed in on it, also:

See, I'm not crazy.

Lastly, America, I'm creeping up on one year of Hipster Brewfus. it has been an incredibly fun and knowledge-filled year. So to thank you heathens for your support, I will be holding another giveaway. It will most likely be more than just a beer or two, I just haven't figured it out yet. So, you know, be on the look out for that.

And there you have it. Take it easy, 'Merica


The Paper Cup Diaries: Rodenbach Grand Cru

I live lavishly.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the first installment of "The Paper Cup Diaries,"a series of shortened posts based on the beers I enjoy whole traveling and staying in hotels.

This weekend I'm drinking Rodenbach Grand Cru. I just picked up the bottle for about $9 at Manchester Wine & Liquor in Connecticut.

It pours a mystery brown, as I'm drinking it out of a paper cup. Opacity? Beats the shit out of me. I'M DRINKING IT OUT OF A PAPER CUP!! Oh my god, I hope some beer snob sees this and flips out.  It does, however, have a dingy, silky, sticky head. It smells great. Sour with some vinegar, all while being a bit fruity. It doesn't taste nearly as tart or acidic as I was expecting. In fact, almost the opposite  It was very fruity and juicy. Lots of sour cherry, with the tart coming in towards the end. It's totally awesome. It drinks great. It's a pleasant carbonation, incredibly smooth and crisp as hell. I put down the entire bottle inside of 2 hours while watching Silent Hill: Revelations without blinking (or noticing).

I friggin' love this beer.


#32 Hipster Brewfus MC IPA

So, if you read my previous post, "Brewfus Brews Brews" you may have been wondering "yeah, that's all well and good, but what the hell did you brew?" I'm here to tell you what I brewed, review what I brewed, and then show you a couple of awful pictures I took of it.

I brewed the Brooklyn Brew Shop Everyday IPA. In an homage to the late Adam "MCA" Yauch, I decided to call my first batch of beer "MC IPA."

Damnit, I miss that man.

Because of the variety in my batch, I'm going to review 9 different bottles! Sounds exhausting, right? Don't worry...It probably will be

Bottles 1-3:

Opens with a nice pop and the "smoke" pouring out of the bottle. I'm excited!

Pour: Golden straw, with a haze from the sediment. Big fluffy head on the top. It's clean, white and leaves behind a minimal lacing.

Nose: Nice citrus hop aroma I've become accustomed to from drinking IPAs. It's certainly nothing
amazing, but its a great sign that I did something right!

Taste: Crisp hop flavor, slight citrus. This is a wonderful, easy drinking IPA

Overall, I was VERY happy, and kind of proud. The beer may have been average, but I made the beer, so it's the best average ever.

Smell: 3/5
Appearance: 2.5/5
Taste: 3.5/5
Feel: 3/5

Overall: 3/5

This beer pairs well with: Beastie Boys - She's Crafty

Bottles 4-6:

So, beaming with pride, I brought these bottles up to Connecticut to share with one of my good friends. These bottles, all the best stuff is in the nose. Literally. When I opened the first bottle, I held the bottle up to my nose and inhaled deeply. Instead of taking in the vapor when opening a beer, or the hops aroma or anything beer related, I inhaled the beer. Literally. Held the beer up to my nose, inhaled deeply and I became the craft beer Tony Montana. Yeah. It was awful. Bottles 4-6 were gushers.

Fortunately, there are no pictures.

Smell: Hard to tell, it flooded my nasal cavities.
Appearance: I'm imagining it looked hilarious going up my nose.
Taste: Couldn't tell you.
Feel: It felt awful, going up my nose.

Overall: Awful

This beer pairs well with: Beastie Boys - Triple Trouble

Bottles 7-9:

After being nervous about opening the remaining bottles, for fear of exploding in my face, I finally went ahead. Imagine an IPA, and then crush some aspirin into it. What the hell, Brewfus? Get your shit together, self!

Smell: Cleaning solution
Appearance: Like any other beer
Taste: Aspirin and goat pee. For exaggeration sake
Feel: Assault on my mouth

Overall: Maybe next time, guy.

This beer pairs well with: Beastie Boys - Something's Got To Give

So, with a 33% success rate, I cant say my first homebrew project was a success. I can't say it was a complete failure, either. I mean, I drank 3 beers that were very good. Kind of good. They were decent. To hell with it though, I'm not going to stop!

All said and done right now though?

I wouldn't drink my beer.