Paper Cup Diaries: Goose Island "Night Stalker"

Pictures tell a million words. And I am fucking lazy, and don't feel like typing a million words. Plus, Paper Cup Diaries are random as shit. Here goes the adventure!

I never did my Untappd.


Brewfus stumbles around at the Annapolis Craft Beer & Music Festival

In case you weren't aware from my incessant tweets, Facebook posts, and press releases on the site...I went to the Annapolis Craft Beer and Music Festival last month (9/21) at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. It was an opportunity presented to me from a Mr. Jim Barthold, who runs the event. And I totally jumped at the chance. You see, if there was one thing I learned at BBC13, it was to take chances and force myself out of my comfort zone, and being in public places, is being out of my comfort zone.

This was the second year for the event, and if history was going to be any kind of teacher, most people probably wouldn't have shown up. You see, in 2012, there was a lot of negative feedback from their first outing. Not enough beer, not enough porta potties, not enough of this, not enough of that. They were tore apart on Yelp. Poor guys. But it seems they took it on the chin, and came back in 2013 with their proverbial guns a-blazing.

So, Saturday rolls around, FINALLY, and I get to the stadium to find a parking lot that's probably 1/3rd full. I silently fist pumped, because I hate looking for parking at these events, and at $5 a pop, I was ecstatic to throw them my money, and be able to have my choice of any spot I damn well pleased. it took me less than 3 minutes between getting my tickets, and getting through the entrance gate, commemorative glass in hand. Seriously though, I need a place for all these glasses I have building up. At this point is was still "early," about 11:45 in the morning, and there were probably about...200 people. Maybe. I make straight for Flying Dog and DuClaw and shoot the shit with them for some time before I venture out. At this point its about 12:15, the crowd has grown, but not overwhelmingly so. I take a look at the gate to see there is a line steady growing, and moving quickly. Great news! Makes me happy to see the negative backlash from last year hasn't had an adverse effect.

I start wandering around, getting a feel for land and I'm loving the set up. This whole shindig is in  front of the stadium, in a big grassy field (I'll admit being a bit disappointed at first that we weren't IN the stadium). The breweries line the outside of the event, Music in one corner, porta potties (about 10 on the inside and another 6 on the outside-but those don't count) in the opposite, and food in another. In the center of it all were your obligatory vendors of everything from cheap screen printed shirts, to hand-carved beating (walking) sticks, and everything in-between.

I had hoped the panoramic photos would give you an idea of how everything was set up, and the crowd that continuously poured in during the duration. When I left around 5pm, people were still coming in even though the event ended at 6.

So lets talk about the beer. The fest boasted an impressive number of about 35 different craft breweries (you can view the list here), pouring anywhere from 2 to 4 different beers. That equated to well over 100 different brews available to you at the festival, if you were able to hit each one. At no time did I wait any longer than 5 minuted for a beer. It was refreshing to see the lines move so quickly. A majority of the tents were hosted by the actual brewers, and in some cases, even the owners themselves. Now that is something I just love seeing at these types of events. I'm generally turned off when the people poring our beers are just volunteers with little to no knowledge about exactly what it is they are pouring. Want to know why? Because I LOVE sitting there and talking to the brewers/owners/lackeys about the beer they create until they hate me and want me to leave but are too polite to say anything to me. That's why.

Pretty much everything about this experience was a good thing. If there were any critiques I had, it's the food situation and the porta potties. There was ONE food vendor. The selection wasn't that great, and the line was...well, it was atrocious. If my understanding in my conversations with the event planners were any sign though, the food situation is more to blame on the stadium duds, than the event coordinators. And the bathroom situation? Well, there were 6 outside in the parking lot, but they MUST have been leftover from a football event, because they were full. FULL. And no TP. There were about 10 on the inside, and the line for them was also really long. But really, I've been to a ton of events and I've seen more toilets available, and have seen lines just as long. So there's that.

And then there was this guy.

Oh, there was music too. But I'm going to blatantly honest here, I didn't listen to a single note. But here is where they played:

Cozy, right?

There were also seminars available! One was hosted by my buddy Ben Wiser from Flying Dog about the history of Flying Dog, and the culture of Craft Beer. I got to stand behind him and look cool, and help pack up the beer afterwards. I was all about it. You can check out the full list of seminars that were available here.

If you ate one of these during the seminars, you're welcome.

To wrap this word fort up, this event was a success. The beer was great, and plentiful. The lines moved quickly, and it seemed everyone there was having a genuine good time. Talk about a major turn-around. For being beat down on the Internet after a faulty first year, they really came through for the craft beer drinkers of Maryland and threw one hell of a festival.

You can find out more about he festival on their website and Facebook for next year!

The previous review is in no way influenced by the admission provided to me from the event organizers.


Song To Cook To: A Guest Post From The Bake & Brew

Now, if there are three things I love, it's baked goods, good tunes, and beer. If there is one thing I'm terrible at, it's baking. And one thing I'm good at is suckering people into guest posting on my blog. Today we have Rebecca from The Bake & Brew, breaking down the songs she needs to get by when performing kitchen science. Once in awhile it feels good to flex the music muscle on, and I'm honored to have Rebecca come aboard and share this post with you. You can check out Rebecca and her baking and brew blog over at and pester and annoy her on Twitter (@thebakeandbrew)  -Hipster Brewfus

Being in the kitchen just wouldn't be right without music to accompany the mixing, the measuring, the boiling, the baking, and the cooking. Here's my latest playlist for cooking after a long day at work. If you have Spotify, you can listen to the whole playlist here. If not, see the links below for all the related Youtube videos.

Get home when the sunlight is starting to slant. Take off the work clothes and put on the favorite t-shirt. Take one of the last Schlafly Summers out of the fridge and use your favorite bottle opener (the one shaped like a New Belgium glass). Lift open the window by the stove, put a pot of water on to boil, grab the laptop, put on some tunes, and brush the workday off your back.

[Sittin' On] The Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding
All I can think about is the warm breeze and sitting by the Savannah river during this song. There's nothing like some whistling to welcome the evening and put a smile on your face.

Epic - Calexico
I don't think I'll ever prefer any Calexico over the Iron & Wine/Calexico album, but something about Epic has me coming back for more.

En t'attendent - Melanie Laurent
Hey guys. Remember Inglorious Basterds? Remember Shoshanna? Yeah Shoshanna does some sexy french singing. Mind. Blown.

Forrest Gump - Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean is a must for night-time cooking, night-time baking, night-time drinking. Double points if you're cooking for a special someone.

All Eyes on You - St. Lucia
And now for something completely different. This has been on repeat for weeks now (weeks upon weeks) in my car, when I'm getting ready in the morning, when I'm cooking at night. This hook just makes my shoulders move, and gets me moving right into the next song.

Slyd - !!!
Turn it up for this bass and for a little shimmy. Now this is when I really start dance cooking.

When They Fight, They Fight - Generationals
To continue the dance cooking. Again, the whistling. Oh the whistling.

Silver Lining - Rilo Kiley
Goodness I love listening to Rilo Kiley in the evenings. I'm not obsessed with everything she does, and I usually don't feel like listening to her songs over and over and over again. But her voice is so strong, so feminine, and so empowering. I guess most beer bloggers are dudes (right?), so maybe you don't want to feel like a woman, but damn if she doesn't give you some sass.

You and I - Wilco
Wilco. Always. There is nothing more satisfying than Jeff Tweedy whisper-singing to you as you pull together ingredients and create a meal.

The Breeze - Dr. Dog
Dr. Dog is a band similar to The Strokes in that I listen to them infrequently, but every time I do I think "Ahhh I need this all the time." But then I go back to weeks of not listening to them. It's my loss, really. And when I saw them in Bloomington last year, I swear it's the first show I've been to where 95% of the people watching sang along during every. single. song. Put an album on and you'll find yourself trying to do the same the first go around. Put that needle to the groove and sing.


Paper Cup: The Lost Diary of Lindemans

Listen all y'all it's a Belgian Beer, Listen all y'all it's a Belgian Beer!

I can't stand it, you know I drank it
I'm gonna set it straight, this beer is great
I can't stand this cup for this Belgian beer
And the beer itself, ain't so crystal clear

So while you sit back and wonder why
I got this fucking cup at my side
Got it at the store, which was mostly a bore
I'm telling y'all this Kriek is sweet

That was way too hard. I'm half drunk, and trying to turn "Sabotage" into a beer review about Lindermans Kriek was draining all of my brain powers. In 2 hours, that was all I came up with.

About 10 years ago, I bought my first Lindermans. I'm almost 100% it was the strawberry Lambic. I drank the whole thing, and threw up. I'm pretty sure it was the Lambic. Ok, so maybe i'm like, 25% sure, but it was thick, sweet and reminded me of cough syrup. Yeah, definitely the Lambic. I drank the whole thing, and regretted it nearly immediately.

When I was in Kentucky, sometimes it was the lesser of the two evils, so I picked this one up. Along with a 6 pack of Sam Adams "White Lantern." And then I drank them. And that's all I remember. I took notes, and then proceeded to forget all about these note for months. Recently I have stumbled upon them, and said to myself "Fuck it. Do it up, homeboy." The following is what I was able to decipher from the scribbled notes

-Smells like Hosmer Mt. Black Cherry soda.
-Looks pinkish/red. Pink fuzzy head.
-Taste? Awesome! For beer drinkers who don't know they are beer drinkers.
-Tastes like candy/soda.
-Mouth isn't as syrupy as I expected it to be.
-But holy fucking sweet.

That is just the first side. I really liked this beer, but it is super sweet. While I drank it, I got a bright idea to mix it with the Sam Adams I had. That's how I party, yo.

Mix #1 75% Kriek 25% White Lantern
-OK. Sweet is still overwhelming
-Spices are subdued. Mostly dilutes Kriek, but not by much.

Mix #2 50% Kriek 50% White Lantern
-Excellent. Perfect combination with spice/sweetness.

Mix #3 25% Kriek 75% White Lantern


This is why I cant have nice things.








No Password Required: Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club

**This service was provided to me for review. All the following nouns, pronouns, adjectives and thoughts are my own**

I'm here to tell you about a club. In this club there are no decoder rings. No secret handshakes. No secret clubhouses with passwords. Although if there was one, everyone knows it would be "New England Clam Chowder."

No, in this club there is only one thing. A shit load of awesome beers. This club, Ladies and gentlemen, is the Beer of the Month Club. And it rules. It rules so hard.

Let me start from the beginning...

About a week and a half before my Beer Bloggers Conference adventure began, I was contacted by the Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club to see if I would be interested in reviewing the service they provide. They asked that I pick one of the four tiers of membership (that's right, four), and they would send something out to me. Obviously, my answer was an enthusiastic "YES!"

Being the ball of neurotic that I am, spent the next hour or so debating between the three membership levels, weighing the pros and cons, and contemplating my existence. The three groups are:

"Twelve, 12 oz. bottles of hand-crafted beers each month from two different lightly distributed U.S. Microbreweries. You'll get four different beer styles, three bottles of each style."

"Twelve, 12 oz. bottles of hand-crafted beers each month from two different international breweries. You'll get two different beer styles, six bottles of each style."

"Twelve, 12 oz. bottles of hand-crafted beers each month from two different international breweries. You'll get two different beer styles, six bottles of each style."

Now, this is where the real  "variety" ends. The last club offers just 2 beers, with the quantity being multiplied per membership rate. There is a lot to read about, so you can click the following link and check out everything they have to say about their totally exclusive, super awesome Rare Beer Club.

There are three choices for this membership; two bottles, four bottles, or six bottles. Like mentioned above, its just multiples of two different beers.

The biggest factor that helped me out was being able to see what all the past beers have been (Past Selections). Seeing that made it a no brainer, and I chose the Rare Beer Club. I arrived home the day I had to hop on the train to travel to the Beer Bloggers Conference, and my box of goodies was waiting for me!

If the beginning of my judgement started then, I was already surprised. It was a bit less than a week after making my selection, and finalizing the communication and everything, my box was waiting for me. That speed really surprised the hell out of me, and pleased me to no end. Check out my loot!

Do you like it as much as I do?

The first thing I noticed, aside from the super quick shipping, was the packaging. Handy cardboard bottle holders, very much similar to the ones from used them again to send out the swag to the winners of my last giveaway. Then there were the cardboard coasters, and 4 sheets of paper. each one dedicated to each beer. It gives all kind of brewery information, and information about the exact beer that you're drinking. Including food pairings, glassware recommendations, serving temps, so on, so forth. AND WHAT NOT.

I thought those inserts were super cool. Sure, having the beer is great, but this beer is all relatively rare. It's nice to have some information to checkout while you check out the beer (without having to go on BeerAdvocate).

Saint-Germain Page 24 Brune
De Proef/Cigar City Tropical Triple

Dupont La Bière de Beloeil
Grassroots Arctic Saison

Now, it could totally be my ignorance, but I haven't seen these bottles in any of the shops I frequent. I was definitely more excited about the Cigar City collaboration, and the Grassroots brewing.

This post isn't necessarily about these beer though. I mean it is, but it isn't. Plus, of the four beers I received, I've only enjoyed one.

I shall never forget.

In doing some of my own research, I thought it would be best to do a list of pros and cons of sorts. So, you know here goes nothing.

  -You get beer mailed to you. Right to your doorstep, and nothing is better than beer mail.
  -You have the opportunity to try a variety beers you might not have the chance to try otherwise.
  -The service is fast, and extremely friendly.
  -Some of the beers they have, are simply phenomenal.
  -You can re-order past beers you missed or thoroughly enjoyed.
  -Option to pay full membership at once, or monthly.

  -Price-wise, it can be a bit expensive. At the least expensive, you're looking at $39 for a 12 pack, or $47         for two bombers. Those prices include the shipping charges.
  -With the twelve packs, you could potentially be stuck with quite a few beers that you just don't care for.

The odds are good, right? 5:2. But you know...Beer is an expensive hobby. Even without having joined this club, I probably spend...a lot more than I should. It would be really hard for me to justify these added expenses, unless I decided to curb my already pre-existing beer buying condition. That could prove to be difficult, as there is such a huge availability of great beers that I can pick up off the shelf. With that said, I still think what they provide is a great service, with lots of options available to the consumer. I mean, lets be honest, buying beer is expensive enough, and buying beer online is even MORE expensive. We all know this. In that aspect, the Microbrewed Beer Club is not special, in the least. In fact, their shipping costs just might be lower than some other places.

Really, the best thing you can do for yourself, if this is something that interest you, is check out their website. If you have any questions, do the Twitter to them, or Facebook them.

And uh, I guess that's all I have to say about that. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club