The Beersocks Beer Blog

This Blog is dedicated to my many thoughts and feelings about beer. I will describe different beers and my experiences with them

Friday, February 24, 2006

Couple IPA's

Went to the local watering hole last night, and had a couple beers. Got to hang with a friend that hasn't been out in months. She has a good reason, and it was awesome to tip a few together.
My brew partner and I have been talking about doing an IPA with all of our leftover grains, and thusly I decided it would be good to try a couple that I haven't had. It starts to be challenging to try new things when you have had almost everything, but then you realize, there are a ton of beers that you might have overlooked.
I have a had a few flying dog beers, but I almost always pass them up, not because I don't like them just never catches my eye. I think its the fact that their standard flying dog is everywhere. One of the coolest beers they did was the Gonzo Imperial Stout memorial beer. Not sure what the relationship was but the brewery has some kind of connection to Hunter S., could be the Colorado thing, I'm not sure. Anyway, I tried their Snakedog IPA ( last night and it was fantastic. I'm a total Ipa fan and above that I really like hops, this certainly had some bite to it. I always like beers that are dry hopped, and hope to try the process myself with the upcoming "leftover ipa". Props to the brewery for giving such a detailed description of all their beers. First time I've gone to a brewery website to read about a beer and found a listing of ingredients used in the beer. I'm going to make sure to try all of their beers now and wish I had kept a few Gonzo's for a special occasion.
The other beer I tried was the Victory Hopdevil ( Another beer that I have overlooked, and actually a brewery that I have overlooked completely. I don't know why, other then I thought Victory was a British cider for some reason. I should probably check my facts before I write off a beer, but hey, I'm shoebocks and when I get my mind set on something it takes a considerable amount of time for me to change my initial interpretation no matter how inaccurate it is. Imagine how I am if I know I'm right but I digress, so lets get back to the beer. Victory is a Pennsylvania brewery that has a solid following and great reputation for brewing fantastic beers. German trained brewmasters are always a good sign, and after trying the hopdevil(the first victory I have ever had) I will be looking to try all of their beers. As you can imagine from the name, this thing packs some punch, but what was really interesting was how smooth it is. The hops actually have more nose then they do taste. Taste isn't the appropriate term here, but for lack of a better word...That's not to say you can't taste the hops rather they come off as being very well integrated with the grains. This makes for a subtle yet complex beer, refreshing and delicious. I'd love to get a keg of this in the summer and get a bunch of people wasted. Now I wonder why I thought it was a cider from old England, but to figure that out would be a self study lasting no less then a decade. mmmmm beer!!!!
On a side note, Fat Tire has landed in Chicago and folks are going through it like crazy. I saw at least 10 different people drinking it last night, and it saws a lot when you think about the fact that it's 6.50 for a bottle right now. I hope they get some kegs out here soon, because were going to clean out the bottles quick. I went to purchase some at the local liquor store on Sunday night and they had run out. The guy that runs the place told me people were buying cases of it. I've been collecting the bottles for my brew as they are 22oz.'s and solid.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Beer under a microscope

just found this site while reading my big book of beer, and it's pretty cool. Basically they take beer and freeze it, then look at it under a really powerfully microscope. You would think they all look the same, but there are extreme differences between them. Pictured is a Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout. Check out the site...

Feel free to comment on any good ones

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Monster Trucks, Blatz and Fat Tire

Got together with a crew of folks to go to the monster truck show on Friday. I'd never been to a monster truck show before, so I didn't know what to expect. It was at the Allstate arena, which is by far the worst venue ever created. The seats will fit a five year old and that is about it. I also knew we would be drinking some kind of over priced extremely crappy beer, and sure enough we did. That's ok because we had a few before we left, and it was certain we would be catching a couple beers after the show.
Now my thoughts on the actual show...seemed like this may have been the b team, and in hind site I have a feeling there is more then one Monster truck show running around. Regardless of this there were some things that were rather impressive and some that were just plain entertaining, and some that were just plain sad. Lets see how about a list
-Monster Trucks are bad ass machines
-The Bob and Tom Truck was the loudest and was using a blower
-The Grave Digger is awesome
-Grave digger has a huge turbo, and I wonder if it comes off a big old detroit diesel or something, and that got me wondering if that is even possible. Either way you could hear the turbo whine as loud as the exhaust note coming out of the engine, it sounded really fucking cool.
-Monster trucks are kind of weak, the truck that won, basically was the only one that didn't break down. I figure the suspensions are so complex that it is real easy to break them, but you would think if your going to make a monster truck it should be bullet proof so you don't look like a jack ass always having to get it towed away, which is what happened.
-It was kind of cool to think that a bulldozer is way more monster then a monster truck, as the bulldozer came out and pulled all the broken trucks away. It was actually funny, at least to me, maybe not to the swarm of kids surrounding me.
-They had the saddest truck a saurus ever. I have to say, subjugator(sp?) would kick the crap out the truckasaurus. The poor thing looked embarrassed to come out and kill a tercel (exactly like the one my mom had when I was a kid). It was squeaking as it came out, and was basically limping to get to the car. I though for sure it would conk out and the bulldozer would be back proving its over powering dominance again. Poor thing was decorated to look like a dragon, but its accents such as wings and tail seemed to be made out of cardboard and they just sat there lifelessly flapping about. The big finally involved igniting a $3-$5 sparkler type float out of poor truckasaurus's mouth. "Wooooo here come the green sparks, holy crap now here comes he red, wow." I couldn't help but laugh at the poor contraption at the expense of my surrounding gang of kids and rednecks.
-Rednecks in Chicago, this was entertaining, where the hell do they come from. Sure enough the placed was packed with rednecks, of which you never see in chicago. I determined 2 things, either there is a tour similar to the dead which follows the trucks from town to town, or people actually made the trip from southern illinois and northern wisconson (the only places I figure rednecks live) to see the limping truckasaurus get shown up by the great bulldozer.
-To conclude, it was an awesome time, and all the better being there with 12 people saying exactly the same things, and being so excited everyone around us was scared.
Now on to a quick beer note, this is a beer blog after all.
After the show we went back to the to my favorite watering hole for beers and well, beers. Just got the fat tire in, and so we drank a few gallons of that. They distributing it in commerative first time east of the mississippi chicago 22 ounce bottles. Its pretty cool to drink and I kept all the bottles for bottling my beer this weekend. I also drank some blatz, which is a heileman product that is basically an old style. Then we drank shots and howled at the moon. When I got home the temperature was -2 degrees with out wind chill. Let me just say this, no matter how drunk you may think you are, 30 seconds of -2 and your sober again.
Well that about covers it, other then meeting hot chicks, watching 2 of them make out on the couch, and eating a bacon double cheeseburger from the diner grill at 5 am with an awesome friend.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

wow its been a while

Before I start, I got the coolest book from my best friends in Seattle, "The Big Book of Beer", and it is cool as hell. Thank you Mr. and Miss X, I miss you guys like crazy.

Haven't posted anything in long time, but I have been drinking many many beers. Some news before I post about some recent tastes...Fat Tire is coming to Chicago this month. It will be available at my favorite local watering whole, and my corner beer getting shop. Yummmm....If you haven't had it before you should try it. Last time I had Fat Tire was at Flipside down in Texas. It is a great Amber with the absolute perfect level of carbonation, tingly, yet smooth on the throat. Like a nice bubbly massage.
Speaking of Fat Tire, going to be brewing a new batch of beer this weekend, and planning on doing a fat tire clone. This will be very different from the Attrill Surprise, which was dark, packed some serious punch, and had enough head for 2 normal beers. I'll post a few status reports as it comes along.
Now onto some recent beer intakes....
Lets see the local watering hole has had a ton of stout lately
Avery Left Hand and Breckenridge Avalanche. Both are fantastic Colorado breweries and both of these were fantastic.
They also have been keeping the bells stout and Anderson Valley oatmeal stout on draft, and what can I say, I've been drinking both in mass quantity. Anderson Valley Oatmeal is my favorite stout of all time. I actually put it above the equally amazing Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout (to bad you can't get this on draft).

Spent my New Years out in California, and ran a small beer tasting for the folks of Gigsville (what an amazing group of people by the way). Got to try a couple nice California brews of which I can't remember what, but I did get to introduce them to some fine midwest beers. I don’t think people realize what fantastic beers we have here, but then they try them and say things like, "Simply Great!!!!". I brought the Capitol Winter Skaal, Lakefront Eastside Dark, and the ever amazing Bell's Two Hearted. With the Two Hearted I prefaced by saying, "do you like hops?", thus everyone that tried it, really loved it. Speaking of bell's see the following paragraph. Back to NYE, well if you read this blog from beginning to end, you would notice that I had a bit of life changing and rather crazy 2005, its subtle but its all in there. I have to say, NYE this year really brought me back to the overly positive, motivated and self-radiating person that I know and trust. Being with gigsville, on an amazing, and familiar piece of land, was like plugging myself into source of energy greater then most. What a seriously amazing group of people. I always feel welcome, but beyond that I always feel that being myself, is not only encouraged, its demanded, and then celebrated. Ohhhh man that is just a rejuvenating feeling when you've had a couple months of internal strife.....Thank you gigsville, thank you cabin five, and extra thanks to those that made it extra special for me (I don't name names in the beer blog). By the way, can you tell that I'm in love with Gigsville?

Back to the beer.....
January was a month to enjoy the Attrill surprise and boy was that fantastic. Really settled down into a nice malty and rather complex beer. An american brown crossed with an austrian dark perhaps
Also had the last six pack of the Bells 7,000 batch, holy shit that is a strong beer. Like two hearted that has been condensed, and aged for a bunch of time, and comes out like a bock of some sort. Yummmmmmmy!!!!!

Recently went up to Madison and had lunch at the Great Dane, which is a local brewpub. I was up there looking at houses, saw one that was like a beetlejuice house, and one that was perfect. Could this be it, could Shoebocks be moving to Madison.....
Oh yeah beer, had the velvet hammer and the cascade mountain porter. I'll say this, the dane is inconsistent, but man when they get it right, they get right. The velvet hammer is one of the smoothest bocks I have ever had. Much like the beloved Spaten Mai Bock, it packs a punch, and has enough flavor to go around the table and then some, yet when you drink it, it feels as though you could just drink it forever. Smooth is an understatement. The cascade is as one would expect, a porter with a nice cascade hopp, and if you know me, that is a combo I just love. I love sweet; slightly in your face hopp combined with a rich full bodied dark beer, and this porter is right there.

Well that about does it. I will get back to posting consistently, and hope to enjoy some new and interesting beers, and find new and interesting ways to use them to describe my life, in the coming weeks and months.