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

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Lost Coast Indica...and a report on my garden

Just a brief tasting relating to nothing other then beer.
Tried the Lost Coast Indica IPA last night. Picked up a 6 at the corner beer shop. Although it wasn't cheap ($11 for 6), it was worth the price. A truly tasty IPA, if your into that sort of thing, which I am. At first I was thinking 2 hearted, but after I let it breathe and got into it a bit, I was reminded of a Sierra Celebration Ale. Obviously it has its own virtues...The nose of the hops is fantastic and I would assume this is coming from Cascade. As you settle into this "in your face" IPA the beer takes on an almost tea like character. I think this is what reminds me of the Celebration. I'd like to try some more of the lost coast offerings, which I have recently seen available around town. Hoping to find a tap with my name on it. The brewery is certainly a revolution in brewing. Started in 1986 by two women, who are still the owners and brewers of this classic northern California brewery. I wonder how many women brewers there are in this country, or even the world. Seems to be a male dominated industry, but the subtle touch of a women seems to be such an obvious positive for a solid craft brew. You can check out there brewery here .
I'm planning on moving this summer, so I'm really not going to have much of a garden this year. However, it was irresistible for me when I saw some hop rhizomes at the brew shop last weekend. A rhizome is essentially the underground branches of a plants root system. Hops are cloned and grown using rhizome cuttings from mature plants. As of yesterday my hops have just started to peak out of the soil. From what I understand they will not really become established until the 2nd year of growth. What strain am I growing? Cascade of course. Can't wait to make the shoebocks bock with my own cascade hops. Mmmmmm hoppy IPA like bock beer sounds unique and tasty. Give me a year or two on that one.
On the same note, my neighbor/friend/brew partner is going to try and become completely brew self sufficient. He is going to grow barley, hops, and I have no idea what he will do about yeast. My assumption is that he will cultivate yeast between his toes. Mmmm can't wait to try the Toe Jam Stout.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Beers, Beers, Beers...and a thoughtful conversation

Went up to the greatest beer bar in Chicago, and possibly the country on Friday night. We went just to try a couple Belgians and things you don't normally see. It was a great night, rode my skateboard and was home early. Hung out with some good friends and had some interesting conversations. Of note I realized that I wouldn't do unto my enemies what some people would do to their friends (that's pretty cool). It's sad to me that people can be so self centered that they fail to either realize or care, if they are hurting those around them. Whether it be mentally, physically, or spiritually this seems to be all to common. I must say surrounding ones self with those that have the ability to understand the consequences of their actions, and furthermore, the ability to refrain from those actions, which can do nothing but hurt those around them is important. This isn't to say that you should live your life focused on not hurting people, but rather, live a life as true to those around you as possible. I'm working very hard to surround my self with those people that feel or act the same in this manner. In age I've realized that not everyone is going to like you, and its ok to step away from those that aren't going to be true to you. This has been hard for me, because I've struggled with the idea that everyone should like me. In the past I've been willing to sacrifice myself to insure this, but I realize now, this is harmful to myself. These are the kind of bar conversations that make me love bars. It was of particular note because the conversation was with a great friend, and during the conversation, I came to the realization that I would truly not do to my enemies what so many are capable of doing to their, "friends". That made me feel really good about myself. Even better I knew that the people surrounding me act in the same way.
Wow, that was a little bit deep and out there...let's get on to the beers. By the way I updated the "Go Rate Beers" link to a site that is much better then the previous one I had listed. I'm just going to list the beers we had and give a brief description, all except the Hitachino were on tap.
see previous post

This Belgian abbey style ale, is in my opinion, partly narcotic. Has a great in your face way about it, and most likely is getting you more fucked up then you think. I think it is a wonderful beer, but I can only have one.

Sierra Nevada Big Foot
This American barley wine, is an amazing beer. Like drinking a condensed Sierra Pale Ale. Its rather hoppy for a barley wine, but I like that. Goes down entirely too fast for a beer with 9 percent alcohol.

Gouden Carolus Classic (pictured)
This rare on tap in the U.S. Belgian is superb. Its a red ale that melts on the tip of your tongue. Sweeter rather then tart, but completely subtle in all respects. This style of Belgian is my favorite, and rather hard to find. Some others are the Duchess de Bourgogne and the Rodenbach Classic. New Glarus makes a Belgian red, but it lacks the complexity of these Belgian treasures.

Hitachino Celebration 2006
This little brewery from Japan has really come into its own. Producing a wide variety of beers. The celebration is a dark beer with an almost wheat beer texture. It has all kinds of interesting flavors including a strong under tone of vanilla.

Well that about did for the trip. Stay tuned for a report on this years Spaten Mai Bock as I hear rumors it has come to town.