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My curse as a beer blogger

cursesMy wife finally got back from chasing tornadoes with Vortex 2 the other day and last night we decided to go the the adult beverage store and get a few things. The problem was that I really didn’t need anything, we have a bottom of a shelf in our fridge full of beer. The problem, they are just signal bottles of multiple styles, brands, and kinds of beer. While it really isn’t a problem to have lots of beer, for a beer blogger it is a problem to only have one left of each beer if you haven’t reviewed it yet.

Thus my curse as a beer blogger. I have dozens of beers, but only one of each, so when I just want to drink a beer and not have to worry about doing a review, I am kind of stuck. I normally will get a six pack and put one aside and enjoy the other five. The last one is the one that all of the attention gets paid to. I get pictures, review, and really examine the beer. My wife told me that I need to start drinking more. Yes! I already have a backlog of beer review to post on this site and I have plenty of others still left to do. Anyway, the beer reviews are going to start flowing as my wife is encouraging my habit. Any other bloggers or causal drinkers have any problems with getting rid of the last bottle?

Beer Review #50 Gordon Biersch Märzen

Being that March is almost over, I figured that I should put a review of a Märzen up here. Märzen is German for March beer. See you learn something new everyday. This particular brew is made by Gordon Biersch out of San Jose, California. Right off the bat, if you are a fan of subtle, malty lagers, this on is for you.

The beer pours a nice orange amber color and it is perfectly clear. There is a slightly off-white head to goes along with it. The nose was actually pretty full for a lager, as most lagers tend to be kind of stale on the nose. The things I picked up on the nose was malty, bready, and toasty notes. There was a sweetness about the nose that I really enjoyed. A single note of hop could be found towards the end, but I really had to search to find it.

On the first taste the bready notes from the nose overrun the palate. The rest of the malt washes in as well after a few sips. There is a slight hop finish that tasted like Hallertau, which is one of the classic if not the most classic German hop. There is also a slightly honey-like flavor in the beer, which I really enjoyed. There is a very clean finish that leaves a great aftertaste.

Gordon Biersch Märzen comes with a medium body and nice carbonation. The carbonation seemed a bit lower than a normal beer, which really let the malty flavor shine. It is super drinkable and a great beer for March. I really loved every drop of the six pack that I purchased. If you like malty, clean beers that are more complex than the nose would lead you to believe then this is a beer for you. I also have a love of quality German lagers. Call it my German ancestry or my eastern PA roots, but I really love almost any German style of beer. This is one of my new favorites and I am glad that I found it in the season it was supposed to be drank in. (more…)

Is beer just another drink?

My wife and I have been having a discussion recently if beer should be considered just another drink like coffee, milk, or soda. I am of the belief that beer is in fact, another drink. She believes that you need to be careful with beer and you cannot just classify it as “another drink.” Her reason is two fold. First, beer, particularly craft beer, is more expensive than any other drink. If you break it down and do the math, it is.  A typical six pack is going to cost you about 10 bucks for 72 ounces worth of beer. There are 128 ounces in a gallon so that works out to 1.78 six packs per gallon or as I like to refer to them as SPPG.

128 ounces per gallon ÷ 72 ounces per six pack = 1.78 six packs per gallon

I am going to ballpark this here and say that the typical six pack is going to range anywhere from $8-12. So doing the math a gallon of delicious craft beer is going to come in between$14.24 and $21.36. Alright she has me there, it is expensive. The other argument is that beer and alcohol in general can cause health issues along with addiction. We both come from families where alcoholism runs in our blood. Somehow neither of us seem to have a problem with controlling ourselves or needing a drink. While this is a real problem for thousands, it doesn’t really hit home for us.

I am from the school of beer is another drink, a very, very wonderful drink. I don’t see a problem with coming home from work one night and having a beer or two. I agree with my wife (and I am assuming most of you) that drinking like crazy when you come home isn’t a good thing. But I don’t see the harm in having a beer or two every few days.

The best man at my wedding told me of his roommates in college who thought he was crazy to have a beer with his dinner. He is also of the belief that beer is just another drink just in case you were wondering or couldn’t figure that out. Anyway his roommates believed that beer was for drinking a lot of or having without food and just to feel good. No so. Beer is essentially flavored water with some alcohol in it. Most beers are made of of 90-95% water.

When I was in college the closest big brewery was Stoudt’s Brewing Company in Adamstown, Pa. They also happen to be one of the first regional breweries in the country and have an excellent reputation in the craft beer world. Ed and Carol Stoudt are also some pretty awesome people (and Carol is a great brewer). Anyway, while taking a tour of the brewery last year Ed talked about the health benifits of beer and exclaimed that he has almost a six pack a day and is healthy as a horse. While I don’t know how much of his story was for show, and I think drinking that much per day on a regular basis is a terrible idea, beer defiantly does have its own share of health benefits. But that is a post for another time.

Yes alcohol can be an addictive substance, but lets take a look at a few other common drink favorites; soda and coffee. Those two drinks are packed with caffeine, which is one of the most addictive substances know to man kind. Alcohol pails in comparison in addiction levels to caffeine. Why are those drinks OK when they can lead to health complications as well?

Yes beer can be expensive, but I don’t think that it shouldn’t be considered an acceptable drink to have for any occasion because of that. There are addiction risks and possible health complications associated with improper use of alcohol, but that also applies for other commonly accepted items as well. What are your thoughts on have a beer randomly? Is it acceptable to have anytime or something just for the weekends?

Custom six packs

For some reason I forgot to mention that my new “home” of Lubbock, Texas has become a wet city in the past 2 months or so. I would like to think that this happened becasue I moved into the area and they knew that I didn’t want to drive long distances for an adult beverage. So you are welcome Lubbock for not having to travel outside of city limits for a drink.


Anyway, one of the guys at work alerted me to our local World Market. He said that they have beers from all over the world there and that the prices aren’t too shabby either. I went out yesterday for a few things and stopped by the World Market to see what he was talking about. And he was right on both counts; beers from everywhere and decent prices. Most of the world beers came in clear bottles and you can buy them singles only. Not a fan of that. But on the American side of things you could get six packs, cases, and mix and match six packs. Awesome.

There were roughly 30 different beers that you could choose from to put into your six pack. While I was deciding on which six beers to purchase (only 6 under strict instructions from SWMBO), I was thinking about why more places don’t do this. It is a great option for a place that specializes in craft beers. Most craft beer drinkers want to taste everything they can, and the store can charge a slightly higher price per bottle for the convenience of having a custom six pack. The other nice thing is that they had a flat price per bottle, so your choices were not limited by the cost either.

I picked up the following beers for $1.89 a bottle:

  • Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
  • Sierra Nevada Stout
  • Victory Storm King Stout
  • Pyramid Snow Cap Ale
  • Full Sail Amber Ale
  • Great Divide Hercules Double IPA

Some of those beer would of cost me more per bottle if I would of just gotten them as a six pack. Sweet. Anyone else have a local store that does mix and match and do they do it on a per bottle charge or a flat fee?


Real Ale Brewing Company Full Moon Pale Rye Ale Beer Review

09-15-02I bought a sampler six pack from Real Ale Brewing Company 2 weeks ago and I’ve slowly been getting through their three offerings. On a side note, I love the idea of a sampler six pack and I wish more breweries would do something similar. Back to the beer at hand, Real Ale Brewing Company is based out of Blanco, Texas which is almost in between San Antonio and Austin. The company was started out of a basement brewery in 1996 and has since moved up to a 60 barrel brewery. There isn’t much on their website but they seem very community oriented and are willing to give away some free beer for a non-profit community event.

I am always more out to buy something from  a company that is willing to support its local community, but I digress. Full Moon Pale Rye Ale pours a nice golden amber in color and is perfectly clear. It is slightly darker than the typical pale ale but I believe that comes from the rye malt added in. It also has a nice fluffy head that, while it diminishes a bit, stays through the entire drink.  The smell of the beer is all hops with some malt sweetness but I did not detect the rye malt in there.

It taste like a typical pale ale with a slight rye flavor. You notice the rye more on the aftertaste. There is a great balance of hops to malt. I’ve seen a few reviews where people complained about too much hops but I did not find that, I thought the balance was pretty good. If they wanted the rye to stand out a bit more there should of been some less hops, but I enjoyed it on the aftertaste.


The mouthfeel was light and pretty thin. This was not a chewy beer. I’m not the biggest fan of pale ales (gasp!) but I enjoyed this one. The rye adds a bit of flavor that was different and nice. Now I’m going to go on a bit of a tangent. I don’t understand why rye and hops are being paired together some much right now. Michelob just released their Rye P.A. and I’ve seen a few other beers featuring hops and rye showing up on the shelves. The rye flavor is so delicate that the addition of too many hops blows it out of the water. I really enjoy a nice rye beer, just one that is not over hopped for the malt to carry through. I guess the brewers are trying to get a different malt character out of the beer but I prefer to have the rye shine a little bit more. Anyway this is a Texas beer and it doesn’t look like they distribute much further than Texas. It was enjoyable and something a bit different. If you are a pale ale fan try it out and see if you like the rye flavor on top of the typical pale ale. (more…)