New Beers Tried: March
During March, I tried 28 beers I’ve never had. The highlight was the Pfriem beers I drank during their welcome-to-Seattle events. All of their stuff was good with the Mosaic Pale and Little Saison standing out as favorites. Locally, I was impressed by the Machine House beers I had at their Grand Opening party and Fremont Brewing’s Seattle Beer Week beer. Also, the First Nail (made by Fremont for Pine Box’s 1 Year Anniversary) was a cinnamon-y ass kicker meant to be sipped. I feel sorry for anyone who drank several at the Box’s anniversary party. The hangover must’ve been memorable. Here are the beers I tried:
01. Machine House Gold (draft at Machine House Brewery)
02. Machine House U Name It (draft at Machine House Brewery)
03. Good Life Sweet as Pacific (draft at Tippe and Drague)
04. Pelican Keg Monkey Zwickel (draft at Bottleworks)
05. Flyers Younts Small Beer (draft at Brouwer’s)
06. Pfriem Mosaic Pale Ale (draft at Brouwer’s)
07. Pfriem Blonde IPA (draft at Brouwer’s)
08. Logsdon Cerasus (draft at Pine Box)
09. Pfriem IPA (draft at Pine Box)
10. Pfriem Little Saison (draft at Pine Box)
11. Boulevard Grainstorm Black Rye IPA (draft at Pine Box)
12. Sierra Nevada Blood Shot Imperial Red Ale (draft at Pine Box)
13. Green Flash Hop Odyssey Black IPA (draft at Bottleworks)
14. New Belgium Rampant Imperial IPA (12 oz. bottle)
15. Fremont The First Nail (draft at Pine Box)
16. Fremont Seattle Beer Week 5th Anniversary Organic Session Pale Ale (12 oz. can)
17. Deschutes River Ale (12 oz. bottle)
18. Double Mountain Project 48 (draft at Pine Box)
19. Epic Big Bad Baptist (draft at Pine Box)
20. Maui Aloha B’ak’tun Belgian Stout (12 oz. can)
21. Pfriem Super Saison (draft at Stumbling Monk)
22. Populuxe Burke-Gilman Bitter (draft at Populuxe)
23. Peddler RyePA (draft at Peddler)
24. Urban Family Nelson Muntz IPA (draft at Urban Family)
25. Southern Tier Eurotrash Pilsner (draft at Pint Defiance)
26. Bear Republic Black Racer IPA (draft at The Red Hot)
27. Georgetown Craigalicious Black Lager (draft at Parkway Tavern)
28. Wingman Maori Warrior ISA (draft at Wingman)
Song of the Day: Weeks 1-3
For the last three weeks, I’ve been posting a Song of the Day on my Twitter feed. I’ve managed to do four a week. Here’s a recap of the first twelve:
Caballo Tripode (Valencia, Spain) - “El Rey Sayón”
Yellowgoat (Los Angeles, CA) - “Cross Damnation”
Wimps (Seattle, WA) - “Slept in Late”
The Gary (Austin, TX) - “Innocent Bystander”
Krupted Peasant Farmerz (San Jose, CA) - “Memories of Death”
Batillus (New York, NY) - “Concrete”
No Weather Talks (Hamburg, Germany) - “Privilege of Procrastination”
Satanic Threat (Cleveland, OH) - “Small God, Big Cross”
Office of Future Plans (Baltimore, MD) - “Solipsist”
Wax Idols (San Francisco, CA) - “When It Happens”
Tenement (Appleton, WI) - “(Messy Endings) in Middle America”
Cascadia (Vancouver, BC) - “Yours”
New Beers Tried in February
It’s mid-March, so I guess my new beers tried update for February is long overdue. Here’s what I had, where I had it and a sentence or two about each (which may or may not have anything to do with how the beer tasted):
01. Old Schoolhouse New School ESB (draft at Stumbling Monk) - Had several pints of this over three separate visits to the Monk and was pleasantly surprised by how solid it was.
02. Flyers Low Vis White IPA (draft at Stumbling Monk) - For the most part, I’m not a fan of mixing Belgian styles with IPAs. This did not change my way of thinking on the subject.
03. Rainy Daze Alt (draft at Wurst Place) - I honestly don’t remember how this one was, but I tried it because I was in the neighborhood and it was from a brewery in Silverdale that I’d never heard of. I do remember that I didn’t get a sausage when I was at Wurst and that’s a damn shame.
04. Alesmith My Bloody Valentine (22 oz. bottle split 2 ways) - Malty, hoppy, pretty good. I could say that about a lot of beers.
05. Engelszell Gregorious Trappistenbier (draft at Stumbling Monk) - Probably should’ve had more respect for this beer from the newest addition to the Trappist brewery club, but I had it at the end of the night after a long day of drinking and dice-throwing. All I remember is that it was too sweet and I wished I hadn’t ordered it.
06. Port Board Meeting (22 oz. bottle split 2 ways) - Enjoyed a glass of this, but it’s not something I’d go back to again since an 8+% imperial brown ale with coffee and cocoa is not a go-to type beer for me.
07. Boneyard Notorious Triple IPA (draft at Pine Box) - Boneyard’s contribution to the Pliny The Younger-inspired hoppy arms race. Yes, it was hoppy as fuck and pretty tasty, but do we really need beers like this? I wouldn’t miss them and would much rather drink a couple pints of the brewery’s RPM IPA.
08. Triplehorn Blockhead IPA (draft at Pine Box) - Not the I-wanna-drink-it-every-day WA IPA I’m always hoping to find, but a pretty solid one from one of Woodinville’s new breweries.
09. Pike How Now Brown Ale (draft at Pike Brewing) - It was a beer I drank after work one day.
10. Fremont Trifecta IPA (draft at Brouwer’s) - I love a lot of what Fremont does and I wanted to love the new house beer they’re making for Brouwer’s/Bottleworks/Burgundian. Thing is, I tasted a touch of butter (diacetyl) in this on the night of its premiere. I’m guessing it needed to rest a bit longer or something like that. I’m sure Fremont will dial it in and subsequent batches will be great.
11. American Flying Monkey Dogfight Pale Ale (draft at Brouwer’s) - Despite the fact that this was made for this year’s Emerald City Comicon, I have nothing bad to say about it.
12. Airways Pilsner (draft at The Dray) - This is a beer I drank after work one day.
13. Cascade Bottleworks XIV (draft at Bottleworks) - I’m counting this even though I drank only 6 or so ounces and that goes against my 10 oz. minimum thing. Hey, they weren’t pouring 10 ounces at a time. I know, I know…I could’ve had more than one.
14. Pike Octopus Ink (draft at Pike Brewing) - Chris from the Red Hot said this was one of the best examples of a Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale/American Black Ale that he’s had. Who am I to argue with the owner of one of my favorite bars?
Promising Shows in February/March
One of my goals for 2013 is to try and see 2 shows a month. Only saw the Spits in January, but there’s plenty of chances to make up for it in February and March:
2/09 - Lozen, Brokaw at Rendezvous
2/11 - Enslaved, Pallbearer, Royal Thunder at Highline
2/13 - OFF!, Negative Approach at Chop Suey
2/13 - Graveyard, The Shrine at Neumos
2/26 - Krieg at 2 Bit Saloon
3/03 - Nu Sensae at Chop Suey
3/08 - Helms Alee, Sandrider at Columbia City Theater
3/15 - Milk Music at Black Lodge
3/21 - Iceage at Barboza
3/22 - White Lung at Chop Suey
3/27 - Today is the Day, Black Tusk, Ken Mode, Fight Amp at Highline
3/30 - Merchandise, Naomi Punk at Barboza
2012 Muriels and 2013 Film Viewing Projects
If the giant fucking banner didn’t clue you in—the 2012 Muriel Awards have begun. I’m fortunate enough to still be allowed to vote. It’s a pretty good group of critics, bloggers and movie nerds. But, damn, it’s a bit of a sausage fest. I think there are 3-4 women contributors at best? There’s gotta be more female film geeks out there who’d contribute. Someone needs to do some outreach. Anyway, the results for Best Supporting Actor and Actress have been posted. Remaining categories (there are a lot) will roll out throughout the month.
I plan to participate in the Muriels again in 2013, but I also have some separate movie-watching goals dialed up. They are as follows:
1. Watch movies I’ve never seen from my birth year—1969. I’ve got a pretty solid list to choose from here: Watchlist: 1969.
2. Watch Criterion titles on Hulu Plus. I pay $7.99 a month for the service and the Criterion stuff is the main reason. It’s time I start making good use of it. I’ll be keeping a list of what I see here: Hulu Plus Criterion Project: 2013.
3. Watch a lot of Warner Archive titles. At one time, the lady and I thought about doing a blog where we’d watch and write up as many WA releases as possible. That’s probably never gonna happen, but I still have an ongoing list of stuff that I want to watch: Warner Archive Titles To See.
Enabling Myself One Beer at a Time in 2013
It’s been a few years since I’ve done this, so why not? I’m keeping track of every new-to-me beer I try this year. The usual restrictions apply. Samples do not count. What does qualify: Pint, schooner, 12 oz. bottle, split of a 22 oz. or 750 ml. Seasonals, different though they may be from year to year, do not count. That’s about it.
I tried 21 beers in January. Nothing life-changing, but a lot of solid stuff. Here’s what I drank (favorites in bold with half-assed observations after them):
001. Cascade Blueberry (draft at Pine Box)
002. Georgetown Le Roger (draft at Beveridge Place)
003. Georgetown Lovely Reida (draft at Beveridge Place)
004. Bear Republic Cafe Racer XV (draft at Pine Box)
005. Local Option Schmetterling Gose (draft at Pine Box)
006. Old Schoolhouse Uncle Big’s Brown (draft at Bottleworks)
007. Fremont Super Duper IPA (draft at Fremont Brewing) - I liked this experimental IPA (with Calypso hops) even more than the regular Fremont IPA. Easy-drinking and low octane with a lot of hop aroma and flavor.
008. Reuben’s Roasted Rye IPA (draft at Reuben’s) - I’ve yet to have a disappointing beer from Reuben’s. They brew a variety of styles that should please almost anyone’s tastes, but I think this may be my favorite of the 5 or 6 I’ve tried. The roasted rye element gives it a little something extra.
009. Urban Family Le Vagabond (draft at Urban Family)
010. Odin Sigrun IPA (draft at Beveridge Place)
011. Bellevue Oatmeal Stout (draft at Beveridge Place)
012. Elysian Doom (draft at Elysian Cap Hill)
013. Reuben’s Imperial IPA (draft at Reuben’s)
014. Avery Nineteen (draft at Bottleworks)
015. Stillwater Premium (draft at Stumbling Monk)
016. Stone Enjoy By IPA (draft at Noble Fir) - I had this at the Noble Fir on the night they tapped their last keg of Pliny. I was one of the only ones drinking it at first, since everyone was shitting their pants about Russian River leaving the market. People came around, though. I heard a couple guys who tried both Pliny and Enjoy By say that the Stone crushed Pliny. Hated to say I told them so, but I did anyway. One dude from out of town went so nuts for it that he called every beer shop in town to secure some bottles. No beer for him. That shit had long since sold out everywhere.
017. Coronado Idiot IPA (draft at Pine Box)
018. Coronado Bada Bing Porter (draft at Pine Box)
019. Naked City Brute Force IPA (draft at Naked City)
020. Machine House Bitter (cask at Pine Box) - Nothing earth-shattering here, but it’s exciting to have a new local spot brewing true English session ales to style. Not sure how they’re going to go over with the go-big-or-I’m-not-interested Seattle beer geek crowd, but I hope they manage to be successful. I know I’ll be drinking their beer when I see it around town.
021. Triplehorn Ol Du Vin (draft at Pine Box)
Remedy 20-Tea Challenge: Still on Course…Mostly
Still doing the challenge, but have to admit the enthusiasm level has gone down a bit. Returning to my old ways has something to do with it. Went out drinking a few times last week and saw a burlesque show. Not as much time to sit at Remedy and contemplate my navel over a pot of tea. Despite the distractions, I managed to try four teas last week. No mind-blowing standouts, but all were pretty good even if nothing came close to the Precious Jade Dew. Up to ten now, so halfway to the goal. Here are last week’s additions:
Brown Rice Tea (#39)
Silver Needle (#20)
Precious Eyebrows (#34)
Iron Goddess of Mercy (#53)
There’s a chance of not making it to 20, but I should come close. Have to make sure to have at least one tea each from the Black, Pu-erh and Yerba sections since I haven’t tried any of those yet.
Remedy 20-Tea Challenge: Jade Oz (#51) & Roasted Qilan (#55)
I learned a few things about Remedy Teas this past weekend. First, the place can be just as annoying as any hipster douche coffee spot. My lady and I went on Saturday afternoon to share a pot of tea instead of doing the usual to-go cups. The place was packed and there was a definite feeling of insufferable entitlement in the air. Everyone, including the scruffy wannabe-punk kids in front of us in line, annoyed the shit out of me. Maybe I’m just a disagreeable asshole, but I didn’t enjoy being there. The other thing I learned about Remedy is that they don’t really have 150 teas. Over the weekend, I came across three teas I wanted that were out of stock. I don’t know if this is Remedy’s fault—some teas sell out and others are seasonal. But I’ve gotta admit, I was pretty disappointed that I won’t be able to try Iron Goddess of Mercy this month. With a name like that, I was expecting great things.
On to the teas I did try. It was an oolong weekend. On Saturday, after being denied the Iron Goddess, we shared a pot of Jade Oz on the tearista’s recommendation. It was good, splitting the difference between the subtle flavors of a green tea and the bolder punch of a black tea. It definitely leaned toward the more delicate green tea side. On Sunday, I went with the Roasted Qilan. It was alright, roasty and whatnot, but I think I liked the Jade Oz better. Overall, I think I like greens more than oolongs. I suspect I’m gonna prefer green tea to black tea as well. We’ll see.
Remedy 20-Tea Challenge: Precious Jade Dew (#37)
With the first sip of tea I had last night, I had one of those moments where you know, instinctively, that you’re tasting something amazing. You feel it in your gut or whatever and instantly think “Wow, this shit is fucking good. Really good. I don’t think I’ve tasted anything like this and I really like it.” I didn’t need to sip the tea several more times, roll it around on my tongue and intellectualize about what made it so great. I just knew it was other-level good.
The tea in question was Precious Jade Dew. For more about what makes this tea extraordinary, check out a post on Tired of Ramen with commentary from the founder of Remedy Teas. When December’s tea experimentation is over, this is one I’ll be returning to again and again. Hopefully, there are more wow teas like this to come.
Remedy 20-Tea Challenge: Digestive (#7)
I went into Remedy the other night and asked the girl behind the counter: “what tea do you recommend for farting? I’ve been farting a lot tonight and my girlfriend said I can’t get back in the apartment until it stops.” Without hesitation, she rang up the herbal blend known as Digestive. What a tea. It cured my digestive issues and saved my relationship.
Ok, that’s total bullshit. I could never ask someone for fart tea with a straight face, especially not when I’m stone cold sober. But yeah, my stomach was kicking a bit and I figured I’d try a tea from Remedy’s Wellness section.
The Digestive is a blend of peppermint, anise, fennel, ginger, licorice, vanilla and calendula. It’s in the vein of a digestive tea you can get at a grocery store—Tummy Mint or some shit like that. The difference is there’s more going on in Remedy’s version and it’s better. It damn well better be at $2.75 a mug.