Saturday, December 29, 2012

Thanks for Holiday Beer Gifts!

I have really nice sisters! One of them lives in NY. She gave me a hard-bound book version of my blog! So fancy and awesome! Thanks Rebecca. Another sister lives in Portland, OR. Rachel has hooked me up with beer before and for Xmas this year she got shipped me a special holiday Rogue collection.
It included a glass with the bottle art from "Yellow Snow IPA;" it also included a bottle of that, Santa's Private Reserve Ale, and Roguenbier Rye. I'm particularly excited about the Rye ale. Rogue has farms, and grows some of their own hops, barley, and now rye. It sounds like their first crop was demolished by slugs; not easy to combat.
 The beautiful and tasty Santa's Private Reserve ale.
 Mmm, mmm, mmm...
Yellow Snow IPA. Excellent. And not as yellow as I expected. 

Thanks Rebecca and Rachel! And hoppy holidays.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

HopCat - Short's Birthday Party

So I finally went to the HopCat for the first time recently. This was after a show in Grand Rapids, and I was excited to hear we were only a few blocks away from this highly esteemed beer bar.
HopCat is always cool but the night we went, it was a special Short's Brewing event! You can't really tell from this picture, but it was cool to see 34 Short's handles all in a row. It was in honor of the founder of Short's turning 34. He was running around in full mustache.
They were sadly out of S'mores Stout, which I have always wanted to try. However, I got 2 other unique beers. First the Captain Fantasy which combines 2 of my favorites - pear and Saison. It was delicious. Light body, Belgian yeast, pears. Then, out of pure curiosity, I tried The Gambler, an IPA aged in Bourbon barrels with tobacco. Whiskey, tobacco, and gambling all in one little snifter. It was weird. Very floral, strong tobacco smell and taste, sugar, and bitter hops. I liked it! But not enough to get it again. I love how unique so many Short's brews are.
Tobacco beer. "The Gambler."
 Cheers, no jeers! This photo includes Coke and a Cider.
Finally got to try the much-hyped HopCat "crack fries." With cheese no less. Delicious. Also these fried nuggets of joy. Rumor has it that there will be a 2nd HopCat location opening up in Lansing in 2013 with 100 taps and crack fries. I do hope there's enough of a craft beer market to support this along with all the existing beer bars in Lansing.

Brown Shugga', Oh Honey Honey

Random selection at Taps 25 one night. Lagunita's Brown Shugga,' a big American Strong Ale at 9.99% (let's just say 10) alcohol by volume. It is brewed with brown sugar, hence the name.
Good looking beer! Head stayed solid after a 5 minute restroom break. I came back and it looked the same.
 Still looking good.
Very hoppy. Pine, pineapple, oranges, caramel malts, sweet from the brown sugar but not overly so. Both alcohol and sugar started to stand out more over time.
Going, going, gone! Very tasty beer, extremely drinkable despite the high alcohol content, interesting concept on this one. I like. A-