Thursday, August 28, 2014

Stormcloud Brewing Company - The Nightswimmer and Tequila Buddha

This visit (my second) to Stormcloud Brewing Company was tinged with nostalgia, moisture, and root vegetables.  I convinced my parents to go with me to this Frankfort, MI brewery for lunch while vacationing in the area with my family.  The source of my nostalgia was threefold: Firstly, a great friend was married almost exactly a year previous in the very same town, directly across the bay from where I sat with my parents, which was the occasion of my first trip to the brewery.  Secondly, my two younger siblings, whom I don’t see all that often, had just left our vacation earlier that morning to go back to real life.  Lastly, autumn was just starting to make itself known in the air and the leaves, a seasonal phenomenon that I think makes everybody nostalgic.

Anyway, we sat outside in Stormcloud’s very attractive patio, me wallowing in my wistfulness and my parents wallowing in their fall jackets.  The weather was not only cloudy, but so damp, cool, and foggy, that I wondered if Stormcloud had somehow intentionally situated its patio inside of a cloud as some sort of gimmick.  I had trouble deciding between two beers and ended up getting both at the same time under the pretense of one belonging to my father.  One was a stout, called the Nightswimmer, and the other was a tequila-barrel-aged IPA (?!?) called Tequila Buddha.  Drinking the stout was like drinking a comfortable, familiar cup of coffee, except that it was beer.  I don’t mean that it was prominently coffee-flavored, though it did have nice coffee and chocolate notes, just that you know what you’re going to get and it’s homey and good.  It tastes like a good stout.  Mom says, “Tastes like beer.”  
The Tequila Buddha kicked me in the face and pulled me right out of my reminiscing.
  A solid, round, hoppy (maybe a bit gingery?) beer, with a sweet nose and a bitter finish, this is one of the more complex IPAs that I’ve had in recent memory.  It’s delicious.  I especially enjoyed the aftertaste, which makes you wonder if you actually just took a shot of tequila.  Mom says, “Tastes like it came out of an herb garden.” 


I also had a pizza from the brewery's kitchen called the Roasted Root, which contained beets, parsnips, turnips, corn, parmesan, and a horseradish sauce.  Holy crap.  I think it's a seasonal item, but if you see it, get it, it’s awesome.  Frankfort, though beautiful and wonderful, is a tiny little town that’s a fair bit off the beaten path, and I honestly don’t know how such a prolific brewery and eatery ended up there.  Nevertheless, there it is, and I can’t wait to go back.  It’s an ideal spot for a late summer hang, and I can honestly say that it’s given me one more experience to be nostalgic about.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blue Stallion Brewing Co.

It’s been a while since I’ve made a new post, mostly due to travels. This really means that I’ve been gathering material to write about…or rather drinking material to write about. Before I forget the experience I want to give Blue Stallion Brewing Coa howler for pushing beers into the Lexington economy.
Lexington, Kentucky is usually not renowned for their beer brews, but rather for their whiskey’s…and horses…and blue grass. Now that I think about it, my experience in Lexington was exactly just that; whiskey, horses and blue grass.
Even though their name ‘Blue Stallion Brewing Co’ implies horses and blue grass, (and they probably carry some whiskey barrels for some beer brewing) their brewery implies a German Dasbierhaus. I have to admit that the more I think about it, the vibe might be quite confusing. But once you drink their well prepared beer, and talk to the great servers, bewildering southern/douish vibes vanish.

The beer is quite nice, I had the Barrel Aged Irish Red Ale and by the end of my afternoon some Pilsner’s. If you’re around Lexington and you are a bit overwhelm from all the whiskey (hard to do), the banjo and fiddles…and all the southern courtesy, head on down to Blue Stallion Brewing Co. and have a good old fashion German beer you’all.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

Porkslap Pale Ale

Continuing on the thematic of the hipster like brews; I came across a wonderful specimen of the cheap-canned beer called Porkslap Pale Ale. I think the brewery industry is running out of names to attract the crowds. In any case, Porkslap Pale Ale is not attractive because of its name, but because of its literal graphic translation of it in the cans artwork. Two pigs performing a beautiful and delicate chest-bump…I am certain that somewhere in this image there is a subliminal message to eat bacon.
Butternuts Beer & Ale in Garrettsville NY is doing some fine job marketing their cans to the ‘cool’ vibe of Brooklyn. Hipsters all over the place are screaming to get their porkslap on. Well, let’s hope it lasts, before it goes to mainstream…in any case, I’m sure Butternuts Beer & Ale will come up with something to maintain everyone happy. The beer is quite good for the price it sells for, a nice crispy subtle hoppy ale. If you´re not drunk enough when your drinking this, you might even feel a touch of pork…I mean ginger. 

Just wanted to put up this video that shows some of the wonderful examples of beer names...hipsters love their beer and so do I.


You might recognize Steve Kardynal for his work as Miley

Monday, January 13, 2014

Name Tag Classic

When you live in Brooklyn, there are a few things aspects of life that you cannot avoid. Some of these include getting sick eating “Chinese” food, going to parties three or four subways away, going to hipster-like parties, and drink beer from cans. Drinking beer from cans was popularized in Brooklyn by the “I’m-not-a-hipster” crowd. It probably started by people purchasing the cheapest beers at their closest ‘bodega’ stores. (Beer is not cheap in NY). This hipster-like trend has evolved since it started a few years ago, and Pabst Blue Ribbon lager beers now have many competitors in the area. Not only are breweries selling their beers very cheap, they are attracting the mobs with simple logos and more importantly; better quality beer.

Name Tag Classic is a very light lager type of beer; refreshing, crisp and cheap. I don’t think I could say much about it. I found it in the heart of grocery shopping stores Trader Joe’s. Honestly, I only picked it up because it was really cheap…something like 5 bucks for a six pack. Paying 5 dollars for six beers in New York is a great deal, considering that you are likely to pay that same price for the shittiest beer at your local bar. I am not encouraging to buy this beer, if you have some money, spend an extra couple bucks in something better, but if your wallet is thin, go for it. Regret nothing.

Brooklyn Graffiti art for your enjoyment.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

The one thing I love about the versatility about beer is that you can pair it to an occasion. The most common would probably be the big parties where everyone is drinking for the sake of getting drunk. Getting shitfaced is a defense mechanism; lubricating our social fa├žade in order to hide the awkwardness of what electronic social media has done to us. Most of these occasions lead to being able to communicate better with people, and that is the positive part of drinking socially. The beers in this social imaginary landscape are perhaps accompanied with the lighter ‘piss’ tasting lagers, PBR’s, Budweiser’s, Tecate, etc. As much as I love these kinds of gatherings, I rather pair my beer with smaller companies that appreciate the beauties of this elixir.
Brooklyn Brewery has a good selection of beers. I usually avoid them, not because of their overall quality, but because I am still nostalgic for Midwestern brews. My first positive local beer experience has been Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Chocolate Stout. Though still a bit light in taste to my palate, I am starting to understand these subtleties of east coast beer drinking. Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout is a winter seasonal that packs a nice 10% ABV. And even though, you can drink it as lightly as any other beer. In the taste you can feel the chocolate blend with the different malts. The beer goes down easily and in company a six pack can last a little more than an hour.