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Posts Tagged ‘beer’

Yes! Friends! It is here again! No, we’re not talking about the tea party convention yet, but I have decided to subject you to my ramblings on fermented beverages yet again!

Goats with a hat, man.

Silly goat, hats are for humans affecting to be richer than they really are. Unless it's a baseball cap, which usually means you're a) up to no good, or b) a complete tool bag.

Yes! Friends! It’s here again! No, not goats wearing silly hats and still not the tea party convention, but Bockfest 2010! The annual Cincinnati festival celebrating sausage, spring and getting so drunk that urinating on a police horse seems like a totally rad idea.

Back in the olden days when people rode dinosaurs to school, the monks would brew hearty bock beer for sustenance during their lenten fasts. While the modern Catholic church may see this as cheating, God is probably too wasted on heavy beer to care.

Bock beer is a dark, rich lager with a much higher nutritional and alcoholic content than traditional lagers. So while Guinness is usually viewed as the classic meal in a bottle, it has nothing on bock beer. It was also brewed to celebrate the coming of spring, when a young man’s fancy turns to love, or to keep the monks too drunk to realize how lonely masturbation is.

Bockfest in Cincinnati celebrated by drinking copious amounts of beer, free shuttles to take your drunk ass home, and parading through Over the Rhine led by the sausage queen, because Cincinnati likes to celebrate thick meaty things stuffed into tight casing.

This guy wants to be sausage queen.

No, you don’t have to be female to be a sausage queen.

According to Bockfest’s Web site, “A panel of “expert” judges (i.e. easily bribed) will determine the best applicant based on the following criteria:

1. Personality: Good traits will include a love of bock beer, a sense of humor, and a taste for meat. The personality round will involve a series of questions posed to the contestants by the judges.
2. Presence: The contestant must look good carrying a sausage and have diva tendencies. The presence round will involve a very short catwalk turn while sporting a string of bockwurst.
3. Talent: Whatever “talent” you think a Sausage Queen should possess is good enough for us.”

So in short, if you want to celebrate Cincinnati’s German brewing heritage, or just get sloshed in public, come down to Over the Rhine this weekend (March 5, 6 & 7).

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Well fellow travelers, today is a sad day for democracy. And I’m not talking about the anniversary of Ronald Reagan signing the top-secret National Security Decision Directive 17 authorizing the CIA to recruit and support Contras in Nicaragua. No, my poll has been subverted; abused and tossed away by a fiend so dastardly he could only be described as a politician. The scoundrel who made a mockery of the democratic process stands before you:

Despot

The face of the oppressor.

This charlatan, this impostor, this moderate in Democrat’s clothing enlisted his friends from THE Ohio State University (I go to Ohio THE STATE University) to come to my blog and vote for his beer name. Though technically he did nothing wrong, that’s like offering people $5 to bring a friend to the polls. He’s taken my utopian democracy, carved in the very image of Athens, Greece (our fair college town’s namesake), and he has cheapened it; stealing the election like some monkey-faced former Texas governor.

So without further ado, the name of my beer is:

The Luscious Jord Ale

I want all three of you readers who have a Facebook account (sorry mom) to friend him on Facebook and send him angry pokes. I feel dirty. I need to go take a shower.

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Well, here it is folks. The great poll. Vote for whichever name you like best, and the person who submitted the winning name gets a free six pack of my beer. The poll closes next Monday.


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Athens, being the consummate college town, is full of consummate college bars: they play the same six trite, overplayed pop/rap songs on heavy rotation (often so loud you have to shout to be heard by the hottie sitting next to you [well, there’s always the chance s/he’s just ignoring you]), they have many giant screens playing the game du jour and they have a miserable selection of beer on tap.

Yes, the vasty majority of college bars “play it safe” by choosing beers they know will sell well. Popular beer is like popular music: it is watered down to appeal to people with shitty taste. These beers include your typical “Lite” fare, such as Miller Lite, Bud Light and Coors Light (I don’t care if it’s pink, that beer I won’t drink), as well as a few mainstays in every American bar, Guinness, Budweiser and whatever Sam Adams seasonal is in season at the moment. Which is all a shame, because beer tastes best the fresher it is, and the freshest beer comes from kegs.

celebrity-pictures-alec-guinness-gang-symbols

Alec Guinness wants you to drink Guinness draught.

But all is not lost. There are some bars in town with truly excellent selections of craft beer on tap. But how do bar managers and owners choose which brews to pour for their patrons? I chose to pose this question to three bars in Athens in an exploration of how bars choose better brews. (more…)

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Cutting corners: it’s the American way, n’est-ce pas? Well, I visited the Athens Do It Yourself shop again last week to return the machine I used to cap my bottled beer, a ridiculous contraption that looked something like a microscopes retarded older brother, and is just about as functional. I asked the proprietor, Eric Hedin, when I should put the beer in the fridge, and he told me it should ferment in the bottles for 10 days at room temperature, then another 10 days in the coolest part of my apartment, or the fridge.

counter-top-bottle-capper

I can't think of anything clever to say about this.

OK, so this ran a little contrary to what he had said earlier about “21 days to good beer”; one day to brew, 10 days in the fermenter, then 10 days in the bottle. So I got impatient. I wanted to drink it NOW. So I did.

Now I’m not very good at critiquing myself. My mom once told me that nothing ever tastes as good when you cook it yourself, and I guess the same goes for beer. All in all, I thought it was a bit premature. I thought it was a bit sweet from the priming sugar that hadn’t yet finished fermenting all the way, and maybe a tiny bit flat (though it poured a good head). But, in striving for scientific rigor, I asked my room-mate Corey to step in and do a guest blog about what he thought of my beer. So without further ado, here is Corey’s take on my brew.

corey making a face

Corey, after having drunk my beer (well, a beer).

~Buy a man a beer and he wastes an hour. Teach a man to brew and he wastes a lifetime~
-Gordy form ABC Warehouse-

Fact. There is a reason for it too. It was my first time as the Assistant Roommate of a Brew Master (ARBM, official title) and the experience has opened a whole new book to my drinking solutions. Not problem. I’ve already solved it.


Watching someone brew beer filled my heart with such joy, more so than building houses for the poor. Once, the process was complete and I was able to taste the creation, I realized it is more rewarding too.


Andy is no longer a virgin in the brewing industry. Cherry popped right in our living room for all to witness. The result, of the first batch to be tested, was surprising. Life’s like a white bucket sitting in your living room fermenting: you never know what your ganna get.


As Brew Master, our leader informed us that he was creating an IPA. Yum, I thought. Bottle opener please. Yum, was the result. The beer had a nice tungsten-amber color and it was carbonated enough to form a nice head. The aroma had the familiar bitter-sweet smell that IPA’s usually have. But I did not want to look and smell my beer all day.


Almost had it. The beer was hoppy enough to achieve the bitter flavor of an IPA. The feel of the beer was great in my book. It did not tickle the tongue from carbonation, and did not sit flat either. The beer was just a little sweet with a slight after taste of a cider. There was an excess  of sugars sitting at the bottom of my glass, but I was drinking a preemie version of the beer. This also explains the sweet taste.


Overall, I enjoyed the brew. Even bought one for a friend to try. The beer accomplished what its original intentions were, to taste like an IPA. The only problem I had with it was its sweet side. Would I buy this beer if it were shelved? Yes, in fact I would buy it even if we already had the bottle sitting in our collection. This only excites me more knowing that when the rest of the beer is actually ready, I will get to enjoy the matured version of this already delicious beer.


~MMMM, beer~
Homer Simpson

Keep your glasses empty,
Corey

This is the last chance to submit a name for my beer. The poll begins this weekend, and the winning suggestion gets a free six pack of the beer you named.

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I hate beer commercials. I don’t need Brian Billick telling me to drink Coors Light (shit, I wouldn’t drink Coors Light if Clint Eastwood told me to [OK, well, maybe if Clint Eastwood told me to]). Bouncy buxom babes aren’t going to make Miller Lite taste any less like fermented urine, and I don’t care how many real men of genius Bud Light salutes, their marketing is obviously aimed at binge drinking, backwards-cap-wearing, chest-thumping bros.

Beer ads piss me off. If you can’t win me over by the merits of your beer, no ammount of celebrity endorsements, silly gimmicks or scantily clad women is going to get me to part with my money for a lousy drinking experience. But there is an exception to every rule: Red Stripe.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Silly Red Stripe, who would ever mistake beer for fabric softener! Hooray beer indeed.

Do you have a favorite beer ad?

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Some people are foodies, well I’m a beerie (…that sounded a lot cooler in my head). That doesn’t mean I don’t like food; in fact, if I could do one thing for the rest of my life, it would probably be eat. I just don’t like cooking food. That doesn’t mean I can’t; it just takes way longer to cook food than it does to actually eat it.

Well, I was reading Aimee’s blog and I got inspired. I also got sick of my diet of frozen dinners and Subway sandwiches. So I decided that it’s time for another installment of “Cooking with Beer.” For some inexplicable reason I’m on a Cuban kick, so I decided to make Tostones (fried plantains), Arroz con Pollo (with beer!) and Flan Cubano.

ingredients

All the ingredients lined up nice and pretty. Already poured myself a glass of Pinot Grigio.

Turned out to be quite a daunting task. It took over half an hour and two glasses of wine just to get everything sliced up.

veggies

Chopped green bell pepper, diced onion and three cloves of minced garlic.

pollo

The "con pollo" part of "arroz con pollo"

spices

Oregano, salt, bay leaf, saffron, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika and ground cumin

After that, I fried the chicken for a few minutes in olive oil, just until it was browned (I’d show you a picture, but really, it isn’t that pretty). From there, I sauteed the veggies in the leftover oil.

sautee veggies

Saw-tee them veggies.

Meanwhile, I watched the premiere of “V” on ABC. Gotta say, I’m not too impressed. It has Juliette from LOST on it (total hottie), and in theory you can’t go wrong with an alien invasion, but ABC just didn’t pull it off too well. It seems like ever since LOST became a runaway success, ABC has been trying to copy the formula with epic over-the-top shows. It’s just not working. But I digress.

After the veggies sauteed, I added the diced tomatoes (out of a can, I’m sorry to say), the spices, water and a bottle of beer. Now, I would have used Cuban beer, if I had any idea where to find it. I had to settle on Corona. My American ignorance thought “hey, proximity! Mexico is close to Cuba, right?” I brought that to a broil (well, a simmer, since I don’t even know what a broil is) then added the chicken and let it cook for 30 minutes.

mix water spices beer tomatoes

Water, spices, tomatoes and BEER!

At this point, the wine ran out. Luckily I had saved enough to cook with.

So sad

😦

From there I added the wine and rice and cooked for another 30 minutes. Meanwhile, I fried slices of plantain in vegetable oil.

frying plantains

It's like a banana...only not.

Now the flan was a miserable failure. The recipe called for me to mix 3/4 cups sugar with 1/4 cup water in a pan and melt the sugar. Well, the water evaporated off and the sugar burned, leaving me with a crusty, unusable pan. Having been cooking for over two hours at this point, I just gave up on it.

finished

Not too shabby.

The finished product turned out alright. It wasn’t fantastic, but that might have been because of my choice of beer. My first inclination was an IPA, but with Cuban food, that might not have worked out so well. A Red Stripe might have worked out better, but I was satisfied with the end result. It actually tasted better reheated for lunch.

Do you have any favorite recipes involving beer that I should try for my next “Cooking with Beer”? And don’t forget to help name my homebrew for a chance to win a free six-pack!

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