An Ode to the Pumpkin

A few weeks ago, I found myself sitting at the Dogfish Head Alehouse, enjoying copious amounts of their recently-released 2012 Punkin ale. As usual, I was not disappointed. Why would I be? The spices – hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove – were present, as was the malty sweetness that gives it the ever so popular pumpkin pie effect. I was mostly excited for the release of the new Dogfish Head beer; but I soon realized that this could be the start of a cascading effect from hundreds of breweries throughout the U.S. The pumpkin beer craze of 2012 had begun. As a matter of fact, a few other breweries were already getting their stuff on the market (Blue Moon, Shipyard, etc.). But I am always more interested in the tried and true or unknowns. I’m excited for Southern Tier’s Pumpking, Heavy Sea’s The Great Pumpkin, Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Shipyard’s Smashed Pumpkin, and New Holland’s Ichabod Ale.

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3 Stars Brewing Release Party

I’ve just gotten home and couldn’t wait to write this. I just got back from the 3 Stars Release party at Churchkey. What an event to crack open the bottle on what we’ve all been waiting for over the past two years. I first heard about 3 Stars and reviewed their website back in 2010. I loved it. They talk about fresh beer, local support to their community, and beer that will knock your socks off. We’re talking about a saison that was so amazing with fresh hops and orange peel that I felt like I could sip this on the deck in the hot, hot, heat.

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Flying Dog Trip

I had the awesome opportunity to visit Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, Maryland recently. This included a tour, tastings, and a great stop off at a local restaurant that specialized in some great beers in cans and bottles, to include Flying Dog of course. Flying Dog moved from Colorado to Maryland a few years ago when they decided that their most demanding market was on the East Coast. We started off arriving early to our tour and were told to check out AKA Frisco’s around the corner. We drove over for a quick bite and were greeted at the kitchen island, situated at the center of the restaurant. We were given complementary tastes of their chicken chili. We loved it and ordered a bowl along with some exploded potatoes. I also had a bottle of the Anchor Bock. Man that was a good pairing. Spicy, chunky, chili to be followed by a sticky sweet springtime bock. We hurried back to Flying Dog to make our tour appointment, which was part of a Living Social deal we took advantage of that included a hotel nearby the brewery.

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Meet the JackHawk 9000s

Skip Chapington, a humble, debonair, ascot-sporting gentleman, touts the JackHawk 9000s as the greatest invention in the past 100,000 years. Liquid Shades, the company behind the beer-opener sunglasses put together a 4 minute spot where Skip shows you the hilarious and practical ways in which you can use the JackHawk 9000s to improve every aspect of your life.

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Carpe Diem

I was sitting on the couch tonight, enjoying some stir fry vegetables and brown rice after a hearty workout, and needed a tasty libation to go with my veggie feast. I chose one of the six Bell’s Hopslams I had in the fridge. As you know, IPAs can age, but they lose a lot of their hoppy flavors they are known for after a short period. So it’s best to enjoy immediately, even when you are talking about a $20 six-pack. I love to age beers and enjoy them on a momentous day as much as the next guy. But sometimes you just have to take the advice from Virginia Madsen’s character, Maya, in Sideways in response to Miles stating that there had to be a special occasion to open his rare ’61 Cheval Blanc: “Just opening a ’61 Cheval Blanc is a special occasion.” So, in keeping with the preservation of hoppy flavors and making it a special night, I cracked open the bottle of Hopslam and enjoyed to my ever-loving heart’s content. It was then that I noticed the importance of that quote.

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