Be Thankful

I hope you all are preparing for a wonderful Thanksgiving full of family, friends, massive amounts of food, and painstakingly paired craft beer. If you prepared a homebrew for this day, good on you for putting in the extra effort. It is hard to truly understand how lucky we all are for having the things that exist in our lives. A roof over our heads, clothes on our back, food on our tables, and people with which we share such things. We gaze upon our glass of Terrapin Pumpkinfest, Stone Saison du Buff, or Ommengang Hennepin and lick our lips with enjoyment while we feast. We laugh and play with close friends and family. We take another sip. We enjoy these moments.

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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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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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New Year’s Return

It’s good to be finally writing again. And even more important, we are now representative of the California Castaway theme. My partner in craft beer crime, Nick, has decided to vacate beautiful Southern California and move on to sunnier, yet also rainier, days in Miami, Florida. I’m excited to hear about all his adventures where craft beer is still going through it’s growth phase. He is also starting to brew his own beer. But I’ll let him explain his story to you himself in another blog. This is about telling everyone that we are back for more blogging. I never thought I could ever lose track of my love for craft beer. I thought I could write forever to a point people would have to pull me from the computer. But it happened, and I forgot to blog. But I never forgot about my love of craft beer. I never forgot to celebrate DC Beer Week. I never forgot to push craft beer to every person I saw holding a Coors Light. I didn’t hesitate when I wanted to spend my 30th birthday in Rehoboth Beach at Dogfish Head. I couldn’t stop the fever that was brought on by the anticipation of attending the 30th Great American Beer Festival and the subsequent days I spent roaming Denver. I never thought for a moment that I would stop loving craft beer.

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