Saturday, June 15, 2019

Space Beer

No I didn’t actually have beer in space; at least not yet. The fact I wonder what would happen if you brewed beer and space; I mean you have top fermenting ales and bottom fermenting lagers. What would happen in the absence of gravity even artificial gravity like centrifugal force?

Anyway I had the pleasure of being a guest lecturer at NASA, in Langley VA. Had never been there: it’s the oldest of NASA’s facilities: started in 1917 by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).


It was a great time, and a lot of fun. It was profound to see that we are not only going back to the Moon, but to Mars as well.

Got us a try space sushi as I called it because it was from the cafeteria at NASA (ha ha).


Was able try some different beers during the week, at the hotel and some restaurants.
[brewer]     |       [brand]         |       [style]            |ABV| (score on 0-10)   # count
Seven Arrows  |  Milk Stout  |  Ale, Stout, Milk  |  5.5  |  7.6   |  #10,973
Anchor Steam  |  Baykeeper   |  Ale, IPA, American  |  7  |  7.8
Cape Charles   |  Blood Orange PHunk   |  Ale, Wheat, Berliner Weisse mit schusse  |  4  |  5.5
Legend   |  Brown Ale  |  Ale, Brown, English  |  6  |  8.5
O’Connor  |  Odis dry Irish Stout   |  Ale, Stout, Irish  | _ |  7.5
New Realm   |  Hoplandia   |  Ale, IPA, American  |  7.3  |  7.5
Bull Island   |  Pineapple Wheat  |  Ale, Wheat, Fruit  |  6  |  7.5

Of course when you want to try beers things always work out. I walked to a brewery one night, near the hotel. Without naming any names (the hotel was at City Center - you do the math). I arrived at 8:50 and was told “we’re closed.” It did surprise me because most businesses want that last nickel (me included) in any. So I asked you’re close to nine? And was told yes we close at 9 but taps shut off now.

That was kind of sad because most places really welcome you, and in their defense maybe some draconian laws require shutting down early? But this of course beer karma would dictate more than made up for the next day.


This must be NASA - look at the upload speed. Take that Charter!


First, at the end of the day went to a small bar called Afterburners, which opens up on campus. again nothing spectacular but drinking a beer at NASA is a nice check box thing to do bucket list item.

As a group a lot of us went to Oozlefinch brewery, and just had a great time.


My host from NASA did set the bar high because he kept telling people how much of a beer fan I am; so some people asked me what they should try.


Certainly I did defer to brewery employee Cliff, because I was not really sure exactly what they had or what their flavor spectrum was like.


As we were drinking I asked our host if he had ever had Tree House.? Now let me first say that I travel with a lot of different beers, and Tree House just hot right now; and they make some great suds. So he said yes, he did and they like to try other beers for flavor comparison. So I pull out my bag a Treat and said here you go. He then pulled out Eatin’ Cancakes (not labeled for consumption outside) so we had to drink it there.


This beer is made up of a near lethal amount of maple syrup and pancake batter; so yes it did taste like maple syrup pancakes - I kid you not. A perfect example of a “pastry stout” whether you love them or hate them. Several of the people in our group tried it; one woman said she said she didn’t like dark beer and I said try this: her response was I love dark beers now! But someone else admonished her they’re not all going to taste that good.

Oozlefinch  |  Superfluous Sucrose  |  Ale, Belgian Strong style  |  9.1  |  7.5
Oozlefinch  |  Cows at Large ice cream style stout with almonds marshmallow vanilla cocoa   |  Ale, Stout, Milk  |  7  |  9.4
Oozlefinch  |  Eatin’ Cancakes  |  Ale, Stout, Imperial Pastry  |  9.1  |  10.1*
   *NOTE – yes a “10.1 / 10.0 on my open-ended rating scale of 1.0 - 10.0)
Oozlefinch  |  Aircraft Honey Pilsner  |  Lager, Pilsner  | _ |  8
Oozlefinch  |  Lady in White   |  Ale, Wheat, Hefeweizen  |  5  |  7
Oozlefinch  |  Old Fogey  |  Ale, IPA, New England   |  6.7  |  8.5
Oozlefinch  |  Widow’s Wagner  |  Ale, Stout, American   |  7  |  8.1
Oozlefinch  |  Das yummy Key Lime pie Imperial Berliner weisse**  |  Ale, Wheat, Berliner Weisse  |  6.5  |  8
   **NOTE most “Imperial” designations have a higher ABV, however as a Berliner weisse hovers around 4% usually, 6.5 would make this a “Double” at least…
Oozlefinch  |  Land of sleeping eagles barrel aged sour petit Saison   |  Ale, Saison  |  5.4  |  7.8
Oozlefinch  |  Sharp Climber Dry-Hopped Golden Sour   |  Ale, Sour, Pale  |  5.9  |  8.5

We were all laughing, then I pulled another Tree House, which prompted Cliff to give me a sour (Riveting conversation) to take home to share with my kids - which I did.


I took a short Über ride over to Caiseal Beer & Spirits (pronounced “cash-EL”) - brewing and distillery in the Vanguard building. Now here’s the difference between the way some places work: I got there at pretty much 9:50; I thought they closed at 11 but they closed at 10. But in the minutes that were left I did buy a beer and they let me try one of their beers. Since they were also a Distillery I asked to see what they had for sale, but they explained because of the liquor laws they cannot sell bottles of hard liquor to go after 6:00 PM

Caiseal beer   |  Treat me Wrong  |  Ale, IPA, Imperial  |  9.5  |  7.8
Caiseal beer   |  Black Kölsch  |  Lager, Dark  |  5.3  |  7.5    (#10,992)

So all in all a great time.

Ad Astra

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Beer Bus Tour CT June 2019


Met for a brief breakfast at Black Pond brews; time for a quick beer also. 



Did bring some pre-mixed yeast as yeast has the enzyme alcoholdehydrogenase… well look it up…


Black Pond    |   Pondering Problems    |   Ale, Pale, Classic   |   [5.0]   |   7.8
Start Beer 10,906

Once on the bus, the beers were broken put rather quickly, on the way to Essex Wine and Spirits; any beers with an "*" asterisk we brought!

[brewer]     |       [brand]           |       [style]                          | [ABV]    | (score on 0-10)
Allagash    |   Pick Your Own   |   Ale, Belgian Kriek style   |   [6.0]   |   9
Woodland   |   Ruby Slippers   |   Ale, Wheat, Berliner Weisse, Fruit   |   [4.6]   |   8.2
Long Live    |   Prissint    |   Ale, IPA, Imperial   |   [8.0]   |   7.8
Trillium   |   Peach Super Soak*   |   Ale, Sour, Wheat   |   [7.1]   |   9.6


Wormtown   |   Citrus Sunshine   |   Ale, Pale, Wheat   |      |   6.5
Mast Landing   |   Gunner’s Daughter vanilla beans    |   Ale, Stout, Milk, Sweet   |   [5.5]   |   7.8

Essex Wine and Spirits had some good stuff we can’t get in the Quiet Corner



Springdale    |   Parcha   |   Ale, Farmhouse   |      |   7
Armada   |   Notorious Gypsy   |   Ale, Sour, Fruit   |      |   7.5
Front Porch and Hoax   |   Strawberry Crop Circles   |   Ale, IPA, Imperial, Milkshake   |      |   8.4
Heavy Seas    |   Citra Cannon   |      |   [6.0]   |   7
Kent Falls    |   Walking Away in slow motion as the car explodes behind you    |   Gose, fruit   |      |   9
Ommegang   |   Three Philosophers 2019   |   Ale, Belgian Quadrupel   |   [9.7]   |   9.2



Got to Alvarium, had some food there as well. A dog friendly place that sells Dog Beer!

[brewer]     |       [brand]          |       [styl        | [ABV]| (score on 0-10)
Alvarium    |   Summer Fling   |   Gose, fruit   |      |   7.8
Alvarium    |   Lit Smoked Helles   |   Lager, Rauchbier   |      |   7
Alvarium    |   Starman   |   Ale, IPA, American   |   [8.0]   |   7.8


Filled the Untappd board

Alvarium    |   Pie Curious   |   Ale, IPA, Sour    |      |   [8.0]
Alvarium    |   Clusternutter    |   Ale, Porter, Sweet   |      |   8.5
Alvarium    |   Moist   |   Ale, Brown, American   |      |   8

A short trip dpow the road towards 5 Churches
Kent Falls   |   Apricot Gose   |   Gose, fruit   |      |   8.2
When we got there I was amazed how the driver Lee threaded the needle to park the bus.



Arrived at 5 Churches, had some nice pretzel bites; regret not trying the brick oven pizza.


5 Churches   |   Früit Jüs   |   Ale, Fruit   |      |   7.5
5 Churches   |   Das Froot Guave with Key Lime   |   Ale, Fruit   |      |   8
5 Churches   |   Das Froot with Key Lime   |   Ale, Fruit   |      |   9.5
5 Churches   |   Amburlance    |      |      |   7
5 Churches   |   Pew Pew   |   Ale, IPA, American   |      |   7.6
5 Churches   |   Someday they’ll be laughing outside    |   Ale, IPA, New England    |      |   7.9


5 Churches   |   Steeple People    |   Ale, IPA, Imperial   |      |   7
5 Churches   |   When Stouty met Paddy   |   Ale, Stout, Dry (Irish)   |      |   7.5

Then to Still Hill
Oxbow   |   Cherry Jackpot   |   Ale, Saison   |   7.5   |   8.5
Founders   |   CBS Canadian Breakfast Stout   |   Ale, Stout, Imperial   |   [11.7]   |   8.8

Next brewery was Still Hill




[brewer]  | [brand]  |       [style]                    | [ABV] | (score on 0-10)
Still Hill   |   APA   |   Ale, Pale, American   |      |   7.5
Still Hill   |   Red Storm Rysing   |      |      |   8.2
Still Hill   |   Sluggy Buggy   |      |      |   7
Still Hill   |   Mommas little helper   |   Ale, IPA, Double   |   [8.2]   |   5
Still Hill   |   Patersbier summer Belgian ale   |      |   [5.2]   |   8.5
Still Hill   |   I caved    |   Ale, IPA, American   |   [8.2]   |   7.8


Still Hill   |   Muga Joe   |   Ale, Stout, Coffee   |      |   7.7
Still Hill   |   Strawberry wit Panty Party    |   Ale, Wheat, Fruit   |      |   7

Then to Forest City which was also next to Stubborn Beauty


Forest City   |   John Beere Kölsch   |   Kölsch   |   7.4   |   7
Forest City   |   Good Sesh session IPA   |      |      |   8
Forest City   |   Barley’s Irish Stout    |      |      |   7.8
Forest City   |   Exp4 IPA   |      |   [7.8]   |   8.5


Forest City   |   Blaubeere sour ale   |   Ale, Sour, Fruit   |      |   7.5
Forest City   |   Odin    |   Ale, IPA   |   [7.2]   |   8
Forest City   |   Riddler    |   Ale, IPA, New England    |      |   7.8

Had already had some of these, but not at the brewery


Stubborn Beauty   |   Secret Agent X9 or #9   |   Ale, Belgian Strong style   |   [10]   |   8.8
Stubborn Beauty   |   Nummy Nummy    |   Ale, IPA, Double   |   [8.1]   |   7.5
Stubborn Beauty   |   The Fist   |   Ale, IPA, Double   |   [8]   |   8.7
Stubborn Beauty   |   Sour Tiddys   |   Ale, Belgian Flanders Brown style   |   [6.5]   |   8
Stubborn Beauty   |   Conqueror   |   Ale, Brown, Imperial   |   [10.5]   |   8


Back on the bus for even more beer; also mercifully stopped for some fast food.
Woodland Farms   |   Blinky IPA   |      |      |   7.8
Trinity Brewing   |   Seven Day, Golden Sour (7 day)   |   Ale, Sour   |      |   8.5
Spencer    |   India Pale Ale    |      |      |   8
Firestone Walker    |   Agrestic batch 4   |      |      |   8
Boulevard    |   Bundle up   |   Ale, Barleywine, American   |   [10.5]   |   8.8
Oxbow   |   Surf Casting   |   Grisette   |   [4.5]   |   8.5
Swing oil   |   Pin Seeker IPA    |   Ale, IPA, American   |   [7.0]   |   7.8

Then Kinsman


Kinsman   |   Wilk Duds   |   Ale, Stout, Sweet   |   [7.5]   |   8.5
Kinsman   |   Dinoswords   |   Ale, IPA, Double New England   |   [8.5]   |   7.8
Kinsman   |   @Kins Diet   |   Ale, Sour   |   [4.0]   |   7.8

Last run back towards Black Pond
Oxbow   |   Abrico   |   Ale Sour Fruit   |   7.5
Stubborn beauty   |   Malcontent   |      |      |   8
OEC   |   Nepenthes batch 3*   |   Ale, Saison   |   [5.5]   |   9
10968

Then once arrived, off to D&G Pizza for dinner!
Modern Times   |   Dreamspeaker    |   Ale, IPA, American   |   [7.2]   |   7.5
Barrier   |   Kickin’ Knowledge pineapple    |   Ale, IPA, Fruit   |   [7.0]   |   7

Ended with beer 10,970; yes many of these were flights or tastings. Some pedialyte before bed and woke up 100%.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Magic 78 in Minneapolis and no Attack

During a conference, in Minneapolis MN, from 5/18 – 5/21/19. Brought some good beers to share.


Started out 5/18 at the Crooked Pint Ale House, 501 S Washington Ave
[brewer]     |       [brand]  |       [style]         | [ABV] | (score on 0-10)
New Holland   |   Dragon's Milk reserve raspberry hibiscus   |   Ale, Stout, Russian Imperial   |   11   |   9.2 (beer #10,794)
Insight    |   Sunken City   |   Ale, Saison   |   [7.8]   |   7.5


Then to the Stray Dog, 401 E Hennepin Ave. Really nice place with a Belgian beer selection that us quite good. After some beef marrow, tried one of those Ultimate burgers, no meat – amazing.
Bent Paddle   |   Cherry Pomegranate    |   Lager, Pilsner, Fruit   |   [5.0]   |   7.5
Verhaeghe, Brouwerij   |   Duchesse de Bourgogne   |   Ale, Belgian Flanders Red   |   [6.0   |   8.8
Orval   |   Orval Trappist   |   Ale, Belgian Trappist   |   [6.9]   |   9.5



Next day met up with someone I used to work with and his son, started out walking the Town Hall brewpub (it was an Uber day)



[brewer]     |       [brand]  |       [style]         | [ABV] | (score on 0-10)
Town Hall   |   Quadruple Vine   |   Ale, Belgian Quadrupel Style   |   [10.2]   |   8.9
Town Hall   |   West Bank   |   Ale, Pale, American   |      |   7.6
Town Hall   |   Ol’ Blarney   |   Ale, Red, Irish   |      |   7
Town Hall   |   Weizenbock   |   Lager, Bock, Weizenbock   |      |   7.7
Town Hall   |   Sterling Red Lager   |   Lager, Red   |      |   6.5
Town Hall   |   Aces Copper Pale Ale   |   Ale, Pale, American   |      |   7.5
Town Hall   |   Masala Mama   |   Ale, IPA, English   |   [6.4]   |   8.7

Then to Indeed at 711 NE 15th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55413, where there was an event with live music.

Indeed    |   Lucy    |   Ale, Sour   |      |   7.2
Indeed    |   Day Tripper   |   Ale, Pale, Classic   |   [5.4]   |   7.5
Indeed    |   B side Pils   |   Lager, Pilsner, German Pils   |   [5.1]   |   8.5
Indeed    |   Total Banger    |   Ale, IPA, American, Double   |   [8.3]   |   8.8

A short walk at Dangerous Man where I once again extolled the virtues of yeast.
Dangerous Man   |   Raspberry coconut Sherbet Barleywine   |   Ale, Barleywine, Fruit   |   [9.9]   |   9.2
Dangerous Man   |   Dangerous one    |   Ale, IPA, Session   |   [5.1]   |   7.8


Dangerous Man   |   Kölsch style   |   Kölsch Style   |      |   8
Dangerous Man   |   Lemons Almond Frangipane   |   Ale, Golden   |   [4.1]   |   7
Dangerous Man   |   Cherry Milkshake    |   Ale, IPA, Milkshake, Fruit    |   [6.7]   |   7
Dangerous Man   |   Coconut chocolate chipotle milk Stout aged wild turkey barrels   |   Ale, Stout, Milk, Spiced   |      |   8.5

Finished up at Fulton, 414 N 6th Ave, with some


Fulton    |   War and Peace w/coffee   |   Ale, Stout, Russian Imperial   |   [9.5]   |   9.6
Fulton    |   Lonely Blonde   |   Ale, Blonde, American   |      |   8

I went and had a light dinner back at Town Hall.


Town Hall   |   Manhattan reserve grand cru   |   Ale, IPA, English   |   [6.4]   |   9.7

On the 19th met up with someone I used to work with, and stopped at The Local in downtown Minneapolis.
Finnigans   |   Cluster Truck   |   Ale, Amber, English   |      |   6.8
Finnigans   |   Dead Irish poet   |   Ale, Stout, Irish   |      |   7.5

From here we made what would be a great decision, some folks we chatted with on the way to Dangerous Man said Boom Island was rocking Belgian-style beers. They were. Jim was a great host.


Boom Island   |   Brimstone Tripel    |   Ale, Belgian Tripel Style   |   [9.5]   |   8
Boom Island   |   Django Hop Bier   |   Ale, Belgian IPA style   |   [6.0]   |   8.5
Boom Island   |   Hoodoo Dubbel   |   Ale, Belgian Dubbel Style   |   [8.5]   |   7.8



Boom Island   |   Kriek   |   Ale, Belgian Kriek Lambic style   |   [4.8]   |   8.8
Boom Island   |   Lemon Drop    |   Ale, Belgian White Style   |  [5.5]    |   7.6
Boom Island   |   Omen-Quad   |   Ale, Belgian Quadrupel Style   |   [10.2]   |   8.8
Boom Island   |   Witness   |   Ale, Belgian White style   |   [5.0]   |   8

Then back to Fulton
Fulton    |   BlackBerry Wit   |   Ale, Belgian White style   |   [5.0]   |   7
Fulton    |   War and Peace aged on Jameson’s    |   Ale, Stout, Russian Imperial   |   [9.5]   |   9.5



Fulton    |   Patience #14   |   Ale, Barleywine, American   |   [10.8]   |   8.6

A quick stop at Dangerous Man again
Dangerous    |   Belgian Golden Strong    |   Ale, Belgian Golden Style   |   [9.5]   |   8

Went to a meeting that evening, and chatted with a few friends at good ol’
Rockbottoms   |   Winterfell Dark Ale   |   Ale, Dark   |   [6.0]   |   7.7
Rockbottoms   |   No worries Imperial IPA   |   Ale, IPA, Imperial   |   [9.0]   |   8.1

Next day 5/20/19 we started at Surly, which was no mean feat as UMN was graduating that day. When we got there we mentioned to Chris our bartender that it could be a real shit-show in here in maybe 2 hours. We shared the following:

[brewer]     |    [brand]  |       [style]         | [ABV] | (score on 0-10)
Surly   |   Pentagram barrel aged   |   Ale, Sour / Wild, Dark   |   [7.0]   |   8.5
Surly   |   Dark phase   |   Ale, Stout, Sweet (London)   |   [4.9]   |   8.5
Surly   |   Cynic   |   Ale, Belgian Pale style   |   [6.5]   |   8
Surly   |   Osmotar’s Forest Mild   |   Ale, Mild, Finnish   |   4.3   |   8.3




On the rare bottle list what to my wondering eyes should appear, but an Oatwine (Barleywine variant) the likes of which I have never tried.
Surly   |   Eight Oat Wine style ale   |   Ale, Oatwine   |   [12.0]   |   10.2
Surly    |   Darkness    |   Ale, Stout, Russian Imperial   |   [11.5]   |   9.8



Surely    |   The good doctor freak nasty    |   Ale, Stout, Sour   |      |   9.2
Surly    |   Darkness barrel aged    |   Ale, Stout, Russian Imperial   |   [12]   |   9.8

Also left Chris with some New England beer from Treehouse.

Then over to Barrel Theory where Claire got a surprise of some more New England beer (Treehouse again)


Barrel Theory WITH pig ate my pizza   |   Simpler Times    |   Gose, fruit   |      |   8
Barrel Theory   |   Flames of Anor   |   Ale, Stout, Imperial   |   [11.5]   |   10
Barrel Theory   |   Brewers tricks    |   Ale, IPA, Double   |      |   8
Barrel Theory   |   Boat Shoes   |   Ale, IPA, Double   |   [7.5]   |   7.5
Barrel Theory   |   Chazz Michael Michaels   |   Ale, IPA, Double   |      |   8.2


Barrel Theory   |   Midwestern Exotic   |   Gose, fruit   |      |   7.7
Barrel Theory   |   Li’l Sebastian    |   Lager, Wheat, Berliner Weisse, fruit   |      |   7.6
Barrel Theory   |   Gavin’ a good time    |   Ale, IPA, Double   |   8.2   |   8
Barrel Theory   |   Rage Quit   |   Lager, Pilsner   |      |   8

Went to the Bulldog in Lowertown for
Wheatstone Bridge   |   Tin whiskey brewing    |      |   5.4   |   8
Miller   |   Hamms premium lager   |   Lager, Golden   |      |   6
Indeed   |   Wooden Soul Cherry Dust   |   Ale, Amber   |      |   8.2

Lunch on May 21 at Bus Stop Burgers (soon to be brewing)
Pyres   |   Raspberry Sour   |   Ale, Sour, Fruit   |   46   |   7.8



Thence to Day Block
Day Block   |   Mississippico Vienna Lager   |   Lager, Vienna, Amber   |  | 5.8   | 
Day Block   |   Missing Letters   |   Lager, Mexican   |   [5]   |   6.5
Day Block   |   Stadium Blonde   |   Ale, Blonde, American   |   [4.4]   |   7.6



A bacon with beer flight?! Sure
Day Block   |   Franks Red Ale   |   Ale, Red   |   [5.4]   |   8.4
Day Block   |   Citra Pale Ale   |   Ale, Pale, American   |   [5.5]   |   7.8
Day Block   |   Nitro Imperial Milk Stout    |   Ale, Stout, Milk, Imperial   |   [10.9]   |   8.8
Day Block   |   Leonard Day   |   Ale, IPA, American   |   [7.5]   |   8


Met up with my friends and ventured first to Lake Monster in a torrential downpour
Lake Monster at 550 Vandalia St #160, St Paul, MN = a Pizza bus TOO!



Lake Monster    |   True Story Pale Ale    |   Ale, Pale, English   |   [5.0]   |   7.5
Lake Monster    |   Apple Cranberry Sour   |   Ale, Sour, Fruit   |      | 
Lake Monster    |   Imperial Oatmeal Stout    |   Ale, Stout, Imperial   |   [9.3]   |   8.2
Lake Monster    |   Last Fathom Wild Rice Lager   |   Lager, German Dark, Dunkel   |   [5.5]   |   8.2
Lake Monster   |   Murmur Milk Stout   |   Ale, Stout, Milk   |   [6.0]   |   8.1


Where the manager was given a book about – Lake Monsters!

… and BlackStack 550 Vandalia St #160, St Paul, MN
BlackStack   |   Local 755   |   Ale, IPA, New England    |   [6.6[   |   9


BlackStack w/Portage   |   Midnight Marauders   |   Ale, Stout, Spice   |   [10.0]   |   9.5
BlackStack   |   Spare Parts    |   Lager, Black   |   [5.1]   |   7.8
BlackStack   |   Parallel Parking    |   Ale, Wheat, Berliner Weisse   |   [4.5]   |   9  (beer #10,872)

78 beers and no one attacked us!