Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day

Date: Fall, 1987 Location: Classified
 Well, it's Veterans Day.  As a veteran, it's always a little weird for me when people come up out of the blue and thank me for my service.  I try to just be gracious and accept it, but it still makes me feel funny.  After all, it's not like I ever went into combat.  I did some semi-risky things (submarines are not inherently safe), but the guys who fish the Bering Sea to put crab on your table are a lot closer to death than I ever was.  I'll add one thing: If you really want to thank our veterans, vote for politicians who will end these idiotic wars (and not start anymore) and bring them home safe and sound to their families.

Meantime, here's a toast to all the men and women I served with, both living and dead:

"He either fears his fate too much,
or his desserts are small,
Who dares not put it to the touch,
To win or lose it all."
Here's to us, shipmates.

Moving on to beer, Midnight Sun Brewing in Anchorage has brewed a beer in honor of Veterans Day. The Warrior is an Imperial Brown Ale, weighing in at 40 IBUs and 8% ABV.  The hops uses were the Warrior variety (what else) and were added throughout the kettle boil.  This one will only be available on draft, so when you head over to The Loft Bar (maybe to snag some Good Mojo Sour Brown today) be sure to give it a try. $1 from each growler sold goes to the annual Seward Combat Fishing Tournament.  Look for the next beer in their World Tour series, Moscow Rye Russian Imperial Stout, to be released on Black Friday, 11/25/11.

Alaskan Brewing  has two new medals to celebrate. At the 2011 European Beer Star Awards, part of the Brau Beviale, Europe's larget beer festival, held in Nuremberg Germany.  According to the competition website, the European Beer Star's panel of tasters sampled 1,113 beers from 38  countries to award gold, silver, and bronze in 49 beer-style categories using purely sensory criteria to identify "authentic, distinctive beers of impressive taste and quality."  This was a record number of entries for the eighth year and a nearly 30% increase in entries from outside Germany.  Alaskan's flagship Amber took the gold medal in the Red and Amber Lager category, while their Stout took the silver medal in the Sweet Stout category.  Congratulations to everyone at Alaskan and keep up the good work!

Closer to home, Kassik's Brewery has their award-winning Caribou Kilt Scotch Ale back on tap, so go by and grab some.  I missed out on the cask of dry-hopped Puddle Jumper Pale that St. Elias Brewing tapped last Friday. I was competing in Triviapalooza in Kenai, and it ran so late that I couldn't make it to St. Elias before closing time.  On the bright side, Zach told me last week that he has ordered a no kidding handpump for the bar, so eventually we should be able to enjoy these cask beers all the time, or close to it, rather than just on special occasions. As a beer lover, that's pretty exciting news for me.  Finally, at Kenai River Brewing, Doug Hogue is Outside, attending the 3rd Annual Canfest in Reno, Nevada.  This means that the Beer Tasting taking place this Saturday evening at Mykel's Restaurant in Soldotna will be hosted by none other than Joe Gilman.  Mykel's Beer Tastings are always great, with plenty of delicious food (cooked in beer) and lots of brews to sample.  It starts at 6:30 pm and costs $38 (which includes food, beer, and tip).  It should be a lot of fun.

On the beer reviews front, I really haven't tried very many new brews in the last week.  I've mainly been drinking my own homebrew and some leftovers of other beers that I've already reviewed.  I did have one new beer: Broederlijke Liefde Saison, a Brewmaster's Collaboration beer between Sly Fox Brewing's Brian O'Reily and De Proef Brouwerij's Dirk Naudis.  Broederlijke Liefde (Brotherly Love) celebrates two great brewing cities, Philadelphia and Ghent.  It uses two yeasts, a classic saison strain and brettanomyces.  It poured a beautiful clear gold with a huge white head that displayed exceptional lacing.  The aroma was, spicy, spritzy and bright, full of excellent hop aroma from the Target and Styrian Golding hops used.  Excellent carbonation gave the beer an effervescent quality on the tongue. It was nice and dry, the way I prefer my saisons, with hints of brett funk, especially on the long, dry finish.  At 8% ABV and 37 IBUs, it's a little stronger that typical for a saison, but still extremely drinkable.  A wonderful brew and another exceptional collaboration.  If you see it, buy it, as it will not be brewed again.

Well, that's about it for this week.  Weather reports are for a storm blowing through tonight and tomorrow morning.  Sounds like it will be a good evening to sit by the fire and drink a barleywine, at least until it's time to go to the Beer Tasting at Mykel's tomorrow night. 

Until Next Time, Cheers!

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