Tuesday, July 10, 2007


So much beer news... so little time. Let's dive in shall we?!

A microbrewery in the little down of Pawnee City, Nebraska, recently released a beer honoring America's Redneck, Larry the Cable Guy. Launched on July 7 by Schilling Bridge Winery & MicroBrewery, Git-R-Done beer is named after the comic's world famous catchphrase. Pawnee City is home to both Schilling Bridge and Dan Whitney (aka Larry the Cable Guy). "The light beer is made from high-quality ingredients with more 'flavor and body' than popular corporate beers," said Mike Schilling, owner/operator of previously mentioned establishment.

Fran and I spent the 4th of July holiday up in the Portland, Oregon, area. During our trip I got to taste a bounty of new brews and visit a few very cool breweries. Let's start with the beers (at least the one's I remember): MacTarnahan's Oregon Honey Beer, Henry Weinhard's Summer Wheat, Sierra Nevada Summerfest, Metolius Golden Stone Amber Ale, Beach Bum from - GULP! - Anheuser-Busch (which is getting a pretty heady review at BeerAdvocate), and a few others I can't seem to remember. I did have something from Deschutes Brewery, either the Mirror Pond Ale or the Twilight Ale, but which one... no idea. Anywho, they were all very tasty for summer brews. I'm not found of Sierra Nevada, but their Summerfest was darn tasty. And AB's Beach Bum was, very surprisingly, quite good.

The pièce de résistance though was Bridgport Brewery's Haymaker Extra Pale Ale. Absolutely outstanding! This bright gold ale is made with four malts and three varieties of hops. It's very refreshing and flavorful without being over the top. It contains 5.3 percent alcohol (by volume). Haymaker was first released in May (just in time for Summer) and will be available through September, but only in the 18 most Western states. Grab some while you can!

Oregon is home to more breweries than even Colorado. Fran and I have been to many a bar and breweries over the years (no Barfly's Anonymous? time to set one up!). None are more original then the one we stumbled onto (thanks to Fran's sister Kathy for the recommendation!) - McMenamins. By now you all know I'm not one to mince words or find myself lacking when it comes to jibberjabbering, but to try and explain in so many words excactly what this wholly bizarre yet exquisite establishment is... fails even me. Check out their website for all the details, and if you ever find yourself in Troutdale, Oregon, do yourself a favor and check out their Edgefield Brewery. Beer geeks will have heard of their Terminator Stout, which is fairly world famous, but you must check out their Ruby (the first beer in the US to be brewed with fruit, in this case raspberries), their Wheat, and Hammerhead Pale Ale (their biggest seller).

With all this beer to drink, one needs the perfect beer glass in which to drink from, right? Well, Sam Adams has just the glass. Jim Koch, King Brewba of The Boston Beer Company (makers of the Samuel Adams line of hoptastic beers), got together with some scientists and engineers to design the world's best pint glass. Apparently, they got-r-done. According to Paul Pacult, a consultant on the project (and Editor of the Spirit Journal newsletter), "I've consulted on glass shapes for wine and whiskey, but as far as beer goes, this is the first one designed specifically for a lager beer by people who aren't in the glass industry. And it definitely makes a difference in experiencing taste and aroma." (photo taken from the Colorado Springs Gazette)

With an endorsement like that I ordered up a set of 4 (for $30) from the Sam Adams E-store. They're so popular that they're starting to show up in pubs and bars across the country. In fact, the glasses are currently on a 2-4 week backorder, so you better grab them while you can!

I'll leave you with this thought from the great Winston Churchill: Always remember that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.