Monday, December 20, 2010

I left my pint glass in San Francisco

It may not have the same ring as Tony Bennett's classic, but it gets the job done. 

On Wednesday Fran and I will get on a Southwest  plane - bags fly free! - to Northern California to spend Christmas with her family. For a few days we'll be mere minutes from  Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa, so you know I'll be swinging by to get a "few" growlers. 

Question #1:  For those of you in the know, which RRBC beers available in growlers should I get?  I want something different, not something I've had or can get out here in Colorado (like most of the "tion" beers - Temptation, Salvation, etc.).

Bright and early Sunday morning (the day after Christmas) we'll hop in the rental car and head to San Francisco (The City By the Bay) to hang out, drink some beer, and watch the 49ers (her team) take on the Rams (my team).  It's an important game for a division full of losers. If the Niners beat the Rams in St. Louis, and the Seahawks lose to the Buccaneers in Tampa (a very likely scenario), there's suddenly a three way tie for the NFC West (all three will have a record of 6-9). 

As it stands right now we'll be watching the game at 21st Amendment Brewery. They open at 10:00am on Sundays, complete with a brunch. After that we're going to try and hit up Monk's Kettle, Thirsty Bear, and finish the night at Public House (in AT&T Park, the home of the World Champion San Francisco Giants). I'd like to get out to Magnolia Pub, but I'm not sure we'll make it.

Question #2:  What do you SF beer geeks out there think about the above list?  Are there some places we absolutely need to hit more than the others?  If so, let me know. We've been to the Toronado and Gordon Biersch - once is enough.  It doesn't look like Anchor is open to the public on Sundays, so that's out.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas and if you're in the City on Sunday... come have a beer with us!

You can get a hold of me in a number of ways:

  • Twitter @ http://twitter.com/EliShayotovich
  • Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/ElitheMadBeerMan\
  • FourSquare @ http://foursquare.com/elishayotovich
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  • AIM @ EASth3rd
  • MSN @ EASthe3rd@aol.com
  • Yahoo Messenger @ GameDaily_MadMan

Zivjeli! 
 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ceramic beer mugs of the demigods

Another confession from the community, this time from Jim Gottuso.  Jim writes:

I'm a potter, not a brewer but a beer aficionado (a hophead). My cousin (Randy) is an accomplished brewer and brews out of his home. He told me this thanksgiving that he's coming up on 1000 batches and I think he's done over 80 different styles.

This year I took it upon myself to start making porcelain beer glasses and thought that maybe some of you beer connoisseurs might be interested.
Yes they would, Jim!  But first I want to point everyone over to Jim's blog, Sofia's Dads Pots. Get on over there and check out Jim's first hand account of the visits to his cousin Randy's house (go here to see last year's visit;  go here to see this year's) because to say that Randy is an accomplished brewer and beer geek is a huuuuuuuge understatement.  He has a set up to die for! Check out just one of his home brew tap contraptions:

  Exactly.  And if that wasn't bad ass enough, Jim has a 700 cubic foot walk-in beer fridge!  HELLS YES!

Santa, all I want for Christmas is Randy's set up.  That is all.

Now that I've gushed over Randy, let me do some pimpin' for my new beer homey, Jim Gottuso.  While Jim is a lover of beer, he makes his coin as a ceramic artist in Louisville, Kentucky.  Jim decided to create a kick ass line of beer mugs.  Check out these old school lookin' drinking wessels:


They remind me of something Hercules, Leonidas, Spartacus - or Homer Simpson - would drink out!

Granted, they're not cheap ($50 - $60), but these are individually made with the same quality craftsmanship as the beer you'll be drinking out of them.  You gotta pay for quality.  So shoot on over to Jim's online store and check out the selection. These would make a great Christmas present for the beer lover in your life.

Zivjeli!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Once, twice, three times a zombie... drink the undead!

Since this blog has been renamed "Confessions of a Zombie Killer" here are two more things that happened since yesterday's article. How ridiculous is it that I have to update the update?!

First, more news regarding the melodrama surrounding the exorcism of TWD's writing staff. According to Robert Kirkman (in an article posted on MTV), the co-creator of the original TWD comic book series, and a writer and executive producer on AMC's show:
"It's kind of unfortunate that it's being reported that our writing staff has been fired because that's not the case," he said. "It makes Frank look bad. I don't think Frank wants it out there that he's just firing people off of a successful show seemingly for no reason. Chic Eglee is a high-level television writer," said Kirkman. "He was brought onto 'The Walking Dead' with the idea that Frank was going to work on the first season and then go off and do movies. Chic didn't want to be second-in-command on a show when he's used to being a top dog, and so he decided to go off and do something else, which is something that happens and is not a big deal. Everybody knows what they're doing," he added. "AMC has done a few television shows before, and Frank Darabont is a professional. Whatever is decided, I don't think it will affect the show one way or another."
Let's hope not.

So yesterday afternoon I received an Email from the President of 3 Point Entertainment letting me know their subsidiary company (Tavencraft) was offering a new line of high-end beer steins. Tavencraft makes gorgeous, ultra-cool drinking wessels for properties like World of Warcraft, Marvel Comics, The Hobbit, Warhammer Online, and now... The Walking Dead.   They also happen to be expensive.

But yes, now you can drink Rogue Dead Guy and Left Hand Wake Up Dead as they were meant to be drank... out of appropriately etched undead pints and steins!




The steins hold 25 ounces of beery goodness, while the pint glasses hold... wait for it - a pint. There are four different designs available for each style. You can buy each of the four steins individually (for 30 bones a pop) or all four in a set (for $100).  Oddly, you can't buy any of the four pint glasses individually, or in a four-pack set. They're only available in sets of two (as seen above) for $30 each. 

I often like to smoke a fine cigar when I'm drinking a fine craft beer.  Lighters are to cigars as openers are to beer bottles.  Ya need some caveman fire to light a stoggie so why not use a lighter etched with zombies?!   Now you can, cuz Tavencraft is lighting up the night with a line of TWD zombie lighters too.

Each of the lighters above can be purchased for $20, or in a four-pack for $60.   Any one of these items would make the lover of the undead in your life happy as a... well, zombie.

Zivjeli!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Waking Up Dead

Here's another first... I've never done a followup or update to a Brewvie Review, but two different things occurred in the last few days that I felt needs mentioning.

First, Deadline Hollywood reported that Frank Darabont has let go of the entire writing staff of The Walking Dead, which includes writing executive producer Charles "Chic" Eglee and Glen Mazzara, who penned last Sunday's episode, "Wildfire" (a great episode!).  Instead, Darabont wants to go with freelancers for Season 2's scripts.  That can't be a good thing.  It's hard enough for shows to make it, but sabotage from the inside?  Darabont may have just become one of those dumbass TV execs I talked about in my previous post.  That, or he's turned into a brain dead zombie. Not sure which.

Secondly, I found an alternative beer to suck while watching TWD!  If you recall I originally gave the nod to Rouge's Dead Guy, which is still a great and perfectly appropriate beer mind you.  However, Left Hand Brewing Company out of Longmont, Colorado, just announced they'll be releasing a beer called Wake Up Dead!  How freakin' fitting is THAT?!  I KNOW!  This 10.2% ABV barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout sits in Heaven Hill brandy barrels for 12 months before being blended into what can only be described as "woody perfection."  There will be hints of raisins, cherry, licorice, toffee and earthy, herbal hop notes.  Moooooooooney!

 
Zivjeli!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Brewvie Review: The Walking Dead

This will be the first Brewvie Review of a TV series, but it had to be done. And now that I've done it once, expect me to do it for some of the other shows the wife and I plop down to watch during the week.

But I'll start off with AMC's The Walking Dead, a startling good adult take on a post-apocalyptic world filled with zombies.

Waking up in an empty hospital after weeks in a coma, County Sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) finds himself utterly alone. The world as he knows it is gone, ravaged by a zombie epidemic. The Walking Dead tells the story of the weeks and months that follow after the apocalypse.

After watching the first five episodes (of the initial 6-episode run), I can say that it's the best new show on television. Period.  Apparently millions of viewers agree as the first episode (which aired on Halloween night) was the highest rated cable show ever for those in the 18 - 49 age bracket.  Fran even loves it!  A total of 5.5 million viewers watched Sunday's episode, which is 15% more then the crowd that watched the fourth episode. The season finale airs this coming Sunday, but if you missed the Dead Wagon the first time around... don't fret. AMC will be airing all five previous episodes marathon-style before the finale on Sunday.  Check your local listings for the time.


TWD is based on Robert Kirkman's comic book series of the same name.  The television adaptation is written and executive produced by three-time Academy Award-nominee Frank Darabont - he of the great Steven King versions of The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist. Kirkman is executive producing with Darabont, Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator, Aliens), David Alpert, and Charles "Chic" Eglee (Dexter). So there's a bona fide kick ass creative team behind this show.

With zombies comes gore. It's a necessity. Much like malt and hops are a necessity to make beer. The great thing about this particular show is that they don't do gore for the sake of doing gore. There are some heinous scenes to be sure, but the series isn't about killing zombies in the most grotesque splatterirific way possible... it's about the living, breathing humans left behind in the aftermath of the apocalypse.  It's brilliantly executed and at times emotionally draining.


Sadly, AMC only half-heartedly bet on the success of TWD.  They're no doubt kicking themselves in the arse right about now for not at least doubling down and going for 12 or 13 episodes in the first season. Ratings for this zombie-fest continue to climb faster then the national debt and only a few weeks after the premiere episode AMC ordered an additional 13 episodes. TWD is such a hit that Fox International Channels also renewed the series after record-breaking premiere ratings in over 120 countries.

Aaaah, but there's a twist.  It's uncertain as to when those next 13 episodes will be ready for public consumption.   While AMC has not officially announced when the next season will go into production, rumors persist that it won't air until October of 2011 to coincide with AMC's annual Fearfest.

A word of advice to AMC:  this would not only suck badly, but would also be a very, very, very bad idea.

We all know that TV executives are, well... idiots. Every year they repeatedly prove to the viewing public that they have zero clue as to what we the people actually like to watch.  Let me reiterate that. The people I'm referring to are not the same sheeple who watch "reality" shows like Dancing with the D-List Has Beens, Sing for Your Supper Suckah, or The Hardashians.  In many ways TV execs are like politicians really.  So waiting an entire year to get new episodes of  The Walking Dead on the air would kill (pardon the pun) the incredible support - hell, let's call it a world-wide phenomena - this show has managed to garner in such a short time. And any exec at AMC who thinks differently should be forced to take a bullet to the head. Cuz everyone knows the only way to kill a zombie, politician, or TV exec is to put a bullet through their brain pan. 

Besides being a great show, there's a lot of interesting social networking going on around TWD as well.  The website is replete with behind the scenes pictures and video interviews with producers and actors. Games, contests and smart phone apps are also available. There's even a Facebook page, a blog and a podcast. Oh, but it doesn't stop there!  There are Twitter accounts for not just the show itself (http://twitter.com/WalkingDead_AMC), but many of the main characters (i.e., Sheriff Rick Grimes, Lori Grimes, Andrea, Glenn, Merle, Zombies, etc.) are tweeting as though they are really alive in a post-zombie apocalyptic world.  It's pretty damn neat!  You can see the list of TWD twitterers here.

With all that said... The Walking Dead gets a resounding FIVE BASHES TO THE HEAD!


Brew Suggestion for TWD

Much like Highlander "there can be only one."  And that one is Dead Guy Ale from the Rogue Brewery in Newport, Oregon.  Could there be any beer more appropriate?  No. 

There's an interesting back story to how Dead Guy was born.  The logo was created as a tap sticker to celebrate the Mayan Day of the Dead for Casa U Betcha in nearby Portland, Oregon. The design proved to be so popular that Rogue decided to make it the label for their Maierbock ale.

Today, Dead Guy Ale is a German style Maibock that weighs in at a very respectable 6.6% ABV, and contains 40 International Bittering Units that gives it just enough hop kick to the head.

Dead Guy is made from malts with exotic names like Northwest Harrington, Klages, Maier Munich and Carastan - all of which could be places full of zombies. Perle and Saaz hops are added, along with yeast named after my favorite video game growing up as a child (Pacman).  It's all brewed up in nothing but free range coastal water.  Free range coastal water... get it?

Now that you know about the coolest new show on the Boob Tube, be sure to "Spread the Dead," cuz "The Dead has Spread!"

Friday, November 19, 2010

Beer is as beer does

It's not about what beer is, but what beer does.
That's a quote from Erik "Big" Boles, my business partner and the Founder/CEO of Beer Tap TV.  It's one of the many quotables he and I have come up with to nutshell our philosophy on the juggernaut that is craft beer.

Part of the reason we come up with these (sometimes) clever sayings is to keep everyone - ourselves included - focused on the simple facts:
  1. Beer is alcohol.
  2. Beer is fun.
  3. We drink beer to get buzzed and have fun. Don't fool yourself into thinking otherwise.


I'll admit, I don't always buy into some of the concepts Erik tosses around because he's not the "Beer Geek" of the group... I am. However, over the last year or so we've seen the line between "Beer Geek" and "Beer Snob" blur to the point that the two are dangerously close to becoming one and the same. The last thing the craft beer industry needs is a bunch of  elitist snobs turning beer it into something it's not. Making it less accessible to Jack and Jill Sixpack is not the goal here.

But I digress...

I want to focus on another big reason we all drink beer. Contrary to the great George Thorogood, most of us do not like to drink alone. Most of us drink with our friends, or the person sitting next to us at the bar, the bartender, or the like-minded sports fan across the bar. Anyone that's within earshot really. We do so because it's part of our DNA. 

You may have seen the many news reports lately trumpeting beer as the lubricant that brought about the rise of civilization. For many beer lovers, this is not news. Heck, it's the reason I started "Confessions of a Beer Geek" in the first place. Indulge me for a second while I quote my mission statement, which I wrote over three years ago:
Beer is the elixir of the gods. A refreshing beverage made of hops, barley and a pantheon of other delicacies that when looked at properly - through beer goggles perhaps, has quite literally changed the entire course of human history.
A mash tun of scientific evidence is accumulating that now backs up that statement. Beer did in fact play a very important role in mankind's evolution from nomadic hunter-gatherers to a settled, civilized people.  Man discovered that planting crops allowed him to control his own destiny. No longer would he be held under the cruel thumb of Mother Nature, moving to and fro aimlessly across the continents in constant search of food.

But growing grains and cereals, and turning that into viable sustenance, wasn't as easy as walking down to the corner market. Making food was daily, back breaking work. Unlike today, early man - Man 1.0 if you like - was accomplished at using every last bit of everything he had. "Waste not want not" was a reality, not just a quaint phrase from olden days. The skill of farming begat the skill of brewing... probably quite by accident. Let's take a peak into the past to see what that first encounter with beer may have been like:

In the Beginning

Ancient Man 1, let's call him Ahikibani:  (paraphrased from ancient Sumerian) "Oh no!  I've left this pot of grain out in the elements overnight.  The wife is going to kill me!"

Ancient Woman 1, who happens to be Ancient Man 1's wife, Nakurtum: "You donkey ass!  I told you to bring that in last night. Why don't you ever listen to me!?!"

Ahikibani: (under his breath) "Because you're a Harpy."

Nakurtum:  "I heard that you stanky, good for nuthin' Elamite!  Now it's ruined!"

Ahikibani, resigned to a life of name calling and perpetual "Honey Do Lists," picks up the fermenting bowl of liquid gruel. Not being sound of mind or body he slurps deeply from the bowl.

Ahikibani: Nom nom nom nom

Nakurtum: "What are you doing?!"

Ahikibani:  "I spent eight hours grinding this $#!* up with a rock. Figured since it was 'ruined' I might as well get something out of it, right?"

Nakurtum:  "You're stupid."

Ahikibani: "Tell me something new..."  nom nom nom

As Nakurtum drones on an odd thing happens: her  voice slowly fades and Ahikibani becomes dizzy, and... a bit numb. The endless pain of a perpetually hard life suddenly vanishes and Ahikibani experiences, perhaps for the first time -  unadulterated joy.  The first happy man in history slurps more of the now tasty gruel from the bowl and lets out a burp that resonates down through history.

The End.


E. Michael Smith / Wikipedia
An Egyptian wooden model of beer making in ancient Egypt.
A most peculiar thing happened when these wandering bands of scavengers settled down and and started farming and brewing:  they came into contact with other groups who discovered the exact same thing.

Now, with man being the inherently fallible creature that he is, these groups probably beat on each other with clubs and spears for a while, but they most assuredly partied (feasted) with each other too. Back then a feast had an entirely different meaning though. Stuffing your gullet at the local Golden Corral for under ten bucks this was not.
Feasts are essential in traditional societies for creating debts, for creating factions, for creating bonds between people, for creating political power, for creating support networks, and all of this is essential for developing more complex kinds of societies," explains archaeologist Brian Hayden at Canada's Simon Fraser University. "Feasts are reciprocal — if I invite you to my feast, you have the obligation to invite me to yours. If I give you something like a pig or a pot of beer, you're obligated to do the same for me or even more.


Bottom line:  people settled down and started growing grain (and making beer), which in turn led to the establishment of communities where people sat down with each other over a meal (and a beer), which in turn set the foundation for... say it with me now: CIVILIZATION!  Beer is as much a part of our DNA as hairy backs and thunder thighs. Deal with it.

Can you imagine the consternation going through the ranks of sphincter restricted, neo-Prohibitionist types at this revelation? I have to LOL!

Here are some fun facts to funk with your mind:  Humans have been brewing beer for thousands of years.  The Mesopotamian "Epic of Gilgamesh," one of the world's oldest works of literature, contains multiple references to the elixir of the gods.  Besides being the oldest alcoholic beverage on the planet, a Mesopotamian recipe for beer is the oldest written document we currently know to exist. Yes, Virginia... even the ancients were doing keg stands like frat boys.

In the end it really isn't about what beer is, but what it does - every day, to every one, in every place. Whether at the beginning of time, or last night at your local brewpub. And based on what it's done for us in the past... can you imagine what it will do for us in the future?

Zivjeli!



Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hallelujah to homebrew and Westvleteren 12

From the depths of the Communal Confessional...

Laura Deibler sent an Email to tell me about a beer song her husband Dan wrote.  He took the Leonard Cohen song, "Hallelujah," and changed up the words so it spoke heavenly volumes about the uber hard to get Westvleteren 12 the St. Sixtus Abbey in Belgium.  In the video he not only sings (and plays guitar marvelously well), but does a side by side comparison of his homebrew, appropriately named Hallelujah, to the Trappist Treat.

Let me just say... I'm jealous of you, Dan.  I have yet to to taste a Westy!  


Oh, and Dan... if you're up to it, send me a bottle of Hallelujah and I'll give it a go on Beer Tap TV

Zijveli!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Beer blogging on the go was a no go

Right now I'm sitting at my desk, exactly a full week removed from day one of the Beer Bloggers Conference I referenced in last Friday's entry. As you can see by the lack of even one single entry between that post and now I:  1) didn't remember to blog, and 2) was in fact not sober, which 3) directly affected my ability to even want to write. So ya... blogging on the go = epic failure.

I think that post was more of a test to see if the Android Blogger app for my Droid X works (it does, very well actually), combined with the recent burn out I've been experiencing for well over a month. I now know what my buddy "Chipper" Dave Butler, he of the blog Fermentedly Challenged, felt like.  Being entrenched in the beer world - day in and day out - for over three years has finally caught up to me.  It's a big reason I haven't been around, or as I like to refer to it in a cool Jack Baueresque sorta of way - I've been off the grid. But I think I've finally turned the corner and see the light at the end of the tunnel, the bottom of the beer glass, etc. and so on.  I'm getting the writing bug again and it feels good.  Almost as good as downing a great dark winter beer. Mmmmm.... beeeeeer.

The mega event that is the Great American Beer Festival had something to do with that. This year it was far more work then fun, but in the end, well worth it.  We live streamed nearly a dozen hours of footage from the event itself, which you can see here on the BeerTapTV.com website.  Everything from our trip to Falling Rock, to the Rare Beer Event at Wynkoop, to the entire member's only awards ceremony.  It's well worth a look.

Last weekend we covered the Beer Bloggers Conference in Boulder and over the next week or so we'll start posting some of the talks we filmed, including Greg Koch's keynote speech, Jay Brooks talk about the future of beer blogging, Erik Boles energized rant on how to monetize this niche, etc.  As I suspected it was a very informative and helpful conference and the 100+ bloggers from around the country (and one from England) look forward to next year's conference... in Portland, Oregon!

Now comes the Holiday season, and a much needed respite before we journey far north to the Great Alaska Beer & Barley Wine Festival in mid-January.  Having never been to the 49th and largest state, it should be a whole lot of fun. We're looking forward to hanging out with the gaggle of brewers from "The Land of the Midnight Sun."  Huge props to fellow beer geek Bill Howell, the 2010 Beerdrinker of the Year and author of Drinking on the Last Frontier for helping to get us up there. Alaska... in January.  It should be veeeeery interesting indeed! ;)

Zivjeli!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Beer blogging on the go

Right now I'm sitting in the passenger seat of the Beer Tap TV beer wagon on the way up to Boulder for the first ever Beer Bloggers Conference.

Despite what Andy Crouch might think of beer bloggers l think this conference will be fun, informative for the bloggers while simultaneously giving some degree of Ilegitimacy to the industry.

With that said... I'll try to do so updating live from the conference. Providing 1) I remember, and 2) Im sober. We'll be live streaming some stuff on Beer Tap TV, so go check out our site for details.

Cheers!
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Drinkwel... or drink nothing!


I'm not a shill, so if I endorse a product it's because I've personally tried it and know that it works. In fact, when I see a claim that seems too good to be true I love nothing more then trying to bust it wide open as a fraud.

Over the last few months I've been using a daily multivitamin called Drinkwel that claims to prevent hangovers. More specifically, its "For healthy people who drink, by healthy people who drink."  A supplement that prevents hangovers after a long night of beer chugging?!?  @!#% YES! 

But first a story.

I've been a gym rat for... let's see, I started working out when I was 17, I'm 43 now.  Subtract, carry the 1... WTF?!  Over a quarter century?!  Oh shit that can't be right, can it?  Geezus, I'm getting old.

(sigh)

Anywho, I consider myself a member of their target audience. Aside from two bum knees and cranky back I'm a relatively healthy person who likes to get his drink on.  I work out four or five times a week. Usually. I drink two whey protein shakes and down a handful of vitamins every day. Hell, I've even tried a few supplements that, while not illegal, would have gotten me suspended in any professional sport. So I'm not afraid to try something new... as long as it helps.

On the flip side I'm also the kind of guy who can can drink some beer. A Boston bartender once told me that she'd never seen anyone put away as many pints of Guinness, combined with a parking lot of Irish Car Bombs, in one sitting - and still seem completely sober ("seem" being the key word there). I've shock and awed the gang down at Edelweiss a few times, drained a number of taps at Indigo's on any given Sunday, and I was recently heralded as someone who could probably take down the never-before-completed "Gauntlet" of beers on tap at Avery Brewing Company

I first discovered this "Holy Grail" while reading UpaDowna, a local Colorado Springs blog "where booze hounds and gear sluts come together in celebration of the great outdoors and tasty beer."  Read all about this kick ass group of beer drinking outdoorsy types in my Examiner article, "Up a mountain... down a beer", and add them to your list of must reads.

After seeing this post from "Bunny" - UpaDowna's resident gym rat - raving about how well it worked, I knew I had to get some because I get wicked hangovers. The "day after" I'm nothing but a big, moaning, skin bag drooling on the furniture. I think it's the altitude (not the altitude per say, but the dehydrated state your body is in at altitude) because it's never this bad at sea level. Several all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica can attest to that. Either that... or age. The older I get the worse the damn hangovers get.

Whatever the case may be I typed up an Email to the guys at Drinkwel, hit "send," and hoped they would reply. To my surprise and delight they not only replied, but sent me samples!

So what is Drinkwel?  The following strand of technobabble is paraphrased from the website: Drinkwel is a 30-ingredient multivitamin that helps replenish nutrients and supports healthy liver function by aiding your bod in expelling alcohol induced toxins. It contains a mash tun of "good stuff" like antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and a proprietary "Superfruits & Botanicals Blend."

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over?  If you're like me you just asked:  What the hell is a "Superfruits & Botanical Blend"?  Ya... not a clue, but if fruits are good for you, how great must "superfruits?!" be, right? These caped fruit-saders help neutralize things called "free radicals," while the botanicals like milk thistle and artichoke leaf support liver health.  So what if "Milk Thistle & Artichoke Leaf" sounds like a bad "B" version imitation of Batman & Robin, and "free radicals" sound like an evil villain group... in actuality they are part and parcel of making Drinkwel so effective. Along with the aforementioned "good stuff" there's also amino acids to help process all the toxins created by the alcohol, Vitamin B-Complex to aid metabolism and maintain energy (healthier then slugging a Red Bull), and Vitamin C to keep your immune system humming along like a perfectly tuned '57 Chevy.


Each $40 bottle contains 90 capsules, which will last you about month depending on how much you drink. You take three capsules daily, plus an additional three after drinking and before going to bed. Seems like a lot, but it's the same principle as multivitamins. Once you stop that regiment the vitamins eventually leave your system. If you take a daily multivitamin you know what I'm talking about when I say you only notice when you STOP taking it. Same thing applies here.



Obviously something this complex couldn't possibly be created by the likes of Bob and Doug McKenzie. The Drinkwel folks knew this and instead hired two Brainiacs too do all the science gobbledygook. Dr. Karen Vieira has a Ph.D in Biomedical Science and Dr. James Pendleton is a licensed Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. Yep, sounds like something straight out of Star Trek to me too, but they're smarter then all of us reading this blog - combined.  Times twenty.

You may be sitting there rhetorically asking:  "Can't I just take a handful of milk thistle, alphabet vitamins, aspirin, and chug some Gatorade?"  Well, you could, but you're going to spend more then $40 a month doing it, and it's going to take a helluva lot longer - and more pills - then tossing down three pills from one bottle. Plus, it probably won't work nearly as well.  I know because I've tried it. For many years I took a cocktail consisting of milk thistle, B-12, aspirin and "Gatorade" thinking that's as good as it got.  It did nothing compared to Drinkwel.  "What about other hangover 'cures?'"  I've taken a few of those in the past. Heck, I've even written about and supported them here on this site. One worked great (but it's expensive, especially if you drink a lot), while the other worked only marginally well (it always left me with a raging headache).

During the testing phase I've put Drinkwel to the torture test in a myriad of environments and situations - from brewery openings where the beer flows freely, to watching a dozen NFL games each and every Saturation Sunday, to the recent nail-biting MLB playoffs (GO GIANTS!!!!), to the absolute craziness that is the Great American Beer Festival. Whatever I threw at it - or rather threw down my gullet, Drinkwel sopped up and let me go about my business the next day.  And for me... we have a winnah!

Like all things though results will vary and you'll need to try it to see if it works for you. I liken this to workouts... one regiment may work great for several people, but will never work for all people.  That's why there are choices and options on the market.  But with Drinkwel you literally have nothing to lose. If you buy it and you're not 100% satisfied - you can return it for a full refund (including shipping).

Aaaaaalriiiiiiighty then... that last bit made me sound like that annoying ShamWow guy!  So with that, I'm outta here!

Zivjeli!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Beer + Food = Epic Awesomeness!

My wonderful wife, Fran Shayotovich of the food blog "For the Love of Fran's Food," is one helluva cook. I have a helluva love for eating her food and drinking beer.  Fortunately for me she has also cultivated a love for the liquid gold (so my master plan of converting her from a Wino to a Beero has worked maaaaaaaahvelously) and often combines the best of these two worlds to create dishes that could be included on the menu of any fine gastropub establishment.


As the craft beer revolution continues to pick up speed this food and beer pairing phenom does as well. For instance, two new gastropub's recently opened in Denver - Freshcraft and Euclid Hall. Both need to be visited the next time you come to the Napa Valley of the Beer World.  Suggestions: order the Pretzel Bites or the Potatoes Two Ways appetizers at Freshcraft, and any of the Poutines at Euclid Hall.  Trust me on this.

But this article isn't about Denver... it's about a new culinary travel planning website that Travel Oregon just launched. Oregon is a Beer Mecca as well, so they know a thing or two when it comes to the brew, and they want to help visitors who come to their neck of the woods create their own Oregon Bounty Wanderfeast. Each week the site features a different Oregon culinary product at its peak... and this week it's Beer Week! Visit the website for recipes, secret spots to taste beery goodness, and while you're there enter a contest to win a four-night, three-day culinary getaway of your own.

Oh, and be sure to check out the recipe from Alan Sprints of Hair of the Dog Brewery in Portland for his Beer Braised Short Ribs. You can bet I'm going to have Fran make these sometime very soon!

Until next time... Zivjeli!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Like rolling thunder... the Great American Beer Festival is back in town!

Re-posted from my Examiner column today, but with pictures. Since the "new" and "improved" Examiner.com site is about as borked as the US health care system...




The 29th annual Great American Beer Festival is back and bigger then ever!  This year's GABF is expected to serve more than 2,200 different beers from an estimated 462 (of the over 1,600 total) U.S. breweries to the event’s 49,000-plus attendees.

In an economy that has seen macro industrial beer sales slide two years in a row, craft beer sales have hit double digit figures in that same period.  It would seem that the taste of the masses has indeed changed for the better - and quickly. Here's an interesting factoid:  Did you know that "four out of 10 people in their mid-20s have never even tried Budweiser." True.

Starting tomorrow and running through Saturday evening, the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver plays host to the worlds biggest beer festival.  Four sessions, three of them open to the public (each night from 5:30 - 10:00 P.M.) Technically, Germany's Oktoberfest (which starts on Saturday ironically enough) is the biggest... but that's not nearly the same type of "beer festival."

Sadly, if you want to go and haven't purchased a ticket yet... you're out of luck. Tickets for every session sold out over a month ago, making it the fastest sell-out in the GABF's 29 years.  If you are one of the lucky ones - and especially if this is your first time, you'll want to check out some of the facts and need-to-know tidbits that Beer Tap TV put together in their "GABF Survival Guide." Full disclosure: I'm a co-owner of that particular venture, and actually wrote the survival guide... so you know it will help you get through your first beer festival relatively unscathed.


If you can't make it - have no fear!  Beer Tap TV, in conjunction with Rackspace and Ustream, will, for the first time ever, be streaming hours of LIVE coverage to your PCs, laptops, iPads and mobile devices such as iPhones, Android phones, etc.  How?  With a special mobile rig made by Ustream equipped with 6 data modems load-balanced over 3 networks (AT&T, Verizon and Sprint) capable of transmitting live video.
We're going where the action is!  We'll not only be on the GABF festival floor, but from many of the events outside the festival proper. In fact, some of the best parts of the GABF experience are these off-site parties, special tappings and get togethers hosted by breweries from around the country.

Beer Tap TV will be in Denver starting tonight, so be sure to check out the "Live Coverage" schedule on our special Ustream channel, or on the Beer Tap TV website.  Follow Beer Tap TV on Twitter as the entire crew will be using it to let folks know where we'll be at any given moment.  We'll also be updating our Facebook page with still photos and other quick snippets of video. I'll also update this column as much as possible.  You can also follow me on Twitter during GABF.

Cheers to Craft Beer!

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Brewvie Review: Kick-Ass

I had a few "free" minutes so I thought it was time I got my ass in gear and kicked out another Brewvie Review; one I've been promising now for a few weeks. So without further delay...

Kick-Ass

From Netflix: 
Inspired by his love of comic books, high school student Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) decides to transform himself into a masked crime fighter -- a decision that eventually thrusts the teenager into Internet stardom. Soon, Dave's antics inspire a wave of would-be heroes to don costumes and live out their superhero fantasies. Nicolas Cage, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Chloe Moretz also star in this comic book adaptation from director Matthew Vaughn.


Based on the comic book of the same name by Mark Millar (well known comic writer who won the Stan Lee award at Wizardworld in 2007) and John Romita, Jr. (legendary writer/artist with Marvel since the 1970s). It was directed by Matthew Vaughn (producer for Guy Ritchie films "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," "Snatch," and directed "Layer Cake," and will direct "X-Men: First Class").  Vaughn co-produced Kick-Ass with THE Brad Pitt.


If you like action or comic book movies, you'll absolutely love Kick-Ass. If you don't like 'em, give this sometimes brutal, funny, offbeat, and highly entertaining take on the comic book hero a try because it's a superhero movie that keeps it real!

As a prelude... this movie is rated "R" for a reason, so it's not for kids of any age. It's a mature, adult themed movie with a great story, witty dialouge and stars Chris Mintz-Plasse ("McLovin" from Superbad) and Nick Cage (Big Daddy).  However, the movie stealer is the innocent looking Chloe Moretz who plays Hit Girl.  HScene stealer and ultimate ass kicker!

This was my rant on Facebook/Netflix immediately after seeing it: 
Holy blood and realism, Comic Book Lovers! Kick-Ass is a GREAT movie. If I could rate it higher then 5, I would. Being the total comic nerd, when I saw the trailers I figured it was going to rock, but this sucker was better then I expected, and I was expecting a lot. Even my wife loved it!  Ya, it's gory in some spots, and some of the scenes are over the top, but man... what a ride! Absolute Must See!

Netflix average score based on 226,216 ratings is 4 stars.  I give it an ass kicking FIVE STARS!


Brew Suggestion for Kick-Ass

I could have gone a few different ways here with the beer choice. For instance, Coney Island's blood red Freaktoberfest would have been a perfect compliment to this sometime bloody flick.  I could have gone the easy route with beers names similarly, such as Kick-Ass Brown from C.H. Evans Brewing Co. in Albany, New York, or Kick Ass Pilsner from Pittsfield Brew Works in Pittsfield, MA (but they're no longer in business).

Instead, I decided to go with a beer that's not only a high alcohol content kick in the ass, but one of my favorite beers on the planet (in wintertime only mind you). That honor goes to the can crushing, bitch slap to the face brew from Oskar Blues (Lyons, Colorado) known as Ten Fidy.  This heroic Imperial Stout weighs in at a whopping 10.5% ABV and is so "hot" it can cauterize an open wound and is so thick and chewy it coagulates blood!  Ten Fidy's utility belt is loaded with 98 IBUs and enormous amounts of two-row malt, chocolate malt, roasted barley, flaked oats and hops.

You want it... Ten Fidy knows you want it.  So get it.  Then hunker down with a copy of Kick-Ass.  The rest as they say... is history!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Yes Virginia... it is possible to drink too much beer

Right now I'm in the midst of what some would call Beer Heaven and others would call Beer Hell. Since Saturday we've:
  • Attended the third annual Buses at the Brewery at Bristol Brewing.
  • Hit up the grand opening of Colorado Mountain Brewery on the north side of Colorado Springs. Actually, this turned into a 9 hour marathon of sampling the liquid and solid warez of this new brewpub.  
  • Had two lengthy Beer Tap TV filming sessions which included filming two new episodes of Taste Buds (that you'll see in the following weeks), this week's Beer Buzz (#80, Beers with Kyle) which is live right now and could possibly be our best episode yet. AND next week's episode (which utilizes our new green screen extensively).  Oh, and we drank.  A lot. 
  • Hung out with the monkeys at Moonlight on the Mountain at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo while simultaneously celebrating International Beer Day.

Now, if my body will stop flipping me the finger I'm going to try and get out to the Air Force Academy tomorrow for a Toast to the Host.  It's a stretch though... my body is really rebelling against me.  It's doing so by shutting down my liver and... making me fat(ter).

Bastard.  I'll show it!

If that weren't enough... next weekend (August 13 - 15) is this year's Craft Lager Festival in Manitou.  If you've never been, you need to.  It's a hoot.  Not only will we be out there for Saturday and Sunday's festivities, but I'll be giving the keynote address at the Craft Lager School on Friday afternoon.  Should be... interesting.  At least my buddy Zak Davis from Shmaltz Brewing will be presenting before me.  Those Jewish beer making nutters are crazier then I am!

Update on the next Brewvie Review.  Last time we met I made a list of movies to pick from. Some smart ass said all of them.  So that's what I'm doing.  HOWEVER... I just watched Kick-Ass, and because that has become my current Favorite Movie Of All Time! I will in fact be doing a review of that very soon.  And for any of you who've been reading this column for any length of time know damn well that "very soon" could be as "soon" as three months.


I'm out.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Taste the colors of the beerainbow

By now you've heard of the Double Rainbow Guy and the incredulous video he made about rainbows.  There have been as many parodies as views of the original video (nearly 6 million). Well, some of our local brewery boys have decided to use that as inspiration for a new beer.  To read all about it go check out my Colorado Springs Craft Beer Examiner column entitled Double your pleasure with Double Rainbow Guy and Double Rainbow Saison. Beer tap TV will be covering this collabrew from beginning to end!

And while you're there you might also be interested to know that the 4th edition of the Beer Map from the fine folks at the Beer Drinker's Guide to Colorado is now available.  Get yourself a copy!

And did you know that two of Colorado's biggest beer festivals will square off later this summer? That's right, for the first time in history the Great American Beer Festival is taking place on the same weekend as the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival. Go read my article and you'll see how this fiasco unfolded...  I want to know what you think about this and which festival you'll be attending.

Beer Tap TV will be busy this week. On Thursday we'll be at Great Divide Brewing in Denver for Kyle Hollingsworth's Brew Fest. Unfortunatley, this event is sold out, but stay tuned to Beer Tap TV for a special episode that will show you what you missed.

On Saturday we'll be at Antlers Park in downtown Colorado Springs for the Springs Beer Fest, hosted by Old Chicago's, Bristol and Beer Tap TV.  Come on down for a day of fun in the sun with suds, great music from the Jake Loggins Band and more!  Tickets only cost $20 in advance ($25 at the gate) for 7 hours of unbridled craft beer imbibing.  BTTV will b having an after party immediately proceeding the event... we're right across the street from Phantom Canyon, and a block or two away from Old Chicago's on Tejon (which is now GMed by our very own Dusty Frazier of Taste Buds!).   And if that's not enough to entice... the one and only Lisa "Beer Goddess" Morrison will be in town hanging out with us too!

One more thing before I tap out... I know I said I was gonna do a Brewvie Review for From Paris With Love next.  However, I've seen a slew of movies since then, so which would you prefer a BR on? Shutter Island, Edge of Darkness, Daybreakers, Sherlock Holmes, From Paris with Love, When In Rome, The Bounty Hunter, Valentine's Day, The Road, or The Wolfman?

Zivjeli!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Two great things that go great together: Beer & Trains!

It's been a crazy month for your intrepid Beer Geek. Fran and I have bounced from Snowmass to Alamosa to Portland, Oregon (entry on that trip coming soon).

As reported last time, we were about to the 3rd Annual Rails & Ales Festival.  As expected, it was a good time.  Trains, beer and a fantastic mountain meadow setting combined to make it one of the most unique festivals you'll find in any state.

The photo to the right was taken before the second train from La Veta pulled in, but with several hundred people in attendance it still made for an intimate setting. For now. It's only a a matter of time before this thing goes Big Time and gets as big the Snowmass Chili Pepper & Brew Fest or the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival.

Here's some video taken on the nearly 2-hour gorgeous and leisurely train ride (on an old fashioned steam train no less) up to Fir, situated at just under 10,000 feet.

video


Alamosa is an interesting little town. It's a way-point for road weary travelers jetting from Point A to Point B. One of those places on the map that you're forced to drive straight through the middle of town and will miss if you blink. A word of advice:  don't miss it. Aside from being home to the Rio Grande railroad, it's also home to the San Luis Valley Brewing Company. Being the only brewery in the area (located right on Main Street), it attracts a lot of interesting locals and travelers "jetting from Point A to Point B."  Case in point:  a gent by the name of Jolan Truan who lives in Tempe, Arizona.  While Fran and I were sampling the many fine brews at SLVB...

Jolan sat down and started doing what all good bar flies do - chat up your bar mate! Turns out this traveling man was nothing short of a walking encyclopedia. During our hours long conversation we talked about history, politics, sports (the U.S. had just lost to Ghana in the World Cup) and of course... beer.  Seeing that I was a lover of history and craft beer Jolan excused himself, went to his car and came back with a book entitled, "Brewing in Trinidad, Colorado." Printed in 1992 and written by Mike Hennech, it attempts to document Trinidad's beer history. With reference dates going back to the mid/late 1800s it's proving to be an incredibly interesting read. What's more, it's given me an idea... one I'm not ready to reveal just yet. ;)

If hitching a ride on a train for a beer festival sounds like fun you won't have to wait an entire year to experience it. The train for the 3rd Annual Oktoberfest Rails & Ales will leave the station on Saturday, October 2nd . Highlights include a scenic train ride from Alamosa to La Veta to experience their 24th Annual Oktoberfest, plus  there will be great samplings of Octoberfest style beers available on the train! Lively Bavarian music will be playing during the train ride and German cuisine will be featured for lunch.  Contact the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad ticket office at (877) 726-RAIL (7245) for tickets/information. We plan on being aboard this Bavarian beer train!

Until next time...

Zivjeli!

Friday, June 25, 2010

All aboard the summer beer train!

Yo peeps.  I don't know how it is where you live, but Summer has roared into Colorado with a vengeance.  The past few days have felt more like the 7th Level of Hell then the nice, cool climes of the Rocky Mountains. It's been above 90 for the better part of the last month.  Now, 90 degrees might not seem hot to you folks in Nevada or Arizona, which frankly is the 1st Level of Hell, or back east where you have to use a paddle to wade through the humidity... but 90 is hot when you live over a mile closer to the sun.  It's HAWT!  And in this kind of weather nothing goes better then a crisp, cold brew. 

Question:  how many of you base the type of beer you drink on the season?  For example, I only drink lighter colored beers in the summer. Beers like pal ales, IPAs, wheats, hefes, lagers.  During the winter I hunker down and start suckin' on nothing but stouts, porters and the like.  I can't down a thick heavy beer like those in the summer.  It just doesn't work for me.  How about you?

Another Question: anyone notice the new look of the site?  Anyone like it? Dislike it?  Thoughts?

I'll be heading down to Alamosa later today where Fran and I will hanging out at Scott and Angie Graber's brewery - San Luis Valley Brewing Company.  You may have heard me mention them a time or two in the past.  Angie is the head brewer and makes Hefe Suave, one of the single best American style Hefeweizens I've ever had. Since they don't distribute outside the Alamosa area, it's usually months between tastings.  Can't wait!

But we're not driving all the way down to Alamosa just to get my hefe fix.  On Saturday SLVBC is hosting the 3rd Annual Rails & Ales Festival.  Basically, it's riding a train (while drinking beer) to a beer festival in a gorgeous mountain meadow situated at 9,700 feet.

Trains drop everyone off at the top of the pass where there will be 80 different beers to sample. Live music will be performed on the boxcar stage, and some great BBQ will be available. It's Rio Grande's most popular train of the season.

Unfortunately for you, if you haven't bought tickets yet... you won't be able to go. Tickets have officially sold out!  This really is one of the coolest, most unique festivals in the state of Colorado, one you need to attend.

If you missed this one, don't worry... you don't have to wait a whole year! On October 2nd they'll be running another beer train, this time for the 3rd Annaul Rails & Ales Octoberfest.  This event has a few differences though. Instead of stopping in the pass the train goes all the way to Le Veta where passengers get off and enjoy the quaint town's 24th Annual Oktoberfest.  Fran and I went the first year and it was incredibly fun! With any luck, we'll be back in Alamosa in October. 

Coming Up:  expect to see a Brewvie Review for From Paris With Love.


Zivjeli!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Brewvie Review: Avatar

Avatar

Disabled Marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) travels to planet Pandora to become an avatar, ingratiate himself with the natives and help Americans mine lucrative unobtainium. But he finds himself in an interstellar conflict after falling for Na'vi warrior Neytiri (Zoe Saldana). James Cameron writes and directs this Golden Globe-winning CGI odyssey that has broken box office records. Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang co-star.  - Description from Netflix

I took me 171 days after Avatar was released in theaters to actually see it. I know... a Sci-Fi geek like me taking six months to see one of the best Sci-Fi flicks ever made, right? Shame on me.

All I can say is... James Cameron did it again. Even with all the hype, Oscar nods, and merchandise whoring I was still blown away.  Yes, the special effects make your eyes bleed, but they do so much more.  They create a world that looks and feels real. The effects bring James Cameron's movie to life in a way rarely seen. I've been a SF geek as far back as I can remember and the only other movie that so fully engrossed me into its world as to change my own reality was the original Star Wars movie.  I was 10 at the time, so it's not hard to imagine the impact a movie like that can have on child that age. But for it to happen, at least in part, to a full blown middle aged adult - in this day and age no less... is quite the accomplishment.

Avatar is a movie that you must see, even if you're not a space cadet. The story is poignant on many levels.  Frankly, I don't buy the naysayers - many of whom are clearly out of touch with reality - who claim James Cameron embedded a political statement within his fanciful yarn. Everyone everywhere has to voice their opinion, and technology has given them all a platform to do so.  And even if he did... who cares?  Last time I checked we still lived in America. It's his right. Here's something else... if he did, then his message apparently struck just the right nerve in just the right way. And maybe that's what the naysayser are really terrified of.

In any case... if you haven't seen it, do so.  This epic SF yarn weighs in at just under 3 hours, but it never feels like it. As with all things though, not everyone is going to like it.  In order to fully enjoy this film you have to have an open mind, one capable of simultaneously enjoying sweeping fictional sagas as if you were a child, but mature enough to take away a deeper understanding. You too have to become something of an avatar. 

Avatar gets a perfect score of:





Beer suggestion for Avatar

Avatar Jasmine IPA from Elysian Brewing Company in Seattle, Washington.  This "new incarnation" of an India Pale Ale is the perfect brew to watch this film with. One of the main tenants of Avatar the movie is just how out of touch we "civilized" and "technologically advanced people" have become with nature.  Avatar the beer (6.3% ABV) bridges that gap with a floral nose and flavor that balances the subtleness of jasmine with the I.P.A.'s essential hoppiness. Dried jasmine flowers were added in the boil and hopback, which sounds a lot like something aboriginal people would have once done to a beverage they were making.


Monday, June 7, 2010

String Cheese and brew!

In the next day or two expect to see a more detailed article about the 7th Annual Chili Pepper & Brew Fest on my Colorado Springs Craft Beer column. We had a great time, tasted some great beer, and got to hang out with bona fide rock star - Kyle Hollingsworth of String Cheese Incident!





According to photo provider WhopTbird Jones: "Kyle Hollingsworth about to do some beer kung fu on Eli."

Besides performing music around the country, Kyle is a beer geek and homebrewer and has a very cool beer related event coming up. In anticipation of this summer’s sold-out String Cheese Incident run at Red Rocks (July 23-25), Kyle, in conjunction with Great Divide Brewing Company, The Mountain Sun Brewery, and Deschutes Brewery will be presenting... Kyle's Brew Fest

This kick-off party will take place at Denver’s Great Divide Brewery (2201 Arapahoe Street, Denver) on Thursday, July 22 (from 6:00 – 9:00 pm) to benefit Conscious Alliance. Tickets cost $25, and can be purchases online (click here) with ALL proceeds going to Conscious Alliance. A very limited number are still available. Price of admission includes: 
  • An exclusive performance from Kyle Hollingsworth Band
  • Limited edition Kyle’s Brew Fest logo pint glass
  • Several drink tickets
  • One 2-oz taster per brewery (participating breweries include Great Divide Brewing, The Mountain Sun Brewery, Deschutes Brewery, Avery Brewing, Boulder Beer, Ska Brewing, Stone Brewing, Trinity Brewing, Upslope Brewing and others)
  • Delicious grub from Mountain Sun
  • An opportunity to bid at the Silent Auction (which features rock memorabilia from the scene’s favorite artists, among other items)
If you can't make it Beer Tap TV will be on hand to film the festivities. But we hope to see you there!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Beer dinners, conferences, and festivals... oh my!

It's been a while since I actually wrote a column that wasn't a movie/brew review.  Which means now is a good time to do just that... especially since I actually have several things to write about!

Crafty beer dinner at Craftwood Inn

Fran and I attended a beer dinner a few weeks ago hosted by Craftwood Inn (Manitous Springs) featuring beers from New Belgium Brewing. It was spectacular. In attendance from New Belgium were Travis Flett and Matt Jones, and brew master extraordinaire, Pete Bouckaert. Craftwood's Executive Chef, Ben Hoffer prepared all the food and specific pairings. You can see the full menu of what you missed by visiting Craftwood Inn's Facebook page.

For me, two dishes really stood out. First was the peppered buffalo and grilled asparagus salad paired with Blue Paddle, a Czech style pilsner with a refreshing crispness that went perfectly with the buffalo and the summer heat. The dessert, according to Chef Ben, was the riskiest of all the dishes. This sour cherry lambic float was paired with Transatlantique Kriek, a spontaneously fermented lambic ale made with Polish cherries. Ben rocked that float!

The next time Craftwood Inn hosts a beer dinner - featuring beer from any brewery, but especially New Belgium's - get on down there!


Beer Blogger is as Beer Blogger does

This week Zephyr Adventures, headed by Allan Wright, announced the world’s first Beer Bloggers & Social Media Conference to be held November 5-7, 2010 in Boulder, Colorado. The conference will bring together an estimated 150 beer bloggers and others involved with online and social media in the beer industry.

And I'd like to say... IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME!

Our good friend Ashley Routson (aka The Beer Wench) will be the Chief Blogger for the 2010 conference. And since this first of its kind conference is taking place here in Colorado, they'll be working directly with several of Colorado's finest beer bloggers to help make sure it has the full Rocky Mountain flavor, including Chuck at Beer at 6512, Rick at Big Foamy Head (who also operates Epiphany Brewing), as well as myself and Erik Boles from Beer Tap TV.  

The conference will include dinners, tastings, speakers, and academic sessions designed to help beer bloggers improve their trade. They've already lined up some serious support including the Boulder Beer Company and Oskar Blues Brewery as their two dinner sponsors, Draft Magazine and Mutineer Magazine to help promote the conference, and the Boulder Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Colorado Brewers Guild. The host hotel is the Boulder Marriott. More sponsors will be announced soon.  For more information check out their website (http://beerbloggersconference.org/), send them an Email at info@beerbloggersconference.org, or leave a comment on there blog. And be sure to sign up on their mailing list to receive updates. This is gonna be EPIC!
 

Chili Peppers & Beer... at Altitude

The 7th Annual Chili Pepper & Brew Fest, which combines three fiery components into one smokin' weekend, starts today in Snowmass, Colorado. 

The International Chili Society holds two chili competitions/tastings, microbrewers and homebrewers face off in two separate competitions, and festival-goers will get to sample beer from over 50 breweries. New this year is a European and exotic beer tasting tent.  Oh, and then there's the music!  Fanny Hill will be rocking with the Kyle Hollingworth Band, The Wailers, and George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic!!!!

Me and the rest of the Beer Tap TV gang will be up there on Saturday to schmooze, film, sample great beers (we'll be helping to judge the home brew competition as well), light our mouths on fire with chili peppers, and enjoy the setting! This one of the best outdoor beer festival in the state... don't miss it!

Tickets range from $25 - $75.  For more information, surf over to their website (http://snowmasschiliandbrew.com/), call 1.800.SNOWMASS (1.800.766.9627),  or Email them.

Until next time... ZIVJELI!

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Brewvie Review: The Fourth Kind

In 1977, two movies were released that literally changed cinema. Close Encounters of the Third Kind came out a mere six months after the first Star Wars movie. I was 10 years old at the time.  The fact that CE3K didn't get lost in the hoopla that was Star Wars  is amazing, and it deservedly became a legend in its own right. Fast forward some 32 years and we find that the Third Kind is not the last kind...



SPOILER ALERT!  IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN "The Fourth Kind" YET READ NO FURTHER!

The Fourth Kind

We watched The Fourth Kind recently and after having the crap (almost literally) scarred out of me I decided to use it as a Brewvie Review.  Let me say that I had seen the trailers but had done no further rsearch, so I was under the impression that this was movie in fact based on "real events."


Unfortunately, in this day and age of instant portable knowledge, movies like The Fourth Kind can't succeed like they once could.  Remember the hoopla surrounding The Blair Witch Project? That was released in 1999 - a full 11 years ago, back when the Internet was still in its infancy and wasn't accessible by every single person on the planet carrying Star Trek gizmos. Everyone thought that movie was real.  And for those of you who say: "Didn't scare me." "I never thought it was real."  Quit lying. Most of us can't remember what happened yesterday, don't lie by pretending to think you remember exactly what you were feeling 11 years ago about a movie. You were just as transfixed as the rest of us.

So as I sat there watching The Fourth Kind I was convinced it was actually using "real" archival footage of Dr. Abigail Tyler, a psychologist investing the abductions of a disproportionate number of Nome, Alaska's population.  During her investigation she videotapes sessions with traumatized patients and discovers "some of the most disturbing evidence of alien abduction ever documented."   It looks real.  It feels real.  But it's not real.  I didn't know that it wasn't real while watching the movie, so it worked!  If you knew before hand that it was all fake "real" I'm sure it wouldn't be as effective. It was an entertaining flick and I came away with some interesting tidbits for my ever-in-production novel.

The Fourth Kind gets a score of:


Beer suggestion for TFK




Two things immediately sprang to mind. First, The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium, a string of fantastic beer bars throughout the south/southwest. Rumor has it there's one coming to Colorado.  We'll see.


However, there's really only one clear beer choice that steps up and shouts: "Abduct me!"  I mean, "Drink me!"  The line of UFO Hefeweizen beers from Harpoon Brewery: UFO Hefeweizen, UFO White, UFO Raspberry Hefeweizen, and UFO Pale.  These beers will kidnap your taste buds and never give 'em back.  Plus, they're so incredibly sessionable that you can drink a ton of them. Which might just come in handy because I'm sure aliens don't want to conduct horrifying experiments on beer saturated body parts. Heck, for all we know craft beer might be the equivalent of garlic to vampires... or Kryptonite to Superman.


Until next time... keep the lights on and the beer cold!