Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Home of World Champion S.F. Giants to get "champion" grub

Since tomorrow is Opening Day for the 2011 Major League Baseball season, a bit of baseball news...

AT&T Park, home to the 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants, will treat its fans to some "special sauce" this year.

Centerplate, the largest hospitality partner to North America's premier sports stadiums will be providing a bevy of new menu items throughout the park. Centerplate's chefs spent the off-season creating menu items worthy of World Champion Fans. New additions include:

  • Apple Chicken Sausage and Lamb Sausage served on authentic San Francisco sourdough bread. Having grown up in the Bay Area but now living in Colorado, we miss real SF sourdough.  Sure, you can get facsimile's out here, but it's not anywhere close to being the real deal.
  • Fresh Seafood - The Centerfield Chowder House will serve a Seafood Combo Platter featuring Ale Battered Cod, Crispy Fried Shrimp, and Calamari over Chowder House Thick Cut Fries. When you stick "ale" and "battered" together... you have perfection. 
  • Gluten Free Dog - A quarter pound Gluten Free Hot Dog will be served from the Budweiser Brew Pub in Promenade Section 112 and can be coupled with gluten free Kettle snacks along with gluten free Redbridge Beer. This is the only thing I'm going to balk - get it? - over. A gluten free dog at a ballpark? Ok, I get it.  Not everyone can suck down gluten like Charlie Sheen sucks down hookers, but still...
  • Boneless Chicken Wings that are hand shaken and prepared to order with an extensive assortment of sauces, including blazing hot, sweet Thai chili, basil pesto, bourbon, peach habanero BBQ and lemon salt & pepper 

Orlando's in centerfield, "Home of the Cha Cha Bowl," is getting a makeover plus some new menu offerings: 

  • The Baby Bull: Hand Carved Roasted Tri Tip sandwich prepared with Orlando Cepeda's family recipe marinade. Served piled high on fresh baked torta bread with a choice of Orlando's salsas and traditional toppings.  Sign me up for a heaping helping of this bad boy!
  • Sweet Potato Fries: Chipotle and Cinnamon tossed fresh cooked sweet potato fries. A new taste sensation guaranteed to compete with AT&T Park's established signature Garlic Fries.  The garlic fries are awesome, but I'm a big, big fan of sweet potato fries.  They're tastier, and when smothered with chipotle and cinnamon... oh sweet baby Jesus! 
  • "El Gigantes" Dog:  Giant Half Pound All Beef Natural Hot Dog right off an outdoor grill. Apparently you'll be able to top it with queso and Orlando's salsas.  Yahtzee!
  • Mojito and Margarita Bar: Perfect drink complements to any of the new Orlando's menu items or the Cha Cha Bowl.  You can't go wrong with either one of these liquid delights.  And if the Giants pull the whole torture routine on us like they did last year... we're gonna need buckets of the stuff!

For the beer geeks out there... directly attached to the ballpark is a very cool beer bar called Public House.  We were there in January and had a blast. They have roughly 24 beers on draft and 24 more in bottles, with about 80% of the draft selection coming from local California breweries (naturally). Last time I checked you can even buy a beer at PH and take it back to your seat in the ballpark, so you aren't limited to the macro swill that usually soaks a ball field's concession stands. 

Here's to another great season... GO GIANTS!

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Mad Man's Epic Beer Time: Surfing Kona's Waves and Peeking into The Peak

Episode two is in the can! This week Eli "The Haole" takes on Kona Brewing's Koko Brown and tours the soon to open Pikes Peak Brewing Company in Monument, Colorado.

The Beer: Koko Brown from Kona Brewing Company in Kailua Kona, Hawaii.

From the Brewer: Is there anything more iconic of the lush tropics than the coconut? The delicious heart of this island treasure has a nutty, toffee flavor and aroma that sends you straight to the beaches of Paradise. Kick back with a Koko Brown, brewed with real toasted coconut, and savor the mahogany color and smooth, roasty malt taste. Koko Brown pairs well with coconut and caramel flavors, such as Thai curries, BBQ meats and carne asada. Its refrehsing nutty aroma makes for the perfect beer after a day on the water.

The Beer Box Score

  • Style: Black IPA
  • ABV: 5.5%
  • IBUs:28
  • Malts: Premium 2-Row, Victory, Carapils, Munich, Chocolate
  • Hops: Cascade, Willamette, Warrior, Millennium
  • Yeast: Ale
  • OG: 13.3° Plato
  • Extras: Toasted coconut added to the mash
  • Distribution:  Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington
  • Availability:  From March - April
  • Beer Advocate: B from users;  NA from brothers
  • Rate Beer Score: 93% overall, 97% in style
  • Beer Tap TV Rapid Classification: Class II (Minor Taste Buds Turbulence)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A new banner for your Confessions...

As you can see at the top of the page there's a new COABG banner to dazzle your senses.

It was created by my buddy, James Tyler (the rock star lead singer for the band Mystic 7).  Big thanks James... it's awesome!

If you need someone to do graphics for your website you can get a hold of him at And if you want to hear James and his band rock your ear holes be sure to check the gig listing on their website.  They play regularly at Gasoline Alley, Holy Cow, Copperhead Road and host of other places.


Monday, March 14, 2011

The Mad Man's Epic Beer Time: In the dark with Widmer's Pitch Black IPA

Since the BTTV Crew is on hiatus for the moment I thought I'd keep the vids alive until such time as we all get back behind the camera. We're still getting beers sent to us at a preposterous rate, and who wants that beer to go bad, right?   Until this past weekend I'd never thought of editing video in my life... so bare with me as I learn the trade. 


The Beer: Pitch Black IPA from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company, Portland, Oregon

From the Brewer: Pitch Black IPA is a Pacific Northwest twisted tribute to the standard IPA style of beer. A Gold medal winner at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival and a spinoff of traditional IPAs. Brewed using the emerging style standards of Cascadian Dark. True to IPA style, Pitch Black is brewed with generous amounts of hops and additionally a modest amount of specialty debittered black malt to give it a very dark appearance, without the typical dark malt flavors. Key flavor points: Peppery, resinous, citrusy hop aroma and flavor Significant, but smooth with quick bitterness Medium body built on caramel malt sweetness and lightly toasted malt Slight, soft dark malt flavor.

The Beer Box Score

  • Style: Black IPA
  • ABV: 6.5%
  • IBUs:65
  • Malts: Two Row Pale, Caramel 10 L, Special Roast, Carafa Special II
  • Hops: Alchemy (Bittering), Alchemy, Cascades (Aroma), Cascade T-45 (Dry hop)
  • Yeast: Ale
  • OG: 16° Plato
  • Extras: NA
  • Distribution:  Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington
  • Availability:  All Year
  • Beer Advocate: B+ from users;  NA from brothers
  • Rate Beer Score: 93% overall, 71% in style
  • Beer Tap TV Rapid Classification: Class II (Minor Taste Buds Turbulence)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Don't miss the Miss-i-sippin' beer and food pairing event

The state of Mississippi is slowly crawling out from the dark ages. And I do mean slowly.

Whatever for do I mean?

"The Magnolia State" has archaic beer laws. And by "archaic" I mean... retarded.  Any beer over 6.3% ABV is prohibited. In most counties alcohol still can't be sold on Sundays, and there are many "dry" counties where it's illegal to possess alcoholic beverages of any kind. Some cities within those "dry" counties have voted in beer sales, but still...

And then there's the real coup de grâce: Mississippi is one of only two states in the nation (Alabama being the other) where homebrewing is still illegal. Without homebrewers it is impossible to develop a real culture centered around beer. Furthermore, there are only two recognized craft breweries (Lazy Magnolia and Southern Prohibition) in the entire state. TWO!! Needless to say home grown beer pickings are very slim.

Due to these "barbaric" laws Mississippians haven't been able (let's say allowed) to create an environment where craft beer is accepted. Which is too bad considering a recent report says the beer industry as a whole provides over $223 billion to the U.S. economy.  With their heads firmly buried in the sand, lawmakers in "The Magnolia State" are missing out on a great deal of revenue.

Now, why am I talking about Mississippi beer in the first place?

A few years ago Wayne Andrews, Director of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, and Chef Lee Craven of Lenoir Dining Services (on the campus of the University of Mississippi) were both looking to create an event that captured the social side of food - a twist on happy hour as it were. Word got around that they were both looking to do the same thing and soon Miss-i-sippin’ was born.

“The popularity of the event has made it attractive for regional products” shared Craven “as we are able to highlight local products in our menu and inspire people to try these items when they cook.” The menu changes each year allowing the event to draw people back and ensures support for the charities. Now in its third year, the event will feature pairings of 22 different beers with culinary creations by Chef Craven and his team.

Remember what I said earlier? The beers you'll see at the Miss-i-sippin' fundraiser isn't what many of us in more refined beer states would consider acceptable because most events like this - in more refined beer states - are replete with ONLY local beers brewed by local breweries. But hey, it's a start for our Southern Brethren!

Miss-i-sippin’ 2011 Menu

Coors & Coors Light paired with:
Curry Coconut Popcorn with Toasted Sesame Seeds
Mexican Style Popcorn with Cumin and Red Pepper

Blue Moon paired with:
Spoons of Creme Fraiche, Orange Gelee and Pickled Ginger

Lazy Magnolia Reb Ale paired with:
Smoked Quail En Croute
(Sponsored by Wiseacre and Papa Johns)

Dos XX, Tecate & Sol paired with:
Chorizo Quesadilla

Stella & Hoegarden paired with:
Garlic Pesto Gnocchi with Lemon

Lazy Magnolia Jefferson Stout paired with:
Ice Cream Floats

Guinness paired with:
Make Your Own  S'mores

Bass & Harps paired with:
Crispy Catfish Po' Boy with Comeback Sauce 
(Sponsored by Country Select)

Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan & Abita paired with:
BBQ Pork Sliders
(Sponsored by Papa Johns)

Becks & Lazy Magnolia Indian Summer paired with:
Marinated Shrimp and Polk's Brand Cajun Smoked Sausage Skewers
(Sponsored by Polk's)

Newcastle & Sierra Nevada paired with:
Mini Corndogs with Magnolia Red Casing Sausage
(Sponsored by Polk's)

Blue Moon Seasonal paired with:
Tempura Vegetables
(Sponsored by Yocna Farms)

Sushi provided by Kabuki
Mini Pizzas provided by Papa Johns

See what I mean?  The food sounds absolutely fantastic, and I'd personally love to try the beers from Lazy Magnolia.  Abita and Sierra Nevada rock, but the rest of them... not so much. Still, the widely distributed domestics and imports will likely taste much better given the quality of the food.  Wish I could be there!

This event is for charity - making it all worthwhile - and all proceeds will go to the Arts Council and the Hospitality Management program. There's a very limited number of tickets available which can be purchased for $35 ($25 for arts council members & “of age” students) by calling the Arts Council at 662-236-6429 or going by The Powerhouse Arts Center between 9:00AM-5:00PM.

If you attend please let me know how it goes!