Saturday, February 28, 2015

Time sure flies!  I intended to write this over a week ago, and I still need to keg my Coffee Porter.  Sometimes I tell Tonya to get a better job so I can be a stay at home dad/brewer.  She just tells me to be quiet and go to work.

 My wife saw this beer when we were at the store, and said I should try it.  I decided to take her advice, and I was pleasantly surprised.  The Castaway Chocolate Orange IPA by Thomas Creek was much lighter than I expected, and had nice freshness from both the hops and the orange peel.  The chocolate was very subtle yet added a nice addition to the flavor profile.  I believe this was my first offering from Thomas Creek, but after having this, I know it won't be my last.
 I first had a Killer Penguin 2 years ago, and it easily became one of my top 5 favorite Barley Wines.  I know I should have let this beer age for a bit, but sometimes you have to live for the moment.  Guess what?  It's still a fantastic beer.  Thick, sweet, hoppy, but not overly bitter.  This is the way I want my Barley Wines.  Congratulations Boulder Beer Company on another fine brew!

I have a hard time when someone asks me what my favorite style or beer is, because it really depends on what beer I feel like that day.  As for breweries?  There are so many amazing breweries in Iowa right now, I won't even try to answer that question.  I will say, that at this current time, my 3 favorite non-Iowa breweries are Dogfish Head, New Glarus, and Deschutes.  Out of those 3, I can honestly say that Deschutes is the only one that I've enjoyed every beer of theirs that I've has so far.
 Foray IPA was no exception to this.  This is just what I'm looking for in a Belgian IPA.  Light, crisp, tart, not too much funk, not too bitter, and easy to drink.  (By the way, the 2nd glass from this bottle was much cloudier and more interesting that the first.)  On a side note, when ever I go to a breweries website, and it asks for your birthdate, I always enter mine, even though it takes longer to do so sometimes.  Anyone else do the same thing?

Sam Adams was a great company for getting me, and many others into craft and home brewed beers.  These days, I don't drink much from them, but every now and than it's nice to have something familiar.  I have always enjoyed their Imperial White.  This one is spicey, hoppy, not too heavy, and that makes it a great beer any time of the year.  Cheers to Sam Adams and all                                              they have done for the brewing community!

This is how I start my day in Iowa
This morning I clicked the unlock button on my key fab, and saw the door locks slowly creep up (instead of their usual snap to attention.)  I guess that means it's cold outside?  Even though it protested a bit, my car did start, and I made it to work on time.  During the day, I was trying to decide what new beer to enjoy on this ridiculously cold day in Iowa.  For some reason I had the Oasis song Wonderwall in my head, and than I had this in my head all day "and after all, you're my Narwahl."  Luckily I have one in my fridge!
 This is one of those beers that I think actually lives up to the hype.  I don't think it's the most complex Imperial Stout in the world, but it's a damn good one.  It's thick, sweet, balanced with bitterness, and very smooth to drink.  This doesn't have to be the last beer of the night when you drink it, because it leaves you wanting more.  There are a lot of Imperial Stouts that may be good, but are so thick and heavy, you just don't want another brew for awhile.  I think Sierra Nevada does a good job with balancing this beer to make it everything we love about Imperial Stouts, yet making it easy to drink.

Finally, in the real world, my Aunt Joanie passed away last night.  Joanie and Joe lived next to my grandmother when I was growing up, and we would see them often.  They are two of the kindest and caring people I know.  I remember Joanie watching me sometimes as a kid when I was sick.  She'd let me lounge in her recliner and we'd watch old episodes of things like the Brady Bunch.

The two of them always had smiles on their faces, big hugs to give, and the love they had for each other and their families was always evident.  My heart goes out to Uncle Joe for losing the love of his life, and I know Joanie is already in heaven beginning her new journey.

Thanks to April for the pictures, and her updates throughout the process.  I'm sending prayers and love for the family, and I'll see you all soon.

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