Thursday, July 23, 2015


Summer is in full swing.  So it's time for outside activities, which in our house is mostly going to the pool and playing outside with the dogs.  I haven't had time for fishing this year, but I did make time to go to the Blasen Family Golf Outing a few weeks back.  This is me and my brother in-law Marty enjoying the ride from my nephew Charlie.  Charlie (age 9) was a pretty good driver, and much safer than his older brother Jake (age 11.)  After two holes with Jake driving, I took the wheel to finish up the coarse.  I had a great day with my dad, Marty, and the boys, and was able to catch up with some family I haven't spent much time with lately.  I also enjoyed a Founder's All Day IPA, and a few Blue Moons in the golf cart.  I would've have more of the Founder's, but Casey hogged it all.  Next year, I'll know better get there early!!
What's the best thing to do on the hottest weekend of the year.  Of course the answer is go camping!!  Last weekend we met up with Chad and Annie for a sweaty weekend outdoors (with the occasional trip inside their camper to cool off.)  We enjoyed a few brews by the fire (you know, because it wasn't  hot enough so we really needed to make a fire.)  The stand out brew for me was Cane Blade from Backpocket Brewing.  It's a deceptively smooth double IPA that was very delicious.  I've heard from a reliable source, they will have a new wheat beer and a Quad coming out in the near future.  I was also able to pick up a bottle of their new Raygun IPA on the way home.  I just hope it's as good as the Cane Blade.
Camping at Lake Red Rock, we were only 14 miles away from Knoxville, so it would've been a shame if we didn't check out Peace Tree Brewing.  Luckily for us, the heat gave us a great excuse to go into town, and sit in the air conditioned taproom for a bit.  Pictured to the left is No Coast IPA.  This 7.25% American IPA was just what I needed to cool down.  A mixture of pine and citrus from the hops in the well balanced brew, that was just bitter enough to make it interesting, yet still easily drinkable.

The other beer I had was their Templeton Sidekick, a 6% ABV Kolsch aged in Templeton Rye barrels.  Kolsch is near the bottom of the list of beers I would normally order, but I am a sucker for Templeton Rye Whiskey.  I actually really enjoyed this beer, and you won't hear me say this a lot, but it would've been even better if there was less whiskey flavor to it.  I think maybe mixing the barrel aged beer with the unaged Kolsch, would've made this an even more enjoyable beer.

I also took home a growler of Hop Wrangler, a 6.25% ABV, Belgo-American IPA.  This is the beer that really made me take notice of what Peace Tree was doing years ago.  I have to say, my will power is pretty amazing, as it's still in my fridge.  Come on Friday night!!
After ditching us guys for some ice cream our families met us back and the tap room, and Joseph was able to enjoy his first brewery made rootbeer.  (His hair is getting so long, it went into the rootbeer before he even had a chance to taste it!)  A few minutes later, his uncle Chad made him laugh so hard, he ended up with rootber all over his face.

I was very impressed with the tap room.  They refinished an old industrial building and turned it into a beautiful gathering place.  I would also like to point out, that their service was top notch.  If you're in the Knoxville area, I would highly recommend stopping by for a few beers.  Overall, we had a nice afternoon at the taproom, and after going back out into the heat, we probably should have stayed there longer.
Arson and Toby playing tug-o-war when we got home (and it cooled down!)

I know, I know, I said I'd review Toppling Goliath's collaboration with Mikkeller.  I didn't forget, here's Nelson Schmelsson shown to the right, along with the new bottle caps from TG.  Wow!  That's it, just wow!  I thought this beer was absolutely amazing!  The powerful hop aroma hits you as soon as you open the bottle, and gets even better as you pour it.  Dank.  Dank is thrown about a lot in beer boards lately, and it really fits this brew.  Dank to me is just another was of saying hoppy goodness.  This beer has plenty of that, and a solid, malty body to go with it.  To be honest, this is one of the best beers I've had all year.  Congrats to Clark, Mike, and the rest of the Hop Patrol at TG, and the guys at Mikkeller for making such a fantastic Double IPA!
Word on Twitter is that TG will be releasing their Morning Delight in the near future.  This has been another of those elusive TG beers I haven't had yet, but will do my best to get a hold of this year, and of course, write about.  I also hope to have more from TG coming up, so keep checking back.

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