Sunday, August 7, 2016

Some days you never forget

 It's been a crazy few weeks here in Eastern Iowa, work has been busy, lots of overtime, the weather has been nice than humid than nice than humid, family gatherings, beer releases, and pushing myself to my physical limits doing my first ever 5K.

Let's start with the Blasen family's 18th annual golf outing.  This was my second year attending, and I took along Joseph who not only drove a golf cart for the first time, but also golfed for the first time.  It was a fun day spending time with family that we don't see very often.  We watched my dad and his brother hang out together during the round of golf, we spent time with my sisters and brothers in-law, and maybe the highlight was seeing my cousin Rick walk into the club house on his own two feet.  You may remember from my earlier entry that Rick was in a terrible car accident a few months ago.  In true Rick fashion, he has exceeded everyone's expectation for his recovery.  Working hard, and staying positive the whole time.  He is truly an inspiration to me.
 This week I was in Decorah and had an hour to kill, so naturally I went to Toppling Goliath for a beer.  I lucked out, because they had this barrel aged monster Term Oil 6-B on tap.  This was a 12.5% ABV barrel aged stout that was very well balanced.  Brewmaster Mike is an expert at barrel aged beers, and it shows in this stout.
It reminded me of a Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout, but I thought is was even better.  I loved the silky chocolate notes that hit the palate first, followed up with some subtle roast malt characters, and finished nicely with the bourbon and barrel flavors.  One of the biggest problems I've seen with the BA (barrel aged) beers lately is the lack of restraint on the bourbon flavor that dominates the beer making it difficult to enjoy.  This was not the case with Term Oil.  It was extremely well balanced, and I'm glad I had a chance to enjoy this very limited brew before it was gone.  Cheers Mike!  Well done.
 Just down the road from TG is the new kid on the block, Pulpit Rock.  Open for nearly one year, this 7 barrel brewery has quickly been making a name for themselves in the Iowa craft beer scene.  I had the chance to sit down with General Manager, Tyler, and both Co-Head Brewers, Justin and Bob, share a few beers and record a podcast.  After spending some time with the guys it was evident why they are becoming such a popular brewery.  Quite simply they love what they do, and they do it well.
Pictured is there flagship beer, Saftig.  This is a super "crushable" IPA.  A simple grain bill helps highlight the citrus and fruity hop flavor and aroma.  It's very easy to see why craft beer lovers are clamoring to drink this IPA.  While this IPA is their best known beer, they like to brew a wide varieties of beers, and will be expanding on their beer styles even more in the near future.  From Bocks to English Milds, Belgian style brews, and even vanilla aged stouts, Justin and Bob  show no style is off limits.  They are creative and talented brewers that have found the perfect place to showcase what they have to offer.
 Shorty after we finished our podcast, a black cloud of death moved over the brewery.  A fast moving, strong storm blew in sending sideways rain and knocking down trees and the power in the process.  Here you see bartender/brewer Keith lighting some candles so we could all have another beer while we waited for the storm to pass.
Saturday, August 20th Pulpit Rock will be celebrating their 1 year anniversary.  Bob assured me they will make it worth the trip that weekend.  Several new and special releases and a free hog roast will be a few of the highlights of the day.  If you haven't been to the brewery yet, this is the weekend to go!  Below is a link to the podcast.  Thanks again to Tyler, Bob, and Justin for joining me for an awesome podcast!  #StinkJuice

 As many of you know I have Cerebral Palsy. It makes my life a little more difficult than the average person.  I get tired more easy, my body is always tight, and I have poor balance to name a few things.  This spring I was feeling worse than normal, and my blood pressure was sky high.  I knew I needed to make a lifestyle change so I could be a part of my families life for many years to come.  I started walking, lifting weights, and dieting.
5 months later, my blood pressure is normal, I've lost 27 pounds, and I'm stronger than ever.  A month into exercising I set a goal to walk a 5K, something that had previously been unthinkable for me.  This weekend I walked in and finished my first 5K, and I surpassed my time goal by nearly 9 minutes.
We walked for the Fredericksburg Pool as a fundraiser for them.  Joseph spends a good portion of his summer at the pool, and we are happy to support the pool in any way we can.
I was lucky to have my family with me there too.  My wife Tonya won her age bracket, as did my mom.  Joseph finished strong, and even came back to walk the last 100 meters with me.  My 78 year old dad walked with me the entire way, helping me keep my pace.
Maybe the most amazing part of the walk for me was the support from the other runners and walkers while I was walking, and the incredible support I received from them and the pool lifeguards as I neared the finish line.  Even though I was close to a half hour slower than the last walker, they were all there clapping and cheering me on.  I can't express how much this meant to me.  I have worked very hard the past 5 months working towards this goal, and really pushed myself yesterday not only to finish, but finish faster than what I was shooting for.  Reflecting on it this morning I know this is a moment I will never forget.

What better way to celebrate a personal accomplishment that having a few amazing beers, eating some local pizza (Pizza Palace), and watching Top Gun and the 2016 Summer Olympics?  Thanks to Doug for bringing me a few growlers from 515 brewery in Des Moines.
Brewer Barb and the 515 crew make some outstanding brews.  Pictured is one of my favorites, Mediocre Pale Ale.  I can't say enough good things about this brewery, their beer, and the great people that work there.  Thanks to Matt from 515 for helping me get my order together for Doug to bring up north.

I think I've rambled one enough for one entry, so don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @Crinkletalk
and Untappd: Crinkletalk

No comments:

Post a Comment