Saturday, October 21, 2017
First, let's get to some beer! After missing the last bottle release from Pulpit Rock, I made it a point to get to the latest release. Two kettle sour beers aged on fruit, Peaches and Cream and Pillow Talk (pictured to the right.) http://www.pulpitrockbrewing.net/ There's a reason I've written about them before, and I will continue to do so. They make fantastic beer and they are also wonderful people. I love visiting the brewery as much for the beer as for the conversation with the brewers, Bob, Mike, and Justin.
That being said, their stouts, porters, and sours are all great beers as well. Pillow talk really let the natural raspberries be the star of this brew. The lactose smoothed the beer out so the tartness wasn't overpowering, instead it lent itself nicely to this delicate beer. I'm really looking forward to trying my bottle of Peaches and Cream too.
Thanks to my friends Lisa and Rick, I have a few beers from Narrow Gauge to enjoy. And a big thanks to my uncle Mike for flying some crowlers of Weldworks beer to Iowa for me. I really can't wait to try those!
In August I started coaching Joseph's YSF 5th/6th grade Football team. I was the Defensive Coordinator and assistant offensive line coach. We had 12 5th graders and just 6 6th graders making us the youngest, and smallest team we saw all season. Luckily we had a great group of coaches too, Shain, Scott, Jason, Cory, and Jon were all a pleasure to work with, and I feel we gave these kids a good understanding of the fundamentals and what it means to be a team.
Joseph had a great season at defensive tackle again, recording a few sacks, several tackles for loss, a forced fumble, fumble recovery, and numerous other tackles. On offense he was a blocking tight end, sealing the edge for his running backs to rack up the yards. He even caught a 14 yard pass in our last game. His upbeat attitude, and willingness to work hard has really paid off for him this year, and I'm incredibly proud of him.
I'll leave the offense write up for Shain or Scott, but as for our defense? I couldn't be more proud of this group either. They all worked hard, learned a lot, and really worked as a team. That was especially evident in our last, thrilling game of the season (we won 20-19.) We faced a passing team, the only one we saw all season. Our kids not only adjusted, but many of them really stepped up. From Bob and Kevin shutting down the middle of the line (our two girls that rocked by the way,) to Kallen and Joseph putting pressure on the QB, to Colton stepping up at safety, getting a huge interception and nearly running it in for a TD, to Brady the middle linebacker, who sealed the win with an interception over the middle. All of these kids came a long way since the beginning of the season, and they way they worked together and supported each other was awesome. It was truly and honor coaching this team, and I'm going to miss working with these kids.
https://www.patreon.com/search?q=crinkletalk Or download the Patreon app and search Crinkletalk
Follow me on Twitter @Crinkletalk
Our family is now on to winter swim league, so lots of travel in in our future. Luckily many of the places we will travel to, has some good local breweries to check out. The Iowa Beer game is strong right now, and we are all spoiled and lucky because of it. Cheers!
Saturday, June 17, 2017
The first I'll mention is Narrow Gauge out of the St. Louis area. Thanks to Lisa and Rick (my profession beer mules) for bringing me a few crowlers back with you. http://www.narrowgaugestl.com/home
These guys have quickly made a name for themselves in just one year, even being named the best new brewery in Missouri. After having this IPA, I can see why. I know a lot of people are jumping either on or off the NE IPA craze, but I love it (when done correctly.) This is done to perfection. Some haze from the massive amount of hops used, huge citrus aroma and flavor, balanced nicely with the right amount of bitterness to keep it from being too sweet. Honestly, it reminds me of Pulpit Rock IPA, and that is a very good thing. I have another in the fridge that I will be enjoying very soon.
The scenery was absolutely incredible, unlike anything I've seen before. The rocky shores were stunning, and it's always great to be by the ocean. Of course fresh Lobster, crab, and haddock was on the menu daily while we were there.
However, I wasn't impressed with the local beer scene. These NE breweries are getting a lot of hype, but I'll take our Iowa beers over most of what I could find in the Bar Harbor area. Since I'm a nice guy, I won't list the so so breweries I encountered.
Instead, I will list a few notables. I have to start with Maine Beer Company. https://www.mainebeercompany.com/ This is a very hyped brewery so I really wanted to try them. While I was there, I had 2 of their beer and brought back a 3rd. The guy at the store told me "Lunch" was the best beer he ever had, so of course I had to try it. Well, it wasn't close to the best beer I've ever had, but it was a very good beer. A nice, clean IPA, that was well balanced and brewed with skill. I would certainly buy this beer again and again, but to say it's even in the realm of best beer I ever had, would be a big stretch.
Peak Organic Brewery was the other highlight for me, with The Juice and Crush being the beers I'll remember. Both solid IPA's with loads of citrus aroma and flavor, and more bitterness than I expected. That also made them very easy to drink, and the few I brought home will be great to enjoy on a hot Iowa night. http://peakbrewing.com/
This is a brewery that I will seek out whenever I travel. I was immediately hit with loads of citrus, mango, and orange aroma when I opened the can. The flavor matched perfectly with the aroma, and was dare I say "juicy." It was also extremely well balanced both with the malt profile and the perfect amount of bitterness. This beer was fantastic. I also recently drank IPA #2 from them and it was nearly as good.
I'll even give an honorable mention to Hose Krusher APA from Strange Men Brewing. Unfortunately the bottle I had was flat, but it was another well balanced beer with great aroma. Hopefully I can join these guys in the future to brew (and drink) some beer with them.
I have a few more random NE beers to try that I've brought back with me and a few crowlers of Pulpit Rock's Loopy Lynn (possibly my favorite DIPA of all time) that I'll be enjoying soon and while they are fresh. I plan on enjoying them even more on my new backyard patio while the dogs run around our big yard. Until next time. Follow me on Twitter: @Crinkletalk
and on Untappd: Crinkletalk
Saturday, April 22, 2017
https://www.karben4.com/ I've heard a lot about this beer, some true, some not. This beer falls into the hype category. People have been saying it's super juicy and talking like it's a NE IPA. It's not. What it is, is malt heavy, wonderfully balanced with the hop bitterness, and a fantastic citrus aroma. This beer was not at all what I was expecting from all the "juicy" descriptions I've read about it. That being said it is a fantastic IPA that I would buy again and again. Before NE IPA's came around this is exactly what I would search for in an IPA. I'm glad I have family in Madison so I can get fresh Fantasy Factory on a regular basis. Cheers Karben4!! Nice work.
http://pdubs.net/home-1 The two most hyped beers are Ninja Vs. Unicorn, and the Mosiac hopped Lizard King. This is where I'll start.
Mosiac hops may just be the greatest smelling aroma hop there is. Citrus fruit explodes your senses when you take that first smell (yes, I'm a nerd that smells my beer.) The great thing about Mosiacs is that they taste like they smell, and there's another citrus fruit explosion when you have that first drink. After the first few drinks however, that's where single hop Mosiac beers loose me. The "juicy," fruity flavors subdue and a musty, earthiness of the hops take over tasting like dirty gym socks. Strange to say that's not necessarily a bad thing, but can get a little overwhemling. So, for me, I like Mosiac hops, but I prefer them to be blended with other hops to help alleviate some of those musty flavors. Don't get me wrong, this is still a great beer, and I know there are a ton of people out there that love single hop Mosiac beers. So, if you're one of those people, you should definitely try this beer.
I love this beer, and will absolutely be buying more whenever I have the chance. It was so good, just writing about it makes me want to have another! This is crazy to me, I've tried beers from two different breweries that actually live up to the hype around them. That really doesn't happen very often. Great work Pipeworks, keep churning out these fantastic beers. And kudos to your can designers on the great labels.
First let me say this. It is a fantastic barrel aged stout. It's a thick, syrupy, dark beer with sweetness, roasted flavor, and well balanced with the bourbon. I would buy this beer again, for $10-15 dollars, not for the $60-70 they sell it for. It's not worth that much. Too be honest, there's not much difference from the normal BCBS that you can easily buy for $10. This is a beer that has been hyped up for no reason in my opinion. Yes it's a great beer, and you should try it if you don't pay full price for it, but there are plenty of great barrel aged stouts on the market for a third or even a sixth of the price!
I'm also lucky to drink IPA's like Mr. Hoppy Pants (shown to the left.) I would put their Double IPA's (and many of their other beers) against any brewery in the country, and they will hold their own. Pat, whose not a big IPA fan loves coming here for the Double IPA's. Last time it was To Hop and To Hold (let's hope Justin doesn't have to get remarried for them to brew it again,) this time Mr. Hoppy Pants.
I also want to say congratulations to Pulpit Rock on having Saftig being named one of the best beers in America by Men's Journal. This is a well deserved distinction for them. While I didn't have any Saftig that day, I did bring home a few crowlers to enjoy. http://www.pulpitrockbrewing.net/
One last thing I want to mention quickly is Des Moines Beer Week starting June 16th.
I went to the beer fest last year (see earlier entry) and had a blast. Check out the website so you don't miss out on the fun! http://dsmbeerweek.beer/
It looks like spring is here, and I now have some great patio beers to enjoy. What are some of your favorite nice weather beers. Comment below or on Twitter @Crinkletalk
Sunday, March 5, 2017
It poured dark and thick with little to no head. The smell of vanilla was predominant along with some roasted and chocolate malts. The mouth feel was creamy and velvety smooth with soft carbonation. Marshmallow, vanilla and chocolate danced on my taste buds, not competing with each other, more working and blending together. I had some chilled and allowed some to warm to see how the flavors differed, and honestly I didn't notice a great deal of difference. All the same flavors where there, maybe just in a slightly different balance.
In short, if you were lucky enough to get a bottle it's worth keeping and drinking. I know the thought of trading is tempting when you can get 3-5 other great beers for this one, but I think you'd be doing a disservice to yourself not to enjoy this brew while you can.
|Fun with filters|
I used a pound of home grown hops that I split in the beginning and end of the boil (mixture of Nugget and Mt Hood.) I also mixed several ounces of Mosaic, Galaxy, and Wai-iti hops at the end of the boil, and double dry hopped during and after fermentation. This resulted in a well balanced IPA with enough bitterness to keep from being too sweet, yet loads of passion fruit, peach, and citrus making it very easy to drink. I also used a pound of flaked oats during the mash process for the first time. This added a little haze and smoothed out the mouth feel. This is a beer I will likely brew again. Will I make some minor changes? Sure. I would probably add more dry hops and try to keep the carbonation on the softer side.
After slowing down on my home brewing the past few years, I've been a bit underwhelmed by my last several brews, and I finally feel like I'm getting back into my brewing groove, if you will. The pursuit of making the perfect beer still eludes me, but I finally feel I'm back on the right track. I'm thinking about brewing smaller batches more often so I can keep experimenting with my recipes and improving my brewing skills. In the meantime, I'm lucky to live in Iowa where there are many fantastic breweries only a short drive from me. Cheers!
Friday, March 3, 2017
The last few weeks have been incredibly stressful at work, but I was lucky to have a little time on the weekends to spend some time at two of my favorite breweries. 515 in Des Moines and Pulpit Rock in Decorah are straight killing it. The small but mighty breweries are kicking out some fantastic beers made even more enjoyable by the awesome people that brew them and work there.
|Scottie and Whitney keeping everyone hydrated!|
I'll start first with Pulpit Rock and their first ever bottle release. Pudgy, an Imperial Stout aged with vanilla beans. They had just 400 bottles of liquid goodness for sale on a cold Iowa morning, the day after a snow/ice storm, and the craft beer community still showed up to sample some incredible beer. 1 bottle of Pudgy may not be be enough so luckily the guys at PR (Pulpit Rock) out did themselves with the on tap line up. A few of the standouts, Stink Juice (Double IPA,) Pillow Talk (fruit beer,) and Sticker Shock (Imperial Stout.)
Check out their Facebook page for more of these great photos from the release courtesy of Erik Dutcher. And don't just check them out online, if you haven't been there, make a point to go, you will not be disappointed.
Bob, Justin, and Mike are the brewers at Pulpit Rock. They are talented, creative, funny, kind, and just plain good people. This brings me back to a theme from a previous entry when I met with Austin from Single Speed Brewery. Good people make good beer. Much like Austin, these 3 are some of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. They love what they do, and really enjoy great beer. Don't be afraid to say hello, or bring something special to share with them. Also, bring some growlers to fill, or buy their crowlers when available, because you are going to want to take their beer with you. Trust me.
You can get their Milk Stout, Brown Ale, Doppelbock, and many other great beers, but I tend to be drawn towards their hoppy selection. That is because Barb makes some of the best Pale ales and IPA's around.
Not to be outdone by the guys at Single Speed or Pulpit Rock, Barb, from 515 is again, not only a very talented brewer, but an exceptionally good person. After chatting over Twitter with her, I was finally able to meet her on this visit. Again the brewing passion is evident as is her kindness. She let me try some of Unholy Trinity, an IPA brewed in collaboration with Alluvial and Pulpit Rock, straight from the brite tank. The beer wasn't for sale yet, or even kegged, but she knew I was interested in trying it and wouldn't be around Des Moines when it hit the tap room. That is above and beyond what anyone should expect from any brewer or brewery. Yet it is just another example of what makes places like 515 so great! http://www.515brewing.com/
|515 IPA Flight|
If you like to know the people that make your beer, follow them on Twitter (Mike and Barb are very entertaining #SexyRespirator.)
@PRBC_Bob (fun game, finish a growler every time Bob tweets!)
You can also follow me @Crinkletalk