Archive for October, 2009

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

Posted in ale, Seasonal with tags , , , on October 11, 2009 by Mick
Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, 7.0 ABV

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, 7.0 ABV

I always had a pretty basic rule: Beer should taste good e3nough on its own without adding limes, berries or…..pumpkins.

Now keep in mind, im an upstate NY transplant to California, so i miss seasons. When i watch my NY Giants destroy Bay Area football teams, i think about my parents in Gloversville, NY, watching the same game with a roaring fire and the smell of a roast wafting through the house. Outside, leaves of every color imaginable falling in the crisp air.

So when i find something that reminds me of those days and the flavors, i go with it. Hence, pumpkin ale.

I am no pro at all with these seasonals, but i know what i like. I experiment, i will try anything once. Its just the theory i have to get past.  The theory that….fuck…this is a beer, that tastes like pumpkin.

Dogfish Head makes one of my favorite beers ever, the 90 minute IPA. So naturally, when i see them making a pumpkin ale, im going to try it. Initially, when i opened the bottle, and poured it into my favorite beer jar, the smell of pumpkin, nutmeg, and autumn hit me like Brendon Jacobs on a 3rd and 2 goaline smash. The taste however, isnt as smashnose. It has an initial bite of a strong ale, with a softer spicy middle and finishes smooth with the tiniest sweetness of pumpkin. Just ENOUGH to say, “Yeah…this is punkinney.”

We had the beer with a coffee-rubbed pork shoulder i slow made, slow cooking it for about 7 hours, and THIS is why this beer was made. I decided then, that this beer, like alot of my go-to Belgian ales, is to be paired with a fall food, like the pork, or my bourbon sweet potatoes.

Either way, drink this while you can, especially if youre out of your climatic element. I really enjoy this seasonal beer, and look forward to it every Sunday when im watching football and cooking a roast. Just like at home.

My score – 91 out of 100 jack-o-lanterns.

Session – Lager and Black Lager

Posted in beer, lager on October 4, 2009 by Mick

My dad, who is a master glazier (glassman in lay terms) taught me that, while not always necessary, it is pretty effective to “get stoned with two birds” er….something….

Session, to me, is a great boutiquey beer put out by the Full Sail Brewing company, and uses the stubby barrel bottles. For both the red and black versions. Lets knock them down one at a time.


Sessions original lager has always been a good picnicking beer for me…easily portable, full bodied, but refreshing enough to not be a heavy beer. Im always happy that the little 11oz lager fits in my Kreuz BBQ coozie from my trip to Austin. Im a huge fan of the “red” label lager, and find its balance to be near perfect.

sessions blackThe black on the other hand, comes in hitting heavy, as it is exactly what youd imagine it is to be. Black lager denotes dark. Its dark, its heavy, it doesnt fuck around. It doesnt taste boozey at all, but its intense flavor comes rife with nuts, bread, and has a really autumnal flavor…so perfect for this October chugging. Unlike its red brother, i can barely get through 3 or 4 before my stomach feels like i ate a loaf of bread. There are complexities to the tastes that the red doesnt have, like a strong honey flavor and a deep malt that is as refreshing as oatmeal.

Like two siblings, each os special in their own way. (But i like the red better).

My Scores:

Original Lager – 91 points

Black Lager – 88 points

BABAC 2.0 Meet Up

Posted in Uncategorized on October 4, 2009 by Mick

BABAC – Bay Area Bourbon Aficionado’s Club.

A plethora of delicious bourbon (and Tom's anger in the background)

A plethora of delicious bourbon (and Tom's anger in the background)

About three or four months ago i had the idea of getting some dudes together to do what i do daily….swill some bourbon, grill meat, talk about bourbon and eat meat. I had some pretty basic rules, bring a bottle, bring some food. Something that interests you, that youve had, or something you wanna try for the first time.

Our inaugural meeting was the first week in September, and despite the amazing weather and me grilling buffalo burgers, only 6 people were brave enough to cross the bridge from San Francisco to my house in Oakland.

This week however, hosted at Mills’ Manor, brought 20 people, a shit ton of bourbon, and some pretty amazing pork shoulder.

Mr John Mills of Mills Manor

Mr John Mills of Mills Manor

We had a pretty decent variety of bourbon, spanning from the standards like Elijah Craig 12 Year and Eagle Rare, all the way to the most badass George T Stagg’s 142 proof (71% abv). Definitely not for the weak. I now know what dragons feel like. And yeah…..we finished off Steve’s bottle.


We tried to all taste the same thing at the same time, and compare notes, but it becomes a shitshow, when well….youre drinking bourbon. Alot of bourbon. Eventually, we said “fuck it” and just had a good time. Enough bourbon, and you start talking about rat rods, secret walls and rooms in your house, and yes, of course, midget sex.

Once the night died down, we all had a pleasant afternoon buzz, and went home planning the November and December (holiday party!) BABAC meetups.

For more pictures, check my Flickr for the rest.