Welp, it has been a bit since I posted because I have been on a ton of interviews as I have been packing. Once I get into my new place in a few days, I will be better about it.

Grilling Season is Here

Well boys and girls, grab yourself a summer appropriate beer (Wheat, Wit, Lagers, whatever...bock for me probably), some sunglasses and some sandals cause it is grilling season! In the world of beers, we have four seasons. But in my own personal cooking world, I have two seasons, grilling season and chili season! And guess what? Grilling season just started and I couldn't be more excited.

Before I say anything else, let me lay something down for you. When I say grilling, I mean Midwestern "Grilling", not Barbecuing like they do it in the south or Chicago or something. When you "Grill" you marinate, season, or just grill your meat to how you like it and then add any sauces after. Barbecuing takes much more prep work and uses a slower method of grilling and basting the meats. It is truly an art, one I don't particularly like doing myself due to the time commitment involved. That all said, I love to grill me some meat and I'd personally rather have it grilled and in my plate with a beer and company than waiting around on the other way.

So yea, now that grilling season has started, I pulled out the trusty ol' Weber Charcoal grill, my Marinade recipes and of course stopped by the beer store to pick up some choice brews. When doing burgers, I keep it simple. Ground chuck, hand-made patties (don't cheat!), a bit of soy sauce in the patties if I feel like it at the time and then a generous amount of Greek seasoning. If you haven't tried Greek seasoning, you are missing out, it is great on burgers, and veggies. Burgers like this with just some cheese, ketchup, or whatever you like on them, go well with any lighter beer. I prefer a pale ale or bock, something that won't over power what I am eating. When grilling chicken however, I usually reach for an IPA, though I reach for those a lot so I should just say that something that packs a big bitter bite goes well with my chicken recipe. I marinade chicken with my world famous Herb and Garlic marinade. It's really good stuff, light always really juicy. It also goes well with Steaks if you have a tender steak that will soak it up. Though with steaks, I prefer another one of my marinade recipes that centers around Jack Daniels though now that Jack Daniels has its own marinades out I am tempted to shell out the cash to try and compare. I usually drink a good cold bud heavy when I am eating steak, as to not mess with the steaks flavor at all.

I usually chop up and grill veggies with lemon pepper or garlic powder and salt in tin foil with ....and all this grilling talk is making me hungry! Until next time!


Wisdom teaches us that none but birds should go out early, and that not even birds should do it unless they are out of worms. ~Mark Twain

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Great showing of breweries at Microfest! I was very impressed and made sure to make it around to all the stuff I needed to try first because as you would expect at something like this, I was pretty far gone after a few hours. Lagunitas' Wilco Tango Foxtrot (Imperial Brown) was the best in show for me out of what I remember well. Great night, horrible next morning. Good times.

Avery part 2

Though all of Avery's beers are pretty solid, this second post will talk about the best stuff they have to offer. Let's just jump right in! Avery produces a ton of limited time, special edition brews that I am not going to go into here as some are no longer available, others are very hard to find and still others I have personally not tried and so shouldn't talk about. A few of the special addition ales I have tried and enjoyed include Ale to the Chief! (A pale ale brewed in honor of the new president of the company), their Anniversary ales that are put out every year, and Collaboration, not Litigation Ale. Collaboration, not Litigation Ale has a great story behind it. Both Avery and Russian River had a Beer named Salvation. Both were intricate Belgian-style ales. As, at the time, they were distributing in mostly different markets, so they didn't realize this until the brewers of both companies met. Instead of changing either name, they decided to blend the two brews. Thus, instead of fighting (litigation) over the name, they collaborated to make a great ale! Good times, I bet both sets of brewers would be fun to hand out with. Moving on...

The rest of the beers I am going to talk about are all parts of different series that Avery has put together. Each series has a theme and makes for great naming of beers, easy to put together flights or at the very least a good laugh. The Dictator's Series (What a hilarious thing to name your series after) has a beer named for Maharaja, The Kaiser, and The Czar; all titles given to different types of rulers in their respective cultures during their reigns. Maharaja is an Imperial India Pale Ale (what else?) with a straight punch in the face of hops! At roughly ten percent ABV, Maharaja holds 102 IBUs (the description of the ale says it has a "deranged amount of hops" ....awesome), and will rock the world of any hop-head (ME) out there. The Kaiser is a very unique style, an Imperial Octoberfest Lager. Leave it to Avery to basically rip the traditional Oktoberfest style a new one. This is pretty much a malt-bomb that evens out with the spiciness and heat. Very sticky and very tasty brew. The Czar is an Imperial Stout, 11 percent ABV, is an inky black, very cellar-able brew. Not the best Imperial Stout out there (and there are a ton), but one you won't regret having. The dictators theme is advertised as the spirit behind pushing these types of ales farther then they have wanted to go in the past.

Next we have Avery's "Demons of Ale" series, three extreme brews and I hope they keep going with it. Samael's Oak-Aged Ale has the lowest ABV of the three....14.5 percent. Samael, oftentimes refereed to as the destroyer (the fallen angel, no the beer....well, it could be said about the beer too though), has a very carmel-like sweetness to it with apparent oak character. All in all, a good brew but not my kind of beer for that price. The Beast, 'a suducer,' is a Grand Cru comes in at just under 15 percent ABV. Grand Cru is a growing style among American craft brewers and you can tell why when drinking this beer. I'm not too up on this style yet but it is very powerful, with some of the same characteristics as quality rum and is cellar-able for very long periods. "Mephistopheles is the crafty shape shifter, the second fallen angel," and the taste backs up this description whole heartily. This 15.1 percent ABV stout (I don't know why they don't call it an Imperial Stout) is extremely complex. At 107 IBUs, and with everything going for this beer, I promise that after your first drink, you will stare at the glass and say, "wow." If you drink this brew slightly chilled (please don't drink cold) you will find new flavors in every sip. Did you see how I said sip? Yea, this beer begs to be taken in slowly and consistently. I found myself hard pressed to focus on anything but the beer while it was in my glass. I may have to do a full review on it in the future as there is just too much to go over...and the nose! Lord, you can smell this beer from s couple of feet away! Alright...moving on...

Next we have the Holy Trinity Series, which if I am not mistaken has been around a lot longer than the other two series. Hog Heaven Barleywine Style Ale, complete with flying pigs on the bottle, is a "dangerously drinkable" but aren't most brews like this? or is that just me? Anyway, Hog Heaven is probably closer to a Imperial Red style ale than a barleywine and boy is it tasty. ABV 9.2 and 104 IBUs in a 22 oz. bomber...what more can you ask for? Dry hopping you say? Well it has that too. The Reverend, "Created by God, Feared by Satan, Loved by all," is a wonderful quad I have mentioned a few times before. At 10 percent ABV, The Reverend can be a bit much. I say this not so much because of the percentage of alcohol, but because this beer can be pretty damn sweet. It has little to no hop character whatsoever but is still balanced with spices and heat. I love cracking the Reverend open when I'm drink double IPAs or reds or anything else with a ton of IBUs, as sort of a rest for the palate. It isn't the best quad out there but it is very solid for the price. The final brew in the Holy Trinity Series is Salvation, the previously mentioned beer that was have of Collaboration, not Litigation Ale. I have not had this beer outside of it's combo with the other Salvation Ale but I'm sure it is a good brew to have survived so long.

Welp, that's Avery for you! I want them to come out with another series of some kind! Maybe "Patron Saints of Beer." That'd be pretty cool. I know certain ones have been over done but there are a bunch out there that are as of yet, untapped. Welp, see ya later!


If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are? ~T. S. Eliot

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If you were to ask me who my favorite brewery was, I would tell you Lagunitas with Surly at a close second. There are a lot of great breweries out there and the ones that push the envelope the most in their beers catch my attention a lot easier. That being said, if you were to ask me to pick one brewery, and their beers were the only beers that I could drink the rest of my life, I would say Avery without hesitation. Though I REALLY hope this never happens to me, I can tell you I wouldn't second guess my decision. (Pictured, the approximate amount of money it would take for me to switch to just one brand of beer)

Avery Brewing has a wide variety of beer styles, both common and uncommon and though there are brewers out there who have much more, Avery brews never disappoint and they are always releasing new stuff. They may not shock you with every beer but you can always depend on them to make a solid brew.  Don't know much about them? Well you will know what they have to offer after this post.

Avery's year round six-pack selection of beers consist of their IPA, White Rascal, 14'er ESB, Redpoint, Ellie's Brown, and Out of Bounds Stout. Their IPA is a classic west coast IPA with generous amounts of cascade and centennial hops (along with Columbus and chinook). The Belgian style wheat ale, White Rascal, is unfiltered (yeast on the bottom) and spiced to form a very refreshing brew. 14'er ESB (ESB is an unappreciated style if you ask me) is an easy going session beer, nothing special to it but it's to style and won't disappoint. Redpoint is an amber ale that I am quite fond of. That doesn't seem like much as I usually only talk about beers I enjoy on here but I do not often pick up Amber ales as more often than not, they like any hop character. Redpoint balances malty sweetness with a cascade type hop presence quite well. Ellie's brown is a solid brown, not too sweet, and Out of Bounds Stout is roasty and a little bitter, never a bad thing.

Avery also has three seasonals that they put out in six-packs throughout the year. New World Porter is available from January to April. It is a traditional black porter that the dry hop (for his pleasure?) and is a real treat in the colder months.  Karma (April-September), a Belgian Ale, is fairly light and though I can see what they are trying to do with this beer, I have to say that this is probably my least favorite of the beers they offer. Old Jubilation on the other hand rocks my world, and coming out from September to December, comes out at the perfect time of year for this kind of beer. At 8 % ABV, this English Strong Ale combines five variety of malts to offer a dark toffee taste that is very nice. Besides their lines of "big beers" that I will be talking about down below, Avery also produces a Barrel-Aged series of experimental brews that are "one and done." This means that each beer is brewed, bottled and shipped and they don't plan on making that beer again. The latest in this series at this point is a Wild Ale called Brabant,and I'm looking for it!

Next post, I'll get into the really good Avery beers!


You can never live a perfect day until you do something for someone who will be unable to repay you. ~ John Wooden

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Utopias, P90X, Microfest

You guys like the new logo? Wow, what a weekend and what a busy couple of days after the weekend. Alumni weekend was a definite success. It felt like I had went back in time four years because everyone was back and having a good time. Sports were played (maybe a little slower than they use to be), drinks were had, girls were flirted with, more drinks were had, and general mayhem abounded. Good times but I won't bore you with the details, unless that is you want to hear about this beer (called Utopias) I happened to have. I know, no big deal right? Well four of us split the bottle and it definitely lived up to the expectations I had for it. I'm not going to say it was the best beer I've ever had, not even the top five or so, but it was undoubtedly the most unique beer I've had.

Like I said, four of us split the bottle so ended up getting a fair quantity of this titan (27% ABV) and boy was I happy about that. Pours a hazy amber, no head. The aroma is awesome after a minute or two to let it open up. It smells very sweet, like maple syrup with a vanilla quality to it. The taste surprised me because of a few things. Firstly, the heat is prevalent as would be expected but not as much as you would think. It is covered very well by the rich, sweetness. The second thing that surprised me was the lack of bite. I expected a much bigger bite but that is not to say I was disappointed, just pleased by in different ways. It had a silky, vanilla-oak finish that sticks with you quite a while after each drink. There is no carbonation whatsoever which was expected for an after-dinner type beer that is to be served at room temperature. In truth, even though it is brewed as a beer, it has much more in common with a nice cognac. Very drinkable to those who like a heavier drink, goes down easy and would probably sneak up on you if you kept drinking it all night.

Utopias is classified as an " American Strong Ale." Beer Advocate, in its infinite wisdom, tells us: [This] catch all style category is for beers from 7.0 percent alcohol by volume and above. Some may even be as high as 25% abv. Characteristics will greatly vary; some have similarities to Barley-wines and Old Ales. Barrel aging is certainly not out of the question.

As you can see, being an American Strong Ale, doesn't tell you much about the beer. So let's go to Sam Adam's description of this beer. Sam Adam's website says that Utopias is meant to be "reminiscent of a deep, rich vintage Port, fine Cognac or aged sherry while being surprisingly light on the palate.  And like the world’s finest after-dinner drinks, Samuel Adams Utopias is not carbonated and should be served at room temperature." It  is fermented and conditioned using a pair of proprietary yeast strains (Rouge's "Pacman" yeast is probably the best known proprietary yeast), which are yeast strains developed and solely used by certain breweries. Another fun fact about this beer is that, due to legal restrictions, it is not offered in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri (the state I drank it), New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, or West Virginia.

So yea, good stuff overall, I doubt I'll fork up any money to have it again but I'm glad I had it the once. Besides that, I got a new Cyber Pro lacrosse head and strung it (green and orange), Finished my MBA application and start P90X. P90X is a workout program for people who are already in shape and have either lost motivation or hit a plateau in their fitness progress. I am hoping to use the program to get back to working out every day and possible lose about ten or fifteen pounds. I will admit that though I will try and eat right, I will not be following the diet and I have never been one to supplement but I am hoping that the intensity of the workouts alone will get me back into things.

Besides that, Microfest is coming up! It's going to be in Forest Park again this year and the list of breweries look amazing, 75 of them to be exact! There are four sessions, two of them on Saturday. A group of us are going to both sessions on Saturday, I'll let you know how it is!


I don't think any man has understood any woman since the beginning of time.

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Abrasive Ale

Surly released Abrasive Ale today, a beer that was formally only on draft at local bars in MN. Then it was known as 16 grit, a double IPA, extremely bitter, high ABV... all in all, heaven. Anyway, now they released it in cans and I am 400 miles away from the closest place selling it........ It's a bittersweet feeling to say the least. That said, I do have someone shipping me some soon but I would have loved to of been at the release.

Anyway, I may get a post in tomorrow but if not, I will be gone until Monday and I'll be having Utopias at some point in there! Welp, see ya later!


What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left. ~Oscar Levant

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