Saturday, March 31, 2018

Tax Break

Whether you're a professional or preparing your own taxes, this is a great reason to take a break: The MS Fest at Brickhouse Bar & Grill. Twelve local breweries, Team Roadkill, and Bike Clark County are teaming up to present a fundraiser for the National MS Society. The cost is $15 which includes a tasting glass and tasting scrip. Used bike donations are encouraged.

March 31, 2-10 pm

Because beer, a good cause, and you can always file an extension. Besides, if you're preparing taxes, you cold probably use the break.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Less Weekend = Less Beer

I'm working six days a week now and soon it will be seven. Before, I can order a second cup off coffee, I'll be working all available waking hours. But for now, I still get one day off.

Last weekend I enjoyed an Irish Stout on Nitro at McMenamins somewhere on the other side of the river. It all gets blurry. Not the beers, the McMenamins. I only need one more passport stamp before I tackle Bend and become a Tripster. Anyway, the Stout was traditional, lower alcohol, dry and roasty, and delicious. (That was Saturday. I worked Sunday.)

Monday was a beautifully sunny, but trying, day. After knocking off, I knocked one (or more) Skyjacker IPAs on the deck of Victor 23. The sun felt wonderful but was a huge distraction to work.

Thankfully, you could say, the weather has turned more Spring-like with cooler temps and rain. More work but less beer.

What's a tax girl to do when there's a Bewfest in town the weekend before tax day? Expect extensions.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Cooking with Guinness

I don't know if this post belongs here or on my Eat Me page but I was challenged to find food recipes that utilize Guinness. Not that the challenge was all that difficult. There's a plethora of recipes on the internet. There also happens to be a plethora of Guinness in my garage. I think it was available at Costco at one point and an overly enthusiastic shopper, whose name begins with Hubby, stocked up. The problem is, we never got around to drinking it. With St. Patrick's Day around the corner, it seemed a good time to find a way to consume the beer without having to drink it all.

Cooking Light published a list of 14 Ways to Cook with Guinness. Funny that cooking with Guinness should appear anywhere in Cooking Light. Five of the recipes are stew, so I think it could be more accurately entitled "9 Ways to Cook with Guinness."

Real Simple is more inventive with their 10 Guinness Recipes That Will Make You Want to Eat Your Beer Instead. There are recipes for pretzel truffles, cake, fondue, cupcakes (which are really like small cakes so maybe that doesn't count), a cocktail, and meatloaf. And, as the publication's name might imply, the recipes are simple.

Hubby specifically wanted a corned beef recipe. I found one on All Recipes. The New York Times offers a Guinness Pie although I don't know why it doesn't call for lamb. A recipe for Braised Beef Short Ribs can be found on the Guinness website which, oddly, is the only food recipe that features their own beer as an ingredient.

Now the problem is, where do I start and who's going to help me eat it all? This does not bode well for bikini season either. I should have started figuring this out six months ago.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Yep, still here.

Yep, still drinking beer. Just not a lot of time, or brain cells, available to write about it lately. For those of you who don't know, my day job is preparing individual tax returns. So, my time is spent and if I have any time at all, my mind is spent.

Lots of notes, lots of idea, a lot of open tabs. No juice.

Let's see. Last beer was Crux IPA today at Thai Orchid. Beer before that was ... let's see ... yesterday was what? Oh, yeah, I had a Wanderlust IPA from Breakside (at sunset) and then a Shadow Shinobi from Loowit* at Kiggins Theatre during a showing of Ministry of Fear. Trusty's Dark Marc afterwards.

Sunday ... Loowit again with friends. Grimlock Rye Porter. A favorite.

Saturday was a commuting day. No beer. Not that beer doesn't happen on a commuting day - we just didn't leave enough time this time.

Friday. Oooh, reaching waaay back now. I had a Hale's Pale Ale at the hotel lobby bar.

Thursday? I haven't journaled in a month so based on recollection ... I got nothing. I think I was at Victor 23 on Tuesday, though. I had a couple of amazing dark beers but I didn't make notes and they aren't listed on their website. One was at a whopping 13% ABV on Nitro and the other was at a milder, but still hefty, 8% - or thereabouts. They were variations of the same beer. Slow sippers, to be sure, but outstandingly delicious.

OK. Where are we? Last weekend ... I wrote about New Beer so I think we're all caught up.

It's hard to do two things at once. I like juggling numbers and I like juggling words. But doing both is like ... well, actual juggling.

*Loowit has a new website, apparently. Check it out.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Beer from a sippy cup?

" Force of my kick minus humidity times height of a toddler times weight equals … Just kidding. That’s wrong. It’s force DIVIDED BY humidity. "
I make no comment on the subject of kids (or dogs) in breweries. But the writing in Parents, Think Twice Before Bringing Your Babies To Breweries And Bars [Forbes] by Tara Nurin is delightfully snarky and a good read.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

New Beer

I was recently shocked and amazed to learn there were two breweries between Vancouver and Seattle that I haven’t been to! Ever anxious to discover new places, we found ourselves detouring through Tenino WA during a recent commute. There, we visited Scatter Creek Winery & Brewing.

The winery has been producing award-winning wines since 2005. However, due to regulations, they could not operate a brewery at the same location. Until this last December.

The brewery has received overwhelming support to the point they literally sold out of all five beers on tap. By the time we got there, there was only one left, Da Train Pale Ale. It was a solid beer but if that was the one they didn't sell out of, I want to come back for the ones that did! (As it turned out, we bought the very last pint of Pale while we were there!)

They assured me they were in production and all five beers would be back by mid-March, maybe sooner. Andrea, one of the owners, mentioned the strong support from WABL members who sought them out. Indeed, if it were not for WABL, we would have never found them ourselves. Next time you're traveling the I-5 corridor, consider a detour to Tenino. (It's only 15 minutes from Grand Mound.)

Jones Creek Brewing is located in Chehalis, about 30 minutes from I-5. Currently under construction, their beers are available only by tasting size or growler. Follow them on Facebook to get updates about the tasting room. This Saturday (March 10), they are releasing their Safety First Black IPA. I hope to have enough time on our next commute to make the detour. (Growler is already in the trunk.)

Jones Creek Brewing came to my attention through the WABL app but here's one that WABL doesn't know about yet: Grains of Wrath just opened in Camas this week. You can find them on Facebook and read a good review of GOW here from New School Beer. You know I'll be heading there the first free second I get!

Time to check out some new beer!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

An Evening at Loowit Brewing Company

...with surprise guest, Breakside Brewery.

Stopping in at Loowit Brewing Company recently, we had our first taste of their new menu. Expanded last October to include a kitchen, expanded seating area, new bar, taps, and artwork, this was not our first time into the newly remodeled space but it was our first taste of what's been going on in the kitchen. We ordered the black bean burger with a side of pickled beans. I never would have thought of making pickled beans or putting them on a menu, much less eating them, but they were delicious. We started eating them like a salad, with a fork, and ended up eating them like French fries, with our fingers. Pickled with jalapeƱo peppers, they were spicy and oddly addictive. We split the burger, flavorful and filling with the addition of bacon and egg on a sweet roll. It was good enough that I looked into making my own at home.

The place was lively on a Monday night with several people at the bar and an intense game of darts underway in the corner. There was plenty of seating as well as beer to choose from with 16 of their own beers on tap plus two guest taps.

Dionysus IPA with pickled beans.
I chose the Dionysus IPA which is aged in white wine barrels for six months. I like wine as well as beer yet it was a mind-bending experience to enjoy flavors of both in the same glass. The combination surprised me at first sip. It was reminiscent of the chardonnay barrel-aged beers of Wander Brewing. As it warmed, the flavors blended harmoniously and I found it was a nice pairing with the pickled beans. 

Hubby chose the 100 Year Storm India Pale Lager which was only 4 IBU compared to Dionysus's 66 but that didn't mean it wasn't powerfully flavorful.  It was medium brown in color, hazy, and rich in stone fruit flavor with Galaxy, Equinox, Mosaic, Citra, and Simcoe hops, yet virtually no bitterness from dry-hopping. I never think of "juicy" and "lager" as going together but they did incredibly well in this mouth watering beer.

Finally, we shared a Delirious Funky Cosmonaut IPA. This one clocked in a a big fat 0 IBU. This beer has the same hops as the IPL - 10 pounds per barrel - but, again, no bitterness from dry-hopping. Hazy and mega-juicy, this IPA drinks like juice but will heat you over the head at 7.2% ABV if you're not careful. Dangerously delicious, drink with caution.

Once home, Hubby poured me a blind taste. The beer was deep golden/orange color with an off-white, rocky head, and a steady flow of tiny bubbles rising in the glass (but not overly carbonated). At first sip, it was easily identified as an IPA. Testing my tasting skills, I ventured it was medium-low to medium in bitterness. It had a fruity taste and full (but not creamy) mouthfeel. I guessed it was of medium alcohol although, after the Delirious Funky Cosmonaut, I was prepared to be fooled. Based on its fruitiness, I guessed there was no Simcoe but maybe Citra in its hop profile and thought maybe yeast lent to its mouthfeel (although it was not hazy). Aware of what we have on hand, I knew it was a PNW beer but could not guess the brewery, although I did predict it came from Oregon. I was thinking specifically of Hood River and, if pressed, would have guessed it was a pFriem beer.

In the end, it turned out to be Wanderlust IPA from Breakside Brewery (64 IBU/6.2% ABV). I was wrong about the Simcoe but piled on top was Amarillo, Cascade, Mosaic, Summit (no Citra) to lend to it's big fruity flavor. It was the Munich malt that gave the beer it's mouthfeel and color, and softened the hops with its sweetness. Wanderlust, winner of multiple awards, was a winner even if my tasting skills were not.

Practice, practice, practice.