Sunday, June 28, 2009

Saw the Gourds at Gruene Hall on Friday night. As always, a great show. It's really the perfect venue to see them in. They are self described as music for the unwashed and well read. The venue is the oldest operating dance hall in Texas. No a/c, just fans. Creaky wooden floors. Screen windows. Cheap beer... and a Texas heatwave. They did more covers than normal, including the bluegrass version of Michael Jackson's Don't Stop. What? Too soon? It was one of the more musically brilliant things I've heard recently. They have a new set of artwork for the band. As much of a nerd as I am, I just didn't see myself wearing the t-shirt, which is kinda' Conan the Barbarian meets Attack of the Killer Tomatoes and plays Dungeons & Dragons. Of course I got the bumper sticker, and "Luddite Juice" coozy. Here's the killer Gourd, you can imagine the rest:

On Saturday we worked our way out to the Real Ale Brewing Company 13th Birthday Party. On our way out we hit the new Wimberly Brewing Company for a taster. It's owned by a former SF 49er, Bruce Collie. Unfortunately, I've got to say I'm not impressed.

That's the beers in order. The one that they don't make, is the Real Ale Fireman's #4. Second from the left. You'll notice that it's the only clear one. I don't mind the hefeweizen being cloudy, but most of the rest should be clear. So, here's the blow by blow:

The hefeweizen: Actually, it's not too bad. I'm not a huge wheat beer fan, but it's a decent hot weather beer. Not the SN Kellerweis by any means, but not bad.

Fireman's #4: This is a good light drinking beer by Real Ale Brewing Company. Balanced, not over hopped. Not made by WBC.

The "transitional": He should be embarassed to serve this. Kill it. Kill it with fire. Now! This doesn't even qualify as a bad homebrew. Tons of lactobacter, maybe some acetobacter also. Yuck. Use it as feed for a compost heap. I couldn't take more than a few sips.

The Sunset Blonde: Meh. It's a little sweet. Drinkable I suppose, but again he's got issues with the clarity of his beers.

The IPA: Again with the cloudiness (see below). Beyond that it's seriously off balance with the hops. It seems like he used hops that would be good for aroma and floral notes as bittering hops. It needs a good dryhopping and some lower note bittering hops. I love super hoppy beers, but this is way off. The malts seem o.k., but it's ruined by the way he chose to hop it.

The Porter: This is actually their best beer. It's got some good chocolate flavor. I have to wonder given the rest of the beers whether he got this one right by accident.

I really hope he gets his act together, as I love breweries and want to see them succeed. I think he's a homebrewer with a lot of money. I don't think he actually knows how to brew all that well, or at least he hasn't figured out how to upscale a homebrew setup to a business operation. He needs to hire a good brewer and let them have at it. It's not really here nor there, but he apparently has 13 kids. The oldest is 16. Do the math. That poor woman. He needs to spend more time brewing and less time fucking.

Then it was on to Real Ale Brewing Company. The word of the day was HOT! It was a fun event, but they need to rent a few more tents for an event like this. The owners and brewers were all friendly. We took a brewery tour with their head brewer (Eric "the Tyrant"). There were some over zelaous homebrewers in the crowd, and it was the end of the day, so he got a little sidetracked, but it was fun. There is no such thing as too much stainless steel.

The Rio Blanco Pale Ale was good as always. I got to taste a couple of brews I haven't seen in bottles. I hope their Lost Gold IPA ends up in bottles, because it is the awesome. For now, it's only on draught. Best beer of the day. Up there with the best. They had a dark german wheat-rye that was decent (Dunkleroggen) which was pretty good. Also only on draught. Maybe I needed a lemon wedge with it. The 13th Anniversary Ale is a Belgian, and I guess it's good for a Belgain, but they aren't my thing. I missed out on two of their cask ales, which sucked. I was looking forward to that. All in all, it was a good party, and I'm glad they are doing well.

Friday, June 26, 2009

So we've been having more than a bit of a heat wave. That means summer beer. I'm not generally a wheat beer fan, but the Sierra Nevada Kellerweis may be the best hot weather beer going. Not overhopped. A little flat in the finish, but its a wheat. That's how they are supposed to be.

The Gordon Biersch Blonde Bock is pretty good. A bit more malty than I like without much floral hops. Still a nice hot weather and easily drinkable beer.

I generally like the Mendocino Brewery beers, and I've liked the White Hawk in the past, but either this batch wasn't treated right or there is some variability. I recalled it having more floral hops, but all I got was the bittering hops on tasting these.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Update: Well, apparently, MTV didn't like people posting their video... That didn't take long. As a replacement I give you "Guido Beach", just in-case anyone wonders why I might have a problem with New Jersey (family members not withstanding). I claim no heritage from that shit-hole. The last minute is pure comedy gold.

Now fixed with the link from MTV...

Sacha Baron Cohen as Bruno at the MTV awards. Eminem is so pissed off he leaves the arena. Brilliant. This should happen to all homophobes...

Update #2: Maybe it was staged, but it's still funny...