Friday, December 18, 2009

Full Sail - Wreck the Halls

Check it out - Full Sails winter seasonal on tap now at Falconburgh's here in D-town. It reminded me of Avery's Maharaja IPA (also on tap), but it qualified for the $2 special where Avery didn't. I also sampled the Sierra Nevada / Dogfish Head collaboration brew, "Life & Limb". It was a huge beer at 10.2%, and not bad, and though a pint might be overbearing, I would recommend trying it.

The website has this to say about it, "Life & Limb is a 10% ABV strong beer that defies style characteristics—brewed with pure maple syrup from the Calagione family farm in Massachusetts and estate barley grown on the Grossman “farm” at the brewery in Chico. The beer is alive with yeast—a blend of both breweries’ house strains—bottle conditioned for added complexity and shelf life, and naturally carbonated with birch syrup fresh from Alaska; it is the first beer we know of ever to use birch syrup in the brew. If stored under good conditions, this rich, full-bodied beer should age well for years. Life & Limb will be available in 24-oz. bottles and limited draft starting this November."

I also had the chance to sample the 2009 Barleywine on tap over at Carver's. This years batch is strong, and well balanced. I will be grabbing two - one for now, and one for a vertical tasting next winter.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Vinyl Back in a big way!

The New York Times reported today that sales of vinyl records are the highest in 2009 that they have been since 1991. To wit, "Sales of vinyl albums have been climbing steadily for several years, tromping on the notion that the rebound was just a fad. Through late November, more than 2.1 million vinyl records had been sold in 2009, an increase of more than 35 percent in a year". And Amen to that. The weakly written and confused article seems baffled by this resurgance of the greatest mass-marketable recording media of all time. Simply put, the sound from high quality vinyl on decent equipment is unequaled. Mp3 and iPods are great, but for a true listening experience, dim the lights, pour a glass of red, set the needle on the platter, and loose yourself in the sound.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Coors Winterfest - Like Extra Gold, but in a bottle

"Choice Hops" - That's the pitch on the bottle. To fully release the "Choice Hops" from the beer, the label recommends pouring into a glass with at least a 2 inch head. I drank the first one out of the bottle, and half way through, I was hoping that pouring this piss into a glass might help. I poured and drank the second bottle in this manner. Let's just say that the "Choice Hops", now being fully released from the beer, did not help much. Coors Winterfest, a shitty seasonal from your friends in Golden, CO. Ho Ho!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Warrior IPA

A while back, I brewed a batch of single hop IPA's, the first two with Simcoe hops, and then a batch using only the terribly bitter warrior hop. I had tasted the Warrior IPA from Lefthand Brewing back when we lived in Strongmont, and thought it was good. The beer finished out, and I drank most of it, but I didn't really love it. The Simcoe IPA had a much nicer flavor over all, and was much more floral and piney in the nose. To it's credit, I failed to dry hop the warrior batch (what in the hell was I thinking??) Anyway, about a month ago I grabbed a bomber of the Warrior proper from the boys in Longmont. To my surprise, it was very similar to the beer I had brewed, with much better hop aroma. Thinking about this, I deceded to post the recipe here. It's not really a clone, but the flavor was close. I would recommend dry hopping with something like cascade to brighten up the top end.

Single Hop IPA I (Warrior)
American IPA

Type: All Grain
Date: 4/23/2009
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Brewer: Bear Run Brewery
Asst Brewer: Jah Ras Tafar I

Boil Time: 60 min
Equipment: My Rig
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00
Taste Notes: Solid hop bitter, should have dry hopped. Good beer.


Amount Item Type % or IBU
11.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) Colorado (2.9 SRM) Grain 75.86 %
1.00 lb Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 6.90 %
1.00 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 6.90 %
0.50 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 3.45 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 3.45 %
0.50 oz Warrior [15.00 %] (60 min) Hops 25.5 IBU
2.00 oz Warrior [15.00 %] (Dry Hop 7 days) Hops -
0.50 oz Warrior [15.00 %] (45 min) Hops 23.4 IBU
1.00 oz Warrior [15.00 %] (10 min) Hops 18.5 IBU
1.00 oz Warrior [15.00 %] (0 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep) Hops -
0.50 lb Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 SRM) Sugar 3.45 %
1 Pkgs American Ale (Safale Yeast #S-05) [Starter 50 ml] Yeast-Ale
1 tsp 5.2 stabilizer in Mash & sparge H20

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.063 SG
Measured Original Gravity: 1.056 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.018 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.018 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.86 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 4.96 %
Bitterness: 67.4 IBU Calories: 253 cal/pint
Est Color: 9.7 SRM Color: Color

Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 14.00 lb
Sparge Water: 0.00 gal
Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F
TunTemperature: 72.0 F
Mash PH: 5.2 PH

Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 17.50 qt of water at 165.9 F 154.0 F
20 min Sparge Add 18.00 qt of water at 187.8 F 170.0 F

Carbonation Type: Corn Sugar
Age for: 28.0 days
Storage Temperature: 52.0 F

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rockin Time, pt. 3

Our buddy Dan took this picture of the acoustic set on Sunday. ~*Viva la Rock*~

Monday, November 2, 2009

FOAM Pilsner, Indio, and pure unadulterated ROCK N' ROLL!

I'm not even sure where to begin on this one. Sonically, this was truly a formidable experience. Phish is, in all respects, playing at the absolute top of their game. Oh to be a college kid with nothing but time to go and see these guys play (or to be prince caspian with hooves instead of feet...) The cover of the Stones album, "Exile on Main Street", was fantastic. They took those muddy sounding tracks from the back side of the second platter and rocked them like I've never heard before. "Just Wanna See His Face" kicked soooo much ass. "Let this feeling, relax your mind".... and Shazaaam! Wow.
The ferocity of the rock had my mind looking about like this late on Saturday (is this guy real or a muppet)? The crowd was pretty wild. A bunch of frat boys with no context other than the other Phish show they saw in July (you know - they guy with the t-shirt on from the new album... no style. Bunch of fat boys too. Whatever, they were there rockin). It was kind of funny, and kind of weird. I felt old. I also had the only Tie-Dye on... What the hell's up with that? We ended up talking to this guy for a bit. He had the best perspective on the whole thing when he said, "Man, that Hendrix album kicked my ass, man!"

In celebration of the happy occasion, Sierra Nevada brewed up a special batch of beer, the FOAM pilsner. Being a play on the title of a song, FOAM was clever. That said, FOAM Pilsner conjured thoughts of the bad old days of cases of Huber Pilsner returnable bottles for $8.99 + $1.35 deposit. I believe the lable bragged of being "fully Kreusened". Ahh - technique to give you that extra crisp edge. The beer was average. The Sierra Summerfest was worlds better.

Vikes spank the Pac, Season of Destiny Rolls on strong.

In what can only be described as a glorious Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field, the Vikes systematically broke down the pack, and then handed them their asses in front of the slovenly, half-drunk hometown crowd. Surly would be a step up for these people.

One need only look to the infrequent and fleeting glimpses of the crowd (lovely lady on the left) that Fox dared to pump over the live feed to know this: the hapless pack is witless and failing. Their season is doomed to mediocrity. Know this mantra, pack fan, and start chanting now - "Next Year.... Next Year".

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Never Forget - Sarah Palin

Presidential? Really. Horeseshit. I see signs near trailer parks in New Mexico that say Palin 2012. Good thing she has the non-voting meth vote.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

An ode to Green Chile

It's a magic time of year when the word starts to go 'round that the Green Chile harvest is in. I happened to be rolling through Aztec, NM a month ago, and was happy to see a fella with a trailer full of Chiles by the side of the road. He was up from Limitar, NM which is just north of Socorro. He was very proud of the Chile's he had grown, and had samples of the roasted version out for tasting. He didn't need to convince me. As it turns out, his Chile is just short of the nuclear-hot designation, which is just about perfect in my book. Now for the ode:

"Oh fabulous chile, how I love thee. You fill my food with flavor and burn my mouth so happily."

There you go - pure poetry.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Steely Dan gets wacked, Thriller still standing

OK - Can you believe that this happens the day after I post how amped I am for Steely Dan. What a bunch of pricks ;-). Truth - 'Thriller' would funking kill me. I'd rather the whole crowd fart at he same time and pump the sound through the PA. I really don't think thriller will get the nod, but who knows. 'Yes' is still standing strong as is some Bowie, Zappa, and Black Sabbath. Boston's still in there, and that might make me puke a little bit into my mouth before I got over it and rocked.

But what about the Viking Helmet? Certainly it is an omen, a harbinger of the Vikings 'Season of Destiny'.

A Roger Dean interlude, pt 2

Vikes 'Season of Destiny' sullied by naming rights deal.

Check it - some clever dick decided to sell the rights to the flacid Metrodome, and some chump decided to pay to have it called the "Mall of America Field" for the next three years. Really? Maybe more people will go to the mall now. Naming rights are weak.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Phish - gonna play Steely Dan?!?

Check out the modified cover of "Pretzel Logic" as seen on the "Which album will Phish cover in a week" webpage. A sign?!? That would kick 6 sets of asses, almost as much as "Aja", which was the first thing I thought of. It may be a prank, in which case, "Paranoid" or the Yes album would kill. Is it also possible, in addition to being a tip as to which album they will cover in a week, that this is also an omen confirming the Vikes "season of destiny"?!?! I think that it is.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cider Making, a Durango Fall Tradition

Again this fall, I have taken advantage of the bountiful local apple harvest and brewed up a couple of batches of hard cider. The first is really an apple beer, with 2 galons of actual beer (barely, hops, and agua from the well at Canyonlands N.P.) mixed with juice pressed from local apples. I was short, so I augmented this with some store bought juice from concentrate. It's all good as long as there are no preservatives in it, as this will retard the yeast's activity. The second batch is pure apple juice with some spices mixed in for good measure. I used a English Ale yeast on the first batch, and the White Labs WLP720 Sweet Mead yeast (from a batch of mead that's in the fermentor) in the second. Hopefully, both of these are going to be less tart and acidic than the batches from last year. These have mellowed now, and the saison version has lost most of it's saison-ness, but they are good none-the-less. I'll post the recipe's from this years attempts once I have tasted the product in a few weeks. In celebration of their NFC North dominance this year, the second batch has been named, "(Vikes) Domination Hard Cider". Eat shit, GB!

Check out the painting below, and an accompanying description I found online. Yes indeed, cider making is truly an occasion for a proper fall celebration.

Cider Making - William Sydney Mount (1807-1868)

From W.H. Venable’s Footprints of the Pioneers of the Ohio Valley: A Centennial Sketch (1888):

The old-time apple-cutting was an occasion of unbounded mirth. . . . After
the apples were cut, and the cider boiled, the floor was cleared for a
"frolic," technically so-called, and merry were the dancers and loud the
songs with which our fathers and mothers regaled the flying hours. The
fiddler was a man of importance, and when, after midnight, he called the
"Virginia Reel," such shouting, such laughter, such clatter of hilarious
feet upon the sanded puncheon floor, startled the screech-owl out of doors,
and waked the baby from its sweet slumber in the sugar-trough.

Vikes at 6-0, faint of heart, BEWARE!

A little luck never hurts, and the Vikes caught a break last Sunday in the form of a pooched kick from the effeminate leg of Raven's kicker Steven Hauschka. Go Vikes!

In other news, my backup team, Los Bronco's crushed the Chargers on national TV on Monday night in what can only be described as an embarrassing ass-whipping. Not as bad as the 59-0 slaughter that the Pat's laid on Tennessee (could it happen to a nicer bunch of felons?), but enough to shame the powder-blue wearing bolts. This leaves that Broncos and the Vikes at 6-0, with the Sanits and the Colts undefeated at 5-0 as well. Though the lowly pack managed to spank the Lions, the victory was hollow and unfulfilling, as the Lions have won only one game in the last 2.5 seasons. The 29-0 victory was the moral equivalent of beating up the 'special' kid in elementary school. Real nice, pack.

Friday, October 16, 2009

When an emergency at work doesn't competely suck.

Tuesday night I had to head up to the top of Missionary Ridge to check on a radio of mine that had gotten iced up the night before. It was back up, but I wanted to make sure that there had been no physical damage to the cabling or mount, and to hook up a remote power switching unit that had been taken offline. The site is accessed by a five mile jeep trial, and is only passable in the winter by Snocat or Snow Machine. Fortunately, work has a vehicle fit for the road.

About a mile from the top, I ran into this obstacle.

I headed home and then back up with the freshly tuned Husky 55.

Sometimes, these late calls and remote site access requirements don't completly suck!!

A fine piece of Network Engineering if I do say so myself!! Check out this view from the top!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

MOP & Allen, a critical comparison

The pentagon announced today that it will spend an additional $52mil to speed up the delivery of this little guy, the "MOP" - Massive Ordinance Penetrator. While the 30-ton explosive is, indeed, a force to be reckoned with, I think that they could have saved the $52mil by instead dropping vikes defensive end Jared Allen on fools instead.
Seriously, dropping a raving maniac like Allen on some unsuspecting targets to scare the living shit out of them would carry a huge psychological effect that no bomb, no matter how big the bang, could deliver.

Rambo, John J.". Go Vikes!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Vikes, Broncos at 5-0

Week 5 in the NFL, and both the vikes (team of destiny) and my backup team, Los Broncos are sitting pretty at 5-0. Is Orton rocking the throw back porn-stache as well as the throw-back uni?

The Vikes continue to roll like thunder across their opponents. Jared Allen crushed it St. Louis, with a sac/fumble/recovery/TD and a second sack for fumble later i nthe game. The man is a wild animal.

In a possible sign of the apocalypse, the Cincinnati Bengals (proudly sporting the ugliest uniforms in the NFL) are playing football. Wait till they meet the vikes....

Go Vikes!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Late fall in Durango

Falls is quietly slipping by here in Durango. Time to get the saw tuned up for some cutting. The oil pump was clogged up, so my bar & chain were not getting lubed.

Up behind the house. The reds have faded, but the aspen are blazing!

Oktoberfest at Pagosa Brewing with Mitby!

This guy is munching his morning after omelet - thanks schmig!

Friday, October 9, 2009


Here's another pic I found when clearing out my mailbox. This was at Jayme & Colin's up near McCaull. Man - was that fun!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Canyonlands N.P. - October 3, 2009

We hit up the needles district of Canyonlands National Park this past weekend.

Great weather for a hike on Saturday, followed by a cutthroat round of desert croquet back at the campsite.

I think this thing is called the 'dollhouse'. Sure - looks just like one.

We got out on Sunday just before the gale force wind n' rain.

Vikes Domination, pt. 3

In a recent email correspondence, I suggested to old buddy Chad that the vikes squad this year could be accurately compared to the explosive force of the M120 mortar seen below.

His reply is below, and I concur with his assesment.

I feel a more accurate weapon analogue for the vikes performance is the favorite norse sidearm, the atgeir-

Svikult vopn í hetjulegum höndum
heima var er Þorgrímur kom þægur.
Þyrmdi engum, þar var styrkur nægur.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Vikes Domination, pt. 2!

We witnessed the glorious flogging of the witless Pac at local hot-spot J-Bo's. Go Vikes!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Brew Crew Meeting in Mancos.

We finally attended another Brew Club meeting last night. What a great time. Thanks to Bill & Teena for the fun and GREAT food!

Party Hearty!

Our awesome neighbors threw down on a killer party last Friday night. The band is "Wild "Mountain", a killer single mic bluegrass unit out of Durango. The whole neighborhood turned out for the event. What a blast!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Vikes Domination, Pt 1.

The purple headed warriors showered themselves in glory on the grass in Cleveland yesterday. Favre looked like the champ that he is, and ran the offense well. The D looked tuff, and came up with some big plays. Peterson, Harvin, Rice, and Shancoe threw down. Go VIKES!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Animas Forks, pt 2.

Here's a shot of Laura and I up in Animas Forks above Silverton. It was pretty nice up there on Saturday.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Steamworks - Ale Diablo

At a recent private tour of their Bayfield facility, I was able to taste the soon to be released and totally revamped "Ale Diablo" from the fine brewers at Steamworks Brewing here in D-town. In an about face on the brew, head brewer Spence Roper distanced this release from it's former IPBR (Imperial PBR) incarnation into something *TRULY* diabolical. He tells me that the yeast and Barley were specially chosen for this release, and that the super-secret combination is what gave rise to the light character (for a strong Belgian), hints of green apple in the nose, and Riesling grapes in the finish. I plan on picking up two of these, one for now, and one to a for a year or so. The brew was packaged in Belgian bottles with cork, and next season, Roper tells me that they will consider bottle conditioning the brew, for an 'Ale on Lees' presentation. Well done, fellas!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

East Bound n' Down

Loaded up n' Truckin!

Simpler Times Lager

I picked up a couple o' 6'ers of the "Simpler Times" Lager at Joe's down in Santa Fe last weekend. It may say 'Simpler Times' on the can, but the taste is pure "Extra Gold". For $3.99 per 6'er, I ain't complaining, and at 6.2%, it gets the job done. Cheer's, to Simpler Times.

Friday, September 4, 2009

San Juan Brewfest Kicks ass!

BEHOLD! A brewfest on Main Street in Durango! Wooo - Hoo! 14 Breweries this year, nearly 700 in attendance (double last year), and more than twice the expected amount raised and donated to the local United Way. Beer, Bro's, and a good local cause. Did I mention the REGGAE BAND?!? Yeah, in Durango, that's just how we roll!

A-Dub rock band kicked it all afternoon. Maybe, in the future, they could play a proper 'Harvest Festival' in the fall. Hmmm...

They guy on the right is a Chargers fan, can you believe it? ;-)

This guy is adamantly explaining the in's and out's of the party rental business to the dude on the right. I guess you might say he's "in-tent's". Ho Ho!