Top Five Beers Of The Month (December 2013)

I know, I know. I should be putting this out before the end of the month or the very beginning.  Not at the start of the last week in January.  That being said I am not going to give up just yet!  Also, here you go and these beers were quite good!

rjrockers

RJ Rockers- “Strawbeery” – I’ll be the first to admit that I have love for my hometown brewery (from Spartanburg SC originally).  This being said they have one thing they do an awesome job with is their beer infused with fruits.  They finally made “Son of a Peach” a year round beer.  I remember stopping by the Brewery around Christmas and this being on draft.  I’ve got a feeling that this one might graduate to year round status sooner than you think.  And if you can’t get New Glarus fruit beer offerings you’ll still be winning by having fruit beers from RJ Rockers!  And speaking of Strawbeery it was fantastic with a great taste of strawberry you might forget you are drinking beer!

beanporter

Night Shift- “Bean Porter” – When I first tried “Bean Porter” I think the first thing I noticed on it is the nose.  I won’t be lying if I said it was the most fantastic nose on a beer I have ever had.  The coffee and vanilla mixed with Rye and Whiskey blends this out to be one of the top beers this past year.  I think if there is one beer I would love to see go from Small Batch series to a full-time beer.  You can go ahead and worship Bourbon County but know this blows it right out of the water!

Omni

Omnipollo – “Fatamorgana” – I can’t say that I am overly fond of beers not made in the USA. This being said I grew up in an age where Imports were considered Craft (Heineken, Stella, Guinness) . Now that being said this is only the second international beer to ever make a top five of the month list of mine.  I loved this beer when I had it at the Thirsty Monk in Asheville NC.  If you would have told me this was supposed to have a saison I would have said that is crazy but that being said this is one delicious IPA.  Sweeden, you win on this like you will win gold medals in Sochi!

orange bliss

Westbrook- “Orange Bliss”- I remember going home to Spartanburg SC and trying this at Growler Haus.  I was expecting a saison but what I got was much more awesome.  This is actually Westbrook’s 3rd anniversary chocolate stout which I was told by staff at the Greenville Beer Exchange was the recipe for Mexican Cake but replacing the hot peppers with Oranges.  If this is the case then I think they should try doing this with all sorts of things because it is delicious. Imagine covering your oranges with chocolate and putting it with a nice stout!  That is what this is.  If there is a collab with RJ Rockers and Westbrook it would be the end of the world because we do not deserve such fine things!

global warmer

Sixpoint- “Global Warmer”- I must admit I didn’t know what to expect when I first had this but I will say that it was pretty phenomenal.  This has all the citrusy goodness you can expect from an IPA and it goes down smooth with no boozy aftertaste at all. This is the beer the world needs because we’ve all been under a polar vortex for too long!

So what are your five best beers of the month…or whenever?

Meg’s Miles Or Meg Smiles, The Hashtag Is Confusing But The Message Is Not!

I wasn’t going to write about this but after having the roads being slushy for tonight’s run and a tad bit slippery it is always good to keep in mind to be safe.

Meg’s Miles came about as a tribute to Meg Cross Menzies was hit by a drunk driver on her morning run.  Per Facebook:

Meg Cross Menzies was tragically killed by a drunk driver while out for her morning run on January 13, 2014. As an avid runner, member of the Richmond Road Runners Club, and Boston marathoner, she was a member of the running family nationwide. In her honor, our hope is to raise awareness of drunk driving, texting and driving, and overall safety of runners and cyclists everywhere.

This Saturday, January 18, 2014, no matter what your distance, no matter where you live, run for Meg. Take in the fresh air, be aware of your surroundings, keep your headphones on low, feel the heaviness in your lungs, the soreness in your legs, and be grateful for it–for all of it. The sweat, the pain, the wind, the cold…everything. Be grateful for that moment.

Running can be a lot of fun and sometimes it is easy to lose yourself in it.  I understand this completely.  There is a two-sided story to this.  Drivers should be very careful when driving.  Drink and driving should obviously be a no-no.  Also texting and driving should not be tolerated either.  This being said as a runner be aware of your surroundings.  Some tips on doing so:

  • Always look for traffic, bikers, and other people.  Sometimes other people might be aloof to their own tune and may not be aware you are in their vicinity.
  • If it is icy or snowy run slower.  Obviously it won’t hurt you to run slow in these situations.  I like to say at least a minute a mile slower is key.
  • You can listen to music but don’t tune out to everything else around you.  I have no problem listening to music while running but losing yourself in it could be problems for yourself and others around you.

Run safely but have fun running.  Any tips you may have feel free to comment!

I Gave Up Beer For A Week (Amongst Other Things)!

So New Years Day this happened!  Yes look at all that fantastic beer.  There were some excellent beers including Crooked Stave (Not shown), Backacre, Westbrook, Birdsong, Jester King, and NoDa just to name a few!  Now why am I being such a grump?:

Because my girlfriend challenged me to do a week-long cleanse including giving up beer for an entire week.  Not only did I give up beer for an entire week but I also gave up sugar as well.  For the last two days of this cleanse I gave up all other forms of Gluten and meat.  I also was going to give up coffee but I completely failed at that.  Here is a day by day account of what happened:

1/2: The Cleanse starts and so does the snow.  So much snow that work lets out a few hours early.  What is good for being let out of work a few hours early:

snowdaybeers

Yes, all the beer I had left over from the 1/1 tasting.

1/3: This day was miserable.  All day the temps didn’t meet above 15 degrees and negative temps overnight:

snowinmedford

Cold weather makes me feel like this:

hot chocolate

What is a day like this made for? Hot Chocolate Porters and Stouts!  I have plenty of them. Just look at the picture above.  Also my favorite local bar is open serving beer to everyone.  I am failing at life!

1/4: One of my brewer friends posts this article on Facebook.  Now I am realizing I am wasting my time.  Also I haven’t run in three days.

1/5: I am now having dreams about having beer.  I dreamed I gave up on my pact to keep the no beer streak going.  I dreamed that I had failed.  I had not but I had dreamed it.  I also finally put in four miles

1/6:  I am now giving up meat and other forms of Gluten.  This should be fun. I want to give up coffee but being aware for work gets in the way of that!

1/7: Nope that isn’t hard at all but there sure are some Porters staring at me!

1/8: I’m so disoriented that I mistake Uber for Beer on Facebook posts, make jokes about Kickstarter breweries and then things presume back to normal:

uberbeer

1/9:  I’m not going to lie.  I’m make it a week and I am not an alcoholic.  I think I have proved this by going a week without beer or any other alcoholic beverage. Now if someone would have brought over a growler of Bean Porter (Best Coffee Beer bar none) by Night Shift I would have failed at this.  But that would have been for coffee and not for beer.

All in all this isn’t a bad experience.  I couldn’t give up the coffee but I am ok with that.  Usually weekend days I can go without it.  I also lost a couple of pounds as well. I did feel good.  That being said

Ironically on Saturday I was running with my Blerch Shirt and another runner yelled out the blerch.  I come to realize why I don’t cleanse.  I need to feed my inner Blerch.  But at the same time I need to keep active myself. The Blerch is my opposite of keeping active. Without him I don’t stay nearly as active and become stagnant.

the blerch

Dear Blerch, I believe in you.

Love,

Me.

P.S. It is time to go for a run and then go drink a beer!