Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Fest-I-Val, notes from the Rogue.

The coming Winter Solstice; sunrise over the St. Martin. The Point, Ocean Pines. 12/20/2017

   The season of Festival is upon us. Prepped the landscape. Literally. Brought in my buddy, Tommy the Eye, to eradicate the weeds. Sacrificed a few perennials. Flycut the decorative grasses. All for winter prep. Put up the lights (thank God Tommy the Eye was there!). Trimmed the house. Daughter and Grandmini joined Tommy and ourselves for grub. The Spirit was full on.

"Scrooge wakes up and starts freaking out because the clock makes it seem like he slept straight through the next day...but, you know, once you start messin' around with ghosts and stuff, the clock is the least of your problems."
                                         -Shmoop, A Christmas Carol, Stave 2 Summary
   Time passes by quickly this time of year. First snow of the year. Christmas lights and Santa (2nd try was a charm) with the Grandchild.
Brother and I "chaperoning" the wives on a mid-month antiquing and shopping spree in Berlin, MD. Finished up the evening with a few brews. Before I knew it the water was nearing the fifty degree mark. The chances of a last surf fading.

As with Scrooge, the clock has been puttin' a nail in the opportunity coffin. What can I say? Call it a crutch for the weak. An excuse that only satisfies me. Regardless, the Season of Christmas, like this year as a whole, has been busy. No worries. We're on the Right Coast. Life is good. Next stop, the Chicago-side Family. Gas up for the Ride! The stoke of Christmas Fest-I-Val only gets better.
Christmas ready at the Atlantic Hotel, Berlin 12/16/2017

   It's Fest-I-Val! Plenty of brews to go 'round. Drink local. Ya see it everywhere and we enjoy ours...Berlin's Burley Oak Brewery. Put out a top of the line Sour Stout this year. Winter Eclipse poured a murky dark brown with a thin off white head. Notes of fruit and malt in the aroma with sour-sweet plum and roasted coffee in the taste. Warming at 6.6% ABV. Tart and bitterly refreshing at 36 IBUs. Rated an A-.

I had rated one of this brewery's beers a few posts ago. Out of Virgina, O'Connor Brewing sliced out a fair Winter Wit. Sweater Weather poured a bright, pale yellow with a fizzy, finger-plus thick, white head. Notes of bananas, bread, and yeast in the aroma. Tastes of citrus and coriander, lightly sweet. Not bad. Not used to this type of beer this time of year. Easy drinking, snow blowing beer. Rated a B/B-.

   Finally (but never the last), Virginia Beer Company's Rob Your Head Imperial Red Ale. A bring-back from Williamsburg, this bad-ass crashed in at a defrosting 8.4% ABV and a whopping 72 IBUs. Brewed for the turn of seasons as the cold starts to set in. Poured a clear, burnt red-amber with a two finger, frothy white head. Aromas of malt and pine with juicy grapefruit. The hop forward resinous pine and citrus shown through in the taste. Call it an imperial red amber ale, a big red IPA...don't matter. This is how I like 'em. To de-ice, I'd take this over salt (but not salt water) any day. Rated an A.

Cheesin' at the OC's Winterfest,
Northside Park, OCMD. 12/9/2017