Monday, October 31, 2011

No Moon To Howl At, All Hallow's Eve '11, notes from the Rogue

Surf n Turf...
   Every surfer's nightmare, and an impressively eerie pic that might leave one to have second thoughts before entering the water at feedin' time. Seemed appropriate for the night.  No surf (first frost this morning - chill back tonight). No "trick or treaters" much, and many no moon to howl at.  A relatively quiet Halloween.
First frost...maybe, possibly...I know it's f#%king cold!

   Fine...I'll collect my own candy...Beer!  Appropriate brew, Magic Hat's cold season offering, "Howl."   A Black Lager with 4.6% abv. and nicely hopped at 32 ibu's.  Pours like it's name, black, with a brownish thin head.  Nice silky-creamy feel with a slightly sweet taste that includes a grainy taste, like oats, and the richness of dark roast coffee. The hops give a crisp finish.                                                                                         
Keep away spidey! My beer!
I'm liking black lagers ( I think they're called schwarzbiers whatever the hell that is...HEY!..I'm learning).  Definitely get this again. Owwwoooo!
H Night at the 'Bury

Friday, October 28, 2011

Caught Inside The Dark, notes from the Rogue

   Autumn has captured this piece of the Right Coast for real, and surrounded Maryland's Eastern Sho' with it's very capable grace.  The leaves are poppin' exposing extraordinary colors in the back yard, down the back roads, along the highways. Really puts you in the groove of the season.   And last evening, 70F with a light SE wind blowing across the beach, 63 degree water keepin' the boots and gloves off, and building waist high plus swell beckoning...
Conditioned to ride, 10/27


   I got my groove and carved me a handful of front walls.  Fast fading sunset had me surfing clear to dark.  That last ride, pure luck in positioning.  I felt like I was too far out, kept creeping in to shore, creeping in... until outta the dim I have one crashing on my head, caught inside the dark. After having a few do this, I managed to find that secret spot and boom...rode her in. Nice night, very.
Surf strip


Yeah, so after being caught inside the dark the night howls for the latest serving ("howls" - I know, corny Halloween pun). Dogfish Head's Punkin Ale. Pours a deep amber-orange.  Lite 1 finger head with plenty of lacing, this one had a definitive aroma of clove and nutmeg with a well noticeable pumpkin-caramel taste and that famous Dogfish hopping for a clean afterbite.  ABV at 7%, IBU at 28. One of my favorites for the season.  Too bad they only come in four packs.  I could use those missing two.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sup-plant For The Flatties, notes from the Rogue

    Whattaya do when surf is "ankle high or less," and ya don't wanna make a 30 mile trek for "ankle high or less?"
   Explore the road...let your fingertips glide through the overhanging brush and branches as if they were skimming through the wall of a wave as its lip wraps over dropping you into a deep reddish-green tube. Peddled (instead of paddled) around the local back roads biking a good 5+ miles this evening.  I live in a pretty nice area...need to appreciate what's around me.  Wheat waiting to be harvested, bare corn fields, horses grazing on some nice nearby ranches.  Farms with dilapidated barns or chicken houses.  Even farm houses long abandoned add to the rural landscape.  Then to fly around a corner and have the sinking sun streaking the sky in front of you...feelin' the inland stoke.  Cool night: not too hot, not too cold...just right to get a good pump.

   Today, a pre-ride brew...actually with lunch.  Breckenridge Brewery's Vanilla Porter. This one poured deep brown, almost black with a creamy head.  Lacing was thick and you could smell the mix of coffee, chocolate maybe, and vanilla definitely.  An ABV of 4.7%.  Very smooth malty taste.  I'm not much of a vanilla guy, but I think the vanilla does a nice job of offsetting any bitterness.  At 16 IBU, not much bitterness to offset, but just enough bite to give a crisp finish. What's nice about this one is I've been to Breckenridge And the brewery And have had the Vanilla Porter on tap with my girl...good times.  Think I'll have another tonight.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Harvest Time: The End Is Near, notes from the Rogue

thE eNd Is neAr...

   The mid-week sessions are coming to a close.  Can't hide from the signs.  Same time every year...Harvest Time.  The combines are out reaping, raping, reaping??? Whatever...doin' the fields of corn.  The leaves are beginning to burn their colors, pinched by the first morning frosts.  The days, still comfortable in the upper 60s are cooling, and the nights, chill Baby... have felt the 40s.  By the end of this month it will be too dark for me to grab a few waves after work.  Though we still have "savings time" in effect, the setting sun drops at 6:20pm seemingly in a race to catch the hour - more rabbit than tortoise.  I'll be confined to the weekends soon.  Gotta give it to the Lady, the Atlantic's waters remain in the mid-60s (short lived as well, I'm sure).
   Full suit is in use (cool air son!), no boots or gloves yet. That's good.  Close surf buddy of mine once told me, "if ya gotta wear rubber, at least feel the board under your feet for as long as you can."  I understand why now; you hold on to that "touch," the stick is still a part, and not apart, separated by a rubber sole.
   Evening's rides were phat.  Each paddle back into the lineup washed by salt.  So nice.  47th street break saw clean waist to stomach high, though diminishing with the low tide.  Made that last ride a hair of a challenge.  Incredible sunset, awesome sky. a "Wow" night for real! Yeah...stoke.
10/21, Post workday waves;  Friday's best... given gratis 
   Finished up tonight's session with some of the best crab soup around in this old beach town.  BellyBusters on 44th  was just a quick alley jump over for some body warming crab and veggies in a spicy broth. Got it ta go.  Joined it at home with a Sam Adams Bonfire Rauchbier.  Sweeeet...

The Bonfire Rauchbier is Sam Adams version of the popular Oktoberfest beer in Germany.  The grains dried over a fire give it a smokey flavor.  A dark amber brown pour with a 2 finger head and minimal carbonation make for a good pairing for the soup.  19 IBU and 5.7% ABV gives the opportunity for more than one.  I liked this brew (the hop spice), though I'm not big on smokey beers.  But again, paired with the right grub, it ruled the table..

Saturday, October 8, 2011

It Must Be The Suit, notes from the Roque

Knit right, pearl left.  10/7
   I'm hangin' out with my good buddy Tom the other night after yet another surf  who's cool winds serve as a reminder that Summer has left the building, and as we're waiting on our drafts we overhear the bartendress say "it's winter on the beach now"...WINTER!  DAMN IT GIRL!  I quickly corrected her, and she said, "well off-season, but after last week it might as well be."  Yeah, a little nippy last week but we've been back int the upper 70's this week! FALL NOT WINTER!
Mushmouth, 10/6

   Surfed the last couple of days in somewhat mushy waist highs, but still plenty of rideable action out there.  With northeast winds blowin' lefts onshore I pretty much had to work my backside (though my last ride Friday evening was a sweet right!).  Combine that with working it in a full suit and my kook levels shot up!  Just not feelin' the comfort.  And covered in rubber I really seem to lose a lot of must be the suit.  Actually, I believe what's needed is more water time.  Not just get wet...stay wet!
   The party in town was the Endless Summer Cuisin' weekend.  Hot Rods, Muscle Cars, Pimped Trucks, and Roadsters were all layin' rubber and generally showing off from Thursday thru Sunday.  Combine that with car stereos blaring and the lineup at any stoplight rivals that of a head high day easy.
                                                              Cruisin' the Coast 10/6 - 8

   Speaking of hoopla, the latest tongue lashing comes from Boulder, Colorado.  Boulder Beer's Hoopla Pale Ale is touted as a festival beer where local music and local beer combined to make for a very drinkable improvisation.  A fruit/floral aroma , a spicey malt beginning followed by a zesty hop profile that hangs, with a clean not too bitter finish.  Not the best, but one of the better pale ales I've had. Sounds like it would've been groovy to be there makin' it though!


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Equipment Makes The Difference, Lesson Learned -notes from the Rogue

Sweeet!  10/2
   The swell was pumpin'.  Chest to head.  Clean.  Warm water.  That's what led me to my mistake.  Warm water.  68 to 70 degrees.  In mid 50's air temps that's like bath water...more or less.  I wore a shortie.   Yeah, more than a rubber top, but I'm thinking, "trunkin' it on Thursday, can't be that far off today."  Nope.  Wrong.  I was freezing.  Wind chills under 50 left me with the shivers in the last 1/2 of the session and long after I got out.  Unless I practically laid on my board half submerged, the wind killed.  Shoulda, woulda , coulda worn the full suit.  A buddy of mine that I played football with in college, Tony DeLuca, once told me: "If ya feel good, ya play good."  Wish I felt better.  Lesson learned.

  This evenings warmer (and I needed it!)...Dogfish Head's Burton Baton.  I couldn't help but think of Jack Burton when I read the label and drank this brew.   "Feel pretty good.  I just feel kind of... I feel kinda invincible."  An English Old-Ale and Imperial IPA blended in an oak tank.  Hazy, dark amber pour with a creamy 1 and1/2 finger head.  Smells like an IPA but with a taste that has a sweet finish.  As an Imperial ya got the superior upper body strength over the typical IPA at 10% APV that is smoooooth, but with a nice bitterness (70 IBUs) that'll wake your ass up!  This one does not disappoint.