Friday, March 30, 2012

Chance Favors the Prepared, notes from the Rogue


    Stripped the wax to get to a ding or two and found a ding or two more.  No worries; my board director takes care of me... Chauncey comes thru any time I need a repair.  Whether it's a hammered hole left by an irate ex, a cracked rail from a nasty drop, or a couple of dings, his shop does a top notch job at a very reasonable cost.  Good group.


Clean deck!
   Spring has indeed sprung....much earlier than usual...righteous.    The water's at 50, but weather and waves have not been in sync.  Boards are ready. I'm more ready than last year as off season workouts have included much more core and balance work. Chance favors the prepared and I'm of a mind to shred some mookie.

3/29 Mini-mookie...but it's callin'
   My latest swig was of Southern Tier's Iniquity, Imperial Black Ale.  Actually a black IPA that pours blacker than black at 9%ABV and 93 IBUs, light tan finger plus head with thick lacing.  This one is badass!  The bomber delivers a taste of nutty dark malts and sweet coffee with a buzz from first to the last drop. Creamy and smooth with a hop bite, it left me cravin' another.  Grade A for real!
"There are better things in life than alcohol,
but alcohol makes up for not having them."

-Terry Pratchett

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lucky Stick, notes from the Rogue

   St. Patty's day weekend.  Getting a little spring cleanin' done.  Off with the old, fix the dings, wax that stick.  Gotta say, there were a few times last summer when I thought I'd come away without a single wave, and the Town n Country would come thru with that sweet ride before the bell tolled the evening's end.  Not what I consider my magic stick, but most definitely a lucky one in the pinch.
Wax on. Wax off.

   What to apply as the night's lead-in? Have ta be a Black 'n Tan.  New Belgium's spring pale ale Dig - 5.6% ABV, 36 IBUs -  topped with Murphy's Irish Dry Stout - 4%ABV.  Wow!  The creamy, nutty, chocolate tone of the Nitro pour leads into the sharp lemon/peach citus hops of the Dig. Really impresses from the first taste, to the last. A malty crisp finish; unique for a B&T.  A bit heavy, but... I still had two.   Rate it a B+. Dig it!
"There are only two times when I drink beer:
 when I'm alone, and when I'm with someone else."


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Whistle Pig Wrong?, notes from the Rogue

Choppy, disorganized, knee to thighs, and getting warmer.  3/15

   For the record,we have had one of the mildest winters ever.  Total snowfall cannot have been over 2 inches for the Eastern Shore...and that's being conservative.  Guess that Groundhog ain't always right.  No complaints here.  Daylight Savings Time started up last week and consequently the daytime temps have been consistently in the 60's since inception.  More importantly those nighttime lows (sound like a reel metroweatherolgist, eh?),  have been staying above the 40's...and this week in the 50's and dare I say 60 here 'n there?  It's those pre-sunrise temps that are needed. Translation? Warmer mid-Atlantic coastal waters baby!  I'm seein' 52 deg. on SwellInfo,  but both Surfline and Malibu's Surf Shop are saying 48-49.  The above pic, despite the seemingly adverse conditions, give hint to the warming trend.  We've had a serious fog bank hanging off our coast for the past couple of days owing to the sharp uptick.  Another week or so, and I may be dippin' the rubber booties in to test the waters in March... no hoodie required - a first for me.
   Ended the week with a nice brew.  Sierra Nevada's Ruthless Rye.  A beer developed for the "tumultuous transition to Spring," this ruthlessly hoppy IPA smells of peppery rye grains and a hint of piney-grapefruit citrus.  Pours a copper/amber hue with a finger and a half head.  The earthy malts, the spiciness of the rye and the citrus of the hops combined with the excellent carbonation to make that first taste really pop!  A refreshing dry finish left no doubt as to why IPA's are becoming some of my favorite craft brews.  Hopefully, with 'Ol Man Winter's quiet departure, this year's Spring transition won't be so ruthless.  Grade: A
"Son, a woman is like a beer.  They smell good, 
they look good, and you'd step over your own 
mother just to get one."   -Homer Simpson

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Done With Q1 - Pt.2/Winter Warmer, notes from the Rogue

BWI connect

Early March dusting...
no spring cleaning yet!

   Several new places have opened on the shore, breweries included.  Crossed the Chesapeake to pick up My Girl- in town for an extended weekend- so we made it a point to check out several in search of a perfect winter warmer.  Night one:  Friday night at Mojo's on Main.  Salisbury's newest watering hole.  Eclectic. Boasts "food with attitude" and a Black Scottie to push it.  Nice selection of craft brews on tap.  Began with Burley Oak's Rude Boy, a 7.4%ABV red ale, and an Angry Orchard Cider. Finished with Boulder Beer's Mojo IPA (6.8% ABV).  All of 'em raised the body temp significantly.  But the night was cool, and the weekend young.
Food with 'tude. Drink to match.


   Next day found us rocketing down Delaware route 9 towards Georgetown...the county seat of historic Sussex.  Our destination, 16 Mile Brewery. This place prides itself on it's support of local businesses, causes, and history.  To me, the pride of this joint is the latest offering - Delaware Oyster Stout, brewed with over 100 oysters plucked and shucked from the Delaware Bay and a Cherrywood smoked malt that adds a smoked bacon aroma to the nose.  Creamy feel with a nice crisp chocolate hop finish; a favorite of mine. Most of their beers were so-so, but both of us liked this one. This brew will definitely help reseed the Bay.
Oyster fans

   Next destination; now Night 2; began with The Big Chill Surf Cantina.  A stoked locals destination in Rehoboth Beach, Big Chill was all about the surf, the food (paninis, wraps, dips, tacos, and nachos), and chillin'.  Taps were warm that night and the barkeeps warned all (very cool).  We had the nachos and their signature Pineapple Margarita...a combination that was truly the $hit! Awesome firepit, tiki torches, outdoor bandstand... sweeet!

  Finalized the evening with a beer tasting at Dogfish Head Brewpub; a full chalkboard of choices. A good start was a pub exclusive, Black Lodge spewing everything Oregon from the Spruce Pine needles and Seattle coffee, to Cascade hops - 40 IBU's folks.  We also tried the Namaste (witbier), Dirty Fermentini (brewed with olives...nope, did not feel it), Noble Rot (more like a white wine), Red & White (another white beer), and my hopped up favorite the 120 Minute IPA clocking in at 15% ABV (practically a liquor) and a whopping 120 IBUs...numbing.  Dinner was all about serious crab - the unchallenged crab corn chowder and a crab pizza...very serious crab!  It finished off the night...well...almost.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Done With Q1 - Pt.1, notes from the Rogue

Done with Q1- Pres. Day Snow.
 February, 2012

   Hit the Delaware Shore over the weekend.  Sighted the new Indian River Inlet Bridge in North Bethany.  Nice job regardless of the delays.  Not completely open yet, but by the time the tourons start flocking in all lanes should be clear.  I understand the old bridge, literally crumbling down despite past attempts to renovate, will be completely wiped by demolition by then.  Sometimes, change is good.
Summer crowd pleaser to be

   Saturday's surf was looking chest to head with semi-clean rights and a few lefts on the south side of the inlet jetty.  Fuc#ing jonesin' bad.  Some of those rides would be seriously spot on.  Proof provded by a local Stickman who was rattlin' some serious chain out there.
IR Inlet, early March facelift, 
Local rattle 'n roll

Atlantic waters vary from low to mid 40's up and down the MD/DE coast.  Really need that 50 degree mark.  Really really do. No $hittin'dude.  This mild winter offers a level of hope that could put me in by mid April.  Not much more than a month.  I need this. Seriously.  I can do the wait.  Really.

 Okay, okay, okay...a 2fer.  From 21st Amendment Brewing we've got two winners here.  Both of these units came in a can (supposedly fresher longer...hmmmm).  For serious Hop Heads only:
Bitter Monk
Bitter American Session Ale, an American Pale Ale that measures 4.4% ABV and 42 IBUs which is on the high side for a pale ale.  Named for the first chimps in space ("If you were rocketed into space against your will, you might be a little bitter too!").  Poured an orange-amber hue with a 1.5 finger frothy head.   A citrus-pine nose with a malt start and crisp hop finish that provided a nice well carbonated taste.  Slightly metallic aftertaste...(the can...maybe?).  Still want more.  I give this one an A-.
Back In Black (I hit the sack. I've been too long I'm glad to be back), a Black IPA dropping in at 6.8% ABV and exploding with 65 IBUs.  This is a big black brew pouring a dark dark brown (for those who can see past the black) with a 2 finger chocolate head and ample lacing.  Nice in a snifter as it has an aroma of strong fruit hops and herbal pine.  Creamy caramel malt taste with robust bittersweet finish.  I did a six...graded an A like it's namesake's effort on that fateful black night in April of 1775...Paul Revere...Patriot.
"I would give all of my
fame for a pot of ale...
and safety."
  Ride on!