Sunday, May 20, 2012

Racing The Slump, notes from the Rogue

5/17- 1st night of  weekend Cruisers
     Hard to get out of a surf slump when I'm only going once a week. No big rides comin' my way.  Not that the waves and weather have been much in sync, but I feel a real sense of urgency to get past this slump, like I'm in a race with this season's opportunities wasted. Watchin' the muscle cars in town for Cruisin' Weekend kept this fact in front of me for the rest of the night after I had hauled my ass outta the soup. Times like these, it's tough to be a kook.
Tough night.


   The conditions this past week: dumpy and sectioning lefthanders about thigh to waist with a 15-20 kt northeast wind; water is warming...60-61F; air a little cooler in the low 60's to upper 50's; mid-tide. Hard to find position in this $hit.  The weekend got worse...sunny Saturday, cloudy Sunday,  head to plus conditions, still sloppy with a 35-40kt blow.  Tough to navigate, don't care what you're ridin'.
5/17 - Anyone tell the Atlantic that the Memorial Holiday is a week away? No? Guess not.
  The taste of the week, 21st Amendment Brewery's Hell or High Watermelon Wheat. With warmer temps supposedly close by, the summer styles are coming out.  This Wheat Beer is slightly cloudy (as Wheats should be) with a very light fruit aroma...could be watermelon, little hard to discern.  A less than 1 finger head that disappears quickly but nice carbonation, making this a refreshing brew.  4.9% ABV and a low 17 on the IBUs, a decent beer to throw down more than a couple. And I gotta say, 21st has some pretty cool graphics on their signature cans. I rated it a solid B.
"My rule of life prescribed as an 
absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars
and also the drinking of alcohol before, 
after, and if need be, during all meals
 and the intervals between them."
                                 -Winston Churchill

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Chillin' With The Chillins, notes from the Rogue

My Chillins chillin'. 5/15

   It is a rare occasion to get both of my kids over for dinner, together, at the same time...much less a Pre-Summer cookout.  Crab Brats (that's right, brats made/infused with Maryland Blue Crab), homemade potato salad, baked beans, roasted asparagus (known in these parts as asparagus fries). Mmm-mmm-MMMM! Good stuff!
   Courtesy of my Son, we enjoyed Leinenkugels Summer Shandy, a lemonade Weiss that paired perfectly with the brats.  Started out tart but finished very mellow with plenty of lemons to go 'round. At 4.2% ABV and 13.5 IBUs this poured a cloudy gold with a white 1 finger head.  The taste, in addition to lemons, included a touch of spiciness from the wheat portion of the Weiss.  I rated it a B- (could have been minus a few lemons), but very refreshing for those muggy days of summer, and last evening.
"Home is where the beer is."
-Dave V.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Ate It More Than Rode It, notes from the Rogue

Late floater, 5/3


   Sometimes I just cannot find that line.  I cannot find good form.  No matter what stick I use.  No matter the conditions...low tide last week, thigh to waist walls, still a bit cool in the upper 50's.  Even the break was consistent...Holiday's on 66th. If my inner Kook ever reared it's ugly head in full, it has been over the last couple of weeks.  Even a rockin' weekend with my girl left me more in recovery than ready to roll.  I know what I need. More paddling, more stroking into that wave.  More water time.  Only way to get back... Oh, and strip off some of this rubber, man. Seriously!
Fast closing (above).  Food's on the table, ready to eat (below).  5/10

   This piece offers a tribute to the last couple of sessions.  A "session" beer so to speak.  Port Brewing, a brother and sister owned San Diego brewery who do a fantastic job promoting the California surf culture, offers up Wipeout IPA.  "You turn, stroke like mad for the wave.  Standing up you are alone and blammo you Wipeout...blowing the only chance of a right hander all to yourself.  You know who you are.  We've all been there too.  It's inside each and every one of us."  Wow...ya see why this one fits?  That's in their beer description.  Pouring a deep gold with a big white head, excellent lacing as it recedes, this one is loaded with the wet hops.  The smell of grapefruit and orange with light malty tones.  The taste has the "POW!" of the bitterness associated with this much hopping, but finishes off crisp and clean.  Like the sharp slap of the white water from the next set as you come up for air.  7% ABV, and a powerful 78 IBUs, I give this one a strong A (yes I favor IPA's...still an A, Babe).

"We invite you to drop in, hang on, 
and kick out the backside.  That is, 
unless you enjoy wiping out and all 
the glory that goes with it."
                           -Port Brewing