Sunday, July 29, 2012

Summer Mush, notes from the Rogue

   With the exception of Monday the 16th (very sweet), July's surf has been reflective of the heat wave we've been scorched under.  Hard pressed to get it up past the waist. Lotta grunting.  Lotta work.  No worries, still think it's been better than in recent years. Even shore break has given up some nail biters before digging in the heals to exit the spent swell before it (and me) burst into a shower of foam on the beach.
Close to shore, 7/5


Left-hand squeeze, 7/12
Git a little, 7/26
   A posted first this month- got to cruise down to the beach for the first sesh in my new whip. A GMC Terrain. The T-Blazer was showing signs of giving up the ghost very soon. The motor went diesel (loud tap) and the transmission was slippin'. Literally, when I drove it in to trade it in I was running on 2nd and 3rd, no 1st, no drive. So when I tell you that despite the impending onset of payment anxiety, this truck gives me serious piece of mind I am on the level. Even the lineup onto the island didn't phase me.
No worries...

Landed in the whip, ready to rip...well sorta. 


   End of the month. I work in manufacturing so that means a heavy shipping push. Hot (upper 90's), busy weekend. Saturday evening was my best opportunity to grab a surf. Slight chance of thunderstorms, (30%- got lucky- didn't hit 'til I was on the way home), knee to thigh, supposedly semi-clean with SE onshore winds. 2 outta 3. Waves were mush, but I was able to squeeze a few rides outta the blenderized swell. The high tide gave me some runnin' room before it became too shallow. Water is nice- sitting in 77F with warm summer breezes makes for a nice night; melts the outside stresses away.
No stress summer mush, 7/28


   The perfect close to said summer session is Heavy Seas Sea Nymph Summer Ale, a lightly hopped Blonde that lends to a crisp herbal finish perfect for the dog days. 4.5% ABV. Soft orange-lemon flavor made smooth with a clean malt balance. Poured a hazy pale gold that cleared as it sat. One finger white head, light lace. Not what I call bold (15 IBUs), but very easy drinkin'. I gave it a B+.
"I've never been drunk, but often I've
been over served."
-George Goebel

Monday, July 16, 2012

Surf Redux- Monday, Monday, notes from the Rogue

 7/16 "Monday, Monday, so good to me." -The Mamas and the Papas
   Thom is one of my surfing buddies from back in the day...for this kook that's about 8 to10 years ago. Due to marriage (he made it an adventure), and an awesome job in Myrtle Beach, SC, I see him about once a year. As far as surf goes, the weekend he comes up is like surf concentrate. We surf far more in one weekend's session than we do during any one of the usual sessions either one of us surf during the year.  After a full day's surf yesterday, we met this evening at 6pm and surfed a couple more hours. This time in primo conditions (for Maryland surf). The Lineup was full.  Warm, mid-70s water. Consistent waist high plus sets. Clean. Tide coming in.  A little close to shore, but Hey...we worked the bottom turns. For me, a much better sesh than Sunday. Who says ya can't trust Monday Monday?
Yo Thom..."till next year Brah!"



   The latest review is in on Maui Brewing Company's CoCoNut Porter. A semi stout Porter balanced with a light coconut tone. Hopped enough (30 IBUs) to make this bigger than the 6% ABV eluded to that gave it a nice, strong finish. Roasted malts gave this a caramel-chocolate push. Poured a dark reddish brown with a finger and a half head. Tightly carbonated. Not a double take, but smooth drinking...almost refreshing (which I do not usually relate to a porter). Gave it a B+. Stay wet!
 "Now son, you don't want to drink beer. 
 That's for daddies and kids with fake ID's"
                                                  -Homer Simpson

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Good Stoke, No Horse$hit, notes from the Rogue

Waist, no waist.  7/15
   Ok, ok, ok. I was stoked about the day. Spending time surfin' with friends I hadn't seen in a awhile. Joking and riding each other about homes, jobs, children, the women in our lives...or lack there of. Gotta tell about this. my recently divorced buddy, Sean, excuse me, most recently divorced buddy ( there seem to be more and more) was telling me that in his endeavors there have been three types of women he's dealt with, too young, married and too ugly. I returned..."guess you're stuck with door number 3," had to be there. Anyway, time with friends is always valued. Not too many on that list and even fewer that surf. We met at approx 8am (that's 8:30 my time), on 45th street and surfed the knee to seldom waist. Did not match the surf report's "clean, waist high" report. even the morning low tide couldn't help this lame ass swell. Squeezed the juice outta of a couple of small time rights until ten when the Beach Patrol called us in...bastards. Friends...all about valued time with friends. Repeat mantra as needed.
   Off to Anthony's on 17th.  A local find. The absolute best scrapple, egg, and cheese sandwiches on the planet.  Scrapple, an Eastern Sho' delicacy. Made up of the best in scraps from the local swine slaughter house.  Niiice.  An lemme tell ya...Anthony's piles it on.  Seriously.  Good stuff.  Ready for what's next.

   Assateague. When the waves are crap in the OC, head to Assateague Island. The sandbar and beachhead shape usually lends to a better shape and sharper wave than in town. At about 75 to 100 yard out we are far enough out not to worry about kids or beach break. And depths that make for a more forgiving wave. Today, like piles left over from the locals, horse$hit. Waist to plus, and weak enough to make you work for it. For the few I caught I was workin.' Sean and Thom had the skills and the boards...a couple of eight and half plus logs. Made it look easy. Usually I hold my own on the seven four Shell... wider than the norm, floats well... but today not so much. As a southeast wind picked up in the mid afternoon it got even sloppier. Side note: Sean has a year round parking pass, I do not. Cost me $15...FIFTEEN FU#KING BUCKS!. Yeah, I's a 7 day pass...Still. So we were last two rides, if that's what you'd call 'em...about a buck. Sunday's funday. Today full of stoke, regardless.
Welcome to Assateague Island
The locals.
   Ended the journey at Burley Oak. Thom's dad joined us. More talk. More chop bustin'. More Stoke. A couple rounds before heading home. It's always nice to finish off a ride right. My session's cap was Burley's SummaRye. Poured a cloudy gold with a finger head. 6% ABV, 32 IBUs. A well balanced farmhouse saison rounded with enough hops to satisfy my bitterness requirements. Citrus and rye scent and smooth drinking. I gave this one an A...refreshing without being too heavy or strong. Niiiiice. (Thom...thanks for the tab.)
"I envy people who drink- at least they
know what to blame everything on."

                                          -Oscar Levant

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rocky Mountain High- Horses, Mines and Beers In Between, notes from the Rogue

Sunset in the Rockies, 6/26

 Like I've eluded to, this area is extreme.  Extreme sights.  Extreme history.  Extreme extremes in weather.  Plenty food.  Plenty beer.  Plenty outdoor sports.  We visited a couple of the mining towns. We did a few breweries, including Coors.  It was the 2nd most consumed cooler next to Gatorade, (lots of Gatorade!).  And there was the Mustang Ranch...more aptly named "Ladybug  Ranch" after the sentinel of Lisa's family, the ladybug... in memory of Lisa's grandmother/Aunt's mother. A sweet little furlough.
Frisco, 6/26
Georgetown, Co Mine, 6/26

Silver Plume, 6/28

Ready for a safari.  That's right! Vintage board tied to a vintage camper,
hitched to a vintage a mining town.

A pub, a fish, brew tanks and a tiki bar...Pug Ryan's Brewery

The Mustang ranch. 6/28


the Posse (Shiloe, Taz, and Kahlua)...the Rebel (Tahoe)

Jessica, the Fireworks Tourament

The Coors tour, Golden, CO. 7/1

   Included a cool video shot of my last ride down the Alpine Slide in Golden.  Not what I call extreme, but fun.  Can be enjoyed while drinking one of these two Coors specialty beers (micro brews if it wasn't big industry Coors).  Not really.  Neither are easy to acquire.  
   Colorado Native Lager is 5.5% ABV and 26 IBUs, pours a clear amber with a 1 finger head. Smooooth, with a light hop bite in the finish.  Downside of this brew...only in Colorado.  Sucks, don't it. A B'er...could be better if I could experience it more often.
   Batch 19, a pre-prohibition style lager (1916 in CO folks), that had a slight sweet taste that did not last.  Pours a dark gold with a 1 finger head. Light hops that balance the strong malt base.  A fair beer...kinda like a Sam Adams.  A gave this one a B-. Above average, but not by much.  Still in limited distribution market.  On a last note for Coors.  Nice tour, self guided. You did not feel rushed...and we were the last group of the day. 

All in all...another very memorable Colorado vacation!

"If I had to live my life over, I'd
live over a saloon."

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rocky Mountain High Pt.2 -Breckenridge, notes from the Rogue

Breckenridge, CO 6/28
   With a base altitude of 9600 ft., and a peak of 12998 ft. Breckenridge is one of my favorite towns in the Colorado Rockies. Picturesque and full of history AND a Brewpub. How can you go wrong? We've been here twice and each time makes me yearn for more, even a taste of the winter side. I've skied, but never snowboarded. Love to learn it here. This place would make for some serious jammin' in a sport that so closely resembles surfing. For the present, we took in the summer stoke and though the rain followed us this ol' mining town is still a hot place even with the cool mountain temps.
For the record...the entire state IS NOT on fire!
Rains move in
Jake checks Breck Bowl, 6/26

Knocked back a few of these!
   Obviously, gotta do a Breck brew. Breckenridge Brewery's Pandora's Bock is more malt with a light hop to round it out.  Definitely will not throw a shark bite on you at only 16 IBUs, but the 7.5% alcohol content will sneak up on ya just as fast. Nice caramel-coffee scent with traces of chocolate as it goes down. Slight sweetness on the tongue. Pours a dark crimson with a 1 finger head. An average bock and though I'm not big on them this wasn't bad. A leftover from the spring, I gave it a B-.
"You've got yoga, honey. I've got beer.
You got overpriced. And I got weird."
-Billy Joel

Monday, July 9, 2012

Rocky Mountain High Pt.1- Vail, notes from the Rogue

Buffalo and Red Mountains, Silverthorne, CO  6/26
   Got stoked on the Colorado Rockies for vacation this year. Some serious altitude in them thar parts fur sure. Brought along plenty of Gatorade to offset.  Headed up to Denver with my Girl and her kids. Spent time in the foothills on the Aunt and Uncle's Mustang ranch, that's right, four of 'em. Much needed relax time. The area is ideal for mountain biking, rafting, hiking. We even hunted down the occasional skate park.  An outdoor paradise full of history...and being a history geek I can find it in the most remote towns. Lots of pics. Enough to make a couple of posts out of this AND include several beer judgements. After all, the Denver area is known as the Napa Valley of craft beer.
Vail- altitude 8500 ft., 6/25

The Edge -
Dediated to Vail skiers in the Olympic  Games

Jake with a railslide at the Vail ramps.

   You can feel the mojo of the Rockies everywhere.  There is so much energy you need something to balance it, so in addition to the Gatorade, a perfectly fitting Colorado beer is Boulder Beer's Mojo Risin' Double IPA.  At 10.5% ABV and 100+ IBUs this one'll put yo mojo on it's ass quick!  You could smell the hops when this one started. Poured a cloudy bronze with an off-tan one and a half finger head and thick lacing.  A strong honey-booze flavor that did not overwhelm (on the first one anyways) and the double the dry hop brew gave it a piney citrus bite at the finish. I like hops, I like IPAs, and I loved this one double.  I gave it an A!
"You can never buy beer. You just rent it."
-Archie Bunker