Sunday, August 24, 2014

Eye On The Horizon, the Rogue's notes.

"And it's not surprising that it's nowhere, but you're so happy to be there."    -Eyes On The Horizon, B. Benson
Late floater.  Holiday's, 66th.  

   Working on makin' this a short one.  Hurricane season has been relatively quiet this year.  No much in the way of tropical disturbances.  But, September is comin'. Keepin' an eye on the horizon.  Surf hasn't been crap.  We lack consistency.  Me and my piece of this coast.  Certainly not as flat as in years past.  Had more waist high days. This past week not so much though.  NE winds, (F'k, I hate the backsides).  Semi-chopped swell.  Still warm out...both air and water in the 70s.  But we have storm number three coming up from the Bahamas this week...Cristobal.  Still a tropical storm, and probably not to become much more. But waves baby.  Definitely a swell producer.  Like I said, keepin' an eye on the horizon...
August 24th forecasted path

    A notable brew this report out.  Flying Dog's late summer install; Bloodline.  A Blood Orange IPA.  Bad-Ass I'm tellin' ya.  I was worried it was going to be another White IPA.  More like a menage a trois of honey, orange, and  light grapefruit.  Full of stoke this one is.  Poured a cloudy orange with a puffy white two-finger head. Thin lacing. Aromas of the honey and blood orange and citrus with the brisk bitterness (40 IBUs) of hops in the finish.  Smooth, not overwhelming.  Even at 7% ABV not boozy. Couple of these did me well.  Rated Bloodline an A."
"This woman just stared at the beer in my cup
holder, like she's never seen a cup holder on a
grocery cart before."       - Anonymous Redneck

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Glimmer Man In The Grey Suit, the Rogue's notes

Rt. 90 fishy fishy...
Assawoman sunset.  You go.  No, you go.

   I know it's Shark Week on Discovery (like all week), but I don't recall Ocean City getting this much shark infested publicity in a long while.  On Friday, August 4th, a 1000 pound, thirteen foot long tiger shark named Septima is caught by satellite in the Assawoman Bay right off the Route 90 bridge.  Previously tagged by OCearch with a tracking device, the big female pinged twice as she breached the surface, the first time at approximately 2:30 pm, and the again shortly thereafter.  Seen by no one else.  Local fishing captain Mark Sampson said it best, "for the swimmers, I'm not sure if it's better to know or not know." Two days later she pinged again off of the Indian River Bay.
Septima tagged off Port Royal Sound, SC. May, 2014

Then this past Monday (8/11), another news report of a July 30th encounter with a 13 to 15 foot Great White just five miles off Ocean City's coast.  Niiice.  And here I am thinkin' all those dorsals are just  dolphins.  When I'm out there in the crowd it doesn't cross my mind.  When I'm out there by myself on a warm sunny day, I don't give 'em much more thought.  But on a chilly early spring/late fall evening and I'm alone with choppy swell and all I can feel or hear is a  'noreast wind whippin' through my ears, I'll catch a glimmer outta my periph.  Was it a fin?  Was it a dolphin?  Ya sit and scan the horizon, looking for confirmation that it wasn't "the Man." So far,no Man.
"Suffice to say, to the people he hunted...he was known as the Glimmer Man.  There'd be nothing..., then a glimmer...  Then you'd be dead!"        -Mr. Smith, The Glimmer Man

   The final "Beercation" installment.  Mackinac Island.  No cars. no golf carts.  Just horses and bicycles.  And a lot of history.  My Girl knows me.  Love history.  And this place is locked in a simpler time.  Modern amenities of electricity and internet with none of the CO pollution.  Ever get a chance, Go! Full of old time Stoke.  Biggest attraction- the Grand Hotel.  We stormed the Cupola for an incredible view and enjoyed  Bell's Brewery's Big Porch Ale, an American Amber cashed in at 38 IBUs and 5.8% ABV.  Poured a nice red-amber hue with a finger and half pearly white head. Some lacing leads to a light grassy taste, malty aroma, and slight hop bitterness in the finish. Easy drinkin' and made for rockin' on the Grand's huge porch overlooking Lake Huron, I rated the brew a B-.
Ankle high boat wake, Mackinac 7/3/2014.

The historic Grand Hotel
View of Mackinac Light from the Grand Cupola loft.

Business District

Mackinac harbor.

Mackinaw Bridge; ferry ride back to the mainland. 7/3/2014

"It's a lot easier to start the day
when you know it will end with
beer."                              -Anonymous

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Fishin' The Shorebreak, notes from the Rogue

Head high steep barrels at the Edge on 64th, 8/6/2014

   Last week- couple days of chest to head, couple days of thigh to waist.  Everyday involved surfing within a faceplant of the shore.  I read an editorial by a local surfer about how the offseason's beach replenishment diminished the offshore sandbar and created the dangerous shorebreak we've been experiencing most of the summer. Things that make you go, "hmmmmm." Get's the adrenaline goin' that's for sure. Swirling barrels sucking up sand from the floor and all the while you're eyeing the fast approaching shore.  Yeah, baby!
Catchin' thighs, Castles and 37th.  8/7/2014

Also had the White Marlin Open running.  Didn't get to see nuthin' myself but the first, forth, and last day had some serious action.  So consider this a photo blog. Shorebreak and tournament fishing.  How cool is that?

1st Place Blue Marlin

Mahi Mahi...tasty!


Big Tuna

The White Marlin...what it's
all about!

Tres Fishes; White, Mahi, Tuna.
Dinner's on!

Day's end.

   More from the July Beercation...  On our way up to Makinac we spent the night in Petoskey, Michigan.  Prime opportunity to visit Petoskey Brewing.  A brewpub with quite the selection (we were a bit late for any food), the most original was Brain Freeze, a raspberry cream ale brewed with waffle cones and fresh raspberries.  Light fruit taste with the waffle cone in the background.  Easy drinking at 20 IBUs, but dangerous at 6.9% ABV.  Their house IPA, Mind's Eye was purty goot as well. Orange-copper in color, on and a half finger head, fair lacing.  Big hop presence in this one. 6.7%ABV and 74 IBUs.  Very dry, like an English IPA in its bitterness.  I rated it a B+.
Petoskey Pierhead Lighthouse

Petoskey Brewing's "Man on the Roof"

Petoskey's Wall of Foam

"Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder."   -Anon

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Jukin' da Blues, notes from the Rogue

Midsummer shutdown.  Holiday's 66th St., 7/31/2014

   Been getting out a bit recently. Water in the mid 70's, surf's consistently around thigh to waist plus, fair weather.  And for a few sessions it seemed as if I'd catch everything. Even the occasional backside.  But sometimes on the days I really look forward to, like after a bad day at work (they've been pilin' up lately), I just can't catch $hit.  Turns a frustrating day into a session I find myself wallerin' in. Truly blows.  My riding a bike, git yo ass back out there and have at it!  In between, take my frustrations out at the gym.  Only way to juke them blues.

Northern sunset on Traverse Bay, 7/1/2014 
    In this post I continue my report out of my summer beercation, specifically the Northern Michigan beer scene.  Traverse City along Traverse Bay has loaded itself up with over a half dozen craft breweries. On our first afternoon in town, my girlfriend and I visited Right Brain Brewery.  Quite an eclectic locale and an impressive lineup of rotating beer taps.  A flight was 6- six ouncers.  Nice start to our Michigan tour.  And with sunset in these parts around 9:30pm... 9:30!, we had a ways to go our first night out.  We soaked 'em up with a turkey and avocado waffle sandwich...right on point.  The brew we ended up bringin' home with us: Dead Kettle IPA, a surf sessionable IPA at 5.4% ABV.  Aroma and taste hits you like a freshly peeled grapefruit without the mess.  Lightly bitter, with a balance of nutty malts up front.  About a finger sized puffy white head with little lacing, but fair carbonation.  I rated the Brewery an A.  Dead Kettle, a B.

"See no evil, Beer no evil."  -RBB

Friday, August 1, 2014

Plot Twist, the Rogue's notes.

Thigh to waist, low tide, light west winds, 74F water... no better way to enjoy sea glass.  Holidays, 7/24/2014.

   I'm trying, but the summer makes it tough.  No excuse.  Not enough time in the gym, not enough time in the water.  Too much time in the brewerys/brew pubs.  Is there such a thing? Not sure, but I've been doing enough between my "brewcation" with my Chicago Girl, and the local breweries to start reviewing  the finds and add an interesting twist to this a movie with a plot twist to the conclusion.  No, not really.  But makes for a tastier blog.  So here come the wet hops... let'r rip!
   From the start of this year's July vacation my girl and I had the barkeeps line 'em up. Hopvine Brewing Company in Aurora, IL.  Located in a strip mall of Fox Valley Center, this brew pub's flight served up ten of their best including the night's intro star, Brewdacious Blonde, a 6%ABV, 25IBU pilsner blond ale.
To pair we chose the Smoked BBQ Wings, a combo of BBQ rub and sauce, and the Hopvine Burger, a sweet unison of a 1/2 lb. all beef patty and pulled pork topped with white cheddar and bacon.  Makes ya wanna git on out there don't it?  The beer wasn't bad- maybe a B-, but add the food and this place got a solid B rating.