Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fadin' Fast, notes from the Roque

47th Street 10/21/2014

"Even if the waves are really junk I just love that connection with
 the ocean."     -S. Fitzgibbons         Scraping foamies...Harvest eve.
 Last night of DST.  66th/Holidays, 10/30/2014

  Damn. The days are are getting painfully short. My weekday sessions will be coming to an end this week, apart from any possible time off from work. Doubtful. By the time I'm trekkin' the beach the sun is near set.  And with the shorter sessions come limited rides. Impatience dude. Feel like I gotta get another... quickly. Even on the weekends the sesh flies by. Can't help it. I feel the clock ticking. This year's water time is fadin' fast.
Assawoman Sunset 10/21/2014

  My girl got me an incredible Pale Ale during my Chi-Town trip last weekend. 3 Floyds Brewing of Munster (appropriate), Indiana fame puts out 50 IBUs of citrusy, grapefruity, goodness in the form of Zombie Dust. This stuff is so f*#king good the stores limit one six per customer. Seriously. Pours a golden orange with a firm two finger cream head. Excellent lacing. You can smell the grapefruit aroma of the citra hops almost immediately. But, not overwhelming, just very refreshing. At 6.2% alcohol, drink the whole pack and you'll feel like a zombie yourself! Rated an A+.
"Keep calm, drink beer, and kill zombies."
-Sam Reddy

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pump It, the Rogue's notes

"Turn up the radio. Blast your stereo.  Right now!" -Black Eyed Peas.     47th Street going off.  10/18.2014

   Saturday. All day. Fresh off Bermuda Gonzalo was bringing it. Pumpin' out one A-Frame after another. The sets would come every twenty minutes or so. Sittin' at work in the morning, I couldn't wait to get out and head down to the beach.
Sick. Need I say more? Ok...I will. Water around 68F. Air in lower 70s. The rips and a northbound sideshore current kept me busy in the lineup which had quite a few bros, but not overly crowded. Easy to get out, that was for real. Everyone shared. Hell there were plenty to share. Wore a shorty, however the endless opportunities to get barreled or slammed kept me plenty warm. Still working the math as to which number was higher...the times I looked stylin' or the times I totally kooked it. Don't think no one was counting. As the pics show,  no shortage of stoke today!
Opened up to a closing barrel. 10/18/2014
   Follow up for the day's incredible session. Two awesome beers. Local Burley Oak has put out one mean sour. Tart Attack. Now this is a style I'm still wrapping my head around. Low IBUs at 18 making it very refreshing and a mid-range ABV at 6.2% making it very dangerous. Poured a dense cloudy rusty red with a half finger head.  Tart cherry aroma. Tart cherry taste. Rated a cherry B+.

  One of my favorite craft brewers out there is Ballast Point Brewing.  Everything they do tastes golden. Many don't agree, but I think it is THE best Oktoberfest Marzen out there. Dead Ringer. Poured a dark copper-brown with a finger and a half head. Light hop bite without strong citrus. Earthy aromas. Hints of toasted malt and toffee for a slightly sweet, full bodied, nutty taste. Rated this an A+.
"A man who lies about beer makes
enemies."  -Stephen King
Shoulda stayed longer...

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Halftime Adjustments, notes from the Rogue

"Surfing is the best waste of time ever."  Peter, Oakland, CA -the Surfer's Path
47th Street solitude. Knee to thigh and mellow.  10/9/2014
   This place can be quite chafing. Northeast winds blow constantly over the last few weeks, and when they finally shift, we get small surf. Dealt with knee to some thigh high waves in the hour or so of low tide I had Thursday evening. Felt the stoke in an incredible autumnal evening.  No A-Frames jackin' though. Rides were short and sweet. This weekend, Hurricane Fay offshore. Not a strong influence as a fading Cat 1. So, when I'm looking forward to at least one day in the water, clean conditions, maybe some waist to chest high swell, it rains. NE winds chopped up the Atlantic again. This morning, Sunday, both the air and water had slipped into a noticeable cool down. Winds shifted more easterly, but still a disheveled Atlantic. I didn't go. The thought of fighting to hold position in the lineup did not appeal.

   Did a drive around town after church. Grabbed a coffee. Speaking of conditions, some antique-lookin' combine was mowing down a couple of the smaller cornfields around where I live. Wow, autumn is surely here. Usually I like the change in seasons. This far...I'm not feelin' it. I'm not getting enough water time.  The Redskins suck. Work is a bit of a stress. Been outta the gym (though last week I put in my first three days in over a month). Found myself on Public Landing's shore.  Winds blowin' ENE.  Gaping across an oscillating Chincoteague Bay at Assateague wondering what it looked like on the other side.
Freedom is found on the other side.  Chincoteague Bay, 10/12/2014

Glancing down I read the surf report. Tropical Storm Gonzalo is on his way up from the Leewards. Need to make some halftime adjustments.

   Beer review time. Little less formal this time around. Oktoberfest happening. So's we 've been drinkin' quite a few of those marzens. Started with Two Brothers Atom Smasher. A lager with the added complexities brought on by oak aging. Brought a six back from Chi-town and by brother just raved about it.  Pours a cloudy burnt copper with a one finger head and lacing similar to today's Chincoteague Bay. Tastes of toffee malt and definitive oak. The 7.7 ABV will hurt'cha if you try to finish that six.  22.6 IBUs for a crisp finish.  Rated an A.
"All I want is peace, love, understanding,
and two cold beers." - B&B

  Boulder Beer came out with what has become a favorite style of mine...Imperial! Specifically Dragonhosen Imperial Oktoberfest. A marzen at 9-f#^king-percent! Dude. Dudette. Whatever. Pours a deep, dark amber, almost brown. Nice moderate hoppiness at 34 IBUs with notes of burnt malt and vanilla. A creamy, liquory texture going down. I liked it. Another A rating.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Gone Groove, the Rogue's notes.

Like the fields on '50 ready for harvest, and the advancing Front that would cover the Shore, there is no escaping the Fall.
Thursday's drive East.  10/2/2014

   Toasted corn fields.  Leaves turning colors of amber and gold. Colder nights. Ocean temps dropping.  Sunset coming earlier. Small crap to big drivel. This is what I'm dealin' with now.  Drove the thirty down to the edge Tuesday, with surf reports dealing waisty forecasts.  Not so much.  More like most.  Slop. A north, northeast slop.  I'd say shit, except on this particular day I needed the Atlantic more to wash away the stress of the work day than to exhilarate.  As always, it met the need.
Knee high stress relievers.  47th Street, 9/30/2014

   On Thursday I did my weekly surf and chow. Conditions were like Tuesday on steroids with a similar chop grown to about chest high and a strong north to south sideshore current that made paddling feel like trying to move on an escalator in the opposite direction. No rip for help.  And, it was all but impossible to hold position.   An unusual storm front brought with it stalwart onshore winds.  Light rains that seemed to turn on and off every 10 minutes or so. An almost effervescent mist hung in the air through most of the session. I was glad I wore my rubber top. On point with my opening line...I feel it. The summer groove is gone.  Autumn is afoot.
A rainbow offered promise, but the Atlantic forced a drifting grind for every ride.  Early sunset forced an early departure (below).  Approximate Holidays, 67th to 65th.  10/2/2014.

  Tres apres brewskis this post around.  Make sense?  Autumn does bring in some nice ones, and Oregon's Rogue Ales & Spirits owns their own farm to grown their own pumpkins and brew up a very nice Pumpkin Ale  At 25 IBUs the hops do a nice job of finishing off the vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and clove.  Pours a brownish orange with a finger and half head.  Rated a B+.

Deschutes Brewery has it's summer ale; "end of summer" ale in this case...Twilight.  More of a Pale here.  35 IBUs provide a very refreshing end of day brew.  And the 5% ABV makes it extremely sessionable.  Pours a bright gold with a two finger head, very good lacing.  Clean finish. Rated Twilight a B.

I had Innis & Gunn's offering Thursday evening  with dinner.  A small brewery out of Edinburgh, Scotland, these guys brew a mean, "light" IPA.  The Toasted Oak IPA is full of piney, citrus aromas, but scaled back at 5.6% ABV.  Brewed in oak barrels, the notes are an earthy toffee and grapefruit.  More of a zestiness than bitterness.  No IBUs listed but I'd say around the 45 to 50 mark.  Pale-gold pour with a thick white head.  Perfect with my wings.  I rated this'un an A-.
"One love.  One heart.  One beer'"
-Bob Marley