Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Stave 5: The End of It, the Rogue's notes

December tranquility, Mid-Town OCMD 12/7/2015.                              -Malibu's Photo

   The post title has nothing to do with ending this Blog. Nothing to do with ending time in the water (although it will be severely restricted). Nothing to do with ending it all. Really, nothing to do with ending anything other than this year. Actually more of an encapsulation of the holidays. Thanksgiving. Christmas. New Years. Little bit of this. Little bit of that. The post; more pictorial than literary. Towards the end; moving forward; a lot of changes. In address. In surroundings. In opportunities. I'm not sure if I should be in dread or anticipation. In the 1970 movie Scrooge, The Ghost of Christmas Present said it best, "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." In life, as in surf...make the most of every ride. A resolution?
Thanksgiving Day chaos gratefully welcomed. Smyrna, DE 11/24/2015.
14 months...time flies.

   Over Thanksgiving we chose a Winter Warmer for the featured beer of choice. Great Lakes Brewing's Christmas Ale. Poured a deep amber-red with a finger head and fair lacing. Aromas of nutmeg and spice. Tastes of honey with a light hop bite (30 IBUs). At 7.5% it'll keep ya warm. Rated a B+.
Ocean City's Winterfest tradition. Northside Park, 11/25/2015. 

Tandem Mantas

Chicago goes wild at Christmas.
Christmaskindlmarket, like canned tuna. Chicago, 12/5/2015

Festival of Lights, Aurora, IL

New Belgium's Accumulation; a White IPA. A Christmas refresher. Poured a straw yellow, like a lighter brew, but at 6.2% it will make for a heavy head. One and a half finger head and plenty of lace. This 'un was filled with hops...55 IBUs worth. Notes of grapefruit and herbal-pine and plenty of carbonation. Plenty of citrusy taste and bitterness, but in a good way. Very good White IPA. Rated another B+.
Christmas Concert. Adrian College, 12/2015

"God bless us, everyone!"       -Charles Dickens
Never wears out. Adriana, Christmas-Aurora, IL. 2015

Thanks for the Memories...miss you
Grandmother & Granddad.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Thanksgiving Surf; Rinsin' The Rust, the Rogue's notes.

Long weekend, short surf. Holiday's (appropriate) 66th-67th Street, 11/25/2015.

   Thanksgiving weekend is always a special one. In the past I've made trips down south. This year I came back east. Had to take advantage of one last chance in the soup. Small knee highs. Maybe an occasional waist. If my imagination was with me. Semi-clean to chop. Ocean was in the upper 50's. Had the full suit. Boots. Gloves. Tried to tell myself it wasn't cold; this while my toes tingled, face chilled in the light on-shore winds, and my nose ran. Didn't care. I was surfin' man! Finally. No stick since August. Felt the stiffness. Rust everywhere. Still great despite the multiple headers. Took my Chi-town Girl. Met my surf Crewmate at the beach. Post-surf dinner. Christmas lights 'round the OC. Got wet. Got reborn. 'Nuff said.
"I don't want to rust out, Id rather wear out." -Fritz Hollings 
Rinsing off the rust. 11/25

  Christmas is around the corner. This year just flew by. A lot of people ask about what there is to do at the beach in the colder months. Surf. At least until I gotta wear a hood. One of the big things I miss about my part of the Right Coast. And of course...I always miss Lady Atlantic.

Ocean City's entrance from Route 50.

New home to the Beach Patrol
"Rockin to and fro with the rhythm of the ocean;
Singin' Silent Night with the palm trees blowing."
                                     -Kenny Chesney
   This time of year the beer gets a 'lil darker. A 'lil stronger. Got us a couple of big percenters here, neither of which have any problem taking the chill off. We start with Lagunitas Brewing's Equinox; a "real" Pale Oat Ale who's 8% ABV helps warm the cooler evenings and shorter days (and 50 degree waters). Poured a cloudy orange-amber with about a finger and a half head. Mango-citrus aroma with tastes of toffee up front and the resinous pineapple hop slap in the finish. 50 IBUs; no wonder. Not overpowering. Smooth. Great seasonal brew. Rated this an A.
Sours are a venture for me that I am developing somewhat of an affinity for. My girl, Lisa loves 'em. Barrel-Aged Raspberry Sour Ale from Avery Brewing outta Boulder, CO. Lemme tell ya, those Coloradians know their beer craft. This sour was absolutely fantastic. Even at 6.85% (strong for a sour), not boozy at all. Aroma and tastes of tart raspberries throughout with a Zinfandel wine background. Fair acidy and light sweetness. Poured a reddish-copper with a less than one finger white head. Nice lace. Very well done. Another A rating!
"He thinks about boat drinks, and
fun in the sun."
-Jimmy Buffett

Saturday, October 31, 2015

All Hallows' Eve, the Rogue's notes.

                                                                                 -Photo, Web Pic

    All Hallows’ Eve special post. Since I’m in the Midwest, I’m not getting any sessions in. A shame too, as the end of this week has seen what I would term “sizable” swell for the O City coast. Nice chest to head high and clean on Thursday. Least I got my surf cam. Also, Daylight Savings Time is coming to an end as well. Nights are cooler. Leaves hittin’ the deck. Dreadin’ the snow y’all. So I’m posting some pics of the stoke back east. And the stoke here in the mid-west… that, of course, would be the numerous pumpkin beers that I’ve had this time of year.
Whippin' up a few clean AM walls.  Malibu's 10/20/2015

    Four on the floor. East and Mid-west: Harpoon’s UFO Pumpkin Ale. 
Haven’t been real impressed with this northeast brewery in the past, but this “Un-Filtered Offering” wasn’t bad. Poured a cloudy orange-amber with a finger plus head. Good lacing and carbonation. Not overwhelming with the cinnamon and pie spices. Rang in at 20 IBUs and 5.9% in alcohol, so you could down a few without having nightmares. Rated a B.

Schlafly’s outta St. Louis brews a real nice Pumpkin Ale. Even added butternut squash to the recipe. Clear red-amber pour with a finger head. Left behind plenty of lacing. Aromas of pumpkin pie without being overly sweet. Nicely balanced  cinnamon and pine bitterness with a creamy malt taste in the back. Only 16 IBUs, but a Boo factor of 8% in the ABV reading. Rated this one an A-. Gimme more!

Frederick, Maryland’s Flying Dog brought on The Gourd Standard, a Pumpkin IPA that I fought to understand. I like my hops. Bitter citrus meets pumpkin pie spices…hard to really embrace this one. Poured a dark amber with a finger head. Not real strong at 6.8% ABV, but the 60 IBUs was hard to feel. Little bit dry. Rated this a B-.

Lastly, Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company poured Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale. All of the spices and sweet base of a pumpkin pie brewed with real home-grown pumpkin in aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels. The front end of caramel and malt combined with nutmeg and cinnamon and the warming influence of the bourbon on the back end made this perfect for a cool fall session. Poured amber in color with a less than finger head and light carbonation. At 10% ABV, not too boozy and enough hops (approx. 20 IBUs) to have a slight bite. Rated an A-.

A Schlitz thought: "Beer has food value, but food has no
beer value." Now that's scary!

Drink up!