Sunday, May 31, 2015

Quicksand, the Rogue's Notes.

"You're playing and you think everything is going fine. Then one thing goes wrong. And then another. 
And another. And you try to fight back, but the harder you fight the deeper you sink. Until you can't move...
you can't breathe...because you're in over your head. Like quicksand."    -Shane Falco
That sinking feeling. 47th Street, 5/20/2015.

   Two weeks ago, somewhat decent conditions arrived at the shore. Waist high. Clean. Through the week the beach had been feelin' a mini heat spell and the water had been creeping into the mid-60's, but by the time my opportunity came, the warmth was gone, air temps into the 60's and the water had dipped to 58F. I wanna strip this rubber off. I really do. I was still looking forward to some clean surf. About half a dozen or so others in the lineup so things appeared on the up 'n up. Lefties. Not a lefty. But, I could use the work. I struggled. Couldn't get in position. Misjudged the break. Missed one, then another. Became impatient. I was either too far out and missed the opportunity, or too much inside and takin' off late. Nice evening became one of frustration. Last week the sloppy swell returned and I continued to flounder. And they were frontsides! Short rides here and there, Waves sectioning. Closing out early. Lookin' very kook-like (more so than usual). Irritation. More frustration. F*#ked myself again. Like Shane Falco in The Replacements. I need to let go. The ocean was churning and I could smell the salt in the air. I love that smell. Yet, I did not appreciate. Any time getting wet is good time. I cannot let the fear of missing a ride screw my next. Calm. Patience. I've said it's not a strong suit. I vow to do better this week.
Stuck in the muck.  66th/Holidays, 5/28/2015.

   Couple more warm weather brews on the table that have gone down purty smoothly as of recent. Breckenridge Brewery's Summer Bright Ale, A Pale Wheat that lends it self to multiple doses at 4.5% ABV. Pours a hazy gold with a finger-thin white head. Aromas of lemon and maltiness. Light citrus hop tones in the taste(15 IBUs). Refreshing dry finish. Not super, but solid. Rated a B. 

I was out to dinner with a buddy of mine a couple weeks ago and tried a Yuengling Summer Wheat. This one surprised. Poured a very hazy yellow-gold with a finger head and light lacing. Very smooth Hefeweizen with hints of banana and clove in the smell. Taste was slightly sweet with more banana. At 4.5% ABV, not weak as I would have suspected from a more commercial brewery. No Hoegaarden, but a worthy summer brew. Clean, crisp finish at 14 IBUs. Went out and bought a six afterwards! B/B+ rating.
"I like it in a mug, in a bottle, in a cup,
I like it with a shot...mmm! It hits the 
spot...Beer."                -Lee Brice

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Buzzin', Oscillatin', Cruisin', notes from the Rogue.

"Even if the conditions are really bad, I'm still buzzing on being in the water." -Spencer Hargraves
Still hangin' out at Holiday's on 66th. 5/14/2015
   It's good to get back in the water again. Nice to get wet. Even "less than" surf conditions haven't detracted me from looking forward to paddling out for the next set. Went out mid-week into knee high and somewhat mutilated swell.  Water had been oscillating between the lower 60's and the upper 50's. Checked in at 58F. Tried out the new boots and gloves. Jury's out for a while. Water's too warm to call out the effectiveness. Anyways...light onshore winds outta the northeast. Tide was coming in. Sectioned. Unorganized. Caught a few, driving 'em in until my fins dragged sand. I see more water time in my future.
   This past week was also Cruisin' Weekend in the OC; checked out the local hot-rods. And I met up with my brother as we hit on a couple of local brewery fares in 3rd Wave Brewing and Mispillion River Brewing as part of this week's celebration of American Craft Beer Week.
   3rd Wave Brewing, out of Delmar, DE.  Having moved into the the original Evolution Brewery and sporting the Stoke of Surf throughout their tasting room, they have been spilling their own reputable brews ever since. Expanding into Bourbon barrel aging as well as sours, their repertoire has grown considerably. We did a couple flights and found their beers to be a little more sessionable- lower ABV, and their claim not to be overpowering held true.  The Tennessee Wyld Ale combined Bourbon aging with sour notes for a clean, crisp, dark brew. Rated 3rd Wave a solid B.
Big week. Big Stoke!


   Back home on the deck we popped a Beach Bum Joe, Mispillion River Brewing's Belgian Pale. Poured a nice deep, hazy gold. 'Bout a finger and a half white head with fair lacing. Sweet aromas of orange and grain. Had the familiar Belgian yeast taste with a fairly crisp, light bitter finish. Rang in at 5.5% alcohol and 28 IBUs. Hailing from Milford, DE, Mispillion just started canning, and this is one of their first two big distributors. Drank a couple of these babies. Rated a B as well. Nice weekend.
"The sun and the sand and a drink in my hand,
with no bottom."  -Kenny Chesney

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Shake The Rust; Bring the Pain, notes from the Rogue

"The older I get, the more I find myself gravitating toward the why of riding waves than the how."
                                                                                                     -Nick McGregor, ESM

   Got that first ride of the season last week. Shook off the rust. Actually more like wiped off the rust, as many times as I ate only thigh to waist. Even spun one and snapped the head back. Sore. But nice.
The OC was clouded in a veil of fog. Dampened everything including my motivation. First face-plant cured that. Water; a comfortable 53F.  Mean that. Didn't experience that head squeezin' cold. Not sure if that's good or bad. Seems the older I get the more it must hurt to induce the catalyst of rage. Gimme that impulse. So...bring the pain.
   Surf Ryder, a rye IPA from Ocean City Brewing Company has an ABV of 6.5% which can provide some level of pain relief, was my beer selection of the weekend.  Poured a clear light amber with a one and a half finger, white head. Loaded with resiny hop aroma and plenty of citrus and mango in each taste. No IBUs listed, but above 50. Nice lacing and carbonation. First rating of OCBC...gave this a B.
"Absolutely no alcohol beyond this
start chugging."  
      -Sign at a Beach Bar

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Still Waiting, notes from the Rogue.

No crowds yet, but they'll be here soon enough.  34th street break, 4/23/2015.

Clean and waist and...cold. 4/23/2015

   Patience is not my virtue. Been checking the surf reports pretty much daily and the water just seems to hover between 48 and 49F. Did a surf check with my fiance last week. Air around fifty degrees and blowing off shore. Made for some semi clean waisty's. This week... still windy and in the mid-50's. On-shores made the waist surf sectioned and disorganized. Water was about 48 degrees. So, what am I missing? The stoke of the ride! Don't care about conditions at this point. Just wanna get wet. I'm still waiting.
No organization. Where's my spreadsheet? 38th Street/Castles. 5/2/2015

Bikes to the Beach weekend. 5/2/2015

   Couple 'o Spring brews to calm the beast and promote the anticipation. Dogfish Head's Namaste at 4.8% ABV, and 20 IBUs is an easy drinkin' Belgian style witbier. Full of orange and lemongrass aromas. Also brewed with coriander and peppercorns which can be tasted from sip one. Really liked this one and the the next, and the next. Clear, pale-yellow pour with a one finger head. Sam Calagione was stoked to brew it and I am stoked to drink it and rate it an A-.
"Women, can't live with 'em; pass 
the beer nuts."    -Norm Peterson
Ophelia's attraction for me was the not overpowering hop overtones (23 IBUs) combined with the refreshing lemon/mango scents of this Pale Wheat Ale. Poured an unfiltered, cloudy, light orange with a one finger white head. Breckenridge Brewery put together a nice combo of mango citrus with a fresh bitter hop bite in the finish. 5% ABV. Rated a B+.

Yeah, I'm proud!

7 months old.  First time to the beach....ya see where
 her attention is don't 'cha? Pure stoke.  -April 2015.