Thursday, September 24, 2015

Swellus Interruptus, the Rogue's notes.

Midwest autumn afternoon. Too much serenity? 9/22/2015.

   Autumnal Equinox…equal parts light and dark. Come and gone. All is serene out West, but feelin' the distance from our Illinois home. Trip to the Right Coast around the corner. Been checking the surf reports. Not a huge dent in water temps yet; hanging around low to mid-70’s. Ocean conditions have me worried though. My buddy Tom texted me this afternoon. On the beachfront, "it's blowin' a gale today!" Not good. High pressure system from the northeast causing wind, rain, rips, rough surf, and all manner of swell interruption. Fearing a severe case of surf rejection. I can only hope for some kind of a weather induced calming influence.
Nor'east head-rippers. Angry Atlantic, Malibu beach. 9/23/2015.    -Pic courtesy Malibus

   In the meantime, to drown my concerns, the season has influenced my calm with the autumn proffering from New Holland Brewing out of Holland, Michigan. Ichabod, a sessionable Pumpkin Ale at 4.5% ABV is an easy drinking brew that pours a clear copper with a finger head. Mildly creamy texture compliments the fairly light pumpkin pie taste. Scents of cinnamon and nutmeg. I was stoked about trying this one as it’s name follows in the head ripping tradition of bad-ass Washington Irving. A little too light for me though. I was wanting this beer to take my head off…but to no avail, (although I’m sure a six will leave your head spinning). Nice little 25 IBU hop spice pop at the end of the run though. Rated a B-.
"Keep calm and add more hops"

Friday, September 18, 2015

Pain Relief, notes from the Rogue.

                                                            Calming seas. Sunrise in North OC. 9/10/2015                    -Dispatch photo

   Our trip to the 'Bury and the E-Sho' is coming up next week. Very stoked about getting wet again. Swell has been flat over the past week. Painfully flat. Well, not painfully for me. Actually, conditions like that relieve my pain of not being able to hit it. Hopefully the surf reports as of late will not be a precursor as to what the surf will be next weekend. Can't wait. I mean serious anticipation. Of the entire trip.

   Beer helps with the waiting. Tis the season. Sierra Nevada's Oktoberfest, a marzen full of brewing flavor layers. Pours a clear, deep gold with a finger plus head. Starts with the usual bready malty caramel, maybe a pinch of nutmeg or allspice, then the floral hop finish kicks in and stays for awhile. A bit rad. I like it! Strong fest bier offering at 6.0% alcohol, but the 30 IBUs of hops makes this a real "should try" for the season. Rated a B+.

Goose Island.  Maybe I have a personal twitch against these guys because of the whole "sold out to In-Bev" thing, but their Autumn Red Ale shows they still have the craftiness with 'em. More like an ESB if you ask me, this one pours a ruby-red amber, clear, with a finger plus head as well. Strong malt frontal assault followed with the spicy-pine and citrusy-tangerine of their Amarillo hops...all 65 IBUs of 'em. I had a couple of these from their Fall collection. Stoked that GI still seems to care for the craft. 6.7% ABV. Rated an A-.
"Give me oysters and beer for dinner ev'ry
day of the year and I'll feel fine, I'll feel
fine."     -J.Buffet, Tin Cup Chalice