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!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Tough Glide, the Rogue's Notes.

   Ever seen those movies where the main character seems to glide through the seasons and consequently through the years until so many years later they’ve reached the destination in time where the story concludes…preferably happily. That’s where I am at this time. My mindset. This Midwest life is tough to get high on. Sometimes it’s goin’ very cool. Job’s moving smooth. And then I’m missing the beach. Skies are gray. Time here is monotonous. Clunky. I’m not glidin’. More like the wave I’m on is sectioning big time. Short rides, or cut-short rides. Sometimes a taste of stoke. Sometimes a mouthful of salt water. Continuously forced back into the line-up to look for the next wave; my take off dependent on my ‘tude which lately, like time in the water, has been lacking. Typical of one of my frustrating true-to-kook form sessions. All about the ‘Tude. Like home. Like sales. Like life.
"Your everlasting summer; you can see it fading fast. So you grab a piece of something that you think is gonna last."                                                                                               - Steely Dan, Reelin' In The Years
W. Foster and Lake Shore Drive, Lake Michigan...ankle biters still blowin' in. 10/14/2015

   Big Bay Brewing. Shorewood, WI. Shores of Lake Michigan. Painting a picture here as to their motto: Life on the water is a little sweeter. I dig it. And I was diggin' this brew. Long Weekend IPA poured a bright orange-amber with about a finger head. Scents of resin and pine with grapefruit overtones. But the taste was full of bitter citrus and mango with a toffee sweet backbone. Enjoyed this baby. Too bad I obliterated it; barely able feel it. And, it was only one of a mixed six. Damn good stuff. Rated an A.
"Free Beer. Topless Bartenders. False
Advertising" - Sign At Roadside Dive

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Hand Of Joaquin, the Rogue's notes.

The far reaching hand of Joaquin. 10/2/2015

   Being out in the Midwest, one might think that an East Coast hurricane would not affect too much concern. Joaquin poured a lotta rain on the central and southern portions of the east through the weekend. Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia, Delaware, and yes, Maryland. My only apprehension was of the ‘Bury homestead. My neighbor had it under control. But, Joaquin’s hand was far reaching, and Chicago’s lakefront was showing signs of irritation. Working downtown at the end of last week, I swung south on Lake Shore Drive to eyeball the potential surf conditions. High winds. Cooler temps. Overcast. Coulda’ made an argument I suppose. Surfed somewhat similar slop out east. But, this woulda’ been like trying to cleave my way thru a boiling cauldron. Pinball Wizard style. I’m still thinking about the opportunity. As waves on the Lake Michigan (and the rest of the Great Lakes for that matter) are dependent on fetch and wind speed, the right storm with the right track could produce the right opportunity in the future. Ahhh, hurricane season.

                                                    Inlet jetty under assault. 10/3/2015                                 -Dispatch photos

OC Pier taking on another beating.

Flooding from the storm tides overtook parts of downtown (here...Edgewater Ave.), and West Ocean City
Pressed by the approaching Cat 3/4 'cane, the Atlantic charged in encroaching on the coastal dune line. 10/2/2015

The hand of Joaquin could be felt clear to Lake Michigan.
Science Dr., Chicago. 10/2/2015

LaSalle Dr., Chicago. 10/2/2015
   Lake Louie Brewing, Arena, WI. A new midwest brewery (for me) pursuing world class IPA conditions. Kiss-the-lips is an India Pale sportin’ 6.0% ABV to put one in the right A-Frame of mind to chase hurricanes. Like Joaquin, this clear amber pour whips up a squall, with a very thick, foamy, three-finger, off white head. Floral and citrus aromas lead to an almost Belgian like taste. The malts mix it up well, but the hops (54 IBUs) finish this off the hook, with a lightly bitter, crisp bite. Rated an A-. Git one!
"It's hard to kiss the lips at night
that chew your ass out all day long."
-LL Brewing

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Seasick, notes from the Rogue

"When I'm all alone, I'm thinkin' about the ocean; dreams are filled with
 sand, sea, and waves."          -Shore Thing, R.L. Ashcraft 
Holiday's, 66th Street 9/27/2015             

   All week the weather and surf reports fluctuated. Rain. No rain. Head. Double overhead. Less than head. Hoped for the best. Prepared mentally, for the hard $hit. I was turned back twice, more from frustration by fatigue than by impossibility. Rethought my method twice. Used a different strategy each time. And got out into the line-up twice. Pulled the BZ card. The high pressure system from up north pressing the Right Coast with all sorts of nor'east chop. Last Sunday's conditions. As hard as I fought to get out using a bodyboard and fins, I knew there was no way I'd have gotten out on the Shell. With head to higher swell, the trip into the lineup slammed one after another on my head. By the time I got past the break my lungs were burning. Chest heaving to suck air in. But, I can honestly say at no time did I feel panic or anxiety. More like pride; exhilaration; fulfillment.
Feeling the weight...lifting. Holidays 66th St. 9/27/2015.

"The cure for anything is
saltwater: sweat, tears or
the sea."         -Isak Dinesen

   Last week I was aware of the pain; the longing for the sea. My Eastern Shore. Homesick or seasick? Through the weekend, my fiance and I... time with family. My grand-daughter's first birthday; to finally get to see her walk. Time with my daughter and son. Time with my brothers. Time with friends. And in the end, time in the water. All helped me get past my seasickness. At least in the short term. More fixes will be needed in the future. Of that I am sure.

   A brew that celebrates the seasonal transition and cures the seasickness that ales. Pumpkin Down, a pumpkin infused Scottish Ale from Ballast Point of the surf town of San Diego. Lemme tell ya, these guys at Ballast Point know how to brew and distill pure Stoke. Poured a deep reddish orange with a finger thick tan head. Nice pumpkin and nutmeg aromas with the combined tastes of cinnamon, spice, and toffee without being overwhelming or too sweet. Nice hop backlash added a subtle bitter finish. 22 IBUs. 5.8% ABV. The best Pumpkin so far this season. Drank two or three. Rated a B+/A-.

Bad-Ass moon rising. Moon-lit break; walkin' the boards. 10/27/2015

Carvin' up the sidewalks in her walkin' shoes.
 Damn! Time flies.
 Happy Birthday Adriana!