Thursday, March 24, 2016

Right Coast Gratitude, notes from the Rogue.

"When this world's too much it will be only the ocean and me."   -Jack Johnson, Only The Ocean.
Eye of the needle, 47th Street at it's best. 3/21/2016. T. Layton Pic, courtesy Shannon Blythe.

   Finally have a return date set. Into the second week of April. It's been way too long since my last surf check. Lisa asked me the other day if I was planning on doing any surfing when we went over. Have to admit, the thought has entered my mind. Water's in the mid to upper 40's. Gonna have to do better than that for my first sesh of '16. I can deal with the cold, but prefer to avoid the frigid. You can bet I'll be keeping a watch on the weather and surf reports. Although, at this point I'd be greatful for an in-person surf check. It's been since January. Hell, I'll be grateful just to see and smell the Shore again.
   Beer. Now that, beer I mean, that I prefer frigid. Iced glass. Oh yeah. Two coolers for the season. Not necessarily seasonals, but they accentuate the celebrations of this time of year. Oskar Blues Old Chub, an 8%'er of a Scottish Strong Ale. Cooked up our corned beef in it. Washed down the cabbage, potatoes, and carrots with it. Perfect St. Paddy's Day offering. Poured a deep reddish-brown hue with a thick, dark tan, 2-finger plus head. Thick lacing hung tight to the glass with aromas of molasses and chocolaty malts. The copious malts added the sweet to the taste with a background of coffee. Smooth body with just enough hop bitterness (25 IBUs) to bring yang to the sweet yin. Rated an A.

Peroni Nastro Azzurro, an Italian import. Pale Lager style. Now, as a stand alone? Very "meh." But whilst doing yard work and burning it up in ye 'ol fire pit? Nice. Plus, it was free from our neighbor doing the same. Real nice. This one I had outta the bottle. Soda-like carbonation and pale in color. 5.1% ABV and probably around 10 to 15 IBUs. Weak but the moment- cool down with a burn, made it refreshing. Tasted like a mild Heineken. Rated a C/C-. Still...I did have another.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Something Amiss, notes from the Rogue.

"There must be something I missed. I wake up in the morning just makin' a fist.
 I don't call it living, I just exist."
  -K. Chesney
Malibu beach, 8th street. 2/10/2016

   Out of sorts lately. Like I'm outta alignment. And, the mornings are the worst (not that I've ever been a morning person). Something amiss. DST just around the corner. It has snowed twice over the past week here in Chicagoland. Temps in the 50's last week. Supposedly into the 60's next week. But, I'm not gettin' the fever. Not feelin' it. In need of salt maybe? Saltwater. Salt air. Biggest obstacle to making this happen? No planned return trip in sight. Need to remedy that so I can remedy me. Miss the Bay. Miss the Ocean. Miss the Sho'.

   Two brews to help my ailment. The same. But different. Both produced by a favorite brewery, Ballast Point of San Diego fame. Both IPA's, produced from the same IPA. Like bro brews. Stop. Okay, BP took their famous Sculpin and added habanero to one batch and grapefruit to the other to produce two excellent beers with a distinctly different sting. Habenero Sculpin had the eye popping hop bite and citrus fruit taste combined with the eye watering, mouth burning fire of the habenero peppers.

Grapefruit Sculpin highlighted the grapefruit citrus of the hops and actually helped the malts smooth the finish. Both came in at 70 IBUs and 7% ABV. Both poured a nice orange-amber with a finger and a half light tan head. Both unique in taste with a great bittersweet aftertaste. Both rated an A.

"Don't bother me while I'm fishing,
unless you brought beer."  - E. Dibbles