Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Search: Feel It When You See It, notes from the Rogue

"We live by the currents, plan by the tides, and follow the sun." -Apna
Wades Point. Claiborne, MD. 4/10/2016

    The Search. In surfing, the movie The Endless Summer said it best: "the search for the perfect wave." As to mine and Lisa's next step, it is the search for a location to tie a knot. Well actually, The Knot. Not a mission to be taken lightly. We already knew it would take place in St. Michaels, Maryland. Somewhere. The place has history, incredible waterfronts, cool shops, excellent seafood found in all of it's restaurants, a winery, and a distillery (the dark rum is off the chain!). Most importantly this small 'Sho town has a brewery! Truly, an ideal location. Brilliant! Still needed the actual location though.

  During our most recent return to the Coast, we had dinner with my brothers and their wives. Both spoke about a sweet 19th century bed and breakfast on the Chesapeake Bay. Gotta say, I was skeptical. A B&B? Probably wouldn't have the amenities we would need. Old, small...wrong! Wades Point Inn. A colonial plantation whose history dates back to revolutionary times. 400 acres maybe. The Plantation House fully renovated. Cottages. And an additional building with all of the amenities of a modern motel. The Bay views complete the refreshing stoke this place radiates. Absolutely radical. Breathtaking. The pics don't do it justice. Lisa said it best, "I felt it when I saw it and just knew." Since then we have been able secure the more modern building (try to satisfy most guests), and have begun working on details. Finding this place has taken a stressor off our minds. Thanks to my Bros. Aiming for Thanksgiving holidays...late November time-frame. Plenty of time in the chute. Search for the next wave now. More to come.
Party central.

   More beer too. A couple of spring starters. Pinehople IPA. Brewing IPAs with fruit or fruit flavors seems to the the trend right now. Obviously, the spring is an ideal time to roll 'em out. Evo Craft Brewing. Yeah, that's right. Another one. What can I say? They've been bangin' 'em out lately and when local, I drink local. In this one I could smell plenty of pineapple but not really taste it. Nice hop bite with a spine of toffee malt to add a touch of sweet to the bitter. 6.8% ABV does not make this a warm weather slammer, but the aggressive 65 IBUs (and maybe the pineapple) provide the acidic citrus refresher the Spring screams for. Rated a B. 

Allagash Brewing Company brings in warmer weather with an outstanding Belgian Witbier; Allagash White. Poured a hazy pale yellow with about a finger's worth of a white cloud of a head. Aromas of orange, lemon, and coriander. Similar in the taste with a peppery spice on the back end. I understand this is from the wheat used in the brewing process. Light but refreshing hop profile as reflected in the 28 IBUs. However, at 5.1% ABV I am trying to understand the four bottle package with a six bottle price. Allagash a little greedy maybe? As I said, an excellent Spring brew. A little pricey. A- rating.


Winning flower girl pick! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Temporary Restoration, the Rogue's notes.

In the Cat's shadow; April A-frames touch down within reach. Roadways...30th Street break. Ocean City, 4/8/2016.

    Been and back. Five nights and days. Me and my Chi-Town Fiance'. Filled with real estate negotiations, contractor deals, Family, Friends, and a cure...the Coast. The lineup was not empty. A few rubber clad souls took advantage of the somewhat clean conditions. Like to say I was tempted, but with the water still around the 47F mark I just say no to the hood and headaches. Couldn't help but stare though. And snap off a round of pics. Beach restoration crews were hard at it getting the dunes repaired and beaches ready for the summer crowds. They do a nice job. Unfortunately it is all only temporary; the mending of the beach and the cure.
"There's something about the beach that feeds your soul, keeps you young, and demands your return."

   Put the house up (for sale). Made fix-it arrangements. Spent time with my daughter and her family. Dinner at my brothers. Night out with my surf buddy, Tom. Time with our neighbors. Went down to the beach. Gotta say, I spent the weeks looking forward to this trip. And when we got there, we were like a whirlwind. So busy. Days were like minutes and it was over in no time. When the house sells, we'll be looking for a place in the OC. Townhouse or condo. We talk about when we might return. Could come back to stay sooner than later if everything aligns; like sweet front-side sets lining up on the horizon. As in perfect surf, it's the timing. For now, we focus. Key to success. And sanity.
   To help provide sanity assistance, this post has three in the lineup. Expected first in the chute was Indiana's Three Floyd's Alpha King. A Pale Ale by name, but an IPA by construct. A big beer with a big hop profile at 68 IBUs. Full of resiny pine and orange-mango-citrus aroma and flavor. Light sweetness of the malt without an overpowering bitterness. Poured a hazy amber-red with an off white finger and a half head. Substantial lacing. Not for the faint of blood at 6.66% ABV. Good shit! Rated an A+.

Flying Dog's "I need to drink in some summer now" brew is Fever Dream, Mango-Habanero IPA. Perfect for this trip, 7% ABV makes it dangerous enough to put one in a dream state if more than enough are consumed. Tempting. Rusty copper pour with a one-finger fluff khaki head. Fair lacing. Sweet malt up front with pineapple citrus in the aroma and hop bitterness. The habaneros stung in the back end, but without being distracting. I rated this one a B+. Wanna bring out the sweat without the humidity? Drink a couple of these.

Lastly, another EVO Craft Brew. They turned their star Caribbean Stout into a Russian Imperial.  Like a servant defected, come back as a comrade master. Almost mutant-like. Rise-Up R.I.S. Pours thick and viscous. An opaque brown tinted black with a brown 2-finger plus head. Thick brown lacing. Lots of organic coffee in this badass beer. Tastes of roast toffee, rich dark chocolate, and strong coffee. Nice hop bitterness (40 IBUs) in the finish to balance the boosiness. I had bought this one during our Snow-Storm trip in January and let it rest until this trip. At 10% ABV, it is better suited for cooler weather (it was in the 30's on a couple of nights). I believe in an ice-cold beer, but it seemed like the more I sipped on this one as it warmed, the more chocolaty it became. Nice. Rate a B+/A-.
"Oh, this beer here is cold,
cold and hop-bitter, no point
in coming up for air, gulp, till
it's all--Ahhhhh!"  -Thomas Pinchon