Monday, May 30, 2016

Fly By, the Rogue's notes.

Crowd pleaser. Navy's Blue Angels fly by...everyone waited for this one. Annapolis, MD 5/27/2016

   Our second day in, and a primary reason for our nephew, and surf partner Ben, or should I say Ensign. Naval Acadamy Graduate. Sweet. And hot. Like the Blue Angels fly-by, temps were souring in the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Four years in Annapolis, MD are done and gone. Flight school next. We are all very proud. Celebrated with margaritas and crabs. How much more proud can you get?!

Naval Academy Graduation. Annapolis, MD. 5/27/2016
Ensign BenJammin.  Hooyah!
Eat More Crabs.

   So. Like I said, margaritas and crabs. But don't think we didn't have beer too. I brought the brew of choice. Flying Dog's Numero Uno. An Agave Blonde Ale. Their interpretation of a Mexican Lager. More or less. Brewed with flaked maze and lime zest. Poured a straw yellow with a thin finger white head. Light lace. Aromas of lime and dry corn. Light lager taste, a lot like a Corona; with a hint of citrus and lime, but no actual lime. Crisp. Refreshing. Not what I would call original. But...very drinkable, AND perfect with crabs. Rated a B-/C+.

"If you're having a bad day, catch a wave."  -Frosty Hesson.  Sluggish break, 65th Street. 5/28/2016
   Managed to get down to the OC 3x this week. Got into the water 3x this week. Not too bad. By the time the water started warming up enough to strip away some rubber, we had to leave. This session marked Day 2 in the water; Day 3 of our return. Our Right Coast fly by. Thigh-high semi-slop with 10 knot southeast winds. Water just about 60F. No power in the break, but still felt tension. Could not let go. Clock was ticking. Called for more browsin', drinkin', and good eatin' than surfin'. Conditions favored the former. Carved up the wood (versus the riding the chop) in pursuit of some of the Boardwalk's best chow, beer, and maybe a little swag. More pics, less talk. 
Best burgers on the 'Shore.

Boardwalk staple.

Tru dat!

   As part of our board quest we did a brewery and beer re-assessment. Backshore (formerly Shorebilly) Brewing Company on 10th and the boards. They had a six, we did a six. A flight of six. 

To add perspective, we had been here a few years back when they had first opened and you go a flight of different colored beers that all tasted the same. Bland. I thik they were trying too hard to be "boardwalk sessionable." Low ABV so patrons order several. Now they focus on the beer. They've changed brewers. Tightened up their game. Even added some Moonshine. This evening we got six decent offerings. Even some "Hoop-Tea" 'shine.

The best of, in my opinion, was Warrior Come Out and Play, a heavy hitting IPA at 7% ABV. Only session here is one that will knock you on yo ass! Took back a Crowler across state lines. Surprisingly it had a strong malt backbone that did not overpower the 58 IBU hop punch. Okay, enough with the puns. Poured a light haze amber with a finger and half head. Fair lacing. Light aroma of grapefruit, but not strong. More biscuit and malt in the taste than expected, some apricot and citrus. The bitter finish lent to the impression of a half-way English IPA. Rated a B/B- (great movie though). Much improved, but more improvement is always good. I look forward to the next Backshore visit.

"Warriors, come out to play-aayy..."
-Luther (David Patrick Kelly)


Friday, May 27, 2016

Take You Back, the Rogue's notes.

"Well push me back. You're pushin' me too far. I love you for, what I saw before. I squeeze you and I held you,
but I could not tell you I love you, you, you, you, you, you."
  -Valentine, Take You Back v2

Scratching stoke. 66th Street, Holidays.  5/26/2016, OCMD

   Filled my lungs with salt air. Felt the "not so bad" chill of the 58 degree Atlantic as it found the various paths of least resistance through the rubber. Full suit, boots, gloves. Days prior to the trip I purposely laid off in the gym to minimize the stiffness. Helped a little I suppose. However, rubber adds stiffness regardless of the ease of the workouts. Low tide. On shore winds choppin' it up at about fifteen knots; south, southeast. Semi-knurled knee to thigh high swell. If I tried reeeal hard I could imagine a laced waisty here and there. First surf of the year.
   Light northerly current; seemed to drain me trying to hold position. Matter of fact almost every ride, no matter how short, seemed to drain me some. One of my struggles in patience is putting into play a focus on enjoying the moment. I strained to show Mother Ocean some love. Fatigue makes that difficult. All about surf shape. Eight hundred travel miles is an arduous handicap to overcome. Water time is dampened; no pun intended. Therefore, this is a mental skill I continue to work on. Still...I took her back. There were a few rides in this first evening that I felt the stoke again. That and getting wet makes it all worthwhile.
"Well you put me down, put me down real nice. This love affair is takin' the largest slice, from my life I can
see it startin' out gonna have more meaning girl, girl...if I just take you back."
 -Take You Back v3
Taking back, OCMD. 5/26/2016

   This post's brew review is one that I've been wanting to include, but was waiting for the right hole to open up. This be it. Sours are becoming more popular as it seems almost every brewery is coming out with it's own. Lagunitas is no exception. Aunt Sally is a sweet tart of a Sour Mash Ale. Seems their version of a Lactobacillus and hop mix comes up pretty lip smackin' tasty. A cross between chewable vitamins and smarties. A healthy bounce off the wall with a 33 IBU hop twist. Poured a clear straw-gold with a fast dissolving one finger head. Very little lace. Tart mac-apple aroma with a mix of pine. Tastes of sour candy and citrus fruit with a nice light resin hop finish. At 5.7% ABV, I had a few. Rated an A-/B+. 
"You remember it like it was yesterday,
the beer flowed like music. The music
was all that mattered."  -Lagunitas

Sunset on the St. Martin River. 5/26/2016

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Unclouded, the Rogue's notes

Chilly Lake Michigan knee to thighs. April, 2016. North Beach, Chicago.

   By this time last year I had already been in the water a few times. I think about that now as I periodically check the surf report. Hurtin' inside. A little. Yeah, I miss it. It's been a busy year. New job in the Midwest. Home up for sale. Marriage plans under construction. It'd be a false statement to say all was smooth and the future clear. But, there is a plan. One that is bright. Full of adjustments I am sure. One part of the plan that is unclouded: a return to the Ocean. Get wet again. Dreams of a warm beach, light offshores, mild water, and clean swells. Hoping the weather holds, not that it will change next week's plans much. The words of Swayze's Bohdi echo, "Look at it! Let me go out there and let me get one wave, just one wave before you take me in. Come on compadre." Clear, right? It will be.
   This past month has been busy as well. Graduations out the wazoo. Actually, it is my nephew Benjammin's graduation that is one of our primary reasons to return to the Shore. Naval Academy grad dude! Takes him off his wave stick and puts him in the pilot's seat and his hands on the stick of a Raptor, or a Hornet. Ripping up the airwaves of the sky. US Military Charger brah! But I digress. We made a trip into Michigan for my fiance's daughter's last few hard fought softball games and college graduation. 
Power slap. JS#26, Adrian Bulldogs. Adrian, MI April 30, 2016.

Not without a sidetrip. Marshall, Michigan. Dark Horse Brewing Company. Tasty grub. Plenty of good brews that were sampled... a couple to rate as well. Sweet... 
The Horse, Marshall, MI.

Need a mug?

To begin, there was Rain In Blood. A Blood Orange Pale Ale tribute to Slayer. At 11.7 IBU and 5.5% ABV, I would not call it a heavy hitter (I think I would rather drink a heavy beer to heavy metal, but then again if the idea is to drink many to metal, then this would be the ticket...again I digress). Poured a cloudy, orange-amber with a thin white, one finger head. Mild orange aroma. Tasted the slightest hint of the blood orange citrus in lieu of heavy hops. Light bitterness. Mellow, somewhat smooth finish. Rated a B-.

Here's a name...Kamikaze Kaleidoscope, Dark Horse's Spring/Summer Witbier. Poured a hazy deep gold with a puffy one finger white head. Webbed lacing along the inside of the glass. Aromas of orange, pear, coriander, and banana. At 16 IBUs, a subtle hop-bitter aftertaste with a hint of pepper in the finish. At 5% ABV, a candidate for post lawn duties. Rated a B+.
"Two beers or not two beers,
that's the question."

-William Shakesbeer
"Let me go out there and let me get one wave, just one wave..." -Bohdi, Point Break
The lineup calls. 8th Street- Malibus Beach Pic.  May, 2016. OCMD