Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Pulled Together, the Rogue's notes.

River flights. Milwaukee River.
   Father's Day weekend. I'm in the western suburbs of Chicago. My son is stationed, or more like working a station, in Wassau, WI. A sports anchor/reporter for a local TV station. About eighteen hours from the coast. Four hours further than I. It's a distance, either way. Give my Chi-Girl credit, she pulled us together, coordinated a halfway mark in Milwaukee, that the three of us could meet for lunch. A brewery. Needless to say, I was stoked.

Very stoked Father's Day! 6/19/2016

   Lakefront Brewery on the Milwaukee River had a pretty expansive selection of beer set in a German Beer Hall styled setting. Long tables with community style seating. Not sure about the location of Lake Michigan (or any lake for that matter), in relation to the brewhaus, but the setting on the river was pretty impressive. Beers downed as party boats, kayakers, and SUP'rs cruised by. Sundays are brunch day, and we enjoyed a brat board sample, and a couple of big pretzels with Bavarian cheese and Polish mustard. Not to be left out were the two flights of beer, sampling each of their brews on tap. My fiance' knows me. Hadn't seen my Son in a while. This Father's Day trip was sweet.
   Brought back two of Lakefront's offerings. SMaSH Ale, a single hop/single malt Pale. Beer at it's simplest as their ads say. Poured a hazy yellow-gold with a two-finger plus white head. Aromas of sweet lemon and herb. Flake biscuit taste up front with a light hop bitterness (14 IBU) that really added the crisp to the finish. A great sessionable ale at 5.2% ABV. A draft favorite of all of us. I could drink these all day. Rated an A.
"It takes beer to make a thirst
worthwhile."  -German saying.

  Bridge Burner Imperial Amber Ale was a bit of a bigger beer at 8.5% ABV. This wrench wielding brew will knock the careless senseless which explains the four pack they came in. Poured a deep reddish amber haze with a two-finger tan head. Could smell a scent of pine and citrus from the 40 IBUs of hops with a hint of toffee in the background. The taste however, was much sweeter than I anticipated... like a barleywine, dominated by the dark roast malts. Still sensed the fruit of the hops which added balance. Rated a B.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Thankful, the Rogue's notes.

"There is nothing...nothing, more sad than a surfer who used to
surf." -Unknown (I don't intend to be that guy). Tearing into the
shoulder, Holiday's and 66th. 5/31/2016

    Our third hike to the beach; my last sesh of this trip. Water noticeably warmer. Lost the gloves. Always nice to strip rubber. Around 60F, maybe a tad over. Light northern current. Offshore winds at about 5 knots made for an initially clean frontside break. About waist plus. Little crowded too. More than a half dozen in a 3 block stretch. For this break, at this time of evening, that's crowded. Singled out a few rides. Then, as the tide rolled in the winds changed, the rips changed. Swell became a hair convoluted. I'd even say after another thirty minutes or so, tortuous. I couldn't catch Jack $hit. Patience out the door. Like the week's run. When it comes to the Atlantic, she does what she wants. We have no say. I know that. Should've been more thankful. In fact, later that evening after a chance to chill, reflect, and dinner with my girl and surf buddy, I was.
Mind changing break, Holiday's 5/31/2016.
   Couple of Maryland Summer brew-ha's to close the week. Baltimore's Union Craft Brewing puts out a serious Gose that does the season proud. Old Pro... like the guy who regular pars the miniature golf course. Brewed with a pinch of salt and the lacto to add the tarty sour. Poured a somewhat hazy, straw-gold with a fizzy finger and a half head. Aromas of lemon and light salt. Puckering lemon taste with enough salt to give it a bit of a savory feel with no hop bitterness (10 IBUs). As with most of this style, low ABV's at 4.2%. Crisp. Nice. So down 'em! Rated a B+.

Tall Tales Brewing in Parsonsburg, MD is not what I'd call impressive. Their beers are fair to middling overall, with a decent imperial here and there. Some Beach Blonde. No standout, although the more of this I drank, the better it seemed to get. I did stretch it. Like a craft Miller. Had a clear yellow pour with about a finger fluff of head. Light pine and citrus aroma. Taste was like a little more bitter than Miller...did I say craft Miller? Enough hops, 14.8 IBUs, to add snap to the finish. And the 4.8% ABV makes it a decent beach brew. I'd get more if I could drink 'em on a beach. Legally. Rated a C+.
"Some beach. Somewhere. There's
a big umbrella casting shade over an
empty chair."       - Blake Shelton