Sunday, June 25, 2017

Beyond the Grass-line, the Rogue's notes.

Cuttin' the grass...better than eatin' sand!
Holidays beach breakin'. 6/22/2017

   In season. Solstice. Time to show gratitude for what you get. This time of year it's on the low-low. Waist high at best. Water's been warming slow. Still 'bout 69F. July warms up considerably. Brings in the tropics. Starts the hurricane season. Some chest to heads. But, there is time for that. In the present, I take what I can get and am thankful for it. Not getting out enough to do much more yet anyways. Still busy unpacking the never ending load of boxes. But, morning sessions will be in the July plan. Past week brought high tide and water breaking damn near the beach. Nothin' worse than an unscheduled beach landing. Churns up the sand from the bottom. Sea grass everywhere. Had to get beyond the grass-line to the lineup. Still painfully close to shore. However, this type of break seems to add urgency to set-up in the ride and I move a bit quicker. Least it seems like it. 66th Street...Holiday's Break. Finally some rights. Knee high fast exits. Caught a few. One semi-memorable. Just happy to be in the ocean.
   Fellow Western Maryland alum, Tom Kehoe started Yards Brewing in 1994. Concocts a nice line. Brawler is an English Mild Ale landing at 12 IBUs which translates to malt forward. similar to a brown ale. Unfortunately, not one of my favorites. Pours a dark copper with about a finger khaki head. Little bitterness with aromas of sweet malt and tasted a tad like a weak Sam Adams. 4.2% ABV ...a nice craft intro to the Bud/Bud-Light crowd. Rated this a C+. Better than a Bud Light!
   Sessionable, when it comes to IPAs, sometimes could mean watered-down. Weak. Like knee to ankle high waves. Not in Pipeworks Brewing's case. I've sampled their beers in the past. Never really bought any. Mango Guppy IPA delivers that signature grapefruit-citrus punch in only 4.6% ABV. Aromas of honey, mango, orange, and pineapple. Tastes of  honey and citrus and able to feature the grapefruityness of hops versus overpowering with additions. Pours a hazy orange-gold with a bout a finger plus white head. Nice carbonation and full lacing. Light sweetness followed by a refreshing hop-bitter finish. More than a semi-memorable ride. Rated a B+.

"What'd you like, Normie?"
"A reason to live. Give me another
-Norm Peterson

Monday, June 19, 2017

Happy Hour, the Rogue's notes.

Yeah, let's go drink till the beer runs dry!
American life in the summertime.

-Francis Dunnery

   We've hit Ocean Pines on the cusp of summer. Got here/closed early May. Been moving in ever since. Boxes emptied, full of keepers and throw-aways. Re-framing and hanging of old pics, paintings, and posters. Furniture, bought and sold. Still quite a bit left to do. But we do find time to slow and take in the water views of the surrounding St. Martin. Call it Civil Twilight. Happy hour. That magic time when the sun begins to drop and paints the sky hues of red, orange, pink, and blue.
Mix in family (my Boy and his girl over for Father's Day), some crabs. Some sweet corn. Throw in a surf. Sometimes a beer. Or rum. Or both. Maybe write one of these here posts. Enjoyin' life on the Point.
When life gives you lefts...take the the damn lefts!
NE soup, 66th St., near Holidays. 6/14/2017


   Crystal Lake, IL. Been there. Worked the area in my now fading previous career. The lake itself would be a prime attraction if not for the political back biting. Kills me sometimes. Own a home on the water and you think you own part of the water. Regardless, home to a nice little Mid-West brewery. Crystal Lake Brewing. Unfortunately, never got a chance to sample it. Did sample a nice blonde lager though. Chrystal Lake Beach Blonde. Sessionable 5.3% ABV made it easy to throw one back (and a few more if'n I had 'em). Poured a straw yellow with a white head; maybe a finger thick. Thin lacing that dissipated quickly. Aromas of grass and light malt. Cracker-like with a little tang of citrus in the flavor. The 18 IBUs gave it just enough dryness in the finish to add this as a decent summer offering in one's cooler. Rated a B-.

Twilight happy hour...Father's Day on the Point. 6/18/2017

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The 6th Sin, the Rogue's notes

"Wanting people to listen, you can't just tap them on the shoulder anymore. You have to hit them with
a sledgehammer, and then you'll notice you've got their strict attention."
 -John Doe, SE7EN
Walking off the hammering. 67th Street nor'east blow, OCMD. 6/8/2017
  Not really masochism. More like gluttony. Trying to find my surf-legs with a "never-give-up" attitude. Mid-week session. Despite the poor conditions, continued to surf my piece of the Right Coast searching for position; looking in vain for a break in the 15-20 knot, NE wind driven swell. Often been told (not that I listen) that there is a reason no one else is out. The surf report is rarely favorable, especially when the winds blow outta the nor'east. Swell-Info had "red" everywhere. Sloppy, chopped up leftist sections. Mid-tide and a rip here and there helped to get into the line-up. Regardless, I was sucking air each time I got past the foam. Hammered time after time as I was dragged by a relentless southbound current. Knocked around as I worked my way back to firm footing. Swallowed a mouthful of seawater along the way. Then a four to six block walk back to where I took on the anarchy once again. A ride here and there. No big-league moment. Left wondering when enough was enough. Not necessarily enjoyable. Definitely borderline excessive.
   Been up to Heavy Seas. Like their "Pirate" attitude. A reflection of backbay Chesapeake culture and one of Baltimore's top breweries. TropiCannon Citrus IPA; you would think a summer offering. They claim year round. I'm keeping it to Spring/Summer. Pours a cloudy, dark orange with a finger and a half, tight, off-white head. Strong aromas of tropical pineapple, mango, peach, and tangerine. The flavor downplays the citrus aromas with a malty caramel sweetness in the background, and at 45 IBUs, a dry resiny bitterness to the finish. 7.25% ABV to wash away the bumps and and bruises. A six'll help recovery good on a balmy summer evening. Rated a B+/A-.
Scars are tattoos with better
-Anonymous Pirate

Monday, June 5, 2017

My Element, the Rogue's notes.

Droppin' into foam; still got a kick and felt the stoke. Couldn't wait to go after the next one.
Holiday's, 66th Street in the OC. 6/1/2017

"The longer you surf, the more you begin to appreciate that pretty
much any wave will do. It's not so much the actual ride as it is just 
being there - just being able to get out there and go through the 
whole experience."      -Gerry Lopez

   Sea air fillin' my lungs. Full suit. Boots. No gloves. After the initial shock, I was continuously doing the cold salt submerge to cool down. Once my hands got used to the low 60's water temps and I had snipped the first couple short cruises, I reclaimed my element. Semi-clean thigh with occasional waist point breaks. Mid- tide, goin' low. A few righties breakin'. A few lefties. No excuse for the number of misses I had. Clearly relapsed a bit deep into kook form. No worries. I live near the water now. Near my element. Missed a May surf. Early June start. Busy settlin' in, but uh... Yeah. I've said it before- water time, need more.
   Tropical Torpedo IPA. A weapons grade infusion of hop bitterness. Kinda like the sharp sting of that initial cold slap of Lady Atlantic with or without the rubber. Sierra Nevada delivers the rush of hops with the tropical aromatics of papaya, mango, and grapefruit. Clean golden pour with a finger plus head. Good carbo. Decent lacing. Fruity sweet taste up front with a dry, bitter finish in the end. Good IPA. Not as "go to" as the Torpedo IPA itself, but well worth the purchase. Rated a B+.
"Buy any two drinks, and 
pay for them both." 
-sign in bar