About- Andrew Sharp
The snow is falling in parts of the country. While some states have yet to see its first flurries, others got over 20 inches of snow over night this month. Before the snow piles so high we give up and resign ourselves to the couch, filling our days with binge watching Netflix, we’d like to offer a few choices for provisions to stock up on. Better prepared than sober, I say.
Las Vegas is synonymous with excess. Strolling around the Bellagio or trendy new Cosmopolitan, it is all too common to see a Chinese businessman with stacks of strangely colored chips at the baccarat table, or a hip-hop star and their entourage with an endless stream of overpriced bottles of vodka and champagne in the VIP area of an equally overpriced club. This is one of the attractions of Vegas. This and the scantily clad waitstaff, ready to bring a seemingly never-ending supply of drinks for as long as you’re willing to keep gambling.
ABV: 8.0% | IBU: 16
Pumpkin beers have been a contentious issue on PorchDrinking over the past six weeks. Opinions certainly differ on the propriety of drinking pumpkin beer in August, but since we’re well into October, I hope I’m not in the minority in calling pumpkin beer season officially open for business. They’re not for everyone, these pumpkin beers. They tend to offend the Reinheitsgebot in nearly every way possible. Not only do they have adulterating spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves, but they’re usually chock full of “pumpkin”.
Like a barometer falling before a storm, there are certain signs that fall is coming. Some may note “back to school” ads in the paper, or spotting the first Oktoberfest beer in the supermarket. My sure sign is the release of the AP Preseason football poll. While the sales at Target and fall beer releases may be exhibiting the same seasonal creep as Christmas decorations at Macy’s, the release of the AP Preseason poll is my alarm bell to start getting ready for football (and just as important, tailgate) season. No tailgate is complete without a beer (or six). Here’s the six you should bring to your next tailgate.
Canada: our neighbor to the north. Most of the beer stereotypes about Canada involve strength over weaker American macros. While this may hold when comparing Bud Light to Molson Canadian or Labatt Blue, the craft market busts these stereotypes wide open. Those of us who have had 1 or 2 Hog Heavens then stood up can attest to this.
I normally do not drink things out of small cans. The only things that come in small cans are energy drinks and pineapple juice. I was, however intrigued when I spotted a four pack of 21st Amendment’s “Lower De Boom” Barleywine on an endcap. It was on sale – the deal was sealed.
HBO’s Silicon Valley has been another success for creator Mike Judge. Judge has had a successful career on both the big and small screens as creator of hits such as Beavis and Butthead, King of the Hill, and Office Space. Silicon Valley is no exception. Judge’s new creation is funny, smart, but most of all, genuine. While the storyline is slightly contrived and hyperbolic, the humor and characters aren’t. Silicon Valley captures the realities and challenges of a start-up – all the hard work, ruthless competition, and ample shenanigans.
ABV – 9.0%
IBU – 31
I bought a bag of Sour Patch Kids on my drive home from Thanksgiving with my family. Last time I checked, there is about 2/3 of a bag of Sour Patch Kids in the console of my truck. They’ve long since dried out. I’m not a geologist, but if I had to guess, I’d guess they would rate somewhere feldspar and quartz on the mohs hardness scale. While I may not be a geologist, I still remember some of my 4th grade science fair kung-fu, and through application of a bit of inductive reasoning, I’ve concluded that Sour Patch Kids do not age well.
When I think of India Pale Ales, I don’t think of The Subcontinent, I’d venture to guess that most of you don’t either. Maybe California or Comstock, MI, but probably not India. The IPA is a British invention that is as tired as that other big British invention: Watt’s steam engine. America does IPAs the right way – the American IPA is the Saturn V rocket to the paltry British IPA. Or at least so I thought.
I was recently asked someone in passing what their favorite citrus fruit was. Is that an odd question? I guess that’s the kind of question you ask and can expect an honest-to-god answer. Why would anyone taradiddle on tangerines? I think you can tell a lot about a person by their taste in citrus fruit – I’d venture that a majority of replies will be “ummm, oranges?”. That’s fine, oranges are good, but in all honesty, they’re the Bud Light of the citrus world. I don’t have anything against oranges or the good people who grow them (I have a glass of OJ every morning when I wake up) but this answer is all too milquetoast. There are so many varieties of citrus fruit; it’s damn hard to get anything but excited about them. The lowly citron, the mandarin orange, the lemon, the Kumquat!, the possibilities are endless.
Everyone has a hard day at work every once in a while. You know, the one where you come home and want to do nothing but turn on the TV and watch Tosh.0 until your brain turns into jelly. And you’re thirsty – very thirsty. You need a drink that will let you take your mind off of everything. I love a quality geuze or a big Belgian quad, but sometimes I need to give my palate a bit of a break. Sitting down to a copy of Ulysses can be a rewarding challenge, but sometimes I just want to read The Hunger Games. So I crack a Yuengling Lager and zone out.
Sometimes, the chase is all the fun. Anyone who has watched a sappy rom-com knows how this plays out – the pursuit becomes the fun becomes the commitment, and then the waffling suitor gets cold feet. No sooner than he can regret it, Logan Marshall-Green swoops in and before you know it, Hide & Seek is playing in slow-mo. But what do you do when the object of your affection is no vexing vixen but a soapy seductress, a hoppy harlot, or a malty matron? We’re not talking about the 4:30 thoughts of a 5 o’clock cold one, this is serious: this is some Captain Ahab shit, and Bell’s Hopslam is my white whale.
Evil Twin Brewing Company – Molotov Cocktail Imperial IPA
IBU: All of Them
This is going to be a bit confusing to those of you who are not familiar with my apartment, ok, well, that makes all of you – but I can smell this beer from my kitchen. I opened it, poured it, and ran to the kitchen to grab a snack. It’s a long way from my office to my kitchen, at least 40 feet. And there are walls…like a bunch of walls, at least 2, maybe more (counting becomes difficult somewhere between the 1st and 2nd Molotov).
ABV: 7.0%, IBU: 50
It’s a terrifying moment. As you and your crew walk into your favorite beer bar, a familiar call rings out from the back of your pack “first ones on me, what do you want”. Hooray! Right? Or maybe not. This bar has a great selection, always something new, but it’s going to take you at least 5 minutes on Google to sort out what looks like a Stone tap on the left, the Southern Tier on the right, or the 8 obscurities in between. You don’t have that kind of time. Ok, no Guinness tonight, not a Stone IPA night either. What’s that on the right? Ballast Point? But you can’t read the tap from back here. They just made it across the state line, and you know they make a kick ass IPA. Screw it. Time to play Tap Roulette.