About- Josh Buchanan
San Diego, CA
ABV: 7.0% | IBU: 70
Availability: Year-round in 12oz. Bottles, 12oz. Cans & Draft
In the world of IPA’s, leave it to the west coast to remind us what flavors we didn’t quite realize we were missing, or flavors that were better left in the cupboards. For the ever popular Ballast Point Brewing Company in San Diego, California, pushing the envelope isn’t new territory. Just this past weekend, I was able to experience the strange and not quite so enjoyable Habanero Sculpin. This beer most definitely plays in a league of its own and even now, I am not sure what those rules are.
In case you have haven’t heard, the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs started on Thursday. With some last minute heroics by Ottawa pushing Boston out of the picture and Calgary robbing Los Angeles a chance to defend their title, here is what the first round match-ups look like.
Brewery: Sierra Nevada (Chico, CA)
As the summer slowly comes into permanent existence here on the East Coast, it’s time for that special style from the West Coast. Who else but Sierra Nevada would employ a new style with signature quality and popular fanfare?
Oh to be a college basketball fan. To think watching a full season of NCAA hoops earns you any distinction among the various friend, co-worker or family pools that amass during this frantic period. To be reminded that the chances of glory and bragging rights are only occur by happenstance. To be reminded how one games performance means nothing in the next game, and to bemoan only what could have been. That my friends, is what March Madness does to me.
Brewery- Ballast Point (San Diego, CA)
Style- Imperial Porter
Availability- Limited Release
It is hard to top the month of March in my book. Birthdays, March Madness, St. Patty’s…and Snow Days. Looking back on my last birthday snow day, I have to go quite a ways back to 5th grade. This birthday ranks among the best albeit for different reasons, namely Super Mario Tennis on the N64. Who could be bothered to go outside when you have characters to unlock, friends to beat and aces to serve!?
Fast forward to today, and while the glory of adolescent gaming has shifted to become a thing of the past, there are battles that have been won on this March 6. Working (a term loosely used today) from home allows such posts to be written leisurely and motivated with a fine beverage at hand. Tapping into my Valentine’s Day Weekend loot of hard to find bottles has brought out today’s first Victory at Sea, an Imperial Porter by Ballast Point.
There’s an old saying that goes in team sports: Players win games, coaches lose them and refs ruin them. In a sense, that is what Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West is dealing with after their successful 2014 Little League World Series Championship has been stripped. After being discovered for recruiting ineligible players outside of township lines. The whistle-blower in this case, Mountain Ridge Little League, the de-facto US championship as it so happens. A couple days of passed since the ruling, and the internet is buzzing with conspiracy theories, motivations, and plenty of victim claims.
Max Scherzer just hit the lottery in Washington, a contract that shaking plenty of heads. Putting together a “Thank You” ad for the fans of Detroit enhances his image more than than those 8 zeroes that are going to his bank account.
National Release/ Limited Season
As is usually the case this time of year, dark weather brings out the dark beer in my libation rotation. Shying away from the conventional brewed coffee, the stout has become my go-to for comfortable drinking. Spending time in Ireland just recently, my liver has come to expect little else than the delicious homemade Guinness that really isn’t the same on this side of the Atlantic. Coming back after a fair share of Black & Tan’s and Baby Guinness Shots (the most delicious shot if Kahlua and Baileys are up your alley), I spent a fair amount of time during the Holidaze getting reacquainted with Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Sierra Nevada Stout and the annual Christmas Car Bomb (while abroad, order at your own risk, fyi).
With parades marching throughout the land celebrating another year of renewed energy and enthusiasm about the future, 4 teams took to the field to prove something as well: The Ohio State University, the underdog and Big 10 Champion, Florida State, ACC and defending National Champion, Alabama, SEC Champion, and Oregon, PAC 12 Champion. These conferences saw their constituents take to the boards and phone lines proclaiming their superiority and dominance over one another, but the time for talk was now finally over as New Year’s day arrived. What was to come at the end of this day, no one could have expected.
As much as we all loved gaining the extra hour the first night of November, I would be hard pressed to find someone who relished the idea of leaving work at dusk and returning home in darkness. This week’s edition commemorates those dark nights of fall and the foreboding weather to come with a delicious and decadent brew to ease your fears and warm your spirit. Enjoy these with caution and care, for consuming all of these in one evening will require more than an extra hour in the morning, and you may think twice before brewing that pot of coffee.
And so begins another exciting season of college hoops in a short span of days. While the pain and joy of last March Madness may still be fresh, it is time to begin waltzing down the familiar path of preparing— and thinking you know college hoops— for your next pool to recoup your pride and treasure.
Preseason ranking have been posted and many sports analysts have already made their predictions….usually about how good Kentucky will be this season. But believing that we can all agree that BBN doesn’t deserve all the news and hype until regular season tip off on November 14, let us move onto some other interesting topics that are developing for the 2014-15 NCAA Basketball season.
And no, Rashad McCants and Roy Williams tiff doesn’t count as basketball news anymore.
Few things get you excited after getting home from work late: catching the rest of a game won by your favorite team (or your most hated losing it), a full DVR arsenal locked and loaded for your viewing pleasure, and of course a hidden drawer in your fridge of delicious beers.
October is such a great time for sports. The NHL returns, the World Series comes around and conference play in the NCAA starts taking place. This Saturday, however, should be getting most of your attention. 23 of the top 25 teams will be taking the field in many important conference showdowns (16 to be exact). Most notably, 6 of the top 15 will be playing each other in, yup, you guessed it, the SEC West. Here they are.
Weddings are usually a fun-filled weekend followed by a week-long hangover. Family weddings, on the other hand, are a whole different animal, especially when the man your sister is marrying decides he is going to brew the beer for it. Pretty challenging in and of itself, but then throw in the extra challenge of bottling and labeling, and you begin to get a scope of this endeavor. Now here comes the whammy: Eight styles. Eight different brews dispersed into 650 bottles and voila, you may kiss the bride. That said, it is safe to say that beer has a warm place in the hearts of most my family- 10 siblings/spouses and counting!
With Preseason on most American sports fan’s minds, it is only fitting that the last lazy Sunday on the fairway was as exciting as it was. It had a little something for everyone: a little bit of rain, some bright colors to combat the late shadows (Thanks, Rickie), and quite the tasteful ornithological variety of sorts, with birdies and eagles and even ducks.
Many of you may be thinking, “Doesn’t this guy know that the 4th season of The Walking Dead ended a month ago!?” As with many shows, I am hardly the patient type who waits week to week for a new episode just to sit through the incessant commercials, so coming into this show just last month was the perfect way for me to get all set for season 5! It has definitely been enjoyable, and I could hardly contain myself while watching with some of these delicious IPAs in hand, getting me ready for hop season. Anyway, enough rambling and on to the pairings!