Sunday, July 31, 2011

FatCat's 11 Iron Single Hopped IPAs


I mentioned a while back that I was going to venture into the realm of single hopped IPAs.  Inspired by the Sam Adams Latitude 48 Deconstructed, I made the commitment to single hop my homebrewed IPAs.  My game plan was to make 8 gallons of IPA, 4 gallons of Horizon IPA and 4 gallons of Citra IPA.  The recipe as far as the grain was concerned was the exact same recipe for each batch of IPA.  At the end I would take roughly half of each batch and make a mixed batch.   This would give me a blended version and two single hop versions for a total of 3 different beers.  With that the FatCat's 11 Iron IPA is born.  I actually brewed these beers about a month ago and forgot to post it to the site but better late than never right?

The Problem

Everything went through fairly well with the brewing except my calculations were off.  I figured this as one 8 gallon batch instead of  two 4 gallon batch.  What is the significance of that you may ask?  Well the evaporation while boiling two 4 gallon batches is much higher than boiling a single 8 gallon batch.  The outcome was I have 4 gallons of Horizon IPA and 2.5 gallons of Citra Imperial IPA.  Due to the Citra batch being smaller than I had anticipated, the sugars were more concentrated.  The sugar is what the yeast eats to make alcohol and thus the Citra IPA will be closer to 11% ABV than my goal of 7% ABV.  Oh well.  Let me tell you the smell of that Citra hop is phenomenal.

11 Iron Horizon IPA

 1.074 O.G.
1.020 F.G.
1.071 ABV
70 IBU

This has been fermenting for about 4 weeks in the primary.  I pulled it out this morning and transferred to the keg.  I am going to dry hop with some Horizon pellets before this brew will be complete.  Straight out of the primary fermenter this brew has a very different aroma than I am used to.  It's kind of earthy with a hint of dull lemon.  It's a very good aroma but is not the typical grapefruit or bright lemons you will find in most commercial IPAs.  The taste is very refreshing with a decent malt backbone to support the bitterness.  The bitterness is very crisp with a very clean finish.  The taste is hard for me to place as I've never really experienced a hop like this.  I would describe it as a hybrid between light earth notes with some mild citrus mixed in with it.  I like this hop a lot because of it's complexity and the fact this is unlike anything I've tried commercially.

11 Iron Citra IPA

All of my calculations have been thrown off due to my volume discrepancy but I had 1.115 O.G.  This will correlate to roughly 11% ABV.  I ran out of room in my kegs so this one will remain in the primary fermenter for a few more days.  I will update you as soon as it comes out of primary.

I'm posting this under the Homebrew Stuff  at the top of the page so check it out.

Friday, July 29, 2011

I think therfore I am

I think I came up with one of those witty drinking quotes.  I've been pacing the house for two hours contemplating my next move in the surgery of my desktop pc.  I came to the conclusion that I was more stressed out than I cared to be.  Out of this epiphany came a moment of GEEENNIUUSSS!

I think too hard when I'm not drinking.  - FatCatKC

See what drinking beer and giving up on pc repair could do for you?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Are You Obsesssed With Craft Brew?

Over at the Beer and Whiskey Brothers there is a test to measure how obsessed you've become with craft brew.  I took the test myself and am a Geek on the Edge according to the Bros.  Although I do think they left some very important questions off of the quiz.  Head on over and take the quiz here.  And for extra credit see if your FatCat nerd worthy.

So here's FatCat's addition to the Bros Beer Nerd quiz. 

16.  Have you ever drank beer out of a 5 gallon bucket?  3 pts

17.  At any point have you ever announced to your drinking party that you would like to bathe and or stick an appendage into the beer you were drinking?  3 pts

18.  Have you ever eaten a hop?  3pts

19.  In 3 successive trips to the liquor store, you have needed a box to carry out your craft beer purchase.  3pts

20.  You could not purchase anymore craft beer because you physically couldn't fit anymore beer into your beer fridge.  5pts.

How did you fare? 

I'm sure we could adapt these into, "You might be a craft beer nerd if..." jokes.  I'll get on that!


I'll Make Him an Offer He Can't Refuse - A chew toy

I’ve stared at this brew in the store more than I care to admit. The price was good but I couldn’t get passed the cheesy name. I know it’s from Laughing Dog Brewing Co. and they are playing on that but it still sounded pretty gimmicky. I passed on this brew countless times but one day I made a stand. I said, “self you must try this silly named brew in the name of becoming a beer Yoda.” That was that and I purchased two of them (they were on clearance which truth be told is the reason I pulled the trigger in the first place. But don’t tell the force or they won’t let me be a Yoda).

I’m going to post my exact tasting notes without any embellishments because re-reading my notes amused me. Who needs sentences, complete thoughts, and other trash? Not the Dogfather.

-Big Malt and Booze in nose, molasses


-Ton of fruit out of place yeast?

-Black cherries

-Gets better as it warms but still very weird

-No real roast


This is definitely unlike any other imperial stout that I have tasted. The sour fruit and black cherry character threw me for a loop. I was not expecting that type of character from this brew at all. I think this approach would be nice if it had some sweetness and roast/chocolate character in the background to support the strong fruit flavors. There is also a barrel aged version which I have not tried yet. I’ll probably let the barrel aged and the other regular version age a while to mellow the cherries and re-taste. If you want to try a stout with character you have never tasted before or you like black cherries in your imperial stout, then pick up a bottle of the Dogfather.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Foundry is one of America's best beer bars

According to Draft Magazine The Foundry at McCoy's was ranked in the top 100 America's Best Beer Bars for 2011.  That should give you plenty of incentive to stop by and congratulate them while enjoying some locally crafted brew. 

Check out the link below for the full article.

America's 100 best beer bars: 2011 

Growing Hops in Containers update 07/26/2011

The hops have been chuggin along.  The recent severe heat hasn't been all that friendly to them.  The hops Centennial hops which are planted in the ground kept getting yellow leaves and then dying.  I figured they were getting too much due to all the rain we'd been getting last month.  So I was a little apprehensive about over-watering the hops.  I was watering once every two or three days.  Well now that it is over a 100 I think the hops are suffering quite a bit so I'm trying to get them watered every day.  Bugs also think my hop plants are a nice looking desert so I had to go buy some organic insecticidal soap.  I've been using it sparingly but I think I should be using it more as some entire leaves have been eaten off.  So with all the perils the hops are doing the best they can.  Hopefully at the end of the season I will have something to show.

Centennial planted in ground
The Centennial is doing fairly well but we have no cones developing yet.  Some leaves are starting to curl up from the heat presumably so I'm struggling to keep them adequately watered.

The Hallertau was the late bloomer but is looking healthier than all of the other plants.  No cones are visible yet and some of the leaves are curling up on this plant as well.

 The Cascade started out the best and grew the fastest.  Their were cones starting to develop and all was looking well.  Then I came out one day and every single leaf on the main vine had curled up and was dying.  Now the only thing left is a secondary vine climbing the wooden stake itself.  I'm not sure if it was lack of water that caused the downturn or if it was my lack of pruning.  I didn't prune the plant at all and it was starting to get bushy down by the base.  Perhaps the excess growth could not be supported by the new root system and the plant started dying.  That's my guess.  So I pruned all of the plants the other day and started watering more.  I also started using Miracle grow fertilizer once a week on all of the plants.  I suppose this could also be the cause of the Cascades sudden down turn but all the other plants are fine.

Life's a garden, dig it?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Breckenridge Small Batch 471 Double IPA

9.2% ABV

At this time of year we are knee deep in IPAs and for good reason. When the temperatures outside are 3 degrees shy of pure damnation, what other beer hits the spot like an IPA? A double IPA, that's what! I ran across the Small Batch 471 at the liquor store and hesitated a bit based on the price. I went on a spiritual journey and channeled the beer gods. They gave me the OK so I pulled the trigger and purchased the sixer.

The Small Batch 471 poured with a huge fluffy white head.  The nose erupted with citrus notes and put out the welcome mat for my palate.  Tasting the 471 gives you good balance between malt and bitter.  The malt starts out with very slight caramel and then leads into good deep grapefruit notes.  The finish is not overly bitter and is well balance like the rest of the brew.  Along the lines of imperial IPAs this is a fairly malty version.  In summary this is not the best imperial IPA out there but is a solid offering.  If you're not a huge hop head or just want to try something new, try this one on for size.

Friday, July 22, 2011

What's Your Lucky Number? Is it 13?

Lagunitas Lucky 13

With a name like Lucky 13 and a horseshoe on the label, you couldn’t help but assume this is the pot of gold at the end of rainbows.  Would the brews taste support my wild assumption that I based off the bottles visual cues?  As always, the price point for this Lagunitas offering is stellar so there is very little reason not to try it.

8.9%  ABV
76.92  IBU

The Lucky 13 is basically an Imperial Red Ale. This is not a technical beer style but is yet another creation of brewing ingenuity. The Lucky 13 starts out by offering up some mild citrus aroma rising out of the fluffy white head. The mouthfeel was thinner then I would have expected for a Red Ale. This is not really a plus or minus but the thinner mouthfeel does aid in the drinkability factor. Lucky 13 is dominated by malt character that rounds out into some faint caramel notes on the palate. Hop character is not a factor but it does have enough bitterness to keep the beer from being cloying. All in all this is a good beer with good drinkability. You would definitely not peg this beer in the 9% ABV range.

This beer is not the pot of gold at the end of rainbows. So much for judging a beer by its label, who would have thunk it? It is however a solid brew and if you’re looking for something different is worth a try. I’m back to searching for Leprechauns, maybe they’ll tell me where the gold is. If not I’ll circle around and beat it out of them.


KC Green Flash Release Party

The Foundry in Westport will be celebrating the arrival of Green Flash in KC.

Sunday August 7th from 6-8pm.

They will be sampling Hop Head Red, West Coast IPA, Imperial IPA, and Double Stout.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Black IPA Throwdown

A while back I picked up the Longshot 6 pack from Sam Adams.  In Sam Adams' Longshot competition homebrewers nationwide submit their homebrew for the opportunity to have their brew nationally distributed.  This year I think Sam Adams found some liquid gold.  Illinois resident Rodney Kibzey won a spot in the 6 pack with his Blackened Hops brew which is his rendition of a Black IPA.  Technically Black IPAs are not an official style at this point but the market is starting to see more and more of these beers.  At first Black IPAs used debittered roasted grain to get the dark color of a stout without any of the roast flavor.  In effect an IPA is simply colored black in this method.  However the Blackened Hops brew instills not only a black color but roasted malt character as well.  I knew there were other Black IPAs out there but I had not tried them yet.  Could any of them be as seductively delicious as the Longshot version?  Well we're about to find out.

I gathered up Greg and Super Dave to help judge this throwdown.  This was not a blind tasting but should not have a significant impact because none of us have tried any of these brews (other than me trying the Blackened Hops as mentioned above).  Here is the list in order of superiority.

Longshot Blackened Hops 15.00 points

The nose is mostly roasted malt with an accent of fresh hop aroma. The roasted malt character in this brew was stellar. It was very stout-like in the beginning with some sweetness and dark chocolate. This leads perfectly into the citrus character of the hops that follow you all the way to the finish. There was moderate bitterness, more of which you would expect in a stout and less than an IPA. The real accomplishment of this beer is that it blends both the roasty malt character and citrus hop character perfectly. It is exactly what I would think of if I were to mix a stout with an IPA in my head.

Stone Sublimely Self Righteous 14.00 points

This brew had a good piney nose with a little roast character. This beer was one of the most balanced beers with good malt character and bitterness. (I will review this one in depth at a later date)

Hopping Frog Black and Tan 12.00 points

This brew smelled more of a stout or porter rather than an IPA. The taste exhibited both good bitterness and roasted character. Both the bitterness and roasted malt character was more intense than in the Widmer. The hops in the finish lingered slightly into the after taste.

Widmer Pitch Black 11.75 points

The Pitch Black had a good hop aroma with some citrus. This brew had a more subdued character than the others. It was in good balance but neither the roast nor bitterness stood out. This was not a show stopper but would be a good “every day” beer due to its balance and drinkability.

Odell Mountain Double Black IPA 10.25 points

The Odell was a different animal all together because it is a double/imperial black IPA meaning it’s more like a hoppy imperial stout. So it had a lot thicker mouthfeel with some alcohol burn in the taste. The Odell would have benefited from some aging because it had some raw alcohol that needed to be aged out of it.

Laughing Dog DogZilla 8.00 points

This was everyone’s least favorite. It is basically a mediocre IPA colored black.


All three of us agreed that the Longshot Blackened Hops was the best with a perfect score of 15 points. Unfortunately this was a limited release brew and we will most likely never see it again. Hopefully Sam Adams will realize the absolute masterpiece they have on their hands and will eventually put the Blackened Hops into production. The next best alternative is the Stone Sublimely Self Righteous which is readily available on the Missouri side of the line. Widmer and Hopping Frog are both solid contenders in this genre and were a pleasure to drink. As a side note, Super Dave decided that using .5 point increments was not accurate enough and instituted a .25 point scale on his reviews. That is why we have some funky numbers. Way to fight the system Dave!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What would you ask Sam Calagione?

If you had the opportunity to ask Sam Calagione from Dogfish Head Brewery anything what would it be?  Well if you have a burning questions and want a chance to get it answered head on over to the Beer and Whiskey Brothers.  They are going to conduct an email interview with Sam and are looking for questions to ask.  Click on the link below.

Beer and Whiskey Brothers

Belgian School: Ommegang Abbey Ale

My interest has been rekindled in Belgian Style Ales as of late.  In my ongoing quest for ultimate beer knowledge I noticed all the Belgian Ales listed on Beer Advocates Top 100 Beers, all the talk of Belgians on forums, and all the enthusiasm on beer blogs for Belgians.  Admittedly I have little knowledge and/or experience in this style of beer.  One of my main gripes is many of them simply say "Belgian Style Ale" on the bottle.  So what does that mean?  Goose Island in particular has 149 different beers all dressed in plain labels and all with some catchy overly simplistic name.  And they are all Belgian Style Ales.  What the hell is that supposed to mean?  I had a brief run in with Chouffe, which I thoroughly enjoyed but never revisited.  I tried a Chimay which was weird and overly carbonated.  So I pretty much wrote off all "Belgian Style Ales" mainly due to inexperience and ignorance of the style.  I have rededicated myself to becoming a beer Yoda and found it necessary to see what everyone is raving about with these Belgians.  I'm going to dedicate a portion of the blog to Belgian School which represents my journey of Belgian enlightenment so stay tuned!

Ommegang Abbey Ale

8.5% ABV

This brew is a Belgian Dubbel and is ranked number 5 as a Dubbel and number 74 on Beer Advocates top 100 list.  The ale poured with a burnt caramel color and a large off white head.  Strong malt character dominated the nose with some alcohol and yeast cast in the supporting role.  This brew offers up a deep fruit taste with some spice from the yeast.  It finishes fairly dry and the aftertaste coats your whole mouth.  I'm not a fan of raisins or prunes which are some of the labels used to describe these Belgians.  I'm guessing this is what the reviewers are talking about because this has the deep bittersweet fruit taste like raisins.  Again I'm not a fan of this taste and therefore am not a fan of this brew.  First at bat and I struck out.  I'm a little disappointed but will venture on.


Have you ever met that Arrogant Bastard?

Stone stormed into Missouri with a game plan that could be compared to the military's shock and awe.  Greg Koch’s presentation at the Flying Saucer was epic and the beer offering that night rivaled full fledged beer festivals.  It is clear that Stone’s marketing is a full tilt approach that is as subtle as a sledge hammer to the face.  So with the aptly named Arrogant Bastard, Stone has been slowly taking over the world.

7.2% ABV

The Bastard poured copper red with a big white head.  There was not much happening in the nose other than hints of malt.  My presumption is the enormous head was blocking most of the aroma.  As you begin to take your first sip you notice the hellish gargoyle on the bottle looking at you like you will be its snack.  Could this brew be the devils blood personified, well beerofied?  Possibly.  The Bastard's initial impression displays wonderful hop character with a solid malt background to smooth it out.  The hops dance nicely on the palate bursting with floral and citrus notes.  This is another one of those beers that have very distinctive hop character without simply being just bitter.  I like to refer to this trait as "clean" bitterness.  Basically it's an IPA with the hop character, but absent in the intense bitterness which is usually associated with an IPA.  Surprisingly with the seemingly over the top bottle graphics and the supreme statement of arrogance on the back, the beer itself is very balanced and pleasant.  The hop bitterness lingers slightly into the aftertaste giving the brew a refreshing note.  I really enjoyed this brew and was also very entertained reading the bottle as I enjoyed it's contents.  I would recommend this brew to anyone based on the taste alone, the bottle art/statement of arrogance alone, or the price alone.  For $4.00 this brew is a steal, Indiana Jones style of course.  I have updated FatCat's Epic Brew page so check it out at the top!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bourbon Barrel Aged Zombie Apocalypse

FatCat's Zombie Apocalypse Imperial Stout has been marinating in greatness for quite some time now.  The other day FatCat had a stroke of GEEEEENIUS!!!!!  Why not age half of the Zombie Apocalypse on toasted oak cubes soaked in Elijah Craig?  That sounds like the holy grail of freakin' awesomeness to me so here it is.

I purchased some oak cubes from Midwest Supplies.  The cubes come in light, medium, and heavy toast.  The heavier the toast, the deeper oak and vanilla character you can expect in the finished brew.  I'm going with American oak cubes in medium and heavy toast. 

This is when I first put the oak cubes in bourbon to age.
The chips soaked for about a week in the bourbon and the smell is amazing.  There is definitely heavy vanilla aroma coming out of the cubes at this point.

Here is bourbon after a week in the oak cubes.
The bourbon coming out of the cubes looks like Dr. Pepper.  I can't even fathom throwing out Elijah Craig so I tasted it.  It tastes like scotch whiskey with a huge burn on the end.  I think I like it.

The second bath in Elijah Craig
The first round of Elijah Craig is drained off because this bourbon will take in all the astringent out of the new oak.  So hopefully the oak chips will not impart harsh flavors now since they took the first bath in bourbon.  Now it's time for the second bath of bourbon which will disinfect everything.  This will be added to half of my Zombie Apocalypse and greatness will ensue!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Have You Ever Felt the Need to Shank Your Brew?

My life goals have been accomplished in their entirety with this single discovery. I found the single coolest thing ever invented, no not Harry Potter, the butterfly beer opener. It folds conveniently to carry in your pocket, then at a moment’s notice you can perform a semi-impressive hand movement and a bottle opener is at your disposal. What else would you ever need in life?

I found mine on good old Ebay for $12.00 shipped. The quality is mediocre at best but it serves its purpose. I’m pretty sure I will never have to actually defend my life with it, so the mediocre quality is acceptable. There is another one sold on the internet which claims to be super high quality especially designed for the military’s special operations (not really), but they want almost $30.00 for it. The good news is according to Central States Beverage, a shipment of Lagunitas butterfly bottle openers are set to hit liquor stores in the area soon. Not sure what the price will be but can you really put a price on super kick assness?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

You might soon see special edition 314 Scud Light

One of Goose Island's most popular selling beers is 312 Urban Wheat.  The 312 stands for the area code in Chicago giving Goose Island a hometown shoutout and a marketing boost.  The 312 was introduced in 2004 when the then-CEO John Hall was in a disagreement with the brewmaster son, Greg, over what to name their brew.  In 2009, the 312 was the second best selling craft beer in Chicago.  Goose Island has since been acquired by the empire (Anheuser-Busch InBev) and apparently gave the marketers some ideas.  Now according to a search of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's online database AB has filed trademark applications for 15 area codes of US cities.  Unfortunately KC was not popular enough to make the empire's cut of coolness.  So keep an eye out, you might start seeing 314 Bud Light or a 214 Bud Light.  I'm sure the fizzy yellow water will taste way better!

To read the full article see the Chicago Tribune:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Update on MillerCoors in Wisconsin

If you've been keeping score at home, I have made several posts regarding the debacle in Wisconsin regarding the MillerCoors backed legislation which is Motion 414.  Many are viewing this motion as a direct offensive move against the small breweries in Wisconsin and are blaming MillerCoors and/or the governor for it.  Well in a twist of fate MillerCoors will have to stop selling beer in the state of Minnesota.  The state government of Minnesota is shut down because apparently the kids in the sandbox can't make an agreement on a budget (sound familiar?).  Well MillerCoors has not renewed their license in the state and will now be unable to because of the shutdown.  State officials told the company it must come up with a plan to remove it's 39 brands from retialers/bars within days.  So it seems karma has swung around and bit MillerCoors right on their ass.  Unfortunately this is yet another example of a government in complete dysfunction and unable to accomplish what they are paid to do.  Again I utter the question, "When is enough, enough?".

Link for the news acticle referring to the retreat of MillerCoors:

I did some more research and found a couple of good links if anyone is interested in some of the details of this legislation.  I have provided those links at the bottom of the post.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Local Happenings

- Boulevard's Brewmaster Steven Pauwels will be at Lukas Liquor Superstore in Overland Park, KS today at 3:30pm.

- Of course you all should know it's Stone Imperial Stout Day and Boulevard White IPA Day.

- Royal Liquor announced Inventory Reduction Sale: Stone IPA 22oz bottles for $1.99!

Sam Adams Imperial Stout

9.2% ABV

As if you couldn’t tell my favorite beer style is stout. Imperial stouts in particular tickle my fancy but I love all stouts. The Sam Adams Cream Stout is one of my favorite beers of all time, so I had high hopes that the imperial stout would be stellar as well. I remembered trying this back when Sam Adams first released their imperial series but didn’t remember liking it all that much. My recent encounter with the Sam Adams Wee Heavy gave me renewed confidence in the imperial series.

The imperial stout poured midnight black with a nice thick head that receded fairly quickly. The nose was very pleasant with strong malt and faint hints of roast chocolate. The imperial stout was dry in taste with no real roasted malt or chocolate character present. Without the supporting sweetness the dark malts used in the brew left a bitter/dry taste. As it warms you do get some anise and/or black licorice flavor showing up in your palate. If you really push your taste buds to “listen” to the brew you can imagine super dark plum flavors in the background. Since the brew was so dry, the anise/black licorice flavor dominated the character and resulted in a one-dimesional brew. There was not the complexity that I hope for in imperial stouts and I was not impressed the second time around either. I’m going to age another bottle for a while to see if anything changes and I will report back.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Imperial IPA round-up No. 1 - Firestone Walker Double Jack

The FatCat crew ventured into the unknown and came back with treasure.  The type of treasure that would make Jack Sparrow swim to the bottom of the ocean to retrieve.  No not gold coins, more like liquid gold.  Liquid gold called Firestone Walker Double Jack.

The Double Jack poured with a fluffy two fingered white head and the nose exploded with huge grapefruit notes.  The taste mimics the nose with big grapefruit flavor and beautifully blended malt character.  It begins with brief malt and caramel before the hops swing into action.  The hop character starts with a brief sour grapefruit flavor and then gives way to a sweeter mellower citrus note.  The finish is big with deep grapefruit much like Founder's Double Trouble and the seemingly open fire grilled caramelized sugar flavor.  The mouthfeel was a bit thicker than the other brews in the shootout but super drinkable nonetheless.  What sets Double Jack apart from the other competitors is the complexity of the hop character.  Instead of the Double Jack just having one aspect of the grapefruit/citrus note with either sour, medium citrus/grapefruit, or deep grapefruit, it has them all. 

So whether you are Jack Sparrow or some other less famous pirate, you should sail your way to the nearest Missouri liquor store and claim your booty.  Double Jack dominated our shootout for good reason, it's freakin awesome.  This is another brew I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone. 

Arrrggggggggg!  Wait I mean,


Friday, July 8, 2011

The Boston Beer Party

Everyone remembers hearing about the Boston Tea Party in History class.  To recap, people got pissed at the British government and dumped out barrels of tea in protest.  History repeated itself in Wisconsin, but instead of dumping tea it was shitty MillerCoors instead.  The protest was organized by Will Glass co-owner of Fire House bar in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and was in response to Motion 414.  This motion is the add-on law that was pushed through with the Wisconsin budget by Governor Scott Walker.  The law restricts the ability of micro brewers to self distribute and helps the large brewers corner the market.  The motion was supported by MillerCoors.  The governor refused to veto the provision.

Check out Beer & Whiskey Brothers for the full interview of Will Glass and video of some of the beer party action.

Motion 414 is just another bullshit move proving our government is lead by paid off assholes.  Our country is being puppeted by corporations and at the expense of the people.  When are we going to wake up and take a stand?  The corporations are robbing this country blind with bail outs, tax loop holes, and bribery.  Our local industries are being gutted and our jobs shipped overseas.  And now we have a global conglomerate operated MillerCoors shitting on local breweries in Wisconsin courtesy of their own governor.  Please people, read the message in the sand.  Don't base all your political views on the propoganda spewed from our televisions.  Stop the silly Republican/Democrat quabbling.  Both parties are one in the same and all of them with their own pre-paid agendas.  Our country is circling the bowl and the corporations are laughing their way to the bank.  When is enough, enough?

2011 U.S. Open Beer Championship

When you hear about the US Open you may think of golf or maybe even tennis. Well if sissy-ass clapping or people grunting obnoxiously every time they hit a tennis ball don’t excite you, check out the US Open of Beer. More than 1,200 beers in more than 50 different categories were entered into the competition. A unique aspect of this competition is that it is the only competition to include professional breweries and award-winning home brewers together. This is a great example of homebrewing getting the recognition it deserves for its part in the today’s craft brew movement. The homebrewers faced the big boys head on and went home with one silver and two bronze medals.

The top 10 breweries based on the number of beers placing first (3 points), second (2 points) or third (1 point) are:

1. Deschutes Brewery, Oregon
2. Cigar City Brewing, Florida
2. Grand Teton Brewing, Idaho
4. Boston Beer Company, Massachusetts
5. New Belgium Brewing, Colorado
6. Full Sail Ales, Oregon
7. Sprecher Brewing, Wisconsin
8. Neustadt Brewing, Canada
9. Montana Brewing, Montana
10. August Schell, Minnesota
10. Capital Brewing, Wisconsin

Check out for the complete results including the top 3 beers in each category.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Imperial IPA round-up No. 2 - Founder's Double Trouble

In our IPA shootout Founder’s dominated the field and won the coveted number one spot. So what could we expect from their Imperial IPA? Second place, that’s what. Founder’s has proven to be a solid brewing company not just from our prestigious shootouts, but by placing on just about every other beer review list you can find as well.

The artwork on the bottle is a bit disturbing to me. I guess it’s like the people that hate clowns, being disturbed by a non-imposing figure, but to me this bottle is freaky. So at the risk of being eternally condemned to some weird impressionist portrait, I ventured forth into the Founder’s Double Trouble. It poured a dark straw color with a two fingered head perched on top. The nose emanated floral notes with some citrus fighting through. The taste was balanced with a nice deep grapefruit character lingering into the finish. The deep grapefruit flavor is like eating grilled grapefruit where some of the fruit’s sugar has been caramelized on an open flame. The bitterness lingers slightly after the finish but is not astringent or unpleasant in any way. The brew overall is very smooth and drinkable. I survived the crazy looking bottle and ingested the beautiful elixir contained within. As far as I can tell I’m not stuck in any weird impressionistic world, so I think it is safe. Either way the reward of deliciousness far outweighs the consequences of being stuck in an alternate universe so drink up!


Monday, July 4, 2011

The Finale!!!!

We shot most of our stuff on Sunday night due to everyone having to work Tuesday.  Here is that carnage.

And the video of our finale tonight...

Hope everyone had a safe and fun 4th of July.  And as the day comes to a close lets all remember what our Independence Day stands for.  Freedom. 

Happy 4th of July!

If there is one thing I like almost as much as beer it is fireworks!  The big plus to 4th of July is that it is the only holiday where mixing beer and explosives is an acceptable practice.  Man I love this country!  For all of those who told me, "you might as well light a $100.00 bill", I can't get that $100 to shoot 200 feet in the air and explode in a giant shower of multi-colored f'n awesomeness. So quit being sissys and detonate flaming balls 20ft from your family so you can call yourself a true patriotic American.  And please note the only official FatCat firework ignition device is a good cigar.  So get yourself a good stoagie, a good beer, the biggest consumer fireworks you can find, and celebrate our freedom.  To everyone out there have a safe and happy 4th of July. 


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Imperial IPA round-up No. 3 - Odell Myrcenary

The Myrcenary is the only brew that I had tried prior to our shootout and I had high expectation for it.  The Myrcenary did not disappoint! 

9.3% ABV
The Odell Myrcenary poured a pale straw color with a two finger head.  The aroma was big in pine and citrus.  For an Imperial IPA this is a very balanced offering with wonderful grapefruit flavor.  It was not aggressively bitter but very refreshing instead.  This is another one of those dangerous brews because the 9.3% ABV is disguised very well.  The Myrcenary was a subdued competitor compared to the Ruination but used it’s subtlety brilliantly.  I would not hesitate to suggest this brew to anyone.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Imperial IPA round-up No. 4 - Stone Ruination

Stone is known for big aggressively hopped beers and Ruination is no exception. Their Imperial IPA is teeth shattering but in a “Please sir may I have another” type of way. This was definitely one of the most unique IPAs in our shootout .

First off, the bottle is a fairly accurate representation of the experience you are about to have. It’s a demon spawn looking gargoyle with horns looking like it’s about to pull your teeth out and eat them like Pez candy. Sounds like fun!

Ruination poors a reddish orange with a two finger head perched on top. The aroma is big aggressive grapefruit and citrus. The taste starts with a brief sweetness which is basically like going up the first hill on a roller coaster and then ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! The bitterness smacks you in the palate. The bitterness is BIG with a bit of astringency, which is usually not a desirable characteristic for me. Somehow the Ruination packs in enough citrus flavor to stand up to the huge bitterness. The malt flavor is clean without any caramel. The finish is super long with the bitterness lingering for ages. The long finish is also something I don’t normally enjoy but works well in this brew. Overall, I would describe this brew as an experience. An experience because it’s not like any other IPA I’ve tasted. I would recommend this brew to anyone wanting to try something different. If you are tired of the same old IPA then check out the Ruination. It is definitely not for the faint of heart, so enter with caution. Keep all hands and feet inside the ride at all times.