Friday, March 30, 2012

WTF FatCat?

First off I would like to apologize for my diminishing volume of posts lately.  I've been trying to arrange my garage for the improved brewery equipment I'm attempting to implement.  If you've ever been to my garage you know this is no simple task.  Shelves are being erected (giggity) and junk is hitting the curb.  I'll update you and give you some step by step as far as some of the brewing equipment is concerned as soon as I get some free time.

On the homebrew brew front, we're prepping to brew Super Spiker Andrew's first recipe the  Clydesdale Kolsch this weekend.  The Smack Yo Momma Pale ale is not what I was shooting for but man does it hit the spot.  The biscuity malt character is mellowing a little and blending into the hop character.  The hop character is poking through slightly on the finish but not to the extent I once hopped (or is it hoped?).  Overall the Pale is balancing out and becoming a really good "drinker".  I'm still convinced the Skadoosh Baltic Porter we brewed is the best beer ever made.  It is big with 8.5% ABV and a tremendous medium smooth mouthfeel.  My beer gnome must have blessed this brew because it has a nice smooth toffee character with a subtle smokiness to complement it on the finish.  I'm not sure where the subtle smoke comes from but man does it make this brew outstanding.  I have been assaulting my Porter keg pretty heavy and I'm afraid it will be tapped out soon if I'm not careful.  Come on willpower! 

On deck is the Chael's Ale!  Someone better call Scooby Doo and Shaggy because it's going to be a monster!

Once my garage brewery is complete I think we'll have to name it.  Super Spiker Andrew has come up with the best name so far - FatCat's Garage Tap and Baltic Porter Emporium.  It has a nice ring to it.  Stay with me and once the construction dusts settles I'll start hitting the bottle with you guys again.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Michael Jackson - No not that one

Today is the birthday of the famed beer writer Michael Jackson who would have been 70 years old. This MJ couldn’t moonwalk (at least I don’t think so) but he did pioneer much of the work that went into classifying the specific beer styles we know and love today. He published The World Guide to Beer in 1977 helping to expand interest and eventually to aid in the rise of craft brew. Michael Jackson also became “famous” to later generations when he hosted the TV show The Beer Hunter. Not only did Mr. Jackson provide a plethora of beer knowledge, he also authored The Malt Whisky Companion. If you find yourself partaking in a refreshment of the malty type today, join me in lifting a glass in celebration of Michael Jackson. As always, enjoy your malty beverages responsibly.


Friday, March 23, 2012

What's in the rearview?...Oh yes it's consciousness.

Finally some whiskey news in Kansas City!  I was expecting the beer scene (festival announcements) to pick up faster than they have but perhaps I was a bit premature (giggity).  In lieu of beer news here is a whiskey event to look forward to coming up rather quickly on April 14th.  Tickets are $40.00 and you get 12 tasting tokens for 50+ bourbons and whiskeys, a souvenir glass, and a potential loss of consciousness.  That's a deal my friends.  The proceeds benefit KC Young Variety & KC Fire Historical Society.

Limited tickets available at or inside Maker's Mark Bourbon House & Lounge.

Monday, March 19, 2012

HOPS! 2012!

The first hops of the year…well sprouts!  I decided to check this morning if any of the hop plants had sprouted and boy was I surprised.  It is apparent that all three of my hop plants have survived our mild winter and are ready to rock and roll.  The Cascade was growing everywhere, almost to the point of being a bush.  The Hallertau had sprouted but to a much lesser extent than the Cascade.  The in-ground Centennial had several sprouts popping up but again not to the extent of the Cascade.  This mirrors the activity I experienced last year, Cascade growing like a weed, Hallertau being finicky, and Centennial somewhere in between.  I failed at trimming back the old vines from last year so I was trying to hurry to accomplish this before work.  The Cascades were the only ones long enough to kink their vines and that I did…DOHHHH!  I’ve come to the conclusion I’m much too lazy to be a good gardener.  I trimmed back the hop plants to all but two sprouts to each plant.  Hopefully this will build a couple strong vines as opposed to growing a bush like I did last year (the lazy thing again).  This year is off to a roaring start but Vegas has it 20 to 1 that this summer is going to be a bitch and kill my plants.  Until further adieu.     

Cascade growing like no other

Hallertau ehhh?

Go Centennial Go!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Rememberance

I followed my gameplan to the T.  I enjoyed my Irish Car Bombs and scarfed down tons of Shepard's Pie.  I embraced my uneventful St. Patrick's day without having to deal with drunken masses.  I did however expect some entertainment on the social networking front.  What could be better than other people's drunken Facebook posts?  Well I was let down completely on that front.  I decided to start taking notes on my own drunken thoughts throughout the night to entertain myself.

"You're just not partying until you injure yourself with a cheese grater!" (And yes I did injure myself with a cheese grater)

"I discovered the secret of the Guiness widget!  Anyone interested please email me before they try and kill me"

"If you don't have a righteous beard clean up towel(s) then you're just not that cool."

That is all.

Lovemaking: Pale Ale Edition Vol 2

Here it is!  The second edition of my pale ale love affair chronicles hot off the press.  I had plans to sell my spicy story to a publisher of those romance novels but they said it was a little too racy.  I even had plans to pose shirtless for the cover but they said I looked too much like Fabio they would have copyright issues.  My next pale ale mistress is fresh in from the west coast, Deschutes Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale. 

The New Belgium Dig began losing its luster and I was looking for a way out of the relationship.  As a sign from the beer gods, Deschutes Red Chair roared into town at the perfect time.  I let The Dig down gently and moved on.  The Red Chair poured with a big three fingered pillowy head.  The nose bursts out of the glass with big bright clean citrus notes and some malt hiding in the background.  A biscuit infused maltiness greets your palate before the hop character sweeps you off your feet.  Big bright citrus notes emerge with hints of grapefruit and an almost orange quality.  The initial sweet biscuit character carries through the entire palate providing a perfect background for the delicious hop character.  The bitterness in this brew is refreshing.  It is smooth, coming on gradually at the end of the palate.  Another unique feature to this brew is the mouth coating quality that showcases the great hop character well into the aftertaste. 

The Red Chair was not as exotic as The Dig.  The Red Chair had the more traditional hop character but was outstanding nonetheless.  The Red Chair suffered the same fate as the Dig.  The hop character subsided and the malt profile becomes more prominent.  The specialness wears off and they become shells of what they once were.  So if you’re like me and have a soft spot in your heart for seasonal pale ales, you have to love fast and hard.  They are sassy vixens that will rock your world but eventually leave you with only memories. 


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

One of my favorite times of the year is St. Patrick's Day.  Most people that get excited about this day are the ones that venture to Westport and become part of the giant drunken crowd.  I guess dealing with drunken crowds and paying bar prices for alcohol all day does have it's appeal.  For me not so much.  What I do love about today is Irish Car Bombs.  I love them so much that I have to designate St. Patrick's Day (OK maybe a few days before and after too) as the sole day to partake in these hot fudge sundaes of the alcohol world.  If I didn't limit my Car Bomb intake to a few days a year I'm pretty sure I would have to join a support group.  I've tried different stouts to take the place of Guiness but haven't found a suitable Car Bomb substitute.  One year I even tried to Car Bomb with 6% ABV Dry Stout homebrew which turned out to be a terrible idea.  If you want to party like FatCat on St. Patty's Day here is the game plan.  Stay in the comfy confines of your own abode.  Enjoy Irish Car Bombs until you are flirting with the outer limits of reality.  Then eat as much homemade Shepard's Pie as humanly possible before retiring for the night.  If you require more adventure in your life then have fun in Westport or wherever you choose to celebrate.  As always enjoy your Car Bombs responsibly and be safe.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hometown Team - Hometown Beer

In somewhat current events a big alignment is taking place with two of Kansas City's biggest names.  Boulevard Brewing Company and Sporting Kansas City have "aligned" themselves in a co-marketing agreement.  The buzz is about the business implications and how both brands can now support each other in advertising bliss.  What's this mean for the dual action soccer/beer geeks of Kansas City?  Well Boulevard brews will now be poured at the Sporting KC events!  That seems like a no brainer.  I'm not sure why this wasn't the case as soon as the new stadium opened, but I assume it has something to do with Big Beer's massive bank roll.  I haven't been out to the new stadium personally but I have heard to partake in malty enjoyment you had a "choice" of a light lager and you had to mortgage your house to get it.  I'm not sure this new partnership will solve the price issue but at least you will have a choice in craft brew.  Next time you are tying to decide whether you want to hit the soccer stadium, put this in your + column.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

2012 Beer Drinker of the Year

I know what you're thinking, FatCat should have a lock on this title.  I did finish a close second (not really) in the Beer Drinker of the Year sponsored by Wynkoop Brewing Company.  It was a close battle but in the end J. Wilson edged out a win.  The win was based largely on a gimmick in which Wilson fasted for 46 days on just water and dopplebock during lent.  I mean that's what FatCat calls summer break, I don't see how that is an accomplishment.  Wilson is a fellow beer blogger at, a homebrewer, and a beer judge.  He has also published a book about his fasting experience, Diary of a part-time Monk.  The other two finalists were Warren Manteiro and Greg Nowatzki.  For the prize Wilson wins free beer for life at the Wynkoop Brewing Company, $250 worth of beer at El Bait Shop in Des Moines, Iowa, and appropriate clothing identifying him as the 2012 Beerdrinker of the Year. 

FatCat takes this as a learning experience and will come back a stronger beer drinker next year.  This is the second time I've came away just short of a title.  Believe it or not I almost took the spot of "World's Most Interesting Man" in the Dos Equis commercials.  The other guy beat me out just because he bowls overhand, whoop-de-freakin'-doo.  I didn't want to drink Dos Equis anyhow.  And besides "The Most Interesting Man in the World" is alive only because Chuck Norris allows him to live.

Disclaimer:  I know it may come as a shock but I was not involved in any of the above mentioned competitions.

Here is the full article:
The Full - 2012 Beer Drinker of the Year is...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I Win! One to Nothin'?

A few weeks ago I called on the beer geeks of Kansas City for a review of the Left Hand Ambidextrous at the Flying Saucer.  Apparently a review of the Ambidextrous is CIA protected information because no one responded with a review.  I remained vigilant in my Ambidextrous hunt and I was rewarded handsomely.  Waldo Pizza finally tapped their keg of Amby the other day.  When I heard the news I jumped off my shrimp boat and ran to Waldo (you know Forest Gump-like).  I’m not afraid to leak a little tasting information so here goes. 

The brew came out as a 12oz pour in a giant snifter meaning Waldo Pizza is freakin’ awesome!  The Amby was black as expected with a quickly receding head.  The nose was fairly subdued with a touch of oak and some malt aroma peaking through.  The mouthfeel on this one was fairly thin for what I expected but added to the drinkability factor.  Initially this brew is balanced up front without any big booze or sweetness.  The oak character starts caressing the taste buds in the middle of the palate.  The brew finishes with a good semi-sweet chocolate flavor.  The chocolate lingers slightly in the aftertaste and is accompanied by a bit of bitterness.  A bit of booziness creeps in as the brew warms and compliments the chocolate character nicely.  The Ambidextrous is very well balanced and hits all the right notes; oak, chocolate, bitterness.  It’s not over the top with any one note but is blended very well.  The Amby is basically Firestone Parabola’s little brother.  Super Dave said they were out of the Ambidextrous as of yesterday so if you didn’t get it, you’re out of luck.