This cool piece of art is courtesy of beer-buddy Shawn, who’s father makes these cool fishing lures. Coolest thing is that they actually catch fish. “I’ve thrown those lures in every mud puddle from here to Great Falls, and I catch a fish every time.” Shawn said.
That’s the way I’m looking at it anyway. Don’t be too thrown off here. I’ll get this all dressed up soon enough, and we’ll be back to talking craft beer in no time. For now, I hope you enjoy some of the new features, including the beer poll in the upper right-hand corner and the new Flickr feed that shows some of the latest beer adventures.
OK, this isn’t strictly about beer, but I want to give a shout out to a good friend and fellow Missoulian blogger. If you live in Missoula and you like good beer, chances are you probably like good entertainment too. Who knows, you might even be an ardent supporter of the arts. And if so, you might like to know that our A & E superstar and guru of everything from opera to punk rock writes one of my favorite blogs anywhere -www.nickellbag.com. But don’t take my word for it:
Wine mostly. Why? Well, you know the old adage about what to do when in Rome. I might as well have been in Rome over the weekend. Clearlake, California isn’t exactly Napa Valley, but it’s close enough, I mean really close.
And sometimes you just need to cleanse your pallet and offer up some new sensations to your good ol’ buds. Too much of a good thing can make you weary, so I’m all for pouring a bottle of good wine once-in-a-while.
There is another old adage, something about taking a lot of beer to make wine. It’s all true. However, since harvest is a few months off and wine makers are barrel sampling older vintages, there isn’t much beer drinking (by wine makers) going on right now.
All that to say that I spent the weekend tasting really big Zinfandels and Cabs instead of big IPAs.
I did find some good beers for purchase, and I’ll be sharing those with you soon. For now, just wanted to say thanks sticking with GrizzlyGrowler.com for all your craft beer conversation.
You guys are the best.
Beer blogging is not as easy as people might think. Being a journalist, I have to walk a fine line between outright advertising, being an advocate and covering the industry with some degree of journalistic integrity.
My job as a blogger is to create a forum for two-way communication between the newspaper, the brewing community and a younger generation of people not used to reading newspapers.
The idea is to get them excited about dialoguing as a way to keep everyone involved in matters of importance to the community as a whole.
That’s a tall order, but one that I’m excited by because it means that I’m communicating with people who are like me. People who have the same interests in life.
Beer is a conversation. I’ve been saying that for a long time. It’s more than just a craft industry that has seen some success in recent years, it’s getting back to a time when we lived in communities wholly supported by local industries, the biggest and most community centric often being the brewpub.
Beer is the impetus for stimulating local conversation. So much so that the details of our independence were fomented not just by spilled tea sloshing against a Boston shoreline, but by the ale in the tankards of those men and women sitting around wooden tables on a fiery hot Philadelphia summer.
Beer doesn’t have to be the conversation, though it often is. Beer is simply the solution by which conversation slides easily among a group of people.
I’ve been talking for 30+ years. I’ve been talking about beer for more than 12 years. I’ve been blogging about beer for three years, and I’ve been the Grizzly Growler for nearly one wonderful and exciting year. (The blog turns 1 on July 3)
Thank you readers for checking back in from time to time. You’ve helped make GG the most successful blog at the Missoulian, and you’ve helped promote craft brewing around the region.
Join me as I celebrate one year over the course of the next several days. After a year of blogging, this beer lover needs a break. I’ll be going on vacation next week, with no way of posting, so I’ll leave a few reviews and maybe a video or two so that someone can post them and keep you coming back.
Is not as easy as you might think. It’s not like you sit down and drink some beer and pick the ones you like. Beer is judged according to rigorously defined style guides. Beer that meets those style guidelines perfectly receives high marks whether or not it is your favorite beer. Take, for instance, the light American lager category. We judged blind, only knowing the style the beer was in. The guidelines called for a straw-colored pale beer that is dry and has a taste of some corn and grain. The beer we tried fit the style guidelines perfectly, so it received high points. It was Bud Light.
Yes, it hurts me to admit that.
The most difficult situation is when you really like a beer, but it doesn’t fit the category well. You can score it high in one of the preference boxes, but color, mouthfeel, taste and other markers play high in the beer’s overall score. The system, as it were, works well enough with many traditional beers from around the world, but it does not work well within the craft-brew industry. Brewers who experiment and change existing styles might be brewing the best stuff on earth, but there is no way any governing body can adapt categories for all the new styles. So they try and fit them into existing categories where they often receive good preference marks and low marks on technical aspects.
Anybody have any good ideas about how the current judging system could better reflect the diversity in world beers today?
Great show last night. Good Kettlehouse beer, great friends and God’s own music.
There’s nothing else I can say, so take this:
You should be outside enjoying the great outdoors. With a beer in hand, of course. What am I doing this fine Sunday? Well, my boys and I played the disc golf course in Pattee Canyon this morning, after which I retired to the sofa with a couple cans of Kettlehouse Double Haul IPA. We had to get out of the house because mom’s not feeling well, and we had a terrible itch to throw something at trees for a couple of hours. It was fun, and best of all, it was free.
We’ll see you Monday,
This might be a stretch, but I read this article last night, and it got me thinking. Several years ago a home-brewing genius brought a dusty old bottle up from his cellar, gently popped the cork (that’s right, I wrote cork) and poured a dark nectar into a strangely shaped glass. It was my first foray into cellared beer, and I wasn’t prepared for what I tasted.
First, when he popped the cork, it was like a half-liter champagne bottle going off in his hand. And second, when I tasted the beer I realized an entirely new experience.
A zillion tiny bubbles erupted through my mouth followed by the subtle taste of raspberry, a taste you might find in a bottle of Chambord.
I didn’t know you could do this with beer.
Dozens of home brews later, I experimented with my own cellar beer. I brewed a dry-hopped imperial stout that came out about eight percent and was as black as midnight. I drank most of it during the fall after the summer I brewed it, but when I moved several years later I found two bottles tucked away in the back of my improvised cellar.
I called my home-brewing buddy and set out for his place and a couple of funny-shaped glasses. We popped the cork, which didn’t quite go off like champagne and poured the beer. It tasted incredible, as if all the flavor potential in the beer had swirled together for just such a time.
I don’t cellar much beer, though I’ve thought about it from time to time. Beer, for me, has always been about what’s new for each season and the variations from season to season. I like diversity. But this article got me thinking about long-term diversity, about letting the beer age and tasting it all along its path to perfection.
What do you think about drinking aged beer? What about beer snobs who add too much pretentiousness to a subject that never had it and doesn’t need it? These are just a few thoughts this article brought to mind, and I’d like to hear yours.
OK, so it’s not a really good adage for a blog about smoked beer, but I’d like to get your thoughts on the subject.
I spent all day on the Jocko Lakes Fire. There was a lot of smoke.
When I got home I drank a Cold Smoke from Kettlehouse, but it was only smoky in name.
Years ago I drank a smoked porter from Rogue Brewery. It tasted like liquid fish in a pint glass. I nearly ralphed.
Last year I tried an Alaskan Smoked Porter, and it wasn’t bad. It wasn’t good, mind you, but it wasn’t liquid fish in a pint glass.
I know my experiences with smoked beer are not an end all, so I’m curious about what ya’ll (this should be corrected to read y’all) think about smoked beer. Any good ones out there that don’t taste like liquid fish in a pint glass?
P.S. Firefighters are awesome! Thank you for what you do.