Monday, June 29, 2009

long time comin'

I have neglected you little blog. and for that i apologize. I will do better. BUT I do have an excuse..Last Sunday morning around 1:30AM I had horrid pain in my lower abdomen. Horrific pain. The night before was my bachelorette party and so when I got sick I thought that I had just drank too much. That was not the case. It turns out I had appendicitis and had to have my appendix taken out! I went into surgery at about 11:30-ish on Sunday night and went home Monday at about 10 AM!! I am still recovering, and kind of enjoying my scars. Like a badge of honor.

So, while still feeling a little tired and worn-out, Cody and I went to the Recycled Arts Festival at Ester Short Park in downtown Vancouver. Vancouver maybe just "another suburb of Portland" but they have so many awesome summer events! We have been super busy every weekend just checking out what is going on a few blocks from our house.

Here are some high-lights in picture form:
This chair is covered in beer caps. It was so funny to look at these because I couldn't help but think of all the beer this guy had to drink to make it-and how in about 3 months I could probably make the same chair with all the beer Cody drinks! :) Just kiddin' Code.

Here is a school of rock fish that I LOVED!!! (Sorry for the underlining...I must have hit something and now I don't know how to turn it off. grrrr...)

The metal mermaid. She kinda freaked me out but was also really cool. We saw a lot of other things like funny dolls, stained glass, other sculptures. Overall it was a great experience and we plan on going back next year with a little cash to spend!

Blog, (and Readers if there are any other there) I promise it will not be that long until I post again. And why is the underline on again??? **sigh

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Beer Weekend!

The beer that started it all off was Bridgeport's Stumptown Tart. A wheat beer brewed with cherries. This beer is part of Bridgeport's "Big Beers" series. 50% percent of the beer was aged in oak barrels and the other half was brewed with cherries. This created a big, crisp beer that sat at 8.3% abv. I was expecting an aggressive sourness and "big beer" quality, but it fell disappointingly short. It was highly carbonated and just slightly sour. It just tasted like a poorly done fruit beer. I was so excited for this beer because some friends and I toured Bridgeport's facility last weekend and we were able to see these bottles before they were released. Unfortunately, it was a painful experience having to get through the entire 22 oz bottle.

The next beer took the weekend to an entirely different level. The beer was 90 Minute IPA from Dogfish Head. This is an imperial IPA that sits at 9% abv. There was a strong hop bitterness, but it was there was a "nuttyness" to it that really grabbed me. As the name suggests this beer is a happy medium between Dogfish Head's 60 and 120 Minute IPAs.

The next beer changed my beer life forever. It was the West Coast IPA from Green Flash Brewing in San Diego! After only one sip the beer automatically vaulted onto my top 10 IPAs list! As said on the bottle, this beer is "extravagantly hopped". It is 7.3% abv and achieved 95 ibus (international bitterness units). This beer rang true to its name, definitely a west coast IPA. By the time I finished the 12 oz beer my tongue screaming obscenities while gasping for air. For sure, I will seek this beer out again and again!

I finished up with a beer I have been aging for almost 6 months. It was Doggie Claws Barleywine from Hair of the Dog Brewing Co., a bottle conditioned ale that weighed in at 11% abv! After chilling out for 6 months this beer lost all of its hop presence and was very sweet. Very decadent and difficult to finish after all of the beers during the weekend. Overall it was a very productive weekend of discovering new craft beer.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hop Monkey-Laurelwood Brewing

This is one of my favorite IPAs. Its got great hop character while also being extremely drinkable. I would have to say so far, my favorite beer to drink this summer. Others also being Bridgeport IPA and Cinder Cone Red from Deschutes.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Nice Belgian...DAMNATION!!

I am drinking a nice belgian from the innovative brewers at Russian River. Damnation. A golden ale that resides at 7.75% abv. In my opinion Russian River can do no wrong, and Damnation falls rigidly into line with that thought. Aside from the complex flavors, the carbonation is what grabs my attention. The brew assaults the front of my tongue with the force of a pack of shock tarts soaked in Jack Daniels. Wow, I have no idea what that means, but it sort of makes sense. Kinda.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Steak dinner and deliciously aged beers!

So we spontaneously made a steak dinner tonight! We got a couple of Top Loin New York strips (two inches thick!) and fried them in a pan. I liberally seasoned them with salt and pepper and cooked them to a nice medium rare. They actually turned out really well. The last time I attempted to pan fry steak it was a disaster.

Preceding the steak dinner; I opened a couple of beers from my collection! First was a 6 month old Scaldis Noel, which was delicious.

Next was an Anchor "Our Special Ale" which was also tasty. It tasted like Christmas in June!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Top 10 IPAs

Pliny The Elder-Russian River Brewing Co.
Tricerahops Double IPA-Ninkasi Brewing Co.
Hop Henge-Deschutes Brewing Co.
Racer 5 IPA-Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Hop Monkey-Laurelwood Brewing Co.
West Coast IPA-Green Flash Brewing Co.
Brew Free Or Die IPA-21st Amendment Brewing Co.
Majaraja IPA-Avery Brewing Co.
IPA-Caldera Brewing Co.
Inside Passage Ale-Boundary Bay Brewing Co.

*Honorable Mentions
90 Minute IPA-Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales
Inversion IPA-Deschutes Brewing Co.
Hop Czar-Bridgeport Brewing Co.
IPA-Bridgeport Brewing Co.
Celebration-Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (pretty sure, style wise, this is considered an ipa)

*120 Min IPA-Dogfish Head...this is in a class all by itself. It's not a conventional IPA but is labeled as such.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

I'm so disappointed with you...

Widmer Drifter Pale Ale. I was really diggin' on this beer when it first came out. But the last two times I have bought it, it has been off. I think the first six pack might have been past its prime, but I don't have an excuse for this last one. It was flat and tasted almost skunky. I had such high hopes for this beer. I don't know if I can buy it again for fear that it will be bad. R.I.P. Drifter

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sturgeon Fishing!

I went sturgeon fishing on the Columbia with Burt and Bob today. Long day, and this is what we had to show for it. 58 inches of prehistoric fish monster splendor. Bob caught it. He was due. Now Shay is fryin' up our portion in a Widmer Drifter beer batter. Dee-Lish!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bridgeport Hop Czar

Hop Czar from Bridgeport. An Imperial India Pale Ale that resides at 8% abv. This is a great beer. I love their traditional IPA, but this one steps it up a few notches. Super hoppy, but also incredibly drinkable. I will enjoy this!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Top 10 Beers You Can Actually Find...Sometimes, Some Places

WARNING: I am going to attempt to rank these beers, but rankings are subject to change at any time!

1. The Abyss-Deschutes Brewing Co.
2. Consecration-Russian River Brewing Co.
3. Pliny the Elder-Russian River Brewing Co.
4. Pumking-Southern Tier Brewing Co.
5. Firestone Walker XII-Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
6. Scaldis Noel-Brasserie Dubuisson
7. Hop Henge IPA-Deschutes Brewing Co.
8. Sang Royal-Cascade Brewing
9. 120 Minute IPA-Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales
10. Jubelale-Deschutes Brewing Co.

*Revision at #10. Nate and Kayser talked some sense into me and I had to add Jubelale to the list. I don't know what I was thinking.

Plant Family!

Here are is our family of plants in our back yard! From left to right: Lettuce, Tomato, Basil, Chives, Red Pepper, Hot Pepper, Pine Tree and some kind of wildflowers! We have already started eating the lettuce and it is very tasty. And we just got our first tomato!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Beer Collection

These beers are the major highlights of my beer collection. These are high alcohol beers that will age similarly to wine. The flavor profiles will evolve and most of the hop bitterness will even out for a smoother finish. From left to right: 2006 Jubelale, 2008 Jubelale, 2006 Abyss, 2007 Abyss, 2008 Abyss, 2008 Scaldis Noel, 2008 Anchor "Our Special Ale". The Jubelales and Abyss are seasonal selections from Deschutes Brewery in Bend, OR. The Scaldis Noel is a holiday seasonal from Brasserie Dubuisson in Belgium. And the "Our Special Ale" is from Anchor Brewing in San Fransisco.
The Abyss is one of the most intriguing beers I have ever had. It is a Russian Imperial Stout that sits at an intimidating 11.0% abv (alcohol by volume). It pours out of the bottle like motor oil and coats your glassware like molasses. Definitely in my top 5 favorite beers! Oh, one random statement. DRINK YOUR CRAFT BEER FROM A GLASS!

Chicken Success and Dessert Disaster

First food blog! woot woot! Lately I have been looking at a bunch of different blogs about food and cooking and feeling totally inspired to try some of the amazing things I read about. I will put links to some of my favorite blogs up once Code shows me how. (I'm new to all of this, so just be patient.)

SO after going to the store and getting a few ingredients I came home ready to make a wonderful meal. Oven roasted chicken, potato salad, and dill, red onion, and cheese drop biscuits AND for dessert some kind of tart using a new tart pan I got at Goodwill.

First I must say the biscuits are amazing. I took one look at them on everybody loves sandwiches and knew I had to make them. The recipe is simple and the end result is nothing short of a masterpiece. I WILL make these again. In fact I plan on getting up early and making poached eggs to top these babies off for tomorrows breakfast!

My first time roasting chicken and I have to say it was really good. I tend to think less is more in the seasoning department, so all I really did was rub the chicken with some melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Oven at 375 and cook for about 50 minutes.

My potato salad was kind of a catch-all mix of things in the fridge. to my total disappointment:
Really there is NOTHING good about this dessert. I started with a oat meal crust (oat meal, melted butter and brown sugar-mixed together and then pressed into the pan and baked for 15 minutes at 350) then a boxed mix of pudding which I added a little dark rum to, and top with strawberries. I really had such high hopes which all came crashing down once I took one bite.

It just sort of bums me out because I was hoping for a great sweet treat. Maybe I'll make Cody go to the store for some ice cream...

Beer Post

Over the course of this blog the majority of the food posts will probably come from Shay, and the beer posts from me. I have a healthy obsession with craft beer. I'm a little fish in the giant pond of beer that is Portland, OR. It really is beervana. At any given time you can find me shopping at By the Bottle in Vancouver or enjoying a robust gathering of craft beers at the Green Dragon Brewpub in Portland.

First Post!

This is our first blog! We are going to use it to display our adventures with, food, beer and life!