Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Brain Gravy 2.0 - Episode 4 Hoppy Thanksgiving 2009 is out!

Hey everyone!

Brain Gravy 2.0 Episode 4 is now uploaded! This is our Hoppy Thanksgiving 2009 episode where we review two amazing beers from Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown, NY.,  their Hennepin and Three Philosophers.

-Three Philosophers may be the perfect Thanksgiving beer!
-Other show notes:
Cheers and enjoy!!!

And a Hoppy Thanksgiving to everyone from Brain Gravy!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Roadkill Friday

Last night, my bud and I went to this place called Firewaters by my hospital in Hackensack, NJ. It is a chain of 4 restaurant/bars with other locations in Newark, DE and Atlantic City, NJ. The one by me is associated with a Hooters, with a contiguous space and open doorway between the two places. Their claim is 50 beers on tap and 100 in bottle. Now while they did have 50 beers on tap, unfortunately about 25% of them were the standards: Bud, Bud light, Yuengling, Coors, Blue Moon, etc. Then they had some next level beers like the Sierra Nevada Pale Ales and Sam Adams Cherry Wheat, etc.

I was not blown away by what else they offered. They listed the Rogue Chocolate Stout on tap, but was told they "just ran out" when I asked for it. They had replaced it with the Rogue Dead Guy Ale, which, I have to admit, was darned better on tap than out of the bottle. I followed that up with the Erie Rail Bender Scotch Ale, which, I have to say, was the first time I had had the Rail Bender, and, I really liked it. It definitely reminded me of the Oskar Blues Old Chub; it was so good, my friend drank it the rest of the night. (My friend, for the record, is a former Bud drinker whom I am slowly converting into a craft beer geek!) I then moved on to the Flying Fish Dubbel. I was pleasantly surprised: It reminded me a lot like the Hennepin. It was thoroughly enjoyable. With one beer left for the night, I decided to go for the Abita Purple Haze. Excited to try this wheat beer, I was once again told they were "out" but they did have the Sam Adams Cherry Wheat. I started to feel like the Monty Python cheese shop sketch, and was ready to get really annoyed.

What stopped me? The bartender was a sweet young woman who looked great in a bustier. Her breasts were pretty much falling out of her top. She was very nice, and had absolutely no beer knowledge. Later on last night, two more bartenders came to work as the place got busier, both also looking quite nice in their bustiers, and also with little to no real beer knowledge. So..was I going to argue with that? Hells no! I just finished the night with a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and called it a night.

Overall, I thought from a purely beer experience, I'd give it a B minus. The more exciting beers (to me) were out...all beers were served cold, all the beers were served in pint glasses (the dubbel should have been served in a chalice) and the bartenders had no beer knowledge. From the perspective of a dirty old man, it was very nice. The use of the Hooters formula really distracted me from the fact that these bartenders knew nothing. And, it was a real fun night out with my friend. So, overall, it was a really nice night out.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bored at Work. The Ramblings of a Sober Mr. Whiskey

My father rarely said clever things or said much that would be described as a deeply prophound. I imagine this little obstacle is what prevents him from making the jump from being a writer, and being a successful writer. It is a lot like a mechanic that doesn’t really know much about motors. One thing he did say that will stick with me always is, “When it comes to creating, “keeping on practicing your bad habits, after a while it becomes style.”

Well it is Wednesday, and as many of you know, Wednesday is my Friday. So that means Saturday is my Sunday and Sunday is my Monday. If you’re keeping score I have 2 Saturdays. Figure that out. For now we are only going to worry abut Wednesday i.e. Friday. My wife was good enough to pick me up a six of Tap Rooms No. 21 Red Ale. Good Stuff so far. As usual I have to have a little time with it before I can say for sure.

Next week is Thanksgiving, and can’t wait. Oyster dressing is on the horizon folks, and I have to tell you…I love oyster dressing. Also my annual night before Thanksgiving festival will be under way. I don’t know about you all, but the night before Thanksgiving I love to work up a nice drunk so when I wake up the next day, I am staving. Come to think of it this is a bad idea for health reason, but screw it, Thanksgiving only come once a year.

By the way, I was watching some movie on the Lifetime network the other night. This is what I find funny. Those films are so low budget they can’t afford to buy the rights to the original music so they get some starving musician to put together a song that sounds like the song they want, but isn’t exactly it. Keeps them from getting sued. The funny thing is these songs sound like absolute crap. Check it out sometimes when your bored. That is about the only time it is a good idea to watch Lifetime…garbage.

Send me a link to your favorite youtube videos. I want to see them mister.whiskey@gmail.com.

Well that is it for me for a few days. I hope you all have a great weekend and hope to see you around the web.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Finally Friday!

I have only one thing to say: TGIF!!! It has been a LONG LONG week, with real intense days at work, a screwed up sleep cycle, and a brain that goes into shutdown after getting home from work. I hate falling asleep at 8 pm, and waking up 2-3 in the morning. It just doesn't work for me! If I keep this up, one day I'll just jump in my car and go hit the gym at 3 am (I belong to a 24 hour gym), and, then maybe get back to the days when I had those consistent, wonderful AM workouts.

In any case, most of my plans for the weekend fell through, which, in hindsight, I think is a good thing, because, at this point, I have no energy to do any of the events that were planned. Tomorrow night, we are recording the next Brain Gravy episode, which means I get to go on a beer run later. The problem is that I can never just pick up the beers I am supposed to buy....I always see a few other tasty items, and just can't resist. I am hoping the Oskar Blues Ten Fidy is going to finally be at my local go-to craft beer store....a case might be in order...although I think if I brought home a case, my wife would castrate me! Our second refrigerator has slowly become my beer fridge; it is so stocked with beers, that there is no room for anything else, which is a source of constant fighting between my wife and I. However, I do have a secret weapon: I throw a few bottles of her favorite wines her way, and the beer fridge fight is done!

In any case, Happy Friday to everyone out there!!! I will be on Tokbox later celebrating this glorious event with a few of my favorite beers, and hopefully a few of my favorite people. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My weekend in Baltimore

Somehow, I ended up in Baltimore last weekend. Trust me...I am not complaining. Baltimore is one of my favorite cities. I went to college there, and got to spend some time working at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, which was both an honor and a priviledge, but I digress...Its amazing to me to see over the years how Baltimore has renovated itself. When I was in college there, the Inner Harbor was just being built. Now, to see how the Waterfront area has been renovated, with construction extending to Fells Point and Federal Hill, it brings a tear to my eye to see how this wonderful city is modernizing itself. I have to point out, in fairness, that a colleague of mine, who is a native Baltimorian, feels the city is going too far, and I can see his point. I do agree that there comes a point where all the new construction does cross the line, and, in my opinion, Baltimore is almost at that point...

In any case, the one part of Baltimore that retains most of its old school charm (remember...Baltimore is known as Charm City) is Fells Point. Although there is some new construction and renovation of the periphery of Fells Point, the heart of this part of Baltimore is untouched. The 100+ bars in an 8 block radius, the cobblestone streets, the regular cast of street characters...it is perhaps my favorite place on the planet! (mind you...I haven't been to many places....and this is just my opinion). Fells Point is the home to three of my favorite bars: DuClaw, Max's on Broadway and The Horse.

DuClaw is found at the mouth of Fells Point at Bond Street. Its one of the first sights you see as you enter the Point from the Waterfront. Its in a perfect location, being a stone's throw from the Harbor. Picturesque, with lots of windows and an open feel, it is, to me, the way I start all my trips to Baltimore. The food is excellent; I would put it in the category of a higher end gastropub. Generous portions, good price. But what makes this place is the beer. I strongly recommend you go the website (linked on the name) to get a full description, but suffice it to say their beers are excellent. I always go for the sampler menu, which includes their 6 year rounds and anywhere from 4-6 seasonals. This time around, I brought home a growler of their Mad Bishop, which is their seasonal Oktoberfest.

Max's on Broadway or Max's Taphouse, is located on Broadway in the heart of Fells Point. It is located right by the Broadway Market with a great corner location. The fun begins when you enter Max's. It features a long bar running the length of the place. It features over 100 beers on tap and about 200 in bottles. Plus, they serve the beers at the temperature they were meant to be served! What always amazes me about this place is how the bartenders know exactly where each of the tapped beers are located! Its outrageous to see the bartenders running like madmen back and forth along the bar! This weekend I had the Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout on tap and the Oskar Blues Ten Fidy on tap. The BCS was excellent, but I have to say the Ten Fidy was OUTRAGEOUS on tap!!! You have to watch it at Max's...you can get wicked polluted very quickly (like I did!).

Last, but not least, is the Horse You Came in On, or The Horse. Its this delightful little dive bar on Thames Street. Its famous for being the place that was the favorite of Edgar Allen Poe. For me, its my favorite dive bar on the planet! The atmosphere is not to be missed! The beers and drinks are just okay, and they do have live music, which is hit or miss, but the atmosphere makes it as fun a place as I've ever been. Fun bartenders, barmaids dressed their slutty best, with old wood bars and floors, brick/cement walls....its wonderful!!! The Horse is a great place to spend a bunch of time in for just a darned good time!

Well...that was my weekend. I love Baltimore. I love Fells Point. And my wife's reluctance to move there is weakening....I'm planning on going back in about a month, weather permitting, for another gruelling weekend! Cheers!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What to do?

We turned the corner and find ourselves facing the Thanksgiving holiday. Much like most of you I will be spending my time with family and doing my best to act like a viable part of society, but we all know the truth. While everyone is sitting around talking about the mandarin details of their grueling likes I will be thinking about beer.

So I would like to open the floor up to each of you. Please help me. What kind of beer should I buy for Thanksgiving. Please keep in mind, I have to make it through a whole day of jeering and glad handing members of my family I don’t hear from or see that often and I will most likely be playing some poking that night, so please don’t bog me down with some hi alcohols beers. Please help me pick out some nice full flavored ales.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions. I will let you all know how it goes.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Yankees win!

Just a very quick post congratulating my favorite team, the New York Yankees on winning their 27th World Championship when they won the 2009 World Series!!! Anyone who knows me knows that I bleed Yankee pinstripes...I have been a fanatic Yankees fan since I was a very young child (I remember watching my first Yankees game when I was 4 years old!) For us Yankees fan, its been a long 9 years since our last championship, and I will savor this one for a while!

Having all the nice new free agents are nice; we couldn't have won this championship without them, but, to me, the sweetest thing is what has been dubbed the "Core 4": Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, and, of course, Mariano Rivera. These are the four players who have been there since the start of the glory days and were all there back when we won in 1996. The best part: they are all home grown! Each of them drafted and nurtured by the organization. And, in an era where players change teams like most of us change socks, its a blessing to be a fan of a team that had the foresight and money to keep these players New York Yankees! I acknowledge us Yankee fans are spoiled by rooting for a team that has such wealth and spends the money; however, let us never forget these are the rules allowed by Major League Baseball, so don't blame us for having owners that want to win!!!

So...once again....in the words of the immortal John Sterling..."Ballgame over! Yankees win! THE YANKEES WIN!!! Congratulations to our 2009 World Series champions, the NY Yankees!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Brain Gravy 2.0 - Episode 3 Pumpkin Thumpin' now uploaded!!!

Hey everyone!!!! A belated Happy Halloween! Episode 3 is now uploaded to the Brain Gravy Libsyn website or just look for Brain Gravy on iTunes!!!

In this episode we review an array of Pumpkin Beers and Crown Royal.  Unhinge your cerebellum, grab a beverage and give us a listen.  Cheers!