Category Archives: Beer

Beer!

Heater Allen

The stars finally aligned and we able to darken the towels at Heater Allen Brewing in McMinville.
beer

The crowd pleasing brews today: Yeti Topper and Schwartzbier. Yes, the Yeti Topper is a takeoff on the Heady Topper from Alchemist in Vermont. My friends and relations who’ve spent time in Vermont treasure this above all other beers.  I’m not trying to cause a fight with them.  I have not lived through a Vermont winter, so what do I know?  What I *do* know is the Yeti Topper is yummy.  Go have one!

Heater Allen

Here’s brewer Lisa Allen allowing us to handle her prized Octoberfest mugs and generally act silly for the camera.  It’s a family affair there.  The name comes from Lisa’s mom’s maiden name + Lisa’s dad’s maiden name.  Clever!

Good beer and a friendly informal vibe in their tasting room.  Be sure to stop by if you’re in McMinville!

Now, the real reason why we were out there:

wine barrel

That’s right.  Joyce bought a wine barrel from the good people at Remy Wines, right next door to Heater Allen.

Sadly, the wine was not included.

Antares Cerveza Artesanal

Hello travelers, you’ll be glad to know you can find good beer in Buenos Aires:

antares-logo

These guys started home brewing, and just couldn’t help themselves.  Now they have a network of pubs.  We visited the one in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires:

Antares Buenos Aires

Hey, guess what?  These guys do a great job!  The pub is airy, comfy and friendly.  The food we had was toothsome, and the beers well crafted and dialed into their individual styles.  The people who put this place together spent the effort and have the love to make all the pieces work.  First class, all the way!

Iñaki

Iñaki samples a few…

Marc

Marc abides…

meat...

tasty eats…

Some tasting notes for you.  Something for everyone here.

  • Helles
    • Nice “lite” beer – good summertime drink perhaps a bit grassy-vegital.
  • Playa Grande
    • Happy wheat beer!  Cloudy, and a little bitter.
  • Kolsch
    • Clean, mildly malty. Quite tasty.
  • Honey Beer
    • Clean and a little sweet – 7.5%.  Strong.
  • IPA
    • Clean, a slight bitter bite – fortunately not as crazy bitter as many of our portland beers – better balanced I believe.  Marc says he feels it is a bit sour.  Iñaki says Argentinian IPA’s tend to be a bit sour.
  • Scotch
    • Not as strong as many scotch ales – but good flavor and nice light malty after taste.
  • Barley Wine
    • You bet, this is a barely wine.  Marc says it has a creamy mouth feel, slightly bitter finish.
  • Porter
    • Nice choco-malt finish, caramel flavor.  Somewhat lighter body than other porters.
  • Cream Stout
    • “Wow, it’s like coffee” says Marc.  Low carbonation N2O, very similiar to Guiness in flavor and mouthfeel.
  • Imperial Stout
    • Dark heavy malts, you could take a bath in them!

Buenos Aires Part II

Our brief tour of bottled beer and vintage LP’s in Buenos Aires continues…

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Quilmes 1890

“Una cerveza rubia de color dorado, cuerpo y delicioso sabor intenso” or so reads the bottle.  I guess you could say it’s got a golden color, but an intense flavor…? only in comparison to Quilmes’ mainline beers which appear to be the Budweiser of Argentina.  The price is 25 pesos for a liter, with a 5 peso deposit on the bottle.  I’d turn this one down, there’s better stuff on the shelf next to it for the same price.

12 Rounds of Exitos

Given all the song titles in Spanish on the jacket I thought I was getting something local, but this turns out to be a disk of late 60’s early 70’s US pop.  Some of it familiar, some forgotten.  Not a great purchase, but at least it came with an entertaining jacket.

Buenos Aires Part I

Welcome to Buenos Aires. I brought along my portable LP player and bought some vintage LP’s.  Here’s some reviews:
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Imperial Scotch Ale and Edmundo Rivero

24 pesos for a liter in an old-school returnable bottle.  That works out to barely more than $2 USD.  Dark, malty and a little sweet. It’s a good beer.

A strong manly voice to go with these tangos.  For listening, not so much dancing. Quality stuff.  I don’t know squat about vintage tango.  I picked this disc out of the stacks based solely on what I would expect from the jacket if it were a US product.  I must have done well because the grumpy old guy in the shop lightened up and became friendlier when I pulled out something he approved of.

Palermo Cerveza Rubia and Tangos Michel Delon

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This was tasty and refreshing, slightly malty with bright carbonation.  A pleasant amber ale.  So far beers in Argentina tend towards malty instead of hoppy.  Also only 24 pesos for a liter! (aka, about $2 USD as of March 2015)

The record – usually if you need a hootchie-kootchie girl on your record jacket it means your music isn’t selling itself.  This disk isn’t bad, pretty much standard stuff though recording quality seems a bit off.

 

 

10 Barrel Brewing

When in Boise, Idaho and thirsty drop in downtown and you’ll be pleased with the new 10 Barrel Brewing pub. I was on a very long road trip so my visit was brief. Beer: Good. Food: Good. Ambiance: Good.

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Looks like Boise has a pleasant downtown to explore by foot or bike. Or perhaps on this:

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Prodigal Son Brewery and Pub

Second stop on our trip to Walla Walla. Prodigal Son Brewery and Pub. This is the pub sampler. Not a loser in the lot. Clean, good flavored brews. The most innovative would be their hefeweizen served with a slice of grapefruit.

Food, nicely better than plain pub chow. The fries delivered on all the promises of the menu. Two thumbs up.

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Trade Winds Tripel

Tradewinds Tripel
Tradewinds Tripel

From The Bruery in California comes Trade Winds Tripel, “belgian-style ale brewed with rice and Thai basil” says the label.

What’s it like?  Floral, alcoholic, definitely a bit like sake.  Delicate.

This beverage tastes like it is balanced, balanced in a way you may never be.  Me?  I’m not balanced, merely “aimed”.

This beer is balanced like a cartoon kung-fu master on top of a stone monolith, busting down his student’s sad rookie attitude with his mad skills.

I wish I could say I could taste the basil, but perhaps someone who hasn’t smoked a big cigar earlier could.  It feels good that it might be in there.

I call it good, go out and pick up two bottles and send one to me.

Trader Joe’s 2009 Vintage Ale

Trader Joe's 2009 Vintage Ale
Trader Joe's 2009 Vintage Ale

Now here is the Good Stuff.

(pretend the bottle  in the photo says 2009)

This is a spice molassas cookie, maybe your mom made something like this, but it didn’t have such a nice foamy head on it.  This beer is a holiday snack in a bottle.

This beer is actually made by Unibroue.  These guys make beer with flavor.  Dang fine beer.  Usually it’s $8 or more a bottle.  You can get this from TJ’s for $4.99.

If this isn’t living the good life for us regular folks, then I don’t know what is.  I imagine this guy name “Joe” down in Monrovia, CA passed out on a stack of these empty bottles and chocolate wrappers inside a vast warehouse of Trader Joe products.  The happiest fat guy in the world!