Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Budde's- The Coolers Part 6

It's time to get back to the important things in life- beers.

Porter Rico by Arcadia Brewing Company

I generally like the porter style of beer. This beer violates that general like I have for porters. The coconut adds nothing productive to this beer. My recommendation- don't waste any time or money on this one.

Mugshot Rye Porter by Urban Legend Brewing Company

This rye porter is the other end of the scale from Porter Rico. The addition of rye adds spicy notes to this well crafted porter. It is worth a try if you aren't shy about trying a darker beer with flavor.

Wake Up Dead Nitro by Left Hand Brewing

This is a big beer. A Russian Imperial Stout with full body and 10.2% ABV. If you have not tried a beer with nitrogen instead of CO2 you should. It is a real treat for your mouth.

Old Stock Ale by North Coast Brewing

Old Stock Ale is a beer for the ages. More technically correct it is a beer that will improve with age. At 12% ABV it should be treated as a sipping beer. Enjoy in moderation.

Modus Hoperandi by Ska Brewing

The Ska Brewing Company claims this beer is "old man bitter". Being an old man I'm not sure what that means. It is heavily hopped with strong flavors of pine and grapefruit. It does carry enough malt to leave a smooth finish. It is brewed with the hop lover in mind. Not a beer for the hop shy.

Pilsner by Summit Brewing

There are not many beers in this series that are Carol Sutor approved. This is one. If you like Miller Lite but want a bit more flavor this beer will suit you just fine. Mike Blythe this may be your opportunity to try a craft beer and like it.

Double Jack by Firestone Walker

This double IPA does not fall in the Carol approved category. It is heavily hopped and has an ABV of 9.5%. The only saving grace is a strong malt backbone that makes it tolerable to those hop heads who aren't fully committed.

Anti-Hero IPA by Revolution Brewing

This is Revolution Brewing's flagship IPA. The blend of Chinook, Centennial, Crystal, Citra and Warrior hops make it a bitter hop lovers dream.

Old Rasputin by North Coast Brewing

This is a Russian Imperial Stout. It is a rich, intense brew with 9% ABV. The image on the label is a drawing of Rasputin encircled with the words in Russian "A sincere friend is not born instantly." It takes time to make friends with this beer. It is worth the effort.

Oatmeal Stout by Schlafly Brewing.

This is a stout made in the classic British style and brewed with flake oatmeal and roasted barley. The oatmeal imparts a smooth mouth feel and excellent stout flavor. A truly wonderfully made stout.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Molested Again

This is a repost from 2012.

Please don't judge too harshly and show some patience. It is tough to admit that you have been the victim of a molester. It is something you spend your life trying to repress and hide from everyone including your spouse and children. It is even worse when that sexual abuse was forced on you by another male family member. Yes, I was molested by a trusted uncle. He befriended me early in life and always appreared for picnics around patriotic national holidays. You know like Memorial Day and Independence Day. He would wear his red, white and blue outfit and is long ZZ Top looking beard. I couldn't see the evil intent in his heart as he hid behind patriotism, God and country. He waited and took his time quietly manipulating me until he saw his opportunity. Now every year he stops by and threatens to expose those years of abuse in an attempt to get me to give in to his sordid demands again. Every year I think I will have the strength to say "NO!" and push him out of my life. Every year I am wrong and wake up the next morning hating myself for what I have allowed him to do to me. Just like a Cub fan I comfort myself with the thought of "wait till next year" but like the Cubs nothing ever changes. I know he is there waiting, pants around his ankles, ready to move in behind me and screw in the ass again. My abuser is Uncle Sam. I have spent the last few days working on my taxes and as usual after paying all year I am going to be sending him some more money. Yes, he nailed me again this year. It isn't so much that I don't want to pay taxes it is the hours that I have to spend figuring out what I owe. My returns involve income from 2 states and from pensions and farm income. I had used a tax service in the past but when I found myself having to explain to them how to complete my forms and then paying them for following my advice I decided I should just go it alone. There are years when I go to the mailbox in June or July and see a letter from the Internal Revenue Service. If you want to see if your ass cheeks will clinch tight enough to break a walnut go to the mailbox and get one of those letters. So far it has always been something like me using the wrong form or sending them too much money. It still scares the hell out of you. I believe in the flat tax more all the time. I know there are issues like poor folks paying more and rich folks paying less but those issues can be resolved if the legislation is written correctly. (I'm dreaming the current Congress can do that!) It would just be nice if I didn't have to spend days sorting through forms and rules and mailing 30 pages of documents to the federal government and two states. We would, of course, have to retrain all those tax professionals at places like H & R Block. I'm sure we could find a job for them counting beans somewhere (ADM?) Anyway if you see my Uncle Sam anywhere around be careful. He will be in the Post Office or some other government building looking all patriotic and pointing saying "I want you!" If you think that is his way of trying to get you to enlist in the armed services you are wrong. You have read this blog and now you know what he really wants. I think Mr. Rogers said it best.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

It Was News to Me

April 9th is Jenkins' Ear Day. Have you ever heard of English master mariner Robert Jenkins? I had not. On April 9, 1731 off the coast of Jamaica, Spanish coast guards from the La Isabela boarded the British ship Rebecca in search of contraband. In the course of the conflict over the Rebecca the Spanish commander Juan de Leon Fandino cut off Captain Jenkins left ear. The War of Jenkins' Ear between Spain and Britain did not begin until 1739 and lasted until 1748. Major war operations essentially ended in 1742. Why eight years between the severing of Jenkins' ear and the beginning of conflict?

The British South Sea Company wanted to spur outrage against the Spanish. The company was concerned that Spain would back out of the asiento contract which gave British slavers permission to sell slaves in Spanish America. In 1738 Captain Jenkins was called to testify before Parliament to tell his story to a committee of the House of Commons. Some accounts allege as a part of his presentation he produced the severed ear as a part of his testimony.

This war became significant in the his of Georgia. The Spanish and English had ongoing conflict regarding the land between Florida and South Carolina. The War of Jenkins' Ear began in 1739 just six short years after the founding of Georgia by James Oglethorpe. General Oglethorpe made forays into Florida in January 1740 seizing two forts. They were Fort Picolata and Fort San Francisco de Pupo west of St. Augustine along the St. Johns River. General Oglethorpe attempted to capture the fort at St. Augustine in May 1740 but that attack failed. He retreated to Fort Frederica and waited for the Spanish to attack. They did so coming ashore at St. Simon's Island in the summer of 1742. The Spanish attack was repelled by General Oglethorpe's troops in the Battle of Bloody Marsh. The treaty of Aix-le-Chappelle in 1748 officially ended the war. Britain and Spain agreed that the St. Johns River would be the boundary between Florida and Georgia. This firmly established Georgia as an English colony. The war of Jenkins' Ear is commemorated annually on the last Saturday in May at Wormsloe Plantation in Savannah, Georgia.

So, in the annals of history this goes down as one of the oddest rationales for a war. This concludes today's history lesson.

As a side note on April 9, 1963 President John F. Kennedy granted Sir Winston Churchill honorary United States citizenship. There have only been eight individuals so honored and Churchill is one of only two awarded while the person honored was still alive. The other being Mother Teresa. The others are as follows:
Raoul Wallenberg- Swedish diplomat who rescued Jews from the Holocaust.

William Penn- Founder of Pennsylvania.

Hannah Callowhill Penn- Administrator of the Province of Pennsylvania and second wife of William Penn.

Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette- Frenchman who was an officer in the American Revolutionary War.

Casimir Pulaski- Polish military officer who fought and died for the United States against the British during the American Revolutionary War.

Bernardo de Galvez y Madrid, Viscount of Galveston and Count of Galvez- A Spaniard who was a hero of the American Revolutionary War risking his life to provide supplies. intelligence and military support to the war effort. He was wounded during the Siege of Pensacola demonstrating bravery that forever endeared him to United States soldiers.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Budde's- The Coolers Part 5

Well dear readers it is time to talk beer again. As you may have noticed many of these are beers you have never heard of from brewers who are not familiar to you. It is likely that will continue today.

This has been about beers that were often out of my comfort zone. This is another in that group. This is Mandarina from Almanac Beer Company. It is a farmhouse ale with a crisp tartness of tangerine. I think what saved this beer for me was that fruit tartness as this is one that I would drink again.

This is Dank Meme from Triptych Brewing. This is an American Pale Ale and it has some real citrus flavor from the abundant hops. You must like hops for this beer to work for you.

This is Buckle Down Brewing's Belt and Suspenders India Pale Ale. For those friends of mine who grew up on a farm I'm sure you all know that old guy. You know the one. Wore a belt and suspenders just in case one or the other gave out under the strain. Better safe than sorry. The brewers took that to heart with the hops. If you weren't sure the beer had enough hops, you should add more. They did and it worked. This beer is a hop lovers dream.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company uses Double Barrel Ale to test our resolve. This beer is partially fermented in their oak barrel brewing system. They use it to pay homage to the cask fermented English ales. You get flavors of toffee, caramel and toasted oak. While I'm on the subject of cask ales it is my opinion that too many folks in America want to drink their beer too cold. I attended the Real Ale Fest in Chicago one year and some of the best beers I ever had were served at "cellar" temperature which is about 55 degrees F. If you are having a great craft beer try letting in warm up just a bit in the glass if it is served ice cold. Be prepared for all the extra flavor it will send your way.

The final beer for today is Pseudo Sue Pale Ale from Toppling Goliath Brewing. This is a single hop ale featuring Citra hops. It is well balanced between the sweetness of malt and the bitterness of hops. It has aromas of citrus, mango and evergreen. If you want an introduction to hops this would be a good choice.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Budde's- The Coolers Part 4

More beers.

Today's first selection is Ska Brewing's Buster Nut Brown Ale. This is a very good brown ale. It combines the flavors of toast, roast, chocolate, bitterness and spice. The slight amount of bitterness and hop flavor keep this beer from being too sweet. If you enjoy Newcastle Brown Ale you will like this beer.

This is Lakefront Brewings New Grist Pilsner. It is brewed without wheat or barley so it is gluten free for those afflicted with Celiac disease. The brewing process utilizes sorghum, rice, hops water and yeast. It was the first beer government approved to label as gluten free. I appreciate those needing a gluten free option having a beer to drink. I tried it and frankly I will pass on having another one.

Bells Java Stout is another coffee flavored stout. It is not as silky as the offerings from Bent River and Schlafly. Still it is an excellent choice for those cold winter days up north.

IPA's were first brewed in the late 1700's for export by English brewers. Beer was spoiling on the long voyage to India so brewers fortified their traditional pale ales with additional malted barley for a higher alcohol content and hops to aid in preservation. This American IPA by Schlafly combines Amarillo, Centennial and Simcoe hops for bitterness and malts for an alcohol content of 7.2%. As with all American IPA's you need to like hops or don't drink them.

Bell's Hopsoulution is a Double India Pale Ale or alternately called an Imperial IPA. It is a step farther down the hop trail. If you love hops this is a beer to try. Please note above beer from Schlafly you could just like hops. In defense of this beer, you must love hops.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Budde's- The Coolers Part 3

The journey continues.

This is Bent River Brewing Uncommon Stout. It is their top selling beer. It is an oatmeal stout infused with an excellent coffee. The oatmeal gives the beer a silky mouth feel. It is an excellent winter beer.

The next beer pictured above is Revolution Bottom Up Wit. This is a Belgian style wheat beer spiced with coriander and orange peel. Once again this was a step out of my personal comfort zone. Not a bad beer just not a style of beer that I prefer.

This is Founders Backwoods Bastard. Since I live in the middle of nowhere in BFE Illinois this should be my beer of choice. It is not. This is a wee heavy scotch ale aged in bourbon barrels. This results in a beer that is smoky, with flavors of caramel and roasted malt. It has an alcohol content of 11.2% so it is a beer you take time and savor. It is also out of my comfort zone. I am not a bourbon drinker and find that beers aged in bourbon barrels carry too much of that flavor for my liking.

Schlafly Coffee Stout is very similar to the Uncommon Stout from Bent River. It is another oatmeal stout flavored with coffee. This time the coffee is from Kaldi's Coffee in St. Louis. I cannot recommend one of these two stouts above the other. It is my opinion that in a blind taste test they would be virtually impossible to tell apart.

The final beer for this post is Bell's Brewing Quinannan Falls Special Lager Beer. This is a dry hopped lager flavored with Simcoe hops. The result is a piney lager that goes down easy. A refreshing beer for those warm summer evenings.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Budde's- The Coolers Part 2

The first selection tonight is Lagunitas Brewing, the beer is Lagunitas Sucks. Why would you name a beer in that manner? Lagunitas has a very popular beer called Brown Shugga' and Lagunitas Sucks is a substitute for that beer. Lagunitas sucked because they were unable to make enough Brown Shugga' to satisfy the demand. This beer is a complex taste combination of barley, rye, wheat and oats that is dry hopped to perfection. It is not a beer for the faint of heart. At 8% alcohol it is also not a session beer. Have a couple and go home.

Finch's Beer Company and the beer is Hardcore Chimera. The Chimera according to Greek mythology was a monstrous fire breathing hybrid creature composed of parts of several animals. This beer is an American Style Imperial India Pale Ale brewed with Citra, Simcoe, Columbus, Cascade and Mosaic hops. It is 9% alcohol so if you don't want to be in a squad car blowing something for a police officer take it easy with this big beer.

This is 4 Hands Brewing beer called Key Lime Contact High. Here I am back drinking another fruit beer. It must be a trend at the moment. This one is brewed with lime zest and I must admit a very nice summer beer. Low alcohol and easy drinking. After a long day of continued retirement it is a nice escape from the day's lack of stress.

This beer is from Tighthead Brewing and is called Chilly Water Pale Ale. It is a wheat based American Pale Ale brewed with Citra and Amarillo hops. Another excellent choice when you are sitting on the front porch or deck after a long day of doing nothing constructive.

This beer is Odell Brewings Drumroll American Pale Ale. It is an unfiltered beer so for those who are accustomed to clear golden beers like Miller Lite this may be a problem. It will be cloudy and may even have some small pieces of hop leaf floating around. It is a very hop forward beer with the main hop flavor being grapefruit.

So, go out there and try something new.