Friday, December 12, 2008

New Belgium Tripel

What we enjoy in life helps to add character to who we are. For me, a place becomes more tolerable when it has a decent beer selection. When I say place, I can mean anything from a gas station to a restaurant to a town.

For example, we were going to a business dinner one night at a Mediterranean restaurant (Sahara in Michigan City). I figured I would probably be drinking water there because they more than likely were not going to have anything except American Lager. I was suprised to find Rogue Mocha Porter and Bell's Two-Hearted Ale there. The dinner was great, of course, but the beer selection made it even better to me.

When I travel to see my folks in a small town in southwestern Missouri, I know there's not going to be a lot going on. It's nice that way, because really, I am there just to see them. However, at the end of the 8-hour drive I know that I'm going to be able to go into my Dad's fridge and find a variety of New Belgium and Boulevard beers there.

Before coming up for Thanksgiving, my Dad said they had loaded their old treadmill into the back of the truck and he was wondering what else they could bring. I told him I wanted some New Belgium 1554 and anything else he wanted to bring. He ended up bringing me some New Belgium Tripel.

I thought that a Trippel was a Trippel. Then I remembered over the Labor Day weekend, I had two really good Trippels at a friend's house in Illinois, and one average Trippel. La Fin Du Monde and Victory's Golden Monkey rate up there with a nice flavor, and a decent alcohol kick. I have to say the New Belgium Trippel was just okay. Not as strong as the two mentioned, and not as spicy as say the Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale or Flying Dog Kerebos versions I had in Illinois.

Also, that yeast that they use I suppose I've gotten used to, but the harsh bite of dirt is there with the first drink. I can't describe this any other way. Can I say "Earthy?" Mayhap that will do.

Still, it kills me that the old man can buy cases of New Belgium beers at his local Sam's Club. I guess I shouldn't complain, I can get 4 kinds of Three Floyd's at my local Jewel grocery store.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Beer Social Networks - Sharing the Love

I wanted to let everyone know about a new social network called Must Love Beer. I found this through a facebook link. It looks like it's just starting up. I already frequent the boards on Northern Brewer and I think some Bud drinkers must be hacking, though. It's been crashing a lot lately. And someone took my Cheap Trick icon down.

As you may already know, blogging about beer isn't an original idea. I've got a few bloggers listed to the right, and most of them are from people who have linked to me or left comments. One thing I am kind of interested in are women who appreciate craft beers. Let's face it, for the most part, it would not appear that there are as many women interested in different styles of beer and brewing as men are. I'm not saying that there aren't ANY women out there who really like beer and want to try a lot of kinds, I'm just saying, you're not showing up in large quantities. This, of course, is reflected in what American society considers as beer, and depending upon what you read, when all the men went to war in Europe and Asia from 1941 - 1945, this affected how brewers made their beer (lighter, less hoppy).

Here's what fascinates me most: Women homebrewers. What kind of styles do they like to brew? Are they pretty much the same as most men? (Although, I have to admit, some homebrewers out there pick some pretty boring and standard stuff to brew). Do they do a better job with their ingredients, are they more creative? I'm not sure, but I bet you the folks over at Beer for Chicks could tell you. Obviously, as I don't possess the correct equipment, I am not privy to this site. However, that does not stop me from supporting the cause.

Another good place to check out is the forums at Northern Brewer. I've received good advice from the brewers over there.

Places like Must Love Beer, Beer Advocate, and Rate Beer all allow you to talk about beers you've tried, and also look up beers you've heard about to see what people think and maybe determine if you want to find something new. Plus, if you're one of those youngsters out there who has some kind of mobile internet device, you can check out BA or RB right at the store, if you can get a connection. Find out right on the spot if you're getting something great, or pisswater.

Have an excellent weekend!