Sunday, December 18, 2011

Japanese Beer You Say??

Well I am happy to say that I finished my classes, I have caught up on sleep and am now ready to catch up on blogging! (Insert imagined cheering here).
Blake and I celebrated our five year wedding anniversary last night (our actual anniversary was last week). Blake surprised me by taking me to Tokio Sake, a Japanese restaurant and sushi bar that I have been begging him to take me to for years. Let me tell you, it was well worth the wait! But I am not here to gush about the food or the service, I am here to tell you about the beer. I can't claim that this was my first time having Japanese beer, but I can say that it was one of my favorite times (I know that is sappy).

I ordered Sapporo, which I have tasted before. According to Wikipedia, "The origins of this company are in Sapporo, Hokkaido during the Meiji period, where the Hokkaido Development Commission (Kaitakushi) established many businesses. Seibei Nakagawa, a German-trained brewer, became the first brewmaster of the Kaitakushi Brewery in June 1876, and the first Sapporo Lager was produced at that time. Privatized in 1886, the Sapporo brewery became the centerpiece for the Sapporo Beer Company." While the history of this  long standing brewery is very interesting, and colorful as you can see by this example of vintage Sapporo Advertising, the taste is even more interesting.

Sapporo has a very clean and crisp taste, with the malt and the yeast the most prominent flavors. There isn't a lingering taste, which makes it easier to drink and a great companion to delicate sushi. The flavors aren't anything new or groundbreaking, but that makes drinking Sapporo all the better, because it is delicious and comfortable. My favorite part was the fact that they served both a16 oz. and 22 oz. bottles! 

Blake ordered, equally delicious, Kirin Ichiban. You can check out some of the history of Kirin here if you want. I wanted to share Blake's thoughts on Kirin Ichiban with you, because again I had tried it before, but his trying it was a first. So, this is what Blake had to say:

"I was surprised by Kirin Ichiban, I expected it to be much different than it was. I guess never having had Japanese beer before I wasn't sure what to expect. It was very light and clean, I thought it was going to be heavy and hoppy, but it wasn't. It was very good."

I don't think I could say it any better myself! Maybe this is motivation to take me there again, say in 3 weeks for my birthday?

Now, for a video that was shared with me from Carlo in London! I wasn't sure what to expect because of the awesome use of mustaches in this video... oh and FYI, there is a lot of sexual innuendo, so be warned
Hope you enjoyed that! I love British humor! Or is it humour?
Speaking of British humor, I got one of my brother-in-laws Monty Pythons Holy Grail Ale for Christmas! Shh... don't tell him. I am super excited about it! I know I always say don't buy beer based on the label, but how can you not when it says Monty Python on it?!? I sure hope that it doesn't suck.

 I sure bought a lot of beer for our Christmas Eve dinner... I can't wait to open them up!

 Do you have any suggestions, comments, videos you want to share with me? Want to write a guest post or buy me a beer? Then you should email me at

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Hangover

I cannot believe that November is almost over already! It feels like this month just flew by. Must mean I had a great time.
I wanted to write about the founding of the American colonies and the integral part that beer played in settling the “New World”, but unfortunately I got swept up in doing other stuff and wasn’t able to put together an all American Thanksgiving Beer Salute (that was the name I picked out). So instead you will have to check out what the Beer Institute (maybe I can transfer there?) has to say about the pilgrims and beer. They have some really great tidbits like:
“An entry in the diary of a Mayflower passenger explains the unplanned landing at Plymouth Rock: ‘We could not now take time for further search...our victuals being much spent, especially our beer...’”
How would the history of America have changed, and the history of American beer, if the Pilgrims had landed somewhere else instead of as soon as possible because they were out of beer? I will let you ponder that….

Over this long Thanksgiving weekend I was lucky to have my wonderful family around me, great food and fantastic beer.

One of the beers we had was one that I was super excited to try out, I may have even ask people to take pity on me and buy it since I couldn’t find it and send it to me. This much anticipated brew? That would be Ommegang’s Aphrodite. My wonderful husband picked me up a bottle and we tried it with eagerness this weekend.

Was it worth all the excitement? Maybe… I really liked the fizziness, the mouth feel and the middle taste note. I thought that the first and last tastes were far too sour for me. I understand that this is a beer brewed with Pear and Raspberry but I would have liked it to let me taste the fruit not just the sourness. I think that I would have enjoyed a Purple Haze more, because that beer at least lets the fruit be tasted. I am really trying to find fruit beers that I can appreciate… If you have any suggestions, please, I am begging you, send them to me!

Next on the list of beers that I tried for the first time is Goose Island’s Mild Winter. It is not news that I love most of the beers that Goose Island releases, so it shouldn’t be surprising that I really liked Mild Winter. I thought that the roasted flavors were well balanced with the hops… it was a mild winter beer as the name implies. Not super roasted and not overly hoppy, I would say that this beer is the perfect transitional beer for slipping into your winter drinking hat (I bought a new drinking hat this year!), or whatever makes you think of drinking a heavier beer with a smile on your face.

As I mentioned previously, we were going to have Pumpkin beer from Crown Brewing courtesy of my aunt… sadly when my uncle arrived to fill the growlers, they were out of pumpkin beer. So he got a couple of growlers of Winter Warlock (That link to Beer Advocate has my review as the first one!)
I had Winter Warlock warm, and I think that it would have been perfect had it been served cool. The malt was roasted until very dark, which is why the color is so dark, but instead of being bitter like some malty beers can be, Winter Warlock was semi-sweet. It had a fabulous coating in my mouth that made me think of winter. I love winter beers and this was such a great example of a one. Definitely had chocolate and coffee notes, but remained well balanced.
Do you have any suggestions for winter beers? Feel free to email me, I may not be posting very frequently over the next three weeks, as I have finals in Mid December, so please accept my apology in advance.

Monday, November 14, 2011

What a Week! I think I need a vacation

What a week I just had! I don't think that my dance card has ever been so full! (maybe because when I try to dance it turns into an adult hokey pokey)

This past Thursday I hosted a Focus Group for Women Enjoying Beer, which was a ton of fun. If you have any interest in having fun and helping the beer community I strongly recommend that you get in touch with Ginger at Women Enjoying Beer! I know a lot of people told me that they couldn't make it on a week night, but that was fine because the small group that I did get had a lot of fun, and hopefully gave Ginger enough information. This isn't a beer tasting thing, Women Enjoying Beer is about gathering data/market research to pass on to brewers, beer companies, distributors and anyone else who will listen. I have to say that after the focus group, I will be thinking about my beer differently, so thank you very much Ginger! I hope to see you when you are in the Chicago area.

While the term "focus group" sounds like we had to do a lot of focusing, we were able to sneak in a few beers... I happened to have one of my favorites, Matilda from Goose Island...Matilda is a very rich flavored beer that is extremely well balanced. If course I am a sucker for Belgian style beers, but this one is very exceptional. If you haven't had a lot of experience with Goose Island's "vintage" beer collection I strongly recommend you get experienced! Sophie is another one of my favorites... and if you are in the Chicago area you have to go on a weekend Brew tour at Goose Island, I like Goose Island on Clybourn best.

Saturday I had my first official beer blog meeting at Duke's Alehouse in Crystal Lake. I will spare you all the details of the meeting, but know this, there will be some new stuff coming your way! So what can  I talk about? How about the beer? I had a very interesting beer from Belgium that was a mild stout. Troubador's Obscura was not really what I had expected, but was even better. I thought that the rich malty flavor wasn't overpowering like in some stouts, and there was a creamy mouth feel like you could have just taken a bite of beer ice cream (they do make that stuff BTW, and YES I am going to try it). I thought that this was a fantastic beer, probably because stouts sometimes make me feel super full and like I have a burnt taste in my mouth.

It must have been a Goose Island sort of weekend because after my beer meeting with Matt I got home and opened Juliet to share with Blake. I guess I didn't remember Juliet being so sour, but since it is a beer infused with Blackberry, I suppose it should have been obvious. I think that I just don't really like fruit beer... I mean, I know that Juliet is a good beer, but I still have a hard time finishing it. It wasn't really sweet, it wasn't really hoppy, it wasn't really malty... I got mostly a faint taste of blackberry and then sour. Blake liked it more than I did, so if you are okay with sour beer or fruity beer, you may love this one.

Now it is time for something completely off the wall. Have you heard of this "spa" in the Czech Republic that does Beer baths? Yes, you need to click on that link and see the lady taking a bath in beer... The brewery (Chodovar) is devoted to welness through beer. Can't say that is a clause I am not behind 100%, but bathing in beer seems like a bit of a waste. If you have some time, I highly recommend that you check out this from one of my favorite (and no longer on) shows, Three Sheets. The host (Zane Lamprey) actually has a beer bath as a hangover cure... hilarity ensues. So does anyone want to sponsor me to go to the Czech Republic to try this out? For blogging purposes of course... I need a beer vacation, don't you think? If you are interested in sponsoring me, or have any questions, email me at

Monday, November 7, 2011

Where have all the Turkeys gone?

I have a complicated family, and since I got married the holiday situation has only gotten more confusing. Inevitably someone doesn't get visited and their gift sits on my stereo cabinet for a full year until next Christmas.Christmas has always felt like something that needs to be overly coordinated, something that is supposed to be done efficiently rather than magically. Whatever the reasoning, I always find myself looking forward to Thanksgiving, the day of turkey, football, napping, lounging and drinking... What happened to  other people looking forward to Thanksgiving?? All I see is Christmas stuff!! We are seriously one week into November, we are talking like SEVEN weeks before Christmas... in my book that is close enough to two months to not even mention, much less put out commercials and push Santa ornaments on unsuspecting shoppers looking to get clearance Halloween stuff.

The thing that I am looking forward to almost as much as not having to cook this Thanksgiving?? Pumpkin beer courtesy of my sweet Aunt Linda, from Crown Brewing Company in Crown Point Indiana. She swears that it is like pumpkin heaven in a glass. That sounds like the perfect accompaniment to stories about guns and pilgrims and zucchini casserole.

Thanksgiving isn't the only reason that November is cool either! No. Another thing that I am really looking forward to is Women Enjoying Beer!! I am hosting a focus group and really looking forward to it. We are going to be at a fun local bar, Lindy's Landing, and Ginger from WEB has been fantastic in helping me set it all up.

What is your favorite part of November? Are you all about the Black Friday deals, or are you like me, all about the cozy post-turkey/post-beer feeling on the couch on Thanksgiving? Whatever gets you through the month, we can agree on one thing, and that is beer (because I am assuming you like me or beer to be reading this blog).

Heavy Handed IPA
This weekend we had two very surprising beers... surprising in a good way. My wonderful co-worker Gail brought me Heavy Handed IPA from Two Brothers, because she knows I like beer and she is sweet (but I won't tell anyone). I was surprised at how well balanced this IPA was... I mean, the label says it is very hoppy and the name hints that it is a beat up your mouth beer, but again, Two Brothers has showed me that they craft their beer carefully and lovingly. What I expected to be a heavy hops flavor was mellowed out by the malt flavor and even a pop from the yeast. Heavy Handed had a really nice mouth feel that helped balance this beer. Admittedly I don't normally buy IPA's but this would be one I wouldn't hesitate to pick up for myself.

Farmer's Tan
The other beer that took me by surprise was Southern Tier's Farmer's Tan Imperial Pale Lager. This also was a beer that wasn't what I expected. The label tells the story that this beer is dedicated to the farmers who have and continue to labor in order to provide us with the ingredients we love so much for our precious beer. After reading that I thought that this would taste like a farmhouse style Saison, a little hoppy with warm malty and yeast flavors. I was surprised at how the hops took over the beer. It was definitely not what I expected, but it was still a good beer. I probably wouldn't go out looking for this one as I thought that it was nothing special, and I do prefer a maltier beer where you can taste the yeast... but if you are a hops-head you might like this refreshing beer.

I have to admit that I chickened out... Blake bought us Two Brother's Hoodwink Dark Sour Ale, and I just couldn't muster the nerve to crack it open. I don't like sour beer, as a rule I avoid sour beer. The first thing that you learn when exploring beer is, if it is overly sour, it has gone bad. I guess my taste buds are old fashioned, because I keep hearing that "sour is the new bitter". The new fade of sour beers is supposed to appeal to the people who go for the super-knock-your-tongue-out-of-your-mouth IPA fans, I am not sure I can get on board with that... Blake thought that Hoodwink would open my mind to all that a sour ale could be, and he might be right, but this week, we won't know.

My grandfather will be glad to know that, though I chickened out on the sour ale, I paired my beer this weekend with a discussion about bacon (and bacon wrapped pretzels!) and watching a show about guns... Now, if only I had bacon wrapped pretzels, it would be a perfect ending to my day.

P.S. I totally thought that Snoopy was holding a gun to get Woodstock's bowl of bacon... It appears that a small image fuels my gun/bacon train of thought

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Beer Picture Contest!!! And the winners are....

I am sure the anticipation is just killing you!!! Who won the beer picture contest? Who gets a free t-shirt and random other stuff?? Well I can't say the competition was tough.... I only got one submission, though very creative and fun, there was only one. So Jeni and Allison, congratulations! I will be sending t-shirts and random stuff to you guys. I expect to see a new picture with you wearing my shirt soon!!

If you missed it, here is the winning picture again:

What did my esteemed judging panel have to say about the picture?

Michele: OMG! OMG! I haven't done that in ages....we used Pabst! Milwaukee's Best Ice, That too and "generic" and yes, in NE we had generic white/black label beer.

Blake: weird...

Me: LOL! That is super classy! I love it!

So there you have it.  

This is where I would usually start talking about our weekend beer experience... unfortunately we didn't have any beer this weekend. I blame it all on my husband.

Not this one, my fantasy husband would never do that (probably because he doesn't really exist)
This is the one who made me miss out on beer!

He spent the weekend in the hospital and that meant I spent the entire weekend worrying and trying to be a grown up. Let me tell you, that was no fun. What put him in the hospital you ask? Well (he is going to be upset with me for "over-sharing") he got bit on the ear by a venomous spider. I am not even pretending that I could make that up!!  He is home and recovering, and not yet shooting spider webs out of his wrists... but if that happens you had better believe I will be cashing in on that!

Anyone have any ideas on what we can make Blake's super-human name when the spider venom changes his DNA? Have any suggestions on beer I need to try? Want to just email me? I would love to hear from you! 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Halloween!

 So, as you may or may not be aware (and if you’re not get out from under that rock) it is Halloween weekend!  And that means among such traditions as dressing up like your favorite condiment or the skankiest thing you can think of, you need to think about being responsible… I know this is a subject we talked about in my last Holiday Weekend post, but I am going to have to revisit all that stuff again.

I am sure you have heard all of the statistics and you know that drinking and driving is a bad combination. Well in case you don’t know, or you forgot, here are some drinking tips on how to drink responsibly from

Hints and tips
Soft drink ‘spacers’ between drinks can help  pace an evening.
Avoid top-ups so you can keep track of your alcohol intake.
Water, water!: 
Alternate your drinks with water to stay refreshed.
A bite to eat:
Eating before or while drinking slows alcohol absorption.
Be a responsible host: 
Provide food, non-alcoholic drinks or serve pre-made cocktails using standard drinks measures.
Stick to one type of alcohol:
If you are switching between beer, mixed drinks and shots, chances are you are going to have a lot of trouble keeping track of what you have had to drink. Stick to one thing and you will also have less of a hangover the next day if you do have too much to drink.
Drive time: 
Think about how you’re going to get home before you leave home.  Grab a cab or designate a driver.

As for the last part about a cab, I happened to take the initiative of finding the NATIONAL websites for cab companies. If you plan on getting drunk, arrange a cab ahead of time. Yellow Cab and Taxi are both national cab companies and you can navigate their websites to find a local company. You can also type cabs into Google and get the info that way. Any bar you are at should have the number for at least one cab company handy in case you need it.

There is also this nifty thing called a designated driver! Someone who isn't drinking and is still hanging out and having fun. If that is you, that means DON'T drink. If you don't have a designated driver, I have just the thing for you! It is called a rented designated driver. This is a group who has lists of people willing to give you a lift sometimes for free, when you have had too much to drink. What a brilliant thing!
Please keep all of that stuff in mind and have a safe and fun Halloween! Even if you are at a Toga party, it doesn't mean you have to drink like you’re in Animal House!

 If you feel so inclined, I would love to see some pictures of you having fun (and any beers you are trying) this weekend. If you want to share please email them to me at  


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

And finally... some BEER

Whew! What a couple of weeks! I try to do my best to not let school work and day to day work stuff interfere with my true love... beer. I have just been super busy with "grown up" stuff lately. At long last though, I have a bunch of time (hahaha) to write a good long post for you.


We had some fantastic beer at our Oktoberfest party (was it two weeks ago already?) We had Hoptoberfest from New Belgium, which I thought was really fantastic. It is very hoppy, but not bitter like some hop-erific beers can be. I would definitely bring this one to a party for people to try, but I am not sure I could handle more than one because of the hoppiness. Eric brought this one, and got a Hoppy Beer Girl Tshirt for it! YAAY!

My wonderful father brought DAB, which according to the website is “A real Dortmunder – a symbol of German brewing culture – Bright golden colour – fine bitter taste – with an elegant note of hops.” I think that sums it up perfectly! I am not terribly familiar with what a Dortmunder is, but if my German guest post taught me anything (and it did) it literally is “beer from Dortmund.” I thought that this was a good beer, Blake thought it was fantastic. It was a little bitter but crisp and clean and went fabulously well with soft pretzels.
Picture of Dortmund, Germany
This past weekend we had a surprising beer from Three Floyds, it was Munesterfest. Now normally Three Floyds makes some really strongly flavored beers, and that flavor is predominantly HOPS, which isn’t a bad thing. For that reason I left Munsterfest sitting in the fridge for a few weeks after we were given it by my ultra cool uncle, Fred. Boy was I surprised at the sweet malty deliciousness that welcomed my tastebuds to Munsterfest!! This beer was so far away from what I normally get from Three Floyds, but it was also so good, just like one would expect from Three Floyds. This is one that I will be looking for again next year!
I finally have a submission for my Beer Picture Contest!!! Great! There are three days left to send me pictures of you and your beer!! Well, here is the picture.

Jeni and Allison shotgunning Busch

Do you think you can beat that? Email me your pictures at and we will let the judges decide.
Halloween is less than a week away. Have you decided what beer you are drinking for Halloween this week? Any ghoulish suggestions for me? Is there a spooktacular beer I need to try? Let me know!!
What sort of Halloween person are you? Are you a decorator? Or is your house creepy because you don’t decorate and the kids think you are some weirdo because you aren’t into Halloween? Well I think that we can all learn something from this guy…

If you are looking for a way to annoy your neighbors may I suggest this light show set up? I thought it was cooler than the others, but I would probably kill my neighbor if they had it up.

See Blake! I CAN do a post without a Muppets Video!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Interview with a beer man

So I wanted to have Blake write a post for the longest time, and he has been putting it off.... "saving" his "inspiration" for anything that would keep me from writing about beer in the future (I believe the word he said was baby number 2)... no worries, I am fully capable of drinking beer still, and writing about it... I am just swamped with school work, not that it's an excuse.

Of course there was a bit of discussion on what Blake was going to write about... he wasn't sure, didn't know where to start and didn't like my suggestion of using Muppet Youtube videos to fill in the blank spots. I offered to come up with a couple of questions for him to answer, so you can get to know the hubs a little bit.

Question: Is it true that before I started dating you, you only liked to drink Bud Light? Would you say that I freed your mouth from bland beer forever?
Blake's Answer: It’s not that I only liked to drink bud just that it was cheap. Also that it was what was on hand for parties as most of the firefighters drink bud. No I wouldn’t say that because I still get bland beer when I'm out and being cheep.

Question: What is your favorite type of beer? Can you explain why you prefer it over other kinds of beer?
Blake's Answer: No set favorite, it’s to hard to choose one. But I will never say no to a German or Belgian beer.

Question: What is your favorite part of your wonderful wife having this blog? Hers is getting free beer...
Blake's Answer: Defiantly getting to try new beers. Hard to say it’s getting it for free since I still pay for it.

Question: Would you please explain to the readers, why you don't approve of Muppet videos on the blog? I hear that some people like them a lot....
Blake's Answer:

Question: If you were to come back in your next life as a beer ingredient what would you be? (I would be yeast, beautiful, tasty Belgian yeast)
Blake's Answer: I haven't given it any thought really. There are so many ingredients. I’ll have to think about that one.

Well there you go. That is my husband's take on blogging. Do you have any more questions for Blake? How about for me? Have any pictures you want to send me? You can email me at or find me o Facebook or Twitter.

P.S. I haven't gotten any pictures for my "contest" so if anyone sends me a picture of them holding beer before the 29th of October, the chances of you getting a Hoppy Beer Girl t-shirt are pretty good...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

So Busy!!

Things I wanted to do this week, but haven’t had time yet:
Write a good blog post, with good content
Catch up on my beer reading
Plan our beer-anniversary weekend
Watch Beer Documentaries
Prepare for 15th-fest this weekend
 Play tea party with my daughter
As you can see, writing a good blog post was at the top of my list for this week. Unfortunately, I have mid-terms Monday and Wednesday next week. As you may have figured, I prefer writing about beer to writing about Cultural Geography… because Cultural Geography isn’t nearly as fun or exciting as it sounded when I registered for the class. I feel terrible that I haven’t had the time to devote to my beer, or blogging that I would have liked the last two weeks or so, but I suppose that is the price I have to pay for trying to do it all.
We tried to have our beer night this past weekend, and by try I mean, we tried to stay up to have more than one beer each on a Friday night. We succeeded in one beer, and boy what a beer it was!
From Unibroue (in Quebec) Ephemere- Black Currant. Do you see this color?? It was gorgeous! It had a nice clean mouth feel, nothing lingering longer than you wanted. It was fruity (gasp! I like a fruit beer!) and slightly acidic, but you still can taste the hops and a little note of the yeast. This was so amazing that I was honestly sad when we finished it. If anyone is looking to bribe me with a beer, I will be adding this to the list of beers I accept in lieu of actual money.
They also have Ephemere in Apple!! I really think that I might have to try it…
What beer have you been trying?? Don’t forget to send me pictures of you and your beer. PLEASE!!
Sorry for the brief post today… but like I said, I have mid-terms and a party to get ready for…

Friday, October 7, 2011

I love October!!

Happy Birthday to my sister, my two Aunts (a little late and a little early) and my mother in law(way early). October is always full of fun stuff, family gatherings and outings, football and beer. This is probably why I like October so much. Since it is one of my favorite months, and I have been teasing you for almost two weeks with it, here is the low-down on the way to win a free HBG t-shirt (and other random goodies).
Here we go! Do you like to take pictures? (Of course you do!!) Do you like beer (duh!)? Well, not that I am trying to become a creepy stalker or anything, I want to see your pictures of beer, with you in them. I want you to send me your best, most creative, funniest, coolest pictures of you and your beer. Show me who reads, and how much you love beer. For example, this would be a bad picture to send me:

Because it is just beer on a bar, okay for writing about but bad for winning contests. This one is a little closer, because there is a person in it (and my awesome sticker)…

Now try to combine them in a fun way… Be creative! You can email me your pictures, or post them on my Facebook page, here!/pages/Hoppy-Beer-Girl/216744681682462 or you can click the “Like” button on the side of the page. If you don’t have Facebook, email your pictures to me at and I will add them to the contest album on Facebook.
What do you get if you win?? Well the first place winner gets a free Hoppy Beer Girl t-shirt and some random other free stuff. Second place, mostly random beer stuff including but not limited to beer cozies and Frisbees. Third place, well you will get something, but I am not sure yet.
So, you have three weeks to send in your pictures, I will include them along the way on the blog, and you can throw in your vote on Facebook by liking the pictures you like. Submissions will end October 28th, and the winner should be announced on October 31st. I will be putting together a non-expert judging panel to pick the winners. You MUST be 21 or over to send in pictures.
Got any questions? Let me know,
In other news, Beer night this weekend is up in the air as I am having a second cortisone shot and am not sure I will be up for beer. If there is, I will do another post this weekend, if there isn’t please accept my apology in advance.

Have a great Friday and please enjoy this video

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's Tuesday again...

So, I had a cortisone shot in my foot last Thursday, which threw me off my game a little bit... I got behind on homework and housework, which lead me to fall behind on my blog... I know those 2 days were just killing you with anticipation. Have no fear, I am here now.

We had several very tasty beers this weekend, but sadly I cannot post the pictures for you today. That shouldn't detract from the deliciousness that I will talk about now.

The first beer we had was Weltenburger Urtyp Hell, which my sister so nicely bought for Blake for his birthday. I thought that this had a very clean taste, with a light yeast flavor followed quickly by a bit of hops. This was clearly meant to be a session beer since the taste was so light, and so was the color (insert picture here). Blake was rather congested so he said he couldn't taste anything... I don't imagine you will have the same issue if you are not congested. I liked it a lot.

The second beer we had was Ayinger's Oktoberfest-Marzen. This was a darker, roastier looking beer, like one would hope for in an Oktoberfest beer. I was shocked at how sweet it was. Most Oktoberfest beers are sweet, and flavorful, but still remain fairly balanced in taste so you can drink a lot of them, because let's face it, that is the point of Oktoberfest. This was one that I wouldn't have been able to drink a lot of. I would like to thank my mother in law for the gift of the beer, it was a good one to try, but not one I would go seeking.

Next up, Dogfish Head's Sahtea. I have been eyeing this beer for months! Blake bought it for me a few months ago, and it has been sitting there, waiting to be opened. I finally got up the nerve to crack it open. The first thing that hit me was the smell! It smelled so good! Delicious Juniper, woodsy, Chai smells that make you want to drink the beer right away. I thought that the taste was phenomenal, you can taste every bit of juniper, rye and chai put in the beer. However, it gets sweet and overwhelming after a while. I was barely able to finish my glass of it... I thought that the attempt at improving Sahti, the traditional Finnish beer was a good attempt, but it was a little too much. Normally I love what Dogfish Head does with their "Off-centered" beers, but this one was just too sweet and overwhelming to have a lot of. If I buy it again it will be because I have company and there will be small glasses passed out. Now if I can get some traditional Sahti, that would be something to try....

In other news, has anyone seen the winners from the Great American Beer Festival in Portland?? Well I have the list right here!It is giving me a long list of beers I want to try, and also validating my choice of some favorite beers that I already have tried (and some I am hoarding). Have you had any beers that won? I would love to hear about them.

My next post will outline the upcoming contest, in which I will give away a totally awesome and original Hoppy Beer Girl t-shirt, so keep an eye out for that! Did you miss what the t-shirts look like? Check out my super sexy model!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Free T-shirts anyone??

I have a theory, and much like my other theories, it exists almost exclusively in my head, but makes sense when it is unleashed on real people. The theory for today is "People will do anything for a free t-shirt" This has been documented by many companies, and demonstrated by many people, including my husband. Well I guess it's time to put at least one more person on the "will work for freebies" list!!

A while ago, I said that I ordered t-shirts for giveaways right here on this blog (not so Podunk anymore!). Well they came in last night (YAAAAAYYY!!!). So of course I had to get a model to show you all what you could win in my upcoming contest thingy.
This is the T-shirt folded on my desk. Nice, right? I like the way that the fold makes me look like I am winking at you, or have a nervous twitch. They really came out amazing! The quality is 10 times better than I had expected.

Not sure how it looks on an actual human?? Well this is Dan. Dan works with me and is a great sport about most things, including me asking him to model things for me.

Doesn't he look great in that t-shirt? Wouldn't you LOVE to make it yours?? Well maybe a not-previously-worn-by-Dan shirt can be yours! Yes, Dan is getting a shirt for being a good sport and graciously being my male-model. Next time though, I might make him walk the cat-walk.
This is the back of the shirt... Yes, I had to put my website on the back... that is sort of the point of freebies. I give it to  you, you get all excited for getting something for free and then you become my walking billboard.

So I apologize, but today I have no beer news, no beer tasting, but I have beer-blog shirt news! Maybe you aren't as super excited about these shirts as I am? Well I suppose I should appeal to your Beer nature... Here are two videos to help you get your beer entertainment fix:

This next one is a little loud, and might frighten the uptight... so look away uptight

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

No Canfest, No worries!

Well, you may know by now (or not) I didn't win the trip to Canfest 2011. But that is okay, because "there is always next year" and I "just started blogging". The most important part, to me anyways, was that I didn't come in dead last. So thank you very very much to everyone who voted, and a special shout-out to Kate for voting on all the computers in her library. So who won? Sean from Beer Search Party won. Best of luck to Sean, hope you have fun in Reno... 

What we need to cheer us up is a video (I will refrain from more Swedish Chef for now)

I am not entirely sure what the point of this is, but if he was drinking a beer while doing it I would be that much more impressed.

What else is going on??? A good friend of mine has graciously agreed to help make my website a bit cooler!! YAAY! If you have suggestions, or feel like harassing him, you can welcome him to the Hoppy Beer Girl world by emailing him at

Have you heard of Women Enjoying Beer? Well you will be excited to know (maybe not as excited as I am) that I will be hosting one of their focus groups in November. I am very excited about this!!

Beers! Well, we had several tasty beers this past weekend. The first and most impressive beer that we had was Dreadnaught from Three Floyd's. This was not as overly hoppy as I thought it would be, or maybe my tastes are changing. Either way, I thought that this was a fantastic IPA, and have to thank (profusely) my uncle Fred for giving me this fantastic beer gift!

A little less exotic and local, Blake bought me a 12 pack of Sam Adams Harvest pack. That includes, Oktoberfest, Boston Lager, Bonfire Rauchbier and Pumpkin Ale. I was trying my hardest to not have one of each in one sitting, but I was able to try the Bonfire Rauchbier and Oktoberfest.I thought that the Oktoberfest was a nice clean session beer, as one would hope and expect for an Oktoberfest beer. The Bonfire Rauchbier was quite flavorful and nicely roasted. I thought that it had a taste like fall... How cliche, I know. But it was warm and earthy and tasty. 

Have I mentioned that I love fall beers? I am looking forward to trying more seasonal beers. If you have any suggestions, questions or just want to tell me that I am not the worst blog out there, send me an email!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Final Push for Canfest 2011-- Send me to Reno!

Alright, this is it. The final plea for you to vote for my blog so that I can go and represent at Canfest 2011 in Reno Nevada this November. You can vote for Hoppy Beer Girl here:

So why should you vote for me? I came up with a few reasons...
1.) I checked out the competition, and they are all really great. Looks like some really creative and funny people entered, with some great established blogs. I know I am making you think you should vote for them... BUT, if you dont' vote for me, chances are that my dinky, barely off the ground blog will whither on the vine. My true beer potential never harvested for your enjoyment. All because I suffered a devastating blow to my overly inflated ego. Don't believe me about everyone being better than me? Go check them out!
2.) If I win, I can share all of my excitement and passion about beer, and history with all of Reno. I am sure they are truly lacking in people as genuinely enthusiastic as me. Heck, I could be a beer-cheerleader, if such a thing existed and didn't require skimpy clothing... on second thought... I would rather not be a cheerleader.

3.) I would totally feel like a legitimate blogger and beer drinker if I won. So much so that I would be able to convince myself and my wonderful husband to order more Hoppy Beer Girl stuff for give-aways. Which means more free stuff for you, and who doesn't like that?!?! (Answer no one)

Adorable Autumn
4.) You have seen pictures of my cute, adorable, wonderful, smart and funny daughter? She is pretty cute, right? If I win, she will get to spend the weekend with her grandparents being spoiled rotten, for a  non-stop Yo Gabba Gabba, Ice Cream for dinner, Jump on the Bed, bed-times are for losers, fun-a-palooza. Now, how could you deny such an adorable child a weekend that would be so much fun and so wonderful?? HOW COULD YOU??? (answer, you can't, so vote for me)

5.) Finally, the reason you should vote for me to go to Canfest is, I want to go so badly I can't even come up with a decent list of 5! Better vote for me now before I lose all composure!! Voting ends tomorrow (September 23rd) at 12:00 Noon Pacific Time.

Get a votin' and don't forget to tell your friends!

Oh, Man she is too cute!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Trip To Germany-Guest Post

Herforder Pils

Recently I asked my cosuin Jeni and her husband Greg (the world's best drummer) to write a guest post about their trip to Germany, mostly on the beer. Well, here it is (I added a few comments in a different color)

Greg and I went to Germany in May, to visit my Great Uncle Erhard, and
to drink beer, and to see where my ancestors lived, and to drink beer
again.  We accomplished all of these things. (YAAY BEER! YAY GERMANY!)
I’d say we tried about 20 beers, as a conservative estimate.  Some of
the beers we drank were: Franziskaner, Ayinger, Bitburger, Freiberger,
Andechs Dunkel, Herforder Pils, Schofferhofer Weizen, and Berliner
Kindl Weisse.  My official analysis of the complexities of the
different beer tastes: they were all awesome.
Highest Beer Garden

We drank beer in many locations, including beer gardens.  The highest beer garden in Germany is at the top of the German Alps.  One of the most famous is the Hofbrauhaus.  And the largest is the Hirschgarten, which has 9 billion seats.  No, wait, it is 8,000 seats.  We also drank beer in castles! CASTLES??!! We drank beer on the train.  And we drank beer while in Rüdesheim am Rhein, which is a winemaking town. How about in a box, with a fox?

Chinesischer Turm and beer garden in Englischer Garten

Beer Bike

Two other nice beer moments: While driving on the autobahn, we saw fields of hops, mmm.  And, in Berlin, we saw a beer bike, which is 12 people drinking while pedaling a keg down the street.  Yes!

Do they sell these in America? Who wants to start riding a bike with me?

Schofferhofer Weizen

Now, here are some things that you may find interesting about German
beers (if you don’t already know them):
 You know I love all things knowledgable about beer, so I don't seem like a lush.


(1) The name of many German breweries, as you probably noticed, is the town that the beer is brewed in, with an “er” at the end.  For example, Ayinger is made in Aying, and Freiberger is made in Freiberg.

 Literally, Ayinger means “of Aying”, and so on.  Or at least I think that’s the translation, but if I’m wrong about this, please correct me.

Berliner Weisse (The Purple One)

(2) Berliner Weisse is a wheat beer with a flavored syrup.  The red was raspberry and the green was woodruff, but I don’t remember what the purple was, aside from tasty.  You drink it with a straw.  Nom nom

Those look very interesting! Making me want to go drink one...

Berliner Weisse (Red and Green)


(3) We also had pilsner mixed with lemonade, which was very tasty.
This is called the Radler (which means cyclist).  There is a story about cyclists drinking it as a refreshing drink, with much needed beer in it, but not too much booze.
Did it taste like Leinenkuegel's Summer Shandy? Just curious, in case I need something refreshing on my next bike ride....

(4) There is a special way to hold the large mugs of beer, so that you
can drink them without using both hands.  See picture. This made me giggle when I saw it at 6 this morning... Because you look like you are giggling.

Official way to drink beer in Germany
Ok, that’s it.  Your homework for next week: Go to Germany; drink beer. I second that!

Thank you Jeni so much for helping me with my blog! Now I can say I have smart content instead of just Muppet Videos this week!

Don't forget to vote for me to go to Canfest 2011!!! Did you lose that link? Don't worry, I have it right here

Do you have an idea or want to do a guest post? Do you have a question or a suggestion for me? I always welcome comments and emails.

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