Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Oktoberfestin' it up! Soon anyways...

It is August 31st, and while that means labor day is right around the corner, I am, along with many other beer fanatics, looking forward to the beer extravaganza that is Oktoberfest. I haven't ever actually been to Germany or the real Oktoberfest, but I think I understand the concept enough to write a little about it. A two hundred year old two-week long celebration in Munich characterized by the copious amounts of beer consumed. The festival developed after a royal wedding boosted the local economy and encouraged a festival the following year with more attractions, and so on and so forth. For more on the history of Oktoberfest, check out the "official" Oktoberfest History website.

For those of us living in another country, without the means or opportunity to travel to Munich for the real thing, there are many other pseudo-Oktoberfests for us to enjoy, be it a small outdoor beer garden set up with a oompa band hosted by a local club or church, or something on a grander scale like this Okctoberfest in LaCrosse Wisconsin, there are plenty of ways to get your fest-on. I will be doing several Oktoberfest posts during the next couple of weeks, so look forward to fun stuff, like what the rules are on what beers are allowed to be served at Oktoberfest.

Pumpkin Ale for two

Another thing that I am super excited about that is starting to come out it, Pumpkin Ale! You may be with  me on this, or you may think it is one of the most disgusting things you have ever tasted (sorry Justin). I have a mild addiction to pumpkin pie... so I thought I would either absolutely LOVE or absolutely HATE pumpkin ale, and given my uneasiness with many "fruit" beers I thought it would be the latter... Boy was I surprised when I tasted Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale! It tasted like a nice, hoppy fall beer, but then suddenly,hit you with a mild pumpkin pie taste... I am now hooked! I cannot wait to try other pumpkin ales.

Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale
According to Beer Advocate, there are plenty of options this fall for you Pumpkin Ale tastings. I know that some of these beers are only released in a limited quantity, so you had better buy yours quickly!

It may seem like I am a little excited for the beginning of fall, and you would be right. I love the season so much I even named my daughter after it! I love the beer, Halloween, school starting, the harvest celebrations, the colors, the smells, the chilly weather that begs for warm cider or a hoppy cold beer.
My daughter Autumn

I have a request to make to you, send me your favorite end of summer beer. Not literally, though I wouldn't say no... email me your favorite summer beer so that I can try it before I throw myself 110% into fall and all the things I love about it. Email me your beer suggestions at I will also accept pictures of you with your favorite summer brew for my reader photo gallery. Lets say good-bye to summer in a grand fashion!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Canfest 2011

Happy Monday! The first matter of business this week, I actually am submitting my blog (and therefore myself) to win a trip to Canfest in Reno Nevada. I have never done this sort of thing, and admittedly I am not the best writer in the world. I think that the closest I have ever come to winning anything for writing was in 1st grade when our class compiled a book of short stories, and my story was the third one in the book... it occurs to me that it might have been done in alphabetical order since my last name used to start with B-A...

So, Canfest is a celebration of craft beer in cans (in cans you say!?), Yes, in cans. There are many reasons why beer should be canned, rather than bottled. You can shake your head at me all you want, but the science of beer makes it true. We have all seen the Samuel Adams commercial about preserving your beer, if not, here it is.
If you understand the concept that is explained here, which is light and air contaminate your beer, change the flavor of the beer, and shorten the life of the beer. These things can make "skunky" beer that isn't even good enough to give to your unwanted guests who have the taste buds of a dung beetle... This is why more breweries use brown glass, to keep your beer tasting better than it would in clear or green glass. So based on this concept, having zero light enter your beer between brewing and consumption is the best way to have the best tasting beer, enter the can.

If cans are better for beer, why do the majority of craft breweries use bottles? Wouldn't it be best to switch to cans? Putting beer in cans is difficult, so much pressure, and a special lining had to be created in order to stop the metal from the can from contaminating the beer. In 1935, the first beer can was released.

Beer in cans are starting to make a come-back in the United States, as Canfest will attest. There is also a thriving collectors market for old beer cans. This website has some incredibly interesting old beer cans if you have time to check it out. If craft beer is the emerging trend in beer and alcoholic beverages, than craft beer in cans is the sub-craft beer culture... sort of like the New York Dolls were to Punk, the really cool band that didn't reach the same notoriety and popularity of the Ramones...That is probably the worst analogy ever by the way.

So, how does this competition work? Well Canfest and Mutineer Magazine will be accepting established beer blogs, then posting them on their websites for voting after September 15th... which means sometime around September 16th, I will start asking you to go and vote for me! If you want to read more on the competition, check it out here.

Later this week, Preparing for Fall Beers, Pumpkin Ale and sharing my enthusiasm for all things Ocktoberfest.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Beer, Beer, Beer

The Goods (on a messy counter)
As you may be aware of by now... I love beer.  I only have the opportunity to drink beer once a week, maybe twice if I am really lucky, which is probably why I get so excited about what beer we are going to try each week.
This week my super cool sister came up to hang out with us. Okay, she came up to visit and go to the Bristol Renaissance Faire with us. Blake took her to the liquor store and they came back with some tasty beverages for us to consume while watching Arthur.
Pouring of the Stout
So what did they get? Dogfish Head's Namaste, New Belgium's Biere De Mars, from the Lips of Faith collection and Southern Tier's Creme Brulee Stout
What did we think?

Southern Tier's Crème Brulee Stout- scratch and sniff? Smells so good! I mean, seriously, this smelled JUST like Creme Brulee!  Strong knock you on your butt up front taste, good mouth feel, smooth and delicious sort of sweet finish. It was an interesting choice for a stout, but still really good. Not your average stout for sure!

Creme Brulee Stout

New Belgium's Biere De Mars (Lips of Faith) was a crisp beer, not as melodic tasting as the Ommegang brew of the same name, but still a delicious beer with a strong yeast profile and a clear hop note. Also a slight banana after taste. This beer is supposed to celebrate the flavors of Spring, and it does. This is one that I would highly recommend to anyone.

Dogfish Head's Namaste  every time that I have this beer it strikes me with it's clean flavors and balance. Brewed with coriander and lemongrass this beer could have been overwhelming, but remains perfect. Cleanses your palate after each sip, a nice refreshing beer. If you see it, you should get one for yourself!

Well Autumn also had her first beer this weekend (WHAT?!?!) No, root beer silly! Actually Sarsaparilla.... She thought it was delicious!  
Sarsaparilla, YUM!

Wait, how did this picture get here??? Is that my sister shooting a bow and arrow??? What is wrong with the chick int he background? Is this too random?
Christie Showing off her Archery skills

So, you should know the drill by now. Email me any questions, suggestions, pictures or whatever at Check out the new pages on the blog (now located at thank you Matt!) Oh and if you want more Hoppy Beer Girl, check me out on Facebook or Twitter (I have an awesome Facebook album just for reader pictures!)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happy Thursday!!

I am about to give up on promising any sort of time frame/schedule for my blog posts. I have stuff in my head that I want to write about. Big stuff, good stuff, beer stuff, but life keeps messing with me! Last night I had a rather nasty run-in with a cable box and my foot... gravity and the cable box got the best of me, and now I have a fancy boot and some pills that are making me loopy, so please forgive any overly cheesy comments today.
So, the first matter of business today is Belgian Beer Fest-September 10th in Boston. This is an event hosted by Beer Advocate and something that they are very excited about, as am I. Now I wish very much that I could go, but I don't think I can justify a trip to Boston just yet for beer... though that is one of my long term goals, beer vacations. You can get all sorts of info on BBF right here.
Next on my agenda, the answer(s) to the last Wednesday beer quiz. The question was "As we can pretty safely assume, beer is one of the oldest and most popular beverage in the world. But my question is, what is the most popular beer in the world? Do you know? If you do (or if you are Google savvy enough to find out) let me know"
It turns out that the answer to this question was much more complicated than I anticipated. I thought there would be one or two top beers in the world, but it appears that there are one or two top beers in each country. So here are the statistics that I was able to find:
“Since 2001 the best selling beer in the USA has been Bud Light with an almost 16% share of the total market” One addition to this, I found an interesting article that says Bud Light is no longer the best selling beer in the world, it is now Chinese Snow. Just a warning, the website is in Chinese... and Google translator gives an interesting translation of the site. I now want to try this Snow and see if it is better than Bud Light (my guess is yes it is)
“Canadians rarely pass up a chance to look down their noses at Americans because they feel nearly all their beer is better. Their best selling brand is Labatt Blue.” I didn't realize that I haven't tried Labatt Blue, until just now... adding it to the list to try
“Many people don’t immediately think of beer when they think of Brazil, the fifth most populous country in the world with almost 200 million residents. With almost a third of the total market, the local brand Skol dominates,” Now I want to look for some Brazillian beer!
Corona is the best selling beer in Mexico, one of the top selling imported beers in the United States and also one of the best selling beers in the world, available in over 150 countries” Meh... I don't really like Corona, so why Dos Equis or some other decent Mexican beer isn't number one confounds me, just like Bud Light being the top selling beer... must be a cost thing.
"A few huge companies dominate the German beer market, with Krombacher taking the crown as the single top brand, followed by Bitburger, Warsteiner, and Becks, which is by far the most exported German beer." I like Krombacher and I like Becks, so I can see how these can be top choices for a country known for beer, amoungst other things

I got all this information from Beer Innovation and cannot vouch that it is the MOST accurate information out there, but it seems pretty kosher to me.

It feels good to have two posts under my belt this week! I am feeling so silly (probably from painkillers) that I found some fun beer pictures to share with you. Enjoy!

No quiz for this week... I have a request for help. You see, I am shy... and I want to write a letter introducing my blog to some larger breweries, but I am afraid that I will get carried away gushing with my love of this beer or that beer and lose all sense of professionalism (the little that I have). So, at your convenience, please send me some ideas on what to write. You can send your super awesome emails to yep, that is an email at my domain... Yes, that means that I am dedicating this week to finally getting it back up and working (I hope).

Looks like I just added a bunch more to my "To Drink" list.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I swear! I am not trying to forget!

I will admit, I have been very lazy lately with my posting... and you know what, it's something that  happened because we had a very sick little girl two weeks in a row, which made me very tired, and not very motivated.
So, looks like you have two more days to send me your answers to the Wednesday quiz that I did (was it two weeks ago?) Don't forget to email me your answers... cause I am not telepathic no matter how much I try.
We had a beer tasting LAST weekend, and I never had the time or the energy to write it up. Let me give you an idea of what I wanted to say in it. Three beers... only one we drank. Blake and I decided that we don't like cherry ales, at all, and there happened to be two in our fridge, both of which got dumped. Though, as the saying goes, third time is a charm. We cracked open a bottle of Three Floyd's Apocalypse Cow.

As you may or may not recall, Blake and I are not huge fans of IPA's, much less DOUBLE IPA's, so I was not sure that this was going to be spared the same fate as the two cherry ales had. Apocalypse Cow turned out to be one of the best IPA's I have ever tasted, as you can see on Beer Advocate. Normally I feel like my mouth has been physically assaulted by these IPA's, like the brewers goal is to make you want to pucker your mouth and spit it out... Apocalypse Cow has a very strong hoppy flavor as you would expect for a Double IPA, but it is well balanced and has a great mouth feel. I will admit, I can't see myself drinking more than the one glass, but I really enjoyed my one glass. Thank you Uncle Fred for the Apocalypse Cow :)

In other news... I have found out that my favorite brewery is releasing a new beer in the near future, and I am naturally, very excited for it. Ommegang Brewery Announced the Release of Aphrodite Ale just made my day!!! For those of you who haven't had Ommegang's Biere de Mars, or heard me gush about it, you cannot begin to fathom my anticipation. If anyone is hoping to butter me up with gifts, I would LOVE a bottle of this. I have not seen it (yet) at my local liquor stores.

Have you checked out the Facebook profile I have yet? I have a photo gallery that has pictures of beer that I have had, and also a photo gallery of beer that other people have sent in. You NEED to check it out! And while you are there, click the Like button and Like me!

Did you know that there are some major beer festivals going on right now? Here is a neat article about some lucky Bloggers who got to go to one of the biggest beer fests. Maybe next year, right?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I asked and I recieved...

Just wanted to give a quick shout out to the few people I got responses from already! I created a new photo album on my FB page so you can see some of the pictures (as I slowly add them) that I have been sent by readers, click here for that.
I have also gotten a couple suggestions for my romantic beer getaway that I can't wait to check out! Keep the good stuff coming people! I love it!

Oh! And I almost forgot! I now have a Twitter Account! Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happy Wednesday!!

Alright, I didn't forget to post the last week, I just didn't have time to... my daughter was sick and then of course, I got it. Throw in there a mixture of husband working extra long days and Saturday and it is a miracle that I have been able to find clothes for myself and my daughter...
Well, Did you like the review I did last week from of Bliss and Small Town Brewery? I know that I had a blast doing that, so much so that I am hoping that I can start going to beer tastings or brewery tours at least once a month.
So I suppose I have some catching up to do... Let's start by starting a new quiz for this week. As we can pretty safely assume, beer is one of the oldest and most popular beverage in the world. But my question is, what is the most popular beer in the world? Do you know? If you do (or if you are Google savvy enough to find out) let me know. Email me your answer(yes, we are trying that again) And while you're at it, send me some beer suggestions and pictures of beer! I can't get enough of that stuff. I swear it only takes a few minutes and you will help put me over the edge with my overly enthusiastic beer hobby... and you have no idea about how enthusiastic I am about beer... or maybe you do by now.
I have discovered my new favorite quote:
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
-Benjamin Franklin alledgedly (though I can't find anything to say he did say it)
I couldn't agree more!!!
I am trying to secretly plan (DOH!) an anniversary get away for my fifth anniversary. I have perused articles on the best places to stay and things to do... but let's be honest, this is our fifth wedding anniversary and we will be having a nice romantic getaway, the only activity we will be interested in is obvious, we want to drink beer. Do you have any suggestions on a good beer getaway? Any brewery that needs to be visited by yours truly? Now you should know that my anniversary is in December so someplace on the beach would be sort of useless. Send me any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it!
This weekend there will be a beer night, there hasn't been in a while I know. We are going to the Renaissance Faire and then will be having beer. Would you believe that I have so much beer in my fridge I can probably do beer night for the next month without going to the store? It's true! I have some fantastic friends and family who just bring me beer to try and write about... I am so lucky :)

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