Ice, no ice. You don’t make friends with Ubuntu.

I mean maybe you do. I haven’t gone to any Linux nerd fun camps. Probably it’s safer to go to homebrew meet ups.

M & I got the “Abbey Style” Tripel bottled, we didn’t mix in any Kriek. Which is fine. Approximate ABV prior to bottling was 7.6%, which is not bad. We can probably hit higher gravities with a bigger kettle, we ran out of space with the sheer amount of fermentables we were moving in, and likely should’ve left it in primary for at minimum a whole month. The “Dubbel” is now conditioning in the 5 gal. glass carboy. Next up is hopefully two or three batches of mild “session” style English ales, quicker to ferment; I’d be happy keeping them all below 4% ABV, the key here seems to getting our production pipeline rolling a bit more than once per month.

There has been no ice. Or snow really to speak of. It was 60 degrees out, which is good for me going running, not good for the squash courts which are kept at approximately 1000 degrees, which makes it sort of like a fitness sauna. We may have to play some tennis this Summer apparently as the the courts don’t have proper AC.

That’s about all I’ve got.  If you haven’t bought Burial’s Kindred, go buy it now.

Kölsch’ish

Bought a case of the Ballast Point Yellowtail Pale Ale, hoping it would be as good as the last two cases of American style Summer “Kölsch” beers I bought. I don’t think it is, and Beer Advocate backs me up on this one. Ballast Point brews some very fine beers, but I’d say in the heat of an East Coast Summer this is perhaps not the best choice (IMHO), either that or my case is a bit stale.

As it stands, I agree with the consensus (B); the Ballast Point appears to neither be a Pale Ale or Kölsch. My favorite this Summer (and last) is without a doubt the Lancaster Brewing Company’s canned Kölsch. Victory Brewing’s Summer Love is also quite good and a step up, in my opinion, from this Ballast Point. Both these have much a much crisper taste, with the citrus bite and mild hops you hope for in a Summer ale.

Lancaster Kölsch in a can

Lancaster Kölsch in a can & a site dedicated to beer cans

DTW & your best craft beer options

image

I was struggling doing some Googling for “DTW best beer bar”.  Detroit’s metropolitan airport surely has some solid craft brew options, right?  What I’ve found from the internets:

The “Online C@fe Bar Grill” across from the Sora noodle shop has the Bell’s Oberon on tap, two Michigan Brewing Co. options and the Dark Horse Brewery IPA (& possibly a second option from DHB) .

The Westin Hotel bar has several local craft options in bottles.  It’s not immediately clear but I believe there is a separate security entrance and exit just for the Westin.

And apparently the Heineken Bar has some options as well.

So far I’ve only made it to the aforementioned internet themed bar cafe. And I’m eating potato skins with bacon and drinking the Michigan Brewing Co.’s IPA which is pretty straight ahead & thick with hops.

Perfect pour, bicycle poetry, wide boots & other inanities

Ask and you shall receive, the “perfect pour”:

A bicycle wheel zoetrope animated film via Velocanoose entitled “The Cyclotrope” as created by Tim Wheatley of Falmouth Cornwall, UK:

The Cyclotrope from tim Wheatley on Vimeo.

On a side note, the track Tim uses is from a follow up to one of the few CD’s I felt immediately compelled to go out and purchase, that is Konono N°1’s “Congotronics” which is amazing. Anyhow, the track he used is from one of the follow up albums, “Tradi-Mods vs Rockers – Alternative Takes on Congotronics”.

Tradi-Mods vs. Rockers

Tradi-Mods vs. Rockers

And, on the brightest note of all, I found double plastic high altitude mountaineering boots that fit EE to EEEE wide feet. The Koflach Arctis Expe model (eg. the Arctic Expedition), they stopped making these for a couple of years while the company was restructuring but now Scarpa appears to be selling them. I tried on just about every boot I could get a hold of and these fit the best & I paid well below retail for a nearly unused pair:
Koflach "Arctis Expe" Double Mountaineering Boot

So long Franny, the beers we’ve known, the times we’ve had

Josh and Franny ventured to Williamsburg, Brooklyn to Spuyten Duyvil the second best beer bar in NYC, per Josh, who probably does know about these things more than anyone else we know (Blind Tiger is the best he says). Franny is leaving for Austin on Tuesday and Josh follows in a few months.  We will miss them.  In their honor, a list of all the beer we drank tonight:

This was a lot of beer.  Be not concerned however, we shared them amongst friends.  The Rochefort is Josh’s favorite beer of ALL TIME (and the dude knows his beer) but he enjoyed the Mikkeller Draft Bear, as did Zoe.  Mark liked the Jenlain best but then backtracked after Josh and Zoe complained that it was too sweet as he is very susceptible to peer pressure (and also not writing this post, can you tell?).  He liked the Thiriez Amber a lot, as did Sean Taylor and his visiting friends.  They ordered 2 bottles which says a lot when you have the selection you do there.

All in all a successful night. I think we have finally figured out the best route on our bikes to get there (and to Fette Sau) as it is important to be able to reach delicious beer and meats safely and efficiently.

Mark eats cheese and bread

Mark eats cheese and bread

Josh and Franny.  Aw.

Josh and Franny. Aw.

Hipster Compromise

Zoe and I have been playing team kickball in a McCarren Park league on Sunday evenings.  For what should be a relatively easy sport for kids who are no longer young the game has required surprising athleticism.  So far our team “The Wrecking Crew” is 4-0-1.  That’s right our first game was a stellar 0-0 tie but since then we’ve learned one of the golden rules of kickball; run and run hard.  The kickball is actually quite difficult to throw from 1st to 3rd and often times people lose control of it, so basically the strategy is run as fast as you can and you’ll score points.  There are rules like no bunting, no leading off of bases on pop-flies, you can only advance one base on a bad throw but usually it seems people drop the ball and fail to get it back to the pitcher in time and we score points.

These weekends of late have been unusually active with almost too much social interaction.  On Saturday we stopped by a party in the West Village at a sweet condo that may be owned in part by Columbia for their professors, the people who lived their had a Gursky print/poster (if it’s a real print of “99 cents” that’s off the hook) and a nice little Noguchi table.  There was a spread of food, wine, babies and lots of law talk.  Skinny ties are still in.  After working all night Friday into Saturday I fell asleep watching “The Wire” at around 7:30pm glad to be back in NY.

Shelby Elizabeth, on our kickball team has documented some with photos of the games. I thought I’d put a couple up here with links to her original set on Flickr.

Scott + Leigh

Zo

The Crew

Brooklyn Kickball