Thursday, January 23, 2014

Beer # 116-129 / Day 20-23: The Yoosh

After such a crazed weekend, I was expecting to take it easy this week.  Wrong.  "Slow and steady wins the race" is the old adage.  I've been doing exactly that.  Randy Carncross is already about 80 beers ahead of me from what I can tell, but no matter.  I'm enjoying the journey.  And as the Big Year progresses, I'm convinced it will become increasingly more difficult to rack up such huge numbers in one fell swoop.
Enjoying hops with my link.

Nothing too exciting this week. Just making my way through a collection of 12oz singles.  I've been sticking with mostly run-of-the-mill beers during the week.  I tend to keep "special" beers for special occasions.  The problem is my beer fridge, which is a regular sized fridge, is at full capacity with beers I'm saving.  I need to come up with a special occasion very quickly in order to make room for more.  Aside from the crazy bottle selection at home, I also visited Link N Hops in Atwater Village earlier this week, adjacent to the nice beer & wine bottle shop 55 Degree.  Link N Hops has been a favorite for the Wife & I since they opened, and they offer some great exotic meat sausages, as well as the full gamut of taps. I went for an excellent wild boar link, and some unique selections: The BALLAST POINT HABANERO SCULPIN - Beer #116, spicy, delicious, with a slight burn that doesn't linger, and it's not overpowering at all; The NEW BELGIUM / CIGAR CITY COLLABORATION CHILE BEER - Beer #117, not awesome in spite of the fact that Cigar City is one of my favorite brewers in the country; And lastly, the FIGUEROA MOUNTAIN 3rd ANNIVERSARY IMPERIAL OATMEAL STOUT - Beer #118, tasty but not mind-blowing.  That evening at home, I went for some standbys:  STONE LEVITATION ALE - Beer #119 and JOSEPH JAMES RED FOX RUSSIAN IMPERIAL STOUT - Beer #120, the latter of which really excites me... it's the first beer I can recall enjoying from Nevada, just outside of Vegas, in Henderson.  Only recently have I been hearing great things about this brewery, and this stout lives up to the word on the street.  Oily, dark, inky, delicious, and crazy affordable at $8 for a four-pack.  Can't wait to try the other Joseph James brews.

I also have the usual Tuesday evening INFEST practice, which as of late means a visit to The Snug, which means even more beer. Although I'm about 2 weeks away from exhausting all of my options at this sleepy Burbank hangout which hasn't rotated its taps since I started going there.  I went for their best selection this week with the CHIMAY ROUGE - Beer #121, followed by some of their lesser taps, the BASS PALE ALE - Beer #122 and the STELLA ARTOIS - Beer #123, both of which are palatable at best.

I rounded out the week with several everyday-but-tasty singles at home:
SHIPYARD MONKEY FIST IPA - Beer #124: I've avoided this one because it seemed like a novelty beer. Not incredibly memorable, but decent, and worth drinking if it's the best option available.
GOOSE ISLAND MATILDA - Beer #125: These days their distribution is ridiculous, thanks to new parent company Anheuser Busch.  Thankfully they haven't compromised the quality of their product.
NEWCASTLE WEREWOLF - Beer #126:  A seasonal red ale I've hoarded since my Wife's uncle brought it over during the holidays.  So much better than the standard Newcastle brown ale.
FIGUEROA MOUNTAIN HURRICANE DECK DIPA - Beer #127:  A gift from my pal Matty B., by far the best brew in the Fig Mtn roster.
SIERRA NEVADA BEER CAMP #95 IMPERIAL RED ALE - Beer #128:  Another one I've been hoarding since last year, just so I can enjoy it this year.  One of the better offerings from the largest indie brewer, and somewhat limited.
SIERRA NEVADA NARWHAL IMPERIAL STOUT - Beer #129:  A seasonal release, and so glad I grabbed a 2013 before they disappear.  My favorite Sierra Nevada brew, hands down.  A superior imperial stout, but not sold at beer nerd prices.

Now my kid can enjoy "beer" with me.  Stay classy, America.
In spite of the sleepy week, there have been a few oddball beer-related items brought to my attention.
#1: My friend Lily Thai forwarded me info on a new Jelly Belly flavor called Draft Beer.  Wow.  When there's a jellybean that tastes like beer, you know craft beer has "jumped the shark".  Let's all hang it up now, shall we?
#2: My buddy Steve Enders told me about his trip to Portland. Of course, this is already a major beer hub, but nowadays you can fill a growler at the gas station!  This is a state which doesn't allow you to pump your own gas, and yet you can fill up a 64oz jug of beer while they're filling your tank?
I say "WTF" only because I'm jealous.
Incredible action shot of beer sitting on my kitchen counter!

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