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 A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of

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Vito

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PostSubject: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:22 am

After a couple of bottles of Karl Strauss Pintail Pale Ale, I found myself imagining an excerpt from A Sensitive Journalist's Notebook, by p'Menstrua Lavagineau:
    It was late at night, and we ventured out to take photos of Hopewell Rocks, amazing natural formations that are fully revealed at low tide in the Bay of Fundy. The park was officially closed, but what some might call trespassing, we saw as a chance to experience the wonder of nature—an opportunity not to be missed.

    The tide was just starting to turn when we made it down to the beach. The air was filled with mist, illuminated by the full moon. We were surrounded by a silvery luminescence, as moonbeams struck the rocks from behind. It was magical. We were awestruck, dwarfed in the land of giants. Then wolves came and ate us. I hate it when they do that.

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Richard Burley

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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:27 pm

Laughing Man, I want some of that ale! (And I'm quite familiar with, though not necessarily an admirer, of that author.)
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Vito

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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sat Apr 23, 2016 1:33 pm

Richard Burley wrote:
Laughing Man, I want some of that ale! (And I'm quite familiar with, though not necessarily an admirer, of that author.)

Richard:

I'm sure "that author" is well known to every male who experiences...er, a certain state of mind that occurs approximately monthly in certain other non-male genders that shall go unnamed.

I dunno whether Karl Strauss's brews are available in your neck of the woods, but they're worth finding. Pintail Pale Ale and Mosaic IPA are my faves onna counta the special hops they use, which impart a glorious citrusy flavor and aroma without punching the Bitterness For Its Own Sake™ button, as so many of the recent hoppy brews seem to do.

Originally, the whole point behind adding hops to beer was toning down the sweetness of the malt. I get that part. And I get the idea of using hops that have special character to add a special flavor of their own (like the two Strauss ales mentioned above). The part I don't get is the current fad of heavily hopping the brews to push up the IBU number—that is, to add bitterness (and little else).

Apparently there are people who actually like that sort of thing. I'm not one of them, but I recognize that taste is subjective. And I suppose it makes things easier for the brewers if they can just dump in a shitload of hops and make the brew as bitter as possible. Plus, it's a great way to cover up the taste of the dead rats that fall into that swill. Maybe that's why they do it.  Twisted Evil  

Anyhow, the next time my bitchy alter ego appears, I'll be sure to let her know you think she's a vicious slut from hell...er, I mean that you're familiar with her work. I'm sure she'll appreciate the compliment.  

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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:23 pm

Vito, I agree about the trendy overuse of hops these days. Anymore I just avoid the stuff that boasts of having a special hoppy nature. It's usually not good (to me). With all this craft beer mania going on I, in my defiant manner, gleefully buy 12 packs of Newcastle Brown Ale for $12 at the big box store and ignore the rest. Good is good and the rest is usually not worth the bother. However, I do have to allow that it can be done well, the hoppy brew thang, it just usually isn't done well. I did find one wonderful example of hoppiness done very, very well. By accident I stumbled onto Russian River Breweries Pliny the Elder, a hopiverous monster if ever there was one. I was aware of it's reputation, so I'd never tried it. But then a friend of my wifes gave her a case of the stuff (she'd won some sort of prize and the beer was the prize). I may be stubborn but I'm not stupid enough to turn down free beer, so I tried it. Amazing! I won't tell you there isn't any bitterness because there is, but it's balanced and the effect the hops give off is most unusual in that the beer actually tatses like late summer hops drying in a barn smells. Having grown up with a hop grower right down the road this is one of my olfactory benchmark experiences from my youth. Never until Pliny did I try a beer that tasted like that hop barn smelled.

I would go so far as to say that, though it may not keep the wolves at bay, it just might make you not give a shit, which can be just as effective Wink

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Vito

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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:25 pm

Puff Daddy wrote:
...I do have to allow that it can be done well, the hoppy brew thang, it just usually isn't done well.


PD: That was exactly my point in mentioning the two Karl Strauss ales in my last post. They're stunning examples of hoppy brew done well. Sure, they have some bitterness, but it's a welcome and tantalizing part of the experience. And most importantly, it's not the focus. The hops contribute far more to the flavor of the brew than mere bitterness.

Thanks for the tip about Pliny the Elder. I'll look for it. I'm a huge fan of hops done well. As with pipeweed, it's no surprise that there are so few true masters who actually get it right.

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puros_bran
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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:27 pm

Yuppies..

Granted I don't partake of the high form any longer due to the doctor mandated low form but when I did just give me a Coors Light or a IPA.
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Vito

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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:47 pm

puros_bran wrote:
Yuppies..


Hmmph...Philistines... Razz  

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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:50 pm

puros_bran wrote:
?.. just give me a Coors Light

On a hot day you just cant beat a couple of ice cold Coors lights in the bottle. It's all we used to drink when hunting and fishing.

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puros_bran
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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:18 pm

You mean back before you traded in your cayhones for penny loafers?

See what happens when Texas moves to California boys, pretty sad.

One day your double dipping by fly fishing at the deer camp stream. Drinking The Silver Bullet and listening to Hank Jr.. The next you are sitting on your porch talking to your neighbor, Jeffery Johan Cryuff IV, about the merits of Lavagnieau and hoppy craft beer.
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Carlos
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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:36 pm

I'll have a Bud Light. Or Bud Light Lime. Maybe a Tequiza instead. If it's got more hops in it than those, I am not interested. Getting awful picky of late.

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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:05 pm

puros_bran wrote:
You mean back before you traded in your cayhones for penny loafers?

See what happens when Texas moves to California boys, pretty sad.

One day your double dipping by fly fishing at the deer camp stream. Drinking The Silver Bullet and listening to Hank Jr.. The next you are sitting on your porch talking to your neighbor, Jeffery Johan Cryuff IV, about the merits of Lavagnieau and hoppy craft beer.  

No, I just got old and tired and didn't want to go anymore. The good hooch is just a biproduct of not spending all that money on huntin stuff anymore.

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Richard Burley

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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:36 pm

I know some very decent, hard-working, not too effeminate guys who drink Lite beer, so it's OK and nothing to be ashamed of, generally speaking. Not worthwhile, though, IMO.

Vito: Alas, your Strauss Pintail is apparently only available in the land of fruits and nuts. Nevertheless I shall keep my eyes peeled for it, to use an awkward image. Meanwhile my favorite local craft brewery keeps my liver in good working order. I agree about the hops; anything can be overdone, and probably will be. How about the high-octane beers coming out, for example? What's that all about? I just don't see the need. Strangely my "favorite" beer, if I must have one, is Samuel Adams plain ol' Boston Lager. The malty aftertaste is amazing to me (only in the draft, not the bottled). Yep, everyone is different.
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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:15 pm

Being a professional brewer, I can't help but gravitate to this thread. And it will take a bit of time for me to digest all the responses since I just returned from a marathon recording session and my head is not in the game. Perhaps tomorrow.



Cheers,

RR
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Richard Burley

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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:17 pm

Brewdude wrote:
Being a professional brewer, I can't help but gravitate to this thread. And it will take a bit of time for me to digest all the responses since I just returned from a marathon recording session and my head is not in the game. Perhaps tomorrow...

Should be interesting. Take your time. In the meantime relax, have a brewski, and read some Lavagineau to calm your soul.
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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:44 am

Actually, I'm not sure what I can say here about subjective issues such as hops. For some they are an acquired taste, and while it's worth acquiring we all have our own personal likes and dislikes.

As far as things such as the hop bitterness is concerned, there has been much discussion about IBU levels being pursued for their own sake at the expense of drinkability. I myself don't gravitate towards beers that are all about the bitterness but rather prefer the hop aroma and flavor.

Here at Snoqualmie Falls Brewing, our flagship brand is our Wildcat IPA which clocks in at about 76 IBU's. Yet it's very balanced with plenty of juicy malt flavor. Quite the drinkable tipple it is too, IMO of course.

At the end of the day, drink/smoke/eat/listen to what you like. It's all good.


Cheers,

RR
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AJ

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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:02 am

Brewdude wrote:
At the end of the day, drink/smoke/eat/listen to what you like. It's all good.


Cheers,

RR

This says it all. Thanks Rande for setting things in the proper perspective. Smile

AJ
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puros_bran
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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:30 pm

That's preposterous.. If we all did that we couldn't argue.
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Vito

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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sun Apr 24, 2016 2:40 pm

Brewdude wrote:
...I myself don't gravitate towards beers that are all about the bitterness but rather prefer the hop aroma and flavor.


That.^^^^

Of course it's all down to subjective preference. There must be people who like bitterness for its own sake or the bitter brews wouldn't sell.

I really didn't "get" hops until I discovered Pintail Pale Ale. Maybe it's the kind of hops they use, or the method of hopping (as I recall, Strauss does "dry hopping" in some of their brews, but I know approximately jack squat about it). But once I understood that hops can add some luscious flavors and aromas to a brew...YOW!!

For me, that kind of puts the whole bitterness race in a different perspective. The IBU ratings are useful to me because I just don't like stuff that tastes bitter.

Nevertheless, I'll look for Wildcat IPA and give it a try, RR. Thanks for the tip. In general, 60 IBU is about my upper limit, but I'm always willing to try something new. Sometimes I get pleasantly surprised.

Unlike being eaten by wolves.

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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:13 pm

Vito wrote:
Brewdude wrote:
...I myself don't gravitate towards beers that are all about the bitterness but rather prefer the hop aroma and flavor.


That.^^^^

Of course it's all down to subjective preference. There must be people who like bitterness for its own sake or the bitter brews wouldn't sell.

I really didn't "get" hops until I discovered Pintail Pale Ale. Maybe it's the kind of hops they use, or the method of hopping (as I recall, Strauss does "dry hopping" in some of their brews, but I know approximately jack squat about it). But once I understood that hops can add some luscious flavors and aromas to a brew...YOW!!

For me, that kind of puts the whole bitterness race in a different perspective. The IBU ratings are useful to me because I just don't like stuff that tastes bitter.

Nevertheless, I'll look for Wildcat IPA and give it a try, RR. Thanks for the tip.
In general, 60 IBU is about my upper limit, but I'm always willing to try something new. Sometimes I get pleasantly surprised.

Unlike being eaten by wolves.



Veet

Our line-up is not distributed out of state. So you'd have to visit the Emerald City or have someone fetch it back for you. Sadly we also do not ship to private parties as well.

So solly!

Crying or Very sad


Cheers,

RR
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Vito

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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:41 pm

RR: So, youse guys are doing what the Italians do with their wine — keep the good stuff for themselves and export the rest. Why not? Wink

No prollem, amigo. It's not like I'm suffering from lack of brewski choices.

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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:58 pm

Well, I'm going to be in Gig Harbor end of June for a wedding. I will be hunting down some of that beer Rande.

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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:05 pm

Puff Daddy wrote:
Well, I'm going to be in Gig Harbor end of June for a wedding. I will be hunting down some of that beer Rande.

Well then, keep me apprised and maybe we can meet up for a bowl. Gig Harbor is a bit of a drive for me but it's not terrible. Perhaps we could meet in the middle at BJ's Bingo in Fife. It's on the Rez and one can smoke to one's heart content in Smokey Joe's Cigar lounge on the second floor. They don't carry our ales but I can always bring some for you to take with you. Wink

In the meanwhile, I'll ask our sales rep where we're distributed in that neck of the woods.


Cheers,

RR

edit to add: Ozzie is also supposed to be up this way around the same time. It would be way great to connect with both of youse at the same time!

Cool

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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:22 pm

cheers I know getting from the mainland to the peninsula is a pain. Aside from the wedding functions, I plan on getting to the Cargo Hold in Poulsbo. Outside of that I have no plans. Will be there for a week.

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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:32 pm

I'm going as far north as Sequim, WA to visit family, but I'm rolling back to MO on the 21st. The timing doesn't sound cooperative...... Too bad, it would have been fun!
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PostSubject: Re: A serene and splendiferous union with nature...sort of   Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:20 am

Puff Daddy wrote:
cheers  I know getting from the mainland to the peninsula is a pain. Aside from the wedding functions, I plan on getting to the Cargo Hold in Poulsbo. Outside of that I have no plans. Will be there for a week.

Make sure you visit Sluy's Bakery on Front Street in Pouslbo. Best bakery ever - and try the crunch sticks. I lived near Poulsbo for about 8 years.


Cheers,

RR
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