Monday, September 29, 2008

Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

After watching the stock market tank today, I debated with myself as to whether or not I should crack into the 120 minute IPA I've been cellaring for a few months--to see if I could drown my sorrows in something on the order of less that 120 minutes. That's gotta be why it's named that, no?

The debate went something like this: Drink it, you know you want to... And then: Don't drink it, the market's gonna fishtank even more tomorrow and you'll really need it then. And back: Listen, drink it now. It will help you sleep and realize that there may be no tomorrow. And finally: No, save it for when you are holed up in the cellar, you've run out of all other beer and food, and you just can't go on any longer.

Tomorrow: Does Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA cure a Wall Street Hangover?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Paul Newman 1925-2008

I was saddened to hear of Paul Newman's passing this past week.

I've always admired Paul Newman for his acting. Who doesn't love the coolness he imbued in his roles in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, and The Road to Perdition? Always in control. Unflappable. Watching him you just knew he could handle anything with aplomb.

I looked up to Paul Newman for his philanthropic work, too. And as a matter of fact when I was in college, in one class we were asked to name someone we looked up to and I named him for this very reason. Anyone who can take his celebrity and direct it to something good, is ok in my book.

The same coolness he brought to the roles he played on film, he brought to the race track on race day. He raced sports cars, those cool exotic machines that go fast and turn both left and right. I saw him race back in the late `80s or early `90s at Watkins Glen. Although he drove different cars in different classes, at the time, I think he was driving the Spice SE89P #002 Oldsmobile V-8 powered beast in the GTP (Grand Touring Prototype) class. I don't remember how he did but that's besides the point. I saw him up-close walking behind pit row and in that stride you could just see the same coolness he brought to his character portrayals. I didn't say anything to him, but I should have.

I hear he liked beer.

Let's lift one in memory of Paul Newman: Actor, Racer, Philantrophist, Beer Drinker. May ye rest in peace.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Georgetown Deli in Autumn

S and I try to rendezvous once a week and this week we were looking for someplace new to try when she suggested the Georgetown Deli. My first thought as I was struck by wanderlust, was that I needed more gas to make it to Georgetown in DC but no, it wasn't that Georgetown but the Georgetown much closer to home. She was referring to the Georgetown Deli--it's next to the Big Cow on 309 in Wilkes-Barre Township.

We met at 5:15 on Friday, went in, and were immediately impressed by the great cold and warm beer selection displayed in the reach-in cooler to the left and arrayed on shelves around the place. Beer here, can be purchased by the bottle or six-pack, for drink-in or carry-out. They have many familiar brands like Dogfish Head, Weyerbacher, Lancaster Brewing Company, and Victory as well as the even more familiar names like Miller and Budweiser. I even saw a few Belgian Dubels lurking on a shelf. What I'm trying to say is that the Georgetown Deli has a beer for every budget and a beer for every taste.

I ordered a Pepperoni sub and S ordered the Reuben with sauerkraut. Meanwhile, we started to wander around to find something to have with our sandwiches. I wanted to try something that fit the season and when I targetted Weyerbacher AutumnFest, I knew my search was over. I picked a six (wanting to prolong our evening to nightfall) and popped the cap on the first. It poured with a one-inch creamy off-white to tannish head with a georgous amber color fortelling the soon-to-come kiss of falling leaves upon God's green earth. In the nose there was very little hops aroma to speak of; upon the tongue there was the unmistakenbly pleasant and easy-drinking taste of malt as is want of the Oktoberfest beers. This beer is very drinkable and is a nice transition from the refreshing summer Weizens to the winter warmers. I recommend it.

About then, our sandwiches arrived and we learned that the Big Cow has a name. I did not know this. It's name is: Three-Oh-Nina. Interchangably, nine-ah or ni-na according to our server who informed us that the cow is owned by her family and has been for many years.

Our sandwiches were delicious, the beer was delicious and the company was delicious. If you're looking for an easy-going and inexpensive place to grab a quick deli-style meal, the Georgetown Deli is a good place to try.

You know, some of my earliest memories of trips uptown consist of me and my brothers and sister, in the car, eagerly watching the world go by and excitedly pointing and laughing as we passed by the Big Cow. We enjoyed it then, we enjoyed it yesterday, and I hope we'll get the chance to enjoy it again. Mooooooooo!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Harvest Time: Hop Picking and Drying!

Me and my Dad just finished drying our first picking of Cascade hops and we ended up with three dry ounces of scentilating hops from the two vines.

We started by only picking those cones starting to turn a little brown. Then we laid out the cones on a screen in a single layer, took the screen to a dry location and elevated it to allow air circulation over and under the hops. We put the screen in an area where it had just ambient air temperature, so we didn't use any sort of forced drying. It took about a week and a half to dry the cones at normal PA late-August air temperature. For storage, we put the hops in a double-freezer bag until we need them.

We left a ton of green cones for a second picking this week. With what I'm beginning to learn about wet hopping, I may have to do up an IPA using this second picking. Check out for a posting from Weyerbacher about their Harvest Ale that uses this technique.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Bacon and Beer

As followers of this blog know, I love cured meats in the form of kielbasa, sausage, and butt cheeks, paired with beer. I just discovered that Jimmy's No. 43 in the East Village is having a Bacon and Beer tasting this coming Monday night (9/8/2008) in association with Sixpoints Craft Ales. They will be pairing Sixpoints beers with various artisanal bacons. While I haven't been to Jimmy's No. 43, I have heard good things about their beers and food. The last time I was in the East Village with J, it was a Saturday afternoon/evening pub crawl and unfortunately Jimmy's was not open yet when we crawled by. Listen, Jimmy's is at 43 E. 7th St. which is just down the block from 15 E. 7th St. which is home to McSorley's. I strongly suggest if you're in the neighborhood this coming Monday night you stop by.