Beer of the Week

I’ve run out of new beers to try at the local market!  So, I stopped in the liquor store to peruse their selection and found…

I couldn’t get to the house and pop the top on one of these quickly enough.  Of course, I was a little impaired by the tears of laughter streaming down my face and random bursts of giggling, but did manage to reach the homestead safely.  My patience was fianlly rewarded as I settled on the porch to enjoy the evening’s sultry humidity and this fine brew.

It’s great!  Must be the tempering over witches process.  Since we all know by now that witches are made of wood and weigh the same as a duck (which obviously accounts for their uncanny floating abilities), it seems that it was only a matter of time before some genius of beer brewing put them to use in creating a masterpiece.

This week’s beer offering is a good, sturdy British type ale with a light nutty flavor, not too hoppy, not too bitter, pleasantly middle of the road….well, ale.  Being a big fan of the British ale, I was not a bit disappointed by the taste, and expected smoothness.  Heavier than the summer brews and hefes, this still makes for a great summer beer since it’s not really what I’d call “heavy”.  A better description is well-rounded.  It’s great alone or with food, or while you’re still out in the heat grilling the food.

The bonus, if you’re a Monty Python fan, is the extra guffaws of laughter you’ll get every time you pick up the bottle to take a sip.  And be sure to prominently display the carton, as the print is larger so you’ll still be able to read it after a pint or two the bottles are gone!

I want more.  😀

Kidnapped!

Yesterday, as I settled in with my pint jar of iced coffee (awesome idea and recipe at Pioneer Woman), preparing to send all three of the boys off to the Galleria and a day of ice skating so that I could share the deliciousness of Peanut Butter Cookies, there was a knock at the door.  Of course, it was Mum, here to get said boys for the day’s adventure.

Hubby, upon learning that ice skating was on the schedule, had earlier catapulted himself out of bed to dig his ice skates out of the garage.  Because all Texans own ice skates.  That’s just how we roll. 😛

She said, “Oh, why don’t you come with us?  We’re lunching at Brennon’s.”  No arm twisting necessary!  Brennan’s???  FREE???  So I threw on a relatively presentable outfit, hair still in ponytail (unbrushed), no makeup (a.k.a. warpaint), and off we went.

Lunch was fabulous, and was accompanied by mimosas, my current favorite girly drink.  Mum had Grilled Shrimp with Cheesy Grits, Hubby had the Pecan Crusted fish, and the boys and I all had the Filet with Lump Crab.  Excuse me while I get a tissue…I’m drooling again.   😛  We finished up with Lemon Meringue Pie with Blueberry Coulis, Bananas Foster, and of course, coffee.

Mum wouldn’t let me take pictures of the food.  😦

Then we headed to the Galleria for some icy goodness, which turned out to be considerable warmer than usual.

Is it just me, or have you noticed that the malls, movie theaters, etc. seem to be warmer this year?  Like, I can watch a movie and don’t need a parka to be comfortable, warm?  Maybe I’m having hot flashes…

A great time was had by all involved.

Now, a picture of Kitchen Kat, because it’s so much more fun to type when you’re in front of the monitor!

He doesn’t like the flash.  😦  But he does seem to like iced coffee.  😛

Beer of the Week

I really like this one!  Maybe it’s not the best summertime beer, having a rich, thick, sweet character; however, it is superior in flavor.  Today, I give you Devil’s Backbone Belgian Style Tripel from the Real Ale Brewing Company in Blanco, Texas.

A little background is in order, I think. 🙂

This particular Tripel is named after a scenic ridge that runs between Blanco and Wimberly…Texas that is.  In the Hill Country of Texas (near Austin) there are some truly beautiful vistas on two-lane, twisting, winding roads that are prized by bikers (both pedal and motor), and just about anyone else who has the intestinal fortitude or AC to withstand the heat.  One of Texas’ most scenic drives, officially R.M. 32, the “Devil’s Backbone” is a winding, razor-backed ridge overlooking Hill Country vistas.

The Real Ale Brewing Company, a still smallish microbrewery,  arrived on the scene a few years back offering a fine Pale Ale, Brown Ale and interesting Rye Ale.  This Tripel is a limited edition, seasonal release.  After tasting it, I wondered “Which season is that?”.  It really tastes more like a winter ale.  Real Ale has combined Czech Saaz hops and Belgian yeast to create a unique flavor and aroma.  Candi sugar made at the brewery adds to the authentic Belgian flavor, and brought to mind a vision of Trappist monks, stirring large cauldrons of wort.

I did try it on some Brats, but it’s really not dark enough for that, and they ended up a bit sweeter than I generally like.  So I ended up just drinking it…though one or two bottles of heavy, sweet ale were plenty, considering the thermometer hasn’t dipped below 90 here, even after sunset, in weeks.  All said, I would definitely recommend this beer if you can get it!  However, you might want to pick up something lighter at the same time…especially if you plan to be outside in the heat.  😛

Monday. Time for another Beer of the Week!

I tend to think it’s just a coincidence that I’m strategically reviewing a beer after the weekend, but really, I tend to think any day is a good day for beer!  Also, I just discovered that I now have 2 readers!  Welcome!  I’m very excited to have you, and hope you find (or share) some nomable treats.

Today’s beer comes to you courtesy of the Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon.  Weirdly, as I was browsing through bon appetit, the grilling issue, I cam across a story of love and betrayal beer.  Apparently, those good German beer lovers are drinking a summer brew…for summer. 🙂  This is a shocking national departure from hefes and pils, enough so to make what passes for international news in the food world.  The summertime beer of choice would be…go figure…summer ale (called Kolsch in German-speaking circles).  Wow I thought, with mental gears screeching so loud I was sure that the checker could hear…I’m trendy!!!

Twilight, the beer not the movie thankfully,  is light and easy to drink in the summer heat while still retaining its ale-ishness.  It’s not fruity, but instead has a nice hoppiness…however, not so much as an IPA or winter ale.  The label touts the use of Amarillo hops, though I’m not sure what the difference is, the beer is delicious!  It’s drinkable on its own, or paired up with some nice mixed grill of the beefy variety.  Twilight has a balanced bitterness, not lacking at all in flavor and fragrance, but retaining a crisp bite.  Cold is good, and lukewarm is actually better, which is great for the heat of Texas summertime of tripple digit weather.   So whether you’ve just finished mowing, grilling, or energetically lazing around the poolside, I’d recommend this ale.  It’s definitely a winner!

Hopefully, I can go all summer without tasting a beer I don’t really care for.  Prost!

Beverage of the Week

Today I am stealing borrowing an idea from another blog which I enjoy very much.  Then again, imitation is the highest form of flattery my Mum used to say.

As a dedicated beer drinker, I’ve decided to share a beer that I recently purchased on a whim, but liked it so much, I purchased it again!  I have to admit, I’m partial to beer, but also enjoy wine and other adult beverages.  So this will end up being a mixed bag, but variety is a spice they say.  😉

Circus Boy, The Hefeweizen, overcomes it’s odd name to present the thirsty beer lover with a delicious hefe, with a note of lemongrass, no fruiting required.  Pairing beer with a slice of citrus has become recently popular.  However, I find myself disliking the fruit/beer pairing in general.  It just seems like I always end up tasting the bitterness of the rind.  😡  The makers of Circus Boy have simply brewed a smidge of lemon taste into the beer…no bitterness included.  🙂

Coming to us from Vermont, not a place I generally associate with microbrewed beer, Circus Boy is an offering of Magic Hat Brewing Company.  It is unfiltered, but without cloudiness or sediment.  At 4.4% alcohol, it has a bit of a kick while remaining light, refreshing and tasty…everything a hefe should be.  I found it to be a great poolside beverage, sliding easily down my parched throat…although the glass container at the pool might raise some eyebrows.  I tried it with traditional pool party food:  bacon wrapped shrimp, pulled pork tacos, chips and queso.  I plan to try it in some pulled pork, but more about that later.

I would definitely recommend picking up a six pack (or two…maybe even three?) of this beer to enjoy any time.  Actually, I think I’ll have one now!  Coming to you now with smilies  😀  Thanks Aggie!

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