Archive for July, 2007

Wine-ing about Beer (No Comments)

I spent the weekend in the Finger Lakes region of New York, and as you might expect I tasted a lot of good (and bad) wine. It was the weekend of the Finger Lakes Wine Festival, so much fun was had by all. The most unexpected thing was the number of Breweries in the area. I didn’t make it to the many (I was there for Wine), but I did hit a couple and I was incredibly disappointed in my findings.

The first stop was Market Street Brewing Company in Corning, New York. What can I say, I wouldn’t go back for the beer because the offerings seemed like amateur work. I ordered the sampler and they served me 6 beers, I forgot the names, but I remember the styles. Their lager was palatable, but had a lot of yeast esthers and an unpleasant funk. The red ale was very drinkable, but nothing special. The pale ale was a one note beer. It was reasonably bitter, but lacked hop flavor and aroma and everything else. The belgian white was just plain awful. It was thick and yeasty and banana flavored, with a hint of citrus. The experience was similar to a hefeweizen served with banana nectar, which can be good, but I wouldn’t call it a Belgian White. They had a Dark Beer on offer that was reasonably tasty. Good maltiness and color, but there was considerable alcohol flavor and sourness for only 6.5% and it was quite a bit on the burnt side. Finally, they served an excellent BlackBerry Beer. It was a rather light concoction made with real fruit and not too sweet. The fruit flavor was not overpowering and plenty of maltiness still came through.

The second brewery we visited was Rooster Fish in Watkins Glen, NY. They make a nut brown that looks like a porter and tastes like chewing on roasted barley and black patent malt. Burnt flavors were a theme this weekend, as even their mysterious amber ale was a little on the roasted side. I didn’t mind at first, but by the end of the pint I was ready for something completely different. They offer a Blond Ale that is light and goes down easy. They also offer the HopWarrior IPA, which was a very bitter IPA with a solid malty foundation and good hop flavors. I could have drank those two all night, but the HopWarrior IPA tap ran dry as did the ordinary Pale Ale Tap (before I could try it). Finally, I tried out the Summer Wheat Beer on offer. It was decent, but had a very powerful banana flavor. Considering how bland my last wheat turned out, I’d love to know where they got that yeast from.

Apparently wine tasting makes me hyper critical of everything I taste. I shall now return to using a much simpler ‘It doesn’t suck’ method of choosing my drinks.

– Chris

Beer is Golden (No Comments)

Actually, Silence is Golden and there has been a lot of that around here lately. Life has been busy lately. We haven’t had a free weekend in a month and that doesn’t look like it’s going to change for a while. The ‘Beer Makes you Wii’ party went well. We had plenty of beer, lots of sausages, and even a smoked pork shoulder that turned out reasonably well. Oh, and there was much video game playing.

Not much going on in the Brewery at the moment, we’ve reached our summer break. The Beerios is still maturing, hopefully it won’t be flat forever. I’m going to do some Wine Tasting in the Finger Lakes region soon, and I might be headed to the Ommegang Brewery as well, but the details are all up in the air. Anyhow, it should be fun.

We’ll resume brewing in August, so the site may be a little quiet until then. We still have plenty of beer to get us through the next couple of months.

– Chris

Beer related home improvement and Beerios (No Comments)

This week we eagerly opened a bottle of the Beerio which promised to be the best batch yet. Right away we noticed a problem– it is flat, very very flat. We brought the beer upstairs hoping that keeping it at a warm temperature would carbonate it. This has almost convinced me that having a keg system would be a good thing (but I stand by my assertion that it would decrease beer variety which would be sad– unless of course we built a bar with multiple taps and a HUGE multi mini-keg kegerator…..).

Now for the home improvement– the shelves we would place beer dishes on were sagging quite a bit. Enough that we stopped drying carboys on them and really putting any *real* weight on them. Today we started working on building a new workbench for next to the sink. This should not only provide the proper support for beer dishes but may also be used for storage of beer related items. Is it bad to have a hobby you alter your house for?

 — Cindy