Archive for August, 2007

Melt (2 Comments)

A few months ago a new restaurant opened near home. We had not been able to make it there until recently (ok we had gone, but decided not to wait the hour for a table). The restaurant is called ‘Melt‘ and the entire menu is basically variations of grilled cheese (which include steak and cheese, burgers, etc). We had a 20 minute wait for a table and decided to spend the time at the bar. We were then handed the beer list. I was prepared to see the usual fauna of the area; bud, bud light, etc. And instead saw that this place had 12 taps– none were bud, miller, or even great lakes– all of them were exciting. In addition to the taps they had a fantastic selection of bottled beers. Infact, the beer selection alone warrants returning to the restaurant. Then there was the food– At first I have to admit I looked at the menu and thought ‘how can they charge $8 for a grilled cheese?’. Then the thing got to the table. It was monstrous and out of this world. Despite being full I felt like a masterpiece like this sandwich should not go to waste. I tried to fit it in, tried to walk around the restaurant hoping the food in my stomach would compact, and later gave up and offered the sandwich to other folks at the table. The sandwich was a steak and cheese with port onions. Instead of gouda, I had them put blue cheese onto the sandwich. The waitress dropped it off and said, ‘everyone in the kitchen wants to try that!’ Later she came back and said this would be a new menu item (I *knew* I had good taste!) Chris got a burger which is one of the few restaurant burgers I have ever had that actually tasted like it was grilled over charcoal. Combined with the beer, these created a foodgasm. Needless to say they place is now a favorite and likely will be added to the list of restaurants that we recommend to guests at HotelHarley.  

Pumpkin Ale and Hurricanes and Stuff (No Comments)

I was walking through the store on Monday and noticed that several breweries had already released their pumpkin ales. I’m always curious about them, but seldom pleased with the results of other breweries pumpkin ales. Usually I find them to have to much cinnamon or to be lackluster in other ways. Anyhow, I was primarily surprised to see them in August because I consider them a fall or October beer. I plan to brew a Pumpkin Ale soon, but it won’t be ready until early October. Will Christmas Ales start showing up around Halloween now?

In other news, and there is a lot of it, life has been interesting around here. We spent last week on Vacation in Grand Cayman. The local brewery has changed hands and is now called CayBrew and the beer has improved a bit. Unfortunately, they only offer a lager and although better than before it is still not quite as good as Red Stripe which is practically a local brew down there. I’m not sure if my two readers are aware, but a Hurricane just went through the Caribbean. Fortunately, we got off the island just in time, but it made the last couple of days of our vacation very tense.

While we were down there, the GFI outlet that our refrigerator is plugged into tripped and we lost all of the food in our fridge and freezer. Apparently the outlet is going bad. Fortunately, our neighbors are saints and cleaned up the worst of the mess and only left the less than smelly food for us to throw out. They noticed the problem when the melting popsicles pooled on the floor and I can only imagine how bad the smell of rotting food was. They said the once-frozen bag of shrimp was fizzing, which is never good.

And in the minor nuisance category, our Media Center is acting up and refuses to run with the Graphics Card installed. I tested the card in another system and it does not seem to be bad, so I am going to try all sorts of driver updates and such to see if I can fix it. I hate mysterious issues like this. Anyhow, we can watch TV on a Monitor and DVD’s through the Playstation, so we’ll get along okay until it is fixed.

I think that’s enough for now, I’ll update again when I get around to ordering brewing supplies, which should be soon.

– Chris

Planning Ahead (3 Comments)

Well, it may seem early to be thinking about Halloween, but it’s time for us to start planning our next 4 to 6 batches for our annual Halloween Party. Of course, we’ll need to make the Pumpkin Ale, but what other beers should we be serving? I need to make at least one stout, but I’m not sure what. Another Chocolate Stout, a Scotch Ale, an Imperial Stout, or something simpler? Perhaps a Porter?

The line-up will probably look something like Beerios, IPA, Pumpkin, and Mystery Stout in addition to the remainder of the summer stock. Although I could easily bump the Beerios or IPA off the list and make something a bit more special. I always welcome suggestions, especially because I fear that my offerings may be getting repetitive.

– Chris