#SippyTimeBeer Reviews – @StrangewaysRVA

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My first comments after this picture were “I knew my head was large but it looks gigantic.”

Our second brewery tour was not exactly smooth sailing. My brother planned on taking me, the lady and parents to Hardywood Park Craft Brewery but it opened at two instead of noon as my brother had planned. As a back up plan, we headed to Strangeways Brewing which I was looking forward to trying more anyway. To make up for missing Hardywood, my brother got the brilliant plan to bring their Gingerbread Stout to Thankmas later this year. He did list it as one of his five favorite beers last year so I look forward to it. On to the strange beers from Strangeways.

Unlike Rock Bottom, this brewery is a Richmond establishment only. Another thing they don’t share in common is listing IBUs. They do have the numbers listed on their site so I can get into them in my reviews but I was unaware at the time of tasting. It’s pretty easy to guess by type of beer whether it’s going to be bitter or not. I’m not sure that matters in this instance because they’re bringing the funk on their beers that no one else I know is doing.

Strangeways BrewingAlbino White Monkey Ale – The base of this beer is a White Belgian Ale and is part of what they call their “Nucleus” series. They had an option with Grape in it but I had already picked the beer below so I wanted to try one of their beers without extra flavoring. I decided to start with this one because of it’s probable IBU, which ends up being 25. It had a couple of usual suspects in the white ale department, orange peel and coriander. I think what made this peculiar was the use of white pepper. It gives it a little hint of heat that helps pique the other flavors. They also provide just a little heat with the 5.0% ABV. I didn’t have a ratings card for Strangeways and I’m not sure I need one. This beer was a great starter.

Strangeways BrewingCaramel Woodbooger Belgian Style Brown Ale – Without the caramel, this beer is part of their “Nucleus” series too. From their description, this beer is normally more balanced. I don’t think adding extra caramel threw this one out of whack but I’m sure it is sweeter than their regular serving. It has a nice toasted malt flavor to it which brings about the color and classic brown ale taste. As usual, dark chocolate is added to the profile but I had a hard time picking it out. My mother may have considering she felt this beer tasted like burnt toffee. They use fruit esters in this beer too but again, I’m not sure I tasted it. Even though I can’t taste the later two flavors, you can tell how complex the taste is. This beer provided more punch than the last at 6.0% ABV. Even after missing some tastes, this beer tastes fantastic.

Strangeways BrewingMelon Disintegration Barrel Aged IPA – This beer is part of their “Woodsman” series which barrel aged in various casks. This one happened to be aged in oak. I didn’t know that the beer was barrel aged at the time of tasting. Like their other beers, it has a Belgian base for this IPA. It isn’t very high for an IPA with the IBUs at 70. The bitterness was wiped out by the oak flavor. It was obvious as soon as I read about aging. The citrus end of hops didn’t pop up much either. I will account the aging to that also. In my opinion, the barrel aging washes out a lot of flavors of the original beer. Since my mother had enjoyed an IPA the day before, I gave her a try. She told me it was “burny, throaty.” She didn’t like her second venture into IPAs. In IPA fashion, this beer does lay the wood on you at 7.7% ABV. Too bad the wood was the worst tasting beer I tried there.

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Kevin’s Blog: Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of #WWE #Raw

20140607_111246I spent the past weekend in Richmond VA visiting with my older brother and his family. I will fill in the particulars later in the week but let’s just say I definitely went to a pair of breweries thanks to his hospitality. I did manage to squeeze in Smackdown then Impact Wrestling after we got home from the trip. There were only two memorable things between the shows. One was my boy Dolph Ziggler continuing his “big mouth” persona and having a great match against the newly turned heel Seth Rollins. I also enjoyed that Rollins, HHH and Orton didn’t spill the bag on the reasoning for the turn. Another small positive from the show was that neither Dean Ambrose or Roman Reigns showed up. TNA yet again showed how inept they are by cruising into a rating under 1 million people. The only positive in yet another train wreck of a show was James Storm making a re-appearance after a year plus hiatus. Ken Anderson has been doing some terrible work and Storm got to call him out on it. Like many TNA story lines though, Storm looks awesome and likeable as the heel and Anderson looks like a douche as a baby face. On to Raw now. Let’s roll.

Sometime after I wrote this introduction, news started to trickle out that Daniel Bryan is too hurt to compete at MITB. HHH & Steph are here are brag about being right. They give us footage of Dr. Joseph Maroon of telling us that Daniel Bryan can not compete. I had to look up images of Maroon and they actually got him to do that video. How much did they pay him for his time? Steph strips him of the title. They are really hamming up this angle up. The crowd is really flat. Alberto Del Rio is the first entrant into the match for the title. HHH informs us that Randy Orton gets a spot because of his status. I’m starting to think the crowd is bummed. Anyone who loves wrestling should be. No matter how much they make logical points, Bryan being out of wrestling sucks. HHH turns to Seth Rollins talk. They are in a match against the Wyatt Family with a partner of their choosing. That doesn’t get much heat either.

Sheamus vs Wade Barrett is a MITB qualifying match. These guys have fought a lot recently and I can’t really argue about it. His Bad News is that he’s coming down with the title. That’s not bad news! JBL sounds like he’s drunk already. It could be an interesting night. He figured the opening segment bombed with the crowd so he’d join in. I do feel like Barrett is getting some of the swagger back in his promos recently. Sheamus clubs away on Barrett. He then brings Barrett in the hard way. Sheamus cross body blocks them over the top rope to get the break. Barrett suplexes Sheamus. I guess I don’t understand Jerry Lawler & Michael Cole’s view point on the title stripping. Sure, it’s disrespectful to strip the title without informing him but at the end of the day, it’s the right move with the injury. Barrett hits Winds of Change for a two count. The crowds awakens with dueling chants. Sheamus misses a dive from the top rope to the barricade. Sheamus gets in at nine. Wasteland but Sheamus kicks out. White Noise from an attempted Bull Hammer Elbow. They exchange punches. Head butt by Barrett allows him to toss Sheamus into the post twice. Brogue Kick from the corner for the win. Sheamus sold the damage in the corner before pinning him. Another good match and I understand putting Sheamus into the spot. Let Barrett keep racking up wins on lesser opponents. Barrett should be in that picture soon if he keeps up. Luke Harper sometimes get urges from a deep, dark place. Bray Wyatt admits to his urges. Wyatt reminds us that the Wyatts beat them. Wyatt is reborn. I love that angle which started on Smackdown. (Next Day Note: With all of the religious words thrown around Wyatt’s promos, being reborn after a crushing defeat is perfect. Now he just has to win an extended feud.)

Lana comes out and runs down Obama as a girly man. He is no Vladmir Putin, who has wrestled bears. Crush! is so stupid. Crush was only cool in Finding Nemo, dude. Lana, we don’t need to worry about Mother Russia. We should continue to be worried about China. It’s going to help to name him simply Rusev. Yep, going to make all of the difference. Zack Ryder gets to lose to him again. His record is unblemished because he’s wrestled 3 guys a bunch of times. The Accolade. The whole “control” by Lana is very antiquated too.

Goldust is teaming with R Truth against Rybaxel. Truth starts against Ryback. Curtis Axel takes over on the early beat down. Goldust gets a luke warm tag. A crossbody by Goldust takes out Axel & Ryback. Ryback makes a save on a pin. Truth gets tossed out of the ring. Axel rolls up Goldust for the win. A heel wins in his home town. Layla El is acting really catty to the make up lady when Summer Rae comes in and dumps milk on her then beats her up. Layla’s character has taken a big step back in the toughness department. I don’t like that.

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SippyTimeBeer Review – @AVBC, @GLBCinColumbus, @lagunitasbruhws, @RevBrewChicago and @SeventhSonBrew

IMG_20140221_204305I’m writing this article well ahead of time because I am in Richmond VA having a Sippy Time Beer courtesy of my older brother, who graciously provided more pumpkin beers to try than any one person should in our Year End Review. I’m also sure that I’ve had a few beverages from the neighboring state West Virginia on our way. Those beers should hit the internet come next week. Until then, here’s some drinks from February.

Anderson Valley Brewing Co.Winter Solstice – Ken and I had some free time without the ladies so we went to the 16 Bit Bar & Arcade in town. Not only is it a fun place to play the terrible video games I played as a child, it’s also a great place to try beer. Anderson Valley started off the fun with this take on a Winter Warmer. Though their site only says that they use spice, there’s definitely nutmeg in this beer which is standard for this style. They also include toffee & caramel which helps sweeten the beer up even more. Sometimes that would make the beer too sweet but it doesn’t for this one. They don’t even add much hops to offset the sweet but at 6 IBU, there’s no bitterness to be found. This beer packs a wallop at 6.9% even if that’s low for a winter beer. They are based in Boonville CA so if it reaches Ohio you probably have a good chance of trying it in the winter.

Great Lakes Brewing Co.Conway’s Irish Ale – At some point during my tenure of writing beer reviews, I will do an Irish themed post around Saint Patrick’s Day. This beer will get included in that post. I’ll also review it now. This seasonal beer is available from January to the end of March. It is similar in flavor to their year round offering & one of my personal favorites, Eliot Ness. It is lighter on the malt though so it’s as in your face. Neither are hoppy which is confirmed by the 25 IBU for this one. Conway’s provides a decent punch at 6.5% ABV. They distribute in these areas so even though it’s a seasonal beer, you may still be able to find this one.

IMG_20140222_191243Lagunitas Brewing Co.Maximus – Jeremy brought this company to my attention. It is another California based company so the distribution area is bigger which helps me try them too. This beer is an amped up version of their IPA. Since I haven’t had their IPA, I can’t compare them. They don’t list IBUs so I can’t compare bitterness. I do know though that this beer didn’t taste bitter for a Double IPA. They claim it will remove enamel from your teeth because of the hops but I don’t agree. To no one’s surprise though, you jump from 6.2% in the IPA to 8.2% for the DIPA. It provides quite the punch so be careful if you’re a hop head.

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Jeremy’s Blog: Enough With This Hero Cat Nonsense

So have you seen the incredible video of a cat saving a child from a dog mauling? The video that has taken up valuable space on all news sources over the last few days? The video that has craftily pushed aside news about the atrocities the United States Government has perpetrated on returning war vets? It makes sense though because who doesn’t love a hilarious animal video?  But does this video and the ensuing attention bestowed upon it really deserve it? Why has this cat been labeled a hero?

This cat, Tara, is absolutely no hero at all. Yes the dog was seemingly attacking the child and someone or something needed to intervene. It just so happens the cat was in the area. It isn’t wearing a cape or mask to conceal its identity. It wasn’t using super hearing. It was doing what cats always do; it was being a dick.

The cat was just exhibiting typical cat behavior and acting selfishly. It saw the dog trying to play with the child and had to butt its whiskered nose in to the situation.  The jealous streak of this “hero” is on full display. Tara possibly wanted to play with Jeremy and wanted to make sure nothing else interfered.  Of course this isn’t true because cats are solitary creatures demanding that human beings do whatever it is for the sake of the cat. It is not a reciprocal relationship.

Notice after the dog was unnecessarily forced away the cat goes back to ignoring the child while the mother runs to embrace the boy to ensure Tara didn’t ruin his playtime. Yes, the cat was just being a dickhead and scared off the dog to satisfy its own lust for self-satisfaction. Nothing else will challenge Tara’s grip on her territory.

But really Tara the Hero Cat was doing nothing but what is its very nature. It was being a total, selfish, arrogant and consummate dickhead. It didn’t care about the young boy in the least. Look at the video and it is clear the cat had no intention of protecting the kid at all. All it was doing was bullying this poor dog. It was protecting its own space from outside intruders. The boy was already part of its set rules and thus was allowed to be in that designated area. The old adage of cats vs dogs is on full display as well.

It is moronic to call this cat a hero. It is even more moronic to plaster the cat, its owners and the young boy all over the internet and television. In the same span of time at the gym in the mornings I have the opportunity to simultaneously view, CBS Good Morning, Fox and Friends, The Today Show and Good Morning America. Every single one of these shows repeatedly showed this video.

The Today show and Fox & Friends had separate interviews with the family. In each interview the family held on to Tara for fear it would get loose and attack a grip on set.  The cat seemed disinterested in everything around it but being a cat it was naturally planning a course of escape or worse yet carnage. The family did not once acknowledge that the bundle of burden fur in the wife’s lap as a possible cause of their calamity.

Making matters worse, Tara received increased exposure by being granted the task of tossing out the first pitch for the Bakersfield Blaze minor-league club. It was an embarrassing spectacle that has finally and utterly devalued the first pitch before baseball games forever. Then again it is minor-league baseball and they will do anything for promotion. So, Bakersfield is excused in this calamity.

So let’s review. This “hero” cat “saved” young Jeremy Triantafilo by doing what comes naturally to a cat; being a total dick. It is then rewarded by constant media coverage all the while maintaining the same cat disposition of disdain. It is then has its final taste of fame cemented by pathetically “throwing” out the first pitch as people “ooh and awww” about how cute this display was and how it is harmless. All the while this cat didn’t care one bit about the boy, the tricycle, the dog or this family. It was rewarded for simply doing what all cats do; making life miserable for all of those around it.

Look, is this story harmless? Yes, absolutely. Is it worth any sort of news coverage? Yes actually. As long as it is in a “would you believe this” segment on your local news. It belongs on YouTube but that is the extent of its reach. I am fully aware this is a soapbox moment but there are way other important things we should be reported. Viral videos are not one of those things. In the last week the important stories have been Jay-Z being responsible in an elevator and a cat. The issue of the VA ruining and killing returning soldiers is actually a legit. State governments wasting tax payer money and working against the constitution of the United States as it pertains to gay marriage is an actual story.  The seemingly endless string of a corrupt banking system costing United States citizens their homes and livelihoods is important

This horseshit covering a cat lasting for more than thirty seconds is embarrassing. Yeah, I know this isn’t wrestling; movies, comics or sports related but oh well. Yeah I know this is ending in a sanctimonious manner but oh well. This won’t go anywhere or even matter which sucks. Not because I am the author of this but it just proves the fact no one cares. There is a deep sense of hopelessness whenever these sorts of clips get covered on large format news.

Damn, this took a weird turn. The next celebrity ill-fated statement is around the corner. A bear rescuing its cub that is stuck on a freeway will be all over by tomorrow. Just how it goes now.-Jeremy

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