Thursday, September 11, 2014

Chaz and AJ Beer

Well, the boys have done it again (with a little help from Charter Oak Brewing).

Chaz and AJ are the hosts of WPLR and The FOX morning drive shows. Their sometimes unorthodox and often rude humor graces our airwaves to amuse us while we sit in the never ending traffic jams of the Connecticut highways and byways.

Last winter they released the Chaz and AJ Brown.  A portion of the sale of each bomber went to support the Chaz and AJ Toy Drive.  This time they came out with a nice summer beer - an orange shandy - I'm pretty sure the purpose of this brew was to get Pam drunk. From what I hear tell, they succeeded!

This limited edition brew is being sold only at Town Line Fine Wine on Hawley Lane in Stratford, CT.

Chaz and AJ Orange Shandy (5% ABV) pours an orangy amber color with a small bright white head that diminishes to a film of foam that lingers on top of the brew.

The aroma is of oranges. No surprise there.

Much like the radio show, Chaz and AJ Orange Shandy is light and fruity.  The orange flavor dominates this sweet beer. There are subtle beer characteristics but this brew is all about fresh juicy oranges. The finish is clean and crisp.

The moutheel is light and gently effervescent. 

Chaz and AJ Orange Shandy is extremely drinkable; fantastic to cool off with on a hot summer day.  

Overall: good.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Beer is my motivation

Sometimes it's about the beer. Sometimes it's about the experience. Sometimes, if you're lucky, it's both.

Inspired by the Two Roads Shore 2 the Pour 5K a couple of weeks ago, I decided it was time to motivate my fat ass and get into shape. Not that round isn't a shape. ;)

After seeing all those awesome people traverse sand, stone, and grassy fields to the finish line I was truly inspired and motivated.

I decided I was going to run the Shore 2 the Pour next year.

The very next day I started exercising and dieting.  Flash forward two weeks. Eight pounds lighter and feeling pretty spunky I signed up for my first 5K.

Together with my husband, son, and good friends I took my place at the starting line. 

Aaaaaannnnnd we were off.

I started off at a goodly pace. But I wasn't yet in any sort of shape to actually run a full 5K. I walked and I jogged. You know, it was bad enough when a pair of octagenarians power walked past me but the woman with her toddler that out pacing me was almost too much to take. :D

Sadly, my kid is in way worse shape than I am. And that's seriously saying something.  He was at the back of the pack. So I ran back to him and walked with him. And then when I got ahead of him, I would run back to him again. I did that the whole 5K. I ended up doing closer to 6K. 

But we finished.  All of us. And I can say that I wasn't dead last.  That was my kid. And I can also say that this was my best time.  I have a fantastic handicap!

It was a church sponsored 5K so no beer at the finish. But I came prepared a cooler of Two Roads and Heavy Seas. Cold frosty beer sure does hit the spot after all that sweatiness.

So this time was about the experience.  And the beer too.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Shore 2 the Pour

I'm not a runner, but a bunch of pals of mine signed up to run the Two Roads Brewery Shore 2 the Pour 5K road (sand) race. Since hubby and I had nothing better to do and the 5K was being held at a beach near home we decided to go to spectate. And drink beer.  We don't run. We drink beer.

It was a perfect day.  Clear sunny skies. Not too hot. And a lovely sea breeze. A great day for a run.  And to drink beer.

You may detect a theme. :D

Aaaaaannnnd they were off.  A couple hundred intrepid runners, joggers, and walkers cruising along the sandy beach. 

It was an awesome sight to see. Down the sandy beach, along the rocky shore, to the Audubon property on the point. Then back again.

Much sooner than I could ever have dreamed, the first runners were on their way back and nearing the finish line. Remarkable!  One of the first people to finish was Two Roads Brewer John Rehm. Last year he actually won!

My friends weren't quite that fast. One by one at varying intervals my friends ran by and finished.

It was inspiring.

Then the beer started flowing. Well deserved beers were quaffed.  Cheers went up. None of my buddies won a trophy but finishing was reward enough. It was a tough run on difficult terrain.

By all accounts, it was a great race hosted by a great brewery.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


We were at Porky's Cafe the other night for our usual Wings and Beer / date night. We got our usual cold beer and hot wings.

I didn't see any new to me brews on the draft beer menu. I asked and the beer babe said they had Saranac Shandy in a can. Okie dokie, I'm game for that.

Shandy (4.20% ABV) is lager and lemonade. It says so right on the can. It also says "How cool (and crisp and refreshing) is that? Pucker up, you're gonna want to kiss us for this one."

I don't know about that, I've never had a shandy that really impressed me. Narragansett's was so bad I poured it down the drain. Pint and Panels wasn't overly impressed with this one. That didn't deter me though. On person's poison is another person's nectar.

Jaime brought me a can and then posed for photos. She even poured it for me!! She's WAY accommodating. That's why we love her!

Saranac Shandy poured a clear lemony yellow with a big floof of white foam that quickly settled.

The aroma? Lager and lemonade. Duh. :-P

The taste is big time lemonade with some beerness hanging around in there. What I like about it is that it's not sicky sweet or cloying. A good mix.

It's very light and quaffable. It goes down easy and low in alcohol, which makes it ideal as a refresher on a hot summer.

It's not great but it doesn't suck.

Overall: good.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cisco Brewers Island Reserve - Russian Imperial Stout

Me and my minion are in the midst of doing a full on network over haul for the company I work for. We're upgrading all of our network gear to Cisco.

There is no relation to Cisco Brewers other than after a day of configuring settings, policies, and other technical mumbo-jumbo I sure as sh!t need a beer.

That is where Cisco Brewers come in.

Russian Imperial Stout (13.50% ABV) from their Island Reserve series fits the bill quite nicely when I need to redirect and disconnect from the insanity of the day.

It pours a deep dark sable brown. It has a thick, voluminous mocha colored head that clings and hangs on for dear life.

The aroma is dark malts, roasty coffee, dark chocolate, and dried fruit.

The taste is very malty with all the flavors I expect from a RIS - coffee, chocolate, burnt sugar, dark fruity flavors. There is some bitterness attributive to the dark roasted malts. There is a bit of earthy hops that tease the back of the palate that adds interesting character to the brew. The alcohol is well concealed - it be felt more than tasted. Finish is bittersweet.

The mouth feel is full and fuzzy with some warmth and tingle from the alcohol.

This is a pretty hearty Russian imperial stout. A good example of the style. Tasty and bold.

Overall: good.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hop Slinger

I enjoyed Amber Apparition when I had it a while back. So, when I spied this bottle of Hop Slinger at the Vista Country Store during a recent visit to North Hampshire I snagged it.

Hop Slinger (6.50% ABV) by Henniker Brewing pours a rich orange with a froth a clingy bubbles that leave behind nice lacing.

The aroma is immediately tart grapefruit followed by sweet malt.

The taste is big time hop forward with loads of grapefruit and some earthy pine. There is also a strong malt presence that balances out some of the bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium-ish. There is hoppy residue that pleasantly seems to cling and linger.

Hop Slinger delivers what its name promises and more.  A good American style IPA.

Overall: good.

Monday, August 18, 2014


There's a whole big procedure I go through when I'm introducing a new brew at home.

I take sh!t ton of photos - before, during, and after the pour.

I always hand the first glass to hubby. Then like a script, the following conversation ensues:

He says, "What's this."

I reply, "Beer."
"What kind of beer?"

I typically respond with some vague reference to the beer. Like what color it is or where it came from or the style.

In this case, I said, "Black beer."

He held it up to the light and none penetrated the brew.

"It is black", he said.

And it is. Literally.

Schwarzbier (6.00% ABV) by Agner & Wolf Brewery is a black beer, or more precisely, a German dark lager beer.

It pours a dark, dense brown with a huge floofy tan head that, surprisingly, left behind practically no lacing.

The aroma was mildly roasty and malty with a faint whiff of metal.

The taste is gentle flavors of coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malts - think light stout. A good balance of bitter and sweet. Tasty. The finish is malty.

The mouthfeel is amazing. So creamy it's almost nitro-ish. Smooth and wonderful.

Schwarzbier is a great example of the style. Dark, rich, and delicious.

Overall: very good.