Sunday, September 28, 2014


Oktoberfest is a centuries old tradition in Munich. The 16-day festival runs from late September to the first weekend in October.

Two Roads Brewery held their 2nd annual version of the wildly popular beerfest this past weekend. Popular in its own right, Ok2berfest completely sold out on Saturday and was well attended on Sunday.

Flowing from the taps were two special Ok2berfest brews - Ein and Zwei. Early in the day Sunday, the Zwei taps ran dry! Good thing I got my taste before that travesty occurred.

Not to worry, there was still plenty of Ein. Plus, Road Jam, No Limits and Ol'Factory Pils.

Pocket Full of Soul was jammin' out the tunes. They played all day and were rockin'! It wasn't exactly traditional German music but it was still good fun. They even inspired a little bit of dancing.

There was also amazing food. My favorite was the kielbasi, sauerkraut, and potatoes from Spud Stud and the bratwurst and potato pancakes from Brats on a Bun, Oooooh! And the cupcakes made with Two Roads beer from Hardcore Sweet Cupcake truck.  Mmmm, mmmm, yummly!

There were games like Corn Hole and High Striker. And the ever popular photo op!

But what made this day perfect for me was sharing it with my hubby and bestest of buds! Nothing is finer than sharing good times with good friends.

Ok2berfest was fantastic. I can't wait for next year. Well done Two Roads!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Yuengling Lager

It's here!! It's here!!  Oh my sweet goddess Ninkasi, who sleeps on a bed of the floofiest foam and cleanses her body in the purest of ales, Yuengling is here! It's here!! It's here!! It's here!! 

I remember the last time I had Yuengling on tap. It was in Pennsylvania many years ago at a little neighborhood dive bar in Lancaster County that served up ice cold Yuengling and the rockin'est ribeye!

Flash forward 15 years and here I sit in my favorite little neighborhood bar - Porky's Cafe - once again drinking Yuengling on tap and nomming a wicked good ribeye steak!  

Serendipity is what it is!!

9 Years!

Happy Anniversary to my favorite drinking partner and bestest buddy. He's a dork, but I love him!!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Covington Brewhouse


I was in New Orleans for a conference with a couple days tacked on for sightseeing and booze-drinking. I dragged hubby along for carousing purposes.

It was our last night and we were in our hotel lounge lamenting that would be leaving behind the French Quarter and - more importantly - hurricanes (the beverage, not the weather phenomena).  I know it's not beer, but DAMN have you ever had one. Wowsers!

When suddenly before us appeared a man bearing a tray of beer samples. Free beer! That made me feel slightly better. Not about leaving NOLA, just better in general.

Better yet new-to-me beer from a new-to-me brewery!  Weeeeeee!

David - I think his name was David. I asked him, like, three times but after a few hurricanes the details get fuzzy - was a representative of Covington Brewhouse distributing samples of Pontchartrain Pilsner. Just look at those hairy arms!! He let me have multiple samples . . . for research.

Pontchartrain Pilsner (5% ABV) is a clear, pale yellow with a smallish white head.

The aroma is gently malty.

The taste is fresh and clean. Lightly malty with a smidgen of hoppy bitterness. The finish is crisp.

The mouthfeel was light and pleasantly effervescent.

Pontchartrain Pilsner is a perfectly quaffable, easy drinking brew. It goes down cool and easy. I like it!

Overall: good

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Crescent City Brewhouse

I was in New Orleans for a conference and wisely scheduled a few days worth of time afterwards to play. I dragged my husband along for the fun.

NOLA is a place where booze is cheaper than water and beer isn't nearly as popular as a Hurricane or a Hand Grenade or a Shark Attack. Oh, can't forget the Bananas Foster frothy concoction!

After all that and then some, I was ready for some beer!

We found Crescent City Brewhouse on the outskirts of the French Quarter. It was hellishly hot so we ducked inside to chill out with what promised to be fresh hand crafted beer.

We plopped ourselves down at the bar where the oyster shucking guy was shucking oysters. If you want fresh oysters they have them.

Mmm, not for me. I came for the beer.

We were served the flight and we sampled each in the recommended order.

The Weiss Beer was rather light and refreshing, but not outstanding in any way.

The Black Forest was malty and mellow. But somewhat bland.

Unfortunately, I can't say that any of the brews stood out as anything special.  They all tasted like middle-of-the-road, brewed-for-the-masses kind of beers. That's not to say that they were bad just not what I've come to expect from a craft / micro brewery.

I was a little disappointed but happy to have been able to try new-to-me beer from a new-to-me brewery.

If nothing else, we left a little more refreshed and ready to continue our journey to the depths of Bourbon Street.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fancy Lawnmower

When I was at the Ugly Dog Saloon the night before there was a man at the bar with an interesting t-shirt on. I asked him about it. He said he worked for Phil's Grill and that the owner liked to see his name in print. He also said that Phil's Grill makes the best hamburgers in New Orleans.  And beer. They have a large selection of beer. He said we should check it out if we want a good meal and cold beer.

So guess where we went to dinner the very next night? You guessed it. Phil's Grill.

The guy from the Ugly Dog Saloon did not lie! On either count!

The burger menu is crazy. You build your own with an unbelievable number of options. I started mine out with the Phil-et just because I like Phil's name. :)

I chose a new-to-me beer from the fairly large selection. I picked something that was light and refreshing because New Orleans is sweltering. The heat and humidity will suck the life right out of you! I swear it will!

Fancy Lawnmower (4.9% ABV) brewed by
Saint Arnold Brewing is a Kölsch; one of my favorite styles! This one was quite nice.

It pours a clear sunny yellow with a bright white floof of loose foam on top. (I'm drooling a little just thinking about it!)

The aroma is lightly malty and pleasantly fruity; very clean and fresh smelling.

The taste, like the aroma, is clean and fresh. The malts add an unexpected amount of sweetness. The very light sweetness is balanced nicely with a touch of floral hoppiness. The finish is bitter sweet.

The mouth feel is light with lively carbonation.

Fancy Lawnmower is a great refresher. Crisp, light and extremely drinkable. A good example of the style.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Beer and Barbecue

We found the Ugly Dog Saloon - a little local watering hole - within walking distance of our hotel. The menu was barbecue. Mmmm, nom nom nom.

I was more hungry than thirsty, so I immediately put in for an order of ribs with a side of mac-n-cheese and chili.

The food was fabulous. The ribs were fall off the bone, the macaroni was home made, the chili was delish, and the cornbread had a fire all its own.

I love it when a quest for good food also results in new beer experiences. There were two new-to-me brews on tap. Score! Aside from the typical macro beer fare, there were two beers on tap that I'd never had before. So, of course, I got one of each.

Canebrake (5% ABV) by Parish Brewing is an American Pale Wheat Ale. It pours a clear honey gold with a finger of foam that rapidly diminishes.

The aroma is almost non-existent. There is a subtle wafting of malt and grain.

The taste is soft and mild. There's a bit of sweet malt and wheat. A touch of lemon and earthy hops contrast and compliment the otherwise sweet flavors of the grains. The finish is clean and dry.

The mouthfeel is medium to light with good carbonation.

Canebrake is very light tasting, which makes this brew incredibly slam-back-able.

420 Extra Pale Ale (5.4% ABV) by
SweetWater Brewing pours a bright clear orange with a decent sized white head that leaves behind tight lacing.

The aroma was lightly citrus and not much else.

The flavor was that of a nice refreshing pale ale. Mildly bitter with a burst of citrus and a touch of underlying malty sweetness. The finish is crisp and clean.

The mouthfeel was smooth and moderately bubbly.

420 was a pleasant surprise. A very drinkable brew with a nice little bitter bite. Refreshing and quaffable. I like it!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Abita Amber

As an attendee of the aforementioned conference, I was very excited for the opportunity to see Journey play live as part of the welcome bash. As a child of the 80's Journey was a band I loved and I couldn't wait to see them play. Alas, Steve Perry is long out of the picture. But the new lead singer was amazing - cute, entertaining, and could rock out a Journey tune as well as Steve Perry every could. It was impressive.

And we could drink beer during the show. Free friggin' beer and a live rock show. That's almost as good as it gets!

Don't stop believin'! I'm tellin' ya!!

My beer of choice for the evening of drinking and jamming was locally brewed Abita Amber.

Abita Amber (4.50% ABV) - you can't see it through the bottle, but it's a golden amber color with a smallish head.

The aroma is big on sweet caramel roasted malts.

The taste much the same with a toasty bread-like quality. It's also a little nutty and mildly roasty with a hint of citrus rinds. It's barely sweet and nary a wit bitter.

The mouthfeel is medium and gently carbonated.

Abita Amber is smooth and refreshing. The low alcohol content makes it exceptionally quaffable. Good stuff.

Overall: good

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Nola Blonde Ale

I was in New Orleans for a conference. Afterwards, I was invited to a customer appreciation party at the Howlin' Wolf. A free party at a renowned music venue just steps from my hotel. Oh hells yeah I'm there!

The place was packed and already jumpin' by the time I arrived.

The music was fantastic; the Joe Krown Trio could really jam out the tunes!

The food was delicious! The best jambalaya I've ever had. Mmmm so good!

And there was beer. Not only was it free-to-me beer but new-to-me beer, as well!

The beer was cold and New Orleans is hot. A frosty Nola Blonde Ale was just what I needed! Especially after a long day filled with meetings and seminars. Bring it on!

Blonde Ale (4.90% ABV) brewed by Nola Brewing Company pours an opaque golden amber. The head was fluffy but short lived, but it did leave behind some clingy lace.

The aroma was malty and twinged with tart citrus.

The tasty is malty and bready complimented by tart fruity citrus. This almost sweet beer is offset by a touch of earthy, pastoral hops. With barely a hint of bitterness, this is a decently balance brew. The finish is crisp and dry.

The mouth feel is light and gently effervescent.

Nola Blonde Ale is deliciously light and the low alcohol content makes it very drinkable. It's not an exceptional beer but definitely a refreshing beer to cool off with on a hot, steamy day.

Overall: good

Monday, September 15, 2014

Voodoo Bengal

So, there we were minding our business. We were innocently walking down Bourbon Street in the sweltering New Orleans heat.

We decided to duck into a little bar to cool off with a refreshing beverage.

The next thing we know we're getting our asses slapped by complete and total strangers.

WTF just happened??

Oh, it's the French Quarter. Duh!

We wound up at Spirits which was recently the subject of Spike TV's 'Bar Rescue'.

I don't know what it was like then, but it was awfully fun now! The drinks were delish and the staff was super friendly and accommodating.

Our server got kind of friendly with me when I sat in the Barber Chair. I thought it was just cuz I'm so friggin' cute; apparently, it was just something else I'm totally clueless about. (If you're ever there, sit in the Barber Chair. You won't be disappointed!)

Sooooooo . . . .

Besides getting my butt smacked, getting booze poured down my throat, and having my face rubbed into a pair of remarkably pillowing boobies, I actually did drink beer.

I had a Voodoo Bengal brewed by Tin Roof. A new-to-me beer and a new-to-me brewery. Double win!

Voodoo Bengal (5.50% ABV) is an American Pale Ale.

It pours (into a plastic beer cup) a reddish amber color with a floofy off-white head.

The aroma is mouthwatering citrus and sweet malts.

The taste was wonderfully refreshing. The tart citrus truly hit the spot. The mild bitterness was offset nicely by sweet caramelly malts and earthy nuttiness. The finish is a gentle lingering bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation.

Voodoo Bengal is a well put together beer with fantastic balance.

Overall: very good

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Gordon Biersch

I needed to travel to New Orleans for a convention. Since neither hubby nor I had been there before, I dragged him along. I stretched the trip out a bit so we could some time on either end of the conference to partake in the wonders of the Big Easy.

After spending half the day travelling we were both tired, cranky, and in need of sustenance.

We wanted some place close to where we were staying - stumbling distance, as it were.

A quick search showed a brewpub - Gordon Biersch -was just a couple of blocks away. Beer and food! Close enough to stumble there and back!

Gordon Biersch is a chain of brewpubs with locations all over the United States. Their focus is on in-house brewed handcrafted beer and fine food.

We started out with a flight of their standard brews - Golden Export, Hefeweizen, Czech Pilsner, Marzen, Schwarzbier, Mai Bock (seasonal).

Without exception, all the beers in the flight were true to style. And, equally unremarkable. That's not to say they were bad. They were all good - my favorites from the flight were the Schwarzbier and the Hefeweizen - there was just nothing spectacular about any of them. They were decent, drinkable, middle-of-the-road beers.

There were other beers on the board that were promising.

After finishing up the flight, I ordered up a Rightous Red Ale. Typically, I wouldn't be inclined to order a red or amber ale but it came highly recommended by our server.  It was wicked good. It had a big hoppy bite and was very flavorful. Yum!

Then I moved on to the Big Easy Rye Ale. Again, I typically wouldn't order a Rye, but when in the Big Easy do as the Big Easy does.  Also, a good hoppy beer that didn't disappoint.

I also sampled the Hefeweizen on Nitro. That was an odd but pleasant experience. Tasty and creamy smooth.

Of course, I ordered some food, as well. I went with the chopped salad and a crab cake.  Both of which were quite good.

The overall experience at Gordon Biersch was a pleasant one. The beer was good, the food was delicious, and the service was prompt & courteous.

Good times!