We have never talked about Beer


Pikes in Seattle?

I’ve had a few beers based on mixed drinks, some were good. The best were based on a drink I love, an old fashioned. I can see the draw of the beers though. It’s a take on the flavors and attempt to draw in new beer drinkers.


Nope, this is in Hudsonville MI. “Pike 51” is their brewing label.


I’m visiting family in Belgium with my wife at the moment and have taken the opportunity to reacquaint myself with Belgian beer.

I know most of the trappist labels, but earlier today I had a chance to try a Westvleeteren 12, for the first time. I haven’t seen it for sale often, and while it was certainly very good, it was also quite expensive.

If I get the chance, I might try to drive to the monastery to buy a crate, next time we visit, as the price should be more reasonable there.


Yeah, grey market Westy 12 is over-priced for what it is. It’s not exactly streets ahead of Rochefort 10 or St Bernardus 12 which are quite cheap.


Yes, I think they’re quite comparable, so unless I get a chance to buy straight from the abbey, I don’t think I’ll be having another westvleeteren.

Has anyone had a chance to try the US trappist beer, Spencer? I’d be interested in hearing how it compares to the Belgian ones.


I have not, but I see a bar in Youngstown sells it. Might be worth a bit of a field trip.


So I’m in Portland, and as they are a brewery hub I’ve been trying lots of new things.

Tonight I tried one of the tastiest beers I’ve ever had.

The Boulder Beer Shake Chocolate Porter

It’s incredible. Well balanced, nice roast without the overpowering coffee notes many porters and stouts have. Overall this is a five star brew for me. Notes of chocolate, great malt flavor, not super sweet or too bitter.

Y’all I might be in love ;)


If you’re going to move to the PNW, you’re going I have to develop an appreciation for hops. It’s like the law or something.


I like hops well enough, but given the choice between an IPA and a brown ale or porter? No contest.

But I had a Pick Axe IPA last night at Mt Hood. So I’m covered ;)


All right. We can work on that.


oh man this beer is amazing. perfect dessert beer! Especially the nitro version.


One of the things we drank last night as I was prepping the grill. Nice and hoppy.



Northeast too, at least, here in Vermont it seems every other person is making their own super-hoppy IPA or double IPA. While I went through a period where I liked IPAs a lot, loving things like Ballast Point’s Sculpin or the local Heady Topper or Lawson’s, I rather rapidly grew to find them too hoppy and haven’t really gone back since I developed my taste for deeper, maltier beers. I jokingly told a distributor who I met at a beer store that we had reached “peak IPA.” He laughed, but noted that in all seriousness as a distributor, the popularity of IPAs had pushed a lot of other styles out of their inventory, as they couldn’t really justify stocking beers that didn’t sell within a reasonable time. Luckily, the heavier stuff I tend to like has a much longer shelf-life, and I’ve even found some excellent stouts and porters on super sale, meaning you get a well-aged beer for cheap.


A new craft beer shop opened up by the train station! Its selection is heavily local, which isn’t a bad thing as we have some pretty good breweries around here now. But I was a bit disappointed not to find some of my favourites. Also there is only one fridge of European bottles and not much from the US or further afield. I’m still better off going to the nearby Hop Stuff Tap Room for those, but unfortunately they charge about £5-£6 a bottle. The new place also seems to be selling various barbecue and hot sauces and rubs, though that may just be for the summer.


Looks like this is the reason they didn’t have one of my favourites.


Wow, that’s…expensive. I mean, most of the beer I get is like $2.50-4.00 for a 12oz bottle (usually sold in four packs) or about the same for pint cans, but five or six pounds is, what, six to eight bucks? Better be damn good beer!

Now, on tap, six to eight dollars a pint (sometimes only 12-ounces) is not unusual for craft beer, but then, it’s usually part of dinner or something.


Well, that’s the thing. The place is mainly a bar and semi-fancy pizza place. They just happen to let you buy beer to take away. But they don’t reduce the price. So you’re paying full whack London prices for beer most of which would be on the pricey end anyway. On the plus side, they have a great selection.


That’s a fair point, the pendulum has swung way over to the hops side of things and is probably about due for a correction. I’ve enjoyed sampling all the pales and IPAs that have resulted, so I guess if we get some new stuff to try that would be good too.


Speaking of super-hoppy beers, our Imperial IPA is in the fermenter now. It looks more than a little like a stout at this stage.


Want. Want. Want.

Here are two beers my neighbors brought back for me from their recent trip to my favorite brewery. And all I had to do was bring in their mail and look after their plants!