Saturday, September 27

Beer, its music to my ears

I have the internet in my apartment, finally! And, being bored on a Saturday night, I decided to surf the internet world of beer (especially since the beer I am supposed to be drinking tonight turned out to be inarguably disgusting, I needed to find another way to get my Saturday night buzz ... but I'll get to that later.) As for now, entertain yourself with this little video of lego men singing about beer. Cute. And - I bet it would be even more entertaining after having a few beers yourself.

Now, on to the gross beer. I've been on a bit of a budget recently after the move and all the expenses associated with it (not to mention spending nearly a month as an unemployed slacker.) So, tonight, after buying my Guinea Pig a new bag of food, I had a total of $2.54 left over for spending money. As luck would have it, that's how much the four pack of beer I picked up cost. As luck would not have it, it's not even worth that price.

What is it? Steel Reserve. The guy at the check out laughed when I bought it, saying, "I haven't had this in years." He went on to compare it to Natural Ice. OK - so, not good, but I only had $2.54. I had no choice, and being a beer girl I was willing to try anything once.

Hah. I laugh in the face of Steel Reserve. As Nick put it, "Reserve? Reserve for what? Not human consumption." 

We tried to drink it via a drinking game, but this beer is barely even forceable. Needless to say, there are two-nearly full open cans sitting on the counter destined to be dumped down the drain (I know, alcohol abuse, I'm sorry! But, do you want to drive down here and drink the #&*$?!) And, there are two more cans that will probably last in my fridge until I've had enough other drinks that I am willing to dive into that crap pile again.

Oh, and at that point, the 8.1% alcohol content might not be such a sweet surprise (consider the morning after). Maybe it will just end up in the garbage. Next time, I refuse to hold on to the stinginess of my budget. Better beer = way worth it.

Speaking of being cheap, I super slacked on my beer of the week due to being unable to buy beer. But, we pretty much wiped out the supply in our fridge and eventually had to give in to buying a six-pack or two. So, I've returned with my beer ratings on a slightly different note. Get ready to gear yourself up for some new brews.

What's Lyssa Been Drinking? Nick and I decided to try Shock Top. I'd seen the bottles around and had been interested for a while, but never did too much investigating. After buying it, I was disappointed to learn it is actually a macro brew by Anheuser-Busch. After trying the beer, this was obvious. It lacked in flavor and body, like most macro brews do. We even added a slice of orange, but it didn't do enough to up the flavor. This beer needs a LOT of help, and does not do anything to satisfy the buds on a warm summer day when a citrusy brew seems like just the ticket (Or, in my case, on a warm any day because its just about 90 degrees daily in this sunshine drenched beach city of mine.)

Should you drink it, too? (1 - Hell no. 10 - Don't pass this beer up!) I say, 4. You won't die if you drink it, but trust me when I say your life will go on the same without ever trying it.

Wednesday, September 17

A little beer goes a loooong way

My most intriguing find so far is a beer that packs a six pack in its one tiny bottle. Its the Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA, and at 20% abv drinking one 12-ounce serving is equivalent to drinking six (We have a little disclaimer on our bottles at Coasters: if a customer orders one, that's their limit for the evening. Plus, each bottle costs $2o, so that's probably enough beer spendage for the customers, anyway.) Interestingly, too, the description online claims the beer to have 450 calories per 12-ounce serving. Hmm. This bottle packs a lot of punch.

Reading on the Web site, I've learned it is a limited edition brew and it was released 3 separate times in 2007, so I'm not sure if, and/or where (besides Coasters), you can still get your hands on any. But, beer is always worth a try, right? I haven't done so yet, but I am working on it.

Speaking of trying beer, we gave our second batch the grand opening as well. It turned out pretty good, I'd say, and I think I even like this modge-podge better than our first batch. As I told you when we were brewing the batch, we kicked the sugar amount up a notch in hopes of increasing the carbonation, and - OH Man, did we kick up the carbonation. One crack of the bottle cap sounds like the chorus of a six pack of soda being broken into. So, next time we'll be sure to find a happy medium. 

I was a little disappointed, though, that you can't really taste the orange peel. We were being really conservative with the amount we used because we didn't want the citrus to over-power the beer. Turns out, it would take A LOT of citrus to do just that.

Thursday, September 11

Beer in Amherst ... ahem - where?!

Granted this was a couple of weeks ago already, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth writing about. What, already? Well, before I headed down here to Florida, I spent a weekend with some friends in the quaint little town of Amherst, right outside Steven's Point. Believe it or not, the city that doesn't even have stop lights has a brewery - and my friends and I made a point to check it out.

It's called Central Waters Brewery, and it was our first stop on our Amherst pub crawl. (The picture above is the group of sexy pub crawl attendees. We made a pretty big fuss at all the Amherst bars, seeing how they don't get that kind of action very often. Translation: free shots and drinks for being so cool.)

Anyway, back to the brewery. I was pretty impressed with the wide variety of beer the brewery offered. They don't do tours, but instead have open bar hours when you can come and sample all the beers. We started off with a sample platter of the beer selection so we could each decide which flavor we liked best before investing in a pint. Pretty much all the beers were good, although I had a bit of a harder time swallowing some of the darker beers, which were all tinted with a strong dose of coffee flavor (not a coffee drinker, sorry). I'm not sure how far they distribute, but if you can get your hands on any flavor I guarantee it would satisfy your beer craving for the day.

The brewery open-bar hours are a cool concept, and you can pretty much see everything from the bar area that you would on the tour anyhow. Here's a sneak-peek of me chilling in front of some of the beer-barrels with my friend and Amherst native, Alicia.

In a little less than three hours I start my first shift at Coaster's Pub. Wish me well in this new beer world, and I will be sure to report to you all of my findings.

Sunday, September 7

Sand in my feet, beer in my hands

Okay, so I can finally show you my transitional trip across the country - from my beer-drinking home state to the sun-drenched, sand-covered shores of Florida. Monday's driving day was spent sporting my "Here for the Beer" shirt that so perfectly fit with my time in Milwaukee (this picture was taken after about 14 hours of driving after 5 hours of sleep, mind you. And, before our pizza arrived. Thus, I was hungry, tired, dirty and just ... blah). But, on Tuesday, I happily made the transition to island time (this time showered with a full 8 hours of sleep and a filling continental breakfast).

And, here's the long-awaited photos of my fridge for the first few days of life in Florida. Note: Lots of beer. (Update: Since this photo was taken, my beer supply has mysteriously been diminishing, and it no longer looks quite so crowded with such good brews).

Lastly, I have great news. I did end up getting a job waitressing at Coaster's Pub, which means my beer-girl destiny continues on. I start on Thursday, so keep in touch if you want to learn all about the great beer industry I am about to be introduced to. I am sure I will be learning plenty more about beer.