Monday, July 16, 2012

St. Louis, Mo. Beer on Monday

Sally and I are in St. Louis, Mo. this week on our vacation and visited the Budweiser Brewery today. I felt this was a necessary stop on a tour of brewing shrines. Honestly, the A - B plant is nearly a  necessary stop on any tour of the American Corporate landscape, I swear, they invented the corporate logo and modern product placement advertising. (Remember Spuds McKinsey and the "Bud-Weis-er" frogs?)

All snide remarks and corporate analysis aside, St. Louis is still a Mecca of beer brewing tradition. We tried to visit the Morgan Street Brewery today but, it was lunch time, and they open late on Mondays. Yesterday we found the International Tap House in the Soulard neighborhood, also where the Bud Brewery is, so we went back today.

We asked the barkeep at the Tap House where to find a store with a big selection of beer and he directed us to Randal's which turned out to be a liquor store/ warehouse. Sally and I ignored the liquor section and went straight for the beer shelves and found plenty of labels which are unavailable at home. The best finds were; Summit Summer Ale from Minneapolis, Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery, Bend Oregon, Lucky 13 Anniversary Release from Lagunitas, Petaluma, Ca, 1715 Classic Lager, Lvivska Brewery, Ukraine ($1.99.) I also got two cans of Milwaukee's Best Ice for 59 cents each, you all know how I have to revisit my roots and I did manage to avoid buying a beer named Blue Diamond Lager which was $2.99 a six pack. On  the other hand, I did find a local brew at the grocery store, Stag, in a 24 oz. can for $1.49.

We will be in St. Louis for the next two days and still have the Schlflay taproom to visit. In fact, I had the Schlafly sampler at lunch today and we tried a few at the Tap House too. The Schlafly Pale Ale is great, the summer lager is good but the Saison and Hefeweizen just didn't have enough body for me.

So far, St. Louis gets a 4 out of 5 pints as a good vacation spot and we haven't even made it out to the suburbs yet.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Paperback Friday: Stableford Finale, for now

Here's the last of the Brian Stableford novels in my collection. Oddly, this one is the first book of the Star-Pilot Grainger series for which I posted a few covers last time. I didn't have the image scanned and just threw this one in the hat for this week. Through the internet I have learned that this series is actually titled, the Hooded Swan and is supposed to be some statement about Stableford's attitude toward violence, Mr. Stableford is, in fact, Dr. Stableford and a lecturer in sociology.

In other news, Sally and I will be on vacation next week and I intend to share it with you all through the blog.

The Halcyon Drift
Copyright, 1972, Brian M. Stableford
All Rights Reserved
Cover art by Jack Gaughan.
For Val and Maureen
First printing, 1972
Daw Books Inc.
Original cover price 95 cents,
purchased at McKay Books for 90 cents.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Kapittel Pater, Brouwerij Van Eecke, Watou, Belgium

Here is a Belgian Dark Ale that is easy to appreciate, it smells of sorghum and pours a deep brown with a very foamy head. The body is so dark, it looks like a cola.

The first sip leaves a very positive impression. This is slightly sweet, slightly sour with an odd hint of salt. All this flavor seems to be based in the fruity, prune or raisin, malt origin. Still, the body of the beer is amazingly thin for the color and flavor complexity.

As the liquid warms the sweetness becomes more prominent, the cola flavor surfaces with the hint of salt and a suggestion of cereal malts. I suspect this is all the work of the wild Belgian yeasts.

I can really appreciate this beer for the masterful level of complexity and low alcohol content. Kapittel Pater would be a great introductory brew for one who hasn't experienced the Belgian styles.

Grade: 4.9 of 5 pints

Friday, July 6, 2012

Paperback Friday: Brian Stableford, pt. 2

Honestly, I buy the Brian Stableford books because they have fantastic art and they are cheap, always less than $2.00.

Days of Wrath
Copyright; 1971, Brian Stableford. All rights reserved.
Cover art by Kelly Freas.
For Christine. 
Ace Books, a Division of Charter Communication, Inc.
Original retail price, 75 cents, purchased from McKay Books for 90 cents.
Days of Wrath is book three of the Dies Irae series. 

The Paradise Game: Star-Pilot Grainger #4
Copyright; 1974, Brian M Stableford.
All rights reserved.
Cover art by Kelly Freas.
Dedication: For Barbara Carlisle.
First printing, June 1974.
Daw Books Inc.
Original cover price: 95 cents.
Purchased at The Bookshelf, Morristown, Tn. for 50 cents.

The Fenris Device: Star-Pilot Grainger #5
Copyright, 1974, Brian M Stableford.
All right reserved.
Cover art by Kelly Freas.
Dedication: For Chad and Wendy Owen.
First printing, December 1974,
Daw Books Inc.
Original cover price: 95 cents, purchased at McKay Books for $1.50.

The Gates of Eden
Copyright, 1983, Brian Stableford.
All rights reserved.
Cover art by Douglas Chaffee.
For Barry Bayley.
First printing February 1983.
Daw Books Inc. 
Original cover price; $2.50, purchased from McKay Books for $1.25.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Coopers Best Extra Stout

They say that Australia is Down-under so, I guess this beer's not from across the pond but from under the pond. This one starts with a heavy, syrupy body and definite cocoa flavors. Not just hints of cocoa, it tastes like chocolate and coffee.

As it warms the bitter, dark chocolate and coffee, flavors still dominate. This one remains stout to the last sip with fresh, heavy cocoa malts throughout. 'Sign me up as a fan of under-the-pond-beers. This is another highly ranked beer by your friendly T-shirt vendor; Fanatical Recycling Inc; 4.95 of 5 pints.