Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bad Press for Magic Hat

While visiting the Schlafly website recently I found this article about The Brewers Association's latest attempts to distinguish legitimate craft beers from the imitators that A.B. and Miller/Coors love to put in front of us. Of course, Blue Moon and Shock Top are the two most notorious craft brew imitators. The Brewers Association seems to think we can't tell the crafty brews, as they name them, from the true craft brews. I don't understand this, my opinion is, if you can read you should be able to distinguish crafty brews from craft brews. Reading glasses may be required but the small print on the beer packaging includes who brews the beer, this is usually on the bottles.

I appreciate The Brewers Association intention to maintain some honesty in advertising. I certainly learned something about one of my favorite breweries too. It seems that Magic Hat imports most of their product. I am a bit confused about this as the report also claims that Magic Hat brews their beer with adjuncts. This implies that the ingredients include more, or less, than malted barley, hops and water, such as  barley malt or sorghum. I bet there's even some high fructose corn syrup in there! The accusation basically means, Magic Hat is making a drink or alcoholic beverage, they are not, by The Brewers Association standards, making a craft brewed beer.

However or where ever Magic Hat makes their beer, they have a very crafty brewer or head chef who knows how to turn high fructose corn syrup to into some very tasty beers. I am guessing that the drinks must be produced in Canada, that could explain the distribution difficulties in the South-east U.S. For me, a dedicated consumer, learning that Magic Hat has been sneaking around behind the brew kettles is a lot like learning there's no Santa. I don't intend to avoid Magic Hat's products but I will remain curious about their business practices.

Speaking of Santa, here's an early Merry Christmas to you all!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Schlafly Coffee Stout

It's about time I started sampling beer from a sniffer!
Another great American microbrewery has begun distribution into East Tennessee; this give me the pleasure of sampling Schlaflay's Coffee Stout for all of us. This is another beer that smells and looks like coffee. The pour presents an appropriate beige, brown head with plenty of carbonation. The first sip has definite coffee flavors. This is a bitter stout. It is like a quality roast coffee; not the ground Folgers stuff I drink everyday. The bitterness is a bit shocking at first but the beer seems to sweeten as it is exposed to more oxygen.

This is another beer that I recommend highly, especially  if your a fan of Stout and coffee. I am very glad to have Schlafly in distribution in our area and can't wait for more of their styles to arrive!

Grade: 4.95 out of 5 possible pint glasses.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Totally T-shirt Tumblr

While organizing the ol' shirts for inclusion in this line-up of laundered linens, I thought it might be logical to actually count the shirts which have not yet been presented on T-shirt Tuesday. I counted twenty shirts. This doesn't include a few that were in a separate shirt storage location. If we add twenty to our shirt count, 57, that's 77. Adding three shirts, which I'll present today, provides a nice even t-shirt total of eighty shirts. So, in about five weeks we should come to the conclusion of T-shrit Tuesday. I feel better knowing that the end of this project is in sight.

Today I'm bringing out three more rock-n-roll shirts. These shirts are further evidence of my misspent youth. As Bill Graham has been known to say, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Grateful Dead."

Tie-Dye never was my thing.

These two are a bit older but I found the crow shirt at a Dollar General store recently.

This is 60 shirts with 20 to go. For the Tumblr content, I have a very casual relationship with my Tumblr account. It is not dedicated to t-shrits, I post photos of fantasy art, cute animals and the wonders of the universe. Sounds like hippie dippie stuff doesn't it? My Tumblr page is Fanatical Recycling Inc and is focused on frpgs, art, science and random posts.

Ah, I better add a link to Tumblr in the column and go make that short film of the tumbling d20!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Four more shirts, four more shirts!

When I was a younger man I loved to attend Rock n Roll concerts and still have many of the t-shirts from these events. There are enough of these shirts  that I should donate them to those who might need some new, clean clothes. But I can't part with them, I will wear them all some day. Here are four such shirts that don't make it into the laundry line-up very often. 

The first is from April, 1998, the last time Widespread Panic came back from hiatus. I understand they took a hiatus this year too. I should add this one to my wardrobe before it falls apart in my drawers. 

This Bob Dylan shirt has the year 2000 on it. I could not tell you when I wore this shirt last? 

Two more shirts, two more Rock groups. I never owned a Rolling Stones t-shirt when I was in high school, now I own two. I found this red Stones shirt at a second hand clothing store here in Knoxville. A friend of a friend designed the Phish shirt some time last decade, I don't wear it much either.

These make 57 shirts presented with 208 remaining to reach 365. I've got enough shirts to wear a different one every day for two months, isn't that enough? I might try that!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Magic Hat Heart of Darkness Stout

While I haven't read Mr. Conrad's book this beer certainly inspires me to catch up on my reading. Heart of Darkness pours a dark, creamy brown and smells, much like it looks, of coffee. On further review, I will amend my description of the appearance, this beer pours as dark as night. The first sip  tastes of dark, bitter chocolate with a hint of banana, (This is reminding of something else I recently reviewed.)

This stout is no heavier in volume than a lighter ale but  easily gives the impression of heaviness. Delicious, perfectly carbonated with a subtle but persistent bitterness.Why the many chocolate lovers I know don't like stout I'll never understand? The beer could be described as a liquid chocolate cake, yum!

Grade: A great, great beer and another big "thank you" to Magic Hat. 4.75 of 5 possible pints.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

More beer on Sunday, marketing fail!

Here's a lovely image I took while shopping for beer recently. This is definitely and example of a communication breakdown, or something? They can label it wrong but I'm still not gonna shop on that end of the beer cooler.