Archive | June, 2011

New Brew Tuesday: 21st Amendment Brewery – Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer


Image Property of 21st Amendment Brewery


Type: BeerFruit Beer
Name: 21st Amendment BreweryHell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer
Price: Free (gift)
Made: San Francisco, CA
Alc/Vol: 4.9%

Now, before I really go into how I felt about this beer I already had a slight pretense against it. A friend of mine, Greg, is a bit of a beer aficionado. Well, Greg has for some time been a fan of 21st Amendment Brewery and what they have been doing out of San Fran. He is also an avid IPA lover but wanted to try this beer even though he isn’t a fan of watermelon, and he hated it. So when someone is telling you this it is hard not to set low expectations.

The problem is I lowered the bar and this beer still seemed to under-perform. I love watermelons, I’m not huge on fruit beers although I liked my caipirinha made with watermelon.

Have you ever bit into a watermelon and it was deep and juicy? It was thirst quenching and refreshing, deep in color and seemed to cool off the summer heat with a single bite. Then, have you ever had a watermelon that was bland, lacking in richness or even color for that matter? It was juicy but tasted more like a melted watermelon Popsicle than anything else. Unfortunately, this beer was the latter.

Now, I don’t know much about old San Fran in relation to watermelon production and I’m not sure what kind of access they have to quality watermelon but it seems like they got a bit of the latter. The problem with watermelon is that it is so juicy that it could easily water down the flavor of whatever you are drinking, add the aluminum can to it and you a weird tangy aftertaste.

It was semi-sweet, yeasty (I thought it was odd/interesting that it said “yeast inside-agitate before opening”) but overall watery. I’d really hate to say this, and it wasn’t that bad, but when I volunteered in New Orleans for a week and we were served FEMA can water it had a similar taste. Which isn’t a good thing.  It hurts me to say this but I can’t give this beer any bananas, its a 0 out of 5 on this beer. But I don’t count out 21st Amendment Brewery, I’ve heard too many good things to not try their other beers. It is just this one will be one of those beers I just can’t get behind.

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Gastronomical Tourism Through Dublin – A Delicious Haze


If there’s one thing that comes to people’s minds when thinking about my destination, Ireland, it’s pubs. When in Dublin, though, it becomes clear that Ireland is by no means a one-trick
pony when it comes to good food and drink; from classy Irish restaurants to famous cafés, Dublin is teeming with choices when it comes to picking a meal to go with your 5th pint of Guinness.

I must admit, when I first arrived I made a beeline for the nearest pub. I didn’t have to look far – Dublin alone has over 600 pubs. I found a pub just outside the airport called The Coachman’s Inn, and had my first pint of the trip. It was a fine pub, but I knew Dublin had more to offer. What I recommend is that you either ask the locals or at least find a decent website to guide you to Dublin’s best.

First stop: Bewley’s Oriental Café. Bewley’s was founded in 1840 and is now the biggest importer of coffee in Ireland. The café itself was actually built in 1927 and is one of Dublin’s real gems. If hoping for a glimpse of your favourite Irish star, this might be a good place to start – the Café is known to be frequented by the likes of U2 and Bob Geldof. However, I didn’t go to Bewley’s for its living patrons so much as for its dead ones. The great author James Joyce used to come here, and the Café even named a room after him. Bewley’s Café might just be the perfect spot to read Dubliners. Authors and musicians aside, the Café’s theatre (I was treated to some classy Jazz act) and beautiful stained-glass windows make it worth a visit alone.

For famous pubs, I first headed to The Cobblestone, a popular “Trad” pub (Trad stands for traditional!). Once I’d gotten over the initial disappointment that The Cobblestone isn’t actually built out of cobblestone, I really dug the music and atmosphere. With nightly live Trad music playing there, it’s worth visiting even if you’re not planning on drinking. Next came The Brazen Head, which is supposedly the oldest pub in Ireland, dating back to 1198. Might I find some cobblestone here? As it turns out, nearly; its attractive exterior is built from bricks which give off a distinctive ‘Ye Olde Castle’ kind of vibe. Another great pub for live music, what most stood out for me was one of the bars, which was covered in signed notes of all different currencies. I wonder how many people have tried to steal one over the years? The Macardles Ale was particularly nice there, but for a taste of beer unique to Dublin, Microbreweries are
definitely the way to go. I’ll let you find them, because that’s half the fun…trust me.

After my pub crawl, I finally decided to visit a proper Irish restaurant … And ended up with a kebab. Close enough. I don’t remember much about it, but I’m pretty sure that in my drunken haze it tasted like the best food I’d ever eaten.

I think it’s fair to say my trip to Dublin was a success, but next time I should probably try and prove my point about Dublin not just being about the pubs …

Meet the Author: Louis Jobin
Louis Jobin is an undergraduate studying English and Japanese Studies. His passions are European literature, Asian cuisine and Scandinavian music.

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New Brew Tuesday: Left Hand Brewing Co – 400 Pound Monkey

Image property of Left Hand Brewing

Type: BeerEnglish Style India Pale Ale
Name: Left Hand Brewing Company 400 Pound Monkey
Price: $1.79 pint
Made: Longmont, CO
Alc/Vol: 6.8%

A 400 Pound Monkey? First off yay monkey, but a 400 pound one. Whew that is a lot of monkey poo to fling. @(^_^)@

Enough about poo, and onto the beer…

This beer has a nice clean smell, which means this monkey seperates business with pleasure. Wouldn’t want poo hands making the beer now would we. OK so I can’t really separate the two, so fling me.

Now I know a lot of casual beerers aren’t IPA fans. They are hoppy and have a bite to them. They let you know you are drinking a beer, and I like that about them. The problem? Left Hand Brewing realized that IPA’s are becoming more fashionable so when they decided to make their version of an IPA they wanted to do it with a twist.

I poured off a nice golden color into my chilled glass, one of the first things I noticed was that there wasn’t much lacing head. A nice lacing to the glass is said to be a good indicator of the quality of beer.

So what did it taste like? It has a nice malty and hoppy balance. It’s an IPA and it let’s you know that but on the other hand it still has a sweetness to it that gives it a well balanced taste. This isn’t an overly hoppy IPA, so if you are looking for a beer that bites back hard then this isn’t it. However it isn’t exactly a sissy beer either. There is a nice citrus taste that goes with this beer. So in the world of IPAs this is different, but it was what Left Hand Brewing set out to do, and I say they succeeded.

Because this one ain’t like them others.

I give this beer 4 and 1/2 out of 5 bananas and not just it has monkey in the name. It is a good beer and at a good price, you can’t help but like that. To even further prove it I got caught up watching a movie and left the last sip sitting there to warm up, and you know what? Still delicious! And while you are off enjoying a few of these delicious beers why don’t you sign up for my free Contest to win a Zaca recovery patch and save yourself from a hangover.


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Contest: Win a Free Zaca Patch

You ever have one of those mornings were your first thought was, I shouldn’t have drank that much?

It’s even worse when you realize how much stuff you have to do that day, it could be work, school, travel…anything really. The fun of last night comes rushing to a halt while sobriety smacks you in the face reminding you of what is yet left undone.

Well I’m working with Zaca and their fun new product – a recovery patch to help prevent that morning from happening. On my recent trip to North Carolina I had the opportunity to try out this patch with my old college room mate. This was like a free-for-all to relive our freshmen dorm days.

To be honest the results were slightly mixed, true neither of us had a hint of a hangover the next day but I did have some sort of an allergic reaction to it. Nothing major that a benadryl couldn’t fix, but according to the people over at Zaca I’m one of the lucky few who end up finding an allergic reaction. Which there is always one lucky fellah who is, no matter what product. Although compared to things like anti-depressent pills whose side effects can be suicidal thoughts mine was a rash on my arms and sun reaction to the adhesive. My roomate – he ended up right as rain which is odd because he ends up with allergic reactions to everything  and usually I am not allergic to anything. Like the time he became all blotchy when we made a giant vase with tubes into a harry buffalo of sorts, except no fruit just juice and liquor.

That’s besides the point. Now I can’t make a bold claim as to say this patch is why we didn’t have a hangover, I’m no scientist, but I can say that after power hours, $2.50 Margaritas and $1 beers I wasn’t feeling as groggy as I should have been. If I had to put money on it, I’d say it at least helped, especially because I didn’t do anything else to help prevent the hangover. And when you are faced with a night of drinking why not be prepared for the morning and try and one-up that hangover. All the ingredients are natural and was even shown on NBC so it doesn’t hurt to win this contest and put it to the test for free!

How To Enter: Just comment below on where you would use this patch and how it could help you. I will use to select the winner and will announce them on my Twitter, Facebook and notify via email.

It doesn’t improve your odds but you could also Like My Fanpage, Follow me on Twitter or tweet this to your followers (Hit the Tweet button).

Contest Ends: Saturday June 25th, 2011 at 11:59pm EST.

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New Brew Tuesday: Tusker – Finest Quality Lager

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Type: BeerLager
Name: TuskerFinest Quality Lager
Price: $1.99
Made: NairobiKenya
Alc/Vol: 4.2%

“Tusker Lager has been brewed in East Africa since 1922. Named after the elephant that killed George Hurst, one of the brewery’s founders, Tusker claims that special heritage of being one of the first beers in East Africa. Over the years, this unique lager has become a part of East Africa’s rich tradition.

Tusker is brewed with high quality malt, made from equatorial barley grown at the base of Mt. Kenya, choicest hops and water that springs from the renowned Aberdare mountain ranges. Tusker’s famous crisp, refreshing taste and finest quality has continuously earned Gold Meals in the prestigious International Monde Selection Awards.”

The nose doesn’t give away much of anything at all. The beer pours a light straw color with a quick fading head. The taste is light and refreshing, with a hint of sweetness to it, almost a bit of crispness to it – Honey? Lemon? To be frank, it isn’t amazing in that it leaves a lasting impression but it does give you a fresh light taste.

There really is no aftertaste but the after…effect leaves a dry finish. Which is surprising to how light the initial taste is. I don’t know if I would go out of my way to purchase these as an import but if I was there in Kenya I could easily see myself enjoying this beer on a hot summer day. It is also something that I could see myself drinking all day, since there isn’t much to it. It would be hard to get tired of, but then again it is nothing that I could call out if you switched it out with any other nameless beers.

I give this beer a 2.5 out of 5 bananas. My hope is to try this brew next to the source and see if that atmosphere improves the taste to make it something a little more memorable.

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