This weekend represents an effort. An effort to drink a little bit less because of the ten-pound life preserver that has grown around my waist.
It's funny how something that little can be viewed. You're generally not big, so people think you're a dick for mentioning five, ten pounds. It's even worse if you say something about it looking bad on television. I realize people have it worse! I don't feel great about this beer belly.
I've looked at all of my other activities and I can't find a real problem. Sure, I could work out more, so I'm trying to do that. I cook dinner for the family four or five times a week, and I'm not a butter fiend, so it can't be that. Yeah, I eat sandwiches, but I don't eat chips with them, and it's not an every day thing. And how bad is a sandwich for lunch anyway.
So there's one culprit. Beer.
You may laugh, too, once you see what my effort to drink less looks like, especially since I didn't share any of these bombers with anyone. But, in the grand tradition of Supporting Those That Are Trying To Do Something Different, I'm sure you'll keep the tittering to a minimum. Hey, man, I still have to have a little fun.
Sierra Nevada / Mahrs Brau Oktoberfest
A sweet floral nose with something fruity in it -- apple maybe? -- gives way to a very refreshing nutty, grassy Maerzen. Maybe this isn't quite the same as last year's effort, but it's different and it's (almost) as good. It was nice to have this around, along with water, as devices I could use to put off my beers as long as I could. I had one of these to open each day of the weekend, and I didn't regret it.
Calicraft Wobblies Wet Hop Ale
Almanac Tropical Platypus Sour
This year's Calicraft Wobblies is a little fruitier than this year's. Or it must be, because last year I said I wish it could be a litttle fruitier, and this year I thought it was a great vegetable fruit pairing. Old reviews will get the grassy, freshly-harvested herb feeling, but if I have this right, this year has some more Mosaic (dry-hopping?) or some similar fruity hops in it, perhaps in larger quantities. For whatever reason, it's fruitier, and it's great.
I will drink this Almanac Tropical Platypus Sour again and again, even if it costs me my teeth. You get some of that Nelson in there pretty clearly, but there's a bit more to round out that stone fruit aroma and flavor.
Drake's Kick Back IPA
Stone/Beachwood/Heretic Still Unapologetic IPA
That Drake's was a highlight of the weekend, an Easy-Jack-like glue between a couple of the bombers. I love taking a chance on a six pack and not being sad at all that there are three or four left. And that happened to me twice this weekend. The Kick Back has an intense mango pineapple aroma, and then follows with something that's akin to Sculpin Pineapple, but a bit ligher. You even get a little pine, and then it's such a light finish that there's no regret.
The Still Unapologetic smelled like funky lemon and honey, and then tasted like grapefruit and honey. Those are good combos, but I wouldn't come away with this thinking -- as I did from the first version of this beer -- that this was too hoppy. So I'm guessing this has about the same level of hops, but it's chosen less acidic hops, or way more stone fruity instead of citrussy hops. What do I know. I like this one better, my untappd profile tells me, and that lines up, sort of, with what I remember.
Modern Times Fortunate Islands w/ Grapefruit Zest IPA
The Libertine Saison of Uncommon Origins
God I love that version Fortunate Islands. It smells like Grapefruit Sculpin, but then it's much more restrained in the body. And I think that makes it more refreshing. Grapefruit Sculpin gets a little shandy-like to me, a little full of syrup. None of that in Fortunate Islands, especually this version. The wheat IPA combats the syrup on many levels. If you can get this, get this.
Finished the weekend with one of my favorite styles. I love the tart dirty funky saison. It's the crossover for your friend that likes saisons but hasn't jumped into sours yet. It's a bit like a funky blanket finished lemon cleaner if your friend doesn't like it. Otherwise it's like lemon honey tea steeped to long, with unfiltered herbal goodness providing the body, and then oh yeah some alcohol. Right? I once made a great green tea Limoncello pick me up pre-gamer, and though it's not a perfect analogy, I get some of that feeling from this.
Did you, too, have a restrained but rewarding weekend?