I’ve visited Durham a few times in the last 2 months and have had the opportunity to try a number of delicious beers that JStreet can’t always get our collective clammy, stump-fingered hands on. The craft brewing scene in and around Durham is impressive and there will be a full report on it later. Anyway, I picked up the Belgian Style White Ale to bring home to try. I think I brought it home a bit early. This is a perfect summer porch beer. The White Ale pours cloudy and straw yellow. It is light, but creamy with a touch of citrus at the end. For a beer on the lighter side it has impressive depth of flavor. Also, CANS!
If I was fancy (*removes monocle*), I would take two sixers of this canned nectar on an all day float trip or for early morning noodling. But since I am not fancy (*replaces monocle*), I enjoyed these with beluga caviar and watercress toast points. Overall, I think this is an excellent beer. I would make it my everyday drinker if I could get it everyday.
Overall: DRINK IT
(10) Founders Dirty Bastard
(11) Ommegang Abbey Ale
As anyone knows, the Dirty Bastard is the Osiris of this shit. Here comes the Tiger Style! The fierce Dirty Bastard brings the pain down on the refined Ommegang Abbey squad. Shimmy shimmy yah shimmy yeah shimmy yay, Ommegang Abbey will check out today. Final score: Dirty Bastard wins, Wu Infinity to 36 Chambers for Ommegang Abbey.
(12) Goose Island Honkers Ale
(1) Yards IPA
Yards comes into this game with a lot of advantages. They are a high seed playing a low seed and Honkers comes into this game with a lot of distractions. Their program is in turmoil after the surprise announcement that their coach will be stepping down after the president decided to join a power conference. I can see this working one of two ways. Either Goose Island comes together to send their beloved coach out a champion and they go on a run, or the pressure becomes too much and they quit on their coach like the Vols.
(2) Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale
(3) Lagunitas Little Sumpin Sumpin
I was really hoping for a matchup between Dale’s Pale Ale and the Whale’s Tale Pale Ale, but the bracket committee goofed and the dream match up isn’t going down. Instead, we get the strong in all facets Dale’s against the sneaky can from Lagunitas. Little Sumpin Sumpin may not receive the national attention that Dale’s Pale Ale gets, but they do play a crowd pleasing style that should gain them a lot of fans as they advance past their well known opponent.
Count my voice among the praise singing choir. I had a phenomenal time this weekend talking with the team, the awesome staff at Bourbon, the participants, and the curious randos.
1. I autographed titties. I felt like Kid Rock.
2. The Bourbon Decker sandwich and baked beans were amazing. It might be the best sandwich I have eaten in 2011.
3. The fat guy from Brew’s Clews leaning over me to drunkenly and hilariously hit on my girlfriend.
4. The 10 or 12 randos who wondered why I was signing sheets for people. I’d say at least 8 of them were interested enough to ask if we do a scavenger hunt every month.
5. Rogue Nut Brown Nectar.
6. The team that got a call from the DOJ at 4am to come claim their passed out teammate.
7. WAFC Jr. canceled all Sunday games.
8. That one time when I autographed some titties.
1. Walking home from Adams Morgan because of the crazy cab situation.
2. The drunk girl on Georgia Ave with the glassy eyes.
3. The stranger who offered to “give me a ride” at the corner of 14th and Harvard. No thanks, creepo.
4. My back after sitting on a bar stool for 20 hours in a 36 hour period.
5. Sunday morning hangover.
Most teams I talked to had an amazing time and would like to do it again. I would like to do this again in the fall if we can put it together (we’ll see). I know that Bourbon was super appreciative of the business we brought in. James, Rachel, and Craig took really good care of me. I could not have asked for a better bar staff. I was initially pretty offended that some teams focused more on finishing first than on learning about new beers and new bars, but I have calmed. Not everyone likes to have a good time, and that is fine. I would like to focus more on the costume aspect of the hunt next time. I’m a big fan of people looking ridiculous for arbitrary reasons. I agree with Pyzocha’s suggestion that the prizes should be more random. Only one team can finish first. I think emphasizing having fun and learning about new beers was our goal. Most teams did that.
Thanks to Tonzi for doing all the hard work putting this together.
(11) Heavy Seas Loose Cannon
(3) Lagunitas Little Sumpin Sumpin
A Loose Cannon can cause an incredible amount of havoc on deck. Sailors! Make sure your cannons are secured on deck. It’s physics! On the other hand, Little Sumpin Sumpin probably has a secret or two waiting to break out in this contest. It’s right there in the name. In conclusion, CANNON BAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL!!!!!
(3) Heavy Seas Marzen
(11) Ommegang Abbey Ale
The Marzen is a fantastic session beer, but the Belgian style Abbey Ale will overpower it with little trouble. Don’t let the low seed fool you. If George Mason can make the final four as an 11 seed, Ommegang should have no trouble rising above seed to push on.
(1) Yards IPA
(9) Red Stripe
I don’t think I have ever tasted Yards IPA, but I am sure that it is a pretty good beer. Red Stripe probably has a better advertising department than Yards. A vote for Yards is a vote for beer. A vote for Red Stripe is a vote for commercials that make fun of white people for dancing poorly. WHAT ARE YOUR PRIORITIES?
(2) Speakeasy Big Daddy IPA
(10) Founders Dirty Bastard
I am pro Speakeasy. They are Al Capone level gangster. But speakeasies of the 1920’s are the OG to the new school modern day crack houses. Who is more evocative of modern day crack houses than the original Shaolin knight, Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Big Baby Jesus is for the children. Dirt McGurt and crack houses go back like babies and pacifiers. In this match up, Speakeasy is a studio gangster. Dirty Bastard reigns supreme with the power of the Wu.
(3) Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA
(6) Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold
Overrated Racer 5 limps into this contest at less than full strength while Dortmunder comes in hot and rested from Thursday’s blowout. Some analysts have Racer 5 going deep into the tournament, but I think the rugged Great Lakes brew is going to slow down Racer 5. Sorry Bear Republic, this is not your one shining moment.
(8) Abita Amber
(9) Cisco Whale’s Tale Pale Ale
My feelings about Abita Amber are the same as Dick Vitale’s feelings about Duke. As the old saying goes, Coach K likes to tickle Dickie V’s grundle with a peacock feather on a bearskin rug at his secluded ski chalet near Squaw Valley. That is how I feel about Abita Amber. That, or love. It’s the exact same thing. Whale’s Tale is nice, as a friend, but I would rather put my mouth around an Abita and swallow.
(2) Speakeasy Big Daddy IPA
(15) Left Hand Sawtooth Ale
Speakeasy- Speakeasy’s are cool, especially if you are a 1920’s Gangster. They serve bathtub Gin and have secret code words and flappers dancing the Charleston while discussing the latest talkies.
Lefthand- I guess it will be guaranteed employment if you ever teach it to throw a baseball.
Speakeasy- Illegal and 1920s era prisons were pretty awful. I went to Alcatraz once when I visited San Franscisco. That place is creepy. I like drinking, but not enough to spend time on a prison island.
Lefthand- If I cut off my left hand I doubt I would even miss it. I would rather have a chainsaw or a bullwhip. LEFTHAND WHY ARE YOU SO USELESS! Shape up!
Verdict: Speakeasies are a little risky, but my lefthand is totally worthless. Easy call. Speakeasy wins in a blowout.
(8) Shiner Bock
(9) Kona Pipeline Porter
The official beer of Texas faces off against the official beer of Hawaii. Spurs verses surfboards. A state so American it wants to be it’s own country vs the state that, according to many, is not a part of this country. But both places make some mean pork. Who you think wins this battle basically comes down to who you think is better at bringing criminals to justice: Magnum P.I. or Walker, Texas Ranger. (Or whether you think Sidekicks is a better movie than 3 Men and a Baby)
(4) Founders Breakfast Stout
(13) Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout
Heavyweights will do battle under the boards in this battle of morning beers. Who’s gonna win? Well, oatmeal only tastes good if you put raisins in it. Raisins look like rabbit turds. I have always been terrified that there will be a bowl full or rabbit turds IMMEDIATELY ADJACENT to my bowl of raisins. That is a recipe disaster. One mix up, and your breakfast is full of incredibly dense rabbit turds. WOULD YOU EVEN NOTICE THEM IN YOUR OATMEAL? Probably not, oatmeal is gross. Who keeps rabbit turds in a bowl in the kitchen?
(1) Troegs Troegenator
(16) National Bohemian
Troegs and Natty Boh are regional rivals but not in the same league. Their campuses are separated by only 80 miles, but the Troegenator powerhouse double bock is streets ahead of the small time Natty Boh. The Troegenator, lead by Trogdor, are a destructive force that you can expect to stomp all over the Bohs weak front line. In the end, the Bohs swords and arrows are too weak to stand up for long against the fierce Troegenator. Look for Trogdor to lead the Troegenator to burninate the Bohs.
(7) 21st Amendment Brew Free or Die
(10) Dogfish Head Chicory Stout
If styles make fights, then this will be a battle to watch. This might be the most intriguing matchup of the first round. We got East Coast vs. West Coast; lithe and hoppy vs heavy and strong. Both teams are great at executing their game plan. Expect a back and forth battle as both beers throw haymakers from the opening tip. Either beer can win, and either beer will be a tough out in the next round.
(4) Weihenstephan Hefeweizen
A matchup between two well known Euros that play a similar finesse style. Heineken gets in as an at-large bid from a power conference. It may have made it in over some lesser known beers. Clearly Heineken’s reputation is inflated by lots of appearances on national TV. Weihenstephan plays a pure old-school game that has not changed since before Glenn Roberts was raining jumpers at Emory & Henry. To the untrained eye their style is a little dry and a little boring. But true hop-heads see effortless symphony in Weihenstephan’s simplicity. On paper, this is a close matchup. But matchups aren’t decided on paper.
(8) Red Hook ESB
(9) Smuttynose Big A IPA
Red Hook brings a lot of fans to this match up. While they have a strong squad year-in and year-out, their puny 5.8% ABV could easily be overwhelmed by the gaudy 9.7%ABV Smuttynose brings to this contest. The Big A IPA is hard to stop and it’s known for finishing strong, which is a huge plus come tournament time. I think they run away with this one here.
Sometimes, the beer fairy makes a visit and leaves great treasures in your fridge, or on your porch. I woke up Sunday with just such a treasure. I get up before 9am almost everyday because I have a dog that can’t shit in a toilet.
During the week, that lazy sack of shit stays in my bed until the last possible second. I get out of the shower and there he is, sleeping with his head on the pillow and covers pulled up over his body like some fucking petulant school child trying to play hooky. He waits until my clothes are on and I double check to make sure all my stuff is ready for work. Only when I grab the leash does he reluctantly drag his ass out of bed with what I can only describe as the most over-exaggerated stretching routine. Then he looks at me like I am disturbing him from some super important dog business. I take him to the park, but he takes his sweet fucking time finding a place to piss and shit. Then he slowly ambles back to the house sniffing every goddamn thing on the way home for 3 minutes. Fuck that dog.
Yo mama got fired from the sperm bank for drinking on the job.
Yo mama is so fat her blood type is gravy.
Yo mama is so stupid that she slept on the floor when she was locked inside the mattress store.
Yo mama is so ugly Jane Goodall followed her home from the welfare office.
Two truths and a lie: I love yo mama jokes. I really enjoy pilsners. I have never had a bad beer from Oskar Blues.
Obviously all of us are mindless sheep without the brain power to keep from drooling on ourselves, let alone form our own opinions about whether or not a beer is good. Well, not all of us are high functioning idiots, just you, the public, are. Here at J Street, we are experts with the most exquisite taste and the fairest minds for judging the rest of society. However, we use our extreme powers only to further the greater good of society. That is the purpose of these round table discussions: so that you, the public, can see what it is like when the gods disagree in Valhalla. Also, we have one track minds and that track is beer. Choo-choo! Beer train coming through! May it’s headlight guide us out of this cave of ignorance.