Friday, March 14, 2014

Karben4

Simply put. go to Karben4 in Madison, WI. The beer is phenomenal!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bar review- the Stone


The Stone is an interesting place. A little nondescript place on Howell Avenue. If you weren't paying attention you may just walk on past the joint.

There is no signage on the walk. Sign on the storefront alert you to the place. If you like beer you better pay attention. They do Happy Hour right.

Happy Hour to the Stone is from 4-9, and two for one tappers. And we ain't taling about simple macro brew. They have a great craft beer lineup. New Glarus, 3 Floyds, Left Coast, Left Hand, Upland, Alaskan, you name it, it may be on tap. Yes, that is damn generous. They put the Happy in Happy Hour.

The ambiance though is minimal. Jukebox on the wall. Several TVs scattered around. No frills can work. Especially when it is two for one on good beer.

The Stone is a good place to hit when on a budget. Best thing to do? Watch beermenus.com . The Stone does a good job of keeping their beer list updated on the site so you can take advantage of the great two for one special.  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Revamp at the local brewery

Drinking a Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin as I write this post. A damn smooth oatmeal stout.

The St. Francis Brewery is just over a mile away from my house. I have watched the beers mature since their opening years ago. While still not the greatest, they have gotten better. I think their problem has been consistency. One batch doesn't take like the previous. Some seem watery, others just harsh. But when they nail it, they are quite enjoyable.

A good example is their hefe weizen. When it is on it sweet and has a great clove banana thing going on. I can drink that all night. Hell, I did.

Yesterday they had their Mug Club members in house for a special announcement. They have been working on bottling the beer. Sixers of their amber, titled Wrath, are now available. Thankfully their amber is pretty good so it should sell.


Beyond the bottling announcement they mentioned how they were changing the names of the beer. The  names used to be tied in to the community. Named after streets, lake, etc., they were now moving off to the Seven Deadly Sins. Their is Wrath, Envy, Lust, and Pride. Their will be a quarterly Gluttony feature beer.

Maybe the best news to come out of the meeting was how they would be doing some more experimentation and creating new beers. Proof was a beer in their Pride series, a bourbon barrel aged doppelbock. I think they do the doppel very well at St. Francis. Aging in the bourbon barrel gave it a slight boozey nose. It didn't carry through with strong alcohol on the tongue, which was good. It was mellow with a hint of vanilla. Very good for their debut.

The problem was the price point. They were selling the beer at $15.99 for a bomber (750ml). That is above well know brews such as Three Floyds Dark Lord. For a brewery that is barely being consistent on some of their batches, they have priced this beer way too high.

I look forward to seeing what else they'll put out in the future. Hopefully they will brew some beers that will make me want to carry a growler in every time.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Kolsch and beer snobs

I found myself in Chicago a couple of months ago, having dinner in a nice northern downtown restaurant. Though it was on the cold side, I order a Metropolitan Krankshaft Kolsch. It was a local brew I hadn't had yet.

I thought the beer was phenomenal. It was light and crisp. I detected some apple and honey with a nice finish. So good I quickly ordered a second one.

Months later, I found myself in Illinois once again. This time at a Mexican restaurant in Naperville. I saw a relatively new Kolsch being offered on tap. It reminded me of the Metropolitan brew. Like months earlier, I quickly ordered a second.

This beer was Leinenkugel's Canoe Paddler. A friend at work had recommended it, saying he was surprised it was that good. I agreed.

Later I would find myself looking at a couple of beer sites and find that while much smaller Krankshaft was given good ratings, the mass produced brewer was given low scores. To me, they were both similar and quite the same.

It got me to wondering. I wonder how some of these beers would do in a blind taste test. If people didn't know it was Leinenkugels, would they give it a low score?

I did something similar last year. I compared Leinenkugels Original Lager to Yuengling Lager. Each one reminded me of the other. So I put them face to face and tried them. I found I preferred the Yuengling.

I plan to put the Leinies up against the Metropolitan some time soon. I think I may find some people rethinking their taste buds.

Friday, May 03, 2013

From the ashes?

Yep, its been a while since I have posted anything. Busy with life. Busy with other sources of thought and output.

I have been contributing some items over at Ocelot Sports. I thank Pauly for giving me an outlet to post hockey and UFC fights as well as thoughts on the Milwaukee Brewers. It is that outlet that has me wanting to post some other things here again. Hell, I am not a writer but there is something therapeutic about throwing words out there.

Look for more items on beer soon. I have come to realize that drinking beer is my hobby. I am not talking about going out and getting sloshed. It's more like experiencing every beer that is available.

Over the past 2 years, I have tried approximately 1080 different beers. From all over the world in various styles. It has been fun and best yet, there are thousands more to try.

Shit. Time to work. Thoughts on big beer and kolsches coming up.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Carpentry

Over the last couple of months I have found myself building things. Entertainment centers, rolling carts. wine racks. Seems like the tool kit has been in use more often that not lately.

I have notice a pattern while working on these projects. When working on something, I will usually have to take it apart at some point. Whether I have used the wrong bolt/screw, or the piece is turned around, there is very good chance that a couple steps later I'll be scratching my head wondering why something isn't lining up.

Or even more aggravating, I'll have a screw that just doesn't want to go in all the way.

Last night I was putting together a new TV stand for myself. When I bought some new furniture 3 years ago I swore I would buy a couple other things. Like new pillows for the couch. That only took 2.75 years. A new TV stand was the other. 3 years later, I've move out this old book case and crappy little TV stand for something new and nice.

And I only had to take it apart once. Ok, technically it should have been twice but screw that long cover board for the back. Had I put that on I wouldn't have noticed that the drawers weren't on properly.

Speaking of drawers, that is where the screw is. A screw that holds the drawer fixture in place. Damn thing didn't want to go in all the way. It has about an 1/8 of an inch sticking out. The drawer still fits in but it scrapes a bit again that screw. I think I'll take a drill to it tonight. Last night I realized if I kept going I was going to strip the hell out of it so I stopped. Maybe if I loosen it up a bit I can use the drill to get some momentum and drive it home. That or I'll never use the middle drawer.



Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wall beer

I found myself on a sailboat last night. It had been over 15 years since I had been on the Lake Michigan waters. I learned yesterday that not much has changed.

I recall the last time I was on the lake. There were 3 of us. I just sat there as we motored out from the breakwater. Once we got pass the wall the captain and my friend got a sail up and the wind took us for a trip. The owner popped some autopilot thing on the helm and disappeared down below. He came back up with a bottle of brandy and a 2 liter of Coke. Not sure what the Coke was for really as I recall those drink being really strong. Color perhaps?

That was sailing. Sitting on a boat getting hooched. Nothing has changed.

Yesterday we motored out to open water. Once the sail was up people went below to make drinks as we tooled around about a mile or so from shore. The big difference this time was the number of people on the boat. I think they said there were 19 of us. People sat where they could drinking their beer, wine, or rum cocktail of choice. After 3 beers- my measurement of time- the sun had gone down and everyone was heading in. The boat time was over.

This is when I learned a new term. Wall beer. What is wall beer? Exactly what it says. It appears Wednesday is racing night at the yacht clubs (yes, Milwaukee has 2 yacht clubs). When the race is over it is customary for people to dock their boat and go drink free beer. The beer is provided by the club and actually paid for by the race fees. In this particular club there is a tent covering a wall with 2 beer taps. You go to the wall and grab a beer. Capital Supper Club was on tap last night.

I did notice an interesting thing about the wall beer last night. Something that made me proud as a Wisconsinite. There was a line of a dozen people waiting for a beer. First person poured theirs while the next person waited. When the person's cup was about 2/3 full, they leaned their cup in, a sign to keep the tap flowing. Person after person in that line did the exact same thing. The beer kept flowing until some old grey haired lady came in.

I had a good time last night. Sitting on my butt drinking beer as I stared at the Milwaukee skyline was much different than sitting in a bar doing the same thing. I just might do it again if the opportunity arises.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sold!

The house across the street finally sold. I think it was on the market for just over a year. Now I need to find out how much it sold for.

I had checked the price just a couple weeks ago. Why? I was considering buying it. I figured it might be a good investment and easy to manage since I live across the street. I even checked it out online but decided I didn't like it. The upper unit didn't look too good. Mine is much better.

As I said, I am looking forward to finding out how much it sold for. The price of that house will have a direct impact on the value of mine. I know they had dropped the price once already. And with the jerk who sold a house $30,000 below value 2 years ago, I am hoping that prices are coming back up.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

So awesomely bad

Years ago, there was this nice old couple that would show up at the various festivals around Milwaukee. Whether it was Summerfest, a church festival, or block party, this man and woman would show up and start dancing.

It didn't matter what music was playing. It could be hair metal, pop, country. Anything. This old couple would find a place and start ballroom dancing.

They were fun to watch. The had grace and elegance. The were fluid and added something to the show on stage.

They weren't glory hounds either. The would dance wherever they found some space. By the stage, well behind the crowd, the side. They just enjoyed themselves.

Sadly, age caught up with them. Their dancing days were over.

Tragically, one couple thought they could do the same thing. They were basically everything the charming old couple wasn't. They are not fluid. There is no natural talent. It is pathetically choreographed. They will move things around in front of the stage so they have to be noticed.

Bottom line: They look like they should be in a wrestling ring, not a dance floor. Check it out:



Even funnier, some clown though he should do something similar. It was like Corey Feldman showed up and wanted to do his Michael Jackson impersonation.


The band played Beat It when the finished this song. Dude went back out and did the same lame routine. At least it made a boring party somewhat interesting.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lost phone

I had an interesting note in my mail today. A single sheet from the neighbor. It stated they lost their iPhone.

I found the phone the other day. I want to get it back to them but I don't have it. But I don't have it. Right now I am not even sure where it is.

I found the phone this weekend. It was on the steps that lead into my backyard. Seemed strange to find it baking in the sun. I thought it might belong to my tenants so I grabbed it and put it inside the back stairwell on the window sill. I figured if it was their they would take it. If not, they would leave it there.

I was wrong about that. When I came home the phone was gone. I assumed it was theirs so I didn't think anything of it. Until I got the note today.

I went upstairs to ask for the phone. That is where things get fishy. I talked with the young mother up there. She acknowledge she had the phone but "didn't know where it was". Huh? How do you not know where it is? My bullshit detector was going off the charts but I gave her the benefit of the doubt. I told her to look for the phone and find it. She could either knock on my door or put it back on the sill where she found it.

Now I am trying to decide what to do next if they do not return the phone. I am settling on two directions:

  1. Call the neighbor and let them know I found their phone, but my tenants have it. I could give them their number and I don't have to deal with this issue any more, or
  2. Run a bluff. Tell my tenants during the day tomorrow that I called the neighbor (though I haven't) and she'll come by to pick up the phone. Then call the neighbor based on their reaction.
I am hoping I won't have to do either but something isn't right here. I am upset that they took something that wasn't theirs in the first place. I'm also wondering what they've done with the phone. Did they sell it? Do they just not want to give it back?

I guess we'll see what happens overnight. Hopefully they'll come through and do the right thing.