The event last year left a sour taste in some attendee’s mouths due to some first-year road bumps that Michael Quaranta and a group of hard working volunteers have been trying very hard to fix for their second go around of the Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned competition.
The two-day event kicks off Friday evening at 5pm with a combination craft beer/chicken wing event on The Green that will see 12-15 BBQ teams via for the People’s Choice Award for best BBQ, and YOU get to be the People. For $5 you’ll get to sample five wings of your choice and don’t be afraid to purchase another five because the event managed to acquire 225 pounds of wings for the event thanks to Mountaire and The Restaurant Depot.
The craft beer event will feature some local favorites such as Twin Lakes, 16 Mile, and Third Wave, as well as Grand Rapids, Michigan favorite Founders Brewing, which just recently started to distribute in Delaware. For those who like something light with their BBQ, Miller will also be on tap.
Saturday’s big event has the gates open at 12 noon, entry fee is $10 and Michael and his team have worked hard to ensure that there is adequate food available for all the BBQ lovers who attends.
“Saturday we’ve got 4 food vendors, including two locals (Locale Post, Philippine Smoke), and two retired competitors selling BBQ. In addition, the Restaurant Depot and Mountaire contacted 125 pounds of chicken leg quarters, so the good kids at Howard High and the culinary program, will cook and sell these as a way to make the school program a few bucks. We had 3 bbq vendors last year, and this year we have 5…and the two that [are coming back from] last year are bringing much more food”, Michael told me in a Facebook conversation.
Saturday’s beer lineup will be similar to last year with $5 still getting you a 16oz pour, with the highlight being local Smyrna brewer Blue Earl on hand offering their Blues Power, Honey Suckle, and Walking Blues brews. Bud, Bud Light, Goose Island IPA, and Blue Point Toasted Lager will also be available and Michael want me to inform everyone that last call is at 4:30!
Michael and his team seem to have really put time and effort into evolving their event past the obstacles and problems of last year. With any new event like this, there are bound to be growing pains, and Michael even conceded that there will probably be new ones this year, but asked people to be patient, “It will be fun. We’ll have screw ups again this year, and it won’t be until year three or four when we have worked out most of the kinks….but we’ll get there!”
Live music for the event will be provided Backlash, Federal Street and Blue Cat Blues Band.
The Colonial BBQ Competition supports the New Castle Charities, a nonprofit organization that assists area homeowners and improvements to Battery Park.
As always I would like to thank Michael for taking some of his valuable time to talk to me!
One night, no one quite remembers exactly when or why, a brewery vanished. To be more accurate, the people working in the brewery vanished, leaving the building and the equipment to sit silently like a long forgotten shipwreck serving as nothing more than a reminder of the life and activity that had once filled its abandoned structure.
Where the old brewery workers went to, no one knows, but some say that they were whisked away to the far off realm of Mary’s Land.
And all remained quiet, until one night the brewery came to life with sound, and light, and smells. Once again the parking lot was a buzz with delivery trucks. The air smelled again of hops and malt. And the blur of activity could once again be seen in the dimly lit windows.
But who was responsible for this resurrection? Who had brought the brewery back to life? Well, locals whispered of two woman who had moved into the brewery and made it their new home with the intention of bring finely crafted beer back to the once silent structure.
Legend also says that one night, under the light of the full moon, these woman slipped into a nearby brewery and enticed a young man to follow them back to their home, a young man who had a gift of making good beers. The young man followed them back, and some say that he still wonders the brewery at night to this very day.
Or so it is said in legend.
OK, not really, but there is always an amount of truth to fables and legends. Lori Clough and Suellen Vickers did in fact buy the Delmar, Delaware brewing space that had been vacated by Evolution Brewing when that brewery decided to move up the road into Maryland.
They then reached out to John Panasiewicz who was brewing for the Iron Hill chain at the time and brought him on board to help brew their beers, many of them based on recipes that began on Suellen’s back porch.
The rest, if not legend, is at least history.
Tracey and I finally made it down to the brewery last October for our first Southern Swing (I probably should write about that someday, it was an awesome trip) and it’s just a quaint little place on a quiet road (that day, other days may vary) through the southern most town in Delaware.
3rd Wave started hitting the shelves in bottles, but after a while they started including beer in cans, something that I know long time readers know I’m a big fan of.
The beer I chose to hangout with this time is one of their bottled offerings, 1st Wave IPA, and since it’s 1st Wave, I decided to enjoy it while participating in some of the many firsts that have come around this time of year.
As always click on a photo to enlarge and cycle through them. You’ll find my thoughts on the beer after the gallery.
The first ribs of the season on the big smoker. More BBQ posts to come!
Tracey has decided to start making bread. Here she is working on her first loaves of chibatta bread.
Homemade pizza. Not really a first of anything, well maybe the first of the week. Rao’s sauce rocks.
The Eagles’ first pick in the 2017 draft – Derek Barnett. The board played favorably for the birds leaving three or four quality picks by the time they were on the clock. I think this was a good one – let’s hope.
The first leg of the triple crown. Luckily I didn’t put any money down as my horse didn’t do so well.
The first planting of the season. Flowers for the decks and boxes, and veggies and herbs for the garden. The corn is for the squirrels.
The first mow of the season.
Not my first cinemagraph, but the first using my new BE117 ballhead on my tripod (love it) and the first using a technique of forward/reverse film. Not as thrilled with it as some of the others I’ve been working on but still fun.
THEM: From their website – “Our American style IPA has a deep golden color and a great hop bitterness balanced with a malty sweetness. Brewed with American 2-row barley, Warrior, Northern Brewer and Cascade hops. The name stems from this being the first IPA beer we attempted.” 1st Wave clocks in at ~6.2ABV and ~63IBU.
ME: My first two six packs of this were very enjoyable. 1st Wave pours a very pleasing orangish color with a topping of white fluffy foam.
The interesting thing that struck me about this beer is that although it’s billed as “American” I though it had a very English vibe to it. Maybe because of the northern brewer hops.
Malt/caramel are highly predominant in both the nose and the flavor, with the hops tucked in there nicely. This is not a “hop bomb” IPA, the flavor is well balanced on the malt base with the ending bitterness being a little more harsh than crisp, but just at the right level.
The interesting thing that struck me about this beer is that although it’s billed as “American” I though it had a very English vibe to it. Maybe because of the northern brewer hops. Anyway, at one point I found myself wondering how this beer would work in a cask, maybe with a handful of Northern Brewer hops tossed in for good measure (no hot peppers or gummy bears, please).
The third six-pack was a mystery. The first two beers were dead on 1st Wave, but the next three tasted completely different. The beer had a more floral/Belgian note to it, and I though maybe the beer had started to turn (bottling date was October of 2016). But to be honest, if it did, it turned into something that was enjoyably drinkable as the beer showed no normal signs of infection – in other words a nasty, foamy mess. The final bottle of the six was back to normal.
Based on the first two six-packs I’d recommend checking 1st Wave IPA out. It’s a pretty solid beer.
If I was asked to name my favorite cuisine, I think I’d have to say – pub. Oh, don’t get me wrong there’s nothing wrong with Italian, Greek, Asian or other culinary classics, but give me a place that makes a great burger or a killer plate of wings and I’m there.
Even outside of pubs I still look for those tavern comforts. I’m not above going out to nice places for lunch whether for work, or play, and still scanning the menu for what the place may offer as far as pub-like fare.
And along those lines if you see me intently contemplating the menu I’m usually not looking for the newest special, or gourmet cucumber, chicken wrap. No, my mind is usually locked in the complex, calculus laden calculation designed to compute what I can order that will get me the most french fries.
As most people will concur, at their basic core- fries rock. Not just because they’re versatile starch bombs that not only work well on their own paired with your condiment of choice or piled high with all kinds of calorie increasing craziness, but let’s face it, it’s because it’s so hard to make a good one at home. Ok, it’s not hard, a few potatoes, a sharp knife, some hot oil, and you have…well anything from oily, limp potato sticks to charred, charcoal like chaff depending on your attention span.
No wonder the frozen section of your local food market chain is chock full of all kinds of choices to help you conveniently get to fry Nirvana. But to be honest, I seldom go this route because let’s face it, most of those options are lacking and resemble nothing like the fries you can get out – even at those fast food joints.
But someone at work recently asked if I’d seen McCain’s Food’s craft beer batter offerings, and I was intrigued. Not because I’m always looking for the next great frozen side dish, but because…oh, come on, you know why.
Certain segments of the beer world are still (rightly or wrongly) holding tight to the term “craft” and what it should exactly connote to anyone inside or outside of that world. The Brewer’s Association still conveys a very clear (if abet, fluid) definition of what a craft brewery is, even going so far as to recently condemn Walmart for attempting to blur the lines with their recently offered company brewed beer.
So for some company to plaster the words “craft beer battered” across their bag of cryogenically suspended spuds I thought was pretty daring, so I picked up a bag of fries and onion rings (because if it’s not fries … it’s onion rings) and did some sleuthing.
The bags state “Made with finest quality American Pale Ale” which is nice bit of initial encouragement, but from there it wane’s fast, much like a third act in a horror movie where the heroes are sure they’ve destroyed the monster, only to watch it rise from the smoke and ashes.
There’s no mention of whose beer McCain specifically uses, which seems like a lost marketing opportunity for both McCain’s and whoever makes their beer. I mean, if you had company that makes frozen breaded confections, you’d want customers to know that you were using Stone’s or Bell’s, wouldn’t you?
I was impressed to see that beer is actually listed as an ingredient whose components are broken down as: Water, Malted Barley, Corn Syrup, Hops, Salt. Close. I mean you could make beer out of those ingredients but the corn syrup isn’t something you’d expect to see on the grain bill from your local brewer who you would associate making a “craft” product. Also, water treatment not withstanding, salt?
No, this just doesn’t seem right.
A little digging finds that McCain indeed has a page on their website dedicated to Brew City, but it seems to be more about a marketing brand set up for their products in the food service industry than having anything truly to do with craft beer.
The product itself is pretty good entry in the home fry market. Battered fries aren’t something I come across much and as for these, well let’s just say I think they were using the term “battered” pretty liberally. The onion rings were pretty good and to be honest I’d spring for a bag again the next time I’m in the mood for a quick fix and don’t feel like battering up a batch of my own.
Bear in mind however, that I say that about both products having used the deep fry option for both. You’re mileage my vary in an oven, which is why I tend to forego it.
I didn’t start this article to rip on McCain or put their products down. To be honest, I was hoping to find a craft beer connection that I could hold up as another example of how craft beer is working its way into different aspects of our lives. But sadly, I have to conclude after some sleuthing and contemplation that I’m pretty confident that the closest thing to craft beer in these commodities is the one you open when you sit down to dinner.
As I wrote in last week’s post, I’ve changed up my beer drinking habits lately in an attempt to get back to the simple pleasure of enjoying beer, while stepping away from all the usual frenzied brand snatching I’ve tended to do over the past couple of years.
This time I want to talk about Fordham’s Rosie Parks Oyster Stout, a beer that is no stranger to me as I named it as one of my six picks for Brian Roth’s Six-Pack Project as well as making no apologies for declaring it in the past as one of my favorite beers brewed in Delaware.
This hangout happened on a bit of a whim as I was getting ready for our yearly St Paddy’s day celebration, mulling over the possibility of adding some oysters to the menu. I loved the idea, but wasn’t digging the added expense or possible hassle of finding good oysters at the last minute when I remembered that I’d seen this very metaphorical (but adequate) substitute on one of my locals’ shelves.
So spending nothing but a quick stop after work the next day, plus the price of a six pack and bingo – “oysters” for St Paddy’s day.
Of course there was plenty of Murphy’s and Guinness as well, but Rosie didn’t seem to mind hanging out with the boys. This was a short hangout, just a couple of days, but it was very pleasurable.
The St Paddy’s celebration? Well long time readers know that I’m a bit of a St Paddy’s Day snob due to some culture programing by a Irish Jedi. So every year we get together with the kids and rock some Irish inspired food, drink and music. I’ll embed a couple of songs we added to the playlist this year at the bottom of this post. For now, let’s talk beer – and a little something else.
As always click on a photo to enlarge and cycle through the gallery to read a little comment or two about each photo
Continious Bubbles – Always good.
Late breakfast is always bangers and mash, and a beer (don’t judge).
“Making a triumphant return, the Oyster Stout was formerly in the Fordham Brewing portfolio and retains a loyal group of followers. Containing Chesapeake Bay oysters and shells, contributing to a slight briny taste in the beer, this stout contains pale, torrified wheat, caramunich, roasted barley and chocolate malt. In addition, it is hopped with Bravo and Glacier hops. Black and 5.2% ABV, this beer is very distinctive.”
THE BUZZ: Ratebeer (3.18/5), Beer Advocate (3.55/5), Untappd (3.44/5)
DE AVAILABILITY: Most fine beer outlets.
ME: I’m going to admit, I didn’t really crawl into the glass during our celebration to re-analyze a beer I’ve had dozens of times. I simply enjoyed it throughout the day, which is what these types of reviews are all about. So let’s just go with my thoughts from my six-pack project post:
“Rosie is pure smooth drinking from front to back, with light chocolate and (even lighter) roasted notes, along with that kiss of mineral that comes from the added oyster shells. The finish is clean and not bitter (24 IBUs) and the after taste is simply a slight roastiness.”
Yeah. Seems right. Don’t let the oyster thing turn you off, this is one fine beer and was a nice change of pace from the traditional dry stouts poured throughout the day.
I’ve been changing my drinking habits lately. Running around trying to grab every beer that one has never tried is a young man’s game, and I just don’t seem to have the energy for it like I used to. And yes, you can do the logic problem and conclude that I’m not a young man anymore.
Instead, I’ve been grabbing some local beers off the shelf and just kind of hanging out with them. Whether it be a six pack over a long weekend, or a couple (or maybe three) over a period of a couple of weeks (or months). I’ve been just hanging out with the beer, kicking back, relaxing, experiencing it at different times and in different situations, while trying not to let too many other beers distract me.
What is this beer? Does it have a story? Does the story change over time?
Will this improve my reviews? Probably not. But they’ll be changing a bit as well as the wordy intros will probably be whittled down to a few words so that the review is more concise and quicker for you to read.
I also want to use this beer ‘quality time’ to take some photos of the beer and let you all have a peek at what the beer and I are doing in our lives. And the truth is, I’d rather be playing in Lightroom and Photoshop lately than writing long, rambling reviews.
So with that, let’s check out the first beer in this new format, Fordham Brewing’s Dilated Pupilz.
THEM: From the website – “Dilated Pupilz has a solid malt backbone and well balanced hop character. This golden pilsner showcases a distinct hop nose and malty flavor up front but finishes with a floral bitterness. A great beer to enjoy any time of the year.”
The grain bill includes Vienna and Caraform malts, while Bravo, Tradition and Saaz hops balance the load. Pupilz clocks in at 5.0%ABV and 38IBU.
THE BUZZ: Ratebeer (no ratings), Beer Advocate (one rating), Untappd (3.4)
DE AVAILABILITY: Most fine beer outlets.
ME: As you can see by the below photos I’ve been drinking this one for a little while now. I’ve found it mostly to be a beer that drinks pretty nice in most situations without demanding too much attention on itself.
When stored in my super turbo beer over-chiller (aka, my fridge) Pupilz has a clean nose and a just apparent malt taste with some classic Pilsner hop flavors. Every now and then the beer tosses me a citrusy/lemon notes towards the end, not sure if that’s really there, or if it’s my palate doing some of that slight-of-hand stuff that it does sometimes. The end is pretty crisp and doesn’t linger.
I wasn’t sure I liked this beer at first, but in the end it really started to grow on me. In fact, once I had everything I needed for this review, I found myself picking up one last six-pack – you know, just for the hell of it.
As always click on a photo to enlarge and cycle through the gallery to read a little comment or two about each photo.
Time for another beer.
Last major snow storm of the year – last major snow clean up.
Dilated Pupilz is just the name, not the side effects, but still drink responsibly.
Of course after the snow finally thawed it was time to start leaf detail.
A little simmerinig tomato sauce on a Sunday, along with a beer or two.
I was sad to hear that Bill Paxton passed away so I grabbed a beer and cued up one of my favorite movies.
A pleasant surprise finding them both at my local.
The Walking Dead continues to be one of my favorite shows on TV and I look forward to it every week. That doesn’t mean that the show sometimes makes me scratch my head, or just confuse me outright.
I watch the show while at the same time participating in “Live Chat” on a WD Facebook page with like minded people. We watch the show while at the same time making inspiring comments about it, some are deep value adding comments on the technical issues of the show while some are just stupid. Think MST3K. But without the talent. Or the budget.
I wrote a buddy who I used to work with when the show went on mid-season break, but moved to another job not long after. He wanted to know what I thought, and after tossing together some musings on the show based on some of the chat comments I made I thought, why not rewrite it and post it.
I’m always wishing to expand the posts on this blog from just beer related stuff and so here we are. You wonderful people, are the benefactors of this whim. I won’t be posting it on my blog’s FB page as I think I should keep that all beer related, so only you fine people who follow through WordPress or get my blog through email get to see this. Yeah, you!! Happy Valentines day!
The comments in BOLD are what I wrote during live chat, the normal text underneath as context to the comment. OH – and spoilers.
“Do happy tears count?”
This was in response to someone who asked if anyone would cry if Father Gabriel died after raiding (loudly, I mean isn’t anyone on guard) the pantry and driving off in a car. I’ll admit there really wasn’t an out pouring of support from the group for the man, but a tear is a tear, right? But I was told the tears had to be in sadness. Sorry, no can do. I mean, for Jerry who is the new bitchin’ character on this show, yes. Father Gabriel, no.
As for Father Gabriel? He’s dead now because we’ve all seen enough horror movies to know that the person who sat up in the car as he drove away was probably some deranged killer and we all know what happens next.
“Yeah, a boat, looks like the Minnow…just sit right back”
There’s now a picture of a shipwrecked boat in the opening credits montage – because why not? I guess Oceanside is going to be such a big part of this story this year, that they get their own nod in the credits. I mean, it doesn’t look like that boat from that other show that now doesn’t have a boat, but used have a boat – so I think we’re safe.
“googly eye…no s”
Someone in our group accused Coral of giving Enid googly eyes. I had to correct them. But damn that kid was working his eye patch on her. I think she digs the patch.
“Coral is your second gunman?? The one-eyed kid?”
Really? After Rick states that the group only has two guns we find out that Coral is holding the second one. WTF? The one-eyed kid who has a disturbing habit of siting his guns with the non one-eye?
Negan stated in the previous episode that the kid, “mowed down several of my men with a machine gun”, but I don’t think he should get gun privileges for that since that wasn’t his goal going into the whole situation! His objective was to kill Negan, who he missed in spectacular stormtrooper fashion.
Besides, we’ve already established that most of the women in the group are better shots than him even back when he could make googly eyes. No, give the gun to Sasha and let Coral put his patch to less dangerous uses, like flirting with Enid.
“Pot plants! Pot plants as far as the eye can see”
Come on. Guy thinks he’s king, has dreads (that’s racist) and has a CGI tiger which everyone in the kingdom acts as if it is real (come on guys, we know it’s the emperor’s new tiger). Guys run around in catcher’s chest protectors and think they look cool? And Jerry? Well Jerry is just too happy for a guy who is one mistake away from a Roy Horn type CGI tiger attach. You know they’re smoking something. Those tomato plants are hiding something.
“I’d like to see Ezekiel say, “what the fuck was that story about!!?!?””
The story about the dick king who put a stone in the middle of the road which basically crippled his people. The one who put a bag of gold under it because the person who decided to move the stone should be rewarded. That story. WTF? What was the point?
Oh, and not fair that the little girl in the story lost her family’s beer. That’s boss level dickdom right there! What kind of mother tells this story? But then again, Ezekiel uses Martin Luther King speeches as bedtime stories so I guess that’s just the way the world is in this show.
“OH, and hey Morgan, who did Negan kill? How about the two A list characters that aren’t in the room right now.”
Funniest question of the night was when Morgan asks who Negan killed. Who is not there that you’d care about, Morgan? Carol? No, you know where Carol is. Aaron’s husband? No, no one cares about him. In fact, most viewers were probably like me and totally forgot that Aaron was married because the show doesn’t even care to show much of the relationship because even they know it’s boring. The goat from your award-winning standalone episode? Ask the CGI tiger.
Oh, and I love Rosita throwing shade at Morgan, “think you were right, now?” after telling him who is dead. Ah, he was. He told you not to attack the Saviors. If you’d have listened to him Mother Dick and Pizza Boy would still be alive. But Rosita is bringing the Latino heat tonight (more on that in a moment) so I guess she’s not going to let the facts get in the way of a good burn.
“OK guys what do we want to do for this episode? “Group walking. Lots of group walking.””
Really, this episode puts the ‘Walking’ in The Walking Dead. Cue up the Proclaimer’s “500 miles” at the beginning of the credits and I’m sure it syncs up perfectly with the rest of the show. The group seems to spend 1/3 of the TV time walking in loose group formation. It’s like the scene in Deadpool at the end when they’re epic walking toward the bad guys to DMX. Except none of our group are chrome, has a Sinead O’Conner haircut, regenerates axed limbs or knows DMX. Gripping TV.
I always thought fucking the same dead guy automatically made you friends, or at least pinky buddies. I mean, who else are you going to commiserate with at the funeral? Well not in Rosita’s world. The funny thing is just the episode before when the group all re-united, the sisters in blood gave each other a “we cool” nod and I thought Rosita nodded first. Oh well, just goes to show you Rosita don’t give a damn if you’ve fucked the same dead guy – which I’m hoping will become the new running gag for the show where all the women take turns pegging Rosita’s men – and then the men die.
“This is Negan on 94.7 FM on your radio dial bringing [you] all of the post zombie apocalypse hits”
The team gets a walkie-talkie (courtesy of Jesus because, plot!) to listen in on Negan’s men and we find out that Negan doesn’t really want to be a spaghetti cooking mean girl, husband to 100 women, or ruler of the world. No, all he wants is to be an FM radio disc jockey! Really, Negan’s over the airwaves eulogizing of Fat Joey was funny as shit, not to mention very important information for his men, because you know, now that fat Joey is dead, thin Joey has been promoted to just Joey. You wouldn’t want to make that mistake at the next spaghetti night.
“that was COOL AS FUCK!!”
As totally impractical and impossible as it was, that Slice Capade (credit to the fine folks at Talking Dead for the name) scene was dope as hell. Just when you think you’ve run out of ways to kill a herd of zombies in one glorious CGI blood bath, Scott Gimble and his gang says, “hold our beer” and we get a presentation of zombie purging that just makes you laugh out loud (as opposed to LOL which is an entirely different thing) plus the most impressive demonstration of cable related carnage since Ghost Ship.
Yeah, it was about an 8.5 on the white van impossibility scale, but it still was an awesome visual and a gratuitous reason to toss zombie guts all over the camera.
“He went to find Jesus…doesn’t know he’s one town over”
Where did Father Gabriel go? That question was asked many times throughout the night. I suggested he left to find Jesus. The thing is that in this world finding Jesus is easier than you’d think. He’s usually in the next town over distributing communication equipment. Oh, he goes by Paul now because this time around Jesus is way more down to earth.
“HE SMILED!!!!! HOLY CRAP THE GUY SMILED!!”
When they were in the car after the Slice Capade, Michonne asked Rick to smile but he didn’t. I commented that he couldn’t smile, and then in the last shot, he did. What did he see? Or was it who?
The show’s producers say it was because Rick realizes he’s found his army, but I think he was just happy with all the women because it gives him more dating options because you know Michonne has lived well past the “Rick Grimes love interest” shelf life that this show has established.
And there you have it. Just some random stupid thoughts about a show that just seems to ask for them. Not sure if this will become a weekly thing or not, but you never know. If you liked it, subscribe to find out. If you thought it was shit let me know in the comments. I won’t promise that it will make the next one less shitty, but I will promise that you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you made no impact on its quality what so ever.
If nothing else, I’ll probably be doing a review of Iron Fist when it drops in March, which won’t be the first time I’ve written about the Netflix Marvel universe.
Whether by design or by happenstance, Dogfish Head has been helping me out greatly as of late with a couple of beer releases that apparently have been made specifically to accompany certain everyday activities.
It started with Beer to Listen to Music To, a nice little Belgian Triple that as the name would seem to indicate should pair well with my music listening habits.
But recently DFH took a big leap in the enabling of a more questionable habit by offering up their latest libation in the manner of their stout styled Beer For Breakfast.
Now I don’t have any reprobation about sipping suds at sunrise, after all, I’ve participated in some recreational activities that almost demand you drink a beer regardless of what time it is. You all night BBQers and homebrewers know what I mean, right? That’s right. Get it up there!
But unfortunately there was once a time when my forenoon festivities were not the occasional hobby related indulgence, no sadly I’m talking some “8:30am is the new happy hour” level stuff here. Not to say that my experience is unusual. I’m sure many of you out their have similar stories.
Quickly put, I spent a lot of my early work years in north New Jersey working straight shifts that ran from 11pm to 8am, which meant that many of my (and my fellow employee’s) “Friday nights” often started at 8:20 in the morning at the nearest bar that would cash our paycheck and more often than not, ended when the 11am lunch crowd started to file in with a look of both loathing and disgust on their faces as they realized we’d already been drinking there all morning.
Nothing harshes your Long Island Ice Tea induced breakfast buzz like people who have been working all morning taking seats at the bar while loudly nattering about how Steve once again conveniently forgot that it was his turn to bring in the Friday doughnuts.
Nothing harshes your Long Island Ice Tea induced breakfast buzz like people who have been working all morning taking seats at the bar while loudly nattering about how Steve once again conveniently forgot that it was his turn to bring in the Friday doughnuts. So my morning would usually end with me yelling, “You’re an assistant manager, Steve! Spring for some freaking Krispy Kremes once in awhile you cheap bastard!” as the bar’s manager roughly tried to pry my hands off the door jam as I resisted being tossed out into the sunlight like a vampire in a John Carpenter horror movie.
But I’m older, wiser (don’t laugh) and my job is now a normal 9-5 gig that contains none of the benefits and almost all of the occupational and social stigma from starting to pop tops when you roll out of bed to the annoying buzz of a 7am alarm clock.
But now here comes DFH with Beer For Breakfast, a stout whose ingredients are so Mrs Butterworth meets Juan Valdez it’s as if the brewer is handing me a plate at the beginning of a Golden Corral breakfast buffet line while reassuring me that nothing bad has ever come from drinking 7.4%ABV beers first thing in the morning. I have experience that says otherwise.
This is a coffee stout. Through and through. From the aroma, to the flavor, to the intense blackness in the glass as if like you’re looking into Darth Vadar’s soul.
THEM: From the website, “A stout tricked out with all sorts of breakfast ingredients including Guatemalan Antigua cold press coffee, Maple syrup harvested from Western Massachusetts and for the quintessential Delaware breakfast touch – Rapa Scrapple and their secret blend of spices.
2-row Applewood smoked barley, Kiln Coffee malt, Flaked oats, Roasted barley, Caramel malt along with additions of Molasses, Milk Sugars (lactose), Brown Sugar, Roasted Chicory lay the foundation for this malty, breakfast-themed concoction. Enjoy huge notes of coffee in the nose and savory layers in the flavor.”
Beer for Breakfast clocks in at 7.4%ABV and 30IBU.
THE BUZZ: Beer Advocate 89%, Untappd 3.88, Rate Beer 97%
AVAILABILITY: Readily available in DE.
ME: Before we address the 800 pound post-processed porcine product in the room let’s get to the heart of this beer and the reason I underlined “coffee” and “chicory” in the above description.
This is a coffee stout. Through and through. From the aroma, to the flavor, to the intense blackness in the glass as if like you’re looking into Darth Vadar’s soul. The sugars play nicely together, with hints of maple syrup and brown sugar popping out in the aroma and flavor every now while supplying a velvety mouth feel and sweetness for all that roast flavor to play out on, but Beer For Breakfast never strays to far from its roots, from the the first sniff to the sticky iced coffee after taste.
But let’s prattle the pork….the scrapple! I’ve read a few reviews/comments that say they don’t taste any of the scrapple in the beer. On the one hand, that’s a relief because on the package a Rapa scrapple I opened the other day (by the way, all the women of the Kerper clan from my mom to my great-grandmother salute DFH’s use of Rapa – that’s the stuff right there) listed pork snouts as the third ingredient. Not sure I want to taste that in my beer.
But on the other hand it’s not just the meat that makes scrapple, it’s the blend of spices as well and after about half a glass I could almost convince myself that I was getting some woodsy spices out of the nose, plus a slight warmth like a pepper in the after taste.
If you’re a beer hunter and a DFH fan, you’ve probably already tried this. If you are and you haven’t – there’s nothing here to make me discourage you from giving it a shot, just as long as you remember that the key word here is coffee. As for the casual fan or everyday drinking? Well, at a $15 a six price point I don’t think I’ll be buying too much of it. Your dollars may vary. Having said that, I applaud DFH for at least not dropping it down to a 4-pack. Because in 2017 just like 2016, 4-packs are devil witchery.