Thanksgiving

Jack and I traveled to Johnstown, PA for Thanksgiving. I like going home, we usually lie around and do nothing all day and watch TV (we don’t have a TV so this is a lot of fun for us) and then go out drinking with my friends at night!

There were only 6 of us for Thanksgiving and none of us particularly like turkey so my mom made lamb! (my absolute favorite)

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Eleven pounds of meat were destroyed. Very few leftovers.

For dessert (while we digested, before we had pie) we had a beer that my dad and his friend Randy (mostly his friend Randy) brewed! He brought it home in a growler, and hadn’t yet tried it himself. It was a Chocolate Oatmeal Stout!

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Cheers! This is probably the best home brewed beer I’ve ever had! The flavors were so apparent and clean. Probably the most oatmeal flavor I’ve tasted in a beer, and it was fantastic! The oatmeal flavor was baked and toasted. Smooth and chewy. Rich and chocolatey. Light on the hops. Light on the carbonation, probably because it was transported in a growler and in the fridge for a day. Brewers could learn from Randy. Hopefully he brews again, I may have to beg my dad to get another growler!

After pie,sitting by the fire, watching football, and card games, we headed out to Tulune’s Southside Saloon to meet some friends for a few beers.

After seeing what they had on tap, I knew exactly what I wanted.

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I wanted to try mixing the Southern Tier Crème Brulee Stout with the Kasteel Rouge.

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I really like mixing beers, this one blew my mind it was so good! It was almost flavor overload. Butterscotch and vanilla meets raspberries with dark stout roasted goodness.

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I also learned that Redbeard should never be in the foreground of a photo. This picture makes me look like a midget.

When it was time for another beer, I meandered down to the beer cooler and began the search for my next beer. I love staring into a beer cooler, its like a kid in a candy shop or a kid picking ice cream flavors! The possibilities are so exciting!

Anyway, my choice didn’t take very long, I saw the Trappistes Rochefort 10 by Brasserie De Rochefort (Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy) and was sold.

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It’s a Belgian Quadruple so you know its going to be sweet! It’s sweet but not sugary or syrupy, fruity like raisins and plums. The alcohol is warming but very well hidden for a beer that is 11.3% not overwhelming and boozy. Medium-full mouthfeel, very smooth. I wish this beer were easier to get, everywhere that always claims to carry it, never have it in stock. So when I see this beer, its one of my favorites, I will always get it! Thank you for carrying it Tulune’s!

Aubrie’s Pre Thanksgiving Soup Dinner

Thanksgiving eve, Aubrie invited us over for a delicious soup dinner! She made potato soup, taco soup, and chicken noodle soup. And they all had special toppings like bacon, sour cream, cheese, onions, and chips. So good!

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I know I’ve had this beer, Left Hand Milk Stout, many times before but its damn good (and easy to find in the grocery stores in the area) and a great beer to share! I find that a lot of people who don’t necessarily think they like stouts end up liking it!

Again, sweet malt milk, chocolate, coffee.

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Karen and I waiting for some soup! I choose the potato with bacon.

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For dessert, I had another beer!

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This is Genie, she is showing us how to be “hipster.” Or at least what we all imagine hipster to be. haha, thanks Genie!

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Ok, not gonna lie, this is kind of a random post. So I’m just gonna throw up another picture that doesn’t have to do with beer, hi Nick! Nice face, no, you don’t look like you’ve been drinking at all!

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And with that, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

We finally made a reservation and had dinner at Et Voila!

We have been wanting to go to dinner at Et Voila for a while, tried showing up once without a reservation, fail, and so we finally made a reservation days in advance and had dinner at Et Voila!

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I was pretty excited to go because it’s a Belgian restaurant with a good Belgian beer selection.

I was thrilled to see Christmas beers on the menu! I immediately ordered the Gouden Carolus Noel by Brouwerij Het Anker of Mechelen, Belgium, 10% abv.

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First of all, yes, we are actually in a nice restaurant, not a diner! haha! The seat behind me brings to mind a crappy diner since its bright orange. How Et Voila pulls this off and still makes it seem like a nice restaurant is beyond me. The funny thing is, I didn’t even notice the orange seats until I saw the pictures!

Ok, back to the beer. I may think Christmas decorations and music are shit, but the Christmas/ holiday beers are fabulous! Yeasty and sweet, yep that’s a Belgian beer for you, but much more. Dark fruits, figs, plums, brown sugar, maybe a bit of licorice, oak, a few spices, cloves, peppermint. A little boozy, the alcohol is detectable, but not in a bad way.

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I love drinking this beer. I always forget about it and then I’m pleasantly surprised when I re-discover it every December.

Even the food is cute! They accidentally brought me the wrong order, but I’m not too picky (at least when it comes to gourmet burgers) and I was starving and unwilling to wait another 15 minutes for my original order to be brought out. This little burger was delicious!

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Next, I ordered the Straffe Hendrik Bruges Tripel 9 by Brouwerij Straffe Hendrik/ De Halve Maan of Bruges, Belgium 9% abv.

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This was the only beer on the menu that I had never tried before, and multiple people have asked me if I’ve had it, so, I’m glad I had a chance to finally try it!

A very well done triple, unfortunately I don’t think this style hits the spot for me anymore, I’m just really drawn to the darker beers. Anyway, sweet with hints of apricots and citrus, bready. Very smooth, light and creamy.

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No wonder this place is a must for reservations, we were there for over two and a half hours! That’s the best kind of dinner though, good beer and not hurried, gives you time to enjoy everything!

Meat Pies!

Thursday night Jack cooked meat pies again! We ended up inviting quite a few people, not a problem, but I think we need to invest in a few extra chairs!

The meat pies are kind of make-your-own, similar to tacos. We roll out biscuit tops and bottoms and you can choose meat type (chicken or pulled pork), cheese (blue, mozzarella, or cheddar), and fillings like mashed potatoes, veggies and spices.

Of course there was lots of beer to be had! Steve showed up before anyone else and brought a beer, so we split it 3 ways. We tried Epic Fermentation Without Representation Imperial Pumpkin Porter by Epic Brewing Company Utah 7.5% abv.

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Its really strange having the dark roasted malts of a porter and mixing in the spices of a pumpkin pie. Cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon. We didn’t get too much pumpkin flavor, but we did get a whole lot of flavor. Also had hints of chocolate and vanilla, very smooth. Thanks Steve!

Next, to go with my meat pie, I had a Troubadour Obscura of Brouwerij De Musketiers in Ursel, Belgium at 8.5% abv.

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I think I may have already discussed this beer on here before, but it’s truly one of my favorite go-to beers. It’s hard to find stouts coming out of Belgium, and I love stouts and Belgium beers so it’s a no brainer that I love this beer! I think it’s actually considered a mild stout, not 100% sure what that actually means, but compared to the other stouts I normally love, this beer is a little on the thinner side. It makes it very drinkable, but does not have that full, rich mouthfeel. Dark caramel malts, and slightly fruity, subtle chocolate.

Ryan had the biggest meat pie ever!

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And Dave was the biggest man in the tiniest chair!

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And I had another beer for my after meat pie dessert! I drank the Wychwood Hobgoblin by Wychwood Brewery Company of Witney, Oxon, UK (England) 5.2% abv.

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Its considered an English Brown Ale and I think its very well done. Caramel and brown bread, malty, not too sweet, almost tangy. Smooth and a little bit of a dry finish.

I think everyone left full. We even had enough left over that Jack and I were having meat pies for the next day!

Dinner for 3, and I make a Pie!

Tuesday night, we had Kristen over for dinner since her boyfriend, Mark, was out of town. I was pretty excited and seeing Jack making a bunch of food kind of made me want to make something. So I aimed high and decided to make an apple pie! You have to understand, I cant really cook or bake. The only thing I have ever used the oven for was frozen pizza, chicken nuggets, and cookies that you cut from a log and place on a sheet. So, going from that to a pie was a big jump for me. I had the recipe in front of me and my mom on the phone for every step of the process, and Jack watching over my shoulder too. But it turned out fantastic! And I made homemade whipped cream (thank you Sara and her blog Call Me Fudge) to go with the pie!

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It even looked good too! I’m so proud!

Ok, now on to the beers!

When Kristen arrived we opened and split a beer that I have had since the spring! I had forgotten we had it in the back of the fridge and when I pulled it out the label piqued my curiosity. We split Antigoon brewed by Brewerij De Musketiers of Ursel, Belgium, considered a Belgian Pale Ale at 6.8% abv.

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I learned that this beer was originally commissioned by Brasserie Beck here in DC to be brewed by Brewerij De Musketiers. So it was only available at first on tap at Brasserie Beck, but became popular enough for them to bottle it and distribute it here in the US.

Poured an inviting hazy, golden yellow with a very yeasty aroma. Belgian beers are so unmistakable with their big bready yeastiness and delicate fruity sweetness. Nice full mouthfeel, medium to low carbonation. And toward the end a little citrus and tartness. Very well done beer!

As we got further on into dinner, which was amazing (thank you Jack,) we opened a bottle that Kristen brought. She said she had brought it all the way from her Alaska trip but had been saving it because she wanted to drink it with other people who would really appreciate it. Well, I think she brought it to the right place!

We split the Alaskan Smoked Porter from the Alaskan Brewing Co of Juneau, Alaska 6.5% abv.

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WOW! Pours very dark and inviting! With the first sip, its nearly overwhelming! Campfire and BBQ smoke, smoked bacon, woody, hints of chocolate and coffee. Nice and creamy and thick, it all works very well together.

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You probably can’t drink this whole bottle by yourself so it’s a great bottle to split! It went very well with the steak, asparagus, and mashed potatoes.  A perfect Tuesday night dinner!

Waiting for Jack

Saturday night, Jack was supposed to fly home from Mexico. His flight got cancelled and I suddenly had nothing to do on a Saturday night. So of course I had a beer! I searched Netflix for a movie and cracked open New Holland Envious from New Holland  Brewing Company of Michigan, 7.5% abv.

I was a little surprised after the first sip! This was a fruit beer! Sweet with raspberries, raisins, almost like grape juice. Caramel, slightly chocolately, and hints of oak. I don’t think Jack would have really liked this beer so tonight was a great time to drink it! I have started to like fruit beers a bit more for a change. They aren’t everyday drinking, but for a taste of something sweet and dessert like, it hits the spot.

After Climbing

After climbing at the gym today I came home ravenously hungry, destroyed dinner, and needed a beer!

I almost picked out a different beer, but decided to treat myself and open the Traquair 2020 brewed by Traquair House Brewery of Peeblesshire, United Kingdom (Scotland), English Barleywine style at 10% abv.

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Immediately upon pouring the aroma was strongly apparent, dark and fruity, and sweet and boozy, and I wasn’t even sticking my nose in the beer, I was feet away! Poured with almost no head. Tasted of dark fruits, figs, molasses, a little smoky, very complex. The alcohol was not overpowering and well hidden. Full mouthfeel.

This beer is amazing, perfect for a chilly night, I really took my time with it and enjoyed it. So delicious, I don’t know if I’ll be seeing it around again since it was only brewed once, but if I do I’d definitely pick it up again!