Amber comes to visit!

This Sunday, Jack’s sister, Amber came up from North Carolina to visit and we got to meet her boyfriend Joaquin and their 4 month old baby girl Liliarose!

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We decided to catch up over some delicious pizzas and beers at Lost Dog Café on Columbia Pike.

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While waiting for the pizzas I had the Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series) by Bluegrass Brewing Company of Louisville, Kentucky at 8.6% abv.

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This beer seemed to get better and better as I drank it! Roasted malts, hints of chocolate and coffee, very flavorful oak and char. Vanilla and woody. The woodiness and oak flavor was amazing.

When the pizzas came I also ordered a Maredsous 8 by Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat of Belgium at 8% abv.

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This beer is stellar! Always a solid choice.

It gets better as it warms slightly. Fruity, almost like grapes, plums, and dark fruits. Bready and yeasty, brown sugar and molasses. A great sipping beer, very complex.

After dinner we headed home for another drink! I had the perfect beer in mind, and I knew Amber would enjoy and appreciate it, so I figured it was the perfect time to open it!

We all split the Southern Tier Crème Brulee Stout by Southern Tier Brewery of Lakewood, NY at 9.6% abv.

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So delicious! And so sweet! I can never drink very much of this beer because I find it overwhelming! Caramel and butterscotch up front, vanilla, hints of chocolate, roasted malts, creamy. Very thick mouthfeel, almost chewy, smooth texture. Probably one of the sweetest beers I have had, its gotta be split with at least one other person, or else I would have a very hard time finishing the bottle on my own.

I’m super happy we finally got a chance to catch up with Amber and meet Joaquin and Liliarose! I can’t wait till they come visit again!

Game Night at Jude and Lisa’s

Saturday we braved the cold temperatures and headed over to Jude and Lisa’s for game night!

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I started off the night with Guinness Draught Nitro-Can which is an Irish dry stout by Guinness Ltd. of Dublin, Ireland at 4.2% abv.

You guys know this beer I’m sure! Even though I’ve seen it  hundreds of times, I always marvel in the beautiful cascading bubbles and the incredibly creamy head.

We tired playing Smallworld but eventually quit because there were too many rules and we were jealous of the other tables having more fun. I left to join a game of Taboo. I also opened a St George’s Porter by the St George’s Brewing Company of Hampton, VA at 5% abv.

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Dark roasted malts, chocolate and toffee, dark fruits and raisins. Mildly sweet, smooth and dry. Very little carbonation. Very drinkable, before I knew it, it was gone!

Date Night at Granville Moore’s

Friday night, not much was going on, so Jack and I went out for dinner and drinks to Granville Moore’s on H St in DC.

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I started off the night with a St.Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition by Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck of Ingelmunster, Belgium at 5% abv. (Gueuze is pronounced like Gooz, rhymes with “lose” or “snooze”)

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I like how the bartender warned me ahead of time that it wouldn’t be sweet. I’ve had this beer before so I was prepared, but it is usually located in beer menus under the lambic section and people (usually women) choose lambics because they will be sweet. But I love tart and sour beers and this one is pretty funky!

Tart and dry, almost mouthwatering. Also, very carbonated, but it works well because it is so sour. Lemony and apple cider vinegary. Very unusual, definitely a beer to try if you want something different!

With dinner we decided to split the Ommegang Seduction by Brewery Ommegang of Cooperstown, NY at 6.8% abv.

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Strong malty character, very dark chocolate, almost dry and bitter. After the first couple of sips you start to notice something else, a hint of cherries!

This was a well-done chocolate beer, but not my favorite, definitely worth a try!

I cant wait to go back to Granville Moore’s. It’s the inside that I love, if I lived closer I would definitely be a regular there. I love the exposed walls, the heavy dark wood bar and tables, wooden chairs that used to be in a church, and a good bartender with awesome beer stories! Makes for a fantastic night of sipping stellar beers!

Joe’s Wine

Over Thanksgiving, Bartender Joe from the Southside Saloon in Johnstown, gave me one of his homemade wines!

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Thanks Joe! You’ll have to forgive me for using an old picture, I think it’s the only one I have!

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I do not drink a lot of wine, so my descriptive vocabulary is very limited but I thought it was good! I’m super impressed that he made this at home! It was a nice change from beer!

Look what I found!

Chimay cheese at Whole Foods!

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I’ve never run across Chimay cheese before, so I had to try it out!

I don’t usually review cheese, so here’s what the Chimay website says about the cheese: Fruity and Intense!

-The rind is washed in Chimay Trappist beer.

-Sense the authentic odor of the cellar

– Unctuous and supple texture

-Delicate aroma of hops and apricot-peach scent

It is definitely all these things, very intense. I wish I had a Chimay Red to drink with it!

Hitchcock Movie Night with Kaitlyn and Andy

Sunday afternoon we headed up in to DC to Kaitlyn and Andy’s for dinner and a movie!

Let me first just say, Kaitlyn is probably one of my oldest friends, we grew up as neighbors and have been friends since we were six years old. And she came and visited me every day that I had chemo, so Kaitlyn is a rad, rad girl. Now that’s a good friend, and something you never forget.

Anyway, they had me over last year for a Hitchcock movie night and decided to do it again! This time, we watched Vertigo.

But first, of course, drinks!

We brought a couple beers but I decided to let Andy make me a drink. He’s good at fixing drinks. I had a bourbon and soda with lime.

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They have a record player! And some great records too! We picked out some Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd to listen to, because sadly, it was the first time I heard them on vinyl and I was pretty excited!

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And we split a huge fruit bowl! It was almost frightening!

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Before you ask, yes, those were blood oranges, not raw pieces of meat slipped in with the fruit!

During the movie, I sipped on a Boddingtons Pub Ale from Manchester, England at 4.7% abv.

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I have to admit, there’s always something exciting about pouring a beer from a nitro can. The beautiful cascading effect. The fact that you can pour the can from completely vertical and that it will still foam just the right amount and never spill over. The two to three fingers of beautiful creamy head. Ok, anyway, its strange to see all that foamy head on top of a pale ale and not a Guinness. The beer is ok. I haven’t had a Boddingtons in forever and decided to give it a try. Just seems like a regular pale ale to me. A bit hoppy, but very smooth and creamy.

Vertigo was good too. It’s kind of strange to watch older movies. I don’t know if it was the acting or the directing, but I couldn’t guess what was about to happen next throughout the whole movie! I thought it was very different from modern movies where it is very easy to see where the movie is going and who is the “bad guy.”

Reel Rock at Katie’s

We missed last year’s get together, but this year we were definitely making it to Katie’s to re-watch the Reel Rock Film Tour.

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The Reel Rock Film Tour is a bunch of short films of noteworthy (awesome, kick ass) climbers/ ascents from the past year. They are completely inspiring and my hands get sweaty even thinking of the climbs and physical ways these climbers are able to push themselves.

And of course we had some beers! I’m slowly making my way through all the beers in my fridge.

I started off with Bell’s Special Double Cream Stout  by Bell’s Brewery of Michigan 6.1% abv.

(Hi Katie! Thanks again for having us over!)

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This was also one of the beers I got in my Secret Santa 6-pack (thank you Rob) and I was very much looking forward to opening this beer. It did not disappoint!

Roasted malts, milk chocolate, a little smoky, and very smooth and creamy going down. If I can find this beer again, I will definitely pick it up. I wish I had more than one!

Next up, yet another beer from the secret 6-pack, the Buckwheat After Dark by BJ Rockers Brewing Company of Spartanburg, SC at 6% abv.

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Dark wheat ale, tastes like molasses, toffee, biscuits, and wheat. Moderate carbonation with a dry finish. Not bad, I was expecting a little more from it though.

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Climbing movies are awesome because they get you psyched to climb again! And right now in the boring winter months, that’s exactly what I need!