Biergartenhaus and Elikeh Afro-pop

I’ll just put this out there, yes my eyes in this picture are different sizes. I have no idea why! (Lens distortion from being too close to the camera?) They aren’t usually like that I promise you!

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And the picture is dark but the beer glass is bigger than my head! I ordered the Kostrizer Schwarzbier at Biergartenhaus in DC! While this is a dark beer, the flavor could be fuller to me. I’m so accustomed to drinking porters and stouts that, even though this is probably a good beer, it seems like its lacking something to me.

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Later, at the Rock and Roll Hotel, at the upstairs bar, I ordered the Bell’s Special Double Cream Stout by Bell’s Brewery of Kalamazoo, Michigan at 6.1% abv.

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I was happy to find this beer again! Light chocolate and toffee, medium/thick mouthfeel, slightly charred, caramel, low carbonation, slightly bitter aftertaste.

Then I made my way downstairs where the stage is and watched some really cool unusual bands. After a drum circle, there was a ska band, the Chariots, that got everyone jumping and moving around. And then my friend’s band Elikeh preformed! (pronounced L. E. K.) They are an afro pop band, and while I had no idea what afro-pop was I figured we were about to find out! They had a very cool sound and unusual instruments like the sax and flute. My friend Scott plays bass and he tore it up during his bass solo! I’m glad we got a good group out to see them, live music is always the best!

Theater Night

Jack, Mark, Kristen and I planned a theater night to my favorite DC area theater, the Synetic Theater, to see Genesis Reboot. Jack had to cancel because he would be on the plane back from a work trip during the play, but I asked Trevor and he filled in as a date for me! Jack ended up meeting us for drinks after.

After the show, which was odd and artsy, we made our way to Rustico in Alexandria. Rustico, while not being open terribly late, has an amazing beer menu! The beer menu has its own binder! And they have quite a number of taps, around 30, that you can also sample in smaller sizes!

I saw a couple of beers on the menu that I haven’t had before, and I was in the mood to try something new and unusual.

I started off the night with Al-Iksir (pronounced elixir) by Birrificio Le Baladin of Piozzo, Italy at 10% abv.

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It was a beer they had on tap, so unfortunately I don’t have a cool bottle photo for you. It had an unusual appearance in the glass though. No sign of carbonation whatsoever. Almost viscous, syrupy appearance.

Sweet and fruity, like tropical fruit. I don’t even know what kind of fruit this is?! Passion fruit? Mangoes? Also a little pear and apricot. Seems very summery since it has these odd tropical flavors to it. Very smooth and buttery. I would get this again just because its kinda odd. But one glass was more than enough for now.

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Kristin went with samples! I love how you can make your own flights! She picked some very dark, flavorful heavy hitters, so the sample size is just perfect!

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And in keeping with the trend of new and unusual beers I ordered the Hitachino Nest 3 Days by Kiuchi Brewery of Japan at 8% abv.

I think I had to go with this beer because it had an unusual story. Apparently during the brewing of this beer, the earthquake hit Japan and this beer got stuck in the mash tun for three days while the power was out. By that time, it had naturally fermented. And often when there is natural fermentation, it comes out kinda tart and funky.

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The waitress really tried to talk me out of getting this beer! She kept insisting in her Eastern European accent that it would be too strange and to maybe go for a sampler. I really like tart and funky beers so I stuck to my guns and told her to bring me a glass.

And it was ok, I’m really used to sour beers and so it really wasn’t that strange. It was different from Flemish Reds because it was a bit fruitier and milder. It looked very similar to the previous beer I ordered. Again, almost no carbonation, and thick and viscous. It was supposed to be a wheat beer and some of that comes through, a little bready and citrusy. Interesting to see and taste what happens with natural fermentation. I‘m a fan.

Snowshoe Beers

During the final day of skiing in WV, the conditions starting deteriorating and I saw people getting hurt and loaded onto the litters almost every run. So around lunchtime, I called it quits for the day and headed inside to shower and get started on some beers!

First up I had the Tallgrass Buffalo Sweat Stout by Tallgrass Brewing Company of Manhattan, Kansas at 5% abv. Ok and I have to admit, I really only got this beer because 1.) it was in a can 2.) the name! haha!

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Quite dark, roasted malt, some light chocolate and sweet creamy milk flavors. But unfortunately not stand out. Its just not very complex. Which is ok! It tastes how it should for a milk stout.

Next, I really changed it up. I opened the Midas Touch by Dogfish Head Brewery of Milton, DE at 9% abv.

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This beer is truly one of a kind. Quite a lot to handle actually! Between the high alcohol and the overwhelming flavors, it’s a lot to process! I usually drink this beer when I really want something sweet and wine-like.

Hits you with lots of honey and grapes. I would have almost said concord grapes, but its technically muscat grapes. Very full grape flavor, not artificial, and dry.  High carbonation, but easy to drink, the alcohol is also well hidden even though its 9%.

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And of course the Duchess. Can I ever go on a trip without bringing her? One of my all time favorites.

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Brought a big bottle to split, the Kasteel Donker by Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck of Inglemunster, Belgium at 11% abv.

Pours with slightly reddish hues. Sweet, caramel, plums, brown sugar, slight spiciness, Belgian yeasts.

The ladies challenged Ryan (the toughest, strongest man we know) to arm wrestling. I even joined in, and used my feet, but no go. What a day, by the end I was exhausted, haha and drunk!

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More Snowshoe

OK, I have been terrible at blogging recently. I got caught up reading the Game of Thrones series. They are damn big books! But I finished all five books this month and now I can catch up on all the beer posts that I have neglected.

So way back in Feb, I still have a few things to finish up.

At Snowshoe, I had some great beers, like the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen of Brauerie Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla of Bamberg, Germany at 5.4% abv. Holy crap that’s a mouthful! I don’t even know where to start to pronounce that!

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But who cares about pronunciation when it was a great beer! I’ll admit, I rarely drink German beers. I don’t really like Pilsners and I find almost everything that is not a pils to be quite boring and tasteless. Sorry! (Although, I’m open to trying new beers, so if there’s something fabulous that I should try that’s German, let me know!) This German beer was awesome though!

Its dark and smoky,woody, and actually tastes a little like bacon! The smoke is soft and not overpowering, it allows other flavors through. This was a great beer to have on a ski weekend and sip before a fire! I will be having this one again!

Oh, and of course, it was right before Mardi Gras so we had beads and King Cake! Ryan was just plain creepy though.

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Next, I had the Terrapin Moo-Hoo again. I already reviewed this beer, but its fast becoming a favorite! (ps- like the Harpoon UFO shirt? Yep, got that when we toured the brewery!)

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Somehow, twister is our new favorite game. (I think I can blame this on Liz, haha!) But it always gets brought along for big parties, trips to the Red, and ski weekends! Its absolutely hilarious!

The twister mat is obviously meant for children, so seeing four adults trying to squeeze on is too funny. Of course, inappropriate positions happen as well as aggressively and purposefully checking people off the mat! 

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Weekend at Snowshoe!

Friday before Presidents day weekend, we packed up the car and drove out to Snowshoe to ski and party with 20 of our closest friends! Novak got us a wonderful house and so of course we got down to drinking while waiting for all the car loads of people to show up!

Upon arriving, Novak opened up one of her big bottles and was nice enough to share it with me! Thanks! We split the Widmer Brothers Barrel Ages Bourbon ‘11 by Widmer Brothers Brewing Company of Portland, Oregon at 9.4% abv.

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A very good beer! Bourbon and oak, caramel, hints of vanilla. Slightly bitter. The carbonation is low, which suits the beer perfectly giving is a very smooth and creamy feel. Lovely.

Next up, I opened a beer that I’ve had once before, but not for a very long time. I remember really liking it and I was kinda hesitant to try it again because I was afraid it wouldn’t be as good as I remembered!

I had the Terrapin Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout by Terrapin Beer Company of Athens, Georgia at 6% abv. (Wow, a beer from Georgia! I feel like I rarely drink any beers from GA. Nice!)

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Yep. This beer is fun, and every bit as good as I remember it! Its like chocolate milk for adults! This is a very sweet beer, very chocolaty, slightly bitter roasted malts, hints of vanilla. Low carbonation, smooth, creamy and milky on the tongue. I had to remind myself to slow down!

And then as more people started to arrive we broke out the Cherry Moonshine. We all kept eyeing up the cherries in the bottom thinking it would be nice to try one. Just opening the jar was almost enough to scare me away! We all grabbed one, snapped this pic and popped them in our mouths. I’m sure we all made horrible faces because the cherries were like little death bombs! All alcohol and almost no cherry flavor. That was the last of the moonshine for me that weekend!

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Trevor on the other hand, killed multiple cherries at once and showed us how it was done.

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Rob’s Birthday Bar Golf

For the past couple of years for Rob’s birthday, he’s done a pub golf bar crawl. It’s legit. With scorecards and everything.

First drink of the night: Black and Tan

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As you can see, its gonna be a long night. haha

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Rob is in the back, dressed as the eagle. Get it?

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Second drink of the night: Kamikazi

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Believe me, this bar crawl is chaotic. I forgot to take pictures at the next few bars, but drink five was whisky.

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This was Novak’s favorite stop I think. She knows much more about whisky than I do, so I let her pick mine.

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The last few years of pub golf usually include a really good beer bar on the list with a Belgian beer as the eagle. Not this year. So disappointed. I don’t usually drink liquor, so I was very happy even to get a cider!

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And finally at the last bar, DT was available!

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This night was wild and crazy. Once we hit the last bar, everyone was drunk and all over the place. But I finally managed to make it to the end of the whole bar crawl! And on the plus side I didn’t give Rob a black eye!

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Party on!

Jared’s Send Off

Whitney organized a going away for Jared, so we all met up at Flying Fish for sushi in Old Town.

As soon as I walked in I spied Erica at the bar so I stopped to have a beer before I went downstairs.

Delirium Tremens. I often just call it DT when I order, but the bartender just looked at me in confusion so I had to help him out with that one. haha!

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Along with our sashimi platter Novak had Sake while I had the Bell’s Porter.

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And I cant believe I didn’t manage to get a picture with Jared! So here’s one from a costume party during the summer. 

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Cheers Jared!