Game Night

The weekend before New Year’s nobody felt like going out, so Novak and Mark had us over for game night!

I’m not gonna lie, game nights are awesome because you get to sit around in sweatpants all night and drink beer!

I started the night off with a beer that I got for a secret Santa 6 pack exchange, De Koninck by Brouwerij De Koninck of Antwerp, Belgium at 5% abv.

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A solid Belgian pale ale. Tastes soft and bready, light fruit flavors, medium bodied and malty. Clean and crisp finish.

One of the highlights of the night though was the board game that Rob brought. It was called BANG! and once we got the hang of it, we played it four times I think! The funny part was that it was an Italian western game. The cards were primarily in Italian, but thankfully also had English at the bottom of the card.

There were bandits, an outlaw, deputy sheriffs and a sheriff, but nobody knew who was who. The hardest part was knowing who was on your side, everybody could bluff so anyone could be lying! It was a great time. I think by the time we were done with the four games, we had had too much beer to learn the intricate rules of anything else!

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During the games I had a few more beers. I had the Gingerbread Ale by Bison Brewing Co of Berkeley, CA at 6% abv.

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I had previously had another beer by Bison Brewing and absolutely loved it! I thought this one might be equally awesome, but it fell a little shy of the mark. It wasn’t bad, but I thought there would be more explosion of gingerbread flavor. Light flavors of brown sugar, cinnamon, molasses. Moderate carbonation. I was hoping for much more ginger!

Then we split a few big bottles. I was quite pleased to open the Delirium Noel by Brouwerij Huyghe of Melle, Belgium at 10% abv.  I also got to have more bundt cake sent from Baton Rouge by Novak’s mom!

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The bundt cake and the Noel went well together. It was sudden dessert time! Tastes of plums and cherries, the usual Belgian sweetness but not overpowering. Light christmas/ holiday spicing. Hints of banana? Earthy yeast and so smooth.

Next we tried a Southern Tier beer that I took over to Novak’s months earlier and we never drank. We all split the Southern Tier Back Burner by Southern Tier Brewery of Lakewood, NY at 9.6% abv.

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Back Burner was an Imperial Barleywine and I just found it to be too hoppy to truly enjoy. But I guess that’s what you get with an American style barleywine. The insane amount of hops didn’t allow the others flavors to be truly enjoyed.

To wrap up the night, Novak let me grab one of her Goose Island Mild Winter beers out of the fridge, by Goose Island Beer Co. of Chicago, IL at 5.6% abv.

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Not too shabby! This is a beer that you could easily have three or four of without blinking an eye. The alcohol content is quite manageable and the taste is good, but not extreme. Rye malts are easy to taste in this beer, low hops and spot on for the style. Very much like an English beer. Medium bodies and low carbonation.

Perfect beers to go along with a low key game night!

There is no hope for me

And still more pictures! I just give up at this point! And so here it is, I have finally given in. This is a new low for me. I thought I could be a beer blogger and I just cant keep the posts current with the amount of beer I drink.

Wrapping up 2012 with just pictures:

Tom had an ugly sweater party, it was awesome! Of course I had some good beers!

I had the Anchor Christmas Ale 2012 by Anchor Brewing Company of San Francisco, CA at 5.5% abv.

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Great party, Tom!

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And I also had the Winter Warmer by Lancaster Brewing Company of Lancaster, PA at 8.9% abv.

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I believe this was back home in Johnstown, PA. I started my night off right with a Corsendonk Christmas Ale by Brouwerij Corsendonk of Oud-Turnhout, Belgium at 8.5% abv. Bonus points for appropriate glassware!

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A very special hello to my fellow beer lover Zach Gates! We found an exciting beer and just had to split it! Bourgogne De Flanders by Brouwerij Timmermans of Dilbeek-Itterbeek, Blegium at 5% abv. Much sweeter, cherries and grape, and less sour than I assumed it would be. Still tart though.

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This beer. I don’t even know what it is because it was on draft and I now have no picture of a bottle for me to remember it by. RIP sad lost beer.

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This is a very different look for me. But I had just had my hair cut and Mel, my amazing hairdresser, decided to make me look special for Xmas.

With dinner I had the CoCoNut Porter by Maui Brewing Co of Lahaina, Hawaii at 6% abv.

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For Xmas I ordered tons of different LOTR Legos for Jack and I to put together!

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It took all day and was the best part of Christmas!

3 in 1

I just keep finding more and more pictures on my computer that somehow have never made it into posts. So, as I desperately try to wrap up the beer and posts from 2012, here’s a few more. I may not remember when of where these nights and beers happened, but I have proof in the pictures that they did.

I do remember this first beer though. We invited Nate and Molly over for dinner and Nate brought a 6 pack of this beer. He really liked this beer and so I gave it a try. A skeptical try though, since I have yet to find an Oktoberfest beer that I really like.

It was the Flying Fish OktoberFish  by the Flying Fish Brewery of Somerdale, NY at 6% abv.

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This is without a doubt, the best Oktoberfest beer I’ve ever had. It was not hoppy! Very subtle hops, and low carbonation. It was smooth and wonderful! Bread and toffee, malty and clean.

For a dinner at Novak’s I brought over a Lindeman’s Framboise by Brouwerij Lindeman’s of Vlezenbeek, Belgium at an almost comical 2.5% abv!

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I hardly count this as a beer, its more like fancy soda. It’s a guilty pleasure! So enjoyable to sip on through dinner.

And last but not least, Young’s Double Chocolate Stout by Well’s and Young of Bedford, UK (England) at 5.2% abv.

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I haven’t had it in a while, but I saw they changed their can colors and I had to make sure it was the same beer. If they did change anything about the beer, it was undetectable to me. Still tasty!

I am so far behind, I don’t even know when this was

I was trying to wrap up the pictures and the posts from the end of the year, and kept coming across more pictures of me being out and about enjoying tasty beers! So, while I cant tell you exactly when this was, good beers were had and it was a very fun night!

Apparently I started off my night with the Troubadour Obscura by Brouwerij de Musketiers of Ursel, Belgium at 8.5% abv.

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And I enjoyed it so much, or was too busy/lazy to pick a new beer that I had two!

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That’s unusual. I almost never drink two of the same beers in a row. Or even two of the same in one night. But I guess I cant blame myself, it is a very good beer.

Technically this beer is considered a stout. But it’s a Belgian stout and not like a regular stout. It doesn’t have that typical roasted taste and quality that most traditional stouts have. Its still bottle conditioned and you can still taste the heavy yeastiness to it. Also, figs, mild chocolate, and not exactly sour, but a slight acidity. More like a quad than a stout.

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Next up, I believe I told the bartender to surprise me. I know that most of the bartenders at the saloon know my beer preferences and I like to see what I get sometimes. They always pick great beers, like the Founders Breakfast Stout by Founders Brewing Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan at 8.3% abv.

Quite a bit of coffee up front and also a creamy milk chocolate. Toffee and charred wood. Toasted oatmeal, and vanilla. Dry finish and slightly bitter. A phenomenal beer, and I don’t even mind that it tasted like coffee!

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I also went back and tried an old favorite of mine, Three Philosophers by Brewery Ommegang of Cooperstown, New York at 9.8% abv.

Not nearly as in your face as Kasteel Rouge, its more of a tart sour cherry. And much more of an actual beer. Bread and yeast, dark fruits, caramel. The cherry is definitely there but its not a sugary syrup. It doesn’t come off as a candy beer. Very enjoyable!

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I love this beer, but one of the other girls ordered the Bornem Dubbel by Brouwerij Van Steenberge of Ertvelde, Belgium at 8% abv, and I think they had meant to get the triple and wasn’t happy with their beer choice. I cant stand to see a good beer wasted, so we swapped beers!

Heavy on the malts, lots of toasted bread, brown sugar, raisins. Full bodied and smooth. A hint of acidity as an aftertaste. But not a heavy beer, still feels light.

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It was an interesting beer night because I ended up with a few beers that I didn’t pick out myself, but was very happy with what I got!

Beers and Dinner with Liz and her Parents

Here I go, continuing to go backwards in time. At some point, right before Thanksgiving, Liz’s parents were again in town. So, we all went out to dinner again! This time we all met up at Granville Moore’s on H Street in DC.

This place has such a good beer menu! I ordered the Scotch de Silly by Brasserie de Silly of Silly, Belgium at 8% abv.

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I was so sad we didn’t get to go to this brewery when we were in Belgium. It wasn’t too far out of our way, and when I had to whittle down the number of breweries that we could actually go to, it still made the list. The only reason we didn’t go was because I had a very hard time finding out any information about tour times. I didn’t want to get there and be turned away. But if I ever get to go back, this brewery would certainly make the cut!

Starts boozy and a little woody. Smooth caramel, dark fruits like plums and raisins. Vanilla and sugary sweet. Full bodied and heavy. Very delicious.

After dinner we made our way down the street to the Dangerously Delicious pie shop. Too rich and decadent for words!

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Since I only had one picture of that night, please enjoy my view walking to work the following morning!

Thanksgiving in Johnstown

How am I still only posting about Thanksgiving?!? Although I think I had a few posts go out of order.

Anyway, of course we went to Tulune’s South Side Saloon!

I got started with the Weyerbacher Winter Ale of Weyerbacher Brewing Co of Easton, PA at 5.6% abv.

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I love everything Weyerbacher comes out with! I think they have a great brewery and cant wait to get a trip together to visit. The winter ale was surprisingly mild. Much lower alcohol than some of their other offerings. It was not a spiced Christmas beer. Smooth and subtle, very similar to an English brown ale.

Of course I had to get the Delirium Noel of Brouwerij Huyghe at 10% abv,  since it was November and becoming more widely available. I think the other Delirium beers are only so-so, but I love the Noel!

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Creamy, with cherries and plums. Nice moderate carbonation, peppery yeast, bread and biscuits.Great complexity, allspice, and coriander, and a little boozy.

To finish my night of drinking I tried the Lancaster Winter Warmer of Lancaster Brewing Company of Lancaster, PA at 8.9% abv.

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Rich and malty, a nice medium bodied beer. Creamy and smooth. Toasted nuts, caramel, vanilla. The alcohol stays well hidden.

After leaving the saloon we actually ventured out to another bar! In Johnstown, for me, that rarely happens. I usually have no reason to leave the saloon.

Anyway, we headed over to the Crow’s Nest because our friend John was the DJ for the night.

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Much silliness ensued.

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In fact, this random guy thought that Jack and I didn’t know each other, probably because I was hanging out with the girls. He made it his personal mission to play match maker for us and try to hook us up. It was silly and cute so we played along!

Venturing out to the Windber Hotel

After Thanksgiving dinner, we decided to meet up with Cindy and Frank for some drinks! They live in the next town over, Windber, and we decided to go out there since they always come to town to see us!

I’ve heard so much about the Windber Hotel and I was excited to finally check it out! It really used to be an old hotel and was built in 1897.

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The bar ambiance was awesome. Lots of heavy carved, wood furniture. And a pretty decent beer selection!

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I’m very excited about winter/ Christmas beers being in season! So I started off the night with the 2XMAS by Southern Tier Brewing Company of Lakewood, NY at 8% abv.

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Nice holiday/ winter spicing. Nutmeg, cloves, caramel. Light citrus, orange peel. Darker fruits, plums and figs. A nice hearty medium mouthfeel. And hints of licorice. Decent, but probably not stand out in this category compared to some of my favorites. But I’ll never turn down a Christmas beer!

Later I spied in the beer cooler another beer I’ve never had that seemed promising. The Cocoa Porter by Tommyknocker Brewery of Idaho Springs, Colorado at 5.7% abv.

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Fairly strong cocoa presence. Somewhat bitter and dry. Not bad though, but not like creamy milk chocolate. Hints of vanilla, and I liked that it did not have a coffee taste to it. Not stand out, but very drinkable.

And to finish off the night I decided to go with a lighter beer, the Sofie by Goose Island of Chicago, IL at 6.5% abv.

Don’t worry, no beer was spilled! It looks close though the way I’m holding the glass!

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Quite bubbly! Almost champagne-like. Soft tart citrus flavors. Slightly sour and herbal. Floral and peppery. Such a delightful and refreshing beer. An easy drinking Saison beer but it has enough going on to keep you intrigued.