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!

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!

After Thanksgiving

The day after Thanksgiving in Johnstown, where can you find us? Tulune’s Southside Saloon of course!

Upon entering, I saw Joe (my favorite bartender ever) behind the bar and he gave me a bottle of his home made wine! Thanks Joe! I haven’t tried it yet but I cant wait till I do!

Best of all, I got to catch up with my ladies Tara, Cindy, and Lisa!

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I couldn’t resist and started off the night with another Southern Tier Crème Brulee Stout mixed with Kasteel Rouge. Such a delicious treat!

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The bar was packed but we managed to get a table!

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Next, I ordered a Delirium Noel by Brouwerij Huyghe of Melle, Belgium considered a Strong Dark Ale at 10% abv.

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I ordered it on tap, and the bartenders must like me there because I got a huge pour into a really big glass! I know, the glass looks average, but I was expecting a smaller Delirium glass. This was quite a bit to drink and when I finished, I was beginning to feel the alcohol!

I love the Christmas beers! It’s a great holiday beer that isn’t too strong with the spices. Sweet like plums and cherries with very little hops. The alcohol is very well hidden. I think this is a much better beer than their Delirium Tremens. I hardly every order the DT but I will order the Noel whenever possible!

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Next up, I didn’t know what I wanted. It was really crowded, getting to the bar or the beer cooler was going to be a challenge. Luckily bartender Greg came by and I told him generally what I like and to surprise me!

He came back with the perfect beer! Thank you Greg! And it was a beer I’ve never had before! I got the Harpoon Chocolate Stout by Harpoon Brewery of Boston Massachusetts at 5.9% abv.

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Lots of bittersweet chocolate, and almost a dry aftertaste. Maybe that’s because its not super sweet. (Although I did switch to this after having a very sweet beer, maybe it just tastes burnt chocolatey bitter by comparison) I was surprised by Harpoon. I would definitely have this beer again!

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One thing I cannot and will not do at the Saloon is take shots. Especially their “Taints” the energy drink they mix in is just to candy sweet for me, but apparently everyone else loves them!

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You go, Tara!

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Eventually we moved into the back room where there was a band playing and as the night wore on, I ran into a couple of familiar faces! Shannon and I got to catch up for a bit over a beer!

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And that must be it for the night because we were all pretty smashed, and my pictures from here on out are completely ridiculous and nonsensical!

Like this one….

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Haha!!