Day 90 and Beer Advent Calendar Day 1

It was supposed to be Ingredients class first thing today, but this happened:

Old busted.

Which meant that instead of Ingredients, Comm, Math and then work, I got to meet a very nice tow truck driver, take the train in to Toronto, meet my beloved and go shopping for this:

New hotness.

I pick it up on Saturday. I am now more of a broke student than I was before, but at least this one won’t blow upon the Garden City Skyway.

Note: It didn’t so much blow up, as make an increasingly loud noise, like someone was shaking a spray paint can near my ear, then suddenly make a loud THWAP noise that was echoed a bit as something that wasn’t supposed to come loose, did. At least the noise stopped as I coasted down the other side of the bridge.

Today is the first day of the beer advent calendar, and I am so very glad I did this. I needed a nice surprise.

Day 1

This Mikkeller K:rlek Pale Ale pours a nice hazy sunny-gold, with a great tropical aroma of pineapple and lemons. There’s more citrus and some mango in the taste, followed by a slight sour tang that morphs into a lingering hop bitterness at the back of the tongue.

It makes me think of a warm summer day, which is not a bad way to end today.

Beer Advent Calendar, the cheap and cheerful edition

I have never had an advent calendar for the holidays to the best of my recollection. I wanted one though. The thought of little count-down treats to be unwrapped each day before the big day of Christmas appeals to me. I do love opening presents of any size. The closest I have gotten was last year when my younger brother bought me a beer advent calendar as a Christmas present. It was one of the most generous and thoughtful gifts he has ever given me.

However, he lives in Calgary. We thought long and hard about how to get the box of beer to me, but there was just no way. So, being the generous sister I am, I instructed him to drink them and tell me about them.

Apparently they were good.

They had just released the 2014 edition when I was out there in October. I’ve read about the possible negatives about this kind of collection, about old and oxidized beer with numerous off-flavours. It didn’t matter. As soon as I saw it, I coveted it. If I wasn’t so broke and could have figured out a way to get it on the plane, there would be one sitting in a prominent place in my apartment, waiting for tomorrow.

2014 Beer Advent Calendar

Fast forward to last weekend, when Jordan St. John wrote a post on his blog about beer advent calendars, why we can’t have them under the current liquor laws (stupid outdated LCBO/Beer Store rules), and a few suggestions to make your own.

Wait, what? Make my own? Cue well, duh, forehead-smacking, I-could-have-had-a-V8-esque moment.

Not actually from a V8 commercial, but from Dr Who, so it’s much better.

I have gone through my stash of beer-I-bought-and-should-drink-instead-of-hoard and bought some new and interesting (to me) bottles and cans to augment it. I had my beloved randomly package them in numbered LCBO bottle bags to maintain the element of surprise. They’re not pretty, but I am broke and they were free.

Tomorrow is December 1st, and I can’t wait to see what the first one will be!

My own advent calendar with the cheap and cheerful packaging.

Elvis Night

They’ve been sitting there for a while. Months maybe.

Elvis and Elvis-inspired

The DVD was still in its shrink wrap, gathering dust on the Blue-Ray player that doesn’t get used anymore now that we have Netflix. The bottle had been pushed over time to the very back of the fridge; every now and again I’d see a flash of pink between the orange juice jug and the pickle jar and think, I really need to drink that someday.

Well that someday was last night. It was the kind of night where unplugging from the internet and curling up solo on the couch with a good movie and a good beer seemed like a good idea.

I just want to state right here, that I am not a huge Elvis fan. Or even a medium-sized one. We got married in Las Vegas by an Elvis impersonator because it seemed like something silly and fun. Neither of us took it seriously. So I unwrapped Viva Las Vegas and cracked open the Rogue Voodoo Donut Memphis (peanut butter, chocolate and banana ale) with no expectations of anything serious.

Good thing, too. When my beer friend on Twitter asked me later what I thought of the Memphis Donut, my response that it’s a good match with Viva Las Vegas; both are so all over the place it’s hard to figure ’em out.

So true. I know I’m not going to watch an Oscar winner when I see an Elvis movie, but this was so disjointed I had to pay attention just to figure out what was going on. Cars and swimming pools and talent shows and musical numbers and drunken Texans and Italian race car drivers and boat interiors in the middle of the desert. So confusing. But then again, it was fun and now it’s done.

And the beer. It’s one of those beers that when I take the first sip, I think, hmm, that’s interesting! By the 10th sip however, I’m becoming much less interested in it. Bananas and chocolate and peanut butter and dark sweet malts. So confusing. But then again, it was fun and now it’s done.

And when they were done, I re-watched the Elvis-inspired Bubba Hotep. Because an aging Elvis battling an ancient Egyptian zombie was slightly less confusing.



In my fridge

I have a good/bad habit of picking up single bottles of beer whenever I am around a Beer Store or LCBO. Good in that I have a interesting selection of different beers in fridge to quench any thirst. Bad in that there is very little room in our fridge for actual food.

I tend to stash the beer in the crispers, aka the drawers of despair (fruit and vegetables go in, we forget we’ve put them there, goo comes out). However, the stash has overflowed to the top shelf to the point where it’s in my way. Time to figure out what’s even in there.

Actually, I think it’s time to stop buying the beer, and start drinking the beer.

In my fridge, August 2013

  • Mill Street: Coffee Porter, Belgian Wit  and Tankhouse Ale. Left from a sampler pack bought a while ago. Not super keen on any of them right now, but keeping them in case that changes.
  • Black Sheep Brewery: Monty Python’s Holy Grail. Had to buy this as I am a huge fan of the movie. Cannot bring myself to open it for some reason. I think I’m secretly afraid it might be awful.
  • Sleeman: Honey Brown Lager. Part of a mixed lot bought by my friend Karen to help further my beer tasting. She’s a good friend to have!
  • St. Ambroise: Pale Ale, Apricot Wheat and Raspberry Ale. Another sampler pack, as I like the fruit beers in the summer. Finding the Apricot Wheat a bit more cloying than usual, but perhaps that’s just me.
  • Grapefruit Stiegl Radler. Impulse buy. Seems like a good beer for sitting on the dock on a hot summer day.
  • Amsterdam: Mid Summer Saison, 416. Amsterdam’s brewing facility has moved into my neighbourhood, making it far too easy to stop in to see what’s in their fridge. I keep coming back to the 416 after trying it during one of their tastings, the Mid Summer Saison was bought because I wanted to try a saison.
  • Wychwood, Hobgoblin. Another beer bought by Karen. She liked the label. This seems like something more suitable for cooler weather and Halloween.
  • Lake of Bays:  Spring Maple. Another impulse buy.
  • Stella Artois. Part of the Karen Mixed Bag. I’ve had Stella before, so know what to expect.
  • Niagara College Teaching Brewery: Butler’s Bitter. When I found out there was a teaching brewery where you could buy the beer made by students, I had to go see.
  • Creemore Springs: Sunny and Share Citrus Saison. Bought in Killarney because it looked summery, something I might want to drink on the dock while watching the sun set. It rained, so the beer came home with me.
  • Hacker-Pschorr: Weiss and Munich Gold. Bought because I wanted the bottles for my home brewing experiment. According to the research I did, I could buy empty swing-top bottles at a brewing store for a bit more than buying them full of beer at The Beer Store. It was like buy the bottle, get the beer for free! Yes, I know there are other options, but this gave me a valid reason to go to The Beer Store.

So there it is, what I am starting this (adventure? journey? misguided attempt at reality-avoidance?) off with.