I blog primarily over at "geosciblog" (http://geosciblog.blogspot.com), I am doing this one for fun. It is inspired by 30+ years of beer can collecting and having tried more than 3,000 different American beers during that time. “. . . And beer was drunk with reverence, as it ought to be.” — G. K. Chesterton

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Good Glass of Stout!

When I make any sporadic trips that pass through Athens, Ga., I make it a point to stop at ABC Package Store on the Atlanta highway (west side of town). The primary reason is that they have a selection of single 12 oz. microbrewery bottles. Not everything is represented in the "singles cooler", but I did pick up four new brands this last Saturday when I stopped there.

The first of those four brands that I have tried is Breckenridge Oatmeal Stout. I know it is still a little warm to be enjoying stouts and porters, but as I hadn't had a glass of stout in a few weeks, I gave it a try. After letting it warm to the proper temperature and then letting it breath in a "mixing glass", mistakenly referred to by some as a "pint glass", when 12 fl. oz. fills it to the rim.

I don't have the sense of smell nor the finely-tuned tastebuds to give you a detailed description of this ale, but I have tried enough different beers and ales, over the years, to say that this is a good one.

[I may add a link from BeerAdvocate later.]

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Glass of Fine Ale in Remembrance of Michael Jackson,...

"The Beer Hunter". A former newspaper reporter, he used his writing skills combined with a love of fine beers and ales, single malt scotch, and fine foods. Not a bad way to make a living, as a well-respected epicurian raconteur. And he had to endure some teasing about his name.

All About Beer has an article, actually it is Michael's last column. In his memory, there is a message board from those that knew him, those that read about him and sought out "the better" and "the best" of his passions, and those that wished they had met him.

One of the messages is from Ed Chainey, of the fine Anderson Valley Brewing Co., in California (I wish they still sold their ales and beers in Ga. and South Carolina, as they did years ago).

"Michael Jackson has enlivened and educated the palates of millions of fortunate beer drinkers who have read his writings and heard his voice on radio and television.

More than a billion smiles have crossed the lips of thirsty beer hunters around the globe as a direct result of each glorious new beer tasted at Michael Jackson’s suggestion.

I started home brewing at college in 1978. But it was Michael Jackson’s first book that gave me a direction back in 1979 when I wanted to embark on a lasting and enjoyable career. As a result, I have been selling quality beer for the last 24 years.

Michael Jackson wrote me on 17 Sept ‘86, “Do I get credit, or blame, for your occupation?” Well, Michael, yes you do! And for that I will be forever grateful.

Rest in Peace, my fine old friend, eternally quenched by heavenly vintage ales."

Posted by: Ed Chainey, Anderson Valley Brewing Co.- Wednesday, September 05, 2007 at 01:36:32 (EDT)

From Mitch Steele, Stone Brewing Co., of California, also:

"I have 3 things that I'll always remember about Michael Jackson:

1. Shortly after Bill Millar and I had started the San Andreas Brewing Company, we were treated to a visit by Michael Jackson. We served him all our beers, and he seemed somewhat indifferent. We found out later that we blew it by not serving him some of our food to go with the beers!! A lesson learned, for sure. But, as he was leaving, he did pay us some very nice compliments on our beers, especially some of our special releases, like our Stout and Woodruff Ale. His visit was a very special thing for us, and it really made us feel like we had made it in the beer business.

2. The very first beer dinner I ever went to was hosted by Michael Jackson in San Francisco. This event drove the point home to me that good beers were meant to be paired with good food, it was a wonderful event.

3. Later, when I was with Anheuser-Busch, and we were just getting started with the Specialty Brewing Group, and trying to do some craft brewing, Michael Jackson visited the brewery headquarters in St. Louis. I remember him telling AAB III and the rest of us that to really be successful in brewing craft beers, the brewers should be the ones making the decisions on what beers we should be brewing! I could have kissed the man right there! The Senior Managers took his advice to heart....for about a day, after which the marketing juggernaut quickly regained control over what beers we would release to the market.

Michael Jackson's books have been my bibles for beer style information over the years, and I never hesitate to give praise to the man who, in my mind, is the primary source of inspiration for all the brewers of our generation."

Posted by: Mitch Steele, Stone Brewing Company- Saturday, September 01, 2007 at 18:43:21 (EDT)

So, go have a read on this message board. And perhaps enjoy a glass of something good while you read.

I didn't have any Sierra Nevada Bigfoot cold, but I did have a new bottle of Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale (I am curious as to the event that generated this name, it makes a reference to a 20-day suspension). It is a fine, bitter-style of ale, with a copper-hue - well, I just can't do justice to an ale review as Michael could. Here is his first column for All About Beer, in November, 1984.

Cheers, Prosit, and Auf Wiedersehen!

[This is cross-posted at geosciblog.]

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