Friday, October 17, 2014

Fury & Foamy

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Monday night, Izzy & I finally tasted our Pumpkin Chocolate Porter, as we couldn’t wait any longer (and it’d had plenty of time to carbonate in the keg) and let’s just say that Halloween party-goers are in for a treat. It’s a nice Baltic style porter with a little pumpkin puree in the malt bill & chocolate malts leading to some interesting characteristics. It’s not too heavy and has a good mouth feel to it… easy to drink all day, or more than likely night. Hopefully there’ll still be some left to share at the Learn to Homebrew Day Party too, but we shall see.
Wednesday morning, we also helped brew an East Bay IPA at Elevation 66 Brewing with Big Ben & Don Jon (Super Dave has had some late nights with the Giants’ playoff run) and it was pretty standard. We did share some of our homebrew (Bock, ChocoNut Stout & Cali Common) and got some good feedback on how to improve them in the future, but overall they said they were pretty damn good… and we’d have to agree.
Wednesday night, Jackie D & I visited a new establishment called Hopwater Distribution on Nob Hill which boasts a 30-tap selection, all of California-based craft breweries… and it’s actually a VERY nice place. It was much quieter than I would’ve expected with the Giants game going (then again, it might just be because nobody knows of the place yet) and the selection was impressive with everything from a saison to an IPA to milk stouts and everything in between to choose from. They also had some… decent snacks. Not exactly enthralling but… decent. I’d highly recommend checking it out before it becomes super-douchey. It definitely has that kind of potential.
Later, we were invited to a special preview of the new blockbuster “Fury” starring Brad Pitt, Shia LeBeouf & Michael Pena… directed by David Ayer (“Harsh Times” & “End of Watch”). It’s a pretty simple premise, set during the closing days of WWII in the German front, there’s a five-man team of tank operators with a tried & true leader (Pitt), three men who’ve served years with him, and then the new kid who’s only been in the army for two months & is an innocent soul. Well, War is Hell as you might’ve guessed… and from the harsh director of “Harsh Times” comes a pretty gritty & grimy yet realistic story about this team going through the last mission when Germany is absolutely desperate, and to save thousands of lives, these men have to protect a major crossroads to the Allied trade route… and German tanks are FAR superior to American. Basically, the atmosphere set in this movie is pretty f**king amazing. You feel like you’re in the tank with them. It’s always dirty, grimy & gray (save for one scene that starts out pretty damn clean… and then ends as grimy as it gets, you’ll know when you see it). The personal conflicts going on with the leader & the noob are done pretty well… and the other three main characters have their own minor things… but they’re essentially there for exposition & showing what noobs can turn into after three years in the sh*t… and Pitt’s character trying to save the new kid from that… but also realize that until he’s sent back home, their lives depend on them being focused Nazi killing machines. The movie is intense. If you liked “Saving Private Ryan” but thought it had it’s moments of being a little too Spielberg-y, then this is the movie for you. It’s definitely a guy movie… lots of blood & guts… but Jackie D enjoyed it as well, just mentioned that it was really harsh. I highly recommend that you check it out if you like the genre… but be warned, don’t take the kids… even if tanks are pretty f**king cool.

Thursday night, I received a few goodies in the mail… more books about homebrewing!!! I obviously haven’t read through them yet… but first up is “Brewing Up a Business: Adventures in Beer from the Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery” which… as is pretty self-explanatory, a book about Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione (star of the briefly ran show “Brewmasters”) and his adventures in turning a hobby into a multi-million dollar business venture that’s ever expanding & lessons that he learned along the way. Obviously I’m a little interested, though I’m sure things/laws have changed since he started out. The other two books are “CloneBrews” by Tess & Mark Szamatulski & “Brewing Classic Styles” by Jamil Zainasheff & John Palmer, both of which are essentially recipe books for making nearly 300 different beer recipes ranging from standard stuff you can find in any supermarket to award-winning homebrews to exotic & experimental recipes that the experienced authors just tried at home. I’ve taken a quick glance through some of their offerings… and you may be seeing them made on this blog pretty soon.

Well, I’ve got some reading to do… so until next time, have a great weekend everybody!!!

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