Elm City Dad | Elm City Mom

Beer of the Month Club review part 3: Hoppy

Strong hops aroma right off the bat. Nice head, great caramel color. First sip hits all the right spots. Hoppy and bright but not overbearing. Good body, good fizz, a lingering pine finish but not especially bitter. Once again Lucky Bucket achieved their goal by creating a beer that is full of flavor but not too heavy. This beer is clearly an IPA, but it's the kind of IPA you enjoy even more on the beach and one that you might offer to a non-IPAer to show them the delights of this exceptional style of beer. It's less hoppy than the aggressive American IPAs, but richer and more carbonated than your typical British Indias.

If you love IPAs you will love this beer, and if you didn't before you just might after 2 or 3 of the Lucky Bucket.

The Nut Brown, from Michigan:

Wow, lots of sweet maltiness in the aroma and the first sip. Even more head/carbonation than the Lucky Bucket Lager, but also very smooth and drinkable. Honestly, I'm not the biggest nutbrown beer guy but this one is quite good. It has far more character & liveliness than something like a Newcastle because the sweet, caramely malt is balanced with just enough hops to give the tastebuds some action, something to grab onto and ride out all the way to the finish line. Which I am approaching quickly, because this one is also very very easy to drink.

My amazing brother gave me the gift of beer for my birthday this year. It's a Beer of the Month Club, and today I received my first delivery. Just now I cracked the first beer of the 12pack.

There were four different beers in the box, from 2 breweries. From Lucky Bucket Brewing Co: Lager & IPA. From Michigan Brewing Co: Michigan Nut Brown Ale & Peninsula Porter.

Based on the types of beers included in the shipment it was clear I needed to start with the Lucky Bucket Lager, then the Michigan Nut Brown, then the Lucky Bucket IPA, and then finish up with the Peninsula Porter.

Lucky Bucket Lager Review:
Strong lagery aroma and a nice head. It smells like a sweet Red Stripe and has a slightly darker color. First sip is very smooth with a surprising tartness that I really like. The finish has a bit of mustiness, but not in an unpleasant way. There's a touch of caramel and a bit of sour peach, but it is extremely smooth and very drinkable. Their literature says they were aiming for a session beer and they definitely achieved that. The tartness makes me want to take another sip and the body is present and clear without being cloying or syrupy. Definitely an easy-to-drink beer and the glass is growing increasingly empty as I try to identify all the interesting aspects of this well-crafted and unusual lager.

Oh and By the Way Bones, Here's Your Ass

So check this out, you're too slow, you don't know what you're doing and you are holding everything up. Not in so many words and they were nice about it, but damn bartending requires some finely tuned skills.

It's not just pouring beers for your buddies and making one for that douchebag who always wants a fancy drink. Oh no, there are tables and tips and success on the line. And I'm holding all of that up right now.

I can't wait to be faster better stronger smarter. Remembering the drinks from the round at the bar to when the server fires off their second round once seated. I look forward to the day when I can identify the wine bottles by the stamp and foil covering the cork. I want to make up my own drinks.

Machine is the restaurant. I am the cog that produces delicious beverages. But faster, please. Faster.

But What About the Blowholes?

Whale farming in America. How magnificent.

More Cuts for the NYTimes

News like this really pisses me off. If we lose our newspapers, we lose democracy. Corruption on the local level skyrockets because there is no public eye on the actions of politicians, and that trend only increases the further up the political ladder you go.

As Mark Starr says in a recent New Republic article "More than any other medium, newspapers have been our eyes on the state, our check on private abuses, our civic alarm systems."

Here's the thing, though. You're reading this on a computer screen. I still subscribe to the NYTimes, but I read most of the articles on my BlackBerry now. It is a valid question to ask if the Internet can effectively supplant the role of the local newspaper.

Potent, investigative reporting takes resources, extreme focus and a strong defense. That's tough to pull off for a stand-alone blogger, but not necessarily impossible. Crowd-sourcing, instant notifications of news, automated aggregators, all of that is useful but we still need humans to put all the pieces together and make some sense of the chaos.

The way news is delivered has already changed. I just hope we can maintain the vital purpose of strong journalism so that we can always have an eye on the guys and gals that think they are running things.

They're not. We are. And our newspapers are our first line of defense against the insidious creep of corruption.

See I know all this cause I'm watching The Wire. We are 1/2 way through season 2. It keeps us sane between episodes of LOST.

The Beastie Booooooyyyysss

The Beastie Boys are offering a digitally remastered reissue of Check Your Head. Looks sweet!

He's In YourTube, Remixin It

This music... project? art piece? ensemble? hack? by Kutiman is totally and completely amazing. It's nothing I would have ever considered doing with a bunch of YouTube videos, but really it makes perfect sense.

His site is called Thru-You. Check it out and get down.

(I found this via Waxy which is also a great site, and worth checking out now and then.)

Close to Perfect

I read a lot while I was on this trip but the great thing about it was I didn't even have to bring the books with me. Mat had a great selection and I found 2 books that fit my mood perfectly.

During our time in Boquete while the wind and rain lashed us and we got to see the high hillsides were coffee grows, I was reading a book called The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It was absolutely wonderful. The story was rich and funny and layered and suspenseful, and more than anything it celebrated the incredible power of books and stories. It was exactly what I wanted and I'm so happy to have found this book.

After that, as I lounged on a hammock in between palm trees, I polished off Labyrinth by Kate Mosse. This was another great read, in the vein of Pillars of the Earth.

That is true relaxation for me. A beer close at hand. A gentle breeze. A hot sun beating down just outside the shadow of the palm tree. A hammock. And in my hand a big, fat, huge book where most of the pages are still all piled up in my right hand. But then again, on the other hand, there's nothing in the world like the final pages of a perfect story. I'll take both and either.

As soon as I get one I like, it's a race to the finish for me. I need to know what happens next and I cannot rest, cannot sleep, don't even like eat, if there are still pages to go. Out on that island, lazy in the tree with Lu nearby and friends all around doing the same, it is the most powerfully relaxing and rejuvenating experience I can imagine.

I look around and see beauty, I read the words and fall into the tale, and then when I come up for air and realize the only next things are lunch and maybe a swim, it's pretty much perfection for me.

Or, at least, it is as close to perfection I can get these days. And I took every second of that while I was out there adrift and I tried so hard to enjoy it even though I missed my son so much. For a while lost in the pages, it worked. For a time I was perfectly transported.


way before


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