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Old 07-31-2009, 01:19 AM   #1
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Default 2 months away from Homebrew

So, me being a teacher, I have the summer off, and have spent the better part of June and July on the road. Unfortunately I couldn't take any homebrew with me. Fortunately, I HAD to sample some of the local offerings, with mixed results.

So I've had a weird relationship with my homebrew, in that I was never really satisfied with it. I have thought many times of just sticking to commercial brew. Anyways, so I just got back and cracked open one of my own. It was glorious. Sure I still think some commercial beers are better, but I also realize that mine are better than MANY commercials.
So here is a "Cheers" to HB after 2 months without.



And as a service to the community here are my thoughts on some beers I encountered:

Monks Ale: From Pecos, NM. One of my top 3 all-time. If you are ever in NorthWest NM, look for it; I've never had it on tap, though. To me, a perfect blend of maltiness and hopiness.

Santa Fe Brewing: A good solid company. Their "State Penn Porter" is one of my top 5. Their Nut Brown is one of their signature brews, but I wasn't impressed with it. Their tasting room was pretty fun. It was small, with some regulars walking behind the bar and filling themselves, while the bartender tended to us tourists. The head brewer signed a bottle for one of us.

Alaskan Brewing: In Alaska, unless you want the normal BMC, you drink Alaskan or Deshutes, which for some reason is in bottles is all over as well. I wasn't impressed. Their Belgian whilte wasn't all that great, nor was the Stout. Their best offering was probably their Amber; my GF like the Summer (Kolsh).

Midnight Sun Brewing: Wow, this small brewery is pretty ballsy, with an extensive library of brews, but maybe only 12 on tap at one time (4 or 5 available outside their tasting room), and maybe 8 sold in bottles (3 or 4 available in stores). They like to experiment. They frequently use Brettanomyces yeast, although I didn't try any. Their Wit was awesome, as was their "Earth" which is a "Belgian style Chocolate Milk stout. Some of their stuff was so-so, such as their Brown, and Hefeweizen.

Homer Brewing: Really small place, basically only availaber in Homer, AK. Porter was so-so, red ale was decent, their "Abbey Ale" was good. They only sell Growlers or 20oz iced tea bottles at their location, on tap around town.

Mooses Tooth brewing: We drank at their restaurant. Large selection: 18 on tap. Nothing spectacular, although I was buzzed from Midnight Sun. Most interesting thing was their "Apple Ale" which tates like a Blond Ale mixed with apple juice, yuk.

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Old 07-31-2009, 01:36 AM   #2
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I agree Midnight Sun is better than Mooses Tooth, although their pizza is hard to beat.
Also their Raspberry Wheat is pretty good, one of the only fruity beers I will drink.

Did you drive the Alcan? I had a few beers in Canada driving home and they all had a funky flavor, is this just me? Kinda of like a rotten hop flavor or something.

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Old 07-31-2009, 02:27 AM   #3
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Nope, flew into Anchorage. Yea, Mooses Pizza was pretty good.

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Old 07-31-2009, 02:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Alaskan Brewing: In Alaska, unless you want the normal BMC, you drink Alaskan or Deshutes, which for some reason is in bottles is all over as well. I wasn't impressed. Their Belgian whilte wasn't all that great, nor was the Stout. Their best offering was probably their Amber; my GF like the Summer (Kolsh).
You don't like Mirror Pond?
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:24 AM   #5
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I can get Deshutes at home (TX). Since I was 3000 miles from home, I figured I'd try as much local stuff as I could.

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Old 07-31-2009, 02:35 PM   #6
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Amazing what additional aging can done, eh?

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Old 07-31-2009, 03:16 PM   #7
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Man! It sounds like you had an awesome trip. That's a dream vacation for me. I'm glad you finally have been able to enjoy your homebrew. Sometimes the waiting is the hardest part, but it will always reward you with good beer later on. I know when I first started brewing, I'd finish the batch I made last month in a month. Continuously cycling through 1-2 month old beers. Not bad, but not perfect. Try to keep them as long as possible and I guarantee they'll taste even better with age.

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Old 07-31-2009, 04:16 PM   #8
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Yea, well all the bottles I have are a good 3 months old anyways. I've been trying to drink all the wheat beers first, but I still have a stout from december. I don't think it had anything to do with aging, it was more of a "its good to be home" feeling.

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