Sunday, October 23, 2016

Miles 4 Michelle 8k Trail Run (video)

Miles 4 Michelle is a great beginner friendly 8k (five mile) on the trails of Mt Pisgah State Park. You'll recognize some of these miles from the Chief Wetona Challenge. You can discover more Bradford County Races at the proceeding link.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Gluten Free Breaded Buffalo Chicken

Want to make this?

You'll need this......

Cut a boneless, skinless chicken breast up into small pieces. Crack a couple of whole eggs and whisk them (lets face it your a man... you don't own a're gonna use a fork). In a separate bowl, pour a few inches of your favorite all purpose gluten free flour (if you don't want to go buffalo style then add some black pepper for flavor). Dip your chunks of chicken in the egg and then coat them in the flower. Throw them in a hot frying with some olive oil. After a few minutes flip them and fry until they're done (and a little brown)

Pour some hot sauce in a bowl (I like to use Frank's Red Hot Buffalo wing sauce). Throw your chicken in the bowl (along any left over oil from the pan). Put a lid on the bowl and toss until the chicken is coated. 

These bad boys are ready to eat.....

Founders Breakfast Stout

Beer Review #166

My only other previous review of a beer from Founders Brewing Company was their Centennial IPA (review #31) more than 15 months ago. I wasn't very impressed by that beer. There is a sizable selection of Founders beer on the local racks, and I almost hate to admit it, (because it seems so superficial), however by and large its their labels and graphics that turn me off (along with that sub-par IPA). The design aesthetic they've chosen just looks so cliche and generic, like a knockoff of a knockoff of a Norma Rockwell print. But back to the matter at hand....

Today I'm checking out a bottle of their Breakfast Stout Double Chocolate Coffee Oatmeal Stout. Yeah, when you include the fine print the name of this beer is a mouthful. The beer itself is a mouthful too...a thick, black 8.3% imperial with the kind of creamy, coating, comforting mouth-feel you'd expect from any decent oatmeal or milk stout.

The beer pours pitch black with a stubborn head of coffee colored foam.

The coffee lover’s consummate beer. Brewed with an abundance of flaked oats, bitter and imported chocolates, and two types of coffee, this stout has an intense fresh-roasted java nose topped with a frothy, cinnamon-colored head that goes forever.

As you might expect, coffee dominates the aroma, along with perhaps a hint of cinnamon, chocolate and alcohol.

Look for big coffee flavors. The bitterness is advertised at 60IBU's, but dark roast malts and bakers chocolate are the main culprits rather than the hops. Oats and lactose smooth things out, but the coffee lingers after you swallow.


Friday, October 21, 2016

Harvest Ale Wet Hopped IPA

Beer Review #165

A few weeks ago I reviewed Tart Ten (review #161) and today I'm back to Victory Brewing Company to check out the 2016 iteration of their Harvest Ale Wet Hopped IPA.

Fresh, wet hops piled into our kettle just hours after their harvest build this aromatic and flavorful brew, whose hop oils create unique notes of juicy fruit and tea.
As soon as I popped the top a huge tropical aroma, hit me. After further inspection, citrus reveals itself.

The beer pours a just slightly orange tinted shade of crystal clear straw with a big fluffy white head.

Harvest Ale packs a substantial amount of flavor for a 6.5%ABV beer. The label says "Drink Now. Do not Store," and that seems like good advice as when that fresh hop flavor mellows, there isn't much else lurking beneath the surface to reveal itself. As is common with these lower alcohol pale beers, the mouth-feel leans toward the watery, with not much in the way of interesting malts to pick up the slack.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Boffo Brown Ale

Beer Review #164

When it comes to my beer reviews I've got a memory like Rain Man. My first and only previous review of a brew from Dark Horse was their 4 Elf Winter Warmer (review #53) all the way back in October 2015. Today I'm tasting a bottle of their Boffo Brown Ale.

I don't drink many 'brown ales,' or at least I don't drink many beers that the brewer chooses to identify with that moniker. But realistically, beers of this kind seem to fall somewhere between amber and porter. And that's what I see here.

Boffo Brown Ale is a dark enough beer to appear brown in the glass, but even in a relatively low-lit environment the red/amber highlights reveal themselves. All of this sits below a creamy head lazily retreating pale almond foam.

This beer is not particularly aromatic but giving it a good long sniff reveals hits of molasses and roasted coffee.

The flavor is a bit bolder. That roasted element moves forward, but is followed by a smooth Earthiness.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Weyerbacher Sunday Mole Stout

Beer Review #163

Its Sunday afternoon and hey I'm checking out Sunday Mole Stout from the ever excellent Weyerbacher Brewing Company.

"As the name suggests, this 11.3% ABV American Imperial Stout is the foundation of everyone’s favorite, Sunday Morning Stout, with a twist (and without the barrel aging)… This brew captures everything you’d expect from a traditional molĂ© – coffee, chocolate, heat and smokiness. Foremost is coffee, which is followed by layers of chocolate courtesy of the chocolate malt, cocoa powder and cacao nibs. Finally, a subtle lingering heat and smokiness from our blend of ancho, pasilla, mulato and chipotle peppers, as well as cinnamon, which is gone by the time you’re ready for your next sip."
I've only had one or two beers brewed with peppers, and the most recent that comes to mind is Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti (review #138). Its a cool concept really. The peppers add some 'bite' and bitterness to a brew, but as an alternative to the more typical heavy hopping, and in the case of Sunday Mole Stout the heat of capsaicin compliments the alcohol warmth. Cinnamon offers a third warming effect, while cocoa and coffee offer their own respective breeds of bitterness.

As is the case with some other high alcohol Weyerbacher brews I've reviewed, this one pours with a big head at room temp, but it doesn't hang out for more than a moment, leaving behind a beer that looks flat and more akin to mug of black coffee. 

The aroma is dominated by coffee, with hints of pepper around the edges of my sensory perception. Coffee is also the major player when it comes to taste, with the cinnamon, pepper, and barrel aging offering contributing a smoky 'twang.'  There is also just a hint of vanilla from the barrel aging present. 

Look for a pleasant, lingering warmth on the inside of your cheeks after you swallow.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Rum Barrel Aged Pumking Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Beer Review #162

Southern Tier Brewing Company has taken their already exquisite Pumking Imperial Pumpkin Ale (review #45) and aged it in rum barrels to create Rum Barrel Aged Pumking Imperial Pumpkin Ale

This this 9.5% copper color ale has all of the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and pie crust elements that make the original a star of the Pumpkin beer season, and then ferments it in rum barrels. The rum barrels takes all of those original aromas and flavors, and makes them a little deeper and a little sweeter.

To look at it as you pour, or listening to the snap of the bubbles, you would expect a more effervescent beer than the one that actually passes your lips. Its a rather flat ale, creamy in the mouth with a medium body. Perhaps a good choice for an after dinner beer next month when Thanksgiving comes around again.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

2016 Green Monster Trail Challenge 50k (Race Report)

I've only run a little over 700 miles in 2016, however 107 of those have come from three races in just the last 30 days. After the Pine Creek 100k (video) and World's End Fall Classic (video) I could have said 'good enough,' and put away my trail shoes for the rest of the year, but there are some races I simply refuse to miss. Having finished all four previous Green Monster Trail Challenges (facebook), I wanted to keep the streak alive with a second visit to the 50k course.

Between the two videos above and my previous race reports (found here) I've said just about everything that needs to be said about the course, so I won't bore anyone with another blow by blow account. What I will say, however, is that every year this race gets a little bigger, and a little better, and as great as the course itself is, its the running community surrounding the event that is the real star. There are no people like trail people.

Be sure to also check out Joe Drumsta's 25k video below...

Tart Ten

Beer Review #161

Today I'm tasting Tart Ten Ale With Brettanomyces from Victory Brewing Company. As a lover of both Victory and Brett, what's not to like?

This 10%ABV Brett beer uses Pilsner, Vienna, Munich, Cara 350, Cara 150 and Acidulated malts along with Saaz hops to concoct a sweet and tart transparent light-amber brew.  

As is common with this type of beer, the carbonation is high, light and snappy, but even so the thick head of white foam hangs around surprisingly long after the pour.

The aroma is mainly fruity - sour apple, pear, apricot, with just a hint of that expected Brett 'funk.'

The taste is both sweet and tart. The tartness, coupled with the carbonation burns a bit when you swallow, although the 10% ABV remains well hidden.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Oak-Aged Noble Rot

Beer Review #160

The first, last, and only other beer I've ever had brewed with grape must was Dogfish Head Sixty-One (review #113). It was also the first time that a Dogfish Head beer failed to blow me away. This being the case, it begs the question why would I choose the same brewer's Oak-aged Noble Rot as my second beer brewed with grape must. Maybe it was the year of aging in oak, or the 9%ABV. Whatever the case might be, I'm glad I made the purchase. All others take note. This is some next level shit, the ultimate marriage of beer and wine.

Noble Rot is the head-on collision of the beer world and the wine world ... and now we've aged it on oak ... for a whole year. 
This saison-esque science project gets complexity and fermentable sugars from the addition of two unique white wine grapes, sourced with our friends at Alexandria Nicole Cellars in Prosser, Washington. 
The first addition is the must of viognier grapes that have been infected with a benevolent fungus called botrytis. This 'noble rot' reduces the water content in the grapes while magnifying their sweetness and complexity. 
The second is a pinot gris intensified by a process called 'dropping fruit,' where large clusters of grapes are clipped to amplify the quality and distinction of those left behind. 
We then aged Noble Rot in one of our oak tanks for an entire year, making for a hazy ale that has a spicy white wine body and a dry, tart finish.

I've never had a beer so pale, light and airy on the mouth, and delicate, that packs so much flavor. The vanilla / oak aromas and flavors are immense. Its hard to believe that they are packed into such a pale, almost 'white wine-esque' body.

Moderate carbonation, decent retention of a crisp white head. Ridiculously transparent. Clean vanilla