Summer Sippin'

Wanna get crafty this year and drink something other than mainstream beers that have zero flavor?! You can still drink something light enough to have a few but that also tickles the tongue and quenches your thirst. I could give you a nice list myself but I saw this on Thrillist today and thought I would share.  There are actually a few on here I have yet to try but will be scooping some up for this coming 4th of July celebration!  Check them out and try something new!

http://www.thrillist.com/drink/nation/best-summer-beers-beers-to-drink-this-summer

 

A new Found...ers friend

Well not super new...I have been tantalizing my taste-buds with Founders for months now but they have been around since 1997.  I was a sophomore in high school when they started up.  I guess I like to think of that as not too long ago but I did graduate in '99 so it's been a minute.  Damn time flies!  

Now don't ask me to tell you exactly how these taste because this post is a little after the fact.  I do know that they were all delightful beers.  I have not been disappointed yet by Founders.  Great bold tastes, all unique in their own style.  All of the beers I have tried below are rated a 98, 99 or 100 on Rate Beer.  I am anxious to try some more.  In fact looking at the pics below is making my awfully thirsty!  Go out and pick up any flavor of Founders and I am sure you will not be disappointed.   

Hats off to this Grand Rapids, MI brewery!  Keep them coming Founders!  You are my new friend!

Cheers!

Land of the free, home of the brave and enormous amounts of CRAFT BEER!

Being back in the good ole state of Texas has been a little more than I expected it to be.   Living overseas is eye-opening among a million other things but when it comes to feeling at home, family, friends and craft beer, nothing compares to America!  The weather has been pretty fantastic and I am thoroughly enjoying my time in Austin, TX and Houston as well.  Spent some great afternoons at the park or on a hike in the sun with my brother and his pretty lady and the pup Bea.  We relax, watch all the dogs play and sip on delicious craft brews over-looking the city skyline.  Those are the great days.  

During our past fews days of enjoying the feel-good weather I got to try some local brews to Austin like Austin Beerworks seasonal IPA, Heavy Machinery.  Easy breezy beer and love the fact they are canned.  Great for a hike day or dog park and they are discrete so no need for a coozie ;)  Rates at a 97 on Ratebeer, pick one up!  Another great Austin craft brew I had a few times was Stash IPA by Independence Brewing.  I personally enjoyed the quite hoppy taste!  Packs a punch with 4 different hops added 7 times!  We also had Austin Amber ale and Convict Hill which is an oatmeal stout.  Both great and both from Independence Brewing.  What else have we tried....hmmm.  Had it before but my brother had some Hopadillo IPA's by Karbach waiting for me when I arrived.  He also had a Ballast Point Sculpin and to that I brought him a Ballast Point Victory at Sea.  Ballast Point is ON POINT.  Always enjoy their beers.  We both really liked the Victory at Sea, first time trying.  A porter with coffee and vanilla, YES PLEASE!  It really was a great beer!  I like to call it a breakfast brew.  Oh and another one I picked up for us to taste was Clown Shoes Crunkle Sam.  This one is an American Barley Wine.  Delicious!  Love me some barley wines!  They don't mess around and Ratebeer has it at a 98.  This beer is apparently "retired" so I guess I got lucky to see it on the shelf.  I liked the breweries description and seemed fitting for my return to America...

"We brewed Crunkle Sam, an American Barleywine Ale dry hopped with Citra hops, to celebrate America. America, we love you: thank you for allowing Clown Shoes to set off a few fireworks in the craft beer world."

Going to the liquor shops around town, particularly Spec's is overwhelming coming from living overseas for so long.  I stand there looking at all the beers not knowing where to begin.  So many good choices and so many I have yet to try.  It has only just begun!  

Whaahaahaa!  Get out and try some local brews to your hometown!  

Cheers!

BREWDOG Pub Hopping - BEER FOR PUNKS

My first BrewDog brew was the Punk IPA years ago, like 2007 or 2008.  I was not a fan at the time.  Don't think I drank BrewDog for a while after that.  Roughly two years ago I discoverd Fussa Base Liquor in Japan and they had just started selling a nice selection of American craft beer as well as from other countries.  They had several BrewDog (brewed in Scotland) beer's to choose from so I gave it another shot.  Very pleasantly surprised with their brews.  It also had to do with my craft beer palate being much more advanced and into tasting a much larger variety.  Jackhammer (which I have posted about before) became one of our "go-to" IPA's.  Hardcore IPA was another we would grab just to have on hand at the house.  A couple of mine and Louis's other faves they had were Mix Tape 8 and for a short time, the collaboration brew with Oskar Blues, Shipwrecker Circus. That was an awesome barley wine at a nice 10.5%!!!  Wish they would make that treat again!  

Anyway, we have since then watched every episode of Brew Dogs and really seek out their brews.  They aren't afraid to try new things and they do get crazy with it, it's greatness!  Now that we are living in the UK we have gone to a few of the BrewDog bars...London locations were, Shepherd's Bush, Camden and Shoreditch.  In Scotland we popped in the Edinburgh bar and recently stopped in the bar in Nottingham.  They are such fun bars to go to!  Oh and little did we know there was a damn BrewDog bar in Roppongi, Japan.  Only found out after we got to England.  Shit!

Shepherd's Bush was our first try while in London for the weekend.  We had to go seeing as we love their beer, they have guest beer and their menu said Texas Style BBQ.  Not sure if it was the fact we had been walking around all day or that we had downed a couple not so light brews but the damn bbq was outstanding.  We got a plate with all the meats and a couple of sides and screw the utensils, we ate animal style and it was so damn good.  Some of the best BBQ I have ever had.  This location seemed to be a popular spot, it got very packed.  We went back a couple months later and same thing, get their early and grab your seat for the night!  Good times! 

Shepherd's Bush

Shepherd's Bush

Tasters

Tasters

 Shoreditch and Camden were the next locations we hit up between those two trips.  Not as packed but we did go during the day.  Day pints are the best!  

In October we drove up to Scotland for a few days.  I really wanted to get us up to Aberdeen to see the brewery but couldn't on this trip.  It will happen ;) Scotland is AMAZING by the way.  Would love to go back and see more.  Our first night there we walked over to the Edinburgh BrewDog bar.  It was great fun!  Tried some of the Russian doll brews, ended up buying the pack of them with a glass before we left Scotland.  Met some brothers from Norway and introduced them to several craft brews.  Needless to say it was a little slow start the next morning.  Loved it!

Most recently popped into the Nottingham bar when we drove up for the day just to see what the town was all about.  Another great place, lots of shopping and very tasty sounding restaurants.  Seemed to have quite the variety about town for food.  The BrewDog bar was kind of tucked away in what seems to be an up and coming area.  They have gaming consoles set up on the side wall with old school box TVs to play and all kinds of board games and what not to shoot the shit with friends and really just enjoy your time hanging.  Love that!  Would definitely like to go back for a day of shopping and day pints!

I rather enjoy hitting up the BrewDog bars.  Great atmosphere at all of them, friendly and knowledgeable staff, good food, games and of course AWESOME BREWS!  If you are ever around the areas look them up and see if you can find one nearby.  They are growing so chances are good you will find one.

Cheers!