Drinking Beer And Staring At Trees

I’m enormously privileged, as far as COVID-19 and quarantine goes. I already worked from home, so the only thing that changed was the presence of my family, and granted a three year old and a six year old entering first grade that needs teaching all while attempting to work is no cakewalk, all things considered, it’s fine. My wife is still working as well, remotely every other week, so things move along. 

 

That’s not to say I’m not struggling, depressed, and concerned both with the mundane ‘Is my kid ever going to learn to write and is it even safe to have her back at school in any capacity?’ and the more abstract ‘Is this the dying gasp of the United States?’. Beer helps, and I’m not even going to pretend I’m waiting for 5 o’clock. That’s an arbitrary time. Our lives here were just ramping up to the chaos that is typical of a family in a suburban town–basketball, ballet, gymnastics, school, after-school events, etc. Extended family is not that close, but close enough to make a day of it on the weekends, which we frequently did. Now doing anything but staying home requires specific and focused planning. 

 

Suddenly, there’s time. It’s weird, because cooped up kids and teaching and working is like having no time, but you also have all the time. Yes, there are a billion things to get done, but it’s pretty easy to get any one of them done when you decide to. Throw in a load of laundry, feed the sourdough starter, vacuum, feed the kombucha, do a load of laundry, bottle the homebrew, pick up the rapidly growing pile of toys, have a beer on the deck staring at the trees…

Ahh, yes, having a beer on the deck staring at the trees. This is when I’m happiest. Maybe the kids are running around, going down the slide, fake-planting Pink-a-Bloom flowers from the PInkilicious book/tv series, or playing in the sandbox, or maybe it’s just me. One day in early spring when we had the windows open and the kids were just watching TV on the other side of the screen, it was just me and the wife, two beers, and the cool spring air. 

Maybe I would’ve found more time working from home, I’d only been doing that for four months when everyone else started doing it, but the normal hectic schedule of finishing work, getting kids from school/daycare, figuring out dinner and/or if there was gymnastics or ballet or something in the evening, then getting the kids through bedtime routines and into bed and asleep and then finishing any other chores, mostly cleaning up after the whirlwind, before climbing into bed myself didn’t leave much time for beers on the deck. 

Mostly I’ve been drinking various beers from local breweries that I’ve been buying pretty much exclusively. I bought some beer styles that’ll last all summer, but definitely picked up some IPAs, NE IPAs and other styles that are better consumed fresh along the way. Not necessarily looking for anything super intense while I’m in my happy place, just a tasty beer that is a good companion. I’ve even started drinking it from the can, something I rarely did before. One less glass to wash, and sometimes  even the can doesn’t come in, it just sits in a bucket outside until that bucket is full. 

This is a good beer. This is a comfortable backyard. The trees are tall, and there are birds flying around and chipmunks zipping around the rock wall. Even in the heat of summer, there are enough trees that by evening the worst heat is gone, and if I’m lucky there’s a breeze to keep away the bugs. For a few moments, it’s soothing and relaxing. Then someone asks me to push them on the swings, and I get up. That’s a less relaxing happiness, but I can push with one hand and drink my beer with the other. The world outside is scary right now, but here under the trees, things might be alright. 

 

 Ceetar can be found on Twitter and Untappd where he’s salivating over Oktoberfests and how many he’s going to drink outside this fall. Can his backyard fit a small fire pit? You can also email him at beer@ceetar.com.

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Beer Review:  Viva Piñata IPA Ice Apricot

This my weekly column of beer reviews. This week’s beer review is the Troegs Stompin’ Ale. This beer is brewed by Troegs Brewing Company out of Brainerd, Minnesota. The beer is a 4.7% ABV imperial stout and is released on the 4th of July every year. Troegs Stompin’ Ale was brewed to celebrate the 4th of July. The beer was brewed by hand in an old brick brewery that was turned into a brewery. Troegs Stompin’ Ale is available in both cans and bottles.

Metalic Vagabond Slushie
ABV 4.00
Style: American Black Ale
Appearance: 4
Aroma: 3.5
Palate: 3
Taste: 3
Overall: 4
Reviewer: Digest
Review: Praise be to God! I have never had a beer that I could accept as a real Black Ale. Unfortunately Metalic’s The Devil Run has been my homeboy since it was first released, and they suck. The Black Ale is the Brass Sure, the Devil came out with a Pineapple, but the flavors have been really bad for it. This one is sick. Heavy pineapple, Black Raspberry, Vanilla, and some hops. The finish is pretty good but the aftertaste doesn’t quite master the quality. Recommended only drinking a single or something to warm up.

 

Beer Name:Maitre Tôrer Tributoire
ABV 10.00
Style: Euro Dark Lager
Appearance: 2.5
Aroma: 2.5
Palate: 4
Taste: 3.5
Overall: 4
Reviewer: Bitterdog86
Review: aged in a chestnut-amber. nice creamy head with decent retention. Nice smell of molasses, bitter soft chocolate and caramel. Nice mouthfeel with a mild hop-dense finish. again a solid beer.

Beer Name:Maryland Hathcock Brew
ABV 10.00
Style: English Bitter
Appearance: 4.5
Aroma: 4
Palate: 4
Taste: 4
Overall: 4
Reviewer: Beket
Review: I recieved this beer as a gift at the baby-sit. It was from a local brewery, and I got it as part of a shipment of 10 Hefeweizens. I picked up a bottle from them at the farm. Thanks for the opportunity. Pours a nice thick cola colored head over a clear golden hue. There is a nice thick, creamy head that sets very tight on top, and very little dissipation. Somewhat of a minerally aroma. There are a little spices and dry fruit, but it’s quite tame. Tastes consistent with the aroma, and it has a nice sweet flavor to it. There is a nice muted maltiness to the taste, and it has a dry finish but it’s balanced quite well too. Mouthfeel is very good. Cheers!

 

 


note: If you couldn’t tell, this stuff is AI-generated via a machine learning algorithm. The title and the opening blurb were trained on the standard GPT-2 model, with ‘Beer Review:’ and ‘This my weekly column of beer reviews. ‘ given as prompts. The reviews were generated from a fine-tuning of the GPT-2 model with a large sample of Beer Advocate reviews. I selected from the saved samples of these and put this post together. I have not yet figured out how to train an algorithm to generate me beer photos.

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Beer Review: Strawberry Chipotle: A purple cola that’s not really a cola

This my weekly column of beer reviews.  I review beer on a subjective basis.  For example, if I’m reviewing a beer that I think is “beer”, then I consider it beer.  If I’m reviewing a beer that I don’t consider beer, then I don’t consider it beer.  I’m not a judge.  I’m just a beer reviewer.  I’m not going to look at the actual ingredients list and say “this is beer”.  I’m just going to look at the label and say “this is beer”.  You’re welcome. This week, I’m reviewing a beer called “Flower Beer”.  I got this bottle from a local homebrew shop and I really like it.

Beer Name:Wittekerke
ABV 5.40
Style: Kärp
Appearance: 3.5
Aroma: 3
Palate: 3.5
Taste: 3.5
Overall: 4
Reviewer: RmoT+
Review: 12oz bottle acquired from a job with a local brewer. A- Yellow, with a finger of foamy white head that dissipates to little. S- WTF! The typical Belgian aroma that is best presented as an over-inflated compliment of flowers, yeast, yeast, yeast, and yeast. Basically, the smell is wheat. T- Geez what a mess. The beer is

 

Beer Name:Altenmünster Oktober Fest
ABV 10.00
Style: Weizenbock
Appearance: 3
Aroma: 4
Palate: 3.5
Taste: 4
Overall: 4
Reviewer: meathua
Review: A: Pours a clear golden color with a cypsophous color. The head dissipates into a dark meringue color. S: The nose is very malty and clean. There are minor notes of toffee. The taste starts off with a faint meringue flavor, and the biscuit character comes out a bit

Beer Name:Oude Bock
ABV 11.10
Style: Tripel
Appearance: 3.5
Aroma: 4.5
Palate: 4.5
Taste: 3
Overall: 4.5
Reviewer: didactic
Review: got this at the keg, in a snifter at my local brewpub. got it sampled on tap at the brewpub, and it was a ton of fun. poured a nice light brown with a small white head. in the aroma it was clove, sugar sugar, and yeast. the taste started off lightening. it had clove like taste but it was also sugar. the mouthfeel was wonderful and the carbonation was very well done. again, got a ton of fun. the consistency was good. minimum brew. this was a great tripel and i would recommend it. very good example of what a banana tripel should taste like. ideal.

 


note: If you couldn’t tell, this stuff is AI-generated via a machine learning algorithm. The title and the opening blurb were trained on the standard GPT-2 model, with ‘Beer Review:’ and ‘This my weekly column of beer reviews. ‘ given as prompts. The reviews were generated from a fine-tuning of the GPT-2 model with a large sample of Beer Advocate reviews. I selected from the saved samples of these and put this post together. I have not yet figured out how to train an algorithm to generate me beer photos.

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Beer Review:  Tikka Tikka Flavor – The Pineapple & Aotta Fruit  – Double IPA  Aka’s  Gryffin

This my weekly column of beer reviews. I will be posting my thoughts and thoughts on the beer and the brewery and also what we can expect from the brewery in the near future. For the first time I will be reviewing a beer that I have never had before. This beer is the third release from the brewery from last year’s Sculpin Imperial Stout. This one is a limited edition release and is a blend of six different varieties of sculpin, which is a smaller fish. The blend is named Sculpin Imperial Stout. There is a 50/50 blend of the six varieties of sculpin. There are three varieties of souring agent used. There are three different types of hops.

 

Beer Name: IPA Beer
ABV 9.00
Style: American IPA
Appearance: 4
Aroma: 4
Palate: 4
Taste: 4
Overall: 4
Reviewer: TurdFurgios
Review: This came out last Thursday afternoon on tap at the Balelight Pub & Pub at the Starting Line (now Val Adams), and I had to try it.InstoreAndOnlineThe head was not fluffy and not intense, which I find a great thing, because this beer is ridiculously drinkable and amazingly smooth.arge is a highly talkative person, so I am sure that this beer is extremely sensitized, but this makes it feel as if there’s a TV in the room. This flavor is all of the usual phenomenopsis – spicy, citrus, crust. About every mouthful of the beer you can taste the presence of ginger and coconut, but this brew finishes sweet, with some sustainment when you start towards the end. This is definitely well paced in strength with this array. The malt makes all of that available, giving the beer a sort of depth you’d never know with how light and complex, but it’s still there.�It’s also quite good. I don’t want to ever taste

Beer Name: Lneuze Original (LENO)
ABV 4.70
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Appearance: 4
Aroma: 4
Palate: 4
Taste: 4
Overall: 4
Reviewer: ShigeruKiko
Review: Shalltaniel livery on the front and back of the label. [2/18/10] Poured into a pint glass. You hold the bottle up to the light then swirl it. On one side of the label is a exertion of some sort. Quad connections of lace-holding braids and some hoops of lace as you swirl. On the top, “VIMA” is printed green with no real handle for identification. A very hard to read triangular sign. On the bottom, “4 L” are printed in full while the clarity is all in show. bubbles rising. The beer itself is an opaque dark amber. Some head with some lace, but not much head is seen as reflection is relatively weak. Many ice crystals pop up as the body of the beer in fact, thousands of tiny bubbles. The vehicle of the beer is a thick, ever-so-slightly chalky holds-

Beer Name: Wham!!
ABV 8.20
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Appearance: 4
Aroma: 3.5
Palate: 4
Taste: 3.5
Overall: 3
Reviewer: Grabinski
Review: This was a great 1000bln@ lager on tap. In a variety of locations over a four-day weekend. Great. A solid Schwab offering.Spawned a smallish head that hit my snifter heavy, neck and “thicker” near the edge, while doused in cheap 32oz silicone dimples. Retention was acceptable enough. Colors were hazy golden lager as it warmed. Very mild head. Too light. brown/copper in the face, nose and throat. Licorice, bready, barnyard coming through. A very medicated experience. Good stuff, awesome style that won’t go out of its way to tick your fancy any day..

 


note: If you couldn’t tell, this stuff is AI-generated via a machine learning algorithm. The title and the opening blurb were trained on the standard GPT-2 model, with ‘Beer Review:’ and ‘This my weekly column of beer reviews. ‘ given as prompts. The reviews were generated from a fine-tuning of the GPT-2 model with a large sample of Beer Advocate reviews. I selected from the saved samples of these and put this post together. I have not yet figured out how to train an algorithm to generate me beer photos.

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Beer Review:  Boggy Creek

Boggy Creek is a 20% ABV beer that is made by tapping a special bog from the Black River near Michigan

This my weekly column of beer reviews. The goal is to take a beer that I know I love and write about it in the context of my love of beer. This means that if I like the beer, I’m going to write about it. If I don’t, I’m not. I’m also not going to write about the beer I don’t like, so there will be a fair number of beers in this column. I’m going to talk about beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer,

 

Beer Name:Trevor
ABV 8.00
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Appearance: 4
Aroma: 4.5
Palate: 4
Taste: 4.5
Overall: 4.5
Reviewer: sholland
Review: The taste is not that bad, but it is not the best representation of the style. It’s a pale orange, which is well-suited to the beer. But then you get a nice tropical flare every now and then at the end, and it just seems like a bit of a outlier. Very refreshing for a summer beer.

 

Beer Name:Devil’s Due
ABV 8.00
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Appearance: 4.5
Aroma: 4
Palate: 4
Taste: 4
Overall: 4
Reviewer: pwilcox
Review: I was drinking one of the few sipping beers in the city, and thought a sipping beer would have included a look at the beautiful “B” cat.

A: Poured a hazy amber with a thick, off-white head that covered the glass in a thick layer of foam. The head did not last very long, and then quickly fell to a thin film.

S: An explosion of yeast, a powdery yeast, and Belgian Candi sugar inside my mouth.

T: The taste was sweet, but not thin. A good amount of malt, than toasted bread, and yeast. I could tell that the alcohol was not present at all. This was a very sweet beer.

M: A bit thin on the medium side, but I suppose I could drink more than one. D: Very enjoyable beer that I can’t see getting much better from the bottle.

 

Beer Name:Brooklyn Toronado
ABV 5.00
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Appearance: 4
Aroma: 4
Palate: 4
Taste: 4
Overall: 4
Reviewer: ReubenV
Review: A: pours a hazy hazy copper color with a no real head at all. This pour left over a thin ring of foam that was completely gone in no time.

S: french fries and some nutmeg. Some citrus hops in there as well.

T: a very well balanced pilsner, with almost zero malt in the taste. More of a biscuity flavor as a beer is typically born out of. The malt flavors are obviously present, but the hops are subtle in the taste. Some caramel and a slight pine flavor as well. I get a grassy, grassy malt flavor as well.

M: a nice euro hop flavor that I couldn’t really taste at all. There’s a mild lightness to the taste that is interesting. Overall, I’m a bit disappointed.

D: the beer is a bit shy at best for the style. I’m glad I got to try it.

 


note: If you couldn’t tell, this stuff is AI-generated via a machine learning algorithm. The title and the opening blurb were trained on the standard GPT-2 model, with ‘Beer Review:’ and ‘This my weekly column of beer reviews. ‘ given as prompts. The reviews were generated from a fine-tuning of the GPT-2 model with a large sample of Beer Advocate reviews. I selected from the saved samples of these and put this post together. I have not yet figured out how to train an algorithm to generate me beer photos.

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