Four Beers to Spring For

spring summer beers 2014

I’ve been on something of a beer-buying binge this May and June and have enjoyed more than my fair share of new releases and old favorites.  I know this because my recycle bin has been filling up faster than usual – that’s always a sure-fire way to measure.

Between mowing the lawn and grilling out – or any ordinary sunny day – there’s no shortage of excuses to pop a cold one while working or cooking.  And my fence-mounted bottle opener makes this all too easy.  The best part: the magnet just below catches those pesky caps.  It works so well, my wife insists on opening my bottles for me just to watch the magnet snatch the caps out of mid-air.  (Now that’s service!)

As the temperatures rise and summer settles in – the first day of summer has officially arrived! – here are a few late springtime/early summer favorites for 2014.

– Newcastle Bombshell English Pale Ale.  The famous British brown ale brewery brings back their spring seasonal, with moderately successful results (the original is still better).

– New Belgium’s Summer Helles Lager. Helles-style (light colored) lager is the Big New Thing for American microbreweries. Think Spaten or, my favorite, Weihenstephaner Original.

– Old Bust Head Brewing Company’s Bust Head English Pale Ale.  A decidedly American take on the English pale ale that’s brewed in nearby Fauquier County, VA.

– Great Lakes Brewing Company Eliot Ness Amber Lager.  I’m a sucker for Great Lakes Brewing’s mellow, full bodied lager (as well as its Burning River Pale Ale).  It’s a great brew from my home state of Ohio (yet it’s from Cleveland, so, some pluses and minuses).

Published in: on June 23, 2014 at 10:57 pm  Comments Off on Four Beers to Spring For  
Tags: , , , ,

When I’m Wrong, I’m Wrong

I love geography and maps, especially maps.  I could spend all day looking at them – animated weather maps, atlases, even transit systems maps.  I really cannot understate my enjoyment, really.  And I only know one other person – a certain beer fueled, empty-Tecate-can-hurling individual who shall remain nameless – who enjoys maps as much as me.

I make this point about my love of geography for an important reason: because sometimes I can be wrong about subjects for which I love.  In one recent debacle, I was wrong about two things I love at the same time: geography and beer.

Let me set the scene: on a recent night out for drinks, I stated that my beer of choice that evening, the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter* (made by the Great Lakes Brewing Company) was made in Michigan – not, as the menu stated, in Ohio.  My argument was simple: I was right and the menu was wrong.  My company however, believed otherwise.  And try as I might to vehemently argue my point – I grew up in the Midwest, so who better to know then me? – I was ultimately proven wrong by that old stand-by, the internet.  (But let’s not open up that can of worms, again.)

No, it turns out Great Lakes Brewing Company is located in Cleveland, Ohio, the city some have affectionately termed “The Mistake on the Lake.”  It turns out, I later realized the following morning, I had confused Great Lakes Brewing with Bell’s Brewery, located in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  This isn’t the first time I’ve mixed up the two, but I continue to argue.  Because isn’t that what drinking with friends is for?

So here I confess that I was, in fact, wrong (a rare occurrence, to be sure).  Consider this my mea culpa.  I’ll end by quoting a wise man, one Michael G. Scott, who said: “It takes a big man to admit his mistakes, and I am that big man.”


* The beer’s name is significant to the Midwest and Great Lakes region. The Edmund Fitzgerald, a large freighter ship, sunk in Lake Superior during a storm on November 10, 1975, killing all 29 crewmembers aboard.  The tragedy was memorialized, most notably, by singer Gordon Lightfoot in his 1976 song, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”  It remains as, in my opinion, one of the saddest songs ever recorded.

And yes, this blog has footnotes; because that’s how The Hip Flask rolls.

Published in: on March 8, 2012 at 12:01 pm  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , , , , ,