Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Had a free day, took a drive to Evangola State Park for a round of frolf (frisbee golf) with my good friend Keegan McNichol. The beer of choice for outdoor exertion? Fosters' Ale and Lager 22oz cans... Surprising ammount of flavor for a macro- reminds me of a lighter yuengling, sweet, with a nice bite. Armed with a pair of Macanudo Robusto cigars, we made the most of our day off.
Check out Evangola, and other local courses
Monday, August 2, 2010
Week 2: Ommegang Abbey Ale
Ommegang is located in Cooperstown, NY. Despite the great distance between the brewery and the country from which it draws its inspiration, Ommegang manages to transport the beer connoisseur deep into the heart of Belgium with their bold, flavorful brews.
Ommegang Abbey Ale is an excellent example of a classic Belgian dubbel. It pours a rich hazy red, with a light tan head. The aroma is a pungent blend of spicy, citrusy orange with sweet, ripe fruit and malt.
The flavor follows suit... full bodied, almost chewy ripe fruit flavors are well balanced with a spicy yeast finish.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Had a chance to sneak away to Ellicotville for a nice day of climbing with my buddy Bob Warner. Past the ski lodges and lifts, way back in the forest, Little Rock City is a climbers' paradise... With a six pack of Sierra-Nevada Pale Ale in hand, we had a blast all afternoon, and plan to return soon.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Each year, my extended family rents a beach-house as a group and spends a week on the shore catching up, cooking, and finding creative places to fill with sand. This year, we chose to go to Rehoboth, Delaware. This was a fortunate choice for me, as the Rehoboth itself is the hometown of Dogfish Head Brewing, and the route we took through Pennsylvania just happened to swing rather close (with a little creative GPS'ing) to Victory Brewing in Downington, Pennsylvania.
Delaware is a small state, but is surprisingly diverse from North to South in several ways. As we drove through Wilmington, we were greeted with a substantial skyline comprised of the glimmering windows of some of the worlds' most powerful financial institutions. However, as we drove just a few miles past the City to the south on Route 1, we were slightly surprised to come across rolling fields of corn and soy. Route 1 was only lightly populated for the majority of our trip south towards Rehoboth, mainly by quaint roadside stands, all claiming to have 'the worlds best/sweetest/cheapest/freshest/original' products... whether they be 'crabs/cars/corn/tobacco/ or seashells'. As we passed through Dover and continued down route 1, we began to see the landscape change from agriculture- to tourism. The sheer size of the seasonal plazas were dumbfounding... Outlets, liquor stores, mini-golf courses, and surf shops were present on every block... sometimes store locations of the same franchise would be only blocks apart (i.e. Candy Kitchen, Seashell Shops, Crab shacks).
Dogfish Brewing and Eats is located in the middle of the chaos on the Rehoboth Strip. The menu is populated with 'off-centered' offerings. I chose the "Land and Sea" Gumbo, and was impressed by the healthy portion filled with buttery craw-fish and andouille sausage, absolutely delicious. For my beverage I chose 'Johnny Cask: 75 Minute IPA', a cask-conditioned blend of the 90 and 60 minute IPAs that made dogfish famous with their 'continual hopping' technique. The beer was excellent, served at cellar temperature (just-cool), and topped with a one-finger creamy head. The copper-orange ale was a perfect blend of the two IPAs, just light enough to be drinkable, but still full-bodied. The hop aroma and flavor were complex, reminiscent of pine, and grapefruit. I highly recommend a trip to Dogfish Brewing and Eats... the atmosphere is hard to beat, the wait-staff drips enthusiasm, and the combination of fresh brewed beer, and small batch spirits pushes the pub into the top 10 brew-pubs I have ever been visited.
After several beautiful days (and cool, breezy nights) in Delaware, it was time to make the long trek through Pennsylvania back to Buffalo. It seems that no matter where/when you attempt to pass through the Keystone state, you will somehow always manage to be trapped in the vortex of back-roads, and poorly placed construction zones. To break the monotony, we took a small detour to Victory Brewing in Downington, PA. We were blown away by the beautifully designed brewpub. The remnants of old copper brew-kettles adorned the top of the long, hardwood bar, and the impressive draft offerings (nearly every victory beer made) including 3 cask-conditioned ales would keep even the most critical pub-goer occupied for hours. However, the menu (surprisingly enough) is where Victory truly shined. Victory does an excellent job of balancing pub-favorites (sweet potato fries, hot sandwiches, nachos, etc) with enough variety of entrees to keep you interested. We tried the 'thrice fries', a heaped serving of steak fries, sweet potato fries, and fried leeks served with a chipotle-Russian dressing, as well as the 'dietrich' (a massive pastrami sandwich) and the 'whitney', a smoked-turkey and fresh slaw sandwich on fresh rye. The portions were large enough to force us to wrap most of our meal, and the beer was of course, excellent. The "Mad-King" weissbier recommended by our waiter was delicious (light, fruity, spicy) paired with the rich flavors of pastrami and rye.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and I am back in East Aurora with my shoulder to the wheel... Will check back in soon!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Greetings from Delaware! I'm here in rehoboth beach at the Purple Parrot Grill with my brother Christopher Sasiadek (sasiadizzle.blogspot.com) and we were lucky enough to find fresh local beer and oysters on the menu.
Our beer of choice? Deleware's own 16 mile Blues golden ale. Very sweet lightly fruity ale, no trace of hop character... good for a hot day with oysters.
Later on this week, We'll be checking in from Dogfish Head Brewing and Eats in Rehoboth!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I've decided that I will attempt to become a Belgian beer expert on te next year. This will entail several things.
1- drinking and reviewing at least one Belgian style brew a week.
2- brewing Belgian styles at least once a month.
3- cooking/pairing with Belgians.
Review: Ommegang Rare Vos (draft)
Pours a hazy golden orange with hints of red highlights. Beautiful head retention.
Aroma is slightly sweet, like marmalade... but with a tinge of sour.
Flavor is similar to the aroma, sweet and smooth, finishing with a slightly tart, yeasty bite.
Overall: Great entry level Belgian ale... approachable level of sweetness, and good balance of acidity. Would go well with barbeque, or anything on the grill.