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Friday, May 02, 2008

Hey everybody, there's a new Microbrewery in Austin. It's the (512) Brewing Company! I wish Kevin well, and look forward to drinking a true local Austin beer.


Saturday, February 02, 2008

I started my day (at 10:30) by watching Stargate Atlantas and having a chicken sandwich. I got an e-mail from Jared about doing some bike riding so, I rode my bike up to Walt's house which is right next to a trail head into Walnut creek. We rode through the tangle of trails and suddenly, Walt's bike malfunctioned. A screw fell out of his rear breaks. We looked for a while but, Walt ended up going home. So, Jared and I continued on. We completed the Tangle of Trails and then hit Windy Loop and then the BMX bike trails. We head back through the Tangle and through Walt's neighborhood. Fortuantely, bike route 47 goes right from Walt's neighborhood to my neighborhood. A few blocks from 183 was Jareds house.

On the trail, I noticed that the screw had fallen out of my brakes as well but, apparently that had been the case for a while (I noticed that there was rust inside the threads of the brake post). So, when we got to Jared's house he put my bike up on his repair rack and searched for a screw. The only screw he found was a little long but, it would serve to keep the brake caliper from flying off.

Jared noticed that my de-railers were a bit off so, he made some minor adjustments and set everything right. I would say "again" but I installed everything when I bought the bike and really didn't do that great of a job. Thanks, man.

After that, I headed down to The Flying Saucer on my bike and joined the U.F.O. club which netted me a shirt and a few discounts. If I drink 200 different beers, they will put my name on a gold platter and put it up on the wall. I'm up to 3, wish me luck!

Hey, anyone want to join me in my 200 beer challenge at their local Flying Saucer? Duffy? Bill? Russ? Ashwin? Come on! It will be fun!

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Many years ago, my brother Cory got me interested in brewing beer. In fact, in 1993 he bought the ingredients from Austin Homebrew Supply to make a dark ale of some sort. Why he lost interest, I'll never know. Starting in 2001, I brewed a few beers, mostly learning from then, co-brewing with Mike Duffy. When we moved to all grain brewing, we started the Xeno-Duff label (left).

Wednesday (the 9th) I brewed a big batch of beer at the request of Christine which brought out all of my brewing equipment out of the garage. I even bought a few more things (like a bad-ass reverse flow wort chiller). With all of this equipment out and ready to use, Cory became interested in brewing a "quick" 5 gallon mostly extract batch. So on Saturday night, I sent out an e-mail to a group of people who might be interested. Around 1:00 a decent group to showed up and help with the brew.

Fortunately for us, one of the ingredients Cory purchased back in 1993 survived for 15 years. It was a dark malt extract that, over time, had reduced down to nearly 2/3s of it's original weight and had been contaminated with airborne yeast. So, when the lid was removed, it smelled of dark malt and alcohol. When it was poured, however, it smelled like more like soy sauce but, it was too late. We had already committed to making Cory's "Forgotten Ale".

While we brewed, Bo, Frank, Rick and Josh threw the football around the backyard. As Cory and I were inside cleaning the brewing equipment, we heard a crash. Bo had smashed my grandmother's beautifully painted ashtray (left). So, now I've lost the thing that really defined my Grandmother in my mind. Sad.

As the brew kettle boiled the brown sugar, added grains (that we steeped like tea leaves) and the 15 year old malt extract, the smell became more pleasant. However, we are still not sure what the end results are going to be. The final step is adding yeast (White Labs British Ale Yeast YLP005) and agitating the wort to aerate the beer. So, Cory picked up the carboy and sloshed it around.

We should be able to see if this beer is going to be any good in about 5 to 7 days when we move it to the secondary fermenter. We plan on kegging this 5 gallon batch just in case it ends up being fertilizer instead of good beer.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Last night, Cory and I went to the Gingerman for logo pint night. Last night's logo pint was from a Canadian brewery, Unibroue. I want to get to Gingerman as many times as possible before this happens. The Austin Beer Meetup Plus group as well as a crew from Meetin and we all shared our passion for drinking. A few went without since they ran out of logo pint glasses before everyone had a chance to get one. We did meet a few interesting people like Ted (the organizer), Roxann (who owns Xena action figures), Cary, Jen, Emilio (who I had met before), Chase, and Saurabh (who out-drank all of us).

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Cory and I went to Ginger Man on 4th to nab up a few free pint glasses today. I had thought it was the Monday for St. Arnold's Oktoberfest but, it turns out it was Hofbrau Oktoberfest, which was actually very easy drinkin'. I was hoping for some people to take a seat and start a conversation but, the first guy to sit down was studying for a test or something and only had time to take this picture. The next couple of guys just thanked us for the seat and talked to eachother until they ran out of conversation and left. Not much to write blog about, I guess.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Hey everybody, it's 4-20. You know what that means? That's right, it's Mike Duffy's birthday. So, everyone wish him a happy birthday if you see him in the halls of HP. Also, earlier this week, it was Karen Milkosky's and Lance Wimmer's birthdays. Haven't heard from or seen either of them in a few years, but what the hell?

Coops are big in Austin. We have a radio station, book stores and grocery stores and soon we'll have a coop Pub. You heard me right, a coop pub. Still on the horizon, and lacking in funds (about $260,000 shy of their start up costs) the Black Star Pub plans on running with a professional staff, but with owners (anyone with $100.00) who can vote on what to brew, and I assume many of the decisions about how the pub is built and run. Even if you're not down for a hundy, Black Star has a Drink-to-Own™ Program that allows you to accrue as you imbibe, until you have the investment capital to become a owner.

Tonight Black Star is running a capital raiser for the pub, so come on down, drink and listen to the music. Come on out, St. Arnold's will be there. Hell, I'll be there.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Well, I'm back in line again for a fun filled trip back to Austin. This week went by pretty quickly, since I didn't come into the office until 3:00 on Tuesday. I booked the hotel the day before and found my regular hotel was full, so I ended up staying next to Camden Yards, where the Oriels play. This was the first time that I stayed in the downtown area, and it was a cool experience. I can't really take advantage of it since I need to wake up so early and the drive to work is a pain in the ass, so I'm heading back up to Pikesville nex week. On top of that, the new hotel had no parking, and the TVs had no input for my Xbox (drag, yo).

I missed trivia night, but made up for it by attending a meetup group in the downtown area. I think I may have made a friend or two in the process.

Wednesday night I just ended up at a bar after eating dinner with my co-workers. I drank three local brews (two from another local bar / brewery called the thirsty dog) and called it a night. It was too late, as I found out and ended up getting to sleep around midnight. So, the next day (today) I had to wake up at 6:00 to get to work at 7:00. Unfortunate some wires got crossed and I ended up at the wrong meetting place and did'nt realize it until 8:20. The subsequent drive to Owings Mills was total shit. There was one area where two lanes becomes one on an onramp and the "zipper method" was posted on the signs and I fell in line behind my perscribed "tooth". Then a guy rolls up on my left and hangs there until the lane starts to collapse. I'm sticking behind my leader in the line like glue, so this jerky (in a Ford Probe) makes a total dick move and jinks right giving me two options. Run into him, or run into the barrier. It was a really low speed, so I just yielded an honked and flipped him the bird. It didn't make me feel any better, though.

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