Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Deschutes Brewery Twilight Ale

This is the first of my cross posts from one of my BeerAdvocate reviews this summer. I think I had my father-in-law finish the last of this sixer a few weeks back at a tailgate. It was an early one, and we had to start drinking before noon. But as they say, its a tough job, but someones got to do it.

Pours a golden hue pushing towards amber in color. I think they were shooting for the color to match the name and did a good job. Not a big head but some lite lacing. Sweet tastes upfront with a hop backer. Evokes some kind of a citrus hint, maybe lime, maybe lemon. Not much aroma. Very easy to drink. One of my favorites for the summer seasonals this year.


Monday, October 30, 2006

New Belium Saison Harvest Ale

I am very lucky to be able to provide this review today; there was an incident over the weekend that almost made it impossible. Saturday Morning I ran to the store to pick up some home improvement supplies and swung by the local Albertson's where I knew they had the Sasion in stock. I grabbed a sixer and (another teaser) a case of Sam Adam's winter mix pack, including 3 beers I have never had and a fourth that I haven't reviewed and will. I brought the beers home and tossed 2 of the Sasions in the fridge. I planned to have on later that afternoon.

I ended up not getting around to trying it until Sunday, and decided to have one with lunch. I ran out to the garage and grabbed a beer out of the fridge and immediately noticed that the beer was less than perfectly filled. I never noticed before that all beers have a relatively consistent fill point. I examined the bottle and found that there was residue of some sort right around the cap. Apparently the top had popped a bit and some beer had escaped along with pretty much all of the carbonation. I cracked it open and took a very tentative sip and almost spit it out. This was the worst beer incident I have experienced since the great Dab debacle of 1997.

I proceeded to examine the bottles and found that both of the ones I had cooled were skunked. I found a third that was as well. I had to dump 3 beers and almost cried while doing it. I found 2 that looked fine but I was now officially concerned that any of these beers would hold up.

I decided to try one with dinner in my New Belgium Fat Tire globe glass. Cracked and poured it and there was a nice big head. So far so good. The head came down rather quick with very little lacing. For all the head, it seemed almost to be a flat beer. The color was a perfectly clear light gold. The initial taste was a standard farmhouse offering. Nice and crisp with a hoppy flavor. It was somewhat bland, especially compared to some of the quality ales I have had in the past. Basically, this is a more mild version of this style, not a bad way to introduce this to a budding BA. 2 more left in the fridge, and my fingers crossed that they will be good.


Friday, October 27, 2006

Preview of Upcomming Events

Coming Monday, a review of the autumn (or "Harvest") seasonal from New Belgium. I was happy with their summer seasonal, and am excited about trying this one. I am also thinking of tracking down my reviews from BeerAdvocate and posting them as blog entries. This will help me keep all of the reviews in a single place, as I have tended to post things at one site or the other, but would like to be able to share my beer thoughts in a single place.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Your Management Sucks: Why You Have to Declare War on Yourself . . . and Your Business by Mark Stevens

In reading this book I wasn't sure if it was going for a change management idea or some kind of management guidance. As is par for these books, they seem to be written for people who own their own businesses. I credit this to the fact that the writers are often small business owners themselves, so their experiences tend that way.

There were some good ideas in this book, including not relying on conventional wisdom. A great example was the idea that you pay for experience more than performance. For example, why pay more to a 40 year old man who has stopped rising in his career than a young go getter that is making an impact in the business. The book also discusses the idea of the rising star who plateaus rather than continuing to rise. Every time I have success at work, even if it is just a minor victory, I can find myself not trying as hard for the remainder of that day. I can see where this can be true for entire career.

I also enjoyed the idea of taking time as a manger to spend thinking about strategy. At work this is technically a required activity for all managers, but with all of the tactical things that need to get done it can be hard. In the book, he describes going into a forest and thinking. While I don't have access to something as nice as a quiet forest, I often use the time walking the dog at night to think about work in a more strategic less tactical manner. Shower time is my tactical opportunity, setting up my day, but the quiet walks with the dog really lets me think. Personally, this seems to work better in the winter, when there are fewer people out and the walks seem quieter.

In the end, the book was interesting, a quick read and, like most of these types, rather motivational.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Oggi's Pizza's Black Magic Stout

This past Sunday I tried out a beer from Oggi's. There is one of these San Diego favorites right near my parent's house in Glendale and we have had pizza there many times for various birthday's. This time when picking up a couple of pies I popped over to the bar to try out one of their brews. I opted for the Black Magic stout, mostly because I hadn't had a stout in a while, and with the weather "cooling off" it feels like it is the season. The first thing I noticed is that appeared to be dispensed though a nitrogen tap, as the tap for this beer was different from the rest. The beer came with a very light head, because of this there wasn't much lacing or lasting head which I blame on the tap more than anything else. Light aroma of roasted malts with a hint of alcohol. Great mouthfeel, due mostly to the nitrogen. It was very drinkable, but with its relatively high alcohol content I would't want to push it too far.