Friday, March 31, 2006

Magic Hat "Circus Boy"

It's called "Circus Boy"
"Perfect for you" said D'Wife.

It was a pretty warm evening last night, so I went for it. It hadn't quite reached my 70° threshold for hefeweizen - the ultimate "lawnmower beer" - but I could make due.

After letting them chill for a while, I took one from the refrigerator. The unfiltered / unpasteurized yeast left a nice layer on the bottom of the bottle. Remembering Mike's advice, I slowly rolled the bottle on it side to ease the sediment back into the liquid, where it belonged, where I could enjoy it and those yummy vitamins. Returning the bottle upright, I gave it one gentle swirl to fully distribute the little buggers.

The bottle opened with a refershing pop."The Overachievers Underestimated the Rest of Us" were the words under the cap.

I poured it into my special "new beer" glass. It was a beautifully translucent golden yellow with a brilliant white head. Almost a lemon meringue in a glass.

I brought the glass to my nose. There are certain aromas which can trigger strong memories* Others are unmistakeable and can be linked to a specific, place we all know (for instance, if you combine the smell of coffee [with way too much cream and sugar] with the smell of kerosene, you get an airport. Try it yourself).

Circus Boy smelled like the bike shop I worked in ... fresh rubber - probably from the yeast - lemon Pledge, and Windex.

When I worked at The Peddler's Shoppe in Haddonfield, it was transitioning from a bike shop to a BMX / skateboard shop. Her name was Patti. I was a DeadHead tuner and she was a skatepunk ... very much the prototype for the sk8r grls we all know and love today ... very Avril Levigne (except Avril wasn't born yet). She was the one who convinced me to play bass ... her logic was simple "a guitar has 6 strings, you have 5 fingers; you're outnumbered. A bass on the other hand..."

There was a vacant apartment above, which oddly enough had the same locks as the shop, so the same set of keys opened both sets of doors. Being an older building, both upstairs and downstairs had very creaky hardwood floors (hence the Pledge), plus the hand-etched shop door (Windex)had one of those old jingle bells that rang whenever someone came in ... sort of an early warning device. It came in handy many times.

She's a nurse now, I believe.

Sorry, lost track.

Circus Boy, yes, right. It was very nice, sweet honey-lemony taste. It's not hoppy at all, not too dry.. If they keep it available through the summer, I will be happy. It won't be my go-to Sunday-after-yardwork beer, but it could come in handy with a cigar on the porch at sunset.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Mendocino Red Tail Ale

As I crossed the knee-deep meadow, grasshoppers leapt ahead of me like porpoises playing off the bow. Butterflies did their best impressions of seagulls in the surreally cerulean sky. A thin gravel ribbon lay below the tall grass, tying together two clouds of pine forest six hundred yards apart. A massive island of granite sat amid the pasture, calling me to rest. I was thirsty; I obeyed. I propped my creaky conveyance, climbed the miniature mountain, and took a well earned five. Above me circled a majestic Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) I saw him, he saw me. Our eyes met. His brow knitted with a look that said, “This is going to be good!!!”

I’m not wearing that bunny jersey ever again.


Mendocino Red Tail Ale
A lot like Sam Adams, trading Sam's full creamy head for a bit more caramel flavor. Despite the thin foam, nicely aromatic. A little watery, but still enjoyable. This would be a nice post-ride/run beer.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Rites of Spring

The temp was up near 70° on Saturday. We encountered many tell-tale signs that Spring is indeed just around the corner.

1) Spring Peepers - These little frogs emerge from the pond behind my house when the evening temperature is above 45°

2) Daffodils and Crocus - The daffodils are 4-6" tall and about ready to burst. The yellow crocus under my maple tree have already started to bloom.

3) The Alto sax - The Korean man who owns the Atco Cleaners plays his saxophone in the doorway when the daytime temperature is approaches 65°

4) Atco Raceway - They were racing Saturday night. When the breeze is just right, they sound like they're at the end of my block. No jet cars / trucks yet, though.

5) Hogs are running - About 100 Harleys, V-Twins and choppers cruised up & down the White Horse Pike Saturday afternoon.

6) "Unfortunate Choice of Tube Top While Waiting for the AC Bus" - Sadly, that kind of explains itself.

Things we're looking forward to:
a) First Morning Run WITHOUT Sweatpants

b) First Bat Sighting

c) First Evening Cigar on the Porch

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ash Wednesday

D'Wife asked me on Monday if I might give up beer for Lent.

"Ummm, honey, how long have you known me???"
"Too long."
"Agreed. How many times have you know me to give up beer for Lent???"
"Um, never."
"Correcto. What makes you think that this year I might???"
"I dunno. We could save ..."
"Stop. That's an economic argument. It has nothing to do with sinning, lack of sinning or me being a better person. In fact, I feel I am a much better person, much happier and nicer to be around when I have a pint of Dogfish Head waiting for me at the end of the day."

Here are my Lenten absentences from the past few years

2005: Cheese
2004: French Fries
2003: Bootlegging MP3's
2002: Unemployment (I started working at Lockheed just before Lent)
2001: Taco Bell
2000: Strip clubs (Mariel was just a baby, and I couldn't bear it - pun, fully intended)

This year I'm giving up pizza at lunch. Why is that a big deal??? Every day I bring PB&J, yogurt, fruit of some sort, ginger ale or water, for lunch, usually in a Home Depot bag. I supplement this with a slice of pizza from the cafeteria, which as far as food service goes, is not bad. I usually get a pepperoni or sausage, then "hot rod" it up with onions, peppers and black olives from the salad bar.

But it's a good candidate for abstinence, and the one I will go with. Other finalists included: television, cursing, and flirting with Mom's at church functions. They all had too many drawbacks.

I also do something during Lent other Catholics might not: Not only do I take something away - I also add. I add saying the Rosary at least once a week. I add at least one trip to Confession during the six weeks - not like I'm short on material.

Wish me luck.