Monthly Archives: October 2011

Hoppy Day Brew Day

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To fully understand this post I suggest reading this old post.

Beer Diary,

This year marks the 3rd year of brewing beer for Happy Day and the 10th Anniversary  of Happy Day itself. We wanted to do something big and not pull any punches. Out came the idea for Hoppy Day Ale (IPA) it has 10 hop additions through out the brew process, 10 SRM (units to measure color) and a FG of 1.010. The other unique thing about this beer was that we added hops to every stage of the process so the sparge water, mash, boil, and fermentation all get hops added.
This brew went down on Friday and if I thought I couldn’t get more pumped to brew I remembered we got to try our new wort chiller out for the first time. It is the Shirron plate chiller and you can get your own for 100 bones from northernbrewer.com It isn’t the biggest and baddest chiller out there but it got the job done pretty much as quick as we pumped the beer so I was stoked with the performance.


The brew went pretty much without a hitch got a solid extraction from the grain and were able to squeeze in the 34 pounds of grain into our mash tun needed for this near 7% brew. We used generous amounts of magnum, cascade, and centennial hops. We also added 40L crystal, carapils and flaked barley to add sweetness and body. The yeast we used was American Ale by Wyeast.If you want to taste this brew you must come to Happy Day and you can get all the info you need at Happydaynv.com

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Great Basin

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Beer Diary,

Bad news is the girl I am dating caught on to me blogging about beer I drink on our dates, good news is she’s cool with it as long as I don’t post her picture and she gets to try the beers too. Done and done. We headed to Great Basin the Reno location to see what they had on tap. I had three OOO WOW’s out the five beers we tried, so other Reno breweries you are officially on notice Great Basin is setting the bar when it comes to local beer.

With that said I will go from my least favorite beer tried of the night to my most favorite. It was their Cerveza Chilebeso it was interesting it had the aroma and taste of pickled jalapenos it was intense in aroma and flavor. The cool thing about it was it wasn’t super hot where it might sit on your tongue and wreck your palate instead it was jalapeno flavor first then finished like a lager. I would order a sample first before you ordered a pint. But it is a fun beer to pass around, taste and talk about how the heck you think they got that flavor.

Next was their Altbier called Wild Horse Ale which is excellent it is extremely malty and full bodied. It was my dates favorite from the bunch. It was on the sweeter side than the other beers we ordered. Really it is a rock solid beer it has won some medals at the GABF. So have no fear when ordering up a pint of this beauty.

Ok now into the OOO WOW beers. The first two are tied for second, they are Hop-A-Saur fresh hop IPA and the Nevada Museum of Art 80th Anniversary Egyptian Ale. The Hop-A-Saur is a nice fix for a hophead like me. It packs at punch with heavy citrus aroma and a crisp cascade hop type bitterness. I will be for sure ordering a full pint next time I am in. I recommend it for Hopheads, Pale ale and IPA lovers you won’t be sorry. The Egyptian Ale I new it was a sour and I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. It is low carbonated, contains no hops but does have emmer a type of wheat used in ancient Egypt, coriander, juniper as well as barley. It has aroma a lot like fresh yeast and citrus, the taste starts with citrus like sour  and gets balanced with some sweetness thus it isn’t overwhelming it finishes clean with no real after taste. It is so complex and different I almost had to order another to try key in on all the different flavors. I recommend it to sour lovers and warn to order a sample before going for a pint.

Now for the papa beer the best of the night it was the Old Fitz Bourbon Stout. It comes only in 7oz snifters and is the best bourbon barrel aged beer I’ve ever had. Most of the time with bourbon beers you get a very harsh overwhelming bourbon flavor but this was well balanced with just a hint of bourbon. It was full of chocolate notes as well and then finished with a creamy vanilla flavor. I recommend it to stout lovers everywhere.I have yet to have a bad Great Basin beer they are cranking out some unique well done brews. To me they have the title of Reno’s best brewery. Not to say the other guys ain’t good I had nothing but high praise for Silver Peak in my past blog post and have yet to post on the rest of the breweries but Great Basin holds the top spot in my book. Let me know who you think is the best Reno.

Pumpkin Session

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Beer Diary,

Tonight was a pumpkin carving session at my friend Em P’s. Best part? I found Full Sail’s Session Fest at Whole Foods which has a legit beer selection come to find out. I recommend seeing what your local one has in stock found some stuff the big liquor stores didn’t have.

The beer is a red hand full of tasty brew. It isn’t spiced out like most winter seasonals which I like. It is a nice beer to have a few it won’t make you feel like you ate an entire pumpkin pie.  BA Rating right here. I would recommend to people that like their lager with some flavor.

I was inspired and decided my pumpkin got in a bar fight. Pics soon to come.

Deer hearts on the double.

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Beer Diary,

This week I was gone deer hunting with my brother and pops. I brought along some tasty brews to enjoy after each days hunt or to celebrate our kill. So I will be doing a couple beer reviews.  I wasn’t able to get a buck myself before I had to head home from school and work.  Today I did get a nice kick when I was down when I received a text from my brother with the picture of his buck.

I am not bitter or anything… ok  maybe a little jealous. Anyway to the BEER, first we had a Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. Kenyan the owner of the ranch we hunted on had popped up to our camp to say hello so we pulled out the four pack of the pint cans we had. It was just as I expected silky, creamy, dark and of course strong with chocolate.  It was a nice beer to share hunting stories and a few laughs over. Here is the beer advocate rating. I would recommend it to people that like their darks.

Next was Rogues Double Mocha Porter which we decided to crack open before dinner. Rogue says this porter goes with beef and dessert.  What was on the menu you ask? Well it was the heart and liver of the deer my pop shot that morning. I had never had heart or liver and I wasn’t real thrilled about it. I thought for sure I would be in the ice chest getting the stuff to make a sandwich.  Turns out deer heart taste a lot like steak and I went for seconds. Liver on the other hand tasted gamey and had an odd texture where it would crumble to a powder like substance that got stuck in my teeth.  It was rough but not as bad as I thought it would be.  So yeah the Mocha Porter was excellent more coffee tones then chocolate and it packed a punch in the ABV% I felt a fire in my belly. I would recommend it to people like their coffee spiked. Beer Advocate Rating.

It was fun trip and it was good to get away for a few days. One good thing about my brother filling his tag is we get to celebrate with The Stone Russian Stout chilling in my fridge. YEAH BUDDY.

Pumpkin Ale and Cliff Hangers.

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It is Pumpkin ale season and my sister works at Trader Joe’s.  I was teaching her how to use twitter and she all of a sudden got excited, “O O everyone is freaking out at work because we have the Pumpkin Beer in and you can only get it this time of year you should try it!” I thought yes I should! Haha so on the way home I dropped by the ole TJ’s and picked up a six pack. It was only 5.99 so not bad on the price.

The big name on the label is KBC but it is brewed by Federal  Jack’s Brew Pub. The beer has a nice orange color which I liked but it was lacking in head for my taste. It has a very sweet spice aroma and the same on taste. It is very light and easy to drink. For me it was too sweet and lacking in mouth feel. I don’t like to do ratings I decided but here is the Beer advocate rating.  It’s cheap and could be a fun six pack to bring to a Halloween party.

This year my buddy Andy and I are going to give another go at a beer in the same vein as a pumpkin ale but not a pumpkin ale. It is top secret right now but I will be sure to let you guys know if it turns out if Andy wants to unveil it to the beer world. Boom. Cliffhanger. Stay tuned.

Greek & Seasonals at Silver Peak

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Beer Diary,

The other night I was on what can only be described as a hot date I decided to take this little lady to a new spot in Reno called CommRow to check out their greek restaurant Lemoni we both got gyro’s which were tasty but the best part had to be the fries. They were covered in spices, mixed with grilled onions and had lemon juice squeezed on them. BEST FRIES EVER.  CommRow is a fun spot that offers a lot of options so I encourage you to check it out.

We decided to head to Silver Peak Brewery to have some drinks and me being the sneaky guy I am knew they probably had some new seasonal beers I could blog about. Cheers to efficiency but hey when you work and go to college full time you gotta do what ya gotta do. Anyway back to the beer. First I had their Flynn’s Wet Hop  (that is a link to their beer profiles) ale which was tasty. It had earthy tones and a healthy head. I would recommend it to a friend that is into that short of thing. I stole a sip of my lady friend’s beer as well, she was having an Apricot Wheat which was done very well. It wasn’t too sweet but wasn’t super wine like in taste it had the balance I like when drinking a fruit beer. They used a puree and that is what I recommend in my Post Fruit Beer. I would recommend it to a friend that is into that short of thing.

   Left Wet Hop Right Apricot Wheat

 Next round, yup she was still hanging out with me. I got their Battle Born Beer which is a lager. It is a solid lager, nice malt flavor with plenty of mouth feel. I would recommend it to a friend that wants to toss back a few. I talked my date into the porter, (light to dark boom I do as I say) which is really good. Sometimes with a porter you get something that taste like watered down coffee but they delivered with a full beer and a nice coffee finish. I would recommend to anyone that likes a good porter.

 Left Battle Born Right Porter

In the end it was good night and I didn’t blow it with the girl! Sushi date tonight at Hiroba.  Sake blog? You bet your ass well if they have some that sound good, I’ll keep you posted.

How to get your old lady to drink beer.

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Beer Diary,

It’s Sunday the fellas are over and your buddy comes back from the fridge asking why you have so much Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Smirnoff Ice. Your friends know perfectly well they aren’t yours but that doesn’t stop them from giving you crap about it. Plus it just doesn’t feel right putting away your high quality ten dollar a six pack beer away next to her sugar loaded alcohol sodas. If you want to put an end to this shameful waste of space in your fridge keep reading. If not quietly go to your wife or girlfriends purse and get your… never mind it is too late for you anyway.

Well your still here and you maybe thinking this is gonna lead to a fight and I am not sure if this is the hill I want to die on. Don’t worry your honey bunny will not be mad in fact she will thank you.  You just need to know where to start and ease them into the world of good beer. Your girlfriend might always say “I don’t like beer” this most likely means she doesn’t like Bud, Coors or some idiot once offered her an IPA assuring her it is a good beer. Which it is but she just wasn’t ready for that yet. Whenever someone tells me they don’t like beer I tell them they do they just don’t know it yet.  There are thousands of different kinds of beers out there I am there is even bacon beer! So I am sure there is at least one your girlfriend will like.

Where to start, your best bet is to start light but with flavor I recommend some sort of wheat beer, Blue Moon is a wheat beer that you can find anywhere. It is made by Coors and it is usually served with an orange. So it is citrusy and sweet. Widmer Brothers hefeweizen, Pyramid hefeweizen , and Lost Coast’s Tangerine Wheat are all good starting places.

My highest recommendation for beginner beer drinkers is  Anderson Valley Summer Solstice it has 4 IBU’s so that means it is very sweet. It also has vanilla tones that make it taste like a thick cream soda. It is one of my favorite beers of all time.  The idea is just to get her to taste these and not force the issue. In the hope that she finds one that she loves.

Lets pretend she loved one of those beers but you want go farther to capitalize on how she is now more open to beer.  The plan is to go dark. Yup dark. Dark beers taste like coffee or chocolate and odds our your lady likes coffee or chocolate.  The trick is to make sure coffee or chocolate is in the name of the beer you are having them try. Enter Rogues Chocolate Stout. It is like a milkshake but better it has booze in it. (Side note: if a bar has this on draft make have the bar tender make a car bomb with it. LIFE CHANGING) If your lil mama loves coffee Kona does a Coffee porter that is available almost everywhere. It is made with real Kona coffee and it is tasty I usually pick some up every year when it comes out.

Going from here be careful avoid Sour’s, Pale Ales, Imperial‘s, double’s and IPA’s.  Look for Red’s, Ambers, Wheat, and flavored beers.   Recap and final tips: Ease her into it offer sips not whole beers, start light then skip the middle and go dark, seek flavors you know she likes, and if she doesn’t like a beer you do don’t get butt hurt about it be happy she is drinking beer.  I wish you all the best on your mission to spread the enjoyment of beer and good luck!