Saturday, December 31, 2011

The BR Beer Scene 2012 Resolutions

2011 was a great year, as I talked a bit about yesterday, and along with all that drinking came a lot of hits, website success, and also a little weight gain.

In 2012 I know I'm not going to stop drinking... it's just not going to happen even without the 365 new beers goal or trying to visit different breweries.  I just enjoy beer (and whiskey) too much to quit.  I am, however going to try to limit my drinking by imposing a new "rule" upon myself that I have to walk a mile for every "drink" I consume.  

That's right, I have a pedometer on order and once I figure out my stride length and how many steps are in a mile I can start counting it up and seeing where I'm at.  The average person walks about a mile a day naturally, but I have a pretty sedentary day job so I might not ever be at that number.  So the goal will be, of course, to monitor my miles walked, and always keep ahead of the curve as I also track all of my drinks consumed.  

As far as "drinks" go, here are my guidelines to follow:
  • One normal beer (7% or less) in a pint or less quantity is equal to one drink.  I know there's a lot of variation between a 12 oz. Michelob Ultra and a pint of Stone IPA but it would be a real pain to count all those calories so one beer = one mile for this one.
  • One normal beer (7% or less) in a bomber or 750ml is equal to two drinks.  I drink plenty of bombers so this will likely come into play. 
  • One strong beer (over 7%) in a pint or less quantity is equal to two drinks. 
  • One strong beer (over 7%) in a bomber or 750ml is equal to four drinks.
  • Any beer over 12% is triple in value to a normal beer.
  • Two tastes of whiskey (as in, the Raise A Glass tourney) will be equal to one drink.
  • One pour of whiskey (or other liquor) will be equal to one drink.
  • A double pour is of course equal to two drinks.
  • Any whiskey mixed with a sugar-filled beverage will be doubled in value.  (Diet drinks or water do not double the value.)
  • A glass of wine (approximately 5 ounces) constitutes one drink. 
  • A full bottle of wine equals 5 drinks.
  • Each size up on a daiquiri/margarita will be one drink.  Small = 1, medium =2, large = 3, extra large = 4, etc... unless they are the sugar-free variety, then cut it in half.
Sharing is allowed.  If I split a bomber with a friend it only counts as half that bomber's worth.  Sharing of any other beverages can be distributed appropriately, as it pertains to bottles of wine especially. For beer tastings, the standard pour will determine the amount of drinks.  A 4 ounce pour is 1/4 of a pint and 1/4 of a beer if it's standard.  And so on...

So, that's the plan... a mile per drink all year long.  I might get a little behind at first with New Year's day football and all the bowl games on Jan. 2nd, and then the BCSCG on Jan. 9th, but I'll catch up on the miles.  I promise!

Cheers, and here's hoping you all have a fantastic 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011

The BR Beer Scene Year In Review - 2011 Version!

Hey everyone!  

I must say it has been a fantastic year for my blogging and beer drinking habits, as I look back on all of the "resolutions" I set for myself at the beginning of 2011.  Did I accomplish all of them?  Honestly, no, I didn't.  Let's take a quick look though before I get into some goals for 2012.
  1. Visit at least 6 breweries.  I accomplished this one, visiting the Tin Roof Brewery in Baton Rouge, Parish Brewery in Broussard/Lafayette, Freetail Brewery in San Antonio, Saint Arnold Brewery in Houston, No Label Brewery in Katy, and the Bozeman Brewery in Bozeman.  Each of them presented a unique experience and I would (and almost certainly will) visit them all again!
  2. Get published somewhere other than my blog.  Hmmm, in a way I did accomplish this as the Raise A Glass radio show featuring myself and Jay Ducote of is on the air and published on iTunes.  It wasn't really the point of the goal, but I suppose it does meet the letter of the law. 
  3. Keep Homebrewing.  Mission accomplished here, I brewed several beers throughout 2011 and also a mead.  I plan on doing even more homebrewing in the future now that I'm done with resolution #7 which you'll see later! 
  4. Enter a Homebrew contest.  I never really did this, but I did serve some homebrews at the Tin Roof Homebrew Appreciation Night.  Still though, I can't say that counts because it wasn't a contest, just an open house/tasting.  Strike 1. 
  5. Drink a beer stronger than I ever have before.  This was accomplished twice over... once with the Brewdog Tokio* Imperial Stout and also with the Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA.  Check!
  6. Continue to get in better shape and lose weight as I simultaneously continue to enjoy beer and write about it.  Well, I can't honestly say that I accomplished this one.  I didn't gain much, but I am up about 5 pounds from the start of the year.  So crap... strike 2. 
  7. There are 365 days in 2011... I think I should try 365 new beers.  This was the big one, and I accomplished it with flying colors, drinking around 460 (and counting for another day) new beers this year.  I finished it off with a Westvleteren 12 as number 365 back in October.  I did fall behind in blogging about all the beers, but can you really blame me? That's a lot of brew! 
So there you have it... 7 resolutions, 5 success stories and 2 strikes.  I guess it takes 3 strikes to be out, so I'll keep on blogging about beer! 

My goals for 2012 will be a lot simpler and mostly focus on that Resolution #6 that I failed to accomplish but also some aspects of the rest.  Check back tomorrow for that post! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Authentic Beverages vs. the Texas ABC - ruling announced!

Earlier this year Authentic Beverages (not sure exactly who they consist of but I think Freetail Brewing, Jester King, and a few others were part of the lawsuit) put forth a lawsuit against the Texas ABC declaring portions of their Alcoholic Beverages Code to be unconstitutional.  Earlier today the judge in the case sided with Authentic Beverages regarding half of the lawsuit, and with the Texas ABC on the other half.

So, what does this mean to consumers like me who might be in Texas looking to buy/drink some beer?  Honestly, not much yet.  It does allow the breweries to properly name their beers with regards to style, as well as display the alcohol content.  They are also allowed to direct customers to locations that carry their beer which was previously illegal.  

The lawsuit was hoping to also do away with restrictions preventing the breweries from selling directly to the consumers but this part was unfortunately the part that was not ruled unconstitutional.  It's a step in the right direction though, and look for more legislation in the future regarding this part of the issue.  All in all, although it might not affect us over here too much, it's still a good step and proof that the small breweries CAN indeed get things done legally to help the world of craft beer.

For more reading on the subject:'s post about the case.
Jester King's blog post/press release.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Stone Brewing 2012 Special Release Dates!

Hey everyone, I was just browsing, because I'm a masochistic SOB and I enjoy reading about all the beers we can't get in Baton Rouge.  Seriously, the first page of news includes beers from Goose Island, Russian River, Summit, Victory, and Lost Abbey.  We can't get any of those in Louisiana and only Victory (and maybe Summit?) over in Texas.  There was one item of interest to those of us down here, the Stone Brewing 2012 Special Release Dates!  I don't know that all of them will find their ways to our shelves, but in 2011 the Anniversary Ale and Vertical Epic did for sure. Here you go:

Stone Old Guardian Barleywine – Feb 13th
Stone Imperial Russian Stout – April 16th
Stone 16th Anniversary Ale – August 13th
Double Bastard Ale – October 29th
Stone Vertical Epic – 12.10.12
So, be on the lookout for any of those on the shelves around those dates, and drink up!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Breweries Every Day! (well... almost...)

Much thanks to Dustin Davis for bringing this article to my attention via his blog, Sports on Tap!  Apparently there have been 50 new breweries opened up in the last two months across the United States.  FIFTY!  That seems like an awful lot for just two months, but I'm not going to complain.  Unfortunately none of them are in Louisiana, but there are a couple in Texas so maybe I'll get a chance to try their beers or check them out soon?  

First up is a nano-brewery out of Beaumont called Cornel's Brewing Company.  Apparently they debuted with a Mexican-style lager but have some much more interesting beers in the works such as a Pecan Pie scottish-style ale, a vanilla porter aged in bourbon barrels, a rye pale ale and a "Smokin' Hot Blonde" that will be aged with roasted poblano peppers.  Now some of those really sound intriguing and I'm going to have to make a pit stop in Beaumont on one of my future Houston trips and see what I can find!  (Yes, the articles say they released their first beer in July, so I'm not sure why they would count as opening in the last two months... but they are on the list?)

Also new in Texas is a brewery called Wicked Beaver Brewing in the town of Wolfforth.  Just where the fuck is Wolfforth you ask?  Well, a google map search (yeah, I had no clue either) shows that Wolfforth is in the middle of nowhere.  Zoom out a few times and it turns out the Wolfforth is not too far from Lubbock in the Texas panhandle.  They take pride in brewing their beers with no automation (so really a commercial scale homebrewer, awesome!) and they started off strong with a Black Ale as their first beer.  Very nice!
I know there are a few coming closer to home as well... I haven't heard much news about the Pelican Brewing Company or Iron Rail, but they've got to be getting closer to being on the market.  Add in new brewing facilities for Bayou Teche and Parish Brewing and it's still an exciting time for craft beer drinkers in Louisiana as well.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Brewery Review: Left Coast Brewing Company

Alright, time to talk about a brewery instead of a specific beer!  Left Coast Brewing started distributing to Texas back in August, so if you're ever at Spec's over there look for a few of their regular lineup plus maybe a seasonal or two!  The first one I tried was the Hop Juice Double IPA, probably their signature beer, and it was well received among all of the IPAs we had lined up at the IPA Day tasting!  I need to try it again in a more isolated setting and really appreciate a good beer.

Since then I've also had the chance to try the seasonal Una Mas Amber Lager and the year-round Voo Doo Stout.  Both beers also impressed, but especially the Una Mas which really had a lot of flavor for the typically less than powerful style.  The Board Walk Saison, a summer seasonal was also a pretty solid beer and the year-round Trestles IPA was good but not quite as impressive as the Hop Juice Double IPA.


The next chance I get I'd like to try their year-round Asylum Tripel and the other two seasonals, the Wedge Black IPA and Ale Epeteios Imperial Stout really look appealing to me.  Maybe one day these guys will be in Louisiana.  Expansion from California to Texas is a step in the right direction.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cooking With Cholula Hot Sauce - Part 2

Alright, a couple of posts ago I made some spicy fajitas with some Cholula chili garlic hot sauce and washed that down with a Nogne O Imperial IPA.  I was itching to try another one of these Cholula flavors so it was time for some chili lime pork!  This really was a pretty simple dish... pork tenderloin filets, with some olive oil, Slap Ya Mama cajun seasoning, one lime juiced up, and then the chili lime hot sauce! 
While the pork was cooking (about 45 minutes in the oven on 375) it was time for a side, dish, so I whipped up some lentils real quick and boiled them in a little crab boil for an extra kick.  With about five minutes left for the pork I added some shredded cheese because who doesn't like cheese?  Shortly after that, a quick spicy dinner was served.
 I'd recommend another IPA with this dish, something fresh and hoppy to work well with the spices and the lime.  And just because this dish has some lime, don't just grab a cheap Mexican import and throw a lime in it.  Please!  Cheers!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Westvleteren 12 in the United States - Update!

It looks like the talk of Westvleteren 12 making it's way to the United States is more than just talk.  Recently they have submitted (and had approved) the labeling for the bottles in our market.  They can get away with just a custom bottle and a cap in Belgium but the rules here are a lot more strict and bottles have to contain certain information about the beer.  The craft beer guys over at are all over this Westvletern 12 stuff.  Or, Westvleteren XII as it turns out.

Here's a look at a possible front label for the bottles which are expected out in Spring 2012:

And here's the possible back label:

Now the real question is, how much will these gift packs cost?  The rumors have them wholesaling for $50 to $60, so I think a $100 price tag for the pack of 6 bottles and two glasses is what we should expect.  Will I still buy one?  Absolutely... but probably just one at that cost.  How about you?  Post a comment and let me know if you'd be in the market for $100 per gift pack.

Friday, December 2, 2011

New BR Beer Scene Logo!

Hey everyone, just a quick post to show off the new BR Beer Scene logo.  It's about time I put one together and now it'll represent Baton Rouge while the previous title logo on the site was a bar in Seattle!  A very awesome bar for the beer drinkers among us, but still in Seattle.

The title version is up above, but here's the regular version as well:

Let me know what you think about it!