Friday, October 30, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
We had the best time riding across the Brooklyn Bridge and Fran found this cool website that gave us a secret route around the traffic circles of death at Prospect Park. Then we headed down a cool bike path that ended at the Coney Island boardwalk. Sounds so easy . . . the 67 degree sunny weather made the 18 miles there breeze by.
Once on the boardwalk, we had a great time listening to music, eating a hot dog and having a well deserved beer. Then, the ride back.
We hit the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset, what a beautiful site. And cruised back to the apartment in the dark, navigating traffic and amazing bike lanes.
We have decided we LOVE biking in NYC. And we have also decided we HATE gel seats - our asses hurt. But we'll get back on them tomorrow - with great new adventures. (PICTURES WHEN WE GET HOME)
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The ride - From the West side I would recommend Irene all the way to 15th. (East)
Take a right on 15th headed toward town. Take a left on Fort. Head Down to 6th street make a right.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Oh - and a couple of things: 1) Thanks to all the sponsors, stop workers and riders that came out to make this a successful ride - we can't wait to do it again! and 2) Watch the whole thing. Trust us, it's worth it.
If anyone knows how to fix the graininess of the video - please let me know (It looks great playing in my mac imovie).
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Ram brewmaster Kevin Bolen finally got to stand on the winner's stage at the Great American Beer Festival with a smile on his face - and a silver medal around his neck.
That medal was the second silver in three years at the GABF for the Clearwater Kolsch, and Bolen's fourth medal since 2000 in the United States' biggest and best beer competition. But it was the first time he actually got to be in Denver to get his award in person.
"It felt pretty good, I have to say," Bolen said. "You kind of sit and wait and hope they call your name. I thought we had a solid beer, but every judge is different."
I'm thrilled that Bolen was able to represent the Boise beer scene at the GABF, the coolest convention ever created. Of the 457 breweries from the U.S. pouring beer in the Denver Convention Center, only four were from Idaho - The Ram and TableRock from Boise, Laughing Dog from Ponderay, and Grand Teton Brewing from Victor.
Bolen's Clearwater Kolsch bested 41 other entries and finished just behind a special Kolsch made by the venerable Sierra Nevada Brewing just for the GABF.
"That's pretty good company. I really wanted to try it (at the Sierra booth), because they won a medal last year, but they weren't serving it," Bolen said. "I tried a bunch of other (Kolsches) on the floor, and I felt we had a pretty good chance."
Grand Teton walked away with a gold medal in the American Pale Ale style category with their Sweetgrass IPA. The Sweetgrass beat out 107 other pale ale entries to win gold, so congrats to brewmaster Rob Mullin and the Grand Teton crew.
I love going to the GABF. You get to drink the best beer created in the U.S. (there were over 2,100 different brews available to sample) - whatever you want, as much as you want, and there are always discoveries to savor.
You also get to imbibe with thousands of like-minded people, who are generally in good spirits. I've gone to the GABF four times now and while it can get rowdy, it's never been dangerous.
It's also a great place to spot trends and drink some incredibly tasty beer.
My personal favorite was the Espresso Oak-Aged Yeti Imperial Stout from the Denver-based Great Divide Brewing. It's hard for any beer to stand out at the GABF but the Yeti was so distinctive - all the coffee, chocolate, and oak flavors melded together perfectly with a roasty malt to create a smooth, incredibly tasty beer that didn't destroy my palate. Great name as well. Who wouldn't want to be a Yeti?
Regular readers know I am no fan of Coors, but I love the Peanut Butter Ale from Blue Moon. I don't understand why they don't sell it commercially. Company reps say they only make it for the GABF. It is so distinctive, with a mellow peanut butter taste melding so perfectly with the malt. It's like drinking a peanut butter sandwich and quenching your thirst at the same time.
I had several great imperial red beers, including the Pursuit of Hoppiness Red Ale from Grand Teton (which is being sold in the Boise area this fall) and the 547, created by San Diego-based Pizza Port for one of San Francisco's best beer bars, the Toronado.
Both featured that smooth, sweet, and broad malt presence you want in a good red beer with tons of hops to back it up - but not so many that they wipe out the palate.
One trend in great evidence at the GABF is that craft brewers are embracing aromatic hops as much as the bittering variety. This is good because too many bittering hops can just wipe out taste of a good beer. But when the aromatic hops are used correctly, it makes beer drinking a more three-dimensional experience.
For instance, the hop aroma of the 547 and Pursuit of Hoppiness just exploded out of the glass and enveloped the senses as it went down the gullet.
I keep waiting for someone to make a better IPA than Russian River's Pliny The Elder, but no one ever does. Of all the annoying long lines at the GABF (Dogfish Head, I am talking about you), the only one really worth waiting for is Russian River. Congrats to Russian River brewmaster Vinnie Cilurzo for creating hop perfection with the Pliny.
A few final quick hits: I loved the Hop Goblin India Pale Lager created by the Il Vincino Brewing Co. from Albuquerque (the fresh hay quality of a good lager with an hop aroma and bitterness of an IPA) and the Black Cherry Stout from the Main Street Station Triple Seven Brewpub from Las Vegas, where a subtle cherry flavor blended well with dark roasty malt.
Kevin - next year call the DBRB Crew if you need any taste testers!!!