A couple of Spanish Macks

A couple of Spanish Macks

Ben holding two of the three we brought home,

Southern Star Brewery – Conroe Texas

Saturday August 4th I organized a trip over to Conroe TX for a chance to tour the Southern Star Brewery over in Conroe and most importantly sample some of their beer. I had previously consumed the Bombshell Blonde Ale on several occasions and found it very drinkable –  one that my wife finds enjoyable….she is slowly broadening her tastes away from yellow fizzzy water! “Toureess” on this very warm and humid day were the true fans of craft beer. The brewery/warehouse is not airconditioned…..it would not be cost-effective! Big industrial fans stirred the air around to help!

My son Ben, best friend John and his son Ryan were in our group attending the tour. A hint for those touring during the summer…dress appropriately – three of the four in our party wore those breathable fishing shirts – Columbia and Magellan brands – Ryan was Mr. T-shirt. Yes I sweated as did most everyone expended energy to lift the glass to their lips. The tour was awesome – The head-brewer was very knowledgeable, answered all of our beer geeky questions and I learned some valuable tips to incorporate into my home-brewing activities. The crowd was packed with home-brewrs…..a great sign!

Although not in stores yet – the brewery’s new Pro-Am recipe is an Imperial Double IPA and it is awesome…. This is a great beer for IPA lovers. Bring your own lawn chair and misting fan if you want….The also serve up some killer beer brats as well as being some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. Drink and buy local – Houston has some great choices and Southern Star is a great choice….canned/kegged beer – they don’t bottle – cans are a better way to keep beer fresh and makes hauling them around easier….cans are much more easily recyclable!

Southern Star Brewery – Pine Belt Pale Ale – Yummy!

TTFN

Bishop

 

Mississippi Beer – I Survived the Ozarks

My Missouri Ozark adventures are behind me and we are now in the recovering town of Biloxi Mississippi! I say recovering, because the devastating evidence of Hurricane Katrina is everywhere. Along the coastal road much of Biloxi and Gulfport was wiped clean of homes and businesses due to the power of the storm surge. While riding along the beachfront you can see massive parking lots grown up in weeds void of any associated structures. Bare foundations and empty lots extending 3 or 4 city blocks inland. The devastation was significantly greater than the New Orleans damage. The New Orleans flooding was tragic, but the town, commercial buildings, historic homes, hotels, restaurants were not shoved 4 blocks or more inland and piled up as a massive dump sites.

My wife and I drove the beach front road in February of 2008, two and half years after the hurricane.  There were still massive piles of debris that were once beautiful beachfront homes, businesses – lives of the people smashed to pieces. What really struck me was how little attention the news media gave to the area hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina. The people here seem to have a resilient spirit and they just rolled their sleeves up and took care of business. I’m sure there was federal disaster funding but they took care of business. Spend some time and follow the link to the aftermath photos.

Biloxi, Mississippi Hurricane Katrina Aftermath Photos, Pictures, Images

For those of you that want a detailed understanding of the impact of Katrina’s storm surge – at the beach the water would have been 30 feet above with waves taking that up much higher because of the 100 mph winds. The link below is a detailed 16 piece blog with photos, maps( I like maps) and graphs detailing the event – storm surge went miles inland in many places.

Katrina’s Surge, Table of Contents | Weather Underground

So, in the spirit of my continuing adventures I hoist a “Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale” to all y’all along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. To my beer drinking friends – man oh man – absolutely a fine tasting beer! It is also low on the ABV scale…about 4.3% which means you can enjoy several while maintaining the proper “southern decorum”. I am an IPA lover and they mak a “Southern Hops-pitality” beer that I must locate before leaving. Even if I don’t I run across it, a beer jobber that will ship fresh beer to your house from a multitude of craft brewers….. I had that idea in my head once – I wonder how they were able to read my mind and steal my business idea…. What is my recourse!!!! Maybe I will send them some of my business and maybe y’all can help them out…Sounds like fun! Check them out!

Beerjobber.com – Online Beer Store | Buy Beer Online | Craft Beer Shopping and Delivery

Two nights in the Biloxi/Gulfport area and then the migration back to Kingwood TX begins. I checked the gravity on my home brew  IPA that is fermenting before we left on the trip July 23rd and it was still too high. I stirred it up and would have liked to check again in 3 or 4 days but will have to let it sit on the yeast until I return.

We went to the Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi and my wife tripled her money playing video poker… we had her cash out and take the $30.00 winnings back to the trailer! Big time gamblers we are!!!! Not quite enough to get a case/flat of Lazy Magnolia shipped to the house using the Beer Jobbers site above but it would help….Hey Kath – we’ll order something that you will like!

Lazy Magnolia – Very nice beers!

TTFN

Bishop