It’s 11:37 AM in Houston

Yes it is. The ribs are in the smoker and 4 homegrown Poblano peppers are on the top rack. I am giving the peppers a 30-45 minute dose of apple and pecan wood smoke preparing them for a batch of Smoked Poblano pepper jelly.

Skin is beginning to crinkle as they suck up the smoke. I am biding my time waiting on smoked pepper perfection- we’ll, maybe not perfection but “excellence” is a better term, before pulling the peppers. To aid in the wait, a Pete’s dark roast and an Odell’s India Pale Ale – yes both!

Not sure life can’t get much better than this! (FYI- that is an untruth but I was lulled into a cliche statement!)

The ribs will take a lot longer than the peppers to finish up. Thus, a few more ales to aid in the process and maybe another coffee or two to prevent too much cloudy judgement.

I am saving one of my SMaSH IPAs for dinner time to go along with the ribs and some all beef franks, special request from my daughter in law.

Just gotta love 90+ degrees and 75% humidity here in Houston! The beer helps but the coffee works against the body in regulating core body temperature! Ok, Bishop, you convinced me, no more coffee – just cool clear water ( converted in to beer)!

I just finished a Red IPA from Sierra Nevada and pulled the peppers off. Peppers are in a bag for a little more humidity…… LOL. Makes it easier to skin them prior to jelly making!

Now I have a tough decision, our guests are pushing back arrival time so, I may need to lighten up and slow the ribs down.

Next morning now-

Blogging was interrupted by the arriving guests. I am back home now after picking wild dewberries and checking on some of my bees.

Ribs were a big hit as well as the dogs! My wife made a very simple beer based margarita that was also a hit. I had to dig into my special stash while she and one of our neighbors enjoyed their “beer-Rita!”

The recipe-

One can of frozen limeade

One limeade can of tequila

One limeade can of Sprite or Sprite Zero

One bottle of Corona

Mix in a pitcher and pour over ice. Squeeze a lime into the glass and enjoy. It was very refreshing, after she finally decided to share one with me….. there is much more to the back story but I will let it be!

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

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First Taste – Honey Blonde Ale

My wife’s comment pretty well sums it up! “I can drink that,” she says with a smile and a nod of her head.

I am a little more critical and would like to see a little more carbonation…It  has been about two weeks or so since I bottled it. I will give them all a little shake to stir up the yeast to wake them up and then sample again in a week. Flavor is very nice….not tickling my hop loving palate but it was designed to please the love  of my life – her nose goes up and wrinkles when one of those “hop bombs” that I love comes anywhere near her nose. The color….definitely honey as you can  see from the photo below. There is a bit of honey taste and aroma….I used my dark and robust honey in the recipe…it does  come through.

Nice beer....look close and you can see some bubbles rising and this blog post in progress on the lap top in the background.

Nice beer….look close and you can see some bubbles rising and this blog post in progress on the lap top in the background.

Choices…… the freezer is now available for use as a fermenting chamber….. I had a hive super that the bees had cleaned for me residing at 10 degrees F for a few days….kills any wax moth eggs that may be lurking and wanting to do their damage. The super is out, wrapped and ready for service next spring!

A mead is one choice…. small problem…..I need a bunch of honey, like 15 pounds. I am really not so much interested in the mead as I am in producing  some honey wine vinegar.  It may take almost 9 months to finish the vinegar ….. maybe a little longer to let it age. It might be ready for my “Farmer’s Market” table when I sell my honey next summer…….That is another story you can find on;

http://bishopsbackyardfarm.com/

Maybe a tandem effort….a mead and an Imperial IPA…..yeah that sounds good!

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

Hollister Brewing Company

My middle name is Bishop and for nearly 64 years that has been my moniker. That said, my first choice with my Red Curry Fish Stew was “The Pope IPA” . The menu calls it a full bodied West Coast IPA. It was pleasant,  but well short of being on my favorites list. 

I will try the HBC Cask Conditioned Ale with the stew!

 Ah, much nicer! The cask conditioned ale is their Wheelhouse Stout, a bit heavy as a  pairing for the stew but what the Hell, I like it and that is all that matters! The beer was damn near perfect- just a whisker below room temperature with a perfect, frothy and persistent head! Bite your tongue Bishop and “silencio por favor”!

Beer number three will be elsewhere. Maybe Stearn’s Wharf! The Figuera Brewery is walking distance. 

My beautiful beer drinking companion on this trip sampled the “Coastal Common” and wished she would have ordered the “Beachside Blonde”- it was one if those I told you so moments but, again I bit my tongue. It was a bit bit like an Anchor Steam – good,  but not in her wheelhouse. My thoughts as I drank a third of it was yummy, but not in my top 100! 





The Red Curry Stew did go well with the heavy Wheelhouse Cask  Aged Stout. It helped that I ate part of my wife’s burger with it! Her comment, “Well, we probably won’t come back here!”. Yes Dear! 

Drink Local, Be Selective and Drink Respobsibly! 

Bishop 

Fixing the Autodraft Mystery

Something odd happened the other day. I used my blogging app on my iPhone to generate a blog about the first taste test of my Gloden Wheat Red IPA. I attempted to publish after adding a few photos and conducting my typical sophomoric self editing  before publishing.  All that appeared was the “Auotdraft” title and no meat, no potatoes and nothing about the beer. I want to rectify that problem or mystery.

This was Golden Wheat Red IPA III – but it was also the first attempt at brewing the recipe as an all grain batch. If you read an earlier post detailing the brewing day you will see that it did not go as intended. Lesson learned, if the hydrometer is behaving incredibly far outside of expected norms, do not panic. Take a pull on a  good pint of homebrew – down to mid point, lick your lips and realize that it would not be physically possible for the hydrometer to float that high…….Then inspect the hydrometer closely…..if I had I would have noticed that the tip had busted off and the calibrating weight in the base was missing. Had I done that,  it would have been mystery solved….I panicked –  but based on the taste test I recovered nicely.

My first taste test was 11 days after bottling and the conditioning process was spot on….nicely carbonated but not too much.  Great hop balance…good bitterness up front from the early additions and the late additions including the dry hopping have provided a nice aroma. Very, very drinkable….I have encountered very few undrinkable beers but I have had some that were worse than others! This one comes in pretty durn close to outstanding!

A pint of a successful batch...or really 12 ounces!

A pint of a successful batch…or really 12 ounces!

Lovely lace and great flavor

Lovely lace and great flavor

 

My label to aid in CRS issues

My label to aid in CRS issues

 

CRS – a condition that increases with age where you “Can’t Remember Shtuff” or something like that. I will label the bottles this weekend and painful as it is to admit I will share a few! I will be a bit stingy but not nasty about sharing!

 

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

 

Wonderful Team Member Readership Award

A great reader is someone  truly fascinated by others, other’s points of view, other’s perspectives and willing to GROW.

wonderful-readership-award2

Jana Mlynar of http://headoverbeers.wordpress.com/about/ nominated me for this award and in the rules of acceptances noted below she provided the” Get Out of Jail Free” card. You see, Rule 3. Says;” The Nominee shall name his or her Wonderful Team Member Readership Award nominees on a post or on posts during the 7 day (1 week) period. I did not meet that deadline as I was nominated August 28th . I was covered up in excuses so I needed the card or just fade away. Not likely so – Rule number 4 gives me the latitude to change or amend the rules…..I will amend rule 3 to include; “If for any reason that you deem valid and while pondering the question over a craft beer, you shall be allotted the necessary time to comply with the spirit of the award.”

I just want to say thanks to those of you who will read a post or two of mine and more so when you take the time to share your thoughts. I am irregular, maybe a Prune Ale would help…..I don’t post as often as I would like and don’t read nor comment as often as I should…I shall improve on both counts. Thanks to the recognition by Jana… I do hereby commit to doing better!

I have plenty of excuses, not many very valid but I have spent many hours pondering while quaffing craft beers post August 28th, that I grant myself, and the new recipients,  that latitude to extend the acceptance period. I hope all y’all get a chance to spend time browsing “Head Over Beers”….wonderful writing, amazing recipes that feature beers, and quite witty! Go visit the 14 below and share a thought or two.

And The Envelope Please – for the 14 blogs that appeal to me!

  1. Mike’s Craft Beer – http://mikescraftbeer.com/
  2. The Jax Beer Guy – http://sprbrewcrew.wordpress.com/
  3. Brewing Beer the Hard Way – http://brewingbeerthehardway.wordpress.com/
  4. We Make Homebrew – https://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/53674843/
  5. alcohol by volume – https://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/36676889/
  6. sparklinglover – https://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/32376135/
  7. This is Why I’m Drunk – https://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/29077198/
  8. WorkoutDrinkbeMerry – http://workoutdrinkbemerry.com/
  9. Beer Nerds – http://beernerds.wordpress.com/
  10. The Apartment Homebrewer – http://theapthomebrewer.com/
  11. Ales From the Hood – http://alesfromethehood.wordpress.com/
  12. BeerCat Brewing and Babies – http://beercatbrewing.com/
  13. The Budget Brewery – http://budgetbrewery.wordpress.com/
  14. Experiments in Homebrewing – http://buntingbrewhouse.wordpress.com/

The Rules of accepting this award are as follows:

  1. The Nominee of the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award shall display the logo on his/her post/page and/or sidebar.
  2. The Nominee shall nominate 14 readers they appreciate over a period of 7 days (1 week) – this can be done at any rate during the week. It can be ALL on one day or a few on one day and a few on another day, etc.
  3. The Nominee shall name his or her Wonderful Team Member Readership Award nominees on a post or on posts during the 7 day (1 week) period. (“If for any reason that you deem valid, while also pondering the question over a craft beer, you shall be allotted the necessary time to comply with the spirit of the award.”)
  4. The Nominee shall make these rules, or amended rules keeping to the spirit of the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award, known to each reader s/he nominates.
  5. The Nominee must finish this sentence and post: “A great reader is…”

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

Area Code 805 Vacation

As the title indicates, I am vacationing in area code 805. If you have read some of my past posts you know that I am a Firestone Walker Brewery fan. The Paso Robles brewery is making a great name for itself with quality beers. My wife’s taste in beers is developing….maybe that is not a fair statement. Her beverage of choice was always beer, you know, that yellow fizzy water kind of beer. Her very good girlfriend was a help, her father owned the Miller Distributorship in our home town so it was easy to acquire Miller products. Our roommate when we first married drove for Coors and at that time Coors Light was her beer of choice.

Roommate Ernie helped me convert an old fridge to hold a 15 gallon keg. Life was good for all of us. Six months or so after we were married, my wife suggested that maybe Ernie should find new accommodations. It was a tough decision. Ernie was one hell of a good cook, not too good at cleaning up, provided lots of beer and paid a nominal rent fee. He laughed when I boke the news – he knew that the time would come but actually surprised that we allowed him to stay as long as we did after the knot was tied. We parted friends and so it remains.

Lets talk 805. My wife is coming along on the journey of seeking and sampling better beers with me….in baby steps. There some Blonde Ales that she enjoys, that is until she asks for the calorie count…Just enjoy it Hun.

From their website;

“805

It’s not a unique idea, but one that everyone on the Central Coast understands… Call something “805” and it means local.  As a regional craft brewer we have always known that the closer the beer is to where it was brewed, the fresher it is.  In fact since 1996 our brewery has been built on fresh, local beers for the Central Coast…. so we created a beer for the “805”.”

It is a session Blonde Ale that is very drinkable. To that, my wife has sampled it everyday of our mini vacation. She has also had the Blonde from Island Brewing in Carpenteria and her other staple, Blue Moon Belgian Wit. Me, I am abstaining for 12 weeks. I am joining my daughter on a health and fitness committment, which if it goes as planned, I should be hitting my fitness target in 12 weeks. I just have to watch my drooling in the company of beer drinkers to ensure I don’t dribble down my chin.

I plan to still help others enjoy good beers as well as craft a blog or two, maybe include updates on my 12 week plan and plan my return to good beer. I do have my coffee vice to help me through the challenges.

The bulk of our mini vacation will be in the 805 area code area….a bit redundant but you get the idea, Kathy I am sure will quaff a few more “805’s” and I hope to hell you about it. My son-in-law dined with us last night at a very nice wine bar in Camarillo, Sheila’s Wine Bar…..he drank the 805 along with my wife. He is my favorite son-in-law, a well-earned title!

http://www.sheilaswinebar.com/

PS – Great food too!

My wine loving travel mate and coworker enjoyed the wine and attempted to be discrete using an app to listen to the CFL game between his team from Calgary and the BC team……he did cheer out loud several times! We coached him gently.

http://www.firestonebeer.com/home.php

Click on image to enlarge

Free Advertising

 

805

 

Strange Noises at 3:30 In the Morning

Friday night in the Decker house was very pleasant. Our youngest son, Joe had just graduated High School and was on a six day trip to Mexico with family friends. Joe is off to Texas A&M in the fall so we are having a peak at the “empty nest” that many of our acquaintances have told us about. I won’t go into any details but I think it will be very, very enjoyable. You can’t wipe the smile off of my face…”nuff said”.

Back to the strange noises! My son is allowing us to bond and baby sit his dog…..hmmmm. She really is a sweet dog! At 3:30 this morning, this normally very quiet dog starts barking loud and with purpose. So, out of bed I stumble and look out the window where she is focusing her barking efforts. I flip on the backyard light and nothing. I thought initially that it may have been a raccoon or some other critter. I didn’t see anything but she was glancing out the window and toward the garage. Seemed a little odd but dogs will be dogs and their hearing is so acute….who know what was stirring her up.

Kathy quizzed me about what was stirring Sierra up and I told her that I was clueless. She said. “I know that, but what was she barking at?” The comment almost went over my head but standing nearly 6’3″ it bounced off of my forehead and registered as a little slam! Being the forgiving type I let it go.

I attempted to fall asleep but my mind was racing now. I thought I heard some voices, quiet but insistent, coming from the backyard. I tried to focus a little harder and the words began to take shape. The words I heard were like, “Oh, it so cold in here. Please takes us out of this cold place!”

That didn’t make a lot of sense, maybe I was dreaming! Then it as like I was hearing, “take me in your hand and enjoy me!” I perked up a little at that point! Then I figured it out when I heard, “We are waiting for you. We are cold and ready to be sampled!”

I grinned, I knew that the fridge, not really the fridge but those cold beers so lovingly placed in there this past week were calling to me. Much like the Sirens luring the sailors in Greek mythology! I put some wax in my ears and vowed to wait!

My friend John came by about an hour ago and I told him the story about the sounds emanating from my fridge. What a great friend! I had promised to leave the fridge alone at my daughter’s request but he stepped up to intervene and investigate for me. Thanks John.

The voices were real and while he was here we liberated a few of those crying out for our attention.

A suite of the liberated posing before some of Elephant Garlic I picked today.

A suite of the liberated posing before some of Elephant Garlic I picked today.

A Greek Tragedy....the beers were packed tightly into the fridge. As I tried to liberate one next to this one....it bolted, landed on its head and leaked profusely. I was able to save a good portion of the contents! Insert smiley face here!

A Greek Tragedy….the beers were packed tightly into the fridge. As I tried to liberate one next to this one….it bolted, landed on its head and leaked profusely. I was able to save a good portion of the contents! Insert smiley face here!

Those of you that drink good beers, don’t bash me too harshly. In my younger days I drank a lot of Coors before I knew better. It was cheap and easy to get! I remember a trip where Mike Rossi and I loaded up a couple of cases of Coors, $ 5.25 per case and drove south to pick-up Steve Murphy, one of our good buds that had moved to Palos Verdes Peninsula near Torrance Beach. I wonder if they both still remember the panic when that guy in the Gorilla costume tried to get into the car with us….or at least that’s how I remember the incident.

Last but not least…..Ashleigh and Ben, please forgive us for we have sinned and opened the fridge before the appointed time. (John did it!) Give me my penance! They really needed our intercession!

Heading towards a great Father’s Day!

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly,

Bishop

Proofreading and Editing provided by Lisa Decker