Volunteerism and Tomatoes

I was in the garden this morning, April 6th my electric toothbrush Buzzing the tomato blossoms. Why…..? Read and find out why from an old post .

From My Backyard

Not sure about where to go with this concept but I will dive in. My compost piles gets pretty hot but not hot enough, apparently, to damage or disrupt the viability of tomatoes seeds. How do I know this? Well, almost every time I spread compost from my pile I see tomato sprouts in a week or so. They get weeded out and life goes on. This season one of these “volunteer” tomato sprouts managed to escape my evil weed pulling eye and was discovered at about 12 inches tall and very robust. Since I tend to be curious I let it go. It is now 6 + feet tall and loaded with small cherry style tomatoes with GREAT flavor. It is absolutely prolific, even as the day time temperatures are up near 90 F! I have never saved tomato seeds but I will be tempted this year.

I have…

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Inspiration before Perspiration

Sitting on the patio enjoying an almost perfect Houston evening. It is about 74 degrees F or 23 degrees C for the rest of the world, a cold home brew in my hand and chicken on the grill.


A small glass of my Honey Blonde Ale. My wife confronted me and asked if I was drinking “her beer”. I  had to admit, “Yes dear, I am”. Chill out Hun – it was only 8 ounces! Insert smiley happy face here! I was using a brewery sample glass from Real Ale Brewing Co., Blanco, Texas. Sure was good!

The chicken is smelling very good. @ $ 1.27 per pound!!!!   whole roasting chicken cut in half. Season with Lowry’s and garlic. Yum!


That describes the inspiration for my next brew, a Session IPA! Target ABV will be 4.6% or so. Hops, this is where I will get my thrills, 7 ounces of Mosaic Hops. Three of the seven will be used to dry hop the beer as it sits in the secondary fermenter. Six and half pounds of domestic two row malt, one pound of Munich malt, one pound of domestic wheat malt and a half pound of 40L crystal malt.

Mashing and hopping schedule will be run through Beersmith and reported out on brew day, possibly tomorrow or the next day. (Wednesday doesn’t look good so it will be Thursday February 18th.)

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Celebrating with Ashleigh

Yesterday my daughter Ashleigh turned 31! Well, I did the grilling for the event and, as most of the guests, we enjoyed some good beers. My Honey Blonde Ale homebrew was well received in addition to other craft beer offerings. 

For this special night I broke out a bottle of an Imperial Stout from Marble Brewery in Albuquerque,  New Mexico. What a great beer to help Ashleigh celebrate her 31st! Love you Ashleigh! Black as night, great head and very warming. 

We finished the evening sipping on my homemade Limoncello. I think that was a bit over the top for both of us! Very sweet, lemony and a hint of “Everclear” used for the base. It warms all the way down! 

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly


Another Good Reason to Drink Beer

Not that I really need another reason but I have a very cool one now! For Christmas my daughters Lisa and Ashleigh gave me a US map with what appeared to be holes for quarters, 177 holes I found out later. Oops Dad, bad guess. It is designed to hold bottle caps. Now that is pretty awesome and as I pointed out, another good reason to drink GOOD BEER! 

I have already started and have a couple in the Colorado area, one in Georgia and one in a slot for Massachusetts. Only 173 more to go! 

I have a request for next Christmas, contingent upon filling the US map! 




Thanks Lisa & Ashleigh

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly


Odell IPA Inspiration

Good beer, this happens to be one of my one of my favorites, can inspire wonderful accomplishments. While prepping snacks for today’s Texans game, I decided to smoke a couple of  T-bone steaks that I had purchased  a few days ago. Some intestinal issues over the past few days deferred grilling them as I was avoiding meat. Unbeknownst to me, my efficient wife decided to freeze them. Dang it! 
Looking for inspiration while sipping on my Odell IPA, I decided to smoke them while they were still frozen. My good buddy John stopped by and gave his two cents, “Can’t be done”, he says! The gauntlet was thrown and challenge accepted. With the delicious inspiration – the logic? – they were about 3/4″ thin and should cook slow enough to absorb some smoke and thaw as they cooked. Worked like a charm. 


Done to medium/medium rare and just yummy! 

Pecan and pieces of an oak Chardonnay barrel provided the smoke. Seasoning; Lowry’s seasoning salt, garlic pepper and a dash of sea salt. 

Pairs well with my Odells IPA, or should it be the other way around? Odells IPA pairs very well with smoked T-bone! 

Lesson, drink good beer and be inspired! 

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly, 



Beer, What Doesn’t Go Well With a Homebrew?

NFL Football is on and our Houston Texans are rolling! Grab a frying pan, add a healthy portion of coconut oil, about a third of a large onion chopped, a bell pepper chopped up and 4 tamales chopped into bite sized pieces. Oh yeah, some chopped garlic and various seasonings. Most importantly was the Honey Blonde Ale brewed right here.

In keeping with the local theme – the tamales come from a little yellow shack called Granny’s Tamales in Humble Texas, adjacent to the Backyard Homebrewers store. A coincidence? I don’t think so.


Off to a good start!



Starting to simmer, tamales chopped up and my Honey Blonde in the background.


4 eggs for a little protein! Washed down with a good homebrew.


Add cheese, hot sauce of your choice, salt & pepper and whatever your little heart desires.


Add  salsa and a dollop of sour crème.  Small Christmas plate for portion control…..it is OK…..I can still go back for seconds.

Recipe measurements…..come on man……give me a break!

4 eggs….more if you  want

4 tamales …. Ditto

Healthy portion of coconut oil…..bacon grease  would be a  good sub.

Enough Onion

1 or more bell peppers

A mittful of cheese….my mitts are pretty big.

Some chopped garlic and whatever else your palate would like. Tabasco, Cholula, Srirachi sauces…..12, 24 or 36 ounces of your favorite beer.

Resource guide.



Looking good….Texans are up 34-0 8:45 left…..Just for Miami to step up and whack the Colts!

Drink Local and Drink Resopnsibly


Christmas Eve at Town City Brewery

Another new and delicious Brewey in town. I think we have a new Christmas family tradition!!!!! Kids, Ashleigh – 30, Lisa – 29,  Joe and no brother Ben and father, me! Oh yes, Lisa’s trail running friend Tina- 35ish! Parking is sparse but adequate. The flagship brews are awesome!


The Chipped Tooth IPA and the City Porter are my favorites. The girls also enjoyed the White Oak Wit Beer. I also gave the Wit high marks! The Amber scored well with my son.


Loved the decor and the natural edge slab tables. The staff is friendly and even better – knowledgeable!!!!


Wednesday night is trivia night….. I am heading back this coming Wednesday to check It out!



Drink Local and Drink Responsibly