Missed Beer Opportunity

It wasn’t quite the end of the world – it was a matter of electronic communications and proper behavior on my part. I rolled off to Bass Pro Shop Sunday afternoon for a manly man shopping day. When I arrived I looked at my iPhone and saw that I had an email from a Kingwood buddy and an awesome homebrewer and he was in need of some help.

My Mailbox indicated a 3:25 PM message that I did not get a chance to respond to until I was stopped in the Bass Pro Shop parking lot – Pearland, TX. Note for Mike….it said that you sent the message on Wednesday May 7th 2003 at 9:25 pm – I think something is amiss with your mail account. Message sent to me and good friend John.

“Sent: Wed 5/7/2003 9:25 PM

Just got thru putzin around the garage an figured itz time for a beer.  If you guys can get away, I need help finishing off the Bock so I can fridge my Pilz before the summer is over.Come on by for a brew or 2.”

I replied that I was in Pearland and would be happy to help with the inventory problem….I am good at reducing beer inventories!

I was able to swing by his house at 5:20 PM but alas….no answer to my thirsty knock.

Plan B – I saw a tweet that Flying Saucer had Southern Star’s ProAm 2012 in stock. This is a Double IPA that I sampled a few weeks ago at their brewery tour. It is an awesome beer. The local HEB typically has Southern Star offerings so I swung by…if I can’t get one of Mike’s homebrews I will seek out an acceptable alternative.

I struck out again but there was still an out left before retiring the side….I wandered the aisle and found – a six-pack of Alaskan Amber. Ok I am on base now, made my purchase and headed home where 3 thick T-bone steaks were seasoned and ready to throw on the grill. Photos via iPhone.

The Alaskan Amber fulfilling the role of grill-mate, a job well suited for this Alaskan offering.

Three Tbones – mine closest to the front with lots of coarse ground black pepper! Garlic French bread lingering in the far corner.

Salad with spicy ranch dressing joined the meal and finished off with a Lazy Magnolia Pecan Brown Ale. Shared the meal with my wife – she just cut the tender part out of the T-bone and told – no – asked me to keep my hands off of the remainder…she loves cold steak! I poured her a Bombshell Blonde from Southern Star – life really is good!

Mike – I am always willing to help reduce inventory….please invite me again…





Southern Star – Fishing and Homebrewing Aids

Well, I am starting over with this post…tried something new and the picture of Ben and two Spanish Macks was posted but the time spent with the blog story went off into cyber space somewhere….do you think it may reformulate and appear in the future? Oh well – what did I try to write earlier?

Three AM yesterday my son Ben and I left Kingwood Texas and headed south to the Galveston area. Our first planned stop was Tiki Island just before the big bridge over the intercoastal Channel. We launched with the intent of fishing under some lights around the docks of the homes on the island. We found some lights…we could see a lot of fish cruising through the lights with a few much bigger than the others. Fish were jumping all around us – in fact one jumped and landed on the bow hatch and then back into the water. A couple of sand trout took our offerings, I had a big. heavy strike and the line broke off – 6 lb line……

The sky began to get some color so we headed off to the grass and marsh area back toward I-45. I caught and land a real nice flounder on a soft palstic….not much else was biting so off to IHOP before the next location. After breakfast we headed south toward Jamaica Beach.

On arrival we saw several people wade fishing out about chest high in the water. As we were rigging up the kayaks a man and his daughters came out of the water, done for the day.They had a stringer of nice speckled trout. One of the daughters wanted to see some photos of the Jack Cravelle that the girls caught….big smiles on both of the young ladies. Another fisherman waded out of the surf with another nice stringer of specks. We were late for the speckled trout bite we were still there to fish.

As we were getting ready we also learned that the Spanish Mackerel were biting, so off we went…..Ben got into the Spanish Macks right away. I kept breaking off with the light line so I switched to the pole rigged with 15 lb line….I still couldn’t match Ben…..he was hammering the fish. Mackerel, sand trout, Jack Cravelle, sharks…. yes a few sharks, Gaff Top Catfish – I caught several of those too and paid dearly….I got punctured badly by the dorsal spine and bled like a stuck pig for a bit….I kept expecting Jaws to show up!

I was near Ben when he hooked one of the bigger sharks….the kayak swung around and he was being towed off to deeper water…..stripping line off the reel. Finally after a big jump the 4 foot +/- shark broke off and swam away. I was catching fish but at a much slower pace than Ben was. When we ran out of bait….I caught a few on soft plastic lures after the bait ran out, we paddled in. I saw Ben get himself lined up straight into the beach and surfed the kayak up on the small swells….. I also got a little lift in on the swells and had a little fun.

Where id the beer in this story? Ok I did have an ice cold Pine Belt Ale in 16 oz can by Southern Star Brewery before calling it a day…. just one. More once I arrived home safely. We fileted out the macks for fish tacos …. Friday night and I prepped the flounder to be baked. A couple of Pinebelt Ales aided the fish cleaning!!!!!

Today on the never ending honey do list I added the kegging of my American IPA ….. it had been deferred several times and I needed to get it into the 6 L minikegs. It always take a little bit of good beer to do any home brewing task. So – Bishop – how does a Pinebelt Ale sound – duh…always good! I also had a Bombshell Blonde – my wife Kathy says the aroma is good but the taste lags a little….everyone has their own opinion. I like it but it is a bit light on the robust flavors of the IPA’s I have grown fond of….

I continued scratching at an ongoing honey do bullet…clean the garage but that is a long-term project…take a break and fire up the grill. Pour a Diamond Bear Pale Ale from Little Rock Arkansas. That almost made it through the chicken grilling and fire management efforts….just a small fire…. minor carcinogen build-up before I controlled the blaze and also put the fire out in the drip pan….standard grilling procedures.  To go with the meal and aid in posting I popped the top on a Lazy Magnolia Indian Summer Spiced Ale…pretty tasty and I know Kathy would like this…she loves Shock Top And Blue Moon Belgian Wit so this would have a similar but I think less spicy flavor…just enough.

Now if I were in London, sampling the Olympic offerings……would I have some sweet choices at the local pubs…..no doubt.

I am a fan…. You need to try it….it kinda grows on you. Just bough another 4 pack this evening for the fish taco night tomorrow.

A little humidity sweat forming on the can…yes there is a temerature differential and a little moisture in the air….better drink it quickly!

Ben…still rubbing it in with his mackerel.



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!