Berry, Berry Good Beers

I was out inspecting my bees today and had the good fortune of visiting my apiary two blocks south of the Megaton Brewery in Kingwood. I took a quick look at the activity and made plans to open the two top bar hives to harvest a bit Sunday morning before the Women’s World Cup Final. I intend to leave them with enough honey to get into the fall. I had not broke much of a sweat, my deodorant seemed to be in place, so I decided to pop into the brewery.

I am normally an IPA guy but I still had one more apiary to visit. I chose a 9 oz pour of the Blueberry Lemon Heimdall Farmhouse Ale. Surprisingly good! Next up was a pint of the Cranberry Kolsch. Easy to drink but not what I expected….little or no noticeable cranberry flavor nor aroma. Now a 9 oz pour of the Wildberry Kolsch. The berry flavor came through nicely and a pleasant aroma. Of the 3 I really enjoyed the Blueberry Lemon Heindall. As I was waiting to order a 32 oz growler can to go of my favorite of the day, the board flashed and it was no longer available! Damn! I needed to bring some beer home to my wife and daughter.

It was suggested that I try the Heimdall Farmhouse Ale, sans the Blueberry an Lemon additions. I tried a taster, and although a pleasant beer, I didn’t think the girls would go for it. I asked them to can up the Wildberry Kolsch………and guess what? The keg went dry. What’s a guy to do?

Scratch the Wild and add Cran for the Cranberry Kolsch. Hope the girls like it!

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

Advertisements

Santa Barbara Discovery

I had intended to go to the Santa Barbara Brewing Company on State Street as my wife shopped, hopefully for something on sale! My destination no longer exists. So, plan B.

Gotta love it! Blue sky, trees in bloom and a horrible 66 degrees…..sans humidity. I was dealing with bees in Houston the past week @ 92 degrees and humidity that sucked big time!

Even better, the beers are very nice.

I went big on my first beer with the Vacancy IPA. Poured with a perfect head and the aroma was very pleasant. Kathy went with the Mango Day Dreamin and she enjoyed it.

Next up for me was the Mosaic – Pale Ale. I love Mosaic hops! Very nice….crisp and clean. As I ordered the young lady forced, twisted my arm and shamed me into sampling the 2019 Spring Seasonal-100% Mosaic hops. Wow!!!! I am sure glad I have no will power.

The beautiful clean Mosaic Pale Ale.

Institution Ale Company is based in Camarillo, I need to talk to my son-in-law about hiding this brewery from me for nearly 6 years!

Every beer poured was perfect! Why do I say that? They use a tall pint glass, clearly marking the pint line with very sufficient space for head on the beer. Much of the aroma of the beer is from the head. As those bubbles burst your senses are treated to Hop and malt aromas, my opinion!!!! It also looks great, the aesthetics of the presentation!

We didn’t try the food here but the items passing by our table heading to the lunch crowd visitors looked and smelled amazing. This place is high on my recommended breweries list!!!!

Just an FYI, our go to list in the area includes; Rincon, Island Brewing, and Brew Lab in Carpinteria. We have visited all 3 this week. Santa Barbara choices include Figueroa Mountain, the newly added Institution Ale Company and the Brewhouse.

More to come as we wander north on Highway 101 next week.

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

Bees & SMaSH IPA

I made a run to my two most distant Apiaries today. One in Splendora and the other in Grangerland – also known as the “berry farm”. I needed to add a deep box to one of my new hives in Splendora and poked my nose into see if the supers were filling with honey on the other three hives. They look promising but still a few weeks away from being ready for extracting.

Out at the berry farm I pulled 5 nicely filled frames. Would love to have had more Ready but – it will be a very good season based on the activity I saw today. The weather – 90 degrees F and 57% humidity made for a warm day. The bees were bearded up on the outside to keep the inside temperatures under control.

FYI- I am not feeding the bees, just haven’t removed the feeder yet! It was hot and I couldn’t beard up! I just had to sweat my ass off! For whatever reason, and they won’t tell you, the girls in the 8 frame hive were a little defensive today – Therefore, full gear and lots of sweat!

Upon return home and before unloading the truck – oh yes, and setting up in the garage to extract honey – I treated myself to my excellent SMaSH IPA! How can I tell what I’m drinking as in, I don’t put labels on my bottles? I use a bottle cap code. The SMaSH is a patriotic beer!

A hint of honey money in upper left background of the photo…… yes, I sell honey.

Ah, there is the box needing extraction! Now, I was interrupted at about 2/3 finished with my beer by my phone ringing. My friend and fellow Home brewer, Mike H, severely twisted my arm and forced me to delay extracting honey- Beer was the reason. “Meet me at Hop Stop in Humble”, more of a statement than a request.

Every Thursday they offer a rotating sampler and….. good folks, good conversation and a good place to drink beer. Traffic was crap, especially on the return trip, but it was well worth the trip….thanks Mike!

Still managed to extract and clean up. Lovely amber honey from the berry farm- “Blakelock’s Berries”. Check them out on Facebook.

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

An IPA Start to my Birthday

Maybe I should have waited! Oops

My SMaSH Mosaic IPA. First beer to start the evening. Then an Odell’s Fresh Grind IPA…. Wow! Then a Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter with distilled Hop oil. Gotta love a Texas Backyard Birthday!

Then a nice slab of salmon with pesto butter!

And what a great treat- the family searched far and wide and found 5 – six packs of Hopslam! I am in heaven. Gotta find a cold and secret place to store them.

Thanks Lisa for a card that made me cry!

Dessert? Carrot cake and –

Very yummy!

It is not so bad to be two years beyond Medicare age!

Maybe a Hopslam night cap?????

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop

Christmas Advent Calendar-Craft Beer Style

I am blessed with an amazing woman that consented to become my wife over 33 years ago. Among the many things we have in common is a fondness for beer, good beer! My fondness may cross over to an obsession for very good beers. As any good Catholic girl knows, Christmas is a time for Advent Calendars. FYI, Advent Calendars originate with the German Lutherans and has become common among most Christian faiths.

How does an Advent Calendar fit in a beer blog you might ask? It was discovered in my wife’s Pintrest account. I have one but I am not quite that Pintrest savvy – yet! Ok, how is it done? She built a massive book case thing out of oak with little doors for each of the 24 Advent days. Each little door was large enough and deep enough for a 12 ounce bottle of beer lying on it’s side. All hardware was polished brass and finished natural with high gloss Tung Oil. Each little door was built like paneled doors and the edges rounded with a router. SMACK!  Sorry I was dreaming!

Maybe next year! This year she used a shoe holder, 24 pockets that hangs on a door. Each pocket was numbered in Christmas colors. Each mystery bottle was wrapped in tissue and festooned with a ribbon. Isn’t she clever? See below;

Isn't that the coolest idea?

Isn’t that the coolest idea?

Today’s offering was from Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, CA. Hmmmm 1967 also comes to mind. Why? It is a story for another time, involves lifeguarding, beer, swimming, old friends and rock concerts!

Great beer! Great aroma, near perfect bitterness. Love it!

Great beer! Great aroma, near perfect bitterness. Love it!

What a gal and what a gift!

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly!

Bishop

 

 

Beer and Honey or Honey and Beer

My  daughter Lisa participated in the Island Girl Tri, sprint triathlon, on Galveston Island this past weekend.  Post event, it was rehydrate time and what better place than Galveston Island Brewing. The board was full, 12 beers, so little time and so far to drive! 72.1 miles and about 1 hour  and 28  minutes, depending on traffic. Need to find another excuse to make the drive to the Island.

Lisa asked me to bring some of my honey, honey from my hives, down to the event. A number of her running mates with Team RWB, “Team RWB’s mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.”, were in attendance and were seeking some Raw local honey.  We were well prepared but we failed to make the connections at the event. So, I had plenty of supply when we arrived at the brewery.

http://www.teamrwb.org/

The  Brewery

We were first in the door on this Sunday noon! There was another triathlon participant and her date joining us for the first beers of the day. She, the young lady, was a brewer and prefers stouts and porters. The  crowd began to trickle in and  to our right was a couple, Tanya and Greg. Somehow the conversation got around to raw honey and specifically, creamed honey. Well, we just so happened to have a supply. Tanya and  Greg bought a pound jar of honey and a 3/4 pound jar of the creamed honey – cinnamon flavor.

Charday and  Dave showed up a little later, they had worked the beer stand at the triathlon event down at Moody Gardens. She  was intrigued and bought a jar of the creamed cinnamon honey…….she popped the top off and uttered that Mmmmmmm sound of enjoyment…she couldn’t  wait.

Now – Let’s Talk Beer

Lisa rehydrating with the Citra Mellow  IPA and I had the Blue Ridge Amber Ale.

Lisa rehydrating with the Citra Mellow IPA and I had the Blue Ridge Amber Ale.

Due to our early visit we were treated to a taster of the Amber Ale straight directly from the fermenter after the brewer added wet Mosaic hops….it was very yummy. I need to make a visit in a couple  of weeks when it is finished and kegged.

This is such a friendly place…reminds me of the atmosphere of the little village Gasthaus in the  village I lived in in Germany. Something about drinking beer gives  you automatic admission to the fraternity…Now, to rankle some feathers, I don’t get the same feel in a wine room or wine bar…just saying!

Lisa's Citra Mellow before rehydrating. She followed it with the Oktoberfest.

Lisa’s Citra Mellow before rehydrating. She followed it with the Oktoberfest.

https://www.facebook.com/GalvestonIslandBrewing/info?tab=overview

http://www.galvestonislandbrewing.com/brewery.html

Make the trip!

So, I think it was Beer and Honey, this time….but you never know when opportunities crop up. The lesson for me….I will carry a stash of my honey…great ice breaker to make new friends and maybe, make a little beer money!

Drink Local and  Drink Responsibly

Bishop

Beer and a Bite

i was in Bakersfield CA for a quick consulting job with Chevron Pipeline. I wanted to pop into Lengthwise Brewery Pub for a good local beer and a meal. The Pub location out on Calloway was my intended target but the Rosedale Highway construction and traffic convinced me to go elsewhere. I opted to head to the brewery located out in the Southwest just off of White Lane. 

http://lengthwise.com

The Southwest steak salad paired nicely with the Centennial IPA – for me I am easy, I can pair an IPA with most anything, especially a second one! I went with the Triple Hopped Red Ale for number two! 

  The empty Centennial with the Red Ale and my buddy Gary’s Golden Ale. 

Side note; felt like I was in Houston that evening, a National Weather alert for flash flooding came across the radio and booming thunder flowing the flashes of lightning in the dusk sky. 

Drink Local and Drink Responsibly

Bishop