Beer, Baseball and an iPhone

Over the past few weeks I find that I have been pairing beer with lots of things….fishing, fish tacos, brewery tours, vacation sampling and now baseball……that shouldn’t be much of a surprise for anyone that has attended a baseball game….the only pairing that I can think of that I won’t write about is beer and driving. This is a family blog, no, not really, maybe more of a responsible beer blog…yeah that should work.

I was off to Midland, Texas this week earning a little money so I can continue with my many hobbies. Wednesday of this past week the local AA team, the Midland Rockhounds were returning to town to open a stand vs. the Arkansas Naturals. The attendance was sparse… not like my previous visit of a month ago. The Rockhounds were rocking the Naturals! A 5 run first inning and it was hit after hit from there on. I think I may know why we saw the low attendance – The Rockhounds are in the cellar of their division with just 24 wins…..sad…..but the poor “Naturals” were in the same position for their division with just 17 wins to show for their efforts.

Midland is still in a drought and no relief on the horizon. Odessa is proposing a 40% increase in water rates – those lawns that have some color other than dead will soon join the desert look of the region. The other drought  is for local craft beers…. I do have to give the stadium vender a pat on the back for a variety beyond the standard Bud, Bud Light, Coors, Coors Light…..You can get  on draught – Dos XX’s, Shiner Bock (Texas Beer), Blue Moon Belgian Wit, Shock Top and ………….. insert 7 hour pause here because I just flat drew a blank. I sent my work partner for this trip an SOS call to help me out and then got busy with other tasks. An hour ago I was driving down Kingwood drive and ran into the word – Ziegenbock! Ah, that’s the beer I was drinking last night….and no I did not over do it….just two beers!  Wikpedia labels it as an “imitation craft brew marketed under Anheuser-Busch’s ICS (Import – Craft – Specialty) brand, positioned as a Texan beer to compete with Shiner Bock.” It is not a bad beer and competes well with Shiner Bock! Thanks Pat for sending the “Zig” text message….

Discussion on lost thoughts – I think they leave your brain as cyberwaves and float around until your brain collides with them and they can then be pulled back in. I am sure that we all have a unique harmonic frequency for our brain waves and when we encounter one of those orphan thoughts vibrating at “our” frequency we can recapture the thought. Makes sense to me….. the science geeks will say something like – you encounter some sensory clue, sight, sound or smell that allows the brain to connect that lost thought with the neural links that were associated to that thought or idea….. I prefer my harmonic mind meld explanation better.

As an aid for this post I am sampling a local beer brewed by Karbach brewery right here in Houston. I have previously enjoyed their “Hopadillo” IPA. Tonight’s choice is their Rodeo Clown Double IPA – mmmmmmm pretty tasty and one will probably be enough for the evening. Midland, Odessa, Lubbock and or Amarillo are in need a a local craft brewery – I correct myself…. Wicked Beaver Brewery is located up in the Lubbock area – they need to market in Midland! I just did a little snooping….these guys are committed craft brewers, creative, whacked out sense of humor (I like that!) and looks like they are branching out!

Wicked Beaver Brewing LLC | West Texas Craft Brewery | Dam Good Beer

I saw a photo on their Facebook that got me thinking. There are many many millions of beer drinkers in the US. If we all shift a significant portion of our $ spent on beer to true craft brewers we can help out the good ole USA.  Cut back on your Budweiser….. it is brewed by a Belgian-Brazilian beer conglomerate….Yes they have US breweries employing US workers but they own so much of the market your shift will not be a blip on their radar. There goes my Ziegenbock choice … Now Coors, is brewed  by the Canadian Molson Coors Brewing Company and is the third-largest brewer in the United States. At least it is North American. Drink Blue Moon or Killian’s Irish Red – close to craft beers.

Now my iPhone shots from the Midland Rockhounds game.

My Jumbo Dog, mustard, catsup or ketchup – whatever, relish, onions and the West Texas favorite…smothered with jalapenos!

From our seats…. somebody liked us and set us up with box seats. Thanks Zoe at the Residence Inn in Midland. Please note the Chevron(my former employer) sign on the outfield wall. The first of several Rockhounds home runs went out way above the Chevron sign.

Blue Moon Belgian Wit beers were quite common – Go Coors.

I have to give her credit – beer in one hand – social networking with the other and she glanced up when the crowd made noise!

And heeeeeeres Rocky –

The Rouckhounds have such a great family stadium and Rocky is a favorite with the kids.

Remember – Drink local – support the guys that lovingly CRAFT your beer!




West Texas is still too Dry

After my last blog and lament – about the persistent rain and draught beer drought in West Texas my wife shot me a note….”Try Murray’s Deli Hun!” – the only acceptable reply to her request is and was “Yes Dear!”

A night later Pat McAdoo and I tried Murray’s Deli in our search for good beers. At first we thought that my dearest one had been omniscient! Well, – they offered draught beers in three sizes, 12 oz, pint and 22 oz…..that was a good sign.

The waitress asked what I wanted and I responded with my usual” I’ll have a cold beer!”

She gave me that squint! “Ok” she said, “we have cold beer. What flavor do you want?” Then she asked. “Domestic or imported?”

“It all depends. I don’t want anything like Bud or Coors!”, I told her.

She ran off a list of a few, Guinness was first and she had Bass Ale, Shock Top, Shiner, Blue Moon, Miller and a few others….. I told her that I like Guinness but that was a “one and off to bed beer” at the end of the night so I will have a Shock Top – oops, she was back a few moments later…..the keg was dry then the second choice – the Bass Ale was dry….. I then asked about what they had in bottles?

She grabbed me by the arm and dragged me up to the beer case (gently of course) and said “Take a look and pick out what you want!” Even though she is not my wife I couldn’t help myself and said, “Yes Dear!”

She dropped me off at the case and I grabbed a Shiner “Wild Hare” Pale Ale….nice bit of hops but not too hoppy – insert chuckle here for the subtle humor –  It really was a pretty good beer. In a bit she came back by and informed us that the Shock Top was up and running again, yes, I just had to have a real pint! Still no Bass Ale keg in the back but….. Hun, Murray’s was a bit better but it looks like Midland is in a craft beer drought.

With the flood of workers to the Oil Patch Boom going on in Midland – a quality establishment with a good selection of great beers would be a boon….A business opportunity maybe????? The guys at the hotel bar thought that it sounded like a great idea! I need to take their advice with a grain of salt…It was obvious that they had been there a long time and several were managing to stay on their bar stool when we returned from the AA baseball game at the local stadium near 10:00 PM. By the way, the stadium has Ziegenbach and Dos XX on draught …. a good sign for beer lovers. Go Rockhounds! Who would ever name a baseball team like that…. I guess “Rockhounds” make a bit more sense from the geological side of an oil town…. They could have named them the “Doodlebuggers” – a term applied to the seismic folks that listen for acoustic waves bouncing off of rock formations deep below their feet. I wonder what the mascot would have looked like?

Bishop – me – on the left, Cash Owens, Aurora Owens, family friend and Jamie Owens. Photo by Pat McAdoo at the Rockhounds game. Any beer visible?



The Making of a Convert

Good news on the home front. My wife has been receptive to trying new beers, a good thing in my opinion. She went down the path of trying the Blue Moon Wit Ale, as long as she had an orange slice, then Stella, now she prefers Shock Top on a regular basis- sans the orange slice and the best news!!!!! She drank a Coors Light yesterday and proclaimed that it didn’t taste like a “real” beer! Hun, you have made me so happy! Oh, by the way – she likes most Blonde Ales, Abita Purple Haze, Shiner Bock and who knows where I will get to lead her next.

Welcome to the Club!