Boulder City Beer Fest

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Beer festivals are just fabulous events. So far in my experience they are not rowdy, raucous melees. Boulder City’s 2nd annual festival had good weather (aside from some wind, but if you’re from Kingman it was normal) in a good location.

The wife and I enjoyed the casual afternoon wandering from tent to tent. There were some great offerings. We started at Firestone Walker and had a decent pale ale. Then we wandered to Oskar Blues, enjoyed some Old Chub, and then hit the nest tent, a new Vegas local. Banger Brewing had about half a dozen offerings. I tried their jalapeño hefeweizen. It was nicely done if mild.

College Street Brewhouse was nearby. They’re from Lake Havasu, which is close to home. I tried the Sweet Devil nitro stout and it was outstanding. My wife tried their Brother Dewey’s Date Night, made with real dates. They also talked my wife into trying their flagship brew, Big Blue Van. Good call, College Street. She loved it. And I love it when she loves a beer.

We also hit the Indian Wells tent, Stone’s, Gordon Biersch, and several others. I think my favorite of the day was College Street, though. Well, maybe not ….

Kingman’s own Black Bridge Brewery was pouring at festival. And while I sample their brews regularly, I found myself visiting their tent a few times anyway. They were pouring Evil Red, Wicked Poison and Scorched Earth, which is a superbly done pepper beer. It’s hot without being uncomfortable and the beer still shines through.

I hope there will be a third annual beer Fest in Boulder City. Until then, I look to Flagstaff and the Made In The Shade festival
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So you want to be a Beer Writer? – Part 2 – What are you reading?

Roger Mueller:

This coincides with another article I recently read on The Art of Manliness website. It was a piece about copy work. Essentially it recommends copying, longhand or digitally, the work of writers you enjoy. This is not advocating plagiarism. Copy work is for you, personally, to build your writing skills. Anyway, perhaps these books would be good prospects for some early morning copy writing.

Originally posted on Literature and Libation:

If you’ve traipsed down the shadowy alley of writing advice, you’ve almost certainly come across the, “ to be a better writer, you have to write! ” obviousisms,  which are usually followed by the trumpeting accompaniment of, “ but you have to read, too! ” I’m not here to deny either of those pieces of advice. To be a better writer, you definitely  do  need to write, and possibly more than you’re writing now. To be a better writer you  do  need to read good writing, preferably more on the side of good books and essays and stories, and less on the side of Buzzfeed and TMZ and DailyMail.

What you read is just as (if not more) important as what you write. It gives you examples of excellent storytelling and wordplay. It offers perspective from another, educated angle. It shows you what it takes to write something marketable, that…

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Fire

My wife says, “You just like fire.”

At first I objected. Well, some context first. We were discussing the act of cooking. Like most men I like to grill. There is something appealing about it. I like to think its the social angle. I was observing people at a local park today. As more of the cadre arrived the kids got louder, the conversations increased and grilling came up. Anytime you get more than a couple of people together food and cooking comes up in conversation. Whether it’s just family or a gathering of friends we want to eat. And when guys are involved we want to strike a fire and cook meat –

Oh, fire.

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I thought I was fairly good at grilling. Not proficient enough to have my own podcast or tv show but good enough for a backyard party. Unless I’m cooking chicken. That fowl creature and I are not on friendly grilling terms. But I thought I did all right with other dead animals. I said this to my wife one late winter day. We were speaking of grilling in winter because this winter in the west – well, Arizona, at least – has been incredibly mild. I think we had our entire winter during one week in November. Temperatures dropped to sixteen for a few days and afterwards they’ve barely dropped below forty. In February here there were many seventy degree days. Which leads to grilling. In February. Gotta love the west.

So, anyway, I said blah-blah-blah, me like cooking food with fire –

Oh, fire again.

My wife said, “You just like fire.”

No, it couldn’t be. I like to cook!

Tonight is a slightly, slightly chilly spring evening. I am cooking chicken. (Yes, bad idea). With … fire. Since it is slightly – slightly! – chilly I decide to … well, so, I started this fire in our outdoor fireplace.

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Hmm. Fire.

And while I worked and sat outside I lit one of my homemade tiki torches. Now, I am not a man who is good at building things, making things, forging awesome creations. Nay, I am a pretty bad at it. But this tiki torch thing I seemed able to throw together quickly and they worked. And their torches.

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Yeah, more fire.

Fine. Fine.

I don’t cook.

I don’t build things.

I just like fire.

Another Black Bridge Friday

I was told that I have “smartly arranged” my affairs so that I can enjoy a Friday night at my local. Well, I don’t know about being smart or having purposely arranged anything in an efficient way but I am here on Friday again.

Black Bridge is unarguably a cool and fun place. The beers have improved since their opening week. Evil Red is a top notch northwestern pale ale. Wicked Poison is a wheat based barley wine style ale and it is sweet and palatable and should be entered in a competition. Of course, they weren’t bad beers to begin with.

And it’s just an adorable location. It’s small, friendly and still offers a fair amount of privacy. On the red brick walls there is a regularly rotating art gallery for sale. The lighting highlights the bar and the beers. The tables are handmade from what I understand.

There are always a few regulars. My wife says stepping through the door is like walking into the Cheers bar. Everyone turns to see who you are. Invariably you’ll run into someone you know.

Sirens Cafe next door offers good food even if it isn’t typical pub fare (and, in the spirit of full disclosure, is a smidge expensive). If that doesn’t tap your keg then you can venture over to Redneck’s Southern Pit BBQ across the street. It fits well with the beers, to be sure. Their pulled pork plate and big stuffed potato are superb compliments to Black Bridge’s English Mild.

The staff are happy people and they engender a convivial spirit. It’s easy to get to know them and they pay attention, keeping patrons in beer. Anyway, visit when you can.

These Are the Beers I Came For

It was Friday. Beer night. There was only one destination. And this time there were two beers on tap that I’ve been waiting to drink.

Train smoke

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It’s on the left, the remains, at least. It’s a smoked porter. No aroma that I could detect, which did not bother me. I seek not the hops. It was acrid and dry – but not enuff smoke for my palate. It was there but not as prominent. Almost … Milky. Weird.

It’s a wookie of a beer, chewy.

Love the dry aftertaste.

Caramel as it warms. Grows on you like, well, a growing thing.

Scorched Earth
Nicely, nicely done.
Brut and jalapeño
Pepper beers can be difficult. This is just right. Needles on the lips heat in the gullet.
Give me more.

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Wicked Poison

Another two offerings from Black Bridge Brewery. This was an older photo on my iPhone; I’m not positive which two beers these are, but I’m guessing it is Wicked Poison and Locomotive Stout.

Loco is one of my favorites. It’s not too heavy, just the right amount of roasted barley edge, not an overly moussey head. It is delightful to drink. If Evil Red is not on tap I go to Loco. My wife loves Wicked Poison; she has always been partial to barley wine style ales. And thank you Black Bridge for not cloning an American barley wine. The hops are subdued in this beer, as they should be. Good show!

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