Cheers to the Weekend

Have been sipping a range of drinks recently so thought I would pass them along as we enter the weekend.  They hit all the choices out there — beer, wines, liquor.  The rundown as the 5 o’clock whistle approaches.

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Beer:  It’s Flying Dog’s 25th Anniversary and I heard about their anniversary brew, Tropical Bitch.  It’s a Belgian-Style IPA, 8.0% ABV.  Per the description, “pineapple and mango dominate with subtle passion fruit and sticky sweet, yet crisply bitter, hop notes.”  Was finally able to snag a 6-pack.  Yeah, it’s ok.  Fairly bronze in color and just off in taste, for me.  Not that impressed (personally, keep that in mind).  I keep opening more to see if I like it and not so much, but the color is very cool.  It’s about $8-$10/6 pack.

White Wine:  Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc from Chile.  Nice and light, with subtle citrus notes.  Has just a perfect body to it.  Also has the convenient screw top.  Perfect to enjoy with some cheese or seafood, or totally on its own.  This is around $10-$15/bottle.

Red Wine:  Napa Cellars Pinot Noir. I’ll let you guess where it’s from. It has just a nice balance of subtle chocolate and berries.  Perfect.  What I loved is that I was able to pick some up for $10/bottle vs. the normal $20!

Margaritas:  Jose Cuervo Light Margaritas (pre-mixed).  Addiction in a bottle.  Only 95 calories a serving.  Just don’t read how small the serving is, ok?  It’s just perfect to throw some ice in a glass and pour this on top.  Then grab the chips, salsa and guac.  Can usually find this for $12-$15/bottle.

 
Drink on, my friends.

New Brews

Had the chance to sip some new brews this weekend.  Love veering from wine from time-to-time.

First was Flying Dog’s Single Hop HBC-431 Imperial IPA.  You could sip this beer all day.  And, if you did you would be in extreme trouble, both physically and financially… It’s 10% ABV and runs about $15/6-pack.  I’d never had a single hop beer.  You could taste some orange, apricot and it was a tiny bit thick.  So good and worth the money.

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Also had Blue Moon’s First Peach Ale.  I love the majority of their stuff so had to try this.  Could be a pro or con depending on your palate.  It tasted just like peach iced tea.  I am not an iced tea fan, let alone peach tea.  So, I would much prefer just a traditional Blue Moon.  But for some, this Seasonal could be a winner.

IMG_3048[1]Have you tried either of these and have any feedback?

Domestic ‘Irish’ Beer

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, another storm hit the area, which means there is no work.  It even means I don’t get to teach class at the gym tonight.  So, after meeting a friend for lunch (and walking there and back in the nice (?) slush and snow to attempt getting a workout) I was on a mission to get a (n)ice cold beer for the day.  I stopped by a great local beer store in Bethesda, Beer, Wine & Co. to see what I could snag one bottle of vs. a 6-pack.  Of course I couldn’t get Guinness or Harp in a single, so a bottle by great local brewer, Flying Dog, was suggested.  It was their Lucky SOB Irish Style Red.  Very nice and perfect for the day.  Just a traditional red, crisp and what I wanted.  And, they say it’s brewed with 4-leaf clovers, you can never go wrong with that!

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From CO to MD

I visited the breweries in Colorado then went less than a hour north of Washington, DC to check about another great beer producer’s house of heaven.  This time it was Flying Dog.  Now, did you know they started in Colorado and moved to Maryland to grow/expand/make people around here even happier?  Oh, ok, maybe that last part wasn’t the true strategy but I don’t hear any complaints.

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So when considering checking out the Flying Dog Brewery, pull out next year’s calendar.  They have a several month wait list/lead booking time.  I lucked out because I was going alone and was able to snag a spot from a cancellation.  So, if you want to go that route, contact them a day or so before you’d be interested in checking it out.  They only do tours Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

You get there, get carded, get your nice bracelet.

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Pay $5 and get a great glass that you keep (this is jumping ahead as it has delicious fluid in it).  Then the tour begins.

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You get the scoop on the entire history, from the founder, the owner, the random tidbits, the alcohol, drugs, prison time, name, etc.  Neat stuff.  The hallway depicts all of this.  There are more paintings that the camera didn’t quite pick up.

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You continue into the beer processing area and learn about all steps of the brewing process, from when water and hops might initially collide, how they determine each brew (what goes into each one), when/how long it’s in vats, how the bottling process works and the final ‘boxing’/putting it in cases or kegging so we can enjoy it.

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When the tour was done, we headed to the bar where we could pick whatever we wanted.  For $5, we got 5 samples.  Big samples.  I had the staple, Raging Bitch.  Went with the White Wheat.  I tried the rarities — Orchard Ale.  Then some of the seasonals, which were hit or miss.  There were love/hates in the tour group as we discussed them.  The seasonals I tried were this beer and wine funky thing (can’t remember the name) — interesting.  One glass would be all I’d want and then the awesome Dogtoberfest Marzen.

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Great place, great tour, great beer.  Check it out when you’re in the area.