Panther from Rhinegeist Brewery

I’ve been in porter & stout mode since August. I imagine the cravings I was going through is what some folks experience from lack of pumpkin beers (though I can only assume.) Whenever I saw a porter or stout available, I snagged it. We’re finally approaching that time of year when even grocery stores have plenty of heavy, malty options.

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Rhinegeist is a Cincinnati-based brewery that I’ve come to appreciate consistently. I still haven’t tried all their cans, but as I see new ones I usually grab a sixer. This is the first I’ve seen of their Panther Robust Porter and I purchased it with no hesitation.

Robust is an excellent word for it. The flavors are a mingled variety of earthiness and has a rich mouthfeel. Richer even than the West Sixth Christmas Ale, though it’s only half the alcohol by volume. It’s heavy, in a good way. You get some bubbly finish but man it’s beer worth lingering on.

Drink it slow, and you’ll enjoy it.

I rated Panther by Rhinegeist Brewery 4 out of 5 on Untappd.


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Obligatory picture of Panther with my panther.

Found My Christmas Spirit

This one goes out to my coworker, Chad. Chad is a bit of a Christmas-aholic. He decorates for Christmas on Halloween. We tease about it a bit on Slack, but he always retorts with ever more Christmas cheer.

Well, Chad, I found my Christmas spirit for 2015. It comes in the form of my favorite winter warmer, the West Sixth Brewing Company Christmas Ale. I love the cardamom and nutmeg that gives this malty brew an earthy taste without relying on more mass-appeal flavors like chocolate. Though West Sixth’s Cocoa Porter is pretty well done too.

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It’s not an entirely rare find, but the supplies here in Louisville do seem to run out quickly. I always grab a six pack the second I see one – and apparently this year that means beginning of November. If we’re drinking Christmas Ale, it must be Christmastime. Ho ho ho.

I rated the West Sixth Christmas Ale 4.5 out of 5 on Untappd.

Chili at Great Flood Brewing Company

Great Flood Brewing Company hosts quarterly events for members of its Flood Liars Club. Amber and I are inaugural members: we attended the High Water Series tasting early in the year, but we didn’t make it out to the bottle share this summer. We definitely wanted to attend the Chili Cook Off this week and Ber even entered her chili into the competition. She didn’t win the free renewal of her membership (the prize for top chili) but we renewed anyway because we love everyone at Great Flood. 🙂

The winner also brought a bag of Fritos to go along with their chili. The rest of the entries relied on the oyster crackers Great Flood supplied. Amber and I considered bringing a box of Ritz crackers, and maybe that would’ve put us over the top or at least in the honorable mentions. Who knows?

I hope they do a chili cookoff again next year as an event, it was a lot of fun.

Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt by Mark Will-Weber

Some people have favorite presidents. I’ve never been much for politics, but this book has helped me start picking some favorites. Truman, FDR, and Obama being the first that come to mind. Not because of their political actions, but because their feelings on drinking seem to match my own.

Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt in hardcover with avid reader cat, Bagheera
Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt in hardcover with avid reader cat, Bagheera

This was a fun a little book because it doesn’t try to be anything other than what you’d expect from the title:

  1. A history book
  2. about presidents
  3. and what they drank

Each president is a chapter and the author picks out the best alcohol-related stories to be found on each. From those stories you tend to see a pretty picture of what drinking with any one president might be like. FDR might mix you a weak sippin’ cocktail, but Truman would assuredly have water with just a bit of bourbon flavoring. Obama would buy you a beer if you wanted, but if you’re in his company for dinner and late night cocktails there would likely be martinis close at hand.

As enjoyable as I found it, it’s still fair to warn you that it mostly falls into what I call “bathroom reading.” It’s packaged in a way that its best read in short spurts. If you do happen to read it straight through you’ll find some of the stories overlap because of that. The advantage is it can be a really pleasant experience for the short-term reader who mostly wants to read the few chapters of their favorite presidents.

I liked it a lot, just don’t expect a life-changing reading experience. You might find a new favorite cocktail recipe though!

Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking by Mark Will-Weber

Amazon ; Goodreads

Thanks to Julie and Michael for getting me this book as a Christmas present.

Braggot Sample

Ber and I made a braggot earlier this year. It’s been carbonating and bottle conditioning in our basement for two months now and I decided that it was time to sample.

Just enough bubbles
Just enough bubbles

It was absolutely delicious. I think we nailed the carbonation and it has a great mouthfeel. It rides the line between beer and wine just like we wanted. The only thing I want to change on the next batch is to lessen the amount of orange peel. The orange flavors are nice, but started to dominate the taste when we intended it to be more of a ‘hint of orange.’ Live and learn. 🙂

Ninkasi Brewing Company

If you know me, you know I love beer. There is no way I could spend time in Eugene, Oregon and not go to Ninkasi Brewing Company.  There was a lot of beer to be had in Oregon, and this is really the only brewery that stood out as truly amazing compared to what I can get home in Louisville. Named for the Sumerian goddess of beer (that was a Gus Bus Trivia question one time) they really live up to the calling of their craft.

One of the AirBNBs we stayed at was only a few blocks from Ninkasi, so we delayed our trip until then. It just so happened that night was also their first tapping of Maiden the Shade, a summer seasonal IPA. So it was a packed house. I snapped a few pictures, but mostly there was a lot of people and waiting in lines.

Maiden the Shade was very good. But my absolute favorite was the Tricerahops Double IPA. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a beer I liked better. I also tried the Quantum Pale Ale. For dinner we had the Sporkasbord platter (pictured above), Pad Thai, and a rice bowl with Pot Stickers from the Sporks A La Carte food cart. My favorites were the “mooinks,” bacon-wrapped meatballs, part of the sporkasbord.

Ber and I also got into a tiny Ingress battle over the tasting room’s portal while we were there. We held our turf well. As of this writing, we actually still own it!

A few thousand kilometers away, but still the owners of Ninkasi Brewing
A few thousand kilometers away, but still the owners of Ninkasi Brewing