TWIB: Slamming Hops and Red Bullies

Well hello, there! I haven’t done a TWIB for a while. Today it felt right to talk about a couple hot topics, which is exactly what TWIBs are for. TWIB, in case you’ve forgotten, stands for This Week in Beer. It’s my play on words from This Week in Baseball. There are two topics I want to focus on this week – Bell’s Hopslam release and Old Ox’s legal battle against Red Bull.

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TWIB: New York, Old Kolschs and $1,000 Baseball Tickets

New York City. Home of Brooklyn Brewery, Good Beer and McSorley’s Old Ale House. So why, as a craft beer enthusiast, did I drink a near year-old Kolsch (not on purpose) and a Guinness when I was sitting in essentially a king’s throne at a Yankees game?

$1,000 Baseball Seats

The greatest baseball experience

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TWIB: Spending so much on beer your credit card gets declined

This Week in Beer (TWIB) is a feature where I’ll highlight some craft beers I had during this past week mixed with some related (and unrelated) thoughts. Yes, it’s a play on the name of the show This Week in Baseball which I grew up on and loved.

Wow! It’s been nearly three four weeks since I last posted. That’s the longest drought I’ve ever had. I was getting caught up on trying to write something perfect instead of just putting my words out there. I look around and see these smart, edgy posts and think, “Man, I can’t put out anything until it’s that good.” However I’ll probably never write a post filled with the perfect blending of words around a witty topic that will make other writers and beer bloggers envious so why wait?

I’ve also been dreading writing about accomplishing Beer Mission #4. Not because my experience was horrible. It was the complete opposite. But because I didn’t want to format it! Formatting it takes just as long to write it. You have to upload the pictures, name it, give it alternative text, put in bullets, add links, check links, shorten the URL WordPress tries to give your post, add tags, and on and on and on and on… So yeah, I’ll get around to it one day but I want to tell you about my experience here, today, in the simple and my favorite on-going feature of Short On Beer called TWIB (short for This Week In Beer).

You Spent How Much On Beer?

I set a personal record on money spent on beer tallying up a bill so high that my credit card got declined!* I make an annual pilgrimage to Long Island, New York to visit my mom and take part in a fantasy baseball auction. Go ahead and laugh but my winnings paid for my trip to Vegas in November. I reached out to Greg Back, a New York blogger, to ask where I should go to get good beer in Long Island. I looked over his suggestions, Google Mapped some directions and shoved my mom and wife into the car and off we went.

*Note: My credit card was declined because it looked like I was buying $220 worth of alcohol 300+ miles from where I live not for insufficient funds. Don’t buy beer if you have no money and call your credit card company before buying copious amounts of beer way out of state.

We pulled up to Bellport Cold Beer & Soda with no idea what to expect. It’s a small building with a large red roof that has “BEER & SODA” in giant white san serif letters on it. We walked in and I nearly fainted. Beer. Everywhere. All kinds of beer. Evil Twin, Cigar City, Westbrook…

Dave, the owner, introduced himself and showed us around. Three boxes full of big bottles and 6-packs later I cut myself off.

bottles of beer on table

My haul from Bellport Cold Beer & Soda

Dave hooked us up with an extra bottle a 2006 Lambic and a couple pint glasses from a local brewery. I scooped up some Justin Blabaer, a Stone Enjoy By, some Ballast Point Sculpin, a few sours and numerous local beers and some presents for friends (many not pictured). If you’re in Long Island, take the time to go find Bellport Cold Beer & Soda. I will be going back next year and for many more years.

I have some other stories I want to tell you about soon including a random Tuesday night epic bottle share night that came out of no where. Until then, I want to know the most you’ve ever spent on beer. Was it worth it? Tell me your story below.

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TWIB: Unexpected Encounters in Line for the Men’s Room

This Week in Beer (TWIB) is a feature where I’ll highlight some craft beers I had during this past week mixed with some related (and unrelated) thoughts. Yes, it’s a play on the name of the show This Week in Baseball which I grew up on and loved.

I’m ignoring the Super Bowl. My dog is named Peyton. Needless-to-say, yesterday was far from fun save the teasers for 24. Saturday on the other hand had one of the biggest, most surprising unexpected encounters of my life. Imagine the movie Crash taking place in line for a men’s room at a brewery.

Halfway to Philly

My wife and I have some friends in Philadelphia. Philly is 3-3.5 hours away from where we live so we have a hard time seeing them a lot. One of the ladies had the brilliant idea to meet halfway – Baltimore. It’s about a 2-hour drive for them and 1.5 for us. Perfect!

After making our way through some questionable downtown areas we turn up at one of our favorite spots – Woodberry Kitchen. Woodberry Kitchen is where I first heard of Union Craft Brewing last year. With a solid brunch consisting of Buttermilk Fried Pork Skirt and a Sly Fox Pale Ale in me we walked over to Union Craft Brewing which is less than a hundred yards away.

Union Craft Brewing

We get to Union Craft and it is packed. I’m able to sneak close enough to the bar to grab four beers for our group. Their Rye IPA is out-of-this-world good. Even better than their Duckpin Pale Ale.

My day would have been complete right then. I could have packed up, gone home and been content writing a post highlighting Woodberry Kitchen’s food and Union Craft’s beers. But that’s probably not why you clicked on the headline and there’s a much cooler twist fate brought to this day.

Fate

Conversations with Beer Bloggers is changing my life in ways never imaginable. I’ve only had seven published episodes and it’s already lead me to two different in-person meetups where I’ve had the time of my life (event #1, event #2).

The eighth episode of CBB has already been recorded and is waiting for me to find a free afternoon to edit. This is with Jake Scholan of Hipsterbrewfus.com. Before recording our episode I knew nothing of what Jake looked like except his Twitter icon of him drinking a beer that covers most of his face. Zero knowledge. So last week we had our interview over Google Hangouts, which I can’t wait to share with you guys, and I finally got to see and meet him. We hit it off and even talked about trying to get together for a beer at some point since he’s relatively local.

Cue fate.

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TWIB – Wine Bars and The Container Store

Parallel Wine Bistro

After a grueling workweek that included a 15+ hour post production marathon on Thursday, there was nothing more I wanted to do than unwind on Friday night. Mrs. Short On Beer and I met some friends up at Parallel Wine Bistro for dinner and drinks. Parallel has a large and regularly rotating craft beer bottle list despite being a wine bar. The beer prices mostly range from $6-8 and most are $2 off during their Happy Hour from 4:00-7:00PM.

One of the perks of knowing the bartender is getting the handwritten list of new beers not listed on the menu that even the servers didn’t know about (thanks, Liz!). The first beer I had was off this secret menu — Great Divide Rumble. Rumble is an oak-aged IPA. The oakiness took out most of the bitterness from the hops. This was quite interesting for an IPA. It was a good choice to go with the Brie and Manchego cheese plate.

I went back to the basics for my next beer with a Stone Pale Ale while I enjoyed my bistro burger and duck fat fries.

Seeing “duck” on the menu made me crave a Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout. Parallel does have it but I had a couple still stashed at home so I went with a Port City Porter since it had been awhile since I had had any Port City beers. They make some amazing beers…Optimal Wit, Monumental IPA, Downright Pilsner to name a few. Their porter doesn’t disappoint either. It’s perfect for dessert and gets better as it warms.

The last thing about Friday night I want to mention — here’s a shout out to CJ, our server, who will hopefully be a new Short On Beer reader.

The Container Store

The start of 2014 has me trying to organize everything. It’s not like it wasn’t organized before but I feel like it could be done better. So in the past week I’ve been to the Container Store more times than you probably have been your entire life. I’ll admit it, I kinda like the store. It’s way better than navigating through a crowded Bed Bath and Beyond or a HomeGoods. Don’t tell my wife.

Pre-reorganization had my beers on the floor of the pantry shoved all the way in the back on top of flattened empty 6-pack holders. I just can’t seem to throw away those holders just yet. A few beers would regularly get lost or forgotten about. On the plus side I found a Hardywood Bourbon Sidamo that I’ve been accidently aging for 5+ months. But as I reorganize I want the beers off the floor and in ideal grabbing placement. I am also without a dedicated beer fridge. Go ahead and subtract 3 beer blogger points from my score. So I’m constantly fighting for room in the main fridge for my beers.

I seem to keep 8+ beers at all times in the fridge even though I won’t go through them all that quickly. I need a variety… a couple stouts for after dinner, a couple IPAs for weekends, an ale for guests, a couple Belgians for dinner, and a couple randoms I didn’t like (right now it’s New Belgium Giddy Up) and I can’t seem to get rid of and don’t want to drink.

New Pantry Beer Storage Space

New Pantry Beer Storage Space

Give me some advice. How is your beer storage system setup? How much room do you take up in the main fridge? How many of what do you keep in there? Leave your advice in the comments section below.

That’s it for this week’s This Week in Beer. Make sure to sign up to receive email updates for new posts by entering your email address at the bottom of the page so you never miss anything!