Monday, March 30, 2009

The Beeroseur: March

March was a busy month for beer drinking. Let's get right into it.

The Winners:

yranena 'The Devil Made Me Do It' Coffee Imperial Porter
From the Bottle: A Big Ol' Black Beer with oatmeal silkiness. Full-Bodied with soothingly rich coffee flavors. Devilishly Delicious.
Alc/Vol: Unknown
Usually oatmeal is an ingredient used in stouts, but Tyranena's Brewers Gone Wild!(A serious of Big, bold, ballsy beers) decided to make an Imperial Porter with it. And the 'from the bottle' description is exactly what I'd say about it. Brewery is located in Lake Mills, just a few clicks west of Mil-town. I will be visiting this brewery soon. Great beer.

Bell's Special Double Cream Stout
From the Bottle: Brewed with a blend of 10 different malts, Double Cream is an incredibly rich stout composed of dark, sweet, and smooth tones intermingled with a soft, roasty finish.
Alc/Vol: 6.1%
Michigan's Bell's Brewery is one of the best in the Midwest. Their Oberon wheat is a staple in many bars even in our area. This double cream stout did not dissappoint. Superb body and aroma. It was hard to find, but if I see it again, you can guarantee I'll pick it up again.

Furthermore Brewing Thermo Re-Fur
From the Bottle: Ale made with red beets and black pepper. Serve in a sinfter or wine glass at 55 degrees fahrenheit.
Alc/Vol: Unknown
Now, this is not the type of beer I usually go for. I don't like fruit beers. I don't like fruit-wheat blends, and I don't prefer lambics. But this brew was honestly the most awkward beer I've ever had the pleasure of tasting. Thermo Re-Fur has a medium body, and the soft fruity nose it has compliments it nicely. Black pepper sediments settle at the bottom, almost demanding you take your time to actually savor this beers amazing flavors. Found at Three Cellars (7133 S 76th St Franklin, WI 53132 - (414) 235-3336. I get most of my awkward beers here. A must visit if you're anywhere in Southern Wisco). Brewed in Black River Falls, WI. CAN YOU SAY ROAD TRIP? I can, and I just did. Highly recommended. Thought I would hate it, but the outcome was quite the opposite.

The Losers:

Left Hand Brewing Company Black Jack Porter
From the Bottle: N/A
Alc/Vol: Unknown
A tasteless porter brewed for the masses. No body, no head, not much nose. As good as their milk stout is, this Black Jack Porter really turned me off. Overall just a boring, bland beer. Don't waste your money.

South Shore Brewery Rhoades' Scholar Stout
From the Bottle: Northern Wisconsin's First Microbrewery Established May, 1995
Alc/ Vol: Unknown
So I poured this stout into my 'beer glass'...and there was ABSOLUTELY no head. None. Whatsoever. How is this even possible? Crap. A poor effort from a brewery that I (did?) badly want(ed) to visit. Straight up boring.

Avery Brewing Co Mephistopheles Stout
From the Bottle: Mephistopheles is the crafty shapeshifter, the second fallen angel; he who does not love light. Herein he patiently lies, waiting and willing to do your bidding, but for a price. Enter into his darkness, a tangled and intricate labyrinth of bittersweet rapture. Brewed with rocky mountain water, malted barley, turbinado sugar, hops and yeast.
Alc/ Vol: 15.92%
That is not a typo. Your eyes do not deceive you. 15.92%. In a 12 oz bottle of destruction. Devil's liquid to say the least. Incredible packaging design as well. Mephistopheles Stout is the final installment of Avery Brewing Co.'s (Colorado) "Demons of Ale" series. (Click here for more info) From the website: Mephistopheles is the crafty shape shifter, the second fallen angel. Amazingly complex, coal black, velvety and liqueurish, this demon has a bouquet of vine-ripened grapes, anise and chocolate covered cherries with flavors of rum-soaked caramelized dark fruits and a double espresso finish. IBU's 107. Sure, that sounds like it might be ok. WRONG. I was so excited to try a beer that had a 15.92% ABV, but all I found was disappointment. As I sipped away, I actually thought, "This brew is literally burning my throat." At $8 a bottle (12oz), I was really hoping I'd enjoy it. Avery is one of the best in the west, but I was choking it down (literally) rather than enjoying it. The beer was remarkably thick. Looked more like Jagermeister than a stout - seriously. So I let it warm up a bit for a few minutes - still terrible. This ale is only for the truly adventurous beer drinker. I couldn't do it.

And there you have it. Next month, is a review of my first HOMEBREW!!! My brother is a smart man who bought me a small 3 gallon beer kit from Bed Bath & Beyond or something. Canadian Draft was the lager made, so that will be reviewed next month. Also went to Sendiks yesterday, where I FINALLY FOUND one of my favorite beers of all time: Atwater Block (Detroit, MI)'s Vanilla Java Porter. Till then,


Thursday, March 26, 2009

New Favorite Band Alert!

Oh My. The name of the band is White Lies. A British indie-rock outfit, formerly known as Fear of Flying. Apparently they've been big in England for awhile, but I'm just getting around to hearing them now. And I am impressed. The musical blogosphere has also praised them for some time now too. I think of them as...Echo & the Bunnymen meet The Killers in the basement of a club that Interpol controls the guest list for. Make sense?

White Lies Wikipedia Page

Blog search of 'White Lies' on

Myspace Page

Thank me later, fellow Americans

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tepid Epics, Everywhere

Everywhere being Madison...

Glorious sunset, Lake Monona & Madison 'Skyline'

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pet Peeves in the World of Serving.

As of now, my profession is serving. It's clearly less than glamorous. I've been in the industry on & off for about 3 years now. For the most part - I enjoy it. Human interaction can be interesting, entertaining, and fun when the people you're talking to aren't complete douchebags. As a server, there's a lot of things you have to do well to be successful. Mainly - managing your time correctly, and being able to read the faces of the people at your tables. But with any job, the good comes with the bad. This post will focus on the latter. If you find yourself doing any of the below - stop. This list is in no particular order. You are a customer. I am a server. Let us begin.

(That is not me, but I do want his glove)

1) Running us to death
Server brings food to the table. Usually (if the server is decent) they will ask 'Can I get anything else for you?' Let's say you need some mustard. Server will go and get some mustard. Upon returning to the table with said mustard, another table member suddenly needs a fork. Then someone needs a napkin. Then malt vinegar. HEY JACKASSES - You are not my only table. If possible, try to tell me eeeverything you need when I'm there. Next!

2) By all means, don't acknowledge my presence
To do our job, we have to talk to you. Since I don't know sign language, I have to speak english. So when I come over to greet you - don't sit there and say nothing. Unless you're socially retarded, humans speak when spoken to. You receive messages from the sender, and then you send a new message back. If you have a mouth full of food, or are talking on your cell (another, albeit less annoying pet peeve) - I'll come back. But if you've just been sat, and you're not on your cell phone, and your mouth isn't wired shut - please acknowledge my presence. If this seems weird to you upon reading this - it should. But you'd be amazed at how many people say absolutely nothing, or don't even look at the server when they are approached. Straight silly.

3) Buck up
Whats the thermostat in your residence set at? Probably what you're most comfortable with. Well guess what. The restaurant you're sitting in is not your house. "It's chilly in here." "Dang, you got the heat cranked up in here?" Dear customer: Shut up. Order a coffee if you're cold. Or don't be a skank and wear a halter top with a skirt in the winter when it's below zero. If you're hot - order some ice cream, and don't wear sweatpants if it's 80 degrees out (hypothetical scenario, this has never been witnessed by me...yet) At any rate - if YOU are cold - are you saying we should tamper with the temperature just to suit you? If you haven't noticed, you're dining with a few other dozen people. Just because you weight 89 pounds doesn't mean we're going to change the room temp for you.

4) Insane Modifications
So the turkey burger has onions on it. You want them off? That's fine. But it's shit like this that drives us crazy - "Can you sub rice for the spinach? And can you saute the spinach? Great. And instead of lettuce can I get 3 tomatoes, cut in half? Instead of swiss cheese can I have cheddar AND muenster?" And on and on and on and on. This isn't your kitchen. Don't do insane modifications. It's so unnecessary when you think about it. Plus I write everything down. It's just a huge waste of time for something, like I said, that's usually pretty unnecessary.

5) Admit it: You're finished
You've been letting your food digest for awhile now. Theres a 1 inch bun piece on your plate. Your drink is finished, and your ice is just marinating. You're slouched over in your chair. When I come by to ask if you're done and you say, "no"...or "I'm still working on it" - you're a liar. A mouse would not even eat what's left on your plate. I once had a lady say that she was going to keep her glass to "sip on the ice" because it still "has some gin on it". Admit it: You're finished.

6) Splitting Bills
I understand that sometimes you need to split a bill. Some people have cash, most people use their credit card... and so on and so on. I'm ok with it. It's annoying and time consuming - but it's a part of the job. The problem arises when there's a table of...lets say, 6 or more, and you tell me at the END of the session that you need your bill split. Cool - can you give me about 15 minutes to figure that all out? And if you've ordered multiple rounds of drinks and desserts - you can pretty much forget that. For future reference - if you want to split a bill - tell the server at the beginning of the night. It will make it easier for the server - and ultimately - you'll get better, more efficient service.

7) Don't like it? Don't eat it.
This kills me. Oh, you don't like your steak? Then why did you eat 3/4 of it? If you don't like how your food tastes - DONT EAT IT. Dumbass people try to come in and swindle the place of business into getting a free meal. Fuck off. If you don't like it after having a few bites - let someone know, and 99% of the time it will get taken off the bill, and you'll probably have enough time to order something else. It's amazing how many goofballs try to exploit servers/managers etc into getting free shit. Don't be a jagoff.

8) Your jokes: LAAAAME
Like I stated before. Usually servers will say something to the likes of, "Anything else I can get for you?" at some point in the server/customer sphere. When you come back with 'A million dollars' or 'A bottle of Jack' or 'A wife who would have stayed faithful' - just go die. I could go on forever with this one, but I won't.

9) The doneness of food
There are universal regulations & stuff for cooking food. Some cooks can eye it up, others touch it for doneness - others might even go to extreme lengths of using a meat thermometer (wrong, they'll never do this). Folks - 'medium' means 'some pink'. Get over it. If you order a burger 'well done', do not complain to me that the cooks burned it and there's no flavor. You ordered it that way. Eat it, ya pompous prick. Am I getting worked up over here?

10) If you can't afford to tip...
Then you can't afford to go out. In the days of old, tipping was set on the table before the server even greeted the guest. To "Tip"...actually means 'To Insure Promptness'. The server would show extra care and love depending on how much money the guest put on the table. Little tidbit of knowledge for you. Before you castrate me for bringing this issue up, hear me out. I understand that expecting any sort of tip is purely the customer's discretion. Sure, unless it's stated somewhere on the menu, restaurants do not require it. I don't demand you to tip me. My wage is $2 an hour - it would be nice if you helped me out a biiiit more. The standard seems to be 15%, although some say 18% is more common now. Unless I was speaking portuguese to you while spitting in your soup, 15% is healthy in my book. But if I'm on my game, and have been at or around your table all night as you've racked up a $100 tab, please don't give me anything less than $10. Keep it for yourself. I wish I could come up with a sweet analogy or limmerick or Irish Folktale involving this, but I cannot. For every outrageous tip of 20-25% I've gotten, I've received a 10, 11, or 12% tip the same night. It all works out in the end. I highly doubt anyone reading this has a problem with this one - but really, If you don't want to shell out a little extra for a tip - cook yourself something nice at home.

11) Don't put your shit on other tables
My oh my, what a large coat you have there ma'am! Do you think it deserves its own home on the chair behind you? Interesting, because that chair is at a table that you aren't currently seated at - and now I cannot sit another restaurant patron at that table because of your gaudy coat. Next time please throw your purse, coat, shoes, gloves, earings, douche, and whatever else you might have on you on the floor of the establishment. Because apparently you ARE eating at home. Seriously don't do this. Again I doubt any of you do or have done this, but I'm amazed that people think they can just put there shit on other chairs at other tables. Retarded.

*WHEW* I'm done. Glad to get that off my chest. I'd love to hear feedback on this post. Experiences, sights, sounds, stories. If I'm out of line on any of the above please tell me. If I've missed a point, please write. Until then, enjoy your meal, and I'll be back in a few to check on you...

March Tunes

Marchin' on

10) Coldplay - Lovers in Japan

9) Flight of the Conchords - Carol Brown

8) Lonely Island - I'm on a Boat (Kue Remix)

7) LMFAO - I'm in Miami, Bitch

6) Asher Roth - I love College (This song makes me so sad)

5) Fever Ray - Dry & Dusty

4) Fever Ray - If I had a Heart

If I Had A Heart from Fever Ray on Vimeo.

3) K'naan - Take a Minute

2) Department of Eagles - No One Does it Like You

1) Fever Ray - When I grow Up

When I Grow Up from Fever Ray on Vimeo.