Beer and Pavement

Top 5 Beers in My Cellar

Posted in Beer, Top 5 by SM on November 14, 2011

The following list is based on my anticipation for cracking open the following beers. I may have some beers that are rated better or that I may actually like more, but this is more of a list that highlights some oddball beers and beers I just can’t wait to open. Some I’ve had already, but some will be new to me once I open them in the coming months or years.

5. Allagash 2010 Odyssey and 2009 Interlude – The Odyssey was scored in a Yankee Swap last Xmas. I have no idea what’s inside. The Interlude was found while on a business trip in Richmond, VA. Again, I have no idea what’s inside. Anything barrel aged and produced on a small scale by one of the more respected American craft breweries has me intrigued. Now, if they’re terrible, the brewery’s mystique will fade. However, I suspect these beers will be pretty awesome.

4. 2009 Alaskan Barley Wine – Someone told me that they had this beer and vintage at a beer festival recently. It was the hit of the fest according to this one guy, but I trust his opinion. That’s why this beer’s days are numbered and I’ll be cracking it open at some point this winter.

3. Never Forget Barley Wine – This was the barley wine I had planned for my daughter’s first birthday. I didn’t get around to brewing and bottling until a few months after her birthday, but quite a bit of it has been consumed, leaving me with only two bottles. At some point, I’ll open one to see what happens. The other may have to wait until a significant birthday. 18? 21? We’ll see.

2. Cantillon Lou Pepe – This one I just bought this past week. At $22, several factors are at play. First, I could only justify buying one as I had already purchased three bottles of something else that day. So, I will have no idea what it tastes like. This may mean that this one has a short stay in the cellar/closet. Second, the high price point makes me hesitant to just open it for any old reason. Regardless, it will be saved for a special occasion, of which there will be plenty with the oncoming holiday season.

1. Stone Vertical Epic Series – With 11/11/11 happening, another in the series of beers not meant to be consumed until after 12/12/12 hits stores this week. My sister’s birthday happens to be December 12th and the goal is to consume as many of these as possible – in a commemorative glass – on or more likely after her birthday next year. We’re now one year and beer closer. I currently have ’08-’10. My sister grabbed a bottle of ’11, but I may grab another when it arrives here next week just to be sure. It will be a surprise no matter what the beers taste like. Hopefully they all do stand the test of time.

Cellared Beers and Stacks of Records During Snowpocalypse 2011

Posted in Intersections by SM on February 4, 2011

The kid enjoying a snow fort.

As previously mentioned, we here in Middle Missouri were blanketed under 18-20 inches of snow. For those who live in Minnesota or Alaska, this might seem tame, but by Missouri standards, it’s downright apocalyptic[1]. The snow stopped sometime Tuesday night/Wednesday morning and as of Thursday afternoon, most of my neighborhood was still trapped by the snow[2].

At one point, while shoveling some of the white stuff, a neighbor trudged by on a beer run. Apparently someone down the street with 4-wheel drive was offering a trip to the store. I told him that’s why I have a cellar. He kept on going.

Sure, there’s the allure of a collection, but a beer cellar is really just a place to keep your beer. Because of this cellar, I never have to go traipsing through the snow for a nice brew. In fact, since the storm, I’ve had a Schlafly No. 20 Vol. 1 Imperial Pilsner, Great Lakes Nosferatu Stock Ale, Founders 2010 KBS, Boulevard Dark Truth Stout, 2008 Bell’s Old Ale, Stillwater Cellar Door, Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout, and Boulevard Tank 7. That’s quite a variety of great beers I wouldn’t be able to find at any store. I was prepared for Snowmageddon without even preparing[3]. The cellar serves this purpose as well as if not better than it does simply providing space for one’s collection.

The same can be said for records. Although I haven’t put on as many records as I would have liked over the past week[4], the option has been there. I do realize that this is different in that people have access to an infinite amount of music online, but vinyl warms the cockles and pops and crackles in time with your fireplace. Few collections can help you pass the time the way a record collection can.

What did I listen to? Well, it was mostly new stuff (to me). The KC Accidental double-LP has seen a lot of time in this house already, but I’ve also been playing the new Iron & Wine as well as Destroyer’s Kaputt. To mix it up, I pulled out The White Stripes’ De Stijl and White Blood Cells as a way to assist Detroit takes it final blow and say goodbye to the band forever[5].

Blizzards give you time for such pursuits[6]. You either do something with it, or you suffer the cabin fever. So, in preparation for the next blizzard or other natural catastrophe, go fill a closet with beer and buy a shit-ton of records[7].

1Columbia, a town of over 100,000 people, only has 18 snowplows. That’s not enough for 18 inches of snow.
2Just as I was about to dig a path to tracks left by neighborhood 4×4’s, a giant plow came down the street…and promptly got stuck at the bottom of the cul de sac. After finally working its way out, another plow made it’s way down the street…and promptly got stuck at the bottom of the cul de sac. The first plow pulled the second plow out.
3However, a little prepping would have been a good idea. I brewed some beer, but I started too late for this storm. Two batches are now in secondary dry-hopping. Also, my cellar is dwindling quickly. I’ve been more selective lately and a “shipment” from Ohio has yet to arrive. So, I had what I had and I made due.
4Two-year-olds with nothing to do make record listening rather difficult. I was lucky to play what I played.
5Honestly, I didn’t realize they were still a band.
6The beard still grows. I like how icicles form as I shovel snow.
7I intended to write something more substantial here, but I’ve been busy. Funny how much busier one can be when snowed in. Thank god my kid’s day care is open today. Otherwise, I don’t know how I would handle another day of this.