Books, beer and barbarians

Home to fantasy author Ty Johnston

Monday, June 29, 2020

Beer of the Week: Omission IPA

Beer score: 7.0

Company: Omission Brewing Co.

ABV: 6.7
IBU: 65

I've tried one other Omission brew (the Pale Ale), and I had pretty good things to say about it. And honestly, I have to say good things about this one, too, even if it is gluten free. And IPAs usually aren't my thing.

First off, it looks, smells, and tastes like an IPA, so don't let the gluten-free label fool you.

In a clear glass, the color of this beer is a cloudy gold color leaning slightly towards the darker side. The smell reminds me of cereal with a touch of fruitiness. More importantly, the taste is very IPA with a medium bitterness and more than a touch of wheat and other grains, along with hints of orange and other citrus fruits.

To add, one of the reasons IPAs aren't often my favorite drink is because sometimes they have a sourness in the aftertaste which I do not overly enjoy. That being said, there's none of that here.

Yes, you can and should drink this.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Over at Black Gate: Howard Days 2020

This week at the Black Gate site, I talk a little about Howard Days 2020. For those in the know, there wasn't a Howard Days 2020, but that doesn't mean one can't help those in charge of Howard Days.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Beer of the Week: Omission Pale Ale

Beer score: 7.1

Company: Omission Brewing Co.

ABV: 5.8
IBU: 33

I don't know if this beer is actually gluten free, but I do know the label says it was "crafted to remove gluten" ... so, maybe?

Either way, this is a pretty tasty beer. Also, it looks like a pale ale and tastes like a pale ale, so even if it's gluten free, the lack of gluten doesn't hurt this brew.

From the bottle into the glass it pours a light orange, dark gold color, and leaves behind a fairly thin head of only a half inch or so.

A very balanced beer here with a fine malty flavor, but not so much as to ruin the drink. Has a nice amber flavor that's not weak and maybe just a touch of citrus.

Gluten free or not, I could see this being a regular beer for tasting or drinking. I'd think even most beer snobs would find this a decent beer. And if the bottle and website hadn't informed me, I wouldn't know this was gluten free.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Books read in 2020: No. 15 -- The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood

Started: June 8
Finished: June 16

Notes: My girlfriend recently read this, thus it was around the house waiting for me, and I've been wanting to read this popular novel for some time now. And no, I've not seen the television show.

Mini review: Interesting. Word of warning, though: There's not really much of a plot. Like the faux-documentary it is sort of supposed to be, this novel is mostly about world creation, with the main character reacting to events more than propelling any plot forward. That being said, events to happen, and the writing is strong enough and the world interesting enough to keep one reading. However, this isn't what most would consider an "entertaining" read, though I also wouldn't label it dull or boring.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Beer of the Week Blast from the Past: Michelob Winter Brew Spiced Ale

Beer score: 3.7

Yep, it's another beer that's no longer on the market. I first had this one about 20 years ago, and I don't think I've seen it since. Which is fine with me in this case.

Below are a few of my notes on this beer.

It was Anheuser-Busch's Christmas brew with nutmeg, spices, etc. I usually don't like these holiday beers much, and this one was the sweetest of the sweet. This beer reeked of cinnamon before you even get the glass to your lips. If you like sweet, spiced beers, then this one might have been for you. I suppose this would go good with fruit cake on Christmas eve. But maybe not. I'm not sure it would have gone well with anything.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Beer of the Week: Bitburger

Beer score: 6.0

Company: Bitburger

ABV: 4.8
IBU: 33

I often find German brews overrated, and I have to admit, this one has a very made-for-America taste. Still, this is not bad, though nothing overly special.

When you pour it into a glass, it has a strong cereal smell, full of grains. It appears a nice, light golden color with a near-perfect amount of white head at the top.

The taste is quite bready with some mild bitterness that grows the more you drink, especially in the after taste.

Worth drinking, but not as good as its reputation.

Monday, June 08, 2020

Books read in 2020: No. 14 -- Lexicon

by Max Barry

Started: June 1
Finished: June 8

Notes: This author has a new novel out. This is not it. But, the new novel reminded me I had this earlier novel waiting for me on my shelves.

Mini review: This is by far the most entertaining book I've read so far this year. It's a bit difficult to tell the plot without giving too much away, but I'll try: A secret organization has discovered the power of words, the true power of words, allowing trained individuals to use certain words or sounds in certain orders to be able to control other people. It's almost like magic, but not exactly. Set in the modern world, all kinds of trouble brews up, and it might be some things are more powerful than magic or words or magical words. Maybe. You have to read this one for yourself, but it's a fairly fast-paced entertaining, but also interesting read. Too often I find fault with some modern literature, especially that of the fast-paced variety, because I feel it has been written down to the reader, but that is not the case here.