Books, beer and barbarians

Home to fantasy author Ty Johnston

Monday, December 05, 2022

Beer of the Week Blast from the Past: Columbus Pale Ale


Beer score: 6.6

The Columbus Brewing Co. of Ohio is still with us and turning out some great beers, but they retired this pale ale a few years back.

Which is too bad, because this was a decent beer and a bit different from most pale ales.

It had an immediate strong taste with plenty of hops. Went down pretty smooth though had just a tad too much carbonation for me, though not a harsh brew but with some kick. A little rougher around the edges than most pale ales. Perhaps a touch of fruity in the tasting. Poured a nice, light amber color.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Beer of the Week Blast from the Past: Krakus Beer

Beer score: 5.1

It's another beer that's no longer with us. This one was brewed by the Zywiec Brewery of Poland.

The taste was weak at first, but it grew the more you drank. Was not an exceptional beer, but not an awful one. Fairly smooth and had just a touch of carbonation at first, but it grew to the point of slightly annoying. The taste was grainy with some sweetness.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Beer of the Week: Blatz Beer

Beer score: 2.4

Company: Hand Family Companies
ABV: 4.9
IBU: NA

Been around forever. Pours a light golden color like an old-school premium beer. Smells a little sweet, perhaps a little fruity. However, that sweetness soon turns watery and week. Too much fizz, but fairly easy to swallow.

Nothing to write home about, but by far not the worst of the cheap beers on the market. An old favorite for some, bringing back nostalgia of the past. Not always easy to find, though it depends on where you live.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Books read in 2022: No. 34 -- The Book of Daniel

published by Zondervan

Started: Nov. 12
Finished: Nov. 15

Notes: I've read much of this book of the Bible over the years, but I don't believe I've ever read the entire thing from front to back. So here goes with this prophetic work.

Mini review: Daniel interprets dreams for kings, survives being tossed into a den of lions, and foretells events of the near future ("near" for him or the Jewish people at the time, about 200 B.C.). Interesting material, but not overly expansive upon Judaism or Christianity.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Beer of the Week: Jenlain Blonde

Beer score: 5.3

Company: Brasserie Duyck
ABV: 6.8
IBU: 25

I'd had high hopes for this one, and though it's not an awful beer, it did not live up to my expectations.

Pours quite clear and golden into the glass. Has a nice foamy head of size. Smells of rice and corn with perhaps a little honey.

The taste is not as sweet as other beers from Jenlain, but there's still some sweetness. Again a touch of honey with more of a cheap beer taste than I like, keeping those rice and corn sensations going.

This is drinkable, but nothing you'd want to drink regular.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Books read in 2022: No. 33 -- Ghostly Tales & Legends Along the Grand Strand of South Carolina

by Blanche W. Floyd

Started: Nov. 9
Finished: Nov. 12

Notes: Whenever I travel, I like to visit a local bookstore and pick up a book by a local author. In this case, I grabbed this one while visiting the Myrtle Beach area in South Carolina recently. Plus, it's not been that long since the Halloween season and I didn't read enough spooky material for that time of year.

Mini review: This one really wasn't all that spooky, but it did have some basic but interesting historical information about the region. There were some ghostly tales here, but the author seemed to brush most of them off in one form or another.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Books read in 2022: No. 32 -- Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City

by K. J. Parker

Started: Oct 31
Finished: Nov. 8

Notes: I've heard good things about this series, so I thought I'd give it and its author a try.

Mini review: What a fun read! I don't normally think of fantasy as "breezy" literature, but this was about as close as I've experienced. An engineer who happens to be a colonel in an imperial army finds himself the highest ranking person in a besieged city and he has to find ways to keep the city from being overrun. Sounds serious, and it is, but it's also loads of fun with humor that isn't over the top. I'll have to give this author another read.