Books, beer and barbarians

Home to fantasy author Ty Johnston

Monday, January 24, 2022

Beer of the Week: Warsteiner Premium Beer

Beer score: 3.6

Company: Warsteiner

ABV: 4.8
IBU: 28

Despite what many beer drinkers will suggest, I've never been one who has been overly fond of beers from Germany. And this one proves my point.

Oh, it pours a nice golden color and has scents of grain and bread, but that's not anything spectacular. It also has way too much fizz and a weak taste like many beers that are made for a mass market. The taste also has a bit of skunkiness to it.

It is wet, however, and will quench your thirst. And in my experience it's much better from the tap than from the bottle, so much so I would add a couple of points to my score above when drinking this from the tap.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Beer of the Week: Cerveza Panama

Beer score: 4.8

Company: Heineken Panama

ABV: 4.8
IBU: NA

Reminds me of Corona, and yes, it comes from Panama.

It pours a golden color so light it almost looks like water. Unfortunately, it also has a somewhat skunky smell to it along with some vaguely grainy scents.

It's wet and weak and has a lot of carbonation. It tastes light, has a very little sweetness, and has just a touch of corn in the flavor.

Not a drink for beer snobs, but not a bad drink for cooling off on hot days.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Beer of the Week: Lindemans Framboise Lambic

Beer score: 9.8

Company: Lindemans

ABV: 2.5
IBU: 12

A Belgian lambic made with raspberries.

Pours a light ruby color with scents of fruit, especially raspberry, with a hint of malt.

The taste isn't as powerful as in Lendemans Kriek (cherry) Lambic, but that smell is quite a bit more powerful. Has a strong sweet, fruity berry flavor. Tastes more like a quality red wine than a type of beer.

One of the best beers on the planet, but it's not for everyone. Everyday beer drinkers won't realize it's beer, and even connoisseurs might go away confused. If you want to drink a beer that tastes like a beer, this probably isn't for you, but if you want to try something quite unusual, your taste buds will thank you for it.

Friday, January 07, 2022

Books read in 2022: No. 1 -- The Book of Psalms

published by Zondervan

Started: Jan. 1
Finished: Jan. 7

Notes: I've been putting off this reading because this is the longest book of the Bible and because having read much of it before, I know this is mostly fairly dry material. Still, I'm set on reading the Bible from beginning to end, so here goes.


Mini review: This contains a series of what are basically hymns, most of them praises to God or seeking aid from God in some form or another. It can be quite monotonous reading all these straight through as I did, but there is some beautiful language to be found here. I do kind of wish I understood Hebrew, because I believe these psalms would be even more poetic in their original form.

Monday, January 03, 2022

Beer of the Week: Southpaw Light

Beer score: 2.6

Company: Molson Coors

ABV: 5.0
IBU: NA

I hadn't seen this beer in years, then ran across it recently and decided to see if it was still as bad as it used to be.

It is.

Yes, it's another weak, carbonated drink from Milwaukee. I figure if you simply stop drinking any beers from Milwaukee then you have a decent chance of making it through life without tasting a bad beer (though keep in mind I'm talking about tasting, not drinking ... there are a few beers that are worth drinking but not tasting, if you can manage it).

Anyway, pours a weak yellow in color and smells like water with corn in it.

The taste is sweet with some sourness. There are hints of earth and grassiness. The foamy head vanishes almost instantly. That's about it. At least it's wet.

Friday, December 31, 2021

Books read in 2021: No. 50 -- The Star Wars Album

from Ballantine Books

Started: Dec. 29
Finished: Dec. 31

Notes: This book was a collector's edition originally published in late 1977 soon after the release of the original Star Wars movie. I bought a copy then as a kid and I held onto that copy for years and years. However, somewhere along the long line of my life I lost my copy. Yet we live in the day and age of online auction sites and sales sites, etc. So I was able to purchase another copy for a fair price, though this one is from the second publication date in 1978. This might seem a strange book today considering how far the Star Wars universe and phenomena has come in the last forty-plus years; most of this book deals with a recap of that first movie plus some writings about the sources that influenced Star Wars and some talk of a possible sequel. Oh boy, was there a sequel, and then some.

Mini review: This was a fun, interesting, nostalgic read. It was especially interesting to read about the predictions for a Star Wars sequel, and to chew on some of the comments made by the cast and George Lucas.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Books read in 2021: No. 49 -- The Metaphysics of the Novel

by Don Pendleton with Linda Pendleton

Started: Dec. 22
Finished: Dec. 28

Notes: Don Pendleton was the creator of the men's action/adventure series known as The Executioner, and he was the author of the first thirty-eight novels in that series. Sadly, Don passed away back in 1995. His wife Linda carried on the torch, promoting Don's work and the books they had written together. Linda had made herself available online to fans, so when I purchased this book six or so months ago, I had looked forward to reading it with hopes of being able to ask Linda any questions which I might have had. Sadly, Linda herself passed away just a couple of weeks ago. My condolences to her and her family. Still, having read much of Don's work, I'm interested to get his taking on writing a novel.

Mini review: This one was a bit dated in a lot of its advice concerning publishing, but the writing advice remains solid, though I can't say I learned much there. Still, it was interesting to see how Don Pendleton approached his fiction writing, especially for The Executioner series.