Books, beer and barbarians

Home to fantasy author Ty Johnston

Monday, March 01, 2021

Beer of the Week: Grimbergen Triple

Beer score: 5.8

Company: Grimbergen

ABV: 8.0
IBU: 5

This has got to be the sweetest beer I've ever taste. That doesn't mean the taste is bad, but it's so hard to get to it through all the sweetness. This was so sweet I couldn't finish a bottle (though it was a big bottle).

As for pouring, it has a nice, light golden color to it. The smell has some caramel and fruitiness to it.

Going down, there's some of that caramel and fruit flavors, but again, the sweetness here is just overpowering. It does have a strong alcohol aftertaste.

Only truly experienced beer tasters should think about trying this. Worth trying when you are in the mood for something unique.

Friday, February 26, 2021

At Rogue Blades: When Our Heroes are Flawed

My article at Rogue Blades this week talks about flawed, real-world heroes and that maybe we should cut them some slack because maybe, just maybe, we're the ones being overly judgmental.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Books read in 2021: No. 9 -- Between the Bridge and the River


Started: Feb. 13
Finished: Feb. 23

Notes: I'm in need of some fiction, so I turn to this novel. I know comedian Ferguson can write non-fiction, as I've read his excellent autobiography, so now I'll find out how he handles fiction.

Mini review: It's not easy to describe this novel. For one thing, the plot jumps around all over the place, especially early on, though by about the halfway point things begin to mull and the last half of the novel is easy to follow. Also, there are numerous characters, and it's sometimes not so easy to keep track of them. There are two Scottish men who were friends as boys but who part ways in high school, one who eventually becomes a television personality and the other who lives a rather dull life with a wife he does not truly love. One of them becomes something of a holy man, the other discovers he has cancer and falls in love, though I won't tell you which is which. Then there are the two brothers from the South in America, one who becomes a movie star and the other his manager, and eventually they go into the business of religion. And there are many other charcters, though those are the main ones. It all ties together somewhat in the end in what turns out to be quite the spiritual novel. If there's a message here, it's ultimately a simple one, "Help others." The title itself doesn't seem to make much sense until the end of this book, and there's definitely a spirituality there. I like that. I won't say this was a fun read, though there is some humor, but it wasn't a complete drudge.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Beer of the Week: Paulener Hefe-Weizen

Beer score: 6.5

Company: Paulener

ABV: 5.5
IBU: 16

A hefe-weizen is a type of wheat beer that has been conditioned in the bottle. This here beer is brewed and bottled by Paulener of Munich, Germany.

When you pour this one, it has a cloudy look to it with a bit of coloring that's somewhat amber. That being said, it's smooth and has a fruity taste that is cool at first but overpowering after a few drinks.

This beer would score higher for me if the fruit taste didn't come on so strong.

Still, it's a good sipping beer for dessert. You could serve this as a wine to non-beer drinkers and I think they would enjoy it.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Beer of the Week: Geary's Pale Ale

Beer score: 7.8

Company: Geary Brewing Company

ABV: 5.2
IBU: 38

This one pours with a smooth copper color. The smell isn't overly strong, but there are definitely hints of the malt and hops with a slight cereal and caramel texture.

Going down, this is a solid, wet and frothy pale ale that isn't overly bitter. Has a little bit of a bitter kick when swallowing, but not much. Has a great flavor that's much like the smell with hints of bread and that caramel.

I like this beer, so yeah, I can recommend. You should try one.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Books read in 2021: No. 8 -- The Case for Faith


Started: Feb. 5
Finished: Feb. 13

Notes: I love to study Christian apologetics, of which Strobel is known to be a major writer. That being said, I've read one of his books before and I wasn't a big fan, mainly because I felt he covered ground already covered time and time again by other authors. I'm willing to give him another try, though, and maybe there will be something new here for me to learn.

Mini review: Here Strobel attempts to answer a number of objections to Christianity through interviews with various experts on science, philosophy and religion. Strobel does a quality job of finding answers for the presented concerns, but I always feel as if his writings are a bit simplistic for my taste, that the answers aren't necessarily pat but that they're just touching upon the tip of the iceberg. Of course he's writing for a somewhat general Christian audience, but I prefer deeper material. I'm not opposed to reading more Strobel, but I think I prefer the works of the likes of Josh McDowell or even C.S. Lewis.