Books, beer and barbarians

Home to fantasy author Ty Johnston

Monday, September 25, 2023

Beer of the Week: Anchor Brewing Liberty Ale

Beer score: 7.9

Company: Anchor Brewing Company
ABV: 5.9
IBU: NA

Sadly, recent news is this San Fancisco brewing company is going out of business, and that's after 127 years of making fantastic beers.

So, with that in mind, I thought I should jump on re-trying some of their brews while I still had the chance.

This one pours a nice light brown color, almost coppery. If forms a nice, thick, foamy head while giving off scents of bread, caramel, a tough of citrus, and perhaps honey sweetness.

Light when it enters the mouth, but goes down with a strong bitterness and just a touch of fizz (though not enough to ruin the drink). The taste includes some of that sweetness with touches of honey and caramel.

Also, while this is an IPA, I've never experienced the sourness or sometimes even skunkiness I've come to think of when it comes to many IPAs. This one has none of that, reminding more of a pale ale that's been mixed with an IPA than a straight-up IPA.

A very fine beverage. Definitely worth drinking while it still lasts.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Beer of the Week: Sudwerk The People's Pilsner

Beer score: 7.2

Company: Sudwerk Brewing Company
ABV: 5.3
IBU: 35

The folks from Sudwerk Brewing in California have been making a pilsner now for more than a couple of decades. This is their latest batch. I don't know if it's the same as the pilsners they have made in the past, but the name and packaging are different.

This one pours a light straw color in a clear glass while giving off aromas of light caramel and a breadiness.

It's texture is fairly light and wet, but this drink is fairly strong for a pilsner with a hardy bitterness. There are hints of a citrus sourness as this one goes down, but only hints, reminding me a bit of grapefruit and maybe lemon.

I've had several Sudwerk pilsners over the years, though not regularly, and all of them have been pretty solid. This one is no exception, and I'd drink it again.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Beer of the Week: Original Flag Porter

Beer score: 7.9

Company: Darwin Brewery
ABV: 5.0
IBU: NA

Man, when pouring this one into a glass, it gives off smells of chocolate for sure, along with some coffee and a little bit of dark fruit.

It pours a dark brown color with a nice, foamy head that isn't so large as to be annoying.

Gives off a smooth burnt-maple flavor with a touch of smoke and a little of that dark fruitiness.

Creamy and smooth enough for regular drinking.

Coming to us from England, apparently the recipe for this porter is from the 19th Century, and according to the bottle's label the yeast used to make this brew was "salvaged from a sunken vessel in the English Channel" and that vessel was sunk in 1825.

Friday, September 08, 2023

Books read in 2023: No. 28 -- If It Bleeds

by Stephen King

Started: August 28
Finished: Sept. 8

Notes: After reading more than a few longer, heavier works, I'm in need of something light, and yes, I usually consider King relatively light reading. Also, this is a collection of four novellas, and I tend to think King's writing is at its best in shorter forms.

Mini review: Though all the stories here were written well and pretty good reads, in my opinion the best of the lot was the same name as the book itself, "If It Bleeds," another of King's Holly Gibney tales, a character of his he had made use of half a dozen or so times in recent years. And I like Holly, so there's that. My least favorite tale here was the last one, "Rat," which was okay but didn't seem so much like a Stephen King tale than it did someone trying to replicate King.

Monday, September 04, 2023

Beer of the Week Blast from the Past: Louie's Evil Lager

Beer score: 6.2

Another week without trying any beer, so some more notes about beers from the past.

This one was put out by the Saloon Brewing Company of New Ulm, Minnesota, but that company hasn't been around for some while now, perhaps decades.

This was a bitter beer with no sweetness at first, but the more you drank it became pretty sweet. It was wet and smooth.

A pretty decent brew, so I'm sad to see it gone.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Beer of the Week Blast from the Past: Cold Spring River Road Red Ale

Beer score: 4.6

Without a chance to try any beer this past week, I turn to some old notes from the mid-1990s concerning a beer from a Minnesota brewery that was bought out and no longer exists.

This one wasn't great but it wasn't bad. It tasted like a fairly weak lager but had a little oomph of bitterness thrown in. There was an interesting sweetness in the aftertaste that reminded me somewhat of Belgian lambics.

Even if this wasn't a favorite, it wasn't awful, and I always hate to see a brewery go out of business.

Books read in 2023: No. 27 - The Book of Malachi

published by Zondervan

Started: August 28
Finished: August 28

Notes: Finally I'm at the end of the Old Testament, at least according to the KJV I'm reading.

Mini review: More warnings to the Israelites because of their sins, but also a fair amount of talk of a future Messiah and the coming of the Lord. For Christians all that means one thing, but for Jews another, though perhaps the two are similar in some ways.