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Wednesday, January 26th 2010

It's time to put on your drinking shoes!

craft-brewed shoes!

Normally I wouldn't stray very from from the subject of this site, that being canned craft beers, but this really needed to be shared with all the beer lovers out there. Think of these as an accessory to canned craft beer enjoyment! Plus, I think I just found a Father's Day gift idea for all those stumped wives.

Would you buy a pair of casual slip-ons with a tread that looks like little beer bottles? What if you could get them in colors such as pale ale, hops, brown ale, wheat, mocha porter? Sure you would! You'd buy anything cool and beer related. Well, I know I would. May I present to you Brewshoes

These bad boys, first produced in 2008, are the product of an all-Oregonian collaboration between the folks at Rogue Ales and Rogue Shoes, yes, there is a shoe company also called Rogue. Similar to Sanuks, BREWSHOES come in both leather (the Dude) and canvas (the Walter) and are designed for lounging around (and drinking some good beer from cans of course). The tagline for the brand is "Take it Easy Footwear", so I guess that pretty much says it all. I'm sold.

Brewshoes will cost you between $50 - $70 online and a couple different sites are selling them. Try The Territory Ahead or the Brewshoes website which is currently under construction but will likely be up and running soon. Also, if anyone happens to have a pair of these please let me know what you think. I am really thinking of snagging a pair for the summer (UPDATE - I did get a pair, you can read my review of them HERE). 


Posted by Russ

Labels: Brewshoes

Wednesday, January 20th 2010

Monk's Blood
(21st Amendment Brewery)

Wow, the world of canned beers is really getting interesting. This latest offering from 21st Amendment in San Francisco is proof that many craft beer drinkers are totally okay with good beer coming in a can, especially if its an 8.5% Belgian-style dark ale! I'm looking forward to more of their "Insurrection Series" releases. 

From the 21st Amendment site:

"Monk’s Blood pays homage to the monks of Belgium’s monasteries who have been brewing some of the world’s great beer for centuries. During times of fasting, the monks subsist solely on beer, which they refer to as “liquid bread”. Beer, quite literally, is in their blood. The most sublime of the monk’s premium brews is dark like blood, rich and nourishing.

21st Amendment founders Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan traveled to Belgium to develop the recipe for this special beer, visiting small, traditional breweries in the hop fields of west Flanders, not far from the famous Trappist abbey of Westvletren. Monk’s Blood is designed to pair beautifully with rich winter stews, creamy cheeses, unctuous desserts or just by itself, in a Belgian tulip glass, with a good book by the fire."

Here we go...

Pour - deep dark plum in color but glowing blood red when held to the light. Head is fizzy and about an inch to start before it slinks away rather quickly and leaves just a wispy ring around the inside of the glass. 

Aroma - dark cherry, bitter fruits, caramel/brown sugar and some sourness.  

Taste - starts off sweet and estery/fruity (sweet dark fruits like plums and cherries) with a crisp tart finish. Vert smooth but without the spices I was expecting. This is actually a very subtle beer with a lot of nice flavor, it's almost juicy tasting with some hints of vanilla. It all comes together very nicely and even at 8.5% this is a beer that drinks well below its weight.

Overall - one hell of a canned beer. This is such a departure from 21st Amendment's other canned offerings. I really like how all of the flavors and spices come together not to produce something extreme but something very easy drinking and flavorful. I am looking forward to trying their next limited canned release. 

Note - along with the absolutely ridiculous grain bill that this beer has, it is also brewed with the following: Dark Belgian Candi Sugar, Cinnamon, Vanilla Bean, Dried Black Mission Figs and aged on oak.

Monk Scale:
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Barrel Scale:
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Can Scale:
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Monk's Blood
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Brewery: 21st Amendment Brewery
San Francisco, California  
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Belgian pilsner, Two-row pale, Caramunich, Caravienne, Aromatic, Special B, Flaked Oats & Flaked Wheat
Hops: Amarillo, Magnum & Centennial
ABV: 8.5%
IBUs: 34
Date: January 20th, 2010

Posted by Russ

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Sunday, January 3rd 2010

Bombshell Blonde
(Southern Star Brewing Company)

One of three canned brews from Southern Star. Our buddy Wally brought back some of these little beauties from a recent trip down to Texas. Cheers Wally!

From the Southern Star site:

"A rich, creamy golden colored ale fermented at a cool temperature to give a clean finish. Hints of yeasty bread and a touch of hops combine to make a beer that is truly more than the sum of its parts."

Here we go...

Pour - more amber than blonde in color. Nice carbonation levels with a great looking head. Pretty nice looking pour I must say, I would've missed out on this if I had drank it straight from the can. 

Aroma - slight hints of malty, grains and a bit of citrusy hops. Pretty mellow in aroma, nothing too intense but non-offensive that is for sure. 

Taste - sweet and tangy with some subtle floral hop flavors. Some similarities between aroma and taste that is for sure. I'd say the maltiness is the biggest surprise this beer has to offer. This is not a watery blonde like some that I've had and stand out as one of the better versions of the style as far as I'm concerned. Nice work Southern Star. 

Overall - solid, full-flavored Blonde ale. Nothing too crazy but thats what makes this extremely smooth and easy drinking. Another great candidate for camping and disc golf (or whatever other outdoor activity you find yourself doing). 

Note - Southern Star started canning this beer in 2008, the also can their Pine Belt Pale and a Foreign/Export stout called "Buried Hatchet".


Can Scale:
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Bombshell Blonde
Style: American Blonde Ale
Brewery: Southern Star Brewing Company
Conroe, Texas  
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Rahr Special Pale and Wyermann Vienna
Hops: Saphir and Sterling
ABV: 5.0%
IBUs: 20
Date: January 3rd, 2010

Posted by Russ

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Labels: Blonde Ales