Friday, February 19, 2010

Our long national nightmare is over...

My beloved Great Lakes Brewing Co. is making its introduction into the North Carolina market. O! The joy! (I'll see you in Winston-Salem on March 9th. All the Greensboro locations are sketch.)

Per their Facebook post:

GLBC To Enter North Carolina!
Great Lakes Brewing Company announces its entry into the Charlotte/Greensboro markets of North Carolina starting the week of March 1, 2010! Visit the below locations to meet GLBC reps and sample GLBC's five year round beers: Burning River Pale Ale, Commodore Perry India Pale Ale, Dortmunder Gold Lager, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Eliot Ness Amber Lager!


Monday, March 1, 2010
Midtown Sundries University: 5:00 PM
3425 David Cox Rd.
(704) 597-7413

Tuesday, March 2, 2010
The Liberty: 6:00 PM
1812 South Blvd.
(704) 332-8830


Monday, March 8, 2010
Stumble Stilskins: 5:30 PM
202 W Market St.
(336) 691-1222

The Pour House: 8:00 PM
360 Federal Place
(336) 333-2226

Tuesday, March 9, 2010
First St. Draught House (Winston Salem): 5:00 PM
1500 West First St.
(336) 722-6950

Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Coopers Ale House: 5:00 PM
5340 W Market St.
(336) 294-0575


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Common Cleveland Steamer

The homebrew bug hit yet again, mainly to get through these final extract-based recipes to start to dive head first into "all-grain" brewing. Basically, as a metaphor, instead of making brownies from a boxed mix, I would add the flour, cocoa, etc. myself. All-grain is a more "from scratch" version of brewing and one where you have more control over every aspect of the recipe and final product.

So anyway, next on the docket was a California Common, alternately known in the beer world by Anchor Brewing's trademarked flagship Steam Beer: basically, a lager yeast strain used at a warmer ale yeast temperature to bring about more fruitiness. So, being from Cleveland, and as a childish play on words, I titled my homebrew "Common Cleveland Steamer". Insert your eye-rolling and groaning [here].

Here's the recipe I had:

8oz. Munton's Dark Crystal

6.6 lb. Light liquid malt extract (LME)

2 oz. UK Pilgrim Gold hops 11% alpha acid @ 60 minutes
1 oz. UK First Gold hops 7% AA @ 1 minute

Saflager S-23 dry lager yeast

And now it rests in the kitchen sink next to the British Bitter with my markedly non-electronic temperature control method: wet t-shirt in water bath. Time to rinse dirty dishes in the half-bath sink for a few more days!

Harry Connick, Jr.

What a fun Mardi Gras I just had! For whatever reason, instead of partying in his home of New Orleans, Harry Connick, Jr. was on tour and in Durham! Worked 8-4, let the dogs out, then headed over for dinner at Tyler's and then the show at the Durham Performing Arts Center. It was a LOT of fun! Between the Saints winning the Super Bowl recently and Mardi Gras happening, he was in a REALLY good mood. Some of the lovey dovey songs (which he mentioned might make those not in love "a little awkward") were a little awkward for me. But other than those two songs out of the 2-hour show, it was FUN!!!

Sadly, I don't have any video or photos from the show. I was too close to the aisle and the DPAC camera gestapo. But here's a fun toe-tapping number I found online that brings me right back to Durham and last Tuesday's show:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

British Bitter

Time to brew again. On Valentine's Day. I swear it was an act of coincidence, but the style brewed on this day of romance and love was a....bitter. Rather appropriate.

The recipe:

1/2 lb. Simpsons Caramalt

1 lb. Golden Light Dry Malt Extract (DME)
3.15 lb. Gold Liquid Malt Extract (LME)

1 oz. Kent Goldings hops, 5.0% alpha acid @ 60 min
1 oz. Kent Goldings hops 5.0% AA @ 1 min

Danstar Windsor Ale dry yeast

Easy to brew, should be easy to drink. Session pub ale.

Bitter on Valentine's Day....go figure.

Two Greensboro bands in two nights

In a fit of local music appreciation, I hit up two local bands in two local venues: Amelia's Mechanics on Friday at The Blind Tiger, and Holy Ghost Tent Revival at the Green Bean on Saturday. Both bands were a little out of my "element", but I quickly became fans of both.

Appears my iPhone video microphone is a touch sensitive. Sorry for the boisterous audio.

Amelia's Mechanics, one my own video and one not:

Holy Ghost Tent Revival, again one video my own and one not:

Fun nights.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

There is nothing I can really say here that would make sense unless you had consumed a frankly voluminous amount of hallucinogens. Wow.

The inevitable HofG trailer has a glitch in that the powers-that-be do not want anyone to embed the trailer, so here's the best I can do: a link to the trailer.

Just a visually stunning feature. Terry Gilliam strikes again with a film of such grandiose visuals and mind-bending scenarios. Sideshow artist Dr. Parnassus has a magic mirror, one where your dreams become reality when you step through it. Where did this mystic come from? Just how old is he? What's to become of the wayward vagrant (the outstanding Heath Ledger in his final role) that joins them? Ledger died during shooting, so his character behind the mirror is played with various quirks by Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law. Mesmerizing.

Stream of consciousness Monty Python animation meets Alice in Wonderland meets LSD. Confounding.

If you're into this sort of thing, it's easily worth the Full Price I'll give it. It makes it so just for the fact that Tom Waits plays the Devil. Tom Fucking Waits!

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee

Movies at a/perture cinema in downtown Winston-Salem do not hang around long. There are just two theaters and so many independent films out there that most last for just one week, Friday through Thursday. Between the snow accumulation we received and a stretch of 2-10 workdays, this past Thursday was my final opportunity to see an all-star cast in The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.

The trailer:

Pippa had a checkered past of dangerous habits and wayward journeys...until she met a publisher 30 years her senior. Now, freshly released of most material possessions, they begin the final chapter in their marriage in a retirement community. Flashbacks and zig-zags in Pippa's story continue throughout, giving you the glimpse that the down-to-earth Pippa who dotes on her elderly husband was once a hellbent girl with touches of counter-culture danger. Which Pippa is the real Pippa? Can she handle holding up the airs of humble wife or will her past come back to retake its proper place?

A great cast that kept me in awe. However, the final movie product fell a smidge below Full Price for me.