Wednesday, December 29, 2010

1001 BEERS

My roomie got me this book called "1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die" book. I figure I've got 70 more years to live, hopefully and ideally, fingers crossed. I mean 100 years is not hard right? So technically if I taste 14-15 new beers a year I will live up to this book. Fantastic! This will be my ultimate beer bible now.

I apologize for the wine on top on the book. It's blasphemy!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bad Cheese

Today I made a simple salad and decided to add blue cheese ( cheese). I had this costco tub of blue cheese that's been sitting in my fridge for about, hmm, two months now. I thought since blue cheese is already rotten, it shouldn't spoil. But was I wrong. Before splattering it all over my salad, I made sure to taste it first. I did, and boy, was it disgusting! It tasted like donkey ass, not that I've ever tasted donkey ass before, but my imagination says so. I quickly spitted the remaining donkey ass taste and gave myself a dose of gin. Good old Hendrick's Gin made everything all better!

Monday, December 27, 2010


Now that I'm finished with my Christmas Beer blogging, I am a bit bummed out that I have nothing to blog about. But wait, I guess I can blog about random music!

I am vastly expanding my music library, and have recently added musics such as Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Matt and Kim, Vampire Weekend, Band of Horses, and the likes (mainly indie bands). I was recently introduced to this band called Tennis. I caught a few songs on the net, and they were kinda nice, but I wasn't wowed at the time. On this morning's drive to work, I heard this amazing piece of music on KCRW (Morning becomes Eclectic is my favorite program on the radio) and so I Shazamed it. Lo and behold, they are Tennis. It's their newest single "Marathon". I love it, and it's a part of my collection now.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas! Beer #25

I've finally reached the end of my Christmas beer journey. Today's beer is not wrapped and is the ultimate beer I've been waiting for (because I chose it). I was initially lured by the packaging. While examining the bottle today, I discovered that it's a limited edition beer, designed by an American cartoonist Ron Regé Jr., it even comes with a mini comic book. I got even more excited. The bottle is reusable earthenware, which is fantastic! I can use it as a water bottle!

Although the journey seem to have ended when I drank my last Christmas drink, it's really not over yet. I've learned quite a bit about beer, but I think there's still a lot more to explore. The journey into beer discovery is just beginning for me. BevMo, I will conquer you once more!
Beer: Yeast Hoist / St. Sebastiaan Golden Ale
Brewery: Brouwerij Sterkens, Meer, Belguim
Vol: 7.6%
Taste: Exquisite taste, light ale with a hint of wheat. The first taste won me over, but subsequent tastes didn't hold up to the initial taste. It was good, but does not have the complexities I've had with other top rating beers of this month.
Rating: 4.5/5 (If packaging were involved in the overall rating, then this beer will deserve a 5/5)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

X'mas Beer: Day 24

It is actually Christmas Day as I am posting my final beer blog before the ultimate Christmas beer finale. I am exhausted after two days of Christmas extravaganza. I came home late tonight having only the comfort of sleep on my mind. But for the love of beer, I decided to finish this one last wrapped drink before my special Christmas bottle tomorrow (actually today). To my surprise this last bottle is one amazing work!

Beer: Stone Levitation Ale
Brewery: Stone Brewery
Region: North County San Diego
Vol: 4.4%
Taste: Medium Body, Exquisite, Extreme Hoppiness, with a slight citrus taste.
Rating: 4.5/5

Friday, December 24, 2010

X'mas Beer: Day 23

Beer: Wyder's Hard Cider (Dry Raspberry)
Region: Middlebury, VT, USA
Brewery: Wyder's Cider Company
Vol: 4% (Wow, insanely, who put this here??)
Note: First of all, this is not beer, this is cider. It's apples and oranges! But since it's in the rotation, I will rate it as one of the big boy beers.
Taste: It's very light with very little carbonation, extremely flat for a cider. I think it's too sweet for my taste. I feel that the raspberry is artificial. 5 years ago I would say I like this thing. But now, it's just not my thing.
Rating: Sorry, but this one is 1/5 (it's not beer!)

P.S. RAD photos huh? The second one looks ghostly. But I was just being lazy with the camera and using faint flash with very low lighting. Awful photo, but I like to call it "artistic".

Thursday, December 23, 2010

X'mas Beer: Day 22

Beer: Turbodog
Brewery: Abita Brewing Company
Region: Abita Springs, LA, USA
Vol: n/a (perhaps a 5.5%, it's not very strong at all)
Taste: Dark brown ale, without the bitter taste. Malty, goes down really smooth. I really enjoyed the drinkability of this one, and will definitely buy more to drink leisurely.
Note: The name Turbodog suggests something extreme, but this wasn't much of an extreme beer since it goes down really easy and smooth. I can't say it's got a lot of complexity to it, and it's not very strong either. But overall, i'm not disappointed.
Rating: 4/5

On a different note, roomie made a Swedish Christmas casserole for Christmas. It's got anchovys! Can't wait to try it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

X'mas gift wrapping

Here's my idea of gift wrapping. Turning the box the gift comes from inside out. DONE! That's what I call environmental!

Now time for some booze!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

X'mas Beer: Day 21

Beer: Jubelale (A festive winter ale)
Region: Bend, Oregon, USA
Volume: 6.7%
Taste: It's got a very thick creamy head and the taste is wonderfully hoppy with a slight sweetness, but not overpowering. I quite enjoyed this one.
Rating: 4.5/5

X'mas Beer: Day 20

Beer: Paulaner Salvator Double Bock (Same brand different beer)

Region: Munich, Germany
Volume: 7.9% (Our recorder holder so far!)
Taste: Malt, Sweet, very sweet malt (notice how I can describe beer in just three words, with two of the words mentioned twice). The beer is very strong, but too sweet for my taste.
Rating: 3/5

Sunday, December 19, 2010

X'mas Beer: Days 17, 18 & 19

I have been behind on my beer postings. But I am all caught up once again.

Day 17: Mirror Pond Pale Ale

This is a repeat from Day 3. My thoughts remain the same for this one. I actually guzzled it down in two minutes to get ready to go out for dinner. It was actually a perfect beer for just that!

Day 18: Hofbrau Original

Region: Munich, Germany
Volume: n/a (it's not a heavy beer, so I'm guessing around 4.5%)
Taste: Light, fizzy and pure lager. Very enjoyable and a thirst quencher beer, although I can start to taste a slight bitterness the more I drink. But overall not quite bad.
Rating: 3/5

Day 19: Paulaner

Region: Munich, Germany (again)
Brewery: Paulaner Brauerei
Volume: 5.8%
Taste: Hoppy, light ale with a sweet then metallic taste.
Note: Reading some reviews from the website, I'm suppose to taste banana here. Interesting. I do taste a strong hint of metallic, perhaps this is the potassium from the banana. But my beer taste buds are not as sophisticated to distinguish the ingredients...maybe someday I will get there.
Rating: 3.5/5

Aside from beering. I had a wonderful Swedish/Turkish snack today. It was turkey meatballs with apple and beets (pictured below) and Turkish cheese pastry (not pictured). Exquisite!! Thanks Popnea and Leogra!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tokyo 7-7 Coffee Shop

Around this time two years ago, I decided to make a list of things to do/places to go before the end of the year. I researched for staple restaurants in Culver City and discovered this place called Tokyo 7-7 Coffee Shop. Its owners and chefs are Japanese, but they serve mainly American breakfast and lunch, from bacon and eggs to burgers at a very affordable price. It had been in business for over 30 years. The new Downtown Culver City built itself around this little restaurant. It is nestled within a large parking structure surrounded by the backdoors of restaurants and shops. It's a bit tricky to find, and you'd have to walk into an alley to see this little building.

My list went pretty well until the 31st of December, 2008, the very last day to cross off everything from the list. I woke up super early that day, excited to be going to this Tokyo 7-7 Coffee Shop that I've anticipated for so long. When I finally found the place, I was disappointed to find it closed and a sign reading they will return Jan. 5th. I couldn't complete my To Do List that year. I was bummed out, but at least I knew I tried.

The following year, late one night, I received a terrible phone call about my uncle's death, and my dad's disappearance at the beach. My sis, her boyfriend, and I didn't sleep the rest of the night. The following morning we decided we should feed ourselves and replenish our energy. We went to Tokyo 7-7 Coffee Shop for some comforting breakfast. It's a very old diner with old laminated, dark, wooden walls decorated with vintage Japanese memorabilia. It's as if time stopped moving forward in there. The food tasted of home, like something grandma would whip up. Something simple without being pretentious at all. It was comforting.

Last night, I got a call from my sis saying today will be the last day this place will be in business. It was very sad news. Although I've only eaten there once, I've already had a connection with this place, and it was very hard to hear this news. We arrived for breakfast this gloomy, rainy morning and said our goodbyes.

Goodbye Tokyo 7-7 Coffee Shop. You are beloved by many, and will truly be missed.

It's nestled within new shops and restaurants and a large parking structure. You'd have to walk into an alley to get to this place.

December 31, 2008. It was closed for the Holidays.

I was unable to complete my list that year.

Today, December 18th, 2010. The last business day for Tokyo 7-7.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

X'mas Beer: Day 16

Beer: Brrr Seasonal Ale

Region: Portland, Oregon, USA
Brewery: Widmer Brothers
Volume: 7.2% (the highest I've had thus far, I mean in this beer tasting)
Taste: Like an IPA, perhaps it's an IPA. A lot of hops with a bitter tone and a hint of sweetness. Now that sums up Christmas for ya!
Note: I like beer labels with a personal touch, it says "To: You, From: Rob & Kent". Now how cute is that? Just makes one so special.
Rating: 4/5

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

X'mas Beer: Day 15

Beer: Quilmes

Region: Argentina
Volume: 4.9%
Taste: Light lager, no complexity. Bland. Blah.
Note: It's Argentina's "favorite beer"...I wonder why? I am very underwhelmed. I decided not to pour it into a glass today, this one does not deserve special glass treatment.
Rating: Sorry, but you only get a 1/5

Every beer I drink gets me closer to Christmas. It's suppose to be exciting, but Christmas is losing its charm for me. Not sure why, maybe it's the fact I'm getting older, maybe I don't believe in santa or the holiday spirit (whatever that is), maybe shopping during this time is hell, or maybe I'm at a point where I just don't exude my shiny disposition. All in all, Christmas is drawing near, but I'm just not excited.

P.S. Sorry to sound so sad and bitter, but I promise, I will be better next time. Maybe this beer does that to people...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

X'mas Beer: Day 14

Beer: Rogue

Region: Oregon, USA
Volume: n/a (perhaps a 5.8%, since it's a porter, maybe even 6% or higher)
Brewery: Brewmaster
Taste: Rich, aromatic, robust, chocolaty taste that goes down smooth. Definitely a full flavored beer that will go well with a meaty meal.

Fun Fact:
"Porter is said to have been popular with transportation workers of Central London, hence the name. " -, article 305
Rating: 4.25/5

Note: I believe my rating system may be flawed because I've been drinking my beer at the very end of the day...uaually after a few drinks in (okay, not "usually", but all the time).

Monday, December 13, 2010

X'mas Beer: Day 13

Beer: Anchor Steam Beer (since 1896)

Region: San Francisco, California, USA
Brewery: Anchor Brewing Co
Volume: n/a (perhaps 4.8%)
Taste: Smooth creamy taste with a hoppy finish.
Note: I had an Anchor Steam from Father's Office once, and the bartender told me it's California's first craft beer. Pretty cool eh? I think I'm quite "hoppy" with this beer (har har). Also, I am drinking from a fancy glass again!
Rating: 4/5

Sunday, December 12, 2010

X'mas Beer: Day 12

Beer: Mothership Wit

Region: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Brewery: New Belgium Brewing
Volume: 4.8%
Taste: Light wheat taste that goes down smooth with a zesty finish.
Note: I love how the bottle gives instructions on how to "Fly the Mothership", so I did. This is the first time from this beer tasting experience that I've poured the drink into a glass (a fancy one nonetheless). Drinking it is much easier and gives one a new appreciation for tasting beer.
Rating: 3.75/5

Saturday, December 11, 2010

X'mas Beer: Day 11

Surprise surprise!

This is what happens when you wrap up all 28 different beers and choose randomly. REPEATS! Yes, I got exactly the same beer as yesterday. The Prohibition.

I guess this saves me the effort of analyzing a new taste. *whew*

All in all, it still rates a 4/5 and I'm still enjoying its taste after three Pacificos earlier!

Friday, December 10, 2010

X'mas Beer: Day 10

Beer: Prohibition

Region: San Francisco, California
Brewery: Speakeasy
Volume: 6.1% (woah!)
Taste: This one is quite good. You can taste the maltiness initially, then the hoppiness kicks in leaving a nice tingling sensation.
Rating: 4/5

X'mas Beer: Day 9

Beer: Estrella Damm

Region: Barcelona, Spain
Volume: n/a (I'm guessing it's around 4.5%)
Taste: Light lager, crisp, refreshing and clean. It goes down smooth without any after taste.
Rating: 3/5
(it's a high rating for such a simple lager, but I suppose the claim "since 1876" gave it that extra 0.5 points. It's lasted this long, it must be good!)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

X'mas Beer: Day 8

Beer: Winterbraun

Region: Eureka, California
Volume: 6.5% (on the stronger end, awesome!)
Taste: Surprisingly full of aromas. It is complex, full bodied, yet smooth with a malty taste. You can definitely taste the chocolate malt. In summary, it's a sophisticated dessert drink!
Rating: 4.5/5 stars (I'm saving my 5 stars for the white unicorn of beers, which i'm not sure if it even exists...but I want to believe in it!)

P.S. Dark man skiing! Har! I get it now!

I forgot to attach this image to my first beer post. This is only a fraction of all the beers we exchanged. Pretty awesome huh? huh? That's 28 completely different 6 packs!

Oh, and also, random image of the day. I made breakfast this morning and found a little surprise. Two yolks in one egg! I heard it's a good omen.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

X'mas Beer Cheers

It's Christmas time again! My friend and roommate came up with this brilliant plan to count down to Christmas with our favorite beverage, BEER. It's like the countdown to Christmas we did when we were kids with chocolate, only this time it's with beer. A grown-up version. So the idea is to drink a different bottle of beer a day till Christmas Day! Wheee. A group of us bought a bunch of different beers, wrapped and traded with each other. That way we would come home with a surprise beer each night! Something to look forward to after a long work day.

I decided to record each and every bottle I drink at the same time learning about the various tastes of beer. I will document and share my experiences to all of you.... (which most likely will be cricket silent, since I believe i'm the only person reading my own blog. har har).

Here it goes!!

Day 1: Super Bock

Region: Portugal
Volume: 5.2%
Taste: Mild, Crisp, Not much after taste, a bit flat as well
Rating: 2/5 stars

Day 2: Mythos

Region: Greece
Volume: 4.7%
Taste: First Impression was bland (just by looking at the label), but the taste was actually light, but malty and very refreshing.
Rating: 3.5/5

Day 3: Mirror Pond Pale Ale

Region: Bend, Oregon
Volume: 5.0%
Taste: Nice, Fine, Mild Taste, not bitter at all for an IPA. Might be more enjoyable on a hot summer night.
Rating: 3.5/5

Day 4: Lhasa Beer

Region: Tibet
Slogan: "Imported from the Roof of the World" (I love this, thus I noted it)
Volume: n/a
Taste: Clean, very pale lager, kinda boring, but might be because it represent the monks of Tibet. It's satisfying, but not interesting
Rating: 3/5

Day 5: Saigon

Region: Vietnam
Volume: 4.9%
Taste: Light, malty (but a little stingy on the malt). A boring treat for your taste buds, but satisfies the thirst, perhaps on a very hot summer day.
Rating: 2/5

Day 6: Orange Wheat

Region: Redlands, CA (Hanger 24 Craft Brewery)
Volume: n/a
Taste: Definitely wheaty. Can taste a bit of orange, but not overpowering at all. It's got a bit of a country feel in the taste.
Rating: 3.5/5

Day 7: Hoegaarden

Region: Belgian
Volume: 4.9%
Taste: Wheat with spices. Light, refreshing, easy and smooth, clean, but not complex and all. Very simple drink to quench the thirst.
Rating: 3.5/5