Jun 26, 2014

Beer is flowing at The Perch

Brewmaster Andrew Baumen pouring THE FIRST Perch beer
earlier this week at their tapping party!
(taken from the Perch's FB page)
Earlier this week, I had the absolute pleasure of attending the tapping party at The Perch, in downtown Chandler. Now, the Perch opened back in Feb, but was met with a number of set backs that prevented them from brewing beer until just a few weeks ago. Since then, Brewmaster Andrew Baumen has been brewing up a number of batches. This allowed them to have a full 5 tap handles ready to go, so that this past Tues, at 5pm, the opened the taps to the public!

Like I said, they had 5 beers of their own on tap. I got to at least taste all 5 of them while there, and I must say, they were very good, a few I would even say were excellent!

The beers they had on tap were..

1.) GLCA (Grilled Lemon Cream Ale) This was my absolute favorite beer I had this evening. Just an excellent summer beer, that pairs well on the rooftop patio at sunset!

2.) Calibration Mild - the first beer brewed at the Perch. As its name implies, this is, a VERY mild, drinkable beer, with what I would call and "interesting" flavor. Another nice summer brew.

3.) Ginger Mofo - a blonde ale just PACKED with Ginger! If you like ginger, you will love this beer. Just a suggestion, if you don't like ginger, probably should stay away from this one. (I like ginger, this was an enjoyable beer to me)

4.) Cinnamon Honey Nut Porter - My second fravoite brew I had. I love porters to start with, and this is a sweeter, fairly light porter that like the GLCA, goes well in the warmth of the rooftop!

5.) Rooftop Rosemary IPA - OK, full discloser, I am not a big fan of rosemary. This is a well made, flavorful brew, and is strong on the rosemary. If you are a fan of rosemary, this is an IPA you MUST try!!! My wife loved this beer!

So, if you weren't there this week, do yourself a favor, and stop by The Perch. I must admit, I was worried about it being too hot to sit on the rooftop patio, but man, with the shade, fans and misters they have up there, it was quite pleasant, despite the fact it was about 104 degrees when we got there. So, don't let the heat stop you! Go grab a beer, and enjoy the sunset on the rooftop, I guarantee you will have a good time! Here is a look at just some of the sights that were had this week at the Perch tapping party!
My Ginger Mofo....on the roof!
The tap handles....

I think we all know who these guys are!
Jon, you got something in your teeth...

Enjoying the rooftop bar!

Mmmm, yummy!

For a look at all my photos from the evening, check out the photo album on our Facebook page here...(like us while you are there if you haven't already)

The Perch is located at 232 S Wall St, at the southern end of Downtown Chandler (right behind Planet Subs).
Check out their website here....
Or like them on Facebook here....

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar

Jun 22, 2014

A nice refreshing "beer cocktail"

Mixing it up poolside....
OK, so, yesterday was the summer solstice, and I guess that means the "official" start to summer, however, for us here in Arizona, we've been in the triple digits for weeks now, giving the pool temp a chance to climb to a very comfortable 85 degrees (for us its comfortable) and leading me on the search for the ever perfect summer beer or beer cocktail.

Well, while sitting at the pool with my family, and my parents, this past weekend, my dad asked if I wanted a "shandy"? Thinking he was referring to a Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy, and wondering why he would have that in his fridge, let alone be offering me one, I just answered him "A shandy?"
Its photogenic if nothing else!
He told me this story of our next door neighbor, Elian, we had when we were growing up (I was about 4 or 5). She was from Ireland, and always seemed to have a pint of Guinness handy for anyone that expressed the slightest bit of interest in a beer. Well, one afternoon, my father and a few of the other neighborhood dads were putting up a fence along the back of the property. It was a typical hot, humid New Hampshire afternoon in the middle of the summer, when Elian came out and asked the guys if they wanted a beer. Not really in the mood for, or thirsting for a Guinness, they politely declined, thinking that was what she was offering them. She assured them, this was not Guinness, and was much more refreshing, and would most certainly hit the spot. So they all reluctantly accepted. Dad said she brought out 4 glasses of what looked like any light lager, or pilsner, with the exception of the extremely foamy, thick head at the top of the glass. Dad took one small sip, and then downed nearly the entire glass in the next one. What he tasted was a light, crisp, sweet, almost lemony concoction. What was this???

Dad taking a sip....
Elian explained that what she gave them, they referred to as "shandy's" in her homeland. Just a 50/50 mix of a light beer (in Ireland, they used Harp or Smithwick's normally) mixed with Ginger Ale, or sometimes ginger beer.

Now, I did a little research, and learned, that Biermischgetränke ("beer-based mixed drinks") are most popular in Germany. Most commonly the Radler (translation "cyclist") is a 50/50 mix of beer, and a German style lemon drink (more like a lemon soda). The "Mazout" is a mixture of beer, and Coke.  These cocktails vary slightly from region to region throughout Germany.

The British version however, is a 50/50 mixture of a lighter beer, and ginger ale, or sometimes ginger beer, called a "Shandygaff". The earliest references to this drink date back to about 1853. It was referred to an the HG Wells comic novel "The History of Mr. Polly" as ""two bottles of beer mixed with ginger beer in a round-bellied jug"."

Dad tested, Beer Czar Approved!
Well, dad and I each had a couple of these wonderfully refreshing, easy to drink flavorful beverages. I would be certain that there was lemon in this drink, but there was not, it just tastes like there is. Just a 50/50 mix of a beer (my dad was using Stella, but any lighter lager or pilsner would probably work just fine) and cold ginger ale. It has a light, perfect taste for summer, and being that it is cut 50% by the ginger ale, there isn't a great deal of alcohol in these, so you can drink quite a bit of them. They do fill you up rather quickly however. So, if you want a quick, easy beer cocktail, try the Shandygaff, or the Shandy, whatever you want to call it. It tastes great on a hot summer day, pool side....

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar

Jun 19, 2014

That time of year again, Friends and Fan's Photos! Summer Beer Pic's!

Well, its that time of year again, it's summer time! Everyone (well, almost  everyone's) favorite time of year. The days are getting warmer, and they are getting longer, making this a perfect time of year to get together and enjoy everyone's favorite beverage!

These are some of the most popular reoccurring posts we do. From time to time, we like to collect photos from our friends, family, fans, readers, or sometimes I will grab some cool photos from beer sites I read and get permission to post some. These seem to get more and more popular, and better every time we do them, with the summer beer photos being among the best, as well as the most popular of the "friends and fans photos" posts that we do.

Since this is only mid June, and for many, the summer has just begun, we will be accepting and collecting photos for at least the next month or so, with plans on posting the photos maybe around mid Aug. I know I am spending a week this July in San Diego, and plan on taking TONS of pics of me enjoying beer while amidst various summer time recreational pursuits!

So, if you have a pic of you, with a beer while enjoying a bbq, pool party, beach day, camping, boating, hiking, gardening, reading a book on the patio, whatever, we want to see it.

There are a few rules however. Those rules are...

1.) You must either appear in the photo, or have taken the photo (or at least know who did, no pulling random pic's off the net please).

2.) There must be a beer in the photo. However, it doesn't have to be craft, Bud, Miller, whatever you drink, it just has to be beer.

3.) The photos must be taken during the summer. You don't have to be at the beach, or hiking, just enjoying that beer during the summer months.

That's it!

So, if/when you take that special photo, and would like to share it with us, you can get it to us one of a few ways.

Email it to us at thebeerczar@gmail.com

Find us on Facebook here, and send it to us there, or just tag us in
the photo (like us while you are there if you haven't already!)

If you have my phone number, you text me too...but I won't give that out.

So, start looking for those beer photo ops while enjoying this most wonderful time of the year, by all means, we hope you share it with us!

Here is a little more inspiration for you, if you need it...

We look forward to seeing everyone's pictures. Just remember, while drinking his summer, be smart, and stay safe, and drink responsibly.

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar

Jun 12, 2014

Another Ted Talk on Craft Beer...

Zen and the Art of Craft Brewing.

A while back, I posted a very popular video. It was a TED talk on craft brewing (you can check it out here). Someone that saw that video, forwarded me this one to check out. Its another TED talk that centers around craft beer. This is a little over a year old, so I apologize, I am a little behind the 8 ball on this, but I thought it was worth taking a look at, and sharing with you guys if you haven't seen it already..so here you go....

Let me know what you think of this one!

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar

Jun 10, 2014

My weekend at Comicon......

Well, this past weekend, I did something I had never done before, but have always sort of wanted too. I went to my first Comicon. Now, I am not a huge comic book fan, or sci fi geek or anything (although, I do love the Star Wars movies). I did go for a reason however, and that was to record an episode of the podcast "Maskerpiece Theatre" of which, if you follow this blog, you know I appear on fairly regularly. One of the perks of taking part in this panel, was that I got an all weekend media pass to the event. So, Thursday evening, I jumped on the light rail, and made my way to downtown Phoenix and the sprawling downtown Phoenix Convention Center, to not only record the podcast, but to take in all the sites and sounds this event has to offer....take a look at this quite video....

OK, so, not a lot of beer in this post, but let me point out a few things I learned at this event.

1. Its not all about comic books. This could be more accuratly described as a "pop culture festival". It wasn't all comic books (although that was a large portion of it) there was also a lot of Sci Fi, zombies, and just general TV and film paraphernalia. I saw a lot of Star Wars, a ton of Walking Dead etc.

2. My preconceived notion about the type of people that attended this type of thing was somewhat  confirmed, but also modified to a fair degree. One on one, hardcore "geeks" can be hard to converse with, socially awkward (or down right inept) and just plain off, or weird, at the very least, admittedly a bit different then most. However, as a crowd or large group, they are pretty awesome. They are friendly, happy, polite, courteous and the one thing I noticed, and impressed me the most about them, they are all accepting. It didn't matter on your race, complexion,  social statues, mental or physical ability, or limitations, or age, everyone seemed to just melt into one large group. Everyone was accepted, and that, was probably the thing that surprised, and impressed me the most.

3. On the topic of beer, it seems that beer is a growing intreast among this community. Not only was there a craft beer booth set up (I got to meet Ryan of 8 Bit Brewing) but there were also a fair number of casual beer fans in the attendance at the podcast taping! Now, they don't geek out on beer as much as they do about comic books, or meeting Stan Lee, but they seemed to have a general appreciation for the art and craft of brewing, without having any sort of hipstir, snobby edge to them, and that to me, was also a pleasant, refreshing surprise as well.

I also want to give a quick shout out to Ryan, and 8- Bit Brewing, for donating a couple of glasses, and a t-shirt to our list of giveaways we had for the podcast! It was much appreciated. Also, congrats to Tim, for successfully answering the question "What Arizona Brewery was recently named "The best new brewery in the World" to win the glasses, and the t-shirt!

OK, now, for the main reason I was there, we did a live recording of Maskerpiece Theatre. Just about  all of the regular "guests" of Maskerpiece Theatre were there, myself included. Just over an hour long (we actually started early) we had a great time, chatting about the event, and a plethora of other topics as always.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking here.....

OK, so, while Comicon is not something I would do all the time, or even all weekend (I was there for a few hours Thursday night, and Friday morning, and that was plenty for me) it certainly was something to see, and take in, and I am glad I went. The fun, anything goes attitude was fun. An odd mixture of excited kids, dressed like Iron Man or Elsa, running past busty females, proudly displaying their cleavage dressed like Slave Leia or Mystique, and a chubby middle age man dressed as Wolverine, somehow just works. (Also, I'm not sure when dressing up like a favorite character became synonymies with excessive displays of cleavage, when that became a thing, but I'm fine with that.....it works for me. That is just a plus for attending Comicon........)

So, there you have it, I want to thank The Masked Blogster for the opportunity to take part in this fun event, I am already looking forward to next year!!!

If you want to see the entire photo album from my time there, you can check it out here.....
If you haven't already, you can "like" us on Facebook while you are there!

Until next time
Bottoms up my friends

The Beer Czar