Monday, September 2, 2013

Danger, there is good beer

Surprisingly good IPA.  Great venue.  Excellent concert by There is Danger.

Black Iron India Pale Ale  (7.2% ABV)
Grand Canyon Brewing Company
Williams, Arizona

Check em out on Facebook or on the ol' fashioned interwebs at
Photo borrowed from

Friday, August 16, 2013

Day 12: Fire roasted brats

August 16:  Bratwurst Festival Day

No one will dispute that the first family camping trip with a toddler and dog requires beer.  But with 2 kids and a dog, we were running a little low on space.  So I packed the heavy hitters...

After removing the cage, the beer opened itself --- hence the foamy picture below.  HOLY $&*#!  This is not your ordinary beer.  Smells like whiskey.  Tastes like oak.  Feels like wine.  What is this?!?!  Very complex but yummy.  Definitely a boozer.

DeConstruction Golden Ale (10.5% ABV)
Odell Brewing Company
Fort Collins, Colorado

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Day 11: Just relax...

August 15:  National Relaxation Day and National Failures Day

In honor of having hiked my first 14er on our 2013 Colorado Family Beercation, I am reusing my post-hike beer on National Relaxation Day.

Perfect day.  But the summit still looks so far away...
Dubbel Belgian-Style Ale (7.5% ABV)
River North Brewery
Denver, Colorado
Not only was the 7 mile hike amazing and exhausting (I am very very slow when it comes to rock scrambling and always very slow downhill), but the post-hike beer was amazingly delicious.  I think I chugged mine and then stole The Husband's after he passed out on the floor of the house.

Can't wait to have the chance to try this one again...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Day 10: Dreamsicle or Creamsicle?

August 14: National Creamsicle Day

A friend of mine in college was the first person to introduce me to Creamsicles.  However, she called them "Dreamsicles" so I didn't really know the difference.  Freshman year we used to fill the pockets in our hooded sweatshirts with them from the main dining hall and then stash them in our teenie dorm fridge's freezer space.  Perhaps the reason behind the freshman 15...?

Dropped the ball today with the beertography.  So instead, I pulled out a pic from our 2013 Colorado Family Beercation.  This was a nice crisp beer with a hint of citrus (hence why it appeared on Creamsicle Day).  Love the can art.

8-Bit Pale Ale (5.2% ABV)
Tallgrass Brewing Co.
Manhattan, Kansas

Beer with a cause
It has been nearly two months since the Yarnell Hill fire began.  And now that the media attention has moved past the 19 fallen firefighters, it's easy for some of us to forget what happened in Yarnell, Arizona on June 30, 2013.

That is unless you are someone who was directly impacted by the loss of 19 amazingly brave men: Andrew Ashcraft, Anthony Rose, Christopher MacKenzie, Clayton Whitted, Dustin DeFord, Garret Zuppiger, Grant McKee, Jesse Steed, Joe Thurston, 32, John Percin Jr., Kevin Woyjeck, Eric Marsh, Robert Caldwell, Scott Norris, Sean Misner, Travis Carter, Travis Turbyfill, Wade Parker and William "Billy" Warneke. 

And then ... I don't think that you ever forget.
In my mind, the 19 fallen men and the one lone survivor of the Granite Mountain Hotshots (and all other firemen, hotshots, police officers and border patrol agents for that matter) are men of another breed. They woke up every morning, kissed their wives, kids, mothers, fathers, friends, etc. goodbye not knowing if they would return that night... or ever again.

I have a hard enough time waking up sometimes when my alarm goes off at a reasonable hour knowing that I have to get up, play with my kid, teach a fitness class and maybe go to work and plunk around in Excel for a while.  

I didn't know any of these men, yet every time I watched a story about it on the news or listened to it on the radio, my eyes were blurry and there was suddenly a giant lump in my throat.  I just pictured my Husband and I tried to think about how to go on day after day without him.  And then I tried to imagine the husbands of 18 of our good family friends in our area all passing away on the same day.  I couldn't wrap my head around it.  How do you go on?

To quote Joe Biden, which most people only every do before they make fun of him (myself included), "as unbelievable as it is, as unbelievable as it is to fathom it, that a day will come when the memory of your husband, your son, your dad, your brother will bring a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye."  I love this quote very much and I am fortunate enough to say that I do not know for sure, but I really hope that it is true.  And I hope the day comes quickly for the family members of the 19 fallen firefighters.

Why is all of this on a beer blog?

This weekend four bars in downtown Chandler – SanTan Brewing, Irish Republic, Bourbon Jacks, and Coach & Willie’s – will all tap kegs of Heroes 19.  This is the collaboration beer that was brewed using 19 different hops, donated by many of Arizona's local breweries, by members of various Arizona breweries at Prescott Brewing Company shortly after the tragedy at Yarnell Hill.  The beer was brewed with the intention of raising money for the families of the 19 fallen Granite Mountain firefighters.

From 11 a.m.-2 p.m., you’ll be able to meet Chandler firefighters and check out firetrucks. The bars also will be serving firefighter-related food specials.

Pints will be $5 and growler fills will be $20.

And if you’re busy or reading this from afar and can't get your hands on this, you can still donate to the cause.  You can buy a "virtual pint" on the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild website.

Cheers to the 19 men who risked everything every single day in order to try to save the homes of people they didn't know.

And cheers again to the families they left behind.  In my mind, you are all equally as heroic, strong and brave as your son/brother/father/husband. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Day 9: It wasn't me...

August 13: Blame Someone Else Day

It wasn't me ... Mr. Bear opened it and so we had to drink it.  Thanks Mr. Bear.  This was an OUTSTANDING brew.

J. Marie Saison (7.5% ABV)
River North Brewery
Denver, Colorado

Oh, and Happy Birthday to my wonderful mom!!!