Draft Magazine Craft Brewing Festival 2009 [6/20/2009]

My first ever brewfest was totally awesome. The only disappointment was that I didn't get to try as many different beers as I would have liked. Apparently 4 hours isn't enough sampling time for someone who is a very slow drinker and lightweight like me. They practically had to kick us out and I wished I had kept better track of the time.

Everything tasted pretty good, although once inebriated I think it's harder to be a good judge. I took a few sporadic notes, not really rating anything thoroughly.

Stone - Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout - very syrupy, better than their smoked porter or imperial
Dupont - Farmhouse Ale - interesting
Sun Up - Hefeweizen - grapefruity
Sun Up - Red Ale - citrus tones
Dogfish - Sah'tea - curious
Dogfish - Palo Santo Marron - nice and dark
San Tan - Strawberry Wit - not at all subtle strawberry flavor
Papago - Coconut Joe - coffee overpowered any coconut in there

One of the highlights was a quick chat with the brewer for Sun Up Brewing/Sonora Brewhouse one of my favorite local eats. We were able to complement him on the recent excellent small batch Triple Blonde, and his consistently good Midnight Porter.

Thanks so much to Draft Magazine for creating the best PBS benefit I've heard of, and thanks to PBS for providing well researched science and political coverage like Nova, the News Hour, and Frontline.

Finished The Difference Engine [6/15/2009]

This is the first book I've read in the "alternative history" or "steampunk" genre. I enjoyed it of course, because it's Gibson, and I love his style of mystery where nothing gets answered. Not having read anything by Sterling before, I can't say how much of the style was his. The description of the Central Statistics Bureau had a scifi quality to it, despite being in London in 1885. I discovered how little I know about late 19th century English history. I ended up looking up a lot of articles on wikipedia about people mentioned in the book. I loved the description of London falling into anarchy, it just builds and builds into an almost dream.

Nut Crusted Pork Piccatta [6/02/2009]

4 pork chops
1 cup chopped nuts (should have a large percentage of either pecans or almonds, plus whatever else is available thrown in: brazil, macadamia, walnuts, pine nuts)
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
enough olive oil to fill the frying pan about 1/4 inch deep

heat oil very high
add salt and pepper to nut mixture in one bowl
put flour in a separate bowl
beat eggs in a third bowl
dip pork chops so they are covered first in flour, then eggs, then nuts
fry in pan using a splatter screen

Piccatta topping ingredients:
juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon parsley chopped
3 heaping teaspoons capers
1 teaspoon caper juice
dash garlic salt
dash pepper

mix topping ingredients together and heat
spoon on top of the pork chops

Porter Sampling No. 5 [6/01/2009]

BreweryNameLocationShort DescriptionRating
Prescott Brewing CoRaven Maniac StoutPrescott, AZYummy94
Prescott Brewing CoPetrified PorterPrescott, AZFlavorful, Rich94
Lost Coast BreweryEight-Ball StoutEureka, CAHoppy, Flavorful89
Left Coast BreweryBlack Magic StoutEureka, CAHoppy, Decent86
Samuel SmithOatmeal StoutEnglandRich, Tasty94
Avery Brewing Co.The Czar Imperial StoutBoulder, COStrong Alcohol 11.73%, Hoppy, Heavy89
Rogue AlesImperial StoutNewport, ORStrong Alcohol 11%, Hoppy, Too Bitter85
Brouwerij SterkensHoogstraten PoorterMeer, BelgiumWine-Like, more dark ale than porter, Smooth90
Port Brewing Co.Old Viscosity AleSan Marcos, CAThick, Molasses flavor, strange tasting Hops90
Stone Brewing CompanyStone Imperial Russian StoutEscondido, CA10.8%, Thick, Rich91

See Also:
Porter Sampling No. 7
Porter Sampling No. 6
Porter Sampling No. 4
Porter Sampling No. 3
Porter Sampling No. 2
Porter Sampling No. 1