Flying Saucer

Just when I was beginning to give up hope on finding good beer in San Antonio, a buddy of mine blows my mind! There is this sweet little gem of a place about a $40 cab ride from post that makes up for everything that was wrong recently with my beer life. I have no idea how he found it but I am glad he did and that I decided not to ditch him at the last minute lol

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

This place made me think of being back in LA... Which I just heard bad news about one of my favorite spots. The Blue Palms Brewhouse may be shutting down :'( More news on that later. Back to happy...

Edit: They are once again open to the public :D

They had a huge beer list on tap and a nice bottle selection as well. I haven't seen anything like this since 38 Degrees Alehouse. They even had a members only club. Apparently if you drink 200 beers, 3 a day max toward your count, you get your name on a plate on the wall. I would have joined but I dont think I could even get close to finishing before I leave and I know I would obsess over completing it. The place was loaded with them. I wish I could have gotten good pictures but my phone sucks and I don't have a digital one with me.

I probably really should have joined because I had 6 beers that night... And they were not tasters haha. Actually, a couple of these brews make it into my.1001 Beers series, SCORE YEAH! I had an old favorite and new brew that just really reminded me why I love craft beer... As if I forgot.

The highlights of the night were Big Sky Moose Drool, Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale, Maui Brewing Company CoCoNut PorTer, Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier Dunkel by Spaten Group or something, North Coast Old Rasputen, and a new favorite Live Oak Brewing Primus. Texas beer at its finest.

A great first discovery when I was just beginning to lose hope. My quest will still continue until I leave San Antonio but for now, Prost!


1001 Beers: Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Beer Number 3: Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Finding these first few beers is going to be easy. There are some limited releases in this book but I guess now is a good time to get it. This brings us to Celebration Ale. Yum. I had this one once before but it had aged for a while so it is going to be interesting tasting a fresh bottle.

The first thing I noticed is the copper color. It was quite beautiful. This is what a beer should look like haha... I guess it truly depends on what you are drinking but this one was good.

It has a strong hop nose but you cannot tell this at all when it comes to the taste... Ok, maybe at first my palate was overloaded with hoppy goodness but that faded after a bit. It was very piney and broke down to a kind of sweet, caramel flavor that finished very creamy.

On my last experience it was pretty malty. I am glad I tasted the fresh batch but I think I prefer it aged.

There has been debate about the style of this beer. It talks about it in this book but even on the bottle. The book states that, "Celebration is one of the nation's first American-style IPAs, and it is, simply, an IPA." I can live with that. Though, I prefer Sierra Nevadas Torpedo to this any day... which is also in this book.

This beer is hopped like crazy but doesn't seem like it. Dry hopped, hop torpedoed, and... well, whatever else they do to it. Great Ale none the less.

I gave this one a 4 out of 5... maybe I need to work on my rating system but this one is damn good. I should find a 6 pack and keep them for a long time haha. Apparently there are traders out there for older years... I wonder if anyone still has a bottle of the first year it was produced... hmmmm...

998 Bottles of Beer To Go! Prost!


1001 Beers: Mothership Wit

Beer Number 2: New Belgium Mothership Wit

I think it is really funny how easily I found this beer. I guess it was widely released but when I found out it was on Indefinite Hiatus, I thought for sure that it would be hard to find. NOPE! I stop to 99 Bottles and it was right there in the door.

On my first experiences with this beer, I was not a fan. I gave it a few retries and I am glad I did.

This Organic Ale is very clean. Very, very clean. The appearance was even pretty clear. I was expecting it to be a bit more hazy especially after, "Flying The Mothership", but maybe some things changed over time. I remember in the past it being more hazy. The color was a light straw I would say.

It has a citrusy nose and a very light bodied taste. First the orange rolls over the tongue and then a peppery finish pops in.

I would give this one a 4/5. Not my favorite offering from this brewery but something I would have every once in a while.

This puts me under 4 digits! I now only have 999 Beers left on this side mission haha!



1001 Beers: Hell Or High Watermelon

Beer Number 1: Hell or High Watermelon.

So I do not know if I should really use this can for my review because I picked up a six pack for my sister in law back in August and I found 1 can left in the back of the fridge. I assumed it would be gone by this time, but hey, more for me to drink :p

I guess technically it meets all of the requirements, (it is a beer listed in the book and I found it), but maybe I should judge this on a fresh can... Nah! What is the worst that can happen? I enjoyed this beer on numerous occasions, so can it really be that bad 4 months later?

I find the story really interesting that the book gives about the creation of this brew, "... O'Sullivan took a U.S.-style wheat beer as his base and added 400 pounds of fresh watermelon for each twelve-barrel batch.", "In order to meet demand, the brewery originally had to buy watermelon from all over the world,, wherever it was in season... It turned to a company that takes fresh watermelon and makes a puree concentrate."

I wish I could have tasted a prebatch, to a post change batch but who knows if it actually changed all that much.

Now, here are my thoughts...

I find this beer to be a great summer ale. I remember drinking this on hot days in the San Fernando Valley. Though, drinking an old can... may not have been the best idea. The brew was really tart and aluminumy. The watermelon tasted more faint than I remember of this brew. On my previous experiences, the watermelon was in the forefront but it did not overpower in the least bit. The drinkability, (Budweiser thinks this is a real thing), is very high. It is a definite thirst quencher.

This is probably my favorite offering from 21st Amendment. You can see in my past post my "love" of this brewery but out of everything of theirs I have had, this is the only one I decided to revisit time and time again.

Overall, I give it a 3.5 out of 5 but great for hot summer days.

1000 Beers to Go! Hooah!


1001 Beers

While at Macy*s returning a necklace that SWMBO decided that she had changed her mind on owning, we stumbled across this table that had a bunch of clearance merchandise on it. A lot of it was garbage but I noticed a book with the word "Beer" on the cover. Now, what would any self respecting enthusiast do at this point? I picked it up and thumbed through it, of course.

I thought it was pretty funny how many of the beers in the book I was like, had it, had it, had it, had it, had it, etc. It was a pretty good number, based on the ones I recognized, but all of those ones were either easily recognizable by anyone or things that our growing community would be able to pick out that others would not.

There were also a great number of beers that I have never heard of, partly because of their availability in my part of the country, but seemed like something I would definitely want to try. So, again, what did I do at this point? I got onto Amazon and checked out the price of the book on there :D

I found out that at the time it would be cheaper for me to buy the book in store especially since I got an extra 15% off for just using my Macy*s card so it was like the perfect score. This then got me thinking... This blog is about my search of craft beer and my adventures in homebrewing. Occasionally I write formal reviews but most of it is just me having fun. So why not start a little side mission and review all 1001 beers in this book? That is exactly what I thought, so I am doing it!

I plan to go back and retry all of the ones I already had, so it is like a fresh start. Maybe this time around I will have a different view of them... or maybe not? The journey to finding these will also be pretty great. A major part of why I decided to do this.

There may be some issues with this though. I just found out that one of the brews in the book, New Belgiums Mothership Wit, is on an "Indefinite Hiatus" status but I won't let something that trivial set me back. I didn't really care for that brew the first time I had it anyway.

There is also the issue with beers I just had. Just a few days ago I had a Sierra Nevada Bigfoot 2011. If only I saved the bottle just a little longer it would have knocked a beer off of my list and I would be like, BOOYAHH 1000 BEERS TO GO!!! but maybe starting from scratch will end up being more enjoyable... not that I really need a reason to revisit that BarleyWine but there are some in the book that I really had no intentions on ever going back to. I wish I could give an example but I am too lazy to do the research atm.

I am curious at how many of these I can actually get through/will get through before I am bored of it and while just going along my normal drinking path. I guess only time will tell but it will all be documented here.

So, for now...

1001 to go. Prost!


The 16 Days of Exodus

I really love Advent Calendars. I didn't really know this as a kid but after not having them for some time I realized how much I missed them. Remember, it's the simple things in life that make us all happy. So knowing this, SWMBO took the initiative and made me a special advent calendar this year...


It was seriously the best present ever, but she knows how to make me happy time and time again. She gave me many brews that I was looking forward to and each one was pretty much a surprise. So here it is... any questions about any of these, feel free to ask. Yummmmm...

I say Hooah.


Fat Bastard Barley Wine

I think this is one of my first post about my own homebrew. Wow, I cannot believe that being I have been doing it for over 2 years now... then again, I started this blog after I took a little hiatus from brewing and have been going on a commercial drinking spree since.

Well, so I will now tell you about Fat Bastard Barley Wine... yeahhhhhh..., I guess there isn't really much to tell. I wanted to brew a Barley Wine, So I did. I wrote up the recipe around Christmas 2010. It was a very simple recipe pretty much 20lbs of 2 row, a bit of Crystal 120, and maybe some Special B, hopped with Sterling and... Magnum? The reason I question all of this is because I wrote the recipe into Beer Smith and then my computer crashed and I lost EVERYTHING!!!!

I was pissed at the time but everything is all good. I am not too pissed about it. I remember that I wanted to keep the recipe simple and I wrote the hopping schedule down in a notebook that is currently in storage... why I did not write the full recipe, I do not know. But I plan to recreate this brew, especially after taking my first sip of it almost a year later.

This was like the perfect Barley Wine! Ok, I will let others be the judge of that but it is exactly what I hoping for especially after I was super worried about carbonation, infection, I guess all the things brewers are ever worried about. Others who have tasted it in the early stages loved it but we agreed that it was way too young at the time. Just the fact that this brew was in the fermenters for the better part of a year and then in bottles for another 4 months without being touched just really freaked me out.

The carbonation level on this brew was perfect, there were no off flavors or anything that would discourage me from drinking this ale. The nose pretty much burned any hairs I had in there but with an ale that is sitting around 12%, what can I expect? Just perfect. I may crack open another bottle before I leave for proper tasting notes but I still want to give this one some time, especially being that I only have 2 more bottles with me and all the rest from the batch are in storage because I figured that would give me most room in the car on the road trip up here and it would keep me from being tempted to drink them without letting it reach its full potential.

I love the color.

If I post the tasting notes look for them here or just come back here in 6 months or so when I have the opportunity to get back into it and I will be out of training so I can actually crack one open and write about it as I am experiencing it. For now just enjoy these pics and know that I was very, Very happy with the outcome.

I said Hooah!


My Favorite Christmas Gift This Year

Love My Niece.

Still In Training, but Now Have Beer...

Well, sort of.

Man, these last few months has been crazy. There has been so much running through my mind and so much that I needed to do that I really had time to think about anything... and then, The first 4 phases of training ended, (of 5), and we were granted certain privileges... Ok, basically they said we can go off post or hang out in certain areas where alcohol was served while on post. The first thing I did, had some pizza and a beer.

This bottle only cost me $1 :D

I quickly found out that on post there was no good beer to be had, except for some Fat Tire at the Mini Mall. I also found out that no one really knew anything about craft beer. I was kind of expecting this. I got all of the "classic" responses when I turned down some of Americas finest BMC, "Oh, you like that Dark Beer?" and "Don't you come 'round my area talking bout you not liking Budweiser, We don't take to kindly to those folk.".

It really makes me laugh but after so long and so many offers I took up on one. I started with the Heineken because I figured that was a step up and looking back on it, I wonder what I saw in it before. I always stated that Heineken was never bad, but man, that tasted like crap haha. and then I moved on to heavier lagers like Miller Lite and Coors Lite. Yeah, I know that goes against everything I was about before, but I wanted a drink so bad and it was raining down on me.

They tasted just as I expected... Well, I don't know what I would describe the taste as... Aluminum? but none the less, I had my first beers.

It was awesome the one day they let us out to do anything we wanted for the whole day. A group of us went down to the River Walk out here in San Antonio and pretty much went bar hopping. The beer selection was pretty bad again but I got my first taste of Shiner bock. A decent "craft" beer but it seems to be like water in these parts. Everyone I know that has mentioned it has talked about how great it was, and I am not trashing it. I thought it was pretty good, like a 3.5 out of 5, but the best thing I have had for a while. Going to all the bars that day I had a few Macro brews that I threw down just because I was always curious but a lot of that day took me back to my love of the simple things in life, such as The Vodka Gimlet, the Mojito, etc etc...

But anyway, I am on the hunt for craft beer once again. I assumed that Texas would have a pretty decent scene. I mean, I assumed most of the state would be BMCland, but I have always heard good things about Austin, San Antonio, and... well, there is one other place but I cannot remember what it is. Even now, google isn't being my friend. Maybe I am searching the right things but I cannot find a single craft beer bar in the city. I know there has to be at least 3. I wish the Ladies of Craft Beer had a map for San Antonio but what can I do... So for now, YAY BEER! but lets get something good soon.