Monday, December 28, 2009

The Full Pint: Vote Best Beer 2009

Get over the The Full Pint and vote for your favorite craft beer of 2009.

Best Craft Beer of 2009


The Beer Buddha

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ed Hardy Beer: Even Douchebags Need Beer

In honor of MTVs newest reality hit Jersey Shore I bring you Ed Hardy beer! Yes, it's true. MTV would rather show you this show instead of actual music videos. And yes young ones, MTV used to show videos. With bands and music and stuff.

You know I've heard that the famous(infamous?)Ed Hardy brand was coming out with a new beer but haven't actually seen a bottle of it yet. I actually forgot all about it until Jersey Shore came out. I assume they only sell it up in New Jersey or maybe Miami. You know, targeted audience and all. They do have an Ed Hardy vodka which unfortunately we sell at Chan's Wine World but I'm not in charge of ordering liquor AND it actually sells.

If you go to aka Douchebag R Us you can get an entire collection of awesome Ed Hardy gear to go along with your clothes, beer and vodka. Like check out these awesome Ed Hardy pint glasses below!

So while you're doing your fist pump dance you can be drinking your Ed Hardy beer out of your Ed Hardy pint glass in your Ed Hardy shirt. Sweet!

Honestly, this is extremely lame and is just another way for a company to try and capitalize off of the success of craft beer. Pathetic. What's next? Is Calvin Klein gonna make CK IPA. For men. Ed Hardy needs to stick to what he does best and that is clothing America's guidos. And on that note I leave you with this.


The Beer Buddha

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm Famous Bitches!!! The Beer Buddha Gets Mentioned on TV!!!!!

Thanks to Craig and Kimmie over at J'Anitas for mentioning The Beer Buddha on TV this morning! If you're ever in New Orleans make sure you make Avenue Pub your stop for great beer and great grub!!! And make sure you get some Buddha's Temptation!!



The Beer Buddha

Excuse me Sir, What's your favorite beer?

One of the most frequent questions I get at work is- "What is your favorite beer?" It's an interesting question because sometimes I can see that the person asking the question is genuinely interested in my answer. Other times though I can see a look in the eye of the curious which means they are testing my "beer knowledge". I guess if I were to answer Bud Light or PBR I would fail their grand test and not be worthy of selling them beer. I don't really care. You can test my beer knowledge all you want. I don't pretend to be all knowing. But what answer would appease them? Rochefort 8? Westvleteren 12? Surly Darkness? Three Floyds Dark Lord? Pliny the Elder? Oh yes, I can name drop with the best of them.

The truth is there is no correct answer to that question. Generally I'll give them my standard answer of- "That's like asking me which is my favorite kid. Can't answer it." Now granted I have spawned successfully but only once so I only have one favorite kid. Either way, it's an answer that has too many variables to reach just one conclusion.

What time of day is it? Is it cold outside? Is it warm outside? Where am I? What am I doing at the given moment I have said favorite beer in my hand? Is there a local brewery around? Am I naked? Those are just a few situations that affect my beer mood. When I worked at NOLA Brewing my loyalty ran deep and I could answer your question with a quick answer. Cask Conditioned Dry Hopped NOLA Blonde. But then again it was only my favorite beer of the moment. Things change. If it's cold outside I prefer darker beers. Warm outside? Lighter beers. Darker beers and lighter beers? Hell that's just a general answer. I could break it down further from there but the answers could be mind boggling.

I'm not even really sure I can give you my top 5 favorite beers of all time because then you have to break them down again. Are you asking me my top 5 favorite DIPAs? Stouts? American Wild Ales? The list goes on and on and on and get the idea. You can look at my reviews here on The Beer Buddha and see which beers get the most Buddhas but then you have to think that maybe I drank that beer at the right moment for it to earn 5 Buddhas. And maybe a beer that earns 5 Buddhas from me won't earn jack squat from you. Just cause I like a beer sure as hell doesn't mean you will.

I guess the easiest way to answer this question is to turn it back around on the person asking the question. My favorite beer isn't what is important. You can sit there and read my reviews and think that Beer X must be the best beer because I gave it 5 Buddhas or Beer Y must suck cause I only gave it 1 Buddha but in the end it doesn't really matter. What matters most is what beer you find to be your favorite and that's it.


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Support Local for the Holidays

I'm sure that many of you have been sitting waiting anxiously for The Beer Buddha's list of recommended holiday beers this year. I'm sorry, but I'm going to disappoint you this year. This year instead of giving you a list of what I think are the best holiday beers I'm going to recommend you support your local brewery.

Go down to your local bottle shop, brewery or pub and buy something local to your city, state or region. Nothing is more important than keeping your money local in my opinion especially during the holidays. And many if not most of your local breweries have holiday ales so not only can you get your holiday beer fix but you can support local at the same time.

And how cool would it be to show up to your ugly sweater party with a baddass growler from one of your local breweries. Not only would you have the raddest sweater in town but you'd have the best brew too!

So before you go grab a sixer of Anchor Christmas or Samuel Smith Winter Warmer think about supporting local first!


The Beer Buddha

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Panhandle Beer News

Some good news for the Panhandle on the new beer front. Two new breweries will be entering the area come February: Victory Brewing out of Pennsylvania and The Bruery out of California. Victory is actually already in Florida but the Panhandle being the red headed step child of Florida that it is we are the third phase of the roll out so we'll get it in February. Rumor has it that they went with Lewis Bear distributing. As for The Bruery I was told by Patrick Rue(the owner)that "we'll be shipping the first or 2nd week of January to the Tampa, Orlando, and SE Florida markets so expect to see our beers in mid-January" and as far as the Panhandle they are still in talks with distributors for this area and that hopefully they will be here by "February or so.". Either way this is a win for the state of Florida and its beer geeks!


The Beer Buddha

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Beer Connoisseur Hits Shelves

So a new beer magazine hits the shelves as of yesterday. Be on the lookout because it looks like a good one. Maybe one day I'll learn how to write and submit some material to them. Here is an official release post from them I got off of their Facebook Page:

The Newest Voice in the Beer World on Sale Nationwide Next Week

ATLANTA, GA. (Dec. 1, 2009) – Beer lovers have a reason to celebrate early this season, as the inaugural issue of the highly anticipated new Beer Connoisseur™ Magazine hits newsstands nationwide on Dec. 8, 2009. The magazine, which is based in Atlanta, represents a new level of beer journalism, a guide for both novices and experts to the world’s most popular drink.

The first issue of the quarterly was mailed to subscribers in mid-November, and next week it will be available for purchase in major cities throughout the U.S. at bookstores such as Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-A-Million and others. It can also be found at the more than 120 Kroger grocery stores in the Atlanta metro area and at U.S. military bases around the world.

“We have produced a type of title that hasn’t existed for this segment,” says Lynn Davis, the magazine’s Founder and Publisher. Following the rise of the craft beer movement, which has attracted interest from legions of newcomers, The Beer Connoisseur™ stands apart from the pack as a sophisticated, upscale lifestyle magazine that treats beer, its producers and, of course, its admirers with the kind of respect they now demand. In the mold of popular magazines like Cigar Aficionado and Food & Wine, The Beer Connoisseur™ is poised to become the authority of the beer world.

“The response from both within the industry and among beer lovers has been nothing short of awe inspiring,” says Nick Kaye, the Managing Editor. “It seems that brewers and beer lovers alike have been waiting for a publication like The Beer Connoisseur™ to come along.”

The magazine will focus in-depthly on the marriage of beer and food, with articles in the first issue on the rise of the gastropub trend, beer and cheese pairing, and more, as well as travel, both within the U.S. and abroad. It will also include profiles of brewing icons, and there will be reviews of some of the most sought-after beers in the world conducted by master-level judges.

Readers will also find articles by some of the world’s most accomplished beer writers, as well as a wealth of educational resources, at The Beer Connoisseur™ Online (, which launched last summer. The thriving online community allows beer fans to exchange ideas and stay connected, and it keeps them up to date with the latest happenings in the brewing scene.

Look for the magazine on store shelves soon, or go online to subscribe.

The Beer Connoisseur™ – Beer Culture Defined.

Go out there and pick one up!


The Beer Buddha

Beer Video of the Month: December

Found this video and decided to kick it old school holiday for this months Beer Video of the Month. Enjoy!


The Beer Buddha

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy Repeal Day

Happy Repeal Day!! It was this day in 1933 that that horrible social experiment known as Prohibition ended with the ratification of the 21st Amendment. It's very important we recognize and pay attention to this day. Why? Because there are still groups out there who want to take your constitutional right to enjoy a beer or any other alcoholic beverage away from you.

Increased taxes on alcohol. Limiting alcohol content of drinks. Prohibiting or censoring alcohol advertising. These are just a few things that the neo-prohibitionists are doing to take away our rights. Did you know that there is still a Prohibition Party? Yup and it's scary. Even MADD has detoured from its original goal of reducing drunk driving fatalities and has been taken over by neo-prohibitionists who want nothing better but to take that alcohol right out of your hands. I'll give you my beer when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

Enough with the diatribe. It's December 5th. Get up and go to your local bottle shop, brewery or pub and BUY A BEER!!!! It's important.


The Beer Buddha

Friday, November 27, 2009

World's Strongest Beer: Brew Dog Tactical Nuclear Penguin

It appears the boys from Brew Dog Brewery have done it! A beer with 32% ABV. There seems to be some debate as to whether or not this is still a beer since the technique they describe sounds like distillation instead of allowing the yeast to do all the work. Either way I'd love to try it! Here is a video from their website:

Tactical Nuclear Penguin from BrewDog on Vimeo.


The Beer Buddha

Monday, November 16, 2009

Beer and Food Recipe: Krispy Kreme-Style Doughnuts with Terrapin Imperial Pilsner Glaze

I love food. Hence, why I am fat. But then give me food made with beer? Hello? McFly? How could you not love it!! I'm always on the search for recipes using beer in the ingredients and recently found this one in my issue of Draft Magazine. Here is some background from the magazine on this recipe:

Sometimes referred to as the "Capital of the South," Atlanta hosts the headquarters of Coca-Cola, Home Depot, UPS and, the folks at South City Kitchen might argue, Southern cuisine. If you're wandering the streets of ATL hankering for authentic stone-ground grits, fried green tomatoes or collard greens, the Kitchen's executive chef Chip Ulbrich is the man to find. Ulbrich, who has guest-chefed a dinner at the James Beard House, not only dishes authentic Southern and low-country food, but works to push these traditional styles into the modern age: grilled mahi mahi sits alongside andouille sausage and dirty rice, while traditional dumplings come stuffed with herbed cheddar. Here, Ulbrich fries up a breakfast treat that matches two quintessentially Southern favorites: doughnuts and Terrapin Beer.

Krispy Kreme-Style Doughnuts with Terrapin Imperial Pilsner Glaze

Servings: Makes 12 to 14


1⁄4 cup flat Terrapin All-American Imperial Pilsner
5 cups all-purpose flour
11⁄2 cups lukewarm milk, scalded, then cooled
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄3 cup shortening
2 1⁄4-ounce packages yeast
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
canola oil for frying
Imperial Pilsner Glaze:
4 to 6 tablespoons warm Terrapin All-
American Imperial Pilsner
2 cups powdered sugar
1⁄3 cup butter
11⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract



Dissolve yeast in warm water in a 21⁄2-quart bowl. Add milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening and 2 cups flour. Beat at low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Then beat at medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
Stir in remaining flour until smooth. Cover and let rise until doubled, 50 to 60 minutes. Dough is ready if an indentation remains when dough is touched.
Turn dough onto a floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour. With a floured rolling pin, gently roll dough 1⁄2-inch thick. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter and place doughnuts on a large tray; cover and let rise until doubled, 30 to 40 minutes.
Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees. Slide doughnuts into hot oil with a wide spatula. Turn doughnuts as they rise to the surface. Fry until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Remove carefully from oil, being careful not to prick the doughnuts, and drain.
Dip doughnuts into creamy glaze and let set on a rack until cool.

Imperial Pilsner Glaze:

Heat butter until melted, then remove from heat.
Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.
Stir in beer, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved.

YUM!!! If anyone actually makes this one tell me how it is!


The Beer Buddha

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Beer Review: Old Speckled Hen

So I was reviewing some of old posts and thinking about ways I could make The Beer Buddha a more interesting site. Still not sure how to do that but one thing I noticed was I've been reviewing mostly American beers. I'm sure you've heard me say before that American beers are the best and I truly believe they are but I do enjoy beers from other countries. I don't discriminate when it comes to brew. I'll try them all!

There has been one beer here at work that just keeps staring at me saying, "Drink me, drink me." Actually it's saying, "Hey you f#$%ing tosser, come get sloshed off me you f$*$ing donkey!" and for some reason it sounded like Gordon Ramsay. That beer with the dirty mouth is Old Speckled Hen.

Old Speckled Hen has a less than interesting history which I copied and pasted below for you to read:

The story of "Old Speckled Hen"

"Old Speckled Hen" was first brewed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the MG car factory in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Named after an old MG car which was used as the factory run around, they would park the old MG Featherweight Fabric Saloon outside the paint shop where it would normally get spattered in paint and so it became known as the ‘Owld Speckl’d Un’. This turned into "Old Speckled Hen" when the beer was unveiled.

Since then the finely balanced beer with a distinctive rich malty taste and fruity aroma has attracted many fans, including the fox, who is always on the hunt for his Hen.

Yeah, ok then. Hopefully the beer is more interesting than it's history. Here goes nothing.

Brewery: Greene King PLC

Beer: Old Speckled Hen

Style: English Pale Ale

Recommended Glassware: Pint Glass

Appearance: This beer poured a clear, deep amber color. The head was a creamy, off white. I like the way the the widget makes the beer pour into the glass. It creates an interesting "beer falling down the sides of the glass" effect. Lacing was present throughout as was the head. Honestly a beautiful looking beer.

Smell: There was a very sweet maltiness present right up front. Hints of toasted toffee with an interesting caramel aroma. Not much in the way of hops that I can tell though.

Taste: An immediate metallic(penny)taste followed by a sweet maltiness. Lots of toffee and breadiness present. As I let the beer warm up closer to room temp the coin taste goes away. Has a nice hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium, creamy body with medium carbonation.

Overall: Not a great beer but also not too bad. I'd be very interested in trying this on draft or maybe even cask. The metallic taste was a bit of a turn off but I didn't take off points because it did go away when the beer hit proper serving temp. I'll consider that my fault for now serving at the right temperature but also a perfect example as to why beer should be served at the proper temp.

Score: Photobucket 3 Out of 5 Buddhas

Thursday, November 12, 2009

CNN: Pints for Prostates Article

Here is a great article from CNN talking about Rick Lyke and Pints for Prostates. This is a fantastic organization educating people about prostate cancer and getting screened.


The Beer Buddha

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cask Beer Article in the Washington Post

I absolutely love cask beer(thanks NOLA Brewing!) and if you haven't had a chance to try it you must! Here is a great article from Blake Gopnik in the Washington Post about cask beer.


The Beer Buddha

Friday, November 6, 2009

Beer Review: Terrapin Depth Charge Espresso Milk Stout

Every once in a while a beer comes along that truly blows my mind. Let's be honest though, when it comes to beer blowing my mind really isn't all that hard. Recently though I was lucky enough to pick up a bottle of the Terrapin/Left Hand Brewing collaboration brew called Depth Charge. It is an espresso milk stout using Jittering Joe's espresso.

Now anyone who knows me knows that I hate coffee. I have this weird quirk that makes me not like hot liquids. I'm talking coffee, soup, hot chocolate, etc. I'm not sure when I developed this quirk but it's there. I hate hot liquids. So the taste of coffee doesn't really bother me but the temperature does. And no I don't drink iced coffee either. That's just..well, we'll just leave it at that.

I've reviewed a coffee beer once before with the Peche Mortel from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel in Montreal, Quebec and it got 4.5 Buddhas but this Depth Charge seriously made me rethink the whole coffee thing. Just for a second though. Actually I think I found my "instead of coffee" beverage of choice for after dinner!! Too bad it's a limited release. Anyways, on to the review:

Brewery: Terrapin Brewing Company

Beer: Depth Charge Espresso Milk Stout

Style: Milk Stout/Sweet Stout

Recommended Glassware: Pint Glass

Appearance: This beer poured a dark brown, blackish color with a tan head. Lacing present throughout.

Smell: Espresso. Espresso. Espresso. And chocolate.

Taste: WOW. Amazing. Tastes like espresso and chocolate but not in an offensive way like many coffee beers can be. Perhaps the lactose helps balance it out properly.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth beer. Not as heavy as one would imagine. Carbonation is minimal.

Overall: I hate coffee but this beer blew my mind. THIS is the perfect after dinner beer. I only wish I had purchased more. Oh well.

Score:Photobucket 5 out of 5 Buddhas

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Beer Review: Sweet Water Dank Tank Wet Dream

Working at a store as the beer manager really has it's perks sometimes. Ok, not sometimes, most of the time. One of the really cool ones is the "free sample" perk. Brewery reps and sales reps from distributors will sometimes leave me some hoppy goodies in the hopes that I'll bring their beer into the store. Sometimes they do it because they just want to be nice and because I'm awesome. Ok, their just being nice.

Recently my Sweet Water sales rep, Jackie, came in and brought me an awesome surprise: a bottle of Sweet Water Dank Tank Wet Dream. I was so pumped! I've heard great things about the Dank Tank series and couldn't wait. I was going to write a little background info about the Dank Tank series but Sweet Waters website is like navigating a website for Smurfs. The words were way too small and I couldn't find what I was looking for. Oh well on to the review:

Brewery: Sweet Water

Beer: Sweet Water Dank Tank Wet Dream

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Recommended Glassware: Pint Glass

Appearance: This beer poured a nice amber/reddish color with a huge, fluffy off white head. Nice lacing present throughout.

Smell: Not too overpowering. A nice hint of hoppiness. A nice citrus and grassy aroma.

Taste: Fantastic brew. Not too hoppy. Has a nice mild hoppiness which is balanced well with the sweetness. Very sessionable brew in my opinion.

Mouthfeel: Mid range carbonation and medium body.

Overall: This beer was fantastic! I think many people are confused by what style of beer this is. On Beeradvocate this beer has a score of B+ and for a while was listed as a DIPA which this beer clearly is not. Someone has gone and changed it now but I think unfortunately many people reviewed this beer as a DIPA instead of it's proper style.

Score: Photobucket 4.5 out of 5 Buddhas

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hop Harvest

Here is a link to the NY Times Slide Show of hops being harvested at Sodbuster Farms in Salem, Oregon.


Beer Buddha

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Beer Snob: Missing the Point

In my job as "beer guy", "beer manager" or whatever you want to call it at Chans Wine World I get to deal with a lot of beer. And I mean A LOT. And I love it. I see so many different styles, brands and some items I can't even classify.

I also get to deal with many different people with many different palates. Sometimes I get to deal with people who are "newbies" to the "better beer" movement, sometimes I get to deal with people who are extremely knowledgable and sometimes I get to deal with people who just want their Bud, Miller or Coors. But with all that I also see the dreaded Beer Snob.

Now I'm sure many people think I probably fall into this beer snob category but I assure you it's not true. Beer Geek? Yes. Beer Snob? No. I may do my best to avoid BudMillerCoors but I have personal reasons for that. Those guys selling out to non-American companies is bull shit and my reason. It has nothing to do with taste or price. But if I go to a party and all they have is BMC you're damn right I'm drinking BMC. It's beer and that's what matters. Now I will always push a local craft beer over the larger breweries beers of course but does that make me a snob? No, it means I like to support local and keep my money(and your money) local.

Most of the beer people I know(and I know a lot)have no problem buying and drinking PBR, Schlitz or some other cheap, macro lager. I personally have no problem buying a $10 bottle of beer and a $8 12 pack of PBR. Makes sense right? Quality and quantity for $20. You'll never see a beer snob do this. They are always on the hunt for the most rare and most expensive beer they can find and they'll do whatever they have to in order to get it. Drinking cheap beer to them is frowned upon and they'll make sure you know it. I admit spending some serious cash on beer but there is a point where I'll draw the line.

The beer snob truly is the worst because they are missing out on the greatest part of drinking beer: the experience itself. Beer is the greatest social lubricant there is. Hence President Obama and his "beer summit" to calm the racial tensions of a cop and professor. Unfortunately people focused on what style beer they were drinking rather than the fact that they were just a couple of guys solving a dispute over some beer. I'm sure most of the world problems could be solved this way. Over a beer. Unfortunately there would be that someone that would say, "I don't drink that swill! Gimme my fancy schmancy beer now or else I'll launch my nukes". Drinking beer and hanging out with friends and family is such a great experience why ruin it with snobbery. If you want to promote better beer that's great but don't do it by telling someone their beer sucks or looking down at them because of their choice of brew. If anything that just makes it worse. Why would they want to try different beers if they view people that drink them as snobs? Beer is fun. Promote it that way!


The Beer Buddha

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Beer Review: Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale

So I've been waiting patiently for the cooler weather to arrive in order to drink and review my pumpkin beers this year but a wonderful reader's comment regarding last years review of Shipyard Pumpkinhead made me feel obligated to start reviews a tad earlier. Being told I need to "develop a more inticate[sic] pallate[sic]" in order to be able to better appreciate the "subtle nuances" of this subpar beer will do that. I certaintly don't mind people expressing opinions regarding their take on certain brews(everyone's palate is different of course) but attacking my palate because I don't appreciate a beer. Not cool. Sorry, but in my opinion, Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale just isn't that great of a beer. Let's be honest MOST of Shipyard's beers are just ok.

Anyways enough bitching. Moving to Florida from New Orleans is a cultural nightmare but it does have some perks and one is a much better beer selection. In fact, the Pumpkin Ale selection is plentiful. At Chans we have six: Jack's Pumpkin Spice, Weyerbacker Imperial Pumpkin, Dogfish Head Punkin', Brooklyn Post Road, Blue Moon Harvest Moon and Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale. Notice Shipyard Pumpkinhead is not on this list. Out of date issues will do that to you. The Smuttynose was one pumpkin ale that really stood out from the others. This company adds real pumpkin to the mash and uses traditional spices. On to the review:

Brewery: Smuttynose Brewery

Beer: Pumpkin Ale

Recommended Glassware: Pint Glass

Appearance: This beer poured a nice hazy orange(pumpkin color perhaps?) with a nice big white head which disappears quickly. Lacing present throughout and makes a nice webbing pattern.

Smell: Right off the bat I'm hit with pumpkin pie smells: cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin.

Taste: Wow. This one is interesting. Very pumpkin pie like with the pumpkin tasting very organic or real rather than pie filling. That makes a huge difference in the quality of this beer. Hints of cinnamon and nutmeg are present but not overpowering because the beer has a nice malty backbone with an interesting hop present. That hop presense helps balance the malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: Without a doubt this is one of the best pumpkin beers I've ever had. THIS is what pumpkin ales should taste like. Fall in a bottle.

Score: Photobucket 4.5 out of 5 Buddhas

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Panama City Beach Beer Spotlight: Mellow Mushroom

If I had to pick one food to be stuck on a deserted island with I'm pretty sure pizza would be it. It has all the major food groups wrapped up in one delicious pie.

Meat- Sausage, pepperoni, chicken, whatever meat you choose!
Dairy- Cheese
Fruit- Hawaiian Pizza has pineapple!
Vegetable- Tomatoes, Green Peppers, again, whatever veggie you choose!
Fat- Olive Oil!
Bread- The crust!

And, as we all know, nothing goes better with pizza than beer. In 1974 three college students in Georgia decided to open up a pizza and beer joint near the Georgia Tech campus and now the Mellow Mushroom has over 100 restaurants in 15 states and thank god one is here in Panama City Beach!

I'll be honest. As of right now this is the only place that has a decent draft selection in this town. I've not been anywhere else that has this kind of selection. There has been talk of another place but I've yet to go so as of now this is it. Here is my review:

Food- The food at the Mellow Mushroom is always good. The pizza is some of the best I've had and the prices are reasonable. They also have sandwiches, salads, calzones and appetizers.

Atmosphere- They're going for that whole hippy I'm tripping vibe with mushrooms everywhere and psychedelic colors. Fine with me. They also had TVs up on the wall showing football games.
On their events menu it looks like they have live music and specials during football games. From what I read happy hour was from 430-630. Pretty standard. Music was on a good rock station and was a bit too loud which made conversation a bit difficult but no big deal.

Beer- Very nice tap list! Nothing special but so far the best in PCB that I've seen. They have 36 taps with selections ranging from Stone Arrogant Bastard, Sweetwater 420, Sweetwater IPA, Boulder Hazed and Infused, Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan, Bells Amber, DFH 90 Minute, Terrapin Rye Pale Ale and others. I didn't see any special releases. They had the standard macros as well. Their bottle selection was small which included mostly macro lagers and even included PBR 16oz can for $1. Also had Full Sail IPA, La Fin Du Monde and Strongbow for the cider crowd. They also have a beer club membership which of course I joined and gives you perks for drinking lots of different beers. As if I needed to join a club for that. But hey, their gonna give me free stuff for doing something I had planned to do any way? Of course I'm in!

Service- The service my family and I had was great. No complaints at all.

Overall - This is probably the best place to go and have a good pint in PCB.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Beer Review: Coney Island Freaktoberfest

I love beer. I'm sure you know this about me already but I'm not sure you really understand how much I love it. No, I don't love it more than my family or my dog. Ok, maybe more than the dog but not more than my family. I mean come on, I sell beer for a living, I love reading about beer and I have a beer blog which I don't think anyone really reads yet I continue writing it. One day though this blog will be good. I swear it!

Anyways I love beer so much that I get really excited when I get a beer in at the store which I've never tried. I'm like a kid on Christmas. I get all giddy inside and feel like I'm about to burst with excitement. I've been in the process of ordering all my fall seasonals and along with the pumpkin beers(which I will do a write up on here soon) I got one from Schmaltz Brewing Company called Coney Island Freaktoberfest. Right off the bat I knew I had to try it. That creepy little tattooed dude with that crazy, wicked smile just screamed "YOU MUST DRINK ME"! Plus the beer is made with 6 malts, 6 hops and is a 6.66% ABV blood red lager. Hello?? How awesome is that for the Halloween season? Plus getting the phone call from my fellow beer buyer Dan at the Panama City Beach store saying we should price this at $6.66 just made it that much more cool.

I will warn all of you though this beer pours a red that my picture just doesn't capture. The problem here is that I'm not really sure my brain and taste buds truly came together to work properly. Seeing the red my brain automatically was thinking strawberry or cherry and the taste was anything but. I really need to try this beer again without knowing what it is or seeing it. Anyways, here is my review:

Brewery: Schmaltz Brewing Company

Beer: Coney Island Freaktoberfest

Style: American Amber/Red Lager

Recommended Glassware: Pint Glass

Appearance: Poured a strawberry soda red with a huge, pinkish fluffy head. The appearance REALLY played tricks on my brain and may have thrown off the taste buds.

Smell: Not much aroma going on here. Perhaps a hint of grainy-ness and a slight hop bitterness.

Taste: Expecting strawberry this beer truly threw my brain and taste buds completely out of whack. It had a metallic bitterness not really in a good way though. Had a slight breadiness to it as well.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall: As I said before the beer messed with the taste buds based on its appearance so I'm not really sure. It wasn't bad but I'd like to try it again with my brain NOT knowing what it is beforehand.

Score: Photobucket 3 out of 5 Buddhas

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Why The Hell Didn't I Think Of This

Sitting in the grinding room at NOLA Brewing and grinding malt was a tedious task that lasted maybe 45 minutes or so at a time. During that time my mind would wander with most of my thoughts centering around drinking beer or some other sort of beer related activity. A bunch of those times I would look at the empty grain bags on the floor and wonder whether we could be doing something with those bags other than throwing them out. For some reason I was never able to come up with a good answer.

Well, as you know, with ideas when you don't come up with it someone else will. In the case of the grain bags Right Brain Brewery in Traverse City, Michigan figured it out. And it was so simple: a tote bag. In this age of going green everybody and their sister has a tote bag for their groceries, wine or whatever. It was so simple but apparently not for me. Great idea Right Brain Brewery!
The Beer Buddha

Beer Video Of The Month: September

I missed a couple of months but I'll be starting it back up starting with this good one from Troegs Brewing Company out of Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Panama City Beach Beer Spotlight: Hofbrau Beer Garden

As I've mentioned before there aren't many places to go in terms of beer bars here in the Florida Panhandle but I'm going to try and make the best of it. In my local travels I discovered a really great place to go and get some great German food and beer: the Hofbrau Beer Garden in Panama City Beach located at the Pier Park outdoor shopping complex.

Hofbrau(1589) is a state owned brewery that was built by Wilhelm V, the Duke of Bavaria(1579-1597). Apparently a thirsty bastard and fed up with the local beer he had to drink beer from a nearby town called Einbeck. He felt there had to be a better way so in 1589 he decided to build his own brewery. Obviously there is a huge history involved with a brewery that's been around since 1589 and I will not bore you with the details nor subject myself to all the typing so you can go to the website and read it for yourself. Anyways lucky for me they decided to build a bunch outside Germany and one was right here in PCB.

I was really happy with this place and I think that lagers really get a bad rap with beer geeks because of the whole macro lager association. The beer was great and the food was pretty good as well. Here is my official review:

Atmosphere- Looks like what I would think a German beer hall would look like. Pretty cool with communal seating(long tables where multiple people sit) and an outdoor seating area.

Food- Reasonably priced. I had the reuben and the wife had the burger. Both were good. My beer was $11 but size wise that's three beers.

Service- Waitress was great and she was walking around in a dirndle which makes me very happy. Something about those outfits man. Come on, hot chicks in a dirndl just works. I think I'm buying my wife one.

Quality- The beer was great. Hofbrau is a quality german lager. Lagers are underappreciated in my opinion and this one is great!

Overall- Look, not all of us are super rich jet setters that can go to Germany whenever we want. In fact, I don't know anyone that can just pick up and go and if I did they'd better take me with. Anyways, since we can't go there it's great to bring there to here. This place is a must visit for anyone coming to Panama City Beach.


The Beer Buddha

Monday, August 31, 2009

Heeeeeere's Buddha! I'm back!

So it's been awhile since my last post and for that I do apologize but really I'm the one who suffered here. I had to go almost 2 weeks without cable or internet! Imagine the horror! But anyways I am back!

So I'm sure many of you have a lot of questions. What's Florida like? Do you enjoy your new job? What's the beer culture like? Etc, etc, etc. I'll tell you, it appears I'm in some weird beery episode of The Twilight Zone. I just left a town with very little retail beer selection but with an incredible bar scene(especially beer bar with Avenue Pub)and entered a town with a nice retail beer selection but no good bar scene whatsoever. There is no beer bar from Destin(where I work) to Panama City Beach(where I live). There is McGuires and Mellow Mushroom and as far as I can tell that's it. I'm told there are some other potential places but when I ask people they just shake their heads and tell me there aren't any good beer bars other than what I just listed. As for beer retail shops their is Chan's Wine World, Chan's Wine World or...Chan's Wine World. No one has the selection that we carry. It's great really. I have a lot of freedom to expand on the already great selection. I have grand ideas with the section so we'll see what happens. The job is like Martin Wine Cellar but more laid back(t-shirts and shorts!)and way more freedom! Plus two beer festivals a year!! The best part is I can work on the ol blog more!

Well that's all for now. The job is great, living near the beach is awesome and for those with some cash, their is a golden opportunity to open a beer bar here in town. Plus, I can get Yuengling at the store bitches! I'm out!



Thursday, August 6, 2009

30 Days Of Craft Beer: Day Six

Ok, so it appears like I forgot days 3,4 and 5 but actually I was in Destin, Florida for a job interview and obviously need a technology upgrade since I had no way of maintaining my blog while I was gone. Anyways, I interviewed on Tuesday with Chan Cox, owner of Chan's Wine World. The interview went extremely well and I am now the beer manager for the Destin store. If you were counting that was officially only 5 days without a job. I'm very excited about this opportunity to jump on board with a team that already has a huge success with their beer section. Plus I get to live near the beach. Hello? Beer and the beach? Score one for the Buddha! I should be starting at the end of August. The family and I are working on getting a place to live and getting organized for a move.

I'm going to miss New Orleans and the burgeoning beer scene. I've met a lot of great friends and had a blast drinking with each and every one of you! I grew up a military brat so moving for me isn't all that hard. It just means more friends around the world to drink with! If you're ever in Destin please stop by the store or email me and we'll go out for a drink!

Don't fret though dear reader(readers?) because The Beer Buddha blog will continue! It'll just be about and from a different location! I'm going to try and write about the entire Panhandle of Florida(do you actually capitalize Panhandle?)which will give me a little more area to cover. The beer quality there is actually pretty damn good compared to New Orleans so I'll have more beers to choose from! Sweet!!

I'm not sure how to continue 30 Days of Craft Beer since it was a job search AND beer drinking adventure. Perhaps I can continue the drinking part of it or maybe restructure it into something else all together. It will be tough to update the blog while I'm trying to pack stuff up and move. Hmmm. I think I will suspend it temporarily until I get settled into my new home.

Well, until then I'll update people on what's going on in New Orleans. I think I may have something in the works with The Beer Wench that'll be very awesome! Stay tuned because it's just going to get better!


Beer Buddha

Sunday, August 2, 2009

30 Days Of Craft Beer: Day Two

You probably thought I forgot. Come on it's day two I'm not going to forget on day two. Maybe later, but not on day two! I got caught up watching True Blood. Yeah, I know, but my wife got me reading the books and it really is pretty cool stuff. I thought it was going to be another teen vampire drama like Twilight but it's not. It's like an adult version with a good storyline. Anyways.

Job Search

So I told you about Chan's Wine World yesterday. I emailed Mr. Cox yesterday and received an email back the same day saying he is interested so I'm in the process of setting up an interview with him. It's only day one and I'm already ahead of the game. Lucky me!

Beer Review

Brewery: Magic Hat Brewing

Beer: Odd Notion Spring 09

Style: Spiced Beer

Recommended Glassware: Pilsner Glass

Serving Type: Pilsner Glass

Appearance- This beer pours a very clear, golden color with a thin white head which disappates quickly.

Smell- Very odd smell. Pilsner malts are present, not much hoppiness that I can tell. A very weird spiciness is noticable which I guess is the agave.

Taste- Strong maltiness with an odd spiciness. The hops are more present in the taste than in the aroma. Interesting fruity sweetness accompanied by an odd vegetation taste.

Mouthfeel- Crisp, clean with a medium body.

Overall- Not a bad beer but an odd beer. The name is fitting. They know it's odd so I'll give it too them. At least they're having fun brewing different stuff.

Score:Photobucket3.5 out of 5 Buddhas

Saturday, August 1, 2009

30 Days of Craft Beer: Day One

Ok, so today is Day One of 30 Days of Craft Beer. As I said I will review one craft beer a day and will keep everyone updated on my job search.

Job Search

(1) Over the past year I have been in contact with a gentleman named Chan Cox who owns Chan's Wine World in the Panhandle of Florida. There are five locations throughout the Panhandle: Destin, Sandestin, Panama City Beach, Miramar Beach and Ft. Walton Beach. Chan's has a great beer selection and has a beer festival every year as well. My wife and I have talked about relocating to Panama City for about the past year or so. We stayed there for about a week after Hurricane Katrina hit and we absolutely loved it there. The school system there is top notch and would be great for our daughter Evangeline. Much different than here in New Orleans where there are 3 out of the 88 public schools we could possibly send our daughter to and those 3 require a lottery to get your kid in.

If you know me you know I used to be the Assistant Manager and beer guy over at Martin Wine Cellar and enjoyed helping the customers with their beer selections. Chan's would be a great fit for me so I emailed Mr. Cox today and hopefully will receive an email back fairly soon.

(2) I have some brewery contacts in Texas who are asking around. I'm not going to go into details until I hear more info but it's a good one.

Beer Review

Brewery: Boulevard Brewing

Beer: Two Jokers Double Wit

Style: Witbier

Recommended Glassware: Pint Glass

Serving Type: Pint Glass

Appearance - This beer poured a hazy orange color with a huge, fluffy white head which stuck around for a bit. Lacing was very nice.

Smell- Strong hints of yeast, wheat, cloves and lemony citrus.

Taste - Nice tartness upfront with hints of citrus and banana and clove from the yeast. The malt balances this beer well.

Mouthfeel- Very nice crisp and clean with a medium body.

Overall- Another phenomenal brew from the guys over at Boulevard. The Smokestack series are absolutely incredible and this one just adds to it!

Score: 4.5 out of 5 BuddhasPhotobucket

The Beer Buddha's 30 Days of Craft Beer: A Craft Beer Drinking and Job Finding Adventure

So most of you know by now that I have been laid off from NOLA Brewing. I knew the risk of taking a job with a new brewery and if I had to I would make the same decision every single time. My time at NOLA Brewing was an incredible experience that I wouldn't change. I learned a lot about the beer industry, got to be more involved in the beer scene here in New Orleans and got to hang around with some great people while doing it. I'm still a bit shocked but I understand the decision they had to make.

Anyways, it's time to move on. I'd like to stay in the craft beer industry so I'll be using contacts that I have and will be calling every major brewery I know of to try and find a job. And since I have plenty of time on my hands I've decided to chronicle my experience with 30 Days of Craft Beer. What's that you ask? Well, for the next 30 days I will be updating my blog daily with a beer review and will keep you up to date on my search for employment in the craft beer industry.

Their are 6 states that I have received "approval" from the wife to move to if we have to leave Louisiana. They are Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida(Panhandle only!) and Texas. Now of course I'm willing to listen to ALL job offers and if the job is too good to pass up we would move to where the job takes us. It would be tough to leave New Orleans but I'll do what I have to for my family.

So stay tuned! Later today I'll post my beer review and an update on my job search!


The Beer Buddha

Monday, July 13, 2009

Beer Video of the Month: July

For this months Video of the Month I decided to kick it old school and local! Enjoy!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Vote for Beer

Every year our local alt paper The Gambit comes out with a Best of New Orleans list which features best local bars, restaurants, movie theaters, etc. This year they've added a Best New Orleans Blog category. Now I'm not saying I have the best blog in the world or in New Orleans for that matter but I would love to have a beer blog in a least the top three. I'm asking you, my faithful readers(reader?), to please cast your vote for yours truly this year and let's see if we can get The Beer Buddha into the top 3!! The link below will take you there and thanks in advance!


The Beer Buddha

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New Orleans Beer Spotlight: Avenue Pub

Yes, yes, I've been away for a bit but I swear I'm trying!! I've been really busy at work helping build our customer base and when I get home I'm beat. Not only that but this New Orleans heat really saps your energy dry!

Anyways, enough excuses! I wanted to start a new segment called New Orleans Beer Spotlight in which I focus on places here in New Orleans to get great beer. Things are truly changing here with the New Orleans beer scene and I am lucky enough to be a part of it. My first New Orleans Beer Spotlight pick Avenue Pub, has in my opinion become one of the BEST beer bar in New Orleans. I know, you're thinking I'm an idiot and have no clue what I'm talking about because I didn't pick The Bulldog or Cooter Browns but you're going to have to trust me on this one folks. Don't get me wrong both of those places are great and will be featured later on but you need to check out Avenue Pub!

Located on St. Charles Avenue(1732 St. Charles Ave.) the Avenue Pub is open 24 hours a day and 7 days week. After the current owner's(Polly Adler) father passed away she took over and made some major changes some which included the balcony, the second floor party room, the bathrooms and more importantly the draft system. In 2008 Polly dropped a lot of money in her draft system and now it is the best draft beer in town using a nitrogen/CO2 gas mix. She is also very particular about her draft lines making sure these are cleaned regularly. Clearly a better draft system deserved better beers on tap and Polly has made some incredible changes to her draft selection. With selections like Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA, Delirium Tremens, NOLA Blonde and Brown, Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan, Brooklyn Lager, North Coast Brother Thelonius and 23 more(30 taps total) how could you go wrong! Just recently she purchased a beer engine and firkin and will be the first place in all of Louisiana to serve cask conditioned ale. Her bottle selection is pretty impressive as well with the likes of Mikkeller IPA series, North Coast Old Rasputin, Brooklyn Local 1 and Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye to just name a few. The Avenue Pub is also currently doing great beer dinners and other beer events throughout the year so sign up on their email list to get all the updates!

So yeah, Pub is in the name and implies that food is served there. This is where you're thinking "I knew it was to good to be true. The food must suck." This is where you would be totally wrong. This is where it gets so much better. How could it get any better you ask? One name. J'anitas. Craig and Kimmie Giesecke are the culinary geniuses behind such dishes as The Sweetspot Burger(burger marinated in Cabernet, caramelized onions, caramelized pears, blue cheese and a balsamic reduction glaze), The St. Chuck Duck( a roast duck sandwich!) and of course my favorite...Buddha's Temptation(apricot stuffed with bleu cheese, wrapped with bacon and then fried!). This most definitely ain't your daddy's pub grub!!! Great beer and great food! It's the perfect combination!! You can go to the website to check out J'anitas hours.

So there you have it. Without a doubt, Avenue Pub is one of the best beer bars in New Orleans. You can think it's The Bulldog or Cooter Browns, everyone has their favorite, but trust me check this place out and I promise you'll be pleasantly surprised! Tell 'em Buddha sent you! You won't get anything for it but you can still tell em!


The Beerbuddha

Sunday, May 31, 2009

WYES Beer Tasting and VIP Event

Every year for 26 years WYES holds their annual beer tasting. This year is no different!

What is different is that a bunch of the local beer nerds got together with the good folks over at WYES and created a special VIP event which will be held the night before!!

Don't miss these events! At the Friday event NOLA Brewing will be sampling some beers not even on the market yet! Hopitoulas IPA, Lemon Basil Wheat, and a cask conditioned beer!!!!


Beer Buddha