Friday, July 31, 2009

Beer News: Obama, Biden, professor, officer sit down over brews


Obama, Biden, professor, officer sit down over brews

President Obama sat down for a beer at the White House Thursday night with a top African-American professor and the police officer who arrested him earlier this month.
They were joined by a previously unannounced guest, Vice President Joe Biden.
Sgt. James Crowley and Henry Louis Gates Jr., both dressed in suits, sat down with Obama and Biden, who both had their white dress shirt sleeves rolled up.
Video from the meeting showed mugs of beer being delivered to the men, who sat at a round table at the edge of the White House's Rose Garden, munching peanuts and pretzels from silver bowls.
The president was drinking Bud Light, Biden was drinking Buckler (a nonalcoholic beer), Gates was drinking Samuel Adams Light and Crowley was drinking Blue Moon.
After the meeting, Crowley told reporters that the men had a "cordial and productive discussion," in which they agreed to move foward rather than dwell on past events.
He said he and Gates plan to meet again and will speak by telephone to finalize details in the coming days. Both men bring different perspectives, he said, but he would like to hear more about Gates' views.
"It was a private discussion. It was a frank discussion," Crowley said of the meeting, but would not divulge specifics except to say that no one apologized.
Gates was arrested July 16 and accused of disorderly conduct after police responded to a report of a possible burglary at his Boston-area home. The charge was later dropped. The incident sparked a debate about racial profiling and police procedures.
After the meeting, the renowned Harvard professor reflected on the significance of the event and thanked Obama for arranging the meeting.
"It is incumbent upon Sergeant Crowley and me to utilize the great opportunity that fate has given us to foster greater sympathy among the American public for the daily perils of policing on the one hand, and for the genuine fears of racial profiling on the other hand," Gates said in a statement on his Web site, The Root.
"Let me say that I thank God that (I) live in a country in which police officers put their lives at risk to protect us every day, and, more than ever, I've come to understand and appreciate their daily sacrifices on our behalf. I'm also grateful that we live in a country where freedom of speech is a sacrosanct value and I hope that one day we can get to know each other better, as we began to do at the White House this afternoon over beers with President Obama," he said.
"At this point, I am hopeful that we can all move on, and that this experience will prove an occasion for education, not recrimination. I know that Sergeant Crowley shares this goal. Both of us are eager to go back to work tomorrow."
After the incident, Obama himself quickly got involved, saying at a news conference that police in Cambridge, Massachusetts, "acted stupidly."
His comment itself drew criticism and later he softened his stance, saying, "I could've calibrated those words differently."
After the meeting, Obama said in a statement he was thankful to Gates and Crowley for joining him at for "a friendly, thoughtful conversation.
"Even before we sat down for the beer, I learned that the two gentlemen spent some time together listening to one another, which is a testament to them," the president's statement said. "I have always believed that what brings us together is stronger than what pulls us apart. I am confident that has happened here tonight, and I am hopeful that all of us are able to draw this positive lesson from this episode."
Earlier Thursday, Obama said the chat was prompted by an exchange he had with Crowley, who said in a phone call with Obama, "Maybe I'll have a beer in the White House someday."
The president replied that that could be arranged.
On the meeting's being dubbed the "Beer Summit," Obama said, "It's a clever term, but this is not a summit, guys. This is three folks having a drink at the end of the day, and hopefully giving people an opportunity to listen to each other, and that's really all it is.
"This is not a university seminar. It is not a summit. It's an attempt to have some personal interaction when an issue has become so hyped and so symbolic that you lose sight of just the fact that these are people involved," he said.
He said he would be surprised if the media makes the meeting out to be more important than his meeting Thursday with Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, president of the Philippines, but "the press has surprised me before."
Gates and Crowley brought their families to the White House, and the two toured the East Wing together before the meeting, officials said. The two met Obama in the Oval Office before moving out to the Rose Garden. Their families were touring the West Wing during the sit-down.
Separately, a Boston, Massachusetts, police officer became part of the controversy by referring to Gates in a mass e-mail as a "banana-eating jungle monkey."
Officer Justin Barrett later apologized, saying he's not a racist. He told a local television station on Wednesday night that he was sorry for the e-mail.
"I regret that I used such words," Barrett told CNN affiliate WCVB. "I have so many friends of every type of culture and race you can name. I am not a racist."
He was placed on administrative leave after the e-mail surfaced, and he might lose his job as a result.
Barrett's attorney, Peter Marano, on Thursday offered an apology on his behalf.
"Justin Barrett is a citizen, a husband, a father, a soldier, a police officer and a human being," Marano said in a statement. "He has made a mistake -- his poor choice in words is that mistake. His lack of thought into the possible outcome of using such words has caused this debate. Justin never intended for these words to bear such a racial connotation."
Meanwhile, a black Cambridge police sergeant on the scene the day of Gates' arrest wrote a letter to Crowley, asking him to mention to Gates and Obama that he is now known as the "black sergeant" and to some others as an "uncle Tom."
"I'm forced to ponder the notion that as a result of speaking the truth and coming to the defense of a friend and colleague, who just happens to be white, that I have somehow betrayed my heritage," Sgt. Leon Lashley wrote. "Please convey my concerns to the president that Mr. Gates' actions may have caused grave and potentially irreparable harm to the struggle for racial harmony in this country and perhaps throughout the world."
Lashley wrote in the letter he would like Gates to reflect on the incident and ask himself what responsibility he bears, what he can do to heal the rift and what he can do to mitigate the damage done to the officers' reputations.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Beer Review: Bell's Lager of the Lake

Recently I tried Bell's Lager of the Lake. I had this beer on draft at Crunchy's of East Lansing. Crunchy's offers a "bucket of beer" which I shared with about 10 friends. (We also got a free pizza with the bucket, as part of the special.) A "bucket" is literally that. It is a utility bucket which they fill with beer. They give the group pitchers and plastic Dixie cups to share it (not available for groups smaller than 4 average-sized persons).

My first sip impression: this is not a very tasty beer at all.
The beer looks and smells like piss, with a HUGE head. And by the time we got down to the bottom of the bucket, we were betting each other to drink another cup.
The flavor was very bitter and hoppy. It definitely needed a sweet element to make it more balanced and drinkable. Eventually I was alternating sips of Coca-Cola with sips of the beer, just to add some sweetness and make it drinkable (it's such a shame to waste beer, even the bad ones). It's definitely a gulper, not a sipper -- just so you can get it down.
One person in the group is quoted as asking "Did they do the floors before they [filled] the bucket?"

I would NOT drink this beer again (even if it were free, and I was already wasted).
Please drink responsibly. The Boobs and Beer Blog does not condone binge drinking.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Brewery Tour: Royal Oak - Bastone

Hello all! My name is Megan, hailing from Grand Rapids, MI.
I went to Royal Oak yesterday to see what the city had to offer by way of craft brews.

Our first stop was to Bastone which is an affiliate of other breweries around Michigan such as Grizzly Peak and Blue Tractor in Ann Arbor and North Peak in Traverse City.

*Brewery Tip* When possible, ask about getting a flight, which is usually a 4-5 oz. sample of each of a brewery's beers - typically not including seasonals. Some places will give you an option to choose your own beers for the flight while others will have set beers.

Of course, I got a flight. There were 6 beers; Monumental Blonde, Main Street Pilsner, Great White Wit, Royal IPA, Dubbel Vision, and Nectar des Dieux Triple. All beers served in a 5 oz. taster glass on draft.

Monumental Blonde: Very clear, this is Bastone's lightest beer. Golden yellow color with virtually no head. Nose is absent and taste is similar. Mouthfeel is light and watery. Taste is salty with light malt notes and almost no hops. Not a beer that I would get very often, but I think this is a great beer for those who are transitioning from your traditional macrobrews into the craft brew world.

Main Street Pilsner: Cloudier than the blonde, this has a head about 2 fingers high. Color is that of lemonade. This has a nose of malt and a little more hop smell than the blonde. Mouthfeel is slightly heavy. Taste is similar to smell. Nothing really special.

Great White Wit: Cloudy, Lemonade look, one finger of head. Mouthfeel is perfect, refreshing. Obvious wheat taste, obvious white taste. Exactly what is advertised. Very delicious, I ordered another in a full pint glass after the flight :).

Royal IPA: Tea colored, a little cloudy, half a finger of head. Nose is hoppy. Mouthfeel is crisp and taste is slightly bitter with the help of sweet malt. Delicious!

Dubbel Vision: Dark brown/red belgian beer with one finger of head. I'm not a huge fan of belgian dubbels and this one didn't change my mind.

Nectar des Dieux Triple: Very fruity! This was one of my favorites. Half a finger of head, good lacing down the glass. Orange/Yellow color, a little cloudy. Taste is citrus fruits and hops when it hits your mouth then warms into belgian malts and bananas. Excellent brew!

I know this one is kind of long...I have 2 more breweries to review but I'll let you soak all of this information in before I post another :)


Beer Review: Founder's Cerise Cherry Ale

Today I am reviewing the Cerise Cherry Ale by Founders (Grand Rapids). I tried this drink on draft at Crunchy's of East Lansing. Right now, Crunchy's is having their annual localvore event -- all their beers and cheese are from Michigan. There is a Founder's Brewpub in Grand Rapids, MI.

This is a very beautiful beer. It was served in a clear, classic pint glass (also available in a 25 oz. mug). There was hardly any head on it. But it was a beautiful red/magenta color. This is probably the reddest beer I've ever seen, even more red than the Irish Reds.
It smelled like a wheat beer (which I am partial to) and slightly of cherries.
The very first sip is very tart. But if you give the beer some time to linger it goes through a wonderful progression of four flavors: wheat --> cherry --> wheat --> pumpkin . The pumpkin flavor comes if you can stand to stop and let the beer flavors mellow in your mouth. This was not something I did more than once with this beer unfortunately, because it is too delicious! It went down very quickly, despite good conversation that night at the pub. When I got near the bottom, and let the beer warm slightly, the cherry flavor got MORE tart. The beer with more amazing flavor near the end is definitely a beer worth drinking! (Reminiscent of Sam Adams' Spring Ale.) Speaking of the bottom of the glass, of all the little head that there was, the head was so thick that it stuck to the sides of the glass all the way down. It makes for a great experience.

Overall, this is a very balanced beer. It is start and sweet and slightly savory all at once. And it is beautiful when drunk from a pint glass at the pub. I would DEFINITELY drink this again -- but I think I will look to find it for less than $5 for a pint.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Beer Quest: Sam Adams' Chocolate Bock

I just read about a brew from Sam Adams called Chocolate Bock. It sounds really amazing, and I would love to try it.
It sounds like a lighter, sweeter Guinness (Since Guinness is a dark stout). It would be interesting to try it, like I have with Guinness, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream as a float.

Anyone heard of this Sam Adams brew? Do you know where to find it? Let us know!


[EDIT 7/18/09 10:35]
A little birdy told me that Sam Adams' Chocolate Bock is only seasonal, and our best guess is that it is a Winter brew. Has anybody ever tried it?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bar News: Old Chicago

The restaurant chain Old Chicago, known for its pizza and beer, offers a beer club called The World Beer Tour. July through August they are offering a Craft Beer Mini Tour.
From my own experience, the brews at any given Old Chicago restaurant change often.
Here is a link to the beer list offered on the website.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Beer Review: Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat

Tonight I am trying Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat. This isn't the first time I've had this beer, and it probably won't be the last. It's a very solid wheat beer.
I am drinking it bottled. I got a 6-pack at my local Meijer.

My first reaction is that there is practically no head. This is somewhat disappointing, since the head on wheat beers is generally very creamy and delicious. The color is a golden rust, and it is fairly opaque.
There are three 'waves' of flavor in each sip. The first bit is very sweet, the next becomes a little fuller, and then the drinker is left with a pleasant wheat flavor. This is a very fruity wheat beer;there are hints of citrus, and a flavor almost like fresh and spicy apple. I am reminded of Fruity Pebbles, like from when I was a little kid, not always what I want when I drink a 'grown up' drink like a wheat beer.
As with the head, the body leaves something to be desired. I really wish this were a little thicker. With a name like Sunset, and not, say, Summer Sun, the body and feel of it are not quite up to par.

This is a good option for a lighter body wheat beer. I would drink this again, but I might look to other brews first.


First Post

This blog is meant to be written by women about beer. And only beer. We aim to share our experiences, good and bad, about the beers, our local breweries and our local bars.

I would like to share a favorite toast about beer:

Who'd care to be a bee and sip
Sweet honey from the flower's lip
When he might be a fly and steer
Head first into a can of beer?


Total Pageviews