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The Mans Cave

The Mans Cave was a concept originated long before my time. The men in my family have always had their place of solitude where men could be men and there was no questioning. I now live the city life which means the man cave has been greatly reduced in size. That brought me to create an internet based man cave where all men can join in. Whether geek, gamer, jock, fitness, brewer, BBQ-er, or just looking for a place to read about manly news, you will find a home in the Man Cave

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Top 10 Beers of Winter 2012

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Winter beers provide a great time to sample new styles because there is not one set style that perfectly fits the winter season.  While history will show that winter beers are usually high alcohol, winter warmers that push away the chill of a winter night, the common trends in winter beers stretch from high ABV, full flavored ales to spiced lagers that provide a more sessionable beer to enjoy.  Here are our top 10 winter beers that stretch across many styles.

10. Abita Christmas Ale- A decent example of a spiced ale that is not overwhelming in the potpourri sense of the spice.  Well balanced with caramel malt flavor that highlights the spice mix in this brew.  Not a bad beer to drink throughout the day.

9.  Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale- Out of the several spiced beers that Sam Adams puts out every winter, this one is my favorite.  It is only available in the seasonal 12-pack, but this is my favorite out of the group.  Enough spice so that I actually feel like I'm drinking a winter beer, and the orange background is really nice, but there is enough malt to keep the spice from being overbearing.

8.  Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale- This beer seems to change every year, but the basic idea remains the same.  This is a fresh hopped ale that truly exemplifies the qualities of the freshest hops that SN can get each year.  This year's example is spicy and piney, with some of that classic citrus aroma and flavor coming through as well. Fairly well balanced, but not the best fresh hop beer out there.

7.  Southern Tier Old Man Winter- This is definitely a winter beer that is not for the timid.  Bold and dark malts are balanced by a spicy blend of hops.  Definitely a sipper.

6.  Avery Old Jubilation- In a unique twist for Avery, this beer is relatively simple.  However, the taste is anything but simple. This could be the beer you age for a year before bringing out to sip on the coldest of winter nights.

5.  Ommegang Adoration- I've come to find that Ommegang has yet to disappoint with a beer. This one balances all the wintry spices with some darker chocolate malts to make a darker Belgian ale that is suprisingly smooth for being 10% ABV.

4. Cigar City Sugar Plum Brown Ale- Sugar and spice and everything nice.  Cigar City puts out another exceptional offering that says Christmas all over it, but is a great beer to drink on any night.

3.  Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout- This beer is amazing. Only $7.99 for a four pack, which is pretty reasonable considering the ABV level.  Blacker than midnight and packed full of rich, roasty, chocolatey flavors.  For a different take on a child hood classic, use it in an ice cream float.

2.  Blue Point Old Howling Bastard- Starting with the name, this beer just sounds like a great winter choice.  Named after a man who used to frequent the tasting room, this beer is a great example of a take on the American barleywine.  Watch out for the ABV...this beer will sneak up on you because it is so drinkable.


1.  Dogfish Head Chicory Stout- I look forward to the release of this beer every year, and after having my first of the year last night, it is still one of my favorite off-centered ales.  The chicory adds some great spice and coffee notes to a beer that is super complex, but still easy to drink.

Cheers and Happy Brewing!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mindless Ramblings of a Beer Drinker

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I love drinking beer.  I love getting a perfect pint of Guinness poured at a local Irish bar while pounding my way through fish and chips.  It's hard to beat pouring my favorite Belgian Dubbel into my Duvel glass at home while I watch reruns of the Office after a long day.  It's also hard to beat an ice cold Bud Light on a hot summer day out by the pool.  Drinking the efforts of my homebrewing makes me love beer even more, especially when it's my Smoked Chocolate porter or my insanely hoppy IPA.  While there are great crowds of people that get strung up on the definitions of craft, micro, nano, and fizzy, yellow stuff, I belong in the crowd that loves beer for the fact that it is beer.  While there are times where I search out a specific Dogfish Head beer that is only released at the world's smallest bar, and I often look for the newest Southern Tier offering in my favorite beer shop, there are plenty memories of mine where I have enjoyed an ice cold macro (BMC) lager simply for the fact that it washes the food down my throat without being over complicated.  All too often, beer snobs and drunken frat boys create a massive division in the beer world that requires you taking sides.  I'm tired of firing up Twitter or Facebook and seeing another craft brewery knocking BMC for the beers that it puts out, and I'm also sick of BMC putting out crap beer and then marketing it to death (or until the point where people buy it because the newest commercial was funny).  Beer should be celebrated for being beer.  Founder of Stone Brewing Co Greg Koch gets extremely mad when he thinks of the fizzy, yellow stuff, but when is the last time that Stone released a beer available in places outside of Southern California that you can drink more than one of and not feel sloshed?  There is a time and a place for every beer out there, and more people need to realize that.  I'm not defending crap beer, but I have tasted as many "craft" beers that I thought were crap as I have BMC beers. (Definitely not defending Michelada! Tomato or clam juice and beer are definitely not a good combo!)  With that all being said, the next few posts that I provide will spread the gambit of the brewing world; from Macro lagers, to the smallest nano breweries, to my spare bedroom where I homebrew.  Welcome to the world of beer that I love.
P.S.- We know we've been gone for a while... Life gets busy so go grab a beer and just enjoy the great things we've got coming your way!
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