Terrapin Hop Selection IPA

Some time back I spotted Terrapin Hop Selection IPA in the bottle shop and needed to round out a purchase so I put it in my basket. Terrapin beers have always been solid and tasty so I figured it would not disappoint and boy was I right. The beer is a double IPA at 8.6% abv and the hops are Ella. I don’t honestly know anything about Ella hops, but I know the beer is fantastic. I found a description on Beer Street Journal:

Terrapin will be using Ella hops from the 2014 harvest. Ella (previously called Stella), the descendent of a Spalt-derived male and half-sister to Galaxy, is considered an aroma hop though with her higher alpha acid content of 14 – 16% she can also lend a hand in bittering. Ella has an interesting aroma of spicy hoppiness backed with softer floral notes and a touch of anise, which is a contrast to the big citrus/tropical fruit and pine notes of many modern hops used in American craft beers.

The label described them accurately as floral, subtle spice, and tropical. In case you haven’t picked up on it, this beer wasn’t just good, it was outstanding. The balance between malt and hop were spot on and the fruity and floral esters were divine. If you see this one out and about be sure to snag it, it is well worth your time and money.


Iron Brewer Competition

Our homebrew club recently held an Iron Brewer competition brew in and the secret ingredients were Peeps, Star Anise, and Jaggery. Brewers were required to use one package of Peeps per 5 gallons, a maximum amount of two Star Anise per 5 gallons, and up to two pounds of Jaggery per 5 gallons. Some mashed the Peeps and others put them in the boil, they held out for awhile, but eventually succumbed to the heat. Star Anise is quite strong in homebrew and the use varied wildly among the four teams. Jaggery is often palm sugar and some salt, but the packages called it cane sugar. The flavor was sweet honey and caramel with a hint of salt. If I was brewing I’d have aimed for a saison with a large amount of Jaggery in the boil, perhaps late in the boil. It will be interesting to see how the results turn out for the teams.


WRAL Investigation – Online Concealed Permit Application

This week my local TV station teased coverage of a loophole in the law which would allow a quick and easy concealed handgun permit process to bypass NC requirements. What it turned out to ultimately be was nonresident permits from Virginia. This is not something new and certainly isn’t investigative reporting, or at least not difficult. Virginia takes a different stance on concealed permits believing their residents have that right and just need to display a minimal level of comprehension so they allow online courses to count for that training. These courses are as low as $20 and the person can get an out-of-state permit after filing the required paperwork and a $100 fee to Virginia. A background check is performed. The difference between a NC permit and a non-resident VA permit are the NC permit has classroom and range requirements and the NC permit allows you to skip getting a Pistol Purchase Permit or having a NICS background check. With a VA permit you still would need a PPP to get a pistol and have a NICS check for a long gun.

My personal opinion is NC residents should not be allowed to use nonresident permits in NC. Those permits are basically a means to skip the required classroom time and training of which the most important element is the law. I don’t know the laws everywhere, but I do believe the laws governing deadly force in NC is excellent background information the student can then take to understand the laws of states with reciprocity where they may travel. If they have not had that training and comprehension, then they may find themselves in trouble at some point in the future. The follow-up story from WRAL was the reaction from lawmakers and neither of the gentlemen were aware of the nonresident permits. I suppose it could be true most people are not aware of them, but it did not come as news to me.

Foothills April 2015 IPA of the Month

Last night I opened Foothills April 2015 IPA of the Month. The dog this month is a rescue mutt named Finley. The beer was 6.6% abv and the hops were a blend of five different varieties. The flavor was big and bolt with bitterness trouncing most everything else and citrusy esters, pithy bittering, and orange ruling the day. At first it was a bit off-putting, but by the time the assault on my tastebuds calmed down it became a new favorite. The stated IBU level was 74 and it was every bit of that if not more. You should find this one and perhaps let it age just a tad to allow all that bitterness to calm down just a skinch. It was a tasty brew in April, but I suspect it will be just right by Fall.


NC Beer Jobs = NC Snowjob

A website named ncbeerjobs.com appeared recently with what appeared to be a plea to residents of NC to defeat two bills in the NCGA and save NC Beer Jobs! The problem is the bills are relatively benign in nature. The text on the site talks about MillerCoors and these bills would not affect those employees or that business one iota. The other business mentioned was independent beer distributors and I believe that is who is really behind this website. I tried to figure it out from their logo and web registration, but no dice, so let’s check out the bills in question to figure out who is behind this farce.

H278 is pretty simple, it moves the limit to self distribute from 25K BBL to 100K BBL. Those who would want this to pass are the breweries approaching 25K BBL who self distribute. I suspect that would be Red Oak, because most have distribution agreements. The reason the distributors would not want this to pass is breweries could potentially dump them and self distribute, but most breweries do not desire to self distribute because it requires time and resources. The bill should pass and no jobs will be effected, if a brewery does self distribute it would actually create jobs.

H625 is also pretty simple, it allows contract brewing and selling those beers at the brewery. I really cannot see how this would hurt jobs. Brewing more beer generally equals more jobs, not less.

Plain and simple this is an effort by someone, probably distributors, to keep people out of their playground. They don’t want to see breweries self distribute and they don’t want to see sales at the brewery because then they don’t get their piece of the pie. The truth of the matter is the more breweries the more jobs because that beer still has to reach the consumer. It’s a bait and switch campaign. I’m not sure where the “petition” goes, but I’m pretty sure in coming days we’ll figure it out as these bills move through the NCGA.

Remember The Rules For Safe Gun Handling!

The video below is of a brand new shotgun and what they found when they loaded the gun and chambered a round with the safety on.

Safeties are mechanical devices and they can fail. Always follow the rules for safe gun handling.

1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.

EDIT: The product has been recalled!

Wanad P-64? Guns.com lets me down.

I happened upon a review posted yesterday on Guns.com by Eve Flanigan who is a concealed instructor out of New Mexico.  The article was titled, Polish Wanad P-64: Classic design for classic tastes, and that’s where I started to get a little let down. It is a Radom P64, or simply P64, not Wanad, a quick Google search would have yielded that information. I tried to find a reference to Wanad and all I came up with was Eve’s article. Later in the article the author discusses the double action trigger pull and how she could not accomplish it with one hand. I’m not dissing her for not being able to do it, but once again a few minutes on the web would have yielded the Wolff spring conversion. My other nit was the ammo, she mentioned it was 9×18 and even snapped a nice photo, but no mention of Makarov. Most people I know distinguish the round by calling it 9mm Makarov to avoid confusion. I often look to Guns.com for inspiration, but this time they let me down. Heck, they could have at least compared yesterday’s article to one they published in 2012.

Anyway if you need to know anything about the P64, just go here and thank me later.

Stone Enjoy By 04.20.15

In the nick of time I opened Stone Enjoy By 04.20.15 IPA last night. If you take a look at the photo you will notice the beer has some haze, well as it warmed that disappeared so it was chill haze. Also when cold it had a prominent fusel alcohol presence and post consumption burn which became less apparent as it warmed and the esters became more prominent. I did not dislike the beer, but this one seemed like a miss to me when compared to the other Enjoy By offerings. I’m not sure if it is because of the wide distribution or putting out six packs of the beer, but it seems to have taken a step back instead of forward. I noticed on the Stone website they have Enjoy By releases planned for July, October, and December all with wide distribution of bombers and sixers. I hope they live up to the legacy which has been Enjoy By instead of what I got with the 04.20.15 offering which was still good, but not stellar.


Would You Have Shot?

On Thursday a rookie police officer in New Richmond, OH pulled over a murder suspect and showed a level of restraint I doubt most of us would have. A body camera captured the incident. Watch the video below and think about what your reaction would have been at the 30 second mark when the suspect places both hands in his pockets and then charges the officer. The officer was aware the suspect was threatening suicide-by-cop, but I suspect if we were in the same scenario facing a murder suspect with his hands in his pockets, ignoring our instructions, and charging us the suspect would have needed a hospital visit for acute lead poisoning.

New Belgium Sour Symposium – Durham, NC

Last night we attended the New Belgium Sour Symposium at The Rickhouse in Durham, NC led by Lauren and Eric Salazar. The description of the event was, “Beer geeks unite for a special evening with Lauren and Eric Salazar, New Belgium Brewing’s wood beer specialists. On Friday, April 17, 2015 in Durham, NC the Salazars will present the third Sour Symposium event of 2015. Each event offers a hands-on opportunity to experience beer making as guests experiment with their own blend, enjoy a pint of New Belgium’s La Folie, and take home a new appreciation of sour beers.” The evening started with Fat Tire and Slow Ride on the patio overlooking the old Durham ballpark and The Rickhouse is a fantastic space. From there we were treated to a selection of charcuterie from Bar Virgile in Durham. Everything on the tray was a treat and I will be visiting them in the very near future.

From there the presentation began while we savored La Folie. The Salazars discussed the New Belgium barrel program and how it has progressed. They also detailed the yeast and bacteria and it was a very interesting presentation. At the end Lauren went over her method for describing the beer in the foeders and we had a chance to blend samples from several foeders to create our on blend. My gripes about the event are few, but I would have like to have seen the guests be provided with bottles of water. It would have been nice if the La Folie had been refreshed during the presentation, as it was we had plenty of beer, but I was dry for a short while without any refreshment. Lastly I would like to see available a smaller measure to mix the blend. As it was we were given a large measuring cup and asked to make an 8 ounce sample which was most of the beers on the table. I would have liked to have seen us first make a one ounce and then step it up to  four or eight. Anyway it was a fun evening and if I do it again I will bring a graduated cylinder and pipette for the blending session. ;)




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