Thursday, 22 March 2012

The Speakeasy Takes Shape

Well the last few weeks I have spent a fair amount of home time setting up the speakeasy in my garage. Since my time in America, I haven't been able to find any decent hoppy beers at a reasonable price. I have grown quite fond of IPAs in particular but they just don't make them in Australia. Solution - Brew them myself.

I have been reading non stop about boiling worts, dry hopping, late hopping, boiling hops, different kinds of hops, different kinds of yeasts and different combinations of sugars and malts. In fact, I can barely think about anything else. Turns out, making amazing beers is not as easy as you would expect. However, my first brew is down and will hopefully be ready for consumption within a week. You're all invited for a taste.

The first thing was to get the garage sorted out to make room for not only myself, but a select few individuals who also enjoy the occasional tipple. Getting motivated to start was the hardest part. In fact, I was caught out a few times resting early on after clearing only enough room to squeeze a chair in. I have now cleared a decent amount of room and turned it into a rad little place to hang out.

After I have managed to brew some decent beers, the next mission will be to create the perfect Philly cheesesteak. Also, impossible to find anywhere in Brisbane.

Currently listening to: Vinnie Paz - Pistolvania
Currently drinking: Premium CleanSkin Beer










Monday, 19 March 2012

The Best of the US (in my humble opinion)

Well it's been almost two months since we got back from our trip to the states. It has given me plenty of time to reflect on how the trip was. Here is a list of some of my favourite things that I found/did.

  • Best beer - Stone Ruination IPA, Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA., Honourable mention - Stone Arrogant Bastard, Stone Levitation Ale, Brooklyn Brewery IPA, Brooklyn Brewery Pennant Ale, Brooklyn Brewery Blast, Pliny the Elder and Blind Pig.
  • Best food overall - Philly Cheesesteaks, Philadelphia. Honourable mention - Ribs, pizza, hotdogs, wings.
  • Best city - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Honourable mention - NYC, New York
  • Best ribs - Old Glory, Washington DC. Honourable mention - The Smoke House, Brooklyn.
  • Best sandwich - Brisket of Beef, Katz Deli, New York. Honourable mention - Hershels East Side Diner, Philadelphia.
  • Best wings - Old Glory, Washington DC. Honourable mention - Hollywood Hooters
  • Best theme park - Disneyland, Anaheim. Honourable mention - Universal Studios, Los Angeles.
  • Best theme park ride - Simpsons Ride, Universal Studios. Honourable mention - Star Tours, Disneyland.
  • Best car ride - LA to San Diego. Honourable mention - Anaheim to Las Vegas
  • Best bus trip - The trip from New York to Canada.
  • Best snowstorm - Las Vegas to LA. Honourable mention - Philadelphia
  • Best concert - Steel Panther, House of Blues West Hollywood. Honourable mention - Corey Taylor and Friends, Hollywood.
  • Best limo ride - Circus Circus Las Vegas to the wedding chapel. Honourable mention - The ride from Manhattan to Chinatown in New York.
  • Best flight - Brisbane to LA. Honourable mention - LA to New York.
  • Best live show - The Colbert Report, New York. Honourable mention - The pirate show at Treasure Island, Las Vegas.
  • Best horse and carriage ride - Central Park, New York. Honourable mention - N/A
  • Best sweets shop - Dylan's Candy Bar, New York. Honourable mention - Crumbs Bakery, all of them
  • Best basketball game - New York Knicks vs. Charlotte Bobcats at Madison Square Garden. Honourable mention - Philadelphia 76s vs. Denver Nuggets, Wells Fargo Stadium.
  • Best natural wonder - Grand Canyon. Honourable mention - Niagara Falls
  • Coolest man made structure - Statue of Liberty. Honourable mention - Alcatraz
  • Favourite gun to shoot - AR-15 Zombie assault rifle. Honourable mention -  Fully automatic Uzi
  • Biggest hills I've ever seen - San Francisco. Honourable Mention - Nowhere else even came close.
  • Most tired I've ever been - San Francisco, Day 1. Honourable mention. Los Angeles Airport - Day 1.
Three months is a long time to spend with your family and no one else, so by the end we were all getting a little crazy. Beer helped. I learnt a lot about myself, not all of it good, but not all bad either. I also learnt a lot about my family. There are things that I will never forget and I think about some of them nearly every day. Walking into Disneyland for the first time, eating cheesesteaks, walking on the Brooklyn Bridge, the craziness of Las Vegas are just some of them.

Adjusting back to real life has not been easy. Not having a schedule and not having to go to work every day is something that is easy to get used to. Overall, I would say that the whole thing went fairly well although I don't know that I will go on another holiday like this again. I am grateful for the time we all had together, and for all the amazing things we have seen and done.