April 26, 2010

Guest list

Two comp tickets ($0.00) waiting at Electric Factory will-call on Friday. The first warm-up band was dreadful, second was a bit better, MuteMath rocked.

The Nerve
The Fight
Break the Same

Another great gig, even if the sound was not as good as it's been at other shows. The culminating jam at the end of "Break the Same" was awesome as always. Walked by 30 Seconds to Mars getting out of their bus as we were returning to the car after MuteMath was done - I think I saw Jared Leto hugging his mommy before the show.

Had dinner at Silk City Diner prior to the concert, featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The meal was pretty good, and they had Two Hearted Ale on tap - bonus.

April 24, 2010

April 23, 2010

Electric factory

Roy on bass, Darren on drums. Photo: Philip Rood Photography
MuteMath to open for Thirty Seconds to Mars in Philadelphia. Should be about a nine song set from MM, hoping to be on the guest list for this sold out show.

April 22, 2010

April 20, 2010

Stone Ruination IPA

100+ International Bitterness Units. Toasty malts. Crispy hops. This is some damn good beer, with a price tag to match.

Pours a hazy amber color with just a shade of green. Big cap of sticky-icky head that slowly dissipates into a thin hop-oil slick. I admired the abundant carbonation swirling and struggling to find a path to the top of the beer. Dense dank hop flavor, so herbaceous and spicy. The malt backing is not sweet, more of a rye bread taste. Huge lacing, I'm looking at a perfect imprint of where the head was at the beginning of the pour with resinous striations all the way down the glass. Awesome.

ruination ipa web
Stone Ruination IPA
Price paid: $16.00/ Six pack - yup.
Freshness: Perfect
ABV: 7.7%

enjoy by 4/20/10
Enjoy by 4/20/10 - will do, Stone. Will do.

April 16, 2010


BYOB. West Chester, PA. Peter Gilmore, chef.

Nice eatery, nice location, nice wine. Point of interest: is it offensive to bring a bottle from Frog's Leap vineyard to a French restaurant? Regardless, their 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon was tasty to the point of teleportative, and paired well with foie gras spring rolls, sausage and pâté platter, and seared duck breast (quite the carnivorous meal, upon reflection).

Incidentally - picked up a growler of Iron Hill's seasonal "Hopzilla" brewed with citra hops, review coming shortly.

April 12, 2010

The Fight (Live at Howlin' Wolf)

I just listened to an exclusive download of "The Fight" (new unreleased song) recorded live in MuteMath's native New Orleans. The mix was impressive, especially for live - nice. Sold out show in Philadelphia at the Electric Factory opening for Thirty Seconds to Mars: guest list? Very nice.

mutemath @ howlin' wolf
Paul Meany and Roy Mitchell Cardenas at the Howlin' Wolf. Photo: DVD

April 11, 2010

Raised beds

This year's garden project is getting into full swing: a potager (four part kitchen garden) of 8'x8' raised beds. Each square is chamfered at one corner to create a little open space in the center.

...and you show me a sign, I'll be tillin'

raised bed

April 10, 2010

April 9, 2010

Arrogant Bastard

This is Stone Brewing's signature beer, an American strong ale with a bad attitude. The bottle (dig the painted glass) is adorned with an eye-roll worthy littany of how great the beer is and how lowly and unworthy everything else is. Meh. The first time I sampled this beer was at the brewery in Escondido, a draft that was naturally superior to any of the Arrogant Bastard I've had since.

From a bottle of dwindling freshness, pours dark red with a thin lingering off-white head. Smell is caramel/cherry/cardboard, faint hops. Taste was plenty of hops, some malt wtih a sharp and somewhat metallic overtone. I think this bottle was a bit past prime, but still an impressive beer.

arrogant bastard
Stone Arrogant Bastard
Price paid: $5.99/24 oz. bottle
Freshness: Not great
ABV: 7.2%

April 8, 2010

West Coast IPA

From Green Flash Brewing Company, San Diego. I can't communicate the essence of this beer better than the synopsis that appears on the label, here it is verbatim:
A menagerie of hops are layered throughout the brewing process. Simcoe for unique fruitiness and grapefruit zest, Columbus for strong pungency, Centennial for pine and citrus notes, Cascade for floral aroma. A multi-dimensional hop experience.
All that with a creamy frothy oily bitter potent punch. This beer rocks.

west coast web
West Coast IPA
Price paid: $12.99/Six pack
Freshness: ?
ABV: 7.3%

April 7, 2010

Victory 'Hop Wallop'

Here's another localish brew by Victory in Downingtown, PA. Their standard IPA (Hop Devil) has all the typical characteristics: deep amber color, resinous hop flavor, bitterness and maltiness. Hop Wallop is considered a Double-IPA (8.5% ABV), but it's a whole other creature.

Pours a slightly hazy bright gold color in my new Delerium Tremens tulip glass, with a foamy not-rocky white head. The aroma is dry and slightly bready. The taste is toasty and bitter, the hop flavor comes across with a piney waft, not a lot of citrus. The feel is initially creamy, a bit of a spicy edge at finish from the alcohol. So that's dry, bready, bitter, piney, spicy - excellent big beer that's very easy to drink.

hop wallop web
Victory 'Hop Wallop'
Price paid: $9.99/Six pack
Freshness: Very good
ABV: 8.5%

April 5, 2010

The cruelest month

A thousand spring rains stir
Dulled memories of desire
Slash and tear, tines through turf
Regeneration taunts deathless decay
It's April in Zombieland

April 2, 2010

Yard's IPA (On Tap)

Had an awesome meal at Kanella BYOB in Philadelphia last night. Drank a rocking bottle of Gamba 2007 Russian River Zinfandel with dinner, grabbed a cup of coffee at the new Garces Trading Company, ended up at Irish Pub for a couple of drafts. Nothing more local than Yard's, brewed in Philly. I've had their India Pale Ale previously, never on tap.

Poured a slightly hazy reddish copper color with a thin resilient head. Decent lacing all the way down the pint glass. The smell was fresh and enticing. Big malt opening, caramely and sweet followed by nice bitter hop flavor - not particularly pungent (citrus/piney) but very present. The feel was frothy and sticky - seemed to be a good keg and was definitely much tastier from the tap than bottle. I'm a fan of Yard's, can't wait for Philadelphia Pale Ales from Brewerytown at Citizen's Bank Park this summer.

yard's ipa
Yard's IPA (On Tap)
Price paid: $4.00/Pint
Freshness: Excellent
ABV: 7.0%

April 1, 2010

Caldera IPA

I've been looking for craft beer in cans, so I had to try this IPA from Caldera brewed in Ashland, Oregon. Digging the can design.

The beer smells really good and pours a nice amber color (pictured below in a green glass, the actual color is darker than Stone's IPA and not as orange as Smuttynose). Plenty of carbonation, foamy head - not very sticky. The taste is loaded with citrusy hops (characteristic of a West Coast IPA), medium body makes it easy to drink. Not very complex malt backing, but plenty of bitterness and a lot of flavor.

caldera ipa
Caldera IPA (Can)
Price paid: $10.99/six pack
Freshness: ?
ABV: 6.1%