Luckily THATCamp Austin is done now (although I continue to manage the THATCamp Austin twitter account, to help promote the other regional THATCamps that are springing up), for I have added yet another new writing outlet to my ever-expanding stable. I’ll be blogging for the NTRA leading up to the Breeders’ Cup, with a focus on the Breeders’ Cup Marathon. That means you can find me writing about horse racing on my own blog, on the NTRA site and on TVG’s Community; if it’s archives you’re after, go for A Movable Archives – for beer, I’m at the Examiner. If you’re looking for the most recent updates, you can always come here and have a look on the right-hand side – new articles are added automatically. I can be hard to avoid at times.
I have yet another new blog, this one in my capacities as a BJCP judge, Beerdrinker of the Year semi-finalist and Lady Beer Geek About Town. Granted, it’s not as pretty as one I would have designed myself, but I decided to go ahead and give the Examiner model a try. So far, I have yet to receive preferential treatment of the sort real food and drink critics get, but I’d be more than happy to accept it if any barkeeps wish to offer those services. In any case, please do check it out.
I’d just like to say that I’m honored – very honored!
In honor of our new design, I’m posting a hopefully-comprehensive if rather sad list of every band, artist and/or comedian I’ve ever seen live (not including theatrical appearances – that would be an entirely separate and altogether too-geeky list). Without further ado, the music/comedy list – an asterisk indicates multiple shows for each artist in a particular city:
|The Aislers Set||San Francisco*|
|Ballboy||Philadelphia, San Francisco*||Under-rated|
|The Beautiful South||San Francisco|
|Board of Education||Philadelphia|
|Saul Broudy||Schwenksville||Philadelphia Folk Festival (PFF)|
|Mark Burgess||New York|
|Melanie Chisholm||San Francisco||Yes, that one|
|Closet Queen||London||Obviously a cover band|
|Harry Connick, Jr.||St. Louis|
|Crowded House||Philadelphia*, Washington, DC||Fantastic live|
|The Cure||St. Louis|
|Terrence Trent D’Arby||St. Louis||Opened for Duran Duran|
|David Devant and his Spirit Wife||London*, Manchester*, Oxford||With their Spectral Roadies, of course; I’ve probably seen them more than 50 times|
|The Dead Milkmen||St. Louis|
|The Divine Comedy||Berkeley, Bristol, Brooklyn, New York, San Francisco*||Can you tell which band is my favorite?|
|Duran Duran||St. Louis||They know why you are there|
|Liam Finn||Philadelphia*||Both solo & w/E.J. Barnes|
|Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit||Philadelphia||Support from James Mathé and Caitlin Rose|
|Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams||Schwenksville||PFF|
|God Street Wine||New Haven|
|Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci||Chelmsford||V96|
|John Wesley Harding||Camden, Philadelphia*, Sellersville||Solo and as part of the Cabinet of Wonders with Eugene Mirman, Jonatha Brooke, Chris Mills, Ken Kalfus, David Morse; at XPoNential Festival w/The English UK, Megan Reilly, Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby
|Herman’s Hermits||St. Louis|
|Hoots & Hellmouth||Schwenksville, Philadelphia*||PFF, also in Philadelphia w/Birdie Busch.|
|Whitney Houston||St. Louis||It was the 80s|
|Lee Hurst||London||At the Comedy Store with Alan Davies|
|Eddie Izzard||London, San Francisco|
|James||Bloomington, Philadelphia||Amazing live|
|Joan as Police Woman||Philadelphia|
|King Missile||St. Louis|
|The Ladybug Transistor||Brooklyn, San Francisco*, Washington, DC||They often seem to open for bands I like|
|Los Campesinos!||Austin||With The Smith Westerns, Girls|
|The Lucksmiths||Brooklyn, New York, San Francisco*, Washington, DC||Love, love love|
|Manic Street Preachers||San Francisco|
|John McCusker||San Francisco|
|Audra McDonald||New York|
|Don McLean||St. Louis||It was free|
|Donna McPhail||London||At a random comedy club|
|The Mike Flowers Pops||London|
|The Monkees||St. Louis||See ‘Whitney Houston‘|
|The Moody Blues||London, St. Louis*|
|Morrissey||Chicago||Love The Smiths, hated him live|
|My Life Story||London*, Manchester, Wolverhampton||Yes, even Wolverhampton|
|Ardal O’Hanlon||London||He was the ‘surprise guest’|
|Ooh Baby Ooh||London||3-piece a capella group; opened for DD&HSW|
|Parker & Lily||New York|
|Mandy Patinkin||St. Louis||Met him afterward and he did his Inigo Montoya bit for us|
|Peter, Paul & Mary||St. Louis*|
|Kate Rusby||San Francisco|
|Pete Seeger||Philadelphia||Linus’ first ‘real’ concert; Tao Rodríguez-Seeger and Guy Davis also shared the bill|
|Sigur Rós||San Francisco|
|Still Flyin’||Washington, DC|
|They Might Be Giants||Boston, Cambridge*|
|Tom Tom Club||Bloomington|
|VHS or Beta||New York||I hated this band|
|Rufus Wainwright||Philadelphia||with Lucy Wainwright Roche|
|Waterson: Carthy||Philadelphia||Norma Waterson was absent; Tim van Eyken came instead|
|The Wedding Present/Cinerama||New York*, Philadelphia, San Francisco*|
|Mike West||New Orleans||with Myshkin|
|The Wiggles||Philadelphia||See ‘Pete Seeger‘|
|Robbie Williams||San Francisco|
|‘Weird Al’ Yankovic||Eureka||A surprisingly good show for a theme park|
Allagash Fluxus 2008
This year’s Fluxus was a ginger-spiced witbier. It was rather tasty.
Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel Rosée d’Hibiscus
Another wit – but this one is flavored hibiscus. This is possibly the only ‘girly’ beer I’ve ever enjoyed.
Brooklyn Brewery Flemish Gold
A saison from Garrett Oliver’s arsenal – lots of flavor.
Brouwerij de Molen 1914 London Porter
All beer-geek archivists read Shut Up About Barclay Perkins, yes? If you do not already, you should begin, since the blog and, hence, the beer are the fruits of researcher/author/blogger Ronald Pattinson’s hard work in various European beer archives. And it’s great.
Brouwerij de Molen SSS 1914 Triple Stout
Like the beer above, this is a fantastic recreation of a historic recipe – one I’d be happy to drink every day.
Dogfish Head Sah’tea
Also something of a historic recreation (this time of a Finnish sahti), but as this is Dogfish Head, it had a modern twist – actual tea in the brew, and a weizen yeast. More refreshing than it is possible to convey.
Dogfish Head Theobroma
It sometimes seemed that every new beer I tried this year featured chocolate in some way, but nothing could compare to the latest archaeological beer from Dogfish Head. Unique, and a very different brew in tap and in the bottle.
Earth Bread + Brewery The Bradley Effect
A winner from the much-anticipated brewpub (see below, and try the flatbreads – they are amazing) with a very unusual style – it was a black gruit (and was on tap just in time for the election).
Earth Bread + Brewery Love Your Mother
After much wrangling over a liquor license, Earth Bread + Brewery finally opened; this mild was in their starting lineup. Really a nice beer, especially for someone who is stuck driving later.
HaandBryggeriet Norwegian Wood
It was too smoky for me, but I could appreciate the work that had gone into it – the juniper was a nice touch, and I look forward to their other offerings.
Harviestoun Ola Dubh 16
I am generally not a fan of anything wood-aged, but perhaps there’s something about whisky casks that makes it OK. Harviestoun took their reliable Old Engine Oil and deposited it in some Highland Park casks for a while (I also tried the 12 and 30 varieties), with a very tasty (and, for completists, individually-numbered) result. This one was just right.
I am often suspicious of a beer that has made a long journey in a bottle, but this dark lager from New Zealand was great – more, please!
Nils Oscar Kalasöl
A märzen from Sweden, and a good one, too – not to mention an excuse to use two umlauts in rapid succession.
Otter Creek Sea Otter
My favorite from the Otter Creek World Tour series – a Baltic porter with a ton of flavor.
Port Brewing/De Proefbrouwerij Signature Ale
Possibly the oddest beer I’ve had this year, and one I thought I would dislike since I am not the world’s biggest fan of Brettanomyces. This works perfectly for me, though.
Ridgeway Bad King John
A dark, bitter stout, but in a very good way.
Rogue Double Dead Guy
As per usual, Rogue can get away with front-loading the hops – there’s still plenty of malt to make this a perfect Halloween brew.
Rogue John Locker Stock #10, Oktoberfest
This was something of a departure for Rogue – the malt finally got a chance to shine.
Russian River Blind Pig IPA
West coast brewers truly understand how to do the über-hoppy thing while maintaining great flavor.
Southern Tier Choklat
Rather like its sibling below – I wish these came in airline-sized bottles.
Southern Tier Crème Brulee
Definitely a ‘dessert only’ beer – very, very sweet and lives up to its namesake.
Southern Tier Oat
It’s an imperial oatmeal stout. It’s very tasty. It needs to come in a smaller bottle.
Stone XII Anniversary
Another chocolate beer, this one a bitter chocolate oatmeal stout. Really nice, but it was hard to match the memory of the XI Anniversary, which remains my current favorite beer. Can it please become a year-round offering? Pretty please?
Update: Thank you, Stone Gods!
Struise Black Albert
I know every other beer geek loves it. I see how it’s well-crafted, really I do – but it’s too wine-y for me; the grape flavor and I are not friends. Nice maltiness, though.
Belgium and Denmark came together to make a strong golden ale (or something along those lines). It was tremendous.
It was blond tastiness.
Troegs Scratch #6
The Troegs Scratch series has been great fun; I am not normally a huge fan of the Dortmunder Export style, but this won me over.
Troegs Scratch #7
Who doesn’t like a weizenbock?
Victory Yakima Twilight
It’s something like a dark double IPA (not quite a Stone XI Anniversary, but perhaps a distant relation) and quite hoppy for Victory, whose stable of lagers made me realize lagers could be Good Things. I hope to have more.
So, there you have it – a partial sampling of Things I’ve Really Liked this year; if I had to pick a favorite, it’s going to be a narrow victory for the 1914 London Porter, just edging out the SSS 1914 Triple Stout. I wish you good luck in obtaining a bottle in time for New Year’s Eve.
Yes, it’s true; I’m officially an award-winning brewer. Here are some ways to celebrate this accomplishment:
Home: A Memoir of My Early Years by Julie Andrews
A Good Horse Has No Color: Searching Iceland for the Perfect Horse by Nancy Marie Brown
1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann
February Derby Picks
Face the Cat
Tale of Ekati
This year, I have been mostly listening to:
Crowded House – Farewell to the World, Time on Earth
Eliza Carthy – Rough Music
The Divine Comedy – Victory for the Comic Muse, Absent Friends
Liam Finn – I’ll Be Lightning, Live@Spaceland
Hoots and Hellmouth – Hoots and Hellmouth
The Lucksmiths – Spring a Leak, Warmer Corners, Naturaliste
Math and Physics Club – Math and Physics Club
Kate Rusby – Awkward Annie
The Tallboys – Rubber Dolly
The Wedding Present – Take Fountain, Search for Paradise
Waterson: Carthy (minus Norma Waterson), Mandell Theater, Philadelphia
Crowded House (with Liam Finn opening), The Mann Center, Philadelphia (and also earlier in the day at World Cafe Live)
The Lucksmiths (with Ladybug Transistor and Still Flyin’ opening), DC9, Washington, DC
I suppose technically The Wiggles (The Spectrum, Philadelphia) counts as a concert too…
Troubadour Obscura – Belgium
Bell’s Batch 8000 – USA
Berliner Kindl Weisse – Germany
Dogfish Head Fed-Extra Mild – USA
Dogfish Head Baltic Porter – USA
Russian River Pliny the Elder – USA
J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale 1998 – UK
Stone XI Anniversary (on tap) – USA
Elysian Fields ESB (hand pump) – USA
Thomas Hooker Liberator – USA
Avery/Russian River Collaboration, Not Litigation – USA