Ray Hill's Pilsner is brewed by Hill Brewing Company in St. Louis, Missouri. I first tried this beer in July 2007 while visiting friends in Illinois and found this beer in St. Louis as that is where I flew in to.
Mud Slinger is a spring ale brewed by Redhook in Woodinville, Washington. I first tried Mud Slinger in the spring of 2010 in Seattle. I found the picture below at the Redhook blog, which I thought was pretty cool.
Kirin is brewed by Kirin Brewery as part of the Kirin Group from Japan. I first tried this beer at Mt. Fuji in Fort Collins, Colorado - probably in 2001 or 2002. Now, every time I have sushi I drink a Kirin since nearly all Japanese restaurants I have ever been to have had Kirin.
Kronenbourg 1664 is brewed as part of the Carlsberg Group. I first tried Kronenbourg 1664 sometime in late 2004-early 2005 while living in Colorado. At that time I occasionally took mini world-tours by going to the liquor store and coming home with 4 different beers from different countries.
Zambezi Lite is a beer that is brewed in Zimbabwe by Delta Corporation. I first tried this beer the night I spent on my own in Swakopmund, Namibia. I had given some money to friends when I left Zimbabwe to get some beer from there for me since I only spent one night in Zim before leaving my group again. They brought me several beers but with the stock I had at the moment it took me a few days before I worked through the cooler.
On this day I had left the Cheetah farm and gone into the town of Khorixas with Benny in the car with me. Once in the town after picking up a few supplies, I left Benny with the group and their truck. I then went off on my own with my little VW toward the Petrified Forest and the Skeleton Coast National Park. During my transit of the NP I ended up with a flat tire and was over 100 miles from the nearest "settlement" and further from the nearest service station. I ate my lunch leisurely in that barren expanse on the side of the road and the entire time I was there one car passed and no cars passed the entire time in the opposite direction through the entire 5 hour drive through the park and down the coast. I was quite worried after I had the flat tire as I had no spare and I still had to go through the heavily monitored diamond mining sector with multiple signs warning against stopping for any reason (plus the 150 miles of unpaved roads before I got to the regular road to where I could get my tire fixed). Once I got to Swakopmund I drove around and looked for where our truck would be and couldn't find it so I went on do Walvis Bay and looked around and then back to Swakopmund. In the end I found a hotel/campground and I pulled in pretty late so someone finally came out and told me it was ok and I went and setup my tent and finally after such an interesting and full day I was able to drink a Zambezi Lite!
Brooklyn Lager is brewed by Brooklyn Brewery in Brooklyn, New York. I tried this beer while transiting through New York on my return from my "round the world" trip in March of 2007. I had time at Laguardia because my flight from Heathrow to JFK was so late that we landed at JFK when my original flight from Laguardia was leaving. I originally had plenty of time to make the airport change as I did on my way across the pond 4 months earlier but this time I ended up needing to catch a later flight and what would I do with that extra time...go to the bar in the airport.
Kuche Kuche is a beer that is brewed by Carlsberg in Malawi. I tried Kuche Kuche in late January 2007, while traveling through Malawi. This was interesting because most of the beers I found in Malawi were brewed by Carlsberg and were variants of the Carlsberg brand with the exception of Kuche Kuche.
This posting is a special one as it is for a beer I have saved for a special occasion. I have seen Consecration many times in stores over the last 6 months and I have put off purchasing it for unknown and unspoken reasons. The bottle I had today was purchased earlier this week and is probably ounce for ounce the most expensive beer I have ever purchased. Unwittingly but poetically, I found out while preparing this posting that the beer I had today was bottled precisely one year ago! It was brewed on March 25, 2009 according to the bottle log on the Russian River site and bottled on February 12, 2010. Consecration is brewed by Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa, California.
Consecration has a definition on the bottle: 1. the act of dedication to the service and worship of a deity. 2. the act of giving the sacramental character to the Eucharistic elements of bread and wine.
You may be wondering what the special occasion is that I have waited for...well today (and this week) I experienced several firsts...my first Catholic mass, my first meeting of many of Carmen's family, the first burial I have attended, the first death of a friend I have experienced... Such solemn occasions these have been... All of this has been prompted by the early passing of my future brother-in-law, Anthony. Anthony battled brain cancer for 6 years and I was only really able to share in the last few months of that battle. I have known Anthony for over 2 years and known of him for nearly three years but I had not taken advantage of or seized many moments with him during that period. I know that is a feeling everyone who knows someone who dies too young (41 years young) has but I attempted to make the most of my time that I had in an admittedly late fashion beginning in December just prior to his hospitalization for pneumonia. Today was the date of his memorial mass and reception. My distinct lack of religious background didn't take away from the service today with the words shared by those who participated as well as those who have shared their thoughts and memories about Anthony on my other blog being so strongly felt and appreciated. I have continued to spend a great deal of my time this week and I am sure I will continue going forward, thinking about Anthony and getting to know him through reflection on all of the moments I spent with him as well as through the many stories and experiences I have heard and continue to hear from his family and friends. For example, after Anthony's burial ceremony on Thursday - to sit around the table with his family as I have been so privileged to do numerous times for family dinners it was painfully obvious that Anthony wasn't there physically yet I felt his presence was imminently there. This feeling came through the telling of stories both about Anthony as well as the ones we had all previously heard from him as the "official storyteller" for specific tales. What occurred was a recollection of Anthony's words coming from some of those who heard the stories told the most over the years and these compilations, though not the same as Anthony would do, did fit the purpose of doing him and his memory justice.
Having read and re-shared stories from friends of Anthony's that mentioned his passion and enjoyment of beer, I felt even more as though I missed a great opportunity to share experiences with Anthony. Though I continue to share my beer experiences here on this blog I will look forward to the many beer experiences I will have in the future during which, I will think of Anthony. A parting example I will share is the day in January that Anthony's friend Greg Jensen shared a story of some of their college mischief including the "tradition" of drinking Olde English 800, I stopped on my way home and picked up a large can and had it that evening.
Explorer is brewed by Adnams Southwald in the UK. I first tried this while I was in England visiting friends in August 2007. This was one of the last beers I tried while visiting so I most likely had it in Chester or Manchester.
Pere Jacques is brewed by Goose Island in Chicago, Illinois. I tried this beer at one of their breweries during my last visit to Chicago in September 2009. As you may have guessed from the date of when I tried it, I had the 2009 vintage, not the 2010 that is pictured below.
Olympia is a beer that used to be brewed at the Tumwater brewery south of Olympia, Washington. It is currently owned by Pabst but brewed by SABMiller at a brewery in California. I knew about Oly all the way back in high school because of friends who used to quote the slogan "It's the Water." I actually didn't try this beer until September 2010. I saw it one day at the Beer Junction in West Seattle and I just had to try it since it instantly felt like something that should have been done many years before, or at least after I moved to the Northwest 2 years ago. Here is a Beer Advocate review.