So my brown ale turned out nicely. I still haven't thought of a name for it, though this one is a clone kit of Moose Drool. The kit was called Caribou Slobber, so I think I'm going to leave it at that. I did add a bit of honey to the initial wort boil, but not enough to add any real flavor to the beer's profile. I took 3 bottles back to Atlanta with me for Christmas. I gave one to my future Father-in-law, I split one with my dad and Granddad, and I gave one to my good ol' friend Clarence. I've gotten a bunch of compliments on it. I think it's ok. It's not my favorite beer. To be honest, I haven't been able to figure out the flavors yet. It's got a good mouthy feel to it, and it's very smooth. I've had 3 bottles and 1 was great, 1 was bad and 1 was so-so. I think I may not be getting a good mixture when I bottle. I'm getting variations so I think I'm going to have to plan around that. I may just have to stir it better when I'm mixing in the priming sugar. I'll keep the blog updated as I go.
As for the break, what a great time I had. It was the first year in 7 years that Kelsey and I have been together that we actually got to spend Christmas morning together. I spent the night with her family and we got up Christmas morning and had a blast. Then I got to see my family on the 27th for our other Christmas, when my parents drove up to Atlanta to see my Dad's parents. I got a ton of great stuff.
I got a t-shirt that has a guy chasing a hop that says "Pursuit of Hoppiness," I got $75 in gift cards to northernbrewer.com, I got a stein with A engraved on it, 4 nice pint glasses, the book How to Brew by John Palmer (the brewer's bible... seriously), and a 1 year subscription to All About Beer. Currently, most of these things are in a box en route to Iowa City from Atlanta. I'll post pictures later when I get the stuff here. I'm going to order the Winter Warmer ale this week and start brewing ASAP.
I did try a lot of great, great beer over the holiday. I'm going to write a review for each one over the next few days, so be on the lookout for those. My favorites were all local Atlanta brews. They were unbelievable. I wish I could get them here.
One of the best nights, though, was the date night Kelsey and I went on. We went to Decatur and spent the night out and about. We went to a place called the Iberian Pig (http://www.iberianpigatl.com/index.php), where we split some cured Iberico ham. It's some of the best cured meat in the world. Comes out of Spain. Wow. It was like butter. Holy shit. Along with that we had bacon-wrapped-manchego-filled dates. Oh man. OH MAN. They were un-frickin'-believable. I also got a bacon-infused Rye whiskey Old Fashioned. I'm a bit fan of whiskey and scotch. Damn that was a great meal. Then we went to Leon's (http://leonsfullservice.com/) where we had bacon and peanut butter, brussels sprouts hash, a warm garbanzo bean salad, and a Nutella candy bar for dessert (yes it was delectable).
I've set some pretty lofty New years resolutions, as well. I'm going to cut out soda, I'm going to workout at least 3 days a week. I'm going to cook meals every night I can, eat a breakfast every day, and just be healthier in general. A couple of days ago some friends and I were joking around, and I mentioned that I wear an apron when I cook. I also wear a lot of winter clothing in the winter (I dislike cold). There is a video game out right now called Skyrim and it's very popular. I took a joking picture of me in an apron and I titled it Chefrim, a nod to Skyrim, and I tagged the picture with the made up word "Foodrodah." Nerds will get it, and I am a nerd, but it's a reference to a shout in the game in which the character says Fusrodah (foos-roh-dah). I don't have the game, but I don't care. It made me laugh. It made them laugh too.
From this, and in order to help keep myself vigilant over my resolutions, I'm now going to strike up a second blog. I'm going to call it Chefrim, and I'm going to put up my workouts and recipes, with videos of me cooking as the viking chef. Look for it soon.
That's all for now. Keep calm and have a beer.