Monday, May 29, 2017

A Memorial Day Prayer

On this last Monday in May, Americans stop to remember and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation. It is their sacrifices that helped to preserve the freedoms we value and enjoy today. Sadly, there are too many people in our country who take freedom for granted, or even naively despise the blessings of liberty. As we pause to remember our lost heroes, may we also vow to be steadfast in our opposition of those who wish to destroy that which has been so hard won.

"The purpose of all war is ultimately peace."
--Saint Augustine

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Vacation Beer Notes

We spent last week down at the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The weather wasn't suitable for much time on the beach, but the overcast and very windy days provided no obstacle to eating and drinking. As usual, we enjoyed mostly, but not exclusively, North Carolina beers during the trip.

One of our first stops was to fill a growler at Chip's Wine & Beer Market. We selected Effortless IPA by Captain Lawrence Brewing Company of New York. This "session IPA" was a great accompaniment to the carry-out pizza we enjoyed after a long drive.

One of our favorite stops in the Outer Banks is TRiO Wine Beer & Cheese, so we stopped in on Sunday afternoon for lunch. I opted for a Maine Beer Company Peeper Ale. After finishing my beer and sandwich, I was debating about what to enjoy next. I noticed the bartender pouring something that was obviously on nitro. Looking closer I saw it was Belhaven Scottish Ale. This is a beer I've enjoyed in the past, but I couldn't resist trying the nitro serving. I'm glad I did because it was delicious, and was a reminder to not so easily overlook this ale in the future.

It wasn't until dinner on the second day of the trip that we finally got to the North Carolina beers. At a local seafood restaurant, we chose from a limited craft beer menu, but found Long Leaf IPA from Appalachian Mountain Brewery, and Foothills Carolina Blonde.

We made a much anticipated visit to Lost Colony Brewery and Cafe in Manteo. Formerly Full Moon Cafe & Brewery, it's another of our favorite stops in the area. We enjoyed Nags Head IPA, Charon Stout, and Hatteras Red Ale with our lunch on the outside patio.

Relaxing on the deck one afternoon, we opened a couple bottles of Fille de Ferme from Wicked Weed Brewing. We had picked these up earlier in the week. The moderately tart Saison was quite refreshing.

During another dinner, I combined a seafood and pasta dish with Backcountry Black IPA by Deep River Brewing Company. I rarely opt for non-draft selections when I'm out, but this canned offering was quite enjoyable.

We hadn't been to Outer Banks Brewing Station during our last couple of visits to the Outer Banks, so decided to stop in for lunch this time. The brewery doesn't offer Pale Ales and IPAs very often, so I was pleased to see 'Bout Time IPA while Colleen enjoyed a Hugh Hefeweizen with her meal.

We opted to forgo seafood one evening, choosing instead to have dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. For this meal I strayed from North Carolina selections and ordered a draft Modelo Especial. The beer was served in a frosted mug with a wedge of lime. I typically eschew cold glassware and fruit in my beer, but I drank this one as it was served, and yes, I enjoyed it.

Getting back to a seafood theme, a tasty lunch at the Salt Box Cafe found us enjoying Weeping Willow Wit from Mother Earth Brewing and Buckshot Amber Ale by Natty Greene's Brewing. Natty Greene's is one of those breweries that I don't see too often but which never fails to disappoint. The Amber Ale was an excellent malty accompaniment to my Mediterranean Salad, topped with grilled fish of course.

For our final "seafood feast" of the trip, I started my meal with Weeping Radish Farm Brewery's Maibock. This brought back memories as this was the first beer I had from the brewery years ago, when they were located in Manteo, and remains my favorite from the brewery. Colleen ordered a Limoncello by Deep River Brewing Company. This was a very flavorful American Wild Ale style beer, with a unique, lemony flavor. It truly did have a classic Limoncello-like flavor. The dinner capped off with Mother Earth Brewing Endless River Kölsch.

After returning home Saturday afternoon, we arrived to an empty refrigerator, so opted for one more dinner out, at Harry's Ale House. Since I was back in Virginia, I selected a Virginia brewed beer to go with my meal. Lethe Pale Ale from Commonwealth Brewing Company provided a refreshing floral citrus and bitter balance in a low ABV beer. It was so good, I had a second.

It was a fun week of good food and tasty beer, and lots of each! There are still a couple off days left to enjoy before returning to work after the Memorial Day holiday. I suspect a few more beers await, but those will likely be coming from the fridge downstairs.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Blue & Gray Breweriana at the Beach

Blue & Gray Brewery may no longer be in existence, but my collection of glassware and growlers from the brewery still provided valuable service last weekend.

The growler and glass hold held Captain Lawrence Effortless IPA.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Practice Round Count

I was reading some friends' comments online recently about how many rounds they fired in a month. They were quoting numbers like 1,500 or 2,000 each month. I knew I was nowhere near those numbers, but it made me curious to check my own shooting logs.

As of May 16, my last range outing, I had fired approximately 2,875 rounds in practice this year. While not high numbers in comparison, those rounds were generally fired with a purpose in mind. I fired another 935 or so rounds in IDPA matches were I could judge the fruits of that practice.

I stated earlier this year that I wanted to step up my dry fire time as well. Sadly that hasn't happened yet. I've only gotten in about 4 and a quarter hours total so far, in mostly 10 minute sessions.

Self examination can be revealing. I will try to raise the numbers in all three categories this summer.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Remember Fabio?

The Italian immigrant, now an American citizen, has a few things to say about the left's support for criminals.

“The day you give up your weapon in the United States, the United States is going to be history.”
-- Fabio Lanzoni

See "Fabio’s Advice to Americans: ‘Don’t Ever Give Up Your Guns’" for more on his warnings to American citizens.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Alcoholic Donuts

Need I say more?

The boozy snacks are part of a five week series from the Doghnut Project featuring recipes inspired by cocktails from some of the New York City’s best bars.

Pictured is the "Dutch Doughnut," inspired by the "Oh Snap!” cocktail which includes tequila, mezcal, lemon, snap pea and tarragon.

More delights at the link.

Friday, May 19, 2017

It's Practice, But Still Fun

There's no denying that I simply like shooting. I find it a personally satisfying and enjoyable activity. I also like competing in practical pistol matches, and strive to do as well as I can despite bad eyes and worn out knees. My shooting goals are my own, and I'm my own competition and critic. I occasionally simply hit the range just for the fun of it, but most often I go to practice, even when I don't really feel like it.

As I sat at my desk preparing to head out for my weekly visit to the indoor range this week, I wasn't feeling up to the trip. I would have to hit the interstate and run the risk of sitting traffic. I didn't know how many other shooters would be there or how competent they would be. I did know it would be hot inside. And my gun was dirty. It would be easy to just skip it.

But you don't get better, at anything, by not practicing. So off I went. The session consisted of two 50 round Julie Golob drills, at 7 and 10 yards. Looking at my targets after each group was a little frustrating as I always seem to have a flier or two when I run this exercise. When doing my practice drills I often feel I shoot more poorly than when at a match. I also tend to go a little faster than I should, which is actually a good thing in practice I guess. I finished the session with another 50 rounds with a target set at 20 yards.

It was a good practice session. And it turned out to be fun too.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Overheard at the Range

From the Range Master: "If you are shooting two guns at once, stop it."

Fortunately the offender idiot left so I didn't have to. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Adventure Brewing 3rd Anniversary Festival

Adventure Brewing is celebrating their 3 year anniversary this weekend. It looks like a great party is in the making. Here is the press release sent by the brewery...
May 20th is our 3rd Year Anniversary Festival! The celebration will last from noon to 10 pm. We have a ton of great stuff planned for you, including:

-Live music all day
* Karen Jonas
* Blues Rebellion
* Cabin Creek
* The Acoustic Onion

-Rotating taps

-Breweries with their own stations
* Crooked Run Brewing
* Heroic Aleworks
* Brew Republic Bierwerks
* 6 Bears & A Goat Brewing Company
* Spencer Devon Brewing

-Food Trucks
*Will's Place Va
* The UFO Truck
* Beverley's Ribinator BBQ
* 716 Slice

-Local Vendors
* Daddy G's Rockin' Salsa
* Embassy Cigar Lounge
* A. Smith Bowman Distillery
* Fred Vegas Brew Tours

-Cider and Wine from Virgina's finest
* Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery
* Bold Rock Cidery

And finally, we will be releasing our our 3 Year Anniversary Triple IPA, Bourbon Barrel Stonewall Stout and Long awaited Temporary Insanty All same day; which you will not want to miss out on!

We'll be updating this information as it comes in, so keep an eye out here and in your email for the latest news.

Purchase your Advanced tickets Today!!

Congratulations to Adventure Brewing on a successful three years!