Friday, October 9, 2015

Flying Dog Dogtoberfest

I do look forward to the Oktoberfest beers showing up on the store shelves and local taps each fall. The rich, bready malt flavors just seem to go with the cooler weather. During the rest of the year I lean towards the bolder citrus and hoppy styles, but for a few weeks I take a respite from Pale Ales and IPAs. One of the Oktoberfest beers I manage to grab each year is Flying Dog Dogtoberfest.

Flying Dog Dogtoberfest Märzen pours a deep orange-amber color with a moderate beige head. The aroma is a rich, bready malt. The flavor profile brings in roasted and caramel malt, with just a touch of sweetness. A hint of nuttiness comes through as well. The finish leaves a mildly astringent bitterness and mouthfeel is moderately thick and creamy. The Fying Dog influence in the beer is apparent from the slightly notched up flavor profile compared to the average Märzen.

I probably won't enjoy as many Oktoberfest beers this season as I have in the past, but I have more Dogtoberfest in the fridge, so I'll be having more of this one at least.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

On Defending Christianity

"How does a man love according to divine precept his neighbor as himself when, knowing that his Christian brothers in faith and in name are held by the perfidious Muslims in strict confinement and weighed down by the yoke of heaviest servitude, he does not devote himself to the task of freeing them? . . . Is it by chance that you do not know that many thousands of Christians are bound in slavery and imprisoned by the Muslims, tortured with innumerable torments?"  --Pope Innocent III

Sadly, little has changed since those words were written. Little except for the Christian's willingness to defend against oppression and violence, even when the attacks are faced here at home, rather than in far off lands.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Trio: Good Food and Drink in OBX

Each year when we visit the Outer Banks, the Trio Wine, Beer, and Cheese shop is a regular stop to stock up on tasty beverages to enjoy during the trip. However, we've never taken the time to stop in to the bistro and enjoy the food and beer offered there. Finally, during our last trip we visited for lunch, on not one, but two occasions.

The Trio menu offers cheeses and other appetizers, soups, salads, panini and desserts. There are also 24 rotating beers on draft, including several served on nitro. The beer selection is prominently displayed above the bar on a large TV screen. During our first visit I tried a beer I have not had previously, Tyranny Hoppy Red Ale from Wicked Weed Brewing in Asheville, NC. Colleen opted for Rogue Brewing Shakespeare Oatmeal served on Nitro. For lunch we ordered an Olive and Feta Dip appetizer, and a couple of paninis. 

All of the food was well-prepared and very tasty. My Gouda and Roast Beef Panini with roasted tomato and arugula was quite good; the sandwich lightly grilled and flavorful. The Tyranny Red Ale was an especially good beer. The aroma was a mix of pine and citrus. In the flavor, the bitter grapefruit and pine hop notes where balanced by a slightly sweet caramel malt. A lingering tea bitterness completed the flavor profile. After lunch I searched the Trio retail shop hoping to find some bottles to take home, but was unsuccessful.

We returned for lunch second time during the trip. This visit I enjoyed another panini and a Hoppy Wheat from Hi-Wire Brewing, also from Asheville. (Sounds like we need to take a trip to Asheville someday.) The Hoppy Wheat was a tangy wheat ale with predominately grapefruit and orange citrus flavors. Another of Trio's tasty paninis completed my lunch menu. Colleen enjoyed a Belhaven Scottish Ale, again served on nitro.

We enjoyed all the foods we tried at Trio. The ever-changing beer menu is very interesting and offers a variety of beers sure to please most craft beer fans. I know we'll be back the next time we visit the Outer Banks. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Eight Years of Musings

It's hard to believe, but today marks the 8th anniversary of Musings Over a Pint. The time flew by, so I must be having fun! This is the 2,199th post I've made to the blog. I realize that October posting has been a bit light so far, but I promise, there's more coming. There's a bunch of beer in the fridge. I've got some range trips planned. (But I'm trying real hard to avoid commenting on the diarrhea of the mouth being exhibited by the left after the recent mass killings in Oregon.) There's plenty of content in the wings. Stand by.

My thanks go out to those who actually take time to read these Musings on a regular basis. It's a thrill to hear from you, either via comments here, or even in person. I hope you'll keep coming back. But if you don't, don't feel too bad, I'll still enjoy reading the old posts and reminiscing about those fun times myself.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Capt'n Rolo's Raw Bar and Grill

During a recent trip to the Outer Banks, we took a drive from Kitty Hawk down towards Hatteras. It was one of the few days during the week when the sun made an appearance, so it was a very enjoyable and scenic drive. Eventually we decided to stop for lunch, and pulled into Capt'n Rolo's Raw Bar and Grill purely by chance.

Capt'n Rolo's is a small place and was quite busy when we entered. We had a seat at the bar, and soon realized that a single person was taking orders and serving food. The waitress was working hard and in constant motion, but soon got us our drinks with a smile, even taking time to offer a sample of a beer I was not familiar with.

My lunch beer choice was Double Barley Brewing Touche' IPA. This easy drinking beer has a floral and citrus aroma. The flavor leans towards citrus with a touch of bitterness. The creamy mouthfeel finishes clean with just a hint of bitterness. A moderate 6.8%ABV and well-balanced flavor made for a nice lunchtime libation.

For the food portion of lunch, I opted for a Fried Oyster Sandwich. I've ordered a lot of fried oyster sandwiches over the years. I've had some good ones, and some less than good offerings. Often I've been disappointed in the bread-to-oyster ratio. Well, the basket that was set in front of me was a sight to behold! Plump, lightly breaded oysters were piled high on the slightly toasted roll. I turned to Colleen and said, "I'm not sure how to eat this."

I put the pieces together and attacked with both hands. The sandwich tasted as good as it looked. The oysters were juicy and flavorful. Even the "salad" pieces of the sandwich were crisp and fresh. At the end, I had plenty of extra oysters left on the plate to enjoy alone. This was definitely one of the best fried oyster sandwiches, even oyster meals in general, that I've had in a long time. Colleen opted for a Caesar Chicken Wrap that was also flavorful, and huge. It reminded me, in size, of those giant California burritos we had out west many years ago. Half of her sandwich was brought home to be enjoyed later.

We finished our meals well after the mid-afternoon closing time of Capt'n Rolo's, but we were never rushed and the server was attentive, despite being busy and running the place by herself. (They reopen for dinner, BTW.) If Capt'n Rolo's wasn't about an hour's drive from where we were staying, I would have gone back for another meal. The food was delicious and served in generous proportions. We'll definitely return the next time we visit the Outer Banks.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Archangels, Intercede for Us

September 29 is the Feast of the Archangels — St. Gabriel, St. Raphael and St. Michael. These are trying times for Christianity and freedom in general, both at home and abroad, with attacks coming from many directions. Governments around the world, sadly our own included, are creating laws to restrict the free practice of religion. Unbelievably, people actually stand in the street proclaiming how proud they are to have killed their own children. The satanic forces of islam continue hundreds of years barbarism and are relentless in attacking and killing Christians around the world, including right here at home. The list goes on. To anyone paying attention, it's obvious that evil has a foothold in this world.

There's no more important time implore the intercession of these powerful warriors, the Archangels. We should ask especially for the protection of St. Michael the Archangel.

St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
cast into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Remembering Mom

Today marks the five years since my mother passed away. Though another year has passed, her smile is still fresh in my memory. I still have those flashes when I get excited to share news of our lives with her, and then know I can't. I think of her a lot, especially now that our son has headed off to college; she'd be as proud of him as we are. At those moments I pray just a little more that she knows and is smiling.

So today I will relish all the memories. The sadness will be there, and a tear or two, but I will try to focus on her smile, her love for her family, the countless dog toys delivered at every visit, and the never-forgotten cards and calls on birthdays and holidays. And the hugs. Mom never missed a chance to give a long, hard hug to those she loved. Those I miss the most.

I love you mom, and miss you still.

Requiescat In Pace

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

St. Wenceslaus, Patron Saint of Brewers

Reposted from September 28, 2012.

Today is the feast day of St. Wenceslaus, who is regarded as a patron Saint of Czech brewers.
St. Wenceslaus, duke of Bohemia, was born about the year 907 at Prague, Bohemia (now the Czech Republic). His father was killed in battle when he was young, leaving the kingdom to be ruled by his pagan mother. Wenceslaus was educated by his grandmother, Ludmilla, also a saint. She taught him to be a Christian and to be a good king. She was killed by pagan nobles before she saw him king, but she left him with a deep committment to the Christian faith. 
Throughout his life he preserved his virginity unblemished. As duke he was a father to his subjects, generous toward orphans, widows, and the poor. On his own shoulders he frequently carried wood to the houses of the needy. He often attended the funerals of the poor, ransomed captives, and visited those suffering in prison. He was filled with a deep reverence toward the clergy; with his own hands he sowed the wheat for making altar breads and pressed the grapes for the wine used in the Mass. During winter he would visit the churches barefoot through snow and ice, frequently leaving behind bloody footprints. 
Wenceslaus was eighteen years old when he succeeded his father to the throne. Without regard for the opposition, he worked in close cooperation with the Church to convert his pagan country. He ended the persecution of Christians, built churches and brought back exiled priests. As king he gave an example of a devout life and of great Christian charity, with his people calling him "Good King" of Bohemia. 
His brother Boleslaus, however, turned to paganism. One day he invited Wenceslaus to his house for a banquet. The next morning, on September 28, 929, as Wenceslaus was on the way to Mass, Boleslaus struck him down at the door of the church. Before he died, Wenceslaus forgave his brother and asked God's mercy for his soul. Although he was killed for political reasons, he is listed as a martyr since the dispute arose over his faith. This king, martyred at the age of twenty-two, is the national hero and patron of the Czech Republic. He is the first Slav to be canonized.
According to, the Saint's protection of local hops earned him much regard.
Because Bohemian hops were so valued, Wenceslas ordered the death penalty for anyone caught exporting the cuttings and obviously endeared himself to the local hop growers and brewers. He became the patron saint of Bohemia and Czechoslovakia and his crown became the symbol of nationalism for the Czechs. By extension he became a patron saint of Czech brewers.
King Wenceslaus is the inspiration for the Christmas carol, Good King Wenceslas.

So let's raise a glass of fine beer to the Good King, Saint Wenceslaus.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Virginia Winners at GABF

The Great American Beer Festival was held this week in Denver, and as usual, Virginia breweries walked away with numerous awards. There are some familiar beers on this list, as well as some new beers we're just going to have to try.

Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Port City Brewing Co., Alexandria, VA Port City Brewing Team

Category: 8 Chili Beer - 79 Entries
Silver: Heir Apparent, Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery, Goochland, VA

Category: 22 American-Belgo-Style Ale - 71 Entries
Bronze: Salad Days American Saison, Pale Fire Brewing Co., Harrisonburg, VA

Category: 34 Bohemian-Style Pilsener - 62 Entries
Gold: Shower Beer, Champion Brewing Co., Charlottesville, VA

Category: 39 Vienna-Style Lager - 46 Entries
Gold: Vienna Lager, Devils Backbone Brewing Co. - Outpost, Lexington, VA

Category: 52 English-Style India Pale Ale - 42 Entries
Silver: Monumental IPA, Port City Brewing Co., Alexandria, VA

Category: 61 English-Style Mild Ale - 40 Entries
Gold: Mild, Brothers Craft Brewing, Harrisonburg, VA

Category: 74 Belgian-Style Witbier - 82 Entries
Bronze: Optimal Wit, Port City Brewing Co., Alexandria, VA

Category: 75 French- and Belgian-Style Saison - 132 Entries
Gold: Siren’s Lure, Fair Winds Brewing Co., Lorton, VA
Coincidently, Colleen enjoyed this one last week at Capital Ale House. I'll need to go back and order a pint for myself!

Category: 83 Robust Porter - 102 Entries
Silver: Porter, Port City Brewing Co., Alexandria, VA

Congratulations to these fine Virginia breweries, and to all the brewers across the country who walked away with medals. We appreciate your hard work and dedication. View the complete awards list here.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Capital Ale House is Open

Just under three months since a catastrophic roof collapse, Capital Ale House in Fredericksburg reopened this week. We didn't visit on opening day, but Colleen and I did make it downtown for dinner and a few beers on the day after the reopening. Taking seats at the bar, we were greeted by familiar staff faces, and began perusing the beer menu. After quickly making our beverage selections, it was time to look over the food menu.

Capital Ale House has added some new options to the menu, while keeping many, but not all, of our favorites. A couple of Virginia beers, Blue Mountain Brewery Humpback Oktoberfest and Fair Winds Brewing Siren's Lure Saison, along with a new Crispy Artichoke appetizer occupied us while we perused the menu further.

We eventually decided to try out two new items on the menu. Colleen opted for the Pork Belly Tacos, and I ordered the Hub Cap, a Schnitzel Sandwich, served on a Pretzel Roll with Caramelized Onions and a spicy mayonnaise. To go with the flavorful sandwich I opted for a Great Dismal Black IPA from O'Connor Brewing in Norfolk, VA. The roasted and hoppy flavor comibation of the ale went quite well with the sandwich. As it turned out, there were a few O'Connor pint glasses left over from the previous evening's "Steal the Glass" night so I ended up with a souvenir glass as well — not that I really need anymore beer glasses.

We even opted for a celebratory dessert of the Giant Carrot Cake, while we enjoyed our beverages. It's good to have Capital Ale House open again and back on our list of options to visit when we're heading out in search of good beer.