It’s been an eventful several days. First, I was up in northern Minnesota over the weekend trying my luck at catching some walleye with my dad, and we were pretty successful. Growing up in Minnesota, most of us are naturally drawn to the north, like a magnetic compass. Many go to recharge, connect with nature, get centered again. It’s why I like spending time there. But when it’s butt ass cold, you’re not so much interested in taking in the autumnal leaf changes, but rather trying your best not to slip into a hypothermic state as you whip across a barren lake at 6:30 a.m. in a boat. Such was the case with me and my dad. The thermometer read 27 degrees when we put in Saturday morning, and it didn’t break 50 until high noon. Not that those temps are that cold for us true, hardy Minnesotans. But when you’re on the water, and there’s a slight wind, and the clouds give a little overcast cover, things can get interesting pretty quickly.

After a solid fishing trip, I spent most of Sunday out in the garage making a nice little IPA. Used 2-row pale, a bit of medium crystal, and plenty of Cascade and Simcoe. Interestingly enough, during the boil a huge spider came crawling up the side of the pot, and I took it as a sign. So this one is going to be The Captain’s Spider IPA. Or maybe ArachnoPalia. Cheesy names aside, everything went pretty smoothly, and I was able to pitch the yeast and get the wort fermenting before the Sunday night football game. And it’s been bubbling away very nicely ever since. The sharp hop smell coming out of the air lock is fantastic. I’m debating on whether I dry hop with some Cascade to give it a little extra aroma, or toss in some Simcoe for a crisper bite. We’ll see how I feel when racking day comes.

Which brings us to this evening. I’ve been anxiously awaiting a nice little package from my friend Joey at South Bay Drugs and Liquor in San Diego. Some really nice beers I’ve been looking forward to trying. The Fedex guy tried delivering it over the weekend, but since I wasn’t here, and it required an adult signature, they had to postpone the drop. But it was waiting for me tonight. I ripped open the box, and found an expertly packed set of some of the coolest beer bottles I’ve ever seen. You might say I have my work cut out for me. Here’s what’s chilling in the beer fridge: 

Allagash Curieux
Russian River Damnation
Russian River Pliny the Elder
Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal
Stone Arrogant Bastard
Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard
Stone Cali-Belgique
Stone IPA
Stone Levitation Ale
Stone Pale Ale
Stone Ruination Double IPA
Stone Vertical Epic Ale 08.08.08

Yeah, so there’s alot of Stone. I’ve just heard great things about the brewery and wanted to try a wide variety of what they have to offer. Look for the reviews in the coming weeks.