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Messages - MDixon

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Beer Travel / Re: Ireland
« on: September 01, 2015, 05:57:28 AM »
It was an upcharge for an automatic and so I opted for the manual. When I was a wee lad (do you see what I did there) I would change the gears for my father with my left hand so it shouldn't be that much of a stretch to figure it out. If it does prove difficult I'll just let my wife change the gears. ;)

Beer Travel / Re: Boulder CO and Sedona AZ
« on: August 24, 2015, 02:19:02 PM »
If you are going to the GC be sure to check the weather. We were dressed for Phoenix and it actually snowed a little while we were in Williams. By mid-morning it was normal temps, but I was not prepared for the light dusting in the morning. Sedona was fine the entire time BTW.

Beer Travel / Re: Boulder CO and Sedona AZ
« on: August 24, 2015, 12:35:50 PM »
I don't recall anything outstanding beer wise in Sedona. Oak Creek was ok, they have a restaurant in Tlaquepaque.

We just enjoyed the area when we were in Sedona.

Beer Travel / Re: Ireland
« on: August 24, 2015, 06:34:29 AM »
So Skellig Michael is out, they stop going there in October and the birds have flow a month or two earlier. Guess we will see that from the shore. Currently looking at something like:
Doolin/Cliffs of Moher
Arran Islands

With a million stops on the way.

Beermapping has an Ireland map:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer Writer Needs Your Opinion
« on: August 18, 2015, 01:49:37 PM »
If you make crappy beer using a cooler, your beer will still be just as crappy on the most elaborate system in the world. If the brewing system made any notable difference it would only be with regard to temperature control of the mash.

Think about it this way. A brewer makes mediocre beer using rudimentary equipment, will an outlay of thousands of $ guarantee the beer brewed by this person will now be outstanding?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Quick turn around on BJCP Tasting Exam
« on: August 14, 2015, 02:47:32 PM »
I graded my first exam in 2004, you kids were still wearing diapers so play nice. ;)

On a more serious note, I once had a full legacy type exam which took me 6 months to grade. It was a really large set from OZ and so all the units were funky in the recipe question and with it being a large set finding a chunk of time to sit down and do it all was difficult. At that time the lead grader duties took about 5 hours per examinee. I'm not proud that it took so long, but I do understand what it takes and can also understand when life happens.

Back to the OP - congrats on the get to judging. ;)

Beer Travel / Re: Weekend in Belgium area
« on: August 14, 2015, 06:39:00 AM »
I believe the BAC in Belgium is 0.5 grams of alcohol per liter of blood or 0.05, whereas in the US it is 0.08. Just keep that in the back of your mind. It would take much at Orval and Chimay to tip the scale. ;)

The Pub / Pop The Cap - 10 year anniversary
« on: August 13, 2015, 05:07:19 AM »
I doubt many of you care or give it a second thought, but today (8/13) is the 10 year anniversary of Pop The Cap in NC and we are getting together at Tyler's in Durham to celebrate at 6pm.

I don't remember the exact number of breweries we had in 2005 in NC, but certainly less than 40. Today we have over 140 with 40 more in planning. All we set out to do was change the law to be able to buy beer with an alcohol level above 6%. What we actually did is create a billion dollar industry in the state.

It was a simple change which took quite a bit of effort, but created an industry.

'Malt beverage' means beer, lager, malt liquor, ale, porter, and any other brewed or fermented beverage containing at least one-half of one percent (0.5%), and not more than six percent (6%), fifteen percent (15%), alcohol by volume."

The Pub / Re: Retirement
« on: August 12, 2015, 06:30:46 AM »
If you are willing to move to the more remote areas of Italy you can pick up a "fixer upper" house for less than $20k as long as you are willing to spend another $30-70k to repair it. We looked at it, but most of the places are pretty remote and many of the towns which have that housing are sparsely populated. Here's a taste:

The Pub / Re: Fire season
« on: August 12, 2015, 06:26:47 AM »
We just don't have to contend with forest fires in NC with the exception of some of the coastal areas. Every time I see stories of fire, landslide, earthquake, flood, tornado, severe drought, etc. it reminds me why I have no desire to live in places prone to those challenges.


I went through one hurricane in NC where the eye skirted the town I lived in and we received winds from three different directions in a 12 hour period. It tore the electrical meter off the house I was renting. I vowed never again. As soon as they say brace for a hurricane I fill up the car... ;)

The Pub / Re: Retirement
« on: August 11, 2015, 05:11:55 AM »
I had planned to retire to the foothills of NC where I grew up, but now I'm thinking the Asheville area might be where we land. I want to be in an areas where tornadoes are rare and hurricanes are virtually nonexistent. Oddly enough Asheville has had both come through in recent years. The weather is mild with summer being bearable and winter only hitting hard at times. The area has all four seasons and fall is magnificent. And oh, there is beer too. ;)

The Pub / Re: Vacation stop Suggestions
« on: August 10, 2015, 08:41:50 AM »
Jackson, MS? My suggestion would be not to go there!

I went to a brewpub there, it was awful, but it was a long time ago. A google search didn't bring it up so hopefully it has closed.

Yelp might be your friend in this case:

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bud empty aluminum capped bottles...
« on: August 02, 2015, 10:11:41 AM »
Spray paint it brown. ;)

Now drinkers will show a preference for local no matter how crappy it is. I was at a brewery recently and could choke down two out of six, one of the four awful ones was acceptable enough I drank it out of pity. The other three I passed back to the bartender. There is no way that place should stay in business longer than a week, but they will because someone will like it because it is local. Now they may eventually figure out their oxidation issues, but even if they don't bad breweries typically make it a year or two before everyone figures out just being local ain't enough. I suppose the fans could be part of the 25% who cannot taste anything.

You don't have to be a beer judge to know if you like or don't like a beer. However you do need to be a judge (or have some training/experience) to evaluate properly against the style guidelines. Most Pros approach beers in a different manner, mainly looking for notable flaws such as oxidation, acetaldehyde, or bacterial infection. Most beer drinkers are really just looking for something they like to consume. I tend to prefer an IPA when one is around and I have a choice...YMMV.

All Things Food / Re: Sausage Makin Day
« on: August 01, 2015, 10:20:56 AM »
Looks awesome!

Phil, sausage is a cinch. However if you want to stuff the casings a vertical stuffer is the way to go.

The sausage bible

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