Tuesday, July 31, 2012

#GABF #TicketMasterFail

Epic failure by TicketMaster.

I got my 2012 Great American Beer Fest tickets today, and boy was it painful.

Last year, I signed in at 10:00 for the AHA members pre-sale and had my tickets by 10:05. I remember it being very straight-forward and easy.

This year, it appears there is no way to order all your tickets at once. For each session I wanted to attend I had to do a separate search, pick my tickets, and fill out the check-out information. I paid a "convenience" fee for each of the transactions.

That was bad enough, but when I went to actually place my order, there was a bug on the site that kept telling me to check the terms and conditions checkbox before I could place the order. I kept checking it and getting the same order. Eventually, I tried calling TicketMaster. Busy signal.

First Family Backpacking Trip

If you follow this blog relatively regularly, you probably know that I like to go camping. I especially love backpacking. There is something just sublimely wonderful about packing what I need on my back and heading out into the wilderness. My wife and I backpacked a bunch before we had kids, and I continued to try to do it at least once and awhile because I enjoyed it so much (see my SheppyQuest label on this blog).

I shared earlier this year how excited I was that my kids (especially, my youngest son) were expressing interest in backpacking (see SheppyQuest Lite), and shortly afterward, I posted Father and Son Backpacking trip Part 1 and Father and Son Backpacking trip Part 2 in which my younger boy and I actually went on his first backpacking trip together.

We had a blast together.

Monday, July 30, 2012

#GABF Tickets on sale #IPADay

General public tickets for the Great American Beer Festival go on sale on August 2.

I didn't make the connection before, but August 2 is also this year's official #IPADay. I don't know if this is a simple coincidence or if The Beer Wench purposely planned it this way.

Of course, as one of the select few (AHA or BA members), I get to buy my GABF tickets tomorrow at 10AM Denver time. I have 10 - 10:30 blocked off on my work calendar so that no one makes the mistake of scheduling a meeting with me during that critical time.

Interestingly enough, one of my co-workers bought an AHA membership for herself and her fiancee so that they could by GABF tickets early and get into the Members' Only session. Not sure I would do this if I was not a home-brewer, but part of the reason that I decided to become a member of the AHA is all the GABF-related benefits that go with the membership.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Grilled Chicken

There has been a fair amount written about grilled chicken over the past couple of months on this blog.

It all started with the first time (at the moment the only time) I grilled beer can chicken (see Sheppy's Beer Can Chicken). That chicken turned out awesome.

In Blogging in June 2012 and Sorry. I lied, I wrote about a couple of anti-beer-can-chicken articles that I had come across. First, I saw Charlie Papazian's article Beer can chicken NOT a good idea at all! . Next, I came across  Debunking Beer Can Chicken: A Waste Of Good Beer (And It Is Dangerous) by a guy who referred to himself as "MeatHead".

MeatHead's main point is that Beer Can chicken just is not really a better way to grill a whole bird than other ways. He seems to think you can get better results using other methods.

In Sheppy's Rotisserie Chicken, I tried one of the other methods that MeatHead said would be better. This also gave me a chance to use the rotisserie motor that had come with my "new" grill. I didn't think the rotisserie bird turned out better, but it did turn out close enough to how I remembered the beer can chicken to support the claim that the beer can chicken pretty much serves to waste a can of beer.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Drinking the Wetta Berry

SheppyBrew's Raspberry Wetta Berry has finished carbonating and I have now had a few.

In case you need a refresher, I blogged about making Wetta Berry in Wetta Berry Mr. Beer Batch.

I blogged about adding raspberry puree to it in Raspberry Wetta Berry.

I blogged about Kegging and Bottling Wetta Berry in Kegging and Bottling Wetta Berry.

It is ... well ... it tastes like it has a lot of raspberry in it. In my opinion, it has too much raspberry in it. Even the Beer Model said "Maybe" when I asked her if it had too much raspberry in it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Help Me pick my #IPADay Beer

Downloaded (with permission) from http://ipaday.org/logo/
So, as you may or may not know (you probably have not read my blog over the past few days if you are in the "not know" category), #IPADay is coming up.

Do me a favor and tell me what your favorite IPA is by voting in the poll below. I pre-filled the choices with Colorado IPAs that I have not had (at least according to untappd I have not had them), but feel free to use the "other" choice. If you do, try to remember to include the brewery name and the name of the beer. And leave a comment letting me know why you like the beer you chose to vote for.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

5280 pre- #IPADay ... Odell's IPA

Recently, while in the liquor store searching for ideas for #IPADay I came across the 5280 Summer Seasonal 6 Pack. Of course I had to buy it. 

I have blogged before about beers in these 5280 6 packs (see such classics as Drinking Ellie's Brown Ale, 471 Double IPA, Flashback India Brown Ale, and of course The Beer Clinic). 5280 Magazine, in collaboration with the Denver Zoo (of all places) puts out these 6 packs every season. The editors of the magazine pick the 6 Colorado beers that they think best represent the season and package them together.

When I remember and see them, I try to get them. When I think about it while drinking the beers, I blog about them. It appears that I missed the winter and spring six packs. Oh well.

It is just how I roll.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

#IPADay Returns

It is coming back. Yep, even CraftBeer.com says so (see IPA Day Returns on August 2, 2012). My Daily #IPADay and #StoutDay News is starting to get activity again, so at least some people are preparing for it.

I suppose you could say if there is anything worse than a made-up Hallmark holiday, it has to be a fake Twitter #MadeUpHoliday.

You could say that, but I won't. I would much rather celebrate American hops than St. Valentine. Plus, I certainly don't want to risk subjecting myself to the wrath of The Beer Wench.

Monday, July 09, 2012

2012 Q2 SheppyBrew Stats

2012 continues to fly by and wouldn't you know it, but the 2nd quarter of the calendar year is over. Here at the SheppyBrew home-brewery this means that it is time again for me to share some more of my brewing stats (see SheppyBrew 2009 Stats, 1st Quarter Stats, 2nd Quarter Stats, 3rd Quarter Stats, SheppyBrew 2010 Stats, 1st Quarter Brewing Stats, 2nd Quarter Brew Stats, SheppyBrew Stats Q3 2011, 2011 SheppyBrew Stats, 2012 Q1 SheppyBrew Stats).

I've written this before, but (believe it or not), I have had people say they like to read these brewing stats posts.

So here we go:

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Breckenridge Pictures

As the 4th was in the middle of the week this year, we decided to delay my wife's birthday get-away until the following weekend.

As usual, we went up to Breckenridge for this. As usual, we had lots of fun.

Here are some pictures ...

We headed up the gondolas to the Peak 8 Fun Park. We didn't really do much up there except walk around. The free gondola ride was fun, though.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Kegging Summer Lovin' #HomeBrew

I kegged up my Summer Lovin' American Wheat last night. I also had enough to fill a two liter growler in addition to the keg.

As you can see from the pictures below, it came out a pale gold color. The sample glass was slightly hazy.

The flavor was a delicate, clean wheat cracker taste with a touch of orange and a very slight amount of coriander (probably slight enough that I would not say it had any if I didn't know what I had put in it).

The beer finished with a gravity of 1.007, which makes it just over a 5% ABV beer. I think this is a perfect amount of alcohol for this beer.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

July 4 Pictures

Usually, we are up in the mountains for the 4th of July. We try to make a long weekend of it with the Beer Model's birthday being on the 3rd. With the 4th being a Wednesday this year, and all the vacation I have to use up to see my wife's family, we stayed at home this year.

We did head out to Golden to wander around for their community celebration. Here are some pictures.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Sheppy's Rotisserie Chicken

Last October, Connor and I picked out and purchased a new grill. You may have seen part of the grill on a couple of beer pictures on this blog (like here and here and here). It is bigger and much nicer than my old grill, and I am glad we got it. One cool thing about this grill is that it has a rotisserie attachment and motor.

I didn't use the rotisserie for quite awhile. It was April when Connor finally got me to try it.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Sorry. I lied

Early yesterday, I prematurely announced that this blog's "page view" streak was over.

I was wrong. Yesterday turned out to be a very active Saturday and before the end of the day, June had 23 more "page views" than May.

I should have waited. I apologize.

I also listed Sheppy's Beer Can Chicken as the #7 most viewed page of the month. By the end of the day, it was up to #2 for the month.

A big part of the reason I got the extra Saturday traffic is that I posted a question on the Mr. Beer forum: