Monday, August 26, 2013

Myrcenary Double India Pale Ale

So, if you follow this blog, you probably remember that I am trying to track down and drink the beers that I have never tasted on the Zymurgy's 2013 Best Beers in America list. Surprisingly, there was a beer this year from Colorado that I have never tasted.

Odell's Myrcenary Double IPA

There are lots of beers I absolutely love from Odell Brewing Company in Ft. Collins, Colorado. In fact their IPA is #1 on my Colorado 6 pack list. I am sure if I had tried Myrcenary before doing that list, I would have seriously considered adding this beer to it.

It is a great beer.

According to the Odell web site, the beer is "named for Myrcene, a component of essential oils in the hop flower" and is "brewed with a blend of hops containing the highest levels of Myrcene".

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Guacamole -- Have Bug. Will Travel

My kids have sort of had a renewed interest in geocaching lately. Here it is two weeks in a row I am able to blog about it. As I mentioned last week, we have gone quite awhile without doing any geocaching. That was too bad, because it really seems like a great way to help enhance the whole outdoor experience with the family.

If you don't know what geocaching is, take a few minutes and check out "Geocaching in 2 Minutes" and / or  "Geocaching 101". Go ahead ... I'll wait.

Anyway, we have just "stepped up our geocaching game". Quite some time ago, I gave my oldest son a couple of Travel Bug tags. We didn't do anything with them and somehow they ended up lost in his room for months. If you have ever seen the normal state of his room, it does not surprise you that these were lost in the chaos.

Friday, August 23, 2013

2nd Family Backpacking trip

A couple of weekends ago I went backpacking for only the 2nd time with the whole family. You may remember our First Family Backpacking Trip last July. My youngest and I have gone a few times together, and my wife and I went quite a bit before we had kids. But, the four of us have now only gone backpacking twice.

We decided to go the same place we went last year (and the same place Connor and I have been on our trips) because big brother wanted to see some of the things little brother got to see last time. Rain prevented big bro from doing that last year.

Trail-head of Goose Creek Trail
Just like last year, I took Friday off and we headed out Thursday night to car-camp close to the wilderness so that we wouldn't waste early Friday driving to the trail-head. I don't have any pictures to share of Thursday night. It rained, and we had fun playing Mad Libs in the minivan while waiting for the storm to pass.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

1st Loser ... Helles in a Hand Bock-sket

If you follow SheppyBrew Brewery on facebook or twitter, you may have already seen this picture:

That is right ... SheppyBrew now officially has two award - winning beers! Helles in a Hand Bock-sket placed first in its category and second in the Best of Show (aka 1st loser) judging in the "Battle of the Homebrews" at the Arapahoe Country Fair. In case you don't remember, Sasquatch Hunter German Altbier won a blue ribbon in the Denver Region of the National Homebrew Competition earlier in the year (see Kind of a Big Deal to refresh your memory).

Monday, August 19, 2013

SWMBO #HomeBrew Brew-Day

I brewed yesterday.

So far, since the first day of Summer, this is only the third batch of beer I've brewed. Things have been busy. It was good to get a brew day in.

I have decided to call the beer I brewed yesterday "She Who Must Be Obeyed Wheat". The SheppyBrew Beer Model (my wife) needs something in the keggerator, but when I asked her what she would like, she basically told me just make something she would like. Not much help. I considered some of the beers that have traditionally been her favorites, but nothing really jumped out at me as ones I necessarily wanted to brew at this time.

So, I came up with a new recipe, which as always you can review at the SheppyBrew Website (see She Who Must Be Obeyed Wheat). The recipe borrowed elements from several of the Beer Model's recent favorites. It is a wheat beer like so many of her favorites ( Summer Lovin' Wheat, Whisky Wife Wit, Apricot Lovin' American Wheat, Boo Berry American Wheat, etc ... ). The rest of the base is Marris Otter like Laser Salt Sandy Blonde Ale. It gets its specialty grain character from Biscuit and Caramunich like Buckwheat's BPA. It uses Tettnang hops  Ello Poppet.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Geocaching up to St Mary's Glacier

When I was typing up my Article about Letterboxing post yesterday, I realized that it had really been a long time since we had been geocaching. We actually tried to go two weekends ago when Grandma and Grandpa Shepard were visiting, but the battery ran out on our GPS right at the beginning of our hike. Since then, I've added a couple of fresh batteries to our Geocaching pack so this would not happen to us again.

Before that attempt, the last time we had been geocaching was way back in April on our Geocaching Bike Ride.

Before that, the last time I blogged about purposely geocaching was back in 2009 with Valley of Fire. We have actually done geocaching that I have not blogged about, but really not that much.

Yesterday, I decided to load up my GPS with a few stops on a hike up to St. Mary's Glacier.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Still More @Untappd Badges 11

Well, yes, I know that very few people care, but I keep sharing the untappd badges I earn on this blog.

I recently reached a milestone. Now I have 100 badges. Pretty exciting. Don't you think?

Despite the fact that the South Dakota beer scene sucks, my trip to South Dakota was pretty good to me badge-wise.

Since Still More @Untappd Badges 10, I have earned the following badges:

Article about Letterboxing

This morning, I got an email from the Contact Me form on this blog.

It was from the author of an article on a website called Part Time Nanny, who thought my readers might enjoy reading about Letter Boxing. As I mentioned just recently, pretty much whenever I get an email asking me to share an article, I do it. I'm pretty easy that way.

The article is:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Badlands National Park Pictures

I've mentioned a couple times lately that my family went on a road trip to South Dakota a couple weeks ago. The craft beer scene was absolutely awful (see South Dakota Six Pack ... Kinda Sorta Not Really), but we really did a bunch of fun things as a family.

My favorite part of the trip was visiting Badlands National Park. I could have spent several days exploring the geologic formations. It was really awe-inspiring.

The first "trail" area we came to was my favorite. I guess we started at "Door Trail" (see the Hiking page of the National Park website), but once the boardwalk ended, the boys and I just took off in the wide-open space. We explored the various gullies and canyons. Most National Parks want visitors to stay on official maintained trails. Here, we were encouraged to go wherever we wanted. I honestly could have spent all day just in this place (if I had enough water).

If you are ever in the area, I strongly suggest visiting Badlands National Park. Make sure you bring sturdy hiking shoes / boots and lots of water. Also, you'll want sunglasses.

These pictures don't come close to capturing the awesomeness of the park, but here they are none-the-less.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Family Camping Tips

A couple of weeks ago, while the Sheppy family was vacationing in South Dakota, I got an email from the Contact Me form on this blog. It was from someone at telling me about an article they had just posted called 6 Tips for Having a Great Camping Trip With Your Family.

"Please free to feature or mentioning it in your blog"

I'm easy that way ... if you email me asking me to share something, I probably will. Of course, I can't promise it will do you any good, but I'll do it. For sure.

So, do me a favor and visit 

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

July 2013 Blogging

For awhile I thought July had an excellent chance to set a new page-view record on this blog, but the traffic really slowed down in week 3 or so. The month ended up with the 5th most page-views all time. Not all that bad, but considering the strong start, July was a bit of a disappointment.

Here are the 10 most viewed pages of July:

Friday, August 02, 2013

#IPAday after

Well, according to some of the tweets I saw, #IPAday was a success.

It appears that the definition of success is how many #IPAday hash tags were tweeted in a 24 hour period. I don't really know how much that promotes the style as the people tweeting and looking at tweets were already beer geeks who for the most part already loved the style.

But, regardless of what I think ... and as I've said before many times, I don't quite get the whole twitter holiday thing, I will take the experts' word that the day was a success. The number of #IPAday tweets going out sure seemed impressive.


Thursday, August 01, 2013

#IPAday Domination

I like American IPA's, but it amazes me a little bit how they have somehow become so pervasive in the craft beer landscape. Sometimes it feels like public perception is that IPA is the only craft beer style out there. There are so many great beer styles out there, but somehow the IPA gets the most attention.

Case in point ... my list ... Zymurgy's 2013 Best Beers in America. I can't think of a more quintessential group of beer geeks than Zymurgy's readers, and you would think that the 50 best beer list would be representative of all beer styles.

You would be wrong, though.

All 5 of the top 5 on the list are IPA's, and over half are IPA's, double IPA's, or imperial IPA's.

If that is not enough, there are several others that are very IPA-like such as Black IPA's or very hoppy pale ales.

My 2013 #IPADay Choices

This year, I didn't have nearly the selection of IPA's in my fridge that I had last year. However, last night I stopped by the liquor store after working out and did a little impulse buying.

Here is the IPA's and IPA-like beer that I have in my commercial beer fridge right now:

From left to right ....

Merry #IPAday 2013

I'm doing it again.

I'm participating in the made-up twitter holiday. I'm quite certain that the only thing worse than a made-up hallmark holiday is a made-up twitter holiday, but I don't care.

I figure, what the heck. I'm a blogger. I'm a beer geek. I like to drink the IPA style of beer. I should add to the madness.