Ted’s Beer of the Month: Apr 2014

I’m changing it up a bit this month, since I’m getting a little bored of the “list of beers” posts, and I won’t blame you if you were too. Everyone already knows that the full tale of my beer consumption can be found on my Untappd account, so here are just a few of the highs and lows from this month, along with a little something special I put together for a friend’s birthday.

stoplight_grn Ponysaurus Fig Saison – 6.3% – draft

I’m SO glad I was finally able to try a beer from Ponysaurus Brewing.They’re selfish, terrible people who like to brag about their delicious-sounding beers on Twitter, but then keep them all to themselves. (Read: I’m too lazy to go to the many events they’ve brought their beer to and I’m mad at myself about it…)

As first impressions go, the Fig Saison is a pretty great one. Tartly sweet at the start with a lemony aroma, the flavor segues into citrusy hoppiness with light but noticeable bitterness that balances the sweetness of the fig very nicely. You can really taste the fresh figs in this beer, and the spiciness imparted by the grain bill makes it incredibly interesting. Definitely give it a try if you’re in the area. Maybe sometime soon I’ll get my ass in gear and chase down some more great Ponysaurus beer.

stoplight_red Moylan’s Kilt Lifter – 8% – bottle

Murky amber with a short tan head that drops off almost immediately without a trace. The aroma is pretty weird. Molasses notes with some smoke and strange fruity scents; the best analog I can think of is like a fresh malty wort. Flavor isn’t quite as weird, with earthy dankness and roasty, smoky malt flavors. The sweetness hides the alcohol character pretty well, and overall it’s a good example of the style. I still like Oskar Blues Old Chub better, and the more I drink it, the weirder that aroma gets. As much as I love scotch ales, unless someone assures me this is unusual, I won’t be seeking this one out again.

stoplight_grn Flying Dog Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout – 5.5% – bottle

This is a fantastic dry stout, and as my first time drinking it coincided with my first time eating oysters, I can say with conviction that it has a really nice oyster flavor as well. I’ve been leery of this style since I first heard about it, but I’m glad I gave it, and oysters, a shot. While I can’t say I’ll be clamoring for actual oysters anytime soon – I thought they were just alright – oyster stouts are a different story. The mild briny oyster flavor melds beautifully with the dark roasted malts, and the dry finish keeps it from getting too fishy.

Special Beer-Related Project

Recently, I’ve been taking baby steps toward taking up woodworking – buying tools, looking up plans, watching YouTube videos – and I decided it was finally time to jump in and build something. I thought to myself, “What better way to start woodworking than by building a gift for a friend?” Then I thought, “What better gift for a friend who loves beer than a beer caddy?” While browsing Pinterest, I found some great plans posted by TheNewHobbyist, who made a bunch of these totes for his groomsmen, then helpfully uploaded the plans to Thingiverse.

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I grabbed some project wood at the hardware store and went home to start making some cuts. Thankfully I had some scrap wood left over from a failed project from about a year ago that I used to test out my new-to-me tools, which I bought off Craigslist and were in need of a little TLC. PRO TIP: don’t attempt to rip a 1/2″-thick board with a battery-powered Dremel MiniMite, it can only end in tears and lots of cursing.

Since I neglected to take pictures as I went along, I’ll summarize my process. I cut more times than I needed to, sanded until my wrists hurt, forgot to drill pilot holes, and ended up relying on my Gorilla Wood Glue to keep some unintended tension between the parts in check. Regardless of the missteps in its construction, I think it turned out pretty well, especially with the addition of a sweet elephant-head bottle opener from World Market. Sweet bottle openers cover a multitude of sins. Here’s the final product!

IMG_20140420_020909For the specs-inclined among you, here are the materials I used:

So, how’d I do on my first woodworking project? Let me know in the comments!

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