Jason Watts (JaseyDrew to the internet) is a student, gamer, film enthusiast, and has hopes of being a comic, but this blog has nothing to do with any of that. JaseyDrew has recently developed a love for craft brews and invites you to follow along as he discovers the wide world of beer culture.

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No post, Much Busy, Wow

Super sorry if anyone has actually been following me! Life has been non-stop since joining the navy and my beer tasting has been incredibly limited to the base ABC stores. I’m currently in San Diego, shout out to the big 619, so I should be able to find some decent brews. Major differences with San Diego and Westerville, where I started the blog, is the weather and stores available. I’m out in wine country so the market for beer is sometimes limited unless I go to Bevmo, which is like a Wal-mart of drinks. It’s also hot all the time so heavier beers like porters and stouts aren’t common. Hispanic lagers and summer seasonals are sold year round down here so I may have to look into ordering beers from afar.

Besides being busy defending the country I’ve also become a lot more interested in video game streaming. I have been spending a lot more time with that and may start publishing content for it on this blog or make a sister blog. Possibly a fusion of the 2? Drinking games and the likes? Who knows but I’ll try my best to put out content soon!

To start with you can check out my stream of FTL tomorrow (Jan 27. 2014) at around 5 pm pacific time. JaseyDrew on Twitch

 

Landlocked and Dry as Hell

I’m back. I’m aware that my following wasn’t anywhere near One-Direction territory but still, I’m sorry for being away for so long. If you are a bit curious as to where I have been the short answer is simply away. For those of you bored enough to be reading a seldom updated wordpress site, here is the long version.

Originally, as some may now, this site was a half-ass assignment for a web development course I was taking in my final semester of my undergraduate program at Otterbein University. Since my last post, a lot has changed in my life. I graduated from said university and joined the world’s finest navy (the U.S. Navy if you are reading this from somewhere that doesn’t have a Starbucks or Apple store on every corner). So, as one could guess, I was shipped off to boot camp in what can only be defined as east Seattle, Great Lakes, Illinois (I say this only because it somehow managed to stay gray and gloomy throughout June and July). As a part of the whole boot camp experience, we were all cut off from the outside world and all the comforts that it brought. No media (internet/phones/television/newspapers), human contact (we couldn’t even high-five), and most importantly, no alcohol. I made it through though (there was a shortage of chairs as well…).

From Great Lakes, I was shipped off for further training down here in Pensacola, Florida. Although I escaped the restraints of Recruit Training Command I still was home free. During our stay here we are put into what they call liberty phases which are basically time periods that dictate how much fun we can have. In the first phase you can go out but cant drink. In the second you can drink, and in the final phase you can actually stay out over a few days. Guess which phase I’m in…. Its ok though, I only have one more week until I can tear Pensacola a new one.ANGRY

Until then, Check me up on what I missed in my few months of living in the media void! Tell where the best florida bars are, what new beer I should try, or if I should return to a classic. Most important: WHAT SHOULD BE THE VERY FIRST DRINK I HAVE TO BREAK THIS AWFUL 3 MONTH LONG DRY SPELL.

Beer Quest!

As mentioned in my bio page, I am a future sailor with the United States Navy. In being a future sailor I am forced to meet certain physical requirements in order to be “combat effective”, as one of my recruiter put it. So this means that I have to find ways to workout and and keep my weight in check. This can be hard considering how much I like beer. Most of the time I force myself to spend an hour or more at the gym a few times a week. But sometimes I try to switch it up! this is a story of one of those times:

It was a normal Tuesday morning, I had actually got out of bed and dressed to make my way to the boring gym but lost motivation when I passed a local coffee shop and saw fresh muffins through their window. While brushing crumbs off my jacket in the back of the coffee shop I saw a photo taken in the nearby Alum Creek Park hanging on the wall. I was reminded  by the visual cue that there is a bike trail that runs from my town of Westerville all the way south through the city of Columbus. Thinking to myself, ” I haven’t ridden a bike in years… and I do need a workout….” This wasn’t enough to get me moving though. I searched the trail on my phone and quickly realized that there is a smaller trail that branches off and leads to the nearby mall at Easton Town Center. That’s what got me! I knew that there were a few craft beer stores at that mall and if I rode all the way there I wouldn’t feel bad about the extra calorie intake.

So, after badgering Dan for an hour to go with me, we rented bikes and took off. From Uptown Westerville to Easton is about 7 miles and for 2 out of shape beer enthusiast,  that is about 5 miles too far. Dan and I are not exactly Christopher Columbus and crew so we lost our way a few times. Luckily Westerville has  living bird watching community that got us back on the right trail. In the end, we made it! According to Google, the trip should have taken 40 minutes. We managed to get there in about 37 minutes! Somebody call the Tour de France!

beer bananaFeeling victorious, with beer in hand, I totally forgot that we had to make another 7 mile trip home.

Leffe Blonde review!

Over the weekend I went to Athens, Ohio, to see my fiance.  We went out to dinner at surprising place called Salaam’s. Salaam’s specializes in all sorts of Mediterranean dishes. I would go on about the food but I honestly don’t know a thing about foods. As long as it fills me and I don’t vomit, it is basically gourmet to me. But regardless, the place was very charming and I highly recommend it to anyone passing through the area. Here’s a  picture of the joint, my descriptions wont do it justice:Salaam's

But even better than the food and visual stimulus was the beer I had with dinner. I don’t normally drink pale ales but Leffe Blonde’s gold wrapped bottle caught my eye. All the way from Belgium, Leffe Blonde boast a higher ABV and IBU than the run-of-mill lager or wheat beer that I normally drink. Leffe describes the Blonde as having the perfect levels of bitterness matched with subtle citrus and fruit flavor and do you know what? I can’t disagree!

leffeI often complain about pairing beer with meals for a couple of reasons. The first is that many beers are just too heavy and will fill you up or even make you gassy. Another reason I complain about pairings is because more often than not the beers taste simply overpowers the meal that it is served with it. Leffe, I can honestly say, is one of the few beers I’ve had that has actually complimented the meal. It fit perfectly with my coconut curry chicken but I can easily see it fitting in fine with most pastas or sandwiches as well. Leffe also isn’t to bitter or sweet. I like lighter bodied beers when the weather warms up but a lot of summer ales are too sweet for my taste (looking at you Leinenkugel Summer Shandy). Leffe Blonde’s balanced taste and light body  makes it a perfect pairing food any time of the year.

The only down side may be it’s price. It runs a few dollars more than most beers but I believe it is worth it.

Best Gift for a Nerdy Beer Enthusiast

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Shout out to my fiance for this Tiny Tardis Beer Fridge! Fits perfectly on my desk.

DrinksAhoy reviews Beers

For those who don’t know, internet personality XboxAhoy (famous for his informational videogame guides) has another persona that reviews beer! Here is his review of one of my favorite beers. Be sure to check out all his content on all his channels!

Branching Out: Amateur Beer Enthusiast talks Liqueur

20130416_112340 As little as I know about craft beers I know even less about liqueur. My previous attitude toward hard alcohol was a simple one: Can this substance make bad decisions for me and how hard is it to cover the taste of it with fruit juices? This attitude stemming from my college experience where the only alcohol affordable to us was glorified rubbing alcohol. The good ole Wallgreen’s special. Since growing out of my heavy partying days, I’ve been actually trying liqueur for their taste.

Over the weekend I tried two honey whiskeys by two of the most identifiable names in liqueur: Jack Daniels and Wild Turkey. I tried both on their own and came to the simple conclusion that I’m to much of a baby to tackle straight alcohol. While my fiancee gulp it down with a poker face that would rival Lady Gaga and Clint Eastwood’s love child’s, I would cringe at the very smell. Forcing myself to move foward with the experiment for the sake of this review (and in order to get my $30 worth out of the booze) I was able to discern an opinion.

As far as the taste is concerned they are both very pleasant! I found the Jack Daniel’s to be a bit more sweet than Wild Turkey’s American Honey, and because of this I found the Jack easier to drink on its own. The extra bit of sweet countered the cringe well enough. On the other hand though, I performed another test where I mixed the two with my favorite soda (coke zero) and found interesting results. I assumed that I’d like the Jack better than the Turkey in this case as well but I found that it was a bit too sweet. Honey Jack and coke came off as overpowering and even syrupy. The American Honey (Turkey) with its more subtle taste paired much better with soda and didn’t leave the same thick feeling in my mouth that the Jack did.

Again I’m noob about these things though. Both seem to have their redeeming qualities but I’d like to hear from you! Tell me which is better and why I’m an idiot.

Why don’t I like IPA?

Since I’ve been getting into craft beers there has been only one type that I can’t seem to enjoy: IPAs. I started where  many beer noobs start and that was with wheat beers. Since then I’ve branched into many more bitter beers (slowly climbing the IBU ladder) but IPAs still taste terrible to me. I don’t want to say IPAs are bad considering they are so popular but I just have found one that hasn’t made me feel like I’ve been socked in the mouth by a pine tree. If you know of an IPA I should try please drop me a comment.

Updated: So in my curiosity, I went out and had a few IPAs at my local pub (I’m not calling it a pub to seem cultured that’s just what they call themselves). I just kept telling myself, “You just have to drink more IPAs until you are used to them. Remember when you used to hate all beers?” So I sampled as many as I could bare. I had 3 but only one I’d like to talk about.raging bitch IPA

Although the name should have tipped me off to what was in store for my tongue, I braved the beast known as the Raging Bitch IPA. Its tongue blistering taste killed this curious cat. I’ve had many of Flying Dog’s other brews and enjoyed them greatly but couldn’t make my way through half of the Raging Bitch. It felt like I had been sucking on a pine cone soaked in orajel . Once my mouth numbed I gave up and committed the number 2 sin of craft brew drinking: chugged it down so not to taste it. (The first sin of craft brew drinking is to pour a beer out)

Head to Head: Brownie Beer Battle

Hey I’m testing the waters with a video short! I had two friends reconstruct an argument we had about beers for a quick beer review. If it goes over well maybe I’ll make more and improve upon them. Enjoy! 

(shout out to Daniel Combs for taking some quick video for me and voice bit of the final project, also to Zapac for music)

Homebrewing: first attempt

As college students, my friends and I have spent a lot time trying to figure out ways to obtain large amounts of beer for less money. Being that we were broke, we needed a way to get alcohol to cover our tracks whenever we did anything stupid at a party. “Oh why did he use the hair dryer in the shower? Oh, he was drinking.” Now that I’ve developed a taste for craft beers (notoriously tastier and with a price to match) it has become even harder and more expensive to obtain said beer. What is the solution to  my situation: homebrewing!

Like packing your lunch rather than paying for take-out, homebrewing provides an economic  way to get vast amounts of decent brews. So, that is what I did. After some light googling I was able to find tons of home brewing supply shops within a short drive. After buying the initial setup (cooking equipment and such) I got all the ingredients needed to make 50 12 fl.oz. bottles of craft beer for around only $30 (that’s around $45-55 of savings had I just bought the beer off the shelf). Now all I had to do was cook it.Ready the Breaking Bad references.

After the a bit of confusion over the meaning of terms like “gravity” and “mash” my friend and I decided just to take off and figure out how to brew as we went. First, as brewers know, you have to steep the grains. I of course took that literally and sat the ingredients on a high, sloped surface. My friend (oh who am I kidding its Dan), informed me that steeping meant making a giant tea bag of the grains and letting them sit in the pot for a set amount of time.wpid-20130309_190732.jpg

It took us another hour just to crush the grain with Dan’s coffee grinder (which I’m pretty sure he stole for a Starbucks, check your inventories) and pour them into a steeping bag which is essentially an old men’s gym sock that’s missing its mate. After the steeping step,there was a whole lot more boiling, mixing, confusion, and fighting until we had something that appeared to be beer. Of course we couldn’t taste it to make sure but we have high hopes. We then let it ferment for about 4 weeks and it is now wasting space in the corner of my bedroom aging in its bottles for a few more weeks.wpid-20130309_191059.jpg

So as far as means of obtaining a lot of beer for less money, homebrewing seems to be the way to go (that is if it turns out ok *fingers crossed*). That is assuming you don’t plan to drink for another 8 weeks at least. In about 2 weeks the first batch of JaseyDrew’s brew will be ready and I’ll post a follow-up post hopefully reporting my success… or maybe just a silly video of Dan and I trying to choke down some disgusting sludge.

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