The Mans Cave App

The Mans Cave

The Mans Cave was a concept originated long before my time. The men in my family have always had their place of solitude where men could be men and there was no questioning. I now live the city life which means the man cave has been greatly reduced in size. That brought me to create an internet based man cave where all men can join in. Whether geek, gamer, jock, fitness, brewer, BBQ-er, or just looking for a place to read about manly news, you will find a home in the Man Cave

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Our Super Bowl Champion

So you read about our Super Bowl of Beer here (Super Bowl of Beer), and I know you were anxiously waiting to see the results so here they are.  We ended up making a few substitutions but we got three great matchups between NE and NY.  Here are the matchups and their results:

Samuel Adams Boston Lager vs. Brooklyn Brewery Lager-

While our tasters enjoyed the crisp, clean taste of the Boston Lager, the additional hop flavor of the Brooklyn Pre-Prohibition style Lager beat out the subdued spiciness of the Sam Adams version.
Winner: New York

Harpoon Winter Warmer vs. Brooklyn Brown Ale-

This matchup was similar to the 2nd and 3rd quarters of the game last night... Not overly impressive or exciting.  The winter spices of the Harpoon offering were nice, but after a few tastes began to be overpowering.  The Brown ale seemed to be stuck between a display for the malts and a trendier hoppy brown ale.  Forced to pick a winner, the tasters leaned towards the Brooklyn Brown Ale.
Winner: New York by a safety

Shipyard XXXX IPA vs. Blue Point Rastafa Rye

Having had both of these beers before, I fully expected the Shipyard offering to come out on top in this one.  Coming in at 9.5% abv, the XXXX IPA carried a lot of flavor, but a big part coming through the alcohol and malt with the hops being relatively subdued.  In contrast, the Rastafa Rye was packed with hop flavor, confirmed by the bottle description of freshly harvested hops being used.  The rye added a nice spciy bite to the citrus hops and for being 7.5%, this was an easy drinker.
Winner: New York

While the Super Bowl may have been close, this matchup of beers was a landslide for New York.  Every beer that we tasted was solid at worst and exceptional at best! If you did something similar let us know what your results were.

Cheers and Happy Brewing!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Latest Experiment

I felt like brewing yesterday, mostly because I was soaking the bottles I needed to bottle my Belgian Dubbel that has been fermenting for about a month now.  I started scrounging around the apartment and came up with 1 lb of light dry malt extract and 1 oz of Cascade pellet hops. I figured it couldn't hurt so I brewed a 1 gallon batch of a pale ale that I hopped with the 1 oz of Cascade hops and added a little lemon zest right at the end.  I also had saved some yeast from my Belgian Dubbel when I racked it over to secondary, and so I used that to pitch into this experiment. I'm hoping to end up with a nice citrusy, Belgian pale ale, but I'll have to keep you updated on how it turns out! Here's a picture after one day of fermenting, and hopefully pictures of the Belgian Dubbel will come soon!

Cheers and Happy Brewing!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Our Kind of Super Bowl

I am a diehard Cowboys fan, so now that only the Giants and Patriots are left to thrown down for this year's title, I started looking for another Super Bowl that I could cheer for.  Here's what I came up with... There are several of my family members that I have guided into the craft beer world, and I plan on having a Super Bowl of sorts come Sunday (involving beer of course).  I have chosen 4 beers from 4 different categories, each from the respective areas of each team that will square off on Sunday, and my family members and myself will be voting for our favorite.  Perhaps the winner will align with the actual game, or we may end up with a completely different winner.  Leave a comment and tell us who you think will win!

Representing the State of New York:

Classic Football Session Beer-----

Brooklyn Brewery Lager- I wanted a classic football watching lager from each area.  From the Website: The result is a wonderfully flavorful beer, smooth, refreshing and very versatile with food. Dry-hopping is largely a British technique, which we’ve used in a Viennese-style beer to create an American original. 5.2% abv

Belgian Styled Ale-----

Ommegang Belgian Pale Ale- You already know that I love this brewery, but I've actually never tried this offering. From the Website: Taking inspiration from both sides of the Atlantic, we feel we've brewed up something completely unique. BPA is brewed with 5 specialty malts and generously- though not excessively -hopped with three hops. 6.2% abv

Hop Bomb-----

Southern Tier Unearthly Imperial IPA- This beer is like Eli to Cruz but with a hop bomb instead of a football. From the Website: Unearthly is a manifestation of the brewer’s craft; skillfully balancing art and the forces of nature to produce a divine liquid. Delicately pour a taste into a fluted glass. Smell the enchanting aromas of the hops waft forward as your first sip divulges this beer’s fervent soul. To underestimate Unearthly is to trifle with the mysteries of the universe, so please consume wisely.
9.5% abv

Unique Styled Beer-

Southern Tier Oat (I know I picked them twice...)- A heavy hitter from Southern Tier that I was able to grab a bottle of a few months ago and have held on to. From the Website: The color of Oat is as dark as a moonless night. The first sip reveals Oat’s thick and nourishing taste. Like a haversack to a horse, a bottle of this stout is a meal in itself. 10.8% abv

Hailing from the land of New England:

Classic Football Session Beer-----

Samuel Adams Boston Lager- This will compete with the Brooklyn Lager as the football session beer from NE. From the Website: Samuel Adams Boston Lager uses only the finest ingredients including two-row malted barley and Bavarian Noble hops.  The sole use of two-row barley not only imparts a full, smooth body but also gives the beer a wide spectrum of malt flavor ranging from slightly sweet to roasted. 4.9% abv

Belgian Styled Ale-----

Harpoon UFO White- Modeled after the Belgian Wit style. From the Website: Light, crisp, refreshing UFO White follows in the tradition of spiced wheat beers that have been brewed in Belgium for well over 300 years. Brewed with orange peel and a unique blend of spices.  4.8% abv

Hop Bomb-----

Shipyard XXXX IPA- Though the Patriots have been limited in the big TD down the sidelines plays this year, this beer will hopefully deliver a kick.  From the Website: XXXX IPA is a non-traditional American IPA with a brilliant copper color and the classic citrus nose of Cascade hops.  9.25% abv

Unique Styled Beer-----

Magic Hat #9- Switching over to a fruit forward beer comes this offering. From the Website: A beer cloaked in secrecy. An ale whose mysterious and unusual palate will swirl across your tongue and ask more questions than it answers. A sort of dry, crisp, refreshing, and not-quite pale ale. 5.1% abv

So give us your vote for the Super Beer winner and I'll post on Monday with the winner from my family's voting!

Cheers and Happy Drinking!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Top 10 Beers of Winter 2012

Winter beers provide a great time to sample new styles because there is not one set style that perfectly fits the winter season.  While history will show that winter beers are usually high alcohol, winter warmers that push away the chill of a winter night, the common trends in winter beers stretch from high ABV, full flavored ales to spiced lagers that provide a more sessionable beer to enjoy.  Here are our top 10 winter beers that stretch across many styles.

10. Abita Christmas Ale- A decent example of a spiced ale that is not overwhelming in the potpourri sense of the spice.  Well balanced with caramel malt flavor that highlights the spice mix in this brew.  Not a bad beer to drink throughout the day.

9.  Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale- Out of the several spiced beers that Sam Adams puts out every winter, this one is my favorite.  It is only available in the seasonal 12-pack, but this is my favorite out of the group.  Enough spice so that I actually feel like I'm drinking a winter beer, and the orange background is really nice, but there is enough malt to keep the spice from being overbearing.

8.  Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale- This beer seems to change every year, but the basic idea remains the same.  This is a fresh hopped ale that truly exemplifies the qualities of the freshest hops that SN can get each year.  This year's example is spicy and piney, with some of that classic citrus aroma and flavor coming through as well. Fairly well balanced, but not the best fresh hop beer out there.

7.  Southern Tier Old Man Winter- This is definitely a winter beer that is not for the timid.  Bold and dark malts are balanced by a spicy blend of hops.  Definitely a sipper.

6.  Avery Old Jubilation- In a unique twist for Avery, this beer is relatively simple.  However, the taste is anything but simple. This could be the beer you age for a year before bringing out to sip on the coldest of winter nights.

5.  Ommegang Adoration- I've come to find that Ommegang has yet to disappoint with a beer. This one balances all the wintry spices with some darker chocolate malts to make a darker Belgian ale that is suprisingly smooth for being 10% ABV.

4. Cigar City Sugar Plum Brown Ale- Sugar and spice and everything nice.  Cigar City puts out another exceptional offering that says Christmas all over it, but is a great beer to drink on any night.

3.  Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout- This beer is amazing. Only $7.99 for a four pack, which is pretty reasonable considering the ABV level.  Blacker than midnight and packed full of rich, roasty, chocolatey flavors.  For a different take on a child hood classic, use it in an ice cream float.

2.  Blue Point Old Howling Bastard- Starting with the name, this beer just sounds like a great winter choice.  Named after a man who used to frequent the tasting room, this beer is a great example of a take on the American barleywine.  Watch out for the ABV...this beer will sneak up on you because it is so drinkable.

1.  Dogfish Head Chicory Stout- I look forward to the release of this beer every year, and after having my first of the year last night, it is still one of my favorite off-centered ales.  The chicory adds some great spice and coffee notes to a beer that is super complex, but still easy to drink.

Cheers and Happy Brewing!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mindless Ramblings of a Beer Drinker

I love drinking beer.  I love getting a perfect pint of Guinness poured at a local Irish bar while pounding my way through fish and chips.  It's hard to beat pouring my favorite Belgian Dubbel into my Duvel glass at home while I watch reruns of the Office after a long day.  It's also hard to beat an ice cold Bud Light on a hot summer day out by the pool.  Drinking the efforts of my homebrewing makes me love beer even more, especially when it's my Smoked Chocolate porter or my insanely hoppy IPA.  While there are great crowds of people that get strung up on the definitions of craft, micro, nano, and fizzy, yellow stuff, I belong in the crowd that loves beer for the fact that it is beer.  While there are times where I search out a specific Dogfish Head beer that is only released at the world's smallest bar, and I often look for the newest Southern Tier offering in my favorite beer shop, there are plenty memories of mine where I have enjoyed an ice cold macro (BMC) lager simply for the fact that it washes the food down my throat without being over complicated.  All too often, beer snobs and drunken frat boys create a massive division in the beer world that requires you taking sides.  I'm tired of firing up Twitter or Facebook and seeing another craft brewery knocking BMC for the beers that it puts out, and I'm also sick of BMC putting out crap beer and then marketing it to death (or until the point where people buy it because the newest commercial was funny).  Beer should be celebrated for being beer.  Founder of Stone Brewing Co Greg Koch gets extremely mad when he thinks of the fizzy, yellow stuff, but when is the last time that Stone released a beer available in places outside of Southern California that you can drink more than one of and not feel sloshed?  There is a time and a place for every beer out there, and more people need to realize that.  I'm not defending crap beer, but I have tasted as many "craft" beers that I thought were crap as I have BMC beers. (Definitely not defending Michelada! Tomato or clam juice and beer are definitely not a good combo!)  With that all being said, the next few posts that I provide will spread the gambit of the brewing world; from Macro lagers, to the smallest nano breweries, to my spare bedroom where I homebrew.  Welcome to the world of beer that I love.
P.S.- We know we've been gone for a while... Life gets busy so go grab a beer and just enjoy the great things we've got coming your way!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Trend of Fall Beers

Fall is my favorite time of year.  Football is on the TV every weekend, and my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, is madly approaching!  With the cooling of the weather comes a string of beer releases to coincide.  Every brewery from Budweiser to the smallest microbrewery turn their eyes and brewing minds to flavors that will emulate the change of color in the leaves.  Here is a list of my 10 favorite fall beers that always find a way into my glass come Thanksgiving:

1.  Samuel Adams Octoberfest- One of my favorite examples of the style.  Smooth and crisp, but with enough maltiness to welcome the fall season.

2.  Dogfish Head Punkin Ale- I look forward to this being released every year.  By far the best pumpkin ale I have ever tasted (Haven't been able to taste Southern Tier Pumking yet!).  Pumpkiny, brown sugary, and all the right spices come through in this brew.

3.  Sierra Nevada Tumbler- A recent addition to my list.  Malty and robust, but lighter than the usual brown ale and with just enough hops to balance it all out.

4.  Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier- This beer is awesome.  Smoky (like a campfire), but in all the right ways (like the smell of pork shoulder being slowly smoked over real wood all day).

5.  Stone Double Bastard- Similar to the original Arrogant Bastard, but with more of a malty, dried fruit background.  Drinks more like an extremely hopped barleywine.

6.  Abita Pecan Harvest Ale-  An otherwise average brew is jolted into greatness by the smooth, nutty flavors that come from the use of actual pecans.

7.  Rogue Brutal Bitter- When a craving for hops comes around, this beer provides great punch, but it malty enough to not feel like a spring beer.

8.  North Coast Old Stock Ale- Filled with rich, dark fruity flavors, this one is great to sip as the sun dips down at night.

9.  Southern Tier Back Burner Barleywine- Although this is their winter release, I always try to find a bottle of this and stash it away for the year to have when that first cold night comes around.

10.  Whatever Homebrew I'm Feeling This Year- Last year I made an Octoberfest style Ale with brown sugar and some spice.  This year I brewed a Bourbon-Vanilla Pumpkin Ale at 8% ABV to soak in all the fallness it can!  I'll be trying one around Halloween so I'll let you know how it turns out!

Give these brews a shot and let us know what you think!
Don't forget that our Founder's Bachelor Party is only 3 weeks away!! Show him how much you appreciate the site!
Founder's Bachelor Party

Cheers and Happy Brewing!
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