Friday, October 29, 2010

UCI Announces Suspensions (None for Doping)

Well, the UCI (International Cycling Union or something like that in French) handed out two suspensions today.

The first suspension was to Johan Bruyneel. He has been given a two-month suspension by the International Cycling Union (UCI). He and the RadioShack directors and riders have also all been fined for wearing non-authorized jerseys at the start of the final stage of the Tour de France this summer.  The team violated UCI regulations by wearing an unauthorized jersey at the closing stage. The team built around Lance Armstrong started the stage in a black jersey advertising Armstrong's Livestrong charity, instead of their usual RadioShack jerseys, but were forced to change jerseys during the stage.  Since the UCI has such a hard time regulating doping, they have decided to instead regulate a dress code.

The second suspension was to Carlos Barredo for attacking Rui Costa with his front wheel. He attempted to hit the Portuguese rider over the head with the wheel, but the four ounce wheel disintegrated on impact.  Not really, but I would have chosen to smack him with a full water bottle which weighs more and costs much less.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Oktoberfest from St. Louis' Largest Brewer (sort of)

My latest sampling in the beer world is the Schlafly Oktoberfest.  For those of you unfamiliar with Schlafly, it is the largest brewery headquartered in St. Louis.  Yes, there used to be a very big brewery headquartered in St. Louis, but due to the ineptness of one Augustus Busch IV, it was purchased by InBev, a company run by a much more astute CEO named Carlos Brito.

Schlafly distributes currently in Kansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri.  In addition to the brewery, they also operate the Schlafly Tap Room at 21st and Locust in downtown St. Louis, about four blocks walk from Union Station.

More about the Oktoberfest beer:  first of all, I liked it.  One of my major complaints about many of the craft-brewed beers today is the brewers’ over-fascination with hops.  Lots of hops, dry hops, bittering hops, flavoring hops, etc.  Many have lost the sense of balance.  Schlafly hit the mark with this Oktoberfest lager.  There are hops, but they’re balanced with the malt.  An Oktoberfest beer is not supposed to be heavily laden with hops aroma and this one isn’t. 

This beer has a clean taste, definitely a lager and has none of the clove or fruity esters of an ale.  This is a nice red color, so be sure to pour it into a nice pint glass instead of drinking out of the bottle. 

I found this at the local Schnuck’s for less than $6 for the six-pack.  Try some before it is gone.

OG: 13.75
IBU: 25
CAL (12 oz.): 185 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fruit in Beer?

Okay, let's make this clear.  I like lots of different beer.  I like Budweiser, Guinness Stout, Schlafly Hefeweizen, and a host of others.  But not fruit beer.  Not generally.

I think it's because I don't like mixing things that much.  I like coffee and I like ice cream.  But not coffee ice cream.  The same goes with fruit beer.  I like fruit. I like beer.  But not fruit beer.  Until now.

I would encourage all of you beer lovers to try the Samuel Adams Blackberry Witbier.  I know it's towards the tail end of the white beer season, but look for a few leftover six-packs at the store.  This beer has a light fruit flavor and is not too sweet.  It also has the traditional flavorings from a witbier.  Think of it as a Blue Moon with blackberries instead of oranges.  Except better.  The body is a bit heaver than Blue Moon and the flavors are more subtle but somehow stronger.

For a dinner, I would pair this with ... barbecue.  Actually, it would probably go best with a grilled chicken or fish.

Anyway, have a taste.