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I know, it has been quite a while since my last post. Between an intense summer class on the Revolution of the Book, travel for work, travel for travel’s sake and general life things, I’ve been a bit busy. That and the fact that on hot summer days and evenings I tend to lean towards cheap, easy to drink beer, I didn’t have a whole lot to say about anything I have consumed that would have had any intriguing content. I spared you notes on evenings of Rolling Rock, National Bohemian (Natty Boh to us Baltimoreans) and Pabst Blue Ribbon.

With that said, I did come across some noteworthy beverages in my travels. While I did not take any notes like I usually do, here are a couple of wines and a beer that stuck in my mind from the past couple of months.

Blue Fish Riesling (Germany) – I stopped by The Owl Bar the other night after returning from Philadelphia to find a quiet corner to read Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy for class in hopes of enjoying an at least tolerable glass of wine.  I was quite impressed with this crisp clean tasting Riesling. I went in with no expectations drink wise.  My main reason for visiting this former speakeasy, which was apparently visited by famous people* from around the world back in its heyday, was to find just enough stimulation so that I wasn’t sitting at home alone, but quiet enough to get lost in my book.  The Blue Fish Riesling exceeded my expectations.  I plan on going back and getting more detailed notes on this wine and/or will be tracking it down at my local wine shop.

*I’d like to note that Barbara Stanwick (She was AMAZING in Double Indemnity) was one of its many notable visitors.

2011 Writer’s Block Pinot Noir (Lake County) – While I was in Philadelphia visiting my brother we went to Zahav, a restaurant specializing in modern Israeli cuisine.  If you have the chance to, GO!  You will not be disappointed.  This was a very light tasting, smooth, easy to drink Pinot Noir.  I even got my brother to try a sip.  He’s not much for red wines.  He didn’t hate it.  I was impressed!  I’ll have to try to track this one down again.

The Steak House – Circus Circus – Las Vegas – I spent a few days in Vegas to get a change of scenery, a change of perspective, and to clear my head a bit.  Taking a day to drive out into the desert is extremely therapeutic.  On my last night there I decided to try the fine dining option at my hotel.  I didn’t catch the names of the wines I had, but with dinner I had a glass of Riesling, of course.  It went well enough with the garlic grilled shrimp I had.  The port I ordered for dessert however, was a complete shit show.  It was overpoweringly syrupy and tasted a bit like lighter fluid.  This was the recommendation from the server.

Anchor California Lager – I spent a week in Anaheim for work.  While the work days were incredibly long, we did have one night to ourselves.  Most of my coworkers gathered together and had dinner and drinks together.  That’s cute and all, and I work with some great people, but if I get ONE night off, I’m getting the hell away from work.  Within 6 minutes of being relieved for the evening I was cleaned up, changed and out the door and into a car with one request to the driver: GET ME OUT OF HERE.  I wanted to hit up a punk dive bar that I discovered was about 30 min away in Huntington Beach.  The driver said if I’m going that far, he would be doing me a disservice if he didn’t actually take me to said beach.  I was in no position to argue and nothing makes me happier than spending time with the ocean.  So after spending the most glorious 25 minutes walking the beach and enjoying the sunset, I found a small corner bar/restaurant to grab dinner.  I love Anchor Brewing Company.  I have the Anchor Steam logo tattooed to my left arm.  Their Liberty Ale is one of my all time favorite beers.  I was absolutely overjoyed when I discovered their California Lager available on tap at this establishment.  When in Rome right?  It was everything I expected and loved in a lager.  I think being in California, just coming off of the beach, and being in a state of utter bliss after watching a magnificent sunset over Huntington Beach made this beer drinking experience even more rewarding.  If only I could find this beer bottled locally here in Baltimore!  I would love to be transported back to those moments on that Friday night in the middle of a long work week.