A Pair of Local Beer Reviews

Posted by Jim on Jun 16th, 2009
Jun 16

Sebago HefeWeizen

B / 3.7
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | drink: 4

Served in a standard pint glass at the Brewpub in Gorham The beer pours an opaque straw color with a skin of tiny bubbles on top. You can smell citrus as you bring the beer to your face. There are hints of citrus in the taste and some floral wheat. There is something earthy in the taste, probably a yeast remnant left in the beer due to it being unfiltered. The beer has a light body and a healthy amount of carbonation. It is very refreshing. Based on the style, I would say the mouthfeel is where this beer shines. Overall, a decent beer; I could enjoy a number of these sitting outside at any of the Sebago brewpubs.

Shipyard Export

C+ / 3.25
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | drink: 3.5

Pours a clear, light amber color with a thick med of small to medium sized white bubbles. There is lots of visible carbonation rising in the glass. Some hops in the aroma, along with malt and grain. The Export tastes buttery, with some hop bitterness. It finishes dry, but due to the butteriness, the beer leaves a good amount of coating in your mouth that lingers well after you’ve swallowed. If you weren’t partial to this feeling, you’d want a sip of water after each sip of beer. The amount of carbonation also borders on the upper end. All in all, there are some good things and bad things about Shipyard Export. It’s a beer you can find almost everywhere in my area, so if I don’t see something I like, I can always order one. It still carries a premium price though, so usually I can find something a little more interesting for the same cost.

Beer Review: Long Trail IPA

Posted by Jim on May 28th, 2009
May 28

C+ / 3.1
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | drink: 3

Poured into the center of a traditional pint glass. There was some sediment at the bottom of the bottle which I mistakenly poured into the glass, which made the beer mostly opaque. It has a straw color and a thick white head that leaves lace on the sides of the glass as it recedes to a skim of bubbles on the top of the beer. There is a mild hoppy aroma. The taste has a medium hoppy character, with some hop bitterness in the finish. There is mild to heavy carbonation and a light body that leaves your mouth feeling wet (as opposed to a dry finish). Overall, there doesn’t seem to be much to this beer (especially compared to Long Trail’s DIPA); I’ve had much better IPAs. I had this beer because it was abandoned in my fridge, I doubt I’d purchase one.

Top 5 Films Set in Chicago

Posted by Jim on Apr 8th, 2009
Apr 8

In the past week or so, I’ve read High Fidelity and watched the film adaptation.  Inspired by Rob’s frequent use of Top 5 lists in the story, and since I know more about films than books, I submit to you my top 5 favorite films set in Chicago.

  1. The Blues Brothers
  2. The Sting
  3. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  4. High Fidelity
  5. Chicago 10

There you have it; three classics, a newer romantic comedy, and a semi-obscure documentary.  What are your favorite films set in Chicago?

Mikey 2.0; or, More Photos from the LIFE Archives

Posted by Jim on Nov 19th, 2008
Nov 19

I spent a little time searching the LIFE photo archives at Google again today, in hopes of finding some good images to replace the default aurora image included with Leopard.  Here’s what I have installed.

On my main monitor I have this interesting image of passengers boarding a Pan-Am transatlantic flight in Paris.  It was taken by Peter Stackpole in 1952.  I like how the passengers on the stairs are only visible as shilouettes, but the crew members on the tarmac are mostly visible.

My second monitor features this great image of George Harrison and Bob Dylan on stage together.  It was taken at George’s Concert for Bangladesh, held in Madison Square Garden on August 1, 1971.  Dylan and Harrison were good friends, and I think you can really tell that from the Look Bob is giving George.  This was Bob’s first live performance in two years and he was nervous about performing because of this, but I think he’s enjoying himself on stage.  The arm you see on the right edge of the image belongs to Leon Russell.  There is a second image the includes Russell.

One last image I found and saved to my desktop pictures directory is this impressive shot of the Mall in Washington D.C. during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.  This is the event at which Dr. Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.  The number of people in this shot is staggering.  I can’t even tell where the stage is (if I remember it correctly, it was on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, which would be just outside of the frame).

Debate this

Posted by Jim on Sep 26th, 2008
Sep 26

I’m not quite sure what this image has to do with the Presidential Debate tonight, but it makes me want to watch NBC’s coverage.

[Sure, it looks like this image is supposed to accompany the America’s Toughest Job promo, but with the way the country is these days, being the President is probably America’s toughest job, so I think the above observation is valid.]


Posted by Jim on Sep 17th, 2008
Sep 17

How long until Novare starts pouring this new beer?

Slightly Grittier

Posted by Jim on Sep 15th, 2008
Sep 15

On Friday, I got to try a special batch of Gritty McDuff’s Best Bitter…only I didn’t have it at Gritty’s.  A special cask of the beer was prepared for Novare Res.  I don’t remember all of the tweaks made to the recipe, but the one cahnge worth noting is the half pound of willamette hops deposited directly into the cask.  The folks at Novare have been sitting on the cask for a couple weeks to let the flavors mellow.  They tapped the cask either late on Thursday or when they opened on Friday (it was not yet available when I left at 8pm on Thursday, and when I showed up at 3:30 Friday, it was on the menu), so it may not be available anymore.  Hopefully this will be first of many special casks provided by some of the breweries who don’t otherwise have beers available at Novare.  I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing some Old Thumper or Jamaican Style Stout on tap there.

Above and beyond having a great cask beer, it was nice to be able to count this pint towards the Uprising.  Each Uprising card includes two slots dedicated to cask beer—any cask beer!  Of course, there isn’t a beer availble on cask very often, and up until now I’ve always missed my chance to order one (or have counted the beer as a non-cask entry on the card).  In addition to the Best Bitter, there was also a cask of Allagash Interlude available on Friday, so I was able to have both cask beers required by the Uprising in one night.  I’ve been keeping track of my progress (and a running list of all the beers I’ve had and movies I’ve watched this year) on the Movie + a Beer page.

Jul 14

Happy Con Air Day!!!

Professional Accomplishements

Posted by Jim on May 30th, 2008
May 30

I was going to send this out via Twitter, but it’s a little too involved for 140 characters, so you’re getting the full write-up here.

The middle schools were I work were recently shipped copies of the MLTI‘s new softwae image, which incorporates Apple’s Leopard OS.  These are the first machines on the district’s network to use the new OS, and as one would expect, there are a number of problems springing up as I try to incorporate them.  Luckily, I solved two of these problems today.

First, the Leopard client machines are able to bind to the XServe running Tiger (which means they have a directory record on the server and numerous settings can be managed through the server), but a number of managed preferences are not being passed.  I discovered that the settings I wanted to manage (and that had worked for all the Tiger clients) are no longer stored in the same preference files on a Leopard system.  Uploading the settings from a Leopard client allows for them to be passed to all the bound Leopard machines.

Second, the Leopard machines were not able to connect to a number of our file servers.  Our servers are all Netware boxes running both afp and smb.  Certain servers were accessible to the Leopard clients, but some very important ones were not.  All the servers we available to Tiger clients.  Following a suggestion I read on a message board, I tried connecting to the server via smb instead of afp (afp is Apple’s filing protocol, smb is used mainly by Windows machines).  SMB access worked, although the mount points were all geared towards the windows users and did not have their Mac-specific names.  This solved the problem, but it wasn’t a perfect solution, so I kept digging.  Apparently Leopard has disabled sending cleartext passwords in order to better the system’s security.  This normally is a great measure to take, except when your netware servers all want cleartext passwords (why they want them is beyond me, I think we’ll have to change that).  By going into the user’s com.apple.AppleShareClient.plist file and manually changing the afp_cleartext_allow entry, the netware servers were all available.

It’s not everyday that I solve a big problem at work.  Solving two though, that means I’ve really made a difference today.  It makes leaving early to finish moving into the new house that much easier.

Jeremy Bulloch Would Be Proud

Posted by Jim on May 22nd, 2008
May 22

Here are some photos from the Star Wars Dance Party at Bubba’s I mentioned a while back.  It looks like I missed a good time.  It really is a shame my Mon Calamari suit was at the cleaners that weekend.

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