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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Medieval Times: Chivalry, Cheering, & Chicken

Medieval Times
2001 N. Roselle Road | Schaumburg, IL

I've been to the Orlando Medieval Times as a child, with my sweetheart, and as a chaperone. When I drove past the castle in Schaumberg, Illinois it struck me as odd. I knew there were other locations, but to see it nestled between office parks and factories seemed off. No mini-golf close by. It's not on the way to the happiest place on Earth. It's just there, looming over the interstate. 

I found some friends who were interested in going. Mr. K had never been. Groupon had a great deal. So last weekend, I found myself at Medieval Times again. I did not know what to expect at this Illinois location. I did not know if I'd be as fascinated by the jousting, hand-to-hand combat, and chicken as an adult. I was really looking forward to finding out.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Pierogi Fest 2014: Kolaczki, Pierogi, and Blintzes, Oh My!

Another year, another pierogi fest with my partner in crime. We pulled up to a parking spot right round the corner from one of the main entrances. It was cloudy, but the weather held out and stayed cool. We saw some old faces and some new. We got to linger at the arts and craft booths and found some new types of jewelry.

The quick run down of the pierogi-ness and more:
  • Two orders from my favorite spot (Gosia's). Crisp and delicious, buttery, fried potato cheddar, potato feta, and sweet cabbage.
  • Two frozen dozen from Gosia's to go (it's that good)
  • Two of my favorite strudel (Original Strudel Factory)
  • Two necklaces
  • One mushy order of boiled pierogi that ended up mostly in the trash
  • One apricot kolaczki
  1. Boiled pierogi are not better, despite the assertions of the cashier.
  2. Kolaczki are divine.
Five years going, with four of them being awesome Friday experiences. Check out my 2011 post for a detailed account of all the festivities have in store!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Lounging at Lightning Bug Music Fest

Last weekend I attended the first annual Lightning Bug Music Festival at Sunset Hill Farm in Valparaiso, Indiana. This fest benefited a local summer camp for kids. Who can't get behind summer camps that educate kids and bring them out into nature? Added bonus, great music, gourmet food, and delicious beers. I was hesitant to buy tickets for a fest in July, but with the cool weather we have been having, I took the risk. The cloud cover kept it cool, so I could sit out in the open and enjoy all the event had to offer.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Ryan and the Beaster Bunny (Evil Twin)

I don't have a lot of notes on Evil Twin. One of the best beers I've ever had, was a sip off of my friend's Biscotti Break at Local Option (no notes, sorry). All Evil Twin is worth noting.

I picked up this farmhouse-style ale at my local liquor shop. I like a cold, crisp, and funky ale on a hot summer day. While this holiday weekend has been cool, it was still nice to crack one open while prepping some meat and veg for the grill.

General Thoughts
Look and Smell: This straw-colored brew had a frothy white reverse head that stuck to the glass. Surprisingly it was the hop oils, not sugars, causing that lacing. It was incredibly carbonated straight from the bottle. I smelled floral, orange blossomy hops.

Taste: This was much more bitter and way less funky than expected. It tasted like orange bitter. A honey sweetness balances it out. Candied orange peel. There is a complexity of flavor with a bit of spice (maybe cardamom). Very good!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wild Brew: KHM 2.0 (Hunter's)

I'm no longer writing about every brew that touches these lips, but this version of Hunter's jasmine rice beer was worth noting. Khao Hom Mali is a cream ale that fast became a Hunter's standard. It's light, creamy, and reaches a certain target to a tee. Not my favorite, but perfectly fits the style. I had a small pour again recently and still feel the same way.

Then Hunter's released a v2.0. This was brewed with wild rice and Maris Otter grain (a classic English barley generally reserved for small-batch brews). Now this was something I'd order. I tried it when it was first tapped and on another visit. It's a nice brew, and I think it would still appease the masses.

General Thoughts
Look and Smell: This pale yellow brew had a white ring for head. It smelled like earthy rice.

Taste: It was smooth and nutty. There was a slight spice to it that I couldn't place (like a nutmeg). It was grainy...and...did I mention smooth. This could stand up to red meat and would be great with chicken. If I close my eyes, with that proper English barley and earthy flavors it could pass as an English brown. This brew was yet another unique offering from Hunter's.