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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Art Finds in Hammond: 4th Annual Hammond Art Walk

This year I was able to dedicate the day to the 4th Annual Hammond Art Walk. I visited 10 of 12 locations and attended the after party at the 11th (White Ripple Gallery). It was a great way to enjoy the late start of spring. This year met all expectations. It was fun to explore the exhibits at the galleries and local spots. The paper arts, sculpture, paintings, drawings, and even the written word and music were a delight for the senses.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Step Right Up: Lagunitas Chicago Beer Circus

The juggling was mesmerizing. The painted faces were bright and eye catching. The music was entertaining. Even the tents, with their spikes jutting against the blue sky, playfully added to the atmosphere. I saw pink elephants before the drinking even started! 

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of visiting the 2nd Annual Chicago Lagunitas Beer Circus with Mr. K and a couple of adventurous friends. It was a perfect celebration of beer, oddities, and fun. It was a great way to welcome the late-to-arrive spring. The beer was flowing with short lines and the food trucks were well stocked. It was a well-organized and laid back event with a great crowd, memorable entertainment, creative costumes, and delicious beer. It was an inventive way to raise money for PAWS Chicago.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Longing for Summer: Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers (Stone)

Sitting at home during an unseasonally chilly last day of May, I went shopping in my cellar. I grabbed a bottle of the 2014 Stone limited summer release, a smoked porter with chipotle peppers. It seemed rich enough for this rainy day, with a flavor that would help me get into the summer spirit of grilling and relaxing on the patio. It didn't disappoint.

I'll admit that I did not drink this within 120 days after bottling. Stone is all about the fresh flavor of their fresh brews, but with my common palate, I didn't detect a breakdown of flavor. So, I bucked authority.

General Thoughts
Look and Smell: This black-ish brew had a ruby glow. It had an off-white and frothy head that sticks around. It had a lightly smoky aroma with a sweet malty smell.

Taste: It had a mellow, even burn. It had a molasses earthiness to it.The smoke is almost sweet. It's really well balanced. I could drink it all day. It would go well with cheesy dishes or light Mexican-style fare. It could balance rich red meats. Gosh, this made me hungry!