Fuck let's just get to it; Summer seasonal offerings from craft beer makers are not my favorites. I find them to be a little weaker in terms of flavor in comparison to the robust stouts of winter or spice/malt playfulness of the vernal and autumnal beers. Summer isn't time for challenge; not for beers or relationships at least. Plus when weather gets this damn hot I guess most folks just wanted to be refreshed first and delighted second. I had point but it's lost me, no I lost it. Oh Yeah! Nah there still some great summer beer out there you just gotta look. So with out further ado here are Daddy Fatbacks "Beers of Summer"! 

Pretenders aka Barley Pops

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These are not beers of summer; just things I drink during this time which are beer adjacent 

Not Leinenkugel Summer Shandy: You want a shandy just get some lemonade and beer you don't mind "enhancing" with lemonade. It doesn't matter what you pick as it will still taste better than this bullshit. 

Steigl Radler: Not a beer; alcoholic malt soda. However I really can't recreate this flavor. Have I had one of these at 10am and then tried to make my own getting drunk of Squirt and miller lite? No, no I have not. What I'm saying is Steigl Radler is a perfectly fine drink, just know that you are precarious steps away from drinking the Mike's Hard Varietals. Mike's Hard also would have more booze... just less cultural cachet. 

Trader Joe's Snake Bites: Now we are working are way closer to beer. Get a six pack of TJ's apple cider (red or green it doesn't matter) and sixer of simpler times Pilsner. Get big ass mug, schooner, chalice, or jug. Pour ice-cold bottle and can, one in each hand, at the same time. You just made two mediocre products turn into a tasty summer beverage.

Real Beer

Here are the new, well new to me, beers of summer that I actually enjoyed. I guess Summer is not over but it doesn't matter because I'm not writing another one. Check the tweets if you want this in real-time because updates are for suckers.

Solemn Oath - Scareball
Releasing an imperial pilsner in the summer is bold move because it says: "Let get these motherfuckers drunk in the hot summer sun." The beer is remarkably balanced (especially solid malt backbone) and yet you still know its got that booze. Uoeno how delicious this beer is but you should... 

Half Acre - C-Change
It's a kölsch that stays pretty true to the style; light, grassy hop profile and pale in color. It's a simple summer beer can be enjoyed anytime. Sitting at 4.5% abv it deceptively easy to drink a whole growler. If you want the more traditional Half-Acre hop style go find yourself a bottle Cuda, plus it's got more booze. Me, I'll stay over here kicking it 

Aleman/O'so - The Hammer
A pale ale aged with cedar you know Brother Smoke (just go with it) is down with that. I mean if Hitachino's 
Japanese Classic Ale is my shit than this dialed version has a good chance to win me over. Replace the malt sweetness with a little bit more hop-balance and you have a solid summer beer (where as I think of the JCA as a good fall beer). That said there is now citrus, wood, and faint bit of honey in the taste. This got me excited to see what else Aleman will do.

Pipeworks - Marilime Law
This is my jam. Basically take a style I don't normally fuck with DIPA/IIPA and then you "fruit the beer." Yeah I still remember that ad campaign against Corona. Well you know what? Fuck Miller Light! In this case lime juice and lime zest make this one of the best DIPA I've ever or will ever had. Drank it the day it was delivered to the liquor store. I wanted to horde it but no... this needs to be share. Basically I like floral and citrus hop profiles so yeah if you are going to hammer that point home by putting citrus juice in it I'm wit it (NSFW). Just get a damn bottle.

Crooked Stave - St. Bretta (Spring)
Technically this is a spring beer but I don't care. A sour wit brewed with Tangelos (yeah I like fruit), this was a light and powerful brew. Crooked Stave knows how to play with funk and this time they do it with some amazing balance; though sour, this does not go overly dry dry or forget about the necessary grain backbone. Furthermore, it was properly carbonated both on draft and out of the bottle to be an easy drinker. A Blood orange version dropped in the summer and I think if General H.A.M. ever finishes solving the Middle-East peace talks he'll bring me a bottle. If you are in Denver you better holla at these brewers because they are sitting on liquid gold.  
 
 
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Summertime and I've been doing way more pondering and drinking than writing. Times are weird with the P&A crew: General H.A.M. has been trapped in an Panamanian prison, Big Whiskey is training a pup to win the world's hearts and minds, and me, well I'm just trying stem the the tides of massive burnout. That means a lot less but more selective/curated drinking because June and early July got weird. I'm saying forties at 10am on Tuesday trying to perfect a brass monkey. I mean, I finally got ice in my freezer in June and with 40+ bottles of booze in the house, a good back deck, a sweet 'stache and a new Queens of the Stone Age album well...

Bathrobes and beat up shoes were maxed out for at least two weeks straight as I finished "formulating" different versions of my favorite quick drinks. These next few articles cover my post-Rocky Mountain stretch of drinking and the results of my research/road to ruin. Today's article is about my favorite breakfast treat.

Daddy's Brass Monkey:
40oz Malt liquor
King Cobra/Magnum/Colt if you don't need an eye opener.
Olde English/Hurricane if you trying to feel it.

Orange Juice with Pulp (not the fancy stuff)
Grapefruit Juice

Steps
Guzzle the forty until you get to just below the label.
Shake your OJ and pour until you reach the the start of conical top.
Add Grapefruit juice... but not to the top.
Stick your finger in and invert the bottle
Enjoy breakfast.

Truth is I just really fucking miss Five Alive which was my go to brass monkey mix. None of those bullshit variants but just the original Five Alive. I Used to combine that with 151 and a little bit of coconut rum for what I called a "Power Screw Driver" in college; I was dick head in college. Shit looked mean in a Nalgene (when it had that sweet cancer plastic) and it never got shut down. Sure I could recreate it but that would be an expensive endeavor. 

Well I got no good way to end this so...
 
 
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You already know I’m a leg man… Yeah, you should remember my bovine bash but guess what, I go 3-ways. Beef, lamb and now pork; I fuck wit all shanks when it comes to them tough cuts.  This post is all about the porcine power of Schweinshaxen.

But before I get into some limb love, let me put on some mood music.

Powerful German rock sets the table perfectly for the EXTREME fun I had making this dish.  You like tender pork, sticky tendons, and crunchy skin? Then I guess it’s time you stopped fucking around and stepped to the real. Time for you to make some Schweinshaxen! Basically I got the base recipe from Food Republic & it’s simple as hell. Also pretty cot damn delicious. I won’t reprint the recipe but I’ll give you some brief notes on the cook.. First thing though is you’ll need three hours to make it do what it do. An hour for boiling the meat. The time it takes to cool it. Finally the hour and a half of roasting in the oven.  I can’t stress this enough. I made the mistake of starting at 6:00pm at night… not a good look. Here are a few things you can do to pass the time:
  • Prep condiments to go with this. Some quick pickled onions, a mustard, make soda bread, or some roasted potatoes. I did not do this...
  • Research German slang and music for an article and then realize that German's really like dance music and American pop. I didn't do this either. Number 3 on the charts is below.
  • Drink a fresh American Seasonal Oktoberfest offering like Staghorn, Oktoberface, or Memento Mori... I didn't do this either.
  • Drink a few skunked bottles of beer you forgot about purchased in the Fall 2009 and think about better days and then switch to whiskey. 
  • Knock out some shows on the DVR that have been there since 2010 to convince yourself you have traveled back in time..

Whoa sorry about that. Anyway, here is a slide show with tips and commentary.
Other things to know about this dish. Have a sharp and flexible blade handy to breakdown this shit. Between the bone and tendons it's just a much if you are in the company of others. If not just let it cool and then Einhänder that ho!. I used some pumpernickel as napkin/sponge because well that's one of the perks of  secret eatings! Finally, make sure in the final roasting stage (425F for the last 20-30 minutes) that you leave enough of the liquid stock at that bottom of the pan. With my setup in burned off quick. Real pain in the ass to clean.

I can't stop this leg love so I guess I'm gonna do this until I need a new thrill. Plus pork shanks are pretty damn cheap. Plus you know I love to take my time when it comes treating the legs. But if you must know what next in this food fetish the answer is pretty easy; Crispy Pata. That’s Right! The Filipinos have combined my love of legs with Mexican carnitas and it’s fucking brilliant. Now we've purchased this kind of heat from Ruby’s; oh you didn’t think we buy fried crazy legs in this bitch. We do... trust! Now the only trick is to make this my damn self because when it come to leg love...Daddy don't like to pay for it.
 
 
So you haven't heard a lot from General H.A.M. lately. He's been doing thangs, Big Thangs! So it was interesting when I heard be doing quick mid-week sortie in the City of Wind. Due to logistical concerns, what was suppose to be a two night tour of destruction got condensed into 3 hours that could best be described in this image:
And on the other side of that we both had things to do the next morning. Anyway here are the highlights

Stage 1 - The Bad Apple 

Originally we had planned to camp out at our old haunt for the long haul. Started with poutine and beers. Ended in Carl Weathers, my official winter 2012 drink. H.A.M., the hop-head fiend expressed his disappointment of Midwestern brewers inability to penetrate his new home in the Rockies. He got his necessary Daisy Cutter on tap as we talked shop. This forced me re-evaluate our tactics, and realizing that I am a walking beermenus.com realized that I could knock out two of his target in one fell swoop. We settled up and went to the next phase.

Stage 2 - The Wild Goose.

About a year ago opposing forces made it so that The Wild Goose, primarily a sports bar, had to step there tap list up. And step it up they did. That's why when H.A.M. let it slip that Two-Hearted and Hopslam were on his hit list I knew we had to do it. My previous comments about Bells are still there, but these beers are undeniable if hops are your thing. Due to my approximate knowledge of all tapheads in this city I knew that they were being poured back to back at the goose. That's just what I bring to a tea party. The filled glasses made him do this, figuratively of course.
His hop threesome complete we moved on to total domination.

Stage 3 - The Crib

We had an hour. That meant time to do some boss shit. Threw on Rick Ross and debated merits of what was the best of Maybach Music tracks. I will forever say it's part 2. Then it was time to resume the drinking. Spotted Cow on tap, that got poured up. Then through some rare shit into the fridge, Wake of the Flood, aged with lactose and apples.
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A strange & wonderful brew. It was oddly sour and finished very dry. We wondered if it lost some of it rye bite to push forward it sourness. General H.A.M. thought it was pushing into a strange flemish\cider hybrid. I thought it was oddly insightful for the amount of booze that we had consumed. I got another bottle, gonna try with some roast sausages and potatoes. 

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Next, I finally decided to crack open my bottle of the Hibiki 12. Smooth and balanced, that shit is cray. Spice notes were balanced by alcohol and a subtle sweetness. Oddly I got no predominate sense of wood, but yet its invisible hand was there. I'm not a man that cares about single malts vs blends, I just want what I drink to be good; I fucks with this all day errday. Anybody that has a line on an age of consent bottle (17 or 21) holla at ya boy.

Daddy and H.A.M. got drunk, Big Whisky was stuck eating crappy food in Orlando and we finally had something to write about. 
 
 
So stopped by Half-Acre today and saw a bottle I had never seen before on the ledge. It ended up being their latest collaboration with Next for the elBulli event. So I probably won't ever taste this beer but it warms my heart to know it exist.

Here is all I know from a quick look at the label (sorry but all I had on me was my shitty 2007 phone cam): Sanguis is an ale brewed with Oranges & Beets. Horizon, their previous collaboration for the Thai meals, was another strangely wonderful fruited beer\experiment.  I would eat bowl of hobo chili just to get my hands on this bottle. 

Big Whiskey, if you get tickets to the next Next-elBulli dinner I want you to screw over the TFMBW and let me call dibs.

I want in!

 
 
I think by now we all realize that Big Whisky balls so hard motherfuckers should fine him (HAM note: Or fry him?). But first we got to find him. With me being stuck on up on the North Side or Humbolt Park most evenings that's just not going to happen. But with G&G, Next and the Publican as part of his repertoire well...
But while he's bending & spending like boss I'm here to let you know that the P&A lifestyle hits all areas of Chicago and thus, can work for all wallets. So get ready for some sophisticated ignorance as I let you know that 

Jefferson & Portage Park
Got Spots!

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First place you need to go if your trying to get on some quality beer on the cheap, Fischman's Liquors. Fuck with this tap list and fuck with these prices. Wood paneled room, big ass bar, friendly folks & criminally cheap prices. When The General touches down this the first stop in (if he comes via O'Hare). Got some Greenbush and Old Rasputin for under $10. Then head over through middle and be amazed by one of the greatest craft beer store shelves this city has to offer. Who just came up on some Two Brothers Hoodwinked? Daddy did.  All this Because it is a bar and liquor Store. This place is the truth, the proof, and the pyrex. I plan on returning there when ever that exclusive stuff drops (looking at you Bruery\Cigar City) because I know they'll have it on lock.

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Photo Credit: Gene Wagendorf III
But if you actually want to eat, go and get yourself a Fish Sandwich at Hagens's. A place to get your catch smoked (gonna need to use that as euphemism soon), but what I order; Fish Fillet (that's three if you're counting). Sure they got deli cases of smoked and prepped seafood but for 6 dollar you can get a fish sandwich and cheese curds (or hush puppies). Oh and they also got some fire clam chowder. But back to this sandwich: Turano hamburger bun, whole filet pollack, tartar sauce, and lettuce. It's just Filet-o-Fish on steroids and it's glorious. Don't sleep on the near west side.

So lets count that up, 32 oz of good beer and a meal for $17. Maybe next time I'll tell where you can get decent beef. Until then just know that the P&A lifestyle isn't only about hot spots and hot jams, but its also about hot deals. Cuss, We got what you need, What, What you need I got, What you need, What, What you need!

 
 
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First off, The End of History was packaged in "7 stoats and 4 grey squirrels" and that image clearly shows both. Don't make me take you Ghetto University General H.A.M.

Secondly, as the only one in this challenge that has actually had Meat Wave well it is pretty sweet (I'm throwing low blows). It does encapsulate everything we are about here. But you were on the right path before with Three Floyds and the amazing art work of Phineas X Jones. So let's get totally fuck'n metal and switch over to one of their other artist Tim Lehi.
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Ragnarök. Note the streak of fatalism that runs through both this pick and the previous; The End of History and now the End of World (kinda). And then let's got to our friends up north at Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, and call up the power of the other Noir Master (not spoon-feeding you like last time).
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So I'll go back to your land of paper and ink but know that I'm working with the Dark Arts. Can you feel it, General H.A.M., the slow crushing march of superior evil beer labeling? I'd crack one of the many bottles of Meat Wave I have here in your honor, but well, I can wait another 21 days. Plus a little bird told me I got big machinations to prepare for tomorrow.
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Oh General H.A.M., don't you know that Daddy will go straight to the nuclear option when challenged; Brew Dog's The End of History!
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Labels? Fuck that we put'n the shit in an actual squirrel.  The title, well as an underemployed government and philosophy major, referencing Fukuyama's most recognizable work gets me torque'd. So yeah, we could talk about labels made from paper and theoretical pants made from an animal that we only give a shit about for one week. Or, we could talk about the World's Strongest Beer in the world's sweetest bottle named after "the end point of mankind's ideological evolution...."
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Chicago is celebrating its craft beer week and I'm in the thick of it. Great timing as I've dubbed June the Month of Clean Living. No booze, and a minimal amount beef consumption. Fucked up thing is I got to do 2 cook-ups and I'll be wondering why I did this now. I also spending a lot of time with the Heavy Bag as I'm sure I'll be frustrated. Back to the beer however, I'm going to just give some notes what I've drank. Gonna stop the rambling at get to it.

Evil Twin Yin and Yang Taiji: Boozey and Oiley. Taste of many wonderful and manly things (Woods, Roasted shit, dried fruit, Coffee). Would have been better in winter.
Black & tan made with Belhaven Stout & Centennial IPA: Belhaven was on nitrous. Better than Taiji based on mouth feel and balance. Not as complex but easier to drink. Just tasted fresher with a nice malt backbone. Nitrous is critical.
Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema: Fun summer beer. Taste like a camp out; roasted marshmallow and honey are super prominent. The sweet flavors never become tiresome. Gonna go in for more.
Brooklyn Chocolate Stout With a shot of Lindemans Framboise: Truffles in a glass. Have to work on the balance but this was good closer beer. Not sweet at all but could easily pair well with cheese cake and a female companion. That's a freebie gentleman.
Half Acre Meat Wave: Need to drink more. Not sure if I like it but his things about it that enjoy. Floral hops (lemons), a malt backbone (biscuity) that develops as the beer warms. Drank too much of it while it was cold so I missed prolonging this magical moment. Gonna divide Half Acres Hop Head base as the reviews come in. 
PBR: Got a free PBR on tap. Taste like I wanna get drunk and its free. Proceeded to do so. Like it better in cans so I can whip it into trashcan when it get warm and turns to piss. Gonna have more.
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I've drank more over the past few days but that's what stands out.