Sans craft beer vacation

This year on May 17 marked our second wedding anniversary.  We honeymooned in Hawaii.  Then spent our first anniversary in Charleston, SC.  This May 17 we were at home.  Yet, we had already booked a trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for July.

Punta Cana resort

Punta Cana resort

So knowing that I would spend seven days, an entire week, away from the US my first priority was to find the local beer.  My original thinking was the Dominican is part of Caribbean, so there has to be Red Stripe or Corona.  So my search reveals, along with Draft Magazine, is that Presidente is the local brew.  All of which of their brews are either a pilsner, or a pilsner.  Our room was stocked with two pilsner and two 2010 Festival pilsner.  Yet they tasted the same, and were replenished daily.  Thanks!  I was able to catchup on some sweet beach drinks, such as pina coladas, coco locos, Miami Vices, and their own Majestic.  We also had our fair share of MamaJuana, which is a bottle full of some kind of local root.  Filled with the local rum.  It was almost like a sweet shot of Jagermeister.  Too bad we didn’t pack any Red Bulls, huh?

Presidente pilsner

Presidente pilsner

Needless to say we thoroughly enjoyed our second anniversary, albeit two months belated.  One of the two couples we went with celebrated their fourth anniversary.  The other couple would celebrate their second two weeks after we return.  We met a nice couple from Ohio on their honeymoon.  We also met a really cute, nice and sweet couple from where?  None other than Athens, GA.  Looking forward to getting in touch with them and hanging out.

There’s not much else to say other than it was all great.  The weather was good, minus a small storm towards the end of the week.  A really nice storm came up in the middle of the night early in the week.  A heavy down pour with some serious thunder and lightning.  The only draw back?  We’re both still suffering from the lingering effects of Montezuma’s Revenge.  I have a stomach of steel so this is quite different for me.  It’s not enjoyable at all.

Since this blog is mainly focused around homebrew, I must add that one of the guys with us was the first person I knew that homebrewed.  He gave me an old Midwest Supplies catalog.  After I browsed it a hundred times and finally moved into our home, I started homebrewing for myself.

Back in Atlanta

We get back to Atlanta Sunday afternoon.  Monday, Sarah has to work in the office, so I’m hanging out at her parent’s house with possession of her car.  I’m itching all day to find some awesome craft beer spot to hit up and enjoy.  After lunch with Sarah and her dad I head back to their house and do some errands for her parents.  So there goes my shot at enjoying some nice beer spots around town.  Finally it’s time for me to be on my way and pick her up from work.  We’re heading through Alpharetta and I have the iPhone Find Craft Beer App out, looking for a chance at something.  Just a nice beer store would work!

I’m driving, with no idea where I am.  Traffic is, well, Atlanta traffic, it sucks!  After we pull away from one red light I notice a 5 Seasons Brewing on the right.  I quickly point it out to Sarah.  She ofcourse replies that she thought I knew it was there, and that I’ve been there.  I remind her that I’ve never been to a 5 Seasons, because she refuses to chauffeur her husband around Atlanta.  Two redlights later and much sulking from me, she tells me to turn around if I want to.  LOL, I’m glad her neck is starting to feel better now.  Guess I should have said hold on first?   I proudly walk in with wife in tow and grab a booth.  Ha, I know I’m done driving now.  I love my wife!!!

5 Seasons Brewing North watermelon wheat

5 Seasons Brewing North watermelon wheat

Watermelon wheat

I typically love wheats.  I know I love watermelon.  I saw Sarah’s face light up when he spoke of this one.  I think he named off seven different brews.  One being a wheat and a hefeweizen.  The watermelon sold her.  She had previously tried the new to Georgia, 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon Wheat at Trappeze Pub.  She wasn’t impressed.  She did however enjoy this one.  A fellow beergeek on Twitter from Athens asked how it was.  Sarah said she was a tough beer critic and it was good.  I’m so glad she enjoyed it, because I did not.

5 Seasons Brewing North Plan-B IPA

5 Seasons Brewing North Plan-B IPA

Plan B IPA

Having to survive off foreign pilsners all week I was in need of some hops.  This one was described as a citrus IPA.  Once it arrived to the table it was quite obvious too.  Not a hop bomb by any means, but a damn good IPA.  The citrus was there in the nose and the tip of the tongue.  To me, it seems as though it was heavily dry hopped with a Cascade or similar hop.  The citrus taste was a nice blend to counter the bittereness of the kettle hops.  If I had to guess at the IBU, and I may be way off, I’d say in the 70’s.

High gravity Rye Saison

I think some where around the 9% – 10% ABV range, this rye saison was a great new twist on an old traditional style brew.  The rye added a nice subtle spicy flavor to counter the Belgium yeast of the typical saison style.  While this was a great beer, I think I would have enjoyed another Plan B IPA more.  No doubt, this was a great beer, saisons are not directly below an IPA on my list of favorite beer styles.  Plus the fact that it was almost twice as expensive was more of a turn off than the taste.  Again, a really great beer, just not worth the $9 price tag.  The $4.75 Plan B was much more for my money.

5 Seasons Brewing North rye saison

5 Seasons Brewing North rye saison

So, all of that was a blast.  Finally back home and exhausted.  Picked up the beers for the next round of the India Pale Challenge.  I added another beer to the bracket.  That will be revealed in another day or so when the blog is up.  Work flew by since it was a three day work week.  Vacation on Monday, off site meeting on Friday.  Tuesday was consumed with interviewing for a new position in the same department.  Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning was spent on negotiating everything.  Now that all of that is behind me, I’m now the first Metal Input Specialist at Novelis Greensboro.  We’ll see how this works out.

Until the next round of the IPA challenge.  I say Salute!

Posted on July 25, 2010, in Beer Run, craftbeer. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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