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Archive for the Category "Beer"

What’s up with that duck??? Aug 22

We are often asked, “So what’s the deal with that duck??”  That duck hails from Britain and is a seasoned world traveler who has become such a part of our family that the bar in our house has been christened The Rubber Duck Pub.  So grab a pint or fill your glass and settle in for the story of Eddy Beer, the Danger Duck!

In the fall of 2009, Eric & I spent 3 weeks in Britain, most of it with his brother and sister-in-law, Sterling and Teresa.  A good bit of the time we were on a car trip with them which took us through southwest England.  To say that we are all fans of beer in its many forms is a bit of an understatement, and so we spent many happy hours sampling local brews (often with colorful names like Old Hooky, Pigswill, The Dogs Bollocks, and Betty Stoggs) and staying in pubs rather than in boring hotels or bed & breakfasts.


Monument Point Campground and Egg Harbor Oct 05

Tuesday we headed out to the Door County peninsula.  Door County is the “thumb” on the mitten of the eastern Wisconsin shoreline that projects out into Lake Michigan.  We learned that it was originally named “Death’s Door” for a dangerous water passage between the peninsula and nearby Washington Island.  Wisely, the Tourist Board elected to drop the “Death” and it’s now one of the most popular vacation destinations in Wisconsin.  The western shoreline looks across Green Bay to Michigan, and there are numerous picturesque villages strung along the shoreline.  There’s a very strong maritime history in the Door, and there are marinas & boatyards all along the coast, and evidence of past shipwrecks everywhere.  You’ll be driving along and someone will have a 6′ tall blade from an old propeller sticking in the ground by their driveways.  I’ve had “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” stuck in my head for days now…

On the nights of the 4th and 5th, we stayed at the Monument Point Campground (between Sturgeon Bay and Egg Harbor).  The campground was nearly deserted, partially due to the time of year, but also due to a very bad windstorm the previous weekend which left most of the County without power and took down a huge number of trees.  We had intended to stay at a State Park, but they all remained closed until Thursday.  At any rate, we enjoyed the solitude of the campground.  There were woodpeckers zipping around and wild turkeys walking through the next campsite.  I don’t know if they allow turkey hunting in Door County, but they turned out to be so plentiful that they just roam around in town.  Later in the week, two of them flew across the road in front of us and they make eagles look really small!  We were all thinking pterodactyls at first….

We putzed along the shoreline, stopping for nice views and wandering along the shoreline.  We visited the Shipwrecked Pub for some nice brews on the sunny patio.  The weather is just phenomenal – those crisp blue October skies that only October can pull off, with whispy clouds and fall color near its peak, followed by chilly nights that are perfect for campfires.

On the morning of the 5th, Eric and I visited the Maritime Museum at Sturgeon Bay and toured a restored tug, which was really interesting.  Eric took a ton of pics, so don’t be surprised if you see another entire post on the tug.  The museum was able to contact the tug’s engineer of 20-some years to help with the restoration.  He had saved tons of tools and memorabilia which he donated to the museum.  So the tug has all sorts of interested hand-lettered signs, hand-made tools, and even the original bed spreads for the officer’s quarters.  The engineer was hanging out in the galley drinking coffee as we finished our tour: guess retirement doesn’t exactly suit him and he spends a lot time just hanging out there.

Category: Beer, Pubs, Road trip  | Leave a Comment
Camping, or, brrrrr…. Oct 04

On October 3rd we left Spruce and headed down to Van Boxtel RV in Green Bay to pick up our homes for the next week.  Sterling and Teresa rented a 22′ Class C RV, and Eric and I rented a 19′ trailer.  We decided to hit the grocery store before leaving, and picked nearby Woodman’s Market.  I’m not sure why the call it a “market” since it was bigger than any Sam’s Club I’ve ever been in.  Shopping was a bit of a scavenger hunt, with scouting parties being sent out to look for particular items.  We were all exhausted when we were done!

We headed up to the Wisconsin/Michigan border for the towns of Marinette/Menominee [doo doooo, do do do do dooo do…  (Don’t ask)] and the Rail House Restaurant and Brewpub.  The Railhouse had 11 brews on tap, and between us we sampled 8 of them and loved them all.  (We could have done all 11, but Jeanette had caught a nasty cold and volunteered to be the designated driver.)  We stayed at a nice municipal campground, right on the banks of the Wolf (I think) River.  It was a pretty campground and we might have considered staying another night, but it was bounded on 3 of its sides by a 6-lane bridge, a shipyard, and the municipal sewage treatment plant.  So a little bit noisy, but thankfully the wind was in our favor.

We headed out on the 4th for Door County!  Along the way, we passed the marker for Latitude 45, halfway between the equator and the North Pole.  No wonder snowmobiling and ice fishing are so popular.  Incidentally, the confluence of Latitude 45 N and Longitude 90 W (the exact mid-point of the hemisphere)  is in west-central Wisconsin and might be a future side trip.  Of the 4 hemispheric centers, 2 are underwater and the 4th is in China.

Category: Beer, Pubs, Road trip  | Leave a Comment
2011 Pre-Season Hurricane Party Announcement May 26




Let’s recap:

2005 (no party): 31 (Yes, 31!!) named storms, several keys strikes, and a little extra something called “storm surge”.

2006, the 1st ever Hoodoo Hurricane Voodoo party: 9 named storms, but only one lame tropical storm strike here.

2007, the 2nd annual Hoodoo Voodoo: 15 named storms, but nothing crossed the Keys…

And so it continued – GET THE PICTURE????? ( well if you really want to get the picture, click here for the entry for last year’s party)

Experts are predicting a busier than average 2011 season –

Can you afford to miss the 2011 party???  We think not!

So come and stick a pin in the hurricane voodoo “doll”:

Saturday, June 11 from 6pm until….

The altar has been preserved, so come & offer a shot of rum to Hurakan, Mayan god of the whirlwind and thunderstorm.

Please, no live chicken sacrifices.  (Rubber, wings, nuggets or by the bucket okay).

Feel free to bring all your friends, beverages, or a dish to pass.

Directions: We’re at 263 Ship’s Way, at MM29.5 on Big Pine.  Ship’s Way is bayside, just across US1 from the Sea Center.  We are on the right, just past Ranger Avenue.  Or, if you prefer, N24°40.444’   W81°22.099’.  Lost?  Call 305-396-1109 .

2011 pre season invite in .pdf form

Key West BrewFest! Sep 05

Yesterday we attended the inaugural Key West BrewFest, hosted by the Southernmost Hotel complex.  We had a blast and hope there’ll be a 2nd Annual next year.  There were 23 booths, offering everything from the lightest white to the darkest stout.  We found several brands that will end up in the cooler eventually.  In no particular order: Magic Hat’s #9,  Brooklyn Local 2, Ephemere ApplePalm Belgin Amber Ale, & Moretti La Rossa.  And the winners in the “most fun with names” category: Mama’s Yella Pils, Dead Guy Ale, Monk in the Trunk, Holy Mackerel, and Panic Attack.  Kudos also to Magic Hat for handing out condoms with the brewery name on the package.  Magic Hat – get it?

Representing the home brewers, the Key West B.U.B.B.A.’s were there.  Wish I could remember what the acronym stands for, but all the samples have clouded my brain.  Jim Brady, head of the club, has converted an enclosed fiberglass trailer into a portable brewery and dispensing unit, complete with refrigeration and taps drilled through the side.  Guess what Eric wants now?

This post would be a lot longer if I hadn’t had such a good time.  Anybody find my sunglasses????  I really liked those sunglasses…

Category: Beer, Life in the Keys  | Tags:  | Leave a Comment
2010 party – Brewmaster’s Perspective Jun 19

As the Brewmaster/Bartender for the 2010 Hoodoo Hurricane Voodoo Party, I have to say it was a success. We had a LOT of takers on both beers – Downpour Porter and Stormy Stout.

With two weeks to go before the party, Jeanette and I brewed our special batches of beer. That’s the Porter in the foreground and the Stout in the back.

Beer Brewing before the Party

With about a week to go, we transferred the to the kegs and got them started chilling and carbonating in the beer cooler. It’s set a little cooler than we’d prefer for drinking, but the cooler temperature helps the beer absorb CO2 a little faster. It worked out great, both beers were well carbonated for the party. The stout even had that Guiness-y downpour effect as the beer settles through the head.

Kegs in the Fridge

Not that homebrewed kegged beer were the only items available…


Since the party has a Hurricane theme ( and this year, an oil spill theme as well ) we decided we had to have a drinks menu with Hurricane and Oil spill themed drinks. Here it is – 2010 Party Drinks Menu .

The Bar - ready for the party

Kim with the menu and the "Junk Shot"

I had a fun time serving everyone ( well, almost everyone ) and can’t wait for our post-season Party.

Category: Beer, Parties, Pubs  | Leave a Comment
Mmmm….Beer…. Sep 24

But not what you’re thinking.

We’ve made a small change to the plan, we’re going to take part of the day and go to Beer, the coastal English town.


Henges, a Maze and Jeanette discovers she likes Guinness Sep 22

Today was henge day. Avebury and Stonehenge, with a very quick stop at Woodhenge. Avebury is huge, and can best be appreciated from an aerial view


The Hook Norton Brewery Tour Sep 21

From the Duke of Cumberland’s Head, we were off in the morning to our tour of the Hook Norton Brewery, an old brewery making beer in the traditional way, powered by a steam engine. At the end of the tour, beer tasting!

Hook Norton Steam Engine Hook Norton Pump System


Category: Beer, Pubs, Tourist stuff, UK trip 2009  | Tags: , ,  | 2 Comments
A Canal walk and the Duke of Cumberland’s Head. Sep 13

Jeanette and Teresa didn’t care to visit Bletchley Park and the computer museum ( Jeanette something about prefering to be waterboarded…) so they went on a canal walk instead.

Finding the start of their walk was the most challenging part, it took them most of 45 minutes.  They did get to see swans and canal boats, though.

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