I don’t know about y’all. But long walks can either be relaxing, a time for reflection, or just down right annoying. Last night, whilst traveling back from the local mecca of craft beer (Austin) the transmission in my truck decided to burn itself out. I don’t know if the 124,000 original miles were too much for it, or the cool fall(ish) air did not adequately cool it off as I was driving back roads, but regardless it began to falter. Now, when I rolled it off the road to a stop I was faced with a dilemma which sparked a thought it in my mind. When faced with a 12mi walk… what do you do? I originally speculated that I was faced with an “eight beer” walk. Now, in hindsight, and with assistance from the odometer on my parents Suburban, I’ve come to realize that it was most certainly at least a “twelve pack” walk. Lucky for me, I did not have to make the trek in my short sleeve pearl snap and ariats. However, had the need arose, I was armed with a six pack of Gravel Road from Rahr and Sons. I would have likely run out of beer before I even arrived at Ranch Road 12 which is still a solid 8mi from my parents home. I also had a bottle of 14 Hands cabernet sauvignon, but no corkscrew on my person. (Memo to me to buy one for my truck for occasions such as this.)

Comments Off on Skeptical? Dive in with both feet.

This morning I want to talk about beers that were questionable, but quite pleasing when you began to drink them. Now, I have had a handful of beers that I just kind of looked at… made a weird face (For those of y’all that know me, you know the face) and then drank anyways. I mean, hell, it is beer, it has to be good right? (Correction: It SHOULD be good, it is not always…. *cough* Abita). To be specific, I want to mention Monks Cafe. They have a brew, a “Flemish Sour” that is a red ale and quite tasty. Now, when I originally saw this bottle in Specs, I thought to myself “self, we have not had a Flemish Sour before… BUY IT” (That really is my thought process from time to time). A Flemish Sour… I mean, obviously it has to be sour right? Isn’t it Miller Lite that talks about never being bitter? This “Sour” concept went against the media, and everything I knew. From years of talking to home brewers… and reading about home brew… They all say that you don’t want a sour ale right? I mean honestly, who aims to make a sour brew? Well, I decided to buy it to try it. Let me tell you something… well if if you don’t want to “let me” I am going to tell you anyways. All these doubters were wrong. Sour CAN be good. Now, the beer itself poured red, I do enjoy a good red ale (Lookin’ at Killians, Rahr and Sons, etc [Not Sam Adams!]). Now, this is not a beer that I would constantly keep in my fridge, but to shake things up, it is an EXCELLENT choice. Now, what makes the brew sour? an assortment of differing lactic bacteria are introduced into the brewing process. Now, as with all beers, these bacteria will not make you sick unless you overindulge and bring sickness upon yourself. So, if you are looking for a change in pace, something to balance out those Belgium dubbels and tripels… even a quad if you have those laying around, I would highly recommend the Monks Cafe Flemish Sour Ale. Check it out.


Here is a short list of all of the beer bottles that I own. This collection is the basis for what has become BeerwithBlake. I felt as though that I should give y’all some background on just a couple of the beers that I have drank in the past years. Now, there are countless more that I have drank, or even have sitting here on my waiting list in my room. So without further adieu. THE LIST!

American Beers:

I have had this sitting in my inbox for a couple of days and finally had time to post it for Mr. Scott.

Scott Plattsmier
Review #1 – Racer 5 IPA

For my first review, I thought it would be fitting to go with one of my favorite styles. This led me to Bear Republic’s Racer 5 IPA. I had heard many great things about Racer 5, so it had serious standards to live up to. It exceeded all expectations.


No, really. Free beer. What do I mean? I mean that citizens of a nation deserve a choice when it comes to the beer that they drink. While a laissez faire market should be determining the price and availability of beer, the choice of brand should not be governed by a single corporation. Here in America we take it for granted. We can buy hundreds of different brands of beer, unfortunately the market shares show that we generally purchase Miller-Coors or Anheuser-Busch. These two companies account for eighty percent of the U.S. market, and forty percent of the world market. Now, the plot thickens when you note that Anheuser-Busch also has forty-nine percent of the Mexican conglomerate, Grupo-Modelo.

I tend to choose the off the wall beers. I mean really, how can a person, in good consciousness “choose” to drink the horsepiss that is known as Natural and Keystone Light? Bud, Miller, and Coors are not far behind in the race to the bottom. I do not care what the market shares say (Search for my post on Free Beer). I just plain do not care for these “pop-beers”. So, that being the case… If I am to attend a party, or river trip, or an event where my glass bottles of premium brewed nectar of the gods is not allowed… Well I am faced with a pair of choices. The first is to not go. Frankly, I don’t like that option. The second is to find an alternative brew to satisfy the constraints of society. Now, I personally am not one to drop a glass bottle in the river, or shatter one at the beach, or even in a bar. However it seems as though over the years some of my peers have stooped to that level.

As a means to give to you the reader the most balanced view that I can, from time to time I will be featuring guest bloggers to share their thoughts on particular brews. Scott Plattsmier is one such guest blogger whom I suspect will be contributing a good bit of content for your enjoyment. Scott and I met, in a bar in College Station Texas while we were both on a quest to complete the O’bannons Taphouse Beer Tour. We soon discovered that we had similar passions for drinking great craft beer. So without further adieu, here in his own words is Scott.

The question has been asked of me many times over the years, “Blake, where do you most enjoy drinking beer?” well, short answer? With friends. Longer answer? Allow me to divulge. There are a couple notable locations in which I feel that the beer is colder, the atmosphere is warmer, and the laughter is more prevalent than anywhere else. Locations like the Dixie Chicken will certainly always have a special place in my heart. I cannot even fathom how many nights that I have spent in the old wooden building that was once a mexican food restaurant, and the original site of Loupots bookstore. The old musty smell, the holes worn in the floor from years of walking, dancing, and spilled beer are covered in license plates. The back porch on which many hand of 42 was won or lost. After receiving my Texas A&M class ring, the first place that I went was to the Dixie Chicken where my friends had saved a table and we drank pitchers of cold Shiner Bock beer. One of the most memorable days of my life. Also, the Chicken is where I went after walking the stage on graduation day. The Dixie Chicken on game day in Aggieland is a sight like no other. Ol’ Ags fill the bar and you can hear stories of how Texas A&M was back in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. I still try and venture through the swinging doors every time that I visit College Station. The Chicken is the one bar where if a lapse of time between visits ever occurred, the bartender would question me as to where I had been, and then pour my beer. It is also a bar that was so frequented by my friends every Sunday night, that we would walk in through the front doors, walk past the bar, to the kitchen, order our food and when we returned to the bar, our pitcher of cold Shiner was sitting there, ready. We never had to ask the bartender for it, or even mention what we wanted, she had it there for us. The same would go for the next few rounds, we would merely walk up to the bar, line or no line and she would begin to pour our beer.

Honestly, let us get to the point. That IS why you are here right? For my opinion on beer. If it was just your opinion, well, I would be reading your blog. So, what beers do I just absolutely keep stocked in my fridge? Well, the answer is not all that straight forward. I do keep Shiner Bock in stock though. In addition to that, you are liable to find anywhere from ten to thirty different beers in my fridge or warm shelf. These beers vary from new beers (ones that I have not tried yet, or that are new releases) to old faithfuls (beers that I just keep because they are so amazing). I even have some beers that I can’t drink yet, “The Abyss” by Deschuttes for example. I have heard rumors that it is supposed to be one of the top five beers in the world. Why haven’t I drank it you may ask? Because 1. I need a special occasion for it. 2. It has a best AFTER (yes, after, not before) date on it. 3. The best after date is mid-November, so I am going to save it for my birthday this year.


Welcome to BeerWithBlake.com. This site / blog is designed to share with you my experiences with all things beer. This is where you will be able to find my latest tasting notes, as well as my travels to new breweries, and discussions with other beer lovers such as yourself. So, for starters I will begin with a little bit of background information on who I am, and why I drink the beer that I do.

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