It's like an homage to The Punisher, in delicious beer form!

Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of joining the growing legion of tasters for Adroit Theory Brewing Company, a soon-to-open nanobrewery in nearby Loudon County, Virginia. Mark Osborne, the brain and brewmaster behind AT, is a man after my own nostalgic pop culture heart.  His first few beers take their names from Nine Inch Nails lyrics: B/A/Y/S [Black As Your Soul], an imperial stout aged on chestnut; The Perfect Drug, a saison flavored with absinthe-inspired herbs; and, G/I/A/A [God Is An American]*, a double IPA aged on vodka-infused ash spirals.

I was able to try Adroit Theory’s B/A/Y/S imperial stout a few months ago, and was extremely impressed. When I was offered the chance to sample TPD and G/I/A/A, then, I naturally jumped. I’ll submit a review of TPD once I crack it, but trying G/I/A/A actually prompted me to resuscitate this long-dormant beer blog.

TL;DR — Yeah, it was that good. Oooh, I’m intrigued! Tell me more!

First off, an apology — this post isn’t even remotely about beer, as the two whole people following this grossly infrequent blog are expecting.  So, sorry.  I’m glomming on to my own bandwidth in order to share with the folks at Regal Cinemas a recent entirely crappy less than stellar experience at one of their fine theater establishments.  I would have submitted this story of woe through their customer service feedback form online, but said form allows only 255 characters in the “Other Comments” box.  (Seriously? 255 characters? Why not just take feedback exclusively via Twitter if you’re really not interested in hearing from your customers?)

As all three of you out there who have read my (woefully) infrequently-updated blog know, I was lucky enough to spend some time out in Alaska last June. No, I didn’t even make it through all of my reviews before inertia set in, but one of the breweries I wanted to focus on more was Midnight Sun.  Each of their beers that I was fortunate enough to sample while in and around Anchorage were spot-on delicious. . . so much so that the one and only cross-country beer shipment I’ve bought was made up largely of Midnight Sun’s offerings.

My secret shame, however, is that amidst the ten days I spent in Alaska, I never got to visit or tour the Midnight Sun brewery itself. Yeah, yeah, I know — but I was there on business, and duty called.

Well, the good folks at City Beer Store in San Francisco have un-deferred that particular dream for me. While they were in Anchorage last year, brewing up a batch of the Open Container wild ale to be served at their fifth anniversary celebration, the City Beer Store folks filmed an FPS-style video tour of the Midnight Sun brewery. For those of us weaned on such classics as “Castle Wolfenstein” and “DOOM,” this tour combines the best of beer geekiness and first-person shooters. . . minus the BFG 9000.

(a big ol’ h/t to beernews.org for this story!)

Yesterday, a friend of mine who’s an avid homebrewer asked a random, but seemingly straightforward, question: in traveling home to visit family later this week, could he legally take along a couple of carboys of his homebrew? Seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? If it’s legal to brew the beer for personal consumption in the states along the way, it should be legal to transport 10 gallons of it across those various state lines, non? Well, the answer turns out to be not so simple. . . .

Read on after the jump

In retrospect, perhaps it would've been best to leave her asleep.After starting our midsummer’s Alaskan evening at Humpy’s in Anchorage, the group decided it was time to decamp for another establishment, what with several hours of daylight yet left to enjoy. I suggested the outdoor deck of the Snow Goose Restaurant, just a few blocks away, which overlooks Cook Inlet and serves as homebase of the Sleeping Lady Brewing Company. Online reviews had warned that while Snow Goose touts the tourist value of scenic views of Mt. Susitna (the brewery’s namesake “Sleeping Lady”) and even Denali from its deck, its beers themselves come in a distant second. As we watched dozens of local fishermen cast for salmon in nearby Ship Creek while sipping our beers, I realized these reviews weren’t entirely off the mark.

Onward, dear Reader

It’s nearly impossible to describe what a beautiful place Alaska is to someone who’s never been. Sure, I’ve got some unbelievable pictures from my trip, but they just can’t capture the pure “wow” moments you have, over and over again, just by looking at the scenery that surrounds you. Stunning mountain ranges; lush, mist-shrouded forests; crisp, clear rivers. . . .

. . . and then there’s the beer. Oh yes, the beer.

More after the jump

It’s not every day that we in the lower 48 get the opportunity to travel to Alaska — the land of abundant moose, burly Ice Road Truckers and indecisive hockey moms. So when my boss informed me that we’d be heading the Last Frontier for a ten-day business trip, what else could I say but, “Quiet, I’m Googling Anchorage breweries and bars”?

The rest of the story