MBC: The Ongoing Saga

Thursday, May 31, 2012

First, news came that MBC was suddenly evicted from their brewery in Webberville.  That was April 25.

But all seemed well, because they had a sweetheart lease deal to move to Fenton to be a part of Fenton's revitalization efforts.  That was April 26.

However, that same day, from a different reporter at LSJ, news came that the deal between the City of Fenton and MBC fell through.

The fate of MBC, and its downtown pub, is still unknown to this blogger.  The downtown pub is still open for business, and still serving beer (though they now won't do growler refills or sell bottles to go); there's still some stock floating around at distributors.

But what about the City of Fenton and their thirst for a brewery?

It's gotten competitive!  Arbor Brewing (Ann Arbor, MI), Royal Oak/Detroit Beer Company (Royal Oak, MI), Clarkston Union (a big high-end like 100-tap beer bar), and Tavern 131 (same kind of thing) have all pitched Fenton for that spot.  Fenton officials will weigh several factors, including how well the candidate has revitalized the town in its current location.  My money's on Arbor/Corner Brewery!

More as I know it!

Also...today's workout of the day - the Helton.
3 rounds, each round consisting of:

  • Run 800m
  • 30 reps @ 30# dumbbell squat-cleans
  • 30 Burpees
  • Rest 1 minute
My thighs hurt.  Stairs kinda sucked this morning.


So Where Was I...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Back to life again.

First, I am doing a saison tasting this weekend, probably Friday or Saturday.  I plan to do a taste comparison between 3 types of my favorite summertime beer, and see which one, completely subjectively, comes out on top.  I've got a big bottle of Avery (Boulder, CO) Eighteen dry-hopped rye saison, a bottle of New Holland (Holland, MI) Golden Cap saison, and a bottle of the classic and original Saison Dupont (Belgium).  If I'm feeling frisky, I might add Ommegang (Cooperstown, NY) Hennepin to the mix.

Given my "I'm being good" diet, I will have to share these big bottles with some willing participants.  And eat mainly spinach salads all day.  Or perhaps some protein shakes.  Oh, the sacrifices I make.

Speaking of diets, I was back to the gym today.  Having the Insanity warm-up and stretching sessions memorized, I plowed into an Insanity warmup to get the heart pumping and the sweat flowing.  I have a new respect and understanding of sweat.  I used to stop at the point where sweat got "too much." Now?  If my shirt isn't see-through-soaked, I didn't work hard enough.

After the warm-up, today's Work Out of the Day (WOD) was the Lumberjack 20:

  • 20 deadlifts @ 250#
  • Run 400m (I set the pace at 8mph)
  • 20 kettlebell swings @ 2 pood (about 70 pounds)
  • Run 400m
  • 20 overhead squats @ 100# (put 100 on a bench bar, hold it over your head, do 20 squats)
  • Run 400m
  • 20 Burpees
  • Run 400m
  • 20 pullups
  • Run 400m
  • 20 box jumps (24" box)
  • Run 400m
  • 20 dumbbell squat-cleans @ 45# each dumbbell
  • Run 400m
After that, I did 5 minutes of some ab work (leg lifts and obliques), and had a nice stretch.  Was in the gym for a total of an hour, including putting stuff in a locker, getting it out when I was done, a water bottle refill at the drinking fountain, and fucking around getting the weights situated.  We're talking 60 minutes, out of the car, back in the car.  YOU CAN DO THIS, PEOPLE.


Done, But Not Finished

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I have now completed the 63-day Insanity workout.  It was...difficult. Boot Camp difficult.  Brought back some memories of extreme physical exhaustion.

But it also brought back memories of what it was like to achieve.  To persevere.  To push and push, and hit a barrier and push past it.  God damn that feels good.

The result?  24 pounds.  I started a fat-assed 219.  I have finished a slightly-chubby 195!  My goal...where I wanted to be by August - 190 - is a mere 5 pounds away.  I think I can make it.

Jesus, this is nuts.  Shit that hurt to wear last summer fits great.  Shirts hang on me without clinging to my over-extended gut any more.  I spent 2 hours playing football with neighborhood 10 year olds, sprinting like a madman.  6 hours later, I did a 59-minute Insanity workout.  2 hours after that, I was doing high-knee runs and duck walks through a swimming pool for 2 hours playing with my boys.  Folks, I couldn't have done that last summer.  I could have done 30 minutes of one of those.  Not all 3.

The improvement in the murderous "Fit Test" exercises is nothing short of remarkable:

  • Switch Kicks (like a karate front-kick, hopping from leg to leg, 2 kicks = 1 rep) - Day 1: 43, Day 63: 70.
  • Power Jacks (jumping jacks, but land in a squat and jump up from there) - 42 - 58
  • Power Knees (Muay Thai-style ab-centric knee lift) - 62 - 117
  • Power Jumps (start in squat, jump up, lifting knees to waist-height, land in squat) - 30 - 58
  • Globe Jumps (squat jump right, back, left, forward, all 4 directions = 1 rep) - 9 - 13
  • Suicide Jumps (you know this from football) - 20 - 24
  • Push-Up Jacks (push ups, but as you go down, spread your legs, as you push up, jump them back together) - 33 - 45
  • Low-Plank Oblique (hold a low-plank, lift 1 leg up sideways, bring to your elbow, repeat on the opposite side, 2 crunches = 1 rep) 34 - 51.
Gobs of YouTube vids exist for each of those if you want a visual.  Some folks have better form than others, but you'll get the idea.

You have 1 minute for each exercise, 1 minute rest in between.  Look at that growth!  An look at what it shrank!

I fucking earned this shit.  I feel great.  I feel energetic and powerful.

Now?  6-8 weeks of Crossfit again (which I can hit harder now!), and then maybe P90X or TapoutXT!  I can't be stopped!!


Bob's First Beer Review: Dogfish Head, Chicory Stout

Friday, May 11, 2012

Things here at aroundthekeg.com have been a little quiet lately, especially for an election year. I guess that is what happens when every one of the contributors here have a pack of kids, many of which under four years of age. We are also remodeling, buying homes, taking on new jobs, and all that stuff. We here still care very much about the politics, we just have a lot less time to bitch about it. We also still drink and brew piles of beer.

Not that long ago....OK it was like months ago....Smitty challenged the crew here at ATK to write more.

He even challenged me to do a beer review. That was pretty intimidating. I have half a nose and sure as hell have not been B.J.C.P. certified.  But, I will give it a whorl. I cannot tell you why a beer is funky, or what brewing method makes it great. But I can give you my opinion and tell you why I like the flavor of the week. Perhaps I will lead you to a new favorite brew, or keep you from wasting 3 bucks on a single microbrew that tastes like unpolished sterling silver. If you disagree, that is cool, let me know in the comments. Beer is as diverse as the people who brew it and we should celebrate it.

I hope you like what I write.

Beer Review:

Dogfish Head, Chicory Stout
5.2% ABV
Milton, Delaware

Today’s beverage comes to us from the land of the favored state of incorporation, the home of the Biden, and the state that almost elected a witch to the U.S. Senate. It is also home to one of the finest breweries in the country, Dogfish Head. Their Chicory Stout is the first Dogfish I have tried outside of an I.P.A. I love Dogfish Head for their I.P.A.’s and I really don’t normally like I.P.A.’s at all. Their 120 minute I.P.A. is the brew of very special occasions.

What the heck is Chicory? According the Wikipedia, it:

“…is a somewhat woody, perennial herbaceous plant …cultivated for salad leaves, chicons (blanched buds), or for roots (var. sativum), which are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and additive.”
Chicory Stout pours very dark, but not thick, with a quarter-inch thickness coppery-brown head. It has the deep smell of coffee with a sweet smell that makes me think of two sugars in a small cup of Joe. The taste itself isn’t sweet, but definitely like chocolate chips in a glass. You might think of dark chocolate morsels, but without the sugar hit of a Nestle chocolate chip. Instead, this beer has the finer satisfying, very mild aftertaste I associate with dark chocolate after it has melted away. That flavor is quickly washed away and you are left with a clean palate which is a reasonably good thirst quencher for a dark beer. It has a weak carbonation, no alcohol sting and finishes quite dry yet almost watery finish.

I struggled to give a better description of the malt or grains that provide flavors to the beer, but it is just not that complex. It’s a decent beer, but not even as complex or flavorful as some of the better brown ales. If you are a lover of stouts, this is not your stout. It's simplicity makes it OK for drinking two in a sitting.

I liked the beer and would try it again, but for everyone else, I describe it this way: If Guinness is the gateway to good beers, Dogfish Head’s Chicory Stout is one step past the gate. It is a seasonal brew, so get it while you can.

I rate it a 6.5 out of 10.

UPDATE: I would not say a 6.5 should be considered a "D" grade like a 65% would be in geomotery class.  This is Dogfish Head, so they might be graded a bit harsh becuase they make some great beers.


Robots are Cool.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Freaking Transforming robots. Just awesome.



Potential Drunks

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