The past two weeks were busy for me.
I spent 6 days in Texas for a certification refresher and test; (work related). It was tough this year; a lot of studying to pass my board certification, etc. I got to run for an hour and a half in Huntsville State Park, where my event in February will be. I also got to reserve a campsite there. I spent my last night in Houston and hit the Flying Saucer for a few good brews. (I was within walking distance from my motel, so no driving was involved). No beers of note, but I had a good time.
I came back that Saturday, and on the way back from the airport we decided to try the new (chain restaurant) Granite City Brewpub at Zona Rosa shopping center. I tried the IPA, and it had some problems, but was drinkable. The staff knew nothing about the beer, though. I asked what the "specialty brew" tap handle was, and the only answer I could get was, "all of our beers are special." So I went to the bartender and got the same answer. Then I wanted a sample of the Maibock. She poured half of a shot glass of Maibock, and the other half with light lager. I said, "what the hell are you doing?" She said, "I'm giving you a double-pull." She explained that they give double pulls on all of their beers that are "more powerful" because the general public can't take the extreme nature of the tastes involved. You can actually order all of their beers that way. Cross this piece of shit operation off of my list.
Yeah...so I'm a Beer Snob! A person has to have standards, though. Any "brewpub" in this day and age that thinks they have to "protect" people from complex or wonderful tastes by dummying-down their beers, should NOT BE IN THE BUSINESS OF BREWING! Fug off, Granite City. Go back to Planet Mediocrity, or where ever the heck you came from.
Then I spent Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday at home last week; I took last week as vacation, leading up to our trip to Yuma to spend Thanksgiving with the in-laws. Before I left, I transferred my first batch out of the new fermenter, a Belgian Tripel. to kegs and force-carbonated. I also transferred 10 gallons of Kölsch to kegs from a secondary fermenter. Both beers turned out marvelous! The Tripel is really complex, and you shouldn't drink more than a brandy snifter at a time. It started at a gravity of 1.085 and ended up at 1.012, and I used 4 different yeast strains and various temperature ranges during its fermentation cycle. The Kölsch is very refreshing with some pronounced noble hop notes. It was the lightest gravity Kölsch that I've produced, with an a final ABV of 3.1%. I created this batch for a friend of mine that I owe a couple of favors to.
We took my grandson with us to Yuma. This is the 4th plane trip for this fun little 3-1/2 year old. It was a pretty laid-back time, and I only ran once for about 90 minutes on the canals. A very relaxing trip to a sleepy little city. On the way back during the plane trip, I figured out a unique recipe for an all-grain, "Multi-Grain IPA" which will include Maris Otter malt, Pilsener malt, wheat malt, rye malt, and oat malt. More on that later. We got back late Saturday afternoon.
Yesterday, in lieu of trail running, I had scheduled a trail-building day at WyCo Park. Five of us showed up, and blazed about 1/2 mile of new singletrack trail in about 4 hours. I had scoped it out the previous Tuesday with my dog. I put down surveyor's flags behind him as he walked the natural path of least resistance through the woods. I named this section of trail after him, of course. The new trail will ultimately add 600 ft of elevation gain with 600 ft of loss, and a lot of beautiful switchbacks up and down the hills. I'm hoping we can finish it next Saturday, so that we can run on it by Sunday morning.
This week I'll spend time getting back in shape. I'll be back to my normal routine of 5 to 6 days of trailrunning and 5 days of weightlifting (per week). I'm sure I'll be sore, but I think the "rest" that I had the past 2 weeks will do me good, in the long run.
I'm only a couple of months out from running my next 100-mile trail run. I checked to see who had registered so far, and was surprised to see some new names from my neck of the woods who I've never heard of. I "Googled" them, and it appears one of them has at least one 50-miler under his belt. The other person has never even run a marathon, or so it appears. Good luck, guys!
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