River Brew Review: Shake Chocolate Porter, Boulder Beer Company

Shake six packAhhhhh, sweet relief. We have been flat out, pedal to the metal since we got to Oregon. Two of our top priorities were a truck and trailer. Our whole plan for the next year hinges on these two items, they are big, they are expensive and what we wanted was very specific.

For a trailer we wanted a small 5th wheel with a decent sized slide and a bunk house. The bunk house is perfect for George, it will be his own personal room, where he can nap and get out of the way while I work, and it gives Aimee and I a little separation at night so we won’t wake up and rush to his side every time he snorts in his sleep. The slide is a big deal for a couple reasons, first it gives us more room and second it gives us more room. Remember, I will be working my regular 40-60 hour a week job during the entire year, we needed the room for a designated office space, a place where I will be in the zone and can focus. We also need the extra room for George, he is six months right now, and sometime during the trip he will begin to walk. We wanted the space for him to be able to roam inside the camper on those foul weather days. Continue reading

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River Brew Review: Mazano Pyroclastic Porter

pyroclasticPlanning mode continues in the Tasty-Takes household, as does my quest to drink at least a growler a week as I try to work through all the dark beers in Oregon!


Appearance: A nice clear brown, pretty dark. Not a lot of bubbles or head. I need to remember to review the growler beers on the first pour. This is the 3rd pour and that could account for the flat appearance.

Smell: I get coffee and vanilla. The coffee hits the nose first, followed by the sweet smelling vanilla. Not a strong smelling beer, but again that could be due to the lack of freshness.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Nice and smoky. Malty and sweet to start. Has a pretty strong coffee ending with a slightly bitter aftertaste. The sweetness is balanced well and isn’t overpowering.

Overall: Pretty good, but not incredible. Standard porter. I like it, but will definitely venture into something else on the next growler!

3 out of a Six Pack ©

3 out of a Six Pack ©

ABV: 5.2%
IBU: 30
Brewery: Mazama Brewing, Corvallis, Oregon

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River Brew Review: Anderson Valley Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Stout

anderson-valley-bourbon-barrel-stoutBeing in the land of abundant micro brews and growler fill stations I couldn’t wait to break out one of my growlers and see what I could find. Fred Meyer has a fill station with 16 rotating taps – who knew? I was in a hurry and wanted something dark and delicious, the incredibly helpful pourer plopped three tasting cups down with two porters and this stout. The porters were good, but standard, whereas this stout was interesting. Aged for three months in Wild Turkey Barrels, the stout definitely has the heat generally associated with Wild Turkey. I went for it. Continue reading

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Greasy Beaks 2014 Video!

Check out this edit from Captain Eliot Jenkins at Greasy Beaks Fly Fishing. If you look at 1:20 you’ll even see Aimee hooking and landing the fish of the day during our last striped bass trip, a 32″ striper on a 6 wt.

Greasy Beaks 2014 1080p from Greasy Beaks on Vimeo.

If you are interested in fishing for striped bass, bluefish or false albacore in New England you should definitely look up Capt. Eliot and Greasy Beaks. He also guides for steelhead, rainbows and browns in upstate NY. You can check out his blog here. And click here to read the false albacore trip report about our trip this fall.

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Announcement! The Big Year Begins January 1, 2015!

Who's psyched?!

Who’s psyched?!

Tasty-Takes is hitting the road! Well Mike, Aimee and George are at least. Aimee and I decided that we wanted to take a year and drive across the US, exploring new watersheds and fishing for all the species that were fun to catch on the fly rod. I think that we have everything covered, but you can check out the proposed map of our travels with a list of locations and species that we’ll be targeting at raisinggus.com/the-big-year/. If you have any additional suggestions please pass them on!
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River Brew Review: Eddyline Brewing Pumpkin Patch Ale

Pumpkin-Patch-Pale-16-oz-can-e1349232799978-200x200This will be the last Colorado beer that I review for a while. We spent the last couple of weeks packing, then spent last Thursday and Friday packing and cleaning, then spent Friday and Saturday driving and we are finally in Bend, OR. Here we will remain for 2 months in the land of abundant microbrews before again moving on. Before I start hitting up the growler fill stations for the delicious local brews I had to review the delightful Pumpkin Patch Ale that I bought during our packing/moving nightmare.

Moving is often a nightmare, but when you have a five-month-old it becomes a special sort of fun. Poor George could smell the stink of stress and panic on Aimee and I and he didn’t like it. We worked as hard as we could to make him comfortable and happy, but its tough when you’re putting in 16 hour days and all his toys are already packed.

Loaded (or overloaded) and ready to go!

Loaded (or overloaded) and ready to go!

He was a trooper, especially on the drive, 20 hours in the car in two days is no picnic, but he just rolled with it! Now that we’re in Bend and settledish it is time for me to sit down in front of the wood stove and crack a well deserved Pumpkin Patch.


Appearance: Looks like liquid pumpkin pie. No, for real. No head to speak of at all, it is a very opaque cinnamon orange.

Smell: Wait for it, wait for it…. pumpkin! There is a lot of nutmeg in the aroma as well. In fact, when I cracked the first one I was a little put off by the heavy nutmeg scent.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Tastes like fall, and Halloween and Thanksgiving all rolled into one. The heavy nutmeg scent is balanced nicely when drinking with a bit of cinnamon and the strong pumpkin flavor. As advertised on the can, almost like drinking pumpkin pie, a little sweet and syrupy. The carbonation is sharper than you would expect, but the finish is very smooth with a slight lingering pumpkin/honey flavor.

Overall: I’m not a huge fruit beer guy, I like them from time to time, but don’t really go out of my way. I’m glad I did on this one, a really nice seasonal ale from Eddyline. It’s a little sweet, but if you happen to find a six pack of tall boys of this at your local beer store, you should definitely give it a try!

4 out of a Six Pack Scale©

4 out of a Six Pack Scale©

ABV: 5.5%
IBU: Minimal
Hops: Sterling
Brewery: Eddyline Brewing, Buena Vista, CO

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River Brew Review: Elevation Beer Co. Little Mo’ Porter

P1050070We are packing and moving and haven’t been able to fish much. That stinks. But we are heading to Bend, OR and it’s steelhead season on the Deschutes and John Day, we’ll be within a stones throw of the Metolius, and we are hopefully heading to the Elk and Sixes right around Thanksgiving to chase some chinook, so things are looking up.

To deal with the packing and moving brutality I asked Aimee to pick me up some beer. She came home with the Little Mo’ Porter by Elevation Brewing Co. in Poncha Springs. Since we are leaving Colorado I asked her to get me something local and this fits the bill – who knew there was a brewery in Poncha Springs? I will definitely be letting all my buddies know that they don’t have to head to Salida after riding the Crest Trail, just hit up Elevation Brewing Co. on the way through Poncha!
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River Brew Review: Pug Ryan’s Brewing Company Dead Eye Dunkel

dunkelI was in the liquor store a few weeks ago looking for a new beer to review and noticed a can of beer with the label Pug Ryan’s Dead Eye Dunkel. Sold. It was in a can and I hadn’t ever heard of a Dunkel before so I decided to try it. The six pack lasted me a couple of weeks and it went on some dang good trips. I had a couple fishing solo on the Taylor, crushing trout on dry flies in October. I had one while George and I watched Aimee slay trout on the East.

And then I had one on the day I got skunked and fell in the river. Yup, you read that right, both an epic skunkage and a dunking on the same day. It was rough. We started out driving to Gunnison in near blizzard conditions and 34 degree weather. We got to Gunnison and the wind was blowing at 25+ mph and it was 37 degrees. We got to the parking lot and the wind stopped, the sun came out and it was 39 degrees. We put George in a several layers of fleece and a down suit and headed out. Turned out to be beautiful, but for some crazy reason I decided to only huck streamers (It could have been because Aimee did well on white streamers the day before). Regardless, the fish were not eating streamers. Bummer.

After a while Aimee and George went back to the truck to have a snack and I stubbornly moved on to the next run, even though I was hungry and ready for a Dunkel. That’s when it all went bad. I just had to take that last step out into the current to try to get a couple of strips in the soft water on the other side. I didn’t get those strips, instead I got to do a pushup off the bottom of the river, at least it was almost 45 degrees out at that point.

After that I beelined it back to the truck for some leftover pizza and a well deserved beer.

Dead Eye Dunkel

Appearance: Dark caramel brown. Small sand colored head. Good retention and lots of lacing as you drink.

Smell: A nutty start followed by sweet caramel, not really much else.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very smooth, not a ton of carbonation. Sweet with a bit of underlying bitterness. Really well balanced for my taste, nutty and sweet, but not overpowering.

Overall: Good. I like this beer a bunch, its right up my alley. Not too sweet, but not too bitter and smooth easy drinking. If you are looking for an easy drinker that’s not your typical lager give this beer a try. Out of the beers I tried this fall this is my favorite so far. Besides the can says that it pairs well with anything containing bacon, and bacon is awesome.

5 out of a Six Pack Scale ©

5 out of a Six Pack Scale ©

ABV: 6.0%
IBU: 15
Brewery: Pug Ryan’s Brewing Company Dillon, CO

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How to: Keep Your Dry Fly Floating

Brown Trout and Green DrakeAimee and I were on the Taylor last weekend and were approached by a gentleman who was new to fly fishing with several questions. The first and the one that I am going to address here is “I put that powder on my dry fly and it started sinking almost immediately; how do I keep it from sinking?”

There are a few different ways to answers this question: if you’re working on being a cocky jackass, you might tell him that if he got a better drift his dry fly would float. Or, if you’re trying to be a decent human, you could explain that a combination of gel and powder can help to keep dry flies floating high all day. We tend to like helping people get into fly fishing so I went with option two.
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River Brew Review: Eddyline Brewing Crank Yanker IPA

crank-yanker-canThe other beer that my buddy dropped off was the Crank Yanker IPA from Eddyline Brewing. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t that psyched when he dropped that and the River Runner off, since neither are really in my beer wheelhouse, but how could I not try locally brewed beers that come in badass 16 ounce cans? Rad microbrew pounders = AWESOME.
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