Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pizza & Craft Beer Night w/ the Alabang Group.

Dinner Friday before last, the 10th June 2011, was Pizza & Beer Night @ Kenny & Lisa's with some of the Alabang group. Boozze, Ken and Tonji host these dinners every so often and it's been quite a while since I've been to one. Ken & Lisa live just a couple of blocks away and I can easily walk to their place, but, due to the recent rainy nights, I took a car there.

Aside from our hosts, Boozze & Margarita, Sylvia sans Tonji (who was at a highschool class reunion), Toñico sans Yvonne, and Manish & Anna were already making headway into the pica-picas of assorted hams, cheeses and nuts. Catha followed shortly thereafter. Ken quickly handed me a large frozen margarita as a welcome drink. It must have been at least 25 years since I even tasted a margarita, frozen or otherwise, but it was pretty refreshing and, it having been a long week, I finished it in a few minutes. Refreshing and perky enough, but mixed drinks have never really been my style.

Rogue Dead Guys from Ken and
my very last bomber of Rogue Double Dead Guy.

Happily, I found that Ken's large coolers were well-stocked with various craft beers distributed by Jimmyton's Global Beer Exchange. Regular readers know that I and my teenagers drink a lot of his ales and that Jim is a friend with whom I've been drinking pretty regularly for the past year - but that's not why I stock a lot of his ales at home. The simple truth is that, aside from some trappist ales that Tonji introduced me to several years ago, I've only really ever known the beers of San Miguel, which, though refreshing enough after a golf game and quite nice with sisig and buffalo wings, have, through the years, become to me, well, one dimensional. Two at best.

The above-depicted Rogue Dead Guys and Double Dead Guy are among my very favorites. Very flavorful, dry, full, deep, complex, powerful yet smooth, fresh and eminently gulpable (I downed my first bottle of Dead Guy in four quick draws), there is really no comparison with SMB's stuff. Ok, so they cost a bit more; but, believe me, they are well worth it.

Ken and Manish showed off their respective pizza prowess by making us various tasty pies. I was quite impressed. In addition, Ken had out a huge bowl of salad and some juicy roast chicken for whoever cared. I stuck mainly to the pizzas, salad and hams though - they made drinking the ales so much more enjoyable...

...and, apparently, more effective as well.

The main meal over, I started opening some heftier ales I brought along to lead into and, possibly, pair with the desserts - among which were...

...Filipinos chocolate biscuits that Toñico brought home from Spain, and...

...Margarita's excellent homemade Tiramisu
which someone took a slice of before I could photograph.

The Rogue John John Hazelnut Brown Nectar Ale is a slightly over medium-bodied, off-dry ale aged in hazelnut spice rum barrels which shows moderately malty, slight hoppiness, very mild caramel, bit of milk chocolate and underlying toasted hazelnuts. Yummy stuff.

The following ale was a stout, inherently bigger, heftier and robustly rounded. The Southern Tier "Jahva" Imperial Coffee Stout is rich, opulent, mouth-filling with deep, bombastic flavors of roasted coffee beans, bit of semi-sweet cocoa, just a hint of vanilla bean and moderate roasted malt. Expansive, broad and long. This is rich in hops which, as explained Jim, is a natural sedative - the reason it delivers to me such a mellow hit that precedes a long, deep night's sleep.

Last, but certainly by no means the least, I opened a couple of my treasured bottles of Highway 78 Scotch Ale. This is a very limited release/production ale as it is the product of a collaboration among three highly respected producers, namely, Stone, Green Flash and Pizza Port. Consistent with my previous notes, this is "complex with a sweetish, scotch lilt to its mildly roasted malt, bit of caramel, nuances of molasses, toffee, dried fig, nuts, slight chocolate - all very well-knit." Serious stuff indeed.

In the meantime, conversation had turned to village politics, a topic that always results in, say, vigorous discussion. Tonji eventually showed up around midnight, heavily lacquered, naturally. I left the others to their politically flavored, alcohol fueled debate and headed home. After all, I didn't want to waste the effect of all the hops. God knows I need my sleep.


Steve-n-Melissa said...

Hi Noel, nice to see that you're still enjoying our state's products - I agree that Rogue is putting out some very good beers, and although I'm not familiar with the Hwy 78 product, it sounds very good indeed.

One other comment: you mention that you've never been much of a cocktail guy, and I can totally relate. However, I recently discovered an old-school aperitif: the Negroni. Basic recipe is equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, and I've been really enjoying its bitter, refreshing aromatics before dinner. I never thought I'd find a cocktail that I enjoyed, but this one is definitely working for me. Try one!

Hope all is well with you and your family -

Noel said...


I've had the Negroni a couple of times in the past and it's ok. I don't usually drink anything with gin in it though as gin and my stomach do not really get along well. My standard aperitif during Italian meals though is (absent any bottle of acceptable prosecco) a Campari soda. Old habits are difficult to break.



jimaraneta said...

Thanks for the recap of what looked like a fun night of craft beer and pizza.

You fellows in the South sure know how to make for interesting parties.

Noel said...

Anytime, bud. All my pleasure, really.

We're lucky to have your stuff available at South Super here!



Anonymous said...

Ya South has a pretty decent selection thanks to Boozze who helped me get the beers in there.

Oh and a little closer to home, we now have the Dead Guy, Calico, Hefeweizen and Pilsner @ Rustans inside your village.