MW Mobile Blog

For friends, family and the random search engine visitor. This blog started as an experiment in mobile blogging from my Palm TREO 600 700 Prē HTC Evo,Samsung 5. Now it serves as a simple repository of favorite activities. Expect bad golf, good fishing, great sailing, eating, drinking, adventure travel, occasional politics and anything else I find interesting along the way including, but not limited to, any of the labels listed here...

Sunday, September 4, 2005

Big Shag Big Stout - HDW Review

Backdated repost of an HDW missive from Camp. An important historical link in the Big Shag Big Stout saga, and pointing to the future of yooper home brews:
-------- Original Message --------

Subject: Big Shag Big Stout - Sept 3 2005
Date: Sat, 03 Sep 2005 22:59:37 -0500
From: HDW

Big Shag Big Stout - Sept 3 2005:
I am at the cabin, ending a near three week stay. I have posted 7 Big Shag updates, but frankly they'd be about 10 megs of pics, so I"m not forwarding them on now and crushing your in boxes. The first 2 1/2 weeks I was here with Jonah and Leah. Then I was called to the office for a meeting on AUG 31, drove down in a hurry, and left the tribe there. Returned to finish up some work here, and thought I should at long last try the stout, and retrieved a bottle from the well.

It is 51 degrees here, at 9PM and the temp is supposed to go into the low 40's tonight. The wood stove is keeping things fine and toasty, and true to its efficient form, I have the windows open because otherwise it'd be too hot in here.

The Big squared fizzed nicely on opening. A fine head on decanting, and good at the nose.

Yesterday I was out at Little camp, and looking at the river a bit beyond the dirt road turnoff. The clouds, river, sky, all said take this picture, so I did.

And .. Lo and behold I discovered a fine vine in complete harvest mode growing up the "do not pass" sign. The sign vine transplanted by Joel in the spring did not survive. But, this is evidence a wild U.P. hop strain doing just fine along the banks of the Escanaba. Perhaps some future trip east from the brewmaster on Labor day will mean an all Escanaba brew : water and hops. A detail of the vine:

The Big squared caught me off guard at first, as I was anticipating something heavier like a Guinness. It's lighter and chocolaty. No hint of Bay muck, algae or "bass Pee" at all. A fine stout. Another reason for a trip on Labor day may be to sample these:

About a dozen and a half of these boletus edulis came up in the front lawn at big shag. I am doing a spore print as a safety and plan on cooking these up tomorrow with a trout with Mike in Menominee. I'll report later to the mycophagists here on the success of the feast.

Lastly, Thought I'd finish with this guy, snapped on the bank when fishing yesterday.

A white sided tree frog.

How was the beer? Pretty good.

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Big Shag Big Stout - Hood River Review

A Hood River review was documented in this e-mail without photographic support. Backposted here to document the historically significant brewmaster notes.
---- Original Message ----

Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005 5:42 PM

From: MW

Subject: RE: Northern Californian Big Shag Big Stout tasting

No really. What did you think of the beer? - mw

---- Original Message ----

Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005 15:01:46 -0700
From: MR

Subject: RE: Northern Californian Big Shag Big Stout tasting


You neglected one other important review--nephew Connal was overheard to remark "...tastes like every other beer I've ever tasted" in a surly attitude typical of a 13 year old. Now mind you I didn't see him actually take a taste of the Shag Stout and you also have to wonder how one so young could develop such a discerning palate but in the interest of fair and balanced coverage I think we must report on his review.

- Matt

-------- Original Message --------

Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005 12:59:46 -0700
From: JR

Subject: Northern Californian Big Shag Big Stout tasting

In the county Eastern Oregon, just across the river from the county Washington, the first tasting of Big Shag Big Stout was performed in Hood River. Unfortunately, we were camera poor for this event and there is no visual evidence this occurrence actually happened and the following may go down as "folk lore" or even "urban myth".

Present were brewmaster Joel, UP trout catching master Matt and wife Tina AKA "The Bee Slayer", The Original UP'er Aunt Betty, Neumann family daughter stealer Uncle Don, Newspaper Editorialist Kirby and wife Lorree "Salad Maker Supreme". Missing was Brent "The Ill Fated" , of whom it was noted
"but Brent is not here so should we really go on with the tasting?" The response of "W.W.B.D.?" left us all stunned and shocked at the clarity of Kirby's vision. With nothing really more to say we cracked open two of the allotted Northern California Oregon County's share of 4 bottles.

The beer was simply amazing. Perfect carbonation, roasty with hints of molasses and very easy to drink. "hints of bass" and "This tastes like the outhouse in the old shed" (Aunt Betty) were flowing forthwith and without abandon. Uncle Don, noted that he had never drunk so much Shag lake in his life!" Newspaper man Kirby yelled "stop the press" as the sun faded out of sight only to later realize that no light shall pass through Big Shag Big Stout.

For a short time, at least 1050 mls. worth, there was no pollution on a pristine earth, only one united people roamed the planet peaceful and content. Ah crap...shouldn't have gulped that so fast!

Welcome back to reality and the fine state of Oregon just across the Columbia River from the fine state of Washington.
For food to accompany Big Shag Big Stout try smoked salmon with capers and believe it or not...fresh mango. I imagine that twinkies and ho-ho's could be a fine accompaniment to this dark, rich with highlights of garnet and mosquito larvae ale.

- Joel

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Big Shag Big Stout - The Second Review.

As indicated in the prior post, the initial sampling of Big Shag Big Stout was a simultaneous tasting in San Francisco and at Big Shag Lake. Jeff submitted this photo journal of the Yooper contingent. - mw
-----Original Message-----

From: JC

Sent: Monday, July 04, 2005 9:29 PM

Subject: RE: Big Shag Big Stout - The first review.

The anticipation…

The bliss…

The savoring…

The added bonus of realizing...
I'd been drinking Harlan's bottle instead of Mike's.

And then...
the inspiration to go out and catch a 27" northern pike.

Hail to thee, Big Shag! And many thanks, Joel!

Aren't I supposed to drink Mike's bottle now? - JC
No you are not Jeff.

Bad break HW.

Monday, July 4, 2005

Big Shag Big Stout - The First Review.

Brewed only a few months prior in the UP, the first sip of Big Shag Big Stout is enjoyed on a terrace in San Francisco. The moment was documented in the contemporaneous e-mail to freinds and family - backposted here:

-----Original Message-----

From: MW
Sent: Monday, July 04, 2005 3:30 PM
Subject: Big Shag Big Stout - The first review.

Our nation's birthday was deemed a sufficiently auspicious occasion for the inaugural tasting of the now fully chroizened Big Shag Big Stout. A simultaneous North Michigan / Northern California tasting was hastily arranged. The first toast was for the Lake that provided the inspiration, but after the first tasting, all subsequent toasts were for the genius of the Brewmaster that made it happen.

The drinker is initially greeted to an irresistible aroma of molasses, nuts, grain, spicy hops with a subtle hint of bass pee. A dark brown (black coffee-ish) color with a barely discernible hint of green algae highlights, topped by a thick, creamy, cedar-swamp tannin head, rounds out the look of the ale nicely. Brown sugar, roasted malt, and a finely calibrated pine-tar bitterness, which is felt on the tongue and back of the throat, ride the first wave of flavors in this complex ale. On the second wave, a berry fruitiness and undertone of hazelnut complements the consistent full, chewy, fish-scale mouth feel. As the ale warms, the roasted malt, hops and notes of rusty iron-ore increase - providing a memorable finish. This is a lively and solid example of a stout ale that would be great with fresh bread, flavored cheese and deep-fried bluegills.

Big Shag Big Stout did not suffer from the transport to San Francisco...

...with a beautiful color and robust head that stood up to refrigeration.

Anticipation and Consummation. Yum.
Well done, Joel. Bravo!

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Brewing Big Shag Big Stout

In the distant future, in 2009, we approach the end of the Big Shag Big Stout story. With this backpost, we journey back to the beginning of this storied brew. Back in time to the spring of 2005...

We are at our camp at Big Shag Lake. There is a knock at the door. It is our long lost cousins from the West - Matt and Joel.

Joel begins unpacking mysterious supplies.
"Let there be beer." Joel is heard to exclaim.

The brewmaster undertakes a purification ritual before approaching the sacred brewing task.

Good water is the soul of good beer.
We use Shag Lake anyway.

Master brewer at work.

The brew is left to its own bubbling and fermenting devices.

Ultimately it is ready for bottling and sampling.

Boxed, bottled, and into the cellar for aging.
So it begins.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Oregon cousins tour the five forties.

Matt and Joel hike the Five Forties with MW and Ken the forester. Some pics from a day in the woods:

The road in through the Norway Pine plantation.

Over the beaver dam.

We consult Sid's hand drawn color map for reference.

Finding a corner plate.

At the poplar swamp.

Matt, Ken Joel

Matt is a tree hugger.

In a maple stand.

Discussing the post- cut status.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Five Forties

Contemporaneous e-mail to our forester planning for the spring trip:
-------- Original Message --------

Subject: Family Forties
Date: Wed, 11 May 2005 13:47:00 -0800
From: MW
To: Ken

I hope this note finds you and your wife healthy and doing well. As you may recall, you managed the selective cut for our family's 200 acres during 2000 -2002.

We will be having a mini family reunion in the UP the last week of May. I will be there from May 26 - June 3 along with my brother and father. Two of our cousins ( Matt and Joel sons of Liz), will also be visiting between May 26 and June 1. I am hoping it will be possible to have you guide some of us on a tour of the property and give us a post-cut status while we are there. We won't have the ATV we had when you, Sid and I were last on the property, so - for our part - we will just need to do a little hiking. Let me know if this will be possible, and if so - what dates would work for you. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Regards, MW

P.S. To jog your memory - attached is a panoramic image (be sure to scroll right) with you and Sid and a bad "self-portrait" from the last time we was on the property with you.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Roy's San Francisco Power Tour

On the terrace overlooking Fisherman's Wharf and Alcatraz

In the future, the SF Power Tour becomes a regular feature of this blog and an easy entertainment for visiting guests. As such, I thought I should reprise the first example - this post-dated retrospective dates from 2005, when high school senior Roy had a short window of opportunity before flying home. His debate team had completed their competition across the bay, when we tacked on a four hour tour (including pick-up and drop off in Berkeley)...

Educational opportunity in North Beach


Twin Peaks Panorama (click to enlarge)

In the Castro

Haight Ashbury

Golden Gate Park with new friend

Finally, at the Pacific Ocean...

Uncle Mike completes the first Power Tour