Thursday, January 18, 2018

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018

Beer Friday. Elbeck Brews, KGB Russian Imperial Stout

Perhaps the most badass label to have ever adorned a beer label in the whole history of beer Friday reviews on this here blog. KGB from Elbeck brews has the whole Beer Friday beer team screaming for this one to get going.

We got frustrated trying to find the location of this brewery as I had assumed it was somewhere in Portland or (sigh) British Columbia. 'Elbeck Brews Edmonton' kept coming up. I got frustrated and kept searching for a location. "Why the hell does it keep giving me an Edmonton location guys" I yelled. Slowly one of the interns leaned in and whispered into my ear. "Hey umm... They are from Edmonton" she whispered, quickly shooing herself away and back into the crowd afraid of the wrath coming her way for making me look stupid.

It didn't. I smiled and said "of course" and we continued. Cause it's the Christmas holidays.

So Elbeck is located right here in Edmonton. Kinda makes me proud and a bit embarrassed at the same time that I didn't know that.

The pour was one of the most amazing ones I have ever seen on a Beer Friday testing evening. A very dark and badass stout poured out with fury and ruthless abandonment. A one and a half fingered head stood for a short time which transitioned to lacing.  A smell of heavy green pine treed hops (is there such a thing?) with toffee.

It tastes of dark chocolate and old coffee, caramel toffee is noted in their as well. This is one hell of a beer to have on this night by your side which is incredibly cold on the time of writing. Something that you and your possible comrades can have while sitting around the campfire in the middle of the Winter night. The more this one is downed, the more I love it!

This beer gets 4.5 suds out of 5.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Friday, January 12, 2018

Beer Friday. Boyne Brewing, Down Easy Pale Ale

Merry post Christmas. Merry Boxing Day. Hold on a second... When is this posted? My second Friday up north? Am I staying longer? Not sure. If not this one is coming to an end soon. Written however on Boxing Day. Canada's original Black Friday until we started copying the Americans because we are insecure with our own identities. Well... Maybe it's just the greedy douchebag corporations trying to make more money.

So what have I been up to you ask? Oh you know... Opening presents, hanging with the family. Staying away from the frigid cold river valley.

The brewery featured is from Victoria, British Columbia. Formed in Nineteen Eighty Nine under the guide of one noble gentlemen whom we cannot name (partly because we couldn't find his name on the website but we sure as shit didn't look real hard.) This brewery is a lot like the other craft breweries as per their website that is. They have passion and a strong devotion to making an incredible beer. They call themselves 'beer geeks.'

Well beer geeks, let's see what you did with this one.

The cover features some folks enjoying a nice summer day floating on tubes down a river. Quite the difference between today's weather and what is conveyed on the cover. The theme of the beer is taking things easy which I have been doing the last week and the week to come. That's what Christmas holidays is all about right kids?

We poured in the lab and got a darkened golden beer that had a one and a quartered fingered head that transition nicely to thick lacing on top and running down the sides making me think very perverted thoughts of this one. Smells of grains and earthy hops with some citrus. We sipped and it showed off it's summer prowess. This would be a nice one to have while over the barbecue or sitting over a campfire. Caramel and  anode balance of hops round out an easy drinking ale that leaves the mouth satisfied.

This beer gets 3.5 suds out of 5.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Music Monday (Tuesday.) Song of One-Seven

Was this even posted? Nevertheless this one took me back and forth to Fort McKay in the darkest hours of the night and became the theme of working out there. The eerie organs that emanate from this run through your spine and can make every hair stand up.

Puts things into prospective as you are surrounded by lots of people working up north, but you truly are all alone.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Top 5 Rides of 2017

Here we go, the annual dumping of the best rides from the last year. Get a big bowl of popcorn ready and maybe a martini.

#5. Into the Dark

A late season ride from daylight to nighttime. Great conditions and weather with hardly any write up.

Fort Saskatchewan and a nice hardtail. Reason enough to not ride a full suspension ever again. 

Meeting Kent's fine lady, an evening spent playing around town as the trails were too wet. This one took me back to the days of riding around the neighbourhood with friends and it was a damn good time. Kent seems to have that vibe when we get together. Sadly though, he cut his hair otherwise this would have been number one.

Best part of my job is being home and riding during the week while all the Monday to Friday suckers are stuck in their cubicles. Probably the last best ride on the Rocky Mountain. 

Again, middle of the day on a Monday. Nobody around. An expected wet roll on multi use and pave turned into a singletrack excursion. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

Beer Friday. World Top Yorkshire Brewery, Scarborough Fair IPA

Writing this two days before Christmas and I've just spent the last two days Christmas shopping. Oddly enough I didn't find the crowds all that bad this year. I was waiting for those serial killer vibes to enter my anger rinsed brain but felt nothing. In fact, I felt jolly. The highlight was sitting in Starbucks overlooking the ice rink in West Edmonton mall watching the skaters. The Christmas spirit finally hit then but I sadly lost it since that moment. I'm not sure how I will get it back.

Enter alcohol.

Scarborough Fair is a gluten free beer. Perfect for those who are celiac or who choose to live a gluten free lifestyle. World top Yorkshire Brewery is located in... What..? Really? What is with some of these English places and their bizarre names? I'm not even going to try to attempt to write that. It's in England. Close to Manchester (we think.) Who knows, maybe it's in Ireland. To the owners and employees of this place, I apologize.

The pour was done and we admired a dirty golden coloured beer with very little head. Is this a gluten free thing? A small crowd of foam did hang around the top though looking tempting. Looking sexy. I was tired of the Christmas rush and was ready for this one. I took the glass to my nose and was rewarded with fruity hops. I could almost tell by the smell that this IPA was truly going to be hoppy.

Hoppy it was but not what I was expecting. Maybe this would score low points on the hoppy richter scale. Hints of fruity hops with a trace of grapefruit round it out. As for a gluten free beer it fared quite well and would strongly recommend if that is what you need. If not, look elsewhere. Compared to other IPA's this one didn't deliver.

This beer gets 2.5 suds out of 5.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Best Beers of Two Seventeen

No top five list for these guys. Just every beer that made it over the 4.5 suds rating. There were only three for the year. Lots of beers made it with four suds so we are not that psycho. If you can find these get em.

Full beer listing of every one done on the right, top link.

In no order..

Garrison Brewing, Wintervention

Rogue, Chocolate Stout

Pilsner, Urquell

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Years Knuckleheads

The above picture happened twice in the last week. The bike made it into the Winter bike transport vehicle. Or M.F.W.B.T.V as I like to call it, once the cold set in and I stood their in my unicorn rainbow comfort slippers staring at it I just lost all hope.

It's sad, I've never been like this, the weather is winning and I'm not happy. I mean, come on man, look at the condensation from my muffler in that pic. I sucked hard these two weeks but I was expecting this as the Christmas season was rolling through Lonebiker land. The cold just made things all that much more shitty.

The good news is the year end top rides and beer lists are done. That and three beer reviews. They will be posted when up.

It's travel night for me. Have a good Two-Eighteen.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Steak Night

After a rather rough night I woke up in the early afternoon and after a couple cups of coffee knew a bike ride was in the cards. Even a short ride which I knew this one would be, it had to happen. My Christmas lounging had taken it's toll and my sloth status was at an all time high. 'Rough night?' You ask. Ok Judgy McJudgealot, It wasn't what you were thinking. My mind cannot quite figure out if it should stay up all night or all day. Every now and then I wake up at two or three after going down at midnight and stare blankly at the ceiling wide awake. A huge part of me wants to get into the Jeep and drive around with a camera but that would wake the family. Hence YouTube and the iPad is the entertainment until six when I finally go to sleep again.

 I'm quite certain my pre ride eating traditions need some refinement. I opened the fridge and found a large steak which became my pre ride meal. Nothing else was had, I washed it down with coffee and after wasting copious amounts of time looking for my ultra cold riding gear I was out the door. I knew it was late and the sun was dropping and I had no lights. Ugh..

The ride that didn't even make the minimum requirements for distance to be posted will be posted anyways due to low content. Again... Winter slothfulness is too blame and I don't care one bit.

Kinsman took me up into the hills where a bit of singletrack was ridden to see how the ice was after the snow. All in all for the short amount ridden. It was pretty good.

High Level was crossed after the climb out where the steak I had earlier was sitting in my gut like a large bag of sawdust. I could feel it talking to me telling me it was going to take me down if I didn't turn the bike around and head straight home to watch Dukes of Hazard reruns. I kept going but once across the bridge and the chill of the air got to me on top of the gut rot I decided Walterdale was a good return and that's what I did.

In the end. Super lame ride, but still.. Got to ride a bike today.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Beer Christmas. Postmark, Winter Warmer

Greetings all the way from the North Pole! We took the entire staff of lonebiker Industries all the way to Santa's village for a most special Christmas Eve Beer Friday spectacular! Dasher is here, he had to stay back due to a bad case of hoof rot. So he will be the special celebrity reindeer doing the pour. As you guessed the fat bastard is out delivering presents right now leaving us to the confines of the toy shop to conduct our beer review.

What do we have for you this fine eve? Postmark brewery from Vancouver, British Columbia which was founded in two thousand and fourteen. Vancouver, the home of those Godless Canucks. Also the home of some incredible living with some incredibly overpriced real estate. The list of craft breweries in BC has always astounded me, seeing the list of breweries in Vancouver is quite the eye opener.

Well as it turns out Dasher completely screwed up the pour. His stupid ungulate hands with no opposable thumbs almost dropped the only bottle we have for testing tonight. The ONLY bottle. "Hey Dasher, you miserable, stupid son of a bitch! You almost ruined Christmas!" I roared at him. Everyone is sympathizing with the stupid reindeer as it left crying. I don't care, you don't take these beer reviews serious you pay the price!

I poured the bottle and the beautifully labeled bottle gave us a dark beer that looked like it wanted to warm our hearts and forget all about Dasher's horrible mistake. Smells of caramel and dark toffee mixed in with earthy hops greeted the senses. A light foam stayed on top of this one with lacing on the sides of the glass.

The first taste was quite good. A slightly bitter beer with earthy hops, as we continued to taste it I got more toffee in the taste, that with a skiff of caramel. The earthy hops made the mouth sing 'Joy to the World' as I sipped away. Dasher looked in from the cold outdoors crying. I ignored him.

Do we call this a true Winter Warmer? I would say no. In my humble amateur view a true Winter Warmer would be a high alcohol beer. Hence the alcohol is there to warm you up. Am I right? Makes the most sense to me. Although higher than normal. Postmark's Winter Warmer comes in at 5.8%. Still though, it is quite delicious.

This beer gets 3.5 suds out of 5.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

That Sexy Walterdale

After reading last night that the east walking side of the Walterdale was opening this morning I knew what must be done today. A ride that featured the new bridge was in tall order. Where to start the ride though? A closed eye Google earth point told me I'm starting at Capilano Park.

The ride today was all paved. A theme I did not want to get into while back home but with the trail conditions I had no choice. I'm sure some of the multi use and even singletrack is rideable but with the light skiffs of snow we have had hiding the ice I want to get to Christmas sans casts.

The plan was to ride all the southside and have the Walterdale boomerang me back around and take the north side back. The ice wasn't nearly as bad as I noticed it yesterday. It could have been a return where tired eyes exaggerated things. That being said the ice is there. If you are reading this you probably ride in the valley lots (if your local) and you know all about the conditions and what to do, hence I won't bore you.

I arrived at Walterdale or 'Sexy W' as I like to call it. Well I did just come up with that name now. The signs of construction in the area make it seem like you should cross the road and ride the west side across which is what lots of people did in the area (suckers) and I had the brand new east side all to myself.

My inner bridge nerdiness came out strongly and I was quite impressed with the design of the walkway which looks like it matches the arch of the bridge going up. A wooden walkway on the right with concrete on the left with a ton of room to walk, ride, dog walk, skip, jump rope, play hopscotch... You get the idea. It's roomy. In fact a couple construction workers caught me lying in the middle with arms and legs outstretched moaning loudly at how roomy the walkway is. It was weird for them, I'm sure but I was caught in the moment.

Whats that you ask? How does it compare to other bridges? A definite top contender for best crossing in Edmonton. When you cross and see the downtown skyline with the old Rossdale power plant. Brothers, sisters, that right there is top notch.

Some notes on programming:

After some heated meetings with lonebiker executives the comments are pulled (sorry Gord). We discovered quite a few people were going on and shitting all over the place with spam. That didn't sit right with me and I'm not going to moderate and approve comments to be posted. That is pretty lame.

This will most likely be the last ride till Christmas. With no shopping being done and Christmas eve at the in-laws there is literally no time. We hope to have a special Christmas eve beer review done which will be posted the night of rather than the delayed postings as of late, but I like how those work.

So here is hoping for a special Christmas Eve Beer Friday post! Wouldn't that make your Christmases  incredible!