Joe's Rants and Raves

  • Sep 08 - 10:19 AM: Hog Heaven - It's ON!!! : Joe McBane

    All those who have bought Hog Heaven tickets will be pleased to hear about the trial pig roast run that I conducted at my house over the weekend. After 6 hours and about 60 pounds of charcoal I produced what can only be described as a perfect porker. Juicy, golden, crispy and delicious.

    A few lessons were learnt. I was a little shocked by the incredible amount of heat that is kicked out by this thing. I am glad that I decided to move the box away from my house just before lighting! A drip catcher will also be useful as clean up was a project to say the least.

    All said and done this is going to be a hell of an event. See you there......

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  • Aug 07 - 05:19 PM: Belgium Comes to Cooperstown : Joe McBane

    Well we made it back fairly unscathed. Myself and Greg Libby traveled down on the Friday. We made a quick pit stop at the Blue Tusk in Syracuse for a couple then carried on the rest of the way there. The some what t(rusty) '94 Pathfinder fought its way up some of hills we encountered barely making it a couple of times. We arrived some time late afternoon and set up camp. It turned out that we camped in the employee section which afforded us a flat shady spot. No one said anything. We figured they probably assumed we were the sales reps from Alabama and Kentucky.

    The dinner kicked off at about 7. The set up was dozens of large round tables with iced beers in the middle. Every time you took one another magically reappeared. Needless to say much sampling occurred that night. We awoke the next morning to what appeared to be a rather set in rain storm. Not cool at all. We ate some food took some Aspirin and went back to bed. This turned out be a good call as things were much brighter when we rose from our slumber.

    After a number of spirited games of horse shoes the event was about ready get rolling again. We started down at the Ommegang end of the tent. We figured a gentle pace was the way to approach. We were disciplined in not trying beers we had had before or could get in Rochester. Still the selection was daunting. To be honest it was foolish to think that we could make a single lap. We managed about half in four hours!

    The whole event had a very laid back vibe to it. Clearly the people here were cool with a little imbibing. There's nothing like a big field in the middle of now where and a ton of good beer to bring out the best in people. That said I was tucked up in bed by 7 that night. Greg being a younger fitter version provided a more sustained effort. The next morning we were greeted by more rain so we packed up and headed home. It was a long quiet journey as we were both - well exhausted.

    The pick of the brews were the Vedette line from brewery Moortgaat in Belgium. A blond and a wit that were truly delicious and as close to session drinking as you'll come at one of these things. We also loved the beers from Boulevard Brewery. Apparently the eighth largest craft brewer in the nation. The other point of interest is that we can confirm the rumor - sour is the new hoppy.

    Check out pictures of the trip on photo section of the site.

    We will be back! Cheers.

    PS. We were in Cooperstown NY. Cooperstown PA is close in name alone. If you drive there you will not be happy with the selection of Belgians on offer. Ask me at the bar for the full story on that one!!!!

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  • Jul 30 - 05:28 PM: Hog Heaven @ the Tap and Mallet : Joe McBane

    We are awaiting arrival of a pig roasting box. Keep your eye on this space for updates on our forth coming feast..........

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