Friday, May 25, 2012

Diablo 3 with Russian River Damnation

After many long years of agonizing speculation and anticipation, Diablo 3 finally went live last week. Needless to say, I've been playing as much as possible ever since. While I've already tried out quite a few booze combinations with it, I saved something special for its release that I thought might go particularly well.

Russian River Brewing Company does not distribute to Chicago, but I try to pick up their beers (if I can find them) whenever I am in California. Though I try not to base my pairings on the names of boozes, I couldn't help but save a bottle of Damnation for this moment in video game history. Damnation is probably my least favorite beer from Russian River. Which is to say, it's a really fantastic beer in every way, but I find the brewery's other beers to be even more fantastic. When I visited their brewpub last year, I tried 15 beers, and every one of them was incredibly delicious and well-made.
Damnation is a Belgian-style golden ale. It has a beautiful creamy head, and features wonderful notes of pear and banana along with a subtle spiciness. It is strong enough to help embolden a mighty barbarian (I'm a sucker for warrior classes in Diablo games. I like to smash stuff), but not overpowering enough to hinder my reflexes. It made for a good companion to Diablo 3. But that's enough blogging. I have demons to slay.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Diablo 3

Tonight I'm hoping to try out one of the inevitable hundreds of pairings that I will come up with for Diablo 3. However, Blizzard's servers are down for maintenance. This is hardly surprising, since half the world is trying to log on right now. It's taking every ounce of willpower that I have to stop myself from repeatedly attempting to log in, even though Blizzard has stated that the servers will be down for approximately 11 more minutes. At least it gives me a chance to write this post. But now I must go, just in case they got the servers back online 10 minutes early.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Angry Birds with Ninkasi Brewing Company's Oatis Oatmeal Stout

During a recent trip out to see my dad in California, I took the opportunity to try some beers that are not available in Chicago. Some of the best that I tried were from Ninkasi Brewing Company, located in Eugene, Oregon. One night after my dad had turned in, I found myself sitting in his kitchen with a bottle of Ninkasi's Oatis Oatmeal Stout and not a whole lot to do. I had no video game consoles, and my newly-reformatted laptop did not offer much in the way of entertainment. Fortunately, I did have my iPhone, and Angry Birds.

I surely don't need to go into detail describing Angry Birds. Unless you've been living under a rock for the past two years, you already know about this delightful game that involves shooting birds from a slingshot in order to kill evil pigs and the ramshackle structures they build to defend themselves. I really enjoy Angry Birds, and not too surprisingly, I really enjoyed playing it while drinking Oatis.

Like the heart of an Angry Bird, Oatis is dark. And like an Angry Bird, the beer is robust. It's not overly strong, but it is packed with delicious roasty, chocolatey flavor. Oatis is rich, but balanced. While damn near anything would go well with Angry Birds, Oatis was a particularly good choice.

Diablo III is being released next Tuesday. I have an epic pairing planned for it, but I'm not sure when exactly I'll get to try it out. Pretty much only one thing in the world could stop me from playing Diablo III the moment that it's released, and that would be getting to brew the first batch of beer for the brewpub that I'm helping to start up. Atlas Brewing Company will be located at 2747 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago, and will hopefully open in June.