Pirate beers and Lake of Blood

Every Saturday morning, I drive up to the convenience store that’s up the hill from our house to buy newspapers. I am going to make a fantastic elderly person one day. Anyway, there was a group of kids standing outside, all about 14 or 15 years old, and while most of them were wearing reprehensible T-shirts from bands I won’t mention, one kid was decked out in an Exhumed shirt. I was so proud. I wanted to give him $100. But I kept the money for myself.

But that’s not why we’re here today for a rare Saturday update. Instead, it’s because I’ve been lax on providing stories about beer, so I figured I’d do something about that. See, last night I had the opportunity to have a wonderful bottle of Dogfish Head’s Squall IPA, sold in a neat-o champagne bottle (which you can see in the photo to your left) and emblazoned with an old ship on the side. Good pirate beer, I guess, which was fitting because I planned to watch the Pirates snap their seven-game losing streak while enjoying this brew, but the San Diego Padres ruined that shit. Jerks. Luckily the beer is fantastic and took some of the bite out of another disappointing loss.

Typically, I like darker beers and tend to shy away from lighter ones, but I make an exception when it comes to Squall. The potent beverage (9 percent ABV) has quite a hops presence, which you’d expect from an IPA, but it’s not overwhelming. I’m not exactly a hops lover either, but instead of it dominating the taste, it instead blends with the fruity, caramel undertones and makes for a pretty refreshing experience. We ate my world famous ham BBQ last night, and it went pretty well with the spicy sandwiches. I wasn’t sure if it was going to work together, as I didn’t think this through beforehand, but it was fine by me. I followed this with a Sam Adams Wee Heavy, and as much as I like that beer, I found I’d rather have had more Squall. So that’s a win for this beverage. I hope to have a little more soon when I visit the Dogfish Head restaurant and brewery in Rehoboth Beach. That won’t be the only thing I drink there either. My wife is so pumped.

For more on Squall IPA, go here: http://www.dogfish.com/brews-spirits/the-brews/occassional-rarities/squall-ipa.htm

To read a review of the beverage, go here: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/10099/49838

There, of course, also was some metal floating around last night. I gave another listen to the new Wolves in the Throne Room album, and while I don’t want to get into any detail about it yet, I do think it’s a major step up from “Black Cascade.” I also went digging a little deeper to find out more about Lake of Blood, an atmospheric black metal band out of Los Angeles that reminds me of Wolves as well as Agalloch. Their new record “As Time and Tide Erodes Stone” (forgive them their grammatical error … we’re all prone) sounds like something that would be right at home on Bindrune Recordings. The two-track album came out in March on Human Jigsaw, and it’s a really rich journey, with dramatic black metal dressed with folkish acoustic dashes and skull-drubbing drumming that often feels like a relentless rain shower slamming down upon you. The album is available on their Bandcamp page as a pay-what-you-want offering, and that link can be found below. It’s rainy and miserable here today, and this band seems perfect for that type of weather. Check them out, and have a splendid weekend.

For more on the band, go here: http://www.myspace.com/lakeovblood

To grab the album on their Bandcamp site, go here: http://lakeovblood.bandcamp.com/

For more on the label, go here: http://www.humanjigsaw.com/