Posts Tagged ‘burger bar’

homebrew projects and burger bar revisited

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

last week I managed to put some finishing touches on some home brewing components.

  • remember this old post about the chill wizard?  you know, the one for $830?  well, with some helpful tips from the folks over at homebrewtalk (my new must-read forum), I scored a march pump from a forum member and got a plate chiller for a steal via germany (email me for more info), then picked up a bunch of stainless hardware from bargainfittings (fast shipping!) and made my own pump/cooling setup for less than half the cost.
  • basically, I picked up a small toolbox off of amazon for cheap, installed the pump into a base end of the box, and strapped the plate chiller to the other end.  I tossed on extras like a air purge valve on the pump out and an in-line thermometer at the wort out of the plate chiller, as well as a pump switch on the top of the box.  the whole thing is plugged into a GFCI outlet so I don’t shock the shit out of myself.
  • after tightening everything with some plumbing tape, I ran my portable pump setup through my (almost finished) brew setup to test it, and after a few leak fixes everything worked like a charm.  this thing might not be the prettiest setup out there, but it gets the job done just as well as the high-end options and is simpler/significantly less expensive.
  • I also kegged up my bohemian pilsner and tapped the second keg of my belgian date barleywine, which recently celebrated its first birthday.

in other beer news, AP and I were in vegas at the end of last week, and after very little persuading we headed over to burger bar for another visit.

  • as usual, the selection was outstanding, especially for a burger joint in a casino.  I started off with a st feuillen saison on draft, while AP went local and had a pint of sin city’s amber ale (which she thoroughly enjoyed).
  • after my initial pour, I couldn’t resist any longer, and went straight for one of my hard-to-find favorites: dogfish head’s 120 minute IPA.  I pulled the same stunt as last time and ended up cruising the strip with a cup of this liquid gold (which might not have been the best idea, as outside temps were in triple digits).
  • AP and I managed to return twice more during our stay, and partook in specialties such as new belgium’s la folie ’10 (significantly more sour than last year’s, according to my palate), kiuchi’s commemorative ale (spice ain’t my thing, but these guys have the belgian complexity down pat), and bitch creek ESB from grand teton.
  • I was even debating ordering up the firestone 11-13 bomber flight, but lousy luck at the craps table prevented any celebratory splurging.
  • again, the service and burgers were great and the beer selection made me feel right at home.  if you’re a beer fan in vegas this is without question the place to be.

dogfish head raison d’extra 2006

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

raison d'extra in the glass

after trying dogfish head’s raison d’etre over at burger bar las vegas, I was excited when CB pulled a bottle of their raison d’extra from 2006 out of the fridge during a recent visit.

  • raison d’extra is DFH’s turbocharged version of the d’etre – it clocks in at an insane 18% abv!
  • the pour was syrupy smooth, with good carbonation.
  • the aroma was fantastic, and the beer had a syrupy mouthfeel that was malty, caramely and slightly fruity.
  • close to 4 years in the bottle had mellowed the beer significantly – there was only slightly noticeable alcohol heat and any booziness was not overpowering.
  • what can I say, this beer was great.  it reminded me of aged brown shugga, except this beer was twice the abv!  incredible.  this brew was definitely one of my favorites in recent memory.  thanks again CB!

raison d'extra bottle

raison d'extra in the glass

burger bar SF, rogue wet hop

Monday, October 19th, 2009

tap selection at burger bar sf

on friday AP and I went over to the burger bar (inside of macy’s at union square) opening night to see if we could score some burgers and good brews.

  • I was a big fan of the burger bar in vegas, so I had pretty high expectations right off the bat.
  • when we got there, the place was packed (not surprisingly), so we left to get food elsewhere and came back a few hours later (after 10pm) to meet CB and TG for a round.
  • the place was still pretty crowded, but CB and TG had managed to grab a couple bar stools.
  • unfortunately, although the tap selection seemed decent (with a lot of local representation), the bottle selection was slim at best.
  • when I later overheard the bartender describing avery’s white rascal as “sort of an amber, like an oktoberfest,” we all urged TG to finish his pint of duvel green/draft so we could get out of there.

tap selection at burger bar sf

a little irritated by our experience at burger bar, we all rolled over to a safe bet, rogue pub.

rogue halloween setup

  • I had a score to settle, so right off the bat I ordered up a dry hop red on draft to compare to my last review.  I hate to say it, but my initial comments still stand – weak malt backbone and little hop aroma.
  • while we were relaxing on rogue’s great back patio, TG came back with a round of rogue’s wet hop offering.  the beer had a great mellow hop aroma and could easily stand it’s ground with the other wet hop beers we tried last wednesday at toronado.
  • according to this link, the wet hop brew comes from chatoe rogue, a spinoff that uses proprietary hops and malts and that will be putting out other beers such as “Pinot Envy Ale, Dirtoir Ale, Single Malt Ale, and OREgasmic Ale.”  sounds interesting.

beers on the rogue patio

wet hop ale inside rogue

wet hop ale with bomber

catching up on celebrator at rogue

burger bar las vegas

Monday, August 31st, 2009

view from the back bar

view from the back bar

In Las Vegas for a close friend’s bachelor party, I happened to stumble across Burger Bar in Mandalay Place on the strip.  Well, more like “actively seek out as a result of BeerFly research” than “stumble across,” but you know what I mean.  This place emerged as an oasis in a desert of aluminum budweiser bottles and foot-tall plastic margarita glasses.

  • don’t fret if mandalay place (the building between mandalay bay and luxor) seems far.  a tram at excalibur drops you off less than a 5 minute walk from where you need to be.
  • when I got there, the place was packed, and there was a line to get in.  however, bar seating is first come, first served, and there were open bar seats the entire time i was there, so if you are in a group of 2-3 I would recommend that option.  they are also open until 2am on weekends, so you can always go in at an off hour to avoid the rush.
  • if the front bar is packed, check out their back bar – it seemed less crowded to me and was where I got a seat the first time I was there.
  • over the course of the weekend, I visited this place multiple times.  I started off with a favorite, stone’s 13 anniversary, while picking out a burger.
  • they also have an impressive dogfish head selection here, bigger than I have found in SF.  I had a DFH raison d’etre with my burger, and had them pour a draft DFH 90 minute IPA in a cup to go.
  • later that weekend, I rolled in for another burger.  I started off with another favorite, Cantillon Iris (in a 375ml bottle), and left with a DFH 120 minute IPA in a cup (ask for it, I don’t think it’s on the menu).  I think I can safely say that I was the only guy rolling through the casino with that beer in his hand.
  • Everyone working at burger bar was very friendly (and incredibly busy).  I had a good conversation with Dean, the resident “beer guide” at burger bar.  He’s the guy to look for for good beer stories and recommendations.

Also, another burger bar will be opening in the city in macy’s sometime soon, so hopefully theire beer list will come with it and we can all enjoy yet more beer variety here in SF.

p.s. for some decent shots of the interior of burger bar go here.

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