Samuel Adams Summer Sampler Review

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Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 3.05.19 PMI’m a big fan of an app called @Untappd. A friend of my mine, Sparkey Ballard, got really into Foursquare for a while. I loved the app and checking-in but he took the gamification of it to a whole different level. Learning what badges existed and what it took to get them, and planning out his day around stops to earn a badge. I just sort of checked-in and if I earned a badge, great. Once his app addiction couldn’t be fueled on Foursquare any longer, he ventured off into other apps and started his quest to conquer @Untappd.

After moving to the east coast with my wife and experiencing amazing bars like Mead Hall, The Gaff, The Yard House – Dedham and the Union Street Bar and Grill, I started exploring the world of craft beer and beer in general. I’m not an expert by any definition, but I am a fan. It’s a fun thing my wife and I can do together and @Untappd gives it a digital and social aspect that feeds my inner geek with digital cred and badges.

We came across a Samuel Adams Summer Sampler pack at our favorite spirits store, Mr. K’s, and decided to give it a try. Here’s our review of each of the Summer Selections.

Blueberry

First, the Samuel Adams Blueberry Hill. Samuel Adams describes this brew as: “This crisp, unfiltered lager is aged on blueberries for a pleasant blueberry aroma and taste. To take this fruity character in a new direction, we brewed with Tettnang Tettnanger Noble hops for an added subtle citrus note – a delicious blend of flavors with a smooth lager finish.”

Roger’s Thoughts:

I found this one a surprise. It wasn’t overly fruity and was really enjoyable and refreshing. It’s definitely one I’d love to have a cooler full of on a hot summer day.

Suzy’s Thoughts:

Usually I do not enjoy fruity beers, but the Blueberry Hill was a nice surprise.  It had a strong blueberry flavor, but was not overwhelmingly sweet.

Summer

Next, let’s talk about the Samuel Adams Summer Ale described as “Crisp and tangy with refreshing lemon peel and a hint of pepper from rare Grains of Paradise.  Golden, hazy, & thirst quenching, this American wheat ale balances bright citrus, Noble hops & spice for a lively brew that’s perfect on any summer day.”

Suzy’s Thoughts:

The Summer Ale was my least favorite of the collection.  It didn’t taste bad but was less interesting and unique than most of the others.

Roger’s Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this brew the first time I had it on draft, on Marathon Day this year. It was great on a hot spring day, so I was sure I’d enjoy a few more through the summer. The bottle was surprisingly just as good as the draft. In my previously mentioned limited experience, the draft outshines the bottle.

Boston Lager

That takes us to the Samuel Adams Boston Lager described as the brew that “helped lead the American beer revolution, reviving a passion for full-bodied brews that are robust and rich with character.  Since 1984, Samuel Adams Boston Lager has used only the finest hand-selected ingredients to create this perfectly balanced, complex and full-bodied original brew.”

Roger’s Thoughts:

What can you say about the brew that was a leader in the American Beer Revolution?

Suzy’s Thoughts:

I had never tried this before and was pleasantly surprised.  I expected it to have a stronger presence of hops, which I tend to shy away from, but as the description says it was perfectly balanced.

Porch Rocker

Next is the Porch Rocker, described as a “bright and citrusy with a fresh-squeezed lemon effervescence and a refreshing finish.  Crisp & tangy, with its combination of lager & tart lemonade this unique summer quencher is our take on the Bavarian Radler, named for cyclists that originated this drink.”

Suzy’s Thoughts:

I recently tried a lemonade beer and was not fond of it at all.  The Porch Rocker, however, does not over do it.  It is a nice refreshing drink, perfect for summer.

Roger’s Thoughts:

I’m a big fan of Lemonade and Ice Tea together. I also tried a draft recently of another lemon beer that was more of a Lemonade and Beer combo that I wasn’t a big fan of, so I was real skeptical of this brew. I was surprised that it was actually enjoyable, unlike the Lemonade Beer Mashup I had tried previously. It wasn’t overbearing at all, the flavors were balanced and made the brew crisp and light.

BelgianOnto the Belgian Session. described as “A crisp, refreshing version of a traditional Belgian beer.  Fruity, slightly spicy flavors from the Belgian yeast are balanced by toffee and caramel notes from our blend of malts while the hops provide a citrus character that rounds out this enjoyable brew.”

Roger’s Thoughts:

This was my second favorite of the sample. I really enjoyed this brew. The toffee and carmel notes were subtle and made for a unique experience that I really, really enjoyed. It was the perfect compliment to my Connecticut Nub Cigar.

Suzy’s Thoughts:

I tasted this beer before reading the description and picked up a lot of the flavors it described.  The sweetness is prevalent, reminding me slightly of pineapple, but the malty notes balance it out.

Little White Rye

I would say we’ve left the best for last, the Little White Rye, describe on Samuel Adams website as “Innocent yet beguiling, this hazy golden brew appears to be a classic witbier with its bright notes of orange citrus & coriander, but there’s a bit more mischief up its sleeve. Behind its sweet exterior lies an intriguing blend of white sage and rye for an earthy, spicy, and thoroughly refreshing brew.”

Suzy’s Thoughts:

The first thing I thought of when tasting the Little White Rye was cardamom bread.  I enjoyed the uniqueness of the flavor but the spices were a little too strong for my taste.

Roger’s Thoughts:

Best of the bunch. I’m not sure if this little guy is available on draft or in 6 or 12 packs of its own, but if it is, I’m stoked because I am a fan. Not saying my quest of beers ends here, that I’ll never love another, but I really, really, really liked this beer.

Have you tried the Samuel Adams Summer Selections? Do you enjoy tasting different brews and/or a nice cigar? Leave a comment on this blog and let us know your thoughts, your favorites or any tips or advice you have for newbie beer connoisseurs.

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Mashable’s List of Helpful Crowdsourcing Platforms

Recently I went on a quest to find out more about “crowdsourcing”. I came across a few definitions and several articles but the one I found most interesting was a post on Mashable called, “5 Crowdsourcing Platforms Every Developer Should Know” by Marcus Thielking.

I found the post interesting because it revealed to me that crowdsourcing is a greater tool than I realized. Pulling data from multiple apps and sources to help you better understand and develop your own product or app was taking the concept to a new step for me.

Previously, I thought of crowdsourcing as the internet’s answer to a “Focus Group”. As useful and valuable as some focus group data can be, there’s also a lot of variables that can skew focus group data.

The Mashable post by Thielking opens up a truer and more poignant examination of crowdsourcing. How these new and innovative technologies are fueled, built and made better through pooling data from one another to make a bigger better apple cart.

Have you used crowdsourcing to market or develop your business? I’d love to hear your story, leave a comment on this post, or tweet me @rogermichaelm

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The Force Is Strong In This One

My older brother, Ryan, was born with a heart condition. While my younger brother and I were involved in sports, my mom took Ryan off to a modeling agency and acting lessons. With Ryan’s condition he couldn’t really play sports, so it gave him something to be involved in.

It turned out Ryan had a “star personality” and being in front of a camera was natural for him. He did several print and TV commercials.

Whenever he would get paid, he would take my younger brother and me to Toys R Us and we’d all get to buy toys. Transformers, GI Joe, and Star Wars toys would have epic battles in our playroom.

Ryan had a big interest in the Star Wars movies as well as the toys, and over the years we had a large amount of Star Wars toys.

After Ryan passed away, my father continued on with the collection. Everyone began to help and birthdays, father’s days, every Christmas, my father would get more and more pieces to add to his collection.

Recently my parents have decided it’s time to look into letting go of the collection. Time to move on, if you will. My father isn’t sure he’s ready to part with it, but he is really interested in learning what it’s worth.

I reached out to “The Toyhunter” from the travel channel on Twitter and the show contacted my mom the next day.

I decided to see if perhaps social media and my online connections might also be able to help.

Do you know George Lucas? ;) Or someone who’d be interested and accredited to assess the monetary value of this emotionally priceless Star Wars collection?

Leave your email address in the comments or contact me on Twitter @rogermichaelm

Thanks,
May the Force Be with You.

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Pacifica Off the Path

I grew up in a small town south of San Francisco, but before you reach Half Moon Bay. Highway 1 runs right through it, so if you are in the city and headed the Santa Cruz, (on the scenic route), you’ll drive right through it. It’s a beautiful town, with beaches, interesting characters, and tons of fog. If you aren’t a fan of the cold weather, bring a coat or a sweater cause there aren’t very many days over 70 degrees. http://colombosdeli.com/CMS/index.php


There are three spots you MUST eat if you ever travel to Pacifica. First is Colombo’s Deli. They cook their own roast beef and turkey on the premises and make all the breads fresh. They have tons of Boars Head Meats and Cheeses, and amazing freshly made salads and side dishes. I recommend a roast beef and swiss on a French Roll with the deli mustard. You will not regret it. There’s a beach about 15 steps away, so you can stop in and get a sandwich, say hi to Emil Jr. and go and eat the amazingness while enjoying the beach and the ocean. 


The next is Good Fellas Pizza. Great Food, Great Service, and Fun Decor. The pizza won’t cost more that the big chains but it’ll taste amazing. They’ve got a young friendly staff, an owner who will know you by name the next time you come in, and pastas to die for. It’s located in a small strip mall, next to a supermarket, so you might not expect it to be awesome, but it is. http://www.goodfellaspizzapasta.com/


Lastly, the perfect place for the sweet tooth in your family. Mazetti’s Bakery. It’s been around 38 years, so just a little longer than I’ve been alive. Every Sunday after church my Dad would take us there for these amazing chocolate brownies. My mother would slap me if she read this, but the brownies at Mazetti’s are better than any brownie I have ever tasted. They have a huge assortment of fresh baked goods and are even a favorite for wedding cakes. If you haven’t been to Mazetti’s, you haven’t really been to Pacifica. http://www.mazzettisbakery.com/#!about


There’s my look at some of the spots off of the main path you will want to visit the next time you are cruising down the Highway 1. Be sure to leave me a comment if you visit, and let me know what you thought, or if there’s a place in Pacifica you think should have made my top 3. Happy Travels and Full Bellies to you!

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All I Skype For Christmas…

It’s gonna happen….

That’s what people, my friends, would tell me. Whenever I was down about the two things that used to make me down the most.

#1. No girlfriend. Well as of three or so months ago, that’s become true. I was plain sure that I just wasn’t the kinda guy anyone but my Mom could love, and that was a fickle as a kid in a candy store. But it has. It has happened. “They” were right. The second I stopped looking, and in a place I never would have thought of, it happened. I have never been “more up”.

#2 No career/job?famousness. I don’t have a “job”. That causes a ton of stress and struggle, but, I was able to become a Production and Imaging Intern for the Spring Semester back at MOViN 997. I’m working under a man who’s been successful at radio for more years than I have been alive. He’s an awesome mentor, and maybe even a really good friend.

as far as famousness, I guess I’ve realized in doing a random little podcast with some friends out of a dorm room and having the time of my life, I don’t so much care about famous. I thought I did before, but I don’t. I just like being funny and making people laugh. Even if it’s only 9, or 19 people at a time.

Check us out Live, on Sundays at 8:30 at www. midnightpancakes.com

This week will be out first “It’s a Skype Special Christmas-a-sode”

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Midnight Pancakes

A friend and I have started a Talk Show. One of late night epic proportions. It’s going to be a podcast at first, with video added in real soon, and we’ll be taking calls, interacting with guests, the whole 9 yards! It’s beeen a lot of fun working on it and I think you’ll have a ton of fun listening and watching it!!

So remember, French Toast is good for breakfast, cause Pancakes are for late night !!

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GDGT is back in SF tonight!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE gadgets. I said it. And I don’t really care who heard me. I am a Geek. Maybe even a GEEK with all capitals.

Pretty much I am awesome, and if you don’t come to this, I will have way cooler toys than you! ;)

RSVP on Facebook

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