Thursday, February 26, 2015

More Podcast: Monks Flemish Sour and Cuvee de Jacobins Rouge

Episode 5 off the Drinking W/ Shirt podcast features Monks Flemish Sour and Cuvee de Jacobins Rouge. We drink them blind. T-Bone reveals his grand idea for a themed bar. Looking back was maybe one of my favorite segments ever.

Listen at BeerGraphs or iTunes!

Subscribe, Listen, and Review it. Thanks. We appreciate it.

Monday, January 12, 2015

On Lunch And Doubts (and Podcasts)

This one is from a few months ago on BeerGraphs:

The upcoming episode of the Drinking With Shirt podcast, hopefully out next week (it came out back in September), will feature an epic Beersport between two American Pale Ales brewed by Maine Beer Company – Mo and Peeper Ale. The labels on a Maine Beer Company's bottle of beer have next to nothing on them beyond the name, which is fine, calling Mo a pale ale and Peeper and American ale. So beyond half a percentage of ABV%, what's the difference between the two?

Currently, according to Style+, Mo is the better of the two. But better how? Better why? These are the questions T-Bone and I try to answer. And I might be using the word try rather loosely. 

Another question worth answering might be “What is Maine Beer Company's best beer?” Per our Leaderboards, it's Lunch, their American IPA. In fact, ranked by Beers Above Replacement, Lunch comes in as the third best in the style, behind only Alpine's Nelson and Ballast Point's Sculpin (or Scalpin for the faithful podcast listeners).

What follows will focus on this wonderful beer, an American IPA, known simply as Lunch. But again, I may be using the word focus rather loosely...

As I sit here with my glass of Lunch, admiring its golden appearance and bright aroma, anticipating its amazing flavors, Wife is but a room away – in the kitchen, preparing tomorrow's lunches (I am 100% in charge of dinners, I'll have you know). So still sitting here, about to take a sip from a half-full tulip of a fresh IPA, with Wife making my delicious sandwich for the upcoming workday and packing the Child's lunch for preschool, it seems thing couldn't get much better.

But could they? Could things get better? After a sip of Lunch, and then another and all of its perfect citrus and clean pine, its tropical notes – wait, what was the question? Oh right – could it get any better? It is a question that Wife and I have asked each other an endless number of times over the past few years, a refrain of our conversations since the Child became a part of our lives.

Obviously, from a certain perspective, things could definitely get better. We could have more money and live in a bigger house. I could have rock hard abs and an unlimited supply of this delicious IPA and somehow it would not impact my ability to maintain those rock hard abs. I would like to be able to jump higher. That would be better.

But really, what Wife and I are talking about when ask each other the question is our family and the dynamic, or the energy, it has with our one lovely sunbeam of a daughter. With only one child, our family seems predisposed to maximize joy while minimizing stress. Things are generally calm and relaxed and Wife and I have done a nice job of maintaining certain freedoms in our lives that, overall, helps to keep that stress level down. A delicious beer every now and again, in particular, this delicious beer, also seems to help in that regard. So when we ask one another if things could possibly get any better, what we are really asking, without ever really saying it, is should we have another child?

Until recently, I was adamant in my answer, “Things could not get any better.” Until recently, I said things like, “If it ain't broke, why fix it.” All the while completely acknowledging that my reasons were 100% selfish. I worried that this dream of a family might fall into chaos if we threw caution to the wind and poked the proverbial tiger until it was pregnant one more time. I worried we would lose the ability to do the things we wanted to do – as individuals and as a family. I worried I wouldn’t be able to handle the added stress, that I would succumb to the added pressures, and that I might lose my hair.

Frankly, I worried for my sanity. Perhaps, personally, I already had all I could handle. I pictured my mind as a camel and wondered if it could handle another piece of straw. I had serious doubts.

Of course now, moving on to my second bottle of Lunch, those doubts seem like distant memories. I smirk at the idea of waking up in the middle of the night, drenched in the sweat of all my fears and doubts as they come flooding back to me. It's no big deal. It's just the humidity. And damn this beer is delicious – forget doubts, this beer is reminding me of my favorite characteristics from some of my favorite IPAs. I pause to look up the hops in Lunch – Warrior, Amarillo, Centennial, and Simcoe – and can't help to be wowed a bit by the malt as well – American 2-row, CaraPils, Caramel, Munich, and Red Wheat.

Lately, as in the past week or two not like since I opened these beers, a new doubt has crept into the maze of my neurosis. Specifically, what if I'm wrong? Now, I fully suspect that this thought does not emanate from within, but rather was expertly planted there by some sinister doctor hired by my “but I was so good at being pregnant” Wife. But regardless of how it got there – it is there – and what if I am wrong?

What if my family could get better? What if I am way wrong and the energy of my household could grow exponentially, with joy bursting through the roof and stress holding steady? I highly doubt such an existence is possible, but what if I'm wrong. And maybe I can handle it. Maybe I'm selling myself short. Maybe, just maybe, my weak grip on sanity will remain just that – a weak grip. We will definitely be broke if we have more children, but I might remain sane.

The thing is – I won't know unless I try it. So I guess I should try. And frankly, it could be said that if I'm going to try, being of an age closer to 40 than 30, I should try sooner than later. Full disclosure: I, or We, already tried a few times this past weekend. Obviously the results aren't in yet, but I feel good about the process.

And while drinking these glasses of Maine Beer's Lunch didn't necessarily spur my decision to enter into an agreement to procreate with Wife, it certainly provided me with an idea that is not totally unrelated. Perhaps before I entered into this agreement, I should have bartered a bit more for my end of the contract for services rendered. If I am in fact worried about the fast erosion of the final grains of my sanity, it seems only fitting that I bargain to have certain things in place and/or guaranteed in the event that Wife and I are successful in producing a second child.

Without further ado, I present, for the first time to the world and to Wife, my list of demands in the event we successfully produce, via coitus, either on purpose or by accident, another human.

Demand #1: I have full naming rights of the child. The only name I have excluded at this point is Zeus. However, in the event that I see lightning during the birthing process, the child shall be named Zeus. Only one name. No last name. And I mean lightning as part of the birthing process, like lightning in the birth canal. Not just any old lightning from a cloud in the sky.

Demand #2: If, like last pregnancy, your water breaks in my car, then said car will officially become your car and I will get a new car. Something with bells and whistles. As we spiral further into debt, you will become responsible for the large payment associated with a car that has bells and whistles.

Demand #3: At no point from this point forward, barring an actual emergency, will you yell for me to get out of the shower. A man needs to recharge his batteries. My batteries run on scalding hot water.

Demand #4: See Demand #3, but replace “out of the shower” with “off of the toilet.” And remove the recharging batteries stuff and replace it with “where else am I supposed to get any reading done.”

Demand #5: You promise to work on chewing quieter. And you actually work on it.

Demand #6: I will comb my hair any way I damn well please.

Demand #7: You are are no longer allowed to be “tired of American cinema.”

Demand #8: While pregnant, you will drive me places and I will drink more than I should. Not really a demand, more of a foreshadowing.

Demand #9: After you drive me places and I drink more than I should and then you drive me home, you are not, I repeat not, allowed to take pictures of me as I descend from consciousness to unconsciousness. I learned my lesson during the first pregnancy.

Demand #10: At no point are you allowed to abandon, for any reason, your lunch-making duties. A family without lunch is, well, you get the idea – please keep making our lunch.

Lunch, Maine Beer Compnay (111.11 BAR, 130 Style+)
Appearance = 5/5

A hazy orange that seems to glow in the light of my office that will maybe someday soon be an office no more. The beer poured with a finger of head, retained a thin layer the whole way down the glass, and had real pretty lacing.

Smell = 4.5/5

A clean and sweet pine, with some bright citrus and tropical fruit notes. Maybe just a hint of grass.

Taste = 5/5

The pine is a bit more bitter and resinous than the nose revealed. Also a dry quality, like rind, as the bitterness makes it way over the back of the tongue. Not that the beer is too bitter – it is actually pretty smooth flavor wise – nice citrus and tropical fruit flavors start and finish each sip. Certain flavors remind me of a cross between a Two-Hearted and maybe a Racer 5, but with something just a bit more. Really enjoyable, drinkable, and delicious.

Feel = 4.5/5

Smooth feel. Medium to light bodied. Typically, I find Maine Beers to have a lighter feel across the board for the flavors they deliver and I think that is part of the charm that sets their beers apart. Obviously, it a characteristic that I enjoy about them, and while this Lunch doesn't come across as thin in feel as some other Maine Beers, it still manages to convey that lighter, smooth feel, especially for the amount of flavor that is coming across. Wow, do I like how this drinks.

Overall = 5/5

This is by far the best beer I've had by Maine Beer Co. and I am a fan of the other things I've had. But this is just delicious.

J. R. Shirt also hosts the Drinking With Shirt podcast found at BeerGraphs and on iTunes. Feel free to recommend a Beersport match-up for future episodes. Follow J. R. on Twitter and Untappd @beeronmyshirt.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Drinking With Shirt: the Chicago Episodes

While in Chicago this summer with T-Bone on some BeerGraphs business, we recorded two episodes of the Drinking With Shirt podcast. Check them out below. Also, we're now iTunes so you can subscribe to the feed there - we are already at 7 episodes and are recording Episode 8 tonight!

Drinking With Shirt (PODCAST) Episode 3: Firestone Walker's Pivo Pils vs. Half Acre's Pony Pils featuring J.R. Shirt, T-Bone, Josh Augustine (BeerGraphs), and Greg Sasso (BeerGraphs).

Drinking With Shirt (PODCAST) Episode 4: Cascade's Strawberry vs. Almanac's Dogpatch Strawberry featuring J.R. Shirt, T-Bone, Eno Sarris (BeerGraphs), and Matt Dennewitz (BeerGraphs).

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Drinking With Shirt (PODCAST): Ep. 2 HopDevil vs WildDevil

Episode 2 of the Drinking With Shirt podcast is up on  Beergraphs. In the second episode, my brother T-Bone and my friend Kyle join me in the Shirt Studios for a round of Beersport between Victory's HopDevil and WildDevil. If you want to join us in the fun, pick up a bottle of each at your local whever you buy beer place and then download and listen. Or just listen.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Drinking With Shirt (PODCAST): Ep. 1 Alesmith IPA vs. Sculpin

This morning, the first episode of the Drinking With Shirt podcast went live on Beergraphs. For the first episode, my brother T-Bone joins me for a round of Beersport - the head to head beer tasting craze that is sweeping the nation. Essentially, two beers enter, one beer wins. Alesmith's IPA faces off against Ballast Point's Sculpin, so if you want to join in the fun, download the podcast and then go find yourself a bottle of each of those before you listen. Click HERE to download/listen.

As of now, the podcast is available on SoundCloud but should be on iTunes soon.

Any feedback is appreciated!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Beer On My Shirt Lives On...

Beer On My Shirt is still alive and well, churning out articles over at almost every week. Look for the articles that start with Beer On My Shirt or by J. R. Shirt. Lots of good beer information over there, so check it all out, bookmark it, and follow me on Twitter and Untappd @beeronmyshirt for updates.

Here are some of my more recent articles from Beergraphs (it might get a little weird):

I Return From The Outer Banks And Head Directly To My Therapist

Let's Go To The Outer Banks

Beersport: The Imperial Breaks, Biscotti vs. Doughnut

The Enjoy By IPA Experiment

I Receive An Email About A New Beer Dispenser

I Return To Tired Hands, Alone

I Drink Some Gelatinous Womb And Loathe Myself

Citizen's Bank Park Ballpark Beer Review

My Beer Is Expired

Beersport: The Outdated Pop Culture Edition

First Name Vagueries And Personal Grooming

That should be enough for right now. Enjoy.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Doing the best I can...

I'm doing the best I can to keep updating this site, at the very least, with links to new pieces of mine that have been popping up over at Beergraphs.

Most recently, a post about alternative brownies and Green Flash's Rayon Vert went up just before the holiday.

Before that was a rework of an old post from this site but with a new beer reviewed, Brooklyn's Sorachi Ace, which was delicious.

Also, on July 18th, I'll be in Chicago at Fizz for a Fangraphs/Beergraphs meet-up/Q&A session. If you live nearby, stop out. Click here for all the details.

And finally, I'm leaning towards doing away with this blog's Facebook page. I would much rather just send out an email to anyone that wanted it than continue to use that. So, if were relying on the Beer On My Shirt Facebook page for links and updates, please either send me your email to or follow me on Twitter @beeronmyshirt. Or get some sort of RSS feed reader, which I know next to nothing about.

Monday, July 1, 2013

More Action, More Evil Twin over at Beergraphs...

Are you in need of more action? If so, head over to for my latest piece on collaborations, specifically the collaborative brew by Westbrook Brewing and Evil Twin - the Mini-Growler Imperial Stout.

Thank you for your support.

I wish I could say the same to my briefs.
All men's underwear is flawed.
And yet I wear them.

(The above is a haiku in which I ignore the rule for the number of syllables in the first line.)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The World Needs More Father's Days, And Even More Jesus (the Imperial Stout)

Even though it is getting hot out, I am super into Imperial Stouts right now. On Father's day I sat next to a smokey fire and shared some of Evil Twin's Even More Jesus, a near flawless Imperial stout, with some other Dad's. I may have drank too much judging by the notes I left myself on my bed side table:

Stinky walk home. Even more jesus. Smoke smell followed me everywhere. Held my Dad's crystal skull today, which I think caused the smoke to follow.  I kept my head down the whole walk home. Couldn't think of anything to say to all the buildings. I am short and they are tall and I was intimidated.

Suction cups keeping me out of the shower. Even more Father's Days. Even More Jesus. Then those suction cups kept me in. I was cold.

I watched a superhero movie with a classical soundtrack. I should be dancing gracefully, naked. Impossible, I'm a dude. So I'm gonna lay so still, as to not to be mistaken as dancing, naked. Soapy Violins. What I meant to say was so many violins. Give it a rest already.

So, after reading this the next morning and showing it to Wife, I was given the following explanation:

Apparently, after sharing Evil Twin's Even More Jesus, and drinking many things, including a sip of scotch, I walked home. Upon arriving home, so disgusted with the smokey smell of my clothes, I disrobed in the kitchen, down to my briefs, and headed upstairs in an attempt to lay on top of Wife. According to Wife, I narrated the entire process, and when I arrived upstairs she sent me straight to the shower to wash the stench of the fire from my person.

Once in the bathroom, the suction cups of the shower curtain impeded my progress and I yelled for help. No help came. I slipped into the shower by slinking beneath the suction cup barrier and may or may not have nearly drowned while laying in the tub with scalding hot water pelting me in the face. Wife recalled it to me as she overheard me shouting the following:

"SUCTION CUPS! I need help babe. BABE! These suction cups are really strong..."

(sounds of struggle and the squeaking of dry skin meeting wet surface)

"I'm in. It's hot! It's all up in my face! My grill! BABE!"

Logically, it follows that once I was on my feet that I would loudly narrate the washing process. At least up until the point when I attempted to exit the shower and was faced again the endless struggle that is my shower curtain's powerful suction cups. 

Eventually, I returned to bed, naked and pretty much soaking wet - towels had eluded me - and I scribbled for a few minutes on a note pad. The last thing I said to Wife before I fell asleep was "I want to dance."

In summary, Evil Twin's Even More Jesus is a near flawless, perhaps actually flawless, Imperial Stout. I already have another bottle waiting in the basement, so perhaps a more substantial review will appear over at in the coming weeks. In case you missed it, I had two pieces over there last week, here and here, and should have another before this week is out - unless of course my inability to use web-based technology has finally caught up to me. 

I need more beer on my shirt! The world needs more beer on its shirt!