Beer Review

Peach Grand Cru, Great Divide Brewing Company

Great Divide - Peach Grand Cru

  • Brewery: Great Divide Brewing Company
  • Beer: Peach Grand Cru
  • Batch: n/a
  • Beer type: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
  • ABV: 12%
  • Date of tasting: 4-25-14
  • Temperature: Not sure, bottle had been out of the fridge for about 40 minutes
  • Serving type: Poured from 22oz bottle into two tulip glasses
  • Price: $12.99/22 oz bottle (Binny’s)

This bottle was a gift from my wife for my 31st birthday early last month. I have been gravitating towards Belgians lately and this bottle was a nice surprise. I am fairly unfamiliar with Great Divide Brewing Co. as they aren’t very well distributed here in Chicago, with the exception of their Yeti stout (both regular and aged varieties.)
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Beer Review

Coffee Break Abduction, Pipeworks Brewing Company

Abduction Coffee Break

Abduction Coffee Break label

  • Brewery: Pipeworks Brewing Company
  • Beer: Coffee Break Abduction
  • Batch: 248-250-252
  • Beer type: Imperial Stout
  • ABV: 10.5%
  • Date of tasting: 1-25-14
  • Temperature: 54° (I usually make these temperatures up)
  • Serving type: Poured from 12oz bottle into two tulip glasses
  • Price: $10.99/22 oz bottle (Binny’s)

Found this little guy hiding on the bottom shelf in the back of the fridge. It’s probably been in there since the I Hate My Boss review, for some reason I remember buying two coffee beers that day…
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Beer Review

Bourbon County Brand Stout, 2013 ed., Goose Island Beer Co.

Bourbon County Brand Stout label

Bourbon County Brand Stout label

It’s the Bourbon County Brand Stout, the BCBS. Goose Island has been brewing this beer since 1992. It’s a seasonal brew, meaning they brew a set amount once a year and when it’s gone for that year, it’s gone until next November. Sorry! Continue reading

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Beer Review

Choklat, Southern Tier Brewing Company

Souther Tier Choklate Label

  • Brewery: Southern Tier
  • Beer: Choklat
  • Batch: 2013 ed.
  • Beer type: Imperial Stout
  • ABV: 10%
  • Imbibition date: 1-12-14
  • Temperature: 52°
  • Serving type: Poured from 22oz bottle into two tulip glasses
  • Price: $8.99/22 oz bottle (Binny’s Beverage Depot)

So this beer was an impulse buy. We were at Binny’s a month ago or so, just perusing the beer section like everyone else, and I saw this. It stood out to me for some reason, maybe it was the low price (relative to other 22 oz. bombers filled with an imperial stout) or maybe it was the pretty good label design. Either way, here I am, I bought it and I drank it and now I am going to write about it. Continue reading

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Personal Finance

The size of your salary doesn’t control when you can retire as much as you think it does

Big salary guy

This guy obviously has a giant salary.

I used to have the assumption that the higher a person’s salary was, the earlier they could retire. I always imagined rich, not-so-old people frolicking around where ever it is that rich, not-so-old people frolic. I thought that the key to retirement, and early retirement, was to just make as much money as possible. I think that this is a common misunderstanding, and I think it can be a dangerous way to approach your financial future.

As I progressed through life and met “rich” people, I realized I was wrong. People with high salaries often have proportionally high spending (usually because they’ve become a victim of lifestyle inflation). Great, I thought, these people making piles of money don’t appear at all ready to retire. 

So if not salary, then what?

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Beer Review

Tart of Darkness, The Bruery

Tart of Darkness Label

  • Brewery: The Bruery
  • Beer: Tart of Darkness
  • Batch: 2013 ed.
  • Beer type: (Sour) Stout
  • ABV: 7%
  • Imbibition date: 12-21-13
  • Temperature: 58°
  • Serving type: Poured from 22oz bottle into two tulip glasses
  • Price: $19.99/22 oz bottle (Binny’s Beverage Depot)

So, The Bruery is one of those breweries that I get excited about. Like little-girl-meeting-a-Disney-princess level of excited. They are incredibly well known in the neckbeard, beer geek circles (yes, I am a card carrying member of most all these circles) as producing just phenomenal sour beers. Unfortunately, since the beer is so good, the demand for the beer far exceeds the brewery’s supply and their beers are fairly difficult to get. Most of their beer is impossible to get outside of Continue reading

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Back to Basics, Personal Finance

Basic Saving Strategy – Back to Basics

 

Basic Saving Strategy - Back to Basics

[This post is part of my Back to Basics Post Series where I break down some of the most fundamental aspects of retirement planning. If you find this post helpful, check out the rest here, Back to Basics Post Series index.]

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and do nothing with respect to saving and planning for the future. When I first graduated from grad school and started receiving a steady income, I felt like I had a TON of extra money. I had just finished EIGHT years of college. Eight years where every last dollar I had went towards tuition, books, rent, or food (maybe some beer too). Now that I was done with school, I didn’t know what to do with my extra money. I decided to aggressively pay down my school debt, but I put off contributing to an IRA and fully capturing my employer’s matching 401k contributions. It wasn’t the worst mistake I’ve ever made and I’ve since come a long way in terms of my financial education. Hopefully this post can prevent someone else from making a similar mistake, I know it would have been helpful to have a road map like this when I first graduated.

Basic Saving Strategy

Here it is, in 6 steps:
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Beer Review

Porter, Founders Brewing Company

Porter, Founders Brewing - Label

(BeerAdvocate.com)

  • Brewery: Founders Brewing Co.
  • Beer: Porter
  • Batch: n/a
  • Beer type: Robust Porter
  • ABV: 6.5%
  • Imbibition date: 12-11-13
  • Temperature: Not sure, it was in my fridge for a week and then I took it out and let it sit for 40 minutes or so.
  • Serving type: Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass
  • Price: $9.99/six pack of 12 oz bottles (Binny’s Beverage Depot)

Founders Brewing Co. is fairly well distributed in the Midwest and East Coast regions of the US but is based in Grand Rapids Michigan, just a quick 3 or 4 hour drive from where I’m sitting right now. They’re best known around Chicago for their seasonal breakfast stout and rye IPA that’ll pop up on tap around the city at various times of the year. The bottled porter is a good one too though, and it’s available year round.
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Back to Basics - All About 401k Plans
Back to Basics, Personal Finance

All About 401k Plans – Back to Basics

[This post is part of my Back to Basics Post Series where I break down some of the most fundamental aspects of retirement planning. If you find this post helpful, check out the rest here, Back to Basics Post Series index.]

In this post I will summarize the pertinent information about 401(k) (“401k”) plans and some of the general strategies you should consider in order to ensure that you are making full use of the retirement tools at your disposal.
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Beer Review

God Damn Cascara Pigeon Porter, Spiteful Brewing

God Damn Cascara Pigeon Porter, Spiteful Brewing

  • Brewery: Spiteful Brewing
  • Beer: God Damn Cascara Pigeon Porter
  • Batch: #71
  • Beer type: Robust Porter
  • ABV: 8.2%
  • Imbibition date: 12-4-13
  • Temperature: 57°
  • Serving type: Poured from 22oz bottle into a pint glass
  • Price: $8.99/22 oz (Binny’s Beverage Depot)

Another one from Spiteful Brewing here in Chicago. I learned a few fun facts about these guys recently. First, they are self distributed, meaning that they deliver their beer to all the liquor stores in the area. This surprised me because I see their stuff all around (maybe I’ve only ever seen it at Binny’s) and as a consumer, I figured they were distributed just the same as all the other “big” Chicago micro-breweries. And then, second, they’ve only been around for a year or so and are getting some national attention for the quality of some of their beers. And finally, they’re located less than 2 miles from our front door. That makes three different, very good, young breweries within a 30 minute walk from our place (Half Acre and Metropolitan being the others). What a great time to be a beer fan and live in Chicago.

A big thanks to RC on this one for leaving this behind in our fridge after house sitting for us in November!
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