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  • Crafting Beer with (512) Brewing Company
    Crafting Beer with (512) Brewing Company
    by John M. P. Knox

    "Definitely worth adding to your collection – it’s as good a visual record of the brewing process as I’ve ever seen." -Dave of 33Beers.com

Sunday
Sep282014

The Great American Beer Festival

If dehydration is our enemy, new experiences are our friend at the Great American Beer Festival. The halls of GABF, and even Denver itself are littered with tiny new breweries trying to stand out from the very competitive crowd. Last year, the 2013 GABF, thanks to the media bus, I was able to enjoy a few young breweries in their natural habitat.

Black Shirt Brewing was one notable stop, a family run brewery with a serious devotion to craftsmanship (and craftwomanship!). The owners designed and build just about every aspect of their tap room, from the bar, to their custom glassware, to the unique trays they use to deliver flights.

From BSB's name you might not expect that their beer is red. Every beer is red. Even their porter is red. Red beer is their speciality, a visible and drinkable expression of their devotion to doing one thing well.

As you can see below, their space and their beer reflect their design aesthetic. 

Black Shirt Brewing

Even BSB's bomber fridge looks like a photo from a fashion magazine.

BSB Bottles

Another stop on the GABF media bus was Our Mutual Friend brewery. They have a different take on the small brewery and tap room. OMF feels cozy and organic, with a bar meant for talking, piles of books, and a brew philosoply that focuses on small-batch experimentation.

Our Mutual Friend Brewery

If you're visiting GABF this year, don't forget to try new beers, and don't forget that you can visit a few of the amazing breweries you'll see on the floor.

Tuesday
Mar182014

Riding a Lamborghini Gallardo on the Circuit of the Americas

What is best in life? Well, I think there are a lot of "bests". But having a new experience often tops my lists. Having three new experiences simultaneously really makes my day. A few days ago I got to:

  1. Sit in a sexy Lamborghini Gallardo
  2. Pull Gs at high speed as a professional race coach drives
  3. Do all of that on the Circuit of the Americas

Rear Wheel Drive

It was an amazing day, and I bet I had a dumb smile on my face the whole time. I'm sure I looked like an idiot in the lets-get-shot-out-of-a-cannon helmet I was wearing. And that's fine because I had lots of fun.

A few seconds after I arrived in the garage, these two Lamborghinis flew past sounding like the space shuttle couldn't keep up. Even with those solid rocket boosters. And if you were close, like I was for these photos, you could smell tire rubber burning. I was standing there, and I couldn't believe it. The tires were nearly on fire!

Track Speed

The driver in the video was Les Betchner, and the Lamborghini was supplied by Lamborghini Dallas. And of course, the track was Circuit of the Americas. Thanks to COTA for inviting me, and thanks to Les and Lamborghini Dallas for one of the coolest SXSW events I've ever been to.

Saturday
Mar012014

Varekai

I was fortunate to have an opportunity to tour behind the scenes of Cirque du Soleil's Varekai. I took photos during a rehearsal, and they also generously allowed me to take photos during Cedar Park's premier. I didn't take photos during the second half. We wouldn't want to spoil the ending!

It was a lot of fun to wear a media pass and capture a few fun moments while the performers warmed up and rehearsed. It was also a unique opportunity to see some of the behind-the-scenes folk at work: the coaches, the lightning people, and so on.

These folks are such hard working and talented artists and athletes. They looked so happy to be performing too. I felt so inspired getting to see their hard work before the show and then the amazing results in the real performance.

You can tell from the clothing where the rehearsal photos stop and the actual performance begins. Your challenge is recognizing the rehearsal performers in their elaborate costumes.

Coaching Practice Flight The Flourish Sharing a Laugh Talking Through the Scene The Faceoff Eruption He Came From Below Enter the Musicians Icarus Falls The Feather Trapeze in Motion Spinning

Sunday
Dec082013

Sunday Drive

In case you thought the Gondola was an impractical tourist contrivance, observe these two gentlemen out for a peaceful Sunday paddle. 

Sunday Exercise

See? They're good for navigating the open water of the lagoon, not just bouncing tourists around a narrow canal. I wonder if they're on a grocery run, getting exercise, or if they are just taking a picnic to escape their claustrophobic city.

Past the marshes, you can see a few of the buildings typical of Venice. I wonder if all of the lagoon looked like these low, muddy marshes before the venetians began to build their elaborate cities. Can you imagine how difficult it must have been for the first settelers to keep warm and dry?

Thursday
Jun062013

A Venetian Daily Driver

The Venetian Lagoon is full of water vessels, and many of them are wooden and moved with human power. This specimen from Burano really caught my eyes. The brightly colored interior with the stained wood on the bow and gunnels looks sharp, and the warping, peeling wood shows what a long and tough life you expect on the lagoon.

Daily Driver

Colorful, right?

Almost all of the small boats moored along the venetian canals are secured like this one: a loop of rope around a piling angled a bit towards shore. A nice adaptation that allows the lines to slide up and down for big tides. The funny thing is that you'd probably need serious climbing skills to reach some of the boats. This one just takes a short step from the walkway, but I saw many that were six or more feet below the seawall, or would require shimmying horizontally some distance to reach. 

I have some news for folks who like to read and look at photos on their mobile devices. I personally made a Hop Safari app for the iPhone and iPad. It's a great way to view my photos on one of the most beautiful screens you own. Get the free app here.