The Best Notebooks For A Beer Geek

Beer journal drawings

Best Notebook and tasting journals for a beer geek.

While most people use Untappd for their beer journaling and tasting notes, putting pen to paper is still a thing us beer geeks do. In fact, we can do both. We’re multitalented with our drinking that way.

Maybe you’re looking for gifts for beer lovers or you’re a home brewer looking for a proper recipe journal or just need a new beer journal, this is the post for you.

You can get real simple and have something for just writing down basic beer stats, or you can do some advanced sketchnotes like the one pictured at the top by Catherine Madden.

I have gathered the best beer notebook options for you, so let’s see what looks good.

The Moleskine Beer Journal

This is part of Moleskine’s “Passion” series of notebooks. Moleskine is my favorite brand of notebook to use, it would make sense to get this one. It says on Amazon there is only one left. Not sure if that is a ploy to get you to buy it and then as soon as you do there is still magically one again. They don’t seem to be producing it anymore so this may be a collector’s item.

FEATURES:

  • Beer-themed shapes embossed on its cover.
  • Traditional Moleskine stickers but with a beer theme.
  • Five themed sections for tasting notes.
  • Section for notes about the place you purchased your beer.
  • Glossary for beer tips.
  • Has 240 pages and is large format size 5 x 8.25 inches.

Check the price on Amazon.

Using a simple blank Moleskine can work too if you like to set-up things yourself. Find a template that works for you and copy it.

The Craft Beer Tasting Logbook

Beer Tasting Logbook

If you’re not looking to spend a lot, want something that will go in your pocket and want to keep it simple, this might be your logbook.

FEATURES:

  • Pocket size.
  • Beginner tips on tasting.
  • Resources for pairing beer with food.
  • Themed for World Beers.

Check the price on Amazon.

Field Notes Drink Local

This sucks. It is sold out on the Fieldnotes website. Long gone. I love Field Notes almost as much as Moleskine so I really would like to get my hands on this somehow. I know Field Notes will sometimes bring a notebook back, so there is always hope.

OH WAIT! I found one on Amazon and it is in its original packaging! Kinda pricey though. Check it out. I also found one in black.

FEATURES:

  • It’s a Field Notes brand so it’s automatically cool.
  • 3 Ales books. 3 Lager books.
  • 2 Field Notes Coasters.

Even if it’s limited run and kinda pricey, you can gawk at it at least:

 

33 Bottles Of Beer Tasting Journal

This is rad because I had not known about these until I set out to write about and research beer tasting notebooks, and I totally want one now!

The 33 Books are in the style of Field Notes; fit in your pocket and have a caring design. In fact, these appeal to me even more as it is just one dude in Portland [OR] making them.

33 Books Beer Journal

Discover what a Flavorwheel is and why it’s cool

The Best Beer Notebooks On Etsy

Etsy beer journals

Crafty and custom, those are the notebooks you’ll find on Etsy. You could go down a big beer hole looking at notebooks on Etsy, so I gathered a few of the coolest ones to maybe make things easier.

Stamp Out Personalized Beer Log
This does not have bells nor whistles inside, just ruled paper. But you can get a custom cover.

& So They Made Beer Grain Notebook
Yep. They used brewers grain to create these. You can also customize the cover and they come in the colors of Pilsner, Ale and Bock.

Gumball Head Recycled Beer Notebook
Made from a six-pack carrier of Gumball Head from Three Floyds (a damn nice beer). Damn cool if you’re a fan of Three Floyds, of which I am because they are so metal.

Gumball Head beer notebook

Paper Doxie Sierra Nevada Beer Coaster Notebook
The size of these makes them kinda impractical. They are made out of coasters and they have the metal rings so it would be difficult to put in your pocket even though they are small. But they have Sierra Nevada Brewing beers for covers, which makes them cool.

Explore more beer notebooks on Etsy here.

The Home Brew Journal

home brewing logbook

Made for home brewers. This is another ‘tasting room head turner’ because it’s leather… errr, actually it’s something called PU leather, which is super close to leather and supposedly feels nice.

FEATURES:

  • Batch tracking.
  • Hipster look.
  • Unit conversion table.
  • Hop chart.
  • Yeast strain chart.
  • Alcohol by volume chart.
  • Glassware reference chart.

Check it on Amazon.

Documenting Your Drinking Makes It Okay

The best thing about most of these journals is they are not expensive so it doesn’t hurt to experiment. And they last a lot longer than you think, meaning, you don’t fill them up as quick as you do a cheap grocery store notebook.

I used to buy those cheap $3.00 notebooks at the grocery store and think “Why would I spend $18 for some hardcover notebook?” But I would go through those quickly, they fall apart eventually and look and feel cheap.

Once you get yourself a solid notebook, it makes you want to step up your game. It just feels right. And you won’t go back to $3 college lined notebooks again.

Feel free to leave a comment and tell me what notebook you bought or what one you are already using.

Cheers!

-Mikey

Pizza and Beer: The Simple Guide To Pairing

Pizza and beer pairing Picture by TheWanderingGormet.com

The right beer to go with your pizza is not hard to figure out. That doesn’t mean we can’t help each other get better at beer and pizza.

You don’t need me to tell you, but, Pizza and beer is a thing. Maybe the biggest thing in the genre of pairing beer with food, and pizza with… well, anything.

Beer and pizza, while they may be two of the greatest things in the world, take up valuable calorie real estate.

So it is essential these calories are used properly. We want the optimal experience.

A Simple Guide To Pizza and Beer

But, before we go further with this post, here is a quick infographic that craftbeer.com has created, to get you quickly into your perfect pairing:

Craft Beer and Pizza pairing

Alright, now get cheesier with me and keep reading…

Beer and pizza pairing is serious.

Don’t go into your eating and drinking all willy nilly. Stay focused while enjoying all the goodness and comfort that beer and pizza provides.

The thing to keep in mind is finding a balance.

If the pizza is mild, bland, basic, then you go big, flavorful and spicy, on the beer.

If your are gorging on spicy pizza, you get a beer that is simple and mellow.

Here are five basic pizza styles to match up with the proper beer:

CHEESE PIZZA: Red Ale.

Alternatives include Wheat Beer. Ambers. Pilsners. Pales are good in this situation as well.

This is the best use of a red beer. In fact, I really don’t care to have a red without pizza around. I feel like it is a style that needs pizza or needs something else.

A red ale is like salsa. I suppose it is fine on its own but I need something to eat with it to actually enjoy it.

Maybe the best known red out here on the West Coast is the Karl Straus Red Trolley Ale. Well, best know if you have ever gone to Disneyland: California Adventure, that is and found the Karl Strauss Beer Cart.

California Adventure Beer Truck
Image from LAist.com

A magical cart it is. Find a slice of cheese pizza in the park and you are all set.

Continue reading “Pizza and Beer: The Simple Guide To Pairing”

The Beer Geek’s Guide For Using Untappd

How to use Untappd

I know that Untappd has its own FAQ but how about some Untappd advice from a hardcore user, like me? A beer nerd that is not very good at giving detailed reviews but knows that they are not good at it. That makes it cool, yeah?

Untappd gets a lot of flack, but I think it is the best beer app for journalling and tracking your beer. I have a physical beer journal (shout out to Moleskin) and I have Untappd. I use Untappd a lot more, even though I love notebooks.

Let’s look at some basics and some of the beer app’s features you might not have thought of or have forgotten about.

How to use Untappd

You have the basics down, right?:

  • Figure out it’s spelled Untappd, not Untaped.
  • Download the app.
  • Sign up for an account.
  • Make a profile.
  • Start searching for the beer you’re drinking.
  • Look for friends.
  • Be annoyed by badges.
  • Forget to check-in to beers.
Build A Profile Worth Seeing

A normal picture is all you really need. Don’t shy away from making a good, complete profile. You are amongst fellow beer lovers, it’s okay to shout it to the global beer garden that is Untappd “I love beer and I don’t care who knows about it!” There is very little judgment about how much beer you drink, less than you probably think. Have fun and screw that haters.

Don’t Rate Styles You Know Nothing About

Nothing pisses off a brewer more than to go on Untappd, see somebody check into one of their beers, give the beer a shitty rating and then say “I have never had this style, I didn’t like it, 2 stars.”

This is why brewers hate Untappd.

Continue reading “The Beer Geek’s Guide For Using Untappd”

Happy Hops IPA from Russian River Brewing, It’s A Thing!

Happy Hops IPA

I had no idea Russian River had a tribute beer called Happy Hops IPA. Glad I found out.

A friend from work spent some time in Santa Rosa recently (I like to call it “Pliny Town”) and went to Russian River Brewing every day. Dude isn’t even a big beer geek but he likes good beer, so of course, he went there as much as possible.

He surprised me when he came back with a bottle of Pliny the Elder (of course). Awesome because that is my all-time favorite and I don’t get to have it nearly enough.

But I quickly brushed it aside because next to that Pliny bottle was another Russian River bottle with a label I did not recognize. A new IPA from Russian River!?

A NEW beer!? Give that shit to me right now! Typical asshat beer geek.

That new beer is called Happy Hops IPA.

It is not totally new though. As the bottle states, Happy Hops is a tribute beer. A brewery in Santa Rosa called Grace Brother’s Brewery, made this beer in 1944. Unfortunately, the brewery closed in the 60s.

But RR brought this one back as respect to Santa Rosa brewing past. A pretty cool thing to do. I love when breweries do this kind of stuff.

Does it taste like an old IPA?

I know what you’re thinking because I was thinking it too: An IPA from 1944? It’s going to be malty AF! There is no way this could be up to my ever raising beer snob standards.

But Russian River, yo.

It’s good. Of course, it’s good, it’s freaking Russian River. Very clean. Not what I expected. Definitely would not consider it malty. That’s probably because Vinny from RR said (in a recent interview) that they blended some new world hops and tech to even things out.

Here is a brief video of me having a taste:

The hops used for Happy Hops

  • Amarillo.
  • Azacca.
  • Brewers gold.
  • Cashmere.

I could not tell you which hop is more pronounced but I feel like Amarillo is the one that gives it an updated feel.

Get this beer on your next trip to Russian River

While there won’t be a linefest anytime soon for this beer, it is definitely worthy of putting on your list of beers to try for your next Russian River pilgrimage.

Good news is they say that once the new production facility is up and running in Windsor, they will be making and packaging more of Happy Hops!

Modern Times’ Monsters Park Prices Are Too Damn High!

I am not a stout guy but I do remember liking Modern Time’s Monsters Park Imperial Stout. It’s been a while though for me.

It’s a limited release beer. Comes and goes. But if you look in your Total Wine or maybe your beer buying place of choice, you will see individual cans of Monsters Park. Not the 16oz, mind you, the 12 oz cans.

Those cans are going for $17.99 or more.

Should I get a Quicken Loan for a can of Monsters Park?

Cute 12oz can, Modern Times. Now bring out the real can. These must be gag gifts, right? No, it’s real? Okay sorry. You need a $20 bill to get one 12oz can of beverage now, I see. This deserves a strongly worded Untappd rating.

if we were talking about one of the bombers of Monsters Park, that would be a different story. But this is a baby 12oz can. Hardly enough for a personal beerfest.

Can I age a can of beer like Monsters Park?

When you get a bomber bottle, Modern Times suggests that it would be totally cool to age it anywhere from 6 to 24 months.

But what about the can?

Let’s say we don’t think $18 for a can of Monsters Park is too damn high and we buy it. Can I age it, or (if you prefer the term) cellar it?

Yes, aging beer in a can is a thing too and yeah, do it. I think cellaring beer in a bottle or a can has equal benefits and drawbacks so it does not really matter.

I would like to one day take the same batch of beer, one in a can, one in a bottle, sit on it for a year and then see how they do. But that is for another post, another day.

Continue reading “Modern Times’ Monsters Park Prices Are Too Damn High!”