Friday, January 31, 2014


The first double IPA in Minnesota demands your attention. When the tab is pulled, this white phosphorus hop grenade explodes, filling your nostrils with floral shrapnel. Your taste buds will run the gauntlet, happily running over mines of fruit flavors, destroying any and all thoughts of disappointment. This beast of a beer is seasonal, so get it while you can.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Lagunitas: The Story

Ya love beer and reading? This is the best way to do it! Great story about a man/great brewery forging their own path without compromise.  A very punk read, kinda like Motley Crüe: The Dirt of the brewing world in a book strangely. This book made laugh multiple times and cry even. A great read! You won't be able to put it down and it will be done before ya know it. Bonus, it makes you thirsty.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Darius The Giant

Aged for a year in Heaven Hill barrels, each packed with 50 lbs of Balaton Cherries, this sour beer stands in its own league and has become a fan favorite at the Raleigh Rare Beer Tasting.  Darius The Giant has been at the fest two years straight and the keg kicks faster than anything else.  Haw River is raising the bar with this beer.


The one beer to rule them all for me at this past weeks beer festival in Raleigh, NC. The Raleigh Rare Beer Tasting had lots of different beer to sample from each style, both unique and rare for either the area or in general.  Tartare took the cake for me. This Berliner Weiss really shined with all it's tart lemony-citrus sharpness like a one inch palate punch without the pain. The Champagne of the North has some weight behind it.


Brewed by Mikkeller (The worlds first "Gypsy" brewer as far as I know). Russian Imperial Stout at it's finest. There is a series of Black aged in various barrels, this one is Cognac. Beautiful chocolate and coffee malt melody with just the right sweetness. At 17.5%, the alcohol is ninja like in presence while wielding Dim Mak.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pliny The Elder

The hop herald of California and once proclaimed best IPA in the nation, (breweries keeping one upping each other in the hop world) Pliny is a world class beer. Not widely available and usually gone from stores in the blink of an eye, this beer is awesome as deserves all the hype it gets. The label says it all by stressing four or five times to drink the beer fresh. Do not age, drink fresh. The fresher the better. I've had it it only three days old and it was stunning.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The band.

Our tentacles starting twitching again yesterday in Richmond VA, with the addition of our new full time bass player. The man is Aaron Dallison of the mighty Keelhaul. 
A whole other layer has been exposed, expanding our sonic range further beyond limits. 
Keep up with us here:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Of Love and Regret

This amazing cozy pub in Baltimore, houses Brian Strumkes' Stillwater Artisanal Ales line along with top quality guest beer, mead and wines from across the globe. They offer half pours of all the taps, which I love and think is a great idea. The food pairings are also top notch with a pretty diverse menu, but not too overwhelming. Get the three cut house blend Classic Burger, it's in my top 10 burgers, easily. 
Want more? Full take away bottle shop upstairs in the lounge. 
Be sure to visit this place.

Hop Ranch

Hop lovers and Victory fans unite. This is the hoppiest beer I've had from Victory so far and they did a bang up job on it. Screaming citrus at 9%, Victory has upped their own game with this easy drinking Imperial IPA.


Jackie O's has done it again. This super rich Imperial Stout is one of the most delicious things I've drank in while. Thick, rich, chocolately coffee power aged in Woodford Reserve barrels. Stouts are habit forming for me, can you tell? This beer is one others will be measured against.

Friday, January 17, 2014


I drank as many glasses as I could of this Russian Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels (10+ months), as I could. Virginias' best stout I think. Everything I like in a RIS, this 13.5% luscious beauty slaps you like five flavor fingers to the face without all the strong alcohol overtones. Said to be a one time brew, I hope they change their minds. Motto, motto.

Back Masking

This sick oatmeal stout is a liquid seance. It communicates it's rich and creamy chocolate signals in tongues and proceeds to the brain, triggering worship. Serve upon the altar while spinning Slayer: Hell Awaits, backwards. 
Kudos to the Mark Riddick artwork.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cask Cafe

Richmond Virginia's newest bar is open air style, with two huge opening garage doors for maximum weather enjoyment. It's a really excellent place to soak up the suds and rays. A stellar rotating tap list from the freshest local (unique one off firkins) to global heavyweights to obscurities, there's something for here for everyone. Be sure to enjoy one of the fine locally made sausages ( or even bring some home, as they are also a small market carrying great beer, wine, cheese and of course sausage. 
Cask Cafe 
206 S Robinson St
Richmond, Virginia

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Schonramer Pils

I love finding new beer that I didn't know about! This German-style pilsner from Bavaria is delicious. My glass was empty before I knew it. Session able as hell, full bodied flavor with a super light finish. I'd anchor myself to the bar for an all dayer with this one.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Naja: The Royal Cobra

This awesome stout brewed by Jackie O's in Athens Ohio had me singing songs of praise after my first sip. Brewed with Indian spices (cardamom,cinnamon,cayenne,star anise & palm sugar) and clocking in at 12%, this a balanced, savory beer that I wanted an endless supply to sip from all night. Well done!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Rock N Roll Ribs

This is Nicko McBrain (drummer) of Iron Maidens' restaurant. Being a drummer and a huge Maiden fan, I was pumped to go here. I actually cranked Powerslave on the way there like I was going to a concert. Rock N Ribs is adorned with everything Maiden you could think of! The gold albums, signed drum
heads, guitars and Eddie statues. Besides all the great Maiden eye candy, the food is really good. The menu reads like a concert day sheet with Load In and Sound Check apps, Headliner mains and Encore desserts.  Ribs we're my choice and they were excellent! Fall off the bone awesome to be exact. A side of Powerslave Slaw, garlic bread, corn on the cob and a bottle of The Trooper beer, I was stuffed for under $20. If you love BBQ and Metal, this is the ultimate destination.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Wynwood Brewing

Liquid Art is how these guys referred to their beer. Located in the art district of Miami and just down the street from Panther Coffee, they fall right into supporting the local art based community. Spray paint can tap handles are a real nice touch and the beer line up is legit. With a great comfortable tasting room and friendy staff in the know, Wynwood is a place to visit. Pop's Porter is sessionable and solid.

Keys Fisheries

The Lobster Reuben. The sandwich of sandwiches. I was blown away on how well swiss cheese, sauerkraut, thousand island dressing and seedless rye bread  worked together with Lobster. On the dock (Marathon Key, FL) and off the main road, do yourself a favor and detour for the amazing sando. The also have a huge menu full of fresh fish and seafood. What a great this place is.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


This totally amazing beer from Austria rivals Arnold's one liners with ease. 3.8% awesomeness at its refreshing finest. A combo of beer mixed with grapefruit soda that will hit the spot at anytime. This beer is a gateway for flavor. Find it, try it, love it.

Panther Coffee

Even better than the Panthers in Team America, this small batch coffee roaster not only has great coffee and amazing, friendly service...their espresso will light you up like a Christmas tree. An emphasis on delicious detail and located in the art district of Miami that is home to Art Basel, Panther is a great place to enjoy fine beans and art together.

Monday, January 6, 2014


I love this place. It's a chain, but one I eat at whenever I see it. Specializing in Falafel sandwiches and having an amazing endless salad bar "MaozBar" to top your sandwich, it's a lot of good food for a great price. Quality soups, sides, fresh made juices (beets, carrots, kale, ginger, etc) and the ability to make me want cauliflower over and over, this place delivers the goods. My staple sandwich is falafel, hummus, banana pepper, red cabbage, roasted cauliflower, spicy tomato onions and garlic sauce.

Cycle Brewing

This bicycle themed brewery has a great tasting room with many things made from bicycle parts. Tap handles, tables and artwork all made from sprockets, brake handles, hubs -no dyno goosenecks though ;)- wheels, etc. It's a real neat looking place and the beer is good. I tried a whole slew of them and I really enjoyed the Unicycle series they are doing, which is dedicated single hop per beer. I really enjoyed the Unicycle Citra. Most everything is $5 and they'll be happy to let you taste anything there to make the right beer choice.
Cycle Brewing. 534 Central Ave, Saint Petersburg, FL 33701

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Leafy Greens Cafe

The first food post goes to this fully raw restaurant in St. Petersburg, FL. All vegan, all raw & all awesome. I started with a soup (Pineapple-Cucumber Gazpacho) and followed that with up Tacos that utilized walnuts as a meat substitute and finished with a Tuscan Pizza. The pizza crust was made of hemp, walnuts, topped with cashew hummus and marinara, then adorned with vegetables marinated in red wine and soy sauce. Besides being super fresh and the healthiest way possible to eat these ingredients, the food itself was bursting with so much flavor and satisfying that I would return often. 
I left feeling revitalized.

Cigar City Brewing

Tampa Bay's Cigar City Brewing is an excellent brewery. All of their regular releases are solid, while also having one of the most exstensive variant and one off beers menu that I've seen. They always seem to have so many different ideas/flavors that it reminded me of jelly bean tastings, in a good way.  Key Lime, Granola & Cucumber are just a few of the flavors that you'd think wouldn't really work, but they do and well. Flagship Jai Alai IPA is a dream on tap fresh along with its variant White Oak Aged Jai Alai. Also known for their wildly popular Hunahpu's RIS (Russian Imperial Stout) which only comes out once a year (March), CCB is a place not to be missed if you're on a beer mission or simply want  to learn more.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Westbrook Brewing.

Located in Mount Pleasant, SC this brewery is a destination not to miss. They cover all the beer bases and do it very well. I had a flight and wasn't disappointed with any of the beer. At three years running, they already seem to have their methods dialed in. So much that the popular Evil Twin Brewing has chosen Westbrook as their US brew sight. Drop by for a flight and try some of the special brewery only releases that they offer and grab some limited bottles or cans on the way out.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

One Claw

Westbrook Brewery in Charleston SC is brewing some really great beer. This Rye Pale Ale is amazing and I could drink it all day long. I love the melony finish. Seek this out for sure.

Lagunitas SUCKS

Lah-goo-KNEE-tus is how it's said and it far from sucks. Kinda like Primus, remember? Anyway this citrus hop bomb is so awesome, I drink as much as I can when it gets released. Originally brewed as a substitute for Brown Shugga (due to brewery space issues) this beer was received so well it's now a regular release!  I actually prefer it to BS anyway, so I'm stoked! Go get some, it rules. Read the story around the label.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Brain Tentacles in 2014

Brain Tentacles started as a musical collaboration between Bruce Lamont and myself, a drum/sax duo. In Oct of 2013, I drove my Scion XD to Chicago, jammed for a few hours each day for 4 days and gathered pieces of music together that we could play openly.  We hit the road (in my Scion) to tour with Melt Banana for 2 weeks while writing articles for Scion magazine about great spots to eat and drink along the way. It was an amazing adventure and just the start of something special, as we plan to reconvene in January to work on more music and add another Tentacle to the project! Let me back up a bit and mention that during the tour we had a guest Tentacle sit in each night and it was so much fun! We will keep that option going while enlisting a full time bass tentacle soon to be announced.  Anyway....more when that happens.  For the time being, check out the beer reviews I've done so far and keep your eyes peeled for more! This is just the start of the Brain Tentacles journey.
1-1-14 Dave Witte