Temple of Suck

The Sisters of Mercy show at the House of Blues on Monday was a steaming pile of disappointment.  I like the band, they were goth-rock pioneers (loathe as they are to associate themselves with the word goth), and have made some pretty cool moody, brooding music.  But ultimately I think next time I’ll put on a cd in the comfort of my own home as it would be far more enjoyable than paying $35 a ticket to watch sea of dry ice bang out some cheap imitations of their original sound.  Seriously guys, lay off the fog machine.  Its not ambient, it looks like a cloud is eating you alive. 

 For those who aren’t familiar with the Sisters of Mercy, here’s a little backstory.  The Sisters of Mercy were formed around 1980 and came slightly after some of the other forerunners of the Goth rock/post-punk movement like Joy Division(more of a post-punk band), Bauhaus, Siouxie and the Banshees, and The Cure.  The Sisters of Mercy were more of a gothic rock staple than a forerunner, but they’ve made some great music and helped to give the genre an identity.

However, the lead singer Andrew Eldritch is apparently such an asshole to work with, the band has already rotated out 9 members or so, all leaving citing irreconcilable differences with Eldritch.  The new guitarists do not seem to be true to the sound of the band, and Eldritch is obviously so self conscious about his age that he needs to hide in an obscene amount of fog in order to perform a show.  For most of the songs with the exception of Mother Russia/Dominion I would have been better served to listen to at home.

So Andrew, until you deal with the fact that you’re losing your hair and lay off the fog machine, and until you beg some of the old members of Sisters of Mercy to rejoin you on tour, I think I’ll be skipping your next concert.

Vesuvius Erupts!! No one flees in terror!

I know, the title of this post is lame, but I couldn’t help myself.

Anyway, Vesuvius is born.


We waited about 3 weeks before opening a bottle since we were using DME to carbonate. From everything I’ve read, that takes longer to finish the carbonation process if using DME instead of corn sugar.  Anyway, we didn’t chill the first bottle we opened for very long and decided to open it while sitting on my fellow brewer’s couch.  Well, it turns out our beer was very aptly named because upon opening the bottle it fizzed like a bottle of champaign all over my pants and a little on Diego’s couch and floor.  About half of the bottle seemed to be left at the end of this disaster so we all had a glass.  First impression was decent.  No yeasty bite to it and the flavor profile seemed right on target for a porter, perhaps in the Anchor Steam Porter tradition.

I put the rest of the bottles in plastic ziplock bags and put them in the fridge in order to slow any further carbonation and help minimize a mess in the event of the bottle bursting.  However, it appears that my concerns have been unfounded so far.  I’ve opened two more bottles since the first eventful debut of Vesuvius and am not getting any more disasters so far.  It seems to open normally (although I open it slowly over the sink now just in case.)  The flavor and drinkability of this beer on my second and third porter has vastly improved and I’m pretty impressed with this effort.  The beer has good carbonation, an excellent head on the beer, a nice sharp slightly bitter porter feel with good drinkability.  I don’t detect any unpleasant aftertaste or “homebrew” smell although the dark flavors would probably mask that in any event.

Next time through we should probably be more careful with using DME in order to prevent future overcarbonation.  But all in all, I’m very impressed with this beer and hope our efforts continue to improve.