Friday, December 28, 2012

December in review: a brewtiful guide to the internets

Dear December,

How glad I am to see you go. So glad, I give you this recap four whole days early. Behold! Also, I planned to wait until the first to bestow this list of life altering internet linkage upon you, but I'm anticipating a bit of a morning after fog January first and thought it prudent to plan ahead. Wait, what's that? You missed last month's riveting recap of the interwebs. All right then. 

As we know all too well, the internets have been a dark place this December, but there is a light around the corner called New Years Eve and I shall be amenable to her midnight fires and starry-eyed imbibing. So there.

No plans for your own toasty libations? You could try Red Brick for starters. Or Moondog (also Growler Nation, Smyrna Beer Market, Ale Yeah, Gremlin Growlers). Also, no adolescent drinking, please. Get some serious beer, and be a seriously safe driver. M'kay?

Cheers everyone!

Four beers I had that do not even remotely suck:

Some things I find mildly amusing:

Some things I'd like to eat immediately (or yesterday):

Other things in existence that are also beer related:

Beer writing worth reading with a drink in your hand:
CRAFT VS. CRAFTY (a throwdown or sorts)
OTHER INTERESTING BEER READING (if you're into that sort of thing)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Poseur, Prancer, Donner, and Ditzy?

Before Santa comes along, Rudolph is pretty much an outcast and a freak with little to no direction or purpose in life besides being mocked. In this way, the little reindeer that could is a fairly good analogy for how Big Beer must view the craft beer market, which owes it's origins to the legalization of home brewing. Or so the story goes.
“While America’s small and independent craft brewers have reached a record 6 percent market share, they lack the economies of scale and the huge marketing resources of the big brewers. They’ve relied on grassroots efforts, an appreciation for local, and authentic and delicious products to attract their consumer base. 
Beer enthusiasts have responded by embracing these breweries and their unique, innovative and flavorful beers, brewed locally by neighbors and friends who are very visibly involved in their communities. They have chosen to support small-business entrepreneurs, who are the embodiment of the American dream. These entrepreneurs are the underdogs bent on reviving a sense of independent craftsmanship.” (emphasis mine; source#)

But, if an interview with Big Beer's Graham Mackay is any indication, it seems Big Beer wants Rudolph to light the way to bigger profits for everyone already involved.

The great pretenders. It's a story being told all across corporate America. People are waking up to the sad state of mediocrity of which standardization is the greedy, soulless culprit. In short, people are bored, and home brew (and by extension, craft breweries) is bridging the gap.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Goose Island's Matilda (a review)

Most of the time, I don't need to be persuaded to have a drink. My inner hedonist usually does the work for me. And my two year old. But some beers I will gladly never have again.

Goose Island's Matilda is one of those beers. I know some people who like it just fine, but personally, my palate sent out a resounding "no thanks" from beginning to end. For those of you who stay awake at night concerned about the world's wasted beer, you can go to bed with a clear conscience. I found some thirsty chums to finish it off for me. There's no shortage of those round these parts, it seems. Especially on Fridays.

What a funky, fetid beer. Like moldy lemon peel, pine trees, and wet cork. Reminded me of an awful coriandor flavored beer I had once and then promptly blocked out (fortunately for you all my husband has the memory of a trivia champion). The smell of wet socks roasting in the mid-august heat of suburban metro atlanta asserted itself at the get go and held on tight.

The foamy head was generous, but dissipated quickly. A orangey golden color, and mild malty aftertaste. Beneath the aforementioned funk, a combo of fruity, floral notes (which appealed to my husband, although he admitted he might only want one glass of it before moving on to something else) rose through the fog, making it tolerable at least until the bottom of the glass. As a card carrying member of the Clean Plate Club, I find it somewhat morally compromising to leave my glass half empty. I'm an ace. I know.

I picked up this little gem sight unseen from The Stout Brothers who described it thusly via their online menu:


If "intriguing" is the nom de guerre for any future beers on their menu, my plan of action is avoidance at all costs. I'll take the dinner (Did you say goat cheese and roast chicken? Um, yum.) and skip the "real nice" beer, thanks.

Have you had Matilda? Did you take her home? Did she treat you real nice? Tell me, oh people with taste buds and access to the internets. Would you introduce her to your parents?

Thanks for joining me for my second ever HB beer review. For a beer blog, reviews have been notably absent for reasons I will divulge in more detail as we move along, but for now let it suffice to say that I am usually too enthralled with the brief intermissions from my responsible life to wax poetic about my recreational drinking.

Want to know what I'm up to in the imbibing department, follow me on untappd. Or at least keep your panties on. More reviews are in the works. As for me, it's getting cold outside so I'm off to finish my whiskey.


Caveat 'A': The fragile boys down at SB are not responsible for my poor beer selection and would like you to know that they'll be glad to choose a beer for you if you're into that sort of thing.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Congrats to our happy imbibers!

Announcing our three lucky winners of The Stout Brothers growler giveaway! If I haven't already contacted you through Facebook, contact me to claim your prize. Congratulations!

Lucky Imbiber #1

Alyson’s Day Dream

Lucky Imbiber #2

Matthew LeMaire

Lucky Imbiber #3

Grapes and Hops ATL

Winners were selected from qualifying participants using the True Random Number Generator at

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Did you say giveaway?

Yes. Yes I did.

What's better than a growler full of freshly poured beer? A FREE growler full of beer that doesn't suck, especially if it's a Burnt Hickory brew (is the Eerie Von still on tap? You better hope).

The Stout Brothers are sponsoring a giveaway of THREE (yes, I said three) 64 oz. growlers at their Smyrna Beer Market (free beer not included). Leave a comment on this post before Friday at midnight (entries from local residents only, please) letting everyone know which beer you plan to put in your free growler. Check out their beer list.

To enter THE STOUT BROTHERS GROWLER GIVEAWAY leave a comment (one entry per person please) on this post before Friday at midnight, Standard Eastern Time (rules and restrictions apply*). Check out their evolving list of beers on tap, or make a suggestion for your brew of choice (if it's not already on the list).

Three winners will be randomly selected and awarded one growler each. Winners will be announced on Monday, December 10th. Check back to see if you've won one of THREE 64 oz. growlers primed for your brew of choice.

Bonus points awarded to winners who send along a pic of themselves with their winnings (to feature in a post-giveaway recap).

Rules and Restrictions*
  • One entry per person, legal drinking age (21 and up only) with a valid Georgia State ID (must present ID at pickup).
  • Winnings must be redeemed no later than Jan. 15, 2013.
  • Beer not included.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

November on the interwebs (a beer related recap)

Happy December 1st everyone! November is finally over so we can stop giving thanks and start complaining again. Oh, and wear ugly sweaters. And hats. Hats are nice. Oh, and I'm sure you've all been on the edge of your seat about a beer-related recap for the month of November, so because I'm feeling especially giving this morning I suppose you can have one.

You don't deserve it though. Just like that hand-knitted Christmas sweater Auntie Margery made for you in the third grade. The green one with a pompom reindeer and googly eyes. You probably won't appreciate this either. Oh, and by the way, Auntie Margery and I have been hanging out. She told me all about that one Thanksgiving where you had a little too much sparkling wine and set the cat on fire by accident. You're on my naughty list.

Merry Christmas.

Some things I find mildly amusing:

Some things I'd like more if someone else made them for me:

Stuff I read in November that didn't bore me to tears (but almost):


Friday, November 30, 2012

A holiday gift guide (my top ten beer-related things that would be nice to have but are totally unnecessary for survival)

Tomorrow being December 1st and all that, I thought you deserved a gift guide. You're welcome.

A Brewtiful Beer Guide to Giving: 

  1. Good Beer Hunting's, Micheal Kiser (in Chicago) has created these holiday cards for ye old faithful.
  2. Denver, Colorado's Sean Buchan, aka the Beertographer, is offering high quality prints of his beer and brewing centered stills. 
  3. Good Eats put together a gift guide for beer lovers, with a make your own beer mustard being a personal highlight (recipe here).
  4. Heidi Schweigert of Minneapolis put together a desk calendar that will have you seasonally drinking in no time. 
  5. DogFish Head's trio of all purpose glassware would be a nice gift for the unfussy drinker who wants looking to enhance their beer drinking experience. 
  6. For the Love of Hops, from the Brewers Publications seems like good reading for the "home brewer, historian, and chemist alike" (From the Foreward, by Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.). 
  7. The Naked Pint from the lovely ladies over at Beer for Chicks (renowned beer sommeliers Christina Perozzi and Hallie Beaune) promises to be a good overview of beer: "Covering everything from beer basics to the science of behind beer, food and beer pairings, home brewing, and tips for perfecting one’s palate."
  8. If you're local, Moondog Growlers offers gift certificates
  9. And The Stout Brothers in nearby Smyrna and have some "sexy merch" and gift sets available.
  10. And of course, we can't forget some craft beer tees from CafePress. They may not prevent partial nudity, but I'm especially fond of these, in any light... 

Of course, if anyone's headed to Wisconsin and wants to bring me back some New Glarus, I suppose that would also suffice.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Keeping Good Company: Dogfish Head Glassware

Less triage, more drinking. Now that's an excellent glassware review. Sexy, playful, and to the point. Snobs, take a seat. Dogfish Head is at the bar. 

Here we have two smartypants drinkers who've let their drawers drop, or at the very least, have avoided getting their panties in a twist.

As you may have noticed, I'm a bit preoccupied with the idea of "appropriate" glassware. Snobs aside, beer is for drinking, and Dogfish Head has done a great job of differentiating their glassware options as playful and hedonistic vessels for enjoying your brew.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Profile of a Home Brewer: Will Avery

This is Will. Will is a twinkly-eyed home brewer who I've mentioned in passing as the initiatory agent in my home brew journey. Will is the reason there are carboys in my basement. I'm fairly certain Will is proud of this.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Good Brews, Good People, Goodness Gracious

On Saturday, I took on the task of photographing the glad folk imbibing (which is a fancy way of saying I stood around getting snapshots of happy drunks) at a recent beer tour and tasting at The Burnt Hickory Brewery. Some friends politely complied with a request to "bask in my presence," which made getting some good shots that much easier. 

Lit up by the beer and the intense afternoon sunlight, most patrons eased into a good-natured, friendly, and pliable disposition by about beer thirty. Which is to say, when I asked the boys in their kilts to show me some leg, their white thighs enthusiastically presented themselves before I knew what to do with myself.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Wild Heaven's Invocation (a review)

Have you ever tasted a raw carrot? No. Really. Have you? A little dirty, a little spicy, a little sweet. The condensed flavor of desiccated leaves and earthworm castings, rain clouds and the warm must of decomposed tree bark, a bit of late afternoon sunlight on the finish?

Like the aggregated flavor your memory holds of Christmas mornings, when you're the one staying up in the wee hours of dawn wrapping presents with a whiskey on the table. Someone else downstairs making pancakes and breakfast sausage, a hint of syrup rising through the hazelnuts.

Like an unexpected deer in the front yard, steam rising from her warm, open mouth. The golden blond and amber tones of morning searing the crisp surface of packed snow, a bitterness in the air that reaches all the way up to your brain and unlocks the feeling of lying underneath the black limbs of a leafless tree, breathing in the melting snow angel and sweaty hair underneath the hood of your snowsuit.

Monday, November 5, 2012

How big is your beer glass?

Let's cover a little ground. I'm told I was a bit hard recently on the Beer Brewer's Association and their recommendations for beer drinkers.

I'll give you a moment to digest this:

Before we get to the video, let's review the purpose of a beer glass, shall we? Two years ago, Lew Bryson, Managing Editor of Whiskey Advocate and other noteworthy accolades, reminded his readers that above all, a beer glass is first and foremost responsible for ferrying beer from bottle or brew tap into your mouth (Lew also gets props for stating other obvious yet enlightening soundbites like, "beer isn't partisan.")

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Beer Snobbery and Brewer's Yeast

Fermentation: Kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, wine, beer, cider. They're all related by an ancient process of calculated, somewhat controlled, and curiously attractive rot.

And yet, there are beer snobs.

You know how it is. Keep the outsiders out. Tilt your nose up.

Make sure to cast aspersions on the proletariat. Form a list of improprieties like drinking from the wrong glass, or failing to correctly interpret the messages in your bottle.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Gravity of Craft Beer

Like reverberations of the punk scene that are still being plucked.

Craft beer.

Slow food.

Etsy. Ravelry.

Like knitters who purl stitch and ride turtles while wearing beer hats and listening to ambient grooves. Like flies and candy. Or babies and honey. Or rabies and stray dogs. Things are getting mixed up. People are making things.

What's interesting is that the beer equivalent of the slow stitch doesn't seem to have much stigma. In fact, quite the opposite.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Important Facts About Yeast

My first introduction to home brew was via my friend Will's bathtub.

I guess that isn't entirely accurate. According to Will, my first introduction to his homebrew (notably consumed after a cocktail of generic beer, red wine, and hard liqour) was a memorable one. At least for him. As any seasoned drinker knows, balanced consumption has a tendency to tip over when combined with enthusiastic inexperience and a hedonistic world view, all of which inevitably lead to at least 40% post-consumer regret, so to speak.

Fortunately for me, I'd already forgotten about that unhappy incident and have managed to minimize my post-consumer regret to at least %5 on a regular drinking day. Ah, wisdom.

Anyway. Back to the bathtub.

Pro Drinking

You: "I thought you said you wanted to be a professional beer taster."
Me:   "I was only kidding. I just want to be a professional drunk."

I'm new-ish to the world of home brew. I don't really brew so much as enjoy the company of inebriated oglers who sit around in our driveway enjoying various forms of liquid courage while the men stir things into a turkey fryer and masticate their stogies.

So far, my participation has been limited mostly to routine imbibing and offering the occasional unsolicited criticism. I'm a critical part of the operation, clearly.


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