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.


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