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The 6 Best Beers for Halloween

halloween, holiday, craft beer

The 6 Best Beers for Halloween

 

Halloween, the one day where you can be whatever you want to be. Hopefully, no matter your costume selection, you will choose to imbibe a beer to wash down all that candy. Here are a few beers to get ghoulish with tonight.

 

 

Angry Orchard Cinnful Apple

Although Angry Orchard is a cider, it gets to be included because the name and the drink are that good. Delightfully tart and sweet with a bit of heat from the cinnamon, this cider provides excuse enough to make tonight as cinnful as possible.

 

Blue Point Old Howling Bastard

The perfect beer accessory for those who want to dress up like an angry, old bald man, this barley-wine strong ale (10% ABV) will keep you warm and toasty throughout marathon trick or treating.

 

 

Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter

The skeletons out and about tonight will adore this porter’s label while the rest of us enjoy this bold and black beer brewed in honor of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.

 

Petoskey Brewing Horny Monk

Petoskey Brewing provides a red, malty and complex Belgian-style ale for all the booze-loving monks and friars that will be out, rather oddly celebrating All Hollows’ Eve.

 

 

 

Right Brain Blue Magic

Eerily floral, this ale brewed with locally-sourced lavender, is no witch’s brew but it will definitely make your mouth taste like magic.

 

 

Stone Brewing  Ruination IPA

Tonight delight in the ruin, doom and gloom as the skies darken while sipping devilishly bitter IPA.

10 Things as Soft as Suede

10-29-2013

10 Things as Soft as Suede




Suede, the fabric, is pretty great. Suede, the beer, is awesome. Part of the reason this brew is so awesome is that the flavor balance and mouthfeel are both as smooth as the soft fabric. Which made me think, what else is super awesome and soft like suede? These are the top ten soft like suede things, personally. What would be on your list? 

 

1. Puppies when they cuddle up next to you

 

2. Deep conditioned and brushed hair (or beard).

 

3. My sheets when I accidentally throw in twelve fabric softener sheets instead of one.

 

4. Those fuzzy socks that make it look like you have furry feet.

 

5. Flower petals. Although, if you rub then on your face you may end up with pollen up your nose and an allergic reaction.

 

6. Frozen yogurt looks and is very soft.

 

7. The snuggie blanket you pretend you don’t own but secretly covet all winter long.

 

8. Chapstick with shea butter or something in it.

 

9. Peanut butter.

 

10. Suede Imperial Porter from Stone Brewing Co. 

9.6% ABV 

Avocado honey, jasmine and calendula flowers infuse this imperial porter with a deep, complex flavor that is as smooth as suede.  Intense floral flavor highlights the dark cocoa and coffee notes, an unusual and tasty combination in an imperial porter.

 


National Pizza Month

10-23-2013

October is Pizza Month – Let’s Celebrate with Beer!

 

 

 

History 

Although pizza is an “Italian” cuisine, we can actually blame WWII for the pizza craze that has gripped the nation. The GIs came back from overseas in full pizza-loving mode and the rest of America soon learned the craving for pizza to be contagious. Our pizza loving ways didn’t become a true nationally celebrated month until the mid 1980s when some dude named Gerry Durnell out of Santa Claus Indiana declared October National Pizza Month. The rest is literally history.

 

Pizza and Beer Pairing 


The perfect way to celebrate such delicious history? With more delicious goodness, this time in liquid form. The best pizza and beer pairings are the ones that really let the robust pizza flavors take center stage. Of course, depending on the toppings, sauce and cheese combination the pairing can vary drastically. However, for a regular pie, American-style lagers and ambers pair very well, generally.

 

Suggested Beer Pairings

 

 

Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn Lager



 

Blue Point Brewing Toasted Lager

 



 

Rochester Mills Rochester Red

 


 

 


Petoskey Brewing North 45 Amber 

 


Homebrewing for the First Time

10-15-2013

Homebrewing for the First Time

 

After months of suspense I finally homebrewed. Unsurprisingly, I sucked at it.

 


 

Although the process of brewing is an ancient tradition and typically there are only four ingredients involved, brewing a beer that actually tastes delicious is quite the feat.

 

Luckily, I had some helpful guidance from a coworker and avid brewer who provided equipment and a brewing location. The brewing part ended up being a lot of fun. The air smelled amazing from the brewing beer and I got to sit for a bit and drink a few of my coworker’s homebrews while tending to my own liquid.

 

After transporting the carboy full of my brew back home, I spent the night acting like a brand new mother by checking in on it in the middle of the night and taking way too many photos of the bubbly action. However, I was not a good mother since I forgot to replace the plastic wrap on the top with the air lock. I only realized my mistake when I came home from work to discover the carboy making a loud and scary nose with the plastic wrap about to explode. After a very freaked out phone call to a brewing pal and a bit of clean up later the air lock was on but I started to live in fear of contamination. That is, until I started to neglect my first brewed.

 

I visited my family, work things started to pick up speed and I forgot about my beer baby in the corner. It never got to go through secondary fermentation and instead steeped for a full three weeks before I managed to bottle. After hearing stories about the boring clean up aspect, as well as the tedious labor of bottling I was a bit apprehensive. However, with a couple of beers, a friend and a few hours of my time the beer ended up bottled. 

 

I sampled some during the bottling process and it disappointed me. Although I had every intention of creating a West Coast style pale ale I somehow created a pale amber ale. If I had the supplies to dry hop I may have been able to create something close to deliciousness. Instead, I ended up with a rather unbalanced ale that at least managed to skirt contamination. Hopefully time and bottle conditioning will improve it but if not, or at least until then, I have plenty of fine tasting brews to keep me company. 


Copper Wort Chiller 

 


 


Beer Baby in a Carboy 

 


 


Bottling Station 

 


How to Drink a Beer

10-02-2013

How to Drink Your Beer

The Importance of Glassware

 

Beer drinking experience is a full-sensory experience and one of the first steps to take place in the experience is choosing glassware.

 

Although many a time I’ve drank straight from bottles, cans, Dixie cups and sometimes plastic take-out containers, depending on the level of the desperation, the selection of glassware plays an important role for maximum drinking pleasure.

 

To match a beer style to the proper glass, here’s a rundown on some of the most common glassware options out there.  

 

Mugs and Steins

These squat, handled glasses provide room for a lot of beer while ensuring the hands-off approach keeps the beer cooler for longer.

 

Pilsner

Long and slender with a tapered bottom, this glass is designed to accommodate a larger head and release the aroma.

 

Nonic

A nonic glass is a frequently used glass, often misleadingly referred to simply as a pint glass. It has a slight projection right below the rim that helps create the perfect amount of room for the head.

 

Tulip

Often paired with higher ABV brews, this glass’s stem keeps hands from warming the liquid while the curved shape is designed to allow for a nice foam head while also retaining maximum aroma. 

 


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