Archive for the ‘other’ Category

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It happened one September

November 17, 2010

The Beer Snob t-shirtI started this blog in January 2007.  A few months later, I think, I decided to come up with a couple designs real quick and put these beer items on cafepress.com to sell.  September of this year, someone bought the t-shirt I designed.  Yes, that’s right, with my $1 markup, I made…..$1.  But I don’t care.  I just think it’s cool that someone bought one!  Someone out there is walking around with my t-shirt on.

I won’t call you out by name, but if you live in Arkansas and bought one of my shirts, thank you!  And if anyone else would like to buy one, please feel free.  Be the first in your state (unless you live in Arkansas) to own one!  Heck, buy one and pretty much guarantee you’ll be not just the first but the ONLY one in your state to own one!   😀

Cheers!
The Beer Snob

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Beer and Craft Beer: The differences explained

July 28, 2010

I was thinking about beer tonight, and thinking about what beer is, beyond the standard dictionary definition, which usually reads something like this:

an alcoholic beverage usually made from malted cereal grain (as barley), flavored with hops, and brewed by slow fermentation

Thanks, Free Merriam-Webster dictionary!  That’s a good generic definition of beer.

But then I started thinking, what’s the difference between beer and craft beer?  Oh, I know, usually craft breweries are usually defined as small, traditional, independent breweries, but I thought a better way to define craft beer is to examine the differences between beer and craft beer.  If you have more contrasts to offer, please leave them in the comments section. I’d love to hear them!  I hope you enjoy…

Beer is made by large corporations named Anheuser-Busch, InBev and South African Breweries (SAB).  Craft beer is brewed by people, like Sam Calagione, Linus Hall, Douglas Booth and Daniel Kahn, craftsmen who now run successful breweries because they loved beer and wanted to share it with others.

Beer tastes like….well, beer.  Craft beer tastes, at various times, like chocolate, coffee, oak, caramel, molasses, grass, floral hops, dark fruit, smoke, grapefruit, oranges, lemon, coriander, pumpkin, hazelnut, and any number of other ingredients.

Beer is usually served ice cold from the can or bottle (to numb the tastebuds and make it palatable) and in massive quantities, in the hopes of getting drunk.  Craft beer is lovingly poured into a special glass, at just the right temperature, and given the chance to warm and release its flavors as the color and thickness of the head, the color and clarity and the nose of the beer are all examined, analyzed and appreciated, before the beer itself is savored on the palate and the various flavors are allowed to arise and intermingle.

Beer is marketed, on television and in print, by making you think you’ll be cool or get the girl with their product.   Craft beer is marketed, mostly not on television, on its merits as a beer, with emphasis on flavor and the ingredients that went into making the product.

Beer is usually yellow or brown.  Craft beer can be anything from a hazy golden straw color to a coppery orange to a ruby brown to an inky black and everything in between.

Beer is made with cheap ingredients and adjuncts such as rice, to make the beer more bland and inexpensive, with the end result being a beer that makes you feel bloated and full.  Craft beer is brewed using hand selected ingredients, specifically picked with certain flavor characteristics in mind and brewed with the end goal of flavorful, quality beer.  It is more expensive but a much better value for the money.

Beer is sometimes “shotgunned” or used for a keg stand.  Craft beer is sometimes selected and served as an integral accompaniment to a fine meal.

As you can see, I have an obvious bias towards craft beer.  I hope the contrasts I have pointed out help you understand what craft beer is, and I hope it inspires you to leave Bud, Coors and Miller behind in favor of better beer, such as Dogfish Head, Yazoo, Buckbean and so much more.

Cheers!
The Beer Snob

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My first book review coming soon

July 24, 2010
Indiana: One Pint At A Time

Douglas A. Wissing's book, "Indiana: One Pint At A Time"

Back in June, I was contacted by the Indiana Historical Society Press. They were publishing a book about the history of brewing in Indiana and wanted to know if I was interested in reviewing it. Never one to turn down a free sample to review (see my reviews of The Hangover Cure and TrueBlue Blueberry juice for proof!), I agreed to read the book and review it.

I just received it a few days ago and have only finished the first two chapters, but so far it’s a very interesting book! I hope to have it read and reviewed sometime within the next two weeks, but in the meantime, here is some information they sent me about the book.

When Father George Rapp and his 800 followers arrived in New Harmony in 1814, they worked to “make of the wild country fertile fields and gardens of pleasure.” Although they planted thousands of acres of crops, the Harmonists decided they were missing one essential element-beer. By the fall of 1816, they had a brewery in operation.

In Indiana: One Pint at a Time, award-winning author Douglas Wissing takes the reader on a journey through the history of beer from prehistoric times through industrial brewing. The book also details the history of brewing in the Hoosier State, including the Indiana-German brewers who dominated the industry until Prohibition, the 20th-century decline of the industrial breweries and the rise of craft breweries in the 1990’s.

The book includes detailed descriptions and information on Indiana’s approximately 30 crafts breweries, which produced more that 28,000 barrels of beer in 2007 and achieved honors in both national and international competitions. 264 pages, color and b/w illustrations.

Here, also, is a link to Indiana Historical Society Press’ blog, which includes an interview with the book’s author.

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Amarena cherry/Yazoo Sly Rye Porter gelato is the best yet

June 12, 2010

Bravo Gelato Nashville started making gelato using Yazoo Brewing Company‘s beers with their Onward Stout.  I liked this, and it kind of resembled a Yazoo stout float to me…beer-y and rich and creamy.  Knowing they wanted to do a gelato using the Yazoo Hefeweizen, I suggested they make it with a mild banana gelato base.  They took the idea and ran with it, and the resulting gelato was well received and excellent.  (Read my review of Bravo Gelato’s Banana/Yazoo Hefeweizen gelato.) 

For their next collaboration with Yazoo, they wanted to use the Sly Rye Porter.  I suggested they use a tart cherry gelato to mix with the Sly Rye Porter, and they came up with an amarena cherry gelato.  I don’t believe they could have made a better choice. More: Amarena cherry/Yazoo Sly Rye Porter gelato is the best yet

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Time for The Beer Snob to leave the country

May 16, 2010

So the time of year approaches when, traditionally (at least the last few years) The Beer Snob leaves the country. Last year I went to Paris and managed to try a few good beers there among all the French wine, though I failed to research French beer before the trip. The year before was Italy (ahh, Italy, my love) and the south of France. In 2004 we went to Italy and Switzerland (this was pre-beer blog).

Anyway, I wanted to see if anyone reading this blog has any experience with Greek or Turkish beers, or even unusual or “weird” Greek or Turkish foods? I like to try unusual foods on these trips.

Thanks for any info you can give

Cheers!
The Beer Snob

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Zane Lamprey going on comedy tour

May 7, 2010

I mentioned Zane Lamprey on this blog before, when I told you about his show, Three Sheets, being picked up by the Travel Channel.  Well, the show is still going on, but now Zane is going out on a comedy tour. (See a list of Zane Lamprey’s shows)Zane Lamprey, comedian and host of Three Sheets.

More: Zane Lamprey going on comedy tour

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