Posts Tagged ‘beer’

9th December
written by Arthur

I’ve spent the last few days wandering, eating, and drinking my way around the New York City with my mother. Knowing her love of all things Italian, I ended our first full day in the city with a stop at Eataly. Rather than battle the masses in Eataly for an adult beverage, we opted for comfortable seats at its rooftop restaurant/brewery Bierreria. Our thoughts started with wine, but quickly progressed to beer as we perused the menu. The fine selection of Dogfish Head brews jumped out at me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: those guys are are insanely committed to beer.


Red and White

Dogfish Head Red & White

This guy is a Belgian-style witbier fermented with pinot noir juice. So what is a witbier? Here in the good ol’ US of A it is often called white beer. Common white beers are Blue Moon, Hooegaaden, Shock Top, and Allagash White.  My usual thought is ick or meh.  But I trust Dogfish Head to at least give me something interesting if not loved. And they went nuts and threw in that pinot noir juice and we already had wine on the brain.

Appearance: Not nearly as red as expected. A dirty golden amber.

Smell: Light and bright. Citrus and yeast.

Taste: Yeast, orange zest, and tart citrus. Some spices hiding in the mix.

Mouth: Medium and smooth.

Overall: Delicious. I would love to try this on a summer day rather than a cool December one.


Birra Etrusca Bronze

Birra Etrusca Bronze - Dogfish HeadAgain, the mad geniuses at Dogfish Head have recreated an ancient brew. In the words of the Dogfish Head website:

To develop the recipe for Birra Etrusca Bronze, Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione traveled to Rome with molecular archaeologist Dr. Pat McGovern. With the help of Birreria Brother Brewers Leo DeVencenzo of Birra del Borgo and Teo Musso of Baladin, they analyzed drinking vessels found in 2,800-year-old Etruscan tombs…The backbone of Birra Etrusca comes from two-row malted barley and an heirloom Italian wheat. Specialty ingredients include hazelnut flour, pomegranates, Italian chestnut honey, Delaware wildflower honey and clover honey. A handful of whole-flower hops are added, but the bulk of the bitterness comes from gentian root and the sarsaparilla-like Ethiopian myrrh resin. 

In addition to Dogfish themselves, Birra del Borgo and Baladin also brewed a version of Birra Etrusca.  Dogfish will used bronze, Baladin will wood, and Birra del Borgo used terra cotta. So much thought and love.

Appearance: Copper/amber.

Smell:  What? What?! So not clear what’s going on here. You smell some of the honey and pomegranate through layers of herb, wood, earth, and resin.

Taste: Wow. Every sip is different. Sometimes the honey is the star, sometimes it’s an earth feeling, sometimes it tastes like Christmas, sometimes it tastes like a cathedral at high mass, sometimes it’s raisins, very often the hazelnut boldly jumps in.

Mouth: Mouthy with some syrup.

Overall: Like some other Dogfish Head ancient brews, this is an adventure not an every day drink. Every sip and smell is surprise. Bravo Dogfish–keep these things coming. Even if you don’t love it, you gotta try it.


5th September
written by Arthur

Imperial-Pumpkin-ModalMost pumpkin beers remind me of pumpkin pie in a glass: nutmeg, pumpkin, cinnamon, sweet, etc. The Harpoon Imperial Pumpkin is not most pumpkin beers. This guy is a solid imperial stout with some pumpkin flavor.

The Details

ABV: 10.5 %

Appearance:  Brown to the point of blackness.  Solid head.

Smell:  Roastiness, molasses, unsweetened chocolate, and pumpkin.  Very very light nutmeg.

Taste: Roasiness and unsweetened chocolate dominate. Not sweet. The pumpkin flavor comes in a distant second and not as pumpkin pie. Rather, the pumpkin flavor makes me think the actual squash roasted and pureed with a faint dusting of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Mouth: Medium body.

Overall:  If you’re an imperial stout fan, you’ll like this beer.   If you’re a casual pumpkin beer drinker, steer clear!

I’m personally not the biggest imperial fan, but could see enjoying this on a cool night near the bonfire.


4th September
written by Arthur

New research shows that the shape of your beer glass might influence how fast you drink your cold one:

[R]esearchers surmise that while drinking alcohol, people pace themselves based on when they reach the halfway point of a glass. (When participants drank soda instead of beer, the shape of the glass had no significant effect on drinking speed.) But drinkers failed to accurately estimate the halfway point on curved-edge drinking glasses, and so they slurped up a greater quantity of alcohol faster.

Read the whole article at Discover Magazine.  Any bets on how long it takes Mayor Bloomberg to legislates strait glass in NYC bars?


15th August
written by Arthur

There are very few I would trust to make a drinkable bacon beer.  The beer nuts over at Rouge Ales are among of those few.

Much like Dogfish Head, Rouge Ales is willing nurture and execute insane beer ideas.  While the mad scientist concoctions may not fit my everyday drinking style (or budget),  I’m constantly impressed by the expanded conceptions of beer.  The Bacon Maple Ale–ingredients including Briess Cherrywood Smoked Malt, Weyermann Beechwood Smoked Malt, House-smoked Hickory Malt, and Applewood-Smoked Bacon–was no exception.


Appearance:  Rusty haze.

Smell:  Maple and a lot of smoke.  Like opening a pack of quality thick-cut smoked bacon.

Taste:  My first thought actually wasn’t bacon, but breakfast sausage drizzled in maple syrup.  As I tasted and smelled the bacon flavor grew into a sweet and savory combo.  However, as the beer warmed, a sharp bitter finish began to develop.

Mouth:  Medium carbonation.  A little creamy.

Overall:  This beer is a ton of fun.  Though the bitter finish rains on the parade a bit.  I can’t see myself drinking this often, but feel it would make a great morning beer with a plate of eggs.

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10th July
written by Arthur

My posting has been sparse lately, in part due to an 11 day trip back to Minnesota.  A trip that has left me backlogged with food I want to write about.  Tragically, the timing and heat of the trip limited the amount of actual cooking I got in.  Though, I did get in a couple good grills with the boys.

I’m starting off with one of my favorite Minnesota spots that I’ve so far neglected to mention here:  The Bulldog.  This fine establishment can be found on Lyndale in Uptown Minneapolis–which, despite its name and for reasons I’ve never been able to figure out, is located south of Downtown Minneapolis.

Back when I used to live in Minneapolis, I think it was safe to call me a regular.  I can’t count the number of burgers and beers I’ve taken down with friends at this spot.  So, after working through some of my Twin Cities must eats, this spot was an easy choice for a last lunch with my father.

The menu boasts a creative burger menu that is only matched by the Bulldog’s impressive beer list.  The burger list includes such amazing creations as the Stilton burger and the Hawaiian.  All the burger come with fries and everyone is under $10!  (The hot dog menu isn’t shabby either and is worth of an occasional departure from the burgers.)  The beer options are heavy on the Belgians but include great bottles from stellar U.S. brewers.

On this trip, I set my sights on the Humpty Dumpty (a fried egg, melted cheddar cheese, red onion, shredded lettuce, tomato and mayo).  This hangover cure used to come with a slice of ham.  And, as crazy as it sounds, I think the burger is better off without it. The egg is a great addition, but the ham just got in the way of the burger.

After eating, my dad and I turned to a few games of darts while we worked our way through a bit more of the beer list.

Great burgers, beer, and darts with the old man: a near perfect way to wind-down my last days in my home State.

The Bulldog
2549 Lyndale Ave S.
Minneapolis, MN 55405

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7th June
written by Arthur

Before this week, I had a wine guy and a whiskey guy.  But I was missing a beer guy.  A man who not only knows his stuff, but has the stock to back it up. No more.  Today, on my walk home from the train, with a little guidance from my beer guy, I picked-up a new (to me) IPA.

10% ABV and 100 IBU.  Like Dale’s Ale, with also comes to us from Oskar Blue Brewery in Colorado, this bad boy comes in a can.

Appearance:  A golden orange.

Smell:  Very light in this department. Hops and a little someth’n sweet.

Taste:  Hoppy.  Very little sweet.  The hops are strong, though not over the top, but the lack of sweetness emphasizes them.  A long and strong bitter finish which makes you want to keep sipping.

Mouth:  Good carbonation that foams nicely in the mouth.  Easy to drink.

Overall:  A solid IPA which at first reminded of Harpoon IPA, one of my go-to beers.  I would love for Toby’s Public House to have this around.  Unless you’re on a mission to try new IPAs, it’s not worth going out of your way to find; you can find equally good beers without the effort.  But if you see it, drink it.


5th June
written by Arthur

Like a lot of Dogfish Head brews this guy comes with a bit of a back story.  The brewery itself describes it as follows:

An unfiltered, unfettered, unprecedented brown ale aged in handmade wooden brewing vessels. The caramel and vanilla complexity unique to this beer comes from the exotic Paraguayan Palo Santo wood from which these tanks were crafted. Palo Santo means “holy tree,” and its wood has been used in South American wine-making communities.

At 10,000 gallons, our Palo tank is the largest wooden brewing vessel built in America since before Prohibition (and we have two same-sized oak tanks right next to it).

Oh, and it clocks in at 12% ABV.

Appearance – If you could blend iced coffee and motor oil.  Dark.  Thin dark brown foam.

Smell – Malty, nutty, and earthy.  Some cherry on my first few sniffs.

Taste – BANG!  If you weren’t awake every taste bud you have just slapped you in the face.  Malt, cedar, roasted nuts.  Some bitterness.  A finish that hits a little caramel or crème brûlée.

Mouth – Dry.  Very dry with some heat from the alcohol.  Yet the beer remains dangerously drinkable.

Overall – Pretty freak’n awesome.  Not what I’m going to be reaching for a lot this summer, though.  I would be excited to try to pair this with some savory meat, maybe even with a little heat in the mix.

This beer is inches from the edge of cliff that plummets into an overly alcoholic, difficult to drink concoction.  I don’t like beers over that cliff, but love this one.  Another job well done Dogfish Head.


24th March
written by Arthur

Sixpoint is one of those breweries that my roomie Nick and I trust implicitly.  If I see a new brew of their’s I have to try it, knowing I’ll probably like, if not love, what I drink.  So it shouldn’t be a surprise that early in the week both Nick and I showed up at home, on the same day, having interdependently stopped by a bodega, seen Resin (the new Sixpoint brew, which neither of us had heard about), and brought it home.

The Details:

It’s an American Double/Imperial IPA with a 9.10% ABV and IBU of 103.  Serving type: can.

[As an aside, the following link is a GREAT visual depiction of the relationship between different kinds of beer:  WARNING:  before you click be prepared to spend 30-45 minutes looking at the graphic.  I’m seriously thinking about buying the poster, framing it, and putting up in my kitchen… or my office.  Okay, on with the Resin talk.]

Appearance:  When first poured, it has cloudy copper color.  But, if you can managed to hold off on drinking it all for 20 minutes or so, the cloud clears to a clear amber rust.

Smell:  Hops and yeast.  I have a bit of a cold at the moment, so there might more hiding in there.

Mouth:  Very hoppy, but very well balanced.  There is some up front hoppy-sweetness that fades to a nice roasted hoppy finish.  When I say finish, I mean finish–the stuff coats your mouth (almost like resin?) with long lingering flavor of hops that makes you want another sip.  The texture is a high octane mix between crisp hops playing/battling with thick.

Overall:  I’m a big fan.  It’s strong and hoppy, no doubt, but somehow also balanced enough for easy drinking.  I think it would pair great with any meats coming off the grill.  There is not a lot of complexity, particularly compared to Sixpoint’s Sweet Action; Resin is just a great beer.  It’s been a while since I’ve gotten excited about an IPA and  I’m very glad Sixpoint came along with Resign just in time for summer!


3rd February
written by Loren

IT’S SUPERBOWL!!!!!!!! This is like the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and your first frat party all rolled into one. Throughout my whole life, this weekend has always been an epic party. When I was a kid my dad would take me to one of his friend’s houses out in the boonies and all the guys would stand around the deep fryer in the garage, watching crispy and golden delicious chunks of deep fried pheasant, grouse, walleye, and chicken-fried venison cutlets emerge from the bubbling witches cauldron of peanut oil while the game played on a projection TV. Side note: is there any better way to enjoy nature than deep frying critters?

But without a doubt, my favorite SB parties were in college. You get 15-20 guys together in a house, along with 15-20 cases of beer, and play beer pong and NFL Blitz for hours before the game even starts. And once the game does start, everyone picks a side and cheers for them as though they were your hometown team. Notice how I precluded the possibility of the actual home town team getting into the Superbowl, for we reside in the tundra – land of the Vikings.

So for this holiest of all weeks, we’re going with a trinity of appetizers: beer cheese dip, polpetini (tiny meatballs), and  a shrimp cocktail with honey chipotle cocktail sauce.

The beer cheese dip we’ve done before, here. Except this time I’m going to replace 25% of the cream cheese with sour cream.

The polpetini will be made roughly from:

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork, veal or mild italian sausage
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons dry red wine (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

This is a slightly modified version of the Joy of Cooking recipe which has been previously posted. This time we’re going to roll it into smaller meatballs, about 3/4 of an inch in diameter. Then lightly coat them in either seasoned flour or breadcrumbs and fry them in a pan with just enough oil to coat the bottom. A minute or two each side should do, just long enough to get some good color. Then they go in the oven at 300 degrees, until a meat thermometer says they’re about 140 degrees inside. Take them out and let them cool a bit, then put them on a toothpick with a cherry tomato, small mozzarella ball and a leaf of basil. You can either roll the basil into a tight roll and skewer that, or kind of weave it over the meat, cheese and basil on the toothpick.

These are pretty good at this stage, but you can make them even better. Mix extra virgin olive with aged balsamic vinegar (which I happen to have laying around because my brother Danny knows EXACTLY what to get me for Christmas) at a ratio of about 3:2. Whisk this together and add it to a jar with a lid, then shake it up. Drizzle that over the tasty skewers, then top everything with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Now its time for the brand new recipe which I found on one of my favorite foodblogs, The Food in My Beard. Now, I love shrimp cocktails but my undying hatred of horseradish prevents me from enjoying the typical condiment associated with them. That makes this recipe perfect for me.

  • 1 7 oz can of chipotles in adobo
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 limes
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • cilantro

Take the peppers out of the can, split them open and remove all of the seeds. Add the peppers to a food processor along with the adobo sauce left in the can, the juice of both limes, the honey and the garlic. Process that until smooth, then add a few tablespoons of the cilantro leaves, and pulse a few more times. Once you put it in the serving bowl, you can garnish with a few more cilantro leaves. Serve with delicious shrimps. I’ll be buying mine frozen from the grocery store, because boiling my own would be just a bit too much work combined with everything else.

These look amazing... except for that red crap in the bowl.

One last thing to note about Superbowl food: the only acceptable choices in terms of recipes are the ones which you can make before the game starts. Several times in recent years I’ve done foolish things like deep frying snacks during the game or cooking something in the oven which needs to be checked on frequently. Remember, this is your last taste of football for the next 6 months, and your last taste of meaningful football for the next 7. That’s a long time to wait and I know I always felt pretty stupid after missing half the game to cooking.


[DDET Click to expand]

Dedicated readers (or maybe just the authors) will remember that at the beginning of the football season, I made 6 predictions for the 2011-12 NFL season. Let’s see how hard this NFL commentary business is:

  • Barring injury, Adrian Peterson will rush for 2,000 yards this year. While we don’t have the greatest O-line Minnesota has ever seen, the reports are that we have abandoned the zone-blocking crap which plagued us in the Childress era.
    • Outcome: Well this one obviously failed to come true, and I won’t even hide behind the hideous knee injury which ended AP’season and maybe permanently dimmed the prospects of his career. He wasn’t really close to the pace of a 2,000 yard season. 0 for 1.
    • As an aside, I am terrified about AP’s prospects for a comeback. He tore his ACL AND MCL. If you didn’t have a chance to see what happened in that game, check this out. Warning: you will feel his pain after watching that clip. Adrian is the most amazing running back I’ve ever watched. Pretty much half a dozen times every season I see him do something so amazing that I thank Odin that he somehow fell to the Vikings in the draft. And it seems like better than even odds that he won’t be anything special when he makes it back onto the football field.
  • The Colts will be in contention for the first overall draft pick by the end of the season. This team is GARBAGE without Manning. He ran the whole offense and he elevated a team that has drafted crap the last several years. (Sub-prediction: this will create endless ESPN contaversy about whether Peyton will allow them to draft Andrew Luck)
    • Outcome: NAILED IT ON BOTH COUNTS! Full disclosure – all of these predictions were written after the pre-season so there was already a hint of how god-awful the Colts were going to be, but that’s not going to stop me from claiming credit for this one. Seeing as how both prediction and sub-prediction came true, I’m 2 for 3.
  • The Houston Texans will finally make the playoffs. I mean, they kind of have to. Jacksonville and Indianapolis will be terrible, and I just don’t think the Hasselbeck-led Titans will steal the division away from them.
    • Outcome: Also correct. It’s intriguing to think about what would have become of this team if they hadn’t lost Mario Williams, Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson for most of the season. Think about that! That’s arguably your best player on both offense and defense plus your starting quarterback, and they still won a playoff game. If the injuries had shaken out a different way, the Texans probably could have made the Superbowl. 3 for 4.
  • The Lions will still fail to hit the .500 mark. I know everyone is in love with them and they have certainly created a monster d-line, but Stafford is made of porceline and I still think they need another season to wipe out the stink of 0-16.
    • Outcome: Ouch, and I fall to 3 for 5. The Lions exceeded the .500 mark, made the playoffs and Stafford made it through the season without missing any appreciable amount of time. This team has lots of potential with an improving Stafford, Megatron hitting his prime and a solid core of Suh and Fairley on the D-line. They just desperately need a running back to make it through the season.
  • Lastly, the GB Packers will fail to make the Superbowl this year. Because they’re evil. Superbowl pick: New England over Philly.
    • Outcome: Ahhhh this is the sweetest one to get right. A Rodge was getting just a bit too cocky, and I’m glad the Giants came along to serve some humble pie. And that makes me 4 for 6. OVER .500 THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
I’m pretty excited about this year’s Superbowl. I love the rematch of 2007, I love any Supernowl featuring Tom Brady, I’m looking forward to seeing Belichick try to stop Cruz, Manningham and Nicks using his broke ass secondary, and I am super pumped for the prospect of seeing a pouty faced Eli Manning sulking on the bench after  he chokes away the game.


Please... no more of this.


25th December
written by Arthur

It’s Christmas Day so I’m going to keep this short.

Toby’s takes its spot at number 6 because it’s my favorite pizza spot in New York.  Great pizza supported by a good staff and a good beer selection.  Just thinking about it is making my stomach rumble in anticipation.