Soberin’ Down the River

By , July 10, 2012 in Administrative

Ladies and Gentleman of the Booze-o-sphere, A great tragedy of misinformation has come to my attention and it is my duty as a peddler of knowledge to dispel the toxic rumors surrounding New Braunfels, Texas. You may still drink beer in the river. According to CBS News, recent litigation to curb littering along the shore has has residents and tourists confused into believing that they mayn’t imbibe while tubing, when — in reality — it is only disposable containers that have been outlawed. For those who don’t know what tubing is, I need you to move to the South immediately. Barring that, I just need you to listen: tubing is the practice of plopping in an inner-tube with your friends or family, and floating down a calm river while drinking beer or bourbon (You can drink whatever you want, but in the South, we have preferences). It is fantastic. It’s… Read More »

Rogue’s Brilliant Beard Beer

By , July 3, 2012 in Administrative

I’ve never been very fascinated by terroir, a term normally attributed to wine in reference to the effect an environment has on a finished agricultural product. More officially (or according to Wikipedia), terroir is “the special characteristics that the geography, geology and climate of a certain place bestow upon particular produce such as wine, coffee or tea”. All this still sounded fairly boring until I learned of the biggest terroir-related news story to rock the craft beer world in a while: For Rogue brewmaster John Maier, you see, terroir is the special characteristics that his beard bestows upon his beer. Two weeks ago, the brewery announced via press release that, as a joke, Rogue sent off “nine beard follicles” from Maier to their yeast analysis lab (You don’t have one of those?). The joke was on them as they discovered that somehow, for better or for worse, his face-blanket contained a… Read More »

The Bloody Mary: an Argument and a User’s Guide

By , June 24, 2012 in Administrative

Bloody Marys are apparently underrated. I don’t know how or when this happened, but a recent straw poll of my close friends led me to discover that not everybody knows how awesome they are. To those non-believers, I ask this: are we such children? Does our loathe for veggies dictate our diets like when we were eight? We are growing older and more decrepit; our bodies crave nutrients now more than ever before. We eat right, we exercise, we keep our minds healthy with feverish mastery of sudoku. That’s all grand, but for a true holistic approach to staying well into our later years, we must pick our poisons more wisely. Mimosas, screwdrivers, greyhounds? Wonderful. But how many produce items does each fit? To truly understand the greatness of this marriage between tomato and vodka, we must look at it- and this is where we leave the health spiel behind-… Read More »

Don Julian Travels! SAN DIEGO

By , June 21, 2012 in Administrative

Every now and then, I pretend to start a new “column” by adding a random prefix to my article title, and “Don Julian Travels!” is no different. However, if I have enough beer-focused travels to sustain it, you won’t see me complaining. (Puking? Maybe. But never complaining.) San Diego. Most people outside of San Diego know it as one thing: a whale’s vagina. As a Maryland native who is indifferent to both crabcakes and football, I know how tiring it can be to have your place of birth’s global perception formed by a Frat Pack movie, so I’d like to do America’s Finest City a favor and dispel this poor translation. San Diego is no one’s vagina, but rather a city. And a beer city at that. I recently had the displeasure of running a marathon in this brewhub. While the race was grueling, the drinks afterwards HAD ME DROOLING!… Read More »

Homebrew: The Home Game

By , June 9, 2012 in Administrative

“We did it, dude.” A tired declaration to end a night of cooking and desperation, book-ended by feverish excitement. After months of talking-without-doing and weeks of UPS limbo, my roommate and I had reached a goal we’d independently dreamt of for years. We were homebrewers. It may sound dramatic, but my first homebrewing lightbulb moment did truly come five years ago. Eighteen and filled with misplaced determination, I spent many of my summer days scratching my head for ways to buy beer without a fake I.D. A friend told me about home brewing- a process where one creates their own beer from totally street legal ingredients- and I was immediately convinced I’d found the solution. Unfortunately, upon light Googling, I discovered that- living with my parents- I had neither the time nor the secret beer dungeon required and my dream was put on hold. But hold no more! I turned 21… Read More »

Beer Goggles

By , May 22, 2012 in Administrative

And another American Craft Beer Week comes to an end. Whether intentional or not, I hope you did a bit of celebrating and tried a new or enjoyed an old faithful local beer. I personally gave a chance to Karl Strauss Brewing Company’s Amber Lager (San Diego, CA) in my never-ending journey to find a lager that I enjoy as much as my favorite ales. It was enjoyed, but the journey continues. Other than that, due to pesky outside forces such as my real job, I laid low on the beverage enjoyment part of ACBW. I’m not too bummed, however, as beer appreciation snuck into my life through a refreshing, unexpected channel: internet videos. Clearly I use the internet. But did you know I that I sometime use it to watch videos? Yes, of course, I’m sure you did. This week, however, a handful of those videos tended towards the… Read More »

AMERICAN (craft beer week)

Welcome, all, to American Craft Beer Week! I’m a day late on this announcement, but only because the internet was a day late on drawing my attention to this news. According to Craftbeer.com, the official home of American Craft Beer Week (ACBW) … ACBW will be recognized May 14 – 20, 2012 and offers an exciting opportunity for small and independent craft brewers and the community of better beer retailers to celebrate the ever advancing beer culture here in the U.S. Plus, tens of thousands of today’s beer beginners, beer enthusiasts, and hard core beer geeks make time to toast the week. What the f**k did I tell you last week? Drinkers- especially those of beer- looove to celebrate things. Can’t say they’re reaching for it in this case, either. Though I once worshipped the cheap stuff, smaller breweries with more complex- and admittedly slightly pricier- beers have held my hand along the transformation… Read More »

The Other May Day

By , May 4, 2012 in Administrative

Many attributes can be attached to we drinkers: degenerate, wasteful, ridiculous, perhaps most definitively, debaucherous. Now those are all good and fun, but I like a positive spin when picking my adjectives, so I just refer to our community as immensely celebratory. St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, Independence Day, Memorial Day, Bastille Day if you’re feeling cultural. Any time of the year, drinkers will find a reason to justify their habit. Most of the time, it’s a stretch (“Columbus day? Really?”) But every now and then, things work out so perfectly- line up so very precisely- that you shouldn’t even feel a twinge of guilt for day drinking. Ladies and gentlemen, we are on the eve of one such time. Tomorrow is: Cinco de Mayo: A celebration of heritage commemorating the Mexican army- outnumbered 2-to-1- against the occupying French army’s attack on Fort Puebla in 1862. Also a celebration of tequila,… Read More »

“Today’s Beer Geek”: John Smith Strikes Back

By , May 1, 2012 in Beer

The highest honor a blogger can receive occurs when something you’ve found on the internet turns around and finds you. Of coursel, there are probably actual awards out there that are more honorable, but I don’t see them coming my way any time soon so we’ll settle! As you may or may not remember, I posted about 5 weeks ago about a series of viral videos that poked fun at- as the video itself calls them- “Today’s Beer Geek”. It’s a clever little series that seems to have one unifying message: “Quit getting so high-and-mighty about your beer, people.” A few days ago, I was delighted to find that the creator of these videos, under his pseudonym “John Smith”, left a thorough explanation of each of the videos (including 2 new ones: http://vimeo.com/38795581) along with a bit on why he made the videos to begin with. (UPDATE: He copied and pasted… Read More »

Why You Should Know About Reinheitsgebot, But Don’t Need To Celebrate It

By , April 23, 2012 in Administrative

496 years ago today, beer history was made. In Bavaria, two dukes passed the Reinheitsgebot- or purity ordinance- to impose regulations on the creation and selling of beer. The crux of it, or at least the bit which it’s famous for today, is this: Furthermore, we wish to emphasize that in future in all cities, markets and in the country, the only ingredients used for the brewing of beer must be Barley, Hops and Water. Whosoever knowingly disregards or transgresses upon this ordinance, shall be punished by the Court authorities’ confiscating such barrels of beer, without fail. I know you’re upset by the talk of confiscation of beer, but let’s backpedal for a second. Barley, hops, water. Nothing else. Anyone who knows a thing or two about brewing (or science) may notice an important ingredient missing: yeast. Now, I don’t know anything about science, but I’ve only heard of yeast… Read More »