Seasonal Brews

Fashion is the true king of beers. “This Autumn, It’s AAALLLLL about maple syrup!” says beer fashionista, Pepe Velázquez. He points out a new brew with a truly chic label. “This beer is a pale ale infused with dead leaves. It’s not particularly appetizing, but nowadays who really cares?” Velázquez is a leader in the craft beer movement known as hopheads. According to hopheads beer isn’t about having flavor; it’s about being fabulous. He makes sense of it like this, “Drinking a beer just because you like how it tastes is like waking up in the morning and putting on clothes because they fit you. Beer like an outfit needs to have sass and it needs to have class.” This season dark ales are big as are beers containing exciting flavors like aged pumpkin, acorn squash and maple syrup. Whether or not the flavors are good or not is irrelevant…. Read More »

Craft Beer and Craft Beer Fashion

Craft Beer Drinkers Require a Different Fashion. It’s no secret that the beer industry has been changing rapidly over the past twenty years. In the past, stores only carried traditional American lagers. A guy had his pick from one of several beer giants: Coors, Budweiser and Miller. Occasionally one might find a single six pack from a local microbrewery. Nowadays you can walk into a grocery store and find any of a hundred microbrews from Oregon to Taiwan. While most folks still prefer their traditional American Lagers, it’s not uncommon for your average customer to grab a six pack of craft beers once a month when he’s feeling adventurous or has some extra money in his pocket. Of course that’s your average beer drinker. There’s a whole new breed of consumers treating craft beer with the attention that winos give to wine. These individuals drink craft beer and craft beer… Read More »

Should samples be free?

By , September 30, 2011 in Beer, Wine

New Belgium in Fort Collins, Colorado announced this week that they are going to start charging for samples. They are also adding 12 and 16 oz. servings for customer’s who want a proper beer. Previously, they gave visitors to the brewery tokens, enough to sample roughly half of their beers then they cut them off. It was a little frustrating. Anyway, should breweries give away samples to legal drinkers or can they add a bit to their profit by charging for samples? (New Belgium isn’t profiting from this, by the way. They’re giving the proceeds from the samples to local charities.) I kinda see both sides here. The brewery is there to brew and sell beer, right? Would you do what you do for a living for, say, 15% longer every day without getting paid just because your boss asked for it? Probably not. I know I wouldn’t. Also, I’m… Read More »

AM drinking

By , September 30, 2011 in Beer, scotch

In one of The Doors’s songs, it sounds like Jim Morrison sings, “Woke up this morning and I got myself a beer.” I’ve heard that’s wrong; what he really says is “got myself a beard” but I’ve been mishearing it for so long that the first way is what I hear. And, from time to time, it’s what I do. Now, this is something that I’m supposed to say with a bit of shame. Drinking in the morning is wrong. In fact, having a beer or three with lunch is poo-pooed in some circles. But, I submit that there are some pretty good reasons for drinking in the morning. Here’s my list: Holidays Holidays are stressful. We have to put up with family: all those noisy-ass kids, that uncle with his insane politics, the cousin who just joined the Mormon church and “just wants to tell you about a friend… Read More »

Prohibition – The documentary

By , September 29, 2011 in Alcohol Law, Beer, prohibition

Do you love to drink alcoholic beverages? Do you live in the US? Statistics, Internet traffic reports and common sense tell us that the answer to both questions is yes for most of you. We’re a boozy, flag-waving bunch, aren’t we? Can I get a “hell, yeah!”? Do you love long, multi-part documentaries about events that happened generations ago? Do you love to wallow in history and examine the motives and motivations of people long since dead? Okay, maybe not but, still, you probably want to pay attention to this one. Prohibition will be aired on PBS stations across the US beginning next week on Monday. This is one of those documentaries from Ken Burns so, if you’ve seen his work on the Civil War, jazz or baseball, you know it’s going to be interesting as well as quality. Personally, I’m quite excited about this documentary. I’ve read many histories… Read More »

Kiss this beer hello

By , September 29, 2011 in Beer, Wine

What overly make-uped, spectacle-reliant, near cartoonishly caricature of a band from the ’70′s now has it’s own beer and wine? If you guessed Spinal Tap, I’ll refer you to two facts: I said it was a “NEAR cartoonishly caricature” and I said ’70′s. Perhaps you have your imagination turned up to eleven, mate! If you guessed KISS, I say, right on, brother. After all, there really isn’t any other band that quite fits that description and is still around today for us to talk about, is there? So, to the booze… The wine is a California-grown Zinfandel called KISS Zin Fire. It’s described as “bold and fruity… a brazen blend of blackberry and pepper.” The beer is a traditional Pils-style called KISS Destroyer. It is described as having a “great head of foam, nice flavor, and a balanced bitterness.” Collectively, they are called “The Hottest Drinks in the World.” Okay…. Read More »

Teach Me How To Beerfest

By , September 29, 2011 in Administrative

Beerfest. To some, it’s a hilarious film. To others, it’s an annoying film that was hilarious until their quote-happy friend ruined it… just like they ruined Borat, Old School, and Good Burger (You could’ve at least left me my Kenan and Kel, you Mondo Burger Mother*****r). But to this “journalist”, Beerfest was stripped of its cinematic relevance when I recently attended Septemberfest, an all-you-can-drink craft beer festival held at the Santa Monica Pier. You may notice that I didn’t — as I so often do — force an ill-fitting joke into that last sentence. That’s because all-you-can-drink craft beer is no laughing matter. A gaffe-ing matter, perhaps (Dust off your dictionary, heathen). But definitely not a laughing one. So for the sake of practicality, I’ll forgo the “humor” for a few experience-based tips to help anyone attending a beerfest or four in the near future. 1. Know what you’re in… Read More »

Seven Drinks I’ve Made that You Probably Have No Interest in Trying

I consider myself a novice mixologist. Of course, by “novice”, I mean “terrible”, and by “mixologist”, I mean “person to make your next drink”. This is because of my sense of adventure and complete disregard for recipes. For all the bad, hurtful things you can say about my creations, though, I’ve never made one I didn’t finish myself. So for your reading pleasure, here are seven of my worst: 1. Beer ‘n Wine – Great as a corner store. Terrible as a drink. And just in case you’re giving me the benefit of the doubt, you shouldn’t. This was no Black Velvet (A take on the Black and Tan that replaces the pale ale with champagne). We’re talking one part light beer, one part red wine, two parts grossest vom I’ve ever had. 2. Whiskey Monster – Ooh! This sounds like a fun drink, or at least creatively named! A… Read More »

PSA: Are your karaokeing enough?

By , September 9, 2011 in booze, nostalgia

You think you love karaoke? I love karaoke. Nono, sh. I. Love. Karaoke. Just a few weeks ago, I walked into a bar I’ve never heard of, on a night I shouldn’t have been out, and I stumbled upon a weekly karaoke contest. I won. The next week, I did not win. I got gonged off the stage before I could finish. Gonged. Can I logically explain why an audience loves my rendition of Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me”, but can’t stand my rockin’ cover of Sum 41’s “Fat Lip”? I can’t. That’s just karaoke, mama. The unforgiving “art”. And that’s what some people need to understand. Karaoke is not art. Maybe “art”, but never art. It’s not an audition and it’s not about talent. If you came for talent, the door’s that way. Talent don’t live here no more. Energy lives here. Irony? Irony has a permanent lease. Because karaoke… Read More »

A Picnic of Sorts

By , August 31, 2011 in Beer, booze, drunk food

I don’t do booty calls. Well, I don’t initiate them myself. Would I accept one if it came my way? Probably. To be fair, though, the only woman who calls me after hours is my mom when she forgets about the time difference between L.A. and D.C. However, as with most things I make a rule of not doing, there is an exception, and I find that exception particularly hilarious. Gertrude (fake name to protect her reputation) lived just across the street, but we met on the dancefloor at a houseparty thrown by my friends and I. It was late and Gertrude and I were both drunk off Milwaukee’s Best and poison-grade Everclear punch. After a few testflights, I was met with no noticeable headbob and I went in for the make-out. Contact was successful. But since I’m not here to brag about my skills at assessing make-out possibility, I’ll… Read More »