Sunday, September 12, 2010

And we're back...almost

Well, that sure was a long "trip". Let me tell you, those Jamaicans really do know how to throw a party!

No, I haven't been in the Caribbean for the last 15th months--I've actually been in twitterania. Basically, I found that posting tweets was a hell of a lot easier than writing up thoughtful full-length blog posts. Yes, I am a very very lazy Millennial.

While the blog has been less than active I have been pretty busy on the beer scene here in D.C. And the big news:

I'm moving to

Keep checking back over the next week or so and the new site should be up and running. To preview some of the things I'll be writing about include:

Conversations with Flying Dog's head brewer
Micro-breweries taking on the federal government
Liquor store privatization in Virginia?
Conversations with Dogfish Head east-coast distributor
A possible bier girl podcast

And more.

Until then, keep looking at the stars.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Wish You Were Here?

As I sit in the fading evening light with the soothing trade winds tussling my tulle blouse I realize that old man winter died somewhere along the way. The damp chill is gone from the air, replaced by a moist warmth. The monsoon season seems to have dissipated just as I’m packing my bags for the Caribbean [don’t ask about Mexico *oink* *oink*]

So dear friends, in addition to letting the blog slip a little in recent weeks, I will be taking a vacation for a few days. But fear not, I will hopefully return with interesting stories about exotic brews like red stripe…really I’m thinking of starting a spinoff website dedicated to tropical cocktails.

Jam wicha later mon.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Psych 101: The Beer Aversion

Stubbornness? No sense of adventure? Laziness? What is it about some people that they just seem to have an aversion to change?

In light of a recent interview with Keira Knightly admitting that she doesn't like beer and that it "tastes like piss water and it makes you belch," (I'm guessing Keira's never had a belgian ale) I'd like to talk about this phenomenon of the beer aversion.

There are some people [aka women] who for some reason or another absolutely refuse to touch beer with a 10-foot tongue. They'll suck on glasses of the worst rubbing-alcohol-with-red-dye that someone mislabeled as wine for an entire evening before they'll let their up-turned noses get anywhere near a glass of ale.

Perhaps they had a bad experience in college-- their first sips of natty bo quickly followed by one of the following pleasant experiences:
1. vomiting
2. ruined heels/nails/pantyhose/reputations
3. a brutal walk of shame

Or they just didn't like the taste. Fine. Understandable. I generally swear off a thing that gives me nothing but displeasure (certain boys aside of course). However, unlike these devoted anti-beerists, after my first unpleasant experiences I continued to try different varieties of beer and wine until I found brews/bottles that were palatable, nay, fantastically enjoyable.

My theory is that there is a specific personality trait that will make someone stick to "what they know" and what they are comfortable with regardless of how bad it is or how great something new might be. And this particular trait is in no way limited to the female of the species. In fact, I think men invented that outlook on life.

There is some value in sticking with what is comfortable. Like a relationships that isn't perfect or sub-optimal that person becomes family providing emotional support and a sense of stability. Food and beverages can be like that as well--you may know it as 'comfort food'. Mom's lumpy mashed potatoes may not be perfect, but you enjoy them and don't need to agonize over choosing and evaluating them. Comfort is fine...once in a while.

But some people retreat into comfort to the exclusion of new experiences that might bring different and even greater joy than old favorites.

Sigh* if only this type of logic could be applied to human relationships.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New Holiday: Biermas

Beer-Mas. The only holiday you will ever need.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

'Tis the Saison

As the earth tilts once more, a nod toward the sun, I bask in the luxuriant glare of said starlight and know spring has arrived!

In celebration of the renewed life of the season and throwing caution to the lionesque wind, I decided to try a style of beer I've avoided for years: Saison.

Brewed at Brasserir Dupont in the French-speaking region of Belgium known as Wallonia, this brew combines the best of its bloodlines. It has a dry almost champagne-like finish and bubbling, but also has the big body and complexity that one would expect from a Belgian-beer. Saison (literally translating from French to “season”) is brewed in the cool month and lagered until the wamer months. The low-alcohol taste and carbonation make this refreshing but not weak or watery. Much like wine, the alcohol sneaks up on you. The name Saison is interchangeable with “farmhouse ale,” as a nod to the way it was once, and still is brewed (Brasserie Dupont is still a working farm) and the graininess and balanced note of citrus fruits reminds one of an al fresco dinner on the family farm and hours spent wasting time with loved ones on the veranda as the sun fades into a blissfully cool evening (if you happen to have such memories).

I chose the saison from Brasserie Dupont with no prior knowledge of the brewery or beer. I simply liked the yellow-checkered label, the slim neck, and the name (I live a stone’s throw from Dupont Circle in DC). Everything about the Dupont seemed to mesh with the beauteous weather. Little did I know that I had fortuitously chosen the best beer in the world (according to Men’s Journal in 2005).

Cozied up on my couch with the long-awaited tweets (birds not twitter) of various ornithological characters I let fly the cap. “Ah, oiu mon amour Brasserie Dupont, you have not let me down,” I thought to myself with a slight case of xenoglossy. The scent of citrus and yeast—something like lemon grass was pleasantly apparent. At first sip, the brew was sour, citrus, hops, carbonation. Not pleasant at first, but not distasteful. By the third sip it is not the lust of first scent I thought it would be, it is fully blossoming love: enduring and passionate love. This is most definitely the beginning of a beautifully long relationship.

Oh, Saison Dupont, I could stare into your sediment-clouded yellowness for all eternity.

I decline to comment any further on this marvelous drink. I advise you to go out find a pack for yourself, grab a friend or a good book and sit outside in the sun while you experience what is sure to become one of your new favorites.

More on Saison and Brasserie Dupont to follow.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Libeerty and Justice for Ale

Yes, I know: I haven't posted in while.
No I'm not deep into a week-long bender as has been rumored. Honestly, I think I'm still recovering from the St. Pat's day/ Philly beer week fun [will have post sometime soon on that]. I have also been working a little on the new site and trying to figure out how interwebs works [].

I have been sticking to a strict diet of mostly light beers with a healthy dose of Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout in the mix.

Anyway, check out the new site as it develops and please send me any suggestions you think might help.

Blog-to-ya soon


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Irish Stereotypes Day!

I am not particularly a fan of St. Patrick's day [seeing as how it is semi-religious, a little racist, and encourages hoards of people to indiscriminately consume mass quantities of shitty beer]. That said, it is an opportunity to enlighten the masses about good beer and the benefits of beer consumed in moderation.

Despite the release of results from a recent study that shows even moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages (one per day) may increases the risk of prostate cancer, most of the research on the health effects of beer in recent years has been very positive (especially for ale-drinking females)

So here is my token Pat's day post. 9 great reasons to drink beer. This list comes straight from Allison Van Dusen's 2008 Forbes Magazine article (except for #9).

1.Protect your heart
Moderate Consumption of beer (and other alcohols) makes you 30 to 35% less likely to have a heart attack teetotalers.

2. Moderate alcohol consumption may raise HDL or "good cholesterol"

3. Beer for your Blood
Alcohol appears to be good for blood vessels, making them less likely to form a clot or for a clot to rupture and plug an artery. In an NIH study, men who reported drinking 120 to 365 days a year had a 20% lower cardiovascular death rate than those who drank one to 36 days a yea

4. Beer may protect against Type 2 Diabetes Type 2 diabetes.
Studies have shown that people with diabetes who drink moderately may be able to reduce their risk of coronary heart disease, their biggest killer. Research also indicates that a light drinking habit may help protect men and women from developing Type 2 diabetes. This may be a result of increased insulin sensitivity or anti-inflammatory effects.
5. Beer gives your Brain a Boost
A 2006 report published in a journal of the American Heart Association showed that moderate drinking may be associated with better cognitive function in women. Likewise, a 2003 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association said that adults over 65 who consume between one and six alcoholic beverages each week have a lower risk of dementia than non-drinkers and heavier drinkers.

6. Beer for Bones
Studies have shown that beer may play a role in preventing bone loss and rebuilding bone mass in men and young women--post menopausal women have not been seen to benefit. The effect is believed to be tied to the beverage's high silicon content. Excessive drinking, however, can lead to a greater number of bone fractures.

7. Feel Healthier
People who drink beer, spirits or wine tend to report fewer instances of ill health than those who abstain, according to a 2001 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. The higher the consumption of total alcohol, researchers found, the lower the levels of subjective poor health.

8. Lower Risk of Death Overall:
A review of 50 studies has shown there's an inverse association between moderate drinking and total mortality under all scenarios for middle-aged and older adults, according to a 2005 report from the United States Department of Agriculture. The lowest risk of death appears to occur when people consume one to two drinks per day, likely a result of the protective effects against coronary heart disease and stroke.

9. Beer for Breasts
Through my own research, I also found that beer and wine may help slow down the progression of breast cancer.

So tonight, do a good deed, buy someone a *good beer and Enjoy!

Happy Saint Pat’s y’all.