It is with great pride that I announce the publication of my next book, The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.: Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance, gracing bookstore shelves …
Mark your calendars, kids. I’m teaming up with my good friends Gev Kazanchyan and Dave “The Gueuzehound” Watrous to bring you yet another installment of the popular beer pairing …
“Why?”: An Open Letter that I’ve sent to the Los Angeles County Public Health Department, Los Angeles County District Attorney, California Department of Food and Agriculture, Food & Drug Administration, …
Hey guys! My beer pairing event for LA Beer Week, Dionicess VII, that is being put on with my good buddy/craft beer guru Gev Kazanchyan, is this Sunday, October 10th at The Foundry on Melrose! Gev and I had a chance to sit down with Chef Eric Greenspan to taste through the beers and plan out a menu. If you’d like me to sum it up in one word, well, I’d have to say, “Wow.”
We had a blast shooting ideas back and forth between us and with his sous chef, and this event will be nothing short of epic. We’re promising five courses and five beers, but we might have a little something extra up our sleeves as well. Let’s just say Eric liked every Dogfish Head beer we served him, and wanted to do something with each of them.
Just a few little menu teasers to whet your palate:
It’s official! The latest in the famed series of beer pairing events, Dionicess VII, will be taking place during the second annual LA Beer Week! Craft beer gurus Gev Kazanchyan and Randy Clemens have …
I once again have the pleasure of working with my good friend Gev Kazanchyan (not to mention a few other dear beer peeps like Firestone Walker’s Jace Milstead, as well as the lovely Paige Reilly and David “The Gueuzehound” Watrous) to put together a beer pairing to help raise money for a good cause.
After working with Gev at the recent beer vs. wine showdown at College of the Canyons, we talked about what would be next. Well, here it is!
From the Real Medicine Foundation website:
Sunday, June 27, 2010 – 01:00 PM
Hosted by Gev Kazanchyan
Tony’s Darts Away
1710 W Magnolia Blvd
Burbank CA 91506
$35 per person, all inclusive
Friends of mine know that I am quite a fan of craft beer and single malt scotch, but I have not ventured much into Irish whiskey — yet. Armed with …
I’m trying out to be on Food Network’s “Grill It! With Bobby Flay” and I need your help! Please watch my video on the Food Network site, and be sure …
I believe it was the great Archimedes that famously postulated Beer + Tiramisu = Beeramisu, thenceforth enlightening the masses to the goodness of desserts made with beer. Some historians contend with this belief, arguing that beeramisu was nothing short of divine creation, citing an obscure heretical version of the Bible which reads, “And on the seventh day, He rested… and ate some wicked awesome beeramisu.”
The fact is — the exact origins of beeramisu are unknown and shrouded in mystery. OK, so it probably didn’t derive from some mathematical theorem or antediluvian Biblical verse, but it certainly is no original creation of mine. It was Paul Barbano’s The Bartenders Beer Cookbook that originally turned me onto the idea years ago. Armed with this inspiration, I’ve ventured to make my own on many occasions, tweaking the recipe ever so slightly and testing out different craft beers to find my favorite version.
About two months ago, I was asked to host a beer and dessert pairing for the first-ever LA Beer Week. I was happy to oblige, and I immediately set out to concoct the best damn beeramisu recipe I possibly could. Having experimented with porters and bocks in the past, I wanted to try an even darker beer, perhaps one brewed with coffee beans for extra depth. There it was. The little light bulb in my brain had a flicker of rare genius — AleSmith Speedway Stout. Rich with flavors of roasted chocolate and coffee, it proved an excellent complement to the espresso and cocoa powder called for in my adapted recipe.
As an added bonus, you’ll have a good few glasses of beer to wash it down with. Why not have your cake and drink it too?
After reading through beernews.org’s Craft Beer 2009 Year in Review: The Top 10 Stories, I wanted to put together a list of some of the worst stories that infected the beer market this past year. Read on, grab a pint, and hope for the continued growth and success of your favorite microbrewery in 2010!
For someone who doesn’t read nearly as much as I’d like to, I sure do have a helluva lot of books. While the occasional novel or work of fiction slips its way in, a majority of my collection naturally focuses on three of my favorite things. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of friends ask me to recommend books about food, beer, and wine, sometimes for themselves and sometimes for gift giving. Whatever the reason, I am always happy to oblige.
Certain books have and always will stand out for me, because they represent exhaustive research, extreme dedication to one’s craft, and a lighthearted tone that is both witty and educational. While the author’s passion is evident, it never leans toward overbearing obsession, and the aim is obviously to instruct and introduce rather than put down the reader for not knowing as much as the writer.
Michael Jackson — the late, great beer writer — was a master at not only evaluating beers, but telling a wonderful story about each brew, as well as the story behind it. In his epic tome, Michael Jackson’s Great Beers of Belgium, Jackson takes you to some of the world’s oldest and most revered breweries, offering a unique combination of sensory experience, historical background, as well as a touch of humor and lore that is both engaging and entertaining.
Rich with photos of celebrated beers, brewers, and breweries, Great Beers of Belgium is just as visually appealing as it is informative and profound.
Seasonal beer releases continue to inspire and delight me, but none so much as the flood of specialty ales that crowd the market between November and February. And hidden among the humongous influx of Christmas beers, a selection of innocent-looking barleywines sit quietly, humbly taking the back seat to the heavily-marketed holiday releases. Waiting patiently on the shelf as wide-eyed consumers race to get the last “2009 Limited Release Special Reserve Double Spiced Estate-Hop Organic Imperial Bourbon Barrel Aged Santa’s Big Red Sac” or something to that effect, the seemingly innocuous barleywine rests, proudly holding out for the right customer to come along and respect its bold, unapologetic strength.
Despite its long history in the brewing world, barleywine is still a lesser-known beer style, surely not aided by the seeming dichotomy built right into its name. Confusion is often abound, with consumers wondering what wine has to do with this particular style of beer. In centuries past, unable to receive regular shipments of French wine during times of war, the English aristocracy looked to brewers to create a wine replacement of sorts, and so the barleywine was born. Though containing no grapes, its elevated alcohol level (often between 9-14% abv), longer fermentation times, affinity for pairing with rich foods, and great potential for aging made barleywine ales a popular drink among the upper crust of Britain.
While commercial English examples such as Thomas Hardy’s Ale and J.W. Lees Harvest Ale were available in England, the style hadn’t come across the pond until Anchor Brewing released Old Foghorn Barleywine Style Ale in 1975. Sierra Nevada Brewing began producing their Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale in 1983. Many others followed suit, and the recipe evolved a bit, with West coast brewers adding a touch of their own flair, and a liberal dosing of hops as they are so wont to do.
After my recent postings about Beer Nog and Belgian Christmas beers, I’ve been stuck thinking about drinking throughout this holiday season. Oh, you too? Well, I don’t feel so bad then. But with as chilly as the weather has been, even here in sunny SoCal, I’m not exactly reaching for a cold one for comfort this time of year.
While I’ve certainly had my share of mulled wine and mulled cider, I wondered if mulled beer might be just what I need to help get me through this holiday season. My thought certainly wasn’t any new sort of imbibing innovation — in fact, heated, spiced beer was more or less de rigeuer for centuries. Prior to the advent of refrigeration and modern bottling, beer was quick to spoil, and as such, adding a touch of heat plus some sugar and spice helped make everything nice.
mull, v. — to heat, sweeten, and flavor with spices for drinking, as ale or wine. Origin: 1610–20; orig. uncert.
The beauty of making such an easy drink is that you can really suit it to your tastes. And given the huge variety of craft beers on the market, it would almost be irresponsible to post one “set in stone” recipe. With that said, here are some proposed guidelines, from which you should absolutely feel free to deviate:
After a recent post highlighting one of my favorite “go-to wines,” McManis Petite Sirah, I began thinking about the other great under $20 go-to bottles I keep around the house …
For me, the most exciting thing about the holidays is the onslaught of Christmas beers. No, not the six-pack your bright-red Uncle Gus used to down just before the gift exchange — I’m talking big, hearty, Belgian holiday ales. Most are characterized by a strong, dark malty sweetness offset by a heavy dose of baking spice flavors and heightened alcohol content to help you stay all warm and toasted toasty. There are variations, of course, not to mention a wonderful world of British “winter warmers” and American holiday beers waiting to be consumed, but that will have to be for some other post. (If you’re particularly curious, I highly recommend delving into Don Russell’s epic tome, Christmas Beer: The Cheeriest, Tastiest, and Most Unusual Holiday Brews.)
And while you just may not be able to attend the 15th Annual Christmas Beer Festival being held in Essen, Belgium this weekend, there are plenty of great Christmas ales you can try in the comfort of your own drinking hole. I’ve selected my five favorite Christmas beers — Belgian only, in the spirit of this weekend’s Kerstbierfestival.