As not everyone is on facebook, we present a couple quick posts you might not have otherwise seen. So first off:

THE YBN 6 PACK FOR NATIONAL BEER DAY 2014:
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- Vanilla Porter from Breckenridge Brewery of Colorado
- 90 Minute IPA and Burton Baton Oak Aged Imperial IPA from Dogfish Head Beer
- Domaine Dupage French Style Country Ale from Two Brothers Brewing Company
- Levitation Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
- Nitro Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewing Company

HOW ARE YOU CELEBRATING?

Dr. Carol has been contributing some great pieces, easily found in the index for BEER CLINIC, on the regional brews and watering holes of Northeast Pennsylvania. One of them she’s returned to frequently, is Breaker Brewing Company. Here are a couple notes she’s posted recently reporting in on some activity and events related to Breaker:

Congratulations Breaker Brewing Company. Their flagship beer, Lunch Pail Ale, was voted Best Beer in CitizensVoice readers’ poll The Little Brewery That Could. http://m.citizensvoice.com/arts-living/beer-brackets

beer
and…
The Beer Doc & friends from Breaker

The Beer Doc & friends from Breaker

Last night, at Breaker Brewing Company’s new BREWPUB(!!), I had a meatless Lenten meal — Haluski (Polish noodles and cabbage) and cheeze pizza. And beer, of course. They had 5 IPAs on draft, and it was hard to choose among them. I settled for Mosaic Hop IPA and Lunch Pail Ale. 

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Our recent newsletter yielded a comment asking when more  web-pod-cast-episodes of The Last Jewish Waiter would come available. Maybe there’ll be more, maybe not. WE love them, but love only gets a film maker so far. That being said, we’ve uncovered a couple short shorts posted by creator/star David Manheim! They offer the flavor of the other three full blown episodes. The flavor of… BRINE!!

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On-Off_CLASSIC-1024x415This was the visit I was looking forward to for a long time. I had told a few friends that I was going to go around the country to photograph my favorite bars and taverns while in the process of writing a book on the subject. An old friend, Dallas Horn immediately brought up Whiskey Row.

He told me a little about the Palace Restaurant and Saloon, simply saying, “You have to go there guy! The history of the Row is amazing!” Boy was he right! As you’ll see in this and ensuing posts that there is a wealth of history and experience to be had in precott in general, Whiskey Row in particular. This is all coming from one day there. I assure you there will be more to come.

Whiskey Row 1900

Whiskey Row 1900

I had only been to Prescott once before and had never visited Whiskey Row. What a shame! I’m still kicking myself for not having done this sooner. I lived in the greater Phoenix area from 1979-1983 and then again from 1986-1998. Both of my sons, Nicholas and Anthony were born there. Prescott is just a little less than 2 hours north of Phoenix. I love Arizona, one of the most diverse of the states in every way. You can go from desert to high country pines in just a couple hours drive. It’s just spectacular! So this was truly a treat for me. My pal Bryan “The Hippie” Dunn came along on this trip, and I don’t know who was looking forward to this more. Before we left Phoenix, Bryan explained to me that he wanted me to enjoy myself and totally experience Whiskey Row, so he’d serve as my wingman. He was my designated driver and carried all of my equipment, lugging my camera and equipment around all day, something to be much appreciated, as it’s not easy drinking and working at the same time. MVP!

Prescott was founded in 1864 and incorporated into Arizona in 1881. The 100 block of South Montezuma Street,  a one block strip is known as Whiskey Row because of the enormous amount of saloons that were once there. There’s a myriad of stories that make up the rich history of this town. Ranches, saloons, gambling,  brothels and opium dens set the stage. I’m told Whiskey Row used to be situated some blocks west of where it is today. It was moved to South Montezuma Street because people who had been drinking and gambling all night on the “Row”, had to, in order to get home, walk across a foot bridge that crossed Granite Creek. Folks who had a little too much to drink were falling into the creek and drowning. A bit of a  civic nuisance, it would seem, hence the move.

The Palace Today

The Palace Today

Historical markers that line Whiskey Row, also appearing on the buildings and establishments themselves, guide you through with many interesting notes,  including one that tells us some of the bars back then brewed their own beer ,and drinks were only 12 ½ ¢. In the late 1800’s, Whiskey Row was home to over 40 bars and saloons and it was “rumored” that there was an underground tunnel from the courthouse to the saloons so lawmakers wouldn’t be seen going into these establishments during the day. I write it this way as a government official in Prescott adamantly  denied this, describing what was the appearance of such tunnels as, well… you know how Air Force describes giant glowing UFOs as “swamp gas?” That’s what this conversation was like.

The Palace is one of the oldest of the saloons on, not only  Whiskey Row, but Arizona, opening in September of 1877. During that time, The Row was frequented by cowboys, farmers, ranchers and gamblers. It was definitely not a “family friendly” place. Most of the saloons were street level, the brothels were upstairs and the opium dens were in the back. These places were wild with gambling and saloon girls all around. Some of Whiskey Row’s storied clientele include Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday. In most recent history Bruce Springsteen, Buck Owens and Waylon Jennings have enjoyed performing on the “Row”.

The Palace Back Bar

The Palace Back Bar

A fire on July 14, 1900 destroyed Whiskey Row along with the historical bars. Amazingly, rubble was cleared and rebuilding commenced by Fall of 1900 and was finished by 1905. These new constructions were built to match the look and style of the original structures. There are two back bars and front bars that survived, which we’ll get to as we tour some of the saloons themselves. These bars were manufactured by the Brunswick Company in Chicago and Boston. How they ended up in Arizona was not by means of an easy process. After they were built and hand-carved, the bars were placed on a ship on Boston’s Atlantic Coast or, if coming out of Chicago, carried to and then down the Mississippi. They ultimately sailed around the horn, up the coast of Mexico and were either dropped off at the Port of San Francisco or continued on to sail up the Colorado River. From there, the bars were put on a mule train and stage-coached across the desert and assembled in the saloons. Can you imagine the enormity of all this?

Sitting at an elevation of 5300 feet, Prescott is only 96 miles northwest of Phoenix and 90 miles southwest of Flagstaff. If you wanted to visit the Grand Canyon, it’s only 95 miles away.  It boasts a mild 4 season climate. When we were there, it was 86 degrees and dry while Phoenix was hitting 112 degrees. The average winter temperature is 50 degrees while summer is 85. Notably, Prescott is also known as “Arizona’s Christmas City” and is also home of the worlds oldest, continuously running rodeo. When Arizona became a territory in 1864, Prescott served as the original  capital city until 1889 when it was moved to Tucson. Pretty portable honor, as today, Phoenix is the capital city of Arizona.

Whiskey Row Today

Whiskey Row Today

Today, Whiskey Row is a great place to visit and, it goes without saying, a highly popular destination for lthe locals as well. While in the saloons, you can feel the history. Most of the ceilings are made of decorative pressed tin and even though the bars are newer, you can sit down at one of these vintage bars and  imagine what it may have been like back in the late 1800’s on Whiskey Row. I hope that everyone who reads this has an opportunity to visit Prescott and spend some time on Whiskey Row. Trust me, you’ll be glad that you did. I have great memories of that one day sitting at all the bars that you are about to read about, and am very much looking forward to going back… far sooner than later, to be sure.

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Claydough-Man-on-the-Beach32As evidenced by more than a couple past reports here, our adventures in South Central Florida (Okeechobee to be exact) have held mixed results, many of them resulting in us trying beers that come from nowhere near here. Now we have to consider that, first, the greater Okeechobee area can’t top 7-8000 people and our trips to much more fertile brewlands such as Port Saint Lucie, Fort Pierce and Stuart have been infrequent and generally on missions that have, sadly, precluded stopping at the likely suspects for some Florida craft beer, so these reports shouldn’t reflect in any way on what appears to be a pretty vital brew culture down here, much of it, it seems, easily found on a Micro level.

As this will be, possibly, our last visit down here for a time, I’ll review our “discoveries” on this trip, all great, if not regionally revealing.

Upon arrival, we stopped at the local ABC store, Publix and The Walmart just checking in to see if there was anything new since our last trip 7 months ago, and found pretty much nothing. On a run to Sam’s Club in Port St. Lucie, however, we were pleased to pick up a case of New Belgium Fat Tire, something we recently wrote about, thrilled over NB’s freshly paved presence in the Midwest east of Chicago. Shortly after, my brother in law found some of their Spring Blonde at the local Publix, so we were OK for a time on the beer front. I’m not a huge fan of that style, wishing it had more flavor to it, but still, sure beats the hell out of….

Being ever so slightly out of focus seems appropriate to the occasion.

Being ever so slightly out of focus seems appropriate to the occasion.

Grabbing a few hours to take refuge in Stuart, a largely upscale, well settled area on A1A, the great Florida coastal road, we took some time to walk beautiful Jensen Beach and then had lunch at a real Florida Spring Break style (airplane hangar sized) restaurant bar, pretty empty mid-afternoon, mid-week, in February. To wash down a tripple pork Cuban style panini with home made chips and onion bacon dip, I had a Rasta Rage One Love Ale from Bluepoint Brewing. Yup, it happened again. Travel 1200 miles south in order to, yet again, have a satisfying beer brewed in… Patchogue, Long Island. Oh well.

A nice, perfect for the occasion, rye ale, with a decent 7.5% ABV. It balances the green, sticky Rasta friendly (“What does he mean by that?) hops with the anchoring and mellowing of substantial malt, the rye, in this case, not providing the edge we’ve experienced in some other rye offerings, but adding to the character of the “malty goodness” of this ale .

I would’ve enjoyed the well balanced and very pleasant flavor notes with a little higher IBU (40) but still…the brewery donates a percentage of what they earn from this beer to benefit orphaned and otherwise needy kids in the Caribbean, an even better reason to buy and drink this tasty brew, a fortunate pairing with the pork belly, pulled pork, bacon, mustard and pickles of this excellent sammy.

"Hoochbrandy" with decorative containers

“Hoochbrandy” with decorative containers

Another interesting moment, which I’ll likely go into with much greater detail at a later date, involved my pal… we’ll call him Boo, for these purposes, making a brandy by taking a couple gallons of homemade wine he got from a friend and putting it through his still. This turned out to be clear, high octane hootch with excellent flavor. A few wood chips in the jar and a few days later it mellowed a bit, looked somewhat more like what it was intended to be, and was still some tasty stuff.

Next up: As many of you know, I’m a single malt scotch guy. A bit of a snob really, probably the lowest cost offerings I enjoy are Bowmore The Darkest (15), Talisker 10, Mortlach 15 (Gordon & MacPhail ), and my dearest of friends, Laphroiag 10. This, of course, means I find lots of bars without something interesting on that front, so my default spirit of choice is Irish Whiskey. Jameson is fine, the cheaper Bushmills better, as it’s less sweet and a delight, being so inexpensive. I once tried a collection of “higher end” samplers and found them all to be far too sweet for my tastes.

bushmills-10-year-old-irish-whiskey-70clNot long after our arrival here I checked out a liquor store other than the local ABC. When I asked if they had Bushmills, the clerk directed me to a box of it on the shelf. Thinking it was my standard fare $18 bottle, boxed for gifting, I happily took it to the counter. When the ring up placed it over $40 I finally looked at it, seeing it was their 10 year old single malt version. A “what the hell” moment turned into a great discovery. This edition of Bushmills is smooth, balanced and delicious, with what I describe as a fruity, apple flavor that rides the sides of the tongue. And it’s not too sweet, people!!!!
Highly recommended.

My last discovery (probably, as I’m leaving to head back north. Get this weather business together, folks), was not so much booze, but came to me on a visit to the WONDERFUL Fresh Market grocery/gourmet store in Coral Springs. Most normal groceries have a candy rack with Snickers and Reeses at the check out as point of purchase, along with some magazines with hideous pictures of surprisingly fat and wrinkled superstars. This one had Vosges Haut Chocolate’s Smoke & Stout Caramel Bar:
- Rogue Ale’s Chocolate Stout beer
- Alderwood smoked salt
- Burnt sugar caramel
- Dark chocolate (70% cacao)
so, of course, we bought a bar.

620_2112_largeI’ll make it quick. First, I like a lot of what Rogue offers, stands for, and steps out and experiments with. You may recall I bought some preserves in Scotland produced by Bowmore that tasted very much of the single malt in question, so I was intrigued.

The chocolate of this bar was good, not overly great, the shiny, slightly chewy lecithin emulsified chocolate some in the business call “coating.” Very good, but nothing overwhelming on that end. But when it came to the filling, where all that exotic stuff listed above dwelled, boy oh boy was that tasty. I could not point out where the stout and smoked salt came in, but while there was your standard issue caramel flavor as a finish, the thrust of it was much more, sweet, rich, delicious.

A nice bar… “Less than 5% alcohol.” No kidding.

imagesSo I figure one day I’ll be sitting in front of a fire in an old tavern in say… Pevek, on the East Siberian Sea, and spy a tap with a palm tree on it offering “Genuine Floridian Cocoanut/Mango Salsa Double IPA” with hops grown in the Okefenokee Swamp. Maybe THEN I’ll be able to properly address another Florida Craft beer.
Until then, try our friends at Beer in Florida. They’ll take good care of you.

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When I’m asked to bring beer to an event, or host a party, it goes without saying that the beer is expected to be good. And when that event is a wedding, the beer selection has to be perfect!
imagesIn July of this past year (2013), I hosted the rehearsal dinner for my son’s wedding.  We were expecting 76 guests for this meal at Tim Schafer’s Cuisine, Morristown, NJ. Because the restaurant is a BYOB, I had to purchase the beer and wine to complement a delicious but eclectic menu. The beer would be easy, but I don’t know much about wine and, since the bride’s father was a nationally-known wine expert, my reputation was on the line.
For 76 guests, I estimated 2 bottles of beer (about 6 1/2 cases) and 1/2 bottle of wine per person, or about 38 bottles (3 cases +). The entre selections, below, included fish, shellfish, beef and vegetarian, with flavors ranging from mild to spicy.  This was a menu that I could not complement with just two beers choices– lager and ale–and two wine choices–red and white.  The drink selections would have to be just as varied. This was going to be a challenge!  Here are the menus I was working with:

MAIN COURSE SELECTIONS FOR REHEARSAL DINNER
Tim Schafer’s Cuisine
, Morristown, NJ

St. Peter’s Fish Fillet
Maryland lump crab meat, vine ripened red tomatoes, capers and scallions sauté finished with a citrus beer-blanc & creamy spinach scented risotto.
Medallions of Filet Mignon
Grilled filet mignon served over gorgonzola cheese enhanced by a Cabernet Sauvignon reduction and seasonal vegetable medley.
Wild Mushroom Ravioli
Fresh pasta filled with a blend of wild mushrooms and cheeses with a light parmesan herb cream sauce.
Kettle Cooked Short Ribs of Beef
Enticed by a Guinness Stout B.B.Q sauce plated with roasted corn, whipped potatoes, and sautéed vegetables.
Creole Style Jambalaya
Tim’s rendition of this classic New Orleans style stew with chicken, andouille and garlic herb sausages, Tasso ham, and vegetables blended with our special Cajun spices, topped with rice pilaf.

The beer selection was straightforward, especially since I had help from the bride and groom, who joined me to taste beer at the Electric City Brew Fest, described in YBN, May 15, 2013.   You may recall our specifications: we would select only regional brands, available in bottles or cans, with of relatively low alcohol content of 5% ABV or less. We would include both lagers and ales, and all had to be delicious and pair well with food.

When it came time to purchase the beer, we came pretty close to our original selections, though some were unavailable.  I could not locate a case of Old Forge’s T-Rail Pale Ale, and Victory’s Saisons were no longer in season, so it was replaced by Victory’s Summer Love Ale.  A better choice for a wedding, don’t you think?  I had to relax my low-alcohol specification since most IPAs are have a higher ABV due to their higher malt content. Because the bride’s family were from Michigan, I included two case of Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale, which is brewed in Michigan, and one of my favorites. I purchased 7 cases of beer overall.

imagesHere it the beer list which was distributed to all the guests, alone with the menu: GENE & ANNIE REHEARSAL DINNER, JULY 5 2013

FEATURED BEER
Summer Love, Victory Brewing Company, Downington PA A light-bodied ale, with the sublime, earthy familiarity of noble European hops backed up by fresh, clean German malts, Summer Love Ale ends with a surprising burst of lemony refreshment from fistfuls of American whole flower hops.  5.2% ABV

Susquehanna Brewing Company Selections, Pittston PA

Goldencold Lager , a German-inspired beer. Brewed with Pilsner malt and a small amount of Sauermalz to bring out a traditional, rounded note Bavarian. Hallertau Tradition, and Perle hops make for a crisp, classic and nuanced bitterness. 5% ABV

Pils Noir is an innovative black Pilsner made from Pearl (Winter) barley, malted by Munton’s, CaraMalt and Crystal malts, prepared using a unique, husk-free milling process. The beer is then naturally darkened using the classic Czech technique of decoction mashing. Hopped with Oregon Willamette, Mt. Hood and Washington hops, Pils Noir is finished with noble Czech Saaz for a fine aroma. 4.9% ABV

6th Generation Stock Ale features a unique blend of Pearl, Tipple, Crystal and Maris Otter Malts, using only hops from Oregon, mostly grown by Goschie Farms in the Willamette Valley, include Mt. Hood, Sterling and whole-cone Liberty hops. 44 IBUs 5.5% ABV

Hopfive IPA contains a blend of five hop varieties; Bravo, Willamette, Mount Hood, English Progress, and as-harvested whole-cone Liberty Hops. It presents a floral, Pine-like, aroma and full hop flavor.  6% ABV

Flying Fish
Exit 16 Wild Rice Double IPA
Exit 16 on the New Jersey Turnpike takes you into the Hackensack Meadowlands, usually identified with landfills and pipelines, which is also an amazingly diverse ecosystem providing vital animal and plant habitat. In a nod to a once common food plant here, the beer is brewed with wild rice, as well as organic brown and white rice.  This double IPA is brewed with 5 hops, then dry-hopped with Chinook and Citra hops to create a nose that hints at tangerine, mango, papaya and pine.  62 IBUs, ABV 8%,

Bell’s Brewery, Kalamazoo, MI
Two-Hearted Ale
This IPA is hopped exclusively with the Centennial hop varietal from the Pacific Northwest, massive additions in the kettle and again in the fermenter lend their characteristic grapefruit and pine resin aromas. A significant malt body balances this hop presence; together with the signature fruity aromas of Bell’s house yeast, this leads to a remarkably drinkable American-style India Pale Ale.  7% ABV

Now on to the wines.  I knew these were going to be a challenge, since my knowledge of wine is limited, and so was was my budget. I called on Fred Tasker, the father of the bride, who put together a list of moderately-priced wines from tasting notes in some of his recent wine columns.

He wrote to me:
“I’ve tried to suggest safe wines with no quirks or hard edges.  Pretty much every white wine drinker likes chardonnay, since it’s very fruity. You’ll see that the two Kendall-Jackson chards are purposely made quite differently from each other. “The sauvignon blancs are from New Zealand. They’re crisp and lively and very popular, although not everybody likes them. Nice contrast, though. “For the reds, pinot noir is softer than cabernet sauvignon, and a lot of people don’t like cabs. I also added some nice Italian reds as a contrast.”

The list was an excellent mix of wine styles which would mate well with the food we were serving, and all were in a modest price range of under $25 a bottle.  Due to the vagaries of Pennsylvania law, however, I had to buy wine in our state stores, so my selection was limited.  I had no problem with Fred’s chardonnay recommendations, but I came up dry for his other selections.  However, I did rely on his varietal selections — New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, California Pinot Noir, and Tuscan reds.  Yes, our state store carried many different choices among these varieties, but I still had no way to tell a good bottle from a bad one, there were no posted ratings.  I couldn’t drag Fred out to PA, buy a few dozen bottles and taste them all though it was tempting.  Clearly I needed a personal wine critic to accompany me.

I solved this problem with the internet.  I purchased an iPad app, “Wine Ratings,” from Wine Spectator, the wine-reviewing magazine which has one of the most extensive collections of wine ratings available. To use this app, one enters the name of the wine and the vintage year, and is given the Wine Spectator rating (if available) from 0 to 100.  I took my iPad along to the state store, and went through the shelves, getting the ratings for all of the bottles in the selected varietals. I got a few odd looks in the store, but it enable me to narrow the list to wines rated as 90 or higher, and under $25.  Success!   Even Fred liked my picks.  I purchased 39 bottles.   Here it the wine list which was distributed along with the menu to all the guests:

indexGENE & ANNIE REHEARSAL DINNER, JULY 5 2013
FEATURED WINE

White Wines
2011 Kendall-Jackson “Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay, Calif
Hint of oak, rich tropical fruit flavors including ripe pineapples, creamy and smooth

2011 Kendall-Jackson “AvantChardonnay, Calif.
Intense fruit aromas and flavors of Granny Smith apples and lemons, lean and crisp.

2008 Staete Landt Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ
Vivid, bracing and brimming with lime-tinged grapefruit and guava flavors that persist into the long, distinctive finish.

Red Wines
2011 Rodney Strong Vineyards Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley Reserve, California
Hint of oak, black plum and blueberry flavors, smooth, long finish.

2009 Maremma Toscana 642° Reserve, Tuscany, Italy
Squarely in the Italian camp, with a sour cherry component to the mix of flavors, including black currant and raspberry. Good acidity and firm yet well-integrated tannins, with fine length.

2009 Villa Antinori Toscana, Tuscany, Italy
Black currant, bilberry, violet and spice flavors align in this luscious red, which is well-balanced and integrated, with a lingering sweet fruit and spice aftertaste.  Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.

Cheers

Cheers!!

BottleOpenerThe rehearsal dinner came off smoothly, as planned. The party favors included bottle opener and scorkscrews, personalized with the couple’s name and the wedding date.  Surprisingly I had only 1 case of beer left over, which the groom, his groomsmen and some of his friends were happy to dispose of later that night. Nevertheless, the young couple were married the following day and are living happily ever after.

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indexI’ve had a couple Spring Blondes (nice label) from New Belgium. Now first, we were NOT in the north where trying such a beer at 10 below with 6 inches of snow would be geographically inappropriate. Rather, we were in South Central Florida, manifesting it’s own version of the arctic vortex action by being very much like a northern America… Spring.

My first one showed less nose than I would have expected from most Belgians. Nice, yeasty, but little apparent spice, something this writer goes for in favored Belgians.Very light in color it displayed a small snow white head, much like a well lit photo of a Pilsner.

Chase Cutting

Chase Cutting

Cutting to the chase, it had a sweetness, and a bit of a bitter. I saw this not so much as a distinctive destination beer, but a decent drinking beer. Maybe a little TOO distinctive for the Bud drinkers, the bit of flavor and the baby bitter probably too much for many of them, not to mention perhaps too big (or maybe not) for a day long drinking session at 6% ABV.

That said, ice cold, it went really well at the end of a long, hard day, as an accompaniment to a bag of Skinny Pop. Probably would have also done well had I caved and wrecked the “smart” popcorn moment with a ¼ pound of melted butter poured into the bowl.

photo 1[1]_SnapseedBut to clarify, for me and my fellow taster, not one I would choose again. A Fat Tire would have been much better, as would Ranger IPA or, for those looking for an alternative to the average American drinking beer (as my cohort was), their Shift Pale Lager.

As for the next bottle a couple days later? As Herman’s Hermits put it, “Second verse, same as the first.”

We love New Belgium on many levels, but my tastes lead me to other offerings from these talented brewers.

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The Academy Awards 2014 nominations for best picture were announced a couple weeks ago. I am trying to see all of them before the winners are announced at the Oscar ceremony on March 2. So far I have seen almost all of them, accompanied by popcorn and a coke. They are all so good that I plan to see each of them at least once more. But I’ll wait until they are available for home viewing on Netflix or on DVD, when I can kick back and enjoy them with a cold beer–and popcorn of course.

To those of you who plan to do the same, here are the beers that I recommend for each of these wonderful films. I’d like to hear your beer picks, too. Enjoy the movies!

imagesAmerican Hustle
A classic American story of con men and political corruption. What pairs best but a classic American IPA? There are so many excellent ones, including drafts from the nearby microbrewery. For bottled beers in this genre, my picks are:  Harpoon’s Harpoon IPA, Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale, and Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA.

Captain Philips
For this true yarn of captains and piracy, I would drink what captains drink. Boston Lager, of course, from Samuel Adams Brewery. I would imagine that pirates drink Guinness stout, from a mug of course.

 Dallas Buyers Club
Of course we will be drinking a classic Texas craft beer when we watch this film. And what says “Texas” more than Shiner Bock? A malty, America-style dark lager, flavored with German hops.   You can drink this one from the bottle.

Gravity

imagesFor this movie we want a low-gravity beer, with a sweet finish. That means a low alcohol wheat beer, flavored with spices and fruit. There are many choices, and most are summer beers. Here are some suggestions: Bell’s Oberon, a classic wheat beer flavored with orange. Kona’s  Wailua Ale, a wheat beer brewed with passion fruit.

Her
Scarlett Johanson’s voice won my heart as Samantha, the intelligent operating system who is all woman.  This calls for a girly beer that is sweet and light, like Samantha.  Among the multiple options are Festina Peche, Dogfish Head, a 4.5% Berliner Weisse flavored with tart peach; and Pineapple Kolsch, from Cigar City Brewing, flavored with (you guessed it) pineapple, and only 5% ABV.

Nebraska

indexBudweiser, Coors or Miller light. Drunk from the bottle.  As they do in the film.

Philomena
This movie is a human interest story that starts in England and ends in the US.  The perfect pairing is New Belgium’s Fat Tire Amber Ale, which is a classic American craft beer that was inspired by a trip to Europe.  According to the brewers, the beer has “a sense of balance and…. pairs well with people,” as does Judi Dench, the leading lady who has been nominated for Best Actress.

12 Years a Slave
For this film we looked for a beer that was strong, but required patience to age, and was preferably from the South. Lexington Brewing Company’s Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale hit the spot. This beer is aged for up to 6 weeks in freshly-decanted bourbon barrels, and is very strong (8.2% AV) with a marvelous finish, like the movie.

The Wolf of Wall Street 

imagesHarsh, over-the top, full of foul language, and thoroughly entertaining. We need a very hoppy double IPA to drink with this film. Stone’s Ruination IPA, at 100+ IBUs and 8.2% ABV, was the obvious pick. An alternative suggestion is Dogfish Head’s 90 minute IPA, at ABV 9% and IBU 90.


images

 

Dr. Westbrook’s invaluable book, Ask an Oncologist is available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK:: Mixed Nuts with Mixed Reviews for Uinta and Heavy Seas

by Harvey Gold 01.14.2014

There’ve been a myriad of reasons why we’ve had fewer postings recently, but suffice it to say, we’re waiting for a couple, and just put up 3 in the last week or so, even if a couple were on the short… but sweet side. Anyway, in an effort to provide you with more content, avoiding […]

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ON AND OFF THE BEATEN PATH :: Got Beer? Will Travel – One (or is it 7?) From the Road

by David Daugherty 12.27.2013

Seems like when I travel, I cannot go anywhere without stumbling into a craft brewery. It almost seems a given that either the destination or the drive develops into one really long beer run. Take the last half of this year for instance; driving back to Phoenix from Texas, I made a really nice discovery […]

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