Weihenstephaner: How to Pronounce It and Why You REALLY Want to Drink It

Okay…that’s how you say it. No, as is the case with a lot of Germanic names, it refuses to roll off most American tongues. It took my wife almost six months, back when we ran our wine shop, to learn to even remember the word “Gewürztraminer”, and then maybe another eight months to learn to say it. She did, finally, but I think she may actually have sprained her tongue twice. (FYI: “Guh-VERTS-truh-meener”)

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Deschutes “The Abyss”: Santa Intervenes…I Hope

I know I haven’t written to you in a few years…well, okay, quite a few years. Oh, alright, the last time was during the Eisenhower administration. Whatever. The point is, I apologize.

It wasn’t because I forgot you or that I ever doubted. When I was lying in bed, my daughter’s head resting on my arm, trying to get her to go to sleep because, “Hey, Santa won’t come if you’re awake!”, I wasn’t thinking that it was going to be me drinking up that God-awful Kroger store-brand egg nog. I was telling her what was in my heart. And, besides, I knew my wife would suck it up and drink the egg nog, if I bitched long enough. And cut it 50/50 with brandy.

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Crux “Tough Love” 2017 [Banished] Edition: The Ultimate Refutation of the Asshole Stout

We’ve all seen this before:

American-style Imperial Stout, 30-weight, insane final gravity, totally opaque in the glass, laced with additives, barrel-aged, and, these days, aggressively hopped.

There was an old car joke, from my high school days: “Why do you call a Pontiac GTO an ‘asshole’? Because everybody has one. ”

Same deal here. Everybody has one of these wood-aged assholes and, many times, they really don’t taste much different from their racy analog. When you get hold of a great one, you know it, instantly…I do, anyway.

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Cooking with Beer: Aged Gouda and Doppelbock Fondue

Not long ago I went on one of the more stellar culinary journeys of my life. Mortadella and bowls of tagliatelle di ragù in Bologna. Mounds of culatello and Parmigiano Reggiano in Parma. Vitello tonnato and carne cruda all’Albese in Alba. Every kind of snail dish imaginable in Cherasco, home of the Cherasco Worldwide Institute of Snail Breeding. (Bet you didn’t know there was one).

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Snoqualmie Falls Brewing “Bunghole”: The Greatest Brown You Never Heard Of

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Good Lord, the sad Brown Ale…for years, now, I’ve tasted Browns that seemed to be made as an afterthought; something the brewery decided to do mostly because they had run through the entire British Ale canon and said, “Oops, we forgot to make a Brown!” The Brown Ale, that delightful little roadside attraction between the Pale and ESB and Porter/Stout Territory, used to be something that was made with as much care as any IPA or Stout or Sour. Breweries took pride in their Browns. Rogue’s “Hazelnut Brown”, Lost Coast’s “Downtown Brown”, Big Sky “Moose Drool”, Bell’s “Best Brown”, Duck Rabbit Brown Ale, even Dogfish’s flamboyant “Palo Santo Marron”, all made a splash when they were introduced and those – along with the best of the lot, Cigar City’s epic “Maduro” core ale and its daring variations – should have pointed the way for a logical continuation of what was shaping up as a lasting evolution of the style, but then…Nothing Happened.

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Deschutes “Jubelale”: An Autumn Revelry, Bitches

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I’ve been drinking Jubelale ever since the second edition of it was released, back in the vacuous 1990s, and it was then and remains still the beer that I would choose about 99 times out of 100 when I just want to enjoy the sensual pleasure of consuming a perfect beer idea, perfectly made. And that one time out of that 100? That’s usually a time when I can’t get Jubelale because, defying all logic and reason, Deschutes Brewing sniffily insists on not making Jubelale year-round. (the lazy bastards) I’ve amassed cases of Jubel and nursed them along until summer, many times; even into September, in 2010. Yeah, yeah, HopHead fanatics will cringe at that and whimper than my hops had receded(!), but I Do Not Care. 97% of perfection is closer than anybody else is coming.

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Resuming The Pour Fool: An Aggravated RANT

Just yesterday, I had a very unpleasant back ‘n’ forth with a small brewery (which shall, of course, remain nameless) in the Western part of the US. I had planned to visit the brewery next week and then saw a post from them on Facebook.

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The Setting Sun: Five of Vienna’s Best Spots for a Late Summer Beer

A colleague of mine at the Wien Museum (Vienna’s city history museum) asked me over lunch today about some of my favourite places to have a beer in Vienna. It was a fitting question. He had recently participated in a learn-to-brew day at Brauwerk and has kindled an interest in beers beyond his favourite styles. It was also a timely question. Today was my last day at the Wien Museum. Two years in this fine city, and five days left.

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The Miir Growler: Miir-ly Exceptional

In 2006, a young trendy and self-described class clown named Brian Papé was taking some ski photos at Washington’s Steven’s Pass when, while jockeying for a better sight line, he fell and cracked his thigh, HARD, on an old-growth pine. It shattered his femur and shattered femurs often throw splinters that can sever the femoral artery…which kills you fast.

Brian lay there and had a thought. It resonated with me, reading his website, because I have been there at Death’s Door, too, and I had the same thoughts. Let’s all pray that you go through your entire life not knowing what this is all about. Believe me, it’s a club you do not want to join. Here are Brian’s own words about it, and they moved me in the same way my own thoughts do…
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The Hazy Beer Thang: Cloudy, with a Chance of Sour

FACT:  Hazy beers have been made for over two decades. They were not even uncommon.

FACT:  Hazy beers are undissolved solids in suspension. It’s science, not magic or elevated craft beer alchemy.

FACT:  Undissolved solids in liqud suspension ALWAYS precipitate out. ALWAYS. Why? See second fact.

FACT:  The NEIPA is a fad. It will undoubtedly have some legs because some – not anywhere near all – beers made in that style are absolutely delightful. But it IS a fad and will pass, probably soon. That’s not even a criticism of it. Extreme IPAs were a fad. Ditto for pumpkin ales. And the Riedel beer glass. And the Gose craze is one now. “Fad” is not a pejorative term. It just says that this popularity, which is certainly warranted, has a shelf life. Which it does. 

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