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Winter Beer Search and Postcember

By Joe Ruvel · December 1st, 2011 · 1 Comment

Looking for a great keg for a holiday party can be challenging and a lot of fun. I love trying seasonal beers (yup a sucker for winter beers) and have been shopping around the last week for a good 5 gallon keg to serve at the 4th annual BAJ holiday party. I want something that taste like a holiday beer – spice, some roasted flavors, and has some body too it. But I don’t want a huge amount of alcohol or a real heavy beer. We are going to have a bunch of bottles of the big boys and people will bring all types of beer – so something drinkable between the 13% Belgians.  I will keep the keg I pick secret for now – but here are two I tried and liked a lot.

Doesn’t it look good? I think Full Sail got it right this year. There is some real harmony in that glass. I like the roast too – not too heavy but still at 7%.  Will go great with some holiday sugar cookies or something like that.  You should be able to find a six pack, at least on the west coast, all over the place. Try it out.

Snow Day by New Belgium. First off – isn’t that a great promo shot? I love the scarf – dorky yes – but a good idea in my book. I liked this one. It was on the lighter side of winter ales – but still was a good one. I don’t always love all their beers – but I got into this one and would love to try it again.

Postcember!  -  So as you probably have noticed – the posting here has been sparse to say the least. Well – I am going to try and change that this month. So get ready for a post a day in this lovely month of holiday parties and beverages! You know how this blog loves beverages of all types.  If you want me to cover anything specific – shoot me an email – joe at beeratjoes.com .  I can tell you for sure the beer is going to be flowing this month. Cheers!

→ 1 CommentTags: Around the Web · Tastings

Legal Moonshine

By Joe Ruvel · November 16th, 2011 · Comments Off

I recently read in Specialty Food magazine about Legal Moonshine. I have just started to look into the laws surrounding moonshine–I thought beer laws were crazy. It seems that white, unfinished, corn whisky is getting popular – but that is a different product than moonshine…sometimes…possibly. It probably has to do with the process by which it is made, how much corn or other ingredients are used, and maybe a bit of how it is marketed.  But even more interesting is the fact that moonshine – the real stuff – is only legal to make in a few states. As far back as around 1990 a legal moonshine company was started in the United States. I had no idea. That company is Stillhouse Distillery at Belmont Farm in Culpeper, Virginia.  Also interesting is the fact that people to this day are still getting sent to prison for running moonshine. Of course, if you made wine or beer and sold it at the monetary levels that this hooch is worth, then I bet the ATF would be after you too. An interesting parallel.

Now – how does this stuff taste? I have no idea. I have had Hudson Valley Corn Whiskey – which was great in the bloody mary at Bottle Cap. But that’s about it. I would like to try more and see what the hype is about. One that caught my attention is Tennessee’s first legal moonshine – Ole Smoky Distillery from Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I mean if there is going to be good moonshine it might as well come from this part of the country. As a kid, my family visted the Smokey Mountains. We manged to break down driving through them and, while getting help, my mom rode along with a cop on a moonshine bust! Still can’t say if it tastes good, but it sure is an exciting beverage with a lot of history.

Jasmine says: I recently read in Imbibe magazine a question about “white dog” and moonshine. The answer, from author Max Watman was “White dog and moonshine are both slang for spirits. White dog is legal, moonshine is not.” The entirety of his answer suggests that if some thing is legal, is is just white corn whiskey, or white whiskey or whatever. If it’s illegal, it’s moonshine. The illegal-ness is inherent in the term. If it’s not illegal, it’s just marketing. Therefore, I don’t understand how a legal moonshine company exists at all. Once it’s legal, it’s not moonshine. Also, can moonshine have terroir?

As a side note, my great-grandpa had a still out by the creek on the farm where I grew up. It was just what you did back then, if you had a creek. Probably more to save money than anything else.

Comments OffTags: Magazines · Non-Beer Beverages

City Beer Store (now with more beer and room!)

By Joe Ruvel · October 13th, 2011 · Comments Off

CBS opens the doors tonight at 5 – just got this in an email:

The doors will open tonight at 5:00pm! We look forward to toasting the new space with you!

Preview of the tap list (15 taps to entice)
*The Bruery, The Wanderer
*Cantillon, St.Lamvinus
*Bear Republic Mach 10

* Please note, the dust is still settling, and we have much to do, but we are tired of dry taps and want to share the space with our awesome community. In the coming days we will have the space running at its full glory; thank you for your patience!

See you there.

Comments OffTags: General

Lagunitas: an awkwardly angled video

By Jasmine · October 10th, 2011 · Comments Off

A Lagunitas video that I completely forgot I had–In which I learn about their water source and the source of the dog on the label.

My favorite part of this video is all my coworkers in the background “yessing” and “nicing”. I’m surprised no one busted out into hallelujahs.

Comments OffTags: General

beer-cheese-meat-honey pizza

By Joe Ruvel · September 21st, 2011 · 3 Comments

Ready for me to blow your mind? Or well for Slice blog too? Slice scoped out one of two new pies at Tony’s in North Beach, SF. I want this now! Check out what they say:

The first that caught my attention was the Pizza Futura ($22), an anomaly of pizza creation from the crust-up. Made using an Anchor Steam starter, the pizza is topped with proscuitto, arugula, blackberry honey, and curls of shaved Sierra Nevada white cheddar cheese. For an additional $3.75, you can add hand-crushed pink Himalayan-salted Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes (talk about a mouthful).

Right? What beer could stand up to this pizza? I got to try it to be sure – but I am thinking a Saison with a little hops or maybe a fruit beer to match up with the prosciutto and honey.

Full article here and mouth watering picture below.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Around the Web · Beer & Food