April 9, 2013
Halfway into my recent trip to London, I was feeling somewhat disconcerted by my failure to ferret out a variety of beer experiences. Sure, I’d wandered down to the pub for a pint and a pie, and althought there was plenty of local color (the man sitting next to me was singing “Got to Pick a Pocket or Two” and no, I am not making that up), the pint in question was a pretty forgettable. I’d also had a plate of fish and chips and a London Pride in a cowboy-themed restaurant. Sure. Why not? Still, I had yet to find a really transformative experience.
I wandered the neighborhood, beer radar pinging away. At last, I saw it–a small chalkboard advertising London-brewed craft beer. I inquired within the establishment, and was rewarded with a porter from The Kernel. And it was probably the best porter I have ever had–rich, smooth, and wonderfully warming against the damp, chilly London spring. After further research, I discovered that The Kernel brewery was open for tastings every Saturday, which happened to be the next day. It was ON. Read the rest of this entry »
March 8, 2013
Bags packed, Lady Jay leaves her crude, provincial homeland, where the sun never stops shining and ice-cold lager flows (and drinks) like water to quench the burn of mountains of extra-spicy chicken wings consumed in front of seemingly-endless football.
How will she survive in ye olde London-town? How many pints of warm ale, pots of jellied eels, and days of fog and rain can one woman slog through before returning home, soggy, pale, and malnourished? And what about the seemingly-endless football?
Stay tuned for the next installment of “An Alehead Abroad” for the answers.
December 10, 2012
That was my reaction on a recent trip to Tampa with Herr Hordeum to visit his progenitors. The “what” was a Cigar City brewpub. The “where” was Airside Terminal C of the Tampa International Airport.
Regular Aleheads may recognize Cigar City from coverage of previous Tampa adventures, or, if you’re lucky, from drinking a Jai Alai IPA or the coveted Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout. The enterprising folks at this pillar of craft brewing recently teamed up with TIA and four other local restaurants* as part of a $6 million concessions renovation to jazz up the Tampa air travel experience. Herr and I were excited enough about the prospect of not eating lunch at a Chili’s and paying $7.50 for a Sam Adams on our way back to the Midwest that we actually got to the airport early. To hang out. In the terminal. I know.
*No. Not Hooters. Read the rest of this entry »
August 26, 2012
Recently, I found myself sitting in a car on Friday afternoon, at the border of the United States and Canada, anxiously awaiting a weekend of delicious Seattle hop-bombs on the way back from suffering through nine days of weak Canadian swill.* I thought I had nothing to fear. I thought my suffering was over. I thought wrong. When my passport was scanned, a warrant popped up for my arrest for a crime I did not commit, in a Missouri county I have never been, on a date when I wasn’t even on this continent. I wasn’t going anywhere.
Read the rest of this entry »
July 5, 2012
Quick question for you: what is responsible for the adoption of agriculture, the pyramids, antibiotics, the Sistene Chapel, antiseptic medicine, modern commerce, American colonization and independence, modern manufacturing, the end of child labor, and little girls being able to eat ice cream?
If you guessed beer, you’re right. You’re pretty smart. Wow. I’m impressed. Or you’ve seen “How Beer Saved the World,” brought to you by America’s favorite source of shark-related infotainment, the Discovery Channel.
Read the rest of this entry »
June 25, 2012
I have lived in a town within easy driving distance of Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ in Kansas City for longer than I care to say. Occasional reports would filter back of a magical gas-station meat cookery, the products of which could help a lame man to walk or a blind man to see. A certain cantankerous New York food guru named it number 12 on his list of 13 places to eat before you die, a to-do list a plebeian like me could never hope to complete. While entertaining a party of out-of-town visitors recently, I found myself obliging in their request to visit this establishment, and I was not disappointed. Until I saw the beer list. Read the rest of this entry »
January 10, 2012
With all of the coverage of the 2012 presidential election, I began, naturally, to wonder: if the candidates were beers, what beers would they be? The knee-jerk reaction is to say, “They’re all Bud Light/Miller Light/Beer 30. Done. Let’s move on.” However, as a scientist, I oft feel the need to peer deep into the darkness of the unknown, even if the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age (I also feel the need to blatantly rip off turn-of-the-century horror writers). Read the rest of this entry »
April 14, 2011
A few weeks ago, while my companion the Herr was lamenting the hardships of living in a state with poor distributional diversity as is his wont, I was in Juneau, Alaska. Drinking lots of beer. It was awesome.
For the uninitiated, Juneau is home to the Alaskan Brewing Company, famed in more propitiously-located parts of the Lower 48 for its smoked porter. Additionally, Alaskan is known for being on the forefront of brewing innovations that reduce their environmental impact (and such hippie nonsense was the theme of the business that had brought me to that distant shore). Naturally, a visit to this fine establishment was in order.
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February 3, 2011
Close your eyes (Figuratively. Keep reading.). It’s quiet. You’re warm, relaxed, floating. You take a slow, deep breath, and the scents of hops and yeast envelop you, a soothing balm to ease the pains of your hectic lifestyle. You open your eyes, and realize that you are soaking in a tub of warm, aromatic beer. Is it a dream??
If you live in the United States, it probably is. But if you live in Europe, it may be a reality. Read the rest of this entry »
December 24, 2010
Recently, some fellow Aleheads and I, including Mrs. Sixpack and Herr Hordeum, found ourselves in the Tampa area, and went on a short quest to seek out Evander Preston, the “beloved mad genius of Pass-a-Grille”. “He demands the best,” his website trumpets, “with his unique touch in everything, his rugged gold jewelry, cool music, wild cooking and eccentric studio. Now he has his own beer, the way Evander likes to drink it every day.” Minor writing style qualms aside, we were intrigued. This was a man who had a tasting room adjacent to his jewelry studio, for crying out loud—a jewelry studio where he made solid-gold mousetraps and jewel-encrusted bubble blowers. This was a man so iconic, he had “[a] wicked good Florida Pilsner for Bohemians and beach bums alike,” brewed with his name and likeness right on the bottle, a pop-eyed Wildman demigod. We had to try it. Read the rest of this entry »