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Let's Get Drunk Watching: The Taste

The Taste bills itself as "unlike any other cooking competition," which is their way of saying that it is exactly like every other cooking competition/reality competition you've ever watched. Tuesday's upcoming episode of The Taste is titled "The Art of the Sandwich," so it's safe to assume they'll be attempting to create hoagies out of art supplies. We'll be watching, and playing The Taste Drinking Game. More

Let's Get Drunk Watching: Super Bowl XLVII

The Super Bowl Drinking Game is the Super Bowl of drinking games. This is the one time of year where you can be fairly certain the majority of the planet is doing two things simultaneously: watching television and drinking. Disappointed Patriots fan, Vinny Mannering, breaks down the Big Game. More

Let's Get Drunk Watching: WWE Monday Night RAW

Someone once said that there are only two American art forms: jazz and professional wrestling. That someone was probably Vince McMahon, in an uncharacteristic act of shameless self-promotion. When Vince isn't bank-rolling failed senatorial campaigns or creating fake football leagues, he's mega-strutting on the most successful wrestling show on TV: WWE Monday Night RAW. Here's a drinking game to make watching it much more fun. More

The 10 Most Interesting (and Delicious) Beers We Tried at Boston's Extreme Beer Fest

Funky Buddha's beers were incredibly impressive; gimmicky, yes, but that's the name of the game at EBF. The fidelity in taste was incredible.

I was underwhelmed by Even More Jesus and the Gingerbread Stout, but loved Cigar City's Margarita Gose. Kane Brewing also really impressed me with their barrel-aged quads and "A Night to End All Dawns" (probably the best named beer). Sam Adams has had some great options. Tetravis, KMF and of course Utopia were all stellar, and everything at Lost Abbey was amazing.

A Beginner's Guide to Belgian Beer Styles

Great article, Mike. Made me thirsty.

Homebrewing Resolutions: How to Make Better Beer in 2014

Nice article, Chris. Dialing in a "house beer" is on my to-do list for this year, as well as upgrading to kegs instead of bottles.

Beer Issues: What's Up With the Three-Tier System?

Great write-up, Mike. The exclusivity contracts is what would scare me, as a brewery. I'm sure there'd be no shortage of wholesalers looking for a new brewery's business, since craft beer consumers are frequently after what's "new." But once you're no longer the new hotness, there's nothing forcing that wholesaler to push your product (outside of the economics of their warehouse space). I think that's why start-up breweries who can, do choose to do self-distribution.

Which Beer Certification Program is Right for You?

Congrats on the Cicerone certification, Chris!

Homebrew Troubleshooting: How to Fix Yeast-Derived Off-Flavors in Your Beer

Excellent write-up, Chris. Read it while drinking a homebrew... now I think it might have excess Acetaldehyde...

What's Your Local Cheap Beer?

The Serious Eats Vermont Beer Guide

Vermont Pub and Brew usually has a solid group of beers. I was partial to Switchback all through college. Don't have 10 of them, that's all I can say.

Ask a Cicerone: Your Favorite Pumpkin Beer

I enjoy Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin and Fisherman's Pumpkin stout. Pumpking is generally considered the finest of the pumpkin beers, though. This year's The Great Pumpkin was pretty disappointing for me.

How to Infuse Your Booze With Halloween Candy

You, sir, are doing God's work. Kudos.

Which Beer Blogs Do You Read?

A short list of some from my Feedly account:

And of course, Drinks.SeriousEats.com

How to Pour A Beer: It's More Complicated Than You Think

Great post, Mike. I generally do the tilt first, so I'll have to give your method a shot.

Another pro of decanting off the yeast sediment - for homebrewers anyway - is that you can harvest that yeast and use it to ferment your own beer. Especially if it's a hard to find yeast (like Heady Topper's Conan yeast strain).

The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks

I've heard good things about this book; I'm planning to pick it up after I finish my drier reading ("Yeast" by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff).

20 Foreign Words Every Beer Lover Should Know

Mike, you perfectly encapsulated my fear of the word "Brouwerij." This is an awesome guide, and will help me order beer without following up with "I swear, I know what I'm ordering!"

Let's Get Drunk Watching: Breaking Bad

Haha, that's much closer. It's from an announcer on Telemundo, but not a sports announcer.

Let's Get Drunk Watching: Breaking Bad

Glanton, it is surprisingly not alcohol-related. I'd be offended that everyone seems to think that, but then again I am the Drinking Games Guy.

Let's Get Drunk Watching: Breaking Bad

Prawo, if I had to smoke meth for every time this show blew me away I wouldn't have any teeth left.

Let's Get Drunk Watching: Breaking Bad

Not quite, Chocosaur. Though I guess I do know that one. The fourth word I learned from watching Telemundo a lot as a teenager.

Let's Get Drunk Watching: Breaking Bad

Haha. Good ones, Brock. I suspect the cold open will have to do with the massive gun that Walt picked up at the start of season.

8 Deliciously Weird Beers We Tried at the Oregon Brewers Festival

I had the Beard Beer at Rogue's brewpub in San Fran back in the Spring. I thought it was good, but not memorable. I was expecting something super-funky, I suppose.

Subtropical and Pecan Brown sound pretty good.

Will Gordon sighting

5 Great Session Beers for Hopheads

Very interesting list. Only one I've tried so far is All-Day from Founders.

Open Thread: How Do You Define a Dive Bar?

People's Republik in Cambridge, MA is my favorite dive bar.

In terms of what makes a dive bar, for me it's less about dirt or sleaze. A dive bar doesn't have to be filthy, but it needs to be unique - and unique in a way that is genuine, not a veneer to draw in business. Not kitschy. That unique atmosphere needs to be unapologetic. A dive bar is more of a feel than it is a physical quality.

How to Harvest Yeast from Beer for Homebrewing

How to Harvest Yeast from Beer for Homebrewing

Great write-up, Chris. I just bought a stir plate and E-flask recently to start learning how to make starters so I don't have to keep buying the smack packs.

How if only I could get my hands on some Conan (Heady Topper) yeast...

How Draft Systems Work: Getting Beer From Keg to Glass

Anyone who has ever been to a college keg party has seen a draft beer system in action. One chilled keg + one party pump = one red Solo cup filled with beer. But your favorite bars and restaurants don't keep perma-drunk frat boys in the keg coolers to give the party tap a few pumps every 20 minutes. The draft systems used to get beer to you from the keg at these places are more complicated than you might think. More

5 Classic London Pubs You Should Visit

For centuries, London's pubs have served as meeting places, social spaces, rooms to relax and unwind, places to talk business, to eat and drink, to find comfort for an evening or solace for an hour. While many of the oldest pubs have been polished into new venues, some still retain their olde charms, giving visitors the chance to experience what a pub may have been like hundreds of years ago. Here are five of our favorites. More

Yo-Ho Brewing: A Window Into Craft Beer in Japan

Until 1994, Japanese tax laws, enacted to protect domestic brewing, set minimum production limits that instead ensured the dominance of the big four breweries Kirin, Asahi, Sapporo and Suntory. However, when those minimums were lowered from two million liters/year to 60,000 liters/year, it opened the door for craft brewing to emerge in the land of the rising sun. Since then, a fledgling, but vibrant scene has developed, and Yo-Ho Brewing in Nagano is a leading player. More

When Bars Were More Than Just Bars

In colonial America, a general lack of infrastructure meant the tavern had to pinch hit in various other social functions, whether of church or state. They sometimes doubled up as courthouses (and even jails) and other times served as local theaters. More

How to Harvest Yeast from Beer for Homebrewing

It turns out you can acquire that unique Belgian strain used by your favorite brewery, even if there isn't a viable substitute at your local homebrew shop. Commercial breweries rely on yeast just like homebrewers do, and if they are bottle-conditioning their beers, there are likely some living yeast cells in the bottle, just waiting to ferment your next batch of beer. More

Homebrewing: Base Malt

Two weeks ago I made the case for all-grain brewing and introduced the basics of building a mash tun. You may not have realized yet, but now that you have a mash tun (or will soon), you have suddenly become much more interested in malted barley. Today I want to show you how to get the best quality from your base malt. More

Homebrewing: Pumpkin Ale

The pumpkin madness that autumn brings lasts just a few short months, but there's still plenty of time to make and enjoy a delicious homebrewed Pumpkin Ale. Brewers have been using pumpkin in beer for a long time, and the list of commercial versions gets longer every year. But with no clear defined style, and limitless spicing choices, pumpkin ale is a fun opportunity for beginning and experienced brewers alike to flex their creative recipe skills. More

Homebrewing: How to Get Better At It

To get better at their craft, artists need practice, critique, coaching, idols, and inspiration. Brewers are artists, too, and they need these same things in order to improve their beer. But it can be difficult as a brewer to find good coaches and willing critics. More

Homebrewing: How to Brew a Saison

Imagine it's mid-January. The days are slowly getting longer again, the college football bowl season has finally ended, and crocuses are just popping their heads out of the ground. You get home from work and go the fridge in search of refreshment. You want something that inspires hope for spring rather than reminding you of the Christmas presents you didn't like and the house full of in-laws wearing silly holiday sweaters. You don't want that delicious but heavy Winter Warmer or the last of the Pumpkin Ale. You want to be uplifted. 'Tis the season for Saison. More

Homebrewing: How to Clone Your Favorite Beer

I have a favorite Italian restaurant in Minnesota. They specialize in handmade pastas tossed before your salivating gaze with delicious ingredients in a million different permutations. Each time I go, I think, "I could make this at home. I know most of the ingredients and I watched them put it all together. I got this." But I don't. More

Make These 7 Homebrewing Resolutions for 2012

The process of making beer is a cycle: inspiration, recipe formulation, gathering materials, brewing, fermenting, packaging, drinking, and back to the beginning again. The brewing year is also cyclic, with particular beers enjoyed in certain seasons: pale ales and light lagers in the summer, stouts and winter warmers in the winter. Each revolution of a cycle offers opportunity for improvement. Here are seven New Year's resolutions to launch you on a happy and fulfilling year of homebrewin More

Homebrewing: How To Brew A Russian Imperial Stout

Warming up with a homebrewed Russian Imperial Stout is the perfect way to end a chilly winter day. Rich roasted coffee and chocolate flavors are predominate in this dark and heavy beer style. The hop character can be mild or assertive, but it is always overshadowed by the massive roasty malts and warming alcohol. The high ABV and the large amount of specialty dark grains make this style a little more difficult to homebrew correctly than many of the other beer recipes we've looked at so far, but I'll walk you through it today. More

Homebrewing: How to Make Your Own Crystal Malt

Crystal malts are a staple in almost every beer recipe. Light crystal malt, like C-20, is used in pale ales, the darker C-120 can be used in stouts, and every recipe in between calls for some variety of crystal. Since crystal malts are among the few styles that do not need to be mashed, they are ideal for extract and partial-mash brewers to use as steeping malts. Anyone can make this fabulously versatile malt at home. All it takes is any standard pale malt, some water and a few hours in the oven. More