Porketarian Alex

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Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Counter Culture Coffee Subscription

1st cup of the day: black and from a Chemex.

2nd cup: With a ton of cream from a crappy office machine.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: La Quercia's Pork Belly Heaven Package

Fried lardon on top of an arugula and spinach salad with bacon fact vinaigrette.

6 New English Ciders and Perries Arrive in The US

There is so much more to cider than Magners/Bulmers/Strongbow! Those are mostly sugar, anyway. Imma have to get to my favorite liquor stores in Minneapolis (Four Firkins and Ale Jail) to find me some of these.

Ask a Bartender: What Drinks Are Worth A Splurge?

I definitely echo the lack of good beer on this list.

And I echo the billing of this as "worth a slurge" or "money is no object."

So let's take the conversation in the direction of better beer, and of beer that's worth the splurge. For my money, I would splurge on a 2004 (or so) North Coast Old Stock Ale. I'd also splurge to buy Surly Darkness (but not $100 on eBay splurge, more like stand in line to get it) and Tripel Karmeliet.

Please Stop Ordering Iced Cappuccinos

When I worked at a Caribou Coffee a few years back, I used to get quite a bit of iced cappuccino orders in the summertime. What I learned from this was that no one actually wanted cold milk and espresso with foam on top. They wanted an iced latte, but didn't have the coffee vocabulary to appreciate the difference.

Even if an iced cappuccino is what the customer actually wanted, it was still difficult to serve. Leaving aside the argument about the physics of phase changes in a system (which looks almost like a YouTube comment debate at this point), foam doesn't last very long sitting atop a cold liquid. The relative coldness of the drink will cause the bubbles in the foam to contract, and the foam will dissipate into more milk pretty quickly.

New Beers: Samuel Adams Verloren and Norse Legend

@Michael - Gotcha. I will have to check it out. Unless there is somewhere in the Twin Cities where I can get a Finnish one.

New Beers: Samuel Adams Verloren and Norse Legend

I'm really interested in the Sahti - it's a style that's new to me. After seeing everything from double to sextuple IPAs (just kidding about the sextuple...) it's nice to see something genuinely new! I'll have to pick up Sam Adams' version, or maybe find the Lips of Faith.

Gimme Your Burger Lab Requests!

I'd love to see an in-depth and scientific look at the pros and cons of different ways of cooking burgers, especially grilling vs. griddling. Let's talk about caramelization, smoke, tenderness, temperature, etc!

Book Giveaway: Win A Signed Copy of 'Brewed Awakening'

I have:

Odell Cutthroat Porter
Odell Mountain Standard
Grainbelt Nordeast (for the sloppier occasions)
La Chouffe
Mikkeller Barrel Aged Black Hole
Schlafly Coffee Stout
Lucky Bucket Certified Evil
Deschutes Black Butte Porter
Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale
Great River Redband Coffee Stout

And a growler of Elevator Doppelbock from the great new Minneapolis brewery Harriet Brewing

What's Your Session Beer?

I saw IPA and sessionable in the same article and I immdiately was ready to be outraged, but I see that All Day IPA is only 42 IBU. More like an English IPA than the pints of pure IBU coming from the west coast. I can see that as a sessionable beer.

I am in agreement with the proponents of Guinness. I usually session with similar styles (but usually brown ales or porters). I love Surly Bender and Brooklyn Brown, maybe a Newcastle.

Which cocoas do you prefer?

I agree with meechiko - if you buy it online it is priced in the same ballpark of retail Hershey's too (but WAY better!).

What Cocktail Trends Will We See in 2012?

Here's my question: Is the cocktail trend peaking? Are we going to see beer and wine - drinks that are special on without mixologist magic - take the top billing in 2012? I think there's reason to think so.

The amount of beer bars in every city across the country is rising, and most seem to be doing very well for themselves. In my city (Minneapolis) all sorts of groups are popping up to appreciate and educate about beer - Barley's Angels (beer-loving women), MSP Beer School (educating and sampling), MN Beer Activists (self-explanatory), and Better Beer Society (educating consumers and bars).

Coffee Resolutions for 2012

I already make primo coffee each morning - using freshly hand-ground, high-quality beans and a French Press or pour-over cone. But I do have a resolution: Avoid the mid afternoon Starbucks run. Their coffee is really bad and occasionally turns my stomach.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Korin Knife

I like going to HomeGoods and finding the heaviest and largest forged knife. I look for a good balance and end up with a $60 knife for about $10.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Counter Culture Coffee Subscription

I take my 20 grams of coffee with 320 grams of 205 degree water through a V60 cone. No cream, no sugar (unless I am suffering through Starbucks).

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: La Quercia's Cured Meat Experience

Served with fresh buffalo mozzarella and drizzled with a good balsamic vinegar.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: La Quercia's Cured Meat Experience

Wrapped around a chicken breast and roasted until it's crispy, then melt mozzarella on top.

Serious Beer: American Brown Ale

These are always the American Browns that top my list (especially Bender)! As a Minnesotan, I probably drink Bender once a week. I wish I could get my hands on some Cigar City.

And they are also the ones that usually top lists at places like Beer Advocate. They happen to be distributed mostly in MN and FL, But I think it's that's a lousy excuse to complain about it, especially since most of these lists include beers that are only available in the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast.

12 Days of Christmas Beer: Goose Island Mild Winter

I haven't tried Mild Winter since last year, but I remember enjoying it last year. I really appreciated the addition of rye in lieu of using actual spices. Spice adjuncts can be really bad in a beer!

In terms of other Goose Island beers since the AB purchase - I haven't seen any deterioration in quality. Matilda, Sophie, and Pepe Nero are some of my favorite brews.

Coffee Tragedies: The Shattered French Press

@andrewjswitzer Don't buy the IKEA one. I was at the Minneapolis location a couple weekends ago to see them pulled of the shelf due to ... duh duh duh ... shattering from the heat of boiling water.

I have been using a Bodum Brazil Press for over a year with no incident. Over that time, I was a college student (meaning I was pouring A LOT of grounds into the pot) with the crappy blade grinder (meaning lots of fines).

Of course, you should switch to a burr grinder to help avoid any problems related to pressure build up. The Hario Skerton model is hand crank and about $40. Not only will you be less likely to explode your French Press, your coffee will be instantly better quality. Fewer grounds will be overextracted because of inconsistent size, so there will be fewer bitter notes in your brew.

What to put on the grill for Labor Day???

I second the pork tenderloin - I always love to do a marinade based around orange juice and chipotle (including adobo).

How do you keep track of your food?

It sounds like most people have similar strategies - try to write it down, and then sometimes forget.

Discipline is going to be big for me in the future. When I go and buy expensive foods, I don't want to waste any of it.


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