So, we all know the importance of good head, yes? Pouring “strong” releases the aromas of your beer, gives a creamier mouthfeel, and just improves the beer’s presentation.
Aren’t you bummed when the head drops, leaving you without that layer of foamy goodness?
Well be bummed no more. Now you can get your very own Professional Beer Foam Making Mug!
Without batteries you can create a brand new frothy head on your beer at any time.
As they say:
While you are drinking beer in the middle part, the Beer Foam is gone already, Simply Press the button once, the Professional Beer Foam Appear Again!! Let’s have fun for your Great Time!!
Anyway, if your beer paraphernalia collection tends to the kitschy side, you can have this technological marvel for less than $25.
(via Boing Boing)
It sure seems that every time we see a study that gives us some good health news, another one comes along which paints an even more dire picture. As does this one, at least if you’re of Asian descent.
It has long been suspected that alcohol consumption can increase the risk of some types of cancer. This study purports to now have solid proof. (No pun intended.)
Silvia Balbo, Ph.D., who led the study, explained that the human body breaks down, or metabolizes, the alcohol in beer, wine and hard liquor. One of the substances formed in that breakdown is acetaldehyde, a substance with a chemical backbone that resembles formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen. Scientists also have known from laboratory experiments that acetaldehyde can cause DNA damage, trigger chromosomal abnormalities in cell cultures and act as an animal carcinogen.
“We now have the first evidence from living human volunteers that acetaldehyde formed after alcohol consumption damages DNA dramatically,” Balbo said. She is a research associate in the laboratory of Stephen Hecht, Ph.D., a noted authority on cancer prevention at the University of Minnesota. “Acetaldehyde attaches to DNA in humans ― to the genetic material that makes up genes – in a way that results in the formation of a ‘DNA adduct.’ It’s acetaldehyde that latches onto DNA and interferes with DNA activity in a way linked to an increased risk of cancer.”
It turns out that about 30% of Asians have a variant of the alcohol dehydrogenase gene so are unable to metabolize alcohol into acetate, and that ultimately translates into an increased risk of esophogeal cancer. Native Americans and native Alaskans have the same variant. That’s over one-and-a-half billion people.
Of course the study used vodka for their tests, and there was no mention in anything I read if there might be a difference between spirits and wine or beer.
As always: Everything in moderation.
One of the classier events in my adopted hometown of Brunswick, Maryland is the Wine & Chocolate Walk. This year’s event is on September 22.
In 2011, Brunswick Main Street debuted the Wine and Chocolate Walk. Attendees enjoyed fine wine and fair trade chocolates as they strolled through downtown. The 2011 festival featured wine from Black Ankle Vineyards, Fabbioli Cellars, Hiddencroft Vineyards, Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyards, Knob Hall Winery, North Gate Vineyards and Boordy Vineyards.
Main Street decided to grow the festival for 2012 offering 30 beverage and food tastings at 12 venues in the historic downtown.
Of course, Real Women Drink Craft Beer will point out that not all women prefer wine over beer (or, at least, they enjoy both). So last year they set up a tent downtown and gave away barbecue and a selection of (mostly local) craft beers. Since it went over so well, the women behind RWDCB have been asked back to do it again.
Since I’m friends with the RWDCB crew (and, yes, they are Real Women™), I have a pair of tickets to this year’s event to give away.
If you’d like my extra tickets, simply send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org at let us know if you prefer wine, beer, or enjoy both. Please get your message to us by September 19, when we’ll pick one person at random to get the tickets.
You can get details about buying tickets at the WnC site. When you come to the Walk be sure to stop by the beer tent and say hi.
Congratulations Patty Smith! You get our tickets!
So, you’ve been exposed to beer marketing ever since you were a wee lad (or lass). How much of it have you retained? Prove it!
(Unfortunately the quiz requires Flash.)
For what it’s worth I only got 8 out of 12.
When you hear someone mention Napa or Sonoma County, long green rows of grapevines come to mind under rolling hills beneath an intense afternoon sun. Visitor Centers in Wine Country even claim one out of every three people who fly into SFO end up there. That’s a lot of people considering how many other attractions California has to offer. But what it shows is an enormous worldwide market for scenic drives, day spas, bike rides, and fine alcohol tasting experiences. Perhaps this is what the boys over at North Bay Brewery Tours had in mind when they started loading people up in buses for scenic drives not to taste wine, but beer. Anyone keeping up with craft beer in the last decade will not be surprised by the result.
Our first stop on the tour was to Lagunitas Brewery in Petaluma, which was cool because I had never been there before even though they are one of my favorite breweries. James and Ron even hook it up with the friendly folks at Lagunitas so that you get to post up on the well-cushioned couches of the VIP room, which was the original upstairs bar before Lagunitas went platinum. From there our sampling began, sipping the standards like New Dogtown and Censored Rich Copper Ale. Their lunch menu was also satisfyingly paired to the beer offerings. In the upstairs bar, even the old, heavily cushioned couches have a funny story. As the guys who have worked for Lagunitas through the years got married, their wives made them get rid of the ugly (yet comfortable) furniture of their bachelorhood. So while you take in the laid back ambiance, the foosball table, the old bottles, and cool posters, you can also laugh into your beer at that tale and others.
Through the large glass windows of the upstairs room you can stare down at the new 17 million dollar brewery, which has all kinds of stories attached to it as well. In fact, if there are two things Lagunitas will never run out of, it is beer and stories about the beer. Here is another good one: The Germans they imported to install the state-of-the-art brewing system at first thought it was blasphemy Lagunitas had the stones to brew a pilsner over 5 percent. They couldn’t believe it. They were offended because of the rich history of their own country and the traditions they have always known. Yet after two weeks of sampling Pils on the job (they’re German – working and drinking are one and the same), they were convincing Tony Magee he needed to brew more of it, and then export it to Europe.
Another part of our NBBT package came with an historical rendition of Lagunitas brewery and a tour of the extensive grounds. We were lucky to get our tour from Ryan Tamborski. At first Ryan seems to be a bartender, after a few beers he morphs into a tour guide, and halfway through it all you realize it’s all been a setup and you see that he’s actually a semi-sober stand-up comedian. With his combination of knowledge of the brewing process, experience with Lagunitas during its infancy, weed-infused allusions, and personal dry humor, Ryan gives out one of the best tours you’ll have in the world of beer. For real.
To put it frankly, Lagunitas is a must-see. If you are into craft beer and are interested at all in how the process works, or just enjoy drinking hella good beer, you need to have been there yesterday – this is coming from someone who went there yesterday. Lagunitas represents everything that is good about craft beer, from their funnily-sordid history with the ATF and TTB, to the legendary myths concerning how they came to be, to the sky-high quality of their beers, it is a space for beer heads who love heady beer. Plus everyone has a beard.
From Lagunitas we piled back into the bus feeling better and better with every beer that passed through our greedy lips, and travelled North to Healdsburg to check out Bear Republic- another big name in beer whose Racer 5 IPA will forever be remembered in California as one of the first true hop experiences for many beer newbies. Bear Republic is nestled into a beautiful part of downtown Healdsburg, and on a sunny day like yesterday it was hard to imagine life without beer, or as Hugh Hood said, “Nothing ever tasted better than a cold beer on a beautiful afternoon with nothing to look forward to than more of the same.” We took generous swigs of their Hop Rod Rye and Red Rocket Ale (the latter of which Alisa and I get in 22s when we can). Additionally I got a pint of their Mt. Hood pale, which was excellent. In a town overtaken by wine and their numerous tasting rooms in Sonoma county, Bear Republic is a breath of fresh hops in the snooty air of wine snob central. If you need a break and a cold one, it’s a no-brainer. I would say it’s pro-brain.
Finally the boys at North Bay Brewery Tours brought us to Santa Rosa. First we immersed ourselves in 3rd Street Aleworks, who were hospitable with a mellow stout, a kolsch, and another beer I don’t remember because I was sloshed at that point. 3rd Street Aleworks is a cool place. It is chill, they have a good menu, and the beer is excellent. James and our other guide Jack told us this was where they came to drink because the beer is great and they don’t have the crowds across the street (read on).
We then ended our night across the street at the Mecca of craft beer – Russian River Brewery. This place is packed at all hours of every day and yesterday was no exception and more of the same. Known for the double IPA Pliny the Elder and their more yearned-after Triple IPA Younger seasonal, Russian River actually bases their reputation on much more than their American-style selection. Their forte is really Belgian-style beers, and they stick to their guns, serving up sours and other experimental mixtures which always come in smooth on the palate and high in ABV. Their collaboration with Sierra Nevada – Brux – is a wonderful farmhouse ale brewed with wild yeast and just enough sour to make it edgy. It has a nice Chardonnay feel: fruity and tart, but also comes correct at over 8%. I also have to mention their Row 2 Hill 56, a 100% Simcoe Hop pale ale, which is awesome in its crisp clarity and hoppy character. Of course Alisa had to get a Pliny because, well, because you have to, as it remains one of the best American IPAs on earth.
Another plus of the bus tour is of course the people you meet. So as the bus said farewell, Alisa and I stayed at Russian River for dinner with Joe and Stephani, another couple from the bus who, like us, had also met at UC Davis. So the beer kept flowing, the pizza came hot, and evening descended on us all in the splendor known only to those who have been drinking world-class beer all day long.
At the end of a sunny Saturday, I couldn’t have asked for more from a big white bus with a keg of Little Sumpin’ Ale surrounded by a bunch of people interested in beer, brewing, and having a good time while consuming fine ales. If you find yourself in Northern California and are looking for an excellent alternative to the increasingly stuffy and expensive wine tour model, or you just want to do something cool and don’t want to drive, NBBT is a steal at $89 for the day. They’ll even pull off the freeway quick if your bladder is about to explode and let you run outside in such a panic you don’t notice you are peeing in a thinly bushed hedge facing all 14 other people in the bus. But really you just need to get to these breweries out here because what they are doing is legendary.
Whether or not you agree that “craft beer” is really the right term, it has been used enough in print that it has been added to the latest edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.
craft beer n (1986): a specialty beer produced in limited quantities: MICROBREW
That definition seems a little spare, especially considering all of the nuance found in beer and all the joy it has brought to the world. And, of course, a lot of people still define it by what it’s not.
Other words and definitions that were added this year that may (or may not) have some significance to me are:
- man cave
- underwater (as in a mortgage)
- brain cramp
(via Brookston Beer Bulletin)
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is thankfully rather rare. According to a Dutch study the risk is reduced by a large percentage amongst drinkers versus non-drinkers. Smokers, conversely, had a much higher risk.
From the Abstract:
These findings indicate that current smoking is associated with an increased risk of ALS, as well as a worse prognosis, and alcohol consumption is associated with a reduced risk of ALS, further corroborating the role of lifestyle factors in the pathogenesis of ALS. The importance of population-based incident patient cohorts in identifying risk factors is highlighted by this study.
Frankly, I want to know who funds these things.
Snark aside, this is more good news for people who enjoy their alcoholic beverages moderately. In this case, moderate means more than three drinks per week. (They really didn’t give an upper bound.) Oh, and the study was on Swedish women.
After taking into account other factors like age, diet and smoking, the researchers found that people who reported drinking more than three alcoholic beverages a week — where a single beverage is defined as 500 milliliters of beer, 150 milliliters of wine or 50 milliliters of liquor — had a 52 percent lower rheumatoid arthritis risk, compared with people who never drank.
The working theory is that since rheumatoid arthritis is an anti-immune disease, that the alcohol is probably mildly suppressing the body’s immune function.
A study in Oregon found similar results with moderate drinking protecting against osteoporosis.
Of course, they take pains to remind us that heavy drinking offers up plenty of deleterious effects of its own.
It’s not a good reason to start drinking, but it’s still good news.