Musings from the basement...

SUNDAY SIPS: 5 Saisons For Spring

Spring has sprung! One of the best parts of the warming weather is enjoying beers that match with the season. There are few styles I like more in the spring than a saison. Here are five worth drinking. 21st Amendment Sneak Attack Now that the weather has finally turned and it looks to be mostly sunny days ahead, the saison is going to become the style of choice for many craft beer lovers. No surprise there. There is something about the saison that feels like open air and bright spring days. Of course, some brewers, such as 21st Amendment, buck traditional by making their saison a winter seasonal. That’s okay. A saison is a saison no matter the time of year. This one has a…
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Peppers are just another adventure, except without broken limbs

Peppers are an adventure. They’re not supposed to grow in the suburbs of New Jersey. They don’t belong in this part of the world, but we’re humans. We do what we want with Mother Nature (right up to the point where she does what she wants with us). We never really had success growing peppers in our yard, and that always disappointed me. All we wanted was some regular ol’ bell peppers. As a kid, I learned from my good friend Chris to eat them like apples, but with a salt shaker in hand. Bite, dash of salt, bite, dash of salt, until the whole thing was gone. So that’s how I came to love sweet peppers. Hot peppers were another story. I didn’t have the…
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Louis CK just came out, and no one noticed

Louis CK has a new special on Netflix called “2017.” If you don’t like Louis CK it won’t convert you, but if you do you’ll like it. It doesn’t rise to the level of “Chewed Up” or “Shameless,” but it’s better than the poorly named “Hilarious” (which was not). Good stuff that is pure Louis. More importantly, however, is that he came out as bisexual in it and no one seemed to notice. Like, he for real came out. Everyone seems to think it was just another bit intended for shock, but no. I don’t think so. I think it was a genuine coming out moment hiding in plain sight. The bit involves him talking about his love for the movie “Magic Mike” and how it stirs…
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For Jim Koch and Sam Adams, variety is the spice of life

The following interview and article was conducting and written in 2013. I’m presenting it here after it first appeared on my separate beer blog, Celebrating the Suds. If you have one of the best selling and best known craft beers on the market, it would be easy to understand putting your time and resources into expanding its reach. When that beer is a pioneering brew like Boston Lager by SamuelAdams, it’s especially easy to understand. Jim Koch, founder of Samuel Adams, doesn’t see it that way. For him, being safe is boring. “The day I want to make the same beer every day is the day I retire,” Koch told me during Philly Beer Week. “It is as exciting today as it was in 1984…
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SUNDAY SIPS: 5 Big, Beastly Barleywines

Barleywines are an older style of beer. Big, boozy, and perfect for setting aside in the cupboard for a few years, these are beers meant to be sipped (preferably with a nice cigar). These are five worth checking out. Lagunitas Olde Gnarleywine The barleywine, especially the American variation, is a big, bad style of beer known for its refusal to compromise. Don’t believe me? Try a sip of Gnarleywine by Lagunitas. The aroma is like a rich spiced pudding. The taste is brimming with rich toffee, dark fruits, cinnamon and brown sugar, and molasses – but this is an American style barleywine, which means all those rich malts are countered with plenty of bitter hops. And unlike most barleywines, this one actually masks the burn…
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