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Beer

On Beer Cocktails

beercocktails01
The skepticism attached to beer cocktails can be summarized with one question: Who has ever walked into a bar and in that moment when he can choose anything said, “barkeep, what beer cocktails can you make me?” Sure, okay. If that’s the situation you want to envision the outcome will almost always be a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, a two-ingredient mixed drink, or maybe a selection from the menu of classic cocktails. Personally, I like beer cocktails – my cookbook has a chapter of recipes to make them – and I would like to see them made more often, but I will admit that I don’t know how popular they actually are. (more…)

Earth Day Gala 2014

Earth Day Canada Gala 2014To be honest, I have never really been much of one for galas. But times are changing and there are two characteristics of this year’s Earth Day Canada Gala that I think you guys might find interesting.

First off, the year-old Mill Street Beer Hall is the venue again this year. It’s a huge space that is made up of smaller areas, including plenty of the requisite patio square footage, so it seems ideal for large-scale events. (more…)

Homemade Beer Vinegar Experiments

Homemade Beer Vinegar Experiments 1This post was almost given the title: “what’s with all the jars with three fingers of stale beer?” But, that isn’t very snappy, now is it? To say nothing of its terrible SEO qualities.

The answer to the question is, as they say, somewhat complicated. One of my favourite recipes in my cookbook, the Canadian Craft Beer Cookbook, is not really a recipe at all. It’s more of a process – three in fact – for turning good beer into excellent vinegar.

I go through the why’s and how’s in some detail in the book, but the short version is something like this: just as there is a microbial action that converts the sugar in wort to the alcohol and carbon dioxide in beer; there is also one that further metabolizes that alcohol into acetic acid. Different microbes and different results, but they are similar. (more…)

New Craft Beer Tumblr

IMG_9754FWLSometime last month marked two years since Mr. Jon Sufrin suggested to me that Post City Magazines, where he was an editor, might like to publish my thoughts about beer. Steadily my interest in beer has broadened; sometimes I’m sent beer, often I travel great distances to get to it, and occasionally friends share theirs with me. (more…)

Jamie Drummond’s Supertaster Video

supertastervideoJamie Drummond, one of the co-founders and editors of Good Food Revolution has posted a fascinating video this week. It is a collection of short clips showing what happened when he got hundreds of people to take a field test that purports to tell whether they are supertasters are not.

Over the five years that I’ve been writing about food and drink in Toronto, Jamie has been one of my most well-known colleagues. Undoubtedly, that’s partly because he’s a friendly, gregarious person, but it didn’t hurt that starting in early 2011 he became known for being the guy with the video camera asking you to put a piece of treated paper in your mouth while he recorded your reaction. (more…)