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I am a hop head. A hop heart if you will… I love hops in all their herbal, citrusy, piney, floral, bitter beauty. I’m also frequently on a quest for solid Extra Special Bitters (or ESBs… capital “B”). Red Hook makes my standard ESB—Otter Creek used to make a fantastic ESB, but unfortunately retired it. Brown’s Brewing Company‘s ESB is a solid rendition, and I’ve recently discovered that Pretty Things Hedgerow Bitter hits the (hop) spot for me too (with a touch of grapefruit!). What’s your favorite ESB?

India Pale Ales are, without a doubt, my go-to beer style… especially the West Coast varieties: Green Flash West Coast IPA, Avery IPA, and Lagunitas Hop Stoopid are three of my favorites.

Needless to say, I was thrilled to see the buzz hops were getting yesterday cause of this lovely little Huffington Post article:

America’s Bitterest Brews
By Joshua M. Bernstein
The Daily Meal/Huffington Post, March 1, 2011
But in this era of craft beer, drinkers are shunning simple brews like Keystone and Coors for coffee-seasoned stouts, burly Belgian ales and, most of all, bitter beers like the India Pale Ale, a.k.a., the IPA… [read the article]

Read more articles I’ve collected (not by me) in the Press Pints tab!

Quit the winein’ and cheese it up! Cheese and beer are a match made in heaven and Serious Eats isn’t just confirming it, they’re offering up thoughtful pairings that work together. Read on for their recommendations—you never know, the right beer with the right cheese may make you like a beer you never thought you’d enjoy or a cheese you never thought you could handle… now can you handle that?

If you’re extra curious, take it to the next level: There are creative cream-creations out there that incorporate beer right into the mix like Grafton Village Cheese Company‘s cave-aged Truckle, washed in Otter Creek‘s Stovepipe Porter.

Cheese and Beer Go Together Better
By Martin Johnson
Serious Eats, December 28, 2010
Here are three simple reasons that beers go better.
1. In general cheeses and beers speak at the same volume level on the palette.
2. Beer’s carbonation makes an excellent foil for the creaminess and fat of most cheese.
3. The refreshing aspects of most beers offer a fine complement to the salt in many cheeses.
That said, you can’t just pair any cheese with any beer and expect bliss. You need to consider the flavors in what you’re drinking and what you’re eating. Here’s a primer on pairings that work.

Read more articles I’ve collected (not by me) in the Press Pints tab!

Uh, in stark contrast to my last Press Pint… some recent failed fit-ness shed light on my lack of “successful” physical activity of late (a few too many 12-oz curls, har har… but, really.) Read the rest of this entry »

Beer and food go together like… beer and food (or peas and carrots, whatever). And lesser-known, though growing in popularity, is the practice of pairing beer with food the way we do wine… beer is perfect in that its natural acidity helps the mouth balance the flavors of the food. But what if you had beer and food… combined (oh, and FRIED, yeah.)? Sounds pretty good to me, as long as there Read the rest of this entry »

Talking Pints

“What care I how time advances?
I am drinking ale today.”

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Samples with a sunny disposition at Northampton Brewery

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