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It’s kind of amazing that there are still places in the US that you can be arrested for having homebrewing ingredients. I know that the “home-brew” in this article is a bit different than good homemade beer, but still - if I lived there, I could be arrested for the yeast and malt extract I have in my fridge.
Owning yeast and sugar isn’t enough to get you arrested in most places. But in some communities of rural Alaska, the high rate of alcohol abuse has caused voters to ban booze along with possession of the supplies to make it at home.
A recent case highlights a 2007 state law that makes it illegal for a person to possess yeast and sugar in a local option community if they intend to use the ingredients to make home-brew, a cloudy, intoxicating liquid often mixed with fruit juice. Villages have the option to ban booze as one way to combat to a longstanding epidemic of alcohol-related injuries and deaths in rural Alaska.
Superheroes and memoirs: a nice variety, don’t you think? Jenn can’t recommend Wainaina’s book highly enough — the language is incandescent — and Supergods is a must-read for anyone who’s ever been attached to a hero in a mask.
What we’ve got here is an imperial stout brewed with a massive amount of coffee and chocolates, then cave-aged in oak bourbon barrels for an entire year to make sure wonderful bourbon undertones come through in the finish. Makes your taste buds squeal with delight.
This is one of the big mommas - one of the most acclaimed, sought-after releases of the craft beer world. Many thanks to Living the Sci Life for sharing a bottle.
Look + Smell; The KBS doesn’t just pour dark - it’s a black hole. Black tar. The background in Asteroids. The absence of light. On top of the daaaark body, there’s a thin, bubbly khaki head. The nose is a bit like bourbon-spiked Terrior, rich with chocolate and roasted notes. The barrel-aged component is definitely present, with oak and vanilla coming out as the stout warms in the glass.
Taste; Smooth as hell. It’s a big, complex stout with a lot of flavors, mostly milk chocolate and coffee. The real star of the show here is the oak and bourbon, which are really assertive in the fairly young (fresh from the 2011 batch) bottle of KBS. The combination of the two don’t taste particularly woody or boozy, but balance out in a nice vanilla flavor. This is a complex sipper, and the flavors grow, fade and change as the beer breathes and warms up. Pretty perfect, and a great beer to show non-beer-drinkers how rich a stout can be.
More fallout from the Borders liquidation. As if their thousands of employees being out of work wasn’t bad enough.
Publishers said that with Borders gone, they would plan for smaller print runs and shipments. Employees at major publishing houses worried about layoffs because many companies have staff members who work only with Borders.
The closing could particularly hurt paperback sales. Borders was known as a retailer that took special care in selling paperbacks, and its promotion of certain titles could propel them to best-seller status.
When it filed for bankruptcy protection in February, Borders owed $272 million to its 30 largest unsecured creditors, including Penguin Group USA, Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster, Random House, HarperCollins and Macmillan.
"Sneaky Smooth with a Touch of What We Call Wheatly-esque-ish-ness. Crispy Wheat and Pale Malt flavors with a Big Round & Juicy Hop Finish. Everyone Needs A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Sometimes."
Look + Smell; I tend to talk about the look of a beer before the smell, but the nose on Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ is so luscious that I have to hit it first. If you closed your eyes and breathed deep, you’d practically mistake the beer for a smoothie - tropical citrus like pineapple and mango dominate the aroma. There’s a slight fresh bread tang there, too. Just delightful. The brew pours with a thick wheaty head, with a golden body that’s surprisingly clear for a weizen.
Taste; Juicy. Slight wheat cracker malt, but mostly a Juicy Fruit menagerie of citrus. Like in the nose, there’s tons of pineapple and mango, backed with more citrus in lemon and orange. Really smooth, with a lingering bitter finish that isn’t at all abrasive. First class.
This one rocketed to the top of my favorite IPAs American Pale Wheat Ales list as I worked through the six-pack. Lagunitas, please expand your distribution to Maine ASAP.
Long Trail Pale Ale is brewed with the finest, all natural ingredients and award winning Vermont water. This classic English style pale ale features a modest malt body and a well balanced citrus, pine hop aroma. Long Trail’s Pale Ale is lightly filtered to provide a delightfully robust flavor experience.
Look + Smell; When they say this is a “classic English style pale,” they aren’t kidding. The Long Trail Pale Ale is textbook - dark copper colour, thin white head, and a smell a bit like fresh biscuits. The only real departure from style is some very American-smelling hops. The pale is hopped with Cascade and Centennial, and you definitely get that grapefruit aroma so many people recognize from the Cascade-hopped Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
Taste; Again, right to style. A robust biscuit/bread malt flavor, balanced out by the zesty hops in the finish. The hops push it a bit closer to an APA than a British Pale, but the UK roots shine through more than in most American Pales.
All in all, a rock-solid pale ale. Not one that blew me out of the water, but certainly not flawed. It’s a great fridge staple - especially for $7.99 a six.
Oxymoron is the third in a series of one-time releases between [Left Hand and Terrapin]. A combination of contradictions embodied in liquid form, Oxymoron is an American-style IPA brewed with three German malts, six German hop varities, and a lager yeast strain. Obnoxious yet reserved, elevated yet modest, it’s the embodiment of blending two brewing philosophies together in order to achieve singularity. Consider it an expression of cruel kindness.
Look + Smell; Definitely looks like you’d expect an India Pale Lager to look. Pours a brilliant, clear straw gold with an inch or two of white head. With six hops and three malts, the nose is all over the place. It’s mostly the sweet cereal malt smell you find in a typical craft lager, but some spicy hops and fruity lager yeast esters shine through.
Taste; Mild, mild, mild. Biscuit and sweetbread malt flavors up front, with a lemony and slightly spicy finish. Finishes bone-dry. Reminds me a whole lot of Coney Island Sword Swallower. Dangerously easy to swig.
“Batman has three main enemies, who to a Jungian would obviously be projections of Bruce Wayne that Wayne himself has not come to terms with. (In Blakean terms, the two main enemies would be called his Spectres and the female one might be his Emanation.) For Bruce, the female element is conflicted - he’s a confirmed bachelor, and has no nice-girl Lois Lane sentimental figure in his life. But the sinuous and desirable Catwoman with whom he frequently skirmishes must be his Jungian “dark anima” figure: even a child could recognize that there was a lot of unresolved electricity going on between those two.”—Marget Atwood, In Other Worlds
8.1% abv Belgian-Style Strong Ale brewed with blood orange zest, orange bitters, and dark Belgian candi sugar. This ale is not meant to reproduce! Limited availability.
Look + Smell; Pours way darker than I expected - even though it’s a strong ale, for some reason I associated orange flavors with a lighter body. Dark brown (maybe burnt orange?) with a thin tan head. Orange comes through in the nose, particularly the boozy bitters. Backed up by a bit of that Belgian plum-y, brown sugar-y scent.
Taste; Less orange than I expected, and more caramel and molasses. The citrus kicks around in the background with almost an orange marmalade taste. Rum-like booziness. Much more of a big ol’ Belgian Strong with a hint of orange than an orange ale that happens to be a Belgian.
New feature! We know we often talk about books that aren’t out yet and, in many cases, won’t be out for several months. So each week, we’re going to tell you about new releases we’ve raved about. But we’re not going back through a year’s worth of shows to do it, so you can assume this for all…
These days, you’re not alone - in fact, you guys often collaborate with other craft breweries.
Collaborating lets us make beers we might not have had an idea for ourselves. It’s like a jam session with other musicians. They bring their styles, and you go in different directions, tossing ideas back and forth. Or a brewer comes in with an idea and we say, We love that song, let’s play it together.
- from Stone cofounder Greg Koch, interviewed by William Bostwick and Jessi Rymill for Beer Craft.
Emphasis mine - I just love this way of looking at beer.
“More than any other form of entertainment, video games tend to divide rooms into Us and Them. We are, in effect, admitting that we like to spend our time shooting monsters, and They are, not unreasonably, failing to find the value in that.”—Tom Bissell, in Extra Lives
After a week of visiting my booksellers and the publication of some timely articles addressing current issues in the industry, I have come away with the distinct notion that bookselling is not for the faint-hearted.
By their very nature, booksellers are impassioned, courageous entrepreneurs…