The Beer Connoisseur
The Beer Connoisseur used to be a beer magazine - probably one of the best laid out and written. It reeked quality. I subscribed to it for years and looked forward to my issue every two months. A few years ago they went digital and at first I didn't like it. I enjoyed reading the magazine on my porch or at my favorite pub or while waiting in the Dr.'s office and it is hard to drag my workstation to those places. Gradually I warmed to the online version - my grand daughter showed me how to use my tablet. The online version of the magazine is the same as the print version in terms of the quality of the content and the attractive layout. The website also has a lot more than the magazine and is worth a visit: beerconnoisseur.com.
The website has a directory of beer resources, beer reviews, overviews of the industry and people, articles on food and travel, beer and trends, education, the latest news, articles on brewery tours, and guest blogs. To give you a taste, here are some of the recent guest blogs:
Charles Cook writes an excellent article. When I went to Belgium all too many years ago I focused on Brussels and Antwerp. This article is good because it encourages you to explore the rest of the county. The beer selection is good and he recommendation of cafes and other places to drink have me looking for my passport and checking my budget for a return trip. Job well done!
This is a good overview of the process of brewing. It covers the essentials and avoids getting too granular. Most regional package breweries offer tours. For a real treat, take the article with you as you go through a tour and see how everything goes together.
In this good, well written article Tiffany Koebel takes the beer connoisseur beyond hop basics. It covers the essential points and also identifies future issues. It has me yearning for a big mosaic IPA and I think I have one in my fridge. Well done!
Evan Rail dives into where and what to drink in the Czech Republic. The author has lived in Prague for 18 years, giving the reader an insider's view of the Czech beer scene. He encourages you to get out of Prague and see the rest of the country. If you follow his advice, you will depart from the standard guide book tours and see parts of the Republic and drink beer off the standard tourist's path. A highly recommended read.
Zak Avery's article is an enjoyable and welcome read. I spent a few years living in an Italian neighborhood in Toronto and fell in love with the energy, enthusiasm and the food and the great respect and joy they paid to the meal and its accompaniments. It is exciting to see that passion applied to beer and this article gives you an pleasant and informative introduction to the new Italian craft beer. I am especially excited to read about Eataly in New York City and it gives me another reason to make the pilgrimage east.
Garrick van Buren is a masterful home brewer. I have judged his beer and I have judged beer with him several times. He knows what he is doing. I home brewed a bit before and immediately after it became legal and after hit or miss results learned that the hydrometer is your friend. In this article, Garrick explains why and why it is important.
Sherry Dryja introduces us to ice cream and beer. This all sounds crazy but it works. Years ago one of my favorite liquor stores stocked tons of cheap lambics and I learned to make peche lambica - use 1/2 lb peaches(blend half with a tablespoon or two of honey). Cut the rest of the peaches into wedges. Divide the pureed peaches between 4 goblets. Put a scoop of vanilla ice cream in each goblet. Pour peach lambic over the ice cream and garnish with the peaches. This works with just about any lambic and I also found that lambics make pretty good sorbets. My UPS driver tried to start a business making beer ice cream and he did some nice things with stouts.
We had 18" of snow last weekend and I am ready for spring - in this article Sherry Dryja takes me there! I had Huachinango a La Veracruzana about 40 years ago in Guaymas and your Camarones a la Veracruzana take me back there - thank you! I am on my way to my fish monger and beer store. I am also enticed by the Halibut Tostadas and the scallops. Even though it is the 3rd week of April and my yard is still not visible, these recipes will take some of the bite off an otherwise awful winter.
Growlers are everywhere now and it is amazing how often the owner of the growler does not know how to care for it or how long it can remain in his or her fridge. This article is a must read for those who buy beer in growlers and remember - rinse the bottle out immediately after you empty it.
I have always preferred bottle conditioned beer when it is done well to artificially carbonated beer and in this article Josh Weikert reinforces my prejudice. Josh also provides some useful pointers on drinking bottle conditioned beer.