Tag Archives: beer

Quick Movie Review: Beer Wars

What’s better on a dreary Saturday night than a double feature?  For us this past weekend, the movies we picked were Beer Wars and Angels and Demons.  So they aren’t exactly related, but our new Netflix for Wii thing is so cool, we’re really playing catch up.  Angels and Demons was actually much better than I was expecting – it didn’t touch the book version, but it still kept my attention for 2 hours and 26 minutes.  Beer Wars left me with a lot of questions.

Beer Wars was made by Anat Baron, a one-time beer industry insider (aka a 3 year stint with Mike’s Hard Lemonade).  This is really her movie – she wrote it, narrated it, starred in it, directed it, produced it…you get the idea.  I got the impression that she didn’t necessarily leave the beer biz on her own terms…and maybe this documentary was a way to get back at “the man.”  As much as I learned about the battle over beer dominance, and as endearing as I found many of the film’s interviewees to be, much of the documentary was distractingly self-indulgent for my taste.

I did, however, really appreciate following the expansion of Dogfish Head BrewerySam, the founder and president, is an everyman, and gives hope to all of the homebrewers out there who dream of one day, starting their own brewing business.  Then there was one-time right-hand-woman to Jim Koch of Boston Beer Company, Rhonda, who left the New England Brewery to start her own line of caffeinated beer.  While this idea doesn’t really appeal to me, her determination to succeed does.  Rhonda and Sam represented the smaller beer companies that the biggies – Anheuser Busch and Miller-Coors – were stomping out.  David meet Goliath.

One has lots to learn about the beer business from this film. Like how much work and influence goes into setting up a story display of beers, and how the three-tiered system setup after prohibition was repealled is still going strong (with the help of a huge lobbying presence in DC).

In the end, I would recommend seeing the film.  Though very biased, I found I came away with a whole new insight into how the beer business is moving and shaking.  Do be warned, Anat Baron will not grow on you – she’s annoying and unfortunately, because of this, I think the movie does not reach the full greatness it could be.

Have you seen Beer Wars?  What did you think?  Can you stand Anat Baron?  Are you a Bud lover or are you bananas for micro-brews?

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There’s something about the Fall

Of all the seasons, I think Fall offers the best variety of seasonal brews.  From Oktoberfests to pumpkin-infused beers, I have really been in heaven for the past month-ish of cooler temperatures and changing leaves.  After a long summer of light wheat beers and Bud Light Lime (forgive me, but I kind of dig it), the dark, nutty flavors I’ve tasted recently are more than welcome.

Inspired by these autumnal beverages, I’m determined to get back into the blogosphere.  It has been a much longer hiatus then I ever expected and then I plan to let happen again.  Apologies to those who missed me…it’s been a long couple of months (and believe me, I’ve missed you too).  But I’m back and ready to drink!

Obviously, I’ve been gone for a pretty long time, and have imbibed my fair share of adult drinks in the meantime.  Some have been beer, and some have not.  As much as this girl loves a good beer, I can also enjoy a well-made cocktail here and there.  Should I come across a fantastic, post-worthy concotion, you might get to read about it shortly there after.  Variety is the spice of life, right?  With that, I’ll leave you to go do something “fall-ish” like raking leaves or starting a pick-up football game (for me it’s watching the ALDS playoffs).  Until next time, cheers!  It’s good to be back!

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The Intersection of Bikes and Beers

Working on a charity cycling event has already started to teach me a ton about the cycling world.  There are elite cyclists who are power athletes and could easily kick my ass.  There are also the “messenger” cyclists who one sees on a day-to-day reeking havoc on the streets (aka not abiding by the rules of the road) and could easily kick my ass via running me down.  Then there are the spinners – confined to the gym on stationary bikes listening to thumping music and adjusting resistance to simulate hills etc. They could probably kick my ass too, or at least find a big weightlifter to help out.  I used to be a spinner, and have been seriously reconsidering getting back into a class.  Anyway, while the pedestrian in me will always carry some sort of a grudge towards bikes and those who ride them, I have also found that I have one thing in common with all of these cyclists: beer.

bike2

While I do not condone riding under the influence, I do enjoy imbibing with this crazy group.  One of the first events I worked while trying to recruit riders for the Audi Best Buddies Challenge was a time trial at the Harpoon Brewery.  Basically, a time trial brings in the top cyclists to attatch their bikes to a stationary machine which also simulates a particular course, hills and all.  The cyclists race each other in various heats, and the winners qualify to ride in a special Harpoon event.  They also get to take home a glorious case o’ beer.  The spectators, riders who have finished their heat and even the Best Buddies recruiters (hehe) get to visit Harpoon’s beautiful tasting room to test some of the freshest brews one can find.  Personally, it was a Cider and a seasonal Celtic Ale for this cycling-world-newbie.

Beer is a fantastic way to strike up a conversation with people.  It is an existing connection between people who seem to have nothing else in common.  I think this might be one of my favorite things about my beverage of choice –  the promise of a good discussion or a good laugh that comes with every pour.

I am fairly certain that this is just the first of many of my intersections of brews and bikes.  Here’s a Stella Artois commercial that seems all too appropriate…Cheers!

Oh and just in case you were thinking about cycling in either of the Best Buddies Challenges, check out the Web site and we’ll get you signed up.

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Super Beers for the Super Bowl

With just days to go before the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl, I still haven’t figured out where I will be watching the big game.  The bf and I have toyed with the idea of having people over to our apartment to celebrate the end of the 2008/2009 NFL season.  In doing a little research on what throwing one of these parties takes, I went right to my favorite how-to magazine’s Web site – RealSimple.com.  I stumbled across games to play during the game, fun and easy snacks to serve that will make anyone’s mouth water, and even a decorating tip or two.  I also found a witty little list that pairs each NFL team with a beer that best represents its mascot or location.  Check out the list below…if we do wind up hosting our own football extravaganza, I will take their suggestion and provide Iron City Beer and Beermann’s Rip Roarin’ Red Ale and let guests drink to support their team.  Do you have any other (better) ideas to pair with your favorite team?  Let me know.  Enjoy the game and cheers!

super-bowl-2009

AFC Teams

Baltimore Ravens: The Raven
Buffalo Bills: Bison Brewing
Cincinnati Bengals: Tiger Beer
Cleveland Browns: Honey Brown Lager
Denver Broncos: Dark Horse Beer
Houston Texans: Alamo Golden Ale
Indianapolis Colts: Colt 45
Jacksonville Jaguars: Jaguar High Gravity Lager
Kansas City Chiefs: Tomahawk Pale Ale
Miami Dolphins: Hurricane Reef Lager
New England Patriots: Samuel Adams Boston Lager
New York Jets: Terminal Gravity IPA
Oakland Raiders: Rocky River Pirate Lite
Pittsburgh Steelers: Iron City Beer
San Diego Chargers: Electric Beer
Tennessee Titans: Titan IPA

NFC Teams

Arizona Cardinals: Beermann’s Rip Roarin’ Red Ale
Atlanta Falcons: Atlanta Brewing Company Red Brick Ale
Carolina Panthers: Carolina Blonde
Chicago Bears: Brown Bear Brewery
Dallas Cowboys: Lonestar Beer
Detroit Lions: Lionshead Beer
Green Bay Packers: Green Man Lager
Minnesota Vikings: St. Pauli Girl Lager
New Orleans Saints: Saint Arnold Amber Ale
New York Giants: Brooklyn Lager
Philadelphia Eagles: Yuengling Traditional Lager
San Francisco 49ers: 49er Red
Seattle Seahawks: Black Hawk Stout
St. Louis Rams: Ram Pilsner
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Old Buccaneer Reserve
Washington Redskins: Indian Wells Brewing Co. Mojave Red Beer

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brewnette in 2009: New Year’s Resolutions

So the holidays have come and gone.  I reluctantly took down my Christmas tree on Saturday and have taken out the last of 2008’s recyclable bottles.  2009 is in full swing and I am eager to move forward in my professional life.  With new job opportunities popping up, my fingers are crossed that January will be a good month.  I’m also attempting to improve my own balance (physically) by taking up yoga.  Believe me, my coordination and posture need all the help they can get.  Still, I am not big on resolutions.  The ones I’ve made, I’ve broken.  I’ve just held onto the idea that I don’t need a new year to try to change my life for the better or to try new things.

New Years Eve

But I think its time to make a resolution on behalf of brewnette.  On New Years Eve, I attended a little get-together at my friends’ place (Mark and Wyatt know how to do NYE well – think karaoke, Harpoon Brown Ale and an intriguing game called 4 corners).  When discussing our mutual love for Boston beer, they discovered that I had never been to the Sam Adams factory tour.  This is particularly sad as I am a Sam fanatic, a beer blogger and I live within a mile of the factory…seriously, it’s walking distance.  Unlike me, these guys are proud tour aficionados. They know how to make the most of the tour and of the tasting the follows.  They are even exclusive participants of the brewery’s monthly tasting series.

I’ve been thinking about this for a bit now and I am resolving to take this Sam tour so I can tell you all about it.  I will also go to the Harpoon tour for comparison purposes.  Perhaps I’ll take these guys with me, to show me how it’s done.  I’ll report back on this stuff sometime soon.  Until then, enjoy the last few weeks that the winter/holiday-inspired beers will be readily available.  Happy New Year!  Cheers!

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Cooking with beer – Thanksgiving Style

Hello hello.  I know this post might seem a bit belated, but I wanted to write about how beer could be integrated into a big holiday feast (in a different way than simply drinking it).  If you are anything like me, you are just crawling out of the food coma that was Thanksgiving and smiling at the fun times had with family and friends.  I love this holiday because it centers around food and there are no other requirements then to conquer a huge feast and enjoy the company of the people you love.  In my house, my mom handles the cooking and tries to keep it exciting by attempting new ways to cook the turkey every year.  Usually, mom doesn’t think too hard about the experiment, she just acts on an impulse and voila! It’s been upside down, right-side up, stuffed, unstuffed, and basted with numerous concoctions.

thanksgivingfeast

This year, I must’ve inspired my mom as when she was preparing 26-pound “Tom the Turkey” and she asked me to grab a beer from the fridge. I passed her a Saranac Scotch Ale and she popped off the top and poured it into the already full pot. The beer served as a baste base as well as a primary gravy ingredient.  Everything turned out deliciously. It was a really simple beer-integration but it added a fun kick to the meal and I swear that the turkey was extra moist.  If you are thinking about adding some brew to your next turkey dinner, my suggestion would be to make it a darker beer with a noticeable spiciness to it.  The winter seasonal brews out now are a good place to start.

I found a few other recipes/blogs that offered some mouthwatering (and legit) recipes. Check them out!

http://beer.about.com/od/beertastinganddrinking/a/HolidayBeerPair.htm

http://www.homebrewchef.com/BeerInspiredThanksgivingMenu.html

http://www.nbwa.org/Beer_Route/Article.aspx?ArticleId=203

Hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving!  I am very thankful to still be posting and to have great people still reading Brewnette (like your gorgeous self). So thanks!  and Cheers!

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Beer and Business Cards

Getting my first “big girl/real” job was a major step in my life, and one that I am very proud of.  I think one of the most exciting, and probably trivial, job steps for me was the day I got my first stack of business cards.  For whatever reason, that was when I truly felt like I had made it and was a legit grown up.  Of course, I stuffed a small stack of these little guys into my wallet and properly distributed them to all of my friends and family, and the occasional stranger when I wanted to prove that I was employed.

The most effective use of these wastes of paper, I’ve found, is dropping them in the little boxes/jars are bars and restaurants in hopes of winning a free meal/drink.  While this is not a helping me further my career or my network, it’s a simple act that happened to pay off for me and a group of my friends.

pour-house

Turns out I won a party at one of my favorite Boston bars, the Pour House!  Free food, trivia, prizes, and the notoriously “cheap” drink menu were all selling points for a party on a Tuesday night.  They even blocked off a section of the bar for just my guests.  All in all, it was the most fun I’ve had on a Tuesday night that I can recall.  It was so fantastic to see people who I hadn’t in a while, and to feed my entry level and law student friends.

So there isn’t much of a moral or message to this post, but I had a good time and wanted to tell you out there to check out the Pour House.  It’s a simple bar with good beer and a laid back atmosphere.  Oh and if one of your business cards wins a party, I’m there.  Cheers!

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