Posts Tagged ‘beer’
Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
By Micah Hanks
Drink to your health!
It’s true… here is the news most guys out there have been sweating over: Beer, coffee are two beverages that studies link to prostate health among men. Exercise is a third non-liquid ingredient that experts recommend, but before you start sweating over the notion of physical activity, as little as fifteen minutes per-day will show expected results. eFitness Now gives us the scoop:
Studies now show that drinking coffee and beer with a normal exercise routine may be healthy habits for men after all. Men who workout at least 15 minutes a day and drinks more than 6 cups of coffee a day reduces their chances of getting prostate cancer by 19%. The same combination reduces the risk of men developing an aggressive form of prostate cancer by 41%.
Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
By Micah Hanks
EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM GUINNESS
Well, in all honesty, it couldn’t be any further from being Guinness without being from Zeta II Reticuli (or Ireland, perhaps). However, the country that concocted the brew in question does share an affinity for making whisky just like the Irish… what in this world–or in space, for that matter–could we be talking about? Read on, ye guzzlers of galactic grog…
Saturday, November 28th, 2009
By Christopher McCollum
A few weeks ago, I bought a bottle of La Trappe Isid’or, the 125th anniversary edition of the brewery, named after Brother Isidorus, who was the first brewer of La Trappe. I cracked open this bottle a short time later (about thirty minutes to be exact) with fellow Cultured Gentleman, Micah Hanks, to take a sip of this pretty rare brew. We enjoyed our taste of it, but decided to move on to other tastings, such as the Founders Breakfast Stout. I re-corked the bottle, stuck it in my refrigerator and left it for later. Unfortunately, a day later, I came down pretty hard with an illness that left me under the weather for several days. Needless to say, the beer was forgotten. It didn’t help that I haven’t been home much over the past many days, and haven’t been in the ‘fridge longer than a few seconds, to grab things off the top shelf. La Trappe was left on its lonesome, gradually going flat, while my careless self went about my day, oblivious to the treachery going on in my own kitchen.
Today when I re-discovered this beer, I was left feeling ill again, this time a pain to my stomach as I realized what a waste this was. But I was feeling hungry, and decided I would pay respect to this beer by giving the bottle a fiery farewell.
Friday, November 27th, 2009
By Christopher McCollum
Our favorite controversial brewery is at it again, folks. BrewDog has announced their latest beer, which has just been placed into the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s strongest beer. Tactical Nuclear Penguin, rated at 32% ABV, began as an Imperial Stout at a hefty 10%, but was then aged in a cask for almost a year and a half, and then frozen at -4 degrees Fahrenheit, to increase the alcohol content.
BrewDog began gaining international attention after their recent snubbing of alcohol awareness groups in Great Britain, as they manufactured the Nanny State Pale Ale, at a whopping 1% ABV. This was done in response to the aforementioned groups raising a furor over BrewDog’s Tokyo beer, which was the strongest in Britain at almost 18%.
Tactical Nuclear Penguin almost doubles the Tokyo, and as expected, the watchdog groups have raised their alert level to DEFCON 1, and have blasted BrewDog with some pretty harsh language. Jack Law, Chief Executive of Alcohol Awareness Scotland, had this to say: ”It is child-like attention-seeking by a company that should be more responsible. The fact that they have achieved a new world record is not admirable.”
I, for one, have an obvious interest in this beer, and I would like to take a sip of a Guinness World Record holder that is stronger than many spirits. Indeed, as what is commonly agreed to be “spirits” are distilled beverages of higher than 20% ABV, one has to wonder if there should be a distinction on Tactical Nuclear Penguin, labeling this to be The Liquor of Beers.
Unfortunately, BrewDog is only putting out 500 bottles of the Penguin, and the price is starting at $50 USD. That may be the crimp on our style over here at Culture of Spirits, but maybe, by some chance, we will be able to luck our way into a taste of the world’s strongest beer. Here’s hoping!
Stay cultured and stay sophisticated, my friends. And if you do get your hands on a bottle of Tactical Nuclear Penguin, remember that you’re drinking a beer that is almost as rich in alcohol as some brands of rum and brandy. Be safe and responsible, and don’t give the alcohol awareness groups unnecessary ammunition to end the art of experimentation within brewing.
Thursday, November 26th, 2009
By Micah Hanks
This month’s issue of Wired Magazine features an article by contributor Brian Krans, which recommends a quick-chill method for getting room-temperature canned beer cold in a snap. Here’s what you’ll need:
* One container of canned air with a spray nozzle (for use with cleaning keyboards, etc)
* A separate container to hold the beer can in place (preferably a coffee mug or something similar that the can will fit into)
Place the room-temp beer can in the container unopened. Holding the canned air upside down (so that its contents are released in liquid form), coat the outsides of most of the can with frost, making sure not to coat the lid or mouthpiece. By the time the frost buildup fades, your beer will be “fridge frosty.” Use this quick fix to help get your cold on fast, even if you weren’t able to think ahead and leave your six pack laying around in the snow all day!
Monday, November 23rd, 2009
By Christopher McCollum
It’s not the dreary outlook of a troubled writer, the ridiculous quote of restaurants and bars around America, or the daily routine of persons with questionable character. Beer in the breakfast hours has become a stark reality in the modern American world, and one that isn’t quite as easy to dismiss as alcoholic behavior as some of the older generation would like. In some sports circles, the Art of Tailgating has an almost religious fervor associated with it, and the proper rituals quite usually consist of grilling a variety of delicious staples, merriment, revelry, predicting how the game is going to unfold, and… beer. Lots, and lots of beer. I had always seen this on television, heard about it from associates, but never seen it first hand, until I began spending time in Clemson, South Carolina. Clemson is an agricultural university, and one of the best in the country, however most sports fans and even most Clemson students I’ve spoken with, proudly declare that Clemson is a football school first and foremost. Whether or not they were being facetious is of no concern to me, as the purpose of this writing is to demonstrate the love of beer in the morning.
Monday, October 26th, 2009
By Micah Hanks
If you’re a recent visitor to the southernmost states through which the Blue Ridge Parkway runs, you will have noticed that the rough majority of the trees here in the Appalachian Mountains are taking their most golden hue. Nonetheless, the oak trees—a strange bunch in their own right—are just beginning to reach the brink of change, having held their summer green longer than most other species. It is within these oak trees that one of fall’s finest quarries, the gray squirrel, makes its home. Not only do squirrels live in oak trees, but the rich food source they provide also attracts deer, as well as a variety of other wild animals seeking food as the weather grows cold.
In addition to feeding season for many wild animals, in many parts of the country, the mid-to-late fall marks a special time of year for “foodies”; the time that wild game begins to become available at dinner parties that, unlike other times of the year, call for a special pairing of beverages to meet the unique meats being served.
Thursday, October 1st, 2009
The Scottish Brewery BrewDog underwent major criticism from health advocates and alcohol awareness groups this past summer, as they unveiled their new beer, Tokyo*. Tokyo* is Britain’s highest alcohol content beer, at 18.2%, and they were slammed for being irresponsible, by providing a beer with that high of an alcohol content, in a society that is already troubled by alcoholism.
In response to this criticism, BrewDog is launching their newest beer, naming it ‘Nanny State,’ with an ABV of 1.1%. They are very pleased with the production of the drink, which by British law, does not have a high enough alcohol content to even be called beer. They claim that it has more hops per barrel than any other British beer, and they are all hand picked by the brewers as their personal favorites. Richard McLelland, BrewDog’s sales director, had this to say: ”It is an extraordinary little ale, jammed full of all the brewer’s favourite hops, giving it as much body and mouth feel as possible, ensuring that low strength does not translate into reduced flavour.”
Wednesday, September 30th, 2009
Recently, my good friend Miguel who posts frequently at the Daily Grail blog shared this unique story about the ancient Egyptian sun-god Ra, and how in a strange Frankenstein-like “I’ve created a monster” scenario, he brewed a batch of red beer to calm a furious deity of his own making:
“It’s interesting that just yesterday I was finishing one of Darklore III’s essays, in which Robert Schoch tells one legend concerning Hathor, an Egyptian goddess sent to Earth by the sun god Ra to punish mankind for not paying him enough respect; she enjoys her slaying job so much that Ra then fears she will end up killing all of mankind; so he decides to prepare a red-colored ale and leave it in a field where Hathor would pass nearby. Mistaking the beer for blood Hathor drinks it and gets so drunk that she stops killing men; thus mankind was saved by beer!”
An interesting legend that, as is often the case, illustrates how ancient societies seemed to liken beer and spirits to being next to godliness. Strange that so many religions now look down on alcohol use, particularly here in parts of the US. A surprising fact: The pilgrims that landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts actually carried more beer with them than water, since beer spoiled less easily, and could be carried along with them on their voyage across the Atlantic.
Tuesday, September 29th, 2009
Culture of Spirits author Chris McCollum and I have recently been visiting a host of fall-themed beer tastings, which include samplings of a variety of popular pumpkin ales and Octoberfest brews. Several times while visiting one of our favorite local brewery supply stores, Hops and Vines in Asheville, North Carolina, Chris and I had begun to notice the variety of craft breweries that feature paranormal themes on their labels.
Indeed, one of my favorite beers of all time is the seasonal Bigfoot Barleywine brewed by the Sierra Nevada Company in Chico, California (see image at right). However, on closer inspection, a sizable (and surprising) number of other brands carry imagery ranging from UFOs, Ghosts, and cryptozoological mysteries, to famous mystics like Rasputin, Nostradamus, and several other odd themes.
Therefore, just in time for Halloween, Culture of Spirits presents to you a list of some of our very favorite beers featuring strange, occult, or paranormal themes.