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Male vs. Female Social Profiling

A quote from Changes Book 12 of the Dresden Files written by Jim Butcher.

 

Susan smiled at me giving Molly the female once over, a process by which one woman creates a detailed profile of another woman based on about a million subtle details of clothing, jewelry, makeup, body type and then decides how much of a social threat she might be.

 

Men have a parallel process, but it’s binary. Does he have beer? If yes, will he share with me?

June 13th, 2013 by Ceetar in Beer, life
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25.6 Sticker

You see those silly stickers, the white ovals with the black writing, all over the place. There is a marathon one, simply saying 26.2. I mocked up this 25.6 one, which is a common size for a bottle of beer. It is also the amount of ounces in a fifth, or fifth of a gallon. This was a common size for liquor in the United States, until regulations changed it over to metric fifths; 750 milliliter bottles, which are 7 ml smaller.

Beer is not subject to the same sort of regulations as distilled alcohol, which is perhaps why breweries occasionally make fifths of beer. Between this and pints, beer has retained much of the English system of measurement. One day the world will be fully metric and my proposed 25.6 sticker will be a quaint bit of nostalgia.

March 4th, 2013 by Ceetar in Beer, life, Uncategorized
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Singlecut Beersmiths: New Queens Brewery Is A Keeper

Photo by CeetarI had the chance to get out to Astoria to visit Singlecut Beersmiths this weekend and check out the beer. I was not disappointed. I don’t have to tell you how craft beer has taken off over the last decade or so, and like so many other tidal waves of change, it washes up a lot of muck along with the gems. We’ve all tasted those craft beers that are merely “Not Bud” or simply ordinary, so when a new brewery opens up it’s not uncommon to meet it with a little skepticism and wait to see if they’re going to do more than create pale imitations of the popular craft beers already in the market. I’m happy to report that this is not the case with Singlecut.

 

The beersmiths put care and effort into crafting these delicious beers, and it shows. They had four on tap when I got there, and they’ve got two IPAs coming very soon. Photo by CeetarForward to back is the 19-33 Lagrrr!, the Jån Olympic White Lagrrr!, the John Michael Dark Lyric Lagrrr!, and the Dean Pacific Northwest Mahogany Ale. The 19-33 was a crisp Czech-style pilsner, enjoyable although basic. The Jån is described as a uniquely hued and flavored Lagrrr! and you can see it’s opaque like a hefeweizen. Their blog says it’s brewed with Matzoh Meal. It was delicious, and the one my three companions enjoyed the most. It’s still a lager and enjoys all the qualities of a lager, but with a richness and flavor akin to a wheat beer. Next up is the Dark Lyric, which was my favorite. I’ve been on a black lager and black IPA kick for a while though, so perhaps that swayed my vote. Dark Lyric did not disappoint, providing a moderately hoppy beer with a gentle roastiness to it. Lastly, for now, was the Dean Pacific NW Mahogany Ale. This one was extremely hoppy, perhaps too much for the style, but I like hops and don’t care about defined styles so I’m not complaining. The bitterness masks some of the other flavor you’d expect  so it trended more towards an amber than a brown, but the Pacific Northwest is known for hops so it’s not unexpected.

Photo by Ceetar

We visited at four on a Saturday and the place was pretty crowded. It was a neat little place that seems to be drawing a lot of interest. They had barrels stacked in the fermentation, and I’m told they were a Bock being aged in rum barrels, so I’m excited to try that in the future. They framed some of the bags of malt they used in the beer and hung them on the walls, which was a neat idea. The record player and records for music was a nice touch as well, and fitting with the music theme. I appreciate the quirky descriptions of their beers (check the list on the website) but could’ve used some more basic tasting notes, beyond just IBU and ABV, both on the website and at the tasting room. I overheard some talk about a homebrew club on weekends and noticed one of the guys behind the bar with a Brewstoria shirt (who is also the foursquare mayor), and although I’m not going to go over the bridge for such a thing, it’s a good idea.

All in all I enjoyed my visit to Singlecut and recommend checking it out. Particularly if you’re a Queens native looking to support local businesses. (especially if you’re say, a professional baseball team?)

January 14th, 2013 by Ceetar in Beer, Breweries, Uncategorized
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Taphouse Grille Rare Beer Event

Yesterday I went to Taphouse Grille in Wayne, NJ for their second anniversary rare beer event. Great beer list.

Obviously my first problem was trying to figure out what not to order. One person by himself, who has to drive home after, can only have so many special beers on a Wednesday evening. Some of them I’d had already, like Ithaca Excelsior! fourteen and Flying Fish Exit 4. Both of those are breweries I love and pay close attention to. Next I ruled out the barleywines, even though some sounded good, because I generally don’t care for the style.

 

I went with the hyper-local beer, which must have been added after that list I linked; Cricket Hill Smoked Rye, small batch. Cricket Hill is brewed in Fairfield, NJ which is only a stone’s throw from the Taphouse. I like rye beers, and I like smoked beers, so this seemed a great choice. It didn’t blow me away or anything, but I did enjoy it immensely and it got better with each sip. It had a nice amount of smokiness, and almost a wet mossy maltiness to it.

 

I agonized over my second choice, and ultimately went with something I knew wouldn’t be made again: Firestone Walker XVI. This is almost the opposite of local, since it’s brewed in California, but I do have a friend from that area and I visited one of the restaurants when I was out there for a wedding. They make good beer, and the anniversary ale was no exception. I was happy of my choice, getting to taste a truly special beer. It was served in a 10oz snifter glass and even that may have been a tad much. XVI is a beer that was aged in 226 oak barrels and was a blend of eight different beers. To say the taste was complex is an understatement, and the brewery’s description of the beer is pages long! There were so many nuances to it that it was like sipping a rich expensive bourbon. Each sip is a new discovery of flavor, and it packs a rich bourbony punch. That you can get this experience at a fraction of the cost in beer is part of what’s so wonderful about beer. This was the best blended beer I’ve ever had and has me wondering if I can still find a bottle of it locally somewhere.

 

Near misses: I trust Founders to make good beer, so I was intrigued by Double Trouble. Epic’s Smoked and Oaked looked good, but one smoked beer is enough.  The Terrapin Reunion Ale ’12 with cocoa nibs, vanilla, and cinnamon sounded great, and if I see it again it’s going to be my first choice.

January 10th, 2013 by Ceetar in Beer
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New Year’s Resolutions and Beer

Weight loss is a popular resolution this time of year, and it’s a good one too. Being healthier in general is always a good goal, no matter what prompts the decision to lose some weight and eat healthier. This does not mean you have to give up beer.

 

Clearly having routine happy hours at the bar and drinking many beers in a day is not conducive to losing weight, but having a beer with dinner or on it’s own is not a deal-breaker. There are a variety of health benefits of drinking beer, but even just looking at it from a calorie standpoint, beer is not the enemy.

 

While the more alcohol in the beer the more calories it’s likely to have, the average craft beer probably has between 150 and 250 calories. In a diet where you’re eating healthier and working out to burn more calories, one beer a few times a week is not going to tip the scales against you. Being able to still enjoy a tasty beverage is a good way to keep yourself motivated to stick to your resolution. After all, how tough can it be if you can still enjoy a beer? As with most things, moderation is the key.

 

The trick is to make the beer the indulgence, and perhaps the sole indulgence. Some people might tell themselves they can have a sweet treat once in a while as a reward. Others don’t want to give up a Sunday morning donut ritual with friends. For some, beer can be that treat. I find I can pour myself a beer and it lasts. While i’m drinking it I do not feel the desire to snack or munch on other things, and I can certainly watch television or do other tasks around the house while I’m drinking it. It’s a relatively low calorie treat that I’m enjoying over a lengthy amount of time. To balance it out, I try to stick to a rule of only enjoying the beer on days I go to the gym. This links the treat to the exercise and gives me motivation to get my workout in.

 

Ultimately the only true way to lose weight is to consume less calories than you burn, and fitting a beer into the consumption list is not at all difficult.

January 3rd, 2013 by Ceetar in Beer
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Beer in Whiskey Barrels, Whiskey in Beer Barrels?

I apologize if someone has thought of, and done, this already.

 

More and more we’re getting some terrific beers aged in a variety of wine and alcohol barrels. (And certainly there have been plenty that aren’t that great and the barrel is just a gimmick, but you tend to get that in any popular technique) These vary from whiskey, rum, bourbon, etc. Often these barrels are near the end of their life cycle, which is part of what caused them to make their way to breweries in the first place.

 

What I’d like to see is a partnership instead of acquiring cast-offs. I’d love to see these barrels alternated between beer and spirits. Obviously this will be tougher to do for some of the longer aging spirits, but there are some that have shorter aging periods. Age a rum, then age an imperial stout in that barrel, and then age the rum in the barrel again. I think the right beer could add an interesting twist to the rum, and the alternating nature of the aging process might create some intriguing tastes.

December 7th, 2012 by Ceetar in Beer, Uncategorized
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EuroTrip: Amsterdam Day Two

Our second day in Amsterdam started with a hop-on, hop-off Museum line canal cruise.  We rode the canal boat to the Van Gogh museum, enjoying the view and the automated audio guide along the way.  Between the hotel and the boat pick-up location we picked up coffee and liege waffles to eat.  This was our first encounter with the reluctance Europe has with the eat on the run mentality that’s so prevalent in New York.  We saw a shop with a display case of baked goods and figured that’d work, but the waiter seemed like he kept expecting us to sit and relax and kick our feet up.  Awkwardly, we departed with our goods.

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October 17th, 2012 by Ceetar in Beer, travel, Uncategorized
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EuroTrip: Amsterdam Day One

That's quite a few bikes!

We arrived in Amsterdam on Friday afternoon, after taking a Red Eye from New York.   First impression: Yowzah that’s a lot of bikes!

 

Amsterdam is a pretty cool city.  We started the afternoon after checking in by walking around the place and checking out the canals.  It was a little quiet at first, once we walked away from the transit hub at Centraal Station near where we were staying.  Friday afternoon is not a place you expect to be bustling with people necessarily, but when you’re used to New York City quiet streets in the middle of the day are odd.

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October 4th, 2012 by Ceetar in Beer, Breweries, life, travel, Uncategorized
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Philadelphia 2nd Street Festival: Doing Beer Right

If there is one thing Philadelphia does right (and yes, there might only be one thing) it’s beer.  They’ve got a great beer scene, and it was very evident to me recently when I was downtown for the 2nd Street Festival last week.

 

There was a lot of good beer available when I walked the street.  Sly Fox was one of the highlights, I had a Pikeland Pils while I walked around in the blistering heat.  There was plenty of other beer there as well, plus other alcohols too.

 

Another highlight was the multitude of shaded beer tents with dedicated beer areas out of the sun.  They were basically outdoor bars that offered the ability to basically step away from the street fair and into a beer area to relax a bit.  It’s great that the city can make the street into an outdoor festival and include beer and drinking; something you don’t see everywhere.  If it wasn’t so blistering hot last weekend, I would’ve stuck around even longer to enjoy some other brews.

August 10th, 2012 by Ceetar in Beer, travel
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Beer Ice Cream

Here’s a link I saw about beer ice cream. It’s the perfect summer treat.  There are a couple of professional pints, but also some tips to do it yourself.  None of the places mentioned are local to New York or New Jersey, but I’m sure someone out there must be mixing beer and ice cream this summer.

 

I’ve got an ice cream maker, so this is definitely something I’m going to give a try at one point this summer.  One thing I do like to do is use beer in milkshakes. Adding a nice rich stout to some ice cream (And some whiskey if you like) makes a delicious treat.  The roasted, bitter taste of the beer goes very well with the sweet cream.  It’s like an Irish Car Bomb Milk Shake.  Adding Bailey’s seems redundant here since it’s basically cream and whiskey, but feel free to add it in if you feel like it’s not a true car bomb without.

 

July 2nd, 2012 by Ceetar in Beer, Food, Uncategorized
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