Author Archive | Real Beer

Holiday beer serving tips

Saint Arnold Brewing founder Brock Wagner offers tips for serving beer during the holidays:

Buy fresh. Be sure to buy beers made by American craft brewers. This will ensure that you are getting fresh, flavorful beer produced with pride right here in the USA.

Use pitchers. Present the beer in a way that encourages sharing. A perfect way to do this is to pour bottles into a glass or clear plastic pitcher that can be passed around the table. Just don’t put out too much beer at one time: one to one-and-a-half beers per person should be enough beer on the table at the beginning of the meal.

Options Are Nice. Just as some like dark meat and some like white meat, you’ll find that some of your dinner companions may prefer one style while the others go for something different. Offering two different choices can help to keep everyone happy.

Glassware. While pint glasses are perfect for the pub, brewers have long used stemware for special beers. A thistle glass or “old-fashioned” glass is great if you have it, but wine glasses work well too. Otherwise, small glass tumblers that hold six to eight ounces have a pleasant feel to them and still help to mark the meal as a special occasion.

Courtesy of a Saint Arnold press release.

A tasting kit for the beer curious

Beer Tasting Tool KitAuthor Jeff Alworth describes The Beer Tasting Toolkit as a box set of materials designed to lead novice beer drinkers through a blind tasting that comes with a short booklet. It includes numbered sacks to make it easy to disguise what is being tasted, tasting notepads, and a short-hand guide with key aroma and flavor terms.

In his blog, Alworth explains: “It’s designed to walk people through the basics of style and beer elements and also to offer some blind-tasting suggestions. If you’re wondering whether it’s for you, I’d say this: for readers of this blog, it may well be a better bet for that beer-curious person in your life. The one who has developed a hankering for the occasional porter or kolsch but isn’t sure where to go next.”

Beer socks: Hop the Hops?

Beer Socks

We’re not totally sure what the motto at means — “Don’t just walk the walk, hop the hops” — but the socks are definitely for showing off. Perhaps the story behind the the little company is true:

“We are a close group of friends that are always on the hunt for fun activities to showcase our amazing and expansive ideas in costuming. In October of 2011, we donned our snazziest lederhosen with our bright orange Beer Socks and headed out to Washington state’s best ‘fest: the Leavenworth Oktoberfest,” they explain at their website. When others at the festival kept asking about their socks, and even to have their pictures taken with them, they decided the were on to something.

Samuel Adams chocolate box made for beer drinkers

Samuel Adams Beer Lover's Chocolate BoxBoston Beer Company has teamed up with San Francisco-based chocolate maker TCHO to create a Samuel Adams Beer Lover’s Chocolate Box, which includes two each of six chocolates designed to pair with the six different beers in the Samuel Adams Winters Classics Variety Pack. “The idea of pairing beer and food has been around for centuries, but many people are just starting to explore the idea and have fun with it while learning what works. From a juicy burger to a rich cheese or dessert, there’s a beer to create that perfect pairing – it’s all about letting the flavor of one enhance the other,” Jennifer Glanville, brewery manager at the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery, said for a press release.

This package comes with notes about each chocolate and suggestions for pairing with the beers in the variety pack. Those include Boston Lager, Winter Lager, Holiday Porter, Old Fezziwig, Chocolate Bock, a White Christmas. The last beer, an unfiltered white ale brewed with cinnamon and nutmeg spices and orange peel, is a new addition. The chocolate box can be ordered online or purchased in Samuel Adams Boston Brewery gift shop.

Joe Sixpack’s annual beer run

Christmas BeerDon Russell, author of Christmas Beer: The Cheeriest, Tastiest, and Most Unusual Holiday Brews and sometimes known as Joe Sixpack, writes today about his annual Xmas beer run.

He didn’t fly to Norway this year, but per usual he also didn’t settle for shopping in one store. He begins, “This year, I kept closer to home, but the beer run was no less fulfilling. It took me to Whole Foods’ Cold Point Pub at Plymouth Meeting’s madhouse mall, where the bottle shop is just brimming with holiday bottles. Those silly Pennsylvania liquor laws that limit takeout purchases to 192 ounces had me hauling the first load of bottles (Corsendonk Christmas Ale, Dupont Avec Les Bon Voeux) to the parking garage before hiking back for a fine-looking magnum of Mikkeller Red/White Christmas.”

Then he moves on, acquiring, among other things, Evil Twin Christmas Eve at a New York City Hotel Room (Denmark). “Sounds more like an O Henry short story than an imperial stout.”