Archive | November, 2011

Hop candy: Bittersweet?

These hop-infused chocolates come in different flavors, hop flavors that is.

For instance: Amarillo – floral and citrusy, typically used in American Ales and IPA’s. 8% – 10% Alpha Acid, medium bitterness and hop flavor. Or: Northern Brewer – Strong fragrant hop with a unique mint-like evergreen flavor. 7% – 10% Alpha Acid, Medium to Strong flavor and bitterness.

All Hopolates are made to order, so this won’t work as a last-second present.

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Santa comes clean: Beer suds

Rogue Dead Guy soap

Dennis Anderson, a Portland native, turns delicious brews such as Hopworks DOA, Rogue Dead Guy Ale and Widmer Hefeweizen into handmade soaps sold through his Etsy store.

Made with rich ingredients such as olive oil and shea butter, his “cruelty-free” soap, lip balm and body butter are moisturizing, and come in dozens of delicious scents beyond microbrews. $5.50 for one 4.5-ounce bar.

Purchase at Anderson Soap Company.

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‘Brewed Awakening’: We’re not talking coffee

Brewed AwakeningThe full title — Brewed Awakening: Behind the Beers and Brewers Leading the World’s Craft Brewing Revolution — is a mouthful, but properly describes the tour author Josh Bernstein takes readers on in this recent release.

As Bernstein explained in an interview at Zester education has been a cornerstone of craft beer growth, and that includes “learning by drinking.”

The challenge for the novice is not only figuring out where to begin, but where to go next. Bernstein provides easy directions, for instance, first explaining what hops contribute to beer and then introducing cutting-edge varieties. Bernstein considers where beer is going as much as where it has been, and no review is likely to complain the book is “so 2008.”

The topics covered — from gypsy brewers to session beers to old styles made new — are current enough for blog posts. And most often come with tasting notes.

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$19.95 bottle opener a political statement

Beers Not Bombs Bottle Opener$19.95 for a bottle opener? That must be a political statement. You probably don’t buy a “Beers not Bombs” bottle opener unless you want to make a political statement or are enthralled by the story about how they are made. A company called War to Peace fashions jewelry from Peace Bronze, an alloy taken from copper previously used for wiring in nuclear missile systems.

The bottle openers are the newest addition to its catalog and 20 percent of profits are donated to peace and social justice organizations: The Hunger Project; Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières; and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

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New Belgium glass sales benefit nonprofits

New Belgium Brewing is giving back during the gift-giving season by offering beer globe glasses that benefit nonprofit organizations. Each winterized two-pack gift box is available for $8.99, with $1 from each purchase going to one of four participating beneficiaries. Visitors to www.newbelgium.com can select “The Glass That Gives” to purchase glassware and designate which organization they would like to support.

New for 2011, New Belgium will roll out smaller 12/14 oz. glasses (12 ounces to the line, 14 ounces to the top) in addition to the classic 16/18 oz. globes (16 ounces to the line, 18 ounces to the top). Many bars will also feature the glasses with a new rack specifically designed for the New Belgium globes.

The nonprofits benefitting from “The Glass That Gives” program include:

* Water Keeper Alliance (www.waterkeeper.org), whose mission is to provide a way for communities to stand up for their right to clean water and for the wise and equitable use of water resources, both locally and globally.
* People for Bikes (www.peopleforbikes.org), whose mission is to make bicycling safer, more convenient, and appealing to everyone.
* Organic Farming Research Foundation (www.ofrf.org), whose mission is to foster the improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming systems.
* Save the Colorado Foundation (www.savethecolorado.org), which is focused on supporting environmental organizations working to protect and restore the endangered Colorado River.

New Belgium also has two holiday beers on the shelves — Snow Day and Frambozen.

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