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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Archive for May, 2013

Beer Town: Michael Pollan homebrewer

cooked-coverIn his new book, “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation,” Michael Pollan takes on two of my favorite subjects: barbecue and beer.

Sort of surprising, maybe? Since Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” was published in 2006, the author seems to have been cast in the difficult roles of food activist and superego of conscious consumption.

In “Cooked,” though, he’s clearly having some fun eating and drinking, while still asking all the right questions.

The fundamental question of “Cooked” is “why cook?” The answer takes more than 400 pages and covers braising, baking, and pickle- and cheese-making, among other things.

Neatly (for me, anyway), the first part of the book is about fire and whole-hog barbecue, and the last part is about fermentation, including Pollan’s novice adventures in homebrewing.

Southern aficionados of smoked meat may shake their heads reading about Pollan’s wide-eyed wonder at his first taste of real pulled pork with shards of …

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Wine Kulers: The Fizz of Summer

Gil Kulers, CWE

Gil Kulers, CWE

H. Billiot Fils, Brut Réserve, Champagne (Image courtesy of Elizabeth Schroth)

H. Billiot Fils, Brut Réserve, Champagne (Image courtesy of Elizabeth Schroth)

  • $50
  • Two Thumbs Way Up
  • Intense aromas of green apple, toasted bread with tons of bright citrus, which ebbed a bit after opening. Lots of fresh citrus on the palate with a playful note of cherry, but also measured chalk-like, mineral notes, baked apple, brown bread and crème brulée that woke up as the wine warmed slightly.

As I write this, the Atlanta Braves baseball club has the best record in the National League and the second-best in the majors. From this unbiased observer’s perspective, the World Series is a virtual lock for the Braves. Therefore, we must start planning now for the ladder of celebrations to come.

The natural celebratory beverage of choice (“The Natural,” get it?) is bubbly. The majority of baseball analysts on my street in Decatur pick the Braves to win the National League East, so we won’t have to deal with the rigmarole of the Wild Card play-in game. …

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Beer Town: American Craft Beer Week 2013

acbw_featured-190x329In its eighth year, American Craft Beer Week (ACBW), May 13-19, has taken the tag line “Big Week, Small Breweries” to celebrate the continued growth of a movement that now includes more than 2,360 small and independent U.S. brewing companies — the highest total since the 1880s.

ACBW is sponsored by the Colorado-based Brewers Association (BA), a not-for-profit trade association that represents craft brewery members in everything from legislation to litigation, while organizing big events such as the World Beer Cup, the Great American Beer Festival and the Craft Brewers Conference.

New for 2013, the ACBW Coast to Coast Toast will unite craft beer lovers in all 50 states, who will simultaneously raise their glasses at 8:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 16.

Even if you think the toast is a tad hokie, it certainly symbolizes how far craft beer has come in the past decade, penetrating mainstream culture, and bringing new breweries to communities where beer hadn’t been …

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Kulers Uncorked: Hipster Wine-o’s

Gil Kulers, CWE

Gil Kulers, CWE

2011 Peillot Altesse, Roussette du Bugey, Montagnieu, France

2011 Peillot Altesse, Roussette du Bugey, Montagnieu, France

  • $24
  • Two Thumbs Way Up
  • Refreshing floral notes with plentiful aromas of tart citrus and fresh bell pepper. Tart citrus fruits and a touch of lemon zest and a raw almond quality balance out delicate mineral and petrol notes.

Did you hear the one about the hipster wine-o who burned his lip drinking coffee? He drank it before it was cool.

Or this one? How much does a hipster wine-o weigh? An Insta-gram.

In April, I had the pleasure of attending the Drink Local Wine conference in Baltimore. DLW promotes wines from lesser-known and undiscovered wine regions and after morning seminars, a lunch featuring Maryland wines and a media tasting, the doors were opened to the general public for a Twitter tasting of 40-plus wines from The Old Line State. (More on what a Twitter tasting is in a moment.)

As the crowd shuffled in, to my pleasant surprise I saw about 350 of the youngest faces ever at a wine event. I …

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