April 29, 2012

Chow.com: The Best Brewpub in America

Right now on Chow.com, you have an opportunity to vote for the best brewpub in America.  I've been to three of the eight still in the running: the Wrecking Bar in Atlanta, Cambridge Brewing Company in Massachusetts, Revolution Brewing in Chicago.

These are some tough choices!

Vote every day through the final round May 8 - 15.

April 28, 2012

WA: Churchkey Can Company

You know it's big when even the celebs are getting on board.

Are you a fan of the HBO show Entourage?  Inc. and Techcrunch report that actor Adrian Grenier is a co-founder of Churchkey Can Company, a brewery start-up out of the Seattle area.  Their "shtick" is nostalgia for something most of us don't remember.  Instead of packaging in standard beer cans, Churchkey throws back to the old-style flat top beer can that you have to open with the pointy end of a can opener.  So that's what it's for...

The Washington Beer Blog tells us more about Churchkey Can Company and its interesting arrangement with the brewery next door.

So far Churchkey is keeping it local.  It can currently be found in these locations in Portland and Seattle.

April 26, 2012

Costa Rica: La Primera Festival Cerveza Artesanal

While craft beer is taking the US by storm, the movement in other parts of the world is just starting to gain momentum. This past Saturday was the first ever Festival Cerveza Artesanal in Costa Rica, organized by the small but growing community of craft breweries, homebrewers, retailers, and enthusiasts in this Latin American country known for its ecotourism and laid back, Pura Vida attitude. (Pura Vida translates to "the good life" or "the pure life" and can be used to say hello, goodbye, or in response to the question "how's it going?")

The festival was held outdoors on the swanky shopping strip Avenida EscazĂș, in a suburb of San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. The weather was perfect, with a good mix of both Ticos and foreigners arriving for the event right on time.

April 15, 2012

Esquire: Beer and Cheese Pairing Guide

Trying to figure out what to pair with your suds this spring?  Check out this Beer and Cheese Pairing Guide from Esquire Magazine for a few ideas.

We tried the hefeweizen/chevre combo for the Una Noche de Cerveza beer dinner and it was a huge hit.

Hungry yet?  Learn more about beer and cheese pairings on BeerAdvocate.com.

April 12, 2012

Finally: Homebrewing in Panama!

At long last -- after a good ten weeks of buying, importing, and smuggling equipment and ingredients, I am officially homebrewing in Panama!

This also marks my first exploit into all-grain brewing. Instead of using a combination of malt extract and grains, all-grain brewing obtains fermentable sugars exclusively from malted grains. I used the "Brew in a Bag" (BIAB) method for this first attempt, eliminating the need for a big pieces of equipment: a mash tun. Instead of mashing the grain in one container and boiling the wort with another, the Brew in a Bag method allows you to do everything in one vessel.

First, let me introduce you to a few of my new toys:

Delaware Online: A behind-the-scenes tour of Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton

I've been to the Dogfish Head Alehouse, but I have yet to visit the production brewery in Delaware.  This article by Patricia Talorico really makes me want to check it out:

A behind-the-scenes tour of Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton

About the author:
Patricia Talorico is the deputy features editor of The News Journal. She has written for USA Today and The Washington Post and been a contributor to Bon Appetit. Talorico has twice been nominated for James Beard Foundation Awards for best feature writing.

April 10, 2012

This Weekend in Virginia: New River Brewfest

Festival season is certainly upon us.

Six great breweries from my home state of Virginia will be featured this weekend at the New River Brewfest in Radford, VA.

Saturday, April 14

$20 in advance/$25 at the gate

Participating breweries:

Bull & Bones

The River Company

Lost Rhino

Starr Hill

Legend Brewing Company

April 9, 2012

Announced: First Ever Costa Rican Microbrewery Festival

I'm telling ya, craft beer is becoming a world-wide phenomenon.  The people want it fresh and they want it local.

Costa Rica is just a little ahead of Panama in terms of craft beer, with five or so microbreweries to Panama's three. The festival, which takes place April 21, is sure to be a good time.  Anyone want to spot my airfare?

Click here for the festival website.

UPDATE [May 25, 2012]: Yes, I made it to the festival and it was awesome.  Check out my review of the festival here.

Also, I got quoted in the Costa Rica Star!

April 8, 2012

Panama Brews Part 3: Una Noche de Cerveza

Last week, I teamed up with a couple other expats (Katie Garstin & Blayne Ladner) to present Una Noche de Cerveza. The mission: to jump-start craft beer culture in Panama City with an exclusive beer pairing dinner. Blayne generously opened up the Super Gourmet for the evening while Katie and I put together a menu consisting of four courses and five, 6-ounce beers to accompany each course:

April 5, 2012

Excellent Infographic

I think it's telling me something:

Design by Melissa Schmechel Motzkin of Darlingville.com, winner of the Sixpoint Brewery Beer is Culture Contest.

April 2, 2012

NC Event - Casks for a Cure 2

This North Carolina craft beer event benefits Pints for Prostates, which seeks to elevate prostate health issues through the medium of beer.  Casks will be featured from several soon-to-open North Carolina craft breweries, such as Haw River Farmhouse Ales, Steel String Brewery, Four Saints Brewing Company, Deep River 
Brewing, Sub Noir Brewing, and Fortnight Brewing Company.