Opinions of BrewDog tend to go one of four ways. The evangelists think the company can do no wrong. The haters cannot get past the relentless self-promotion, and loathe everything BrewDog stands for. The compromisers argue that yes, they might on the whole be happier if BrewDog toned down the language and cut the stunts, but hey, they brew such great beers you have to forgive them.... The final group, let’s call them the sceptics, reckon the beer and the hype are, in fact, inseparable. The aggressive, outrageous, infuriating (and ingenious) rise of BrewDog
The beverages are consumed regularly by thirty-one per cent of kids between the ages of twelve and seventeen, and by thirty-four per cent of those aged eighteen to twenty-four. U.S. sales for energy drinks and shots now total more than twelve and a half billion dollars—a number that the market-research firm Packaged Facts predicts will grow by another nine billion dollars by 2017. A new study [note: behind paywall] , published in the November issue of Health Psychology, suggests that appeals by energy-drink companies to the thrill-thirsty male id are coming at a psychological and physical cost, however. -- Rachel Giese, How Energy-Drink Companies Prey on Male Insecurities
Love strawberries? Try these six tasty strawberry cocktails from Chicago bartenders. Looking for something a little less fruity with a little more history? How about five essential Southern cocktails?
Neither option appeal to you? Maybe you missed this previous summer cocktail post?
Neither option appeal to you? Maybe you missed this previous summer cocktail post?
The good people at Information Is Beautiful took the data from the "75+ classic cocktail recipes from the International Bartender’s Association’s list of drinks every bartender should know" and turned into into a beautiful reference chart. As an added bonus, they converted the ingredients to proportions for easy scaling. Cheers!
"Here’s an understatement for you: 2014 was a great year for beer. Seriously, it’s hard to put into words just how awesome American craft beer was this year. IPAs got sessionable, then they got fresh-hopped, breweries collaborated like hip hop moguls, older (let’s call them classic?) breweries reinvented themselves with ambitious experiments while young breweries helped push the envelope of style and taste…there were hundreds, probably thousands of new beers hitting the shelves and taps all year long, challenging our palates and expectations day after day. It’s an exciting time to be alive."
MIND MELD: Food in Science Fiction versus Fantasy
This week we asked about Food and Drink in SF. Food and Drink in science fiction sometimes seems limited to replicator requests for Earl Grey tea and Soylent green discs. Why doesn’t do as much food as Fantasy? Does Fantasy lend itself more to food than Science fiction? Why? This is what they had to say…[more inside]
Mental Floss links to free How-To guides from a hundred years ago that are still helpful if you need to mesmerize someone or name a baby
The Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery is an annual weekend conference discussing food, its history, and culture. Since 1981 the papers presented at the Symposium have been collected into a conference volume called the Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, most of which have been made available for free in their entirety via Google Books. Each volume consists of about 25-40 papers surrounding the theme of that year's Symposium (e.g. Eggs, Authenticity, or The Meal). [more inside]
"The idea that Medieval people drank beer or wine to avoid drinking bad water is so established that even some very serious scholars see no reason to document or defend it; they simply repeat it as a settled truth. In fact, if no one ever documents the idea, it is for a very simple reason: it's not true."
Marc Anderson, the winner of the Beautiful Now sound competition has a site called Nature Soundmap where you can listen to sounds from around the world. [more inside]
Darcy O’Neil’s “Art of Drink” blog examines temperance images from the 1800s, the meaning of temperance, historical drinking and driving ads, and a couple of bitters labels for good measure. [more inside]
Even in the grips of the Great Recession, one industry's profits are bubbling up, pouring forth, and experiencing growth in market share, dollars spent, and profit: craft beer! [more inside]
A Guide to Writing Sherlockian-Tea Habits. In which EnigmaticPenguin (of death) schools fanfiction authors in correct English tea theory and practice. Follow up: Biscuits.
Everyone knows America's Oldest Brewery is D.G. Yuengling & Son (and daughters) of Pottsville, PA (and Tampa, FL) This family owned brewery was established as the "Eagle Brewery" in 1829 by a German immigrant named David Gottlob Jüngling. After the original brewery burned down in 1831 it was relocated to its current location. It was built into a mountain with caves dug into the side, a common practice to preserve beer and to achieve the cool temperatures required to make lager before refrigeration. Yuengling spent most of its history as a small regional brewery and only began to attract national attention years after the launch of Yuengling Traditional Lager in 1987, which went on to become the flagship product of the company and now accounts for 80% of Yuengling's production. On the strength of that growth, and with other brewers being bought out by or outsourcing production to foreign companies, Yuengling has now passed The Boston Beer Company to claim the title of America's largest brewing company as well. In this globalized beer era where giants war for market share, products from America's new largest brewer are only available in 14 states.
New Year's Eve is fast approaching, and for lots of folks that means... drinking. Plenty of drinking. And since there's no shortage of singers and songwriters who've had a little something to say about that particular topic, maybe some of the following tunes can serve as an appropriate soundtrack to your own joyous (or not?) imbibing of spirits. For example, there's... Jimmy Liggins with his succinct rendition of Drunk, and there's... [more inside]
Bored by Bourdain? Zimmern make you go zzzzzzzz? Then this is the travel show you've been longing for: from the BBC, Oz and James's Big Wine Adventure. Think Felix and Oscar on a camper van road trip; with wine critic and dandy Oz Clarke teaching Top Gear's James May all about the noble grape. Season one finds them touring the vineyards of France. Season two, California. In the third series, Oz and James Drink to Britain, we follow the unlikely boon companions as they get soused from Plymouth to Aberdeen. Episodes are currently being rebroadcast on BBC America and are also available On Demand. Fortunately, some kind soul [IchiDeux] has put all three series up on YouTube. This is as entertaining and informative as anything you'll find on the telly. Not convinced? Here they are in Ireland. (And if you're in need of a good belly laugh, please do forward to the 12:15 mark.)
It's going to be a hot one today in the northeast. Why not make some switchel to stay cool? [more inside]
In the 1940s, he fought Nazis. In the 1950s, he fought the U.S. Civil Service. He's battled the Pentagon, the FBI, the medical establishment, the police, and so on. Generally, he wins. And when he's won, so has the entire gay community.... He coined the phrase ''Gay is Good'' in 1968, when the distance between homosexuality and shame was a very short trip.
He co-founded the Mattachine Society of Washington in 1961, one of the nation’s earliest gay rights groups, picketed the White House, and became the first openly gay Congressional candidate when he ran for DC’s House seat in 1971.Kameny finally got an apology from the government that fired him for being gay. But he didn't get his pension back. And now, "while his mind is sharp, he has difficulty managing his finances. To be brief, one of our greatest heroes needs help." So maybe you'd like to Buy Frank A Drink. (previously, previously)
Scientists have finally discovered tyhe physics of how cats drink.
Videos about people who love (and know) coffee, tea, soda, sake, absinthe, bread, pizza... It's Obsessives, by CHOW. Useful tips and fascinating personalities. (Some of these were linked previously on the Blue, but they work great together as an ensemble.)
The Guardian has an article on Pimm's, a traditional gin-based English summer drink. Invented by one James Pimm in London in 1840, Pimm's soon became associated with upper-class institutions and the British Empire; its popularity declined somewhat in the decades following World War 2 (apart from a few revivals as part of ironic constructions of "Britishness"), though it has recently experienced a resurgence in popularity. Recipes for serving Pimm's vary, though they typically involve mixing it with lemonade and/or ginger beer in a jug and adding oranges, strawberries, sliced cucumber and mint. While the formula remains a secret, knockoffs do exist (both Sainsbury's and Aldi sell their own substitutes, though Sainsbury's had to change the label on its to look less like the original), or you could try making your own.
Soft drinks have become ubiquitous around the world. Everywhere you go, you are more likely than not going to see them being sold at stores, food carts and roadside stands. [more inside]
Images of food—and the preparation of food—invariably have that effect on people. They unite viewers who might otherwise have nothing in common; they plug directly into the primal craving for transitory pleasure, the desire not just to admire and then consume inventively prepared food, but also to serve (and be served by) people who love us.
Greatbrewers.com releases the Beer Sommelier. Beer is increasingly considered the ideal beverage to accompany food for its palate cleansing carbonation and its diverse range of styles featuring flavor and aroma characteristics that can enhance any dish. But selecting the right beer style to complement a specific dish, and tracking down a retailer that carries that style presents inherent challenges. Masterfully select the best beer styles to pair with any dish, see examples of those styles, and track down individual beers in your neighborhood with the Beer Sommelier. [more inside]
Who's going out in Cardiff tonight? Most everyone knows all about Hogarth and his work on Gin lane and women under the influence of good old British beer (leading to the passing of the Gin Act). Well, it would seem that nothing much changes, at least in Cardiff (unless, of course, the medical adviser gets his way).
To see the White Russian renaissance in full bloom, it is instructive to attend a Lebowski Fest. With commentary from the original Dude. (NY Times)
SOMEHOW, THE FOLLOWING VIDEO CLIPS SEEMED APPROPRIATE FOR INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY: WORLD'S FASTEST CLAPPER - WORLD'S FASTEST DRINKER - WORLD'S FASTEST UNDRESSER - WORLD'S FASTEST SHOOTER and WORLD RECORD 124 HEADSPINS.
He wanted his espresso iced, but the coffee shop wouldn't let him. "Hey man. What you're about to do … that’s really, really Not Okay." [more inside]
You might have thought a six month hangover was bad enough but now in 'binge-drink Britain' there's a reported rise in 'exploding bladders'... safe for work but you might want to read it with your legs crossed. Or a least spend a penny first.
You'll feel like a fighter jet made of biceps!
Do You Taste What I Taste? - The first of Slate's 3-part series on the physiology of taste [parts 2, 3]
Soft drinks for the undecided. Next time you're in Singapore and feeling thirsty yet noncommittal, why not pick up a can of Anything or Whatever? Just be warned that you won't know whether you're drinking Cola, Cloudy Lemon, or Chrysanthemum Tea until...your...first...sip. (Via the effervescent & esoteric Knowledge for Thirst.)
[Joe] Namath learned to drink as a youngster, back home in Beaver Falls. You could say he developed a taste for hooch as an infant— when he got fussy while teething his mother rubbed his gums with a rag soaked in grain alcohol. (via SpoFi, another story of a great athlete/drunkard)
On a less serious note, 12 signs you drank too much. (May be NSFW--some partial male nudity)
How Not To Get Drunk is a newish blog that takes a quasi-scientific approach to the fine art of imbibing without embarassment. Maybe Ben Affleck (YouTube) should take some lessons.
Serious vegetarians know to keep on the lookout for isinglass and other animal products in their beer. Isinglass is a fish-derived additive that's primarily used to help speed up the clarification of cask-conditioned ales, although some beer-makers will use it to reclaim batches that didn't filter properly. You can help keep your diet swimbladder-free with this awesome list.
Snooker legend dies A very sad day for snooker lovers. Bill Werbeniuk, the only man to split his trousers on live television during a professional snooker match, has died. And he liked a pint or thirty.
So When Can The Boy Start Drinking Then? From February 1 you'll have to be 16 to order an alcoholic drink in Portugal. We Portuguese were the last bastion in Europe - with no age limit at all - but have finally given in the to pressures from the European Union. Yet young people here enjoy drinking but rarely get drunk. Age limits vary wildly all over the world and the debate on the ideal drinking age rages on. The U.S. is still the strictest country of all. And yet public displays(and tacit approval)of drunkenness seem to be far more prevalent in the stricter countries than in those who have more liberal legislation. So what should be the minimum drinking age? [The main link, in Portuguese, refers to the political battles that preceded the new law. Interestingly, it reports the Portuguese government resisted EU pressure to limit 16-year-olds to beer and wine, more or less saying "alcohol is alcohol - you can get drunk on anything - so it would be silly to limit young people's choices." ]
The Science of Getting Schnockered The "New Scientist" directory of articles relating to drunkenness. Some of my favorites: why drunk people tend to stagger more to one side than another, drunks can control their behavior if they really want to, and girls can match boys drink for drink, so long as they stick to beer.
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