Saturday, May 24, 2014

Locally Brewed by Anna Blessing

I have very little free time, or at least it feels like I do, what with a career that can eat up both hours at work & at home, as well as an almost-three-year-old about the house. But, sometimes, when I do get a bit of time, I'll grab a beer-reIated book, and try to boost the beery brawn of my brain.

Locally Brewed, by Anna Blessing, is an interesting & casual read that's easy to pick up & put down in short sessions. In it, you'll surely learn about some of the beers brewed in the midwest of America, but the uniqueness of this book lies in its real focus, which is the people & places behind these beers. You will learn about the beginnings, challenges, and successes of 20 breweries like Bell's, Three Floyds, and Jolly Pumpkin. You'll find lists of the best local places to grab a pint of these breweries, like New Glarus, Great Lakes, and Founders. You'll learn some info on brewery setups / size, & things each company's learned along the way (like how most of them wish they'd started out bigger). One of my favourite parts of the book, that I think was pure genius, is the inclusion of brewers' playlists. For whatever reason, I would argue that those in craft beer are more deeply into music than the average citizen. Seeing their choice of at-work tunes is a neat look inside of their work environments and minds, a bit of insight into what kind of gals and guys are making these brews.

Locally Brewed is a great read; an enjoyable and insightful book that you can pick up and read any part of in any amount of spare time that you may happen to have.

Friday, May 23, 2014

John Brown Richmond Street Grille

Last weekend, somewhat quietly, the (take a deep breath to say it) John Brown Richmond Street Grille opened in the spot that was most recently "The Globe" (as well as Brennan's, Pat's Rose & Gray, etc.). It'll be affectionately known as "Brown's".

I make note of it here because it instantly became the best place to go on PEI if you are looking for off-Island beers on tap. As of last weekend, they have 18 taps, and plan to have up to 21, and to rotate the selection if they can. Most of the beers they have on tap are available in bottles in PEILCC stores, but there are a few that aren't (Garrison's Nut Brown, for example, and Pump House's Pail Ale and Pilsner). Some expected beers didn't make it for the opening (Garrison's Imperial IPA, for example, Hop Bot, as well as a few from Picaroons, and local brewers, Barnone). Hopefully they'll make an appearance some time soon. It would have been nice to see some other brewers included like Propeller (who apparently didn't want to sell here... yet), or some newer quality regional brewers, like Boxing Rock, for example.

Who knows... maybe we'll see them there in the future. I'll keep you posted. Stop on by online to check out their offerings:

Liefmans Oud Bruin

A cloudy medium-brown, this low-headed beer has a great aroma - reminding me of some other great sours,  it has a smell a bit like a white wine melded with some dark fruits. Its flavour doesn't knock my socks off, but it is quite refreshing - like a ratcheted-down lambic with a bit more sweetness. The body is surprisingly light, given its colour, and it has low carbonation. It would be a great beer to start introducing someone new to sours with, or to get a wine-loving friend to open up to some different notions on beer.