Tag Archives: beer

Ale vs. Lager

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Bonjour – and Happy Friday!

I have come to the realization that I might be a seminar addict, which I think I may just chalk up to the fact that I like to learn and expand my repertoire of knowledge. That works, right? Either way, I’ve been going to my fair share of seminars lately, and I thought I would pass along the wealth I obtained from the one I attended on Wednesday night at this fabulous liquor store in Cranston called Wines & More. Seriously though, this place is badass and I highly recommend you check it out, especially if you like [good] beers. The owner and staff also happen to be grand.

Now, the information!

In case you weren’t aware, there are two branches of beer in the world – Ale and Lager. The differences are best described in the picture below:

As you can see, Ales use warm water with the yeast at the top of the fermentation tank, whereas Lagers use cold water with the yeast at the bottom of the tank. Ales are easier to brew because 1) they take much less time from start to finish, and 2) you can brew them in warmer climates like a closet, where Lagers need to be kept in refrigeration (mo’ money). The yeast in Lagers is apparently more aggressive than those in Ales, and many more “good” Ales exist, despite Lagers making up ~ 90% of the beer population {but that’s mainly because Budweiser and those poopy beers are Lagers}. However, the reason we probably see more microbrews doing Ales over Lagers these days is because they’re cheaper with a quick turn around; economically efficient!

I went into this seminar thinking it was just that… a seminar. So, I was very pleasantly surprised when the lecturer had 10 different beers lined up on his table and informed us that this was also a beer tasting. YES. Not only did I get to learn stuff, but I got to drink beers while doing it. And did I mention that this was free?? Life >>>

Here are the beers I drank:

  1. “Würzburger Pilsner” by Würzburger Hofbräu. LAGER. Yes, this is very German; it reminds me of Beerfest and I’m wondering if this is the kind of beer Farva drowned in. Obviously, brewed in Germany. It is a Pils (short for Pilsner) with an earthy, spicy, herbal taste. 4.9% abv. This type of beer apparently is very hard to make taste good, so hats off to the Germans across the pond because it tasted swell.
  2. “American Pale Ale” by Stoneface. ALE. Stoneface is a new brewery based out of New Hampshire, and after trying this I should probably make the trek up there sometime soon. No British hops were used in the making of this, only the American kind – falconers flight to be exact and it was dry hopped. 5.6% abv.
  3. “Leisure Time” by Jack’s Abby. LAGER. Another local brewery (Massachusetts), Jack’s Abby has been a favorite of my dad’s for a while. They’re super awesome because unlike the rest of the microbrewery population, they only make Lagers, and they are killing it. This beer was a Belgian Whit, but a Lager version. 4.8% abv. With chamomile brewed into it, it really is good for lounging around, and there’s no intense tongue coating/lingering aftertaste like you get with Ales.
  4. “Vitus” by Weihenstephaner. LAGER. Okay, this German beer kicks ass and I am eternally grateful to the fine fellow who ran the seminar and introduced it to me. This is a spicy single-bock ale with vanilla, banana, bubblegum, citrus and clove flavors, and at 7.7% abv this bad boy packs a mighty punch, but doesn’t taste like it’s as potent as it is. {Danger, Will Robinson}. Having won world-class beer awards, you don’t even have to take my word for it. It also happens to be one of the oldest breweries around, having been founded around the year 1000. Basically, you should buy this beer next time you go to the booze store.
  5. “Granola Brown” by Black Hog. ALE. These guys have some really awesome artwork on their cans; I’ve bought “Ginja’ Ninja” by them before strictly for the aesthetics. Another local brewery located in Oxford, Connecticut, this actually tastes like granola and has a mildly viscous texture to it. Brown ales are one of the oldest styles of beer and usually are watery, making this one an outlier. 5.7% abv.
  6. “Kyritzer Mord Und Totschlag” by Klosterbrauerei Neuzelle GmbH. LAGER. Probably I don’t need to tell you this is from Germany, but I should say that the beer name translates to “Murder and Manslaughter”. This is a Schwarzbier style beer, black lager, with a smokey, chocolate flavor and a smooth clean finish. Originally brewed for knights (hence the name) in 1488. 7.2% abv.
  7. “Flower Power” by Ithaca. ALE. An India Pale Ale brewed in New York, this is an English style brewski with pineapple, malt, honey and apricot flavors. Flower Power is hopped/dry-hopped five times throughout the brewing and fermentation process. 7.5% abv.
  8. “Hoponius Union” by Jack’s Abby. LAGER. Jack’s Abby was the first brewery to ever make an India Pale Lager, and this is their brainchild. With a crisp, non-lingering bitterness (65 ibu’s), this is a very session-able beer that is easy to hang out with. 6.7% abv.
  9. “Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock” by Privatbrauerei Franz Inselkammer KG / Brauerei Aying. LAGER. Once again, Germany is killing it in the beer department. This type of beer is a Doppelbock, and if you ever wondered why there are goats on the labels, there’s a pun-ny story behind it, but you’ll have to look it up or ask me. These beers were brewed by – and for – Bavarian monks, and dubbed “liquid bread”. This is how they supposedly got nutrients when they were fasting. Considered a world-class beer, it has toffee, raisin, plum and citrus tones. Drink this puppy cold. 6.7% abv.
  10. “Péché Mortel” by Brasserie Dieu du Ciel! ALE. Despite being brewed in Canada, I still love it for it’s French name, Mortal Sin. Even though it’s 9.5% abv, this beer honestly doesn’t taste like beer; it takes like a giant espresso shot. It is an imperial coffee stout that lingers longer, which should probably be savored since it is only released 4 times a year.

Fun Facts: Wheat makes beer cloudy and 100 IBUs is the highest ranking a beer can get for bitterness units.

That’s it for now. Cheers!!

Anxiety Reducing Foods

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Hey There Babes,

The other day, I recommended pot to a customer. Don’t get the wrong idea. She was an older woman of about 75+ years with glaucoma and asked me for tips on what to eat/drink to help alleviate stress and calm her nerves. Marijuana sort of came out like word vomit, I couldn’t help it. Seriously though, it’s EXACTLY what would solve her problems, or at least help significantly.

Her response? She laughed and commented that it wasn’t the first time someone said that to her, but she said she couldn’t bring herself to do it. I inquired as to why, and she didn’t really have a legitimate response. My guess is she “doesn’t do drugs”.

Ugh. Why must people still consider this a drug? It makes me sad. This is a plant. Mother nature gave it to us; it’s not cultivated in a lab and there have NEVER been any deaths from this herb.
Maybe someday people will grow some brains, but until then… I guess you can pay pharmaceutical companies your hard earned money to pop pills that contain sketchy chemicals and most likely are doing more harm than good. Take that as you will.

Anyway, since this woman will not take my original advice, I took to the interweb and started doing some research on specific foods that help alleviate stress and reduce anxiety. In case any of you are interested, here’s the list:

1. Asparagus – boosts folic acid
2. Avocado – stress relieving B vitamins
3. Blueberries – stress busting antioxidants and vitamin C
4. Milk – calming antioxidants, protein, calcium, B2 and B12
5. Almonds – stress relieving and immune boosting vitamins B2 and E
6. Oranges – lower stress hormone cortisol, vitamin C
7. Salmon – omega 3 keeps cortisol and adrenaline from spiking
8. Spinach – comforting, promotes well-being and magnesium regulates cortisol
9. Turkey – AA Tryptophan releases serotonin and promotes calmness
10. Oatmeal – serotonin, use thick cut and old fashioned

Encouragingly enough, these are all actually foods that the general public seems to enjoy – so start incorporating some of the above ingredients into your diet! Honestly, you can combine the majority of those into a powerful anxiety reducing smoothie (milk, avocado, blueberries, almonds, orange, spinach and oats).

Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin

Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin

In other news, fall is officially here! Which means that pumpkin beer is now in season. I can’t say I’m the biggest pumpkin fan, but I do enjoy a nice bottled pumpkin brew. I have made it a goal to try as many different pumpkin flavored beers as I can while their around, so that means you guys get to hear about it. The first one was Shipyard’s Smashed Pumpkin. At one pint and 9% ABV, this puppy packs a punch, and is quite damn delicious. Definitely would recommend giving this a try.

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

The next contender was Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale. First of all, the label is awesome. Very Dogfish Head – I love the branding that they do. Pumpkin beer must be high in alcohol percentage or something because this one is 7% ABV, which again falls in step with Dogfish Head. This was another tasty brewski, and I would pick it up if you see it on the shelves!

Detox Your Socks Off: Cleansing Through Juices

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Hello my loves!

As a precursor to this blog post, I should probably warn you that I have had a Heady Topper with my dinner. Don’t know what a Heady Topper is? I am truly sorry. It is greatness in a can that is only brewed in one of my favorite states: Vermont. It has the extreme hoppiness of an IPA and well, it is my favorite beer that exists on this planet. Here’s the packaging to get a gist for what this beer really entails.

Heady Label bottle

Anyway. I know I should be catching you up with my West Coast escapades, but I want to mix it up a little bit tonight and tell you about my juice cleanse that I just finished yesterday. First of all, let me tell you: IT WAS BRUTAL. If you ever talk to someone who tells you that going on a detox juice cleanse is easy, they are lying to you.

As you may know, I currently work at an amazing juice bar, and I recently accepted a job (that starts next week!) where I am actually co-founding a new juice bar in Rhode Island, so juicing definitely has its claws in my life. We offer a detox juice cleanse at Raw Bobs, so I am constantly giving people advice throughout their cleanses, but I had never actually given it a try for myself.

After my travels, I  came down with a persistent cold, and I figured this was as good a time as ever to actually practice what I preach… hence the start of my juice cleanse!

Here’s the breakdown:

I did a three-day cleanse. I had hopes to do five days, but let’s face it: I love food. I love making it, I love looking at it, and I especially love eating it, so three days was as much as I could bear.

When doing a cleanse, please be sure to not exert a ton of energy. You are healing your body from the inside, so it is crucial to not kill yourself physically — give your lovely self those days to relax; let your body recuperate. I went rock climbing on my second day, but it was an easy climb. I just couldn’t stay inactive. I have a problem; oh well. I probably wouldn’t recommend that to everyone though. You must remember.. I work at a juice bar. Juicing is a huge part of my life, so going on a cleanse was not as difficult for me as it is for the general public.

ANYWAY. Here are the rules of my juice cleanse: for 3 days, drink five 16 oz juices (six if you are a male), followed by 32 ounces of water per juice. This way, you are keeping yourself hydrated, as well as flushing out all that nastiness that calls your body its home.

A Quick Pic From Portland

A Quick Pic From Portland

Below, I will post my personal juices that I used, but don’t feel obligated to use those on your own cleanse. Yes, mine are quite ideal because they are super low in calories and are jam-packed with nutrients, but I can’t boast that they taste mega-delicious. I tried to make them as yummy as possible for me, but it’s a detox cleanse; it is not all rainbows and unicorns. If you do decide to deviate from my menu, please try and avoid fruits — sugar is a no-go! Stick with the greens, and have as many veggies in your juices as possible.

All in all, I recommend that everyone try this at least once in their lives. I’ve got to say, this nipped my cold in the butt AND I lost 7 pounds in 3 days!! BOO-YAH. If you want anymore information about juice cleanses, please don’t hesitate to ask me.

Les Juices:
Day One: Green apple, kale, lemon, ginger, cayenne (2 juices)
Kale, celery, cucumber, grapefruit, cilantro, basil (2 juices)
Beet, dandelion, lemon, turmeric, mint (1 juice)

Day Two: Celery, tomato, mint, ginger, beet greens, mango (2 juices)
Kale, lemon, cucumber, burdock, apple, cayenne (2 juices)
Beet, dandelion, lemon, ginger, mint, pear (1 juice)

Day Three: Celery, tomato, basil, spinach, lime (1 juice)
Kale, lemon, cayenne, red pepper, pineapple, parsley, cilantro (1 juice)
Beet, apple, carrot, lemon, ginger (1 juice)
Red pepper, cilantro, ginger, cucumber, celery, blackberries (1 juice)
Dandelion, green apple, burdock, celery, lemon (1 juice)

You are all awesome; stay that way! 😀

Livin’ Life Like An Oregonian

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Friday, March 28th: I’m not going to lie, I was incredibly sore after my multiple hikes in Washington Park in Portland, Oregon… so I had a late start to this Friday. Also, it was a pretty rainy morning, which meant that I took my sweet time getting ready for the day ahead. After I was sufficiently prepared (did some stretching and breakfast eating), I made moves for my last full day in Portland. Sad. I walked to the bus stop, took the bus to the Max un autre fois, and found myself in downtown Portland once again.

I had a goal to find a new pair of rain-boots considering mine had shit the bed. After visiting countless outdoors stores and the like (Portland is full of them – I loved it), I stumbled upon a Dr. Marten store and you guessed it, found my new babies there. Check them out, I find them to be pretty fresh!

What The Doctor Ordered

What The Doctor Ordered

Sweet kicks, eh? I also discovered another juice bar called Greenleaf, where I sucked down a SUPER hot juice with jalapeno and ginger inside, it was a nice compliment to the Indian food I had eaten for lunch from one of the many food trucks that reside in Portland (I loooooved that aspect).

Spicy Leaf Juice
Some of you may or may not know that I happen to be a HUGE Game Of Thrones fan, so of course after seeing this street sign, I had to take a picture in the family’s memory *tear*. I do want to talk about the coming season since Episode 1 has already aired, so expect that in the near future! Here she is:

House Stark

House Stark

Gallivanting around is pretty much how I spent my Friday in Portland; at least until Natasha was done with work. She got out around 5, so I met her at Portland City Grill, a place that was absolutely bumping during happy hour – which happened to run until 7! I slugged back some amazingly priced local wine, and soon Natasha, her friend and I had scored highly coveted seats in the bar for a brilliant view of the city.

Portland

Rainbow!

Rainbow!

Pretty phenomenal view, don’t you think? That place was packed, but Natasha was courageous enough to ask these gentlemen for their seats since they appeared to be cashing out; they were charming and let us sit down with them until they left. Having an actual table gave us the opportunity to order food (which was also mega-cheap), and we all split Rice Paper Spring Rolls and then I had Creole Shrimp and Grits – which was creamy polenta, roasted red pepper sauce and white cheddar with a ton of shrimp nestled within. It was amazing and I definitely recommend it if you ever stop in there for some grub!

YUM

YUM

We stayed at Portland City Grill for a little while longer, then it was time for us to make moves to Natasha’s friend and co-workers house, Dawn. She’s a bit older than we are, so she’s more put together — when we arrived her and her friends were chef-ing up a phenomenal meal of sauteed spinach with garlic, salmon, brussel sprouts with seasonings and olive oil, tomato and onion salad, and a few other things that I can’t remember anymore. I HAD to eat some brussel sprouts and salad since I am addicted to vegetables, and they were awesome.

Dawn's Floor Decor

Dawn’s Floor Decor

We also brought some local beer to the gathering, and there was plenty of wine to go around. Needless to say it was a grand time, especially when we started playing Cards Against Humanity; a dirty version of Apples to Apples, and a game I definitely encourage you to try out for a night of comedic relief.

teehee

teehee

Well, that was my final day and night in Portland! It couldn’t have ended any better in my opinion: good food, drink and company are all ingredients for awesomeness in my book.

Saturday, March 29th: The final day in Portland! Natasha and I slept in a little bit since it was the weekend, and after I had packed up all my belongings we set out in search of some good ole Portland grub. Natasha wanted to take me to a place called Slappy Cakes, where you can make your own pancakes on your table which doubles as a griddle/grille, but the wait was about 2 hours and I had a train to catch at 12:15… so that was a big fat negatory.

Instead, we wound up eating at a restaurant called Radio Room where I ordered and devoured their “Boss Hogg Benedict”, which was melted brie, bacon slices and poached eggs topped with hollandaise sauce and home fries on the side. ❤ ‘Twas fantastic, especially paired with the hot chocolate I ordered. Have I mentioned that I love Portland and it’s local food community? I couldn’t get enough!

After brunch, I had to say goodbye to Natasha 😦 . She dropped me off at the Portland train station and I was off to Olympia, Washington to stay with my friend Kaitlyn! I don’t want to overwhelm all you lovely humans with an overly long post, so I’ll stop here for now. Stay tuned for the last legs of my westward journey!

Stay beautiful, all of you.

Vertical (ad)Ventures

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Hey babes! I haven’t quite finished my re-cap of Florida, so without further ado…

Wednesday was the final full day of our short-lived vacation. Max and I had watched an intense climbing documentary the night before, so we had it in our heads that we were going to try out another rock gym. To make this happen as soon as possible, we had some breakfast, got dressed and made moves. Max’s mom took the day off from work to spend it with us, so we wound up piling myself, Max, Mindy, Mary and Mindy’s mom, Rita, into Mindy’s tiny car (it was a tight squeeze), dropped Rita off at the casino, and the remainder of us went to check out the rock gym.

At first, it was a fail. The gym we go to here in RI opens up at 10am everyday, so we figured that was the norm for rock gyms. Apparently not. Vertical Ventures, the only rock gym that we found in the Tampa area, didn’t open until 2pm. However, we showed up at 11:00. Herm.
We were dead set on going climbing, so we had some time to kill. What did we do? EAT!

GazpachoMojo Chicken Mindy (Max’s mom) had been telling us about this Cuban restaurant, named Columbia Restaurant, with excellent reviews our whole trip, so since we had the time, we finally decided to go check it out. It was a pretty sweet place if I do say so myself. It is a theater at night and the whole overall decor of the restaurant is awesomely unique. Plus, the food was great!

In case you’re curious as to what is pictured above, the first is “Gazpacho Andalucia”, which is a cold soup of puree of tomatoes, green peppers, onions, cucumbers and garlic, and topped with diced vegetables and toasted Cuban croutons. A fantastic choice in the Tampa heat. Second, was “Mojo Chicken”, a mojo-marinated char-grilled breast of chicken that was melted with Swiss cheese, roasted peppers, lettuce, tomatoes and alioli sauce on Cuban bread. It was also served with plaintain chips, but I’m not a fan of those because a) the flavor and b) they aren’t as good for you as one may think. However, the sandwich was divine and I definitely recommend giving this place a taste!

After a successful gorging session, we made our way back to the rock gym (it took us about 25 minutes, long enough to digest a little bit) and started climbing! It happened to be Ladies Discount Day, which meant I only had to pay $20 for everything – CHYEAH.

I Took This From The Website - Not Mine!

I Took This From Their Website – Not Mine!

This gym was quite different from the one in Orlando – it had a slack line and this moving rock wall, along with various other exercise toys to do that would accentuate a climbing workout. That stuff was pretty cool, but I did not like how hot and stuffy the gym itself was; it was small and had no ventilation… combine that with Florida heat and I was sweating up a storm. However, the routes were a good challenge and I had a pretty decent climb. I’ve got to say, people who rock climb in general are such nice people! They’re always willing to help you out and give advice, and they sincerely want you to do the best you can, which is such a breath of fresh air. I’m used to the riding world where 50% of the people are total jerks; so unnecessary.

Anyway, we wound up being at Vertical Ventures for 2+ hours, so I was completely spent afterwards. When we got back to Mindy’s place, Max and I showered, watched some television, then went for a 30-minute walk to the nearest Wa-Wa to get some cold beers. It was nice, just checking out the sights. We spent the rest of the night sipping said beers (I bought a six-pack of 60-minute IPA for us to share) and watching Men In Black III. A great final night.

Thursday morning we had to catch a plane in Tampa at 8:15am, so we were out the door by 6am and by some miracle, both of our planes were on time and we landed in Providence at 12:15, so I was able to make it to work in time for 2. Gotta make that money!

Plane View

View From The Plane

All in all, it was a fabulous mini-vacation. Yes, we may have only gotten 3 days, but we made the most of them and got to visit two different climbing gyms and eat so much good food. That’s all a girl needs sometimes. I was very excited to come home and make juices though — Florida is seriously lacking in that regard. Don’t worry… I’ll fix that someday 😉

Remember: you’re never full dressed without a smile!

Stout, Glorious, Stout

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