Life On Tap

March 31, 2009 at 7:55 am

Originally posted at Paper Palate on March 27, 2009.

I like beer. I believe that beer is drinkable food as much as it is liquid refreshment. It is said that in Ireland babies are given a shot glass of Guinness at the very moment of birth presumably to help prevent anemia. Historians claim that beer, not water was what kept Noah and his kin hydrated during their forty days adrift.

It is because of this I have long been a fan of Draft, the beer enthusiast’s magazine. Thanks to some shenanigans at our local post office, I am only now receiving my January/February Draft. This special issue is chock full of goodies, after all it is the Best of Beer edition.

There are two primary articles that are the nucleus of this issue. The first is 25 Beers of the Year. The skilled staff at Draft combined their talents by selflessly sampling many craft brews, tirelessly pursuing the 25 best pints to be pounded. Of particular interest is Isabelle Proximus by Lost Abbey Brewing with help from brewers at Avery, Russian River, Allagash and Dogfish breweries. Here’s what they thought of it:

This beer displays an incredible level of acidity, though it’s still able to exhibit complex flavors that range from lemon juice to leather. It is dry throughout, sour and highly effervescent. We expected nothing less from a collaborative project by five of the most talented brewers in the country.

Other notables include The Abyss by Deschutes Brewery (a Russian Imperial Stout), Kiwanda Cream Ale by Pelican Pub and Brewery and The Angel’s Share, an American Barleywine also offered by Lost Abbey.

The other principal column is a review of the nation’s top beers bars. The 200+ public houses are broken down into regions: Northeast, South, Midwest, Northwest, Southwest and Reader’s Picks. Some featured eateries include Chicago’s Sheffield’s Beer and Wine Garden, Vessel in Seattle and Fat Abbey Biercafe in the beer Mecca of Milwaukee. The Reader’s Picks are dominated by California pubs like Goat Hill Tavern (Costa Mesa) and Lucky Baldwin’s (Pasadena) and Colorado spots such as Blake Street Tavern (Denver) and Winter Park Pub (Winter Park). The list of the five best drinking streets includes the usual suspects (Beale Street, Bourbon Street and Las Vegas Boulevard) and two surprises M Street in the nation’s capitol and Austin Texas’ 6th Ave.

Non-beer snippets include an exploration on the Italian summer spirit Limoncello (with recipe) and a history of Irish Coffee (also with recipe).


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Salmonella Leads to Pistachio Recall Stuart Reb Donald: The Man, The Chef, The Legend


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Stuart Reb Donald

Stuart is a celebrity chef and award winning food writer. Donald performs live cooking demonstrations and penned the cookbook Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor."


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