Posts tagged ‘craft beer’

Life On Tap

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).


March 31, 2009 at 7:55 am

Review: Hurricane Brewing

Originally posted on the Azalea City Food Blog on March 7, 2009.

In the past few months I have twice found myself dining (and drinking) at Hurricane Brewing Beer and Bistro. My first visit was with a date and my latest was with a friend. Both times I have left fulfilled.

Firstly, micro-brewed beer is very good. From Blvd. Wheat in Lincoln, NE to a frosty pint from the Gerst Haus in Nashville to the super delicious Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale crafted at Mississippi’s Lazy Magnolia Brewery I’m a sucker for a good mirco-brew. Hurricane’s is an excellent destination for my craft brew cravings. Acorrding to their web site, “Featured beers are Projected Path Amber; Floating Car Blonde Ale; Storm Surge Stout; and Insurance Adjuster Pale Ale,” but I am more found of the Storm Surge Stout and the Tropical Wheat Advisory.

And the food? Pretty good, too. So far I have tried the French Dip, fried shrimp, an oyster po-boy but the most notable dish so far was the Pub Mac & Cheese ($6.95). There is a reason why this dish keeps winning awards, it is a truly soulful casserole of cheese and noodle. Add sausage for another $2, it’s worth it.

The vibe at Hurricane’s is hip and relaxed with tattooed bar keeps and quirky servers galore. Plus it’s right in the middle of all the action. See for yourself.

Hurricane Brewing Beer and Bistro
225 Dauphin Street
Mobile, AL 36602
(251) 445-2544

March 11, 2009 at 7:20 am


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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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