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Summer Time

June 1, 2012

It’s that time of the year again, where most of the craft beers take a hit, and give way to those awful run-of-the-mill lime flavored offerings. Whether it is “chill” or “limed”, its still no good. I say, if you are going to forgo real beer in the summer for something that can wet the whistle a little more, than go right to the malted stuff, and there is nothing better than being a little twisted.

These things are great! Crack one open and enjoy with some hummus and veggies or a piece of grilled chicken. As the days and weeks progress, I will be bringing you more reviews and recipes, as I continue on my quest to perfect my summer cuisine. For now, I’ll leave you with a recipe.

Cheddar/Jalapeno Burger

makes 4-6 burgers, depending on how large you want to make them.

2 pounds ground beef

4 jalapenos (chopped)

1/2 cup chopped EXTRA sharp cheese.

Blend all ingredients in a large bowl, form patties, grill and enjoy.





Two Great Additions

January 17, 2012

The Crown and Hammer Pub in Collinsville recently added three great beers to their selection, and while it meant that one of my favorite IPAs had to go, it was a welcomed change.

For months, one of the managers there kept talking about wanting to add a Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA. There are only a few places around the area that offer the beer, and fewer that offer it on draft. I didn’t believe it until I actually saw the red shark tap and promptly ordered a pint.

This beer is big, bold, and potent. Like a traditional IPA it is hoppy, offering a citrus nose and a bitterness to it. The beer is hopped longer, 30 minutes to be precise, than its little brother, the 60 minute IPA, and this extra. The beer is the first continuously hopped offering from the company and is described as” An imperial IPA best savored from a snifter, 90 Minute has a great malt backbone that stands up to the extreme hopping rate. 90 Minute IPA was the first beer we continuously hopped, allowing for a pungent — but not crushing — hop flavor.”

The other newest addition is a favorite of mine, and a local brew. Berkshire Brewing Company’s Steel Rail is a classic pale ale that drinks clean and tastes great. The beer is about 5.5 percent alcohol, but won’t burn you out. It pairs well with pizza’s burgers and wings, but can be delicious by itself.

That’s all for this week, I will try to keep at this more in 2012.





Been a long time

August 17, 2011

So I was thinking about how long it had been since I wrote the last entry, and decided it has been too long. Such is the life of a reporter though, covering news, little time for fun, oh well. Maybe this post will get me back into the swing of things.

I had promised a number of folks a review on Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA. And here its is — with a twist. I attended the wedding of a friend of both my girlfriend and I and was surprised. After the ceremony, a lovely one at that, I watched as the bartender brought out a box with the Dogfish Head logo emblazoned on the side.

Not wanting to get my hopes up, I assumed the box was just a method to carry some other beer, and walked over casually to order a gin and tonic. But to my surprise, as I approached the bar, the bartender began to take the 60 IPA goodness out of the box. Immediately I ordered one.

THIS BEER IS GREAT WITH WINGS. There were no wings at the wedding, but I have had it with them in the past. The beer has the typical bitter taste that India Pale Ales have, as well as a great citrus twist. It’s better than other IPA’s in my opinion and a benchmark for what a good beer is.

It is easy drinking and while not light, it isn’t a heavy, hard to drink beer/ Much like the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale,  the beer trends more toward hops than it does malt. It actually follows the 90 minute IPA as the second in a series, despite being hopped for only 60 minutes. It is 6 percent alcohol and ranks as 60 on the international bitterness unit scale.

Coming up next, and hopefully soon, a look into what kind of damage four friends can cause on a trip to the Finger Lakes…wine tasting. Till then,



A new recipe, a mistake, and a great new sweet beer discovery.

June 7, 2011

So for the past several months, and I guess years, I have been experimenting with cooking more . Rather than go out to bars and knosh on greasy french fries, I have been cooking my own burgers, wings, and other good treats.

This year has become the year of the burger. when a local restaurant closed for a month or so, the time was right. I searched for recipes, talked to friends about what they liked in or on burgers, and came up with a list of recipes.

I made the first one about two weeks ago, and have been tinkering with it since. Originally it was in a book as a combo beef, red bell pepper burger garnished with basil. Tempting yes, but I need some more heat and more flavor for my tastes. Subtracting the basil and adding a jalapeno pepper was crucial.

The icing on the cake, was when I decided to add guacamole to the burger as a topping. I had a burger that had the guac as a topping in Newport months ago, and it was delicious. The combination of the bell pepper for flavor, the jalapeno for heat, and the guac for a mellow flavor addition really balance well.

If you wish to have the recipe, please e-mail me.

Now, on to the mistake and the discovery. I rarely make mistakes with my beers. This was one of those cases. while the beer itself wasn’t a mistake,pairing it with the burger was. During a microbrew hunt, i found Never Summer Ale by Boulder Brewing in Colorado. For some reason, I got it in my head that the beer was a summer ale. It’s not…not even close.

It is described as a winter warmer by some reviewers, and it is in fact a winter ale. The beer is great, it’s a fruity ale, that pours well, displays a great amber, almost red in color. It sits at almost six percent alcohol, but doesn’t seem as potent. I can imagine that the beer would be great in the winter time, and I look forward to drinking it then, not in May and June.

Lastly, the discovery. I was covering a beer tasting event for work and found a raspberry beer that is almost a champagne. The beer is Lindeman’s Framboise. It is best served with chocolate dishes, ice cream or in the summer with fruit dishes. I drank it straight up, and was blown away with the flavor. The beer is incredible.

So there you have it, a burger, two beers and…no dogs yet. Still working out the details. So Fill it up, drink it down (responsibly) and have fun!



Time for some Chow

May 18, 2011

On Saturday, I will be experimenting with some new recipes for burgers that have been on my plate…get it…for some time now.  These recipes will not be shared unless I feel the need to, however, there will be a ton of pictures, so stay tuned.

Comments on my next beer could also be coming as early as this weekend. There have also been some beers that have been on the radar for some time now, so keep checking the Blog for more updates.

Also, COMMENT! I could use the update, and suggestions on food, beers…even dogs, I guess.



Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

May 18, 2011

I decided to start with a beer that I was somewhat familiar with, not a favorite of mine, but familiar nonetheless. It’s an easy drinking beer, closer to an India Pale Ale than a traditional American Pale Ale.

The beer offers a delightful blend of hoppiness with a smooth drinkability, there I’ll say it all professional like there. The beer was the first to come out of the brewery in 1980 and is regarded as one of the best examples of a pale ale in the country today.

This beer will fill your mouth with an array of different flavors, from the bitterness of the hops, to a citrus flavor combined with a smooth maltiness. Beyond the flavor is the color of this beer, it is beautiful. It’s a nice amber color that reflects back on the different flavors of the beer.

Drink this beer with buffalo wings, trust me! While it is a good beer to enjoy with friends and family in the summer, but is best enjoyed with wings. Go figure, beer and wings paring together? Who would have thought that would be a good mix? The beer helps to mellow out the bite some chicken wings might have, but unlike a traditional lager, Sierra Nevada adds flavor to the palette.

You will not be disappointed by this ale. It is available at most liquor and package stores, as well as most supermarkets, and offers the drinker an alternative to a lager.

Go grab a pint!


A new beginning

May 18, 2011

So I decided to give this another shot, this time blogging about things that actually mean something to me, things that are part of my everyday life. After thinking about what could be fun, and what I do the most, other than write for a living, it became clear.

I enjoy good beers, good food and dogs, the canine kind, not the processed, pressed kind. This blog will hopefully shed some light on some good brews, good chow, and a smattering of puppy fun as well. I will work on introducing you to the dogs in future posts, so the first few will focus more on the beers and burgers.

While I make no claims to be a beer of food connoisseur, I know what I like, and I know that what I like is good. Take my advice if you like, but if you don’t, you’ll be missing out. Stay tuned for future posts, as I will be looking at a different beer each week or maybe two.