Wednesday, August 27, 2014

#BroDogs 4 Life

You may have seen my recent modeling excursion at Paris Beer Week with #Beerstagram master Clemént.
They weren't real tattoos.

We are real BroDogs.

Having bonded over pints of Punk and Dead Pony Club (not to mention a tactical nuclear penguin or two), Clemént and I created a tattoo optional bond we refer to as #BroDogs4life.

The Brodog Circle Expands

I met James, a proper English type with a smart jacket and red socks as I was coming off the plane tryng to yawn and blow air out my ears. We were to share a taxi to the BrewDog brewery and James wanted to know if this dislike for Stella was enough to qualify him as a beer geek.

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of adding to my circle of irl beer geek friends while attending a meet, greet, drink and karaoke (or not) event at BrewDog in Aberdeen, Scotland. First off, let me say that it entire event was paid for by BrewDog, Sarah (of youtube fame) planned the gathering to show off BrewDog's newest toys to the beertube and blogger crew around the EU and, in full disclosure, they can buy my love all they want.

Do I think BrewDog can get a bit gimmicky? Yeah, but why not be.

Is Equity for Punks a good investment? The perks alone are worth the cash, if you have it.

Does this PR stunt change how I view BrewDog? Not in the least. I've always been a fan of BrewDog's ass in the wind style of doing things and have never had a beer that wasn't what I was expecting it to be. They are the Stone Brewing of the EU and, as long as they keep making good beer they can be as punky stange as they like.

Me? I came to meet beerubers, drink beer and get out of Paris for a day.

Aberdeen - Home of Dracula's castle

Amoung political talks of Scotland seceding from Uk and a vicious inability to pop my post flight ear canal, I was welcomed to Aberdeen, Scotland by a dismal wall picture of a stormy wharf with bold white lettering saying : This is Home. Setting expectations on a low level leaves plenty of room for pleasant surprises. Along the wall of welcome signs into the Aberdeen where also other points of touristy interest, including something about a singing cactus, oil fields galore and, much to my surprise, a statement saying I was now near the home of Dracula's castle.

Turns out that Bram Stoker used one of the local castles as a model for this book Dracula and it isn't hard to see how the rambling streets of grey stone housing could be used as template for a gothic novel. Aberdeen is seagull infested, smaller than a Parisian suburb and fortified to the teeth, even the grocery stores are made of solid battleship grey slabs of earth which gives the whole place a great authentic Hogwarts type of feel. The university may have been Adolf Hilter's favorite building of all time, but then he didn't get to tour BrewDog's new Brewing facility.

BrewDog's New Toys

James Watt threw a green vest at me and my English taxi buddy as we were rushed late into the brewery tour.

"What are the vests for?"
"So people know you aren't the brewer."

Not much chance of that, seeing as how I couldn't be mistaken for Stewart Bowman any more than Charlie could be mistaken for Willy Wonka. The six year veteran head brewer of BrewDog was all black metal t-shirt, hop head and bouncing beard as he guided us through the new industrial playground of the beer world's most hip beer company. There were people buzzing around, looking leisurely busy like oompa-loompas in trendy beanies, glasses and an assortment of finely maintained facial hair. Everyone seemed to have things to scrub and clean or crank and clank as the hiss and whine of the smoothly functioning brewery went about it's daily business.

Stewart warned us about large scale boil overs which, since its a home brewer's nightmare must be amplified by hecoliters. He told far off tales of how things used to be before they got everything they dreamed of and their plans for expanding even more in the future while I felt as if any moment one of the huge cylindrical tanks might pop open and we would all be drown in an ocean of beer (it happens). BrewDog's occupied work punks at one point wheeled out a cannon sized pump machine to begin a hoping process that could only be explained as excessive. After lots of details about yeast strains, beer styles and company motivation we were herded around by Bowman's jolly booming voice into an elevated glass box of a room where, a bit selfishly, I thought that the time had come for us to shoot into the clouds and he would then tell us that it was all ours.

Alas, it was merely the lab and we were to be introduced to BrewDog's shiny new toy #1 : The Diacetyl machine. (Click here if you don't know what diacetyl is and why one would want an expensive machine to detect it.) This medical grade device is able to pull apart all sorts of chemical compounds and, as soon as they learn how to work it, they'll be using it is isolate all the things that make up a beer instead of just testing batches for Diacetyl. Ever-lasting-hopstoppers?

Shiny new toy #2 was a fully enclosed bottling line that cost more than the economic output of some small countries but was made in Germany and featured a finishing section where the bottles were gently splashed with water, softly blown dry, and then patted on the head by an official bottle inspector. #Fancy This new toy was setting in motion one of BrewDog's newest developments : Label change !

Shiny new toy #3 : Slightly embossed, hand designed by some trendy person who uses old school techniques and with the logo dog now sporting a less evil looking eye, the new labels are a welcome upgrade after more than 7 years with the old look.

James went around the group handing out Punk IPA fresh off the bottling line, like it was candy and, sipping at the bottles between questions, like inquisitive children, the tour was moved into the pub for snacks and chats.

I had a lovely talk with a family playing a Star Trek themed board game for family night because the attached brewery pub has board games, people use them and drink fresh beer. Yes, I could live here. There were off duty employees taking their post work pint and munching on an assortment of savory pies, while I began to get in some meet and greets with beer geeks :
Wane Dunne is the Irish Beer Snob

Sten Bentall does the Beer O'clock Show

Isla Mercer from Diary of a Beer Girl 

After a short nap at the hotel, which does NOT have a pool, we were on to see shiny new toy #4 : Musa For James Watt's new 'sort of hobby' he says,
"others play golf or do DIY, I have decided to relax and occasionally escape the BrewDog mayhem with Musa."

Escape we did. Me, and the rest of my newly appointed BroDog buddies filled out the reserved up stairs area, where we were artfully served pork and purple laced dishes paired with BrewDog beers of all styles. Sophie Atherton from A FemAle View does not like purple things in her food, but she does know how to say dirty words in French (bwahaha), Martin Dickie is unable to resist a few micro greens and so we created a hashtag to create word awareness #microgreens, Tony the BrewDog distribution manager as pulled in to explain the pairings because James had had a few and the chef finished us off with a view into his grand supply of Scot whiskey. Ask for the Lagavulin, BroDog.

As you may have noticed at this point, I didn't take pictures of the event, I didn't tweet anything and neither did I video record. I do have some audio samples of a local barmaid telling dirty jokes and some snippets of Jonny Garret from The Craft Beer Channel singing to his beer, but other than that I came into the event as an enjoyer of beer people. But, if you'd like a really awesome live blogging of the whole thing, check out The Beer Cast's Rich Taylor with his up to the minute commentary as it all happened!

Me, I got distracted by the local old man karaoke bar next door to Musa. Sir Tom Jones has nearly two pages of songs available - naturally. 

If I sound a little down about the whole thing in retrospect it's because I am the kid back home after summer camp. I love all my places of work and cherish fresh French baguettes to no end but being silly with great beer geeky people in a city that is experiencing unusually beautiful weather is the cookie that ruins christmas dinner. I appreciate BrewDog for setting up the event and showing how down to earth and yet completely Willy Wonka they are. Aberdeen may be called the Concrete City, but it's a fantastically friendly and heart warming place, full of thick Scottish accents and mountains of local beer love.

I didn't get to see the art performance that Darren Packman from Beer Sweden enjoyed with Martin later in the evening, but I did purchase a lovely cigar at the local pub to share with Steven Lamond from Beers I've Known. I then purchased Rob Derbyshire from HopZine a local dark beer that came with a plastic goat shaped charm and slurringly insisted that we film us reviewing it. Boy, I can't wait to see if there is anything useful in that clip. Not wanting to give in to the slow trickle of people heading back to the hotel, I shared some deep world views with John Duffy The Beer Nut, and with the help of Chris Hall from The Beer Diary and Sarah BroDog, tried to rescue The Craft Beer Channel's Brad Evan from falling asleep.

Cheers to all my new BroDogs 4 life, you've got a friend in Paris.

Cheers to BrewDog for supporting our craft beer drinking habits and sharing their new toys with us.

A big cheers to Sarah for running us all around in a timely manner!

And now,

Jonny singing love songs to his BrewDog :

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Moonlighting with The Planets Series

You know what excites me more than Seth MacFarlane (of Family Guy fame) backing an authentic and refreshing remake of (all time legend) Carl Sagan's Cosmos?

Beers with planets on them.

The Planet Series by Bell's

Bell's brewing recently announced their newest speciality series: The Planets.


Beginning in August (STARTING TODAY) and being released about every other month until July 2015, the series of seven beers are each inspired by a different piece of music from composer Gustav Holst.

As my friends and followers know, I'm obsessed with the idea of getting craft beer on to the planets before the big companies take over  : Beer on Mars. And encourage any and everyone to sign up for crowd funded planetary explorations.

If all The Planets Series aren't your thing

then consider taking a Train to Mars! Leaving exclusively from Paris stations, Get Radical's "Saison du Mars" is hopped with Mosaic, Aramis, Simcoe & fermented with the world famous Thiriez house yeast.

Transported by train or by orchestra, nothing can beat a lawn chair in a low light polluted area, soaking up universal wonder like this home made time lapse of the milky way :

May the froth be with you


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Beer Tasting Review - Mosaic Black Bitter

Join me in the darkest of Parisian beer caves as I sip out a quick review of a popular local session ale.

Mosaic Black Bitter by Brasserie du Mont Saléve

This black bitter is based off the Strong Bitter style , often referred to Extra Special Bitter, ESB or English Pale Ale.

Balance is important and most examples range from balanced to moderately bitter. While many commercial examples can be described as "hoppy," do not confuse this style with American pale ale. Strong bitter has more fermentation and malt character than American pale ale and the hop character is nothing like the big, bold hop character you find in many American-type pale ales. Moderate is the key word here and the hop character should be somewhat restrained and balanced, never overshadowing the fermentation and malt character.

While these styles are usually best done using English hops, like East Kent Goldings, Fuggles, Target, Northdown or Challenger, Mont Saléve pops in with what refers to as, "a great aroma variety," Mosaic, which adds a great pine and citrus note to the nose that keeps the fresh sessionability of this low abv beer a winner for a variety of occasions.

Unless you're like me and you just want to skip to the stouts.


For more on ESB skim through this in depth profile from

Also :

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Vogue'ing a Kronenbourg

I live in Pigalle, Paris, France.

Sometimes I like to drink shit beer on a Sunday, put on my slut heels and join my booty shaking boy Gavin for an evening of what we like to call, "The Cardio Church."

The beer is zero quality at Follie's Pigalle, but no one is really there to drink. We've all come to dance however we like with whomever we like. Dance, stomp, sweat and repeat. 

That's how I avoid having a beer gut.
You should join me next time.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hop allergy! I'm allergic to bullshit

Allergic to hops?

Because of this allergy I get a little watery eyed when my friend, Cocktail Sauce, reminds me for the 10,000th time that she is allergic to hops.

....No, she doesn't want to try the new DIPA I got imported from the states.

And yes, she'll come hang out. But when we get to the beer shop/reggae bar and I face the ordering selection in triumph, "what shall we get?!" She politely seeks out a cider.

Oh, right... fuckin hop allergy. What did you do in a past life to be cursed so? I mean, gluten free people are one thing but, as Nutwood from Kentucky so eloquently stated, "if it doesn't have hops, it isn't beer."
More than just a choking hazard...?

Is there really such a thing as being allergic to hops?

Unfortunately yes. It isn't bullshit and it isn't just Asain glow (or mild alcohol allergy), it is a real allergic reaction to hop pollen and it can have some nasty effects. In fact, it turns out you can be allergic to nearly all the essential elements of beer but Cocktail Sauce is 99% sure it's the hops.

What are the symptoms of hop allergy?

Usually hop allergies are fairly mild. Which is the reason Cocktail Sauce will often 'try' the beers I forgetfully bring along as my "I'll bring the drinks," party contribution.

If Cocktail Sauce were to habitually do hop the way that I do she could potentially break out in a skin rash, develop a painful sinus problem coupled with swelling of the mouth and tongue which could possibly lead to anaphylaxis, a life-threatendng whole-body reaction that causes trouble breathing and swells the throat. At which point I would have to call the emergency line (what's 911 in France?) and inevitably have to put down my beer.

Bummer to the max.

What to do if you're allergic to hops?

Avoid hops.

Take non-drowsy Benadryl or another antihistamine to relive some of the allergic reaction symptoms.

Try herbed or spiced beers as they are the widest range of styles that omit the hops.

Drink cider. But why drink cider when you could follow this step by step Champagne Cider guide and make that it yourself!

What to do if you aren't allergic to hops?


Then check this shit out:

  • 10 hop flavors you should know - Draftmag

  • Oregonians are hop crazy! - Here is the Hood River Hops Fest's fresh hop beer selection

  • SMaSH Beers for Hops Learnings - BrewDudes do BIAB (brew in a bag)!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Are we taking beer too serious?!

With things like Louisiana State residents not being able to purchase cold beer and Budweiser changing Brazilian law, I can't help but get a little joker faced when I see craft beer people getting petty about beer.

Today I received this message from an unnamed fellow beer blogger:
"Hey, that’s my photo. You’ve copied it from my blog. Please take it down."
I dig it man. That beer porn is important to you. And if it were a picture of your wife, with all her bubbly glory in a high resolution close up, then yeah sure by all means, give me the "hey, that's mine!" message. But, your site was cited and commented on, the picture isn't trade marked and, it isn't like I'm making big bucks off this blog. I'm not upset. I took the post down. It was a shitty old post that I had completely forgot about. What does grate me is this serious approach to selfishness with beer.

People die every day over beer related disputes.

There are folks out there torturing small fuzzy tree animals to make poop bean infused beer, yuppies are paying $120 bottle for shaved truffle pilsner and Africans are making some serious sociological and economical changes with beer. Yet things like beer name disputes are headline news: Godzilla (Mechagodzilla to be specific) kept from stomping around New Orleans beer cans!

Beer is serious in a lot of ways and a lot of people depend on it. Including yours truly. The business of beer drinking and production incompasses many aspects of human life so how about we start this whole world peace bit with some hand to can to hand.

If nothing else, then give me a high five for extending a link to your beer blog, bro.


You have free reign to use anything from my site in any way you effing like so long as you credit me.


Sharing is caring! If not our actual cans of beer, then at least the beerographic snap shots we post on the internet.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Been trying new beer lately?

I know you have

Kevin Spacey knows. I know. No way of getting around it. Us beer folks have an attraction to beers we've never tried before. You know what I mean.

Blame Untappd for handing out badges, or bbc for touting the health benefits, but nothing can keep my hands from turning into bottle magnets with I see an uncategorized brew.

My friend pulled out these highbrow looking brews she had picked up in Bretagne and, although I immediately deduced from the labeling that they were commercial grade crap, I had to touch them. What are the ingredients? When was it bottled? And, what's the alcohol content?

One of the main things that keep me trying new beers that I know I'm not going to like is that the alcohol content isn't worth the palate assault. I'd rather drink shitty wine at a dirty bar than sip on low grade beer. Call me enterprising.

After giving the bottle a full examination, I dropped my beer snob barrier (it's not like all beers need to sheep shit smoked) and progressed to the tasting.

Also known as, getting drunk.

Nearly all the beers my generous hostess pulled from the cooler were over 7% abv. And since I don't actually use Untappd, I don't remember that much about em.

For you, my dear friends and readers, I'll try to give you some details about the Britt brand beers that I tried (to remember):

Gwiniz Du is 5.4% abv something or other which is made from the black buckwheat that is used in Bretagne to make black crepes. Which are delicious, so that's why I remember that, naturally.

Golden Dremmwel Bio is an organic 7.7% abv belgian style blond which didn't taste organic at all.

Celtika is an 8.8% abv lager, which has a very metal label. The devilish character on the front resembles the pro/antagonist in one of the best computer games of all time : Dungeon Keeper 2!

There were more I'm fairly sure, or just repeats of these ones but since you've seen the alcohol percentages I was swillin on, so I'm sure you can understand my lack of note taking ability. I had to touch them. I had to try them. Now that I have, I won't likely do it again.

Have you tried any new beers lately? Leave me a comment and I'll see if I remember having tried it. Or... if I don't remember.


In other news:

  • Educate yourself! -> About beer in Indiana state, with this half hour long documentary

  • Wish I was there! -> Bar discounts beer as goals are made for Germany vs Brazil match. 50 cent beers anyone?

  • For Shabbat-> Drink a He'Brew

  • It's the small things -> Rats cause emergency shut down of UK brewery. Oh rats.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

HopZine and Tasting Nitch in Scotland

While galavanting around the Scottish landscape, gathering crew members for my #BroDogs4Life team, I convinced Rob over at HopZine to film a video with me. Mostly because I found a beer with a dangly goat on it and I wanted to force him to JUMP CUT ME!!

Check it out.

The Beer :

The Bar :

The Bar, might I add, is one of the coolest joints in town (aside from BrewDog, of coursey) with a walk in cigar humidor, lovely craft beer selection and friendly knowledable staff (who know lots of dirty Scottish jokes!) If you're in the area, don't miss it!

Dig into more of my adventures from the BrewDog hosted event in Aberdeen by checking out my recent post on the event. Don't forget to scroll to the end and listen to Jonny from The Craft Beer Channel serenading his beer.

Who shall I collaborate with next?


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Working with beer quacks @ Le Supercoin

Le Supercoin

in Paris's 18th district is not only a pretentious people free zone that houses a grand collection of local French beers but it's also my most recent beery place of employment.


Coin in French means quack.

Us super beer coin-coins have been gobbling up some of the newest beers from our French super team :


  • Nouveaux Mondes - Brasserie du Mont Saleve (Rhones-Alpes) 8%  Nose of passion fruits and mango, the smells persists onto the taste with a nice round bitterness. It is all rather sweet and super balanced. Double IPA - 4€ 33cl

  • La 11 - Collabortaion of 11 brewers from Ile de France for Paris Beer Week 5.5% A blonde beer that is super dry but very fruity, herbatous on the taste and delightfully bitter. (each of the 11 brewers added brought a different hop strain to add!) Hoppy pale ale - €4 33cl

  • Orange mécanique - Brasserie Sainte Crucienne 7% A soft fruity and perfumed nose with light hints of floral honey, clove and caramel malts. The taste is agreeable with a fine texture. Agreeing with the smell, honey and caramel malts are present in a nicely balanced, simple beer. Amber ale - €4 33cl

  • Rêve d'étoiles - Brasserie Bendorf (Alsace) 5.8% A dark super hoppy beer with a nofruity nose, rounded taste and a fnishe that is very hoppy.  Black IPA - €4 33cl / €9 75cl

  • Triple Hot - Brasserie Thiriez (Nord-Pas-de-Calais) 5.5% Nice body .. Blonde with a nose of ginger, not sugary but close to a candy, with a little bitter on the f inish and a an after taste of spicey pepper. Hoppy blond - €4 33cl

Among the mass of craft beers are a mix of people. Local's drinking diablo menthe  (7up with mint syrup) or espressos, FIFA fanatics, friends after work, beery types who prefer long stem glass ware, occasional expats and Claudia.

[caption id="attachment_2858" align="alignnone" width="640"]Photo on 7-5-14 at 8.33 PM #3 Claudia and Me being professional coin-coins[/caption]

We get the coolest people and the craziest in at Supercoin. Some sit around taking photos of their beer and others order mojitos at midnight (more on my hatred of mojitos in French later). I've heard people conversing in nearly every major global language, but yet the feeling of being at a local pub persists.

What Supercoin has over other Parisian beer bars is a real sense of Cheers. Everyone here might not know your name (which is likely a good thing) but they do trust you to pay your tab without leaving a credit card and they aren't going to cut you off if you drink too much. Come - be drunk - be quacky - mind your own self and have an everyday pub experience with outstanding French artesanal beers.

Check out the website for menu and event updates, like the facebook cuz your cool or follow on twitter to keep in the know!

5pm-2am Tuesday to saturday (last call at 1:30am) - 5pm-midnight Sunday - Closed Monday


[mappress mapid="5"]

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ten Fidy in the morning

with birthday boy and co-owner of La Fine Mousse at Cafe Lomi!


Brunch of huevos rancheros, saulom tartine, fruit salad and TEN FIDY in a can.


Nothing like a nice imperial stout in the morning with coffee cold press, which might be a reason to new best thing to put in your home keg!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The beer, tacos and Parisian cafes move sideways


Cafe Chilango

Paris's newest cafe is the place for tacos and post work cafe people to mingle with other industry types. Chilango is open when it wants to be at the moment but you'll find the 'who's who' of hip Paris Spanish/English speaking expat community there most later week/end evenings rubbing elbows and fanning their mouths after spoon fulls of hot sauce.

Like Cafe Chilango on Facebook so they can feel internet love.

[mappress mapid="4"]

Cheap beer rules at the moment, which is understandable for a place the specializes in fantastic €7 cocktails and high end Mexican street food. (Oxymoron you say? Prove me wrong then.)

Aside Corona competitor Sol is Triple Cauwe's newest beer, a Pils. None of which are things to jump up and down about. So I spirited in a home brew from my friend (and #LPBW photographer BroDog for lifeClément.


The Beer Moves Sideways

Is a breath taking first batch! And I don't just say that because I adore the brewer. Label design is spot on, including an inspired quote :

In the dream dusk
We walked beside the lake
We watched the sky move sideways
And heard the evening break

The beer is a crisp, slightly hazed indian pale ale balanced with citrus and fruit hops that zing across the palate without turning your tongue sideways. Very well done brother BroDog! I can't wait for the next batch.

S0149192And if you are free on Friday the 27th come check out mine and my buddy's CROSSING THE BORDER taco take over at Cafe Chilango.

There will be local beer.

There will be Tex mex.

There will be great music.

And of course, there will be Nitch - in ample amounts.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Beer birthday gifts

For the Admiral of the Pineapple Army, a man who has everything a tiki King could wish for (in pineapple print), the only logical gift an ambassador of beer could provide would be :

Koko Brown and Coconut topped Chocolate Fondant!


I talk about coconuts on TastingNitch (vlog), a heck of a lot. So, it's only natural that when an equally coco-nutty person has a birthday that I should turn it into a beer birthday!

I know what you are thinking, "Kona Brewing is owned by Ab inbev, icky." And I totally agree, but it's hard to get Hawaiian beer in France. It's hard to get Hawaiian beer in most places though, so I don't feel so bad. Unless, of course, you live in Cali and are graced by the powers of Stone Brewing who might be soon importing Mau'i Brewing. I don't think I need to mention Mau'i Coconut Porter again because my comrades are tired of hearing my drool over it.

But I will mention that I respect the underside of Kona's caps with their Hawaiian word translations. I respect fun education.

kona_capsBirthday beer wouldn't be special if it wasn't paired with an equally special caaaaake!

Or rather, a fondant.

Here is the recipe I use (more or less- I eyeball it a lot) :

1000g Dark chocolate

510g Unsalted butter

1155g Eggs

660g Brown sugar

255g Almond flower

Melt chocolate and butter together, whisk.

Beat eggs until frothy then beat and add sugar. Add half chocolate mix and beat well then add other half and mix with spoon, adding almond flower. Put into lined spring form or greased cake mold. Bake 50 minutes in 170C or until knife can be inserted in center and comes out (mostly) clean. It tends to be a gooey-ish cake which is why it's a 'fondant' and not a cake per se.

Add coconut flakes on top. CONSUME WITH COCONUT BIRTHDAY BEER.

Other birthday beer, coconut and tiki related things:

Happy Birthday to a very special English man and his pineapple army collection!


Friday, June 20, 2014

The the Eff happened to the hops?!

I'm out at one of my local favorite spots, scooping up their wifi signal and swaying to the sweet jams like a single geeky lady does on a weekday evening when I came across this beast:

Photo on 6-19-14 at 6.10 PM #3

I admit that I come to this place more because I like the people, decor and extremely fresh cocktail line up than because of the beer selection. So, for the time being, I will leave the location un named. I'm chocking down the beer as we speak and wishing I had stuck to a commercial grade Guinness.

YardBird Pale Ale

has possibly crossed many seas to be chilled in the cooler of my local favorite bar. I make this assumption because the "hoppy finish" it smirks about on the label finishes like a regrettable morning after mouthfeel. Greene King has a closer relationship with Corona than Cascade.

It makes me wish I had one of these candies in my pocket! Too bad I can't get these beauties in France just yet. recently took matter's into the kitchen and gathered up ingredients for a do it yourself : Play with your beer.


Any of you other crafty beer people got hop candy recipes? Lets compare notes!

But then you may be wondering : what the hell are hops, anyway?

And if you have to ask that question then you aren't ready for the BJCP's 2014 style guideline update- like me.

Get on my skunked beer hating, home making, beer geeking level yo.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Paris's First Ever Craft Beer Week!

La Paris Beer Week #1

May 24th through June 1st
Craft beer events held at beer locations around the French capitol in support of #MakeItCraft


Twist & Stout @ Supercoin

Is it just me or is being a beer geek sometimes feel like being an extreme sports junkie?

Not only do I have friends gearing up for the first annual Paris Beer Week by taking days or weeks off work, but some have been preparing their livers by going sober for the month prior. Likewise I also have friends who've been drinking more heavily to prepare themselves for the elevation change.

Menilmontant, Paris, France is 354 ft above sea level while Telluride, Colorado is 9,500 ft. Altitude effects how drunk you get- watch out!

I get a total rush when I get to a bottle shop and see beery people milling around outside. It's so packed in there that people are outside!

Mad props to Gregoire for his tart and Eva for her beeramisu (real recipe supplied by Jax not this site, but you get the idea of what you missed out on)


Brewdog Abstrakt tasting and homemade dessert contest @ La cave à bulles

A lot of the same people start showing themselves. Elite beer geeks. We acknowledge our friendship through simple eye contacts and nods. No names are needed as we are here to talk about beer and there isn't likely much room on our minds for more than brewery, brewer and beer names.

I can't tell you have many times I've said, "what are you drinking?" in the past few days.

Beers are ordered and then swapped around like ice cream cones. There are even times when beers switch owners after the sample swap. But more often, when one brew is found to be superior, we all down our current glass and rush over for the newest shiny toy.


Beer-o-matic : brew with your laundry machine! (with Bière à la main) @ L'express de Lyon

My week started with a couch nap at my friend's apartment and waking up to a packed (and I mean full house!) beer bottle shop with beer geeks on day one of La Paris Beer Week. 

Paris Beer Week photo highlights

Tasting The Kernel @ Biérocratie 


Day #1 of the amateur brewer contest judging

[caption id="attachment_2745" align="aligncenter" width="1020"]tasting Photo by Jean-Marie[/caption]

Appearance is important! 

Amateur brewer contest judging day #2


Amateur brewer contest judging day #3

beer j

Birthday beer and music @ A la bière comme à la bière

a la biere

 Apéro @ La Fine Mousse restaurant


Nøgne Ø Tasting @ Bierissime

beer 0

What is a beer week without a final day celebration? Nothing without a conga line! All I have to say is that we were shmammered, the owner of Cantillon was drunk - we all were drunk - there were people on tables, new couples were formed and head banging happened along side tango skills. Mickey from Chop'in, Cicile from Brewberry, Julien from Trois 8, Yann from Outland, Jacklyn from Bierocracie and all the elite beer geeks who signed my shirt that night: Cheers to a great year and cheers again to the next!

Thank you comrades - we will only grow stronger (and more drunk) as time goes on


Paris International Beer Celebration @ Café A 

Final day celebrations are like Vegas- some people find romance, some people salsa and others need to watch this video:

  • All photo credits (except for one) to La Paris Beer Week semi official photographer Clément Leriche. Find more pictures on his Facebook or check out his photography page for more outstanding shots of the world around the man.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Not enough head?


Or not enough in your head?

There are all sorts of videos (even for the meek), inventions, high profile interviews and (for some God awful reason) competitions on how to best pour a beer to achieve the most desirable frothy top coat.

There are some beers that have all the outter layers of beauty and allure:


Surrealistic label, temptingly sweet aroma, full bubbly top and tawny tanned body cannot make up for the fact that MULA (tested at A la bière comme à la bière) is all beauty and no brain.

While Rogue Farm's Hopyard Honey comes from a family of beers with less than desirable company history and a pour reminiscent of fresh piss :



there is a smart sense about the ZERO hopped mead style brew. Soft and subtle with notes of floral jasmine and delicate sweetness, Rogue has done things with their farm stead that are worth a look. I have a friend allergic to hops (I know, crazy sad existence for her!) which opens us up to interesting drinking selections while in beer geek world.

Expanding one's horizons is part of educating one's mind.

Try some of these on size to keep beering and learning:

Don't be a dummy, be smart with what you fill your tummy!



Monday, June 9, 2014

Drink before the death of all (hops)


Sitting back with De Molen's Pale Ale Citra while brushing up on the who's who and which are alive or dead in Westeros and I noticed this:


A bottled on date vs a drink before date

Trend in American (from what I've seen) is to put drink before dates on things that have higher hops so the brewer can advise the consumer as to how much time they have left to enjoy their hops to the fullest before their beauty begins to fade. Aka killed by time.

Personally, I like the drink before initiative.

Mostly because I like to get all panicky and say things like, "oh no! Oh my dear! We are just going to have to drink this one here, right away! Near the expiration date, it is." In an English accent - because I've been watching too much tv.


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Brew free! or die IPA

21st Amendment Brew free! or die Ipa


If you are anything like me (and who wouldn't want to be like me?) then after a long day/night of work the best thing is getting home, taking your shoes off and cracking open a cold one.

I brew free! or die IPA! I live free or IPA! Here in Paris, my main beer preaching goal is to spread the word of crafting through understanding that beer can be made by all! Not just IPAs though. Because, apart from death and taxes, the one thing that's certain in my life is that I'll never be a hop addict.


Porters and stouts are just as good in warm weather as a lager or hoppy ale. The debate continues on about this topic! But for me, when people ask what my favorite beer is I say that it depends entirely options available and my current mood.

If you are in Southern California pick your self up a Mexican Logger from Durango, CO for a post work brew. Rejoice all you So-Cal-ians at the newest addition to the already outstanding craft beer line up with Ska brewing. Distributed through Stone Brewing who has ties with Maui Brewing, Ska might soon be in the hands of hard working Hawaiians as well!

'The perfect Mexican Lager. Light and refreshing, it really hits the spot after a long day of brutal chainsaw work.'

I work hard so I can drink good beer.


  • Check out my After Work Beer review of Red Satan!

  • Drinking beer after working out is better than water- or so 'they' say.

  • (Translate button) and check out this comical review of what industrial French breweries want you to spend your hard earned cash on

  • Brew Free! Or die IPA is also New Hampshire's oldest home brewing club <fact>

  • Take decadent after hours treats to anther level with The Beeroness's Beer and Candy pairing!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Particle SMaSH on a boat, mother fuckers

Friends, beautiful weather and Particle SMaSH picnic on a lightly rocking boat


After a rainy few days, sunshine in Paris demands outdoor dinner and great craft beer. ON A BOAT!

Collage2The cinema by the canal is split in two, so the business offers a free boat taxi to take people from one side of the water to the other. Pointless, seeing as how the bridge walk likely takes about the same amount of time. But, who cares, I'm friends with one of the boat drivers so lets joy ride and soak up the sun rays on the water.

DSCF9075Sunshine on my beer bubbles! A big cheers to Tony Yates, American expat in Norway and high level nano brewer, for sending over this hoppy, citrus laced IPA. Particle SMaSH is a bomb between Vienna malt and Citra hops that is extremely well balanced and refreshing as all hell. Perfect beer for boat dinner and bag salad.


When needed, take all salad ingredients and put in bag- shake. BAM! bag salad. I opted for some blue cheese, olive oil, green apples and walnuts for my iceberg lettuce salad on the go.

Nano Brewery Northern Rock's Citra SMaSH Particle paired great with my impromptu salad and my friend's fresh gnocchi dish.

It might just be me, but anything on a boat is better.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Matching beer tattoos!


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#LPBW Photographer Mr. Clément Leriche and Mm. American Craft Beer in Paris (aka Nitch aka ME) unveil our matchy match brodog tattoos while at Le Supercoin.

Just add beer and we are fully BrewDog branded. We should get paid to represent this shit!

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Do you have a beer tattoo - matching tattoo - or - desire to be branded - ?

Send pictures.



Friday, May 9, 2014

The Session #87 - The local brewery history that Paris doesn't have

session Don't be fooled by Paris's century old buildings and legacy of cultural trend setting. The green (hop) fairy left this place a long time ago.

"In Session 87, I want you to give your readers a history lesson about a local brewery. That's a physical brewery and not brewing company by the way. The brewery doesn't need to still exist today, perhaps you had a local brewery that closed down before you were even born. Or you could pick one that has been producing beer on the same site for centuries.

The only thing I ask is that the brewery existed for at least 20 years so don't pick the local craft brewery that opened two or three years ago."

- Reuben Gray at The Tale of Ale

Define 'local'

Before we travel down history lane, my dear readers, I feel that I should make it clear as to where Paris is exactly.

Now, it's not that I think you all to be stupid or anything. Americans are great with geography (this map proves it) and I know you can find Paris on a map (most of you), but it's taken myself more than a few glances at a google to decode the local number system that is in constant use.

[caption id="attachment_2676" align="aligncenter" width="653"]tarifs_remorquage_ile_de_france This is Île-de-France[/caption]

Here is a fun list of most recent craft beer activity in Paris, with pictures of store owners and brewers from around Île-de-France. When reading the list, numbers after the names indicate the location. Use the map above to visualize, but remember that anything in inner Paris is 75(something) and are annotated by the last number.

Think of Île-de-France as a state, general Paris as a county and inner Paris as the city.

[caption id="attachment_2677" align="aligncenter" width="600"]paris-arrondissement-map This is Paris. The Tower Eiffel is in 75007.[/caption]

Now that we are clear on where Paris is, we can effectively talk about local brewing history! And instead of choosing one brewery, because that is limiting, lets timeline ALL of Paris's beer history. It's rather simple really.

Paris's Beer Brewing History

  • 1800: German-influenced Alsacian immigrants begin to bring their master brewing skills and love of beer to France's capitol, establishing brasseries (breweries). These spots became hives of interest and delight to locals who still, to this day, buzz around cafe's that call themselves brasseries. The term brasserie now adorns most cafes and is generally used to indicate a bar/cafe that sells alcohol as well as it's original meaning of brewery.

  • 1827: Brasserie Demory founded


  • 1862:  Louis Pasteur discovers pasteurization (Paris's beer related scientific contribution!)

  • 1890: Gallia Paris Founded

  • 1900: With little over 3,000 craft breweries in France, Gallia Paris win's a gold medal at Exposition Universelle (World Fair), the highest award yet given to a brewery at the time.


  • 1940-1980: The era of consolidation and begins! Heineken moves in along with Kronenbourg to turn the 3,000 local breweries into a 90% mass market control. By the beginning of the 80's only 30 independently owned breweries exist in the entire country of France.

  • 1953: Brasserie Demory, after thriving in the 1920's and surviving the second World War (along with it's strict barley regulations) finally buckles under economic pressure and sells out to competitor.

  • 1968: Gallia Paris closes it's doors

....Then yeah... nothing really happens in beer world Paris, my friends. Pure dead zone. Other parts of France continue to sustain a beer culture but the capitol itself goes macro lager maddness.

Although France is knocking knees with Germany, high-fiving Belgium and leering over the water at the Real Ale movement, the land of cheese and wine is just now starting to reinvest itself in artistically created beer.


Paris's beer brewing history is sadly short lived and hard to uncover. Two things are known: The marco movement effected Paris as much as the rest of the world and the first official local brewery to open in Paris, since the macro brewery decimation, focusing on artistically brewed beers was La Goutte d'Or. The French Kissing micro-brewery that took the first baby step toward renewed interest in craft beer is only the beginning! There are breweries springing up like wild flowers all over Île-de-France; the youngest of which being one of the best so far.

History lesson complete.

[caption id="attachment_2530" align="alignnone" width="696"]DSCF6620 Read more about Gallia's brand revival here[/caption]

Don't blame wine.whine glass

Although there are a few wineries in Paris that are over a few decades old, they are tourist type places, that have also been effected by the historical dip in artisan interest. There is such a thing as marco wine and it's equally evil.

Lost like the great tombs of the Pharaohs, Paris's beer and brewing history is going to take more digging. I've heard rumors of caves below Paris that were used for lagering! Spooky and beery. When I find out where they are, I'm going. Which means you get to go too!

Thank you to Reuben for the fun Session topic, check out other posts and get some history lessons in ya! Yum, education!