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Hanssens Artisnaal Experimental Raspberry

Hanssens Artisnaal Experimental Raspberry
Lambic/Fruit Beer (6%)

While you can add fruit to your lagers and ales at home and create a nice fruity beer, some breweries use fruit or fruit syrups in fermentation (usually during second fermentation) to create their fruit beers. But there are a few steps before they add the fruit that create a truly extraordinary beer. Continue reading


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Beer Infusion Series: Part One, Blue Moon and Blueberry

2012 has been my year of self-improvement. Every year beginning on January 1, I feel many of us set grand goals for ourselves. Great expectations for what you’d like to happen in the upcoming year. Being a bit of a perfectionist, I really have been trying this year to work on my well-ordered life. Without getting too personal, I’ll share with you that I 1) learned how to use a sewing machine, 2) began making my house more of a home, 3) have been working with my dentist on correcting those issues, visiting him more times this year than in the last 5 years combined, and 4) (my proudest accomplishment) taught myself to run, running almost a 10K Monday in an hour. This may sound like a grand build-up for something as simple as a beer infusion, but I find it appropriate to find these similarities. You can take something normal and basic and aspire to make it better.

You can find Blue Moon everywhere these days. If it’s on tap somewhere, you know there’s a girl drinking it. It’s not bad, but I think we can agree that it could be better.

Let’s say you have some leftover fresh blueberries. And a French press…which I thankfully just had in a closet.

Side note: I moved this French press with me from Virginia 3 years ago. I haven’t touched it in the aforementioned 3 years. I was so close to throwing it away. I even thought of using it as a plant holder and then remembered my lack of green thumb. Extra side note: Learn to grow things next year.

Taking some leftover blueberries (about 1/2 a cup), I cut them in half and placed them in the bottom of the French press. I took 2 Blue Moons and filled the press.

And then you wait for the head to recede… and for the blueberries to infuse… and then you press… little by little…

How long do you wait? Well, you definitely want to wait for the head to recede, because there’s no way you’re going to be able to push down if it’s going to foam over. And you want to give the blueberries enough time to infuse. I’d say at least 5 minutes, but then again, I’m still working on this. And you want to take your time when you’re pressing as well. Take at least 30 seconds to press down, and when you get to the bottom, you don’t want to completely squash those blueberries.

It’s as simple as that! Notice that the color darkened ever so slightly. But the flavor is there. One thing I would change is the amount of blueberry that I would use. I would at least double what I used if not quadruple it. A local bartender who works at a brewery as well suggests adding blueberry purée, as that would add pulp AND juice, which is even more flavorful.

It was tasty and fun, and I felt like I was a mad scientist for a moment.

…and the mad scientist part continued into the next day, when I used those beautiful spent blueberries in a smoothie!

We also tried ginger, which I’ll post about later. And we talked about using basil or rosemary. Do you have any other great infusion suggestions? What about other beers to use? Looking forward to your feedback over here!


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21st Amendment Brewery Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer

21st Amendment Hell of High Watermelon
Fruit Wheat Beer (4.9%)

I hope everyone had a great weekend and that your week is off to a great start.

After a full weekend at home, spending time with crafts, cleaning, the gym, and babysitting for some dear friends, Monday came way too soon. So soon, in fact, that it got away from me before I could set up a post for you.

And how do I feel?

Guilty.

So what beer will I share with you today to make it up to you? My guilty pleasure beer. 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon. Continue reading


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Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Burton Baton

Dogfish Head Burton Baton
American Double/Imperial IPA (10%)

As we wrap up American Double IPA week, and after yesterday’s lovey-dovey post, I wanted to keep it simple before we move on to the next thing.

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. The brewery producing the epitome east coast, high alcohol, extreme ingredient beers. Not necessarily as hoppy as a lot of west coast breweries, but just as willing to take risks. My husband and I visited the brewery last February and were completely charmed. A beautiful brewery space. The brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware was especially entertaining and enjoyable. And I’m so pleased at how readily available their beers are in my area. Continue reading


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Southern Tier 2XIPA

Southern Tier 2X IPA
American Double/Imperial IPA (8.2%)

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL IPA DAY!

While it is only the 2nd annual celebration, it’s not too late to get on board! You can find some great ways to celebrate here or you can just stop by your local beer store and pick up some IPAs. Maybe you could even celebrate with the beer featured in today’s review:

Every now and then (like yesterday), you’ll find a beer that is just too much, too fast. Or the flavors are just off. Or perhaps it is simply not your kind of brew. But from time to time, you’ll find a beer that you will want to buy over and over again. Continue reading


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Bear Republic Altered Beast

Bear Republic Altered Beast
American Double/Imperial IPA (9.2%)

A Pint of Reference first here, folks. I’m branching out a little bit, so bear with me. I met up with a friend in Brooklyn for a couple of rounds of beers recently. And I took a chance that didn’t pay off.

Mugs Alehouse is a most unassuming place. And what an amazing beer listing. Beers you don’t see everyday, which made me so excited to try something new. You walk in this place, and instantly, you feel as though you’ve been here before. It’s comfortable. It’s full of regulars. The bartenders are friendly, and if you’ve expressed to them your love of beers, they want to talk to you about those beers. They are currently redoing their bottled beer listing because there are so many vintage, amazing beers in their closet. That’s the kind of place this is. I can’t wait to go back.

So I shared some snacks and enjoyed a first beer. But when it came to the second and 30-something taps from which to choose, I panicked a little bit and just picked one. Continue reading


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Spider Bite Crazy Eights

Spider Bite Crazy Eights IPA
American Double/Imperial IPA (8.88%)

Earlier this summer, my husband and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary. Our lives are so blessed, and we are so thankful for these many blessings. Without going into details of the journey to get to dinner that night, we made it to Horace and Sylvia’s, one of our new favorites in Babylon, NY (Their fried chicken is so delightful!). Typically, my husband and I will sit at the bar of restaurants. There are many reasons why, but one is that we like seeing what’s on tap rather than constantly asking a waitress and then subsequently asking her what the beers are like. If we’re seated at the bar, we can have a conversation with the bartender, ask him or her what’s new, what’s fresh, and possibly sample a few before we dive into a full pint.

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