Archive for February, 2012

breweriana.coasters: Make your own story

I love these coasters, and while they are not a set or even beer coasters they seemed to make a great story together.   I’ve arranged them to tell my own story!-)

You also have two biscuits with your coffee?


The Dutch are just more progressive, especially for 1988.  I not sure any other country, even today, could get a way with scene on a coaster.  The caption literally translated is “You also have two biscuits with your coffee?”  Funny in any context but it takes on a whole new meaning when paired with this illustration.

Hands off my coffee, friend.


It seems the Dutch take their coffee ownership pretty seriously.  Don’t make this mistake the next time you are in Amsterdam.  Literally translated as “Hands off my coffee, pal.”

Darling ca I go? My coffee calls.


Then the ending. Or is it?  Literally translated as “Darling, can I go?  My coffee calls.”

This was some sort of a contest. The back of each coaster has a speech balloon and instructions to write the next passage and if your entry is one of the 101 they choose you will receive a silver pendent shaped like a coffee bean with an emerald.  That sounds like a pretty good prize, unfortunately the contest ended 23 years ago.

Now it is your turn!  I won’t be giving away a silver coffee bean pendant with an emerald but I will be giving away a very nice, heavy duty denim apron with a fancy hop graphic that I designed.

How to enter:

Follow this LINK to enter your comments.  I know it is a pain in the butt, however, I have better control of entrant data there and so I can track down the winners much easier this way.


food.pairing: Avec Les Bons Voeux

Beer: Avec Les Bons Voeux (9.5%)

Brewery: Brasserie Dupont

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Serving: Tulip Glass @ 45°- 50° 

General Beer Description: Whether you are drinking a traditional strength (5% ABV or lower) or a more contemporary version (6% ABV or higher) Saisons should finish dry with very little sweetness.  Saison aromas can be quite complex with a fruit and spice mixture reminiscent of barnyards. Typically their flavors will be malt balanced (leaning towards malt instead of hops) but peppery spice flavors from the yeast and the elevated carbonation levels create a beer with medium bitterness and a dry finish.

These beers pair well with all kinds of cheeses because the dry finish and elevated carbonation help to scrub the palate clean after each drink. Saisons will also pair well with salads that are tossed with spicy greens like arugula or light meats such as fish or poultry.  Spice these meats sparingly as the spices in the beer can add another layer of complexity to any dish.

General Food Pairing Suggestions: Cuisine: Salads. Cheese: Earthy or Nutty. Meat: poultry and fish.

Photo courtesy of

Specific Food Pairing Suggestion: Sautéed sweet potatoes with orange-mint germolata.  Click HERE for the recipe I used to pair with this beer.  Avec Les Bons Voeux, and saisons in general, are excellent pairings with this dish.  The toasted pecans, garlic and herbs resonate with the barnyard-like aromas and yeasty spice flavors found in saisons while the pepper accentuates the dryness which increases the refreshing qualities of the beer.  But the goodness doesn’t stop there, oh no!  The orange zest adds another layer of complexity that pairs well with smooth wheat flavors (think Blue Moon with the lemon wedge) and takes the edge off the spicy yeast flavors. But the beer has the last stand as the alcohol and the elevated carbonation scrub your palate and get you ready to start this adventure all over again.

food.pairing: The Big Game

I just learned that the “S” and “B” word used together are trademarked and shouldn’t be mentioned together or in conjunction with each other unless I wanted a cease and desist order.  Oooops! So I am going to refer to the biggest football game the NFL plays each year, you know the one I am talking about, the one that is so SUPER big that it can’t possibly live up to the hype and that most of the people watching the game are only interested in what kind of dip is in that BOWL and the commercials that air during TV breaks, as The Big Game.

Make this year really special for all of your friends that are coming over to watch… “The Big Game” and don’t serve any light beers! You know the ones I am talking about. Instead try some of the pairings below and start exploring how flavorful beers can intensify, complement or even subdue flavors in your halftime snacks.

New England Cuisine Pairings:

Oysters: Dry Stouts: The intense roasty flavors (coffee, bitter chocolate) in these stouts can briefly intensify the saline, sea tastes in the oysters while the subtle chocolate flavors and perceived bitterness cleanses the palate.  Examples: Guinness Draught, Beamish Stout, Oyster stouts are a double whammy (Rogue, Dogfish Head)

Mussels: Witbiers:  The mild wheat and subtle spice and/or citrus flavors can complement the mussels especially if they were steamed in that particular beer. The beer’s flavors won’t cover up and of the mussel flavors, however, the elevated carbonation and dry finish will cleanse the palate.  Examples: Hoegaarden, Allagash White, Avery White Rascal, Unibroue Blanche de Chambly.

Dunkin’ Donuts: Chocolate Frosting Glazed: Milk/Oatmeal Stouts, Brown Porters.  The sweet chocolaty flavors and velvet textures found in these beers are perfect matches for donuts with or without chocolate frosting but why would you want to eat a donut with out chocolate frosting?  Examples: Sam Adams Cram Stout, Left Hand Milk Stout, Young’s Oatmeal Stout, Fullers Porter.

Click HERE to listen to my New England Patriots halftime paring segement on Bo’s Man Cave! (link will open to a file on

New York Cuisine:

Pizza: American Pale, Amber or Brown Ales: Any of these beers will have elevated hops, alcohol and carbonation which will help cleanse the palate.  Also, all of these beers use a similar base malt and that malt imparts a toasty flavor that will resonate with the pizza crust. If the pizza is especially savory (lots of cheese) go with a pale ale.  If the pizza has caramelized toppings then try an Amber because the malt used will resonate with those flavors as well as provide a residual sweetness.  If the pizza has meat (every pizza should) then go for a brown ale as the grilled meats will resonate with the darker malts used in brewing.  Examples: Pale Ales (Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Stone Pale Ale, Full Sail Pale Ale) Amber Ales (North Coast Read seal Ale, Anderson Valley Boont Amber), Brown Ales (Big Sky Moose Drool, Lost Coast Downtown Brown)

Bagels and Lox: Ideally, pair with Bohemian Pilseners sometimes called BoPils but any quality pilsner will do.  Do not get these confused with the Bud, Miller or Coors these are American style lagers.  The malt used in brewing a pilsner will has a soft grainy flavor that will resonate with the bagel while the spicy hop flavor will add a new layer of intrigue to the salmon.  The crisp dry finish will cleanse the palate of the cream cheese and the prominent salmon flavors.  Examples: Pilsner Urquell,

Cheesecake:  Pair BIG beers with this desert! These pairings will blow your calorie allotment for the week so throw your calorie caution to the wind or go home! Pair Imperial IPA’s with caramel or candied toppings.  The malt used in these sweet IPAs will resonate with the caramel. Pair Imperial Stouts with chocolate or dark fruits toppings or fillings. The chocolaty/coffee flavors in these beers will resonate with these fillings beautifully.  Examples: Imperial IPA’s: Firestone Walker Double Jack, Great Divide Hercules, Moylan’s Hopsickle.  Imperial Stouts: Great Divide Yeti, Avery The Czar, Oskar Blues TenFiddy.\

Click HERE to listen to my New York Giants halftime paring segement on Bo’s Man Cave! (link will open to a file on

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite brewery!  Leave your team or conference pride/loyalty out of this and choose the brewery you think has the best beer.  The polls will close this Sunday at noon (PST).  So far the polls have correctly picked 60% of the playoff games lets see how this week turns out!