Jan 18 2017
Is it just me, or do snowflakes, icicles and sledding make you want to drink beer? There’s something about winter that screams let’s bundle up, trek through the snow and get ourselves to a brewery. (Okay, I am a year-round beer drinker so MAYBE I feel this way every day.)
Regardless, isn’t the perfect way to spend a blustery day hanging out with friends, warming up with a frothy craft beer while enjoying a beautiful view of the outdoors? I thought you’d agree. And especially in the winter, you can’t beat the scenery at a mountain brewery. Check out some of our favorites from across the U.S.
There’s nothing I love more than a quality, fun, unique brewery in a gorgeous setting…except a brewery that is environmentally-conscious and gives back to the community. Appalachian Mountain partners with local non-profits to raise awareness and funds through their Pints for Non-Profits program, while also focusing on sustainable business practices. Love! Check out some of their flagship beers: Black Gold Porter, Boone Creek Blond Ale and Long Leaf IPA. (And hey, they have ciders
Jan 4 2017
And some among us may be opting to drink less alcohol as their resolution for a myriad of reasons, including to lose weight, save money, make smarter texting choices, etcetera. Drinking less alcohol is a goal for many when starting out the new year; binging during the holidays with family and friends can leave a sour taste in one’s mouth and give rise to a renewed determination for cutting back.
No matter the reason, “Dry January” will be a reality for many. For those not quitting cold turkey, quality over quantity may be the best option. So, true to form, we’d like to provide a few choices for those opting to have only the occasional cocktail. To give you the best bang for your alcoholic buck, if you will.
Old World Wines
We foresee 2017 as being a fun, high-quality year that won’t break the bank. You know what’s also high quality and won’t break the bank? Wine from Old Word regions. You can find affordable…
Dec 21 2016
It’s no secret that health and wellness themes are increasingly a topic of mainstream discussion. Whether it’s the cover of Time magazine or Oprah’s partnership with Deepak Chopra and Weight Watchers, these themes are cropping up in myriad ways.
Embracing a holistic health mindset is becoming popularized – it’s no longer just for the “alternative” or “hippie” crowd. There is a broader recognition of the importance of mental and emotional health, the impact they have upon physical health/energy, and vice versa. Meditation has moved mainstream and “adult play” such as coloring books are on the rise – evidenced in part by the multiple options available for holiday gifts at my local bookstore. Other related movements include increasing sleep, breaks from digital communication, and a push to embrace life outside of work, as well as wellness in the workplace.
In the food realm, it means a “back to basics” approach: a focus on whole foods and ingredient quality more than calories, and fitness for the sake of feeling good versus the number of pounds you hope to lose. Extreme…
Dec 15 2016
Alcohol and the holidays—they can be the best of friends or the worst of enemies. When applied wisely, booze can melt away the inherent awkwardness of any family gathering or office party. But alcohol can also summon our inner Grinch. One minute you’re singing “Oh Holy Night” in sweet harmony, the next you’re screaming “UR A RAAACIST!!!” in your grandma’s face.
In these final and booziest days of the year, you’ll come across all kinds of articles on how to pace yourself and your guests. Along with the obvious advice like “drink water,” you’ll often find some more creative/questionable ideas like “start the party with fun, non-alcoholic mocktail” and “eat a big meal first.” To which I would counter: “Has a party that started with a mocktail, started at all?” And “have you ever tried to drink after a big meal?” In my experience, it just ends up with a bunch of people burping into a karaoke machine and going to bed at 9pm.
The advice in these articles typically comes from some well-intended physician. But, with all due respect to my friends in the…
Dec 7 2016
Few beverages are as old as wine, and thank goodness! I can’t imagine our ancestors making it through the ups and downs of humanity’s evolution without it. I mean, where would the great literature of the world be without wine? Or great romances for that matter? For most of our history as wine drinkers, we have consumed wine like water – literally. Water was too dirty and dangerous to drink for a big chunk of our past, so we drank wine instead.
There are conflicting claims out there, but wine has been around since at least 4,000-5,000 BC. Naturally, there have been tons of regions and people making wine over the centuries as a result. Some of those often fall through the cracks for American wine lovers in their 20s and 30s, mostly due to obscurity, lifestyle, misinformation, or just the sheer volume of available wine in the U.S. Below are my top picks for wines we tend to forget about and why we need to give them the proper pour that they deserve:
It’s no secret that Americans don’t do after dinner drinks – we have an
Nov 23 2016
As Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate tradition, I am starting my own Booze Bin tradition by posting my Second Annual “Football, Turkey & Craft Beer Post.” You’ve been waiting for this post all year, haven’t you? Of course you have, because Thanksgiving is awesome! We all know Thanksgiving Day is about bonding: with family, with friends, with food, with conversation, with sports, with fall and with booze. So let’s combine them all, and pair up our Thursday football games with delish beer and food choices, this time with some new recipes and new brews.
Game #1: Appetizer Pre-Game
According to the NFL, an average 28.4 million viewers watch football on Thanksgiving Day. And we all know that football and beer go hand in hand. That’s a lot of people, drinking a lot of beer. This year, the Minnesota Vikings will take on the Detroit Lions. Brrrrr, that sounds like a cold game. (Side note: Did you know that the Lions play EVERY Thanksgiving Day? Yep. Since 1934. Wondering why? Read the history here.) Food and beer-wise,…
Nov 15 2016
Gin is one spirit that is having its day across the globe. In the form of a Gin Tonic it has become a phenomena and is definitely one of the hottest and most fascinating trends out there. For those not familiar with gin, it is a neutral spirit with base ingredients including malt, corn, rye and/or molasses. However, it is the use of juniper and other botanicals (coriander seed, citrus peel, licorice root, fennel, etc.) that make gin unique from other neutral spirits like vodka. Each distiller has their own secret recipe that could include a few to multiple botanicals. The most common style is the London Dry, with a flavor based on junipers and citrus. Some of the best known gin brands fall in this style. Other styles you can find are Plymouth (the only gin with a protected designation of origin), Genever (the original gin invented in Holland in the 13th century and used originally as a medical remedy), and several others. Finally, the latest fad in gin is brown colored barrel-aged gin, that has attracted the attention of those into darker spirits like bourbon and whiskey drinkers.
Nov 9 2016
Recently, the New York chapter of Les Dames D’Escoffier hosted The Next Big Bite, a discussion at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), which explored how the media is shaping public conversation and consumption of food and beverages.
Moderated by Martha Teichner, Emmy Award Winning CBS News Correspondent, panelists Chef Carla Hall (ABC’s The Chew, Bravo’s Top Chef, Southern Kitchen Restaurant), Kate Krader (food editor, Bloomberg Pursuits), and Talia Baiocchi (editor-in-chief of punchdrink.com) frankly discussed fads, trends and what they believe to be significant in food and drink.
Trends versus Fads
Let’s start with a quick quiz (as Martha did).
Question: For each of the following, please categorize if they are a trend or a fad?
Corn Ice Cream
Answer: All but the last three were deemed “trends” by the panel. The last three, “fads.”
The consensus was that a trend has a longer curve. There’s a critical mass and a momentum supporting the trend, and it has “legs,” or can grow and evolve into something else – it can be repeated or iterative in slightly different ways. A fad is a “flash in the pan,” something
Oct 26 2016
Distiller Dave Cuttino leaned back in his stool and pushed a short pour of bourbon in my direction. Yet, the way his words punctured my perception of reality, he could have been Morpheus, extending a handful of red pills.
Cuttino and his partner Jay Carpenter are the owners, distillers, managers, and pretty much the everything else-ers behind Reservoir distillery in Richmond, Virginia. A tiny operation that has found big success by defying a dirty little secret at work throughout much of the whiskey world.
The craft whiskey renaissance that we appear to be living through, is in many ways one big hand-crafted lie. Or at least, an act of artful artisanal misdirection.
Most of the whiskey brands on the market today don’t actually distill their own stuff. Odds are your favorite “small batch” whiskey actually originates from a company like MPG in Indiana, where oceans of bourbon, rye, vodka and gin, are distilled for dozens, if not hundreds of brands. If that doesn’t take the wind out of your flannel, know that, at the same location, they’re producing “food grade industrial…