My Top U.S. Breweries Right Now

In no particular order yet. This will change over time, as I fail to keep up with one place versus falling in love with another. Or, as a brewery adds releases that I am not as in love with as their prior work. Or it’ll expand. What I’m saying is, this is based on the past week or two of drinking, things I’m excited to drink, and so on. Dear Friends on this list: Don’t make a big stink when you are off it for a month or two, or if aren’t on it yet. Relax, don’t worry, have a beer. Also, this is based on stuff I can get. I love Russian River, but I do not randomly run into it at a bottle shop and get to make a last minute decision to buy it at a bar when I should be going home. Readers, twitter followers, etc, feel free to suggest other favorites and I’ll just grow this more and turn it into a behemoth.

1. Surly
2. Penrose
3. Metropolitan
4. Off Color
5. The Bruery
6. New Glarus
7. North Coast
8. Victory
9. Stone
10. Cascade
11. Perennial Artisan Ales
12. Pipeworks
13. Avery
14. Anchorage
15. Central State
16. Allagash
17. Forbidden Root
18. Founders
19. Upland
20. Firestone Walker
21. Maine Beer Co
22. Almanac


Boozy Beggar Picture of the Day – The Toddy Goldman

 The Heidi toddy. Or is it the Toddy Goldman? Heidi’s chai tea infused vodka, egg white, honey syrup, splash of fresh squeezed lemon. Garnished with cinnamon and @bittercube cherry bark vanilla bitters.
2 oz Chai Tea-infused Vodka (see below for process)
1.5 oz of milk
1 oz honey syrup
0.25 oz fresh lemon juice
egg white
Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla bitters
Dry shake (without ice) all ingredients but bitters for 10 seconds. Get furious with it. Then add ice and shake for 15 seconds. Strain over ice. Garnish with the bitters.
Infusion – ratio of 5 tablespoons of chai tea (loose) to 3 cups (basically 1 bottle is fine) of vodka. Shake daily for a week, store away from sunlight. Strain, make cocktail above.

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Half Acre Chocolate Camaro Release Party at Farm Bar

Farm Bar’s first official event since opening a few months ago. This milk stout from Half Acre gets brewed with lactose sugar and cacao. Lactose sugar is unfermentable by beer yeast, giving you a rather luscious mouthfeel that compliments chocolate, and in turn both compliment earthy English hops (Fuggles) that balance the sweetness.

Chocolate Camaro will be on a regular tap line AS WELL as on a nitro line. Compare the two. Also on tap are Malibu Stout (featuring galaxy hops), Shrub Tundra (a coffee brown ale), and a Lychee fruit IPA collaboration. All pours only $6 dollars from 5-9 PM.

Here’s a fun link to the Reader’s review that also included musical suggestions from reviewer Philip Montaro.

Boozy Beggar Picture of the Day – Fountainhead Market

Not the best picture of a holiday treat for myself. Groundswell Coffee Roasters made an exclusive Porter-influenced coffee blend for Fountainhead and the FH Market. Had to have some for myself. And there’s really no such thing as having too much scotch. 14 year old bottling by Gordon & McPhail from the Dailuaine distillery. 336 bottles, single sherry cask, bottled exclusively for Chicago-based BC Merchants. No chilled filtering or artificial coloring.

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Boozy Beggar Picture of the Day – Always make one for yourself when there’s an extra glass. Army & Navy Cocktail #celebchefball #mealsonwheels

Had the honor of representing Bar Deville at Meals on Wheels Celebrity Chef Ball.  Our cocktail for the evening was the Army & Navy. We went for something simple yet elegant, a classic cocktail that could also pair with food (traceable back to a 40s cocktail book that corrected the recipe to lean more tart than this version).  A rich mouthfeel from the Small Hands Orgeat lends almond and orange blossom notes to bright lemon and gin spices.

2 oz London dry gin (we used Hendricks because of event sponsorship)
1 oz Small Hands of orgeat
0.75 oz fresh lemon
Lemon peel

Shake first three ingredients together with ice for 15 seconds. Strain into coop. Express lemon peel over the cocktail and discard.

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Boozy Beggar Picture of the Day – tea, lavender, honey, gin

2 oz hendricks gin
1.75 oz earl grey tea (i steeped two bags of Stash earl grey green and black in 10 oz of water)
0.75 oz brovo spirits lavender liqueur
0.75 oz fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz honey syrup (8 oz of clover honey and 8 oz of water heated together til honey dissolved)

Shake. Strain. Not sure I would serve this over ice again. And it needs a pretty garnish. Would pair well with tea-centric food, salads, grilled fish or chicken.

BroVo lavender is becoming rarer and rarer as production moves to other products. If you can’t find it…infuse the honey syrup with the lavender (a few lavender sprigs would do it), and use a whole oz.

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