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5 to Try: Fresh Hop Beers


Terrapin So Fresh & So Green, Green

Hops are a pretty fickle component in beer. Once picked they are typically kiln dried as whole hop cones or formed into pellets. The hops, which are around 80% moisture, are reduced to around 9% to preserve them. Too little moisture and they oxidize. Too much moisture and they’ll mold and create off flavors. But because these hops lose their flavor and aroma compounds so quickly and easily and since they are harvested just one time per year and brewers need a supply of hops year round, this is the best option. Dried hops pack the flavor and aroma you’d expect to find in hops, but often lack the depth and complexity of fresh hops.

However, during the harvest period, around late August to early October depending on the varietal and location, brewers have access to beautiful, fresh hops to create beer with. These beers, called fresh hop beers, also known as wet hop, green hop, or harvest beers, use the freshest hops imaginable. The hops are picked and delivered via the fastest methods available to the brewery and are often used in a beer within 24-48 hours of picking. Much longer than that and they’ll start deteriorating. Some brewers working with local hop sources get these hops into their kettle within hours of being picked. Due to the high moisture content of fresh hops compared to dried hops, brewers often use five times more fresh hops for these beers than they would in dried form. See the full post »

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Event: Wine & Spirits Magazine’s 11th Annual Top 100 Tasting Event


Wine & Spirits Magazine's 11th Annual Top 100

Photo credit by Kelly Puleio

Our friends at Wine & Spirits Magazine are hosting their 11th Annual Top 100 Tasting Event in San Francisco next week and we couldn’t be more psyched for this event. At the event you can taste highly acclaimed wines from the Top 100 Wineries of the Year and meet the winemakers behind these amazing wines. Feast on delicious bites from Wine & Spirits’ New & Notable Bay Area restaurants and enjoy fresh oysters, local cheeses and an array of artisan specialties – all paired with the top wines of the year. The evening also includes fresh oysters from Hog Island and an array of artisan specialties from Adesso, Baia Pasta, Olive This Olive That, Point Reyes Cheese, Scala’s Bistro, Song Tea, Sour Flour and XOX Truffles. Even better, the event is an annual benefit for San Francisco Baykeeper so you know your entrance fee is going to a great cause.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
6:30 p.m.: General Admission
Cost: $110
To purchase General Admission tickets: http://top1002014.eventbrite.com/
Website: wineandspiritsmagazine.com/top100/

City View at METREON, San Francisco // cityviewmetreon.com
135 Fourth Street, 4th floor, San Francisco, CA 94103

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David Chang Hates Fancy Beer; Garrett Oliver Hates Crappy Beer


Garrett Oliver

Earlier this month, acclaimed James Beard award winning chef David Chang made a bolt statement on GQ: “I hate fancy beer.”

Chef Chang can deal with cheese snobs, and he can deal with wine snobs. While it’s foreign to him, he can even deal with coffee snobs. But beer snobs? The ones who comb out their neck beards while arguing about hop varieties? They’re “the worst of the bunch,” he claims.

It’s important to note that Chef Chang does like how “fancy” beer tastes, it’s just that what he wants more often than not is something that is the “lightest, crappiest beer” available, and even suggests that’s how he orders his beer at a restaurant, often met with a dumbfounded look from the waiter or sommelier though he is very much serious. See the full post »

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The Bulleit Bourbon and Noble Jeans Experiment Continues


What do you get when you bourbon barrel age $250 raw denim jeans? Well, nobody still knows. Regardless, the folks at Noble Denim and Bulleit Bourbon are curious and that’s what they’re working on, as we first highlighted last month.

The experiment continues and we’ve just been sent the teaser video above. The hope, according to the folks at Bulleit, “is to see the jeans overdyed in this process, making for a softer pair of jeans with the inside dyed to that signature orange-ish Bulleit bourbon color with a hint of charcoal.”

Stay tuned.

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The State of Agave


Jalisco Agave Fields

A well-made margarita is the most challenging cocktail riddle for any bar that prioritizes serving quality drinks. Yesterday, at our little mezcaleria in Houston, The Pastry War, I served around 400 margaritas. With skyrocketing agave prices, the current lime crisis, and increasing agave syrup demands, each of those liquid darlings represent one more ice-cold step towards the edge of sustainability’s cliff and bar margins that seemingly get thinner every day. Unfortunately, unlike droning on and on about historically accurate Aviation specs, bartenders around the globe seem content to simply complain about the unwillingness of ingredients to arrive perfectly at their bar doors.

Limes grow on trees, subject to weather, and they are traded by people, subject to political disputes and cartel activity. The idea that perfect, cost-effective limes should be available whenever we want them isn’t only reflective of a relatively new era of globalization, it demonstrates widespread ignorance about these issues within our industry. I get it. Most of us fell under the irreverent bar siren’s call and fell in love with hospitality, avoiding hypercritical discussions of agriculture, global trade or other real issues outside of the walls of our very comfortable bars. Nevertheless, it isn’t acceptable for those who represent themselves as leaders of our industry to ignore the thousands of lives our bars impact every year through the products we choose to pour at bars—juice and otherwise. No, it isn’t an easy discussion, but I like to think that the persistent claim that “this industry is all about taking care of people” applies to the people we have never met that make the products we serve as well. See the full post »

Renowned Cognac Auction, La Part des Anges, Sets New Sales Record

Beverage NewsSpirits

La Part des Anges

The Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC), the trade board responsible for promoting Cognac and its producers, recently held their annual La Part des Anges (The Angel’s Share) auction, raising a large amount of money for charity while auctioning off some world class Cognac to discerning buyers. In its 9th year, Cognac connoisseurs, retailers, trade, and members of the media from around the world congregated at the beautiful Abbaye de Bassac in the Charente region of France. The Abbey, founded in the 11th century, provided a stunning backdrop for the auction and one that would be fit for a queen. Or, perhaps, Sarah, Duchess of York, who was in attendance as her charity Children in Crisis was one of the two beneficiaries for the night’s auction lots. The other was Restaurants du Cœur (Restaurants of Love), which works to provide meals for the needy.

Each lot included just one bottle, aside from a select few like the lot from Prince Hubert de Polignac, which was a demi-john’s worth of late 1800’s Cognac that would fill 12 bottles. 25 unique and incredibly limited Cognac lots were offered, many coming in one-of-a-kind Baccarat and Lalique decanters and could leave home with anyone so long as they were the lucky high bidder. See the full post »

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The World’s 50 Best Bars

Beverage News

Trick Dog Bar and Stool Shot

San Francisco’s Trick Dog. Photo Credit Allison Webber Photography

Drinks International recently released their list for the World’s 50 best bars as voted on by 330 international industry experts. The 2014 winners include bars from 27 cities in 14 countries with 14 new entries. 16 of the winners are from right here in the United States. While 14 new entries found their way to the list this year, it was the third straight year that London’s The Artesian, located in The Langham Hotel, topped the list at number one.

1. The Artesian (London)
2. Dead Rabbit (New York)
3. Nightjar (London)
4. Attaboy (New York)
5. Employees Only (New York)
6. Canon (Seattle)
7. Baxter Inn (Sydney)
8. American Bar, Savoy (London)
9. High Five (Tokyo)
10. 28 Hong Kong Street (Singapore)
See the full post »

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Cocktail Friday: Citizen Orange


Citizen Orange

It’s Friday and you know what that means, it is time to put away those TPS reports and belly up to the bar for a cocktail. For some of you, that means breaking out your Hawthorne strainer, a jigger, and Mutineer Magazine’s Cocktail Friday.

This week we have a recipe for the Citizen Orange cocktail which highlights NOLET’S Silver gin and was created by Mark Drew, VP of Hospitality and Brand Development for Critical Mass, a cocktail, hospitality, and strategy consulting firm out of New York City.

“Originally we created the cocktail to celebrate The Netherlands participation in the World Cup,” said Mark. “Orange being the national team’s color we wanted to incorporate orange in both the taste and the look. As the quintessential Dutch Gin we decided to base our ingredients around the fruit forward and floral elements of NOLET’S Silver and combine them with fresh orange oils and zest.”

Check out these exciting ingredients and jumpstart your liquor locker on this Cocktail Friday.

Citizen Orange
Created by Critical Mass cocktails for CitizenM Hotels

2 oz. NOLET’S Silver Gin
.5 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
.5 oz. Boiron Passion Fruit Puree
.5 oz. Monin Vanilla Syrup
2 orange wedges
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Club Soda to top

Muddle orange wedges in shaker. Add remaining ingredients, shake with ice and strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Top with soda and garnish with an orange zest.

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