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The Secret Life of Bourbon Barrels


Where are all the barrels going?

Infographic by gustavkatz.com

We found this infographic over on tastingtable.com and it was too cool not to share. It shows the lifespan of many bourbon barrels, starting with being filled with bourbon and wherever they may head to next. By law, bourbon barrels can only be used once, which creates an incredible supply of them. A lot of them head to Mexico for tequila to age in, as well as Scotland for scotch to be aged in. Until recently, there wasn’t a huge demand for them, and then they started being sent to breweries for beer to be aged in, imparting the delicious flavors of the former tenant to the new beer. From there, everything from bitters to coffee beans to tobacco have been stored in used barrels, even maple syrup and sherry vinegar. The maple syrup, might I add, is incredible.

One addition, that I’m surprised to not see on the infographic, is Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS), a massive imperial stout brewed with chocolate and coffee beans that is aged in a barrel that originally held bourbon and then held maple syrup. This beer was released earlier this month and 12,000 bottles didn’t leave much to go around.

Click on the image to see a bigger version of the infographic.

3 comments 10.12.2011 |

Re-Cap: Indulgence and Deliciousness at LA’s The Taste


The Taste

Sometimes my fellow food bloggers and I roll our eyes and bemoan having to attend yet another extravagant dinner or indulgent food festival. Even while recognizing the enormous calorie counts and coma-inducing properties of cream, bacon, butter and simple carbohydrates (frequently coexisting in the same dish) friends and loved ones are completely appalled when those of us in the bite-it-n-write-it circles get bitchy about a free lunch.

If you are one of those people, don’t read this.

“But it was thirty hamburgers!” That was the most common complaint I heard about The Taste’s Burgers & Beer event, the kickoff to four days of indulgent wining and dining. A huge expanse of parking lot had been taken over behind the Beverly Hilton. Astroturf rolled out, tents erected, gleaming luxury cars (courtesy of Infiniti) were put on display in all their self-conscious opulence. And in that space, from September 2 – 5, The Taste took over – at least for some of the events.

“Thirty! That’s a lot of burgers.”

True. That is a lot of burgers (the number of restaurants was actually thirty-two; the crowd’s favorite burger was from Santa Monica’s Rustic Canyon). At the Taco Tequila Tryst event, spread out on the New York City backlot at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, there were a lot of tacos. And tequila, too.

But, then again, what else should one expect from events called Burgers & Beer and Taco Tequila Tryst? In their defense, the meat spanned the spectrum from beef to pork to sheep and goat and fish, and even the taco party was influenced by a host of different cultures.

See? Sometimes a taco is more than just a taco. Even when there are seventeen different purveyors, all distributing their goods (twenty-seven different tacos in all), wrapped up in a warm tortilla (or a large, circular slice of jicama – from both Taberna Mexicana and Red O).

There was a lot of wine at The Taste, too, but I didn’t hear as much complaining that the bulk of it appeared to be Cabernet Sauvignon (and most of that was poured at Saturday’s Secrets from the Kitchen & Cellar…although, given the name, that’s probably not much of a surprise). What was a surprise was that the wine of the day was actually poured by Ray’s and Stark Bar and it was a sparkling from Westport, Massachusetts: Westport Rivers 2006 Westport Brut “RJR.” Sommelier Paul Sanguinetti said a friend from the area had introduced him to it. Great sparkling from MA? That’s a secret worth sharing.

The Taste

Another secret from the cellar was that Chateau D’Esclans had all four of their Rosés on hand (Whispering Angel, Chateau d’Esclans, Les Clans and Garrus), and they were all gorgeous.

Back at Paramount, Street Eats (Sept 4) took it to…well…the street, with an assortment of finger foods from a variety of kitchens – including the wheeled kind. There were food trucks, a few dessert stalls and – cheese ‘n’ rice – more tacos. Despite feeling under the weather, I ended up going balls-out at this event: Two of my favorites were Great Balls On Tires’ Ballywood balls (garam masala chicken, coconut madras curry, crispy fried onions, tomato and cilantro chutneys, saffron basmati rice), and the tiny wheels of cream puff goodness from TiroVino wine bar. Pitfire Artisan Pizza got rave reviews from the crowd.

The Taste

Perhaps the most inventive of the events was DTLA’s Food Noir. Many of the festival’s previous vendors returned for the final night (Giada De Laurentiis hosted Picnic in the Hills the next afternoon to close the festival, for the second year in a row). Restaurants served everything from pan-seared sea scallops (The Raymond) and hand-sliced prosciutto (Terroni) to…more burgers (The Counter) and more tacos (Pinches).

The Taste

In addition to a great show by the LA local band Dengue Fever, The Orpheum showed clips of old black & white films to support the evening’s theme. That (and the cocktails (The Varnish, Mas Malo, Seven Grand) and the prosciutto…and the cocktails) were my favorite part of the evening.

Actually, Food Noir was probably my favorite part of the entire event (the cocktails: Caña Rum Bar, Las Perlas) certainly helped (but I hadn’t made it to Friday’s Art of Mixing, so that might’ve been a game changer). I also had to skip Fashion Bites Brunch and Desserts After Dark; although it probably would’ve been amazing to see Rodeo Drive closed off and lined with loaded tables of decadent treats…

But, then again, how many desserts can a blogger actually be expected to eat in a weekend? I mean, honestly.

Mutineer Alan Kropf Named In FOLIO Magazine’s 13 Under 30

Beverage News

Mutineer Alan Kropf Named In FOLIO Magazine's 13 Under 30

Today Mutineer Magazine’s Editor in Chief and Publisher Alan Kropf was named as one of FOLIO: 13 Under 30. FOLIO: 13 Under 30 looks at just a few of the emerging leaders in the publishing industry ranging from social media editors to publishers to CEOs.

Kropf is in good company as Beer West Magazine Editor in Chief and Publisher Megan Flynn was also named as one of FOLIO 13 Under 30.

It’s been a big year for Kropf and Mutineer Magazine. In addition to being named for FOLIO’s 13 Under 30, he was also selected in 2011 as one of the world’s top 30 beverage professionals under the age of 30 with Wine & Spirits Magazine’s 30 Under 30, and was recognized in minonline’s 2010 15-to-Watch, which highlighted 15 of the next generation of media superstars.

To read the entire citation from FOLIO: for Alan Kropf, visit their website.

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When Life Gives You Milk, Make Silk

Beverage NewsOther Beverage


Photograph by: Fabian Bimmer, Reuters

That’s what one person did anyway. Anke Domaske, a young fashion designer from Hanover, Germany has produced the first man-made fabric ever without the use of chemicals and has done it using an everyday staple – milk. Anke, a former microbiology student, developed QMilch which uses high concentrations of milk casein to create an ecologically friendly fabric that also has health benefits derived from the natural compounds found in milk.

While milk fabric is nothing new, QMilch is the first milk casein fabric to be made entirely without the use of chemicals and they market that it fits two trends, resource efficiency and wellness.

To learn more about QMilch, visit their website.

Comments Off on When Life Gives You Milk, Make Silk 10.07.2011 |

Diageo To Relocate Production of US Supply of Red Stripe Beer


Red Stripe BeerNorwalk, CT – Diageo, the world’s leading premium spirits, beer and wine company announced today that production of Red Stripe currently brewed in Jamaica for the US market will be relocated to the United States beginning in 2012. Pennsylvania-based City Brewing has been tapped to handle US production. Jamaica-based Desnoes & Geddes Limited (D&G) will continue producing Red Stripe for Jamaica, Brazil, Canada and Europe and will receive royalties on US Red Stripe sales.

This new production model, typical for most global brewers, will enable greater investment in the brand in the US.

“Red Stripe and Red Stripe Light’s distinctive taste profiles will remain the same, and the brand’s personality will continue to embody the Jamaican culture that has always been its inspiration,” said Sheila Stanziale, President, Diageo-Guinness USA.

Stanziale continued, “Moving to a US production model for US volume significantly strengthens the Red Stripe brand and is a clear demonstration of Diageo’s commitment to the beer category, and to accelerating the growth of Red Stripe and our entire brand portfolio.”

6 comments 10.05.2011 |

Firestone Walker Deconstructed with the Homebrew Chef


This incredible dinner is less than 10 days away! If you’re in the LA area, you should be there.

Comments Off on Firestone Walker Deconstructed with the Homebrew Chef 10.04.2011 |

The Cocktail Spirit With Robert Hess: The Metropole Cocktail


This week’s installment of The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess brought to you by the Small Screen Network brings you the Metropole Cocktail. According to Robert Hess, “The Metropole Cocktail was the house cocktail at the Metropole Hotel, opened in New York just before the beginning of the 20th century. Some say it is a stronger and spicier version of the Manhattan.”

The Metropole Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 oz brandy or cognac
  • 3/4 oz dry vermouth
  • dash Bitter Truth Orange Bitters
  • 2 dashes Bitter Truth Creole Bitters
  • 1/8 oz simple syrup


  • stir with ice
  • strain into a cocktail glass

Comments Off on The Cocktail Spirit With Robert Hess: The Metropole Cocktail 10.03.2011 |

LA Beer Week: October 10-23, 2011


LA Beer Week 2011

October 10 through the 23 will be a celebration of all things beer in Los Angeles, as craft beer fans immerse themselves in beer culture for fourteen straight days. The festivities will be non-stop with beer dinners, special tastings, book signings, debut of new beers, tap takeovers, beer crawls, educational seminars, and more, culminating with the LA Beer Week Festival which will feature over 70 local, regional, and national craft breweries. Proceeds from the festival will be benefitting The Spero Foundation which provides counseling, guidance and raises money for various charitable purposes.

For more information on LA Beer Week:

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