Soju–All So New, All So Familiar

It’s a brisk Saturday evening in March, and my husband Hugo and I are sitting in the unheated basement of a century-old building in Seoul, Korea’s historic Bukchon neighborhood. Most of the floor space in the small room is filled with large clay pots of fermenting alcohol. Across the table where we sit, a hint […] Read the full article…

Mate Brew Day

If you read last week’s post, you know that at the end of it I had committed to a mate brew with only a vague idea of what I intended to do. Meanwhile, two pounds of Brazilian mate were on their way, courtesy of Giancarlo Vigil, owner of The Maté Exchange in Durango, Colorado. I […] Read the full article…

Mate Beer Anyone?

One evening in late January, I got a phone call from 23-year-old Giancarlo Vigil in Durango, Colorado, who I hadn’t spoken with since he was a kid. At the end of an hour, we’d had a great, wide-ranging conversation, mostly about beer and yerba mate, the tea popular in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and other parts […] Read the full article…

Upping Your Homebrew Game with BYO

We’re five minutes into the full-day workshop “Evaluating Your Homebrew Like a Master Judge,” with our noses buried in our glasses and inhaling deeply. “What do you smell?” asks presenter Gordon Strong, president of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). When several of the 20 participants say, “Nothing,” Strong responds, “Exactly, and that’s a good […] Read the full article…

Planning Your Beercation

Once upon a time, beercations were the domain of only the most serious beer nerds. Those days are long gone. Now, brewery tours often fill up even on weekday mornings during off-peak tourist season, as was the case when my husband and I visited Anchor Brewing a week and a half ago. Granted, that evening […] Read the full article…

Love and San Francisco Beer Week

Another Valentine’s Day is upon us and, to tell the truth, after several decades of marriage a box of chocolate and a pretty card don’t mean as much to me as they once did. Unfortunately for Hugo, my brewing consultant husband, the things I value these days tend to come with a much larger price. […] Read the full article…

#boycottbudweiser

To those folks who have spent the last week clamoring on social media for everybody to #boycottbudweiser and #boycottbudwiser, I say sure, you go for it. I do have some advice, though. First, if you’re in the latter group, it’s probably a good idea to learn to spell what it is you’re boycotting. Second, and […] Read the full article…

The Twelve Days of Trump

In the United States’ 241 years of existence, there’s never been anything like the last 12 days. (Full disclosure: I’m not a Trump fan.) On Sunday I had an epiphany of sorts. I realized how I’m going to make it through the next 1,449 days, or four years. It came with the first sip of an […] Read the full article…

Mind Your T&C’s

No self-respecting beer geek could possibly overlook this offer. First, in one more sign of craft beer’s respect in the fine dining world these days, it puts beer on par with wine. It was even more telling that I found it in a Monterey Peninsula grocery store on California’s Central Coast where wine is a […] Read the full article…

Thank You for Not Putting Down Women

You know Harry Schuhmacher, right? I don’t mean as in you’re personal acquaintances, only as in knowing who he is and that he’s got 17.9K Twitter followers. If you’re at least somewhat knowledgeable about beer culture and you don’t know Schuhmacher’s name, I’m willing to bet you’re not a wealthy person. Schuhmacher, who lives in […] Read the full article…