Giancarlo’s Brew

After two and a half years of homebrewing, I’m finally feeling ready to put my beer out there for the general public, at least one brew, anyway. I did on Saturday, and it one of the most bittersweet days of my life. The Home Brew Fest, part of the annual Steinbeck Festival in Salinas, California […] Read the full article…

Friend’s Homebrew Win–A Big Deal?

Dear Not My Father’s Beer, So, my friend Jon won first place at a homebrewing contest in Sacramento last week. Is this a big deal and, if so, how should I respond? Sincerely, Non-hombrewer Dan *** Dear Dan, Any homebrew competition win is a big deal to the winner, and from what you say, I […] Read the full article…

Help! What’s My Favorite Beer?

In the quest to learn about craft beer, recent converts often ask more seasoned drinkers, “What’s your favorite beer?” For some newer drinkers, the answer seems to change almost with each new beer. But, then, the possibilities are nearly infinite. At this very moment, probably every one of the 5300+ breweries in the U.S. has […] Read the full article…

Brewery Tour Snob

I’m a brewery tour snob. There, I said it, well, wrote and published it. I’m not proud of the fact, but it’s the truth. Now, let me try to explain. These days, everybody and his grandmother have toured a craft brewery. There were probably a baby and a bored pre-teen in their tour group, too. […] Read the full article…

#CBC17: Hanging with 13,000 Friends

So, here we are, Hugo my brewer husband and me, along with 13,000 other folks from the craft beer industry. Forty-five minutes ago, most of us at #CBC17 were sitting in the Grand Ballroom of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., listening to keynote speaker Alison Levine talk about the indispensable role […] Read the full article…

Sipping From Utopia

This week’s post on “Not My Father’s Beer” came about thanks to a great little short story contest hosted by Winetourismspain.com. The topic is, “Extraterrestrial life arrives to Earth. They arrive somewhere in Spain. Wine plays an important role in the way their perception of Earth is shaped.” If you get inspired to write your […] Read the full article…

Magpies, Pizza Pies and Good Beer

Seoul’s evening rush hour had peaked and traffic was clipping along the wide avenue when our driver began to slow the taxi. He came to a stop in a gas station driveway and pointed up to a street sign affixed to a building. I’m pretty sure what he said in Korean was, “Here’s your alley.” […] Read the full article…

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…