Monday, July 30, 2007
I don't feel there's a professional conflict of interest in telling you about my second cousin's business. For one thing, few of my readers in Alabama are likely to trek to New York state to try his stuff. And for another, while I know who he is, I don't think Peter knows who I am, and I wouldn't expect him too. It's a big family and I'd guess he's not as interested in newspapers as I am in beer.
Ellicottville Brewing Co. is the place, and they make some tasty stuff. One of the most interesting offerings is their blueberry. It's got a lot more heft to it than the other blueberry I'm familiar with, Sweetwater Blue. Order EBC Blueberry off the tap in any local establishment, and it comes with a heap of blueberries in the bottom of the glass. You can probably just make them out in my glass in the photo at right. I'm not ordinarily a proponent of actual fruit in beer, but this was nice. Gave me something sweet to chew on while I waited for the next pint. Or two. Or three.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
The Vault appears to have made a commitment to offering one of the best quality beer selections in the area. In addition to the Sweetwater, I saw taps for Guinness, Newcastle and Coors' Blue Moon (plus the obligatory Bud Light). The bottle menu includes a good selection of micros and and imports. For Jacksonville, that's pretty good. Here's a toast to a new business that caters to good taste.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
It's also a way for you readers to fire back at me. Got your own thoughts on a brew I've mentioned? Think I've had a few too many after reading my thoughts on your favorite ale? Add your own comments after any of my posts. And feel free to e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, anytime.
For starters, here's my most recent column, published on Independence Day, about the Founding Fathers' love of a good pint. Cheers!
It is illustrative of the depths of genius possessed by the founders of our great republic to know that many of those great men thought as much about what they drank as they did about the foundations of government. Now to be fair, not everyone who signed the Declaration of Independence was a master brewer. But the man who wrote it certainly knew more than a little about that "pursuit of happiness," as did many of his compatriots.
Stanley Baron's 1962 book Brewed in
Thomas Jefferson, for instance, after penning the words that formed our nation, then serving as its president and retiring to his estate,
George Washington had a thing for beer, too, according to Baron. In addition to fighting for a government that took no orders from
"We have already been too long subject to British prejudices,"
The first president apparently was fond of porter - a dark brown ale - produced in
Another founder, Benjamin Franklin, often is credited with a famous quote calling beer a divine gift. "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
As fun as it is to imagine raising a pint with Franklin - in my estimation the coolest founder by far - it turns out he never said it; or at lest he wasn't talking about beer.
The quote comes from a letter, written in French, by
"Here is water which falls from the skies on our vineyards; there, it enters the roots of the vines to be changed into wine; constant proof that God likes us, and that he likes to see us happy."
There's no accounting for taste, they say.