The Beer List: The Doppelbock

Liquid barnyard.

First off, for the first time in a long time The Beer List is up to date.  Yes!

Now on to some religious history.  This week I’m writing about what’s probably my least favorite beer style: the doppelbock.  Think of doppelbocks as big, malty lagers that coat your tongue and taste like a horse stables.  Yum!  That being said, their back-story (found in depth at this great site) is one of the most interesting in beerdom.  Also, as you’ll see, very timely.

For those looking for the spark-notes version of the story,  Continue reading


Frozen Veggies? Why Bother?

I’m a vegephile.  I like vegetables, a lot.  Give me a ripe tomato or a carrot still covered in dirt and I will be in my element.  But what if that tomato’s from a can?  Or that carrot’s been widdled down to the size of a pinky finger?  In today’s “foodie” craze, it seems like there’s a line in the sand between what’s fresh/local/organic and everything else.  That line, I think, is bogus.

First let’s get something out of the way.  All things being equal, fresh and local produce is hands down better than the alternative.  Besides supporting the community and being better for your body, it’s flat out tastier.  Lettuce is crisper, fruit is more flavorful.  Why settle for less?  Continue reading

The Beer List: My New Favorite Beer

21st Amendment Brewery seems to get it, on a few levels.  For one, they can their beers rather than bottle it.  Retro?  Yes.  Eye-catching?  Yes.  But also, better for the environment (aluminum recycles more efficiently than does glass, plus its easier to ship) and better for you (zero light exposure means no skunkyness, no capping means less chance of oxidation).

True to their mission: lots of communal seating at the pub

But 21st Amendment doesn’t just understand the nuts and bolts of beer, it gets the context, too.  The brewery was opened eleven years ago in a town just adopting the craft beer scene, San Francisco.  Its founders, two homebrewers, sought to take San Fran back to a time before prohibition, where brewpubs were as ubiquitous as today’s coffee shops and served the same role as third place to the community.

Judge for yourself if one of the city’s biggest breweries – with international distribution –  is accomplishing that goal of hyper-local beer, but the fact remains that their stuff is good.  I found out just how good it was the other day, when I first tried what has instantly become one of my favorite beers.   Continue reading

Taco’ the Irish!

What’s for dinner on St. Patrick’s day?  There’s pretty much one answer to that, and we all know what it is.  But what if you’re just not in the mood for corned beef and cabbage?  What if you’re sort of just feelin’… Mexican?

That’s where a little imagination comes in.  This year, Laura and I bent the rules a bit and had a not-so-traditional St. Paddy’s Day Taco Night.  The one rule: it had to have Corn, Beans, and Cabbage, naturally.  Check out the menu after the break. Continue reading

The Bourgeois Mango

Behold the Manila Mango! At $2 a pop and with edible flesh the size of a cell phone, these little babies are definitely high-end.  After all, that “stringless, creamy-sweet flesh” just don’t come cheap.


The thing is, it actually does.  The picture above was taken at the Whole Foods on Houston.  Walk a half a mile south, though, and you can find the same exact mango (right down to the distributor and product number) for a third of the price.  Magic?  No – Chinatown.

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Is Sustainability Sustainable?

A few days ago, my main man Mark Bittman posted this optimistic report on the future of sustainable farming.  I love the practical take Bittman usually has on enlightened eating.   This time, though, I think he got carried away by wishful thinking.

The post sites a few sources – chiefly, recent reports from the U.N. and U.K. – that promote ecologically conscious farming practices.  According to Bittman, these reports show how better farming can organically feed the world.  It’s a wonderful thought, but I just don’t think they do.

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