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Brew With a Darker Taste: Shed Mountain Ale

by Charles Wangersky September 1st, 2014
One of the advantages, I suppose, of writing a beer column, is that source material can be handed to you even when, or especially when, you are on vacation. That is certainly one of the things that happened this past week, while my vacation was in full swing.

While my grandparents were reasonably well off, they also had seven children, so relatively little of their worldly goods ended up in the hands of any child or grandchild. However, there was a shared summer place, which remains more or less shared, on the coast of Maine. Suddenly having the chance, for
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An Understated Ale: Unibrouwe Blanche de Chambly

by Charles Wangersky August 25th, 2014 | Beer
Beer Our beer adventures continue this week, as they did last week, in Quebec, with a selection from the Summer Variety Pack available from Unibrouwe. This time, we're looking at the Blanche de Chambly, a white ale, according to the label. In fact, it is not white, but a very pale yellow; if your beer is white, something is probably wrong with it, perhaps you went to the wrong tap when you were filling your glass. It is possible that the term "white ale" is used to distinguish it from the many Pale Ales out there; as we'll
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Backyard Blackberry Spritz- A Fun Use for Those Berries

by Michele August 29th, 2014 | Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
Cocktail We have blackberry bushes in our backyard.  Over the last year or so, we have spent several weekend mornings cleaning out their area.  We removed scrub bush, weeds, and ferns, and our blackberry bushes not only grew bigger but they also produced more berries.  Instead of having enough for the kids to pick and eat before the bowls ever returned to the kitchen, our bushes now produce a couple pints a week at the high point of the season.

So, what is one to do with all of these blackberries? In our house, simply leaving the blackberry bowl on the
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Bar Destination

Bar Spotlight: Top Picks in North Dakota

by R. Carnavale August 28th, 2014 | Bar Destination
If, like most people, you have yet to visit North Dakota, know that the Lewis and Clark Trail runs through the state, borders Canada, has rugged badlands formations in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park and, best of all, has some mighty fine bars (despite the state's being ranked 48th in the U.S. in terms of its population size).


Laughing Sun Brewing Co. occupies 1500 square feet in the historic Laskin Building in downtown Bismarck, and
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Casali di Bibbiano, Primo Bacio Toscana, 2011

by Jason Lightner August 27th, 2014 | Wine
Wine Casali di Bibbiano

Italy, Toscana, 2011


Having never been presented with the opportunity to enjoy a Tuscan wine, I was more than a little excited to find a bottle of Casali di Bibbiano's Toscana tucked away in a far corner of my local wine shop. This Italian white wine is an amalgamation of Vermentino and Sauvignon blanc varietals, which gives this wine its uniquely refreshing flavor and sophisticated bouquet.

Tuscany is home to some of the most notable wine regions in all of Italy, including Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti, Bolgheri, Carmignano, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. These regions each have their own unique ecological
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Jim Beam Kentucky Fire

by TK August 26th, 2014 | Liquor
Spirits Our dear friends at Wikipedia describe fire as:

Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction products.[1] Slower oxidative processes like rusting or digestion are not included by this definition.

But I think if we step away from the scientific description of "fire", we all have visions that come up in our minds.  We see the flames of a bonfire or the white hot excitement of a fiery interaction with someone in our brain.    "Fire" brings out the mental heat in almost everyone.  My opportunity to taste test
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