I Tried It: Wild Brews by Jeff Sparrow

It will likely surprise no one that I routinely won the "Most Book Reports" award when I was in elementary school. I regularly cashed in my Book-Its points for personal pan pizzas at Pizza Hut, wearing my giant purple Book-It pin as I chowed down on my pizza.

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I Tried It: Stout Beer Barbeque Sauce

So smoky, so barbeque saucy, and so firm. Truly, I think I could turn any tofu skeptic into a tofu believer with this tofu and barbeque sauce combination. I served it with green beans and pimento mac and cheese, which is pretty amazing in itself, but the ingredient list is not for the faint of heart (among other ingredients, the recipe calls for a literal stick of butter and a quart of whole milk. It also lists the cheese needed in pounds, so...probably not for anyone counting calories.)

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I Tried It: 100% Brett-Fermented Homebrew - Part 1

I imagine that the trajectory homebrew has taken in my household is akin to parents with babies - at first, everything has to be clean and sanitized nearly to the point of being sterile to protect your offspring/homebrew; after awhile, though, you realize that your baby will live even if it eats Cheerios off the couch cushions and that your beer will still be drinkable even if you forgot to sanitize the scissors you used to cut open your yeast packet.

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I Tried It: Sierra Nevada Self-Guided Tour

A little over two years ago, Sierra Nevada opened its East Coast brewery and taproom to the public. Although it may be more accurate to say that, a little over two years ago, beer drinkers were bestowed a little slice of heaven here on earth.

"Little" being relative of course - the 27,000 square foot facility in Mills River, North Carolina (about 17 miles from downtown Asheville) sits on 190 acres, 27 of which is developed. 

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I Tried It: Doc Porter's Craft Spirits

I recently had the opportunity to take one of the fully-guided owner tours that Doc Porter's offers most Saturdays by reservation. The 45 minute tours include a tour of the facility, an overview of Doc Porter's grain-to-glass process, and a tasting of all three of their liquors: vodka, gin, and bourbon.

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I Tried It: (Americanized) Belgian Wild Ales

One thing I realized very quickly when searching out different types of Belgian wild ales for my studies is that traditional wild Belgian beers, such as gueuze, faro, and fruit lambic, would be extremely hard to find stateside. Most of what is available, particularly fruit lambic, is heavily sweetened with fruit puree and syrups and is not reflective of the funky, tart, and complex wild ales for which Belgium is famous. A lot of what we think of as fruit lambic in the United States has more in common with fruit juice than with traditional fruit lambic. 

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I Tried It: Strong Belgian Ales Blind Tasting

How did I find the difference between Belgian Blond Ales, Belgian Golden Strong Ales, and Belgian Tripels?

Pretty much like the difference between Queen's "Under Pressure" and Vanilla Ice's "Ice, Ice, Baby," as described by Vanilla Ice.

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I Tried It: Beer Cocktails Part 1, Baby Steps

I am curious about all the ways beer can be enjoyed outside of drinking it from a glass, from cooking to cocktails. However, my experience in mixing beer with anything is nonexistent. I'm working my way up from drinking my beer "straight" to being able to order a craft beer cocktail at some hip place and having at least an idea of what to expect. That being said, the first installment of my experiments with craft beer cocktails this week starts out relatively tame, with three beer cocktails mixed with cider, other beer (still counts), and espresso.

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I Tried It: Red Clay Sunday Brunch

Here is a fact about me: if you put cereal (especially the sugary kind my mom would never buy for me) on top of a doughnut, I will buy that doughnut. Every time. If anyone out there ever wants to trap me with the old Box-and-Stick Trap, put a doughnut with cereal on top of it under the box as bait. 

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