Thursday, October 1, 2015

Into the Pint Glass | Brown Ales

Are things cooling off where you live? Because they are not for both Mariah and I. We got to actually meet up in person in LA this past weekend and it was awesome. We tried some great beer and food and talked beer and food. Now I'll let her take over and tell you about Brown Ales!

Brown Ale is a style of beer, that as the name implies is brown to amber in color. It originated in London, in the 18th century, it was a beer that was brewed with 100% brown malt and lightly hopped. Like most beer styles it has evolved from it’s original form. Today brown ales include sweet low alcohol mild ales, nutty bitter browns, ambers that have medium hoppiness, malty sweet, nutty sweet, and malty slightly hopped ales. A notable example in the English brown ale style is Newcastle. The Brown Ale style has a lot of room for interpretation, but mostly expect a certain level of maltiness and of course a brownish color. The mouthfeel for a brown ale should not be heavy and it should not be overly roasty in flavor, there is a taste differential between a brown ale and a porter or stout.

Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company's Souther Pecan Nut Brown Ale
Style: 10C. American Brown Ale
ABV: 4.39%
IBU: 19

Aroma: This particular beer is very aptly a "nutty" brown ale, as the strongest scents are pecans and malts. It has a strong sweetness to it.

Appearance: It has a reddish-brown color and is pretty clear. It almost looks like a watered-down syrup.

Flavor: It's actually not as flavorful as I would have thought given the strong scent. It's definitely malty and sweet — and maybe a little too sweet.

Mouthfeel: This has great carbonation and is on the light side of medium-bodied.

Overall: I like sweet beers so I would actually definitely drink this again. It's not something I would have a whole six-pack of but if I saw this on tap, I would jump on it. I also got to try another brown ale at Golden Road Brewing and was really impressed by it, even though they sold out.

Do you like Brown Ales? Please join us! This link-up will be open for two weeks so you have all the time in the world to try a local, national or even international Brown Ale! Be sure to tag your drink of choice with #IntoThePintGlass. You will find the next coming month's beers below. So, take note of what your drinking and drink up me hearties, yo ho!

Into The Pint Glass

Up Next: Pumpkin Ale — We only have two left, ya'll and this next one is a BIGGIE. Find your favorite Pumpkin Ale (or five because Lord knows you have options) and talk about it!

Song of the Blog: "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Into the Pint Glass | Bock

We don't have many Into the Pint Glasses left. Think about what you want from Mariah and I, who did the dirty research for the beer that may have been impossible to find: Bocks.

Bock is a dark, strong, malty lager beer of German origin. It originated in Northern Germany in the 14th century in Einbeck. Starting in the 17th​ century it was recreated by Munich brewers using the lager method of brewing. The name “bock” came around because of the Bavarian accent of Munich citizens, referring to Einbeck as “ein Bock” or “billy goat”, thus the beer becoming known as Bock. This is also why many logos and advertisements for Bock feature a goat. While the original version of Bock was dark, modern versions can range from brown to light copper.

The Bock category includes several substyles:  

Maibock (helles bock, heller bock) is  a paler, more hopped version. Maibock is often considered a Spring beer.

Doppelbock (double bock) a stronger and maltier version. Doppelbocks were first brewed in Munich by the monks of St. Francis of Paula.

Eisbock a much stronger version made by partially freezing a Doppelbock and removing the ice to produce a higher alcohol, more concentrated flavored beer.

Spoetzl Brewery's Shiner Bock
Style: 5B. Traditional Bock
ABV: 4.4%
IBU: 13

Aroma: I didn't find it to be very aromatic. There is a slight sweet, malty scent with a few sour notes.

Appearance: It has a deep, opaque amber hue with a thick yet quickly dissipating cream-colored head. 

Flavor: I find this beer to be sweet in the malty sense and not in the fruity way. However, it is still well balanced with some bitterness. There is not hoppiness. 

Mouthfeel: This beer is known for being on the thin side for a bock and that it is. 

Overall: If you're from Texas, people worship this beer. If you're not, people hate on it. I personally think it's super drinkable for a cheap, Texas beer. It's my beer of choice when I go out and plan on drinking more than one or two beers that night...

Do you like Bocks? Please join us! This link-up will be open for two weeks so you have all the time in the world to try a local, national or even international Bock! Be sure to tag your drink of choice with #IntoThePintGlass. You will find the next coming month's beers below. So, take note of what your drinking and drink up me hearties, yo ho!
Into The Pint Glass

Up Next: Brown Ale

Song of the Blog: "Six Pack" by Black Flag

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Best of SYTYCD: Season 12

So You Think You Can Dance is my favorite part about summer. It's now been around for ten years, which makes me feel very old. Because the people who are now participating on SYTYCD have been watching it since they were 8 years old.

I was a little wary about the Stage vs. Street theme, and the fact that they got rid of my favorite judge of all time, Mary Murphy, only to be replaced by my least favorite, Paula Abdul, had me up in arms. But having a team dedicated solely to street was brilliant. This gave so many opportunities to people who might have been beat out by the technically proficient stage dancers. And Paula was...Paula.

Season 12 has been filled with beautiful contemporary pieces and mind-blowing hip hop dances. The winner will be chosen tonight. It's come down between three women and one man and I am super rooting for Hailee or Jaja. Or Gaby or Virgil. I really can't decide (Yes, I can. I want Jaja.).

Contemporary | Megz + Edson

Jazz | Megz + Marco

Contemporary | Gaby + Neptune

Lyrical Hip Hop | Gaby + Virgil
(author's note: Here's the original for comparison with the choreographer himself. It's perfection.)

Contemporary | Gaby + Robert
(author's note: Robert is my favorite dancer of all time. He's perfection.)

Hip Hop | Hailee + Virgil

Hip Hop | Virgil + Joshua

Broadway | Jaja + Ricky

Contemporary | Jaja + Alex

Hip Hop | Jaja + Jim

This season has been fantastic. But, guys, bring back Mary Murphy. And bring back the guest judges.

Who do you think should win SYTYCD? Jaja | Virgil | Gaby | Hailee
What has been your favorite performance of Season 12?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

I Do Spy | Keys

Maybe it's because I grew up with The Secret Garden and was fascinated by hidden keys. Maybe it's because I kept one million diaries and wanted to keep them locked away. Whatever it may be, I think vintage keys are beautiful.

Key Es-Tu? Tights — ModCloth
Key On Keeping On Sneakers — ModCloth
Vintage Key to My Scarf — ModCloth
Skeleton Key Poster — Word Antique

Song of the Blog: "Ball and Chain" by Social Distortion

Some of these links are Modcloth affiliate marketing links. This means that if you click them and buy something, I get a little tiny piece of commission. But that doesn't mean I don't love each and every one of them. In fact, I'm figuring out a way to incorporate those tights into my Halloween costume.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Italia | Tips + Observances

Have you guys heard that I was in Italia for a month? Yeah, no big deal. I was there for a whole month. Quite possible the greatest month of my life that I am already planning on reliving again.

I have a couple of tips for those of you who are planning a trip to that wonderful country, things you've probably heard and things you probably haven't heard.

| Don't be the jerk American who only orders still water everywhere you go. Surprise that server and order acqua frizzante. #livelikealocal

| There are a surprising amount of people who don't speak English, especially in Southern Italy and the small towns. Make sure you have some basics, like how to order a train ticket or a pizza.

| Southern Italy is cheap. This means if you're paying more than €4 for a margherita pizza in Campania, you're doing it wrong. This will change the more north/touristy you get. You shouldn't pay more than €6 in Rome or Florence for a margherita or €8 in Venice.

| You shouldn't pay more than €2.50 for a small gelato in any city. It is that price everywhere.

| If there is a person standing outside of the restaurant trying to get you to come in, that is a tourist trap.

| You have to ask for your check at a restaurant.

| If you are going to an outside tourist attraction in the summer, go in the morning. As soon as they open, get there. It won't be as crowded, and you won't die of heat exhaustion standing in a two-hour line midday.

| You should, of course, be cautious of pickpockets. However, the real threat is the moped. Look left and right before crossing the street.

| Cash. You need it. All the time. There were several times that I ran out of cash and had to ask my fellow tourists to lend me some euro permanently because there was no ATM nearby.

| Buy your train and bus tickets before you get on the respective transportation. You don't have to buy it well in advance, but I did not know that you could not just put in a euro on the bus. You have to buy the ticket. And you have to validate your ticket before getting on a train, unless you have an assigned seat.

| Everybody smokes cigarettes. I'm not exaggerating. And you can basically smoke anywhere, including on the ferries, which blew my mind. I had to take allergy medicine every day because super nerd, party of one.

| Take photos of your favorite restaurants and bars that you go to. Then, be an awesome tourist and write a review on TripAdvisor. That is how they get their business and I'm sure it will make their day.

| Unless you're stupid rich and can have someone help you with your bags at every town and city, use a backpack. There are cobblestones everywhere and many streets are tiny, even in the touristy cities.

Have you been to Italia and have general tips that I missed out? 
Can I answer any Italia tourist questions?

Song of the Blog: "Life on the Run" by Dierks Bentley

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Into the Pint Glass | Cream Ale

I forgot about Hefeweizens, folks. And for that I am sorry. But in my defense, I had just gotten back to America two days before and I was focusing on not missing my future home. For those of you who need to know more, Mariah, of course, had a wonderful post.

But don't worry. I'm back physically and mostly mentally. Now, let's talk cream ales. 

Did you have a hard time finding a cream ale? I'm sure you did. Cream ales are part of the Hybrid category, which means they don't really fit in anywhere. Which means they are kind of like the Harry Potter of beers*. They could have gone into the Lager category (aka Slytherin) but chose to become Ales (Gryffindor). Unlike Harry Potter, they aren't always very interesting. They are often referred to as the ale version of American Adjunct Lagers (and you all know how we feel about *that* style) and the BJCP style guide even calls it an "American lawnmower beer."

The reason *we* think they are interesting is because the way they are brewed. Ales commonly, if not exclusively, ferment at the the top of the barrel at warmer temperatures. But Cream Ales traditionally were made in cooler temperatures so that they could be more crisp and less fruity. During Prohibition, or what we like to call The Dark Ages, Canadians favored this beer. When the worst period in America ended, we stole the style back after they had taken much care and refined it and we made it our own, just like we do best. 

*My day is complete when I can make a Harry Potter reference. 

Infamous Brewing Company's Hijack Untraditional Cream Ale
Style: 6A. Cream Ale
ABV: 5.5%
IBU: 20

Aroma: It has a great bread and malty scent with a slight hint of lemon. And when I say it smells like bread, I mean it smells like a fresh baked hoagie. 

Appearance: It is light gold with a weak head that dissipates quickly. However, it does have some fantastic legs when stirred, not shaken. 

Flavor: I read somewhere that this had a vanilla cream aftertaste and you know how you get the idea in your head after you hear it? It has a vanilla cream aftertaste! It's definitely pretty...bland, like a lager. It's very bread-like with a lemon undertone and, wouldn't you know it, a vanilla cream taste. 

Mouthfeel: For something with such a crappy carbonation, it is still medium-carbonation with medium body. 

Overall: I tried. I really did. I kept an open mind. But I think because I had the best Italian wine in the world before I tried this cream ale, I just couldn't do it. It's very much like an American Adjunct Lager because it tastes like piss water and I think I will pass on this style from now on. 

Do you like Cream Ales? Please join us! This link-up will be open for two weeks so you have all the time in the world to try a local or national American Lager! Be sure to tag your drink of choice with #IntoThePintGlass. You will find the next coming month's beers below. So, take note of what your drinking and drink up me hearties, yo ho!

Up Next: Bock

Friday, August 14, 2015

I Do Spy | The World

You're all like me, right? You want to find the perfect career that will allow you to travel at your leisure to anywhere you would like. Yeah. Me too.

While I haven't found that career yet, I can wanderlust. Right now you'll find me exploring Bologna, Italia. If you want to see my adventures, follow me on social media with #LaCapraAffamati. In the meantime, here are some ways to see the earth: on your clothes.

Overseas and Out Top — ModCloth
See You Later, Equator Bracelet — ModCloth
Which Way to Wow? Earrings — ModCloth
World Map Passport Cover — Gifts and Travel

Song of the Blog: "Born to be Wild" by Steppenwolf

Some of these links are Modcloth affiliate marketing links. This means that if you click them and buy something, I get a little tiny piece of commission. But that doesn't mean I don't love each and every one of them. In fact, those earrings are going in my next suitcase.