Science, Beer, Food, and Blathering Gift Suggestions

Well, after blogging for four and a half years, I guess I’ve started to get the hang of things. Like, in December, a blogger should consider having a “gift guide” or something. Or a good cookie recipe. Or both.

Well, I have several cookie recipes, but nothing new for you, so I guess we’ll have to settle on a gift ideas. I tried to come up with a few things that I have liked, used, or given as potential gifts from each “section” of the blog (food, beer, science, blather).

Mostly, I think these things are neat, fun, or wonderful and I hope to help you find something spectacular for someone awesome in your life. Or, if not find, give you some a springboard for other ideas.… Continue reading →

I Actually Drank Something That Smelled Like the Ass-End of a Skunk

And I did so intentionally. I’d say I’m ashamed to admit this, but you all know I’d be lying. I mean, what else was I likely to encounter in a basic course about off-flavors in beer?

Yup, that happened this past Saturday, and I found it fascinating, so I wanted to share a little bit with you guys. And, frankly, encourage anyone who is in Chicago and interested to go try this course. It’s a very educational hour and a half. Well worth the $40 it cost me. Spoiler: I’m strongly considering going again.

The set-up is pretty simple. There’s a classroom and a lecturer with Power Point slides that don’t violate good Power Point rules by too much. Each seat in the class is provided with some of the slides, note-taking space, water and very bland crackers.… Continue reading →

I just spent $40 on bad beer. Intentionally.

And I’d thought it was going to cost me on the order of $100.

Okay, technically, I spent that $40 on a class about bad beer, thus so it’s really on the expertise to learn how to recognize specific “off” flavors.

I’m really looking forward to this. Tasting beer is absolutely one of my favorite things, which is why I genuinely love the bars and taprooms that offer 4 oz pours of all their beers. I get to try many different beers without getting hammered to do so. (Confession: I kind of hate being drunk.)

This was something of an impulse buy. I’d heard about a few seminars like this popping up around Chicago, but typically I’d hear about them after the fact or while I was already booked.… Continue reading →