Embrace the darkness with Baltic porter

It's official: We're in the deep, dark cloaca of winter. It's past time to wrap up in a snuggie with fantasies of spring flowers, nursing a lesser beer like a porter, or even a stout. Surviving hibernation season requires something dark as a winter night, bitter as a 14-degree wind, and strong enough to make you hallucinate the warmth of the summer sun. You need a Baltic porter. Back in the day, porters were brewed…

Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder with coffee beer*

Early winter is grim. Colorful autumn foliage is gone, replaced with stark, skeletal branches. Frozen clots of fallen leaves litter the ground, yet uncovered by winter snow. November has all the downsides of the winter, with none of the upsides. Worst of all, the dwindling daylight leaves many afflicted with Seasonal Affective Disorder, a disruption of circadian rhythms that can cause depression and lassitude.

Strong coffee beers: More alcohol and caffeine for twice the insomnia and drunkenness

This November, we're exploring coffee-infused beers. Coffee beers aren't all beautifully buzzy, though. The combination of alcohol and caffeine can create unique problems. Alcohol and caffeine are both powerful diuretics. Since many of the symptoms of a hangover are related to dehydration, coffee beers can pack a one-two punch the morning after. Additionally, the stimulant effects of caffeine can diminish a drinker's perception of the depressant effects of alcohol. What's wrong with staying conscious longer…

Will drink weasel feces for beer*

GUT CHECK The Asian palm civet, Paradoxurus hermaphroditus, is shown in this image from Wikipedia user Jordy Meow. Kopi Luwak derives from the civet’s partial digestion of coffee beans.

Pass the porter!

Happy New Year, beer lovers! After a brief holiday beer intermission, we're returning to the darker side of beer by exploring porter. The evolution of porter is as murky as … porter. Sometime in the early 1700s, new malt roasting techniques combined with changing tastes to bring darker beers to the market. Some say the first non-blended porter was called “Entire butt,” which attempted to create a popular mixture of three other beers, but I…

New England porter: Dark beer for the depths of winter

Welcome to the heart of winter, beer lovers. As part of a continued exploration of the dark, roasted heart of beer, I'm dedicating the next few months to exploring darker styles. This month, we're exploring porter, a dark beer of medium body, moderate alcoholic strength (typically below 6 percent ABV) with prominent flavors of coffee, chocolate and roasted barley. Chock-full of darkly roasted malt, porters don't always play as nicely with food as lighter beers…
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