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Hop allergy! I’m allergic to bullshit

Allergic to hops?

Because of this allergy I get a little watery eyed when my friend, Cocktail Sauce, reminds me for the 10 thousandth time that she is allergic to hops.

No, she doesn’t want to try the new DIPA I got imported from the states.

And yes, she’ll come hang out. But when we get to the beer shop/reggae bar and I face the ordering selection in triumph, “what shall we order?!” She politely seeks out a cider.

Oh, right… fuckin hop allergy. What did you do in a past life to be cursed so? I mean, gluten free people are one thing but, as Nutwood from Kentucky so eloquently stated, “if it doesn’t have hops, it isn’t beer.

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More than just a choking hazard…?

Is there really such a thing as being allergic to hops?

Unfortunately yes. It isn’t bullshit and it isn’t just Asain glow (or mild alcohol allergy), it is a real allergic reaction to hop pollen and it can have some nasty effects. In fact, it turns out you can be allergic to nearly all the essential elements of beer but Cocktail Sauce is 99% sure it’s the hops.

What are the symptoms of hop allergy?

Usually hop allergies are fairly mild. Which is the reason Cocktail Sauce will often ‘try’ the beers I forgetfully bring along as my “I’ll bring the drinks,” party contribution. To which Master Hop Yoda says :

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Master Hop Yoda created by reddit.com/user/TuskenCam

If Cocktail Sauce were to habitually do hop the way that I do she could potentially break out in a skin rash, develop a painful sinus problem coupled with swelling of the mouth and tongue which could possibly lead to anaphylaxis, a life-threatendng whole-body reaction that causes trouble breathing and swells the throat. At which point I would have to call the emergency line (what’s 911 in France?) and inevitably have to put down my beer.

Bummer to the max.

What to do if you’re allergic to hops?

Avoid hops.

Take non-drowsy Benadryl or another antihistamine to relive some of the allergic reaction symptoms.

Try herbed or spiced beers as they are the widest range of styles that omit the hops.

Drink cider. But why drink cider when you could follow this step by step Champagne Cider guide and make that it yourself!

What to do if you aren’t allergic to hops?

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Then check this shit out:

  • 10 hop flavors you should know - Draftmag
  • Oregonians are hop crazy! – Here is the Hood River Hops Fest’s fresh hop beer selection
  • SMaSH Beers for Hops Learnings – BrewDudes do BIAB (brew in a bag)!
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Are we taking beer too serious?!

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With things like Louisiana State residents not being able to purchase cold beer and Budweiser changing Brazilian law, I can’t help but get a little joker faced when I see craft beer people getting petty about beer.

Today I received this message from an unnamed fellow beer blogger:

“Hey, that’s my photo. You’ve copied it from my blog. Please take it down.”

I dig it man. That beer porn is important to you. And if it were a picture of your wife, with all her bubbly glory in a high resolution close up, then yeah sure by all means, give me the “hey, that’s mine!” message. But, your site was cited and commented on, the picture isn’t trade marked and, it isn’t like I’m making big bucks off this blog. I’m not upset. I took the post down. It was a shitty old post that I had completely forgot about. What does grate me is this serious approach to selfishness with beer.

People die every day over beer related disputes.

There are folks out there torturing small fuzzy tree animals to make poop bean infused beer, yuppies are paying $120 bottle for shaved truffle pilsner and Africans are making some serious sociological and economical changes with beer. Yet things like beer name disputes are headline news: Godzilla (Mechagodzilla to be specific) kept from stomping around New Orleans beer cans!

Beer is serious in a lot of ways and a lot of people depend on it. Including yours truly. The business of beer drinking and production incompasses many aspects of human life so how about we start this whole world peace bit with some hand to can to hand.

If nothing else, then give me a high five for extending a link to your beer blog, bro.

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NOTE TO ALL MY READERS :

You have free reign to use anything from my site in any way you effing like so long as you credit me.

Beeririously.

Sharing is caring! If not our actual cans of beer, then at least the beerographic snap shots we post on the internet.

Who’s with me?!

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Been trying new beer lately?

i know you have

I know you have

Kevin Spacey knows. I know. No way of getting around it. Us beer folks have an attraction to beers we’ve never tried before. You know what I mean.

Blame Untappd for handing out badges, or bbc for touting the health benefits, but nothing can keep my hands from turning into bottle magnets with I see an uncategorized brew.

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My friend pulled out these highbrow looking brews she had picked up in Bretagne and, although I immediately deduced from the labeling that they were commercial grade crap, I had to touch them. What are the ingredients? When was it bottled? And, what’s the alcohol content?

One of the main things that keep me trying new beers that I know I’m not going to like is that the alcohol content isn’t worth the palate assault. I’d rather drink shitty wine at a dirty bar than sip on low grade beer. Call me enterprising.

After giving the bottle a full examination, I dropped my beer snob barrier (it’s not like all beers need to sheep shit smoked) and progressed to the tasting.

Also known as, getting drunk.

Nearly all the beers my generous hostess pulled from the cooler were over 7% abv. And since I don’t actually use Untappd, I don’t remember that much about em.

For you, my dear friends and readers, I’ll try to give you some details about the Britt brand beers that I tried (to remember):

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Gwiniz Du is 5.4% abv something or other which is made from the black buckwheat that is used in Bretagne to make black crepes. Which are delicious, so that’s why I remember that, naturally.

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Golden Dremmwel Bio is an organic 7.7% abv belgian style blond which didn’t taste organic at all.

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Celtika is an 8.8% abv lager, which has a very metal label. The devilish character on the front resembles the pro/antagonist in one of the best computer games of all time : Dungeon Keeper 2!

There were more I’m fairly sure, or just repeats of these ones but since you’ve seen the alcohol percentages I was swillin on, so I’m sure you can understand my lack of note taking ability. I had to touch them. I had to try them. Now that I have, I won’t likely do it again.

Have you tried any new beers lately? Leave me a comment and I’ll see if I remember having tried it. Or… if I don’t remember.

In other news:

  • Educate yourself! -> About beer in Indiana state, with this half hour long documentary
  • Wish I was there! -> Bar discounts beer as goals are made for Germany vs Brazil match. 50 cent beers anyone?
  • For Shabbat-> Drink a He’Brew
  • It’s the small things -> Rats cause emergency shut down of UK brewery. Oh rats.

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Working with beer quacks @ Le Supercoin

Le Supercoin

in Paris’s 18th district is not only a pretentious people free zone that houses a grand collection of local French beers but it’s also my most recent beery place of employment.

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Coin in French means quack.

Us super beer coin-coins have been gobbling up some of the newest beers from our French super team :

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  • Nouveaux Mondes - Brasserie du Mont Saleve (Rhones-Alpes) 8%  Nose of passion fruits and mango, the smells persists onto the taste with a nice round bitterness. It is all rather sweet and super balanced. Double IPA – 4€ 33cl
  • La 11 - Collabortaion of 11 brewers from Ile de France for Paris Beer Week 5.5% A blonde beer that is super dry but very fruity, herbatous on the taste and delightfully bitter. (each of the 11 brewers added brought a different hop strain to add!) Hoppy pale ale – €4 33cl
  • Orange mécanique - Brasserie Sainte Crucienne 7% A soft fruity and perfumed nose with light hints of floral honey, clove and caramel malts. The taste is agreeable with a fine texture. Agreeing with the smell, honey and caramel malts are present in a nicely balanced, simple beer. Amber ale – €4 33cl
  • Rêve d’étoiles – Brasserie Bendorf (Alsace) 5.8% A dark super hoppy beer with a nofruity nose, rounded taste and a fnishe that is very hoppy.  Black IPA – €4 33cl / €9 75cl
  • Triple Hot – Brasserie Thiriez (Nord-Pas-de-Calais) 5.5% Nice body .. Blonde with a nose of ginger, not sugary but close to a candy, with a little bitter on the f inish and a an after taste of spicey pepper. Hoppy blond – €4 33cl

Among the mass of craft beers are a mix of people. Local’s drinking diablo menthe  (7up with mint syrup) or espressos, FIFA fanatics, friends after work, beery types who prefer long stem glass ware, occasional expats and Claudia.

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Claudia and Me being professional coin-coins

We get the coolest people and the craziest in at Supercoin. Some sit around taking photos of their beer and others order mojitos at midnight (more on my hatred of mojitos in French later). I’ve heard people conversing in nearly every major global language, but yet the feeling of being at a local pub persists.

What Supercoin has over other Parisian beer bars is a real sense of Cheers. Everyone here might not know your name (which is likely a good thing) but they do trust you to pay your tab without leaving a credit card and they aren’t going to cut you off if you drink too much. Come – be drunk – be quacky – mind your own self and have an everyday pub experience with outstanding French artesanal beers.

Check out the website for menu and event updates, like the facebook cuz your cool or follow on twitter to keep in the know!

5pm-2am Tuesday to saturday (last call at 1:30am) – 5pm-midnight Sunday – Closed Monday

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The beer, tacos and Parisian cafes move sideways

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Cafe Chilango

Paris’s newest cafe is the place for tacos and post work cafe people to mingle with other industry types. Chilango is open when it wants to be at the moment but you’ll find the ‘who’s who’ of hip Paris Spanish/English speaking expat community there most later week/end evenings rubbing elbows and fanning their mouths after spoon fulls of hot sauce.

Like Cafe Chilango on Facebook so they can feel internet love.

Cheap beer rules at the moment, which is understandable for a place the specializes in fantastic €7 cocktails and high end Mexican street food. (Oxymoron you say? Prove me wrong then.)

Aside Corona competitor Sol is Triple Cauwe’s newest beer, a Pils. None of which are things to jump up and down about. So I spirited in a home brew from my friend (and #LPBW photographer BroDog for lifeClément.

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The Beer Moves Sideways

Is a breath taking first batch! And I don’t just say that because I adore the brewer. Label design is spot on, including an inspired quote :

In the dream dusk
We walked beside the lake
We watched the sky move sideways
And heard the evening break

The beer is a crisp, slightly hazed indian pale ale balanced with citrus and fruit hops that zing across the palate without turning your tongue sideways. Very well done brother BroDog! I can’t wait for the next batch.

S0149192And if you are free on Friday the 27th come check out mine and my buddy’s CROSSING THE BORDER taco take over at Cafe Chilango.

There will be local beer.

There will be Tex mex.

There will be great music.

And of course, there will be Nitch – in ample amounts.

XOXO

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Beer birthday gifts

For the Admiral of the Pineapple Army, a man who has everything a tiki King could wish for (in pineapple print), the only logical gift an ambassador of beer could provide would be :

Koko Brown and Coconut topped Chocolate Fondant!

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I talk about coconuts on TastingNitch (vlog), a heck of a lot. So, it’s only natural that when an equally coco-nutty person has a birthday that I should turn it into a beer birthday!

I know what you are thinking, “Kona Brewing is owned by Ab inbev, icky.” And I totally agree, but it’s hard to get Hawaiian beer in France. It’s hard to get Hawaiian beer in most places though, so I don’t feel so bad. Unless, of course, you live in Cali and are graced by the powers of Stone Brewing who might be soon importing Mau’i Brewing. I don’t think I need to mention Mau’i Coconut Porter again because my comrades are tired of hearing my drool over it.

But I will mention that I respect the underside of Kona’s caps with their Hawaiian word translations. I respect fun education.

kona_capsBirthday beer wouldn’t be special if it wasn’t paired with an equally special caaaaake!

Or rather, a fondant.

Here is the recipe I use (more or less- I eyeball it a lot) :

1000g Dark chocolate

510g Unsalted butter

1155g Eggs

660g Brown sugar

255g Almond flower

Melt chocolate and butter together, whisk.

Beat eggs until frothy then beat and add sugar. Add half chocolate mix and beat well then add other half and mix with spoon, adding almond flower. Put into lined spring form or greased cake mold. Bake 50 minutes in 170C or until knife can be inserted in center and comes out (mostly) clean. It tends to be a gooey-ish cake which is why it’s a ‘fondant’ and not a cake per se.

Add coconut flakes on top. CONSUME WITH COCONUT BIRTHDAY BEER.

Other birthday beer, coconut and tiki related things:

Happy Birthday to a very special English man and his pineapple army collection!

XOXO

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The the Eff happened to the hops?!

I’m out at one of my local favorite spots, scooping up their wifi signal and swaying to the sweet jams like a single geeky lady does on a weekday evening when I came across this beast:

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I admit that I come to this place more because I like the people, decor and extremely fresh cocktail line up than because of the beer selection. So, for the time being, I will leave the location un named. I’m chocking down the beer as we speak and wishing I had stuck to a commercial grade Guinness.

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has possibly crossed many seas to be chilled in the cooler of my local favorite bar. I make this assumption because the “hoppy finish” it smirks about on the label finishes like a regrettable morning after mouthfeel. Greene King has a closer relationship with Corona than Cascade.

It makes me wish I had one of these candies in my pocket! Too bad I can’t get these beauties in France just yet. JustAnotherBeerBlog.com recently took matter’s into the kitchen and gathered up ingredients for a do it yourself : Play with your beer.

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Any of you other crafty beer people got hop candy recipes? Lets compare notes!

But then you may be wondering : what the hell are hops, anyway?

And if you have to ask that question then you aren’t ready for the BJCP’s 2014 style guideline update- like me.

Get on my skunked beer hating, home making, beer geeking level yo.

XOXO

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Paris’s First Ever Craft Beer Week!

La Paris Beer Week #1

May 24th through June 1st
Craft beer events held at beer locations around the French capitol in support of #MakeItCraft

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Twist & Stout @ Supercoin

Is it just me or is being a beer geek sometimes feel like being an extreme sports junkie?

Not only do I have friends gearing up for the first annual Paris Beer Week by taking days or weeks off work, but some have been preparing their livers by going sober for the month prior. Likewise I also have friends who’ve been drinking more heavily to prepare themselves for the elevation change.

Menilmontant, Paris, France is 354 ft above sea level while Telluride, Colorado is 9,500 ft. Altitude effects how drunk you get- watch out!

I get a total rush when I get to a bottle shop and see beery people milling around outside. It’s so packed in there that people are outside!

Mad props to Gregoire for his tart and Eva for her beeramisu (real recipe supplied by Jax not this site, but you get the idea of what you missed out on)

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Brewdog Abstrakt tasting and homemade dessert contest @ La cave à bulles

A lot of the same people start showing themselves. Elite beer geeks. We acknowledge our friendship through simple eye contacts and nods. No names are needed as we are here to talk about beer and there isn’t likely much room on our minds for more than brewery, brewer and beer names.

I can’t tell you have many times I’ve said, “what are you drinking?” in the past few days.

Beers are ordered and then swapped around like ice cream cones. There are even times when beers switch owners after the sample swap. But more often, when one brew is found to be superior, we all down our current glass and rush over for the newest shiny toy.

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Beer-o-matic : brew with your laundry machine! (with Bière à la main) @ L’express de Lyon

My week started with a couch nap at my friend’s apartment and waking up to a packed (and I mean full house!) beer bottle shop with beer geeks on day one of La Paris Beer Week. 

Paris Beer Week photo highlights

Tasting The Kernel @ Biérocratie 

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Day #1 of the amateur brewer contest judging

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Photo by Jean-Marie

Appearance is important! 

Amateur brewer contest judging day #2

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Amateur brewer contest judging day #3

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Birthday beer and music @ A la bière comme à la bière

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 Apéro @ La Fine Mousse restaurant

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Nøgne Ø Tasting @ Bierissime

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What is a beer week without a final day celebration? Nothing without a conga line! All I have to say is that we were shmammered, the owner of Cantillon was drunk – we all were drunk – there were people on tables, new couples were formed and head banging happened along side tango skills. Mickey from Chop’in, Cicile from Brewberry, Julien from Trois 8, Yann from Outland, Jacklyn from Bierocracie and all the elite beer geeks who signed my shirt that night: Cheers to a great year and cheers again to the next!

Thank you comrades – we will only grow stronger (and more drunk) as time goes on

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Paris International Beer Celebration @ Café A 

Final day celebrations are like Vegas- some people find romance, some people salsa and others need to watch this video:

  • All photo credits (except for one) to La Paris Beer Week semi official photographer Clément Leriche. Find more pictures on his Facebook or check out his photography page for more outstanding shots of the world around the man.
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Not enough head?

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Or not enough in your head?

There are all sorts of videos (even for the meek), inventions, high profile interviews and (for some God awful reason) competitions on how to best pour a beer to achieve the most desirable frothy top coat.

There are some beers that have all the outter layers of beauty and allure:

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Surrealistic label, temptingly sweet aroma, full bubbly top and tawny tanned body cannot make up for the fact that MULA (tested at A la bière comme à la bière) is all beauty and no brain.

While Rogue Farm’s Hopyard Honey comes from a family of beers with less than desirable company history and a pour reminiscent of fresh piss :

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there is a smart sense about the ZERO hopped mead style brew. Soft and subtle with notes of floral jasmine and delicate sweetness, Rogue has done things with their farm stead that are worth a look. I have a friend allergic to hops (I know, crazy sad existence for her!) which opens us up to interesting drinking selections while in beer geek world.

Expanding one’s horizons is part of educating one’s mind.

Try some of these on size to keep beering and learning:

Don’t be a dummy, be smart with what you fill your tummy!

XOXO

 

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