From February, 2010

Fun Fact: Firkin

Bronx, NY- While doing some reading about cask ales I realized I didn’t actually know much about the term “firkin.” According to Wikipedia, the name derives from the Middle Dutch term vierdekijn meaning a fourth (of a barrel). Interestingly the volume held by a firkin of beer, 41 liters, is significantly less than a firkin of wine, 318 liters. A firkin of beer roughly equals 72 pints. -Giancarlo

Weighing in on Beer Wars

Bronx, NY- A couple of weeks ago I saw the documentary “Beer Wars” in which filmmaker Anat Baron explained and depicted the struggle between the big three brewing companies — Anheuser-Busch, Miller and Coors — and the craft beer movement. The movie definitely came down on the side of the small craft brewers fighting to grow in the face of the big brewers’ resources and tactics. The film showcases the problems facing small brewers but it’s not just a story of beer. The stifling presence of big business, which cares primarily about maintaining or growing its position in the market…

Beer Bread

Bronx, NY- I’ve been holding on to the Trader Joe’s Beer Bread Mix since Christmas and finally decided to make it with some Samuel Adams Black Lager. I was surprised at how long it took for the carbonation to die down. It mixed up nicely and the bread came out well. The bread is very cakey and you can definitely taste the beer in it. -Giancarlo

Iron Hill Brewery

From time to time, BeerUnion will post submissions from traveling correspondent Katie Thombs. Here’s her first, from an outing in Pennsylvania: For girls night out last week, my friends and I decided to partake of some reasonably priced beer flights and pub food at The Iron Hill Brewery in Media, PA. This ended up being the perfect choice for an evening out. Everyone’s food was delicious, the service prompt and courteous. As for the beer, three of us decided to get the House Sampler. This flight of beers includes their five stationary brews, the current Belgian ale (which happened to…

Unibroue Night

Manhattan NY- Last Thursday night I finally made it to one of the beer events that happen in New York during the week and it was a good one to start with. The Belgian Room on St. Marks was featuring beers from Unibroue, which recently has been one of my favorite breweries. The bar was cramped and it was difficult to get to the tasting table where a Unibroue representative was pouring samples of Unibroue 15, 16 and Quatre-Centieme. The beer was delicious but unfortunately it was too loud for us to hear the explanations of the beer. After struggling to…

Mönchshof Schwarz, My Favorite

Tonight while watching “Lost,” I had a bottle of Mönchshof Schwarz. It’s my favorite beer for its soft, creamy texture, its chocolate flavor and hint of coffee undertones. I love savoring it, letting it sit on my tongue for a little while to enjoy the bitterness. Check it out if you haven’t tried it, it’s worth it. -Sarah

Fun Fact: Hop Rhizomes

Bronx, NY- While researching if there was anyway that I might be able to grow hops in my Bronx apartment (I quickly found this to be a terrible idea), I wondered what a rhizome actually was. Apparently rhizomes are what you receive when you order some hop plants. Turns out rhizome just refers to a type of root that lays horizontal in the ground and sends up shoots from what the Wikipedia article refers to as “nodes.” If you want to take a look at an easily found and cheap rhizome, just visit your grocery store and check out the…

Alcatraz Brewing Company

Anaheim CA- After spending much of the day at Disneyland, we decided to make the trip from our hotel to the Alcatraz Brewing Company. Alcatraz is a San Francisco themed brew pub with locations in Orange County CA and Indianapolis IN. The brewpub was complete with a reproduction of the Golden Gate Bridge. The experience was a bit odd since the place was largely empty and our party of two was seated at a round booth more suitable for ten. We ordered a six beer sampling and our entusiastic waiter, John, was perfectly happy to supply us with all seven of…