I started homebrewing hard cider when I found out that my good friend and drinking buddy Charles had an allergy to hops (which I still assert is the most ridiculous allergy on the planet, even moreso than peanuts. Hops literally are not used for anything except for beer and the occasional tea! But I digress). Of course it was just a matter of time before another drinking partner of mine came forth with a different problem: celiac disease.
Meaning no gluten. Meaning no beer.
Okay, yes, sure, gluten-free beers do exist, but unfortunately, they’re not very good. And so, my good friend Jeff Marcus enlisted in my aid to help him create a homebrewed gluten-free beer that was exactly good! Something hopefully more hoppy and full-bodied (gluten-free beers are notoriously sweet and light-bodied), possibly even eventually something darker like a porter or stout (but that’s not for a while).
It’s currently way too early to deduce if our wild experiment was actually successful, but I’ll keep you updated as the fermentation process moves along. In any case, here’s the recipe for our Gluten-free HoneyHop Pale Ale (which is the name I just came up with right now and isn’t very good).
In a tradition that began back in January at the Winter Beer Jubilee in Boston, I recently posted the second iteration of my “Haiku Beer Review” series, which is precisely what it sounds like — beer reviews, in haiku form (I also try to tweet Haiku Beer Reviews whenever I try a new brew at a bar). These reviews began as voice memos that were taken by my friends and I at the Mass Brewer’s Fest at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston on September 2, 2011, but I only just got around to compiling the voice memos and turning them into haikus. Anyway, if you like beer and/or poetry and/or drinking, I’d advise you check it out (along with, hopefully, some new beers)!
Here’s the thing: I’m 25 years old, just over 3 years out of college. I stay out late, I drink (and make) lots of beer, I work in the arts, and show up at my job most days in cut-off jean shorts (or “jorts,” if you will) and a t-shirt. I don’t feel that old — I’m not that old — and the idea of college doesn’t seem like it’s so far away. But biking from Harvard Square on Friday night, I discovered that college was indeed back in session, and that I have apparently become a jaded old man.
It was the first weekend of college for many freshmen at Boston’s countless universities. It was a beautiful night as well, so the frosh were out in droves, playing at adulthood by making lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of obnoxious (but incredibly fun) mistakes from which they will (one day) hopefully learn. “Freshmen Weekend,” as I like to call it, is not that day. My bike route brought me past Harvard, MIT, Boston University, Northeastern, and Wentworth University, as well as plenty of off-campus student abodes. You know those 13-year cicadas? It was kind of like that.
So mid-bike ride (I swear, it was totally safe), I recorded this poem, which I then fixed up when I got home. Enjoy!
Just took of care of the first (pre-watermelon) steps of my new homemade hard cider (which I’m starting now in anticipation of the fall). Once the wort-apple juice combination completes its first fermentation, I’m going rack the brew and let it sit on top of several pounds of sliced watermelon to soak up some additional (unfermented) flavor. We’ll see it goes. In the meantime, take a look at the full recipe over in the homebrew section.
Congratulations to my good friend (and fellow FiveByFiveHundred co-founder and Daily Genoshan founder) Brian McGackin, whose first book, Broetry, is available today from the lovely folks at Quirk Books!
Broetry is one of the those things that, when Brian first told me about the idea, I kind of wanted to punch him in the teeth, because of how stupidly brilliant and simple it is. It is quite literally poetry, but written for, well, dudes. There’s no waxing philosophical about flowers in the spring, but there is plenty of Mama Celeste Frozen Pizzas, comic books, X-Box 360, and HaiKougars to go around. I’ve been close to this project from its earliest moments, and can honestly say that it is every bit as fantastic as it sounds, and I encourage everyone to pick up a copy (because I guarantee you will find something in it that you enjoy). Also, as an added bonus, my name is in the book, so that’s cool, right?
In case you’re (somehow) still not convinced, here are a few samplings from the book that I think you might enjoy:
Here’s a little prose poem for your patriotic pleasure (following up on last year’s Fourth of July post). If you’ve ever wondered about what it really means to be an American — well, I think I’ve got your answer right here!
And as an extra holiday bonus, here is a video of the BEST SPEECH EVER from a masterful cinematic beauty that shares its name with the holiday in question:
Just brewed up Béibhinn’s Strawberry Red Ale, an Irish Red Ale recipe with 7 pounds of fresh strawberries, named for the mother and daughter of Brian Boru, the first king of Ireland. Also my girlfriend (total coincidence).
Check it out over in my homebrew recipes.
You know that friend who you always see at parties and when you’re both drunk s/he is totally your best friend and you talk about everything, but then when you’re sober and back in the real world, it’s awkward because you’re not really actually friends and you don’t hang out or anything and then you see him/her on the street and it’s totally weird?
Yeah. You know the one.
Today on FiveByFiveHundred.com, I share my own story of my favorite drinking buddy from the local pub who I don’t actually know. His name is Paul.
Last month, I shared an article from Mass Hands digital magazine that focused on my craft as a homebrewer. Today, it’s available on iTunes. Beer! On the Internet! What a thing!
Also, I’m on the iTunes store. That’s kinda neat, right?
Here’s the full Mass Hands article, focusing on me as a homebrewer. The project overall is meant to be an interactive/new media exploration of handcrafted work that still thrives in Massachusetts.
(Personally, I wish I had a worn a t-shirt that more flattered my figure in the opening photograph, or at least that they had chosen a less-awkward picture of me, but you know what they say: Magneto was Right)