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Preview: Gustatory Libation Front

Gustatory Libation Front

Liberating food and drink to the safe haven of your gastrointestinal tract, one bite and swig at a a time.

Updated: 2018-03-05T19:44:09.468-05:00


a pound of flesh, a dash of blood


Yup, I'm still here!

The new Flesh & Blood IPA from Dogfish Head sounds delightful. Witness: width="400" height="225" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>

the mystery of scotch whisky rings


CC BY-NC image by clappstar via Flickr
Along his culinary journey he became intoxicated not only with sipping the amber liquid but with photographing it, too. His subject, however, was not a two-fingers’ pour but the dried drops left over in the bottom of the glass, which—as he discovered one morning while loading the dishwasher—leave intricate, lacelike designs in their evaporative wake. Photographic interest piqued, Button began experimenting with different Scotches, whiskeys and bourbons to see what kind of patterns he could coax out of those spirits’ departing drops.
The rest of this interesting story of libational and photographic curiosity is here, at Scientific American.

DC Craft Beer Festival ~ November 22


CC BY-NC-ND image by Rick Chung via Flickr
Well, hello, what's this? A Winter Harvest craft beer festival in DC on November 22? That definitely sounds Worth It.

a veggie burger that bleeds


CC BY-SA image by Carmelo Speltino via Flickr

Just in time for Hallowe'en, it seems that a biochemical wizard has designed a veggie burger patty stuffed with heme molecules to replicate the visual of a meat-burger cooked rare that emits bloody juices.


That noted, I continue to be perplexed by the amount of effort some put into replicating the visual and textural experience of eating meaty things when they are not eating meat, especially those who have made such dietary choices based on strongly held personal convictions about the animal/meat/food industry.

Now, if only said patty could also emit a mournful death-moo every time one takes a bite... that would be a thing to behold.

Heavy Seas Chili & Cheese Fest, 2014


Yes, I'm well aware I've been all about the events recently, but they're worth the sharing. Especially this one.

I had the immense pleasure of attending the Heavy Seas Chili & Cheese Fest last year, and it was excellent fun. There were over 20 different chilis available for tasting from local restaurants, as well as a varied selection of odd cheeses and sweet confections. Of course, there was plenty of beer, including one-off cask ales. There was no negative to this event. Period.

Das Best OkoberFest is, uh, a-brewing


I've not yet made it to this event, but perhaps this year I will. And maybe you as well!

It's on Saturday, October 11, 2014, at M&T Bank Stadium. More info and tickets here.

two words:



for good or ill, this will be the most Baltimore of beers...


Flying Dog Brewery just announced Dead Rise OLD BAY Summer Ale:
Dead Rise OLD BAY Summer Ale will highlight the indelible character of OLD BAY through bright and refreshing citrus hop character and a crisp, tart finish. OLD BAY is added to the whirlpool imparting a bold aroma followed by hints of flavor throughout the beer. The finish is dry, snappy, and perfect for our hot and humid summers.
More on this possibly wonderful, possibly horrible brew at the link above. At the very least, it features a zombie crab on the label, which pleases me to no end.

Image via Flying Dog Brewery

11 Cocktails For 11 Doctors


In honor of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who this weekend, some enterprising souls have devised eleven cocktails, each inspired by one iteration of The Doctor. As documented on
Armed with recipes, good company, and very little in the way of instinctual self-preservation, I journeyed forth into the wilds of Glasgow to find a cocktail bar that would enable us to drink our way through eleven Doctors. Blue Dog and its excellent staff were game, and thus did our adventure begin.
The recipes to these lovely libations are here, and subsequent tasting notes are here. I particularly look forward to attempting THE GREEN DEATH on behalf of Jon Pertwee's Doctor, for all the reasons.

Hello Kitty beer. Because, I suppose, why not?


Hello Kitty beer, by Long Chaun Brewery in Taiwan
Kotaku has a detailed write-up on this new Chinese "endeavor". In short: six fruit-flavored varieties, 2.3% alcohol, and dangerously yummy and smooth to drink.

Doom, ever closer to you we slide. But at least it tastes good.

the origin of cascade hops? SCIENCE, of course!


I hadn't known that the origin of casacde hops was through Oregon State University's Fermentation Science program. I also hadn't known that advanced research programs in Fermentation Science were a thing, but in hindsight it should have been obvious. This is truly glorious SCIENCE.

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If this whole doctor thing doesn't work out, my new second career choice will now be Mad Hop Scientist.

making beer with... a coffeemaker


CC BY-NC image by TSalon via Flickr
Here's an oldie but a goodie from Southern Fried Science, entitled "How to brew beer in a coffee maker, using only materials commonly found on a modestly sized oceanographic research vessel". The post includes detail instructions, such as the required tools ("an electric drip coffee maker with hot plate, a coffee filter, 2 1-liter sample jars, 2 handkerchiefs, 2 rubber bands, and a source of clean (preferably R/O) water"), ingredients (dry cereal for grains, Vegemite as an option for malt), and a step-by-step recipe. The end result is noted to be as follows:

A cool, smooth brew, flavored with whatever you found. It may be very bad, it may be good. It will be beer.
'nuff said.

decoding flavor


CC BY-NC-SA image from Abu via Flickr
Right. This blog! I have it. There are plans, etc, etc.

There's a lovely piece on that has a nice breakdown about what goes into how we arrive at describing "flavor" when it comes to beer. While nothing new, it provides a good framework for understanding why experience is key when it comes to describing what we taste, in more ways that one. Slainte!

guest on The Living Proof Brew Cast, episode "Tour Globally, Drink Locally"


CC BY-NC-SA image by (and of) cmdln via Flickr
Back at Balticon in May, I had the immense pleasure of sitting down with Thomas Gideon and John Taylor Williams to record an episode of The Living Proof Brew Cast. This has been a thing I've been intending to do for some time, especially given that these gents are outstanding folk and they produce the best beer-related how I've yet heard. We had some great brews and even greater conversation, so be sure to give it a listen. The title of the episode is "Tour Globally, Drink Locally" for reasons that become obvious in the show. Thanks to Thomas and John for having me on!

"If You're Drinking Beer Ice Cold, You're Doing It Wrong"


I was recently at a job-related event in which the height of beer that the free bar was supplied with was a choice between Miller Light and Coors Light. Despite my shame at partaking in these to make the event organizer happy, I was compelled to log them on Untappd anyway.

This did give me the opportunity to ponder the much-advertised *COLD - SUPERCOLD* indicator on the bottles of the latter, playing up the whole thing that mass produced American lagers are best enjoyed when they are as close in temperature to ice as possible. Which is somewhat true, given that they are rather awful. Well-brewed beer, however, is all about flavors and aromas that come out with warmer than freezing temperatures. The following infographic from FrugalDad is a great reminder that warmer beer, depending on the style, can be a truly beautiful thing:



heavyweight champion of the World Wide Stout


I do loves me some World Wide Stout from Dogfish Head, but hadn't heard this bit of history before:

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Former Heavyweight (ABV) Champion of the World, and still respected hardcore veteran.

Evo lived


CC BY-NC-ND image from sheiladeeisme on Flickr

Evo survived his beer and sausage only #BrewDiet in October. In fact, he succeeded not only in sticking to it, but in coming out the other side in better shape than when he started.

His final analysis of the month is here. He also joined the gents at the always excellent Living Proof audio podcast for a detailed discussion of the experience.

D.N.A. - Delaware Native Ale


While I have a baseline level of fandom for Dogfish Head that is well established, and so may be biased here, I am vastly impressed at how they harnessed the Delware community for their new Delaware Native Ale. In particular, I adore their isolation of a "native" Delware yeast strain from the environment to ferment the brew as an awesome bit of science.

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Baltimore Beer Week 2011


CC BY-NC-SA image from cizauskas via Flickr

I shall not regale you with flowery prose, for there is no time - today marks the start of Baltimore Beer Week, which is running from October 6 - October 16, 2011. The list of over 300 events is here, so go, drink, and be merry!

If you need any further convincing, here is a preview from WJZ TV:

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wait, I already thought all Evo consumed was beer and sausage...


Evo Terra at Stone Brewery, CC BY-NC-ND image by sheiladeeisme via Flickr

So, it seems that during the month of October, Evo Terra is going to go on a medically supervised, 1700 calorie a day diet consisting only of beer and sausage. This should be... interesting.

Here are more details from Evo, and you can follow this potential trainwreck glorious endeavor at his Untappd page or via the #BrewDiet hashtag on Twitter.

email of the moment


CC BY-NC-SA image from camknows via Flickr

I am highly amused by the following missive today from my work Inbox, both for it being a post-Irene "first world problem", and that the foodstuffs involved have something to do with a department including nutrition in it's name:

To: All Hospital Employees
From: xxxx


Due to equipment failure at the grill station in Greenspring Cafe, we regret to inform you that we will be unable to offer the following items today:

* French Fries
* Crispy Chicken Sandwich
* Fish Sandwich
* Chicken Wings
* Onion Rings
* Chicken Tenders

We apologize for the inconvenience and hope to have this issue corrected as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Food & Nutrition

follow me on Untappd


At the insistence of several associates, I am now playing around with Untappd, a "mobile based social network for beer enthusiasts". Thus far, I find it both cute and amusing, and at the very least it's an easy way to record quick reactions to the brews I'm enjoying. Feel free to check me out there, and play along if interested!

American Craft Beer Week 2011


American Craft Beer Week starts in two short days, featuring over 500 events across the United States, with 25 of those being in the Baltimore area. I'd say more, but really - just find an event near you, raise a pint, and join in the celebration of the glorious craft beer revolution! Huzzah!

in which Brewdogs bones, I mean jumps, the shark?


For whatever it may be worth, I did not find Scottish brewer Brewdog's The End of History to be too over the top. This, I suspect, speaks far too much about my perspective on life than I'd care to ponder. That noted, when I heard about their latest effort, Royal Virility Performance, I was boggled. Brewing the highest ABV beer in existence and bottling it inside of taxidermied mammals? Fine. Brewing a beer with sildenafil (better known by it's brand name, Viagra)? Complete, utter madness. Except the sildenafil piece may not be true. Here's a quote from the Beer in Baltimore post where I first saw the story, which appears to have been taken from a Brewdog press release:We are going to release a limited-edition beer containing Viagra to mark the forthcoming royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29th. Brewed using various well known aphrodisiacs, the limited edition artisanal beer will only be available to buy from the website and will be dispatched on the day before the wedding.According to the specially commissioned label, the Royal Virility Performance contains Viagra, chocolate, Horny Goat Weed and ‘a healthy dose of sarcasm’. The beer is a 7.5% ABV India Pale Ale and has been brewed at BrewDog’s brewery in Fraserburgh.And here's the current text from Brewdog's site:A limited-edition beer containing herbal viagra to mark the forthcoming royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29th. Brewed using various well known aphrodisiacs, the limited edition artisanal beer will only be available to buy from the website.According to the specially commissioned label, the Royal Virility Performance contains herbal viagra, chocolate, Goat Weed and ‘a healthy dose of sarcasm’. The beer is a 7.5% ABV India Pale Ale and has been brewed at BrewDog’s brewery in Fraserburgh.With this beer we want to take the wheels off the royal wedding bandwagon being jumped on by dozens of breweries; The Royal Virility Performance is the perfect antidote to all the hype. A beer should be brewed with a purpose, not just because some toffs are getting married, so we created something at our brewery that will undermine those special edition beers and other assorted seaside tat, whilst at the same time actually give the happy couple something extra on their big day.That's just a slight, but important, difference. If one were to brew a beer with sildenafil, I would assume one would use a minimal "look at my stunt ingredient!" dose that wouldn't have any physiological activity. The potential for bad outcomes would be far too great if there was enough to constitute an active dose, and using a licensed medicine openly in a beer product strikes me as being illegalish from a regulatory standpoint."Herbal viagra", however, is a colloquialism for any herbal or supplement remedy that purports to enhance erectile function, and as such has nothing to do with sildenafil. Most of those substances don't have any real physiological activity anyway, and so would be safe to include in a brew. Also, being herbal supplements, they aren't subject to the same regulatory rules as a medication like sildenafil, so there wouldn't be any legal barriers to using them in beer.I am forced to wonder whether the initial press release (if true in terms of it's text content) was overzealous marketing hype, represented an earlier plan to actually use sildenafil, or was merely in error. Perhaps going[...]

capturing 'Modernist Cuisine' - photo gallery


Modernist cuisine; using a vacuum pump to make tomato water, a cc by-nc-sa image via George Hackett on Flickr

The New York Times has a lovely photo gallery from the book Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, and Maxime Bilet. The pics are outstanding, and the book sounds like a fascinating reference for odd and inventive food preparation techniques. I don't know the authors and haven't read it, but it seems quite worth checking out... if one has a spare $500.

For now, at least some of the delicious images are free to view!