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Beer & Ale

This Bud's for You

Budweiser started a new campaign of campaign-related TV ads called “Lager Lessons.”  This YouTube video is the only one I could find online, and it’s the weakest.



What I like about the others, actually, is that they say something about the product (how it’s made, how lagers differ from ales and are harder to make … etc.) rather than just being silly (waazzzzupppp! -- which was funny the first five or six times).

What I Drank on Christmas Eve

I drank sake and a beer on Christmas Eve. We decided to get the homey stuff—pan-seared steak, Caesar salad, a bottle of Napa Cabernet—out of the way on the 23rd while watching season four of The Wire. The Cab was a rather unromantic wine, but still really good.



On Christmas Eve, we went for Sushi at Ebisu. It was packed and convivial, and the walk there and back through SF’s quiet, deadened streets was simply beautiful.

Lumpy Gravy Beer

Here’s a quick note that Lagunitas Brewing Co. came out with its latest tribute to Frank Zappa, in the form of a delicious new ale. Lumpy Gravy, named after the 1968 Zappa solo album, is the name of the new beer.



It’s a big, malty brown ale and utterly delicious. Perfect for the season (note: don't drink it too cold). Look for it at City Beer (where else?) and perhaps at other outlets, too.

After Fall Comes ...



After fall comes... winter, of course.

I got my yearly dose of both in about a week, as Christie and I journeyed to Jackson Hole, WY to visit her brother and his family. Jackson was frigid—averaging about 8 degrees the entire time we were there—but beautiful snowscapes with flakes gently falling from the clouds and mountains are the perfect backdrop for . . . serious drinking. And Jackson’s no stranger to that.


Million Dollar Cowboy Bar

Bates and Schmitt



I’m a huge cider fan, dating back to my teenage years and my first trip to Europe. It was with my parents, and I was about 15 years old. Going to Europe at that age with one’s parents was difficult enough. I was always trying to drift behind or bolt well ahead of the family unit so that no observers (especially the European teenage girls) would suspect that I was traveling under the auspices of parental units.

Zappa Luxury



Here’s the latest entry in Lagunitas Brewery’s homage to Frank Zappa, named for his album Kill Ugly Radio.

It’s delicious—by the way—rich and creamy, with a lot of hoppy flavor. 

Wings ‘N Things



I’m not a huge connoisseur of the buffalo wing and can’t say much of the phenomenon that catapulted that dish onto every sports bar menu in the country. But I do enjoy a well-prepared piece of chicken every now and again.


Any Given Sunday

I was born a fan of the Seattle Seahawks and there’s nothing I can do about it. We have a love-hate relationship—I hate to get too excited about them, because they always let me down, and they love to let me down.

I don’t often get to see the ‘hawks on TV, as you need a dish or some expensive TV package to get out-of-town games. But this year, I’ve got a solution . . . going to watch football at Elixir in the Mission.


(Taken with my phone.)

What Sommeliers Drink at Home



Every so often, I like to write about what my wife—the wine director at Quince—drinks because it embarrasses her. Everyone thinks that because she works in the world of fine wine she must just sit around at home drinking fine white Burgundy, Bordeaux and cult Napa wines. And sometimes she does.

Other times, however, she goes lowbrow, as I captured in this picture. If you look closely at this photo, you’ll see that she’s holding a particular, blue-collar beer made in Milwaukee.

Lone Palm at Night



I love good bars, no matter what they do. After some readings at Litquake the other night, I went to the Lone Palm, where I hadn’t been in years.

I drank Boont Amber ale and watched the two hardworking bartendresses handle the crowd. Nothing particular about the drinks jumped out at me (except that it was cool to get Boont on tap), but I loved the energy and the conviviality of a great neighborhood bar. And that’s what’s really important.


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