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Beer & Ale

Cidre



That's how the French say "cider," and it was in France where I learned about this beverage that I still love. Traveling with my parents as a teenager, I was not allowed to drink much with them, besides a taste of wine or beer. But sometimes the rules were lifted when it came to cider, which I quickly learned to enjoy for its dryness, essence of apple flavor, bubbles and, yes, the little buzz.

Beer of the Week

Monks are so hot lately—what with the success of that TV show Monk and the film, "Into Great Silence," of the monk's of the Chartreuse monastery (that was so great to see all those fathers in designer cassocks striding down the red carpet at the Oscars right after Brangelina)—that it's hard not to have a craving for a good monk beer.


Westmalle Tripel

Whole Beer


The beer aisle at Whole Foods.

Say what you will about Whole Foods (and there are lots of questions and issues, as this article points out, it's a great store for the drinker—particularly the drinker of beer.

Cold Hot One

This is a photo of my third favorite creation of Mexico, after tequila and the taco.


A Michelada

What’s Not to Like?

Here’s a reason why I think the Bay Area is so awesome: We believe. We believe in a community that cares about its food and drink.

What’s special about this picture? No, it’s not that Rajat Parr, Michael Mina’s wine director, at the Golden State versus Utah playoff series. It’s the fact that the beer he is holding (which was mine) is a Trumer Pils—one of my favorite brews, crafted distinctly right here in Berkeley.

It was a good game and a great beer.

86 Rules of Boozing

Modern Drunkard is a truly great magazine, and these 86 Rules of Boozing should be posted like government certificates above every bar. You will see how true these rules ring, and reading them will transport you back to moments of drinking past. Some are just little jolts of wisdom and advice. Number 50 is particularly pithy. ("Never brood in a dance bar. Never dance in a dive bar.")

I also like #29, "If you owe someone twenty dollars or less, you may pay them back in beer."

Beer of the Week



In Robert Hass's poem Meditation at Lagunitas, he writes, "I felt a violent wonder at her presence/ like a thirst for salt, for my childhood river/ with its island willows."

Beer and Bar-B-Que



No doubt, there is some very good barbecue in San Francisco. I'm a fan of Memphis Minnie's on Haight Street, as well as Lily's (formerly Brother-in-Law's) on Divisidero. But, in my opinion, you can't get better barbecue than in Texas, specifically in the Austin area. Texas Monthly magazine has consistently rated three bbq joints in central Texas among the top four in the state. So with my, yes, brother-in-law, sister and niece (all visiting from Seattle), mom and wife, we made the hour-long pilgrimage from Austin to Llano to eat at the venerated Cooper's BBQ.

Drink Big


Bigger is better at Gestalt.

The Day After

It's January 2, and after two full nights of New Year's revelry, I feel like a hollow shell of a human being. For me, nothing revives a hangover-ravaged body like an ice cold bottle of root beer. From the first sip, I can feel the calming, soothing energy flow from my tummy into my tired arms and legs. My head begins to clear.


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