It should come as no surprise that I am a huge fan of craft beer.  Something that I think is extremely important to tasting beer is the use of a glass.  Many beer drinkers go straight from the can or bottle, but this is a complete rookie mistake.  Beer is meant to be poured out of its container and into a glass, regardless of what John Kimmich says about Heady Topper.  #PROPERGLASSWARE is a bit of a meme in the beer trading/beer geek/untapped/twitter universe, that refers to drinking the beer out of the brewery's or even the specific beer's specialty glass (see above).  I don't get into quite that level, as my collection is still relatively small, though my wife and limited cabinet space disagree!

The workhorse for higher gravity beers is the tulip.  This can come as a much like a snifter or a little bit skinnier with a dip in the middle.  I have pictured both pieces below.  I generally use this kind of a glass for almost all of my beers, it is versatile and handsome.

Oktoberfest Bier Mug - This type of glass is typically oversized and perfect for mass quantities of lager or festbier.  These beers are very sessionable and designed for the biggest beer session of them all Octoberfest!

A variation of this style is "Das Boot" made popular by the movie "Beerfest," if you haven't seen it check out below!

The glass that most people will be familiar with is the pint.  This typically comes in a 16 oz format and is great for relatively sessionable beers and is referred to as a shaker pint.  This glass is usually very cheap, so feel free to grab a bunch from different breweries when you visit.

It's less popular, but equally useful brother is called the Nonic Pint Glass.  It features a notch at the top and is typically sized for a true English pint, 20 ounces.  This is ideal for a lower ABV brew, particularly a real or cask ale poured on tap.  

A goblet is perfect if you are pouring a high ABV Belgian brew like a tripel or quad.  These beers have a great yeast character, and this glass allows you to take a very deep smell of these unique beers.

Gueuze/Lambic glasses are popular for the sour styles originating out of Belgium.  The wild ale train is just getting started, and as they become more popular, the quality sours become more expensive to buy or even impossible in the case of Cantillon these days.  This glass works almost like a flute for Champagne.

Continuing with the stemware trend, I am will move to the oversized wine glass.  You can use a regular wine glass in a pinch, but they are typically sized for smaller beers.  This works similar to a tulip, but usually the stem is much more elongated.  This makes for a more elegant experience.  My favorite beers for this style glass are saisons and other farmhouse ales made with Brettanomyces yeast.  I have included photographs of the Hill Farmstead and Pretty Things versions.

This next glass is called a Teku, and is a combination of the tulip and extended wine glass.  It features a 16 oz chamber, with a perfect shape for tasting beer.  Developed in Italy, more and more breweries that cater to beer geeks are having them made.  This is certainly on my wishlist, probably will end up with the Firestone Walker version.

Another glass recently developed is the so called IPA glass.  I know this was originally designed by Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada for their hop forward beers.  I don't know why but something about this glass doesn't excite me a ton.  Looks like it would break quite easily.

Finally, tasting glasses, a great variety of which are pictured below made by Three Floyds of Indiana for their Dark Lord beers.  These are great for tastings where a 22 oz bomber of beer is shared by 4+ people.  Plus they look very cool.  Pro tip: Crate and Barrel has mini snifters if you have a last minute tasting coming up!

If I am missing your favorite style of glassware or you want to get in on the conversation, jump in the comments or shoot me an email!



Vintage 100% Vicuna Coat Jacket by Ganz Bros of New York - Double Breasted Peak Lapel - Forstmann

I managed to score an amazing true vintage 100% vicuna jacket the other day at a thrift store.  I am now auctioning it on eBay, there has been considerable interest, and the auction ends shortly.  This is a piece that was commissioned by a Mr. Leach and completed in 1953, so the jacket is 60 years old!  There are a few minor flaws, but nothing a cleaning and a couple quick stitches can't fix.  This is why I go to thrift stores.  So much softer than cashmere.


On the Hunt: Suede Loafers - Alden, Crockett & Jones, Sid Mashburn, etc

Alden loafers are produced not too far away from me in Eastern MA.  I have had a number pairs over the past few years, but the pair I am currently looking for is a suede pair of loafers.  Brown snuff suede is great, and in a loafer form is awesome.

Alden $472 @ The Shoe Mart

Crockett & Jones Harvard $595 @ Ben Silver

Suede Loafers $295 @ Sid Mashburn

Tod's Gommini $425 @ Nordstrom


Victory Brewing: DirtWolf Double IPA

Victory Brewing out of Philly has a penchant for awesome hoppy beers. Some that I have loved in the past include Hop Wallop and Hop Devil. When I heard that they were releasing a new Double IPA, I was certainly intrigued. For all Hop Wallop fans, Victory is temporarily putting that beer on hold in favor of DirtWolf, but don't worry you will not be disappointed. I call/visit my local beer store every week on delivery day, and I made sure to pick up a 4 pack, at $10.99 as soon as it became available.

Typically, I try to limit beer consumption to the weekend, but sometimes you are just jonesing for a beer in the middle of the week, and that was the case. The Red Sox happened to be in the playoffs, which is just another excuse to drink a delicious beer. So, I popped open the first bottle and poured it in my trusty tulip (see above). My wife, who is not a beer fan, immediately commented on the aromas. Tons of juicy hops, including Mosaic, which is one of my favorite varieties that has been gaining popularity of late. Color is hazy, and light brown, standard IPA. Taste is ALL hops, there is a solid backbone of malt, but there is little balance. Hops on the finish as well.

I quickly finished my 4 pack, and picked up a second at the grocery store last weekend. Highly recommended, great value.  Receiving a 96 on Beeradvocate, others agree as well.

I also grabbed a Dogfish Head Bitches Brew.  Solid beer while watching the Sunday Night Football Manning v Luck matchup.


Recent Beers - April 2013

Been on a craft beer tear lately.  Trades through BeerAdvocate, sours, stouts, etc.  I still have a few cool things not photographed, but here are the beers I have enjoyed recently.

Firestone Walker - Sucaba '13 - Single best barleywine I have ever had, and one of my favorite beers.  Perfect for sipping over 2 hours on a Sunday night.  Barrel aged notes, boozy, delicious.

Had to do a lot of legwork to find 8 bottles of this stuff, but definitely lives up to the hype.

Traded 3 KBS for 6 Heady Topper, through a local BeerAdvocate trade.  First time trying this delicious brew and it did not disappoint.

Big fan of Game of Thrones, an excellent TV show.  As soon as I heard this beer was going to be released, I knew I had to track it down.  Picked up 2 bottles, so my brother in law can try it when he comes to visit from Brazil in a couple weeks.

Least favorite of the recent beers.  Sierra Nevada's Ovila line - Quad.  I didn't hate it, but why would I drink this over Rochefort?


ATL Essentials: Spring 2013

As the weather warms up and the days start getting longer, I am beginning to put away the raw denim and heavyweight merino wool and reaching for shirts and vests.  For the 2nd quarter of 2013, I present the ATL Essentials: Spring 2013 Edition.

1) Prana Mojo Shorts - These are some of my favorite shorts.  They are perfect for the gym, casual trips to the grocery store, or lounging around  the house.  Not too expensive.  I am no yogi, but I am sure it would be good for yoga, if you are so inclined.

2) Tera'swhey - Favorite whey, mix as you please.

3) New Balance Minimus - The model that is pictured here is the MX20BK3, the most recent iteration of the cross training focused lined from N.B.  Flat foot, to mimic barefoot walking with a minimal 4mm drop from heel to toe.  These look great and are super light.

4) Auto Detailing - Gotta get the wip fresh for summer, check your local Groupon site for bargains.

5) Olive Chinos - These are not particular summery, but I have been sweating olive chinos pretty hard lightly.  The pictured pair is the NYCO slim from Outlier, but I also dig the Unis Gio, and Apolis Activism joints.

6) Red Sox - The Red Sox have been fairly dreadful the past two years, but seeing as today as opening day for the Boston team, I had to add them to the list.  A number of new names including young Jackie Bradley JR, pictured above, will hopefully breathe some new life into this team.

Until the summer, feel free to check out the ATL: Essentials archives.


New Kittens & Random Stuff

I haven't posted a ton lately, life has been extremely busy.  Work, working out, cooking, and Marina's school keep us extremely busy.  Couple that with taking a bunch of trips to the Boston area, leaves me with little time to blog.  So for this post, I decided to pull some shots out of my iPhone and post them.  

I was in Boston last weekend at my parents, and they recently acquired two new cats.  Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye are the names of the two brothers.  They are so cute and frisky.  Very friendly cats, I totally am smitten by them.

Marvin (left) and Otis (right)

Otis on my lap watching our Yorkiepoo Rosie

Marina is not a HUGE cat person, but I can tell she likes these two

Frisky devil

Marvin and me enjoying coffee and NCAA tournament

Marina and I checked out a local sushi restaurant.  Osaka Japan Northampton.  Prices are quite fair and I had the sashimi lunch special with a buddha roll, we will be back.

Obligatory beer picture.  Fantome Hiver.  Good, but not worth $17.

Tonight, I picked up a bottle of Pretty Things Fluffy White Rabbits.  A hoppy tripel that clocks in at 8.5% ABV.  I really like this beer, it has a great creamy mouthfeel and a hoppy finish.  Very unique.  #1 seed Indiana currently losing dramatically to Syracuse.