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Archive for the 'General' Category

 

Duvel Belgian Ale – Just Great Beer!

Posted by sean

Duvel Belgian Ale

With a brewing history dating from the Middle Ages and born from monastic traditions, it’s hard to ignore Belgium’s influence on the brewing community – after all, how can you argue with experience and the church?

When looking to imports, Belgian beers – and particularly Belgian Ales – are some of the best and most widely available to be had. And selection – wow! – Belgian breweries produce over 500 standard varieties (not including again as many specialty brews and one-offs) – all from a country smaller than the state of Maryland with about twice as many residents (reportedly all avid beer drinkers!).

So if you just can’t stomach the idea of trying to force down another of what passes for beer from the largest American breweries and you’re in a mood for a beer with great flavor – read on…

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Posted in Ale, Beer, Belgium, General | 42 comments »

Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale

Posted by dave

Japanese Classic Ale

I’m walking down Pine street in Philadelphia, and happen upon this small deli that sells a whole international selection of beers. Bonus – they have a “make your own six pack” policy on all these international beers, so at least a few reviews will your way be coming.

Not going to spend a lot of time on this ale, but it deserves a taste should you happen upon it. It’s not cheap – a single 11.2 oz bottle cost a whopping $2.50, but it’s certainly worth having at least one for your own beer edification. Nothing wrong with being able to say “oh, Hitachino Nest Beer’s Japanese Classic Ale? Of course I’ve had it. Where have you been?”

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Posted in Ale, Beer, General, Japanese | 24 comments »

Welcome to Philadelphia

Posted by dave

Philadelphia - Home (soon)

So the lack of posts seems to have escaped just about everyone, save one endearing friend I have named Ed.  He reminds me on a near daily basis, just in case I forget the neglect I seem to have strewn upon all five of you who read this blog.

But there is a reason – a method behind my madness – that I have been so absent.  I have hinted in past posts that I am moving, and the moving has been taking its toll.

My girlfriend and I bought a place in old city Philadelphia.  It’s a wonderful building, over 200 years old, that is being gutted and rebuilt inside into about 20 condos. It sits on a historic cobblestone street. Very cool area, very artsy, steeped in history and culture.  Oh, and it’s a brilliant restaurant and bar scene.

The move is not without its bumps.  Construction has been delayed several times, the latest catching us in a bit of a quandary.  In order to pay for the new condo, we had to sell my girlfriend’s place, and I ended the lease on my apartment.  Well, we did that assuming a March settlement date on the new condo, which has come and gone.  We’re now essentially homeless, save for the amazing support of family.

On top of that, I’ve started my new job in Philadelphia, also taking time away from things like keeping up on my reviews.  So having no real home with no kitchen and no bar, my drinking has taken a deep dive into the realms of almost nil.  A scary scenario I know, but it’s true.  I have several bottles of ale and wine in storage that I plan to share with you – once they are back out of storage.

In the mean time, I’m going to try to start sharing some of the Philadelphia scene with you as well.  There are some really cool bars and restaurants around the city, and as I start visiting them all, I’ll be sure to share them.  I know it’s a bit local in nature, but hopefully some of you live in the area.

In that vein, we’re also going to change the format of this blog a bit.  We’ve been all over the charts with postings – regarding starting a business, ASP.NET vs RoR, web design standards, etc.  I’ve come to realize that most of our traffic comes from the inebriated faithful of you who care more about booze than my decision to run on top of the .NET 2.0 Framework.  So we’re going to cut out a lot of the technical baloney and focus more on reviews of booze and bars, and other cool gadgets related to the industry we’re choosing to place ourselves.

So code hounds, I apologize.  Perhaps we’ll open a section dedicated only to tech, but we’ll see about that later.

Until then, check out a really cool restaurant in old city Philadelphia called Fork. It’s one of the first places my girlfriend ever took me in Philly (having lived here before) and so I share it with you all.  Good food, cool atmosphere, really cool name.

Posted in General, Restaurants | 15 comments »

A Sad Day

Posted by dave

A Sad Day.

Sidney Frank, the man who created arguably the best vodka on earth, Grey Goose – has passed away. He was 86 years old.

Grey Goose is the only vodka that the girlfriend and I will buy to make our favorite of martini flavors – the Vodka Gimlet. Grey Goose started the ultra-high-end vodka craze a mere 9 years ago, when he was 77. Since then, high-end vodka’s have sprung up all over the place to compete.

But vodka wasn’t this man’s only game. He was a billionaire booze baron, who played a role in the popularization of numerous liquors that you’ve heard of including Jägermeister – my college roommate’s drink of choice during the four year haze that was my university education. (Mine was beer, but if I tell you what kind, you’ll never respect me again.)

Anyway, this isn’t something that you’d come across in your daily news troll, but as I’m getting more into the business of booze, news like this passes my way, so I figured I’d share it. Forbes has a worthy obituary, chronicling this man’s booze-based career since the late 1940′s. An impressive career no doubt, and a man that most of you have to thank for at least one or two drinks that may have met your lips.

Thanks for everything Sidney, especially the Grey Goose. I’ll be sure to give a nod as I sip on a Grey Goose gimlet this weekend.

(Update – another good Forbes article on Sidney Frank.)

Posted in General, Vodka | 14 comments »

More Reviews, Welcome Sean

Posted by dave

Reflection

Just wanted to let you know that along with updated designs for your viewing pleasure, we’ll be continuing with our reviews quite shortly.  I’ll be doing one on one of my favorite German brews (although, is it really a review if I’ve already told you it’s one of my favorites?) and we’ll be welcoming my business partner Sean, who will make his first post ever as he reviews some wine untold.

Also, it appears that we have in the works the first of our vendor relationships (according to Sean) which is definitely good, although it appears their minimum quantity amounts may be high for the home consumer, so we may be reviewing that relationship with that in mind.

Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve posted, and I just wanted to let you know what’s coming soon.  Hope your 2006 is going well so far!

Posted in General | 11 comments »

Happy New Year!

Posted by dave

We’re back! A new year is here, and The Bar Project will go live this year, so it’s an exciting year indeed. Just wanted to wish everyone a happy new year, and to say that we’ll be resuming the incoherent ramblings tomorrow. Lucky you! (sarcasm…)

Posted in General | 25 comments »

Happy Holidays

Posted by dave

Merry Christmas

We’ll be offline for a bit as I travel for the Christmas and New Years holidays.

To all who read this blog, the I wish happiest of holiday seasons. Thanks for following along these past few months – much more work, progress, and even a launch of The Bar Project are all coming in 2006. (I hereby promise some initial Photoshop mockups by the second week in January. Scouts honor.)

Happy Holidays and a great New Year!

Posted in General | 13 comments »

The Hows and Whats of Reviews

Posted by dave

wine in holder

I’ve decided to write up some ground rules on reviews of equipment and drinks. Since I am in no way an expert on all things mixology, I wanted to set up an expectation of what you can hope to get from anything you may read. So here’s what’s up.

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Posted in General | 15 comments »

What Do I Know?

Posted by dave

Wine glass wit reflection

It’s been suggested, and the local search stats show, that some people coming to the site are expecting more information on bar supplies and booze. So I’m planning on augmenting the development blog with reviews of wine, beer, bar equiptment, and bar related news.

This additional information will both be the result of my immersing myself into the culture of the business we are starting, as well as passing on information we become privy to that may not hit the general public.

Understand that in my reviews, I hardly am an expert. I do not have a PhD in Brewology, but I do know what I like, and most often what I like satisfies most of the general public. Those with especially discerning tastes may want to take what I recommend with a bit of skepticism.

Finally, it should be noted that we will not be reviewing overly-expensive wines, or anything out of the reach of the consumer. Our entire mission is to increase the availability of well designed bar equipment to the general public, so reviewing or recommending anything outside of that would be counter-productive.

Our first review will come shortly – as a hint, it has a penguin on the cover.

Posted in General | 3 comments »