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Showing posts from 2014

The Session #94: Your role in the beer 'scene'...

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Being the first Friday of December, today I had a writing date with other beer bloggers from around the globe at The Session, an initiative by Stan Hieronymus from Appellation Beer. The current one is the 94th edition, the second one in which I take part after my first contribution just one month ago.
This time the session is on Ding, an English beer blogger who currently lives at the southern part of the US. He recently had an exchange of thoughts on Twitter, after which he pondered and came out with an interesting topic. It has proven to be a good chance for me to do a retrospective exercise and analyse my past and current role in the beer scene during all these years.

Not just another beer pairing session...

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Some weeks you feel like a truck has run you over. I guess last friday I felt this way, and that's why I was hoping for 7:30 PM to arrive. No external factor, nor even the almost impossible mission to park a car in a neighbourhood like Gràcia, was going to prevent me from having a great time at the first BeerStorming, an event organised in Barcelona by my mates from BrewHome.
I reached the place with some spare time. Last preparations and the attendees, most of them gastro-bloggers, were called in to grab a sit. Two long tables were perfectly set with 4 half pint glasses for each person, along with a collection of small glass containers with the same malts and hops used to brew the beers that we were about to taste. All in a nice, cozy room with some homebrewing machinery and materials, red brickwork and wooden furniture. Great setup for an event that won our sympathy from the very beggining.

The Session #93: Beer travel...

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With this post I join my first Session (or Beer Blogging Friday), an initiative born in March 2007 on Appellation Beer's blog, by Stan Hieronymus. As you all may know, it all consists on a beer blogger hosting an event in which all the others are called to post about some specific topic, the first friday of each month. The current call is kindly hosted by Brian and Maria, from The Roaming Pint, and  invites us to talk about Beer Travel.

Before giving an answer to the various questions laid out by the organisers, I'd like to make a terminological specification. Unfortunately, the availability of cash and time prevents me from travelling as much as I'd like to. Moreover, I'm a happily married man, and Mrs. Birraire is a lovely lady who just tolerates and seems to have a certain degree of liking for beer (i.e. she's far from being a beer geek... thankfully). Accordingly, I haven't had neither the opportunity nor the guts to plan a Beer Trip stricto sensu. Still, …

7 Tweets Post #1

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Yesterday at @FiraCervesaSbd I was talking with a brewer about this new beer. Presumably, another IPA. Hops were fresh, as they not seldom are from some time to now. Nothing outstanding about its malts, neither. Along these lines, I suppose yeast was just a commercial American Ale style. But that brew shined somehow: clean nose and palate; a very well done beer. Its secret was just water: 6 months spent reading and learning more about it to obtain a great result. Is water then responsible for the fact that many local "craft" brews have that permanent amateurish touch? A.J. deLange stated that "as brewers progress in their careers, they learn quite a bit about malt, hops and yeast before acquiring a similar level of knowledge about water". Our beers are improving more and more each day; if we keep working we are unstoppable.

Pubs in North-West Wales - The Black Boy Inn

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Last summer I could once more enjoy everything that my beloved Wales has to offer. Gastronomy, dramatic landscapes, hikes, castles... as well as lots of pubs in which to recharge my batteries while meeting some interesting local people and learning about their culture and life experiences.
The intention behind this post series is to review every pub we visited, whether they were top-notch or just average, describing what was special about them. In this sense, the CAMRA Good Beer Guide was an invaluable companion to lead my way to the best places: an authentic vade mecum on British beer.
To begin with, let's talk about the first of the long list of pubs in which we drank lovely cask ales during our trip. We are now headed to the north-western part of this little and charming Celtic country.

The Hop Dinner...

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One week before our summer vacations my missus and I had an important date to attend. On July 25th the guys from Cooperativa La Barricona along with the owners of Microcervesera (a beer shop and distributor near Girona), celebrated the second edition of their beer festival Brewtast. It was held at the headquarters of the cooperative, in a tiny little town called Sant Joan de les Abadesses, at the northern part of Catalonia.
We had quite been looking forward this festival. Just last April, at the Barcelona Beer Festival, the parallel activity led by La Barricona was a stunning success according to the assistants, being both entertaining and delicious (they got to eat some really good stuff). Unfortunately, we had no time during that particular weekend, so we decided to go on Friday to have a closer look at their innovative work with food and beer. And, of course, to attend the inaugural event: El Sopar del Llúpol ("The Hop Dinner").

August 27th (2014)

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Holidays are over; just a distant memory. After some well-earned break away weeks, I was ready for one of my most pensive days of the year. It has always been a special date since that 27th of August 2007: the day I officially emancipated, began my working life and went straight to live in Brussels to experience -without my knowing it- my true beer breakthrough. If your reading skills are good in Spanish, you can visit this same post from 2012 and 2013 for further details.
Presently, my current state of mind, along with the fact that I was not at home required a change of plans; something more cheerful. 8/27 has always been a contemplative day in which I try to think and ponder about the things that I've done, and what I intend to do in the future; but not this year. Retrospectively I can say that the experience was even more fulfilling, though.

EBBC14 - Day 1, warm up...

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... or how I first came across the Irish Charm

7 AM. I wake up in a strange bed, after a night in which my body rested, but my mind wouldn't stop spinning. It had been a hard week, indeed, but 5 hours seemed more than enough, specially since I wanted to make my trip to Dublin worth it. I got out of bed, showered and put some clothes on according to the dress code reported at the pre-con packet that I had received from the European Beer Bloggers Conference organisation 2 weeks before.
I went to the hostel's Café to have my breakfast, consisting of toasts, jam, muesli and tea. In line with what I generally eat when travelling. When my belly was satisfied, I got my laptop and structured my first day in Dublin: some wandering around the southern part of the Liffey River and early registration at The Church, HQ of this 2014 EBBC. I then took a last glimpse at the day's agenda, chatted briefly with Mrs. Birraire, checked the social networks and wrote a couple of emails.

EBBC14 - Day 0...

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Or how I wearily woke up in two different foreign countries on the same day.
(Disclaimer: This one post is more like a personal introduction. There's not going to be much beer talk... so you can skip it if you don't feel like reading it. No reproaches).
Last Thursday I woke up utterly exhausted. It had been a tough week so far, and I only managed to sleep 3 hours that night thanks to just another ridiculously long workday. The launch of this English version of my regular blog might have helped too: a premiere is something special, and there's always adjustments to be made.
I went to the shower and realised that for whatever reason I was humming Suburbia, by the Pet Shop Boys. Sure, I could have felt like picking a club and destroying a couple of things, if it wasn't for my numb body (although if you ask me, I think it meant something more profound*). Lucky enough, my mind was crystal clear, which came in handy for that long day ahead.

Procrastinating...

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According to the Collins English Dictionary, procrastination is to put off or defer (an action) until a later time. Meanwhile, the Urban Dictionary offers three pragmatical definitions: I'll put up a definition later -brilliant-.A similar experience to masturbation, it feels good while you're doing it, but it sucks afterwards when you realize that you just fucked yourself -true as life-.What you're probably doing right now -innit?-. I couldn't have put it better myself. The thing is that procrastinating is what I have repeatedly been doing for a long time, even while writing these first words on this brand new English version of my beer blog: Birraire.com.