Thursday, September 27, 2018

“Beer is supposed to bring us together”

Revered beer and travel author Stephen Beaumont hosts a story-filled tasting at Stillwell this weekend.

Posted By on Thu, Sep 27, 2018 at 4:00 AM


Guided beer tastings with Stephen Beaumont
Sunday, September 30
Stillwell, 1672 Barrington Street

It's the middle of winter in Finland, and Stephen Beaumont steps out from a sauna room a few hundred kilometres north of Helsinki. He sits down to try some fresh sahti beer, a traditional brew indigenous to the country. In the company of a Finnish brewer and a fellow travel writer, Beaumont sips sahti from a communal wooden drinking pale. After a few cycles of this routine, (beer, sauna, beer, sauna), the group musters its bravery: They venture outside into the snow and dip into a frozen lake.

This is just one of 101 beer experiences Beaumont writes about in his new book, Will Travel for Beer. The sahti story sticks out to him as a favourite.

"It's one of these remarkable things where you could drink that beer, you could go a sauna, but to do both things together and to make that combination...that's the key," says Beaumont of his experience.  

Beaumont began writing about beer as a columnist for the Toronto Star, and since has published, or co-published, 13 books throughout his 28 years in the field. The author released Will Travel for Beer in May. He says his latest book is one that's been "a long time coming," as it chronicles all his years of research.

"I literally woke up one morning with the title in my head," he remembers. After receiving an enthusiastic response from his editor, it was up to Beaumont to sift through his extensive travel memories and choose the best ones to share on paper.

"For me, this book is not about ticking off breweries. It's about going to places where the beer, and the atmosphere and the experience all combine into something truly remarkable," he says. "I think we're losing that in beer. And that's one of the reasons I wanted to do this book."

Beaumont thinks of beer as a way to unite people. But he fears this may be changing.

"We spend so much of our time now looking at screens, looking at our laptops, looking at our iPads. Beer is supposed to bring us together," he says. "One of the great things that beer does is it gets you out of the house, away from your screen, into a bar where you can really communicate and interact with other people...and that's kind of becoming a lost art."

You can hear some of Beaumont's stories and buy his book on September 30 at Stillwell's guided beer tasting event, the author's second time leading a beer tasting at the bar, due to the popularity of last year's event,

"It's all about helping people expand their horizons in beer," he says.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

DRINK THIS: Luckett Vineyards' Ortega

The 2017 Ortega, tastes very Gaspereau Valley with a hint of Italy.

Posted By on Wed, Sep 19, 2018 at 6:24 PM

  • Jessica Emin
Sometimes, while everyone else is flocking to the newest wine creations, a classic is quietly released to those waiting in the wings for something like Luckett Vineyards’s 2017 Ortega ($24).

Ortega, an aromatic white grape of the vitis vinifera species, native to Europe, is also moderately hardy, surviving to about -25° C. Winemaker Mike Mainguy of Luckett Vineyards turned heads with his 2011 Ortega, one of the first grape wines made at the vineyard—which, in its early days, produced mainly fruit wine from estate-grown blackberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches and plums.

The 2017 Ortega is a gorgeous expression of the grape and its place in the Gaspereau Valley: It is structured of course, by Nova Scotian acidity, and so, so nicely filled out by aromas of ripe peaches and lime and the richness that fermented fruit offers to the tongue. A note of haystack makes this Ortega reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc and while Mainguy’s 2011 Ortega was Germanic in style, his 2017 rendition gives a satisfying bitter bite that could be almost Italian. Nova Scotian wine is great with food, but this is a bottle to enjoy on its own. Or with a second bottle of the same.
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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Um, QUESTLOVE is coming to Devour

See you in Wolfville

Posted By on Tue, Sep 18, 2018 at 2:17 PM

Today Devour! A Food Film Festival announced that it'll be bringing Questlove—you know, The Roots' co-founder, Grammy-winner, Tonight Show musical director, James Beard Award-nominated author, overall cool human—to the glorious Annapolis Valley as part of this year's event. If you didn't know, he's very into food and food politics.

The eighth annual Devour! will sit the Something To Food About author down with comedian/CBC personality Ali Hassan (who's also co-hosting the fest) for a conversation about "food issues, culinary creativity and his infamous Food Salons" and then a book signing.

This all goes down Saturday, October 27 at 3pm at Wolfville's Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street). Tickets are somehow just $25 and available here.

Questlove's Food Salon Featuring Kristen Kish, Edouardo Jordan, Andy Ricker, Jen Yee from Questlove's Food Salon on Vimeo.

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Thursday, September 13, 2018

DRINK OF THE WEEK: Dilly Dally's Carrot Spice Latte

Pouring up a mug full of fall

Posted By on Thu, Sep 13, 2018 at 4:00 AM

  • Lenny Mullins

“There’s just this biological thing, you feel a little crispness overnight and it’s like, ‘I need something a little soothing, a warm hug. It’s like our version of hygge or something,” says Laura Draeger of the tendency to usher in autumn (sometimes prematurely) with a little bit of nutmeg. Or, you know, pumpkin spice season.
The owner of Dilly Dally Eats says her staff made a choice to pass on the PSL in the first fall the cafe was open, but still wanted to cater to the sweet drink crowd. “We got together and were like, what gets us excited about fall?”

Among the ideas bounced around by the baristas, pastry chef and kitchen staff were carrots, and more importantly carrot cake. “So we busted out my juicer. The idea was basically to bottle carrot cake.” Out of that came the now beloved (and served all year round) Carrot Spice Latte. With fresh carrot juice, cinnamon, nutmeg—that traditional seasonal spicing—Dilly Dally’s baristas have perfected the syrup that makes the CSL special—Draeger calls the drink a total team effort. “That’s the thing with this drink, and everything we do at Dilly Dally, it’s real food.”
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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Waffle Love re-opens on Friday Saturday

Pierogies and waffles are back in action

Posted By on Wed, Sep 12, 2018 at 4:40 PM

  • via Facebook
When Waffle Love turned off its iron last October, it wasn’t because it wanted to. The sale of its Hydrostone building left the business owners locationless—until now.

“I think we saw every retail space in Halifax,” says co-owner Ania Benko. This Friday Saturday (there were some technical issues) she and Matt Webb will re-open their sweet little restaurant at 2082 Gottingen Street (next door to Field Guide) at 9am.

“Food has always been a big thing for me and my siblings, we’d sneak out to fast food places without my parents knowing. They were really old-fashioned,” says Benko of why she got into the restaurant world. The second iteration of Waffle Love will be a little bigger and a little more modern, offering an expanded selection of pierogies—which Benko’s been making “since I was born”—and the same waffle menu you fell for at the old location. 
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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Luke's Fried Chicken pops up

Saturday sees new beer and lots of chicken at 2 Crows Brewing Co.

Posted By on Wed, Sep 5, 2018 at 7:35 PM

  • Carolina Andrade

Luke Gaston
has a thing for fried chicken. Highwayman’s chef started developing his recipe in 2010 when he was working at Toronto’s The Healthy Butcher—a recipe he’s happily been tweaking and evolving since. This weekend he’s taking a break from his usual Barrington Street post and taking over 2 Crows Brewing Company (1932 Brunswick Street) for the second installment of his pop-up tribute to the always crunchy, sometimes sticky, probably-gonna-need-a-napkin dish.

“Chefs spend most of their days behind closed doors in restaurant kitchens,” says Gaston. “By doing these pop-ups I get to interact with the people while doing something I’m passionate about and proud of.”

On Saturday (September 8) Luke’s Fried Chicken will serve up its southern-inspired menu—think classic fried and Nashville hot chicken and a selection of sides—at the brewery. It’ll coincide with the release of 2 Crows’ newest brew Perfect Situation, a smooth and juicy New England-style IPA with hints of pineapple, passionfruit and papaya. The fun starts at 2pm and ends at midnight, or after you eat every last drumstick.
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