Beer Wednesday – Duckpin Pale Ale

•January 14, 2015 • 3 Comments

Happy Beer Wednesday!

As I’ve been drinking and blogging about beer, there have been some amazing brews that I’ve been lucky enough to tell you about. Unfortunately, some vegan beers have been less than amazing, and this week’s vegan brew falls into that category. The beer is Union Craft Brewing’s Duckpin Pale Ale.


At just 5.5% ABV, it was almost a session ale, and I had the same complaint with it that I have with most of the session ales: it was kind of one-note.

The head faded quickly, and while it was light both in mouth-feel and in flavor, there was almost no malt, the the hops were just a little citrus, with a little too much bitterness. There just wasn’t much to this vegan beer.

Because it didn’t impress me, I have to admit that I’m a little disappointed in this particular Baltimore beer. That having been said, it’s certainly drinkable, and I could see myself drinking a few too many of these Baltimore beers on a hot summer day, so I’m not unhappy to give this vegan beer a 3/6 on my six-pack scale.

six pack, three beers, beer, 3/6,Are you a fan? Have I missed the mark on this one? Let me know in the comments below.

Beer Wednesday – Dogfish Head Raison d’Etre

•January 7, 2015 • 2 Comments

Happy Beer Wednesday!

This week I’m thrilled to review another Dogfish Head beer. It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a vegan beer by this Delaware brewery, and I’ve got a few bottles of their brown ale brewed with raisins; Raison d’Etre, or their “reason for being.”

imageFirst, you’ve got to know that I don’t always love brown ales. I tend to find them too malty, too sweet, and not hoppy enough by half. This brown ale stayed true to form, as it was a little too sweet for me, and the balance always seems just a tad off.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s tasty, and at 8% ABV, it packs quite a punch, but I probably couldn’t drink more than one or two of them.

This vegan beer by Dogfish Head is a pretty good example of a brown ale, but I just can’t get into it. Because of that, and not really any other reason, I’m giving this beer a 3/6 on my 6-pack scale.

six pack, three beers, beer, 3/6,

Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments.

Maybe my favorite thing: Reading

•January 5, 2015 • Leave a Comment

As some of you may or may not know, possibly my favorite thing to do i the world is read. I stumbled across this reading challenge last week, while trying to figure out what kind of New Year’s Resolution I wanted to pretend to not ignore, and thought that thsi would be right up my alley.

See, I never have enough time to read during the school year, but this seems to be something that I can stick to. 26 books in 52 weeks is only 2 books per month, and to be honest, I can put away a book in 2 or 3 days over the summer, so I figured, “Why not?”

It jus so happens that the Blonde got me Mike Piazza’s autobiography, Long Shot, for Christmas, so now I feel morally obligated to read it, and so far (I’m only 85 pages in as I write this) it’s awesome. I also hit up Barnes and Noble to spend some of the sweet, sweet Christmas gift cards I got, and so I picked up two books there. I feel like I’m well on my way to hitting this up.

Regardless, I’ll keep track on here as I read, ideally writing a review (like my Baseball Book Reviews) and I’ll keep the list updated.

I’ll read some vegan-specific books, and I’ll read some teaching books, and you can be sure that I’ll read some easy books too, like The Hobbit, but never fear, I’ll do my very best to keep this up. Feel free to rag on me if I slack, but I’ll do my level-best not to!

A:                                    N:

B:                                    O:

C:                                    P:

D:                                    Q:

E:                                    R:

F:                                    S:

G:                                    T:

H:                                    U:

I:                                     V:

J:                                    W:

K:                                    X:

L:                                    Y:

M:                                    Z:

Beer Wednesday – Flying Dog Bloodline

•December 3, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Happy Beer Wednesday! I’m in total denial about the onslaught of winter, so I’m sticking to warm-weather beers lately, and I wad pretty happy to stumble across this Flying Dog vegan beer, Bloodline ale brewed with blood oranges.


How are you keeping warm as the weather turns? Denial? Whiskey? Dogs? Let me know what your cold weather vice is in the comments.

Stop eating that library paste!

•December 1, 2014 • 4 Comments

As you may or may not be aware, I drink a fair bit of beer. I catalogue many of my beers each Wednesday here on my Beer Wednesday posts, but I only blog about those beers that I have pictures for and that I can be reasonably sure are vegan, thanks to and the Vgan app on my phone.

Recently, while visiting my mother, I was drinking a decent little German hefe weizen called Franziskaner. If you are a fan of weissbeirs, you probably already have had this beer, and if not, now you have!

While checking whether or not this was a vegan beer, (I was 99.9% sure it was, since I’m familiar with the German beer purity laws) I found the explanation on the Vgan app where the brewer explained that they use no animal products either im the brewing process or in the clarifying process, thereby making the beer vegan.

Thats when I first discovered it!

The good folks over at Franziskaner did admit to using a caesin-based glue!

Yeah! Seriously! Not only are we using caesin in far too many things that we call “food,” but apparently it is a super common ingredient in label glue!



Caesin, along with being really stretchy and good on pizza, (don’t judge me) makes a glue that will stick to cold, hot, or wet glass and plastic.

Now, I get that companies want their labels to stick, seriously, I do. I mean, I want to know which beer I’m drinking too so that I don’t accidentally start to swig some terrible macro-brew instead of an awesome craft beer, but really? I mean, really?

A while ago I visited the Dogfish Head brewery and had a similar disappointing experience when they made quite clear that they give their spent grain to local farms to feed to cows. . . the same cows that Dogfish then buys as beef for their restaurant.


I love Dogfish Head’s beers. Maybe a bit too much, but I had to wonder, if they’re contributing to animals being turned into food, can I really call them vegan or vegan-friendly? The same question now makes me wonder about labeling. If caesin-based glus are the norm, can I assume that every beer that has a paper label is no longer vegan-friendly? Is that a line I need to draw?

(Side note, Stone Brewing Company makes great beer and uses painted-on labels)


I think that there isn’t enough of a market for caesin-based glues that if the other uses for dairy went away that there would still be enough caesin in production to make it worthwhile as a glue. So I probably won’t stop drinking beers and wines with paper labels, but maybe when given the option, I’ll lean towards painted labels instead of paper ones.

What about you? Did you know about the common use of caesin as a glue? Does that change how you define “vegan-friendly” at all?

Beer Wednesday – Festina Pesche

•November 26, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Happy Beer Wednesday, and happy Thanksgiving!

Since I’m in complete denial about it being the end of November and the miserable weather in the northeast, I’d like to present a beer that I think tastes a ton like summer, Dogfish Head’s Festina Pesche.


Now, while I’ve said a million times that I don’t like fruit in my beer (and I’m constantly amending that for one more beer) Festina Pesche is a peach ale that looks, smells, and tastes a lot like summer.

This vegan beer is light and fresh, with a really bright effervescence. The mouth feel reminds me of champagne, and even though it is a peach ale, there really isn’t much fruit flavor, just a little in the nose, but even that is more cleansing than fruity.

The head disappears quickly, as one might expect, but it really is a tasty vegan beer. I’m quite happy to give toys beer a 4/6 on my six-pack scale.


Are you in denial about winter coming? How are you dealing with having a white Thanksgiving?


•November 24, 2014 • 2 Comments

Well, this is a fairly short post, mostly because the event I’m blogging about was over the summer, and to be perfectly honest, I seem to have forgotten a lot of the event.

First, a short intro to MASHOut. The event, the Mid Atlantic States Home-brewer Campout, is an annual event where home-brewers from the areaget together for a long weekend and drink in the woods.

Picture a bunch of 30,40, and 50 year olds, mostly men, in the weis with more beer than they can drink in the and a half days. That’s the crux of the event.

It was beautiful on the Organarchy hop farm, and I even remember a lot of it. However, I drank a LOT. About a half day into the weekend, I started taking pictures of all the beers I drank, and as I drank more, the pictures, like my vision, started to get a little blurry. Don’t judge me. . .

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Continue reading ‘MASHOut’

Beer Wednesday – Allagash Curieax

•November 12, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Happy Beer Wednesday!

As I mentioned on Monday, I know I’ve been gone for quite some time from the blog-o-sphere, but I’ve missed you all and I’m happy to be back.

I’ve had some amazing beers lately, and while I haven’t been blogging, I have been drinking, and some of the beers I’ve had have been amazing.

This tasty vegan brew, I’m happy to say, was one of the amazing ones.

Curieux, Allagash, bourbon barrel ale, ale, malty ale

Allagash Curieax is aged in bourbon barrels, so there’s a lot of bourbon taste, with little of the alcohol burn. It’s rich, sweet, and malty, with a little too much alcohol taste until it warms up and opens.

The nose is mostly malt and bourbon, with very little in the way of hops, but the flavor is still rich and delicious.

I’m really happy to return to blogging about vegan beer with Allagash Curieax, which earns a 5/6 on my six-pack scale. Let me know if you’ve had this limited edition vegan ale, and like I said on Monday, thanks for coming back!

5 out of 6, 5/6 sixpack, opened six pack

I’ve missed you!

•November 10, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Wow, it’s been quite some time since I’ve blogged. I haven’t given up on blogging, nor have I gone off the wagon and started eating meat, or gotten on the wagon and stopped drinking beer (God forbid!).

No, instead, I’ve just been really, really, busy.

I most recently blogged before going away on a service trip to Boston. I go on this trip every year, and, I even got celebrities to guest-post for me last year. This year, I didn’t really ask for any help, thinking that I could manage to keep posing, and get my page loaded up with enough posts that I could keep posing and never miss a beat.

How’d that work out for me?

So, when I returned from Boston, I was already out of the habit of blogging, so. . . I stayed out of the habit. Well, now that I’ve started teaching at a new school, had a birthday, seen Halloween, and planned to blog about a million times, it seems like it’s about time that I actually did some blogging.

I figured I could return with a beer (I mean, it’s not like I stopped drinking recently) or I could return by talking about all of the things I did this summer (service trip, home-brewer camping trip, working at summer school, taking classes), or I could post my first recipe in a million years.

Well, since posting should be something pretty immediate (which leaves out most of what I did over the summer) and I feel like all I blogged about for the six months before I vanished off of the face of the Earth was beer, maybe I should post a recipe that I enjoy for the nights when it’s getting cooler and cooler, and that has sufficient flair to serve to your significant other: eggplant parmigiana.


This recipe is modified from Mario Batali’s recipe on, so all credit should go to an amazing chef, not to me.

1 medium eggplant
1/2 cup world’s best pasta sauce
1/4 cup Daiya mozzarella
1/8 cup breadcrumbs
Vegan parmesean
Italian spices (basil, oregano, parsley, etc.)

First, slice the eggplant into 1″ rounds and lay them out on a cooling rack. Using kosher salt, heavily salt the eggplant on both sides, and leave out for 1-2 hours. You’ll want to put a cookie sheet under the cooling rack to catch the salt add you spread it and the water as it drips off of the eggplant.

(I know there’s some disagreement on whether or not to salt eggplant, but I feel like it makes a huge difference in the tatte and texture on the eggplant. It firms it up for cooking and gives it a little bit more umami flavor. But don’t take my word for it. Look it up.)

Pre-heat the oven to 450°.

Rinse the eggplant really well to get all of the salt off it, and squeeze it well. You want to ensure that the eggplant has as little moisture in it as possible.

Lay the eggplant down on a cookie sheet and spray it with spray oil. Bake it for 15 minutes.

When the eggplant is done, take it out and turn the oven down to 405°. Lay the largest eggplant rounds in a baking dish and spoon on about 1 Tbsp of pasta sauce. Shake some seasonings onto the sauce, and then sprinkle a scant Tbsp of the Daiya on top. Repeat this with the next two rounds. You should end up with three towers of eggplant, about three or four rings high.

After the third round, top it with the sauce and cheese, and then sprinkle the top with the breadcrumbs and vegan parmesean.

Bake the eggplant at 405° for about 20 minutes. (Remember that Daiya melts at 400° and above) Once the breadcrumbs are browned, the eggplant is done.




This recipe looks way more time and work intensive than it really is and scales up really easily. Make it for an evening when you have someone to impress and let me know how it goes.

And thanks for coming back!

Beer Wednesday: Hop Heaven Week 2 – Green Flash Palate Wrecker

•July 9, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Happy Beer Wednesday! Or should I say “Hoppy” Beer Wednesday?

This week I’m continuing my visit to hop heaven with a trip to Green Flash’s Palate Wrecker Imperial IPA, or, as they refer to it, “Hamilton’s Ale.”

Green Flash, Palate Wrecker, Imperial IPA, IPA, Double IPA, Hamilton's ale, vegan beer, vegan ale, vegan imperial IPA, vegan double IPA, vegan ale, pale ale, vegan pale ale,

As you might expect, this ale was super hoppy. I mean, at 149 IBUs, it was mouth puckeringly bitter. Interestingly enough, though, there was a really strong malt and a rich citrus nose. At 9.5% ABV, I expected it to taste stronger, but the mouthfeel was thick and that, plus the incredible hoppiness, hid the alcohol.

I can’t claim that there wasn’t truth in advertising there, as this did indeed annihilate my palate for anything else. . . until the Blonde took out some dried dates. The sweetness of the dates managed to hold up with the bitterness of the beer, and they ended up pairing perfectly.

Don’t assume that you could drink this beer with dinner, but maybe as a dessert beer paired with something really sweet.

Either way, I’m hopped up to give this vegan double IPA a 3 out of 6 on my six-pack scale, and of the hoppy beers I’ve had, this one ranks a 1-hop, not because it’s bad, but just because of the ones I’ve had, it was my least favorite.

six pack, three beers, beer, 3/6,



Hops, bines, hop, beer, hoppy beer, ale, single hop, one hop, hops

If you’ve had this vegan beer, let me know if you agree with my opinion, or if my head is in the clouds!

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