Guinness is Old Fashioned

Guinness and their Open Gate brewery in Maryland have done quite a bit of experimenting, most of which stays on their taps. This holiday season though, an Old Fashioned cocktail beer will have a bigger distribution footprint.

I am a sucker for a cocktail beer and this is the perfect time for this particular cocktail.

Bubble Tea

Just when you think that brewers have stopped raiding other beverages, along comes the Maryland Guinness brewery with…

“In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and in collaboration with Diageo’s PAN Asian Network, we’re brewing a Bubble Tea Inspired Stout. The iconic black tea, vanilla, brown sugar and tapioca flavors meet our base stout recipe in the first Baltimore-brewed can release that we’ve ever nitrogenated!

A $15,000 donation is being made to the incredible creatives at Baltimore’s Asian Pasifika Arts Collective as part of this collab project.”

It actually sounds kind of good to me.

Show Pride

It is easy to get dragged down into the muck and start Twittering to and about breweries when they name a beer something offensive (light or full on, doesn’t matter), but I thought instead of just thumbs up emoji-ing the above image, that I wanted to say how cool this is. How many tourists are going to get their photo in front of the most iconic brewery gate? Plus it ties in with sports which has its own issues to work on when it comes to inclusivity and masculinity so it works on two levels.

Guin & Timm

I do not know when this beer came about, if it’s a retired beer or if it is being sold in the US but when I saw that Guinness spun two of their beers into a blend with Timmermans of Belgium, I really wanted it.  This Lambic meets stout is a mix of Guinness West Indies Porter (1801), Guinness Special Export (first brewed in 1944 exclusively for John Martin) and Timmermans Oude Kriek (the world’s oldest lambic brewery).

The description from the Timmermans website sounds delicious, “A unique dark beer with a subtle pink hue in the foam. Aromas of chocolate, oak & cherry. Full flavoured and beautifully balanced.”

Guinness & Bulleit

Brewed in Dublin. Aged in Baltimore. The latest from Guinness is their famous Stout Aged in Bulleit Bourbon Barrels. The Antwerpen Stout variant was aged for eight months in the barrels at the recently Open Gate Brewery in Maryland.

This location was once the Maryland Distilling Company that opened back in 1933.

The press release touts “powerful and full-bodied notes of bittersweet chocolate and aged fruits, the stout spent eight months aging in Bulleit Bourbon barrels, adding a layer of oaky richness and complexity to the beer.”

It is in very limited supply in the U.S. with four packs of 11.2oz bottles selling for a suggested retail price of $19.99.

A Book & A Beer – Miss Subways by David Duchovny

Yes, it is that David Duchovny of X-Files and Californication. And Miss Subways is his third book but the first that I have read.

The book follows Emer, a teacher in New York City whose romantic life is complicated not only by the usual pressures of life but by the existence of Gods of long ago erase her boyfriend Con, from her life, only for them to re-connect. It is a rom-com mixed with Neil Gaiman lite and chock-filled with contemporary asides.

Overall, I like quite a few of the ideas in the book. Quotes in the subway cars amidst the ads and people on phones is well done. Duchovny has selected telling quotes without being too obvious. I like the school characters as well. From the principal Sidney to her friend Izzy and even the three troublesome students have single but cool dimensions to them. New York is given a lived in and local character as well which adds a nice dimension.

The boyfriend with the weird Gaelic name seems a bit wimpy to me, especially in comparison to Emer. She could do a lot better, is something I uttered out loud on a couple of occasions. And that shortcoming sort of cuts the book’s knees out from under it. Con doesn’t have to be perfect but he seems weak even for someone who has proverbially sold his love.

Now if this blog came to you from New York and not Los Angeles, the beer choosing would be a lot easier. Most New York beer doesn’t really make it out to us but considering the romantic nature of the book, I really do need to pick an Other Half beer, so I will go for Short, Dark and Handsome, their Stout.

In wider release, since their is plenty of Irish in this book, Guinness would be a good choice. Or you could go light and go for Harp instead since that musical instrument has more romance behind it.

More local, head to Ogopogo Brewing in San Gabriel and pick up their stout, Ashrays. Those are mythical water creatures and the book deals heavily in myths but as the kicker, they are sometimes called the water lovers or water ghosts.