A Book & A Beer – The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante

Elena Ferrante burst onto the literature scene with her Neopolitan trio of books that started with My Brilliant Friend. I did not read those, in fact, her latest novel The Lying Life of Adults is the first of hers that I have read.

And it’s certainly makes my teen angst pale in comparison. It is a comparison that sets the events in motion as the worldly father compares his teenage daughter to his sister, whom he hates. At first it seems a comparison based on physical appearance but is actually deeper.

The daughter, Giovanna, demands to meet this aunt and from there her orbit becomes widened and secrets and lies and family history start to show. It is a cracker of a book. Loaded with emotional bombs going off.

To pair with this, I would recommend starting with that sub-style, Italian pilsner then you can move on to a sour IPA because there is acrimony aplenty and you will need to match it.

Beer Peloton


Generally, I would say adding more bike riders to Los Angeles would probably just increase the car on bike hatred, I do really like the app that the City of Bologna in Italy has rolled out. Bella Mossa (“Good Move”) app gives points to those who use the app and then bike, walk, or use public transport to get to and from work instead of by car. For Good Move you can redeem your points in gelato or movie tickets or even, you guessed it, beer.

The app will tracks what they call “green journeys” as well as telling you how much CO2 you saved. The key are the businesses who have signed up to offer freebies for it.

Maybe this is an idea that could spread to the greener parts of the US and then you could “hop” on your bike and haul your free beer home.

Brewery Tour ‘Round the World – Loverbeer


We have landed at our last foreign destination of the month and it is in Italy for the very Valentine’s Loverbeer.
Here are the (primarily sour) beers that I would sample first….

BeerBera
“Fermented and maturated in oak vats. No adding yeast. Spontaneous fermentation because of adding freshly pressed Barbera grapes juice that contains the skins, directly from a viticulturist near Alba. Brewed once a year at vintage time obviously.”

Madamin
“Oak amber ale. Fermented and maturated only in oak vats. The name “Madamin” is a piedmontese word meaning “young lady”.”

Nebiulin-a
“Blend of three vintages with grape juice added.”

Papëssa
“Beer inspired to the old real Russian imperial stout style. Dark beer made with a generous quantity of roasted cereals as black roasted and chocolate. After-dinner or with chocolate. The name you can translate with “high priestess”.”

Into the Pool

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I don’t think you need an actual harpoon if you are in a pool in Tuscany. But the beer that Harpoon made in collaboration with Birri­cio L’Olmaia might become a whale.

Tuscan Pool Party is part of the 100 Barrel series from Harpoon and mixes Amarillo hops with juice from Merlot and Sangiovese grapes.

You will be seeing more and more beer/wine hybrids so you best jump on the bandwagon now.

Review – Ambra Rossa di Treviso from San Gabriel

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This chicory amber from Italy and San Gabriel pours a grainy and hazy dark orange. Really looks light if appearance is correct. Foamy a bit but looks watery as the lacing recedes down the glass. Aroma is a malty vegetal mix that sounds better than those words denote. The label did promise raddicchio though so at least there is truth in label advertising. The taste has a vegetal bitterness. Fairly thin with a concord grape like note at the back. Quite a mixture of flavors but in the end it is just too thin at both the tip of the tongue and in the aftertaste.  Maybe it is the American in me but the malt base needed to be heftier which would mean amping the other ingredients a few notches as well to compensate.

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All in all at the price point it is a good intro to the crazy ingredients that you will see in other Italian beers that may be sitting on the shelf for too long because of their price.

Review – Nebra from 32 Via dei Birrai

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Nebra is the last of the 32 beers. Thanks to the fine folks at 32 Via dei Birrai for supplying me with such a generous amount of their beers that show off the Italian way of craft brewing.

Nebra pours a very light orange in color. A sharp astringent aroma greets the nose. Almost a combo of melon and pepper. The taste is a bit harsh with a vegetal bitterness unlike the hop bitterness that I normally encounter. Some medicinal notes to it as well. Maybe it is something in the Fiore di Sambuco (elderberry) that is causing that slight harsh note.
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I guess now to complete the journey, I shall have to head to Whole Foods and pick up the Tre + Due or 3 +2 and compare it to the rest!

Review – 32 Via dei Birrai Atra

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I am feeling anxious because there is only 1 more 32 beer left in my ‘fridge now.  But I am thankful to the fine folks at 32 Via dei Birrai for supplying me with such a generous amount of their finely calibrated beers.

That being said, we move on to Atra, A bit of a gusher when the cork popped but maybe that was me being too anxious. This is more a light Belgian amber. The flavors persist after each sip. I get some plum notes and raisin from this cola hued beer. Some zucchini notes too. Easy to drink.

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Here is what their website describes the beer as….

“Appearance:
beige, compact, fine and persistent head; brown; fine perlage.

Bouquet:
roasted, with hints of coffee, chocolate, locust bean, walnut-flavoured liqueur, and touches of damp barrel staves, light liquorice, ripe medlar and caramel.

Flavour:
gently bitterish due to the roasted barley, which also imparts aromas of coffee, caramel and chocolate. Beer with typical Belgian light watery body.”

FoodGPS Teaser – 32 Via dei Birrai

I leave L.A. for a week and head to Italy via beers that were sent to me from 32 Via dei Birrai. The story will post tomorrow over on FoodGPS but I wanted to show off the cool packaging that they do for their flavorful beers.

A unique carrying case that can hold a trio of 32 beers.
A unique carrying case that can hold a trio of 32 beers.

 

A beautifully designed publicity package.
A beautifully designed publicity package.

Each cork has a different letter.  No word emerging yet.
Each cork has a different letter. No word emerging yet.

 

 

Review – Curmi from 32 Via dei Birrai

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I was very lucky to receive an introduction to 32 Via dei Birrai with a full package of beers from the new Italian brewery.  I first sampled the Oppale and now I move on to another light offering the Curmi.

Pours a light orange with more yellow tints at the bottom of the glass.  Aroma is very Belgian like.  It is called a pale ale but this seems more a light tripel.  It has the spiciness and the vanilla notes that I tend to taste first and foremost in that style.  There is a little bit of citrus at the far back of this one as well.  A nice bit of pop to it as well.

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Because they kindly sent me the majority of their line-up, you will be seeing more reviews in the coming days and weeks.

32 Via dei Birrai

I have been seeing some new Italian beers at my Whole Foods….
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“32 Via dei Birrai is an artisan brewery. Its philosophy follows the movement of the circle that contains the logo: a curved line that outlines the cycle of the traditional craft of brewing and leads on to discovering as yet unexplored paths.

32 Via dei Birrai represents the perfect equation between taste and design, between research and method without ever straying into industrial standardisation.”

Has anyone (with a bigger beer budget) bought any of these $14 beers? And if so, were they good?

Of the beers on offer, I would probably be most likely to have the Nectar because I know Italian’s brew up some great chestnut beers.