July 24 – July 31: Week In A Glass

I did more traveling than drinking this week, but still did some local drinking. But very, very little.

My First Rhode Island Beer

I’ve mentioned that I have lived in 2 of the 3 best beer states in the country. This week, while in Rhode Island, I discovered why I have never heard of Rhode Island beer. It wasn’t bad. Not at all. It just didn’t make a mark. That said: if you think I’m crazy please give me suggestions because I want to try more.

Somehow I drank very little this week, despite traveling.

Beer

Harvest Brewing (Bennington, VT); Trump Campaign. This is a punch in the face kind of beer. The ABV isn’t super high but it has a booziness about it that definitely makes you think you’re about to get really, really drunk. But no. It’s all good. Everything’s going to be okay.

I had a busy few days of work and on Wednesday I needed a break so I popped over to Harvest Brewing for dinner and a drink. I got the 10 oz. pour of this guy and enjoyed it with a veggie burger made with quinoa, carrots and all sorts of deliciousness. Fresh lettuce and tomato were a perfect compliment as well as the awesome sauce. While I wouldn’t generally think of an Imperial Russian Stout as a good pairing for burger, this works thanks to the earthy goodness of the veggie patty.

Coastal Extreme Brewing Company (Newport, RI); Rhode Trip American IPA. Kris and I headed to Newport Thursday morning for the Newport Folk Festival. This three day music fest is one of the most revered in the country, beautifully curated and executed so well it’s not even funny. We only had tickets for Friday but are already committed to all three days for next year. We saw Blind Pilot, Carl Broemel, Ben Gibbard and Fleet Foxes and it was an incredible experience. The beer situation at the festival required long waits and standing away from the music — but now that we know the lay of the land we’ll drink some beer next year.

Being in town for the first time in something like 11 years, we wanted to grab some local beer. Pour Judgement was our watering hole of choice because they have Touchtunes. We arrived to a large crowd and sat at the bar. After queueing up some tunes we ordered this beer. It was good. It’s an American style IPA and has a gorgeous color and haze from being unfiltered. They use oats to soften the mouthfeel a bit. While I can see the benefit of this, especially for hooking people new to hops, it deadened the experience a little for me. I’m picky about mouthfeel and, especially in beer, am often downright turned off by a soft mouthfeel in a hop forward beer. Sometimes it works (like the IPAs Brown’s is experimenting with). Sometimes it doesn’t. It didn’t for me here. The beer came across as diluted and I think it lost a lot of the character that was brewed into it. Again: it was a good, solid beer. It just wasn’t for me.

If you’re in Newport I can’t recommend PJ enough. The staff was great, the place was packed and every single dish that went by looked and smelled delicious. If we hadn’t made plans and reservations that involved friends (and required a credit card up front) I think we would have bailed and stayed here all night.

Cider

I’ve written about Citizen Cider and Lake Hopper before so I will skip it here however, one thing to note. This is the perfect beverage to enjoy with BBQ. You’re welcome.

 

Ethical Eating/Drinking Tip of the Week

Stop buying bottles of water. This has been a summer of music so far. In one week alone I went to three shows in Portland, ME; Shelburne, VT and Forest Hills, NY. That was just one week. I also went to a show at Ommegang earlier this summer, did a day at Folk Fest and have my final show of the summer on the 12th. Something I’ve noticed, at the end of each night, is the ridiculous number of plastic water bottles. Hydration is very important, I get that. And I think you should probably get yourself a glass of water right now. But when you’re out and about, skip the plastic bottle and carry something reuseable. The amount of plastic waste created in the music industry is enough to make someone with a stronger constitution than I boycott. Giving up live music, for me, would be like giving up alcohol. It’s not going to happen. So here’s my compromise… ways for us to be a little more green while enjoying live music and the people to look for at your next show.

  • Look For The Water Bottle Girls. When we were in Portland for a show, as soon as we got on the line they came over. A group of volunteers selling reusable nalgene-style bottles for $12. $12 isn’t that bad when you think about the price of a beer at a concert. $12 isn’t that bad when you think that you will keep and reuse this bottle. Buying a bottle also guaranteed free refills all night from water stands around the venue.
  • Bring A Bottle. Newport Folk Fest has tents all over the place where you can refill your own water bottle. Bringing an empty bottle to the venue guarantees you filtered water throughout your stay and reduces your production of waste.

Like with reusable grocery bags, it can be tough to get into the habit of bringing your bottle. If you carry a backpack or other sort of bag with a strap, buy a cheap carabiner and keep your bottle connected to it. Just remember after you rinse and air dry (don’t put your cap back on until dry or refilled to avoid a musty, moldy bottle) to pop it back on your strap.

Red Herring #1: The “eco-friendly” bottle of water

A few years back some water company announced that they were reducing the amount of plastic used in their bottles by making the caps smaller. The big thing now are bottles made from plant materials that are fully recycled. But they still get thrown out because, let’s face it, not everyone recycles. Just buy yourself a nice reusable water bottle and get in the habit of clicking it onto your bag. You’re doing far better things for the environment (and your wallet).

Your Challenge

This week find a big reusable water bottle and carabiner. Clip it to your bag. Drink from it. Refill it. If it needs to be washed, be sure to quickly refill it once dry and clip it to your bag again. You’ll be amazed how quickly this becomes a habit.

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