Jeffrey Howard

Now Beer This: Cask Ales

Cask ale: Should I be drinking this stuff? First, I know you’re asking yourself, “WTF is cask ale?” That’s a fair question, so let’s start with that, then we’ll get to the rest. Cask ale, which is sometimes called “Real Ale,” is ale served directly from the container in which it was fermented without the use of artificial gases. Cask ales are normally served either through normal gravity where a tap is just stuck in the cask, it’s tilted and you pour beer out of it — or through a machine called (I love this!) a Beer Engine, which...

Read More

Now Beer This: Beer/Food Pairings

Today we’re talking pairing food with beer, a process also known as “how to get way too excited about things.” I unabashedly love beer. It’s tasty. It’s refreshing. It’s got bubbles! It’s alcoholic. What’s not to love? If you want to enjoy beer on a new and exciting level, however, get into beer and food pairings. You won’t believe how good it can be. The goal is to have fun. Get some food, get some beer, see what happens. It can go several different ways. Sometimes it’s bleh, sometimes it’s meh, but sometimes you get something truly special. That’s...

Read More

Now Beer This: New England IPAs and Friendship

What do I do if someone offers me a New England IPA? Can we still be friends? I’m not so sure, but I’m willing to be convinced. New England IPAs are the skinny jeans riding on a unicycle of craft beer.  All the cool kids are into them, but none of us — not even the cool kids — can really say why. They’re uncomfortable sometimes, and not always practical. There are several things that irk some folks about this alleged style.  We aren’t really sure it is a style. Is it? A sub-style maybe? And it steers so...

Read More

Now Beer This: Why Won’t People Shut Up About Belgian Beers?

You’re sitting at the bar, enjoying your local IPA, and some lonely rando, desperate to belch his beer knowledge on anyone with ears (I would never…), interrupts your reverie: “That’s great, but have you tried [insert Belgian beer here]? Belgian beer is where it’s at.” To beer geeks, Belgium is our Mecca. But why? What makes the product of the divorce of France and the Netherlands so important to beer culture?  Why, for the love of all things holy, won’t people shut up about Belgian beer? Let me explain. No, let me sum up: What makes Belgian beer so alluring,...

Read More

Now Beer This: Beers By The Pool

You might love the pool, like the pool or merely tolerate the pool for your kids’ sake. Either way, we can probably agree on one thing: beer by the pool only makes the experience better. The right pool beer can be a rousing brew that takes a summer party from a 9 to a 10, or a restorative draught that gives you that extra patience you need not to break junior’s super-soaker over your knee. In my mind, pool beer is mandatory for pool enjoyment. Of course, it has to come in a can, so you’d think that might...

Read More