AboutDavid Nilsen, Author at PorchDrinking.com – Page 5 of 5
One of the highlights of each year when I was between the ages of 10 and 12 was the annual AWANA Pinewood Derby (AWANA was like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts for church kids—I had a weird childhood). I would give my dad an impossible car design on paper, he would do an impressive job of cutting that design from a three dimensional block of wood, and then on a Saturday morning in February—car in hand and hopes high—we would head to the track to get our asses squarely kicked. We never won anything and never came close, but it was a lot of fun.
Sofia Coppola emerged from the shadow of her family name in 1999 when her directorial debut The Virgin Suicides—an adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel—hit screens. From the beginning, Coppola’s films have melded scene-perfect rock music with evocative visuals to explore the inner lives of her (usually) female main characters. Coppola’s sixth film, The Beguiled, came out last month, and while the movie has faced some controversy since its release, what is not controversial is that the director has an eye for great shots and an ear for great tunes.
Trappist Beer Travels: Inside the Breweries of the Monasteries (Schiffer Publishing, 2017) by Caroline Wallace, Sarah Wood & Jessica Deahl
The world’s 11 Trappist breweries hold a mystique for beer drinkers that few other breweries can generate. Not only is the beer that is produced at these monasteries consistently excellent, but the remote and cloistered nature of these breweries blankets them in an air of mystery. Few of us will ever step inside the hallowed walls of these monastic breweries; the three authors of Trappist Beer Travels have been inside all of them.
Nestled in the woods of southern Illinois, among the dips and low hills of a surprisingly wild region of the state, sits one of the most innovative breweries operating in the American craft beer scene today. That innovation, however, comes by way of ancient tradition. Owners and brewmasters Marika Josephson and Aaron Kleidon aren’t pioneering cutting edge brewing technologies or using explosively flavorful new varieties of experimental hops. Rather, they’re reviving the use of ingredients and techniques that humans have used for centuries to make beer. Foraging among the underbrush of their wooded property for edible bark, nuts, fruits, flowers, roots and mushrooms, and growing yet more ingredients at their brewery garden, the folks at Scratch are bringing unexpected flavors to beer drinkers lucky enough to make it to their rustic property.
Image by David Nilsen
ABV: 6.2% | IBU: 8
One highly enjoyable mixed-fermentation beer is Cincinnati’s Rivertown Brewing Ojos Negros. Aged in oak wine barrels for over a year with 45-50 pounds of blackberries in each barrel, Ojos Negros is a refined, luxurious sour ale. Rivertown refers to their brewery’s wild fermentation culture as their “house funk,” and it produces sour ales with expressive but controlled sourness and delightfully funky aromas.
Featured image courtesy of David Nilsen
I had never met a nun before. That feels important to establish at the outset.
Though I grew up religious, the spiritual instruction of my youth came mostly from non-denominational preachers with overactive sweat glands and a predilection toward sermons about the end times rather than from black-clad Catholic nuns. So I had no idea what to expect when my wife and I arrived at Monastery Immaculate Conception, home of the Sisters of St. Benedict in Ferdinand, Indiana. I was there to interview Bruce Luecke, the brewmaster at Saint Benedict’s Brew Works, the only brewery in the country housed on the grounds of a women’s religious community. The graceful but imposing dome of the monastery’s century-old chapel rose above us on a hill as we stepped out of our car in front of the Kordes Center, the monastery’s guest lodging facility. The brewery was nowhere in sight as we entered the doors of the retreat center.
Image courtesy of Full Frame Studios.
ABV: 4% | IBU: 20
When the temperatures begin creeping into the 70s here in Ohio each spring, we begin shedding our winter coats and making plans for summer. As we put our fuzzy mittens into storage, we start opting less often for stouts and other heavy beers and reaching instead for lighter, sunnier fare. For those of us in the Dayton area, that often means Warped Wing Trotwood Lager.