AboutKarl Kalinkewicz – PorchDrinking.com
Emilia-Romagna, Italy, named by Lonely Planet in 2018 as the best place to visit in Europe, is known for many of the finer things in life. The birthplace and home of Ferrari and Lamborghini, a foodie paradise with city names you will recognize from your favorite cheeses and cured meats, and home of the world’s oldest university, there are a lot of reasons to book a holiday here. But there is a specific reason you may want to earmark the first weekend of June as your time to visit, and this is because of the fantastic Arrogant Sour Festival held in Reggio Emilia each year.
When life gives you a handful of Boeing Max 8-shaped lemons, you make lemonade. Or when your flight for a quick weekend getaway is canceled, you jump on Skyscanner, put “everywhere” into the destination, and see what comes up for cheap. For me, this destination ended up being the Romanian capital of Bucharest, a city with a population of roughly three million that had its heyday in the ’20s and ’30s when it was hailed as the “Little Paris of the East.”
We’ve all woken up a little groggy on the first of the new year with grand plans for how we’re going to make our lives better during this next lap around the sun. You commit to exercising, finishing your mediocre …
It’s a marshmallow world in the winter and what better way to commemorate this season than a stout brewed with… marshmallows? As an avid maker/consumer of Rice Krispie treats, if you tell me something has marshmallow in it, I’m immediately excited, like “when it was your birthday in school and you got to bring in treats for the class”-excited. Luckily the Swedish, who know a thing or two about endless freezing nights, have crafted a liquidized Stay Puft in the form of Hypnopompa to warm our innards on a chilly winter’s eve.
Temperatures are dropping, costumes have been Instagrammed, worn, mangled and stashed away in the closet — out of sight, out of mind — once again. Having moved out of the U.S. seven months ago, it came as quite a shock to me this past week to learn that MOST COUNTRIES DON’T CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN. So forgive me if I want to hold on to it for just a little longer.
But the changing colors and declining thermometers also indicate another seasonal change is upon us: Stout Season. We have a glorious few months where high ABVs and barrel-aging take the spotlight as they encourage long talks by the fireplace and cap off fall festivities. In this humble writer’s opinion, Bottle Logic Brewing provides some of the finest dark brews around, and what beer is more appropriate to fully transition us into the season than the very appropriately named Darkstar November.
I’ve had a life-long obsession with skyscrapers. I don’t really know where it came from, maybe growing up just outside New York City played a roll, or maybe too many Tower of Babel lessons in church as a youngster had the opposite effect of what was intended. Now, I tend to judge cities on two major categories: Their skyline and their craft beer scene, two lovers who often quarrel rather than get along. Where the towers rise, the beer quality tends to fall – world class postcard skylines like Dubai and Shanghai have not inspired great beer to follow suit, and while both cities have recently been doing better in this regard, in New York and LA you have to get outside the high-rises to find the best stuff. However, the Hong Kong Beer Scene proved to be different.
Whether you have a long layover, or you’re able to take a few days to explore, here’s a few of my favorite places I went to while enjoying the shade of some of the most marvelous structures made by man.
I just moved to the UAE this past month for work. It’s an exciting and extravagant place to be — with the current and future tallest buildings in the world, white sand beaches, indoor ski resorts and camel’s milk ice cream dipped in gold. I thoroughly realized that I would be moving to the desert when I decamped from Los Angeles, and I don’t mean Jakku. I mean a craft beer desert almost as expansive as the Empty Quarter itself.
I’m a strict “No Christmas Until After Thanksgiving” kind of guy. I threaten to fire employees, yell loudly when I hear the faint jingling of bells, and I materialize as the physical embodiment of “Bah Humbug” until Santa’s sleigh arrives with the Macy’s Day Parade. While some of my fervor may be out of respect for Thanksgiving (a very underrated bacchanalian holiday where the goal is to hang out with those close to you and consume things like you were an H2 on a road trip), I also get really sick of Christmas music. Living in LA it feels wrong walking outside singing “Let It Snow” when it is 90 degrees out on Thanksgiving. In case you are wondering, that was not hyperbole—it was 90 degrees on Thanksgiving this year.
As we recover from celebrating the 241st anniversary of the original Brexit, I think it’s appropriate we honor those who fought for musical independence. These brave soldiers fought against egos, narcotics, less-talented band mates and guaranteed paychecks so they could feed their own ego, recruit their own band and cash larger paychecks. Like America before them, these music makers could not be shackled by their oppressors and, like our whale-friend Willy, broke free triumphantly to the sounds of sweet music.
I’ve been feeling strangely nostalgic lately. The combination of summer’s impending zenith and a recent trip to visit my adolescent stomping grounds stirs up all sorts of memories, and for me those memories are always tied to a soundtrack. And while it takes a lot to admit this publicly, the current flashback montage in my brain happens to be set to a thumping bass rhythm, some heavy synth, and heads violently nodding sideways, 90’s club style.
Featured image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
It’s funny how Hollywood has decided that the best time to release their biggest, CGI-fueled blockbusters is during the season when the weather is finally nice enough that you actually want to go outside. I blame Los Angeles’ eternal summer for Hollywood’s ignorance of seasons. But, here we are in early May, and as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 gets our Baby Groots dancing, let’s take a moment to pay tribute to one of the great American pastimes: the hit soundtrack song.
As with all great vices, we tell ourselves that as long as we are contributing something positive to the world, then we can indulge our heart’s desires. At least that is what I have convinced myself with Vinyl and Beers, that I can drink as much beer and buy as many records as I deem necessary for the sake of beauty. Being fully committed to my art, I pair a record from my collection with every beer I drink at home, and these are their stories. DUN DUN.
Everything I know about love has come from hits on the radio between 1984 and 2004. That’s twenty years of Bryan Adams, Michael Bolton, Boyz II Men, and the heyday of the soundtrack jam. These smooth jams have guided my …
2016 has not been the world’s finest year. With serious issues like refugee crises and Brexit to losing some of the world’s most beloved musicians, this year has offered a plethora of moments that have tested how creative we can get with our curse words. As hopefully the final punctuation mark on an explicitly awful year, we Americans have been forced to fully embrace this country’s Jack Torrance-esque decent into madness as our country has served as the Overlook Hotel during this election cycle. In this post-2016 Democalypse world, many of us are looking around hoping for a new start, and that’s why this month Vinyl and Beers is taking a look at those albums that just start off with a bang. Join us as we ask the question “What is the best opening number on an album?” as we all hope we can get through these last few weeks and begin anew.
October is that spooktacular month where we are visited by all manner of ghouls, goblins, and other graveyard guests. In the midst of scary-oke sing offs and werewolf bar mitzvahs, there is one monster in particular that I eagerly await the arrival of, and that is the behemoth known as Black Tuesday from The Bruery. Every year on the last Tuesday of October – 10/25 this year – there is a celebration in the region of Placentia, CA presenting this roughly 20% ABV stout to the public, and The Bruery goes all out to toast one of its flagship beers. While its namesake recalls the disasters of both the fall of the stock market in 1929 and the legendary day that BT was born, the beer itself reminds us that sometimes you can take a real mess and produce something of absolute quality. Like Tina Fey being able to use Lindsay Lohan to make Mean Girls.
It’s been hotter than Hansel in Los Angeles the past few weeks and when the temperatures rise, I start moseying into the sour/saison realm for refreshment. Luckily, I had a bottle of Tired Hands Brewing Company Ourison to help cool me. Straight out of Ardmore, Pennsylvania, I enjoy Tired Hands for its unfiltered yet refined farmhouse and sour ales that regularly have unusual style and ingredient combos. For instance, Woodlahands, a Flanders oud bruin with mushrooms added, is an example of the type of beer that emanates from the Tired Hands Fermentaria, and I’m all about it.