Pairing beers… with people!

(The following column was originally published in the Waterbury (Conn.) Republican-American on Dec. 12, 2012.)

Your aging cousin?
Your aging cousin?

Let’s admit this much: shopping for some people is arduous and draining.

Uncle Larry? The one who’s hosting Christmas Eve this year? All you know about his new “lady friend” is that she seems to have a condition that does not allow her to stop talking. What do you get for someone like that?

And then there’s your best friend’s cousin… Cliff or Clive or something. He’s hosting a get-together that will be completely vegetarian. He brags about not wearing shoes since 1995. How do you get anything appropriate for barefoot wonder?

You already know my answer. Yeah, it’s beer.

Matching the gift with the receiver isn’t difficult and can be rewarding, if only for you. Now for some recommendations that allow you to find your match.

1. For your aging cousin who lives on the Maine Coast: New England Brewery’s Sea Hag IPA. Like her, it’s bitter and might overwhelm anything it’s paired with.

Bridgewater VFD Fundraiser

There’s something nice about being in the middle of nowhere and feeling like you’re at the heart of somewhere.

I had the honor to play Beer Snob at the Bridgewater Volunteer Fire Department fundraiser tonight in tiny Bridgewater, Conn. It’s not too far from New Milford, if that’s any reference for you.

Beneath a large wooden pavilion with a roaring fire cracking on one side, a hundred or so people contributed to the cause and sampled beer and wine, traded local gossip, and appeared to have a blast. Continue reading “Bridgewater VFD Fundraiser”