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California-Style Pale Ales: Are they All Bone Dry??

Everyone's palate is different. I find DFH 90 Minute an oppressive slog. Also note that these are both IPAs, not APAs.

The "west coast", specifically San Diego, style IPA is well-represented by the Sculpin. The AleSmith IPA is a little more old school, with more malt. I much prefer the crisp, light-bodied IPAs that San Diego's become known for.

about 6 hours ago
Josh in Beer

What's your *favorite* restaurant in San Diego?

Warholian.

about 6 hours ago
Josh in San Diego

What is a "proper pour" for different beers and ale?

Good one. Seems pretty Berocious to me.

about 6 hours ago
Josh in Beer

What is a "proper pour" for different beers and ale?

Clearly you don't like Freedom™.

Feb 26, 2015
Josh in Beer

Upscale Japanese

Excellent rice quality. The nigiri are served separately. I should add reservations are definitely necessary.

Feb 25, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

Yet another craft beer hall: Hogwash now open in Union Square [San Francisco]

I paid this place a visit a little more than a month ago.

The good:

I enjoyed the sausage dish I had. They have a few different options for how the sausages are served, I had mine on top of the curry fries with a fried duck egg. It was tasty, though I didn't think it had anything on Rosamunde or Mikkeller Bar (i.e. any of them are equally good for sausages).

The bad:

For a place that touts their beer they were pretty clueless about it. The selection on my visit was very good, with lots of food friendly choices, but when I was served a flat beer I had to be pretty insistent about getting a replacement, overcoming the bartender's claim that the beer was "supposed to be like that".

Feb 25, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

Upscale Japanese

I like Wako in the Inner Richmond, though I haven't tried Kusakube and it looks like I need to.

http://www.sushiwakosf.com/menu

Feb 25, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

Fish for gefilte fish

I would speculate that the reason for those fish choices was simply that they were the fishes available cheaply in Eastern Europe. I've eaten a lot of gefilte fish and I would think any mild white-fleshed fish would work in the recipe.

Your post made me wonder if Sephardic-style gefilte fish existed, since they'd probably use different fish that the Ashkenazi, and I found this, which looks pretty tasty:

http://www.kaleberg.com/recipes2010/s...

Feb 25, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

San Francisco HELP

If the OP were asking specifically for remarkable dining experiences I don't know where I'd send them, but they said "The rest of the meals can [be] just whatever is good. Italian, French, etc..". By that standard I don't see why Dosa or Kin Khao are bad suggestions.

Dosa has upscale South Indian food. If one likes South Indian food but wants something a little higher quality than Udupi Palace it certainly fits the bill. Dosa sources higher-quality meat and vegetables than the average Indian place, they have an excellent cocktail menu, and some of their dishes I haven't even seen on other South Indian menus, such as the giant poori which is delicious.

Kin Khao, similarly, does an upscale ethnic cuisine with locally-sourced ingredients and they also go to the trouble of obtaining high-quality fish sauce. Is Kin Khao a place I'd want to have my last meal? No, but there isn't any place I've eaten in SF that fits that criterion. I'm certainly not an expert on Thai food but I enjoyed my meal at Kin Khao much more than any other Thai place I've eaten here. The green curry with rabbit meatballs was an outstanding dish that I would happily eat anytime.

That said my last visit to either of those restaurants was several months (Dosa) and maybe a year (Kin Khao), so I have no idea how they are currently.

Feb 23, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

SF Trip 2015

Interesting list in that our group ordered none of those items. We had the half pig head, cauliflower, the pin-bone steak, beef heart tartare, and the "hot mess" starter. I do remember finding the cauliflower to be pretty dull, but the rest of the things we had were good. I don't even remember having bread with our meal.

Standout items for me were the tartare and the pin bone steak. The pig head was good but became overwhelming. We had 5 people but it seemed more suited for 8 given its richness.

One thing that your review reminds me of: right after our meal our group discussed returning for another meal, but that has since faded. As much as I enjoyed what we had I haven't really felt a strong desire to return.

Feb 23, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

Midwest Stout Blind-Tasting Championship and random stout notes

It does seem odd that you would pit such disparate ABV stouts against each other.

Feb 22, 2015
Josh in Beer

What bitters to use?

Excellent post. This is my own approach to cocktail experimentation and I've had great results. I've now amassed quite a collection of bitters and I find them essential when working with varied spirits.

Feb 22, 2015
Josh in Spirits

Desperate Budweiser add screams "we are cheap beer"

Some terms are hard to define. I'm OK with that. I get the gist of what someone's trying to say when they use the term craft beer. To me the distinction has always been about differentiating the given beer from industrial light lager. Now that the big brewers are making beers which aren't of that style the waters have gotten a little bit more muddied. That said I don't think Boulevard's beers have magically become less good, or less "crafty", because AB has an ownership stake.

This kind of differentiation isn't unique to beer, it's present in pretty much any product produced for mass market consumption. There's a distinction made based on what goes into the final product in terms of labor and ingredient cost. You see it with anything: bicycles, wine, cameras, shoes, deodorant, etc. Tom's of Maine is owned by Colgate/Palmolive. It doesn't mean there's no difference between Tom's toothpaste and Colgate.

Feb 22, 2015
Josh in Beer

Desperate Budweiser add screams "we are cheap beer"

But do you have Freedom™?

Feb 22, 2015
Josh in Beer

SF Trip 2015

Wow, that is surprising. I've only been there once but it was quite good. Can you provide some more details?

Feb 21, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

Desperate Budweiser add screams "we are cheap beer"

Why is the word "craft" in scare quotes?

Feb 21, 2015
Josh in Beer

why is cider on beer board?

heh, didn't even notice that. oops.

Feb 19, 2015
Josh in Beer

why is cider on beer board?

ABV-wise it's also more beer-like.

Feb 19, 2015
Josh in Beer

why is cider on beer board?

I would disagree with this for a few reasons. One is that many homebrewers I've met make both, and mead also belongs on this board for the same reason. The methodology of making cider is also somewhat similar to that of beer. And given the prevalence of cider in beer bars as the gluten-free offering a lot of cider makers are now experimenting with making cider that is even more beer-like, whether that be via dry-hopping, barrel-aging, or wild yeast usage (and French and Basque ciders have been making use of wild yeast in cider for hundreds of years).

Feb 19, 2015
Josh in Beer

Desperate Budweiser add screams "we are cheap beer"

I completely agree with you, which is why I made a similar comment to yours in the thread cited at the bottom of this thread. That said, IMO, people defending the kind of anti-intellectualism presented in this ad ought to be challenged on that stance since I view it as part of the same mindset that leads people to support things like cutting funding for AP history classes.

Feb 18, 2015
Josh in Beer
1

Desperate Budweiser add screams "we are cheap beer"

This is exactly my own experience. I've met some terrible beer geeks that fit the complaint, but that is by far a minority. Honestly I've found the craft beer community to be one of the friendliest and most welcoming. Usually the people are delighted to help novices find beers they'll enjoy.

Feb 17, 2015
Josh in Beer
1

Desperate Budweiser add screams "we are cheap beer"

Knowing things is pretentious, got it.

So when you're advising people on the finer points of silicone utensils that's you being pretentious?

Feb 17, 2015
Josh in Beer
1

Desperate Budweiser add screams "we are cheap beer"

Is smelling one's beer snotty and elitist?

Is appreciating a well-used southern hemisphere hop snotty and elitist?

If I am a pizza fan and I can explain what I love about a well-made Neapolitan pie is that snotty and elitist?

Too much of American consumer culture is about marketing to people who know very little about what they are consuming. It's not unique to beer, it's true across the board. Our culture in general is anti-intellectual and painting expertise or knowledge as suspect has a long history. Half the jokes in Idiocracy would have made no sense if this weren't true.

I have certainly met beer geeks like you describe, but the vast majority I have met are simply enthusiasts who enjoy well-made stuff. I don't think it's a coincidence that so many beer geeks also enjoy good food, good music, etc.

This commercial caters to the crowd that views education as suspect. I don't look at it and think it has a point in asserting that knowing stuff is bad.

Feb 17, 2015
Josh in Beer

Desperate Budweiser add screams "we are cheap beer"

I agree with some of what you're saying here, but I do have some issues with advertising in general and its catering to our worst impulses to help people make more money.

Feb 16, 2015
Josh in Beer

Ground Beef: Are my taste buds getting too old, or does Ground Beef have little taste compared to apprx 20 years ago?

Yes, clearly it's the feds and not the switch to factory farming and low-quality feed.

Feb 16, 2015
Josh in General Topics

SF Trip 2015

Not a fan of Trouble Coffee, unless you're going to experience bad attitudes.

Feb 16, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

SF Trip 2015

Una Pizza makes a salami and egg pizza on Saturdays.

Feb 16, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

SF Trip 2015

Strongly disagree about City Beer being in same league as Mikkeller. The reasons why are numerous, but the most egregious is the staff's general lack of knowledge about beer. I've been served beer in terrible condition or with serious flaws and City Beer will not replace them. I was served flat beer more than once and told "it's supposed to be like that". A saison? Flat? Please. Another time I was served a Belgian with out-of-control phenols that was undrinkable. I didn't demand a refund but most good beer bars I have been to won't make the customer pay for obviously flawed beer, they didn't even offer and would only bring me a different beer after I assured them I'd pay for the one I didn't drink. They are mean about pouring samples, so avoiding an expensive mistake is hard to do. At this point I will only go there if I know they have something I can't get elsewhere. In that neighborhood I'd much rather go to Cellarmaker where I know I'll get good beer and they stand behind their product.

I used to like City Beer a lot, too. It's unfortunate what has happened to them.

Feb 16, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area

Desperate Budweiser add screams "we are cheap beer"

It's an unfortunate feature of America's mass consumer culture that knowledge = snobbery. Maybe it's more accurate to say that most Americans have no standards at all, which is why our country is in such a terrible state? Enjoy your Taco Bell.

Feb 16, 2015
Josh in Beer
1

Favorite grocery stores in SF?

I agree that commonly available items sold at BiRite are overpriced, but that's not what I shop there for. Many items they sell simply aren't available elsewhere. Their prepared foods are of excellent quality.

I picked up freshly made blood sausage there yesterday, for example.

So yes it is pricey, but the quality is extremely high. Mollie Stone's is pricey for fewer discernible reasons.

Feb 16, 2015
Josh in San Francisco Bay Area