This Week In Geek Love: Beer & Chocolate"/>
LOVE IN A CASK - I love to geek out over cask beer. I also love comparative tastings; so I made sure to roll down the hill last night to compare and contrast Schooner Exact's Imperial 3-Grid IPA in keg and in cask at Beveridge Place (check the pub's website for cask nights and more).
Cask beer is fresh beer goes into a cask, no treatment, no flash pasteurization, and usually no filtering. When you tap the cask, you get what many call "real ale." (more in a past column) Schooner Exact's IPA from cask was just... awesome. The aroma was sharper, sweeter, and the flavors layered. You know when you make spaghetti sauce and it's always better, more integrated, after a day or two? Yeah, cask ale is kinda like that. The best IPAs remind me of the outdoors. In my brain, I'm always matching an IPA to a place in our beautiful state. This beer took me on a road trip. You have to applaud a brewer for doing this, showing how his already good product can be even better. Odds are, a pub near you has a cask on beer engine, too.
LOVE IN A BAR - I was at the factory on other business when I skammed a sample of Theo Chocolate's newest 3400 Phinney bar, Hazelnut Brittle. It's milk chocolate from Ecuador and Panama (fair trade and organic, natch) with the aforementioned brittle and toasted hazelnuts. You know how some fancy chocolate bars don't put enough of the goods in the bar? Yeah, not this one. Now, I normally like my chocolate like I like my men--dark and brooding, but this is a prime candidate for my new anti-depressant. Mmmmmm, it pays to be nosy, and geeky.