The Best of IPA Day

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IPA Day 2014 was Thursday, August 7, and I spent the evening at Two Roads Brewery in Stratford, Conn.

I had the Honeyspot IPA because you know I needed that Untappd badge! I also had Roadsmary’s Baby because I love autumn and could sure use a taste of it!

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And because I see so many awesome pics on Instagram and Twitter from the Brew Crew, I decided to make a gallery of my favorites, which you can see here!

Which beers did you celebrate with on IPA Day? Tell me all about ’em!

Shrimp and Grits Pairing Challenge – The Vote

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Who will be the winner?!

The Wandering Gourmand

The first time we cooked shrimp and grits was disastrous.  Until we moved to the South 7 years ago, I had never eaten grits for breakfast let alone at dinner paired with shrimp.  The Southern staple was foreign to me outside of a humorous scene from My Cousin Vinny.  But after sampling shrimp and grits at a few different restaurants, I was hooked and had to try it at home.  How hard could it be, right?

Shrimp and Grits at the Gourmands - Check back next week for our recipe Shrimp and Grits at the Gourmands – Check back next week for our recipe

Cooking the shrimp and gravy was easy.  The grits, on the other hand, never seemed to finish cooking. Maybe we used too much liquid or not enough heat, but they just wouldn’t cook to the right consistency.  My Cousin Vinny, our only reference for cooking grits, says it takes 20 minutes.  We were going on two hours and several cocktails. …

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So you want to be a Beer Writer? – Part 2 – What are you reading?

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Just adding some more books to the ‘to-read’ list!

Literature and Libation

If you’ve traipsed down the shadowy alley of writing advice, you’ve almost certainly come across the, “to be a better writer, you have to write!” obviousisms,  which are usually followed by the trumpeting accompaniment of, “but you have to read, too!” I’m not here to deny either of those pieces of advice. To be a better writer, you definitely do need to write, and possibly more than you’re writing now. To be a better writer you do need to read good writing, preferably more on the side of good books and essays and stories, and less on the side of Buzzfeed and TMZ and DailyMail.

What you read is just as (if not more) important as what you write. It gives you examples of excellent storytelling and wordplay. It offers perspective from another, educated angle. It shows you what it takes to write something marketable, that…

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Top 10 Breweries I Want to Visit

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We’ve all got our wish lists — beers we want to drink, books we want to read, famous people we’d like to have a meal with. (Robert Downey Jr. and Elizabeth Gilbert, I’m looking at you!)

Here’s my brewery wish list — the top 10 spots I want to visit, grouped by the reason why. (As if I need one, am I right?!)

Don’t be shy — I want to know what’s on your wish list too!

Image (Photo credit: weeklydig, via flickr creative commons)

Because their brews fascinate me

Because I love their beers already

Because they came highly recommended

TRVE Brewing Co.

Because I’m a sucker for an awesome logo

So what breweries are you most excited to visit? You know what to do — comment, comment, comment! 🙂

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Let’s Help Black Pond Brews Open a Brewery

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Opening a brewery is no easy task. With the Connecticut craft beer scene growing like it’s been growing over the past year or so, maybe we can help Mike and Cory of Black Pond Brews get their brewery up and running.

The goal? Raise $15,000 in one month. The deadline? March 4. Think we can do it?

Visit the Black Pond Brews page for info on how to donate and check out the sweet rewards for your generosity.

(Video by Alex Hardesty, Photo Credit: Black Pond Brews YouTube video)

Holy Crap, Hermione and Ron Shouldn’t Have Been Together

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What a revelation. J.K. Rowling said she regretted Ron and Hermione ending up together. And I ain’t even mad. Why?

I totally get it. There were times, when reading the books and watching the movies, that I thought Hermione and Harry just moved better together. I don’t necessarily mean physically, although that’s part of it.

It’s what I call “The Dance.” When I was living with my ex-boyfriend and the relationship was good, our movements were fluid. One example: I was brushing my teeth in the bathroom before work and he came in to get something.

As he was walking by me, he saw that my back pocket was askew and he fixed it. Didn’t say a word. He just did it. That’s “The Dance.”

And that’s how Harry and Hermione moved — fluidly, easily. With her and Ron, the movements were disjointed and difficult to predict.

That’s probably why she picked him. Some women like the unpredictability of a situation or a person — she never knew if he was going to be sweet one second or hostile the next.

That kind of relationship is like a roller coaster — one minute you’re down because of a sharply spoken word or way they disappointed you and then if they’re sweet to you, in comparison, it feels really great.

Harry pretty much always treated Hermione with the same level of respect. It wasn’t an anomaly, so it didn’t make her feel that huge up-spike of happiness when it happened.

See what I mean?

So I get it. Harry’s the steady ship and Ron is the storm-tossed vessel. In this Hypable article, Emma Watson was quoted as saying that some Harry Potter fans feel the same way as the famous author does and aren’t sure if Ron could have made Hermione happy.

I gotta wonder if he could have. I think the relationship would be fraught with awkwardness and not seeing eye to eye, very much like when you’re with a dance partner who just doesn’t fit.

What do you think? I know these are fictional characters but we see the connections between literary characters and us all the time so let’s chat! Do you think Harry and Hermione would have been a better match or do you like the Ron-Hermione duo?

Or should Harry have ended up with Luna Lovegood?! 

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(Graphic by I’m Harry Freakin’ Potter, flickr creative commons)