All in Beer

Bah Humbug!...A Christmas Carol in Minnesota, Part 1

As you may or may not recall, each year Rizzo and I find the time to see A Christmas Carol live on stage during the holiday season (take a read of some previous years by clicking here). Over the past few years we have stayed close to home because in 2014 Cece wasn’t even a year old and in 2015 Cece was still a little tyke so we only left for one night. Now that Cece has grown up to be a young whipper snapper of 2 ½ we felt that we could take a longer adventure. With that in mind, Rizzo and I hopped on a plane and headed up to the land of ten thousand lakes, Minnesota.

Beer Snob: Lake Anne Brew House - Sommbeer

We love going to the farmer’s market. Waking up early on a Saturday morning to purchase fresh produce; pick up some grass-fed, organic, hand-cut meats; indulge in a danish between some free fruit samples, and drink some beer. Wait, did he just say drink some beer? That’s right people, when you make your way over to the Reston Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning make sure to stop in to the Lake Anne Brew House for wake-me-up beer.


Both of the readers of my blog may be wondering, "Hey, its Wednesday, where the heck is my new Green Bean Conspiracy blog?" You may be thinking "Didn't that guy put up a post last week that was part 1? How am I supposed to figure out how Island Life ends?" Fear not, for you will have a conclusion to that gripping saga soon. However, I wanted to share something special that happened today.

Beer Snob: Caboose Brewing Company

If you are a novice to visiting craft breweries you may be tempted to turn around and leave before you make it inside of Caboose Brewing Company in Vienna, VA. You may even think you took a wrong turn in Albuquerque and ended up in the warehouse district in some bad horror movie. Either that or you will think that you were hired by the Town of Vienna to work construction in the public works department (which is right next door). Please, power through the appearances and make your way to the tasting room and restaurant. You be glad you did.

Beer Snob: Aslin Beer Company

There was a time in the history of this country and, in fact, the world when you would get your beer from the local brewer. The beer hall was a meeting place and the center of the social and political debate. The beer hall was the meeting place, the motel, the restaurant, and the marketplace. In colonial America, beer was the common drink of choice. Water was not clean (we humans didn't quite understand how to clean water or the importance of drinking fresh water) and beer had the right amount of alcohol to kill all the germs but not so much alcohol (like whiskey or scotch) to get you drunk. The beer hall was the center of town and that is a wonderful tradition that Aslin Beer Company is continuing for Herndon, VA.

Beer Snob: Affordable Care Act Edition

I'm not overly informed when it comes to the current political climate so don't take anything in this blog as support or opposition to any political ideology. I'm not a republican. I'm not a democrat. I don't even vote for the President of the United States (it is an issue I have with the Electoral College; I do vote in local and state-wide elections; and it is probably something I'll address in a later blog). The purpose of this blog is to share one of the lesser publicized sections of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), specifically Section 4205 - Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items at Chain Restaurants.

Beer Snob: Ice Cream Sandwich

More and more craft breweries are joining forces with bands or artists or restaurants to produce specialty beers. Those of you in the Washington DC area may be familiar with the brewery DC Brau. DC Brau has produced two beers in collaboration with the popular ska band The Pietasters. The Hanson Brothers (yes, those Hanson Brothers)  teamed up with Mustang Brewery to create a pale ale called Mmmhops (I promise this is true) so it wasn't so unusual to find a brewery teaming up with an ice cream company to try and make one of the greatest possible combinations of all time: brown ale and and salted caramel brownie.

Beer Snob: It's the most wonderful time of the Beer

Christmas is by far my favorite time of the year. The air is cold, the house is filled with Christmas music, stockings are hung by the chimney with care, and your family is driving your so damn crazy that you need a drink. The normal beer selection will not do at this time of the year. You need something a little heavier to deal with the cold temperatures and the screaming in-laws. 

Yes, Christmas time brings out the best in beers. Ales brewed with honey and cinammon line my fridge and my liver. Winter warmers help to fight off the chill in your bones and in your kidneys. Brewers do their best to get that smile back on your face after you just stole the last Tickle Me Elmo from the hands of a 97-year old great grandmother of 37 because your three-year-old daughter told you that if she didn't get Elmo this year she would slide some strychnine into your morning coffee (kids grow up so fast these days).

We at Green Bean Conspiracy want to make sure that your beer can stand up to the rigors of a stressful holiday season so we present these recommendations of Christmas/Winter beers to enjoy on those extra cold nights.