All posts by Julian Cantella

Professional writer based in Delaware. On the lookout for brain-altering music, beer, film, food, and people.

The Whale Hunters: Into the Depths of Beer Trading

You’ll find them in cellars, basements, and dark closets across the country: row after row of boxes, some unmarked, others scribbled over with marker or pen. They’re packed with a hard-earned hoard, treasures amassed from months or years of research, meetings, and negotiations. These are some of the rarest beers in the country, and perhaps the world. Unless you’re the type of jet-setting beer geek who devotes your life to full-time beer tourism, this kind of collection is pretty much impossible to get without beer…

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A Stroll on the Sour Side: Understanding Sour Beer

Tart, sour, wild. Lacto, brett, pediococcus. How about koelschips, kettle sours, and krieks? In an age of craft beer enlightenment, the terminology around sour beers can still read as inscrutably as the side of a prescription drug bottle. More importantly, the odd words belie a legitimate concern for sour consumers: with all the confusion around what a sour is, it can be damn near impossible to know what the next beer you try will smell or taste like, let alone whether it’s worth the often…

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Beer Pairing 101

In my recent article about beer dinners, I touched on the importance of pairing beer and food appropriately. This topic struck a chord with some readers, who asked for more information about how pairing works and the effect it can have on your overall experience. At its core, beer pairing is about combining two of life’s great pleasures: craft beer and high-quality food. Almost every beer fan drinks with some of their meals already—why not put some thought into how the food and drink work…

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Beer Dinner Break Down

When I talk to friends and fellow beer fans about upcoming events, I’m surprised by how many are unfamiliar with or even intimidated by beer dinners. The general concept is simple: attendees pay a fixed price for multiple courses of food, each of which is paired with one or more beers. Beer dinners are growing increasingly popular as restaurateurs recognize the quality and versatility of craft beer, not to mention its ability to complement all styles of cuisine. Beer-themed events can attract customers on less-busy…

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Curing the Christmas beer blues

When the nights get long and temperatures drop, breweries tend to go big: winter seasonals are known for their raucous flavors and double-digit ABV. From boozy imperial stouts to sweet and spicy winter warmers, cold-weather brews have a way of overwhelming the palate and the senses. So where do you turn for a break from the madness? Bucking the trend, these widely available seasonal offerings viable alternatives to standard winter fare. Sierra Nevada Celebration Read another Sommbeer review on this beer Here A classic bit…

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Sixpoint Brewery – Evolution of the Beans

3Beans, 4Beans, 5Beans. As much as this sounds like the beginning of a children’s nursery rhyme, Sixpoint Brewery’s Beans series of imperial porters is a distinctly adult pleasure. With the recent release of 5Beans, it’s a great time to revisit my own history with the beers and see how the newest entry stacks up. 3Beans First seeing wide release in 2013, 3Beans incorporated cacao, coffee, and romano beans, a longtime barley replacement that added heft to an already sizable malt profile. At 85 IBU, it…

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Places to Find the World’s Rarest Beers

Anything but Everyday: 7 Places to Find the World’s Rarest Beers Sometimes the most renowned beers seem like the hardest to find. Be it a vintage sour, small-batch imperial stout, or Trappist-born tripel, rare brews often become legends, the kind of thing you hear stories about but never get to taste for yourself. So take heart, beer fans, in the knowledge that bars across the country have begun panning the backwater streams of craft brewing for liquid gold. Here is a small sampling of the…

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The Strangest Beer Ingredients

Water, barley, hops…goat brains? Casting aside constraints imposed by the centuries-old German Purity Laws, these beers test the limits of chemistry, imagination, and beer drinkers’ famously adventurous palates. Dogfish Head Midas Touch | Saffron Okay, so saffron’s not going to scare off too many craft beer fans. You’ve probably spotted a few threads of this red wonder in your foodie friend’s spice cabinet or perched atop a paella. But consider this: a single pound of this delicate, grassy spice, a key ingredient in Dogfish’s flagship…

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