Street food festival, yes, there IS such a thing and it happens right here in Zurich. Quite often I understand, although I missed all its previous dates… Not this weekend though so there we are, grabbing corn dogs and pork skewers and raclette… and these were about the least exotic foods you could find there. The Dolder artificial ice rink (luckily melted since months) hosted in a country circus-like atmosphere a flurry of booths from all corners of our small planet, offering everything and more: curry as in German currywurst or in Vietnamese… curry, pancakes as in Dutch poffertjes (no, I didn’t know either what these were) or just Belgian waffles, langos from Hungary or falafel from Lebanon, Argentinian asado and Spanish churros (with huge waiting lines), little moi-moi pots from Nigerian chefs and Austrian dumplings poetically called Knödel and Swiss huge baguettes readied for garlic bread… really, there was all I could imagine power five. Even burgers. Also vegan. Plus a dancing panda. But… what was NOT represented there? Eh? Beer, of course! Just a few crappy sorts which kind of ruined my experience, so as soon my folks hinted about leaving I grabbed the initiative, dashed straight ahead to lead them through the incredibly packed crowd and only stopped to breathe at home. Not breathing but sniffing something I kept already too long enough around:  an imperial porter coming from England, Bones of a Sailor Part III of the Siren brewery. In this case “too long” was like a week, yeah that’s how long I can resist my curiosity. Now I know BoaSP3 is quite a pretentious name but listen to me: no other name would have done it justice. It’s outstanding and if stormyskiesahead said only it’s “bloody fantastic stuff” you can bet it was an unfair understatement. It has fruit, it has raw cocoa, it has… but what doesn’t it have?!? It has all! Wow! Yeah! Take that, you street food festival not even held on a street!

This one goes out to my ex wife who I would have been married to 25 years today! 😛

#Beer #CraftBeer #ipa #HopHead #Hoppiness #DrinkCraft #exwife #NoLoveLost #FlyingDogBrewery #CraftBeerPorn #InstaBeer #BeerLove #BeerPorn #BeerPhotos #anniversary #JustSayNoToMacro #Beerstagram #Beergasm

New Holland Dragons Milk. This is a great bourbon barrel aged stout. Molasses bourbon and hints of vanilla on the nose. Taste is oak, sweet chocolate and vanilla up front with a bourbon finish. #newholland #beer #beerphotos #stout #bourbon #barrel #aged #oak #dragon #milk #CraftGeer #craft #craftbeer #thebeernation #thebeerfrontier #thesocialdrinker #instabeerofficial by craft_beer_ri

Just bumped in to the #brooklynbeer truck. Rude not to! #craftbeer #craftbeerporn #beergeek #beergasm #beersnob #beerstagram #instabeer #beerlover #beerporn #beer #beerlife #beernerd #beerkive #beerphoto #lager #beernation #cerveza #cerveja #beerkulture #beer #ale #beerlove #craftbrew #beerme

Strong sour beer aged in fresh Bourbon barrels for around 9 months and fermented with a small amount of cherries. Originally inspired by the flavors of a Manhattan cocktail, this ale come in at 9.7% ABV available on landmark liquor Huntington beach 92646 #microbrew #craftbeer #ratebeer #craftbeergeek #craftbrew #instabeer #ocbeer #orangecounty #craftbeerlife #craftbeerorgy #beerlovers #beerporn #beerheaven #beergasm #beerlover #beerphoto #beerstagram #instabrew #craftbeerculture #beergeek #craftbeerporn #beeradvocate ##Huntingtonbeach #artsdistrict #liquorlandmark #averybrewing (at Liquor Landmark)


Holy smokes! We won! The Flanders Ale Yeast (072 Wyeast) was right on the money and by popular consent was the best beer on club competition night! All I can say is the Micro Piglets are stunned almost as badly as Brazil tonight.

If any of you are reading this regularly, you’ll know that I mistakenly bought the yeast for a bit of fun from a brew store friend at Brooklyn Homebrew, not realizing that the yeast was only to be used for our club competition. Only after I’d brewed the beer without measuring the OG or the fermentation temps throughout, did I realize that I had to enter it into the competition.

Still after a pint tonight I can see why it was tasty. It has a smooth creamy head, upfront malt character from the Ukrainian honey, pilsner malt and caramunich, and a touch of bitterness on the finish from Saaz and Hallertau hops to clean your palette. I like it, it’s the Micro Pig Brewery’s best brew to date.

You can find the recipe on the link below and although I don’t have temperature control, you can be sure temps were between 72F and 76F during fermentation.

So tonight Legolas and boys sleep with a $49 voucher for the great bar and homebrew club venue Brouwerij Lane, Brooklyn under their pillow. Well done boys, next time let’s be more scientific…


Swoosh, gushes of beer left and right and before I could reach to the sink half of the bottle was spilled over a square meter of kitchen. Eh some things just happen (over the top bottle fermentation?) but such a force wow… is it safe to drink it now? I mean what’s left in the bottle of course. Well, I took my chances and wasn’t disappointed. Neither impressed, honestly. Mastri Birrai Umbri have some impressive brews and some so-so and this unfiltered blonde ale didn’t quite reach it. The aromas are just not there enough, sorry. At least it was fun.

Birra Peja Original

7am. Finally, sleep. Then… BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! Surprise surprise, it’s the janitor with some workers all in orange and protection helmets. They were supposed to check dunno what in the cellar, yawn come in and check it at once. Back to sleep. Then… BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! Surprise surprise, they came around also for drilling holes in me house’s walls! *censored* Turns out, the plan was all along to install us the optical cable connection. For free, they underlined with pride. Announcing beforehand?? Ha, a concept out of company’s grasp, I had to notice after calling their head office… Only issue they said, they weren’t paid to move stuff out of the cellar. But who pays ME to do it at 7am for some optical fancy watchamacallit??? Finally we made peace, shook hands and exchanged a few experiences about being foreigner in Switzerland. They were from Kosovo, an Albanian speaking civil war torn part of the Balkans only recently (and not by all) recognized as independent state.

(guess who took the lousy pic)

Peja Original is also from Kosovo but owned (if not sold already…) by the financially troubled Sloven brewery group Lasko. I got it in a local food chain which given the recent immigration wave (every 30th Swiss resident is Kosovar or Albanian) decided to take also this Kosovar beer, with the requirement to change its name from Peja Pilsner to Peja Original (don’t ask why). They sell nothing from Romania though, apparently we Romanians aren’t that many around here to matter while the *ahem* well known Romanian sex workers weren’t counted dammit. Anyway, the beer is a slightly bitter pale lager rather bland or in a word: unimpressive. 6 like in six.

(img Nicola Pitaro, TA)

Aare Amber and spring impressions

The spring definitely reached Zurich yesterday. Not that we had much of a winter this year anyway - it snowed once in November and maybe two flurries in between, temperatures slightly below zero at night and… that was all of it. Last week the sun gathered more and more courage and yesterday it was obvious: winter’s gone for good so half of the city population went sunbathing around the Bellevue side of the lake. The other half of the city probably drove down south for Ticino and the Italian border, a unnecessary trip as Zurich had over 15°C the whole Sunday afternoon. The tide of Fasnacht (whatever, Mardi Gras, carnival…) was receding, partygoers with the hair full of confetti and an occasional brass band or themed group were sitting around, having a quiet beer and a sausage while watching the sun setting. The only hue of stress came from the huge queue for Mövenpick ice cream and the few hasty street sweeper machines.

The blue cabin you can see behind is actually a floating theater, a place I plan to visit once… but no, yesterday was beer time. Nobody ever sells interesting beer on the streets, quite obviously, so I decided to BYOB and picked this Aare Amber for the trip. No bad choice for a spring afternoon, everything was there what an amber means but still not quite what I have expected. A nice smell, a taste a bit atypical with more yeastiness and more bitterness than I’m used to, not too carbonated… overall I was more confused than impressed. Could be only because I couldn’t properly place it? In any case, it was fine drinking it at the lakeside, could have been cooler though - I didn’t have a full cooling chain between cellar and lake…

Brasserie de Silly has taken their signature Silly Sour and taken it to a whole new level. Completely unblended Sour ale, this beer lacks the 13-15% saison normally blended into Silly Sour. The result is a deep garnet colored beer with aromas of tart cherries and raspberries. The intial taste is puckeringly sour with a soft sweet undertone and a thick lactic acid heavy mouthfeel available on landmark liquor Huntington beach 92646.
. #microbrew #craftbeer #ratebeer #craftbeergeek #craftbrew #instabeer #ocbeer #cabeer #orangecounty #craftbeerlife #craftbeerorgy #beerlovers #beerporn #beerheaven #beer #beergasm #beerlover #beerphoto #beerstagram #instabrew #craftbeerculture #beergeek #craftbeerporn #beeradvocate #boyleheights#Huntingtonbeach #artsdistrict #liquorlandmark #sour #brasseriedesilly #sourale
(at Liquor Landmark)

Schützengarten Schwarzer Bär and spring skiing

Weekend’s gone and the skiing for this season is also pretty much done. We couldn’t invest as much time in running down the slopes as we usually do - the kid just had a tough exam for the middle school and you know, it’s March already! There’s a slight chance for a round of glacier skiing over Easter, but that’s still in the stars. That aside, today was a great spring ski day in Flumserberg. Pleasantly sunny, quite warm but the snow not really wet and in shadowy places rather icy. Somehow, or rather usually, when spring is here the locals forget winter completely and run to warmer places, leaving the slopes almost empty. Better for us, roaming free just under the crests of the Swiss Alps… technically it’s pre-Alps, but let’s not dawdle in minute details.

Another detail I’d like to forget is my finger ruining the above picture. Well, that’s how it works when you’re in a hurry, unpardonable especially when you pour yourself a glass of beer. See the beer head in the Black Bear glass (Schwarzer Bär that is) below? Now imagine how much flew in the tray one instant before - not enough to see in the picture but still way more I’d have expected. The bear on the label seems pleased with the overflow, I should have licked it the same way and I’d have had the whole attention of the other guests. Just… the beer is not so special to deserve such passion, Schwarzer Bär is rather what I’d call a summer beer. It tastes ok tendency malts like a decent dark, but it’s soft and refreshing and definitely not a “winter” creation. Luckily, winter is gone…