Tag Archives: beer

A beer drinker’s holiday

Attention beer drinkers. Specifically, Belgian beer drinkers. More specifically, lambic style beer drinkers. This may be a post for you.

Ms. S&C recently took 10 days to spend some time in London, Belgium (Bruges and Brussels), and Amsterdam. When you’re on a holiday such as this one, it’s hard not to visit a pub or a beer bar *at least* once a day. Ms. S&C would argue it’s one of the best ways to settle into a new city, get to know a neighborhood and just get off your feet for a bit. And when visiting these cities in particular, the most interesting — and perhaps the most refreshing — thing to order is beer.

In London, you’re gonna order a pint and you’re gonna order something on draft. Or, there may be a time or two when you order a half pint and that half pint may be cider. Either way, cheers!

In Belgium, ordering beer can be intimidating. Even the smallest of beer bars will have a hundred or more beers to choose from. Ms. S&C stuck mostly with lambic style beers. They’re funky and earthy, and sour, and sometimes with a touch of sweetness. They’re complex. And despite my choice of adjectives to describe them, they’re really, really good.

Here’s an almost complete list of what two beer drinkers can drink in three short days in Belgium (in order of appearance):

  • De Ranke XX Bitter
  • 3 Drei Fonteineri Oude Gueze
  • Girardin Gueze (black label)
  • Girardin Kriek
  • Boom Mariage Parfait
  • Cantillon Gueze
  • Moinette Blonde
  • Brugse Zot
  • Rochefort 6
  • Saison Dupont
  • Troublette
  • Duchesse de Bourgogne
  • Hanssens Artisanal Oude Gueze
  • De Garre Triple (on tap)
  • Gulden Draak (on tap)
  • Petrus Gouden Triple
  • Duvel (triple hop)
  • Cuvee De Ranke
  • Saison de Dottignies De Ranke
  • Cantillon Faro
  • Cantillon Lambic (on tap)
  • Cantillon Kriek (on hand pump)
  • De Rank Gulden Berg
  • Houblon Chouffee
  • Boon Oude Gueze
  • Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus
  • Oerbier

When visiting a new city, one may ask: how do you know where to go? Sometimes you can rely on just popping into the nearest place when your legs are too tired to take you any further. But much of the time, you can benefit from a little research beforehand. For instance, Tim Webb’s Good Beer Guide to Belgium is worth the purchase. Rick Steves is a pretty reliable source too (he also recommended our favorite bar: t’Brugs Beertje in his travel guide). A few spots Ms. S&C would like to find herself drinking a beer again:

  • The Lamb and the Fog (London)
  • Lounge Bohemian (London, cocktails)
  • The Rake (London)
  • The Jugged Hare (London)
  • t’Brugs Beertje (Bruges)
  • De Garre (Bruges)
  • Poatersgat (Bruges)
  • Chez Moeder Lambic (Brussels)

When in Amsterdam, after seven days on the road, you might want to chill out, have a smoothie and stick with a beer you know. Amstel, particularly Amstel Light, has always been a personal go to. But, it’s also a city when you may just want to sit back at a coffeehouse overlooking a canal, drink some mint tea and watch the bicycles go by.

posted by Ms. S&C

Happiness awaits

There’s a sign for Palm Grove Bar & Grill that reads “Where happiness awaits you.”

Ms. S&C just returned from her third trip to Anguilla, and her second to Palm Grove. It was this recent trip that she had the honor of chatting with Nat, the owner, while she ate her grilled lobster (with a tasty curry butter) and drank her Red Stripe. The conversation covered everything from Johnny Cakes, to American politics, to Anguillan heritage, to what it’s like to own a shack (Nat’s word) by the water. Ms. S&C likes this shack by the water. But, Ms. S&C pretty much likes all the shacks by the water in Anguilla.

Ms. S&C and her Red Stripe at Palm Grove, one of many favorite spots on the beautiful, relaxed, 16-mile long island of Anguilla.

Other Caribbean beverages of choice: Pyrat Rum, Carib, and Presidente. And, where are some good spots to drink said beverages? Favorite bars include: Dune Preserve (and if you’re lucky, reggae legend and owner, Bankie Banx, will be around; and if you’re really lucky, maybe you’ll show up on his birthday), and The Pumphouse (if you don’t see Bankie’s son Omari at the Dune, maybe you can catch him here on Friday night).

Favorite restaurants to wine and dine (there are so many!): Tasty’s (the best Johnny Cakes on the island, and they serve them for breakfast, lunch and dinner; Ms. S&C knows because she went there for breakfast, lunch and dinner), Picante (*really* good Mexican), Blanchard’s (for beachfront chic), and Smokey’s (great for live music and fresh fish sandwich). New places that she’ll be back to: E’s Oven (best bite of the trip was the grilled grouper with tomato jam), and Bonjour Cafe (a hippy-ish spot tucked back in the woods with a great vegetable roti).

The best way to hydrate? Fresh coconut water! (A rastaman that’s handy with a machete is particularly helpful in this endeavor.) And hydration is needed after sea kayaking, yoga on the beach, a Thai massage, and a night out at The Pumphouse.

Happiness awaits at many spots on Anguilla. This sunset spot was taken from Ms. S&C’s patio. She viewed it for eight full days. If you are ever thinking of visiting, please let her know (after three trips, she has copious notes that she’d love to share!).

posted by Ms. S&C

When in Denver

When in Denver, there’s:



And Drinking.

And by drinking, we mean grapefruit mimosas and cucumber bloody marys for brunch (get them both at delicious, delicious Duo). And by drinking, we also mean beer. There’s so much good beer! (We can recommend Mountain Sun beer and nachos after hiking in Boulder, and Falling Rock Taphouse in downtown Denver). And while you’re in the Mile High City, you may as well check out the city’s first bar, The Cruise Room. Opened the day after Prohibition was repealed, and fashioned after one of the lounges on the Queen Mary, this art deco style bar has an extensive martini menu.

In addition to hiking, biking, and drinking, there is yoga. There is wonderful,  invigorating, heart-opening yoga (Vital Yoga is a fantastic studio in the Highlands neighborhood).

But, most importantly, there are super awesome friends in Denver. And great memories.

posted by Ms. S&C

Three things: tall boots, beer cocktails, yoga

Here’s what’s on the mind of Ms. S&C at the moment.

(1) Tall Boots

Ms. S&C is in love with these Franco Sarto boots. The soft leather, the detail around the outer zipper, the buckles, the rubber outsole — and, they are comfortable! Tall boots are nothing new, but Ms. S&C happily spent the whole weekend wearing these shoes (and she would wear them again tomorrow if she could). PS: she bought the cuoio calf color (reminds her of caramel) and looks great with burnt orange tights, jeans and black leggings (yes, that was the weekend wardrobe).

(2) Beer Cocktails

Ms. S&C can’t stop thinking about the honey beer cocktail she had at JoeDoe’s in New York a few weeks ago. Made with Dale’s Pale Ale, gin, lemon juice and delicious, delicious salted honey that dribbled down the side of the glass. It was so tasty and so refreshing, she can’t wait to recreate this beer cocktail at home. Ms. S&C also loves the idea of beer cocktails so much that it will likely be the signature cocktail for her ninth annual (yes, ninth) Super Bowl party. (By the way, discovery of this cocktail came courtesy of Frank Bruni’s excellent Tipsy Diaries column in The New York  Times.)

(3) Yoga

Now, for the unrelated segment: Ms. S&C likes yoga. She likes it so much, she almost wants to rename the blog: Shoes, Cocktails and Yoga. (Not really, but it is important to her.) She doesn’t think of herself as a purist when it comes to her practice, but she respects tradition and history. She also appreciates that yoga has evolved, and that yoga *can* evolve. That’s why she doesn’t hate this Tara Stiles person. (I’ll admit: at first, I wanted to hate everything she stood for.) For more on Tara Stiles and yoga, this blog post by YogaDork is worth a read.

The three things blog posts give Ms. S&C an opportunity to share a combination of shoe and cocktail-related finds, along with something else. That something else usually includes music or yoga.

posted by Ms. S&C

Cocktails by numbers

Ms. S&C hasn’t blogged a lot recently, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t had some notable experiences to share — especially on the cocktail front. Here’s a little glimpse of what she’s been up to.

13 — Points scored in a blind beer-tasting game

Friends, who host an excellent Halloween bash each year, led guests in a blind tasting of eight beers at their most recent party. Points were awarded for correctly guessing the beer style, brand and country of origin. Ms. S&C had a respectable third place finish.

2 — Punches made in a one-week period

Ms. S&C made a punch for her friends’ Halloween party. Ingredients included: cinnamon-infused simple syrup, lemon juice, apple cider, apple brandy, sparkling wine.

Ms. S&C made a second mocktail punch for a co-worker’s baby shower, using many of the same ingredients: cinnamon-infused simple syrup, apple cider, cran-apple juice, ginger ale. Please note the lovely garnishes of fresh apple slices and cinnamon sticks.

2 — Parties hosted in a three-day stretch

The two cocktails Ms. S&C created for her bookclub and a post-dinner party deserve their own dedicated posts. The Clover Club Cocktail was tres apropos for discussing “The Group.” And the pear margarita (secret ingredient: pear-infused simple syrup) was an inspired choice for post Mexican dinner imbibing.

7 — Football games left in the regular season

One recent game day beverage was a Red Eye (or Michelda). A simple combo of lager and tomato juice (but feel free to add lime and spices), is a great treat for those days when you want something more than just beer.

posted by Ms. S&C

Blood, sweat, and beers

A little over a year ago, Ms. S&C ran her first 5K. Since then, she’s run in ten 5Ks and one 5-miler. Her 11th race was this past weekend, when she ran the Crystal City Twilighter. It was sweltering, it was tough, but it was also so freakin’ gratifying. I don’t know if it was because of the cheering crowd, because other friends ran in the race, or because it was one of the hottest days of the year — this race was memorable.

What shoes was Ms. S&C wearing? A new pair of Brooks. What was Ms. S&C drinking? Well, a hell of a lot of water before and after the race. But, a little after 9 pm, she opened a beer — a Bud Light — and no beer has ever tasted better.

There was at least sweat and beers as Ms. S&C ran her 11th race on
one of the hottest days of the year.

Continuing with the S&C music momentum, Ms. S&C thought she’d share her current running playlist. While she doesn’t listen to music during races (she tries to make it on pure adrenaline), her iPod is a necessity for everyday runs.

The S&C running mix includes:

  • Bruises — Chairlift (the song made popular by the iPod Nano commercials)
  • Hey Ya! — Outkast
  • MMMBop — Hanson (a little embarrassing, but whatevs, it is fun)
  • Rill Rill — Sleigh Bells (love that it samples Funkadelic’s “Can You Get to That”)
  • Drunk Girls — LCD Soundsystem
  • Party in the U.S.A — Miley Cyrus
  • Empire State of Mind — Jay-Z (and the Jay-Z song was on)
  • You Know I’m No Good — Amy Winehouse (remix, featuring Ghostface Killah)
  • Crazy — Gnarls Barkley
  • Here Comes Your Man — Pixies
  • My Place — The Adverts
  • No Woman, No Cry — The Fugees
  • Time to Pretend — MGMT
  • Cold War — The Morning Benders

And finally, our public service announcement: go for a run. Go for a walk. Get outside. Then, drink to your health!

posted by Ms. S&C