Wine, Beer & Spirits

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Major Italian White Wines

Italian white wines come in varieties that run from sparkling and sweet to smooth and fruity to crisp and dry. The following list describes each of the major Italian white whites: [more…]

Major Italian Red Wines

Italian red wines bring up the image of grape-stomping parties that provide fun for the whole village. Fortunately, you don't have to press the grapes yourself to enjoy a bottle of good Italian red wine [more…]

Italian Wine Grapes

Sometimes you know the name of the grape used to produce the nice Italian wine you're drinking because the name of the grape and the name of the wine are the same. But that's not always the case, so if [more…]

Pronunciation Guide to Italian Wine Names

To fully enjoy your Italian wine-drinking experience, practice with the following pronunciation guide — the syllable in all CAPS is the one to accent. Soon, you'll be speaking Italian like a true wine [more…]

Italian Wine For Dummies Cheat Sheet

To enjoy Italian wine, all you have to do is drink it. But if you want to get just a bit under the grape skin, you can explore the major varieties of Italian red and white wines, the grapes they're made [more…]

A Few Useful Beer Descriptors

Because beer is widely available in a variety of different styles, describing it isn’t as easy as it used to be. Knowing a handful of colorful beer descriptors comes in handy when discussing beer with [more…]

Unusual Beer Styles and Great Beer Brands to Try at Least Once

Most beer drinkers tend to drink just a couple different beer styles without straying too far off the beaten path. But to fully understand and appreciate the wider spectrum of beer styles, here are a few [more…]

Buying the Freshest Beer

To ensure that you always get the most bang for your beer buck, keep these tips in mind when buying beer. Remember that freshness in beer is as important as freshness in bread. [more…]

Serving Beer Properly

To fully enjoy your beer-drinking experience, it helps to follow a few simple serving suggestions. Here are some very simple and easy ways to increase your beer enjoyment: [more…]

Tasting and Evaluating Beer Wisely

Drinking beer is easy, but evaluating it as you drink requires a little more diligence. Here’s a good step-by-step process to evaluate beer like a pro: [more…]

Creating a Delicious Dining Experience with Beer

Beer makes an excellent accompaniment to many different foods. The following beer and food pairing tips can help enhance your overall dining experience: [more…]

Beer For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Good beer is widely available and relatively inexpensive, but choosing among all the various styles can be a little confusing without some help. A little beer knowledge can turn a possibly daunting experience [more…]

What You'll See at a Beer Brewery

Although the equipment needed to brew beer traditionally was fairly simple, large commercial breweries today use equipment that does everything from crack the grain to seal the cases and a multitude of [more…]

Clarifying Real Ale with Finings

Beer that’s unfiltered and unpasteurized (like real ale) still contains millions of live yeast cells in liquid suspension. With the help of gravity, and in due time, beer clarifies all by itself. But to [more…]

The Differences between Ales and Lagers

All beers are made as ales or lagers; ale and lager are the two main branches (classifications) of the beer family tree and are closely related branches at that. Ales are the older, distinguished, traditional [more…]

The Basics of Ales

Ale is the beer classification that predates written history. Presumably, the very first beers brewed by our hominid forebears were a crude form of ale spontaneously fermented by wild airborne yeasts. [more…]

Between Lagers and Ales: Hybrid Beers

Beers can have mixed parentage. These types of beers have been dubbed hybrid beers, and they exist due to brewers’ flouting of conventions by fermenting a beer with lager yeast at ale [more…]

Brewing Specialty Beers

Specialty beers are one of the most fun and popular beer categories in the world. This category is fun for the brewers and popular for the consumers because it really has no clearly defined boundaries [more…]

Traits of Taste in Different Beers

In order to fully understand and appreciate the various beer styles that exist in the world, knowing how beer styles differ from one another and how those differences are measured is helpful. [more…]

Types of Lagers

The name lager is taken from the German word lagern, meaning "to store." Most of the mass-produced beers of the world are lagers, but a wider range of styles exists than what those commercial brands may [more…]

Types of Hybrid Beers

Some beer styles don’t fit perfectly into the ale and lager categories because brewers mix the ingredients and processes of both categories into one beer. For example, a brewer may use an ale yeast but [more…]

Types of Specialty Beers

The specialty beers category is more or less a catch-all for the beer styles that don’t fit elsewhere. When it comes to specialty beers’ place on the beer family tree, the wild artiste cousin is the model [more…]

Using Casks to Brew Real Ale

Real ale refers to beer that’s made the old-fashioned way. Real ale is brewed from traditional ingredients and is allowed to mature and age naturally. Maturing and aging naturally means the beer is unfiltered [more…]

How a Cask of Real Ale Is Prepared before Serving Any Beer

When a cask of real ale arrives at its destination, the landlord or cellarman is now in charge of seeing that the cask is properly cared for before serving that beer to the public. Doing so requires much [more…]

Dispensing Real Ale

When the time comes to serve real ale, the cask has to be fitted with a dispensing device. Depending on where the cask is kept at the pub, it may be fitted with a simple tap or a beer line to draw the [more…]

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