Category: Etcetera

Cellar Maintenance, Random Thoughts

I’ve got a few too many things bouncing around my head to write a singular topic blog post, so I thought I’d break one up into multiple, bite-sized bits.

-Got around to updating my cellar, it definitely changes a LOT, and keeping up with it is tough. I basically kept them divided into “not ageing” and “ageing”, with my website review links on the bottom, and a link to my Ratebeer ratings. Maybe if the “not ageing” category gets too large, might just get rid of it, and concentrate on having more website reviews of those beers.

-I’ve been really intrigued by Google+ as of late, and I hope more people continue to use it, as it seems to be getting more interesting as time passes. I realize at this point Facebook has such a huge leg up on it, but the main potential I see within it are the “Hangouts”. Starting a Hangout beer tasting event might be an interesting idea…there’s a max capacity of 10 people, though, so there are limitations. That being said, a 10-person beer tasting is a pretty good turnout! After it’s all said and done, it’s even possible to automatically upload the hangout to YouTube for others to watch later on if they so choose. The potential is there, I’m going to have to see what kind of interest there is in it. Here’s my personal page, and the website’s page, if you’re interested in checking them out. The service is great if you’re looking for something similar to Facebook, but more straightforward (and less Farmville spam).

-“Craft Beer” has now been officially defined by Merriam-Webster as “a speciality beer produced in limited quantities”. This has been talked about for the last little while amongst beer lovers, and the general consensus seems to be that the definition is way off. For a craft beer to be deemed as “special” is alright, I guess (though I would have chosen a better word…artisan perhaps? Made with love?), but it’s the “limited quantities” that confuses me. To what degree is a craft beer limited? If there is less of a certain beer produced than what a macrobrewery would produce of one of their beers, is that considered limited? Microbreweries can pump out quite a lot of beer, just look at the Boston Beer Company, Stone or Dogfish Head as examples. It seems as though the definition was a little rushed, if you ask me.

-I recently hit up Elizabeth Station again, the place is quickly becoming my absolute favorite place to pick up beer. The only limiting factor is that I’d usually have to pay duty (I didn’t have to this last time…nice bonus!). Or I could just, you know, go down to Bottleworks in Seattle and spend the night. If you’re in Bellingham, please check them out, I think they’re killing it…they always have some interesting beers on tap, themed nights (sour night, anyone?), a cereal bar, and a staggering variety of bottles for the space that they’ve got.

I’ll be back soon enough with a more focused post in the next couple days!

Pronounced “Zahy-mur-jee”

Hey all, this is Alex, the other half of Z&T. I’ve wanted to create a blog that encapsulated my passion for beer for quite some time now. Recently seeing the same spark in Erin for cocktails, I made the decision to create a different sort of beast (albeit a potentially wild, uncontrollable one), and combine our interests in one handy package. Both of us have had personal blogs in the past, and they always seem to take a dive at a certain point. For myself, it was getting a full-time job in the cooking industry that ironically killed my passion for writing about cooking (imagine coming home after a shift, only to write about what you do…it got tiring after a while). I figure, with this sort of omni-blog, Erin and I will each be accountable for content in order to keep things fresh and interesting. I hope you enjoy what we put forth!

I am a beer geek. I’ve thought about saying “snob” instead, which I believe I started out as, but I really do make an effort nowadays to not be as critical about others’ beer choices, instead making an attempt to open others to the idea of craft beer. In my previous years, I have been known to shotgun Pilsner (proudly Albertan!), and keep beers chilled in the toilet tank. Upon the move out to Vancouver in 2005, I realized how expensive liquor could be out here, and got used to drinking beer. My first love was Sleeman’s Honey Brown, which always seemed to be perfect in the summertime, despite sometimes tasting like a skunk (watch out for clear bottles…). Soon after, I came upon a beer review in the Westender on “La Fin du Monde“, a serious Quebec beer. It was crazy, at 9% alcohol by volume…absolutely nuts. I hunted for it, and drank it straight out of the bottle. It blew my mind, and as I sat on the couch playing video games, I kept sipping, noticing the floral and citrusy notes, not to mention the fact that I was getting completely hammered. I’d find out later that this was called a “tripel”. But who cares? It was damn good! And to this day, I’ll pick it up occasionally, I think it’s one of the best beers in Canada. Shortly after meeting Erin in 2006, she had bought me a beer basket as a gift, and my interest skyrocketed.

Fast-forward to today, where I love beer just as much as any other passion, going so far as to brew my own with a friend, and attempting to work my way to becoming a beer judge on the side. I enjoy beer “ticking”, whereby you quickly rate a beer out of 5, while jotting down a few notes here and there, but have recently moved on to slightly more wordy ratings. I utilize Untappd and Ratebeer, but I plan on rating certain noteworthy beers on the website when possible. I’ll look far and wide for beers to try [ER EDIT: making me drive to Bellingham…], so all being well, there will be a good variety to read about!

Hopefully we can keep you entertained, and with the plans for this blog kicking around in my head, I look forward to the future…

Note: If you’d like to follow what I’m drinking, check out my personal Twitter feed @vancookalex.

In Gin We Trust

Hello, world. I’m Erin. I’d like to welcome you to Zymurgy & Therapy. We refer to that as Z&T, by the way, because a) it’s a hell of a lot easier than mumbling “zymurgy” all the time, and b) if you borrow from the Americans, it sounds pleasantly like G&T – and who doesn’t like that?

Z&T exists because Alex (the boyfriend) thought it would be fun for the two of us to have a venue to discuss our respective (enthusiastic) hobbies – beer for him, cocktails for me. Neither of us are experts, though he’s comparably more advanced than I – we’re fascinated amateurs. Here, we can track our experimentation, and in the process, maybe even present a diverting read for those with overlapping interests. The plan is to keep it pretty broad, bringing in everything from tasting notes to home-brew recipes to bar recommendations to…other stuff. Lots of other fun stuff.

In the meantime, take a peek at our beer cellar and liquor cabinet, and if you’ve got suggestions for additions (or for recipes with what we’ve got), hit me. But not literally. I bite.

Here goes nothing – cheers!

Toasting Z&T with a G&T. Hah.