From the Bar and a little from the kitchen – more beer, wine and cider, plus a redux of food we’ve made before

beerWow, the Exodus movie really sucks.   Not just from the silly plot but from the cinematography to the costuming, etc. Happily, I only saw a bit of it on HBO for free. It’s of that “everyone is filthy for no reason at all” genre.

We’ve tried some new beers, ciders and wines. In amongst this, we’ve made more chowder and another roast pork shoulder (an 11 pounder this time). This time, I took the skin off around 2 hours into the roasting process, which allowed the underlying fat to crisp up and get wonderfully sticky.

Strongbow honey – I’ve reviewed the regular strongbow cider before, excellent stuff. This is perhaps even better with the floral hit of honey. It very much reminds me of the lovely smell of a ripe quince. And it has Patrick Stewart as a very funny pitchman.

Angry Orchard Cinnful Apple, and more – Cinnful Apple is very good, a nice warm baked-good cinnamon flavor, not the one-note burn of red-hots. Summer Honey is also very good, but not quite as good as the Strongbow. The crisp apple and green apple are basic ciders, I can’t tell the difference between them, even tasted together.

Stark Raving white wine – a good basic white wine blend. Slightly sweet, it went well with the chowder.

Woodchuck Pumpkin – pretty much a basic cider, not even that much spice. My husband says he can taste the “squashiness” in it, but I can’t.

Atlantic Brewing Company – I like these beers. I do not like the bizarre level of carbonation,like a coca-cola.  I know how to pour a beer and these, no matter how hard I try, go to foam and overflow the glass, *any* glass. The Island Ginger is my favorite, like unsweet ginger beer. Very “rooty” but not too spicy.  The Coal Porter is a good porter, natch. The blueberry is a good level of blueberry flavor and the “real ale” is very dark, perhaps it could be called a black ale.

Ballast Point coffee vanilla beer – a good vanilla tinged porter, but I taste no coffee in this.

That’s all. Eat and drink well.

4 thoughts on “From the Bar and a little from the kitchen – more beer, wine and cider, plus a redux of food we’ve made before

  1. Thanks for sharing! I’m not a (new) Strongbow or Angry Orchard fan, but I usually like Woodchuck…their Pumpkin is one of the few I don’t care for (in addition to Hopsation). Not that it was intended to be pumpkin (the vegetable), not pumpkin spice flavored. I did pick up the rich squash type flavor. However, with that, came a funky flavor.

    See if you can find any craft cider in your area; they are a big step up from the commercial ones. Made in small batches with only fresh pressed juice (not concentrate), no artificial flavors or colors, etc. I’d be happy to suggest some based on your location (most have small distribution areas). I’m really into cider if you can’t tell!


      1. That area may be a bit tougher, but you can probably still find some of the craft ciders from the finger lakes, NY, & VT regions, such as Farnum Hill, Bantam, Bad Seed, Bellwether, Citizen, Eden, Shacksbury, Slyboro, Doc’s Draft, Uncle John’s, Champlain, Virtue, etc. Look at finer independent bottle shops and if you have any larger liquor stores such as Total Wine or Bevmo. Look for ciders mostly in larger bottles, not multi-packs. Going straight to the source (cidery tasting room) is also fun. There are also the semi-craft ciders of Original Sin & McKenzie’s.

        If you can’t find any of those, Crispin is one of the better commercial ciders and fairly widely available. Ace isn’t too bad. Note that I haven’t tried most of them as they just aren’t available in my area (WA). Not too many PNW ciders make it too far across the U.S., but some of my favorites that may be more widely distributed are Alpenfire, Finnriver, Snowdrift, 2 Towns, Tieton, E.Z. Orchards, and Schilling. Sonoma from CA is pretty good, especially their Anvil (Bourbon). There are also some great imports such as Sheppy’s, Aspall, and Worley’s. Trader Joe’s sells an awesome French cider for $5 called Dan Armor. Have fun!


      2. alas, PA controls all liquor sales tightly. Might, might be able to find some of the stuff at grocery stores like Wegmans, which is a fairly fancy grocery store chain somewhat like Whole Foods.

        Was out in your area once, on trip to Seattle, hope to go again.


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