Archives for Drink

Night tour of Boston’s breweries covers only a few

Boston has an active craft beer scene and the state of Massachusetts has at least 47 micro breweries, ten of them in greater Boston. I signed up for an evening brewery tour with the Boston Brewery Company, and eventually five of us headed off in a van across the river to Night Shift Brewing while Andy from Arkansas, our beer guide, talked about how lifting the legal ban on home brewing in the late 1990s had led to an explosion of experimentation. Night Shift Brewing’s story is typical: three guys in an apartment making their own stuff and giving it to friends, who eventually said, ‘man, this stuff is good enough to sell.’ Now they have a large warehouse with big steel tanks, a range of brews and a bar out front where people from the neighbourhood gather to sip, talk and eat stuff. Very homely. We tried four beers there, a very plain beer called Whirlpool which had grapefruit flavours but not much else; 87, which was a 7.8% IPA with extra hops added at the end of the
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Can the French make good coffee? Peut-être.

You’d think that the French would know how to make good coffee. L’espresso may be an Italian word, although that is contested. The French claim it too. Certainly an Italian called Angelo Moriondo registered an Italian patent for a steam driven “instantaneous” coffee beverage making device in Turin in 1884. But hey, Italy is just next door and the French spend hours sitting in cafés drinking the stuff. My recent experience in France makes me disinclined to believe that making good coffee is something the French know or care much about. And even if they do, that knowledge has not spread to New Caledonia where I spent a week recently, a good deal of it in search of a decent brew. In the breakfast room in our four star hotel there’s a push button machine for a selection of coffees, not the real thing, but we came to know this as very standard in supposedly sophisticated Noumea. These machines are like a large version of Nespresso. They make an indifferent coffee but there is plenty of foam, but it is
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