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THE YEAR IN BEER REVIEW

If you read the end of the year reports for any major beer producer, the song remains the same: 2OO9 was a challenging and complicated year in the beer industry, stemming from a depressed economic environment, tightening credit markets and continuing cost pressures.  Overall, beer sales in the United States...
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KEGLETS/KEGS

I’m a big fan of draft beer in the summer. The advantages are clear: less handling, usually less expensive, more environmentally friendly, and as lots of folks will tell you, it’s usually how brewers meant the beer to be poured. I like having draft at all our family gatherings: it...
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Vodka

Vodka continues its dominance of the spirits category, unchecked by . . . well, by anything.  The economy has shuffled the deck a bit on what brands are growing and what price points and niches are successful at the moment.  More than ever, two things are crucial to a particular...
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Profile: AARON FRANCISCO

AARON FRANCISCO 48, General Manager, 111 Chop House, Worcester, MA Rangy, keen-eyed, impulsive, Francisco is senior beverage buyer for multiple award-winning Worcester Restaurant Group’s three destination restaurants.  These brainchildren of owners Robb and Madeleine Ahlquist are: The Sole Proprietor (since 1979), 111 Chop House (1999, where Francisco is also GM),...
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Still River’s Apple Ice Wine

Wade Holtzman must be a jinni to be able to cram the concentrated essence of 😯 apples, nearly a bushel, into one little bottle. Abetted by his wife, Margot, and son, Leif, he manages that feat 96OO times a year at the family’s Still River Winery in Harvard, Massachusetts. The...
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Chardonnay

Because there’s so much drab, unappealing Chardonnay on the market, sometimes we in the business forget what’s made the grape such a powerhouse. Sommeliers in particular seem to bear a collective grudge against our long reigning champion varietal. There are fine restaurants where aversion to Chardonnay’s magnetic appeal is so...
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Summer Beers 2010

Ah, summertime. Hot weather. Baseball games. Trips to the beach. Backyard barbecues. And thirst. What better way to quench that thirst than with an ice-cold beer? Maybe one served in a well-frosted mug. Then again, maybe not. There’s no need to pigeonhole certain beers as being just for summer. “The...
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Manhattan Cocktail Classic

There is going to be a whole lotta shaking going on this May in Manhattan – and plenty of stirring and chilling and ice cutting, too. And most likely quite a bit of garnishing. The Manhattan Cocktail Classic (MCC) will hold its inaugural five-day event from May 14 through May...
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