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Beer Selfie Interview: Latiesha

Latiesha Cook is the co-founder of Beer Kulture, introducing craft beer to urban communities and bringing a fresh take on the beer world.

Beer Kulture is a lifestyle brand that merges urban culture with beer. For years – inner cities have been bombarded with malt liquors and flavorless beer. The people, ultimately, think that this is what all beer is. Let me enlighten you; it isn’t. With close to 100 different styles and thousands of different brands that all have different aroma’s, flavors and hues, beer is much more than just a “yellow”, “flavorless” and “nasty” beverage.
 
As one of the oldest beverages in the world we strive to paint a new narrative on what beer is, isn’t and what it can be while showing our communities that  “This ain’t the beer that you’re use to.”

How did you get introduced to craft beer?

It’s quite funny how I got introduced to the craft. My partner was on his own journey which you will be able to read about in our new book “This ain’t the beer That You’re Used To”. But he also introduced me to beer as he was on his own journey. It started with Guinness. The first taste…. I thought it was disgusting. Dom was determined to find beer that I would like, so he started introducing me to fruit beers since I liked beverages that were sweet and fruited. I loved fruit beers, I progressed into really enjoying sours. The more I drank beer, the more my palate changed and as I tried new things I began to really enjoy beer and the different styles all together.

What are your goals with Beer Kulture?

Our goal with Beer Kulture is simple. We are inviting new drinkers to the party. There are People who don’t know about good beer, we want them to know that good beer is out there. And more than that, we want to make good beer available to them.

What has been the highlight of Beer Kulture for you so far?

The highlight with Beer Kulture for me so far is the facial expression of a new beer drinker every time we put them on to new beer. Our slogan so to say is “This ain’t the beer that you’re used to”. So every time we expose a new drinker to good beer and they express delight, shock and /or pure excitement – it’s almost endearing. It feels like a great accomplishment whether it’s one person or many.

What’s in the new book? Who’s the target audience?

“This ain’t the beer that you’re used to” A beginners Guide to Good Beer is written by my partner Dom “Doochie” Cook. The name explains it all. It’s a beginners Guide/ Memoir for folks who don’t know much about beer.
Because Beer Kulture focuses on “inviting new drinkers” to the party, we wanted to create something that they would be able to learn from, identify with and grow their beer knowledge.

What beers have you enjoyed lately?

Lately I’ve been crushing New Belgium’s Fat Tire, Amber Ale, Voodoo ranger IPA, Belgian White and Pilsner. They have a variety pack out and don’t judge me but after a long days work I want something good, clean and crushable. This variety pack has been doing the job for me lately.

Aside from my daily drinkers….. sign me up for anything Kolsch!

What do you think about the current state of craft beer? What’s going well? What needs improvement?

Like any industry, the craft industry can use some work. When I think about the beer that we all know and love, I think about variety, complexity, layers on tops of layers of flavor and depth. I’d like to think that the face of craft beer appears the same way. Unfortunately, it hasn’t always. But that’s changing.

As more and more Brewery’s and places of business open up, craft needs to start broadening the demographic of drinkers and those they employ. That’s where Beer Kulture has come into play ; and not just us but the collaborative efforts of many who have been putting in work on the ground level to push leadership, ensure growth and success of the craft.

So back to your question of “What needs work?”. The answer to that is, everything! But when you asked “What’s going well?”. The answer to that is also, everything!

Hard conversations are being had and work is being done. Shout out to the people. The owners, the workers and the consumers who make up the Kulture. We are shifting and shaping the look of craft beer and I’m loving it!

What is your favorite beer and food pairing?

Does dessert qualify as “food”? Haha Because if so, My favorite beer and food pairing is going to be Lindemans Kreik Cherry Framboise with chocolate cheese cake. Dom and I created a cherry lambic sauce for our Guinness cheesecake recipe and in short…. It’s freaking delicious!

But if we’re talking “food food” then give me a Lager and a set of fried wings any day to seal the deal! I’m easy to please!

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Beer Selfie Holiday Gift Guide

Sempli

Glassware doesn’t get more gorgeous than this. These unique glasses were each designed to emphasize different beer styles:

The set started with our first straight sided beer glass, the Monti-Birra, which was designed to perfectly hold your 12 oz beer. The conical inverted bottom catches the initial splash of beer and gently leads the head of foam up to the surface. By encouraging the effervescence, the flavors of each individual beer are enhanced. The next glass has a similar design, but slightly bigger; the Monti-Pint, holds a true pint, perfectly measured for larger pours. For Pilsners, we created the Monti-Pils, a glass with a slender tall body that enhances the carbonation in these beers and helps maintain a longer effervescence. For the last glass, we studied and developed the shape of the glass to promote the aeration of hoppy IPA brews. As a result, we created the Monti-IPA, a “zig-zag” shaped glass; when liquid is poured, it is taken on a mini roller coaster ride down the angled ridges.

Every glass is hand-blown from lead-free crystal, which highlights the unique color of each individual beer.

Sempli has the beer glassware set above, or individual glasses. They also make some beautiful wine glasses and accessories, and their lovely Ventri beer bottle opener.

AleHorn

We dare you to come up with a more epic way to drink your beer than AleHorn. No, not coming up with anything? We didn’t think so.

Mankind could make alcohol long before we could make glass, so naturally we used what we could come by as vessels for our ancient fermented drinks like mead, ale, and wine. Not being ones to waste any part of an animal we had worked so hard to hunt or rear, we eventually figured out how to use tools to hollow out the horns of bovines to use as drinking horns, and the rest is history…

Ale Horn has classic viking horns and tankards in multiple sizes. All AleHorns are 100% real, ethically sourced bovine horn and will make you feel like a 100% real viking. They can also engrave almost anything on your horn. Their horns are guaranteed, so if anything happens or you’re not pleased with your horn they’ll replace it.

Use code BEERSELFIE for 10% off.

Rain Taps

Sommerville, Massachusetts artist Ben Lewis transforms beer tap handles into Rain Taps umbrellas by hand. These high quality, classic stick umbrellas are perfect for a walk to the pub on a rainy day.

He also repurposes tap handles into other functional items like bottle openers, pizza cutters and even ice cream scoops. They make great personalized gifts because they can be made out of a tap from the beer lover’s favorite brewery.  He has handles from a range of breweries, large and small.

I Prefer Craft Beer

Whether you are enjoying the latest hyped dry-hopped double IPA or American Pale Ale, hops provide you with the aroma and flavor you seek in craft beer. This new Big Hop T-Shirt design conveys the bold flavors and aromas you seek! It feels soft and lightweight, with the right amount of stretch. It’s comfortable and flattering for both men and women.

You drink local beer, but you need an ultra-premium beverage insulator that is lightweight, collapsible and reduces warming by 50%. Don’t let warming ruin your delicious local beer. Get yourself a Big Hop & Drink Local 16-ounce beer beverage insulator!

I Prefer Craft Beer is best known for their great beer glassware. Their newest addition is this 17 oz. Silhouette Series Stout & IPA glass. It is sturdy, ergonomic, sensory enhancing, and photogenic. This glass features a large bowl and flared lip, which enhances the aromatics of your craft beer. It is also nucleated, which helps concentrate aromatics and accentuating flavor profiles.

A 10% Beerselfie discount code is automatically applied to I Prefer Craft Beer orders via the links above.

Tavour

These guys try thousands of beers from small craft breweries and bring you the gems you can’t get at the store. Their unique twist on a beer club lets you select only the beers you want from a constantly updated selection, and have them shipped for a low flat rate. Help someone get started exploring limited craft beers from all over the country with a gift card, or send them one of Tavour’s expertly curated gift boxes. They currently have seven reasonably priced gift boxes grouped by beer style or region: Pumpkin, West Coast, East Coast, Dark, Sour, IPA, and a mixed set.

Beer Selfie Glassware

If you love to take Beer Selfies we have the perfect glass for you! We’re not saying this glass will guarantee you a repost on Instagram, but we’re not not saying that.

Beer Selfie Clothing

We’ve teamed up with Pop Fever to bring you a lineup of Beer Selfie and craft beer themed shirts and sweatshirts in a few different styles! This is the perfect gear for taking a beer selfie!

The Catalyst

You can now get all the features of a professional conical fermentation system at homebrew scale with The Catalyst. Yeah, the tank is plastic but that keeps the price super low and it’s a medical-grade, BPA-free, polymer that is more scratch resistant than other plastic fermenters. It is dishwasher safe and withstands temperatures of up to 230º Fahrenheit. It’s a 6.5 gallon tank with a 3″ Trub Trap Butterfly Valve designed to work with any large-mouthed mason jar, which makes catching and storing viable yeasts or separating sediment super simple. You can’t beat this combination of function and value!

Gose: Brewing a Classic German Beer for the Modern Era

First the Anderson Valley Brewing brewmaster nailed down this centuries old beer style, helping bring it into fashion in American craft beer, then he wrote the book about it. If you’ve tasted his beers you know: Fal Allen knows his Gose.

Explore the sensation of tart, fruity and refreshing Gose-style beers, popular in Germany centuries ago and experiencing a renaissance today. Follow the development of this lightly sour wheat beer as it grew, then bordered on extinction, before surging into popularity due to the enthusiasm and experimentation of American craft brewers. Gose explores the history of this lightly sour wheat beer style, its traditional ingredients and special brewing techniques. Discover brewing methods from the Middle Ages and learn how to translate them to modern day beer. Learn about salinity, spices, and lactic acid as you experiment with Gose recipes from some of the best-known craft brewers of our time. This refreshing journey captures the innovation and experimentation that is occurring within the style and help you brew your own Gose-style beers.

Amazon Beer Selfie Storeforont

Amazon has lots of beer gifts and we’ve create a Beer Selfie Storefront for over fifty of our favorites including lots of books, homebrewing equipment, clothing, soap, and other great stuff.

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I got Pise(d) at Spuyten Duyvil’s Cantillon Zwanze Day

Guest Post by @ipas_suck

I hate waiting in line.  I hate waiting in line for beer. I hate waiting in line for beer, listening to beer nerds talking about their stupid fucking beers, theories about why “treehouse fell off,” wearing their stupid fucking “rare” beer merch, trying to prove who among this sea of shit is top turd. That is to say, and of couuurse, most of these conversations focused around IPAs. With that bright-eyed spirit, I rolled out of bed at 8 AM on Saturday and decided to head over to the always wonderful Spuyten Duyvil.

@ipas_suck at Zwanze Day

A bit of abbreviated and probably incorrect background: Zwanze Day is the day on which Cantillon (by way of global coordination) releases a unique, small batch of an experimental beer. The 2018 variant, Mannekin Pise, is a blend of lambics, aged two years in Amarone, Chianti, and Sangiovese wine barrels.  The release was coordinated across some 70 bars and breweries, each with limited supply.

Farva

I got in line at 8:45 AM to secure my Zwanze pour ticket (released at 10 AM, bar opened at 11) and commemorative glass ($15), only counting about 50 people before me. For the next 2 hours and 15 minutes I listened to a dead ringer for Rod Farva spout off about Kansas City beer to his friends who were basically every guy at a beer event ever, while they returned fire with random factoids about other random beers Farva hadn’t ever heard of, but pretended to.  It was truly the battle of basement dwellers. Nevertheless, I persisted.

Spuyten Duyvil opened their doors promptly at 11 AM and I was not let down by my decision.  They had a full list of “siqqq shit” on tap and in bottles, including Cantillon Classic Gueze, Rosè de Gambrinus, Grand Cru de Bruocsella, an array of aged 3 Fonteinen bottles. I and my drinking companion grabbed a draft of the Cantillon Rosè de Gambrinus and Tilquin Oude Mûre à l’Ancienne and made our way to the backyard where we secured a table.

Cantillon Rosè de Gambrinus and Tilquin Oude Mûre à l'Ancienne

Beyond the Zwanze, there were some surprises. Tucked to the back of the yard was a tap station that had Cantillon St. Lamvinus (obviously spelling is not this man’s strong suit), a merlot lambic, and Cantillon Vigneronne, another grape lambic though this one is made from organic Italian wine grapes.  Cantillon tap stationSurprisingly, despite its deep color and fruity aroma, I found the St. Lamvinus to be a little flat and more subtle than sour, though the Vigneronne was pleasantly dry and tart and I really enjoyed trying it.  And for my next trick, I made a bottle of 2014 3 Fonteinen Oude Kreik disappear. No, I didn’t sit on it. Man, do I love this beer. It’s a deeper, not as tart, cherry flavor but goddamn does it do the trick. It’s a close favorite behind Boon Kriek for me. Then, I basically just lost control and wanted to taste the rainbow™ and drink MOAR B33RZ: so I ripped through another Rosè de Gambrinus and Vigneronne, a Cantillon Kriek (2017), Loverbeer For Fan (which was apricot flavored), and a Hanssen Experimental Cassis which, was FUCKING perfectly tart, full of flavor, carbed right, and just a solid fucking beer. I think that was the 2nd biggest surprise of the day (besides the Zwanze beer not being worth it, but we’ll get to that).

Taste the rainbow

And then it was 3 PM and the star of the show took center stage. The line gathered round, we all got our collectible glassware (#fucktekus) and anticipation built. Awww look, baby’s first Zwanze. Except…it wasn’t good. It was fine. It was allllright, I guess. It’s a rarity…cool? I don’t know it didn’t hit any chords with me. It was a mediocre beer that had a lot of thought and anticipation behind it. It just, yeah…whatever.

The star

tattooBeyond the nerdery of the line and the fact that what we were there to celebrate wasn’t worth celebrating, it was the beer scene at its best. It’s basically a giant bottle share where everyone’s really willing to send some your way. It’s such an awesome time if you’re into the style of beer and even if the Zwanze kind of tastes like a $7 bottle of wine that you let sit out on a table over night.  But don’t wake up early to get in line, listen to dickheads pontificate on beer, or to get a commemorative glass, etc. There was plenty of the Zwanze left over for the same $15 I spent. And if it’s good, it’s good.  But I 100% recommend going for the curated list Spuyten Duyvil prepares and the hard to finds. Bring a friend, bring some food, bring some beer, and have fun. Whatever you do, just don’t get a Cantillon tattoo on your calf.

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Beer and …

Seeing as @beerselfie is effectively devoted to “Beer and People” I thought I’d see what other types of “Beer and …” accounts are out there. Here then are accounts mostly featuring craft beer and some other specific thing that the creator is passionate about.

Beer and Cameras @beersandcameras

An Instagram account for craft beer photography meetups in cities around the world (mostly California). There are, of course, some fantastic photos here!

Beer and Legos @beer_farts

“A beery journey on Lego legs.” Hilarious scenes of lego figures matched up with some great craft beers.

A post shared by Beer Farts (@beer_farts) on

Beer and Whisky @craftbeerandwhisky

If you want to get a little boozy @craftbeerandwhisky has you covered with some nice photos of craft beer and/or whisky.

Beer and Bikes @bikes.and.beers

These guys organize cycling events that feature a post-ride festival at a craft brewery. Every event donates to a local cycling charity.

Beer and Dogs @dogsontap

“Because craft beer and dogs were made to be photographed together.”

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Beer and Food @bakerandthebeerd

Don’t follow this account unless you want to always be hungry for delicious pastries.

Beer and Toys @marty_mcfly127

Marty’s house must be a fun place.

Beer and Hats @beersandballcaps

So many great hats!

Beer and Shoes @_noway_jose

If you like sneakers you should definitely kick it with José.

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Beer Selfie Interview: Eric

Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? Day job? Non-beer related hobbies?

I’m Eric. If you’re here and reading this, you may have seen my Instagram @ipas_suck where I shit on the things you love. Hiyeee! I’m a native New Yorker from Rockland County, living in Brooklyn for the last 12 years. I spend the majority of my time as a Paralegal at a corporate law firm. I love Metal, Hardcore, and Punk music and have a thrash/hardcore/whatever band named Zombie Apocalypse (@zonbiapocalypse) that has a new album coming out early next year. Check us out on Spotify, iTunes, etc. I also write beer themed songs for my Instagram (available for free download). That doesn’t really have a name but I’ve been referring to it as Alcoholicore.

How did you get started in craft beer?

During college, and for a short while after, I lived in CT and was fortunate enough to get a job at a wonderful place in Middletown called Eli Cannon’s (@elicannons). It was around 2006 or so and is where I cut my teeth on craft. I’d always had an affinity toward German beers and that didn’t change, but Eli’s taught me about all of the other styles. There weren’t a ton of solely craft beer bars around at that time, much less one with 40 taps and things like North Coast Red Seal and Old Rasputin, Xingu, Lagunitas, Otter Creek, and smaller breweries like Opa Opa, etc. It was a great place to learn, taste, and be. It still is and I try to go there whenever I visit CT.

How did your instagram get started?

My two friends (and partners in @ipas_suck) were going on a road trip leading up to my 35th birthday. They invited me along, reluctantly because they were going to breweries that focused on IPAs (Treehouse, Trillium, Nightshift, Hill Farmstead, and Alchemist) and they knew I wasn’t in to that. I agreed to go, and when we pulled in to the old Treehouse location, my mind was blown that so many fucking dolts were waiting in line outside of this shit shack. I asked my friend something like, “yo, what the fuck?” and he explained. He then said, “yeah…it’s real bad” and showed me IG and YouTube reviewers and joked that I should start one where I give my opinion on IPAs. We came up with IPAs Suck on the spot, went to BT’s Smokehouse and started filming. I thought it’d be funny for our 5 friends to follow for the trip and then I’d end it. Here we are…

I’m trying to understand your Instagram, but I may be too old and boring. Is “the Colbert Report of IPAs” a fair description?

Ah, so you think I’m a caricature? Presumably because what fucking idiot who purports to hate IPAs this much would drink them all the time and spend money/trade for whalezzz (bro) and “fire,” right? Well, sorry to break the 4th wall but I am that idiot.

I guess “the Jackass of IPAs” is more appropriate. It’s sheer, self-inflicted punishment for humor’s sake. How many ways can you think of to say something is awful? It’s not easy, so we do reviews, characters, skits, all while getting hammered and cracking up. It’s an awesome way to be close with my best friends.

You’ve been banished to a desert island…which three beers are you bringing with you?

Schneider Weiss (Original Tap 7), Boon Kriek Marriage Parfait 2014, Jester King Grim Harvest

What beer are you drinking right now?

I have a couple of really nice bottles that I’ve been looking to break in to for a while. I have a De Cam Oude Lambiek, a few bottles of Spon from Jester King (a 3 year blend and another Syrah and Sangiovese), and some Cantillon on the way. Other than that, normal German: Andechs Dunkel, Agustinerbrau, Hacker-Pschorr Munich Gold, and Rothaus, plus whatever good Oktoberfest are out.

What’s the next trend in craft beer?

Brut IPAs from the looks of it because, sure…why not. But realistically? Closing breweries. It feels like it’s at a tipping point and the herd is going to thin out a little. Every town has 10 breweries, it just feels unsustainable.

What local brewery should we know about?

It’s no “secret” but Interboro is great. I’m biased because I love the people that work there (shout out Mike and Dove), it’s not far from my apartment, and they make much more than IPAs. They make a solid range of beers and also have a full suite of spirits.

Tell us about your drinking buddies.

Everything IPAs Suck related is always with my two friends Mike (@mvsalerno) and Matt (@dumpsterdive). We live in 3 different states but are usually hanging at Matt’s house in CT. We’ll get together with 30 or so different IPAs for a weekend and try to review as many as possible. Mike’s a video producer/editor and has been filming our bullshit since college. He is the real talent behind IPAs Suck: filming, directing, editing, etc. Matt is the funniest person I know and usually pushes me to be my worst (in the best way). He’s my comedic counterpart. It makes me laugh that through their love of IPAs THIS is what got created. IPAs may be pure dog shit, but they’re what gave us an opportunity to hang out more and regress as people at the same time.

What’s your favorite beer festival/event?

Zwanze Day at Spuytin Duyvil. I went for the first time this year and had a blast. It’s part bottle share, part rare tap list, part gueze and lambic orgy, it’s great. I’m actually doing a write up of my experience for beerselfie.com that should be out next week. Make sure you check it out.

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Live Oak Brewing

Live Oak Brewing Company has been making beer in Austin, Texas since 1997.

We employ an old-world style of brewing rarely found in America but practiced extensively throughout central Europe. We source only the best authentic ingredients, and use a time-consuming mash, open fermentation, and secondary lagering process. The result has achieved both regional and national acclaim, but more importantly, the satisfaction of loyal beer drinkers who appreciate our beer-making efforts.

I got to try the majority of their regular lineup. Each of them were superbly well crafted and on point for their style.

Pilz is clean, crisp, and refreshing. It has a really nice balance of bready malts and grassy hops. A great example of one of my favorite beer styles.

Glassware: I Prefer Craft Beer Silhouette Series IPA Glass

Live Oak’s Hefeweizen has lots of banana flavor, a nice amount of clove, with grainy malts peaking through.

The Berliner Weisse is tied with the Pilz for my favorite of these brews. It has a delightful lemony tartness with bready malt in the background. I could drink this one every day.

Glassware: I Prefer Craft Beer Silhouette Stout Glass

I didn’t like the Grodziskie, but don’t let that dissuade you from trying it as I’ve yet to find a smoked beer I enjoyed. I can tell this is a well made beer. Under all that smokiness it is perfectly balanced. I just do not enjoy the smoked flavor.

Glassware: I Prefer Craft Beer Silhouette Stout Glass

Big Bark is a great example of the fantastic Vienna Lager style. Malty and flavorful, yet extremely smooth, clean, and refreshing. Caramel malts dominate with a hint of earthy hops.

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