Tag Archives: Review

Sex Tips from Rock Stars by Paul Miles

I’ll say this much for Sex Tips from Rock Stars – you may not learn anything new from the book, but you’ll sure as hell be entertained.

From Almost Famous to Spinal Tap, Penny Lane to Connie Hamzy, we’re taught that “rock god” and “sex god” are interchangeable terms. There’s no doubt that musicians have a certain power when they perform that’s an aural aphrodisiac. The question is, are there any actual bedroom tips and tricks these rockers have to back up the appeal?

That’s the question that Miles sheds some light on in Sex Tips from Rock Stars. In the new book from Omnibus Press (a publisher better known for serious biographies than sex guides), 23 different musicians give their tips, “in their own words” on groupies, fetishes, romance, marriage and everything in between. I say musicians because, lets face it – “Rock Stars” is a bit relative. Though the fame of some of the interviewees might be questionable, the range of ages and musical styles makes for a good cross-section of the rock world. The book is pretty phallocentric, but does include the female perspective of The Donnas’ Allison Robertson. Continue reading


Wells Banana Bread Beer

wells21When I was growing up, one of the best baked treats we could have in our house was some of my Nana’s banana bread. The bread, the result of some alchemy I couldn’t understand that involved bananas that looked way past their prime, was a perennial favorite. Though Nana isn’t with us any longer, my mom still makes a mean loaf of banana-y, nutty, rich and tasty bread. I imagine that someday the recipe will be passed on to me.

I’m not trying to say that I’m some sort of Zen master of baking, or that my family’s name should be on the side of bread trucks across the country. All I’m saying is that I know from banana bread. So, of course, I was incredibly intrigued when I came across a bottle of Wells Banana Bread Beer this weekend.

Even if you aren’t familiar with the Wells name here in the US, you’re probably familiar with more than a few of their brands. Wells and Young’s Brewery, based in Bedford, brews the popular Young’s Bitter, Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, and the Courage line of beers. The brewers also contract brew and import Red Stripe, Corona Extra, Negra Modelo and Kirin Ichiban. Despite the brewers’ global reach, this weekend was the first time I came across the attention-grabbing Banana Bread Beer. Continue reading

Bud Light Golden Wheat

Bud Light Golden Wheat. Or, as it’s known to some of my friends, “the beer Josh once compared to a fascist plot.”

If you’re not familiar with the beer, I’ll get the vitals out of the way. Bud Light Golden Wheat is, like American Ale or Shock Top, an attempt by Anheuser-Busch to weasel their way into break into the craft beer market. It’s not a surprising move, considering the only real growth in the beer world is in the world of craft brewers. As Michael Agnew wrote earlier this month, there’s no question that big brewers have the resources and ability to produce high quality beer. The question is whether they’ll commit to it full-bore or try to inject some “craft”-iness into macro lagers.

A-B describes the beer as a “Premium light, unfiltered wheat beer with citrus and a hint of coriander and the superior drinkability of Bud Light.” It clocks in at a slight 4.1% ABV, and 118 calories for those of you watching your figures. The Golden Wheat label boast that the beer is “brewed with wheat malt, coriander and citrus peels”, as well as the worrisome suggestion that the beer “tastes great ice cold.” It’s also worth noting that, in the store or at the bar, the Golden Wheat is only a touch more expensive than Bud Light, and way cheaper than Allagash, Sam Adams or even Coors’ Blue Moon.

An inexpensive wheat beer that tastes great almost frozen and has the drinkablity of Bud Light? Sign me up, right? Continue reading

Lindemans Gueuze Cuvée René

lindemans-cuvee-rene1The Lindemans lambics, as popular as they are, are pretty terrible beer. As sweet alco-pop malternatives, sure, they’re fine. But as lambics? A bit too sticky-sweet. Y’see, Lindemans uses artificial sweeteners and fruit juice in their lambic line to sweeten the brews, and also filter and pasteurize them to put the yeast to bed. In the end, this leaves most of the Lindemans line completely drinkable – especially for people that don’t like traditional beer – but a far cry from the sour, funky, wonderful world of traditional Belgian lambics.

I picked up the Cuvée René in hopes that the brewery’s foray into the gueuze family of lambics would be an improvement over the fruit brews. I also wanted to try a new Gueuze, since it is my absolute favorite beer style of late. The Cantillon Classic has been a great introduction to the style, but I’ve been looking for something different and a little bit lighter on the wallet. At under ten bucks for a massive 750ml bottle, the Cuvée René looked worth the risk.

In case you’re not familiar with the gueuze style, I’ll do a quick primer. A gueze is a blend of two different lambics, one “young” (brewed less than a year ago) and one “old” (brewed a few years earlier). Since the young beer still contains plenty of sugars that haven’t been fermented yet, the already funky beer goes through a secondary fermentation after being blended. The end result is a beer that is very tart, very sour, and very dry. If you’re typically a fan of British and American ales and lagers, this style may be practically unrecognizable as a beer. Like stinky cheese or uber-spicy food, gueuzes can be daunting for a first-timer. Continue reading

Quick Book Recommendation; Tall, Skinny, Bitter

9781570615658Like coffee? Spend more time in a coffee shop than the average Seattle-ite? Got a thing for tatted-out baristas? Buy Tall Skinny Bitter.

What? You need more that just my say-so to go out and pay for a book? Fine. I’ll give you a bit of an overview of the caffeine-fueled radness of Dani Cone and Chris Munson’s book. Grab yourself a venti triple skinny half-caf no whip mocha latte and follow me into the “Center of Coffee Culture.” Continue reading

Flying Dog 2008 Horn Dog

How often do you get to call a bottle of beer adorable?

Last week, I received a couple bottles of the 2008 vintage of Flying Dog‘s Horn Dog, the barleywine in their Canis Major series of beers. These were not your typical beer bottles, however. They were a bit more petite, a bit more precious, and way more adorable.

Although I’ve never seen them on the shelves here in Maine, apparently Flying Dog sells their four strongest beers (the aforementioned Canis Major series) in mixed 8-packs of 7 oz bottles. This means that, instead of picking up four bottles of either a barleywine, imperial porter, tripel or double pale ale, you can get 2 junior-sized bottles of each for just a little bit more. It is a very cool – if slightly gimmicky – idea, and it is definitely a bit easier on the liver to have a couple half-sized bottles of really strong beer than a couple full bottles. Plus, the itty-bitty bottles make me feel like a mythical giant, which is all kinds of rad. Continue reading

1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die


For my column this week on my RateBeer Hop Press blog, I reviewed the new beer compendium “1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die“, due out from Universe Publishing next Tuesday.

I found a review copy of this massive bicep-builder of a book on my doorstep last week. The tome, the newest in Universe Publishing’s “1001 [blank]s You Must [blank] Before You Die” series, is summarized on the jacket as “a comprehensive guide to the very best beers in the world.” Under the watchful eye of general editor Adrian Tierney-Jones, over 40 international beer experts (including Hop Press columnist Lisa Morrison) selected and reviewed beers from large and small breweries around the world.

Check out my full review on the Hop Press.