Monthly Archives: March 2017

Bitner’s Finest Ales – with an impromptu podcaster, my Dad.

While visiting with my parents I thought it’d be fun to record a couple of episodes with them on my vacation. After all, they have had a great influence on my life in terms of the wide variety of different beverages I enjoy. I mentioned this to my parents, who seemed kindly interested, but rather less enthused than I was with the idea.

But when my dad decided to pull out 2 beers for us to enjoy together – made by my older brother Walter almost two years ago, I knew I had to capture the moment on the fly. [i.e. whipping out my phone and pressing record.]

So, this podcast lacks my usual intro, and those in the background weren’t aware we were recording. But what we captured was a one of a kind experience – and perhaps have hit upon the next craft beer craze.


Bob Iantosca from Gloria Ferrer

Earlier this week I was able to sit down and chat with Bob Iantosca, Executive Winemaker, from Gloria Ferrer. Bob is a pioneer in the sparkling wine-making business – bringing Pinot Noir & Chardonnay clones from the Champagne and Burgundy regions of France to Carneros to test and develop for production of sparkling wine there in the early 1980’s.

Our conversation ranged from what he considers one of the best sparkling wine values on the market right now (Gloria Ferrer Royal Cuvee 2007) to how overcoming challenges (rolling blackouts) can turn into making better wine.




Some IPA March Madness

The Baron & Baroness head out to a local craft brew bar and happen upon a Stone Brewing March Madness IPA Bracket and their local Brass Tap. (4 IPAs this week – 2 move on; 4 new IPAs next week – 2 others move on; then those 4 go head to head, etc).

In addition, since the Baroness isn’t an IPA fan, she ordered the Port City Brewing Optimal Wit – a style she’s a big fan of, and this is a fine example of wit beer.


Closing out Stella’s Snow Day – if only the snow had been this heavy…


10 Minutes Whisking and nearly ready yo go!

How would you close out a snow day? How about with
something comforting – and non-alcoholic?

That’s why instead of reaching into the cellar or the liquor cabinet, this evening the Baron reached into the fridge and the cupboard and whisked up (for ~10 solid minutes) some honest-to-goodness homemade Hot Chocolate. [Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen]

Listen and learn about our substitute ingredient and our delicious results.


Snow Day Cocktail Hour – Contrasting Wheat Ales

Come of the most enjoyable parts of a Snow Day are having a cocktail hour right at 5pm (you’ve got nowhere to drive to get there – or after!) and enjoying a beer after a few hours of shoveling snow (or ice/slush). This evening the Baron & Baroness combined both as they tasted two contrasting Wheat Ales from (the most mega) craft brewery – Samuel Adams.

Interspersed in our discussion of IBUs, we enjoyed their Cold Snap first, a wheat ale with citrus, spices – including coriander which in some ways we thought of as a grown-up Blue Moon. Then we enjoyed Hopscape, a Wheat Ale with added West Coast hops – which definitely made a difference.


As the first flakes fall – we sip an experimental single malt

As the first flakes of Winter Storm ‘Stella’ begin to fall, the Baron follows through on his promise of a burst of initial podcasts. And what better to sip on during a pending winter storm than – single malt scotch.

Our selection this evening is a new ‘Experimental’ series single malt from Glenfiddich – India Pale Ale Finish.

This single malt is brought to you as the brainchild of Brian Kinsman, Malt Master at Glenfiddich and Seb Jones brewer at Speyside Craft Brewery – with the brewery and distillery ~24 miles apart. Apparently they used not only the same Speyside water in their beer/whiskey, but malted barley as well.

They 3 different brews developed by Seb and who knows how many aging variations Brian went through as they developed the final product (but I sure wish I’d been along for the tasting ride. What they ended up with is a definitely a unique single malt, and one worth ordering a dram of if you find it at your local watering hole – and if your description of it sounds up your single malt alley, grab a bottle – it’s likely priced in the range of any ~12 year age statement single malt.



Ep1: Popping a cork as we wait for snow

After dinner, we settle in to await the first fall of snowflakes for this season’s first winter storm with the bottle of wine I picked out to got with our dinner tonight – Moroccan Chicken from Blue Apron.

It called for a Carmenere and as things are, we stock them in our cellar. So take a listen as we kick off Baron of Beverage while tasting and evaluating Concho y Toro’s Terrunyo Carmenere Block 27 2008.