Retraction! The Beer Guy about whom I posted after the cut was kind enough to comment to correct what I had written about him and his beer back story. I apologized in the comments, but I will do it up here, too: John, I am sorry for misunderstanding what you said regarding the role of Dogfish Head brewery in Delaware’s annual Punkin Chunkin contest. I also deleted the offending part of the post. If it’s any consolation, we have at least $75 worth of Dogfish Head beer in our refrigerator right now, so you are clearly doing something right. 

Last night the husband and I went to a beer and cheese tasting at West Lakeview Liquors. If there are four words that will motivate me to sit in a hot cab in rush hour traffic for an hour to get from the Loop to Roscoe Village/West Lakeview, they are: “free beer and cheese.” The beer was courtesy of Dogfish Head, which was born in my hometown and is brewed in the hometown of stepfather’s gigantic family, so I always get excited when there’s something Dogfish Head related going on outside the Mid-Atlantic seaboard.

We tasted their Midas Touch and Chateau Jiahu, both of which are reproductions of ancient beer/mead recipes. I thought those were a little sweet, but I have a pretty serious distaste for sweetish beers. The next was their Black and Blue which is a “Belgian Strong Ale fermented with blackberries and blueberries.” That was good, if a little high alcohol for me at 10% ABV. My favorite by far was their Punkin’ Ale, which is my favorite pumpkin beer in the world. Actually possibly the only pumpkin beer I really like, since it’s brewed with pumpkin and has a delicious spicy, warm flavor as opposed to having pumpkin syrup squirted in there at bottling time and tasting like pumpkin bubble gum. Finally we tasted the Raison D’Extra, which at 18% ABV (for comparison, Bud Light is 4.2% ABV) is more like drinking port than beer. As far as Dogfish’s high alcohol beers go, I prefer their World Wide Stout, again because Raison D’Extra (and it’s lower alcohol little sister Raison D’Etre) are really sweet.

All the cheese was courtesy of The Cheese Stands Alone, where I have never been but plan to make a serious pilgrimage to one of these days. We were so inspired by beer and cheese that we decided to have beer and cheese (and crackers and grapes and apples) for dinner, and so that is exactly what we did:

Beer and Cheese for Dinner

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