World Beer News

UP NEXT!  Wu-Tang Clan BEER THAT GLOWS in the dark

With World Beer News, we aim to explore the world through beer news and give beer lovers something more to talk about other than how awesome THIS beer is :

TastingNitchxBeavertown

I’m Nitch with a selection of highlights from the second week of December

TheTicker wants to know if Local Malt is The Next Big Trend For Breweries? - YES, that and playing Wu-Tan Clan to your glow in the dark yeast.

Brewers do strange things in the name of culinary science

Even though using music to alter or enhance the flavor of alcohol isn’t entirely new, it’s still a relatively young trend. In Kentucky, there’s a distiller who fermented brandy with subwoofers pumping David Bowie hits; an Austrian winemaker did the same with classical music, we had that story a few weeks ago about that Kiwi brewer who swears play music to his yeast reduces wastage. But so far, Wu-Tan Clan are the most used musical group when it comes to lulling beer.

With Dock Street Brewery in Philadelphia having looped Wu-Tang for six weeks to ferment a golden saison they named, Ain’t Nothing to Funk With and now Fortnight Brewing in Cary, North Carolina.

Fortnight Brewing played Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)—at 130 decibels for eight hours straight every day for 12 days to turn their tangy IPA Bring da Saucer into more bitter, less floral, less sweet brew called Bring da Ruckus.

“The lab showed that there was a distinct chemical difference between the two, even though it’s got the same ingredients, the only difference was the sound.”
tastingnitch03

Why stop at sound?

Last week we talked about Open Discovery Institute, with the founder who gave himself a fecal transplant, and their DIY kit for glow-in-the-dark yeast.

Unfortunately it seems that a Wu-Tan Clan beer that glows in the dark may not be in the near future as the FDAs given “the next craft sensation” a big fat disapproval stamp.

Josiah Zayner won’t take the set back sitting down is teaming up with a brewery The Inoculum Ale House out of Tampa, Florida to sell glow-in-the-dark beers. They will persevere with glow-in-the-dark beers until they get approval from the FDA, said the team.

The UK Black Market for Beer

A court in Hof, Bavaria on Wednesday condemned three men to jail sentences ranging between two to three years for avoiding British beer taxes by pretending they were selling the beer in northern Bavaria, which was confusing because as the judge pointed out during her ruling, there is no other place on earth that has such a concentration of breweries.

This is what they did : 80 trucks arrive in Bavaria each week, all loaded with foreign beer and a German tax rate was paid accordingly. The final destination was not Germany at all! Once smuggled into Britain the beer was off'd on the black market for a tidy profit.

My question here is, The black market for beer in the UK is where? And, how does one get involved in such a thing?

Have I mentioned Asia’s ‘thriving’ craft beer scene before?

Photo : https://untappd.com/user/tomukchina/checkin/386782471

Photo : https://untappd.com/user/tomukchina/checkin/386782471

This piece from CNN (of all outlets) outlines some interesting brews from Hong Kong’s 5th annual Beertopia festival.

Hong Kong Bastard was awarded "Best IPA" which, and I kid you not, had heavy metal music played to it every day during fermentation. 

"I played heavy metal music to the beer every day." — Luke Yardley, Yardley Brothers Beer

Keep an eye on Young Master Ales which won four of the nine beer categories at the Hong Kong Beer Championship on its way to earning "Best Brewery" honors.

Hutong Clan CDA created in collaboration with Oregon's Boneyard Beer and Jing-A Brewing Co.

Hutong Clan CDA created in collaboration with Oregon's Boneyard Beer and Jing-A Brewing Co.

What’s happening in the greater (more money infused) global beer scene?

Carlsberg lager's new design that they hope will increase the beer’s appeal amongst influential millennials. They’ve also apparently roped in Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, to ONCE AGAIN flirt with ladies in a campaign to reinvigorate Carlsberg’s image.

 

Remember that alcohol-free Budweiser Prohibition Brew the debuted in Canada in May? Well look forward to more of that! As ABInBev has debuted a series of new initiatives to encourage smart drinking, including plans to push no-AND-low alcohol beer products in at least 20 percent of its global beer volume by 2025.

The “Global Smart Drinking Goals” initiative will first roll out in Columbus, Ohio.  That’s right, the area where BrewDog is trying to expand into will be part of a billion dollar movement by the King of Beers to encourage drinkers to change their habits for the betterment of themselves and the world.

Asahi to Pay $7.8 Billion for AB InBev Beer Brands in Eastern Europe

More genetics talks as well as Meantime Brewery (Asahi owned) is offering tailed DNA beer for a lot of money and not much sense. Genetics company 23andMe takes a saliva sample and test for hereditary variations in oral taste receptors and this data is given to Meantime to begin mapping each beer’s unique flavour profiles.

Customers have one-to-one consultations with the Meantime headbrewr to then the style of brew, (counterintuitive to have a tailer made beer) 

Following up on the 55 picketing maintenance workers that boomed into a 10,000 + person protest and four month long boycott of Carlton United Brewers products through out Australia has come to an end. AT LAST! The workers have been invited to return to work in their previous positions on union terms and conditions. Which is all fine and lovely but I think the boycott should continue on anyway.

Tastingnitch01

That’ s all we have time for today

I’m off to try and find this Icelandic Christmas Drink: Malt & Appelsín - if you know where to find it, leave me a comment in below!

Please send in to News@tastingnitch.com or join our Discord channel to connect.

Until next week - Au revoir!

⬇︎Check out the video version below⬇︎

FrogBeer +++

Beer - Pub - Food

There are loads and loads on the horizon for FrogBeer with expansion plans, exclusive 2017 releases and an eye on evolution, but what is now a series of 13 locations throughout France was once the only place a Rosbif could get a proper pint. 

Frog & Rosbif

You may not know this but, the French call the English 'Roast Beef' while the English called the French "Frogs."  There is a long history between the two countries so when Paul Chantier's yearning for English style brews turned into a Parisian brewpub, the name choice was simple.  A French bar serving English style beer?  Frog & Rosbif!  Now, 23 years later with the name it's customers bestowed up it, FrogBeer is Paris's largest group of locally crafted beer and burgers.

I put on my 'stupid Yank' pin and went to visit the production facility in Saint-Denis to get a better sense of what goes into making these award winning beers.

FrogBeer Looking Forward 

“Have I told you lately that I love you?”

When Kate Hyde, brewer, brewing trainer and part of the sales and marketing team for FrogBeer, started outlining plans for future beers, I felt inclined to remind her how very much I personally adore her.  Here are some of the things her and the team have in the works for 2017 :

  • Launch of Empire pale ale, based on a traditional English Export Ipa from the 19th century which they've tweeked ever so slightly by adding Target hops to the mix. Target is a newer hop variety from England that has a really lovely herbaceous, piney, and grassy quality to it. 
  • "Beery-beer" a tasty low alcohol beer that isn’t super hoppy or acidic but actually tastes like malt and hops and water and yeast in equal proportions.
  • Fermentation tests are going on right now with fresh fruit and concentrate, “there will be no syrups!” Kate assured me, for a cherry porter or stout, apricot white, strawberry or raspberry saison, and a rhubarb something, possibly a rhubarb rye.

You can understand now why I was buttering her up!  She added that, of course they were looking into barrel ageing and getting involved in collaborations but they also want get themselves settled in terms of managing supply and demand because they are currently brewing at full capacity.

 The Revolution Will Not Be Pasteurized 

FrogBeer isn't filtered or pasteurized, the branding is fun and the team behind the company are outstanding but, despite it's multi-award winning beer, FrogPUBS sit in a place between beer geek and ground level.  It's what I like to call fine

The locations are fun looking and well designed with free wifi and convenient hours.  The friendly staff, if not always well educated in what they're serving, are jolly and mean well.  The commercial brand ketchup and mayonnaise on the table may get lost in the ocean of menus upon arrival but once you've waded through the lists of burgers, salads, tacos and whatever other manner of things they have on special for that time of day, you're free to enjoy the deco and chat with friends.  It's a common ground not unlike a Red Robin, Chili's, or TGIF.

In one of our talks Kate told me that they brew with the idea to, "give people beer they are used to and also something a bit adventurous." The pubs always have the classic blonde, blanche, something dark but also something hoppy and a few extras. 

Maybe one month it will be the Maison Blanche a very traditional European style Belgian white ale with coriander and orange peel or the next month it could be Ker... Splat!  Their American style wheat ale made with (the usual) excessive amount of American hops.

This is all fine. Who can complain when something is what it says it is?  FrogBeer is accessible to a great movement of people honing their wine loving palates in on something other than beer plus syrup while thrill seekers like myself nudge brewers toward barrel ageing.  I may not enjoy the manufactured coolness of the FrogPubs but I respect their place in Paris as an outlet for the middle ground movement and am grateful that they are making proper beer.  

We have a necessity for them. They're not to be overlooked or underestimated.  Keep an eye out for the new beers as it seems they get better with each cycle!

Carry on drinkers, cheers to you! 

 

  • You can find out more about FrogPubs and their locations through out France here : http://www.frogpubs.com/
  • But for purely beer related updates check the FrogBeer Facebook
  • I would suggest getting your updates on their many events and special releases from their facebook page
  • If you're looking to avoid tourists traps in Paris, give My Parisian Life a look over
  • and here is what I'm drinking while writing this

Paris's First NEW AGE Beer Bar | La Fine Mousse

Considering that beer bars have been around Paris before the Revolution (going further back to the Gauls before France was a country even), it wouldn't be fair to say that La Fine Mousse is the first beer dedicated bar in Paris as it is often claimed to be. What it is, is the first bar in Paris dedicated to the revival of crafters and artisans in the brewing sector. 

20 taps, a custom made bar and a knowledgeable staff, La Fine Mousse (The Fine Head), is still the best place in Paris to find unique and well cared for beers from around the world. Beers that cant be found anywhere else in Paris alongside staples of the local beer scene. 

If you want to get the most out of the location then go on a weekday, preferably close to opening, to avoid the post work rush or weekend crowds. Upon entering the bar, you are immediatly presented with three things : the hand drawn tap list, the point of sale line, and a concret barrier that serves at the bar top. During peak hours there is a fourth thing : bodies. 

Due to the strange design of the bar, most of the menu reading, ordering, and payment has to be done in the four foot space between the open front door and the bar. Compound that quark with the confliciting seating options : spacious lounge seating or awkward height elbow resting places. 

The bathrooms have recently been upgraded an split into two, one for men and one for women, but when the beer moves to the bladder gender signs are readily ignored. 

Thankfully La Fine Mousse has also taken to changing out the flooring material behind the bar so that funky, sweaty feet and warm mold musk once pervaded over the air is now gone! Although body masses on the weekend can turn the atmosphere thick unless the front panels doors are opened. 

As a tourist in Paris, La Fine Mousse is not be missed for beer lovers, the attention they give to each beer pour is unequivicated. The French touch is applied to all aspects of the service, from the cleaning of the glassware right down to the chirpy, concise beer tenders. 

Expect to find a mix of locals, French and Expat, along with international tourists and beer aficionados. On a busy night, French Beer Geeks will roll in to try the newest brews, tag their Untappd and quickly head out to one of the their usual places, but are known to hang out for a few for special events or when the mass has thinned out. 

Personally, the seating arrangements of La Fine Mousse keep me from staying for too long, along with the loss of my favorite beer tender Michelle to the corporate world. I love the staff and owners of the bar, but there is something about having a smart, beer-centric, and relatable female to speak English with that I miss. 

If hanging out with the staff and crowd isn't what you're looking for in your Paris beer tour, then hop across the street for a slightly more intimate setting with La Fine Mousse Restaurent. 

From high end dining to well done traditional French cuisine, the restaurent is busy on most nights with events ranging from Mexican street food to specialiy keg tapping.

For those of you seeking even more exclusivity, the 'cave' or basement of the restaurent has recently been rennovated as an event space. Check out their website for booking details!

I recently attended a birthday down there, and although small, the projector and tempting (behind the glass) view of the high end bottle selection make La Fine Mousse cave intimate and awesome.

From beginning to now, Paris's first speciality beer bar is pioneering the beer scene with dediated beer edocate and inspiring new generations of beer lovers around the city. Rather it's for elbow rubbing in the bar, hand holding in the restaurent or secret parties in the basement, La Fine Mousse remains a stable of the city's beer scene. 

XOXO

Looking to go off the beer geek track after checking out La Fine Mousse? Dig your gum flappers into these nearby locations :

- Drink in one hand, paddle in the other, balls flying everywhere and there is even a black light area! Gossima

- Nearly too trendy for it's own good, Le perchoire is somehow able to balance it's perfect cocktails, killer food, affordable prices, chill atmosphere and stunning roof top views without being dick about it.

- Paddle in one hand, and paddle in the other, this spot is on the same street as La Fine Mousse, and it's no joke ADULTS ONLY shopping.

- If you need a warm up before getting into the last location, then step into this place for a free dance lesson.

- Nouveau Casino is a nearby concert hall : check the show list

- Barbershop has the space for a larger group, delicious grub and are sending out prayers for a better world

What a wonderful mouthful

Florence Italy 2016

Tastes like frozen mango, pineapple and beetroot popsicles

This is the most lovely 100% raw food resto I've ever been to with minimal clean lines and hanging pineapple all three of us were drawn to the place when passing by on the way to the natural history museum.

You know what sunset means!

Nightlife in Florence is familial and welcoming. Traveling in August can be a drag due to face melting heat, overstauration of tourists and closed for the summer businesses but that didn't stop me from roaming the streets in search of good pizza and delicious beer.

This is Pokémon Paris

IT'S HERE!

You know it is. You've seen them. Solo or in small groups constantly walking with their eyes to their phones as if navigating an unseen world.

That's because they are basically doing just that. WELCOME TO THE UNSEEN WORLD OF POKEMON!

You'll be bored in a matter of weeks so if you haven't already downloaded the free app then go ahead and do it. It's bringing people together and setting a bench mark for creativity in augmented reality. 

Game play itself is shit. Graphics are crap. Design is zero. Audio is laughable. General in game motivation for Pokemon Go is also completely lost on me. WHAT IS THE POINT? 

Oh right.. gotta catch em all...

Augmented reality is just dawning it's beautiful light on humanity which excites me to see, but also sets a low bar for what can be done from here. Can someone now please make ANYTHING that is better than the poorly put together Pokemon Go? Because we have our running shoes on, our backpacks filled with water and battery chargers, we are ready. 

You're not worthy Pokemon Go. Not worthy of the pokemon game skin Niantic Labs threw over it's old game Ingress. Pokemon Company should've added more depth before allowing the game to be unleashed upon the nostalgia loving masses so at least, AT LEAST there would be a reason for madness. 

For the moment it is just that. Madness. The man who found all the pokemon in the United States is being flown around by a magazine company to Australia, Japan and Europe to catch the last few missing ones. He could've just downloaded the hack that allows players to move the in game avatar without having to move their bodies but that wouldn't be any fun would it.

 

Dipping doughnuts in beer

BoneShaker

Food stuff like this should be on your body

What the deal with the doughnuts? 

They're amazing. 

At roughly 4€ a doughnut, BoneShaker's American style yeast doughnuts beat out that cirtus tarte you were thinking about getting for gourmandise. Careful. They may look compact but these beauties may be in your lap while you're stuffing them in your face. Happened to me, my phone is sticky.

These are American doughnuts. American yeast doughnuts. I haven't made doughnuts enough to know which is harder to make yeast doughnuts or cake doughnuts but I will say that Americans put nutmeg in their doughnuts and use lower gluten flour which means these are less dense than British doughnuts but have much more spice. By spice I mean flavour. 

And we haven't even talked about the glazes, topping and occasional sparkler that comes with one of Amanda Smith's home made creations.

Do you write donuts? I usually write donut because it's shorter and I'm lazy but since BoneShaker wants it to be doughnut I guess we can give into a few extra letters, but only because they deserve it. We all say it the same!

Amanda Scott, her husband and that handsome young chap there heading down the stairs are the faces of BoneShaker. An American-Irish-French culinary dream team, putting love and talent into what is sure to be a bigger hit in Paris than cupcakes.

What happened to the cupcake craze? They were always too pretty to eat. Doughnuts are pretty, and substantial; a bed of creativity and tasting delight!

Take that box of delight in two directions :

Cross the street Hoppy Corner for a beer to dip your doughnut in. I would recommend a stout beer preferably with the coconut lime BoneShaker doughnut. The higher alcohol content of the stout will balance out the butter of the pastry, the roasted notes will compliment the baked edges, and the vanilla of the beer will top off the tropical mouth dance.

You haven't lived until you've dunked a BoneShaker in a Fanø Vadehavs 6.0° Oyster stout.

Or you and your doughnut covered face can bask in the fresh green wall of foliage installed and living right next BoneShaker. Sunshine, ample seating, people watching and plant oxygenated air!

If this triangle location isn't heaven in Paris, then I don't what is. 

That caramel corn topped beauty there was my favorite of the bunch. It surprised me. You'd think the Bastille Day sparkler would've been the kicker for me, childish as I am adding candles to things usually does it for me, but to be frank I had no idea how I was going to get that caramel corn nugget in my mouth without deconstructing the mound. I thought of how cupcakes made me feel — a heathen bitting into the sugary hair piece of Marie Antoinette. 

In approximately five crunchy, doughy, sweet and salted bites I'd got (nearly all) of the doughnut and caramel corn in, chewed and swallowed. Surprising was that the raspberry glazed doughnut was more messy and that I was able to get the perfect balance of topping and dough goodness sin each bite. These are not cupcakes — these are a pastry revolution!

Filling little suckers though, I had two and was ready for a walk and a coffee. Lucky for us Lockwood is a whole half block down. Waddle, waddle, and a few finger licks. Coffee Time!

Want to know more about BoneShaker and the good things happening for your face hole in Paris? Dig into the Paris Paysanne's podcast interview with Amanda Scott to hear about her savoury doughnut creation the 'croque-nut'. (croque monsieur + doughnut = genius)

Find BoneShaker, Hoppy Corner, Lockwood and the Green Wall 

 

BoneShaker is most active on their Instagram : connect with them here.

ADDRESS : 77 Rue d'Aboukir, 75002 Paris, France

PHONE: 01 45 08 84 02

HOURS : 12H - 15H Sunday, Closed Monday, Open 10H - 17H All the other days

Hoppy Corner is most active on their Facebook : connect with them here.

ADDRESS : 34 Rue des Petits Carreaux, 75002 Paris, France

PHONE : 09 83 06 90 39

HOURS : 17H - 24H Monday and Tuesday, 17H - 2H Wednesday - Friday, 14H - 2H Saturday, Closed Sunday

Lockwood you can find for yourself. Do I have to do everything for you?!? It's right THERE! Down the street from the rest of em.

XOXO

1,000 Cheese Sandwishes

Rainforest Festival

Did you have a cheese sandwich? I made all of them. Backstage with the Rebel Dining Crew where we catered the first annual Rainforest Festival in Fontainebleau, France 2016 for 5,000+ attendees over two days. Beautiful festival with great intentions, looming weather and an ass load of work. These are my sandwiches and story behind them.

TastingNitchRainforest1

Local artisanal demi-loafs stuffed with sautéed heirloom tomatoes and fennel mixed with a blend of Mozzarella di bufala, cave aged farmhouse Cheddar, Holland Delta Gouda and Roquefort de Papillon, grill pressed to crunchy, gooey perfection. This, my dear friends, is the most wonderful grilled cheese ever created. Here is the team that brought it on.

Rebel Dining Crew 

Me, Nitch aka GC Queen aka Tinder me softly → I debated turning my tinder on for the event, y'know so I could get to know some of the event goers. Food is a great opening line. 

"Why don't you slide over to the food tend, I'll slip you a lil Grilled Cheese on the side, if y'know what I mean."

That didn't happen at all. I'm all talk. Mostly I power house cooked, made crude jokes and tried to avoid falling asleep on my feet. Good thing there was that constant base beat drilling my left ear and techno drops in the right.

Dr. Schnitzel → Coming to us from Berlin, Germany this mix breed Nigerian man not only towered above the crew with flawless chicken schnitzel skills and tong technique to make a Bangladeshi jealous, but he fueled 100% of our prep kitchen music selection. Hardcore rap.

His jams ended when we moved from the kitchen area to the service tents as we got audio blasted from two sides. CocoBeach stage left, Rainforest stage right, repeating techno beats based and dropped for 10 hours straight but that ain't nothing for a wrapper. 

Dr. Schnitzel had those chicks between the buns, covered in sauce, warm and waiting for the Chef's call. Great person to work with.

← Chef, the grand Rebel King himself! He's the one who brought us all together for the festive occasion. Extremely well connected globally, the Chef's been on Jamie Oliver's Food Channel more than a few times, he's opened some restaurants, knows all the ladies and isn't afraid to look like he's working - when cameras are around. Although normally Chef carries choice tequila with him for this event he was favoring the organic Rosé wine supplied by the Rainforest Festival. Good choice given the heat.

Menu creation was all him and he blasted through service on our first night open. Blasted it. 

Beware the whistle! Chef ain't got no time for back talk. Be if from the crew, the volunteer service staff or the paying customers. When that whistle blows you better listen up. Orders up!

Mrs. Kickass ↑ without whom we would all still be in bed. She hails from the United States of America and New Zealand but lives and works currently in Berlin, Germany as a chef, consultant and all around badass. Her fingers are in a bunch of extremely interesting projects including a Soylent dinner parties. If you don't know what Soylent is then you must not live in Silicon Valley. Which is fine, because not everyone does. Nor should they.

Who else was going to translate Chef's whistles? Her customer service skills were on fire. Like, put it in the pizza oven and light that fucking sandwich on fire, FIRE! Because when a young customer comes back up to the counter four times to insist a sandwich needs to be re-heated, there is simply nothing left to do, as Mrs. Kickass always says but to, "put that bag of cheese and bread in the pizza oven until its on fire." Dr. Schnizle tongged the smoldering sandwich bag to the young customer a hile later, flames still curling the edges and there was nothing for anyone to do but shrug. Sandwich wouldn't need to be re-heated again, now will it?

Dani ↑ The women in the right of this picture is Dani. She doesn't get a cover name because she's enough of an enigma in herself. Quiet, but not unfriendly, her kitchen skills undeniable. The meatballs, the pasta (only slightly burnt), quinoa, couscous, most of the chicken and ALL of the pizzas were made by her. If I hadn't personally heard her snoring at night I would've assumed she was a robot. 

Sweet though, she talked about her new puppy often. Got him from a shelter. She was excited to get back home to Berlin to take the little mix breed on walks and gear him up for the boar fest for her birthday in October. A friend is killing her a wild boar for her 30th birthday in October. I'm going, naturally Nitch wouldn't miss a boar fest, so look forward to pictures of puppies, Berlin beer and boar meat filled mouths.

Lastly we have these two striking Romanian beauties : Ann Dreamer and I Own It.

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Ann ↑ on the left there has travelled the world and gives zero fucks. Given her ability to slice upwards of 50 kilos worth of veg in a matter of days, there is no doubt that she'd cut you if you got outta line. Recently having learned how to roll joints on her own, she shows no signs of stopping her learning process, and is accountable for at least half of all the rolled veggies balls. Ann and Dr. Shnitzle talked for hours about rap music politics during our cleaning courses, even at times challenging one another with obscure songs. 

The far reaching abilities of Tinder crept into the crew as it was explained that Ann had met Chef through Tinder, which turned out to be how Mrs. Kickass and Chef had connected as well. Dating apps are a great way to expand your friend circles and find catering staff.

I O → on the other hand is open and closed. This Romanian gem would chose her words carefully and land on topic with the timing of a figure skater. Rebel Crew's long hours took a toll one evening as five of us sat outside the rental barn we were housed in for the weekend, waiting for Chef to return with a key a forgotten key and something set her off.

"I hate you." She seethed at Dr. Schnitzel. Her delicate eastern European accent on the harsh words a perfectly balanced dish. We ate it up. She repeated it a few times so we could laugh with delight and awe at the simple yet complex two toned remark.

Later we were to found out the I O has not only a nack for well timed statements and rolling meatballs, by the end of the weekend she would use the word meatballs as a response to nearly everything, but surprisingly lost items would stick to her. I'm still not sure how she came to own those markers. No one is. They are hers now though that's for sure.

In a van 6 bodies deep we rolled through dense traffic from Paris to Fontainebleau until our driver, Romain The Intern, rear ended another car so we could stretch our legs. That's how the four day weekend started, with a courteous crash. And that's how it was destined to end.

In the kitchen

Before cheese sandwiches there much be : Shopping. Two days before the festival's start, we were in Fontainebleau gathering ingredients and setting up our service tent in the drizzling rain.

Day two was filled with planning, slicing, dicing, grating and schnitzel'ing from 5am to midnight. We mostly worked in pairs, speaking over the rap music to learn more about each other's history, interests and current relationship statuses. The Romanian women sipped on coffee from champagne glasses and covered lost skin with latex gloves. 

Gloves were an issue for the entire event. Not all of us can fit Chef's size latex gloves. Preparation for the Rainforest Festival would not be hindered by droopy mickey mouse hands though as mountains of food piled up.

Rainforest Festival

"Did you get a massage?" - Kloé The Association Manager

"THERE ARE MASSAGES?!?"

Believe that we all took a trip to the Association area between services. There were people teaching positive, respectful physical contact without sexual intention and although Ann enjoyed herself to the extent that she couldn't help explaining how sexually arousing the head massage was, we tried to act like our hands didn't smell of onions.

Remember friends, we've been on five hours of sleep for three days and our only outside human contact has been the occasional festival volunteer entering the kitchen screaming for plastic bags. 

Lombard effect : the involuntary tendency of speakers to increase their vocal effort when speaking in loud noise to enhance the audibility of their voice. 

CocoBeach stage to the left of our food tent drew in people like moths to a glow light. They hoovered close but kept a distance for fear of crowding. Each person moving like a SIM character to their own style of dance.

You would think it was a playlist set up. Guys in sunglasses are allowed to come on stage and pick out a track to bob his head to and occasionally drop the bass. Goes to show how little Rebel Crew knows about whatever genre of music was being played because it was a series of DJs featured every hour throughout the weekend.

The Rainforest stage featured some good artists. I passed some guy name Jay Prince changing his own name a dozen or so times. He must be cool.

Only one person got injured more than us with our burnt arms and swollen feet. Not on this ominous faux rock wall but the giant inflated landing pad that lived to the right of it. A broken arm from jumping from a stand onto a big bag of air seemed unlikely otherwise I would've taken more time to photograph it. For all the flames, questionable electrical arrangements and sharp items the most deadly thing at the festival turned out to be giant bag of hair bigger than our restaurant tent.

Put a beer in your pocket

It's time to feed the people.

You can watch my video where I discuss our beer choices for the event. It's nice to have a chemical substance to rely on when you're slicing 20 liters worth of radishes. 

Want to know many of those radishes we used? One hand full. One Romanian woman's size hand full of beautiful, bright perfectly sliced radishes to top off our Rainforest salades; the rest went to charity.

TastingNitchRainforest2

Right there. Nitch lived in that little box for four days with occasional trips to a barn converted into a Pinterester's dream French cabin for a few hours of closed eye time. Otherwise it was me and the crew, thousands of festival goers and a wonderful coffee kart. God Bless that fucking coffee kart!

Emmaunual served me one of the best espressos I've had in France in months. Cinnamen and caramel, lightly toasted and a dry finish the stuff was heaven juice. Donuts came later. 

"Please stop bringing over the donuts. I keep eating them." Y'know what I mean friends right? If there are donuts, they will be eaten. Except for proven psychopath like Ann who declined donut, both confirming her inhuman status and disproving her stoner statues. What stoner could refuse a donut? 

Far more important than the Rebel Crew's super human status was the quality of the food and dedication we had to it. From start to finish we rocked the Rainforest Festival restaurant to produce the most visually appealing and mouth satisfying dishes possible. Never a moment of rest when you've got buckets of cheese to melt. Who needs rest!

Apparently we did. Last service was at midnight, we cleaned our tent until blood shot eyes rested on our beloved van after which we begged for a place to crash. No amount of rose from plastic festival cups or shared cigarettes could keep Dani and Mrs. Kickass from our van! Ann and I O were delirious and carried on conversation part Romanian, part English, part kitchen short hand. 

"Order, Chef - taci! - pārāsi"

Dr. Schnitzel and Chef stayed after to manage left overs and me, well you know me friends, I talked all the way home with the camera man who shared our van with us, and asked if he used Tinder. It's how connections are made.

As of right now I haven't been paid for this weekend of furious cheese sandwich making so until then I'm going to say it was a unique experience. I'm exhausted at this very moment, the courteous crash continues even as I write and drool over my own photos. My dear readers who've made it this far if you see a grammatical error, a typography mistake or perhaps have some general feedback other than,

"Nitch! These photos are great and you're story telling is sick." Anything other than those kinds of comments posted in that box below and you can expect one of my Romanian friends here to come pay you a visit.

Knife skillz aren't limited to the kitchen, ya dig. 

XOXO

Stone Brewing has hit the EU!

AT LONG LAST we've got a tried and true American brewery setting up shop on this side of the ocean, making West Coast Style American IPAs and giving everyone the finger. Finally.

French Beer Geeks (join the Facebook group here) couldn't be more ecstatic about the whole thing.

Stone Brewing has a long history. They've been around more than 20 years setting set a golden standard for beer brewing and consumption in the states but now that they've opened a new brewery in Berlin, Germany there is no stopping the flood of hop addicted devotees in Europe from getting their fill.

Except maybe the price.

That guy behind me there on the right is Greg Koch and as you can see I'm loving the guest appearance. The guy on the left is a buddy of mine, the owner of IBB and although he did the translation for Koch which you'll be able to hear in the audio bit below his more important role is organzing the appearance of Stone's 33cl cans into grocery stores. A feat that has yet to be see but is very much anticipated due to the currently stale and limited general store selection. 

IBB also runs important for other craft brands : Brewdog, De Molen, Hitachino, Baladin and a bunch more. These guys have the market if you're looking to get into France. Only problem is that they don't really distribute so you have to go with a middle company that does. This is the problem I've been hearing from beer bar owners as to why they won't be able to afford Stone's hyper hoppy beer. 

"It's okay beer. Not for that price though." - Parsian Beer Bar Owner

Koch has been part of my youtube videos recently because his new beer business venture True Craft™  is sorta-but-not-really- an equity investment group and the sorta-but-not-really explanation for spinning off Arrogant Bastard Ale into it's own brewing company feel sneaky. The team at Stone Brewing want to be transparent and they are finding that when you're trying to play ball with the big beer barons it isn't easy to let the public into your true motivations.

Koch is an innovator; passionate, tireless and constantly standing on top of the box instead of outside of it. In the short sound clip below you can hear how fluid he is in defining the basics.

WHAT DOES CRAFT MEAN?

Listen :

These are the people moving the beer revolution around the world, arrogant and self righteous as they may be, they make great beer. It's the beer that is going to inspire the general public to demand more flavor, more options and more accessibility. In whatever form (for now) I'm sold.

Let's progress beer culture! 

Southern Food In Paris

Fried Chicken And Waffles

Gumbo Yaya

You want to know the best places to eat Paris are? 

Sure, you can be enlightened by haut cuisine, or lounge in the smoke and insults of a cafe terrace but when you're done living the Hollywood Parisian experience, come do what we do and chicken - everyday.

Gumbo Yaya is the only place in the city where you can sit down to a full plate of irrational goodness. We're talking crunchy fried chicken skin, cajun seasoning, maple syrup and dashes of hot sauce!

Ask any chef and they'll tell you that French cooking is attention the delicate nuances of fresh and simple ingredients. Usually no more than five ingredients, a fearless love of cream and butter and absolutely NO over powering flavors.

That's why Gumbo Yaya is heaven. Take all the things French chefs say not do and stick them all in your mouth at the same time. Heck, why not wash it down with some ginger beer or light lager? The idea has had my foodies friends and I buzzing for weeks, "Do you DARE go without me!"

There was a hush over the table when the plates finally arrived.

Bring on the chicken and waffles!

We put down the silverware, licking fingers and giggling as we passed bottles of whipped mayo and high fructose corn syrup to douse our perfectly tender chicken. Crunchy! Sweet! Savory! 

How does one eat a 'burger' consisting of fried chicken breast, cole slaw and melted cheddar cheese between two waffles halves?

With yo haaaands!

"It's the only place to get real Southern food in Paris." Our Floridian friend says she comes every couple weeks. And that, although there are a few other soul food restaurants, Gumbo Yaya is the best. Not only for the food, but the service is honest and attentive, r&b slow jams keep heads bobbing and everyone is smiling ear to ear.

Made from scratch at order, plates may take longer to get in front of you than you want with mouth watering sugar and oil wafting about, but seeing as how there is no delivery service and no table reservation, the last thing you would want to do it upset the cook.

Remember to check online for opening hours and please don't sit too long and hold up the line because we are waiting outside to fill our bellies with soul food too!