Longform

A Sommelier Can’t Change the World. But One Did Change Pittsburgh.

A Sommelier Can’t Change the World. But One Did Change Pittsburgh.

It’s sloppy at some places,” Pittsburgh sommelier John Wabeck says of the wine scene in his adopted hometown. “In the summer, you can still get warm red wine. I’d love to stamp that out.” Known as the Steel City, Pittsburgh is more often associated with Boilermakers — a shot of whiskey and a pint of beer […]

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Getting to Know Raicilla, Tequila and Mezcal’s Rebellious Cousin

Getting to Know Raicilla, Tequila and Mezcal’s Rebellious Cousin

With skyrocketing sales and famous friends (¡hola, George Clooney!), agave spirits like tequila and mezcal are having a banner year in the United States. Now, savvy bartenders and industry folks are embracing raicilla, a distilled Mexican agave spirit with nuanced, vegetal flavors. Despite its centuries-old history, for many, raicilla remains shrouded in mystery. In part […]

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The Role ‘Wild’ Yeasts Play in Terroir Is Finally Being Recast

The Role ‘Wild’ Yeasts Play in Terroir Is Finally Being Recast

With his long hair, Matt Goddard looks a bit like a bass player from a progressive rock band. But he’s a scientist, and his field of interest is microbial ecology. Goddard’s particular interest of late is wine yeasts. He uses modern genetic techniques to answer one of the long-standing controversies in the wine world: Can […]

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Aged Canadian Whisky Is the Best Brown Spirit You’re Not Drinking

Aged Canadian Whisky Is the Best Brown Spirit You’re Not Drinking

Canadian whisky is the Rodney Dangerfield of brown spirits — it just doesn’t get the same respect as bourbon and single malts do in America. Here, the category is dominated by brands like Crown Royal and Canadian Club. (Canada omits the “e” like the Scots do.) These labels are perennially popular in the U.S.; according […]

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A Craft Brewery Can Sell Out Without Being Bought

A Craft Brewery Can Sell Out Without Being Bought

“Make fun stuff happen, hang out with cool people.” That’s how Sam Richardson, co-founder of Brooklyn’s Other Half Brewing, described his business to me in an interview a year ago. We had been talking about the influence of YouTube beer reviewers (Brew Tubers, as I cleverly called them). The conversation eventually turned to review sites […]

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Visit to Dogfish Head Brewery

How to Get the Most Out of Your Visit to Dogfish Head Brewery

Visiting Dogfish Head Craft Brewery has been a rite of passage for beer geeks for decades. Since opening its original brewpub in Rehoboth in 1995, followed by its production brewery two years later in Milton, Dogfish Head has been welcoming beer pilgrims to Delaware, giving them an up-close taste of the bold brewery’s “off-centered” ales. […]

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San Francisco’s Best Bartender Finally Has His Own Bar

San Francisco’s Best Bartender Finally Has His Own Bar

The sun beams through the windows of The Saratoga, a year-old cocktail bar and restaurant in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. Hosts, cooks, and bartenders buzz about, readying the ship for a busy Friday night. The back bar, which seems to stretch toward the heavens, sparkles in the afternoon light. Brandon Clements, co-owner of The Saratoga […]

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The Daiquiri Is Poised to Become the Next Negroni

The Daiquiri Is Poised to Become the Next Negroni

The Negroni was a fairly obscure cocktail as little as 10 years ago, familiar only to bartenders and dedicated Italophiles. Then more and more industry folks started falling for it, citing its versatility and relatively foolproof rubric. By 2013, Negronis were a national obsession. Their mainstream popularity launched an annual Negroni Week and countless culinary […]

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America’s Next Big Whiskey Scene Is Big, Bold, and Deep in the Heart of Texas

America’s Next Big Whiskey Scene Is Big, Bold, and Deep in the Heart of Texas

When it comes to whiskey, the first place that comes to mind is Kentucky. The Bluegrass State has been producing some of the tastiest whiskeys for centuries — in addition to other American whiskey powerhouses like Tennessee, and even Virginia. Now there’s a new breed of distillers emerging in an unexpected place. Garrison Brothers. Whitmeyer’s. […]

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