Tonight : Clips Beer & Film Tour in Bryan Park

Step right up to the hottest ticket in town as New Belgium takes over Bryan Park! The Clips Beer & Film Tour is part beer tasting, carnival and film screening, The event starts at 8pm with free admission and a chance to sample 18 “esoteric” brews, buy a 3 oz. sample for $1.25 and 12 oz. beer for $5.00. Once the sun goes down a screening of short films, handmade by New Belgium fans, will be projected onto an inflatable screen. Bloomington is the smallest city on the Clips tour, so come on out, feel the love and drink some handmade beer. All the proceeds from the event will be donated to the Center for Sustainable Living.

New Belgium tasting with Adam at Big Red. Mikey likey the La Folie.

New Belgium tasting with Adam at Big Red. Mikey likey La Folie.

Last night we had a little brew preview at Big Red Liquors with Adam Gonzales, the Indiana New Belgium Beer Representative. Adam led us through a tasting and gave us the scoop on where to find unique New Belgium ales on draught right now, you can find them at The Tap and Crazy Horse. Our tasting began with the Plout Ale. A plout is a hybrid fruit of plum and apricot. This beer pours light golden and has a funky fruit character with just a hint of malt and spice. It’s strange and delicious! Next up was the La Folie, this beer is made of Oscar ale that has aged on french oak for one to three years. Once aged, the beer is combined into one batch at varying proportions and the result is a sour beer that is complex and delicious.

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To close National Bike month with an awesome New Belgium event just blocks from my house is cause for celebration. If the rain skips town, we may have a picnic with a few friends beforehand. Don’t forget to ride your bike to the event. Cheers!

5 things I Love right now

5 lovely things, in no particular order.

Local Pears & Blue Cheese

Pears & Blue Cheese

Our nice neighbor brought over some freshly picked pears from her tree (which we had been lusting after all summer) and I thought, should I make a tart or some maybe preserves? That didn’t happen, we slathered the juicy sun-blushed fruits with blue cheese and haven’t looked back. Cut a pear into wedges and serve alongside a chunk of blue cheese, serve with crackers or baguette if you so desire. This is a simple and easy cocktail hour nibble that is salty and sweet. I love fresh seasonal flavors and a ripe freshly picked pear is hard to beat.

 

Homemade Pepper Sauce

Homemade Pepper Sauce

The end of pepper season is here, make sure you put every last one to good use. Make my spicy Pepper Sauce and drizzle it over soups, chicken, eggs, pizza and just about everything else! Peppers past their prime are perfect for this sauce. Grab a clean 16 oz jar and fill it to the brim with peppers, leaving a few peppers whole and cutting a few lengthwise to place against the side of the jar for a pretty presentation. Add 3 cloves of cracked garlic. Bring 2 cups of white wine vinegar just to a boil and pour over the peppers. Let cool to room temperature before placing the lid, then refrigerate.

 

Wines from the Big Red Outlet

Big Red Outlet Store

This is THE place for really great wine deals. There is always something new to try and quality mid range wines are selling for less than $5 per bottle. This week I have enjoyed a tasty Viu Manent Malbec, typically costing around $15 for $3.99! I can’t wait to try the blend from Columbia Valley. The deals are deep and the cases sell out quickly. If you find something you like make sure and stock up.

 

Fennel

 City of Bloomington Animal Shelter

There are so many exciting things happening at the Animal Shelter right now! The 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge is underway with a chance for the shelter to compete for more than $500,000 in grant funding, including the grand prize of $100,000. From August 1st thru October 31st the shelter is competing to find homes for more cats and dogs than during the previous year. Adoption specials run each day throughout the week from Muttly Mondays (all mixed breed dogs are $40) to Feline Fridays (all felines are free). We adopted a sweet baby kitten two weeks ago and her name is Fennel. I forgot what it is like to have a kitten in the house, she is wonderful!  If you can’t adopt right now, please consider donating to the cause, click here for more info.

 

Yummy Green Tea Kombucha Decaf

Yogi Green Tea Kombucha Decaf

Autumn is when I take a tea inventory and figure out what to purchase and what to toss out. My love for the magical probiotic properties of Kombucha made this decaf green tea a natural addition to my tea box. Mellow flavor with notes of passionfruit and plum I enjoy this tea served hot mostly in the afternoons with a little dollop of Hunter’s Farm Honey. Cheers!