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3 Daughters Brewing: Making Waves in the Florida Craft Beer Community

3 Daughters Brewing: Making Waves in the Florida Craft Beer Community

Posted by on Aug 25, 2016 in Drink, Travel | 0 comments

Giant Jenga pieces crash to the floor and patrons sip on craft beers ranging from the St. Pete Blonde Ale to the Stern Line Stout. Not only is 3 Daughters Brewing an adult playground filled with life-sized versions of your favorite childhood games, but the brewery serves as owners Mike and Leigh Harting’s playful outlet to dream up exciting new craft beers with head brewer Ty Weaver. With 14 beers on tap, there’s truly a craft beer style for every palate, as well as plenty of games, live entertainment, food trucks and more to entice even the non-drinkers and children to join in on the fun at 3 Daughters Brewing. 3 Daughters Brewing all started with Mike Harting’s wish to create a special beer-battered fish recipe for his former St. Pete Italian restaurant, Bella Brava. Soon, Mike was offering his chef’s homebrew beer on tap as the perfect pairing. Chef Ty Weaver’s small homebrew operation escalated to brewing upwards of three times a week for Bella Brava, and this beer quickly became the number one beer on tap at the restaurant. Discovering their passion for creating innovative craft beer, Ty and Mike decided to take things to the next level and thus, 3 Daughters Brewing was born. Mike and Leigh are passionate about family; they often joked as the brewery was being built, “how many beers do we have to sell to put 3 Daughters through college?” (Hence the name!) When Swig visited 3 Daughters Brewing, Leigh stressed the importance of her family as well as the greater Florida community. 3 Daughters Brewing is a leader in the Florida craft beer scene and serves as a sponsor for the University of South Florida St. Petersburg College of Arts and Sciences’ Brewing Arts Program. This program provides students with the foundational knowledge and training for a successful career in the fast growing industry of craft brewing. 3 Daughters Brewing has a laboratory at the brewery that runs tests on craft beer and gives interns with the Brewing Arts Program hands-on experience. The St. Petersburg, Florida craft beer scene is booming and 3 Daughters Brewing supports their neighboring breweries and businesses.3 Daughters Brewing recently expanded their operation to include new a new...

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Kaldi: A Taste of Craft Beer in Iceland

Kaldi: A Taste of Craft Beer in Iceland

Posted by on Apr 19, 2016 in Drink, Travel | 0 comments

If you ever get the chance to visit the magical country of Iceland in winter, do it. Frozen waterfalls, mountains covered in snow and the Northern Lights; does it get much better? Well, add a little craft beer into the mix and you’ve got yourself an excellent vacation. Many tourists often drive the “Ring Road” in Iceland, which is a highway that forms a rough circle around the country. Although my boyfriend and I only had a Ford Fiesta with studded tires, we somehow made it through wintry weather without getting stuck. The microbrewery Bruggsmiðjan is located in the small town of Árskógssandur, which is just off the Ring Road. The brewery offers guided tours and a chance to sample Kaldi, the craft beer that is brewed here. We turned off the Ring Road and down a small road surrounded by towering mountains. Bruggsmiðjan wasn’t too hard to find since the brewery is clearly labeled with Kaldi bottles. We didn’t have a reservation, so on a whim we parked the car and knocked on the door. We were greeted by Agnes Anna, one of the brewery owners who invited us inside the facility. Bruggsmiðjan was established in December 2005, and the idea for starting a craft brewery came from two people in Árskogssandur, the couple Agnes Anna and Olafur Trostur. Agnes saw a small news report on Icelandic television about the growing popularity of small breweries in Denmark, and a week later she convinced her husband to head to Denmark to pay a visit to these breweries. Early in 2006, the couple found investors and today there are 15 individuals who share 44% of the company, and Agnes and Olafur own 56%. Agnes and Olafur wanted to give Icelandic people a new brand of beer, something high quality and rich in taste. The couple chose to use traditional Czech brewing because beers from the Czech Republic are known for their good quality. They hired a brewmaster named David Masa from the Czech Republic, who has studied brewing for 9 years, to craft recipes for their new brewery. Agnes and Olafur’s son and head brewer Sigurdur Bragi (“Siggi” for short) took us around the brewery to explain...

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Top Four Must-Try Dishes in Hoi An, Vietnam

Top Four Must-Try Dishes in Hoi An, Vietnam

Posted by on Apr 10, 2016 in Eat, Travel | 0 comments

Hoi An is one of Vietnam’s most charming, historic towns. Small alleys filled with colorful lanterns and the aroma of flowers lead you to some of the best food stands in town. After spending a few days in Hoi An and tasting some of the town’s most iconic dishes, there were definitely four dishes that still leave me wanting just one more bite. Banh Bao Banh Vac Only one family in Hoi An possesses the recipe for banh bao banh vac or “white rose.” The family supplies all of Hoi An with these dainty dumplings. “White rose” is a type of shrimp dumpling made from translucent white dough bunched up to look like a rose. The dumplings are served topped with crunchy bits of toasted garlic and served with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce. The original location to visit for the “white rose” dish is located at 533 Hai Bà Trang, owner Tran Tuan Ngai is the third generation secret keeper of the traditional recipe. Hoành Thánh Chiên  Hoành Thánh Chiên is quite the local specialty. This fried Hoi An wonton originally comes from China and has been adapted by the Vietnamese to suit the local taste. This particular wonton is made with rice flour and filled with ingredients like shrimp, pork, egg and spices. The Hoi An fried wonton is covered in a topping that reminds me of salsa. The topping includes a mixture of vegetables, pineapple and sweet and sour shrimp. The crunch and tangy, sweet flavors keep you coming back for more. Cao Lau Cao Lau is a dish made with noodles, pork and local greens. It’s only found in Hoi An and its unique taste and texture is achieved by using water from an undisclosed ancient Cham well located outside the town. This dish is different than typical Vietnamese noodle dishes because it has no soup. The locals call Cao Lau a “mixing dish” because it includes vegetables, thinly sliced pork and sauce on top of the noodles. It’s quite fun mixing all of the ingredients together on your own and adding lime juice or chili paste to taste. Com Ga Located down a small alley in the...

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Pasteur Street Brewing Company Brings Craft Beer to Vietnam

Pasteur Street Brewing Company Brings Craft Beer to Vietnam

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Drink, Travel | 0 comments

Located down a small alley, Pasteur Street Brewing Company in Ho Chi Minh City is bringing a taste of American craft beer to Vietnam. Send up a short prayer as you cross the bustling streets filled with motorbikes and then head upstairs to the second floor at 144 Pasteur Street in the heart of Saigon– District 1 to be exact. In December 2014, Alex Violette, former head brewer at Boulder, Colorado’s Upslope Brewing Company opened the taproom of Pasteur Street Brewing Company, the first American craft brewery in Vietnam. The brewery uses local ingredients in their brewing process to craft inventive brews ranging from their Passionfruit Wheat Ale to Saigon Saison. The hops and malt are imported from around the world but their use of local ingredients gives this brewery’s craft beer a Southeast Asian twist. If you find yourself in the Ho Chi Minh City, head to the tasting room at Pasteur Street Brewing Company for a flight and some bar snacks. The flight includes six beer tastings, which pair perfectly with bar food options like the Nashville hot chicken and black eyed pea hummus. The food at Pasteur Street Brewing Company is certainly keeping up with the trends back in the States, which gives expats living in Vietnam a taste of home and locals an opportunity to experience new foods. After working hours the tasting room becomes packed with locals who are craving a taste of craft beer. One of my favorite craft beers at Pasteur Street Brewing Company is the Saigon Saison, a Farmhouse Ale with a spicy aroma and herbal character from locally grown lemongrass. Another easy drinking beer is the Jasmine IPA, which uses a blend of American hops to create a fruity hop profile along with dried jasmine flower added for the nose. If you’re more of a darker beer fan, the Ca Phe Porter is a coffee porter brewed to be sweet and chewy. This beer is smooth drinking, and brewed with locally roasted coffee beans to create a flavor loaded with chocolate, caramel and toffee notes. Overall, the selection at Pasteur Street Brewing Company are representative of American craft beer and is perfect for the beer lover...

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Introducing Aphrodite’s Rock Brewing Company in Cyprus

Introducing Aphrodite’s Rock Brewing Company in Cyprus

Posted by on Feb 15, 2016 in Drink, Travel | 0 comments

Craft beer is starting to make waves in Cyprus, which it’s quite fitting for this country surrounded by the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. Cyprus is a deeply historic island and also a place of great importance when it comes to brewing. Aphrodite’s Rock Brewing Company is fully operational and the first high quality, small-batch craft brewery licensed in Cyprus. Less than 10km from the brewery are the 3,500 year old bronze-age remains of an ancient traditional brewery. According to history, the brewery would have been tended by the wives of the Cypriot nomadic hunter-gatherers of the time. Aphrodite’s Rock Brewing Company is committed to continuing history, and brews handcrafted beers in small, personally-tended batches using mineral-rich spring water from the brewery’s own well. The brewery is a family business employing well qualified and highly experienced brewing specialists from Great Britain and Cyprus who create a wide range of fresh, full-flavoured locally handcrafted beers. To ease newcomers into craft beer, the brewery’s Rock Premium is the perfect starting point. According to Aphrodite’s Rock Brewing Company, the Rock Premium is “a rarity in a world of ‘real ales’ – a precision hand-crafted Bavarian lager.” The brewery blends a rich base of Bavarian pilsner and crystal malts with grassy and flowery Hallertau Hersbrucker and other aromatic hops. The Rock Premium is a favorite among Cypriots who want to kick their typical lager beers up a notch. As you can imagine, it gets quite hot in Cyprus. Lagers and pilsners are quite popular, and this 4.8% ABV beer is a perfect introduction to the craft beer scene. Another favorite among the Cypriots is the London Porter. At 4.5% ABV, the London Porter is a very drinkable, refreshing beer with a slight roasted malt finish. It’s a faithful reproduction of a traditional 18th century English-style porter. Aphrodite’s Rock’s London Porter has delicious flavors of caramel and rich chocolate with a hint of spice, pouring dark and creamy. I enjoyed this beer at a locally owned bar in Nicosia called BrewFellas, and it was the perfect way to end a day spent touring around Nicosia, the only split capital city in the world — occupied by Turkey and...

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Building Lasting Friendships Through Travel

Building Lasting Friendships Through Travel

Posted by on Dec 1, 2015 in Travel | 2 comments

“Find life experiences and swallow them whole. Travel. Meet many people. Go down some dead ends and explore dark alleys. Try everything. Exhaust yourself in the glorious pursuit of life.” -Lawrence K. Fish   As I sit here only a few hours before flying back to New York City, my heart is full of happiness. It’s always a bittersweet feeling heading back home, especially after meeting so many new friends.   For the past two months I’ve been traveling around the Middle East and Europe with my best friend Courtney. What an eye-opening trip this has been! Together, we’ve put our trust in complete strangers, CouchSurfed with the most amazing humans on this planet, and shared fascinating experiences with old and new friends.    Our old and new friends greeted us with open arms and treated us like family in every country we visited: Georgia, Cyprus, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Italy. From cooking us Italian feasts to taking care of us after suffering from food poisoning, these people have been there for us through the good and bad times.    Travel isn’t always easy, and I’m so thankful to have met such wonderful, caring people on these adventures. I especially appreciate all of our friends opening up to us about religion, politics and cultural differences. I’ve truly learned more in the past two months than I have in years. I’ve learned that it’s important to keep an open mind and to listen carefully. Meeting local people is the best way to learn about a new country, and you’ll also learn even more about how your own country is viewed around the globe.     I’m especially grateful to have traveled in the Middle East. Often, the media in the United States portrays the people and countries in such a negative light. The people in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt are extremely hospitable. One of my favorite memories includes eating a traditional Jordanian feast on our last night in Amman prepared by our new friend Abdullah’s mother. The people are so willing to open up their homes and make you feel like you’re part of the family.   I hope you meet amazing people along...

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