pucker up: drinking sour ales

temptation

I remember distinctly the first time I tasted a sour ale, at one of our weekly beer tastings about 7 years ago. None of us there really enjoyed it at all — in fact, it was collectively declared to be “redolent with notes of SweetTarts”. Little did I know on that night, but that distinct, sour flavor would grow on me; causing me to reject the piney, hop-bomb, palate-killing IPA’s of my past for something lighter, and MUCH more food-friendly. Sour ales got their start in Belgium, where beers are fermented spontaneously in open wooden barrels. The wild yeasts (notably brettanomyces) and bacteria (such as lactobacillicus) that collect in these barrels add a dryness and complexity that is only enhanced further through a secondary bottle fermentation. The resulting brew is unlike any other beer you’ve tried — think actual Champagne rather than Miller High Life. Recently, American craft breweries like Russian River Brewing Company and New Belgium Brewery have championed the style, and it’s slowly but surely been gaining a passionate following among beer enthusiasts everywhere. If you’d like to sample a sip of this mouth-puckering delight, then I’ve got some choice recommendations:

Russian River Brewing Company, Temptation Ale (pictured above)

Duchesse du Bourgogne, a Flemish red ale

New Belgium Brewery Lips of Faith “La Folie”

Monk’s Cafe Flemish sour red ale

And if you do try some, make sure to serve it in a tulip or goblet, not a pint glass — and pour slowly, allowing the sediment to remain in the bottom of the bottle! — Megan B.

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hopping on the bar cart craze

midcentcart
gardencart

Have you hopped on the bar cart craze yet? It seems in every magazine I read — whether digital or printed — there’s at least one. A seplace for “bar cart” or “serving cart” on eBay returned the usual multitude of results. While Etsy returned considerably fewer vintage options, the difference in style and price of the $75 garden cart and $750 mid-century cart are a good showcase for the options you’ll find. Me? I like the idea of a bar cart but am afraid all those glass bottles are inviting disaster. — Sarah L.

From our partners

etsy find: mustache collections at sadieolive

unrulystaches

nicestache

I stumbled upon the Unruly Mustache collection($24) first, just doing some Etsy browsing for fun. It was the name that caught my attention, but when I saw the vintage Tin-type photos I was enraptured. I love these fellas. And then I saw the Groomed Mustache collection($25) and fell in love all over again. I think both sets would be so fetching in our bathroom, as part of a gallery wall, each framed in something like one of these vintage frames — though I’d hate to see Mrs. Halmer evicted. Sadieolive is a one stop shop of Victorian vintage delights! — Megan B.

From our partners

remove stains from antique linen with denture tablets

denture

I was recently gifted the gorgeous Irish linen tablecloth that my great-great grandmother hand stitched. It’s flawless — no stains, no tears, no fraying in any bit of the meticulous handiwork. Though honored with the heirloom, I was hesitant to accept it, especially after my mom’s conditions for possession: I had to use it. I was dizzy envisioning the inevitable accidental splash of a latte or merlot, until my mom shared her secret for removing stains out of delicate vintage linens: denture tablets. Simply dissolve 5-10 tablets (depending on the size of the item) in a warm bath and soak your delicate fabrics until they are white and stain free. Rinse gently, air dry, and press, and it should be as good as new! It should be noted that this only works on white fabrics, please don’t try this with colors! I’m proud to report I’m enjoying the tablecloth and won’t let any fear of stains keep it hidden away anymore! — Megan B.

From our partners

collecting cornishware

canisters

When I stumbled across my first Cornishware canister, I had no idea what it was — only that unlike all the new canisters I had looked at, it would hold considerably less than a five-pound bag of flour and take up less counterspace. Perfect. So I bided my time and won the right-sized blue and white canister on ebay UK. Then I bided my time a bit more while it made it’s way across the water to me. And then, I fell in love. In the years since, I’ve had plenty of time to read up on T.G. Green’s Cornishware and acquire a few more canisters until — gasp — the staple since 1926 shuttered its doors in 2007. Fortunately, a group of fans resurrected the brand in 2008. Now you can buy the iconic blue and white ware through their online store or Amazon. If you’re looking for the older canisters with the serif typeface, ebay is still a good place to start.

cornishred

If blue and white isn’t quite your thing, now there’s Cornish red, too. Initially designed in the 50s, the red color proved to hard to consistently reproduce so except for samples, it was never produced. Of course, a few samples escaped, a following was built and now, 50-odd years later, technology is on the side of die-hard red fans. Cornish Red is available in all 50 pieces of the Cornishware collection. Get yours here. — Sarah L.

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