Beer: Pumpkin Ale
Brewery: Wolaver’s Organic Brewing
Style: Pumpkin Ale
Where I Got It: Coolidge Corner Wine & Spirits, Brookline
What I Thought of It: Solid. I generally prefer the darker, heavier beers, especially when it comes to pumpkin, but this guy had a nice balance of pumpkin (all from Vermont) and “spices.” Rarely do I ever see the actual spices listed on the label, but I got some cinnamon and a touch of clove. I could also just be craving pie right now. While this isn’t a deciding factor for me, it’s also USDA certified organic. Not bad, but not the most exciting beer of the season.
Beer: Fat Jack
Brewery: Samuel Adams
Style: Pumpkin Ale
Where I Got It: Coolidge Corner Wine & Spirits, Brookline
What I Thought of It: Sam Adams Fat Jack, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. When I talk about how much I enjoy pumpkin beers, this is what I’m talking about. As the folks at Boston Beer Co. share, 28+ pounds of pumpkin per barrel along with “classic pumpkin pie spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice” are brewed together (with the regular beer stuff) to bless us with pumpkin pie in a bottle. Flavorful and warming – the em-bottle-ment of my favorite time of year. Go buy some! Next time I’ll definitely have to try it with the cinnamon-sugar rim.
Beer: Pumpkin Wheat
Brewery: Shock Top
Style: Pumpkin Ale
Where I Got It: Paddy O’s, Boston
What I Thought of It: Not all pumpkin beers have to fill you up after one serving. As a wheat beer, Pumpkin Wheat was a nice choice on a somewhat toasty day in late August. Light and refreshing, but still sated the pumpkin craving. Added bonus: it’s served with a dusting of cinnamon and sugar! Unfortunately as the head dissolved, the garnish sank to the bottom of the glass (stick to the edge of the glass, kids), but I’m still counting it as a win. Generally I prefer the darker brews, but for a wheat (and an Anheuser Busch at that), I’d consider ordering it again if it’s 90 degrees outside.
Beer: Stingy Jack
Brewery: Blue Hills Brewery
Style: Pumpkin Lager
Where I Got It: The Meat House Brookline
What I Thought of It: This year I’m running with the theme of “if I haven’t seen it before, I’m trying it.” There will be risks and rewards to this methodology. While Stingy Jack didn’t really fall into the “I’ve made a huge mistake” category, the flavor was a little… stingy. Not that I was seeing Bud Light fairies after the first sip, but it wasn’t exciting. It was like drinking strained pumpkin with some yeast and hops – pretty predictable. Would I buy another one? Nah, but at least I know what I’m missing now.
It’s the most magical time of year, friends: autumnal beer season! We all know I’ll try [almost] any beer once, but the brews of September through November are the ones I’ll try again and again… and again. This year I figured I’d catalog the deliciousness for both your and my enjoyment. With a new idea, we’ll start with a new beer… Harpoon Pumpkin Cider. Read on!
Beer: Pumpkin Cider
Brewery: Harpoon Brewery
Style: Spiced Cider
Where I Had It: Sunset Grill & Tap
What I Thought of It: A perfect transition beer for summer to autumn.You can certainly taste pumpkin, but it doesn’t overwhelm the crispness of a harvest cider. I admit, I was skeptical at first: while I love both pumpkin and apple pies, the thought of the two together just didn’t seem like a good idea. However, I was lucky enough to find myself at Sunset the day Harpoon sent their monthly newsletter announcing its inaugural release. Naturally I had to give it a try. I’m glad I did!
This post originally appeared on my agency’s blog, RaceTalk.
This week, micro-blogging site Twitter announced support for Mozilla’s “Do Not Track (DNT)” feature. DNT, available to Firefox users (other major browsers such as Safari and IE offer similar capabilities), gives web-surfers the chance to opt out of sharing cookies with participating sites. Frequently, these cookies are shared with advertisers, who use the information to target specific demographics, based on their web history. For instance, there’s a Royal Caribbean advert atop my Gmail inbox, likely as a result of email correspondence about my upcoming vacation. They’re also used to customize browsing online, based on your cached preferences – hence why weather.com generally knows where I am before I even have to search the site.
While the Federal Trade Commission hasn’t officially decided whether or not it’s supporting DTC, it did have some nice things to say about Twitter’s decision:
“Twitter’s use of ‘Do Not Track’ in its new feature is good news for Twitter users and a meaningful step toward broader adoption of a strong ‘Do Not Track’ system that will give consumers simple, comprehensive control over online tracking,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “Hopefully other companies will follow suit.”
Twitter was quick to praise the FTC’s comments.
“We applaud the FTC’s leadership on ‘Do Not Track,’ and are excited to provide the benefits of ‘Do Not Track,’” Robert Weeks, a Twitter spokesman, told CNN (via CNN).
No surprise that this announcement is making waves across the internet, given that Twitter is moving against other online moguls such as Facebook and (somewhat less so) Google, who are more renowned for ruffling more than a few feathers with privacy updates.
Mashable points out that there’s a trade-off when it comes to DNT:
Do you prefer ease of use and customized user suggestions or more anonymity from web services? According to Mozilla, 8.6% of desktop Firefox users and 19% of mobile users are choosing the latter, with nearly half of those users reporting they feel more safe surfing the Internet with Do Not Track enabled.
In Twitter’s case, the article continues, it’s looking like DNT will only affect the suggested accounts to follow. Given that I never really understand the site’s recommendations, I wasted no time in opting in for a small slice of web privacy.
Thoughts on Twitter’s support for Do Not Track? Is it much of a change? Do you care? Give us a shout in the comments.
Yesterday was what was supposed to be one of the happiest days of the year – right up there with my birthday, Christmas and the first day that Oktoberfests hit the shelves – EAT’s Bacon and Beer Festival 2012. I was lucky enough to attend last year, and it had been about three hours of pure bliss, filled with bacon-inspired dishes from some of Boston’s greatest eateries and some uncommon beers from local breweries. Brittany, meet your element. This year, I wish I could hold that same enthusiasm.
While both concept and goal (benefiting local hunger relief organizations Lovin’ Spoonfuls and Community Servings) remained unchanged, two deal-breaking details did: attendance and venue. I anticipated that there would be crowds and lines. I did not anticipate so much of both that the overall experience would suffer. After 45 minutes of waiting in line to get in to House of Blues, my foodie friend and I were eager to make our way to the first station. If only we could find it: it was hard to tell with all the other attendees trying to figure out what was a line and what was just a mess of people. Earlier in the day I had entertained dreams of taking pictures of every station so I’d be able to blog about my favourites later. I now look back at that dream and have to laugh at my ignorant optimism. Half the time I was lucky when I realized what I was even waiting in line for.
While downstairs was a train wreck, upstairs was nothing short of a death wish (and at least 10 degrees hotter), with masses of people crammed along the walls trying to score some bacon, beer or fresh air. I wouldn’t describe myself as claustrophobic, but there had to be some break in fire code, if nothing else – wouldn’t that stress you out?
I was tolerant for a while until I learned of an offense even greater than fire code violation: exhaustion of provisions. Not even halfway into the event, and already at least three (that I knew of, maybe more) vendors were out of bacon. Unacceptable. There was plenty of bacon ice cream, but tough noogies if you wanted meatballs, beer-zpacho or nachos. Bacon ice cream was a cool idea the first time. Afterward, it just got annoying (especially if you didn’t realize you were waiting for it again). once I found out that food was disappearing, I didn’t stick around long afterward. I had experienced enough disillusionment for one day.
Last year had been hectic, but Royale had proven to be less of a death-trap venue-wise, and I don’t recall as many vendors packing up and leaving so early there, either. Like SXSW, the Bacon and Beer Fest may have become too popular for me to fully appreciate attending. Unless the venue changes and/or fewer people attend next year, you may be hard-pressed to find me among the masses.
Today, a vast community of friends, family and colleagues received some heart-wrenching news: Carolyn Zambrello’s battle with cancer ended before anyone could possibly be ready.
I worked with Carolyn at Racepoint Group, where she also happened to sit across from me. In addition to being an absolutely stellar PR practitioner, she was also a beloved friend, sister, daughter, fiancé, mentor, and so much more. I can’t speak for her family – or even the rest of the RPG community (aside from the heavy silence that dominated the office for the majority of the day) – but I do know that no one was ready for this. Carolyn had been out for several weeks due to illness, surgeries, etc., but every week the topic of discussion would always be when she was coming back, never if she was coming back. She was a fighter, and we had always heard that she was looking forward to coming back to work, and we were eager to see her again. When we heard the news, we never saw it coming: not Carolyn, it can’t be Carolyn. She’s coming back soon. Even now, it hasn’t fully hit me.
I met Carolyn on my first day: we were on an account together, and she and another colleague took me to lunch. It didn’t take long for me to realize that she was not only scathingly hilarious, but also damned good at her job. She was also the bravest, most down-to-earth person I’ve ever met. Even though she had been diagnosed with cancer during the summer of 2010 and I began working at Racepoint in the fall, I didn’t realize until a few months later that she even had cancer. She never used it as a crutch or let it get her down emotionally. Instead, she simply lived life to the fullest and refused to sweat the small stuff.
Everyone has their flaws, but I truly found none in Carolyn. She brought out everyone’s best side – and had an uncanny ability to make me laugh to the point of crying (where she would then point out I was crying, and I would proceed to laugh/cry even harder). Anyone who has ever had the privilege to meet her must smile when they think of her, as she has greatly impacted everyone she’s encountered in the most positive of ways. At the risk of sounding cliché (and do you really think I’d care, at this point?), she was pure inspiration. I was thrilled when I found out I got to shift cubicles to sit across from her. She was a role model to me in how she performed at work, in how she never bullshit anybody, and how she was never afraid to live the dream. I looked up to her as my mentor, whether she knew it or not.
When my grandfather passed away a couple years ago, I received a prayer card that I don’t carry with me often enough. However, the sayings are some comfort, and whenever I read them, I’ll now be thinking of two angels:
Grieve not… Nor speak of me with tears… But laugh and talk of me as though I were there beside you. I loved you so… ‘Twas Heaven here with you
To Those I Love And Those Who Love Me
When I am gone, release me, let me go – I have so many things to see and do. You mustn’t tie yourself to me with tears, be happy that we had so many years. I give you my love. You can only guess how much you gave me in happiness. I thank you for the love you each have shown; but now it’s time I traveled on alone. So grieve a while if grieve you must then let your grief be comforted by trust, it’s only for a while that we must part so bless the memories within your heart, I won’t be far away, for life goes on so if you need me, call and I will come. Though you can’t see or touch me, I’ll be near – and if you listen with your heart you’ll hear all of my love around you soft and clear. And then, when you must come this way alone, I’ll greet you with a smile, and say “Welcome Home.”
While it hurts now, Carolyn, I’m sure one day the smiles will outnumber the tears when we think of you (how can they not, with your hilarious stories about farts?). May you rest in peace – until we meet again.