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Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Dogfish Head Puts a Sweet Spin On Lobster Beer—By Adding Chocolate

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Last week we told you about Saison dell’Aragosta, the live lobster-infused brew coming out of Newcastle, Maine’s Oxbow Brewery, which gives new meaning to the term “locally-sourced ingredients.” Now, nearly 600 miles away, the innovative brewmasters at Delaware’s Dogfish Head are putting a sweet spin on the crustacean beer concept ... by throwing in some chocolate.

Dubbed “Choc Lobster,” the draft-only dry porter will make its 2015 debut this Friday. And while it has popped up as a limited seasonal treat since 2012, this summer marks the first time it will be made available to suds connoisseurs outside of the coastal Delaware area. In addition to the company’s own brewery and brewpub, a limited amount of the tipple will be available in Portland, Maine, at the trio of Dogfish Head Alehouses in the Washington, D.C. area, and at select World of Beer locations nationwide.

With notes of bittersweet chocolate and a hint of basil, the taste is meant to mimic the flavor of a lobster roll according to Dogfish Head founder/president Sam Calagione, who conceived of the brew as a nod to his childhood summers spent in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. And that's exactly where the star ingredient hails from—specifically, from Ebenecook Oyster Farm on the Sheepscot River, which is owned by some of Calagione’s close pals.

While Choc Lobster’s official description is “a rich dark ale with notes of bittersweet chocolate and roast, with a slight herbal nuance and a subdued taste of the ocean in the finish,” Calagione sums it up much more vividly: “It tastes like summer to me.”

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The Latest Way to Enjoy Pho in Vietnam: As a Cocktail
James Duong, AFP/Getty Images
James Duong, AFP/Getty Images

Pho is something of a national dish in Vietnam. The noodle soup, typically topped with beef or chicken, can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. There’s even a version of it for happy hour, as Lonely Planet reports.

The pho cocktail, served at Nê Cocktail Bar in Hanoi, contains many of the herbs and spices found in pho, like cinnamon, star anise, cilantro, and cardamom. Without the broth or meat, its taste is refreshingly sweet.

The drink's uniqueness makes it a popular choice among patrons, as does the dramatic way it's prepared. The bartender pours gin and triple sec through the top of a tall metal apparatus that contains three saucers holding the spices. He then lights the saucers on fire with a hand torch as the liquid flows through, allowing the flavors to infuse with the alcohol as the drink is filtered into a pitcher below.

The pho cocktail
James Duong, AFP/Getty Images

Pham Tien Tiep, who was named Vietnam’s best bartender at the Diageo Reserve World Class cocktail competition in 2012, created the cocktail six years ago while working at the famous French Colonial-era hotel the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, according to AFP. He has since brought his signature drink to several of the stylish bars he owns in Vietnam’s capital, including Nê Cocktail Bar.

Initially, he set out to create a drink that would represent Vietnam’s culture and history. “I created the pho cocktail at the Metropole Hotel, just above the war bunkers where the American musician Joan Baez sang to the staff and guests in December 1972 as bombs fell on the city,” Tiep told Word Vietnam magazine. “The alcohol in the cocktail is lit on fire to represent the bombs, while spices, such as chili and cinnamon, reflect the warmness of her voice.”

Tiep has a reputation for infusing his drinks with unusual local ingredients. He has also created a cocktail that features fish sauce, a popular condiment in Vietnam, and another that contains capsicum, chili, and lemongrass in an ode to the bo luc lac (shaking beef) dish, according to CNN.

[h/t Lonely Planet]

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Just 5 Alcoholic Drinks a Week Could Shorten Your Lifespan
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iStock

Wine lovers were elated when a scientific study last year suggested that drinking a glass of wine a day could help them live longer. Now a new study, published in The Lancet, finds that having more than 100 grams of alcohol a week (the amount in about five glasses of wine or pints of beer) could be detrimental to your health.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge and the British Heart Foundation studied the health data of nearly 600,000 drinkers in 19 countries and found that five to 10 alcoholic drinks a week (yes, red wine included) could shave six months off the life of a 40-year-old.

The penalty is even more severe for those who have 10 to 15 drinks a week (shortening a person’s life by one to two years), and those who imbibe more than 18 drinks a week could lose four to five years of their lives. In other words, your lifespan could be shortened by half an hour for every drink over the daily recommended limit, according to The Guardian, making it just as risky as smoking.

"The paper estimates a 40-year-old drinking four units a day above the guidelines [the equivalent of drinking three glasses of wine in a night] has roughly two years' lower life expectancy, which is around a 20th of their remaining life," David Spiegelhalter, a statistician at the University of Cambridge who was not involved with the study, tells The Guardian. "This works out at about an hour per day. So it's as if each unit above guidelines is taking, on average, about 15 minutes of life, about the same as a cigarette."

[h/t The Guardian]

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