Beer Review: Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine


A cold winter’s night is a good time for a beer from sunny Southern California.

Beer: Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale (Limited Early 2007 Release)
Brewer: Stone Brewing Co.
Source: 22 oz bottle
Rating: ** (6.9 of 10)
Comments: Like Nut Brown Ale, Barley Wine is a term that indicates to me another time and place, a beer steeped in agrarian tradition.  Barley wine is supposed to be served in a brandy snifter, but since I don’t own one I substituted a wine glass.  The look, scent, and taste of this ale are all good, but the aftertaste is a bit too much on the bitter side for me.  This is a good sippin’ beer due to an apparent high alcohol content.

This beer may have the most text-heavy bottle I’ve ever seen with paragraphs of unilluminating detail of the brewer’s thoughts before preparing this batch (also available on the website).  The ingredients list is clever though: “A whole buncha Barley, tons o’ Hops, Water & Yeast.”

Friday Sillies: Angry Librarian


I’m doing a training class on how do a reference interview at my library and I’m using this short movie I found serendipitously on YouTube as an example of how not to do it. For all the rotten customer service exhibited here, it’s pretty funny and I secretly wish I could say things like that to obnoxious patrons.

Snow Emergency!


After a few days of Spring-like weather, Winter has returned with a vengeance. Thus begins only the third and possibly the biggest snowfall of what has been a rather mild season. In preparation for the storm, Somerville declared a snow emergency. The terminology gives me the feeling of a Cold War Eastern Bloc nation, as if the snow is attempting a coup and martial law has been declared. The police riding through the streets announcing on their PA’s that there is no parking on the even side of the street adds to the effect. One can even pretend that their Somerville accents are in fact a Slavic language and they are saying “Return to your homes! A curfew is in effect! Violators will be shot on sight!”

Okay, so I have an active imagination! The snow is pretty and should make St. Patrick’s Day weekend interesting.


Update on March 27: With all the instantaneousness the internet provides, here after much procrastination are my photos of Boston in the snow on St. Patrick’s Day.It’s sunny and warm today, so here are a few memories of what it was like just 10 days ago.

Beer Review: Nut Brown Ale by Peak Organic Beer


I drank this beer to wash down my supper at the great and wonderful Charlie’s Kitchen in Harvard Square.

Beer: Nut Brown Ale
Brewer: Peak Organic Beer
Source: Draft
Rating: *** (7.1 of 10)
Comments: Just the name Nut Brown Ale gives me a warm, happy feeling and the beer did not disappoint. Very fresh tasting, crisp and well, just plain tasty.

Speaking of organic beer, a couple of years ago Susan and I ate a fantastic meal at the all-organic Duke of Cambridge pub in the Islington district of London. Check it out if you can.

Anyone Have a Tissue?


Stories like this one from the Boston Globe really make we want to weep.

Not even homelessness deterred 9-year-old’s devotion to school.

“School is about learning, and learning is a special way to know what you’re supposed to do,” Brenda said yesterday. “And this is why I like school: You know lots of lessons and different things. You get to see . . . your friends. You go to special places, like school trips.”