“Beer for dessert? Absolutely. Stranger things have happened. If you’re subbing in suds for sweets, Finch’s Beer Company’s singular stout offering is a solid pick that doesn’t tip the scale into gut-busting overkill territory. While the brewery’s Secret Stache Stout never quite reaches the chewy sweetness of more hardcore dessert-centric beers, I can’t complain because it doesn’t skip on the flavor either, leaving plenty of room for a few pints to cap off your evening eats.”
“Sessionability is the key to a perfect warm-weather lawn mower beer. A refreshing pint on a hot day can make your task list a lot more enjoyable, but India pale ales are often too heavy-duty to make the cut for anyone who wants to be able to maintain cognitive function after a few cold ones. The good news is serious hopheads looking for a lower-test solution for quenching their thirst will find much to love about Founders All Day IPA.”
As a freelance word-slinger, I am what you might call a VORACIOUS consumer of coffee. I make it in a French press, take it black, and drink it throughout the workday. There’s (almost) nothing I hate more than cold coffee, except an empty coffee mug, which is why I reluctantly agreed to let my wife buy us a $30 ish dollar insulated coffee canteen thingy. Initially, that seemed like a lot to pay for a metal travel mug, but when I experienced the magical heat-containing powers of the Klean Kanteen Insulated Coffee Mug in action, I realized this was no ordinary travel mug. This, my friends, is a mug powered by sheer demon magic.
Hey, my first beer review for Paste Magazine is up! Awesome! Here’s an excerpt: “Potent in both flavor and alcohol content, Limbo IPA is a very different brew from Long Trail’s other IPA offerings. Having recently dug into the brewery’s new Farmhouse 12-pack IPA sampler, I was already impressed, but this tasty beast goes well beyond impressive. Concocted in the experimental farmhouse pilot brewery at Long Trail HQ, Limbo is the first Brown Bag series ale to make the jump to year-round status. That’s a great thing, as you’ll read in a moment.”
“Any excuse to dive back into more pressure-cooker multiplayer pew-pew in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is a welcome thing for me. As with its predecessor, I largely ignored the single-player campaign for many months in favor of a steady drip of online killing action, and it wasn’t until just recently that I even bothered to revisit the game’s solo offerings. Don’t get me wrong, the campaign is all good fun too, but the potent combination of adrenaline, frustration, and raw excitement that comes from a well-played round of deathmatch or domination just can’t be beat.
So with the intensely competitive multiplayer underpinning remaining as absorbing and murderous as ever, the real strength of Black Ops 2′s frag-focused add-ons hinges on the quality and diversity of their maps. Apocalypse — the fourth and final run of map pack DLC to launch before CoD: Ghosts snags our trigger-happy attention — doesn’t quite deliver the flash bang finale I’d hoped. But battling zombies beneath the stomping feet of a giant steam punk robot? *That* grabs my attention like a live grenade to the drawers.”
“The latest entry in the now rapidly growing “it’s like Minecraft but with guns” genre owes as much to the iconic indie sandbox game it draws from as it does to games like Call of Duty and Team Fortress 2. Guncraft may wave its influences around to an eye-rolling extent at times, but it adds enough fresh elements to the pile to round out its punchy build-and-shoot gameplay and keep you tinkering away between rounds. While matches are intensely dynamic–thanks to a solid range of classes, a few clever gadgets, and some brilliant arenas to battle across–the extreme level of customization is where the crazy fun is really at in this multiplayer shooter. Building your own customized guns and character skins from scratch is awesome, but building a giant angry Chuck Norris head to plunk down on the battlefield and taunt opponents with? Simply sublime.”
There’s something oddly comforting about the old farts hanging about in their lawn chairs on the label of Smuttynose’s “Finest Kind” IPA. Perhaps I’m gazing into my distant future? Life could be worse, right? Cracking the cap off, this 6.9% ABV American IPA pours a effervescent light golden color with a meager white head. A subtle floral fragrance wafts out of the pintglass mingled with a strong blast of yeast aroma. It’s a curious blend that lacks the heavy duty citrus you so often see with the style. The hop flavor starts off subdued, balanced nicely by a subtle sweetness from the malts, but it picks up towards the tail end with a bitterness that creeps in and lingers on the tongue. This lightbodied IPA is deceptively complex and quite drinkable, but it doesn’t inspire me to hit the fridge for another pint.
“Like in any extreme survival situation, the early moments of Don’t Starve’s grueling-yet-fascinating struggle to stay alive are electric. Suddenly the clock is ticking. Confidence is high as you first explore a vast open-world wilderness teeming with danger. From trapping a rabbit for the first time to crafting an axe to chop precious firewood before nightfall, every minor accomplishment that keeps you ticking is immediately gratifying. But as the days draw on and dodging death’s icy grip gets harder, the rigors of this unflinchingly brutal roguelike adventure chip away at your patience.”
“When you’re in the remote wilderness of werewolf country, hunkering down and chopping up all manner of horrific beasts night after night doesn’t seem like the smartest alternative to simply running like hell, but Canadian lumberjack brothers Jacques and Joseph are made of tougher, more stubborn stock. Their quest to save their sister from the demonic fanged beings of the night in Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves requires careful planning during the daylight hours and precise execution when the sun goes down. All of the neat ideas at play in this distinct tower defense/third-person brawler hybrid ultimately keep the rough edges at bay long enough to let the cyclical blend of strategizing and action take hold.”
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again until your eyes roll right out of their sockets and your fingers are raw from the pain of mashing the restart button hundreds of times in a single sitting. That’s seemingly Alien Spidy’s ill-conceived motto. This cutesy momentum-based platformer has a dark side that doesn’t fully manifest until you realize you’ve just spent several hours replaying the same 60-second stage to the point where you’ve memorized every obstacle, jump, and danger in your path–yet you’ve still made no actual progress.”