Lower Taxes For Craft Brewers In BC Hopefully Means More Beer

by Trish

A change in the tax code should give small brewers in British Columbia a break when expanding operations. On Monday, the Liberal government approved a new tax scale for small-scale breweries, allowing for increased sales at a lower tax rate.

Under the old policy, breweries faced a higher tax bill after output passed 160,000 hectoliters of beer (that’s 16 million liters of beer). The new policy introduces a scaled tax scheme, where breweries pay taxes incrementally for every 5,000 hectoliters of beer sold over the 160,000 hectoliter mark. After sales reach 300,000 hectoliters, a higher tax rate applies. 

Currently, there are seven BC breweries that should benefit from these changes. Officials hope the changes will create more jobs, but I’ll be happy if our terrific BC beer will be more widely distributed. 

As there always in with politics, there’s a bit more to the story with some big ticket donations to the Liberal party from mid-sized brewing company Pacific Western. But since it favors a cause I’m all for, I’m not letting my feathers get too ruffled over it.

Read the whole story over at the National Post. Image courtesy miss604 via Flickr.

Lego Bowl Of Ramen, Finally Something Even I Could Build

by Trish

It may just look like a jumble of blocks, and well, technically that’s all it is. But use your imagination a bit, and it’s a steaming bowl of ramen with noodles, green onions, and pork, courtesy of the University of Tokyo for the Komaba Festival. This particular exhibit honors a local Tokyo-area ramen shop, Ramen Jiro, which is known for its legendary ramen. A cursory google search led me to articles about Ramen Jiro in the Guardian (among the 50 best places to eat), NPR, CNN, to name but a few. And while write-ups in some of the biggest media organizations is great, I can think of no greater honor than to have a scale lego rendition created of your product. Congrats, Ramen Jiro, you’ve made it to the top.

Now where can I get some of those noodle-looking blocks?

Rocketnews24 via FoodBeast.

Careful What You Wish For, Chicken ‘N Waffles Syrup Now Actually Exists

by Trish

It all started with a pretty harmless April Fools’ Day joke, albeit ill-timed. Back in late March, Torani, the maker of the flavored syrups that typically are added to lattes, announced  a bold new flavor: Chicken ‘n Waffles! When it turned out to be an early April Fools’ day joke, Torani was criticized not only for jumping the joke gun, but for crushing dreams. The dreams of a small but apparently very vocal minority who hoped everything could be flavored like chicken ‘n waffles with the ease and simplicity of a pump-action bottle. No more deep fryer. No more waffle iron. Endless possibilities.

No seriously, that actually happened. 

The company received so much disappointed feedback that they decided to make their gag a reality, and as of this morning you can purchase Chicken ‘N Waffles flavored syrup on the Torani website for a mere $6.95. What’s more, they’ve even included handy recipes on their website for using the syrup, including a cocktail made from the syrup, bourbon, and root beer. (Making another first: the first application of bourbon I do not endorse.) 

Since it only debuted today, I haven’t read any reviews of anyone who’s actually tried the stuff. But I do look forward with morbid curiosity to reading the adventures of those braver than I, who will inevitably pump the stuff into their coffee, onto their ice cream, or straight into their mouths. My hat is off to you.

Huffington Post via Brand Eating.

Dear New York Times: Picking on Guy Fieri Is Too Easy

by Trish

If you’ve been doing much reading at all online the last few days, you’ve likely seen or heard about the scathing review the New York Times gave Guy Fieri’s newest restaurant, Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar. 

It’s a highly amusing and clever piece, the entire article a series of questions ranging from playful to pointed. There was no question, however, of what Pete Wells thought of the place.

For example, “What exactly about a small salad with four or five miniature croutons makes Guy’s Famous Big Bite Caesar (a) big (b) famous or (c) Guy’s, in any meaningful sense?” Or, “Why is one of the few things on your menu that can be eaten without fear or regret — a lunch-only sandwich of chopped soy-glazed pork with coleslaw and cucumbers — called a Roasted Pork Bahn Mi, when it resembles that item about as much as you resemble Emily Dickinson?” 

You have to give credit where credit is due. It’s a fun piece to read and I’m pretty sure his analysis isn’t far off the mark (if not dead on, but mind you I’ve never visited the restaurant myself). What does bother me, however, is the intent. Surely, Mr. Wells, you couldn’t have expected Guy’s American Kitchen to provide a meaningful culinary experience? Did you forget Times Square is a gastronomic wasteland? Did the fact that most of the menu is either deep fried or smothered in melted cheese not tip you off?  Did you forget the proprietor looked like this?

But before you write me off as a food snob too, hear me out. Bacon mac and cheese has it’s place. Typically, though, this place hasn’t been the New York Times. 

So why, Pete, did you write this review? To save the unwashed masses from wasting $50? Because to be perfectly honest, it feels like a cheap shot on an easy target. Too easy, in fact. It’s all seems a bit high school, the meanness that bites a bit too hard and for no good reason. I can’t imagine Guy’s food is appreciably worse than any other restaurant on that god-forsaken strip. You don’t have to like Guy Fieri, his restaurants, or anything he stands for. But Forbes reports the dude is worth about $8 million, so apparently some people do. And they’re probably not the demographic who give a crap about Pete Wells’ dining recommendations. 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not defending Guy or his allegedly poorly-executed food. I’m just saying let’s all be civil. The New York Times should have better fish to fry. Stick to what you’re good at, Times, and Guy will stick to Times Square. Leave the reviews of Guy’s American Kitchen to Yelp. You’re better than these cheap publicity stunts… or at least I thought you were. 

Let’s Not Be Paternalistic About Food

by Trish

Food policy is in the news lately. Denmark has a fat tax, Americans are overweight, why you should be a locavore, these are just a few topics I’ve seen in recent weeks. For a refreshing take on food policy, check out a great article by Adam over at the Amateur Gourmet about keeping food in perspective. Read it!