Behind the Scenes

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Behind the Scenes With Up Mountain Switchel in Brooklyn

Switchel, also known as switzel, swizzle, or Haymaker's Punch, refers to the apple cider vinegar, water, and ginger-based drink found throughout America and the Caribbean during the 17th century and beyond. Both Laura Ingalls-Wilder and Herman Melville were fans, the latter mentioning it in the story "I and My Chimney." Unlike a shrub, switchel is mostly been consumed as a stand-alone drink, not a cocktail or bubbly-water addition. And while the switchel dates back several hundred years, it's on the rise again in Brooklyn thanks to Ely Key and Garrett Riffle's Up Mountain Switchel. More

Snapshots from the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin

The most popular tourist destination in Ireland? Nope, not the Book of Kells at Trinity College or the Blarney Castle. It's the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. Situated on St. James Street in an industrial complex overlooking the rest of the city, this is where Guinness has been brewed since the stout's inception in 1759. But to clarify, the Guinness Storehouse that's open to visitors is not the physical brewery; it's a six-story (pint-shaped!) museum full of interactive exhibits explaining the Guinness brewing process and its Irish heritage. More

Behind the Scenes at Letherbee Distillers in Chicago

Since the debut of its Original Label Gin, Letherbee has unveiled a limited-release gin for autumn; a unique "absinthe brun," which aged in a charred oak barrel; and R. Franklin's Original Recipe Malört, an ode to the (in)famous Chicago-centric and wormwood-driven bitter liqueur developed in collaboration with Robby F. Haynes, bar manager at Chicago's first modern craft-cocktail destination, The Violet Hour. More

Behind The Scenes at the Absolut Vodka Distillery in Sweden

Rather than purchase raw neutral spirits, which is common practice for many manufacturers, Absolut takes control of the process from beginning to end—from seed to glass—and it's all done locally in Sweden. I traveled there to tour the distillery and learn about how vodka is made—I also got a sneak peek at some new Absolut products that are coming down the pipeline. More

Behind the Scenes at FX Matt Brewery, Home of Saranac Beer

It's all too easy to talk about Utica, New York as the industrial town past its prime. Where have all the jobs gone? What's keeping this place alive? Utica's hardly the manufacturing hub of central New York that it used to be. But asking those questions as condemnatory rhetorical remarks ignores some truths. It ignores the locals who've developed small businesses to revitalize the community they love. It disregards the people who've moved to the area to start new companies. And it forgets about those who never left, like the 124 year-old FX Matt Brewery, the home of Saranac and Utica Club beers and the second oldest family-owned brewery in the U.S. More

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