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A Peek Behind the Curtain

By Andy Murphy
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I’m trying to get back in the habit of writing about my daily beer as I’m drinking it, rather than taking notes first and then posting my thoughts. Not only will this help ensure I’m keeping up to date with my reviews, but it should also make for more interesting reading — I find I’m much more passionate about the beer while I’m drinking it; writing from notes just isn’t the same.

No matter when I write, my daily beer drinking has grown into a type of ritual.

First, I tromp down to my basement and spend a few minutes staring at my beer supply and trying to match a beer with my mood. If I don’t feel like writing a detailed review, I try to find a beer with fewer nuances — perhaps a pale ale pulled from a grocery store mixed case? But when I’m in need of a good beer (and those times are many) it can be hard to pick just one bottle from the stockpile I’ve collected over several runs to area beer stores.

Once a beer has been chosen, I chill the beer to an appropriate temperature and take a few photos. Most of my pictures are taken atop a wine cabinet with a flat, white top. That paisley backdrop in many of my photos is actually a curtain pulled across the wall. Classy. It hangs on the neighboring window, and the proximity is fortuitous. Lighting is provided by two clamp lights — one of which is diffused by a paper towel held in place by clothes pins. Even classier!

See, no logo in sight!

After documenting the full bottle with my camera, I deliberate over the proper glassware. My wife complains I have too many beer glasses, but much of that glassware is decorated with brewery logos. I prefer to avoid photographing beer in glasses with logos — unless I’m pairing a Sam Adams beer with a Sam Adams glass, of course — but if a beer is dark enough, I can photograph the back of the glass and hide the logo entirely. I’m an enormous fan of Duvel tulip glasses, so I’m fortunate the golden Duvel logo is easily hidden behind beer foam. I’m also fortunate to have five of these wonderful vessels, because I’m not the most diligent about washing my beer glasses…

The rest is simple — pour, photograph, sniff and drink. My regular readers need no further explanation, because this website documents everything that comes next.


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Categories : General Chatter



Because so many have commented about the backdrop in the past, I am remiss to not have given credit where due. My wife made those curtains herself — and she was initially horrified to discover the use to which I had applied her handiwork. :p


Ha!! This is great stuff Andy.
Keep up the good work.

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