FOOD & DRINK

Autumn is the Time For Irish Red Ales

As Indiana University students return to campus, Bloomington is once again taking on shades of cream and crimson. While I’m an ardent IU supporter, in the fall my favorite place to see those hues are in my beer glass, as my tastes turn toward malty red ales.

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BloomingVeg: Advocacy Group for Vegans 
and Vegetarians (Newcomers Welcome)

If you’re among those who imagine that vegans lead tofu-based lives of quiet desperation, one way to dispel those illusions is to attend a potluck held by BloomingVeg. This 5-year-old nonprofit advocacy group for vegetarians, vegans, and veggie-lovers encourages compassion for animals through the consumption of a (delicious) plant-based diet.

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Quilter’s Comfort: Unusual Teas Made Locally

In the spring, local artist and business owner Patricia Coleman likes to sit down with a cup of her Sagewell tea blend, a combination of Gingko biloba, yerba maté, red clover, elderberry, and (of course) sage. “We all want to enter this awakening time ready to embrace new beginnings,” Coleman, says.

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Sober Joe Coffee: To Help Recovering Addicts

For 25 years, Frank Kerker was a start-up specialist in the beverage industry. With a marketing degree from Indiana University, he helped launch Snapple, SoBe, Muscle Milk, and Fuze. Now Kerker has rolled out his own beverage—Sober Joe Coffee.

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Alchemy the Bar: Where Cocktails Are King

At Alchemy, graduated cylinders and Erlenmeyer flasks get as much use as traditional shakers, strainers, jiggers, and spoons. “I’m always reading about the science of alcohol and the science of beers,” says owner Logan Hunter, a long-time bartender and self-described science geek. “I like figuring out how and why things are going to pair well, based on their chemical constructs.”

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Osteria Rago Aims to Offer Authentic Italian Cuisine

Regular visits with his extended Italian family in Alessandria del Carretto—a small town “in the step of the boot” of the Calabria region—inspired Gregg Rago to bring authentic Italian cuisine to Bloomington. In January, Rago, who co-owns Nick’s English Hut with his wife, Susan Bright, opened Osteria Rago in the converted carriage house that formerly housed the Bloomingfoods Kirkwood location.

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FOOD & DRINK

Autumn is the Time For Irish Red Ales

As Indiana University students return to campus, Bloomington is once again taking on shades of cream and crimson. While I’m an ardent IU supporter, in the fall my favorite place to see those hues are in my beer glass, as my tastes turn toward malty red ales.

Read More

BloomingVeg: Advocacy Group for Vegans 
and Vegetarians (Newcomers Welcome)

If you’re among those who imagine that vegans lead tofu-based lives of quiet desperation, one way to dispel those illusions is to attend a potluck held by BloomingVeg. This 5-year-old nonprofit advocacy group for vegetarians, vegans, and veggie-lovers encourages compassion for animals through the consumption of a (delicious) plant-based diet.

Read More

Quilter’s Comfort: Unusual Teas Made Locally

In the spring, local artist and business owner Patricia Coleman likes to sit down with a cup of her Sagewell tea blend, a combination of Gingko biloba, yerba maté, red clover, elderberry, and (of course) sage. “We all want to enter this awakening time ready to embrace new beginnings,” Coleman, says.

Read More

Sober Joe Coffee: To Help Recovering Addicts

For 25 years, Frank Kerker was a start-up specialist in the beverage industry. With a marketing degree from Indiana University, he helped launch Snapple, SoBe, Muscle Milk, and Fuze. Now Kerker has rolled out his own beverage—Sober Joe Coffee.

Read More

Alchemy the Bar: Where Cocktails Are King

At Alchemy, graduated cylinders and Erlenmeyer flasks get as much use as traditional shakers, strainers, jiggers, and spoons. “I’m always reading about the science of alcohol and the science of beers,” says owner Logan Hunter, a long-time bartender and self-described science geek. “I like figuring out how and why things are going to pair well, based on their chemical constructs.”

Read More

Osteria Rago Aims to Offer Authentic Italian Cuisine

Regular visits with his extended Italian family in Alessandria del Carretto—a small town “in the step of the boot” of the Calabria region—inspired Gregg Rago to bring authentic Italian cuisine to Bloomington. In January, Rago, who co-owns Nick’s English Hut with his wife, Susan Bright, opened Osteria Rago in the converted carriage house that formerly housed the Bloomingfoods Kirkwood location.

Read More

The Haze Craze: New England IPAs

The craft beer scene can be trendy. It’s an industry driven by innovation and boundary-smashing. The newest beer craze—the New England IPA—uses plenty of both hype and hops to offer beer lovers a fun new bandwagon to ride.

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Review: Cardinal Spirits Distillery–A Chef Who Gets It Just Right

It has become customary for restaurants that pride themselves on their cuisine to leave the salt and pepper off the table on the conceit that the chef has seasoned the food exactly right and the likes of us customers shouldn’t be tampering with the final product. More often than not, that conceit is misguided and one has to go through the lengthy process of acquiring a salt shaker while the food grows cold. 

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All About Sherry

At some point in our lives, usually as teenagers, we probably all sneaked a taste of sherry from the cheap bottle used for kitchen recipes. One awful taste was enough to put us off of it for good. But, wait, let’s try again.

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New Goods and New Programs at the Winter Farmers’ Market

Visitors to the Bloomington Winter Farmers’ Market might be surprised by the variety of produce and other goods for sale by local vendors, especially in the dead of winter. But the market has been around since 2004, and Market Master Bobbi Boos says that long experience has paid off.  

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Bodybuilder, Personal Trainer & Artists’ Model

Personal trainer Brian Bourkland is a serious bodybuilder. His clients generally aren’t, but that’s fine with him. “I’m mostly interested in working with people in my generation—40s, 50s, 60s,” Bourkland says. “Everyone should be building strength and bone density to feel better long into their retirement years.”

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Help Stave Off Winter’s Chill

As winter settles in, many of us look to heartier foods to keep us warm and satisfied. While filling your plate, consider trying beers to match—darker ales with a richer body and a bit more warmth from a higher alcohol content and accompanying spices. It may be just what you need to get you through a cold winter night.

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Warm Up with Port

After dinner with friends, we usually enjoy a small glass of grappa or brandy. But with winter approaching and the holidays in sight, we turn to port for its Old World warmth and cheer. My wife, Jan, enjoys bringing out her precious antique crystal glasses for the occasion.

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Bloom’s Greatest Hits: Polenta

Check out this yummy polenta recipe by Chef David Davenport. You can top it with whatever you like, but he suggests the mushroom curry sauce listed below. This recipe is vegan!

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Bloomington, Indiana
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humidity: 79%
wind: 5mph ESE
H 87 • L 82
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