We picked out six of our favorite beers to pair with the delightful scents, sights and sounds of spring! Take a refreshing step out of the ordinary with these unique brews.
THE quintessential Belgian farmhouse ale. Saison Dupont’s delicate balance of flavors makes this beer an ode to spring. A gorgeous bouquet of fresh earth, green grass and orange blossoms greets the nose. Take a moment to smell the cork. A faint, pleasant mustiness nods to a long winter of bottle conditioning, perhaps in an earthen cellar somewhere in the Belgian countryside.
Poured into a tulip glass, this rich, golden ale is a thing of beauty. Its faintly perfumed head is solid and rocky, like a meringue. The first sip is joy -- crisp, dry and funky. Just like spring, as this ale warms up, bolder notes of fruit and earth unfold. A honeydew sweetness, notes of fresh hay and a gentle, yeasty bitterness add to the symphony. Perfect for that first warm afternoon, when the sun is strong but the breeze still serves up a chill.
Tourpes, Belgium, 6.5%
A unique, unfiltered lager native to Franconia, Germany. Franconia is renowned for its sweet, mineral-rich water, perfect for brewing lagers like this one. A kellerbier (literally meaning “cellar beer”) is cask conditioned, or “cellared” for an especially long period. The dark amber brew is mellow, with low carbonation but a rich, full body for a lager. Most notable is its malt-forward flavor profile. A persistent, burnt-caramel sweetness is framed by notes of cocoa, toasted grain and even stewed orange. There’s definitely more going on here than your basic German lager.
Something about the flavor and mouthfeel recalls the pleasant coolness of a cave. This beer is chugable, a beautiful thirst-quencher after that first bike ride of the season, but it is perfectly suited for slow sipping too. Dig deep for those more nuanced flavors!
Kulmbach, Germany, 5.4%
Maine Beer Company Mo Pale Ale
We love Mo. This dazzling American Pale is clean, crisp and robust. It boasts a shining hop bouquet that rocks the tastebuds without overpowering them. It is floral, piney, citrusy and absolutely delicious. Each sip has a sparkling dryness akin to grapefruit pith. Couple those bursting hop aromas with a strong carbonation and you get a robust, almost spicy sipping experience. Try this one nice and cold!
Freeport, Maine, 6%
Peak Organic Fresh Cut Pilsner
This dry-hopped American pilsner is tight. Crisp and light-bodied, it features a perfect balance of Citra, Chinook and Centennial hops on the front of the sip. The flavor alights briefly upon a honey-tangerine sweetness then finishes in a dry, herbal, almost perfumey bitterness, the way a pilsner should. It is a flirtatious taste of bigger hop flavors to come, as full-blown IPA weather approaches. A refreshing transition after a season of stouts, porters and spiced ales. Comes in cans, so you can pack some for that first hike.
Portland, Maine, 4.6%
Far from the Tree Nova Hopped Cider
Nova is a rewarding venture out of the ordinary. This clean, dry-hopped cider drinks almost like a sparkling white sangria. Massachusetts cider apples provide the juicy flavors of Granny Smiths, green grape and pineapple. Now add aromatic notes of Thai basil and sweetgrass from Mosaic, Galaxy and Simcoe hops. Hello springtime! A Prosecco-like dryness frames each sweet sip. Weighing in at a formidable 8% ABV, this extravagant cider is not to be taken lightly. Get out there and explore the new!
Salem, Massachusetts, 8%
Mystic Vinland #4
The crew over at Mystic Brewing have this funky project called The Vinland Series. Instead of employing their house-developed yeast strains, they harvest wild yeasts from various New England crops and brew a special sour ale. First they used yeast collected from the skin of a Massachusetts plum. Then it was a Maine blueberry. Last year’s brew featured yeast borrowed from a Vermont raspberry. This year they’re keeping it weird with yeast from Massachusetts-grown barley.
The resulting brew is a tart, refreshing ale. The nose is dry and musky, with oddly pleasant traces of rotten stone fruit. The flavor starts off with a raspberry sourness that rings and fades. Feral yeast notes accompany traces of crab apple, purple grape and mandarin orange -- the effect is a little bit like sipping a fruit and cheese plate! (On that note, let this one open up a bit in the glass before you sip.) The flavor mellows out towards the finish into a gentle, hay-like bitterness. A classy way to get weird, just in time for the onset of spring fever.
There is always a way to evolve.The Strop provides us with a simple step forward by renewing a bit of the past.
It's actually a classic barbershop tool -- that leather strip the barber runs his straight razor over (like in Charlie Chaplin films). Shave Face redesigned it with a special grade of denim, for use with disposable razor cartridges and safety razors. Run your blades along The Strop a few times after each shave and voila! Rejoice as those pricey cartridges last two months instead of two weeks.
You just evolved. And you haven’t even had your coffee yet.
We have all tried squeezing a few extra shaves out of a dull cartridge. You know that struggle. You grin and bear it, while you calculate how many days until you can justify popping on a new blade. A tinge of frustration arises as you try to convince yourself that this system is satisfying your needs.
We say nay! That is no way to live. Deliver yourself from the burning itch of compromise. Break the chains of the feudal shaving system. Take control, by learning to care for a possession you’ve been trained to neglect!
This isn’t just evolution, it’s revolution.
Turn the discardable into the sustainable. And why not do it in style? Raw denim, rich oiled leather and solid brass buttons make The Strop a handsome showpiece for your bathroom too.
Rugged materials, solid craftsmanship, smarter shaving. Love it.
It’s one more way Craft & Caro is helping to foster a smarter, richer daily existence.
Whether you know it or not, you are a writer. Every living, seeing, hearing, feeling, breathing person is a writer. YOUR brain is capable of an incredible alchemy. It can distill insane volumes of raw sensory input into singular events called “experience.” It can instantaneously code that experience into written or spoken symbols called “language” and transmit it to other receiving minds! It works like magic. I write “I ate chicken cacciatore at Donna’s last night” and you suddenly see chicken cacciatore in your head. You see the tablecloth. You smell the marinara. You hear the din and clink of restaurant patrons around you. I was there, now you are there. I put it in your head. Did I manage this through some trick or spell? Some hypnosis? No, I used something more powerful: the written word. I put words on the page, which project entire worlds behind your eyes. It is this unique ability to transcribe our rich, swirling sensory experience into words that elevates our species. Everyone has this ability. You might think your words and experiences are insignificant but you would be mistaken. Everyone has something interesting to share. The most mundane experience is novel to new eyes. Your words become part of the reader’s live experience, which he will share using his own words, and so on down the line. It is easily taken for granted, but it is an incredible power. All you have to do is put pencil to paper.Such a sacred, primal craft demands tools deserving of the act -- tools equally as elemental, as enduring. Enter this quintessential Craft & Caro item. A single slice of plush, naked leather, folded over a small stack of pure white paper. A little untouched landscape awaiting the creator's hand. The notebook is a sensory experience in itself -- gorgeous leather, soft to the touch, richly tanned, with that pure, earthy scent. The pliable material happily conforms to your grip, your pocket, your bag or briefcase. No hard edges, no stiff spine, no cardboard or pleather veneer to tear or crease. In fact the notebook improves as it journeys with you. The leather distresses gracefully, absorbing the same moments and impacts that you do, so you weather together. The lines on your weary brow, the dust under your fingernails, the myriad scuffs on your notebook beside you all become fine layers of detail in the experience you share in the pages. Take notes. Make lists. Sketch the birds, sketch the mountain face. Draw maps. Chronicle your hike, your traverse of the high pass, your ride on the commuter rail. Write a poem for the pretty girl in the seat across from you. This is her stop. Do you fold it up and give it to her? Keep a journal. Capture the suspense, the romance, the heartbreak.
And there is no end. You keep on living. So does the notebook, because its pages are replaceable. Instead of binding, a pair of aluminum screws function like rivets to hold the pages in place. More to say? A few quick turns and you can pop in a brand new pad. Mail the full one, laden with your dreams and your grocery lists, home in an envelope marked “CONFIDENTIAL.” Swiftly now -- the boat to New Delhi is boarding. There is more ahead.Of course you’ll need something just as suited to adventure to write it all down. Craft & Caro furnished this field reporter with a clever little piece of nostalgia for the purpose: the bullet pencil. Apparently, late-nineteenth century British soldiers in Africa started jamming used pencil nubs into spent rifle cartridges to write. (What a deliciously practical repurposing of two used up commodities!) It caught on. Get-rich-quick scavengers collected shells from the battlefields and shipped them back to England as souvenirs. They were replicated, then re-designed a little, so the pencil could be flipped around and stored inside the shell for safe travel. Princess Mary included these second-generation bullet pencils in care packages for her soldiers in the trenches during World War I. From here the trick made it back to the States and bam! The bullet pencil flourished in a post-war wonderland of commercial mass production. Mid-century car dealerships and industrial fertilizer companies gave them out as promotional keepsakes. They fell out of style eventually, as petro-plastics became ever more popular and the cheap disposable pen replaced the pencil. Hope you’re taking notes.
The timeless utility of this bullet pencil is inherent. A pencil nub is jammed into a metal cap resembling the actual bullet that’s at the tip of a round. The cap is threaded on both sides, so it can be screwed onto the cartridge facing either way -- with the pencil encased inside the protective metal jacket or facing out, ready to scribble. Closed, it’s simply a bullet a few inches in length, easily pocketable, mess-free and non-threatening to other important equipment in the area. Pull it out, flip it around and now you have a pleasingly weighty, solid, full-sized writing utensil. Perfect for adventure. It will take the beating alongside your notebook and live to tell about it.
The question is not are you going to write, or even what are you going to write, but when are you going to start? Your world is filled with juicy details. Your head is percolating with ideas. You pulled out of the station a long time ago. Don’t let another mile slip by. Even as you’re reading this, you probably have something to say...
Spending Valentine’s Day in Boston is a chance to kindle real romance, the special kind of romance borne from the shared agony of a grim New England winter. The elements are at their cruelest. Temperatures are at their lowest. Lovers clutch each other extra tightly to face down Arctic blasts, jagged snow mounds and black ice on every corner. Alleys become treacherous, shrieking wind tunnels. Drift-choked crosswalks become Olympic triathlons, some sinister combination of hurdles, balance beam and figure skating. A trip down the street for a slice of pizza is suddenly a matter of survival, of endless bundling. There are masked pools of salty slush everywhere, and everyone is wearing nice shoes. It’s a special time for this old city, one that encourages teamwork, perseverance and intense cuddling.
For those lovers who do brave it though, there’s no substitute for the reward -- a chance to walk down those silent, snow-blanketed, colonial backstreets. To be alone together among the rows of brownstones, to share an embrace under the glow of the wrought iron street lamps. It’s a glimpse of a bygone world, an old seaport in hibernation, a rare urban tranquility. Here, when the wind is in between breaths, you will find that romance, shivering against each other while you wait for an Uber.In honor of the upcoming holiday, my lovely partner Simone and I trekked to some of Boston’s cold weather hideouts to share with you. We hope they furnish a spark of inspiration for your date night, Valentine’s Day or otherwise. So comb your hair, put your parka on and get out there! Get that blood flowing to all of your romantic regions and share some warmth, in true Bostonian style.
Jackmauh's Quintessential Spots for a Winter Date in Boston
Our first stop on a blustery Wednesday evening was L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates, on Clarendon and Newbury. Why save the candy for the end? Especially in this case -- L.A. Burdick is one of a few elite chocolatiers in Boston, and a bit of a love story in itself. The company is run by Larry Burdick, who founded the brand with his wife, Paula, in 1987. They started with a single set of hand tools he collected on a culinary tour of Paris and Switzerland. Paula studied at The Fashion Institute of Technology and infused her passion for Parisian design into the brand. Thus the Burdick experience was born.Sensitive attention to detail is apparent in every aspect, from the unique confections to the beautiful boxes they are packed in. Each of their three chocolate shops (in Boston, Cambridge and New York City) is also an elegant, French-inspired cafe, serving coffee, espresso, tea as well as all the handmade chocolates you could hope to eat. Every morsel is shaped by hand, without molds, including their signature chocolate ganache mice! That’s right. Adorable, delicious little mice with little sateen yarn tails.We sat by the window, sipping impossibly rich dark chocolate mochas and shared a small velvet box of bonbons. The cozy wooden benches, the brass lamps and scent of raw cocoa helped induce a heady chocolate buzz. Hopped up on the aphrodisiac, we eventually headed into the cold to find a cocktail.
Outside the wind was getting fierce. A few stray raindrops came flying at us. We fought our way down Clarendon Street, huddling for a moment behind Trinity Church, the crown jewel of Copley Square. Up close, its presence is overwhelming. Trinity’s looming spires are captivating in the twilight. It looks like something out of Romeo and Juliet. In fact this is no coincidence; the Trinity Church is the singular archetype of the Richardsonian Romanesque movement, a building style based on late medieval architecture from Italy, France and Spain. The look is characterized by elaborate masonry using massive, roughly cut stone blocks, detailed arches and extravagant towers. How sexy. Among other noteworthy works of art, the church features gorgeous stained glass windows designed on commission by the American painter John La Farge. It is the only structure in Boston counted among the “Ten most significant buildings in the United States” by the American Institute of Architecture. If you have time on your way to dinner, take a moment to steal a kiss (and maybe snap a Valentine’s Day selfie) under one of its arches.
Luckily for us, one of the most impressive bars in Boston is right across the square in the Copley Plaza Hotel. OAK Long Bar + Kitchen is the central achievement of a twenty-million dollar renovation that was completed to celebrate the hotel’s 100th anniversary a few years ago. Two large dining rooms were joined to make one enormous, opulent hall. Why? So they could fit an eighty-three foot long bar of course! Behind it, for your viewing pleasure, lies a bustling open kitchen with a stone-hearth oven. Revelers enjoy the comfort of wide, cushioned leather chairs instead of barstools. Servers scurry up and down the aisles of assorted low and high candle-lit tables. The room feels more like a lounge than a restaurant. The renovation sought to modernize the space, making it brighter and more casual-feeling. That’s not to say it’s any less fancy.The original two-story windows lead your eyes up to the gorgeous Beaux-arts era tin coffered ceiling, dripping with chandeliers. A trip to the bathroom requires a stroll through the magnificent lobby hallway, known as Peacock Alley, punctuated by Italian marble columns. Bottles upon bottles overlook the bar from high shelves. This space is a treat for the eyes, if nothing else. We conspired at a low table by the window and watched the rain pound Huntington Avenue. Comfy in our nook, we took our time sipping three drinks from the menu: a Pomegranate Paloma, a generous Ketel One martini with incredible blue cheese stuffed olives, and the “How Do You Do,” a house spin on a martini with St. Germain, Aperol and grapefruit. For a moment we were Gatsbys. If not for our dinner reservations we might have stayed all night. It is, after all, the oldest, and one of the most prestigious hotels in Boston. We could have gotten a room, and joined the ranks of stars like Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor.By the way, when you visit OAK Long Bar, ask your server to point out where the rotating merry-go-round bar used to be. Yes, seriously.
We waited under the Copley Plaza’s big red awning for a car to dinner. Our destination: The South End Buttery, a relatively recent addition to one of Boston’s oldest neighborhoods. It was opened in 2005 by two South End residents with a passion for fine dining and gourmet food made from healthy, simple ingredients. I was a little disappointed to learn that a “buttery” is not actually a place where vast quantities of fine butter are prepared and served. The original term refers to the wine cellar of a castle, but its modern use connotes something more like an all-purpose pantry and canteen.
The South End Buttery dons its designation coyly. It describes itself as a “quaint neighborhood cafe.” That’s not wrong, but that’s not the whole picture. The Buttery is a cafe, a bakery, a celebrated brunch spot and a boutique prepared foods market… and a bar and a restaurant. Somehow, it is still cozy and quaint, neatly laid out a over a few small rooms. The market, cafe and bar sit on the ground floor of a charming brownstone on the corner of Shawmut and Union Park. The cozy dining room lies hidden in the basement, built into the old stone foundation itself.
Dinner started at the intimate six or seven seat bar, which was pleasingly well-stocked with bourbon and a nice collection of digestifs including a couple of ports, amaros and assorted Luxardo liqueurs. We shared a Winter Smash, a bourbon cocktail with muddled cranberries and rosemary. The result is a tangy aromatic concoction that flirts with all the tastebuds at the party. We’ll be back in the spring to try their Mezcalrita -- a concoction of silver tequila, mezcal, grilled pineapple, jalapeno and lemon. When it was time to eat, our server led us from the peaceful bar down a little stairway to the basement.
It really does feel like dining in a wine cellar. A live fireplace sets the tone just a few feet from the tables. Exposed brick and granite are carefully illuminated. The Buttery’s seasonal menu is pleasantly simple and well-rounded. It would be hard for any diner to go hungry with choices like hanger steak frites, shrimp fra diavolo, The Buttery meatloaf, or the chickpea falafel burger. Incredibly, the price points did not suggest we were nestled in the heart of one of Boston’s ritziest neighborhoods.
I settled on marinated grilled pork tenderloin with roasted Brussels sprouts and fries with truffle aioli. Simone chose insanely rich wild mushroom ravioli with brown butter sage. This is comfort food at its best, designed to touch the heart as much as it fills the stomach. We took our time with each bite, enjoying the fire and a bottle of Cabernet. Later there would be a custody battle for the two leftover mushroom raviolis. A quick shot of Cardamaro Amaro for dessert and we were off again, into the night to catch some music.
A few blocks away at the edge of the South End lies Wally’s Cafe, the only place of its kind in Boston. Wally’s is a venerated jazz bar. It is not a cocktail bar or a restaurant that occasionally features live music as a bonus. It is a hole-in-the-wall venue with live performances 365 days a year!It has been operating continuously since Joseph Walcott opened it in 1947, the first African-American-owned jazz club in New England. Wally’s longevity is probably due to Walcott’s tendency to pair renowned professional acts with aspiring local musicians from Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory and Boston Conservatory. This cafe is still a proving ground for talented students, but it is not a college bar by any stretch. A large bouncer greeted us at an unassuming door with a barred window. He checked our IDs and let us inside. When the door opened we were blasted by a blazing saxophone solo and hot, steamy air. Suddenly we found ourselves in a Kerouac novel. We took the only empty seat by the foggy front window and peered through the crowd at the band at the back of the room.The place was jamming! Actually that’s normal. Wally’s has an open jam session from 6 to 9 every night of the week, then rotating acts ranging from funk to blues to Latin salsa. A funky, energetic jazz quartet was on the stage tonight. We sipped cold Brooklyn Lagers, surprisingly refreshing in the crowded room, and let the notes carry us away. We were swimming -- happy, full, warm and content. The crowd was friendly. Some were neighborhood regulars, some were clearly students, some were curious first-timers from other parts of the city. The ages ranged from freshman to senior citizen. Everyone seemed united in understanding that this is something special, a miraculously preserved piece of the past that is still very much alive. The band played on, taking turns soloing, swooping and soaring between low and high tempos. It was too loud to talk but that was ok. We leaned back in our chairs shoulder to shoulder, no need to speak. After one more beer and a couple of rowdy Michael Jackson covers, it was time to fly through the rain and city lights one more time, arm in arm in the backseat, and then off to bed. We squeezed the night to its last drop, in spite of the cold, the wind and the rain. No matter that we didn’t get to romp in the snow. We’ll just have to cross our fingers and hope for a blizzard.
I used to beg my mom for a Zippo lighter every time we went to the mall. There was a store right next to the food court that had a rotating display case full of gleaming examples. I wanted the solid brass one. “What are you going to do with a lighter??” my mother would ask. Rightfully so, I suppose. I never had a good answer for her. Because what good reason could a thirteen year old boy have for wanting a lighter? But I was no aspiring arsonist. I just wanted one because they looked so…cool! There was something solid and classic, something authentic about the renowned Zippo. It was a manly artifact of technology. Of design. Of modernity. It made me think of Indiana Jones and Dick Tracy. Whether either of those guys had actually ever used a one was irrelevant to me. In time, I purchased three different Zippos that I cherished. I learned a couple of tricks to snap open the lid and light it in one slick sleight-of-hand motion. I still have them somewhere, hidden from the world in a remote drawer or box, because I never use them. Because I still don’t really have a need to light much on fire. Not enough to warrant the lost pocket space on a daily basis anyhow.Naturally then, I was pretty psyched to learn about this hand warmer from Zippo! The design is unmistakable. Sleek, shiny and solid -- the joy of pure metal in your hand. The warmer cuts a silhouette similar to the classic lighter, albeit a bit larger, with those same signature bored vent holes around the ignition element. It’s very slender, with rounded edges, making it a low-profile pocket companion. In fact I described it to a curious friend as a “pocket furnace.” And that’s essentially what it is! Finally, a Zippo with a practical reason for being in my jeans.This nifty little unit has a unique heating element fully concealed in the middle of the body, rather than an open wick underneath a lid like the lighters. The heating element is genius -- it uses a platinum-catalyzed fiberglass burning unit that draws fumes up from the cotton-filled fuel tank beneath to smoulder continuously like a coal, instead of producing a flame. As a result it produces no smoke and very little scent. Once you ignite the burner, it smoulders all day, up to twelve continuous hours. The entire unit comes up to heat and stays warm, protected and somewhat regulated by the super-soft microfiber bag that comes with it. I put it in my coat pocket before exploring the beach after a snowstorm a few days ago. It was pretty windy and I kept taking my glove off to snap pictures of the surf. It was great to have the warmer in my pocket to hold in between shots, and so cold out I wished I had fifty of them sewn into the lining of my coat!Fifty is probably a bit much, but I do recommend getting two of these little guys, one for each pocket. Their utility isn’t relegated to your pocket, either, it turns out. You can pop them in your gloves or boots for twenty minutes before heading outside. Or slip them under your pillow before you hit the hay. I even put one under my neck when I was reading in bed last night -- awesome treat for sore muscles. And of course, needless to say, snowboarding...For outdoorsmen and urbanites alike, these make a great gift -- something novel, certainly unexpected, and of high quality, without breaking the bank. Easy to tote safely in a pocket, handbag, backpack or glove box. What’s better than the gift of heat? Thanks Zippo. I knew eventually we would find a way to be in each other’s lives ;)
View on Craft & Caro: bit.ly/WarmDigits
All things considered, I am new to the facial hair scene. My face has been smooth as a baby's bottom most of my life. But a couple of years ago, while camping in the mountains in northern California, I discovered I could grow a mustache. Oh, the possibilities, I thought! I could grow this out, change my name to Buck or Anders, build a cabin right here out of hand-milled redwood, and spend my days bow hunting caribou and trading furs on the festival scene... Unfortunately our rented Miata was due back in San Francisco later that week, where I maxed out my budget on burritos, Negra Modelos, Uber rides and a few vintage shirts. So I returned to Boston in need of some work and resumed the clean-shaven life for a while.
That winter, New England was hammered by an infamous series of blizzards. Society came to a near halt. We were trapped indoors by walls of snow and ice for weeks. I wistfully recalled my time in the warm, dusty mountains and waited for the thaw. When we emerged from our various hideouts in the spring, I had a sapling beard on my face. Nature had taken it's course. But I was still a novice with no clue how to care for a newborn beard.
I got lucky with Beyer's. It's made in Bavaria from a handful of rich natural oils like jojoba and lavender, and nothing else. Love it. Natural and simple. It smells like fresh orange zest in my palm -- a scent that's rivaled only by my fresh-ground coffee -- which is reason enough to crack the bottle open each morning. I didn't realize what a big difference it would make! My whiskers are soft and silky to the touch now instead of coarse and wiry. There is a natural order and calm to previously frizzy patches. My skin is more comfortable, smooth and moisturized. I'm especially loving it this time of year, when the winter air is distressingly dry. The rich, lightweight botanical oils seem to have a nice warming effect. I rub it on my neck and cheeks to soothe itchy skin and stubble before going out in the cold. I've even been using a little in my hair to add some moisture and shine!
The best endorsement Beyer's Oil got wasn't from me but from my lovely girlfriend, Simone. She nuzzled my face one morning and noticed right away how soft it had become, seemingly overnight. She lit up and couldn't get enough! I have happily endured many more nuzzles, cuddles and kisses since then. Definitely an unexpected benefit -- I feel like a human teddy bear. In a good way. I should have known. It says it right on the bottle -- "Rub in your beard and be happy!"
For my first review we decided to start with something fundamental to daily life: brushing one's teeth. And the essential pair of items to do it -- in this case, The Scuba toothbrush and Theodent toothpaste, featuring a curious patented formula derived from chocolate! For a week I brushed each day (twice or maybe even three times, if my dentist asks) with the new brush and the toothpaste. Here's what I found out.First the brush. Finally! A toothbrush to be excited about. The Scuba feels more like a tool in your hand than a toothbrush. It's craftily manufactured from soft, flexible rubber with a plump ergonomic handle and an angled brush head for precision scrubbing. Better yet the Scuba comes in right-handed and left-handed versions -- quite a gratifying breath of fresh air for this world weary lefty. My hand just wants to reach out and hold it. The idea here is control, and you're going to want it for the oversized brush head. That's right - we did it to the golf club, we did it to the tennis racket, now Radius has done it to the toothbrush.Like with some other innovations in history, I was a little perplexed, maybe even intimidated, when I first picked it up. After a few times around the block I got the feel for it, adjusted my brush stroke and quickly understood why the Scuba is a superior oral care tool. The bristles, made from natural vegetable-based nylon, are pleasantly soft, much softer than your average toothbrush. Couple this with the oversized head, which naturally scrubs your gums and palate as much as your teeth, and you have an advanced implement that cleans and massages simultaneously.No fear for those with sensitive gums prone to bleeding or sores either -- this brush is gentle. Cleaning is more efficient too. It's possible to cover large areas of your mouth in a few minimal motions. On top of that I felt like an eco-champion, since this brush is 100% petroleum free and made in Radius' own Pennsylvania factory, which produces two thirds of it's own electricity from solar panels. And thanks to the Scuba's dynamic design and quality composition, it's likely to last three to four times longer than your average toothbrush. That means less plastic in my trash.Now let's spread some of the good stuff on that beast! Enter Theodent. My appreciation for this novel toothpaste began at first sight, with the elegant filigreed box and matching tube, both a rich dark chocolate color that's easy on groggy eyes. I was surprised when the product itself came out a nice clean white. I was expecting some lighter shade of brown, since this toothpaste is made from chocolate. That's right, chocolate. Sort of... Here we have a truly innovative dental cleanser.Theodent uses theobromine, an extract from the cocoa bean, as the main ingredient in its proprietary fluoride alternative (called Rennou). This makes it entirely non-toxic, while still a powerful formula for protecting and strengthening your teeth's enamel. According to Theodent’s research, theobromine has actually proven to increase the size of the mineral crystals that compose your enamel by fourfold. That means more protection for your dazzling smile, and considering that it was the mellowest-tasting toothpaste I've ever used - more like an after dinner mint than, well, toothpaste - I was quite impressed that it could be so anti-cavity. And I thought chocolate couldn't get any better! I guess it’s just another instance where science and nature work in graceful synergy to create an effective natural alternative to a synthetic product.
Delicate Theodent and Supple Scuba - the match made in dental heaven.
The English name “Swedish Log Stove” or “Swedish Fire Torch” is actually a rough translation from the German word “Schwedenfeuer”. Why a German name for a supposedly Swedish invention? During The Thirty Years’ War of early-mid 17th century Europe, Swedish soldiers pioneered the method of using a single, split log as a heat source and cooktop. The simple process of splitting a log and lighting the center worked on freshly cut wood, allowing soldiers to cook and have a source of light and heat without searching for and hauling firewood. Fast forward almost 400 years and the time-tested technique still holds true, and has finally been improved!
The MITI Swedish Log Stove makes it even easier to create a stable, reliable cooktop in the bush. Just as those soldiers did centuries ago, cut a log 7.5” to 9” in a diameter and 12” to 14” high. Quarter the log vertically, creating four even sections. Arrange the four sections with 1” of space between them, and place the MITI on top so that the metal dividers lie in the spaces. Slide each of four stabilizing rods into the appropriate eyelet, then spread the base at a slight angle to secure the structure into place. Finally, use kindling or accelerant to light the center.As the flame grows, it pulls air in through the spaces, generating a steady-burning flame well suited to cooking. Boil water in a pot, make coffee in a percolator, fry bacon in a pan, pop corn in a kettle. This stove will work with anything you’d put on your home cooktop! For more advanced backwoods chefing, use several simultaneously just like a multi-burner range.Start enjoying the romantic simplicity of cooking over a traditional Swedish Log Stove today with the MITI by Sportes. Made in Canada, available at Craft & Caro: bit.ly/MITILogStove
Ever been curious about making your own spirits? Wood-firing a shiny copper still, pouring clear, almost pure alcohol into barrels, then later tapping those barrels to release caramel golden brown Oh Be Joyful. It’s so romantic! It is, but it’s also a ton of not-unskilled work, a significant investment, and potentially risky on several fronts. For those who aren’t looking to start a craft distillery but are still intrigued to try your hand at homemade booze, we’re here to help!
The Homemade Gin Kit is, of course, perfect for gin enthusiasts! It includes everything you need to turn vodka into “ridiculously delicious gin” right at home: two glass bottles and corks, stainless funnel and strainer, juniper berries, and an expertly balanced botanical blend. It’s super easy, too. Just add the juniper and botanicals to any vodka of your choosing, wait a bit, strain them out again, and you’re done! That’s a slight simplification, but you get the point. In the end you’re left with an unfiltered gin that holds up with the best of them.
The Barrel Aged Spirits Kit is even simpler than the Gin Kit and can be used with a wider variety of spirits. It consists of just two components: charred oak staves and some cheesecloth. The life of any spirit begins the same, as clear distillate. Be it rum, whiskey, brandy, or any other dark liquor, it’s the aging process that gives color, and more specifically, the barrel itself. Matter from a charred oak barrel slowly leaches into the liquid, changing a white liquor into a dark one. The concept with the Barrel Aged Spirits Kit is to replicate that leaching process, but instead of filling an entire barrel and waiting months or years, we’ll put the barrel in the bottle and wait a matter of days. That’s right! All you have to do with this kit is drop the aging staves into any bottle of light-colored alcohol - white rum, vodka, gin, etc. - wait until your desired amount of aging has occurred, strain through the cheesecloth, and enjoy. You’ll have created something entirely unique. Wowed dinner guests guaranteed.The best part about these kits is the infinite possibility for creating unique concoctions. Add your own ingredients and see what happens. Play with starting materials, aging time, and cocktail recipes to discover what hits your palate just right. Heck, take the gin you make and barrel age it! Before long you may be rethinking that craft distillery afterall ;)Check out these fantastic gifts right here at Craft & Caro: bit.ly/WPatCC
Meet us in Brooklyn! Craft & Caro will be at American Field this Saturday and Sunday at Industry City in Sunset Park. Get a head start on your holiday shopping at this lively event!
American Field is a free, open market of exclusively Made in USA goods. That’s right, absolutely everything at American Field is American Made. Stores and brands from around New York, New England, and the rest of the country, set up booths to showcase their wares, everything from clothing and jewelry to food and alcohol. Some of our perennial favorites will be in attendance, like Shockoe Denim, The Brothers Crisp, and Up Mountain Switchel (yum!), along with some new faces we’re excited to meet for the first time, like Made Here New York and 11 Industries.
At the Craft & Caro table, we are featuring a collection of candles, fragrances, and incense burners from five of the Made in America brands in our Relax collection:
Dyer & Jenkins
Here are the event details:
what: American Field Brooklyn
where: Industry City, 274 36th Street, Brooklyn, NY
when: Saturday November 21st and Sunday November 22nd, 10am to 6pm both days
Industry City is a 6-million square foot, mixed-use complex of historic manufacturing buildings situated on thirty acres of waterfront in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Developed at the start of the 20th century as the world’s largest intermodal shipping and warehousing facility, today’s Industry City is home to a growing population of manufacturing and technology firms, designers, artists, artisans, and food producers, as well as a robust cultural and event scene that includes film screenings, art exhibitions, design shows, and more.
Not only is American Field happening at Industry City this weekend, but Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Flea are going on as well, so the food, drink, and holiday shopping will be more than a plenty! We’re pretty much always hungry for delicious food, and especially looking forward to the indulgent and delectable creations of Bite Size Kitchen and Porchetta, amongst myriad others. And of course, relaxing with a ‘Gansett or two, and probably some tastes of Archer Roose, too ;)
And finally, it’s worth noting that as an online store, it’s always a rare privilege to meet our customers in person - something we savor whenever given the opportunity. So if you find yourself in NYC this weekend, come on by! It’s sure to be a fantastic weekend.
Liquid error: Could not find asset snippets/pagination.liquid
Liquid error: Could not find asset snippets/blog_sidebar.liquid