For fans of expensive sours

We’ve grown to appreciate sours and expect to pay dearly for them. (Side note: we recently picked up 3 bottles of Cantillon in BC for $25/apiece and noticed a bar here in Portland has the same 3 for $75/each!). Even at the cheap-o Canadian rate, for a 750mL bottle, that’s a buck an ounce. Better still, a supermarket in our hood glowed from the light of 375mL bottles of the Gueuze priced at only $9, or $0.75/oz.  And while 375s aren’t nips, we love ’em anyway.

Fans of acetic acid, one of the souring agents in Cantillon and other Lambic beers, always fill their snifters with straight balsamic vinegar. That stuff’s acetic to the hilt! And the same neighborhood upscale supermarket pedals the aged stuff in what we’ll call Imperial Nips: 3.4-ounce portions. Get a load of those prices: $100, $125, $150…up to TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS per 100mL bottle of 30-year Leonardi Tradizionale Balsamic Vinegar DOP(virtually $60/oz). If you’re buying, bet you’re glad these don’t come in bombers.

Mama mia that’sa expensive


All the Nips Fit to Print #1: Anchor Old Foghorn

Let’s say that some great brewer devised a clever beer, say, adding orange peel and coriander to a wheat beer and next thing you know, everyone’s making a Belgian Witbier. In this vein–but on the beer blogger side–taking a page (yes, pun intended) from Jay Brooks’s Beer in ads series (presently well over 500 posts strong), we welcome you to a new series on vintage nip (or ponies, splits, pocket torpedoes, etc) print ads, sales sheet, and labels.

We came into this wellspring courtesy of a home-historian by the nom de bière Jess Kidden. It’s only proper to start with an early label of Anchor Old Foghorn, the first craft Barley Wine brewed in America and still one of the absolute best. Anchor first brewed it in 1975 and sold its first bottles in 1976. In keeping with the tradition of English Barley Wines, Old Foghorn came in 6.3-oz nips, I believe for the first 30 years. Behold the tiny glory.