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  • Spread @3:06AM, 2017-04-30
    Tags: craft, , rituals, wiccan, witches night   

    How to Celebrate Witches Night April 30 

    Witches’ Night — also known as Walpurgisnacht or Hexennacht — happens annually on April 30th, and has been celebrated throughout Europe since at least the 17th century. Likely an evolution of Saint Walpurga’s Feast, it marks the halfway point between Halloween festivities (or as practicing Pagans call it, Samhain).

    Over time, it has morphed from an occasion to protect oneself from witches into a holiday that now revels in the iconography of the witch.

    And lucky us: this year it falls on a weekend.

    Read the rest: Medium

  • Spread @3:54AM, 2016-07-09
    Tags: , brewing, craft,   

    How Craft Brewers Advance Science 

    Not long ago, I found myself in a beer-tasting room in upstate New York, looking out on a field of hops and sampling the craft brews of a company called Indian Ladder Farmstead. Among the list of beers chalked on a blackboard was one particularly hoppy creation named “Dr. Paul Matthews I.P.A.” Naturally I felt obliged to inquire about the eponymous doctor. The owner, Dietrich Gehring, told me that the name was an homage. He said his passion for wild hops had led him to Matthews, to whom he referred as the Lord of the Hops.

    “I’m not an expert in beer,” Matthews cautioned when I reached him, by phone. “I’m a plant engineer and evolutionary biologist.” Matthews, a past president of the Hop Research Council, is the senior research scientist at Hopsteiner, a major hops trader and processor, founded in 1845, in Washington State’s Yakima Valley.

    The hop flower has been used in beer-making at least since the eighth century. Traditionally it was a preservative, but it also imparts flavor. To some, the taste is bitter and unpalatable, and thus many brewers use only minimal amounts.

    Read the rest from The New Yorker

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