Short list of beverages/contributions this week — and not a single wine in the lot. But, this is what our editors and contributors are drinking:

Tom Mansell: Bandwagon Brew Pub Pirate Eye-PA

BandwagonbiglogoBandwagon Brew Pub in Ithaca
has only been open for a little over 8 months, but in that time
they've been making some quality beers. I'd call them a microbrewery,
but at 15 gallons maximum per batch, I'd say they're more on the order
of nano-brew.

Anyway, until now, most the beers I've had from there
have been very good. This one, however, was the first one I've had
from there that was really excellent.

It pours with a thick head, showing moderate, citrusy hops up front
with enough sweet malt character to aptly parry the hoppiness. The
modest 6% alcohol likely contributes to its full mid-palate. It's
refreshing and flavorful and it paired perfectly with my fish and

This beer succeeds where many IPAs fail: balance. When I drink beer,
I don't want diluted sticky hop resin. I want something aromatic, but
offering some maltiness and complexity on the palate. I happened to
kick the keg on this one (on my second or third one…) so I sure hope
they are in the process of making more!

Bottom line: If you love beer and you're in Ithaca, you've got to
check out Bandwagon, especially when they're pouring this one.

Blanco Julia Burke:
Don Julio Tequila Blanco

After an arduous day of
moving into my new city apartment, it was time to celebrate. Old friends
miraculously in town at the same time, an upcoming wedding, and a
beautiful summer night all warranted a special occasion, and my crew
ended up at the neighborhood pub to continue the evening in style. 

Shots were suggested, but being the classy broad
that I am I opted for a neat Don Julio to sip and enjoy.

My friends were
incredulous at my sippage — until they tasted. "Oh. Wow. That's good,"
was the unanimous reaction. Incredibly smooth with nothing but agave and
a hint of citrus on the nose, with crisp length and no burn, this
Blanco was a pleasure to drink and a great value.

It was the perfect way
to celebrate and still be functional the next day.

Bryan Calandrelli: Brooklyn Brewing Dark Matter

In my quest to fill my growler club card at Consumer’s Beverage I took home this limited production Brooklyn Dark Matter. It’s a brown ale aged for four months in bourbon and rye whiskey barrels.

This robust brew is creamy on the palate with chocolate, caramel and vanilla notes. It has an extremely roasted flavor reminiscent of coffee and nuts.

All together these flavors reminded me of a white Russian cocktail.

It’s definitely a hearty beer and one of the most unique brown ales I’ve tasted.