The Best Craft Beer in Scandinavia (part 1)

It is clear that craft brew tourism is on the increase in Scandinavia, including Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, where the breweries also top your quaffing list. Here is the best craft beer in Scandinavia.

Brekeriet Beer (Malmö, Sweden)

Brekeriet has carved a distinct segment in Sweden with unique takes on (mostly) sour beer recipes. Committed to fermenting solely with wild yeast and/or bacteria generally, the crew has re-fermented certain beverages by adding fruit, and therefore the results are noteworthy. Special-release Cassis may be a prime example: When the berries are added during secondary fermentation, the Brettanomyces yeast wont to brew the beer positively feast on the fruit’s particular sugars, leading to a drink that’s simultaneously dry and jammy.

Lervig Aktiebryggeri (Stavanger, Norway)

To some, Lervig is understood as Danish gypsy brewer Mikkeller’s new facility of choice for the assembly of the many classic stout recipes. Mikkeller formerly utilized fellow Norwegians Nøgne Ø in order to brew such ales, for example, his Beer Geek Breakfast and Brunch oatmeal stouts. Make no mistake though, Lervig is extremely much an autonomously excellent brewery. There could also be no better proof than its Brewer’s Reserve Barleywine, aged in Maker’s Mark bourbon barrels. Sugar within the Raw and tobacco notes merge during this quintessential example of the design.

Närke Kulturbryggeri (Örebro, Sweden)

Several years ago, Närke’s obscure limited-release imperial stout Kaggen! Stormaktsporter. Unexpectedly, it shot to the No.1 spot on the Top 50 beers within the world of (It usurped a throne usually occupied by better-known classics like the Trappist monk-made Westvleteren 12 Belgian quadrupel.) Whereas many breweries would have seized this cash-in moment and sold to a bigger beverage company, Närke maintained its size and put production of the superlative beer on hiatus. Brewed with the honey and exhibiting rounding wood qualities from its oak maturation, Kaggen! is a decadently oily delight which anyone hopes will return soon. Within the meantime, you’ll enjoy other, smaller gems like Närke’s unfiltered Örebro Bitter.

‘The Art of Hope’ to open on Jan. 21 at Mississippi State University

Mississippi State’s Department of Art is kicking off its spring exhibition schedule with “The Art of Hope,” on display Jan. 21-Feb. 28 at the university’s Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery.

“When faced with discrimination, inequity or loss, hope can conjure action, motivate and inspire,” said Mississippi State University, Art Instructor and Galleries Director Lori Neuenfeldt. “Using adversity as a conductor for creation and art as a platform for communicating, this exhibition represents the diverse ways artists visualize and convey their vision of hope.”

For this nationally competitive exhibition, 120 submitted works were considered. Guest juror John Sabraw of Athens, Ohio, ultimately selected 37 pieces of 2D and 3D art for inclusion.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday, except for campus-observed holidays.

Representing 20 different states, exhibitors are professional artists from around the country. They include Sylvia Bandyke, Brandin Barón, Cynthia Buob, Martin Brief, Kyong Burke, Mark Dineen, Sam Dorgan, Cyndy Epps, John Fansmith, Linda Fuller, Rachel Green, Susan Harmon, Willoughby Lucas Hastings, J. Fredric May, Dana Moody, Christy Nelson, Raul Ortiz, Alexis Ortiz, Jonathan Price, Edward Ramsay-Morin, Joy Redstone, Jason Stout, Addie Studebaker, Wanda Sullivan, T R O N J A G, Michael Voelkl, G. E. Vogt and Setsuko Yoshida.

On Friday, Jan. 31, Sabraw will give a 1 p.m. public talk in Giles Hall’s Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium. Sabraw, an artist, activist, and environmentalist hailing from Lakenheath, England, produces drawings, paintings, and collaborative installations in an eco-conscious manner and continually works toward a fully sustainable practice. His work is featured in numerous collections, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Honolulu, Hawaii. For more, see

A 5-6:30 p.m. public reception for “The Art of Hope” exhibition also will be held on the 31st in the Cullis Wade gallery. Complimentary refreshments will be available.

Six Hot Cake Decorating Trends You Need To Know For 2020

2020 has come! A new year means new ideas, new styles, and new creativity, so we’d compile a useful list of all the cake decorating trends that are super popular this year. Here is your go-to reference to make sure your cake decorating is totally on trend!

Grazing tables

The grazing table is new for this year. This is going to be seen at many weddings and parties. You might think this isn’t cake decorating but there is an art of decorating involved. The key is for the abundance of goodies to look thrown together in a precise manner. Doughnuts and macarons are also playing a big part of your dessert table, alongside the main event cake.


When it comes to color, metallics play a huge part. In 2019, rose gold has been playing a much smaller part in the metallics family and in 2020, it will be fading out even more. Silver, gold, and copper are much bigger players, and using them in a mixed metal way in particular. This may be for one stand out tier for the whole design, or on a wedding cake.


A huge trend this year is part of decorating the actual cake, the display of the cake. Geometric shapes, shabby boxes, hexagonal frame, instead of cake stands, this completes your look.


Sprinkles are not just for kids’ cakes! This year, sprinkles are back in a big way, in all shapes and sizes, as part of a drip or covering the entire cake.

Buttercream painting

Painting on cakes takes a new turn, by using a palette knife you can paint on buttercream in different colors for a beautiful artistic effect. This is a trend that we can’t wait to see more of!


Foliage has been a part of cake decorating for recent years, but there is a shift in what to use and make. Fern is replacing eucalyptus and gypsophilia, especially on wedding cakes against crisp white cakes.

‘Concrete Genie’: A kid’s game about the joys of art (part 2)

Luna signals that she would like Ash to paint some specific designs from his notebook on the wall. Pressing the right trigger will allow Ash to take out his brush and open his notebook. Using the control pad, you can choose a design from the notebook and paint it on the wall by pressing the right trigger and guiding Ash’s brush using the motion-control sensors of DualShock. You can quickly and easily make fetching murals by mixing different designs. In turn, these murals can activate darkened strings of lightbulbs hanging overhead, which causes the surrounding area to light up. Before Luna’s tutorial is complete, it is clear that she’d like for you to revive Denska by painting throughout it.

Ash is helped with his task by various genies, like Luna, who has special abilities. Electric genies, fire genies, and the like can move across the artwork of Ash and power up junction boxes or burn away obstacles. However, Genies recoil at the darkness. In order to clear away those tangly tendrils of solid mental anguish, Ash has to use super paint. Super paint can be acquired by fulfilling a genie’s request for a particular mural design. You spend most of the game painting the town’s walls, lighting up all the bulbs in each space and using super paint to remove the darkness.

As Ash goes about his task, he must avoid the bullies who roam around the area to avoid being thrown into a dumpster. The game well captures the feeling of what it is like to be a kid who happily engaged in his own thing and the annoyance coming from being interrupted by those with nothing better to do. Over the course of the game Ash comes to understand that his tormentors all suffer from their own inner conflicts which lead them to lash out. The plotline unambiguously sides with a nurture, as opposed to nature, reading of human failings.

Due to its unusual mechanics, I don’t think that “Concrete Genie” is a game one can easily get a feel for from watching a trailer. I never would have guessed that I’d in any way enjoy creating murals and watching funny-looking creatures scamper about them, but I did because I found it all mostly relaxing.  

Two sustainable Christmas craft activities to try around the UK

Worried about the amount of festive rubbish in your wheelie bin? Just take action and then have fun at one of the following eco-friendly gift and decoration classes.

Edible gifts

More unwanted “stuff” at Christmas? Try giving a tasty treat instead. Chocolate workshops at the National Trust’s medieval Powis Castle and Garden near Welshpool, include handmade chocolate robins and stars, and sparkly chocolate shards (19 Dec, £27.50). In York, the original home of Rowntree’s and Terry’s factories, chocolate workshops at York Cocoa House range from drop-in lollipop-making (£3.75), to masterclasses on specialties, such as ganaches and caramels (various dates, £55 adult, £28 child).

In the Gloucestershire Hills, Harts Barn Cookery School in the Forest of Dean is running Christmas cookery classes throughout Dec, including children’s edible decorations and edible gifts classes (gingerbread men, marshmallow penguins, chocolate lollies and reindeer pretzels, 15 Dec, from £25), and Christmas chocolate-making for adults (1 Dec, £50), with truffles and more to take away.

For something savory, learn the secrets of creating quick pickles at the Salt Box sustainably-minded cookery school’s Pickle like a Pro workshop (11 Dec, £45) near Redhill in Surrey, which also includes a festive drink and a two-course meal. Classes will take place in a private woodland glen and a cozy barn.

Unusual ornaments

Piece Hall in Halifax – a recently restored 18th-century cloth hall that now has independent shops and eateries around its vast courtyard – is running a series of Christmas events and workshops, which include making felt decorations with heritage cloth (17 Dec, £5.50) and felted snowman sessions for children (ages 6+, 21 Dec, £7.50).

In Surrey, the Royal Horticultural Society’s 97-hectare Wisley Garden – one of the UK’s most-visited gardens – has a workshop on “living baubles” – known in Japan as kokedama (£15, 4 Dec), alongside free children’s decoration-making sessions using woodland materials (14-15 Dec). Also for children, and inspired by a new exhibition, Flights of Fancy: the Wondrous World of Quentin Blake (running until April 2020), The National Trust’s Nymans house in West Sussex is running decoration workshops (various dates, £3).

In Glasgow, Locavore, an organic and sustainable food shop and cafe close to Queen’s Park, has a workshop (23 November, £10) on upcycling old books to become paper decorations, such as intricate snowflakes and folded trees.

Children craft holidays for the homeless

The Giving Tree is back and children came to Oakville Grocery Store in downtown Healdsburg to get the ball rolling on the project, now in its third year.

The Giving Tree starts with paper ornaments that are crafted by the children. Members of the homeless community then write down what they would like on the ornaments before putting them up on the tree for residents to fulfill. The presents are then taken out to the homeless community by Reach for Home’s Rick Cafferata.

The tree project has been organized each year by local homeless advocate Gail Jonas and the kids were getting into the spirit Nov. 13 as they grabbed scissors and got to work.

Sophia Jonas said it was her second year helping create the ornaments. She said that this year, she came out with friends and family for the first time.

“I think it’s fun to make them and just spend time with people,” Sophia Jonas said.

After the ornaments have their gifts listed on them, she said she liked to see what was on people’s wish lists and helping spread the word to people who might be interested in donating.

For Julia Dolph, this was another way to help her community. Previously, she ran a dog walking service for her neighbors.

“I think this is a really good way to show our dedication to the community,” she said.

And there are sweet rewards for the help, too, as Josh Proctor pointed out. A slew of cookies was available to help keep the energy up.

Having kids help with The Giving Tree is a big part of the project, Cafferata said.

“I have them (gift recipients) to where they break down and cry. Cause somebody gave them something and especially something that they asked for. Not just something that somebody gives you out of the blue.” Cafferata said. “It’s wonderful to get the younger generation involved. They go home and teach their parents a thing or two.”

The kids’ work pays off, too.

“Last year I got a really cool pair of boots,” said Lucky, a member of the homeless community.

Lucky said that he appreciates the energy the kids bring to the project.

The first year the tree went up, it had 20 ornaments, Cafferata said. Last year, there were around 30. There was a concern from last year, however, when shortly after the gifts from the tree were given, there was a police sweep of camps, which possibly left people without their new gifts.

‘Concrete Genie’: A kid’s game about the joys of art (part 1)

Concrete Genie’s optimistic storyline, akin to an old after-school television special, offers a lesson in empathy. It’s a bit too straightforward and unironic for a sourpuss like me but I’d like to think that it may help some kids come to terms with the fact that children can be cruel to each other for reasons that aren’t immediately obvious. Since “Concrete Genie” is a kid’s game (and it’s not made by Nintendo) I wasn’t betting I’d play through it but I was disarmed by its novel gameplay which, for the most part, is oriented more around the creation and problem-solving than confrontation.

At the beginning of the game, we are introduced to Ash, an artistic kid who loves drawing fanciful-looking creatures with horns and plumage in his notebook. In spite of his mom’s wishes, Ash elects to while away a day in the young ghost town Denska. The small island’s economy collapsed after a tanker spill polluted its coastal waters. Exacerbating the once-thriving fishing town’s woes are gnarled vines that have infested the area, blanketing walls and clogging up machinery. This mysterious substance, which is colloquially referred to as the “darkness” is a byproduct of negative mental energy. Admittedly, at no point did I become interested in the story.

Ash’s day is upset after a group of unruly children snatch his notebook and scatter its pages. The kids then push Ash onto a tram that goes to a tiny island guarded by a purportedly spooky lighthouse. Ash doesn’t let the kids’ warnings get to him. Without much ado, he sets about exploring. Inside the lighthouse, Ash discovers one of the pages of his notebook on the floor. Dejected, he hangs his head in despair when Luna, the creature from his notebook, miraculously comes to life on the wall. Projecting her power from the wall, Luna mends Ash’s torn notebook and gives him a magic brush.

The Craft Beer Marketing Awards (CBMAs) Announces First Award Series

The Craft Beer Marketing Awards (CBMAs) was stablished in 2019 and has launched officially its awards program. The 2020 awards are set for April 20, live from The Craft Brewer’s Conference in San Antonio, TX.

Breweries, as well as their agencies, marketing partners, and designers, are invited to enter their top work. The 2020 CBMAS includes more than 30 categories which recognize all aspects of beer marketing, including best can, best use of social media, best merchandise design, coolest taproom and more.

“More than ever, breweries recognize the need to prioritize their marketing strategies,” says Prabh Hans, vice president of business development and strategy for Hillebrand, CBMAs presenting sponsor. “We’ve worked closely with brewers since 1984 and know that shelves and cities are flooded with an overwhelming amount of craft beer options. The CBMAs team recognized how much time and money these breweries are now investing into branding efforts and created a one-of-a-kind opportunity to celebrate them.”

The award series features categories that celebrate the very best of beer marketing and the teams, and individuals behind them, according to CBMA. All categories are judged by an influential and respected panel of beer, marketing, and design experts from across the country, including:

·        Ryan Murphy, owner of Craft Beer Review

·        Rob Sager, marketing director, Crossroads Brewing Co.

·        Peter LaFrance, beer author and journalist,

·        Michelle Pagano, gluten-free advocate and writer, @Thebrewbabe

·        Mark Hegedus, president, Magic Hat Brewing

·        Lauri Spitz, co-founder, Moustache Brewing

The aforementioned will join with others to create a 65-person panel dedicated to the judging of the more than 30 different awards that will be presented during this inaugural series.

Entries are now being accepted on the CBMAS website. Early bird deadline is November 29 and the final entry period ends January 31, 2020. Breweries and their marketing teams can enter work from January 2018 through September 2019. The judging process will begin February 13, 2020 and is set to conclude on March 20, 2020.

According to CBMA, the association was developed to recognize and award the very best marketing in the brewing industry across the nation.

Bardstown Arts, Crafts &Antiques Fair returns this weekend

The 39th annual Bardstown Arts, Crafts & Antiques Fair will starts this Saturday with hundreds of vendors, live entertainment, regional and state artistry, food and a celebration of local.

“I am looking forward to the craft festival of this year and seeing what our creative vendors will have to offer,” said Ms. Randi Mouser, executive director of the Bardstown Main Street Program, heading the event.

Mouser also said 2019’s  festival will have 250 craft and retail vendors as well as 23 food vendors, including 100 vendors that are new to the event. Some newer items at this year’s festival will include handmade fairy houses, vintage automotive items repurposed into décor and lighting, bird feeders made from recycled tires, and many other unique creations.

The festival, sponsored again by LG&E and KU this year, will take place around Spalding Hall Lawn, extending into North Fourth and Fifth Street and other side areas. There will be Kids Zone, a seating area, and Bardstown Rotary Club will offer a Beer Garden again. As usual, food vendors will be spread throughout the festival, rather than collected in one area.

Mouser said that last year they spread the food vendors around and visitors all liked that idea, so they kept it the same for this year.

This year’s layout includes expanded booth space through the Recreation Department parking lot. The Recreation Department will also host an indoor vendor fair to coincide with the whole festival.

The festival will take place from10 a.m. to 6 p.m. of Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. of Sunday. The festival’s entry is free but it might cost to park in some lots. You can find nformation, including a map of vendor locations at the Hospitality Tent on Spalding Hall Lawn.

The following roads will close beginning at 5 p.m. Friday:

  • North Fifth Street from St. Joe parking lot to West Broadway
  • West Flaget Avenue from North Fourth Street to North Fifth Street
  • Xavier Drive
  • North Fourth Street from West Flaget to West Broadway
  • Vehicles should not be parked on these streets during the closure.

The Eight best sporting artworks (part 3)

6. Dynamism of a Cyclist

Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice

Racing along, wheels spinning, head down, knees pumping, covering immense distances at high speed: how to depict a champion cyclist in action? Any 2D image seems to limit the sense of ongoing motion, and this wasn’t good enough for the Italian futurists. Arguably the best of them, Umberto Boccioni follows the French photographer Etienne-Jules Marey, whose split-second shots of soldiers sprinting were recorded on the same picture, in showing past, present, and future at the same time. Umberto Boccioni‘s cyclist, an overlapping sequence of stop-start instants, did the same thing, maybe more legibly, with a little dog running along on a leash.

  1. The Discobolus

British Museum, London

The stunning Discobolus, a classical athlete who is compressing all his power into one fling of the discus, is one of the most famous images from the ancient world. This statue is a Roman copy of the lost bronze original, which is attributed to the sculptor Myron c470-440 BC. The moment is so fleeting that it could be scarcely observed as a still form, yet the sculptor transforms it into a monument of judgment, balance, and athleticism. Discus-throwing was the first element of the pentathlon, regarded as a feat of grace and athleticism. However, this copy has the head looking away wrongly from the discus.

  1. The Reverend Robert Walker  (1755 – 1808) Skating on Duddingston Loch

Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh

The Reverend Robert Walker is an ideal Olympic candidate: a founder member and brilliant amateur of the Edinburgh Skating Club. The most famous painting of Raeburn shows Walker sweeping on one leg across Duddingston loch and yet in full motion. It is the portrait like an action shot. The figure cuts a dark diagonal through the grey light with his blades etching criss-cross lines on the ice, which perfectly mimicked in the paint. Walker was also a member of the Royal Company of Archers.