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Thom Dunn is a Boston-based writer, musician, homebrewer, and new media artist. He enjoys Oxford commas, metaphysics, and romantic clichés (especially when they involve whiskey), and he firmly believes that Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" is the single greatest atrocity committed against mankind. He is a graduate of Clarion Writer's Workshop at UCSD ('13) & Emerson College ('08).

Help Me Name My Blood Orange White IPA!

I have kind of a thing with blood oranges, and every year during those 18-days when they're available (seriously it feels like it's that short), I try to stock up as much as possible -- including making some kind of blood orange beer. The first was a Chocolate Blood Orange Stout, followed by a hefeweizen, and then an IPA (whose recipe I sadly did not record). White IPAs (basically a hybrid of a witbier/white ale and an IPA) are all the rage this year in the craft beer world, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon and create a Blood Orange White IPA. I based this on the Northern Brewer Witbier kit but replaced the hops bill with 1oz of Columbus for the full 60 minute boil, followed by 1oz of Cascade, 1oz of Citra, and 1oz of Centennial in the last ten minutes. I used the roasted peels of 6 blood oranges (removing as much white rind as possible), and boiled their pulp in water and added the juices to the wort.

If nothing else, I guarantee that it'll look a purrty color.

Unfortunately, "Blood Orange White IPA" is kind of a clumsy name -- it doesn't really make sense to have orange AND white in the title, ya know? So I took to Facebook to ask my friends for suggestions, and rounded up my favorites in the poll below. Make your voice heard!...for the beer that goes in my belly (don't worry, I'm willing to share).

Brewin' Up The Beers!

Or, bottling them, anyway.

Last night I bottled this Irish Draught Ale, which is the first beer that I'll complete from a Northern Brewer recipe kit (long story short, Modern Homebrew in Cambridge is horrible, and everyone who works there is like Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons only worse). It's a Smithwick's-style ale, with some honey added as a cultural throwback. But even the room-temp, flat tasting sample shown above was pretty delicious, so I'm looking forward to it. Lucky for me, I finished it just in time for St. Paddy's Day!

Coming up soon in the fermenters, I've got a Blood Orange White IPA (not sure what to call that color combination yet....), and my first Pilsner (which I'm kind of terrified of). Stay tuned for more!

More Booze n' Books

Look, we all know that I love stories and drinking. This is no secret to anyone who's ever spoken to me for more than a minute. So naturally, I've got another article on the topic that's now live over at Quirk Books. Think of this as a kind of companion piece to my How To Drink Like Your Favorite Writer and A Guide To Pairing Your Comic Books and Beer posts. You liked those, right? Of course you did.

"Seven Cocktail Recipes & Drink Suggestions Inspired By Our Favorite Pieces Of Literature" at Quirk Books

I'm Back Now, And I Brought T-Shirts For Everybody!

I have a confession to make. I didn't really bring t-shirts for everybody. Although I do have these sweet new business cards! So that's cool, right? I know I've been slacking (again) lately (again) with keeping this website updated with all of my various doin's. But it's not like I've not been not doing things (...or is it?)! Instead, I've just been too busy doing things to, ya know, write about doing things. It's kind of why I hate meetings in general, because I'd rather be doing things, than talking about doing things. So this website's kind of like a meeting then. Except I don't hate it; in fact, I quite love my little website here. So really, not like a meeting at all.

(shut up Thom) Okay so here's a brief rundown of where the hell I've been:

  • My very short play, Stumped, was performed as part of a staged reading series to celebrate Company One's production of Hookman.
  • My debut comic book story, Not Dead Yet, finally saw print in GrayHaven Comics' sci-fi anthology, The Fifth DimensionAlso the first printing already sold out, which means maybe someday you'll be able to sell that shit on eBay for like $20 (but probably not)
  • I did a totally awesome article for Quirk Books comparing Samuel Beckett (the playwright) to Sam Beckett (the time traveling protagonist from Quantum Leap) and it was totally awesome. Don't believe me? Ask the former executive director of the American Theatre Wing!
  • I also started doing some writing for Tor.com, with my first article being a roundup of great sci-fi/fantasy rock bands (so basically my two favorite things, combined. If only there was more beer!)
  • We did another staged reading of my play True Believers as part of ImprovBoston's Geek Week celebration. It was really great to hear the play out loud in front of different kind of crowd, as it helps me figure out what kind of changes I need to make to the script before the world premiere this summer at the Factory Theatre (July 12 - 21! Get yer tickets while they're hot! Just kidding, they're not on sale yet). The lovely producing folks at Vagabond Theatre Group have a post up over at their website about the event so you can catch up on all the happening. There's also the first part of an instructional series about how to make your very own The Cyborg Head of Stan Lee, which actually comes a lot more in handy than you might think.
  • Did I mention that I launched a new website for the Huntington, and that our world premiere production of The Luck of the Irish was extended, and sold out almost every night? For being, ya know, "just my day job" or whatever, sometimes it keeps me pretty busy as well.
  • Plus Cupcake! So many things, so very busy with this wonderfully little world-premiere-musical-that-could. We raised $6,000 in our Kickstarter campaign (we were going for $3,750...whoops!), and we were the featured show this past Friday on Goldstar. You may have seen some of my sexy posters around town as well (just don't tell Grant that I photoshopped his arm a bit...) Previews start this Thursday, May 10!
  • AND, to top it all off, I've only got like 50 pages left to read in Infinite Jest (finally! Jesus God this book is epic), so I'm gonna go finish that right now and hopefully conquer my crippling fear (no pun intended) of paraplegic Quebecers.

SuperBeer to the Rescue!

Head on over to the fine folks at Quirk Books and check out my world-famous (read: on the internet) Comic Book & Beer Pairings article on their blog! It's comic books, and beer, together. What more could you possibly want? Also, shout out to Quirk's Marketing & Social Media Coordinator Eric Smith for the fantastic pictures that he scrounged together to accompany each entry. They help make the article extra awesome-worthy.

Haiku Beer Review: The Third!

Continuing in my established tradition from the Mass Brewer's Fest and last year's Winter Beer Jubilee, I present for you the latest installment of Haiku Beer Review, compiled at the 2012 Winter Beer Summit. I make tasting notes into my phone as the night goes on, so that I can turn them into haikus when I get home (and eventually sober up). I know, I know, I'm a genius, it's true. Anyway, enjoy! (Also, thanks to Dig Boston for the free tickets and for putting up with my whining. #thomdunnwantsbeer)

"Haiku Beer Review #3: Winter Beer Summit 2012" on FiveByFiveHundred.com

Gluten Free Homebrew! It DOES Exist!

I started homebrewing hard cider when I found out that my good friend and drinking buddy Charles had an allergy to hops (which I still assert is the most ridiculous allergy on the planet, even moreso than peanuts. Hops literally are not used for anything except for beer and the occasional tea! But I digress). Of course it was just a matter of time before another drinking partner of mine came forth with a different problem: celiac disease. Meaning no gluten. Meaning no beer.

Okay, yes, sure, gluten-free beers do exist, but unfortunately, they're not very good. And so, my good friend Jeff Marcus enlisted in my aid to help him create a homebrewed gluten-free beer that was exactly good! Something hopefully more hoppy and full-bodied (gluten-free beers are notoriously sweet and light-bodied), possibly even eventually something darker like a porter or stout (but that's not for a while).

It's currently way too early to deduce if our wild experiment was actually successful, but I'll keep you updated as the fermentation process moves along. In any case, here's the recipe for our Gluten-free HoneyHop Pale Ale (which is the name I just came up with right now and isn't very good).

Haiku Beer Review — Part 2

In a tradition that began back in January at the Winter Beer Jubilee in Boston, I recently posted the second iteration of my "Haiku Beer Review" series, which is precisely what it sounds like — beer reviews, in haiku form (I also try to tweet Haiku Beer Reviews whenever I try a new brew at a bar). These reviews began as voice memos that were taken by my friends and I at the Mass Brewer’s Fest at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston on September 2, 2011, but I only just got around to compiling the voice memos and turning them into haikus. Anyway, if you like beer and/or poetry and/or drinking, I'd advise you check it out (along with, hopefully, some new beers)!

"Beer Review Haiku part Two" at FiveByFiveHundred.com

Watermelon Hard Cider?

Just took of care of the first (pre-watermelon) steps of my new homemade hard cider (which I'm starting now in anticipation of the fall). Once the wort-apple juice combination completes its first fermentation, I'm going rack the brew and let it sit on top of several pounds of sliced watermelon to soak up some additional (unfermented) flavor. We'll see it goes. In the meantime, take a look at the full recipe over in the homebrew section.

Temporary Drinking Buddies

You know that friend who you always see at parties and when you're both drunk s/he is totally your best friend and you talk about everything, but then when you're sober and back in the real world, it's awkward because you're not really actually friends and you don't hang out or anything and then you see him/her on the street and it's totally weird? Yeah. You know the one.

Today on FiveByFiveHundred.com, I share my own story of my favorite drinking buddy from the local pub who I don't actually know. His name is Paul.

Cheers!

"My First Bar Friend," on FiveByFiveHundred.com

Mass Hands

Here's the full Mass Hands article, focusing on me as a homebrewer. The project overall is meant to be an interactive/new media exploration of handcrafted work that still thrives in Massachusetts. (Personally, I wish I had a worn a t-shirt that more flattered my figure in the opening photograph, or at least that they had chosen a less-awkward picture of me, but you know what they say: Magneto was Right)

Mass Hands: Brew Mastery

Homebrewing the Future!

Over the last 2 months (basically, over the time it took to make my Blood Orange Hefeweizen), I've been the subject of an interactive "magazine" article about homebrewing. From what I understand, the idea of the magazine is "Old is New" — that is, to present old-fashioned or time honored practices, traditions, and hobbies in a brand new light, with the aid of new media. The completed project is intend for view on an iPad, and should be released on the iTunes store in the coming weeks. In the meantime, here's the first part of the project, a short video focusing on me and my brewing exploits. Part Two to come....whenever I see it.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otuW_3-3Fg8&w=480&h=390]

Thanks to Nick and Braden for this! (and to Brittany Burke for lending her hands & help to the bottling process)

Smoked Kölsch Ale

Today's adventure in homebrewing: a smoked kölsch ale, made with genuine charred oak barrel pieces straight from the Jack Daniels distillery and soaked with whiskey for 5 years. The goal is to make it a light summer drinking beer, that's already been (deliciously) stained by the campfire around which you should probably be drinking it anyway, because we're coming up on prime latenight backyard campfire drinking season. I'll also be adding some liquid smoked oak essence at the end, to balance the flavor as needed (or as not needed, although probably needed). (For those of you unfamiliar with kölsch, it's kind of like a pilsner in color/hoppiness, except it's an ale, not a lager. Get it? Okay. Moving on)

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