Monday, June 15, 2015

Beer Nuts

Beer Nuts
Hendrix magazine
Spring 2015

Meet the growing number of alumni who are tapping into the craft beer movement

The first thing I notice about Lost Forty Brewing is its size. Although technically a microbrewery, everything about the operation is big. Towering over its entrance, in a former warehouse district just east of Little Rock’s River Market, is an enormous grain silo that holds the 48,000 pounds of malt that will be used to produce some 3,000 barrels of beer this year. The day it opened last December, Lost Forty because one of the biggest breweries in the state and one of the most talked-about dining venues in the city.

Although new to brewing, co-owner John Beachboard ’01 has been a big name in central Arkansas food and business circles for years. He and partners Scott McGehee and Russ McDonough would seem to have a Midas touch, having rolled out one hit restaurant after another: ZaZa in 2008, Big Orange in 2011, followed by Local Lime in 2012. Now the trio, who joined with businessman and “serial entrepreneur” Albert Braunfisch ’86 on this venture, are making a big splash on Arkansas’s burgeoning brew scene.

But Beachboard and Braunfisch are just the latest among a growing number of Hendrix College grads who are ridding the tidal wave of craft beer that is washing over the state: including Evan McDonald ’03 in Fayetteville, and Ian Beard ’02, Patrick Cowan ’03, and Ida Mehdizadegan Cowan ’05 in Little Rock. So what’s causing all this brew-ha-ha?

[Read more … ]

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Expert: What I Know About ... Body Odour

The Expert: What I Know About … Body Odour
Avenue Edmonton
June 2015

Who: Rachel McQueen

Age: 40

Job: Assistant Professor of Textiles Science at the University of Alberta

Experience: Rachel McQueen grew up on the South Island in New Zealand, where her father ranched about 1,500 Perendale sheep on 300 acres of land, which may explain her love of wool. As an undergrad at the University of Otago, she got turned on to textiles science. “What I liked about clothing was the science, but also the social aspects as well.”

In 2007, she moved to Edmonton to take up her current position as a professor in the Department of Human Ecology at the University of Alberta, one of the only university in Canada with such a program. In addition to teaching, she studies the retention of odor in textiles—“Why does this T-shirt stink and the other not?” is a question she often finds herself asking—and works with several manufacturers of sports apparel.

Her research involves a lot of “wear trials,” where volunteers sniff the sweaty underarms of other people’s clothing, and her findings on stinky garments have generated interest, from Scientific American to Cosmopolitan.

[Read more…]

Monday, March 16, 2015

A New Swamp Fire

A New Swamp Fire
The Oxford American
March 15, 2015

Since their inception more than a decade ago as a band of teenage musical wunderkinds, Feufollet has been leading a revival in Cajun music and bringing the traditional tunes of Acadiana to a wider audience. Their last album, En Coulouers (2010), earned a Grammy nomination and a nod from Elvis Costello, who called it “the most beautifully melodic album I’ve heard all year.”

In the years since, the members of Feufollet—which means “swamp fire”—have been pursuing diverse musical careers and retooling the band after the departure of former lead singer Anna Laura Edmiston, who ran off to join the circus, literally. (Edmiston left the group under amicable terms in 2012 to tour with Cavalia: Odysseo, a theatrical circus created by one of the founders of Cirque du Soleil.)

Next week, Feufollet will release Two Universes, their first album in five years. The album debuts vocalist and fiddler Kelli Jones-Savoy, as well as a strikingly different sound: less accordion and more honky-tonk. It signals a radical departure from the Cajun music tradition on which Feufollet built their identity and is the first of their albums not sung entirely in French. Although Jones-Savoy displays a brilliant bilingualism, her roots are in the old-time music of North Carolina, and this translates into her songwriting.

And Two Universes is a showcase for songwriting. Feufollet’s earlier albums relied heavily on the band’s arrangements of traditional Louisiana tunes, while this album features their own songs almost exclusively. For those of us who have enjoyed their music without ever comprehending a word of the French, it is a pleasure to finally be able to appreciate their talents as lyricists, as in the duet “Red Light,” where Jones-Savoy and Feufollet co-founder and frontman Chris Stafford trade off harmony and opposing viewpoints:

I saw an end, but you saw a start
I declared it over, thought I had played it smart
But you built a castle from all that fell apart
I saw an end, but you saw a start

I was curious about the story behind this new project, so last month I spoke by phone with Jones-Savoy and Stafford. I caught them at Stafford’s music studio in Lafayette, getting ready for a spring tour.

[Read more…]

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Ingredient: Rum

The Ingredient: Rum
Avenue Edmonton
January 2015

Rum is experiencing a spike in popularity, not just in the glass but on the plate as well. But whether you sip it, marinate your chicken with it or bake it in a cake, there is so much more to this liquor than tiki drinks and pirates.

[Read more … ]