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5 Spring Sippers for Your Easter Celebrations

April 18th, 2014 by Caleb Houseknecht

Whether or not you’re Christian, Easter is a great time to get together with your closest friends and family. A time for good food, memories, togetherness, and most importantly, delicious cocktails. At least that’s how we do it in my family.

So, whether you’re celebrating the resurrection of Christ, or just hanging with the fam, we’ve got five spring sipper ideas for you to make and serve at your celebrations on Sunday…

1. Grapefruit Mimosa

Grapefruit Mimosa from Yum SugarImage and recipe courtesy of YumSugar.com 

Ingredients
8 large ruby red grapefruits
1 bottle sparkling wine or champagne, chilled

Preparation
1. Juice the grapefruits and pour into a large pitcher.
2. Top with one-third to half the bottle of champagne or sparkling wine.
3. Stir, serve, and enjoy.

2. Blood Orange Negroni

Blood Orange Negroni from the Clever CarrotImage and recipe courtesy TheCleverCarrot.com

Ingredients
1 oz Campari
1 oz gin
1 oz sweet vermouth
Blood orange soda (or fresh orange juice with club soda)
Clementine, thinly sliced, for garnish

Preparation
1. Fill a highball glass or a rocks glass about halfway with cubed ice.
2. Combine Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth, then stir well.
3. Garnish with the clementine and imbibe.

3. Pimm’s Cup

Pimm's Cup Recipe Courtesy of TheKitchn.comImage and recipe courtesy of TheKitchn.com

Ingredients
1½ oz Pimm’s No. 1 Cup
Lemonade (or ginger ale)
Lemon slices
Cucumber slices
Orange slice and mint leaf for garnish

Preparation
1. Fill a Collins glass halfway with ice.
2. Add a few slices of cucumber and lemon.
3. Add the Pimm’s, then top with lemonade or ginger ale.
4. Stir gently and add additional ice if necessary.
5. Garnish with orange and mint, and enjoy.

4. Dark ‘n’ Stormy

Dark 'n' stormy image from Simply RecipesImage courtesy of SimplyRecipes.com

Ingredients
2 oz Gosling’s Black Seal rum
4 oz ginger beer (try Regatta - it’s amazing!)
¼ lime, cut into two thick slices – one for garnish, one to squeeze over the ice

Preparation
1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
2. Squeeze one lime wedge over the ice.
3. Add Gosling’s rum, followed by the ginger beer.
4. Stir lightly, garnish with the other lime wedge, and start sipping.

5. Piccadilly Punch

Piccadilly Punch Courtesy of RedBookMag.com                   Image and recipe courtesy of RedBookMag.com

Ingredients
1 oz gin
2 oz pineapple juice
2 oz cranberry juice
Sparkling water
1 maraschino cherry for garnish
1 lemon wheel for garnish

Preparation
1. Fill a highball glass with cubed ice.
2. Combine gin, pineapple, and cranberry juice in the glass.
3. Top with a splash of sparkling water, garnish with the cherry and lime, then enjoy!

***

Happy Easter, everyone! Enjoy your day. I hope it’s filled with love, laughter, and lots of good cocktails!

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Accidental Day Drinking: What’s a Man To Do?

April 17th, 2014 by Collin Wittman

Beer o Clock

When is it OK to drink a beer? Noon? 5:00 PM? Beer ‘O Clock? Whenever?

And does it matter what day of the week it is? Is day drinking on a Sunday better than day drinking on a Monday or Tuesday?

These are hard questions. The acceptability of drinking is a question with an eminently slippery slope. Furthermore, it’s almost wholly subjective. Your definition of alcoholism might be my definition of “Hey man, you only live once.” Or vice versa.

Recently, this very issue was contested on perhaps the most public of all possible forums: Twitter. Josh Petri, an editor at Digg.com, sent the following tweet at 11:43 AM on Monday morning:

joshpetri
I just accidentally opened a beer. It is 11:43 AM. Wait til noon and drink it anyways?
4/14/14, 11:44 AM

Wow. Sophie’s Choice, eat your heart out.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking, “How do you ACCIDENTALLY open a beer?” According to an Esquire interview with Petri, he was working from home at the time and blindly absorbed in his project. He reached into the fridge, grabbed a can of what he thought was Diet Coke, and popped the top only to then realize that it was an ice cold can of 21st Amendment. Easy enough mistake to make, right?

After receiving a multitude of responses from Twitter, almost all of them falling squarely in the “Dude, just drink it” camp, Petri reached a compromise with himself: he waited the 17 minutes until noon, and then drank half the beer.

I’ve got to say, this Josh Petri is a better man than me. Had I found myself in his shoes, I would have said, “Welp. Down the hatch,” and not given a second thought to the potential implications on my sobriety. But how about you guys? What do you think? Would you have shown similar restraint? Or is it too much of a crime to waste a good brew? Let us know in the comments below!

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How to Celebrate National Stress Awareness Day

April 16th, 2014 by Caleb Houseknecht

National Stress Awareness DayHappy hump day people. Not only are we quickly approaching the end of the week, but on this particular Wednesday, we’re celebrating National Stress Awareness Day. That’s right. Today, April 16th, 2014, is National Stress Awareness Day.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you about all of the harmful mental and physical tolls stress can take on the body, but we often need a reminder. I know I do. It’s easy to let our jobs, relationships, and all of the other day-to-days tasks consume us.

So today, take a moment to breathe. Clear your head. Try to keep your stressors at bay. Keep your cool in traffic, in the board room, at home. Have a beer. Have one at lunch and have another after work. Skip the gym tonight. Or go, and then head right to happy hour. Just relax.

National Stress Awareness Day - Go Have a Beer

It might be the perfect time to (re)approach the office kegerator conversation with your boss. Just a thought!

I hope every one has a nice, relaxing, stress-free hump day. Now, go have a beer.

Need Tools For Drinking? Check Out Our Shop!

*disclaimer: We are not encouraging binge drinking or asserting that alcohol actually reduces stress.

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Beerography – The Study of Beer Geography

April 14th, 2014 by Collin Wittman

We live in an age of information. With modern technology, it’s so easy to gather data and then visualize it in new and exciting ways. In this way, we can answer the important questions of our time. Who are we? Why are we here? And what is our favorite beer?

Consider the project undertook by Matt Zook and Ate Poorthuis, two geography professors with the University of Kentucky. In an attempt to uncover specific regional trends in the beer world, the two men stumbled onto a novel idea: utilizing geotagged tweets to hone in on any discernible patterns regarding beer tastes in our fair country.

The resulting information is featured as a chapter in the new book The Geography of Beer and serves as a compelling jumping off point for any discussion of how beer tastes differ throughout the country.

Below, you’ll see several of the maps that Zook and Poorthuis produced through their research. If you love beer, novel information, or both, then you’ll love looking at these maps.

WineandBeerMap

LightBeerMap

RegionalBeerLoveMap

BeerMap

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Introducing the World’s First Traveling Beer Fest: Beer Camp Across America

April 11th, 2014 by Caleb Houseknecht

Beer Camp Across America Sierra Nevada Traveling Beer FestivalThere’s nothing worse than a concert or festival that’s out of town. You’re favorite band or brewery holding an event that’s just too far away. You gotta buy tickets, find a place to stay, take time off from work, and pay travel expenses. Oftentimes, it’s just out of the question.

Imagine a traveling beer festival. Your favorite breweries, your favorite beers, your favorite event, and it all comes to you. They do the travelling. You stay right where you are. You’re imagining Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across America.

The California craft brewery announced this week that they’re inviting every craft brewery in the country (that’s close to 3,000 breweries) to take part in a two-week traveling beer festival this summer, from July 19th – August 2nd.

Siera Nevada's Beer Camp Across America Traveling Beer Festival

 

“We’re about to open a second brewery in North Carolina, and while that’s exciting for us, it’s an even greater reason to celebrate the future of craft brewers everywhere,” Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada’s founder told Beverage World. “We’ve watched and learned from each other for decades, and together we’ve seen tastes change and craft’s momentum snowball. Beer Camp Across America is our way of reflecting on this—with thousands of brewers, fans and great beers. It should be pretty fun.”

They’re hitting seven cities, each for a day. The schedule is below:

  • Sat, July 19th: Northwest Edition at Sierra Nevada Hop Field in Chico, CA, 12-5 p.m.
  • Sun, July 20th: Southwest Edition at Embarcadero North in San Diego, CA, 1-6 p.m.
  • Fri, July 25th: Rocky Mountain Edition at Sculpture Park in Denver, CO, 5-10 p.m.
  • Sun, July 27th: Midwest Edition at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL, 12-5 p.m.
  • Fri, August 1st: New England Edition at Thompson Point in Portland, ME, 5-10 p.m.
  • Sat, August 2nd: Mid-Atlantic Edition at Penn Treaty Park in Philadelphia, PA, 12-5 p.m.
  • Sun, August 3rd: Southeast Edition in Mills River, NC, 1-6 p.m.

Each festival will feature up to two beers per brewery, food vendors, and live music by  the 
MarchFourth Marching Band spectacle.

As part of the celebration, 12 brewers from across the country are brewing 12 collaboration beers to be released in one special, mixed 12-pack. The dozen breweries featured include Ninkasi, Firestone Walker, New Glarus, Ballast Point, 3 Floyd’s, Bells, Allagash, Russian River, Asheville Brewers Alliance, and Russian River in 12oz bottles. Then in 12oz cans will be Oskar Blues and Cigar City.

Beer Camp Across America 12-pack

Proceeds from the festival will go to the state brewers guilds in the festival host states and to hop and barley research to foster the development of new types of hop varieties and barley crops to fuel the pursuit of new flavor experiences for the ever-expanding tastes of craft drinkers.

Tickets are now on sale at the Beer Camp website and are limited to 5,000 per venue. Tickets cost $65 for general admission. That price includes a tasting glass and unlimited tastings (in most locations, see the website for full details). A designated driver ticket is available for $30. How sweet is that?

Sure, it’s only seven cities, but hey, it’s better than one city right? One of those seven cities could be  a lot closer to you than just Chico, CA. And let’s be real, it’s the first year for the traveling edition of Beer Camp. 20 years from now, they could hit all 50 states.

For those that can’t make the festival, the Beer Camp Across America 12-pack will be available throughout the U.S. this summer. If anyone reading does go, be sure to send us some pics!

Check out the Beer Camp Across America trailer below:

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Ready for Golf Season? You’re Gonna Love This…

April 10th, 2014 by Collin Wittman

Lee_Valley_Golf_Course

This morning, I woke up and saw sunshine. Like, genuine, bright sunshine that seemed capable of delivering warmth. Birds were chirping. I was able to climb into my car, turn it on, and drive away. No scraping. No shoveling. No warming up the engine block. I thought “Is this Heaven?” But of course it’s not. It’ just spring. And it’s finally (FINALLY) here.

That’s the good news. And here’s the better news: where there’s spring, there’s golf. In fact, today is the first round of one of spring’s most anticipated annual rites of passage, a tradition unlike any other, the Masters.

It’s awesome to see the world’s finest golfers revving up their games and going after a coveted green jacket. On the course, these guys are all about precision shot making, honed athleticism, and nerves of forged steel.

Needless to say, that’s not how I am on the course. I’m more about trying to avoid quadruple bogeys and making sure that I’ve got a cold beer always at the ready. Does that sound like you too?

Then you’re going to love the Par 6 Golf Bag Can Cooler!

Par 6 Golf Bag Can Cooler

This unique cooler is made from durable polyester with a layer of insulating foam. It’s specially designed to fit into the shoe pocket of most standard sized golf bags and can hold up to 6 cans of brew. It comes with a convenient reusable gel pack that freezes quickly and stays cold so that your beers are frosty and refreshing.

Par 6 Golf Bag Can Cooler

If you like beer, and you like golf, this is a hole in one. Get yours before you hit the links. You’ll be glad you did.

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“Bills and Brews” Pairs Craft Beer with Politicians to Rid Washington of Partisanship

April 9th, 2014 by Caleb Houseknecht

Bills and Brew Logo

There’s plenty of talk these days about the seemingly impenetrable partisanship in Washington. “The country is divided,” “Our lawmakers can’t get anything done,” “We need to change the conversation in Washington.” These are statements we read in the press and hear on the news on a daily basis. But what are we – what is anyone – doing about it?

Is there any way to tamp down the rhetoric and toss out the talking points? Matt Laslo, a veteran Washington reporter, believes there is, and he aims to do just that with his Kickstarter Campaign for a web video series called “Bills and Brews.”

The premise is simple: “By taking politicians outside of the typical media bubble and putting a local craft beer in their hands, Bills and Brews is aiming to rid Washington of partisanship one sip at a time.”

By creating an informal atmosphere where both the interviewer and the interviewee are enjoying a beer, Laslo hopes to cut through the bullshit. And since craft brewing policy is a hot new political subject, every discussion on the series will cover craft beer and the policies surrounding it.

Check out the video below for more on the premise of the show.

Matt Laslo is definitely the man for this job. He has a Master’s degree in Government and Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University, where he wrote his thesis on the impact of hyper-partisanship on contemporary lawmaking. And he’s been covering Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court since 2006 – his stories frequently appearing on NPR and countless other political print publications.

Laslo has four days before he reaches his funding deadline. He’s about $19,000 away. So if you’re interested in backing “Bills and Brews,” head on over to his Kickstarter page.

If you’re still not sure, check out the first episode with Congressman Peter DeFazio of Oregon, who just so happens to be the head of the Congressional Small Brewers Caucus.

Good luck, Matt! We hope to see many more episodes of “Bills and Brews” in the future.

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