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The KegWorks Blog

Skunky Science: How to Keep Your Suds Safe

July 25th, 2014 by Caleb Houseknecht

Pepé Le Pew

Everyone knows that stomach-turning, nose-cringing, taste and smell of skunky beer. But do you know how beer gets skunky? My guess is many of you do, because you’re all veteran beer drinkers. I do think, however, that few people know why bad beer gets the name “skunky.” And I often hear the word misused. I’m hear to address that.

First and foremost, the skunky effect produced in beer is caused by prolonged exposure to sunlight. This is why the term “light-struck” is often used interchangeably with “skunky.” While many use the term to label beer that’s been stored at room temperature or chilled, warmed up, and re-chilled, technically, that beer isn’t skunky.

So why the word skunky? Well, beer is photosensitive, and glass bottles, especially clear glass bottles, let in UV rays. Those rays cause isohumulones (the chemical compounds that make beer bitter) to decompose, while simultaneously causing the compounds found in a skunk’s spray to decompose.

Skunky Beer EquationThe three main odorous components of a skunk’s spray have been identified as crotyl mercaptan, isopentyl mercaptan, and methyl crotyl disulfide. If you’re interested in what all of those giant scientific words mean, a simple Google search will take you further.

For the laymen however, myself included, what I want to talk about is the rank spray composed primarily of the three aforementioned chemicals. It is a yellowish, unctuous fluid, which comes from two little nipples located inside a skunk’s anus. The liquid is released from the anus in the form of a fine spray or a stream of rain-sized drops, depending on the skunk’s mood, of course.

So next time you think about heading to the beach with clear glass and no cooler protection, picture Pepé Le Pew squatting over your brew and making it skunk-rain all over the place. Not cool. Bring a cooler, a cup, a can, or a beer in a brown glass bottle if you’re drinking outside this summer.

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Celebrate National Tequila Day!

July 24th, 2014 by Collin Wittman

Today, July 24th, 2014, is National Tequila Day in America. Friends, compatriots, amigos…let’s drink up!

Are you one of those people who is afraid of tequila? You know who I’m talking about. One of the people for whom tequila has always been a fire starter and tonight, you just don’t feel like burning. I get it. Hell, I’ve been there.

Too often, I drank my tequila by the pitcherful in the form of sugary, machine-poured frozen margs. Adult Slurpees always seemed like the best thing ever in the moment. I felt alive and in my prime and vital like a young lion, and then all of a sudden it was 4:45 AM and I’d decided that I’d just be living in the bathroom for the rest of my life because no one could ever love me as much as the toilet did. Invariably, the next morning, I’d say, “Man. Tequila and I just don’t get along.”

tequila tasting

“Talk to the hand tequila.”

No, in fact, you might say that tequila and I have arrived at a quiet understanding. I have learned to give tequila the respect it deserves, and I daresay, it seems shockingly happy to return the favor.

Guys, it’s not the tequila’s fault (unless you’re drinking really bottom-barrel stuff that’s packed with sugar and caramel coloring). You can’t guzzle it with abandon and expect to drift off gently into the night. If you’re going to give it a shot (see what I did there?), you’ve got to consider its nuances and embrace the ritual a little bit. Make an evening of it, you know?

That’s what makes our Cantinero Tequila Tasting Set such a thing of beauty. This elegant little set offers everything you need to put all of your bad feelings about tequila behind you and embrace the beguiling charms of Mexico’s national liquor.

cantinero1

cantinero2

You’ve got six heavy-bottomed, durable shot glasses for you and five lucky friends. You’ve got a gorgeous, classy wooden serving tray with a spot for each glass. You’ve got a convenient ceramic dish to hold your limes and a frosted salt shaker to finish things off. Really, just add some tequila, some company, and a willingness to finally drink with an open mind. I’m quite confident that you’ll have a grand old time and learn to appreciate tequila in a whole new light!

cantinero 4

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10 Beer-Inspired DIY Projects for Summer

July 23rd, 2014 by Caleb Houseknecht

Looking for some Do-it-Yourself inspiration this summer? We’re here to help. We’ve scoured the interwebs and gathered a few of our own ideas to complete this list of 10 DIY beer projects. Scroll through, and make sure you read the last paragraph about sharing your projects.

1. Bottle Cap Bar

Preston Lane's Bottle Cap Bar

The one above was built by KegWorks customer, Preston Lane, and I’m sure you’ve all seen the Bottle Cap Wall in the KegWorks office.

KegWorks Bottle Cap Wall

There are plenty of ways to do this – we used magnetic sheeting and plywood.

2. Growler Lamp

growler lamp

We found some great instructions on a blog called Hopes and Dreams. Just sub out the Apple Juice bottle for a growler, and you’re good to go!

3. Yeast Vial Tap Handles

yeast vial tap handles

Homebrewers: what do you do with your empty yeast vials? Fill ‘em with hops and grain and turn them into tap handles!

4. Beer Bottle Torches

Beer Bottle Torch from Metal and Mud
Imagine your backyard lit up elegantly by your favorite beer bottles. That can happen. Check out the Metal and Mud blog for step-by-step instructions.

5. Patio Table with Cooler

Patio Table with Built-in Cooler
I think this picture speaks for itself. Check out instructions at Domesticated-Engineer.com.

6. Beer Bottle Tote

Wooden Beer Bottle Tote from the New Hobbyist
If you’re the kind of person who has a variety of beers in the fridge at one time, then you know how tough it can be to take them on the road. Scrap the flimsy, cardboard carriers and make yourself a wooden beer tote. Check out thorough instructions at The New Hobbyist, and shop a variety of mounted bottle openers here.

7. Kegerator Conversion

Tim Shisler of the KegWorks Store, Working on a Converted Refrigerator
Have an old fridge around the house? Turn it into a draft dispensing dream.

8. Framed Bottle Cap Art

Framed Bottle Cap Art
Collect the caps from your favorite brands, grab a frame, some magnets strips, and you’re good to go!

9. Recycled Bottle Tumblers

KegWorks Recycled Glassware Selection
Turn any bottle into a reusable glass with step-by-step instructions from Men’s Health, or if you want the luxury without the work, check out our selection of recycled bottle glassware.

10. Wooden Tasting Paddle

Beer Tasting Paddle by Style Me Pretty

Image Courtesy of StyleMePretty.com

Impress all your beer geek friends with this DIY beer paddle. StyleMePretty put together some really visual, easy-to-follow instruction on their blog. When your paddle is constructed, get your tasting glasses here.

***

What kind of DIY beer projects have you done? We’d love to see them.

We’ve started a group Pinterest board called “DIY Beer Projects.” If you’d like to contribute, comment right here on the blog, or on Facebook, and tell us, “Add me to the group board.” Make sure you follow the KegWorks Pinterest page first, because in order to participate, we must be following each other. Note: You must follow the entire KegWorks account – and vice versa – not just the specific board. 

If Pinterest isn’t your style, but you’d still like to share a photo, post it elsewhere – like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram – with the hashtag #DIYbeerKW, and we’ll keep an eye out for your project!

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Clean Up Your Act with Handbrewed Beer Soaps!

July 21st, 2014 by Collin Wittman

handbrewed-beer-oaps

We’ve all been there. You’re sipping on a particularly tasty beer and enjoying every drop. “Man, this is so delicious,” you think. “I wish I could bathe in this golden elixir.”

Well, obviously, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to bathe in beer. For starters, it would be really wasteful, and we all know what a crime it is to be wasteful of good beer. And obviously, you’d probably not feel particularly clean after a beer bath. So, really, your thought is impossible to follow through on.

Or is it?

Meet our new line of Handbrewed Soaps. Each one of these beauteous bars of soap is made from 100% all-natural ingredients, including (you guessed it) beer! They’re handcrafted with love in small batches in Oakland, CA and because they’re not laden with all kinds of gross chemicals, you can feel confident that your skin will be left radiant, exfoliated, and smooth as a baby’s bottom! If you’re worried about smelling like a pint when you step out of the shower, don’t be. These soaps are mostly fragrance-free so you’ll be just as clean and pure as ever.

If you love beer, or love someone who does, beer soap is basically a no-brainer right? Yeah, I thought so. So go ahead and scoop a bar or five today and embrace the suds in a whole new way!

1. Handbrewed Beer Soap – Hefeweizen

beer soap

2. Handbrewed Beer Soap – Spiced Ale

beer soap

3. Handbrewed Beer Soap – Orange Ale

beer soap

4. Handbrewed Beer Soap – IPA

beer soap

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Celebrate National Ice Cream Day with a Guinness Float

July 18th, 2014 by Caleb Houseknecht

Did you guys know that this Sunday is National Ice Cream Day? That’s for real. I guess it makes sense. We’re kind of in the middle of summer, no big holidays, and of course, it’s hot.

To celebrate this delightful day, I thought I’d suggest an ice cream recipe with a KegWorks twist – the Guinness float.

Guinness Ice Cream Float

Now, before you knock it, try it. It’s really easy to make and quite tasty. There are loads of recipes if you Google “Guinness Float,” but I like mine pretty simple. Here’s what I do…

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle or can of Guinness
  • 1-2 scoops vanilla or vanilla bean ice cream
  • Whipped cream, for topping
  • Dash of nutmeg

Preparation

1.)  Add ice cream into an Imperial Pint Glass or a large beer mug.
2.)  Pour Guinness slowly over the ice cream.
3.)  Sprinkle the top with a dash of nutmeg and enjoy!

If you really want to do this the right way, prepare yours in this official Guinness Gravity Imperial Pint Glass!

 Guinness Gravity Pint

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The Dog Days Are Here: Cool Off With the Hottest Mason Jar Merch!

July 17th, 2014 by Collin Wittman

Well friends, it’s really getting hot out there. Although the days are getting shorter, the mercury keeps steadily climbing and it’s pretty much impossible to sit on leather couches naked. Quite frankly, I think I can officially announce that the Dog Days are upon us.

So, what can we do? How can we stay cool in the face of all this sticky heat? Two words: Mason jars!

There’s no hotter trend in drinkware than the simple iconic Mason jar, and we’ve got the products to prove it. Keep reading to see a selection of some our most unique Mason offerings or click here to see everything we’ve got that’s been inspired by the Southern charm of traditional Mason jars.

1. Write On Chalkboard Mason Drinking Jars with Straws

178536-mason-chalk-glasses-B3

2. Mason Jar Cocktail Shaker

177461-mason-jar-shaker-B2

3. Mason Jar Shot Glasses

177466-mason-jar-shot-B1

4. Mason Jar Beverage Dispenser

178264-mason-jar-glass-dispenser-B1

5. Libbey Mason Jar Drinking Mug

177442-libbey-mason-jug-B3

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COOLEST Cooler is Beyond Cool

July 16th, 2014 by Caleb Houseknecht

Coolest Cooler Main Image

Everyone knows how cumbersome coolers can be. Whether you’re headed to the beach, the park, or out on the boat, they’re nothing more than necessary evils. Despite other notable advances in drinking techniques and technology, the cooler peaked with the rudimentary addition of wheels. It’s kind of pathetic when you think about it.

But the times they are a-changin’. For the better. Allow me to introduce the COOLEST Cooler, a Kickstarter project with over 27,000 backers, and $5 million in funding, with 44 days to go. Read that sentence again. That’s unheard of on Kickstarter. Most people are fighting to the last day to reach their goal. Coolest has reached theirs 100 times over with over five weeks left in their campaign.

So what’s all the fuss about? The 60-quart COOLEST cooler has a built-in ice crushing blender, a waterproof bluetooth speaker, and a built-in USB charger. And that’s far from everything. It also includes…

Other COOLEST Cooler Features

I’m telling you right now. You have never seen anything like this. Watch the video. From start to finish. It will blow your mind.

Okay, so now you’ve realized you absolutely must have one of these bad boys, right? Yeah, that’s how over 25,000 other people felt. So head on over to the COOLEST Kickstarter page and pledge $185 (+$15 for shipping). That pledge level ensures you will have your very own COOLEST by February of 2015, and you will save $115 off of the $299 retail price.

With the kind of support this project is getting, who knows? KegWorks could be carrying the COOLEST by February as well!

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