Beerded Ladies

water + hops + malt + yeast + blog

This website is devoted to craft beer reviews, sudsy events, brewery tourism, stunning beertography, bad puns, offbeat beer pairings, dispatches from behind the bar and general beverage snobbery where we can apply terms like "biscuity" and talk about hop profiles.

Meet the Ladies.

THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL TASTE

The Presidential Primary is finally winding down, the candidate field is quickly narrowing and the question weighing on everyone's mind remains, "When will it end?" Sure it was fun in the beginning, like watching Satan, Hitler and Christian Laettner battle it out. It was fantastic seeing Hitler and Christian Laettner get their asses kicked until you realized you were cheering for Satan. At which point you thought, “Maybe Christian Laettner’s not that bad a guy...” which is an idea you never wanted to entertain. So then you thought, “There’s no way I can continue to watch this and feel okay about myself. Maybe if I stop paying attention it’ll all just go away.”

But that's a terrible attitude to have! It is essential that we familiarize ourselves with these candidates and remain actively involved in the democratic process. So, in an effort to make this last leg a bit more palatable, I’ve taken the candidates and reimagined them in the way that I reimagine most things I’ve lost interest in: by pretending they are beer.

I welcome you all to the great Presidential Taste of 2016! Here now, are our candidates...

 

Republican Beer Candidates

Our first Republican Beer candidate is the self proclaimed "Champagne of Beers" Miller High Life. Miller High Life is one of those beers that you tend to forget about until they put out a new ad campaign. Their latest was entitled “I Am Rich,” where a man makes hyperbolic statements about living a rich life over footage of him being a “normal” man. Miller High Life is recognizable by its golden tint and an ornate gold foil that covers its body. It smells like an American Adjunct Lager which is a nice way of saying it smells of corn. This is, of course, because Miller uses lot of corn in the brewing process as it cuts down on price while upping alcohol content. It also tastes of watery corn, very bubbly and unbalanced, but you'd never know it from their ads, as they classically state, “You be the judge: compare Miller High Life, the champagne of beer, with any other brand. That’s all we ask. We know the result.” Yes, we know you think you do Miller, and we all hope to God you’re wrong.

Our second Republican candidate is Bud Light, “the perfect beer for removing no from your vocabulary” AKA American’s creepiest, (maybe rapeyest) beer. Bud Light is a beer hated by millions and yet remains extremely popular and appears to also be loved by millions of people who--shall we say--have less distinguishing tastes. Appearance is standard pale straw with a small white head. On the nose, another American Adjunct Lager (AAL) though this is a light AAL and thus the taste is watery with hints of corn, which also a great way of describing the urine. This beer is not the beer you'd choose at the beginning of the night, and is typically a beer you only drink if it's near closing time and you’re already totally fucked up. As for me, I'll be keeping no in my vocabulary, thanks.

Our third candidate is for some unexplainable reason your mother’s favorite, Heineken. Though popular, this brew is far from being a really great beer -- but don’t take my word for it, just ask Dennis Hopper. It's a corporate beer that's produced for the masses, smells and tastes skunky, and is a bit off-putting. There’s almost a harshness to it with a very dry finish. Despite it's extremely unpleasant taste, it’s considered a favorite among this group of candidates. My guess is that most Americans believe this to be a high quality beer simply because it’s obviously an import, but it’s no better than any of the American Adjunct Lagers in this field.  

Our fourth candidate is the "official beer of the clam", Narragansett. This proclaimed "moderate" beer has a mild smell, taste is very grain forward with none of the unpleasant off-aromas present in your typical AAL. Taste is bland but with no unnecessary sweetness in the aftertaste and has a little bite to it. This is one I don’t mind as much and, judging from the packaging, is definitely the most appealing among non-Republican drinkers. It's a pleasant enough AAL to be considered "okay," though again, "beer of the clam"? I say let the clams decide!

This is our fifth and final candidate and I know what you're thinking: "What is this?" Miller Fortune, by name alone, sounds fancy or at least different and potentially better than the other candidates. But this style is merely Miller's attempt at brewing for the craft beer crowd, because nothing says craft like the name "Fortune." Sadly, the appearance and name do nothing for it. Upon opening, we find it is in fact the lamest of these candidates. There's no hoppiness or bitterness, it's just flat and malty. Basically, it tastes like bread. Not toasted bread, just stale, unsliced, three day old bread. As one Beer Advocate reviewer put it "Absolutely horrible beer. Bought a six pack, drank 2 and gave the rest to a homeless person." And I’d like to take this opportunity to say, if a beer is not good enough for you, it’s not good enough for those who have the least among us. They deserve better, and so do we. If we improve the quality of life for the poorest residents in our country, society as a whole will benefit. #givegoodbeertothehomeless

Sadly, we won't be seeing the Republican beer candidate that dropped out this past weekend: Dos Equis… Stay Thirsty My Friends.

democratic beer candidates

And now, for the Democratic Beer Candidates! Our first of the two major Democratic Beers, you know well. You see it pretty much everywhere beer is sold -- Blue Moon. Even though Blue Moon is heavily mass produced, it still continues to market itself as a craft beer even though many are fully aware it's MillerCoors. Blue Moon, a citrusy, zesty brew, is definitely favored among the ladies, though not necessarily the preferred witbier among witbiers. It smells sweet and yeasty (don’t think about it). Relatively smooth, overall this is a decent, familiar that is exactly what you'd expect from a wit beer, with very little surprises and zero mystery and it really REALLY wants to be your favorite beer.

The second Democratic Beer contender is one that most of America isn’t super familiar with, and because of the name, a little unsure of, but those who know it love it well: Smuttynose Finest Kind. This flavorful IPA is pleasantly balanced by a smooth bitterness. This is definitely not a training wheels IPA -- very solid and distinctive. The only true craft beer of the candidates, and if that’s important to you, this would be the one to pick. If it's not available in your area DEMAND that you get it if for no other reason than to check it out. 

Our last beer candidate is one you'll probably never get: Alchemist Heady Topper. There are many that may not have heard of Heady Topper because it is a rare beer most commonly seen in the Northeast. It looks like it would be a lot of fun to have all the time but in reality, completely untenable. Aroma is a rainbow of colorful tropical fruits, this is a beer that insists you "drink from the can" so one is advised the best way to enjoy this beer is to let it stay in its original packaging. The taste is citrus and grapefruit that is slightly bitter but so smooth it completely disguises the unsurprisingly high amount of alcohol contained in this beer. I don't know if Heady Topper would be my all around pick, but it sure is enjoyable and I'm VERY grateful for it.


This concludes the nominees for 2016's Presidential Taste. You are now free to depart to the voting booths, aka, your local bar, liquor store or grocery. Use your discerning palates to choose wisely, and enjoy!

-HK

Twas the Night Before Christmas Beer

The poem 'Twas the night before Christmas Beer' will redefine your image of the Christmas Beer. Prior to the creation of this poem, Christmas Beer's history was not widely known because it was always told in a way that was boring. Now you can bring your family of beer lovers together round the fireplace with your favorite holiday brew and enjoy a new Christmas Classic;  the story of the Christmas Beer.

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Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
There was beer that was brewing, with spices and malts

The recipe goes back, long before you and I
And it does not begin with the Belgians (no lie!)

Twas the Norse who invented this spirit with cheer
To be brewed in all homes for this time of year
Twas against the law not to, so brew it they would
Every house, every year, for King Haakon the Good

The tradition continued, from the 900's on
A beer brewed for Christmas; it was usually strong
And time it did pass, and tradition it grew
The style it did vary, and the name it did too

On Juleøl and Julebryg and Bières de Noël
Winter warmers too, let's include them as well

Though they are brewed (mostly) as English Strong Ales
Speaking of which, I must tell a tale...

When Christmas Beer made it to England for brewin'
Like most things eventually, the English did ruin
Did you know good beer lovers, that Stella Artois
Was originally brewed as a Christmas Beer?! Whaaa???

But back to the poem, for the story goes on
In America! Where Christmas tradition is strong,
Craft Beer giant Anchor, of the known Anchor Steam
Were the first to brew beer, with this joyous theme

The first year it was brewed was in '75
Go see all the labels, on their website, archived
Since that first year of brewing and ever year after

They form a new recipe, true Christmas Beer crafters

Now Rogue and Full Sail and more brew this ale
And in most beer shops, you can find it for sale
They're spiced or non spiced, they're dark or they're light
Most are still quite strong, so plan out your night!

"I don't celebrate Christmas, for I am a Jew."
Well don't worry, they brew beers for Hanukkah too!
Or there's Festivus beers, most everyone's set!
Though sadly there are no Kwanzaa beers, (yet...)

And thus is the story of the famed Christmas Beer
I hope it informed you and brought joy to your ears
But now I must go, into bed I must sink
Merry Christmas to all! (I've had too much to drink.)

 

-HK

Beer Soaked Thanksgiving

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Forget Draft Magazine's recommendation for a "Beer Infused" Thanksgiving that - except for the cranberry sauce - calls for mere drops of beer in dressings or glazes. 

This will not do. Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate overabundance. One cousin invited over does not a family gathering make in the same way that 1 TBSP of beer in a recipe does not make it a "beer dish." No. This is the time to be with as many of the ones you love and consume as much the things that you love.

And you love beer. 

Below are my top five Thanksgiving Beer Soaked recipes that fully incorporate all the important parts of a Thanksgiving meal and the beer. I encourage everyone to branch out and beer soak your Thanksgiving favorites!
 

BEER BRINED TURKEY

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In case you didn't know, alcohol is a natural tenderizer. I didn't know either until I found this great recipe from The Beeroness. In addition to this, the wonderful rich flavors of a delicious brown ale will bring out and highlight all the rich turkey flavor that everyone is looking forward to.

Beer: Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar, Smuttynose Old Brown Dog, or any malty, NUTTY brown ale. Stay away from brown ales with vanilla and cinamon.

Recipe: http://bit.ly/swsdtK

Tips: Remember, this a potentially a multiple day process if you have frozen turkey. You will need roughly 8 hours to thaw (30mins/1lb of turkey when submerged in cold water)  PLUS 16-18 hours for the Brine. So you know, buy a lot of BEER to drink while you wait.
 

ROASTED GARLIC and BEER MASHED POTATOES

This one comes from Billy Broas at BillyBrew, though the original recipe comes from The Homebrew Chef.  But, since Billy put together a nice little video to show you EXACTLY how to boil potatoes and mash them, we'll cut him some slack.

Beer: Green Flash West Coast IPA, Anderson Valley Hop Ottin IPA, or any IPA with primarily earthy hops like Columbus/Tomohawk hops. Stay away from citrus and floral hops. Not up on your hop identification via taste? Here's help!

Recipe: http://bit.ly/ae1BvV

Tips: Don't listen to Billy on one count: use the FULL cup of butter as well as the heavy whipping cream. Also, I'm not sure how Billy ended up with a ridiculously large boiling pot and no potato peeler, but he's a dude(?).
 

BEER BRAISED BRUSSELS SPROUTS with BACON

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I found this one through CraftBeer.com but the original is from A Spicy Perspective; they view the world through Siracha colored glasses.

Also, there's bacon.

Beer: Pyramind Thunderhead IPA, Green Flash West Coast IPA, or another Columbus hopped IPA. 

Recipe: http://bit.ly/10oiAk9

Tips: Craft Beer was vague when listing the beer to use for this recipe called for "something light and crisp". Really Craftbeer.com? Did a customer at the bar I work at type up this recipe for you? (Bartender jokes!)

I say marry your mashed and brussels and use that same earthy IPA for both dishes.
 

BROWN ALE STUFFING

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Coming to you from the amazing Brooklyn Brew Shop, this recipe is speaks directly to my definition of what true stuffing should be (plus beer.)

Beer: Chestnut Brown Ale. Unless, of course, you didn't buy the kit from Brooklyn Brew Shop and spend the last few months home brewing the specific beer that this recipe calls for. In case you didn't do that, use the same nutty brown ale that you used for your turkey brine.

Recipe: http://bit.ly/TLUWeg 

Tips: I would also add to the mix

  • 1 package of breakfast sausage, cooked and diced
  • All of the boiled and diced turkey innards that should come in a nice little package when you get your turkey or that you kept and froze when you butchered your turkey.
     

HAYLEY'S BEER APPLE PIE

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This is MY recipe and I stand by my pie.

Beer: Allagash Curieux or a bourbon barrel aged ale (for sweeter pie) or Peekskill Simple Sour or similar a dry Sour (for a pie that's more tart).

Recipe:

For (9 1/2) 2 crust pie:

  • 2 1/3 C Flour
  • 1 C butter
  • 3/4 TSP table salt
  • 1/2 TSP baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3 TBSP cold water

For Pie Filling:

  • 7-8 "Crisp" Apples (Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, get a mix of anything that snaps when you bite a chunk out of it)
  • 3-4 C's of cold Beer
  • 1/2 TSP Cinnamon
  • 1/8 TSP Ground Clove
  • 1/8 TSP Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 C Brown sugar (for sweater pie) or White sugar (for pie that's more tart!)
  • 3 TBSP flour

Instructions:

Wash your apples and get a bowl ready with 2 cups of your beer. You will be peeling/slicing your apples and dropping these apple slices into your bowl of beer to soak. The size of your apple slices should be consistent and no more than a 1/2 inch at the widest point. When your apples slices start filling the bowl, add more beer to cover your apples as needed. Once all your apples are submerged in your bowl of beer, place this bowl in the fridge while you prepare your pie crust. 

If you have yourself a store bought crust, no worries. Enjoy the rest of the beer and let your apples soak for about 30 minutes. If not...

Crust time! 

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Mix the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl, and cube your butter which shouldn't be rock hard. (Take it out of the fridge a few minutes before you start. Your finger should leave a slight imprint when you press the butter.) Once cubed, cut the butter into the flour using whatever method you like best. I prefer two dinner knives, working the mixture until the particles have a coarse, mealy texture similar to that of fresh bread crumbs with some larger pea-size pieces.

Once this is ready, quickly whisk together the egg and cold water in a small bowl. Once mixed, drizzle 1 TBS of the water/egg mix around the edge of the bowl, letting it trickle into the crumbs. Flick the moistened crumbs toward the center with a table fork, rotating the bowl as you work. Repeat with the remaining mix adding 1 TBS at a time. As you add the mix, the crums should begin to form larger clusters. Once you've added whole mix, take a handful of crumbs and squeeze them gently; they should hold together. If they easily break apart, the mixture needs more water, so slowly add more cold water, a 1/2 TBS at a time, checking the consistency after each addition. 

Gather a handful of the crumbly dough and press it against the side of the bowl to form a small mass, flouring your hand as needed to prevent excessive sticking. Increase the size of this mass by pressing it into more of the crumbly mixture until you've used up about half of the total mixture in the bowl. Make a second mass of dough with the remaining crumbs. If some of the crumbs on the bottom of the bowl need more moistening, add a few drops of water. Form the two masses of dough into balls.

Preheat your oven to 400°F

Roll out the first crust portion on floured surface and allow for about 1 inch of overhang. Place the first crust and in your pie pan. Roll out second crust and have it ready to top your pie. 

Remove apples from the fridge and drain the soaked apples. Save the beer to drink and  to brush on your crust. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg in a small bowl. Stir this mix into your apples. Stir in the flour last. Lovingly pour this apple mix into your pie crusted pie pan. Take your second crust and top your pie, folding up the crust around the edges. Cut a few slits in the top, maybe make a cool design like a turkey or a pint glass. 

Put your pie in the oven and bake  for 30 mins at 400°F. Then lower the temp to 375°F and bake for another 30-40 mins until the top and bottom crusts are golden brown and the juices are bubbling. 

Once it's done, remove from the oven Once your pie is out of the oven, and LIGHTLY brush it with your apple infused Beer. Cool the pie at least 3 hours and up to overnight before serving.

Tips : I always put a cookie sheet either underneath my pie pan or on the shelf below. The juice from the pie tends to bubble over and can make your oven messy/start a fire after years of baking pies and making messes and not cleaning them up.

Obviously, get a delicious Vanilla Ice Cream to accompany this pie. Obviously.

 

Government Shutdown: Beer Goggles

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When it comes to our political candidates, there's nothing Americans like more than "likability". Every Representative in Congress is there because that have shown themselves favorable enough to represent the values of their constituents, but more importantly the 535 members of Congress represent the people Americans would most like to have a beer with. And ever since a 2004 Zogby/Williams poll question popularized the drinking buddy as a litheness test for likability, the results have always tended to favor Republicans. Sadly, the Government Shutdown has changed that... 

Being the person-you-would-rather-have-a-beer-with means different things to different people and if you're like me, who that person is depends on the mood you're in. Some nights the person I would rather have a beer with is the one who can philosophize for hours about the meaning of life, and sometimes that person is the one who's going to play Edward 40-hands and then take a leak on my neighbors yard butt. And it appears as though a couple years ago, enough people were in the right mood to vote for the latter. 

Now, I can see why - for some in America - it would have been appealing to go for this type of drinking buddy; the charismatic Republican. Thousands were out of work, the economy was bad, and their traditional morals seemed so disjointed. Sometimes you just want to escape your problems and have a beer with the kind of person who shakes things up and brings a party to life! But it's a giant leap from lawn ornament pissing to putting thousands more Americans out of work, putting vital programs on hold and not paying our nations Veterans. Sometimes, the person who brings a party to life can take it too far and immediately bring it to a screeching halt.

So - and I hate to be the one that has to say it, but - Republicans, America no longer wants to have a beer with you. 

Look, America invited you because they wanted you to be a part of this thing. Not so you could show up at the last minute with a six-pack of Bud Light Lime, make everyone stop drinking and insist that we get rid of all the other beer because, as you insist, "Everyone should drink Bud Light Lime instead -- it's better for business, it's better for America!" There's not enough of your beer for everyone and it's Bud Light Lime! (I know you picked it because you think women love it - we don't.) Plus, America already decided that we would have a variety of beer and in equal amounts available for everyone, that's why we're doing this. And was we've repeated several times now, it's already happening.

Now, America isn't saying that they wouldn't want to have a beer with you ever again, just not right now with you the way that you're acting. Please stop insisting you're fine when you're not making any sense and talking to us with your eyes closed. Have some water and we'll find somewhere to prop you upright so when you pass out you won't choke on your own vomit. We're gonna keep this thing going for awhile so feel free to sleep as long as you want; you can join us when you wake up. And don't worry, you know how America is, after they've been here awhile and they've had a few, you'll probably start to look good to them again.

-HK

 

So, You're Getting Your Dad Beer for Father's Day?

How original.  

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"Father's Day is the fourth-highest holiday in beer sales, according to Nielsen Co. That would be after the Fourth of July, Labor Day and Memorial Day, and a lot higher on the charts than No. 8 - The Super Bowl." - News Observer

Search "father's day beer" in Google and you'll get list after list of Father's Day Beer Tours including a Father's Day Beer Train Tour, (beerANDtrains! beerANDtrains!) There's also plenty of Beer related gift baskets and variety packs.

C'mon daughters and sons! Let's put a little effort into this!

But don't type "father's day gift" into Google search. Unless your dad would love a wireless dolphin mouse or anything from this bizzare list of father's day gift ideas.  

So what's a child to do? In the past I went for either a new tie, tool, or lawn care product. And then I turned 21. Now I find myself torn between great beer or a great traditional Father's Day gift. I'm almost 30, (so I'm super smart) which is why I'm here to say, why choose? Why not get him BOTH?!

TIES (and beer)

Beer you drink and forget. A Beer-Tie you can enjoy forever...

"My Dad Loves Guinness" Does your Dad Love Guinness? He doesn't? Who cares. He's not your real dad anyway.

"My Dad Loves Guinness" Does your Dad Love Guinness? He doesn't? Who cares. He's not your real dad anyway.

"The Nostalgia" for the Dad who misses the "Bud-wei-zer" frogs or doesn't go anywhere where he'd actually need a tie

"The Nostalgia" for the Dad who misses the "Bud-wei-zer" frogs or doesn't go anywhere where he'd actually need a tie

TOOLS (and beer)

Hammer Time! 

LAWN CARE

Help your dad start a hop garden!

 

He'll need:

 

 

 

 

 

Preview to your Dad's New Backyard!

Hope everyone has a very Happy Father's Day! 

-HK

 

Beer tasting isn't bullshit. Here's why in two parts.

Part I: Distinguishing Tastes

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When I was a little girl, and I asked my father, "What does beer taste like?" he answered, "It tastes like horse piss." I could see the color of it and when I snuck a smell of the bottle, it seemed a fair assesment, though it didn't explain why my father drank it so much. 

Years later I've followed in my father's footsteps and flounder when trying to describe the taste of beer. If I withhold my knowledge of animal urine, the range of adjectives I'm left with is very limited. Which is why I was delighted to read "Wine tasting is bullshit. Here's why." 

"The human palate is arguably the weakest of the five traditional senses. This begs an important question regarding wine tasting: is it bullshit, or is it complete and utter bullshit?"

So called experts are ranking wines in fallacious ways, and ultimately advising everyone on what is "good" and what is not. The same must be true for beer! (I thought.) I awaited an expert to confirm this and almost immediately there was a(n attempt at a) confirmation from Erin Steen at Focus on Beer. In his in depth article he concluded:

"I don't reach any conclusions, I just talk a lot, and I also don't really care about answering that question. "

Thanks Eric! Buuuuut, I still care about answering the question. Is craft beer tasting exclusive? Do you need a super hero-like palate to truly enjoy and remark on craft beer or can anyone taste the rainbow? 

The answers: NO. No, and yes!

CRAFT BEER IS EVERYMAN. It's all inclusive. You only need look at the top beer review sites, beeradvocate and rate beer to know this. Bryan Roth sums it up.

"Ultimately, the beer review is an attempt to open things up for people. It’s about demystifying the idea that craft beer is fancy and you have to know something about it to really expand your palate and try all sorts of brews. Even more important – you don’t have to know a damned thing about craft beer to enjoy it. -  This is Why I'm Drunk"

Oliver Gray adds:

"Don’t be so caught up in what people expect from a review. If you want to write about the hop characteristics because that’s just your thing, go for it. If you want to write about a memory that this beer brought surging back to the front of your brain, by all means. If you’re like me, and you want to write a story based on the taste and appearance of the beer, don’t let anyone stop you. - Literature and Libation"

I can cull up a memory on a dime after one sip of a beer, but what if I also would like to discuss hop characteristics. How do I... how does that... what do hops taste like?

For hops AND memories, join me next week for Part II: Tasting what you taste when you taste a tasty beer.

 

Are you there, beer? It's me, Hayley.

What do moms want for Mother's Day?

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I'm not sure. In lieu of offspring and in place of always a bouquet of Lilies, this year I'd love for a fantastic craft beer to be my Mother's Day present. BUT, unless it's Heineken my mom doesn't usually drink beer. Many moms don't drink beer at all and for a number of good reasons. They avoid carbs and yeast because getting older means quirkier digestion and easy weight gain. They don't like anything too strong tasting, for reasons Google can't seem to explain though I can verify through experience. 

That could all change this Mother's Day...

Take mom on a brewery tour! Take her! Take her! She shall see! (Green Eggs and Ham, you learned from that book!) You know the right thing to do. And The Pink Boots Society's president Teri Fahrendorf, has urged all brewpubs and packaging breweries to offer tours and beer samplings this coming Sunday, for Mother's Day. And for good reason...

"At one time, all beer was brewed by mothers in their homes for their family," Fahrendorf says. But the Industrial Revolution turned a household activity into a business, and brewing became stereotyped as a big-muscle, men-only job." - Washington Post

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If there's no accessible brewery in your area, here's a couple of beers that you could bring in a lovely basket - with flowers - to a Mother's Day brunch that you prepared BECAUSE IT'S MOTHER'S DAY AND YOUCANCOOKFORONCEGODDAMNIT!

If your mom usually drinks:

1.WINE, go with a Sour or Saison.

Mom's LOVE wine. If this is your mom's drink of choice get her a beer with similar palate points. Like Goose Island Lolita, a Belgian style pale ale/sour and aged on raspberries and wine barrels. It has bright jammy fruit flavors and is crisp and refreshing. Or go for the Jolly Pumpkin Bam Noire which would be a fantastic red wine replacement. Dark and smooth with hints of sweet plum, and cacao with just enough tartness to let you know it's a Saison.  

2. ROLLING ROCK (or similar), try a Session IPA or a light Hefeweizen.

Can't go wrong with Rogue's MoM which is a tasty light Hefeweizen that is brewed with rose petals. Or the Founder's All Day IPA which is not only a pretty 4.7% ABV but is deliciously malty enough to ease mom into the amazing world of craft IPAs.

3. HEINEKEN... ugh, I mean...

This is tough. I've gotten this question a handful of times at the bar I work at, "Do you have anything on tap that's like Heineken " No. There's nothing that's quite like it; it is in a category of terrible all it's own. If your mom has a particular enough taste that this is her beer of choice, I'd go all the way with a really nice IPA. The Stone Enjoy By 05.17.13 is FANTASTIC. Eleven different hops added at all points of the brew process. It's a veritable hop party in your mouth! 

Take the plunge. If she hates it, make it a joke and say "just kidding" and pull out a six pack of Heineken or some Black Box red wine that you've already chilled in the fridge. Works. Every. Time.

-HK

Jockey For Her

It's my beer in a box.

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There are a lot of obvious fun things I've been introduced to as a beer blogger, first the shower beer, now the Jockey Box.

I saw my first JB at a recent event organized by my fellow lady. This one (below) was fancy and sleek, via SingleCut.

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If you haven't figured it out yet, the Jockey Box is essentially portable taps that allow you to expertly dispense cold beer ANYWHERE. Classier than a straight keg tap, perfect for tailgating, picnics, or your bedroom.

Now, I know what you're thinking: I WANT ONE. Here's a couple of things you should know before you make your Jockey Box purchase.

50' or 120' coil - What length should you have in your Jockey Box?

The 50' is significantly cheaper, but it needs time to recover between pours and is meant to accomodate smaller events where beer is poured intermitently. If you are planning a large party or event where beer pouring is constant, go with the 120' coil.

Ice Ice Baby

Coils MUST be covered with CUBED ice at all times for proper beer flowage.

Be prepared!

Get yourself a tapping tool box so you will be prepared for any keg, coil or CO2 troubleshooting. And always have extra coils and hoses on hand.

Now...

If you're a beer lover of simple means and also handy with a drill, here's how you can make your own!

Intro to your box

Supplies

Instructions:

If you're not so handy, there are also many places to purchase Jockey Box's online. Beverage Factory offered the lowest prices I could find for a JB with 120' coil, though they all hover around $600.00

Also, if you're a home brewer and want to add a little swag when pouring your beer at an event, Portable Bar Company makes custom Jockey Box Covers. Sample, for Ballast Point.

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I hope you enjoy these boxes as much as I do. Until my next beer discovery...

-HK

Hoppy Easter!

Beer as blood of Christ and other religious drinking.

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Okay, this is from a blog, but still:

"The original Aramaic text talks about "strong drink" and "lines of ale vats." ... When the Bible was translated, centuries after Jesus had ascended to the throne of heaven, "strong drink" was replaced by "wine." At the time, beer was considered the commoner's drink, while wine was considered an upscale beverage reserved for the elite. At the time of the translation, wine was savored during the fine meals by the culturally enlightened. Beer was swilled by ignorant peasants. Historical accuracy was sacrificed because ignorant peasants were not doing the translating." - Beer Church

So, Jesus most likely turned water to beer, drank beer at the last super and WE SHOULD be drinking beer at communion.

Fun Biblical beer references to share around the dinner table: Numbers 28:7-10Proverbs 31:6Isaiah 24:9.

Easter Beer History:

The Danes brew Påskeøl "Easter Beer," which is usually a 5-6% lager and Bock's are historically associated with Easter, Lent and Christmas. In fact, Doppelbocks, sometimes referred to as Fastenbier ("Lenten beer,") emerged in the late eighteenth century as a powerful lager variant of the old monastic strong beer, monks' "liquid bread" which they brewed for Lent. It would be enjoyed consumed only for religious purposes during the 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. It was the only thing they consumed during that time, because they were holy, and pure. The secular version of this sacred strong bier was called Bockbier.

But let's get back to the Danes, and when women ruled brewing:

"Denmark has a long history with the art of beer making that predates Christianity. It goes back to their own Norse mythology with the goddess Freya who by virtue of her domain being the goddess of harvest was also known as the goddess of beer. ... The role of the woman as brew master of the home continued until the Reformation when their role in brewing gradually began to fade as beer became less a byproduct of food production and more a commodity. This was primarily due to the influence of the church and advent of merchant class." - Water from the Vine

So remember, church = decline of women brewers.

All this history has made me thirsty. So, what beer shall I pair with my upcoming Easter Dinner?

I'm going to phone this one in and refer to the folks at The Good Pour as they put together a fabulous Easter Dinner Beer Pairing list which includes Evil Twin Brewing's "Ryan and the Beaster Bunny."

Also, homemade Peeps.

HOP-y Easter everyone!

-HK

Ugh... It's Saint Patrick's Day!

I don't need another excuse to drink, and you probably don't either.

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I'm not Irish (and you're probably not either.) So, St. Patrick's Day. Why?

Because you're going to anyways...

I want to drink on St. Patty's, but I don't want to be a St. Fatty. What should I drink?

You're in luck! TIME found 7 low carb beers for you to drink this St. Patrick's Day. 

"...we consulted the experts for the best way to satisfy your thirst at the bar for under 200 calories a glass. According to Chris Swersey, the technical brewing projects coordinator at the Brewers Association who monitors beer and health for the Association, stouts are a good option. You might think they're high in calories because they're dark and full-flavored. "But beers in this style actually tend to be relatively lower in alcohol and carbohydrates than other craft styles, and therefore lower in calories," he says. - TIME

Surprisingly, they named 21st Amendment Bitter American as one of the beers! High five for craft beer!

Green beer is SOOO fun!

You just HAVE to be fancy and impress your friends/patrons. Fine. Just, please use natural dyes because artificial dyes SUCK.

"...synthetic chemicals do absolutely nothing to improve the nutritional quality or safety of foods, but trigger behavior problems in children and, possibly, cancer in anybody." said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson." - FOOD SAFETY NEWS

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(I wish they would dye it red for easter.)

So, what beer pairs best with hating St. Patrick's Day?

I don't hate St. Patrick's Day. It's cute, and should maybe only be celebrated by children, like Halloween.  Hate or love, you want to celebrate the Irish, therefore, you should go for an Irish Stout. I hate to let my ladies down, but the best Irish Stout I've tasted is the classic Guinness Draught. BUT, I would love to try Three Floyd's Brewing Co.'s Barrel Aged Black Sun Stout.

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Tasting Notes from Beer Advocate: "Follows the nose with boozy bourbon up front, some dark chocolate, and a light marshmallow. Lots of roasted malts. Finish is boozy bourbon and caramel." 

Sound's amazing, and it's from a local Chicago Brewery that made a recent foray into the film industry

This is kinda my dream. Having a family brewery, using the proceeds to fund film projects. Next time I go home, I'll have to make a trip to Chicago...oh, whoops! Got distracted. Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

-HK