6 Beer Cocktails To Warm You Up This Winter

During the colder months, having your friends over can really take the chill out of the season. But, what are you going to serve?

Wings and beer at a friendly get together are no-brainers, along with pigs in the blanket, dip, and other popular favorites. But, what if you wanted to take things to another level?

Never fear, we’ve got you covered. Below are 6 delicious beer cocktail recipes that will do wonders, in terms of elevating your beverage situation. Using beer as the base of your drinks (instead of ginger ale or soda water) will add depth of flavor and carbonation that may surprise you and your guests.

For instance, one of the most famous beer cocktails is something called a Michelada, which is very popular in Latin America. It combines beer with assorted hot sauces, lime juice, peppers, and spices. But, this isn’t your only option. In fact, experimenting bartenders have found that that there are a variety of spirits and flavor combinations that work quite well with different types of beers.

Intrigued? Consider the following recipes to help you take the chill out of the autumn and/or winter air:

The Duchess of London
This sweet, but tart, beer and gin recipe will delight the senses. And, it’s relatively simple to make, simply combine the following ingredients in a shaker and shake well.

What You Will Need:

  • 3/4 oz ginger syrup
  • 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
  • 2 oz gin

To make the ginger syrup, combine 3 tablespoons of ginger and 2 tablespoons of sugar and let simmer in a little bit of water.

Orcadian Nights
This cocktail is a combination of scotch and dark beer that will provide make your mouth feel velvety smooth.

What You Will Need:

  • ¾ oz whole egg white
  • 1 ½ oz whisky
  • 1 oz Porter ale
  • ¼ ounce honey
  • ½ ounce pimento dram
  • Freshly grated nutmeg

What to Do:

  • Combine egg, honey, pimento dram, and whisky into a cocktail shaker and mix for about ten seconds
  • Add ice to the shaker and mix until the drink is well chilled
  • Add porter and strain the ingredients into a chilled glass
  • Garnish with nutmeg

Intentional Grounding
Even in the midst of winter, sometimes it’s good to cool off. This drink, with its refreshing cucumber and lime, is perfect for just such an occasion.

What You Will Need:

  • Your favorite pale ale
  • 2 tbsp diced cucumber
  • 3/4 oz simple syrup
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 2 oz tequila
  • Cucumber wheel

What to Do:

  • Add all the ingredients (except for the beer) into a shaker with about 4 cubes of ice and shake until nicely chilled
  • Strain the mixture into a glass
  • Top with the beer
  • Garnish the mixture with a cucumber wheel

Rotten Cider
This particular cocktail is an easily made rendition of the Snakebite, a cider and beer concoction that was very popular in the 1980s. Just combine (in equal parts) Guinness Stout and Angry Orchard Hard Cider.

To add a dramatic flair, pour the Angry Orchard in first. Then, use the back of a spoon to slowly pour the Guinness into the cup. This will make the beer slide down the side of the glass and rest on top of the cider.

The Hop Collins
This is a twist on the popular Tom Collins cocktail but with a hoppy IPA to up the aromatic factor.

What You Will Need:

  • 3 oz IPA
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 2 oz gin
  • Raspberry to garnish

What to Do:

  • Place a couple of ice cubes in a chilled glass
  • Combine simple syrup, lemon juice, gin, and ice in a shaker and shake well
  • Pour the mixture into the glass
  • Fill the rest of the glass with IPA
  • To minimize foam, pour slowly onto the ice cubes. This will also give a cool layered effect that will show off your (supposed) bartending prowess
  • Garnish your creation with a raspberry and serve with a straw

The Check is in the Mail
This cocktail is inspired by the classic Air Mail drink (made with honey, sparkingling wine, lime juice, and rum) and it will definitely make you feel as if you are floating.

What You Will Need:

  • 1/2 oz cinnamon syrup
  • 3/4 oz lime juice
  • 3/4 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz honey rum
  • 1 oz regular rum
  • 1 1/2 oz IPA with citrus notes
  • 1/2 tsp honey

What To Do:

To make the cinnamon syrup:

  • Mix equal parts water and sugar into a saucepan on stove on medium heat
  • Add 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Cook on low for about 15 minutes
  • Remove the cinnamon

To make the cocktail:

  • Mix all the ingredients in a shaker with ice until nicely chilled
  • Pour into your desired glass and add grated cinnamon to garnish

The recipes listed above are guaranteed to take your next get-together to another level, just make sure everyone drinks responsibly. With that being said, enjoy the envy that is sure to be on your friends’ faces when they taste the delicious cocktails. It will warm you up during the cold months for sure. Salud!

A Perfect Pour in Seconds!

There are few things in life better than a perfectly poured beer. Can you picture it? The smooth flow of amber liquid? The bubbles that form as the amber liquid rises to the top? How the frothy foam settles atop the glass?

Now, don’t you wish you could pour beer like that? Every single time?

The Anatomy Of A Perfect Pour

oktoberfest-beerIt doesn’t matter whether you’re a weathered bartender or a complete novice, you can achieve a perfectly poured beer every single time. How do you do it? Simple:

It all starts with a healthy beer system. You need to have clean beer lines, coupler faucets and TurboTaps. Also, your draft system should store beer at the proper pressure and at the brewery recommended temperature.

  1. The perfect pour always begins with a new glass or pitcher.
  2. Begin each pour by touching the glass to the bottom of the TurboTap.
  3. Open and close the tap quickly and completely.
  4. Allow beer to fill all the way to the top of the cup before closing the tap.

It’s that easy! Don’t believe us? Watch the video!

The TurboTap Advantage

TurboTap affords you absolute control of the flow of the beer through its bottom-up filling technology. Through fluid dynamics, you can control the flow of beer all the way to the bottom of the glass. This limits the negative effects of gravity and allows the beer to flow from underneath the head. In turn, this will facilitate the proper break out of foam, delivering the brewery recommended ½” to 1” collar on every pour. Not only does this look good, it is an essential part of the tasting experience. Did you know that the collar of foam allows carbonation to escape which provides for a more aromatic drinking experience?

A Perfect Pint

With TurboTap on your draft system, you’ll be able to quench beer thirsty crowds faster. Each pint or pitcher you pour is delivered with quick precision. And it only takes about a minute of training to be able to do it!

What Are You Waiting For?

Every beer you pour should be perfect. A perfect pour guarantees a perfect look and more importantly, the perfect taste. Don’t settle for anything less. Pre-order today!

6 Cool Facts We Bet You Didn’t Know About Beer

turbotapusaVirtually everyone loves beer. In fact, it is one of the most popular beverages in the world. Tea and water are its only competition. But, have you ever stopped to consider when/where this delicious (and intoxicating) drink was created?

In truth, it’s impossible to pinpoint the exact origin of beer. But, it’s important to note that, ancient Mesopotamia has the distinction of being the oldest civilization (so far) where this magical brew was made. Archaeologists have found 10,000-year-old ceramic containers that contained the residue.

Cool fact, am I right? And, that’s not the only interesting thing about those delectable ales. Other curious tidbits include:

The Eyes Have It!
Japanese brewers don’t believe that visual impairment should keep you from enjoying your favorite beers. So, to ensure this never happens, many of their sodas and beers are stamped with Braille lettering to announce their contents.

One Man To Rule Them All
The majority of beer labels in the USA are approved by one person in the Tax and Trade Bureau section of the Treasury Department. He goes by the name of Kent “Battle” Martin and his immense power means that he is equally reviled and revered by the brewers who must succumb to his whims.

Why all the scary for one man? It’s simple – Battle’s job is to make sure that every single beer label is appropriate and free from misleading text and/or images. And, since he’s job makes him the only one in charge of this aspect of a multibillion-dollar industry, his word is law.

All this power hasn’t gone to his head, however, Mr. Martin is said to be very detail-oriented and highly dedicated to his job. On the other hand, this also means that he’s a stickler for the rules, no matter how inane they may seem. For instance, he once rejected a beer label because it had the image of a playing card on it. To Mr. Battle, this image implied that the beer in question contained heart healthy benefits and was, therefore, misleading.

Jimmy Carter Was the Home Brewer’s President
jimmy-carter
Prior to the late seventies, if you brewed wine or beer at home, with an alcohol content over .5%, you would be breaking the law. But, once President Carter repealed this Prohibition-era legislation, home brewers were free to get creative. In fact, because the vast majority of craft brewers started out in their homes, there are some who say he had a hand in shaping the industry.

Jimmy Carter’s brother, Billy, was a beer lover in his own right. A brewery even asked him to endorse an up-and-coming selection dubbed Billy Bear. The only problem – Billy Beer was actually quite horrible. The company that made it folded in less than a year after gaining the endorsement.

Beer Can Keep You Hydrated During a Nuclear Disaster
In the late fifties, the United States government conducted an experiment to see which beverages would be safe to drink in the event of a nuclear explosion. To conduct the experiment, experts used a variety of beers and sodas and detonated atomic bombs roughly 1,000 feet away from them.

After testing the beverages, they found that beer was only mildly radioactive albeit having a funny taste. In other words, in the event of an atomic bomb explosion, beer can be considered a practical short-term plan to remain hydrated. It may taste a little weird, but that’s probably the last thing on your mind if you’ve just survived a nuclear blast.

Samuel Adams (not Clark Kent) is Superman’s True Name
Hops, while not essential for creating beer, are that unique element that gives our favorite selections their flavor and depth – especially IPAs. But, did you know that there was a hops shortage back in 2008? This calamity raised prices and caused some companies (especially local craft breweries) to go out of business. As you can imagine, it had the industry scrambling to find an effective solution to the crisis.

In comes the Samuel Adams Brewery to save the day! It seems that the brewery had plenty of hops to spare AND was willing to sell their surplus to struggling brewers. In other words, they essentially saved the craft beer industry.

My President Brews Beer
Thanks to President Obama, the White House is now home to a pretty successful brewery. Back in 2012, he and some of his staff members created the White House Honey Brown ale i.e. the first beer brewed on presidential grounds and with honey from a South Lawn beehive. What’s more? It was delicious! It’s success paved the way for two other ales that were recently added to the roster.

There’s no denying it – beer has a long and storied history. Furthermore, the interesting facts listed above are just the tip of the iceberg. What beer facts do you know? Share your knowledge in the comments section.

 

Burning Questions: WILL MY BEER EXPIRE?

You know the feeling – everything that can go wrong has and you can’t wait to get home to drink a beer, kick your feet up, and relax. But, when you get there, you notice that there’s one beer left AND it’s been in the back of the fridge for months.

What do you do next? Is your bad day worth consuming a beer that may potentially be bad news? Before you give in to your feelings of despair, we are going to answer that question today.

Can Beer Expire?

All beers come with an expiration date so, technically, they can expire. But, they don’t expire like other foods. Instead, the quality of the beer goes down over time, which affects both the body and flavor. If you notice that a beer no longer tastes fresh or it doesn’t have any carbonation, check out the expiration date. Chances are, you have a dud beer in your hands.

The good news is, if you drink expired beer, you probably won’t have to make a trip to the emergency room. Although, your taste buds may disagree. Still, as long as you stored the beer properly and it isn’t somehow damaged, expired beer is safe to drink. Possibly the worst thing that might happen is you may end up with a stomachache. The chances of this happening increase based on the length of time the beer has been expired.

You might be happy to know that there are some exceptions to this rule. For instance, some beers (like imperial stouts, lambics, and barleywines) tend to taste better as they age – just like a fine wine. The general rule of thumb is, the stronger or darker the beer is, the better it ages.

How Long Do I Have After it Expires?

The amount of time that your beer lasts after being bottled is dependent on two major factors i.e. storage condition and the type of beer. Generally, beer is at its freshest approximately 3-4 months after being bottled. It’s safe to safe to drink at this point but after that its’ quality will begin to dip.

Most ales that have at least a 9% ABV will typically last for about a year – if stored properly. The taste gets better as well. Still, it doesn’t mean that these beers won’t lose their structure and flavor – only that it takes them longer than it does the pale ales.

Making You Beer Last Longer: What You Need to Know

The technique that you use to store your beer will greatly influence its flavor. To keep it great tasting for as long as possible, follow these simple rules:

  • Store your beer in the temperature range of 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Taking this one step will guarantee that it lasts as long as possible. If you are unable to do this, keep the beer in the fridge.
  • Beers do best in the dark so make sure you keep them away from the light. When direct light hits your beer for too long, it changes the chemical balance in the bottle. This will make the beer taste skunky – never a good thing.
  • Keep your beer from the heat. If it’s left in a warm place too long, it’s possible for your beer to overheat. If it does, it will give your beer a curdled smell and taste.
  • Keep it out of the freezer. Just like overheating your beer can make it taste bad, freezing it does the same. When you melt it, the ice changes its flavor, making it flat and flavorless.

One More Thing…

If you’re wondering about the expiration date of your beer then chances are you love this refreshing beverage. And, if that’s the case, you should know that the way you handle the beer tap handle can be the difference between whether your beer is foamy or not.

You wouldn’t believe how many people grab the beer tap handle  from the top and jerk it forward – a classic rookie mistake. This does two  things:

  • Puts excessive leverage on the beer faucet parts, which can damage them
  • Agitate the beer so that it comes out foamy

Part of this problem is the way that the beer tap handle is placed on the keg. So, one of the most important things that you must do is make sure that it’s on there properly. To do so:

  • Swivel the beer faucet handle in a clockwise direction until it’s tightly sealed. Hand tight is good enough, you won’t need a wrench.
  • Use the adjusting knob on the faucet lever until it’s in the desired location. If you want to change this position, turn the adjusting knob counterclockwise until it’s in the desired location. Tighten it with your hand.

Once the beer tap handle is positioned correctly, grab it from the bottom with your index and middle finger, then pull it toward you in one fluid motion. When you close it, simply repeat the process.

Following the advice above will ensure that not only will pour your beer like they do in commercials, it will taste great for a longer period of time as well. Happy Drinking!

 

Las Vegas Weekly: VEGAS-BASED BAR PODS IS A COMPANY READY TO EXPLODE

From Las Vegas Weekly: http://lasvegasweekly.com/nightlife/industry-weekly/2016/oct/06/bar-pods-michael-manion/

Brock Radke
Thu, Oct 6, 2016 (midnight)

If you’ve been to the World Series, the Super Bowl or the Kentucky Derby—or here in Las Vegas, attended an event at the new T-Mobile Arena or the recent NASCAR Truck Series race at the Speedway—you’ve probably seen a Bar Pod, solid yet mobile structures that can be customized and carted around the country. But you might not know how the Bar Pod came to be, and you certainly don’t know where it’s going, which is everywhere.

Bay Area native Michael Manion, a veteran of global nightlife and music festivals, came up with the idea of the Bar Pod when he saw the success of frozen-drink kiosks in Las Vegas. “The original ones we built from scratch looked like shipping containers,” he says. “Now we are pushing the limits with multiple models. The one we just set up for NASCAR is 50-feet long; both sides open up, and the rooftop patio holds 300 people.” What was a beverage kiosk has quickly become a real mobile venue, and Manion’s business has boomed since he moved his entire operation to Vegas.

The company’s growth has necessitated a name change—to Mobile Brands—because Manion is ready to take Bar Pods beyond concessions. “We are going into other markets, from augmented virtual reality experiences to product launches,” he says. His company doesn’t just build the pods; he’ll manage their operations, and transport and store them. “Every major corporation wants to get in front of people who attend these events, and we’re a turnkey solution. We take your brand mobile.”

Bar Pods Nascar Las Vegas 2016 FINAL

3 Places to Party Like You’re In Munich This Oktoberfest

Those who’ve had the opportunity to visit Germany during Oktoberfest know that it is a festival that cannot be missed. Partygoers from all over the world congregate in Munich to have fun for the popular two-week celebration.

But, for those of us who aren’t as lucky and can’t leave the country, your partying hopes don’t have to be dashed. There are a number of places all over the United States that have embraced their German heritage and assembled festivals that rival the one held in Munich.

Looking to get in on the fun? Keep reading for three of the best places to party for the Oktoberfest holiday:

Las Vegas, Nevada

hofbrauhaus-las-vegas-foodWanna party like you’re in Bavaria? Hofbrauhaus is just the ticket. This Vegas Beer Hall offers as authentic an experience as you can get outside of Munich during this beer drinking holiday.

One step into this domain and you will feel as if you’ve been transported to Germany. We daresay it’s a near perfect replica of Munich’s Hofbrauhaus. It even serves its Dunkels and Hefes, which despite being brewed in the United States, are made using the very same recipes that they do in Bavaria. And with Vegas’ reputation for partying, it’s virtually guaranteed that you will not leave disappointed. Just make sure to bring your dirndls or your lederhosen so you can really get in the spirit during the celebrity keg tapping or while dancing to live Bavarian music.

San Francisco, California
If you would like a little bit of view with your fun, you should consider heading to Cali. Their Oktoberfest By the Bay celebration is held on San Francisco’s Pier 48 and overlooks the picturesque Mission Bay. And because September is arguably San Francisco’s most beautiful month of the year, you can expect the perfect sunny weather to really step things up.

This event is hosted by the city’s German American Society and sponsored by Spaten, a German brewery. Furthermore, there’s a 21-piece Chico Bavarian Band providing oompah music for both you and traditional Bavarian dancers to get footloose. And the delicious sausages and pretzels served here are excellent to help you soak up all the beer, which means you can party for even longer.

Cincinnati, Ohio
This particular festival is probably the shortest on this list – it takes place over the course of one short weekend in September. But, there’s a lot of party packed into the three days.

The celebration begins with the “Running of the Wieners,” which actually isn’t what it sounds like. This event features 100 dachshunds in hot dog costumes running to their owners on their short, adorable legs. There’s also the Goodwill Games, which include a barrel roll and beer stein race.

Another highlight is the world’s biggest Chicken Dance, where Oktoberfest Zinzinnati attendees try to break the record of 48,000 set back in 1994. And although Sam Adams is the main sponsor, you can expect to see beer tents featuring German beers like Weihenstephan and Erdinger.

There you have it – three of the best places to party in the United States during Oktoberfest. You’re welcome. Just remember to raise one stein in the air for us while you partying like you’re in Munich.

Bringing Oktoberfest to Your Yard: What You Need to Know

 

Oktoberfest is finally upon us! Everybody knows that a trip to Munich during this time is a must for every bucket list. But, if you can’t make it this year, there’s still good news to be had.

oktoberfest-2For those of us who have gotten a late start, have families to take care of, or just don’t have the funds to fly to Germany, the next few weeks don’t have to be filled with melancholy and sadness. You don’t have to resort to spending your favorite holiday at your local bar, trying to get into whatever Oktoberfest-like event they’re holding either.

Oktoberfest lasts two weeks, so if you want to enjoy the festivities, it’s not too late. Simply hold your own version at your house, it’s much more fun anyways. Plus, as an added bonus, you won’t have to deal with obnoxious strangers ogling the girls in their costumes. All you have to do is call up some of your closest friends and turn your backyard into your own beer tent.

No idea how to get started? This is where we come in – here’s your comprehensive guide to bringing Oktoberfest to a backyard near you:

The Bier

oktoberfest-beerWe can’t talk about Oktoberfest without discussing beer, especially Marzenbier. Not only is this beer delicious, its history is intriguing as well – think early artisans using cold caves to keep their brews cool.

Still, the whole point of having your own party is to drink a ton of beers in a festive atmosphere. Thankfully, there are a great number of solid Oktoberfest beer options to be had in America. Simply do a quick internet search or ask the attendants at your local liquor store for some great options.

The Music
No Oktoberfest is complete without its official song, Ein Prosit. You might have to get some flashcards to learn it but, it isn’t that bad. In fact, you may find that the more beer you drink, the more you’ll love it. You’re also going to want to add some oompah (think polka but with a lot more brass) to your playlist.

The Food
oktoberfest-3Another great aspect of Oktoberfest are the piles of mouthwatering German foods to choose from. Potatoes, sauerkraut, bratwurst, pretzels – it’s all delicious. The best way to provide this experience at home is to simply lay it out buffet-style and let everyone eat at their leisure.

Great considerations include:

  • Bratwursts: Oktoberfest isn’t the same without some brats, so fire up your grill and go for it. Or, if you’re in a lazy mood, simply throw some in a slow cooker (along with a bottle of beer) for a tasty variation.
  • Pretzels: You haven’t lived until you’ve eaten a pretzel with your beer. Like pizza and ranch dressing, it’s an unlikely pairing that’s delicious as all get out. Something about the slightly crunchy, salty snack filled with steamy goodness that just hits the right spot when paired with an Oktoberfest beer.
  • German Potato Salad: Forget the traditional American-style potato style fare that you’re used to consuming. The German version is a tangy and warm celebration of yummy goodness.

The Ambiance
Like all good holidays that we’ve somehow managed to make about good food and booze, you might as well dress the part to indulge even more in the festive atmosphere. So, men grab your lederhosen and women put on your dirndl dress, it’s time to party like you’re in Germany!

 

 

7 Things You Don’t Know About Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is upon us! So, strap on your lederhosen and jump on the beer wagon. Let’s get into what this behemoth beer festival is all about.

  1. It’s Not in October

oktoberfest-1Let’s get this out of the way real quick. This legendary event actually has a mid-September start. This year, the festival begins on September 17 and ends on October 3rd. Don’t worry, you’ve still got time to celebrate!

  1. It’s Not A Beer Festival

Yes. You heard that right. Oktoberfest is not a beer festival. It’s actually the anniversary celebration of a wedding! When the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig decided to get hitched to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen (now there’s a name) they decided to throw what we would call a block party. So, next time you raise your stein, be sure to make a toast to the lovebirds that made it all possible!

  1. It’s Tapped!

The festival can’t get underway until the master of ceremonies cracks open the first beer. It’s usually accompanied by the proclamation of ‘O’zapft is’ or as we like to say, the it’s tapped!

  1. Drink to Your Health

You’d think a festival where beer is so generously imbibed might not be the best for your health…. However, you’d be wrong. You see, back in the 19th Century, fresh water wasn’t so fresh. And so, in order to avoid cholera, the plague and other, shall we say disagreeable, ailments, the locals took to drinking beer. We believe that to be a much safer, and tastier, alternative! So, drink to your health – or as the locals shout: ‘zum Wohl!’

  1. Soak Up the Beer

oktoberfest-2If you want to last the entire festival, you’re going to need some hearty fare. And Oktoberfest does not disappoint. With traditional offerings from Hendl (roast chicken), Schweinsbraten (roast pork), Steckerlfisch (grilled fish on a stick), Brezn (pretzel), Knodeln (potato or bread dumplings), Wurstl (sausages), and Sauerkraut (pickled red cabbage) you’ll be set for the day. However, your breath won’t, so be sure to bring a stick of gum!

  1. All Ages Allowed

If you happen to be in Bavaria, then don’t be surprised to see families and children roaming the festival. Remember, it’s not just about the beer – even though that’s the only reason we go… While the carnival aspect is a large part of Oktoberfest, it’s also a family friendly extravaganza. You’ll find rollercoasters, games, a Ferris wheel, and traditional Bavarian parades.

  1. Lost and Found

With such a spectacular gathering of inebriated fellows, you’d assume things would get lost. And you’d be right. Every year, over 4000 things are lost and found during the Oktoberfest. From glasses to phones, passports, wallets, jackets and even some oddities: dentures, hearing aids and wedding rings. But don’t fret, the items get stored in Munich’s central lost and found office for six months. After that, well you’re out of luck as they get sold at public auction!

Are You Thirsty Yet?

oktoberfest-3What are you waiting for? Get yourself to Munich and celebrate the Oktoberfest! Or just find your way to the nearest bar and tell them everything you learned about the festival!