Stone Brewing Coffee Milk Stout

Posted by Beer Blogger | Beer Pictures | Posted on August 4th, 2014

Stone Brewing Coffee Milk Stout

Any craft beer fan that doesn’t know Stone isn’t really a craft beer fan.  This brewery is known for their love of hops, their all-star lineup with brews like Ruination and Arrogant Bastard, and their attitude.  Following the recent announcement that they’ll become the first US craft brewer to break ground with a European brewery, Stone is releasing a new seasonal brew for the summer and fall.  Stone Brewing Coffee Milk Stout was a hit with the Stone Team and now it’ll be available to all when it ships out to bars and retailers this week.

Stone Coffee Milk Stout pours a jet black with a dark brown head that’s thick at first but then dissipates fairly quickly leaving no sign of lacing on the walls of the glass.  Dark roasted malt is king here with a nice coffee aroma with just a faint hint of smoke in the distance.  While weighing in at 4.2% ABV, this beer certainly isn’t thin.  Plenty of dark malt up front mingles with coffee from Ryan Bros Coffee in San Diego.  The addition of milk sugar adds a nice creaminess and there’s light hints of cocoa and licorice.  While this brew packs plenty of flavor, it’s also fairly light bodied, making is easy to drink.  It drinks nice and smooth with a light carbonation and a fairly dry finish.

After enjoying this beer, it’s easy to see why it was a hit with the Stone Team.  It’s a great addition to their already awesome lineup.  A great brew for breakfast or any time, you can look for it in 6-packs and on tap in Stone markets nationwide starting this week.  Be sure to seek it out and also, let everyone know what you’re enjoying it with by using the hashtag #PairedWith when sharing.  Sorry to those that are lactose intolerance as Stone Coffee Milk Stout is a tasty craft brew that they’ll sadly miss.

Stone Coffee Milk Stout Top

Loop Bottle Opener

Posted by Beer Blogger | Beer Gadgets | Posted on July 31st, 2014

Field Loop Bottle Opener

Everyone loves a great looking beer.  That perfect brew poured into the right glassware, sitting there and looking perfectly delicious.  But before you can pour that perfect glass, you need to open the bottle.  To get a great looking beer, why not use a great looking bottle opener.  The Loop Bottle Opener is beautifully designed and just the tool you need to get that beautiful brew.

The Loop bottle opener was designed by Oscar Diaz and is cast from pure 304 stainless steel in Milwaukee, WI.  The satin finish feels great in the hand and the weight is perfect.  Hefty enough that it feels well built (it’ll last as long as you do) but it still feels nicely balanced like a precision tool.  The Loop just feels great in your hand.  You don’t want to set it down.  You want to line-up a dozen bottles and pop the tops on all of them.  This is a bottle opener that will see lots of use and still always look great.  A stylish opener with a design that works anywhere.  From the backpack to the BBQ to the kitchen drawer, the Loop fits in everywhere and comes in handy anywhere you keep it.

A great beer deserves a great bottle opener and the Loop is certainly a great one.  With great design, awesome build quality and the utility you need to pop bottles for years, this is a sweet addition to any craft beer lover’s arsenal.  Add one to your collection too.  Order your Loop Bottle Opener from the Field website.

Loop Bottle Opener

Beer Blizzard Bottle Chiller

Posted by Beer Blogger | Beer Gadgets | Posted on June 6th, 2014

Beer Blizzard

A cold beer – there are few things in life finer.  When warm weather comes, there is no better place to be than outside enjoying some delicious brews with friends.  Sadly, the summer heat we all enjoy has a negative effect on our favorite beverage.  It warms beers to less than optimal drinking temp with a quickness.  The Beer Blizzard keeps your brew nice and cool while you enjoy beverage after beverage with buds.

The Beer Blizzard is a simple freezable plastic disc that you insert into the bottom of your beer koozie.  The frozen disc keeps your beer on ice while you imbibe.  Shaped like the bottom of your craft can, the disc struggles up with your brew to keep things cool.  It also works with beer bottles.  Each little disc is RF welded so it won’t leak and the thermoplastic polyurethane construction means it won’t pop or leave a wet mess of condensation.  Each disc should stay cold enough for a couple brews, unless you drink like a grandma.  Well, not my grandma.  She can put them back and enjoys the flavor of HopSlam.

With summer here, it’s time to head outside and enjoy plenty of brews.  Keep them cold while you’re drinking with the Beer Blizzard.  This little frozen puck will keep your beverage at optimal drinking temp, even under the hot sun.  To grab a couple, head over to the Beer Blizzard Kickstarter page and make a pledge today.  They’ve already reached their funding goal and will be shipping soon.

Beer Blizzard Puck

Surly Brewing Overrated! IPA

Posted by Beer Blogger | Beer Pictures | Posted on May 7th, 2014

Surly Brewing Overrated IPA

Of all of the styles of IPA out there, West Coast IPAs seem to be the biggest hit with hopheads across the US.  They offer the big punch that hop lovers crave and they were made famous by the big west coast breweries we all know and love.  So what happens when a midwest brewery jumps onboard the west coast bandwagon?  Surly Brewing Overrated! IPA brings that west coast flavor to midwest drinkers.

Surly Brewing has long been known for making beers that craftbeer drinkers go crazy for and they make plenty of big hoppy brewers like Furious and Darkness.  Now they’ve added another beer to their seasonal offering with Overrated! West Coast IPA.  Since some have accused Surly of making gimmicky beers and being a one-trick pony, Surly embraced their sentiments and made a straight forward west coast brew.  Columbus, Centennial, Cascade, and El Dorado hops all come together to make a great hoppy brew that weighs in at 7.3% ABV.  Wonderful fruity aroma and flavor, this IPA is has what hopheads look for.  69 IBUs of hop and malt balance in a easy drinking brew that you can enjoy any time.

Overrated or not, Surly continues to create awesome beers that craft beer drinkers love to enjoy.  Be it smokey baltic porters or this latest canned offering, Overrated! West Coast IPA.  Lets be real with ourselves and admit that if they were truly overrated as some claim, there wouldn’t be this much demand and the crazy continued annual growth for the brewery that is currently building a $20 million brewery in an attempt to meet the demand for their awesome brews.  Grab a couple 4-packs of Overrated IPA at a Minnesota liquor store or bar and see why it’s much more than hype going into your glass of Surly.

Surly Brewing Overrated IPA Top

Bar Game Drink Mats

Posted by Beer Blogger | Beer Gadgets | Posted on May 2nd, 2014

Bar Games Drink Mats

Beer coasters.  That little piece of cardboard found at bars everywhere.  They help to protect the surface of the bar/table, absorb some of the condensation and overflow from your beer, and act as another spot for brewers to get advertising in front of you.  They’ve become so ubiquitous that we hardly notice them anymore.  So what if they served another purpose?  One that could hold your attention for more than just a few seconds?  What if they kept your attention by offering all kinds of games?  Bar Game Drink Mats from SUCKS UK offers just that with plenty beer coaster fun.

The Bar Game Drink Mats is a box of 30 beer coasters, each with it’s own game or purpose.  Darts, spin the bottle, sudoku, and more, they’re all here.  The bar mats also offer useful coasters like one with lines designed to be folded and wedged under the table leg to steady uneven tables (both thick and thing corrections included).  A coaster that folds and leaves a sign letting others know you’ve run to the bathroom or you’re out grabbing a smoke.  Chutes and ladders, I Spy, and a maze.  A bar coaster you can flip to see who buys the next drink.  Bar peanut darts and a lots more.  There are enough bar games here to keep you busy for a long time.  They’re also great for putting under a glass of your favorite craft beer.

Beer coasters have gotten a bit boring.  They serve a great purpose but they certainly could be more entertaining.  Bar Game Drink Mats offer up a load of games to entertain yourself and friends while you enjoy pints together.  They’re great for your coffee table, home bar, and they’d be great at your local brewpub too.  If you’re looking for more entertainment value from your coasters (bet you didn’t know you were until just now), be sure to check out the Bar Game Drink Mats available here, from SUCKS UK.

Game Beer Coasters

SipSnapp Beer Menu Scanner

Posted by Beer Blogger | Beer Gadgets | Posted on April 29th, 2014

SipSnapp

We’ve all found options on a beer list that we’ve had questions about.  The list includes just the beer names and no description or it has a description but we’d like to know what others think of it.  We can simply head to a beer rating site like RateBeer and look up more information on these brews, but what if there was a much easier way?  The new SipSnapp app makes finding out more the beer menu a snap.

SipSnapp requires just a simple picture of the beer menu and you’ll have descriptions, ratings, and more pulled from RateBeer in seconds.  Simply use your iPhone to take a picture of the bar’s beer menu and SipSnapp pulls all of that information for you.  No more manually searching for beer ratings on your smartphone.  SipSnapp also has a barcode scanner to make shopping for beer at your local liquor store quick and easy.  Simply scan the barcode with your phones camera and it’ll return info on your potential purchase.  This app is great for those new to craft beer looking to learn more about the options available to them.  It takes much of the fear of ordering something they make not like out of the equation.  Snap and you’ve got plenty of info to base your drink decision on.

SipSnapp makes it quick and easy to find out more about the beer menu at any bar or restaurant you visit.  They also hope to expand the app to cover wine too.  While not all craft beer drinkers may get into wine, it’d certainly be nice for the casual wine drinker to be able to find out more about the wine options before ordering.  I know many are intimidated by all of the choices and knowing little about wine to begin with.

The folks at SipSnapp are currently running a Kickstarter project to raise money to build the app.  Current plans are for an iOS version but they will add an Android version too if they reach a $50k funding goal.  A couple dollar contribution can get you a 1-year or a lifetime subscription to the SipSnapp app and help fund this great app.  Check out their Kickstarter page for more information and help make this useful beer utility a reality.

Sliced Beer Glasses

Posted by Beer Blogger | Beer Gadgets | Posted on April 23rd, 2014

Slided Beer Glass

Every good beer needs a good glass.  We all have plenty of glassware.  It seems even if you don’t buy it, as a craft beer drinker, your beer class collection always continues to grow. I haven’t bought a glass in years yet I had over 8 cases of glassware the last time I moved.  But shaker pint glasses are boring.  We all have a ton of them and they’re all pretty much the same.  You want a glass that your friends will really notice the next time they come over to have a couple brews.  These Slided Beer Glasses are sure to make quite the impression.

The Sliced Beer Glass is pretty surreal looking.  It appears someone took a samurai sword and went to town on the glass.  This cool looking illusion is sure to catch anyones eye and make them take a closer took.  The tall glasses appear to be cut pilsner glasses and be nice filled with your favorite pils.  Something like Victory Prima Pils, Troegs Sunshine Pils, Schell’s Pislner, and many others would be great choices.

There are a ton of different styles of glassware out there.  For those looking for something other than the boring old shaker pint, these should be part of their collection.  Spice up your glassware selection and add something different that your friends certainly won’t have to your lineup.  Buy the Sliced Beer Glasses here.

Surreal Sliced Beer Glasses

Bottle Opener Fridge Magnet

Posted by Beer Blogger | Beer Gadgets | Posted on April 11th, 2014

Fridge Beer Bottle Opener

The bottle opener.  That simple little gadget that lets us get at that tasty craft beer we love.  There are a million of them out there but sometimes it can take precious moments to find.  How about a bottle opener that was right there when you needed it?  One that was mounted right on the spot you go to get that cold beer?  The Bottle Opener Fridge Magnet is right there, on the fridge when you need to pop bottles.

The Bottle Opener Fridge Magnet from SUCK UK offers a convenient way to keep a bottle opener handy, in a spot it can be used as soon as you grab a bottle from the fridge.  Stick it to the fridge and you’ll never spend time searching through your kitchen drawers looking for a bottle opener again.  These things mount with a super strong magnet so there is no danger that prying even stubborn bottle tops will pull it off.   The reflective polished surface looks great, and the bottle opener fridge magnet if available in red and white too.  Check out how good you look opening that bottle in the mirrored surface.  Lookin’ good.

Bottle openers are a tool that no beer lover can do without but having one handy can be an issue.  Stick a bottle opener where it’s always accessible and at the ready with this great looking fridge opener.  Never search your junk drawer for the key to your beverage bliss again.  Check out the Bottle Opener Fridge Magnet here on the SUCKS UK site.

Bottle Opener Fridge Magnet

Side Effect Drinking Game

Posted by Beer Blogger | Beer Gadgets | Posted on March 29th, 2014

Side Effect Drinking Game

There are a million drinking games.  From our college years, there are games like quarters, flip cup, beer pong, asshole and a million more.  They’re all good fun when you’re hanging with friends and want to make getting a buzz into a bit more fun.  Want to learn a new game?  One that’s overly complicated and hard to learn?  Side Effect is the drinking game for you!

Side Effect features a bunch of cards and some overly complicated rules to help you do what you already plan on doing tonight, drink.  Better read the instructions while you’re sober because with so many rules, there is no way you’re remember them when you’ve had a couple bottles of brew.  After reading the instructions over twice, it still wasn’t clear how all of the rules worked.  What drinking games general have in common is simple tasks or rules and ones that can still be remembered when you’re shitfaced.  Not Side Effects.  You’ll forget how to play before you finish your first beer.  A drinking game for people that hate themselves.

While drinking games generally bring us together with friends as we laugh and get drunk, Side Effects is likely to be one that will bring you and your friends to blows as you argue over rules that make no sense.  Though it should accomplish the goal of getting drunk, as you down a bunch of beers to ease the pain of attempting to understand the rules.  If you’d like to give it a try, pickup a copy of the Side Effect drinking game on their website.

Side Effect Drinking Game Cards

Goose Island The Illinois

Posted by Beer Blogger | Beer Pictures | Posted on March 24th, 2014

Goose Island The Illinois

Recently I’d tweeted a link to a quick little write up I’d posted back in 2012 about a bottle of Goose Island Imperial IPA that had been in the cellar since 2007.  The social media folks at Goose Island reached out to me and sent a couple bottles of their new The Illinois imperial India pale ale my way.  As someone that works in social media, it’s awesome to see a companies that follow what people are saying about them on social and work to build great relationships with their consumers through social media.  Thanks to Goose Island for paying attention to what your customers are talking about and for making social the two-way conversation that it should be.

The Illinois is the first imperial brew out of Goose Island this year and packs a heavy 95 IBUs and 9% ABV.  It’s always nice to see bottles that offer serving instructions and this one suggests a nonic pint.  It pours beautiful a deep golden color with a fluffy white head.  The foam slowly fades a bit and leaves a nice layer of sticky lacing on the walls of the glass.  Big citrus aroma with notes of grapefruit, light lemon, and melon from the mix of Chinook, Cascade, Citra, and Meridian hops.  A hint of alcohol heat comes through in the nose once the beer has warmed a bit.  The flavor is nicely fruity up front, followed by citrus and a nice clean bitterness.  A medium to full malt body balances the bitterness well and there is a touch of sweetness with a light caramel note in the aftertaste.  The finish is nicely dry, which keeps it from becoming overly sweet like many DIPAs these days.  Just a hint of alcohol in the aftertaste to let you it’s there and it will kick you down should you have a few of these beauties.

As the craft beer revolution has continued to grow at an explosive pace, the market has become a bit crowded and hard to stand out.  The Illinois from Goose Island definitely stands out as a great imperial IPA with wonderful fruity character, a nice malt balance, and a clean finish to make it deliciously drinkable.  While Goose Island has grown to become one of the largest craft brewers in the country, they continue to release great new brews like The Illinois.  While many doubted InBevs purchase of Goose Island back in 2011 would result in good things, their beers like Bourbon County Brand Stout have drawn even more thirsty drinkers than ever.  Goose Island has continued to make a world-class product and create beers that delight their drinkers.  If you love a great DIPA, you’ll surely want to seek out The Illinois. 

Goose Island The Illinois Top

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