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

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

Beer Cap Collector Shadow Box

Posted by Beer Blogger | Beer Gadgets | Posted on March 21st, 2014

Beer Cap Collector ShadowBox

Craft beer drinking and collecting seem to go hand-in-hand.  We collect bottles, growlers, labels, glassware, brewery swag, beer fest programs, and of course, bottle caps.  We collect dozens of those little metal tops from all of our favorite breweries, usually with the intent on doing something with them some day.  But what?  People come up with all kinds of ideas for their cap collections.  Covering a table/bar top, earrings, various craft projects, and much more.  Though we may have a million ideas, it seems very few follow through with them.  How about an awesome way to display all of those bottle caps, right now?  The Beer Cap Collector Shadow Box from Craft Beer Hound is the coolest way to show off your bottle cap collection.

The Beer Cap Collector Shadow Box is an awesome addition to any beer lover’s collection.  The more bottled beer you drink, the more caps you have to fill your collector box.  A hole in the top of the shadow box makes it easy to add each additional cap to the collection.  The box has a hefty construction and a classy beer glass graphic (also available with “Good Times, Good Beers” printed on the glass).  In my case, I’ve chosen to only keep unique caps, rather than keeping every cap.  This makes for a smaller collection but also more variety in the cap collection.  The cap collection grows with the memories (some may be fuzzy) of all the great beer you’ve enjoyed, and the wall art gets even better too.

This shadow box is the coolest way to show off caps from the awesome beers you’ve enjoyed over time.  It’s a piece that everyone will love and a sure conversation starter (everyone that has seen mine has loved it).  The build quality is great and it looks classy.  It’s an awesome gift idea for any beer lover and the coolest wall hanging around.  This shadow box doesn’t mean that you can’t still do all those other things you’d planned to do with your bottle caps.  Instead, it’s a great way to show them off  while you collect enough for your project.  Get one for yourself and start showing off your bottle cap collection.  Head over to the Craft Beer Hound site to buy the Beer Cap Collector Shadow Box and check out their other awesome items.

Beer Cap Shadow Box

For The Love Of Hops

Posted by Beer Blogger | Beer Books | Posted on March 4th, 2014

For The Love Of Hops

We all know the 4 ingredients that make up most beers.  Of those, it would seem that most like hops best.  Those tiny cones that burst with flavors and aromas from bitter to fruity.  With new and interesting varieties popping up each year, there is an almost endless supply of hoppy goodness for us to enjoy.  For those that really enjoy hops, For the Love of Hops: The Practical Guide to the Aroma, Bitterness, and the Culture of Hops is the definitive guide to the plant.

For The Love Of Hops is a book of all things hops.  Nothing is left out of this manual of hop knowledge.  From Alfred Chapman identifying the key hop compounds in the late 19th century to new method of quantifying bitterness that could soon replace IBUs, this is a big book of bitter knowledge.  You’ll learn the history, science, practical brewing application with hops.  As in his other brewing ingredient focused books like Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation, Stan Hieronymus has left nothing out.  You’ll find references for flavor profiles and recipes of beers we all know to make hard to understand info easy to understand for anyone.

With recipes, a reference guide, and great nugget of insight from the best brewers and researchers in the industry, For The Love Of Hops is the book for all hopheads, homebrewers, and professional brewers to read.  You’ll learn more than you ever though about this plant that makes some of our favorite beers possible.  If you love this plant, pickup a copy of For The Love Of Hops today from Amazon.

B.O.B. Bottle Opener Cutting Board

Posted by Beer Blogger | Beer Gadgets | Posted on February 28th, 2014

B.O.B. Bottle Opener Cutting Board

Bottle openers everywhere.  And why not?  They’re awesome.  Those little beer gadgets get us into bottles of our favorite beverage!  Pop a top and you’re drink in’ good.  The problem is, while we have a ton of them, they never seem to be there when you need them.  You always find yourself searching for one and can never find one when you need it.  When you’re at the beach, when you’re on the boat, even in the kitchen.  They’re never there when you need them.  The B.O.B. (Bottle Opener Board) solves all that.

The B.O.B. bottle opener board combines the convenience of a cutting board and a beer bottle opener that’s always there when you need it.  Bottle openers hide in the nooks and crannies of your various kitchen drawers but cutting boards are always easy to find, and your bottle opener is too now that it’s built-in.  I can’t count the number of times that we’ve gone out on the boat and made sure we had plenty of beer, plenty of hard alcohol with for the drinks, and plenty of ice, only to find that we didn’t think about a bottle opener.  It always ends with someone pissing off the boat owner by opening their bottle on various parts of a nice new boat.  Not cool.  This cutting board makes sure that doesn’t happen.  Pop your bottle, then cut up a lime for your beer right on it.  Be prepared for once in your life.  Your mother would be proud.

The B.O.B. is available in not just the size shown here but also a smaller travel size and a large one for the kitchen.  A bottle opening board for every occasion.  Additionally, check out their package with 2 boards plus a stand for them that also doubles as an iPad stand.  Perfect for reading recipes in the kitchen, without getting your iPad dirty.  And if you really want the whole set, there’s also an option with 2 boards plug matching ceramic knives.  All the B.O.B.s are made of sustainable bamboo which is not just Earth friendly, it’s also anti-bacterial.  The finish of the boards looks great and bamboo is more than hard enough to stand up to years of cutting and chopping while the stainless steel opener will pop all the tops you can throw at it.

The B.O.B. takes two great gadgets and combines them into a great looking and highly functional package that anyone can use.  Chop and pop, the B.O.B. has you covered.  Grab yourself one of these awesome cutting board, bottle opener combos.  You’ll get a ton of use out of both.  Help get this great project funded by heading over to the B.O.B. (Bottle Opener Board) Cutting Board Kickstarter project here.

Bottle Opener Cutting Board

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