A couple months ago my buddy JJ told me about a new iPhone app he was working on called “The Beer Up Here” – showcasing what Alaska has to offer in the brewery department. He showed me the quick ins and outs of the app – and needless to say I was stoked.
The Beer Up Here is “your mobile field guide to what’s brewing in Alaska.” It covers every brewery and pub in Alaska – and each beer they offer now or used to – giving a brief description of the beer to go along with a gorgeous photo. It also has a rating process where with each beer you drink from the 49th state – you can rate on a scale from 1-10. As an added bonus they keep you up to date on the blog from Dr. Fermento, a local beer connoisseur who knows everything about beer – especially in Alaska.The interface is sleek and easy to use. Making it a breeze to find the beer or brewery you want and keep a tally of what you like and what you don’t. You can also follow their travels on their photo blog.
The price of the app is $4.99 and is a must have if you are a fan of craft brewing and Alaska. Available now on the App Store.
I’m a big IPA drinker, and one of the beer’s that I can not forget about, from the Alaska Beer & Barley Wine Festival, is Gigantic Brewing Company‘s IPA. Gigantic is based out of Portland, Oregon and has been making waves since it’s opening in 2012. Which is pretty impressive – seeing as that it is already in liquor stores up here and hasn’t even been opened a year. But enough about the brewery…let’s talk beer.
The pour had a nice clear, orange-golden color to it, with a pretty substantial head of foam – which for me is not always too bad. I kind of like a little foam, just because it’s part of the beer – a lot of people want to skip it and move straight to the liquid – but it doesn’t bother me a whole lot, unless it’s half the glass…then that’s a bad pour. But I digress.
The taste of the beer, from what I can remember, was, for me, 85% hoppy, 10% citrusy, and the remaining 5% the other ingredients fight it out. I’m a man – and I like my hops – that’s why I’m a fan of this beer. After the swallow, your left with a little bitter hop aftertaste, but nothing that’s out of control. I’m giving it an 8 out of 10 – because it was a memorable beer and had the taste that I like in an IPA. A good strong hops flavor is a great way to win over my approval.
Try Gigantic’s IPA for yourself and let me know what you think via Facebook / Twitter / or comment on this post. I’d be curious how many beer drinkers we have reading and maybe start a good discussion.
Over the weekend I had the pleasure of heading to my first beer festival – the amazing Great Alaska Beer & Barley Wine Festival. I had heard a lot of good things about this event in the past, but never had the chance to go, because I was always out of town or just flat out broke. This year I got the chance to partake in the festivities, and bought tickets for me and some of my friends. I plan on this post being a little informative on the beer festival, and hope to follow up in the next few days with some beer reviews that we got to try while we were there.
Our tickets were for the 6 – 9:30 session, the last out of 3 sessions. We got there around 6ish and had to wait in line (which you can see below) for about 20-30 minutes, because this thing is apparently very popular, and we were not the only people that bought tickets. The three and a half hour time we had there gave us plenty of room to “drink in” the sights and send our “tasters” out for a good time.
We got in and were immediately handed bracelets after showing our ID and tickets, then our commemorative 2013 6 oz. glass with 30 drink tickets and our Festival Beer Guide, with brewery bio’s and beer stats.
Here’s how it’s set up for someone who has never been to this festival. There are tons of breweries, 75 this year, from all over the United States – a lot from Alaska, some from the Northwest, but they all have one thing in common – they all bring their “A Game” beers on tap or in bottles. You use one of your tickets to try one beer (sometimes more then one for a beer, but those are the greedy breweries who think their beer is better then everybody else’s). The tickets are basically used as a “limiter” so people don’t go too overboard, but it seemed as if the ticket rule wasn’t enforced a whole lot. After you rinse your glass with the complimentary water pitchers and dump buckets, you hand them the glass and fill it with whichever beer suits your fancy. And trust me…30 tickets is more then enough.
We started off with the local brewery, Sleeping Lady Brewing Co. and their Old Gander Barley Wine, a brew that boasts an ABV of 10%. Definitely a strong one to start the night out with, but with a nice sweet aroma and subtle hints of vanilla, it kicked us into high gear. We rated most of the beers we tried on a scale from 1 to 10, and gave this one a 4. Mostly because we’re not huge barley wine drinkers and weren’t 100% sure what to look for in drinking one. But their Fish On! IPA is a must try.
One of the things the Great Alaska Beer & Barley Wine Festival helped me with was personal preference. With so many great beers to choose from – I got to narrow down my taste buds to the few things I really look for in a beer. I got to try an IPA, a stout, and a cider back to back, which you don’t get to do very often. That was key in discovering new flavors and judging what was the best part of a certain beer. Another thing I took away from the festival was my pace (thanks to the Dr. Fermento’s forward in the beer guide)…I didn’t want to drink too much, too fast, and not enjoy the beer (I paid too much to get weird) – So I drank some water and popped some sourdough bread bites they had at the booths, in between samples, to slow down the effects of the alcohol.
At the end of the night I was happy and leaving with a better understanding of what brewery I need to look for at my local store and changed what I look for in a beer. If you get a chance to visit the Great Alaska Beer & Barley Wine Festival next year – I highly recommend it. Definitely a great time – just don’t do it alone. It was fun to have people to go back and forth with on the beers.
When I go to the grocery store to grab beer or wine, and I’m in the mood to try something new…I usually don’t care about taste more then I do the design. We’re all guilty of it. Such is the case with Tenfold Collective‘s work I just came across. I would definitely…hands down…without a doubt…buy this beer or coffee they designed for – just to look at.
They also happen to have a great blog.
Dogfish Head is known for infusing their beer with interesting ingredients and making a name for themselves doing it. I first got introduced to them, probably the same way a lot of people did through their TV show on Discover called Brewmasters. This was the show that got me into home-brewing.
Now you can play Dogfish Head at home with the new Randall Jr., the personal beer infuser.
It’s simple to do. Put the ingredients you want to add to your certain brew in the Randall Jr. – Pour your beer over that – Chill it – then pour into a cup using the mesh strainer on top. It’s that easy.
This seems like a great thing for people to mess around with home brewing, and it’s cheap. Enough said. Also – it sounds pretty cool if you can say, “Oh yea, I infused this Stout with coffee beans.” 2L2Q.
Check out Dogfish Head’s infomercial for their new product…
via Gear Patrol
Wine, like beer, is a drink enjoyed across the globe. Both beverages were developed thousands of years ago on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean, each one stumbled upon by accident. Ancient beer is thought to have developed from a thin gruel, made from wild grains and water, that was stored improperly and fermented. Wine has a similar beginning – juice from wild grapes naturally fermenting as people attempted to store the fruit.
As time progressed, new ways were developed to produce wine and beer that proved to be much more efficient and effective. The various techniques and ingredients would help to control the taste of the resulting beverage and the time it took to produce.
While the process to creating a good beer can be very involved, wine production can be much simpler. Certainly, there are many things that go into producing a fine wine. But, essentially, it’s just fermented grape juice. And, the yeast does most of the work!
As I’ve mentioned before, the main purpose of my posts is to tell about my quest to drink through a book called 1001 Beers to Taste Before You Die. But, right now, I’m taking a brief break to share with you a simple way to make wine. In fact, I’m attempting this right now.
Get the list of thing’s you’ll need and the recipe after the jump…
Have you ever relaxed with a beer at an outdoor café under the warm sun on the coast of Spain, watching windsurfers effortlessly cut through the bright blue ocean? Neither have I. But you can imagine it by sipping on an Estrella Damm.￼
This blond lager has been brewed in Barcelona since 1876 and is now available all over the world. The crisp, clean taste would pair perfectly with fish, crab, lobster or other tasty sea creatures. The low alcohol content (5.4%) makes this a refreshing beer. Drink it on a summertime vacation at the beach, or even during the winter to make your mind feel like you were at the beach.
Check out another beer after the jump…
If you haven’t caught the previous post “Man On A Mission” by Luke…you should read it now.
Luke’s going to be our new contributor – talking about beer, mostly, but on occasion a little bit about wine and exercising (since the guy is a professional body builder). I’m super excited to add him to the roster of writers talking about subjects we love, but aren’t as knowledgable in as he is.
If you can’t tell the resemblance – he is actually my cousin’s husband, and we happened to go off on a tangent of our similar love for beer over the Christmas season – and that’s when I started to think that he would make a great addition to the team.
So…if you like beer – you’re going to love this.
Follow him on Twitter.
Everyone needs goals in life. They are what provide excitement, something to strive for beyond the rigors of the daily grind. Some people call these aspirations their “bucket list” – dreams to accomplish before death. My list of life goals range from riding a horse at a full gallop to chopping down a tree with an ax. I believe life goals should be diverse and unusual in order to experience things you typically wouldn’t in the normal course of life.
The most recent addition to my list is a noble one. It opens me up to cultures from across the globe, gives me a sense of what’s important to people and provides a glimpse into the history of different regions. I was given a book for my 30th birthday this past September called 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die. And I intend to do just that.
The book features beers from all over world – from Argentina to Wales, Australia through the US. Even beers from countries such as Ethiopia, Israel and the Isle of Man. The brews aren’t listed by rating (the authors don’t even provide a rating) but rather by the following categories: Amber, Blond, White, Dark, and Specialty. The authors leave it up to the reader/drinker to determine ratings.
Beers are featured in the book not only because they are the best, but also because of the cultural impact the beer had or due to the unusual history or because the beer is simply unusual.
After each beer I try, I add my rating into the book in order to keep track of the ones I’ve tasted. Then I tweet my assessment and grade on Twitter (@The_LukeG). I’ll use this blog to give updates on my progress and provide thoughts on the best and most interesting beers I try as I work toward accomplishing my newest life goal.
Now Google has begun dabbling in another field…beverages.
[image courtesy of Business insider]
Google has recently teamed up with Dogfish Head Brewery, which some may remember from the short-lived show Brew Masters, to create it’s own beer. The beer is truly unique in that it uses ingredients from 5 of the 7 continents. You can visit Dogfish Head’s URKontinent page to learn more about the ingredients, or you can watch the video that charts the brewing process from concept to finished product below.
The beer is currently only available at the Dogfish Head pub in Delaware. No announcement currently on whether the rest of the world will get to sample this globe-trotting brew. [via Maximum PC]
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In the last couple of months – I’ve been wanting to get in to home brewing. I’ve researched a lot about brewing my own beer at home and what you need to start, etc… and in my quest to make the perfect home brew – I found the Cascade Brewery Co’s website. They’re site is all about the process of brewing in a very visual way. They give you tips on how to start home brewing, and tell you how the big boys do it, etc…(but if you watch Brew Masters on the Discovery Channel – like me – you know how it all works).
What I’m really impressed by is not just the content of the site but the interface and overall design of it. It’s really easy to navigate. The boxes with big text make for an easy way to find what you want. They added not just information about their own products, but interesting stuff on the whole factory and tips to get you started on making your own.
Also the whole main menu idea is genius. Adding and subtracting links based on what the user wants to see. Very clever.
Even if you’re not interested in home brewing…or you’re not even allowed to drink yet…check out Cascade Brewery’s site. It’s pretty darn cool.
In the wake of the Superbowl advertisements, I’ve started to look around on my own for some great commercials. I’ve found a post on Adweek that has compiled a list of the 25 most epic advertisements (that aren’t Apple’s 1984). One of the 25, we’ve talked about before on this blog, but after viewing a number of these ads, I can’t believe I haven’t seen some of these before. I’ve included my top 5 below. Keep in mind some of these are a bit longer that a minute, but all of them are worthy of your time.
5. Guinness – “Tipping Point”: This first ad is for Guinness and, according to the original post, cost £10 million and was filmed entirely in Argentina using no CGI help.
Watch 4-1 after the jump… (more…)