Category Archives: Brew News

Insta-groan: New Glassware Spills your Beer if you use Your Phone

Not to get too technical here, but we live a technology-driven, technological society. With almost 200 million people using smartphones in the US alone, it’s hard to go anywhere without seeing people texting, surfing, or google mapping to their heart’s content. But for those of you who want to disconnect and get back to the basics (drinking), there’s a new glass out there designed just for you.

The new “Offline Glass” is essentially just a beer glass that is missing half of the bottom, forcing drinkers to wedge their phones underneath and keep it upright, or risk spilling beer all over the bar. Check out this video to learn a little more:

We all know mixing booze with phone use is a bad idea: there’s the drunken phone call to your ex, the inevitable dropping and cracking your screen. And if drinking and driving is bad, and texting and driving is worse, drinking and texting and driving will kill you about 80% of the time (according to a statistic I just made up but is probably pretty close to true).

But the greatest benefit of this glass is that without your phone, you are forced to be in the moment. If you’re not distracted by Facebook or Candy Crush, you can make better decisions at the bar. You’ll see that the girl next to you was just making out with a testosterone-laden muscle man before you try to hit on her. You’ll notice the guy you’re about to go home with has a dead tooth and has made several anti-semitic jokes. You’ll pick up on the hostility between your friends so you can pull them apart before they get into a fight.

I’m not sure if the Offline Glass will ever show up in your local pub, but I would recommend getting a few for your personal use. That way when you throw a party people can focus on what’s important: family, friends, and getting drunk.

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Till Death Brew Us Part – Beer for your Wedding Day

It’s June, which means we’ve officially entered wedding season: that magical time of year when couples blissfully join together for eternity and restore our faith in the unifying spirit of love. Or, if you’re not the one getting married, the season of buying ridiculously expensive, registry-approved toasters and a constant  foreboding fear of dying alone. At some point, you will consider shanking a bridesmaid to catch the bouquet.

You know, magical.

Weddings kind of suck. But receptions are pretty awesome. There are tons of delicious food items (I once had buffalo chicken won tons. WHAT?), awkward dancing with middle-aged relatives of the bride, and plenty of booze. While champagne has always been the staple barbiturate of weddings, craft beer is gaining ground on the classic bubbly. According to the Huffington Post, an LA-area hotel is now offering a “Hoppily Ever After” wedding package. This includes a consultation with the Energen Brewing Company, who will work with the couple to craft a distinct, delicious beer for their special day. The brewery will produce about 30 gallons of the beer, which is served on-tap at the wedding venue. Sam Adams has also jumped on the wedding bandwagon, inviting brides- and grooms-to-be to buy their “Brewlywed Ale” at a one-day-only event on June 26th.

Adding beer into your wedding preparations doesn’t stop there. In fact, there are hundreds of ways to include your favorite brew on your special day. Unfortunately, nearly all of these suggestions are swirling around in the black hole where wedding ideas go to die known as Pinterest. (Seriously, if you have 40 pins of dress ideas and how to use mason jars in the church decor, but haven’t even met a guy, maybe it’s time to pump the brakes a little.)  I trudged through this morass of glittery, ill-conceived ideas to bring you the ultimate in beer weddings.

Customized beer tub: Nothing says “eternal bliss” like hunting paraphernalia. Would look great filled with a 30-rack of Miller High Life.

Father of the bride/groom beer glasses: There are different versions of this mug for members of your wedding party from bridesmaids to best men. But why stop there? Shot glasses for the flower girls! Flasks for the ring bearer! (note: if ring bearer is a dog, one of these will suffice. Also, fuck you for having a dog in your wedding)

Wedding Beer Stein: This nifty Stein is a little pricey at $150. But the couple will probably get more use out of it than the gravy dish they asked for that’s the same price.


Customized Beer Pong Table and Cups: As always, Etsy comes through with some truly wonderful touches for your special day. Give your wedding all the class and sophistication of the basement of a frat house during finals week with this timeless set.

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Florida is Officially the “Drunk Uncle” of America

Sometimes the internet tells me things I don’t want to hear. This week, I learned that oral sex is bad. No wait, it’s good. But only if it’s on a dude. Then it’s better than a shot of wheatgrass in a probiotic milkshake.

The bad news kept coming this morning, when the internet taught me that Floridians have a unique relationship with beer. And by “unique” I mean “illegal and potentially dangerous”. Two stories out of the Sunshine State highlight the growing need to give the whole place an intervention.

The first story opens with what might be the greatest headline ever: “Beer Bandito Bluffed Cashier with Rodent Ruse” (alliteration is very common in Florida news stories because the people are so high-brow). A man in Fort Pierce stole two cases of Bud Light from a Circle K by cleverly telling the cashier there was a dead rat in the beer area and then bolting when she went to investigate. Needless to say, this is a shocking story: I am very surprised that the cashier went to check on a dead rat. I assumed this happened so often in Florida that they just swept them up at the end of their shift. Also, using rodents as your distraction in a shoplifting attempt? Looks like someone’s been watching Arrested Development.

In other beer/legal/Floridian news, a man was recently arrested for his 9th DUI while leaving a KFC in Marion County. When questioned about his condition, the man admitted he had drunk an Icehouse for breakfast because, in his own words, “Beer is my coffee“.

Milwaukee's Best 2“I like my coffee like I like my women. Full of beer”

The officer ran a field sobriety test on the dude, which oddly enough he failed, and brought him to jail. Now there’s nothing wrong with an early morning beer to start your day off right. Oh wait, there is. Especially if it’s Icehouse and you’re operating a moving vehicle. The story does raise some questions though: What time was this guy at KFC? Do they offer a breakfast menu? And why is the fact that beer is his coffee more alarming than the fact that KFC is clearly his bowl of Wheaties? Why do people live in Florida anyway?

So remember folks, the people of Florida have a special relationship with beer. The DUI/retail theft kind of relationship that only people who live in a alligator-infested sweat box can understand.

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When Bro’s Attack: Man Charged With Stabbing During Beer Pong Game

I’ve spoken before about the dangers of beer pong; those cups are a veritable cesspool of bacteria and you will probably get herpes from them (Trust me, I’m a scientist. Or at the very least have seen episodes of Bill Nye the Science Guy. 15 years ago). But turns out there’s an even more pressing issue than mouth diseases; being stabbed.

A 22-year-old man in Long Island is being charged with stabbing his brosef during a game of beer pong. According to the police report, Michael Pelaez started an argument with his victim, went into the house to grab a knife, and stabbed the 25-year-old in the hand.

Now I’m no stranger to a healthy competitive spirit. I actually broke up with a guy once over a game of Trivial Pursuit (you clearly rigged the deck so I would get all the “leisure” in “Sports and Leisure, Alex). I was almost kicked off my childhood softball team by my own father because I was so competitive. I’m a sore loser. But I have never been so upset in any competition where I thought about stabbing someone.

Beer PongThis is literally the maddest I’ve ever been during a game of beer pong.
Notice the lack of a knife.

Of course I’m not a bro from the Long Island, but I feel like there’s something else going on here. Using my deductive reasoning, I’ve come up with a series of arguments that could have led to this stabbing.

Possible inciting incidents:

Allegations of stolen hair products
Heated debate over authenticity of Long Island Medium
Argument about whose mom makes the better lasagna
Accusation of stolen Ed Hardy shirt
Said something gay without clarifying “No Homo”
Misunderstanding about the girl they are both sexing
Tanning competition
Discovery of copy-cat tribal armband tattoo

Stop playing beer pong. Please.

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Thanks Obamacare! US Government Approves Calorie Labeling on Beer

US Treasury Department announced this week that beer, wine and spirit makers can start adding nutrition information to their product labels including serving size, calories, and carbs. This is the first time this kind of labeling has been approved for alcoholic beverages, and for the time being will be a voluntary measure. Support for the new rule came from both inside and outside the alcohol industry, with consumers wanting to know more about what they were drinking and producers wanting to promote low-calorie and low-carb drink options.

We all know that drinking is bad for you: from Cirrhosis to sex with ugly people, the stuff can wreak havoc on the brain and body. But learning the amount of calories in that Lime-a-Rita you’re about to chug is a reality colder than a Coors Light can. For example, Coors Light has 104 calories per can, and that’s a light beer (for the record, “light” means lower calories, not the increased desire to “light” things on fire while drinking). In fact, most beers have between 150-200 calories per drink. That means that by the end of the night, the amount of calories consumed through drinking is probably more than the entire buffalo chicken pizza you ate while drunk.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale 1Keep drinking and your beer won’t be the only thing that’s “full-bodied.

If the Biggest Loser taught me anything, it’s that weight management is all about calories in/calories out. So, if you want to enjoy the beer without the belly, here are some common drinking activities that burn calories.

Dancing – 364 calories
Crying – 15 calories
Crying over literally nothing  – 25 calories
fighting (physical) – 170 calories
fighting (verbal) – 35 calories
Stumbling home – 105 calories
Sex – 50 calories
Sex with a stranger – 55 calories
Calling your ex – 11 calories
Karaoke – 22 calories
Regret – 30 calories

 

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Hanson Introduces New Beer, 90’s Nostalgia Ensues

Sometimes the cold, unloving universe will throw us mortals a little ray of happiness that reaffirms our faith in humanity. A random act of kindness, kittens and puppies being friends, and now Hanson has introduced their own beer. AND they’ve named it “MMMHops” creating a perfect meld of 90’s nostalgia in a vessel I can finally enjoy now that I’m no longer 7.  The pale ale is being produced by Mustang Brewing in Oklahoma, and made its debut at the Hangover III premiere.

The most influential force in my childhood was my parents 90’s pop music. I cried at a Backstreet Boys concert, spent hours playing Sporty Spice in line-for-line re-enactments of Spice World, and still know all the words to every song on Baby One More Time. Suffice to say, I am super excited about a 90’s-inspired beer.

294071_2090582547259_1089279927_nMe in the 90’s.  Probably daydreaming about Nick Carter.

MMMHops has opened the door to a whole line of beers inspired by 90’s songs. I’ve already been brainstorming, and here are some suggestions:

This is how we Brew it
Only wanna be with Brew
It’s gonna Beer me
I’ll beer there for Brew
Genie in a bottle (this one doesn’t even need a pun)
Smells like teen Beer-it
Brewtylicious
My Wort will go on
Livin’ la vida Lager
Damn, I wish I was your Porter
Mama said knock you Stout
Groove is in the Hefeweizen

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Hipster Nonsense: How America’s Youth Jacked Up the Price of Bad Beer

Hipsters. They’ve already ruined so many classic American institutions: vinyl records, children’s sports team t-shirts, being aloof. But now they are threatening one of the greatest American values, the thing that separates us from the rest of the world: sub-par beer. According to a new report, the price of cheap beer is rising at a faster rate than quality craft beers. The reason? Hipsters and their cult-like devotion to PBR. Their love for those watery tall boys has caused lower-quality beer prices to jump 6.8 percent since October, nearly 5 times the amount craft beer has risen.

I’m not going to lie, when I started drinking in college, PBR was my beer of choice. Not entirely by design – it was the only cheap beer my friends snobby older boyfriend would buy us at the liquor store – but I knocked back that filtered piss water and loved every second of it.  I thought it was a pretty good beer, but this was a time in my life when I thought Private Stock and $7 handles of pomegranate-flavored vodka were also quality alcoholic drinks. Then when I turned 21 I moved onto craft beers, never to drink that blue ribbon again.
New Belgium Trippel 2

Thank you craft beer, for saving me from a life of shitty hipster parties

I think the results of this report might be a good thing. I mean, if we can continue to convince hundreds of mustache-growing “artists” to keep drinking this stuff, it wont inflate the price of quality beer for the rest of us. The key is to keep reminding them that it’s counter-culture and retro-cool.

I say PBR should change their brand mascot to a 19th-century circus bear smoking an American Spirit. Or Zooey Deschanel.

 

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Nice Cans! Beer Bottles are Revamped to Make them Sexier

Last Friday, Gizmodo posted an article on new the packaging by MillerCoors, Budweiser, and Heineken. These three companies are introducing new bottles and cans that (they claim) make their beers more drinkable and accessible to consumers. The article highlights some other possibilities for the change, including increased competition from craft brewers and modern consumers’ expectations for design.

Now I’m not surprised that these companies are updating their look; switching up the branding of a product instead of the product itself is one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book. What I did find a little odd was the way they were changing the packaging. The updated bottles and cans are sleeker and taller, with smooth necks and ample curves. Heineken even described their new Star Bottle as having “strong shoulders and a taller, slimmer neck that elongates the look of the bottle giving it a more modern air of confident masculinity and pride.”

Am I supposed to drink their beer or have sex with it?

I can't wait til you're inside me.

I want you inside me.

Now don’t get me wrong;  I would love to put my mouth all over a tall, slim, Dutch man who gets me drunk. And I’m not trying to push some sort of feminist agenda (“Stop objectifying bottles! Real women can’t live up to their impossibly rigid beauty standards and full-bodied drinkability!”) I just can’t wrap my head around it. I mean, sexy lady holding a bottle of beer? Advertising gold. When the beer itself is the sexy one? It’s a little too Freudian for my liking.

Oh and if you’re sexually attracted to your beer, you’ve probably already drank too much. 

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It’s Here! American Craft Beer Week 2013

American Craft Beer Week

Source

Now that your Cinco de Mayo hangover has faded and you’ve made it through another Mother’s Day brunch, it’s time for possibly the best week of the year: American Craft Beer Week. Started by the Brewers Association in 2006, American Craft Beer Week is celebrates small and independent craft brewers across the country. From now until May 19, hundreds of events will be held nationwide, honoring all the great styles and flavors American beer has to offer.

American craft beer as we know it began in the late 1970’s, when big beer corporations were turning the US beer market into a never-ending line of low-calorie, light lagers.  Then in the early 80’s homebrewing became very popular, and over time people began to turn this hobby into a career, opening a slew of small breweries. Mixing old-world European traditions with American ingenuity, they expanded production in the 90’s and 00’s to create the diverse landscape of craft beer we know today.

This calendar from craftbeer.com highlights upcoming ACBW events happening all over the country. There’s plenty of great beer to choose from, so get out there and get tasting.

 

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Thanks Science! Research Proves Beer Pong is a Disgusting Game

Ah beer pong. That age-old competition that combines minor athletic ability with major consumption of cheap beer. It’s considered the most popular of drinking games, and the only one that has a tournament in Las Vegas where you can win real money (as far as I know, there is no World Series of Kings, or Grand Prix of Crying Alone with a Bottle of Chardonnay). But like any sport, playing Beer Pong comes with considerable risk, and the greatest is not knowing where that sweaty bro across the table’s fingers have been.

This is what happens if you Google “Science” and “Beer Pong”. Source

Students at Clemson University studied the amount of bacteria on Beer Pong balls, and discovered they were fucking disgusting (I’m paraphrasing). The balls were teeming with bacteria (including salmonella, listeria, and e. Coli) that transferred from the ball into the cups during shots. The most bacteria-filled balls were from games played outdoors, but a sample taken from a game played inside on carpet still had 200 bacteria on it.

The good news: over 90% of the bacteria was found to be harmless. The bad news? The huge amount of bacteria makes it likely you will come in contact with some of the gross stuff.

Now, this probably isn’t news to any one who’s ever played Beer Pong. Yeah, you can wash the balls off in a separate water cup, but by the third round that cup is a murky grey with several species of bug floating in it. And at that point, everyone is too drunk to care.

So what’s the solution? I think the best way is to set up the table with cups filled with water, not beer. That way, when your opponent makes a shot, you can take a solid drink from your own beer can, thus preventing the concoction of everyone’s finger-germs from getting in your mouth.

Oh, and don’t make out with the girl with the “cold sore”.

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