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Alcohol Beer Culture Drinks

Countdown To The Holidays With This BEER Advent Calendar

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The holidays are practically at our doorsteps and the majority of us are scrambling to find the perfect last-minute gift for our loved ones. A new novelty item from Quebec might be the most considerate thing we’ve ever seen this holiday season: a BEER ADVENT CALENDAR.

Consideration, after all, is to be expected from our brothers to the North.

Around this time of year, Advent Calendars are the perfect gift to keep track of the days of December, eventually leading to Christmas. Inside the calendar is a little treat you can consume each day (usually chocolate) to help you get hyped for the end of the month.

Coming from Canadian beer retailer DBSQ, the ‘calendar’ is essentially a box with the 24 days before Christmas labeled on it. Under each number is a different Québécois microbrew from the retailer. Simple and brilliant.

Now if they only made a mega box that had 365 days on it. Maybe in a perfect world.

Photo: yannb19 | Reddit

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Alcohol Drinks Restaurants What's New

This Restaurant Serves A Mean Foie Gras Old Fashioned

The infamous foie gras ban was lifted in California two years ago, and restaurants are having a blast incorporating the fatty duck liver into everyday foods and drinks.

Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse in Downtown Los Angeles just announced a brand-new cocktail that incorporates foie gras into a fat-based cocktail: The Foie Gras Old Fashioned.

The foie gras is rendered until there’s an excess of fat on the frying pan. The fat is then strained and filtered multiple times and stored for 24 hours before serving.

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Using Whistle Pig Whiskey, the rendered fat is mixed with the hard liquor. Sugars, bitters, and an orange peel are also added to the drink with garnished pieces of seared foie gras.

Evan Charest, corporate mixologist of the Pantina Restaurant Group, drew inspiration from the drink ‘Benton’s Old Fashioned’, which utilized bacon fat. Charest realized he hadn’t seen anyone do a take on foie gras, and wanted to create something a little more high-end for his regulars.

You can find it permanently on Nick & Stef’s cocktail menu starting December.

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#foodbeast Alcohol Humor

This Hot Sauce-Filled Shot Made A Guy Crawl In Agony And Quit This Show

We’ve spent the better part of 2016 searching for the worst shots bartenders could come up with. Whether they’re made as revenge or because customers just ask for terrible shots, these mixologists have shared some of the strangest combinations you’ll ever see in an alcoholic drink.

Our Worst Shots team of Sean Fahmy, Haley Autry, and Rudy Cheney went through a curdling Cement Mixer shot, the fishy Crawfish Revenge shot, and even an egg yolk-filled Sunshine in the Mud shot. With all those terrible drinks, there’s only one that made our own Sean Fahmy crawl on the floor in agony, and quit the show entirely – the Stop Drop and Roll shot.

The shot can be found at Hey 19 Public House in Torrance, California, and is the shot you’d literally give to your worst enemy, or a friend you want to prank the hell out of.

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To start, they rim the glass with salt and pepper, which is already a red flag. Sure salted rims aren’t unusual, but whose idea was it to add pepper to the mix? It’s followed by 1 part herbal liqueur, 1 part tequila, lemon juice, and, wait for it… 20 shakes of hot sauce.

The result is a shot that looks like burnt transmission fluid mixed with Folgers coffee.

“I’m done with this show,” Sean said after taking the shot and doubling over in pain. “I’m serious this time. I’m done with this show.”

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According to the bartender, the shot’s even worse coming out of your body, so there was that bit of excitement for our team to look forward to.

“I just remember getting heartburn and my stomach hurting real bad,” Rudy said, reminiscing on the awful shot.

At least now you know. Your bartender can be your best friend, or your worst enemy, depending on how your day is going and what you order. If you really want to torture someone, the Stop Drop and Roll will send shock waves through their body.

“If you have an idea for a terrible shot, please, please keep it to your f*cking self.”

Sean, we do not envy you at all.

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#foodbeast Adventures Alcohol Beer Culture Drinks FOODBEAST

International Drinking Games We Never Knew About, But DAMN I WANT TO PLAY

 

Drinking games combine the two greatest things in the world—drinking and games. Together, they make drinking seem more silly and innocent and games all the wilder and cooler. But they’re born out of a country’s boozing culture. People don’t drink the same around the world, so their method of game-ifying the drunken activity wouldn’t be the same approach. Let’s look at a couple of wild ways people around the world get straight up lit.

 

1. Kastenlauf

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Photo: Wikimedia

Austria, Germany, Switzerland

Finally, a game for drunks who want to work off the calories as they come in. This “race” pairs up at least two boozehounds to a team, and they carry a crate or cooler of beer to the finish line. The caveat here is that you have to finish all the beer before crossing. Is it just a brisk stroll through a park? Hell no, the routes are usually between, like, 5 km and 12 km. This drinking game probably started centuries ago when two dudes got kicked out of the house and had to walk to their friend’s farm in the next village to keep partying.

 

2. Bear Paw

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Russia

If the little I understand about this country is even remotely true, then this is the most Russian game ever. It’s basically drinking until everyone passes out or dies. Here’s how the carnival of madness works: Fill a big stein with beer, take a sip, and pass it on. In between those last two steps, however, top it off with vodka. Eventually, the entire stein will be vodka, so you start topping it off with beer once that happens. Then you just keep doing this. Last person awake or alive “wins.”

 

3. Ping Pong Pang

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Photo: Youtube

Japan

What basically feels like a Mexican standoff, this drinking game has everyone yelling and pointing fingers at each other (which sounds like most holidays, honestly). One player starts things off by saying, “Ping.” The person on their left has to quickly follow it with, “Pong.” Then the person on their left calls out, “Pang.” That person then points to another boozer at the table to start the three-word process all over again. If anyone’s too slow or forgets to point at that pivotal moment, everyone chants while the person drinks.

 

4. Hammerschlagen

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Photo: Wikipedia

Germany

Sure, on the lower end of the list of things you want to hand your friend is a hammer and nails, but this should, in theory, work out on the side of fun (not murder). Going back to an Oktoberfest in the early 19th Century, this game has everyone sticking a nail in a tree stump (or some random piece of wood). When it’s your turn, you have to hit your nail or drink. That goes around until someone totally sinks their nail into the wood. First person to do so wins a free shot and the last person gets the next round. It sounds like it was specifically designed for camping bachelor parties.

 

5. Napkin, Beer, Cigarette

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South Korea

This game is so literal and cool. You could probably guess the rules on its name alone, if it weren’t for the lack of a “coin” mention. Basically, you lay a coin atop a napkin and place that napkin atop a full pint of beer. Then everyone at the table takes turns burning a hole in said napkin with a lit cigarette. When the coin inevitably falls through, that person has to drink the beer (but not the coin!). It’d also be the raddest way to accidentally cause a house fire.

 

6. Goon of Fortune

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Photo: Youtube

Australia

Named after Wheel of Fortune, the game entails you rounding up your friends and a goon bag (it’s just the bag in boxed wine). Clothes-pin the bag to a rotary clothesline—often called a Hills Hoist—and then spin the thing with everyone around it. Whoever’s standing closest to the goon bag when it comes to a stop must drink the proper amount of “goon,” which is agreed upon beforehand. I now realize this is what’s been missing from barbeques out here in the States.

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Alcohol Drinks Packaged Food Sweets What's New

Whisky-Flavored Pocky Sticks Are The Latest Snacks From Japan

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We’d like to consider Pocky sticks the Japanese version of Oreos in that new flavors are constantly dropping. One of the newest variations is defintely a flavor adults will appreciate more than sweet-toothed kids.

Kotaku reports that Glico snacks has released sleek new whisky-flavored Pocky sticks.

Since chocolate is usually a solid choice to enjoy with the hard liquor, the brand created the snack with the pairing in mind. The dough from the pretzel stick is kneaded with wort, the sweet liquid that comes from the mashing process of brewing whisky.

To elevate the snack even further, the Pocky stick is salted and covered in whisky-scented chocolate.

It’s highly doubtful that you can get a buzz from the new snack sticks. If you appreciate a good glass of whiskey, however, you’ll probably enjoy the detail that went into making these new Pocky sticks.

Photo: Pocky

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Alcohol Cravings Packaged Food Sweets What's New

This Alcoholic Ice Cream Can Actually Get You Drunk

A photo posted by Tipsy Scoop (@tipsyscoop) on

Sure we’ve seen alcoholic ice cream before. Most brands and flavors carry just a sufficient amount of alcohol to give consumers a taste of their favorite beverage without actually getting them drunk.

Not the case for Tipsy Scoop.

The ice cream brand is saturated with enough liquor to get you nice and buzzed. Design Taxi reports that one serving is the equivalent of drinking a light beer. If you add the scoops up, you’ll probably have trouble counting after your fourth or fifth serving.

Flavors include Spiked Hazelnut Coffee, Dark Chocolate Whiskey and Salted Caramel, Vanilla Bean Bourbon, Cake Batter Vodka Martini, and quite a few others to choose from.

You can buy Tipsy Scoop in sets of four through their website. They come in interchangeable pints. Definitely plenty of booze ice cream to get the party started.

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Alcohol Beer Drinks

Here Are The Do’s And Don’ts To Your First Great American Beer Festival

I remember the urge to run. The long line that snaked along the side of the Colorado Convention Center in Denver dragged me in the building, up a wide flight of stairs and released me into the
cavernous Great American Beer Festival®— my first. I’m not sure what I was running to. I almost expected a lifeguard to yell, “No running!”

So I did the same straight-legged, hand flat down my sides speed walk that over-stimulated children do around a pool. I hustled to the first brewery I saw. Little did I know that the first beer sampled at the country’s largest and most renowned beer festival was my symbolic cannonball into a fascination, a career and a whole new life that I have loved ever since.

That was over a decade ago.

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Today, my GABF starts well before the line begins. I’m on the other side of the stanchions — the other side of the booth. I still get just as excited. And proud. I see the same elation on other first-timers’ faces that I’m sure was stuck to mine. I think about how much the festival has grown, how much the small and independent brewery scene has grown and maybe I’ve grown, too. (Nope, still 5’10”.) I remember when dropping one’s tasting cup was license to go bat-sh*t crazy; it still is. Not necessarily from hearing that roar 20 times each session, but from seeing the joy that it brings.

(MORE: 10 Best Medal-Winning Names from 2015 GABF)

As we look to this next GABF, I figured I’d share some ideas for newcomers that I think will help make your GABF as life-changing as my first time. Everyone experiences GABF differently, but if I had a chance to do it all over again, I might consider these.

DO: Make a list

The GABF app didn’t exist for my first fest; I’m pretty sure none did, but it sure would have been helpful. In subsequent years, I’ve been able to create lists of breweries or beers that I wanted to visit. I’ve shared that list with others and they’ve appreciated the tips. Use the app to create your own list or check out the filtered lists of beers and other things going on at the GABF.

DO: Make a pretzel necklace

No accessory says “I’m here to have fun” like a pretzel necklace. Get creative, make it a statement piece. What? You’re too cool for pretzel necklaces? How are you going to cleanse that oh-so-refined palate? Matzo medallion?

It’s Friday! Bust a move & enjoy that weekend! ‪#GABF #TGIGABF

A photo posted by Brewers Association (@greatamericanbeerfestival) on

DO: Eat before. Drink water during

Savor the Flavor responsibly and don’t let the fest get the best of you. Having some food in your stomach is imperative and water is an important part of life in the Mile High City regardless if you’re enjoying beer or not.

(MORE: 5 Questions Brewers Want You to Ask During Tours)

DO: Ask questions

Nobody will ever know everything there is to know about beer — that’s part of the reason we love it — but sharing perspectives and knowledge can go a long way in understanding it better. Whether you like the beer you’re sampling or dislike it, ask about it. What’s the style history? What was the brewer’s intention? After you learn about it, maybe your initial impression will change.

DON’T: Wait in lines

This might be just my preference, but I can’t stand waiting in line. No matter what beer is being served at the front of the line, it’s not worth it. If a glass of beer is normally about eight to 10 minutes of enjoyment, then spending 15 minutes in line for a 1 ounce sample just doesn’t compute. Instead, set your sight on finding the beers that will be commanding long lines at next year’s GABF. There are plenty of them. Find them.

DO: Dump beer

I know what you’re thinking: This dude wants me to waste beer!? That’s right. Nobody is going to shame you for dumping a beer you don’t like. There are hundreds of others to choose from. You aren’t going to hurt anyone’s feelings. Dump that sucka and find one you’d like to sip on for a bit. Downing a 12% barleywine that you don’t like will only wreck your palate, fill your tummy (and bladder) and bring you closer to naptime.

After 35 years the Great American Beer Festival has become much more than just a beer festival: it’s a family reunion for many attendees and brewers alike and a source of great pride for all who have the chance to work on it. If you’ve been before, you’ve likely figured out your own tips on enjoying your time. I hope that if you’re joining us for the first time you take some of my advice. With all that the festival and its breweries have to offer, we want you to have it wash over you like it has done for us. It is not an exaggeration to say that the GABF changed my life, and I have looked forward to it every fall since.

Bonus: Don’t run. Or at least don’t run like I did.

Written by Andy Sparhawk | CraftBeer.com

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Alcohol Drinks Features

9 Plans For Conquering The Great American Beer Festival

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Walking through the doors of the Great American Beer Festival can be overwhelming for a first-time attendee, or even a festival veteran. So many breweries times so many beers equals an experience where no beer fan can possibly hope to catch them all.

How can you avoid missing out on some of the most awesome beers at the festival? First, take a deep breath and realize that this is one of the most highly regarded festivals in the world. Each beer was sent to the festival with a mission and most of the time with the beer drinker in mind.

Setting a strategy before you walk in the door can help take off the pressure. We came up with nine creatively-themed tracks — think of them as missions or quests or even scavenger hunts — to add an element of mystery to your GABF experience. Most of all take it slow, drink plenty of water and remember that the festival is about the enjoyment of beer overall. As Andy Sparhawk recently reminded us: beer is supposed to be fun.

1: The Social Butterfly

social_butterfly3Are you a people person? Do you like to let fate be your guide? Then try being a Social Butterfly. This is where you ask a friend or the person pouring beer at a table which brewery you should try next. This is a great way to find out some other people’s favorite beers and break some ice.

2: The Gandalf

Wander around and try one or two beers from each of the regions in the festival hall, or one beer from each of the 50 states. Have you ever tried a beer from North Dakota? Fargo Brewing will represent the Peace Garden State. What about Alaska? Alaskan Brewing will be in attendance for the 49th State. Allagash Brewing will be the sole Maine brewery. Wander around and see what new beers you can find. After all, not all who wander are lost.

3: The Collector

the_collector_2Taneleer Tivan collects rare and wonderful objects from around the galaxy in the Marvel Comics Universe. What strange and wonderful beer ingredients can you find this year? See how many new ingredients you can try in your beers. Did Wynkoop Brewing bring their Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout? Did Firestone Walker or Adroit Theory happen to bring any beers aged in mezcal barrels? See how far you can step out of your comfort zone.

(MORE: 10 Off-Kilter IPA Ingredients)

4: The Fonzthe_fonz

Arthur Fonzarelli  knew lots of people and everyone felt like they knew him on the 1970’s sitcom Happy Days. Say “heyyy” to the CraftBeer.com interactive Beer Style guide and see if you can sample beers from categories you’ve never tried before.

5: The Indiana Jones

“Archeology is the search for fact, not truth,” Indiana Jones told his students. Just as Indy went in search of historical artifacts, brewers at GABF have produced beers fitting historical styles. Try to drink one of each of these historical beer styles: grodziskie, Lichtenhainer, gose, Berliner weiss, zwickelbier, adambier and rauchbier.

muscles_brussels6: The Muscles from Brussels

Just like Jean-Claude Van Damme took America by storm, now GABF brews up a storm of Belgian-style beers, all of them worth a try. In this track, sample beers with Belgian influence: golden ale, Belgian IPA, Belgian wit, sours and lambics. If in doubt, see if the beer’s name has the word “Belgian” in it.

7: The Luke Skywalkerdarth_vadar

A Jedi can appreciate this search for the light side of malt. Just as Luke trained with Yoda on Degobah and learned the ways of the force, this search looks for lighter-colored beers. These beers aren’t necessarily “light beers;” instead, they’re mainly beers brewed with lighter colored malts including the cream ale, kolsch, pale lager, pale ale, IPA, goses and pilsners.

8: The Darth Vader

Just as Darth Vader told Luke Skywalker, “You don’t know the power of the Dark Side,” GABF can be your ticket to exploring beers made with dark malt in some way. Hopheads in particular can stretch outside their comfort zone to find beers with dark and roasted malts including stout, porter, black IPA, milk stouts, imperial stouts and schwarzbiers.

technicolor9: The Technicolor

This is a horse of a different color. On this track, enjoy beers made with fruits, roots, woods, and barrels, or even beers of a different color like Irish reds, etc. The deeper the color the more unique the beer. How many beers are made with passion fruit? Dragon fruit? Lychee? Lingonberries? See how many strange fruits you can pick off this beer list.

MORE: A Fascination with Foraged Beer)

No matter how you choose to enjoy the Great American Beer Festival, make it memorable by enjoying in moderation, drinking plenty of water and being patient with fellow festivalgoers and staff. Remember that this event celebrates the community of beer, and we are enjoying this together. Cheers!

Written by Mark DeNote | CraftBeer.com