Costco isn’t fooling anyone. While the gargantuan $10 pizza and bulk amounts of, well, everything are nice, the chain clearly excels at being the alcohol plug. Where else can you get a 48 pack of beer for $23? Well, nowhere, now that the chain discontinued their beer last fall. Thankfully it seems as if a new contestant has approached the arena— er, warehouse — with the introduction of their new Egg Nog Wine Cocktail.
As with everything at Costco, the drink only comes in one size (absurdly large) and one price (absurdly cheap). The Instagram account @costcobuys, who initially reported the discovery, says that the drink is available at their Costco in 1.5L bottles for only $9.
Nine dollars! Now, granted this isn’t that premium stuff. At the end of the day, this is alcoholic eggnog that comes in a plastic bottle. But still! That’s a lot of… value… for your money.
The one concerning part of this is that, according to the label, it’s a “wine cocktail.” Usually, eggnog is paired with a dark liquor, like rum or brandy — never wine.
This reddit thread throws a couple suggestions out, namely that this might be the result of state alcohol sales and taxes laws. From prior experience, and some preliminary reporting, this could be true. The new bottle seems to be a rebrand of the eggnog liqueur that Costco has sold for years, as the imaging, labeling, and wording of the bottle all remain the same. The only things that have changed is the switch to “wine cocktail” and a minor reduction in alcohol percentage, as the new one comes in at 13.9%.
Whatever the recipe may actually be, Costco is trying to make alcoholic eggnog easy, and holiday parties that much more palatable. Cheers to that.
As October arrives and we brace ourselves for the end of another year, we can find solace in knowing there’s at least one more sweet deal we can dive into before 2020 begins: Long Island Iced Teas for 50 cents at Applebee’s.
The restaurant chain is offering the fan-favorite cocktail for 50-cents at select Applebee’s locations throughout the state of Texas. They will be available during all open hours, throughout the rest of October.
With a blend of vodka, rum, tequila, sweet & sour mix, and a splash of cola, the beverage is served in 10 oz. glasses for anyone over 21 to enjoy.
You can find this offer valid only at participating Applebee’s locations in Dallas, Houston, Austin, Waco, and East Texas from now until the end of the month.
The week of E3 never fails to be a bustling cornucopia for gaming announcements. While we’re here rewatching all the new gameplay trailers that have dropped over the weekend, it seems Miller Lite has been hard at work creating an item that encapsulates the best of both gaming and beer consumption.
Yes, we now live in a world where a fully-functioning beer can gaming controller exists.
Called the Cantroller, the device is toted as the first-ever video game controller that you can drink from. Fully-functioning, it also doubles as a 12oz can of Miller Lite. Specs on the Cantroller include Bluetooth that connects to multiple consoles and PC, haptic feedback, and a three-hour lithium-ion battery. Also, beer.
A live demonstration of the Cantroller in action will air live on Twitch on Wednesday, June 12, to coincide with the launch event. Comedian Eric Andre and Complexity gamers BananaSlamJamma and ShahZam will be present to demonstrate the intricacies of the first-of-its-kind device.
As of right now, the only way to get one is to beat Eric Andre using one of the cantrollers at the July 12 drop event by going head-to-head with Andre and winning. It will be held at 1147 S HOPE STREET LOS ANGELES, CA, between 7-11pm.
Only 200 cantrollers are currently available so the first 200 gamers who beat him can get their hands on a device.
The Georgians are very proud of their wine-making history. They are also proud of the fact that a recent archaeological expedition in a region of the country known as Gadachrili Gora found fragments of clay barrels decorated on the outside with images of grapes. These not only contained traces of wine, but also DNA from residue pollen, strongly suggesting that the surrounding grounds were covered with vineyards. The remains among which these barrels were found dated from 6,000 B.C., which makes these the oldest evidence of winemaking ever discovered — quite a claim in the history of one of my favorite beverages!
Georgian winemaking has access to more than 500 grapes. Its legacy has survived the time of Soviet occupation (Georgia sits at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe) and its attempts to industrialize the wine industry across its territories. The Soviets granted every household the right to grow crops on 1 acre of land, and the locals took this opportunity to add other varieties to the Soviet favorites of Saperavi (red) and Rkatsiteli (white) to protect their grape heritage.
Today, many Georgians still make wine and brandy at home for personal consumption or for sale to supplement their income. Over the last few years, they have also developed a small, but growing, wine tourism industry. While we were visiting, we took the opportunity to visit the largest wine-growing region, and after a two-hour drive from the capital, we found ourselves in the lush and green hills of Kakheti. We visited three vineyards, and at each one we were able to view the traditional methods of making wine and compare them to the European-style nectars the wineries also produce, often for the export market.
In the style of winemaking with which we might be most familiar, the grapes are harvested, the juice and skin are separated (the skins remaining in contact if you are making red wine), and the wine is fermented with additional yeast, if needed. The wine is then aged in wooden barrels or stainless steel containers before being bottled.
Winemaking styles in Europe and Georgia are as different as the wine.
Traditional Georgian winemaking, however, is quite different. Once the grapes are harvested, they are pressed. Then, along with the skins, the stems and pips of the grapes are placed in a large clay barrel, known as a qvevri, which is buried in the ground. Th barrel is then sealed, and the wine is left to ferment with natural yeasts for five to six months. After this time, it is decanted from the qvevri and bottled. The remaining grape residue is distilled to make a “chacha” brandy. Afterward, the barrel is cleaned out, often by someone climbing inside, washed with citric acid, then resealed with beeswax, and it’s ready for use again.
The winemaking process in the European and Georgian styles may be very different, but the wines produced are even more so. The reds can be dark and fruity, and often quite tannic, and sometimes a little sweeter. The whites — often called “amber whites” because of the darker color they take on from their contact with the skins — are richer, more structured and fullbodied. they offer a unique taste and one that is beginning to be sought after on wine lists throughout the world.
Georgian wines pair delightfully with food, which is something else, as we found, that the Georgians have had centuries to perfect. The qvevri styles of amber wines are the perfect accompaniment to some of the sour and slightly salty cheeses, such as sulguni. They also work well with two of Georgia’s favorite dishes, the khinkali, a Georgian dumpling filled with ground meat or cheese, or khachapuri, a pizza like flat bread filled with cheese, butter and eggs. The reds are terrific with kupati, a spicy sausage, or with game meats, such as wild boar. As for the chacha, drink enough of it and you won’t even remember what you ate.
I hope that this brief description will persuade you to seek out some of Georgia’s wines the next time you are perusing a wine list or searching the shelves of your favorite wine retailer for something just a little different. You’ll drink a bit of history, and have a wine-tasting experience like none before.
Keith Villa is probably best known for his contribution to the field of alcohol with his creation of Blue Moon. The brewmaster and founder was part of MillerCoors for approximately 32 years until his retirement early last year.
Now, in a time where cannabis-boasting beverages are becoming more and more prominent, Villa has launched a new brew that’s infused with pot: Grainwave Belgian-Style White Ale.
A medium-bodied Belgian-Style White Ale, Ceria is brewed with coriander and blood orange peels. As a spin on Belgian Ale, the beer is de-alcoholized and microdosed with 5mg of THC.
Villa’s new brewing company, Ceria Brewing Co., launched Grainwave last December in local dispensaries around the Colorado area and the initial batch sold out in about four hours.
While non-alcoholic, the brew is said to capture the flavors of a classic Belgian ale while providing the calming effects of cannabis.
Currently those looking to try Grainwave can find them in select dispensary locations in Denver, CO. For now, at least, it will remain a Colorado exclusive.
The light beer wars have officially escalated to new heights. After Bud Light’s round of Super Bowl commercials trashing Miller Lite and Coors Light for their usage of corn syrup, MillerCoors has struck back with a lawsuit accusing their rivals of false advertising and trademark dilution. They claim that corn syrup is no longer present in their beers after the fermentation progress, and wanted Bud Light’s campaigns to cease.
In theory, both sides are right. Corn syrup can be used as a sugar source for beer fermenting, and MillerCoors has said that they use it as such. However, by the time the beer is ready for tapping, all of that has been converted into alcohol, just like the rice that Bud Light uses for their brew.
The bigger question that this debate brings up, though, is one of transparency in the alcohol industry. Bud Light got this topic buzzing with their campaigns, which, on top of the corn syrup, added an ingredient label to their boxes to “show transparency.” Since it’s not currently required for alcohol brands to display their ingredients, this was groundbreaking for the industry.
As the conflict surrounding these light beers rages on, though, one has to wonder: should alcoholic beverages be required to list their ingredients?
For those wondering why ingredients don’t have to be labeled, it’s a matter of regulation and jurisdiction. While the FDA requires all food products in their space to list all of the ingredients, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, or TTB, does not. In the case of malted beverages, the only ingredients that have to be declared are saccharin and aspartame (two artificial sweeteners), sulfites (a potential allergen), and FD&C Yellow No. 5 (a food dye.)
All other components of beers, including the sugar source, any potential flavorings or colorings, and clarifying agents, don’t have to be declared. From a food science perspective, these could technically be classified as “processing aids” since the final product would just be flavors from hops, alcohol, water, and any colors that resulted from the brewing or fermenting process. Still, it is important to know what was used to brew a beer, especially a light beer. Since these tend to use rice or corn instead of barley as a fermenting source, consumers should be able to know which brands use what.
For vegans, transparency is also a concern because of something called isinglass. This beer clarifying agent is derived from fish bladders and is used to filter the beer of any leftover suspended yeast. Some specific brands note that they don’t use isinglass, leading to a category of “vegan-friendly” brews.
In a way, Bud Light is opening the public’s eyes to these issues with their campaign, but they are also playing on fear-mongering stigma because of the negative image corn syrup has in the eyes of the general public. Nonetheless, the conversation they are bringing up about ingredients in beer is one that should be taken more seriously.
Should alcoholic beverages list ingredients on drink packages?
Everyone has a drink they like to unwind with at the end of a long day, even a Founding Father. In case you ever wanted to experience what a prolific figure like George Washington would order at a bar, one of his beverages of choice is now being recreated in the 21st century.
Porterhouse Brew Co. is offering the historical drink known as a Hot Ale Flip for a month at the New York Bar, located in the Financial District.
Made with molasses, egg whites, rum, and ale, the drink is completed by sticking a red hot fireplace poker straight into the concoction to warm it up. Though, as health precautions changed over the past few hundred years, the fireplace poker has since been replaced with an ale warmer loggerhead.
Originally served at the iconic Fraunces Tavern, sister restaurant to Porterhouse Brew Co., Hot Ale Flips were believed to be one of George Washington’s favorite orders back when he visited the Tavern and a was also a popular sailor’s drink that was served during the Colonial era.
Not sure how I feel about warm ale quite yet, but my curiosity is piqued.
The Hot Ale Flips will be available now through March 19 for anyone hoping to experience a taste of history to enjoy.
People tend to count calories when it comes to food, but not many are very familiar with alcohol calories. How many are there in your favorite drinks?
When you go to the supermarket, all of the foods you pick up have their calories written on their sleeve. Or more precisely, their labels. But brewers, distillers, and winemakers are under no obligation to do that. According to Vox, the drink-related industries have been lobbying for years to keep it that way. Researchers in the BMJ called for mandatory nutrition labels, saying that alcoholic drinks contribute to obesity.
Some of the biggest brewers in America, like Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, Heineken USA, Constellation Brands Beer Division, North American Breweries, and Craft Brew Alliance, promised to begin publishing nutrition information on labels by next year. But that’s just beer and just the calories in beer. Wines, spirits, and mixed drinks will still be unknowns. Especially since a lot of them contain a lot of added sugars, flavors, and preservatives.
Lindsay Moyer, senior nutritionist at the Center for Science in Public Interest (CSPI) has started to track calories in popular alcoholic drinks. Her findings were published in CSPI’s Nutrition Action website.
Check the list out, to know what you’re dealing with when drinking and even cooking with alcohol if you’re into counting calories.
Alcohol calories: how does beer fit in?
“The calories in alcohol are a concern because people may forget about them,” said Moyer for Vox. “We’re used to seeing calories on nutrition facts labels for almost any food package, but when you pick up an alcoholic drink, that information just isn’t there.”
Most 12-ounce cans of light beer have about 100 calories. Others, which are just fairly light, have about 150 calories. A lot of Belgian brews, IPAs, and stouts get to huge calorie levels, 200 to 300.
Mixed drinks are loaded with sugar
A lot of the mixed drinks are full of sugar because of the juice, tonic water, or mixer and they’re often sweetened with high-fructose-corn-syrup. Some of them reach 350 calories, while others can take you up to 700 if you can believe that. Unfortunately, we can.
Not to mention that the energy they give you is not as filling as solid foods, so you will still want to eat a lot after having one of these drinks.
Wines have more calories than beer
According to CSPI data, most 6-ounce glasses of red or white wine have about 150 calories. Even though red wine is said to be incredibly healthy for you, that’s still a lot. And most of us have multiple glasses for dinner or when we go out. But this is your average glass of wine. There are sweeter varieties that are on trend right now, like Moscato.
How do you know to not up your calorie intake too much? There is a clue when it comes to alcohol content. The larger the percentage of alcohol, the bigger the number of calories in the drink you’re thinking of having. And the sweeter the drink, the more calories as well. Like for anything, the idea here is to drink in moderation, if you’re concerned about your calorie intake.