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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

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Hit-Or-Miss

Everything You Should Eat & Drink at OozeFest – An Event Dedicated to Cheese & Beer

This Saturday October 10, 2015, something quite amazing will be happening in Downtown Santa Ana (California). No, cash money will not be falling from the sky, and no, the Pope won’t be hitting up DTSA. But, a festival focused solely around cheese (and beer!) in all its glory will be taking place! Better yet, this miraculous event is brought to you by FOODBEAST! It’s called Ooze Fest.

Far too many are unaware that October is National Cheese Month, and that’s part of the reason why Foodbeast developed Ooze Fest in the first place. We’ve been through it all, having interrogated Jack-in-the-Box about their infamous Late Night Munchie Meals, and even ordered an unauthorized item off the In-n-Out “secret menu.” It’s about damn time we had our own festival, right? So, we’ll be completely changing the game when it comes to cheeses, because as of this moment, 18 different food vendors will be offering Ooze Fest attendees the chance to try a completely new and unique cheese dish which they’ve taken time to craft and create over a period of weeks. Oh, there’ll also be craft beer for you to drink to your heart’s content. So without further ado, check out this preview of the cheesy delicacies you’ll soon be devouring..

NOTE: This covers a majority of our vendors, but some are choosing to debut an item at the festival. Vendors also subject to last minute changes.


Blackmarket Bakery: Pumpkin Whoopie Pie with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Mousse

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The Blackmarket Bakery’s ‘Ooze-worthy’ Whoopie Pie might just go down in history as one of the greatest whoopie pies to ever exist. Not only does it contain a one-of-a-kind cinnamon cream cheese mousse, but it’s also comprised of classic fall flavors like pumpkin and spices! Certainly a game changer for the first-ever Ooze Fest.


The Cellar Cheese Shop

No doubt The Cellar Cheese Shop will be bringing their A-game to our cheese-centered festival. With spots located in Anaheim, San Clemente, and Costa Mesa, these folks are certainly no strangers when it comes to cheese. Additionally, their “Cheesemongers” ensure that the quality and taste of their cheeses are top priority.


Chapter One

Located on Broadway in beautiful Santa Ana, Chapter One restaurant specializes in catering to the “modern local” by putting their own “playful twist” on classic dishes. Chapter One also strives to take advantage of locally grown produce and seasonal fares in addition to exploring the best beers, wines, and spirits around the world. We can’t wait to see what they’ve got in store for Ooze Fest!


Crow Bar and Kitchen: Taleggio Tarragon Mouse Arancini, with Pear Relish

Crow Bar will be taking a classic Sicilian creation and adding their own cheesy twist with their soon-to-be-debuted Taleggio Tarragon Arancini. These fried rice balls contain a special pear relish, tarragon herb, as well as aromatic taleggio cheese. Gourmet has never tasted so comforting.


Dos Chinos: Butter Pecan Ice Cream W/ Lime Chili Nuts, Frosted Flakes & Cheddar Cheese

I have no idea what Dos Chinos is doing, and I can’t wait to try it. 


 FOODBEAST Presents Booth: Pizza Fries

We can’t throw a food festival without being a part of it. We just couldn’t resist. And we had to bring the realness, because well, have you seen the rest of these items?! French Fries. Tomato Sauce. Mozzarella cheese. Pepperoni. What else do you need to know? Watch the video here. 


Front Porch Pops: Brie Ice Cream Bar & Truffle White Cheddar Popcorn

If your tongue happens to need a cooldown in the heat of all the cheesy Ooze action, you can always turn to Front Porch Pops! Pops will be in attendance serving a select amount of their coveted handmade ice pops, which are made with real fruit and fresh dairy products.


GD Bro Truck: Girthy Jalapeño Cream Cheese Stuffed Patty Burger With Mozzarella Buns gdbro

Food Network’s GD Bro Truck is set to be delivering some intensely delicious burgers come this Ooze Fest! Their creative concoction is rightly called a Girthy Jalapeño Cream Cheese Stuffed Patty, served with a generous drizzling of their Signature Chipotle Mayo and within Deep Fried Mozzarella Buns.


The Grilled Cheese Truck: Fully Loaded Cheesy Mac & Rib Melt grilledcheestruck-loaded

You may have had the privilege of sampling the Grilled Cheese Truck as it’s bounced around Southern California, but wait until you’ve tried their brand spankin’ new Fully Loaded Cheesy Mac & Rib Melt at Ooze Fest! And we mean fully loaded, with delicious Southern-style mac and sharp cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, and smoked BBQ pork that’ll have you chasing after the truck on hand and foot long after Ooze Fest is over.


Grits Fullerton: Pollo Fundido Fried Chicken Skin Chips grits-fundido

Cripsy, cheesy, and meaty, the Pollo Fundido Fried Chicken Skin Chips from Grits Fullerton bring an unexpected twist to this year’s Ooze Fest. They’re made with ground pickled pork belly,  gruyere and white cheddar fundido, most definitely putting the “fun” in fundido.


Ink Waffles: Cheese Cotton Candy

We don’t have an image yet, but if this is built anything like our hopes and dreams – aliens and higher beings probably exist too.


The Iron Press: Crispy Waffle Nachos with Gorgonzola vocFsuyCjgaLDdXyMpibOT1gUJajUBJ30ydu9UurP_E,hPVbMXzc6D5ChGR6OifcSffFJdaVzA1yCHCTDRMCws8

Beer and waffles are essentially the heart and soul of The Iron Press, which means we can expect big things from their team at this year’s Ooze Fest. Their unique dish consists of crispy waffle fries garnished with Gorgonzola cheese sauce and crumbles, Harissa-Spiced fried mozzarella balls, and topped with sliced scallions and rendered smoked bacon bits.


La Sriracha Racha: Mexican Spicy Racha Cheesecake Ice Cream Churro Sandwich LaSrirachaRacha-churro

Mexican Spicy Racha Cheesecake Ice Cream Churro Sandwich—these eight words alone should be pretty self-explanatory and more than enough to get your mouth watering, but just in case, we’ll break it down for you. This handheld creation is brought to you by La Sriracha Racho (by LA Culinary Inc.) and consists of creamy cheesecake ice cream sandwiched together between two beds of interwoven, spicy-sweet churros. I guess dreams really do come true!


Little Sparrow: “Take Me Back to My Youth” Sandwich lilsparrow-takemeback

Indian Fry bread with bone marrow, mac and cheese, gourmet nachos, jalapeño cheese and a mozzarella stick—yes, this will definitely take us back to our youth, back to when we could eat anything we wanted without a care in the world, but essentially we still can! Why not indulge yourself in Little Sparrow’s incredible “Take Me Back to My Youth?”


Ninjas with Appetite: Teriyaki Pizza-dilla

Ninjas with Appetite are well-known for their insanely mouthwatering teriyaki sauce, but their Ooze Fest specialty “Teriyaki Pizzadilla” is one for the books. To sum things up, this beauty is essentially “a pizza and quesadilla hybrid filled to the brim with cheese, teriyaki chicken, steak, scallions, sriracha, and of course, more CHEESE.” You won’t want to miss out on this NWA goodness. ONLY AVAILABLE during the 5PM-9PM session. See video here.


Shuck Oyster Bar: Apple Cheese Empanada shuck-empanada

Though the Shuck Oyster Bar is renowned for their amazing selection of seafood, they can also make a mean empanada! They’ve even created an Apple Cheese Empanada exclusively for Ooze Fest—it’s tossed in warm cinnamon sugar and served with caramel and vanilla ice cream, a perfect treat for taking full advantage of the fall season.


Slaters 50/50: Beer Cheese Chili Burger & Fried Mac and Cheese Cake slatersbeercheesbrgr

If it wasn’t enough that Foodbeast was delivering both great beer and tasty cheese dishes to Ooze Fest, SoCal natives will be ecstatic to learn that Slaters 50/50 will be making an appearance as well to showcase beer-inspired dishes: The Beercheese Chili Burger will feature Brandt beef, BBQ-spice rubbed bacon, Guinness bacon chili, Racer 5 IPA beer cheese, and kettle chips all on a thick brioche bun—what better way to honor Ooze Fest’s guests of honor? Pair your burger with a side of Slaters’ Fried Mac and Cheese Cake with tapatio ranch.


Slapfish: Lobster Mascarpone Beignets

Legends of the Orange County seafood scene, Slapfish are known for their freshness when it comes to flavors, fish, and food, as well as maintaining a fresh perspective on creating a sustainable and down-to-earth environment for their guests. First time Slapfishers will be able to see and taste this in their creamy, cheesy stuffed Lobster Mascarpone Beignets, which are to be served at Ooze Fest.


SOCIAL Costa Mesa: Deviled Duck Ham & Pimento Cheese Pocket Pastry

social-duckhampocket copy

…aka the “Duck Fat Hot Pocket.” This beautiful puff pastry is filled with juicy bits of cured duck ham, smoked onion jam, and features zesty Pimento cheese—a Southern classic! We’ve got Executive Chef Jeffrey Boullt and SOCIAL to thank for this savory masterpiece.


Torch S’mores Company

Another resident of our beloved 4th Street Market, Torch S’mores Company will be sharing a prime version of their signature s’mores sandwiches, with a cheesy surprise! You can expect that Torch will be bringing the heat.


BEER

32 North – Special Pennant Pale – 5.5% ABV

This golden, San Diego style Pale Ale packs citrus and tangerine notes and aromas that will leave your both your nose and tastebuds tingling. Additionally, its Mandarina Bavaria and Waimea hops and sessional bitterness work to create a truly unique and clean ale.


Ballast Point – Dead Ringer Oktoberfest 6 % ABV

Ballast Point’s Dead Ringer Oktoberfest is a lager whose conception was influenced by traditional Märzens typically found at Bavaria’s Gäubodenvolksfest beer festival. With a gorgeous dark reddish brown color, aromatic flavors of caramel toffee and toasted malt, and lower hop bitterness, this autumn brew is sure to warm your heart and pair well with any cheese dish at Ooze Fest.


Bottle Logic Brewing – Pumpkin Pi 

Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove allspice—all key ingredients for the makings of a spectacular seasonal pie, as well as the Pumpkin Pi ale from Bottle Rocket Brewing! Bottle Rocket says the balance of spices “..adds a nice depth of holiday flavor” to their pie-inspired Abby malted ale.


Good Beer Co – Painted Lady – 7.0% ABV

A Belgian-style blond from our next door neighbors in Downtown Santa Ana. Brandon and team will definitely not disappoint. The beer is currently on tap and in the tasting room.


Green Flash – Bullet Triple IPA – 10.1% ABV

With the Bullet Triple IPA, Green Flash set out to utilize unique ingredients like Pacific Gem from New Zealand and Green Bullet hops in order to craft an unforgettable beer. The bold, spicy pine and citrus flavors of Green Bullet combined with Pacific Gem keep the taste of the finished product balanced yet adventurous.


Laguna Beach Brew – Canyon Road Red – 5.5% ABV

The Canyon Road Red Ale of Laguna Beach Brew contains less malt and more hops, and brims with local flavor. Red-Heads and Hop-Heads, you won’t want to miss on this knockout of a brew!  


Roughdraft – Grapefruit Weekday – 4.8% ABV

Roughdraft’s Grapefruit Weekday IPA may be perfect for a post-work cooldown, but it’s just as perfect for Ooze Fest! This refreshing brew is graced with Citra and Simcoe hops and flavors of grapefruits, and will get along just fine with your choice cheese dish.


Hangar 24, Portland Cider, Allagash, Beach City Brewing, Bravery, Four Sons, Saint Archer, & Speakeasy – TBD

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Hit-Or-Miss

A Look At Mountain Dew’s Foray Into Craft Soda: DewShine

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Expect to see a “shinier” side of Mountain Dew on grocer shelves sometime this month. It was announced that the new craft-variant of Mountain Dew, called “DewShine,” will soon be making a national release.

Keeping in line with the recent emergence of craft soda variants of popular soft drinks, Mountain Dew is the next to unveil their newest contender. The soda is a clear, citrus-flavored beverage that’s made with real cane sugar, not the regular high-fructose corn syrup you find in regular soft drinks.

DewShine takes its name from moonshine alcohol, and is also said to be inspired by the soda company’s home-brewed mountain roots.

The DewShine bottles will be available in packs of four, each bottle holding 12 ounces.

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Hit-Or-Miss

Pepsi Introduces ‘Craft’ Soda, Caleb’s Kola

Pepsi-Craft-Soda

Looks like PepsiCo is going back to pure-sugar basics. The soda company has created and released a new craft soda packaged in glass bottles free of any artificial sweeteners or high-fructose corn syrup. They’re calling it a craft soda.

Caleb’s Kola is named after Caleb Bradham, a North Carolina pharmacist credited with the creation of the Pepsi formula way back in the 1890s. The drink itself is made with cane sugar, a “special blend of spices” and a kola nut extract. According to Caleb’s Kola site, the beverage will have 110 calories and 29 grams of sugar per 10-ounce bottle.

It looks like the new beverage will be marketed as a “craft soda” since the website is throwing around hashtags like #honorincraft, #craft and #mixology. We know a whole generation that would go apeshit over those things.

While Kola will be sold at select Costco locations in New York, Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia, PepsiCo has plans for a wider distribution later on. Prices may vary depending on the location.

H/T Huffington Post

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Sweets

Watch as a Blade Gradually Reveals Geometric Patterns Hiding in this Chocolate Cylinder

Studio Wieki Somers and chocolatier Rafael Mutter have engineered a gigantic cylindrical block of chocolate that contains beautiful geometric layers with unique patterns.

Called ‘The Chocolate Mill,’ this artistic endeavor was undertaken as a retrospective of Gerrit Rietveld, a Dutch designer and architect. The Chocolate Mill is made up of ten layers and a crank-turned blade resembling a large cheese slicer reveals each underlying layer which contains a beautiful, unique pattern of chocolate shapes.

Watch the video above to see how each layer is unveiled.

chocolate-shavings

Call it beautiful craftsmanship or a waste of chocolate but the question we have is.. who gets to eat all those chocolate shavings they sweep away?!

H/T DesignTaxi

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Hit-Or-Miss

YES: This Machine is the Keurig of Beer

synek

Hold onto your steins folks, the next best thing in beer is here. It’s called Synek, and it’s essentially a Keurig for your beer. No more growlers, bottles, and cases to lug to your next party. Just fill up the vacuum pack with any of your favorite beers, then dispense it from your kitchen counter, your backyard, or pretty much anywhere with an outlet.

The beauty of Synek is, unlike growlers or bottles, you can access any beer you want, as long as the beer maker is able to distribute it. You just fill up the bag, take it home, and get to drinking craft beer from your kitchen. Plus, the bags hold twice as much beer as a growler, doesn’t spoil, and, bonus points, has “the spirit of a falcon”.

Founder Steve Young is currently seeking crowdfunding via Kickstarter. Pre-orders for Synek will set you back $299, and will cost $349 once the prototype hits the market (they’ve already passed their Kickstarter goal). Beer cartridges are priced at about $1 each.

Sounds like a good idea to us. Time to get dranking.

Categories
Adventures

Maple Prosciutto Donuts, Bacon Fat Salads & More from Porktoberfest

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I missed out on Oktoberfest this year, so it was a gift from above that fellow Foodbeast Brian and I were invited to the Five Crowns in Corona Del Mar, Calif., for their 2nd-annual Porktoberfest. If there was a Mecca for pork, this would be it. An old-school pub vibe, Five Crowns opened their restaurant to pork lovers alike. Live music, costume contests and good eats made this night a pretty damn good food adventure.

The event featured craft beers provided by Firestone Walker among the pork dishes. Between the community table and mingling on the patio area, the food was on point. Check out all the porktastic eats below.

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Pork Rillette on Endive Spear with Pickled Red Onion

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Super savory and light, it was a great way to kick off the tasting.

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Beer Braised Pulled Pork Sliders with Traditional Coleslaw

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The braise on the pork was perfect. There was a heat that was great but not overwhelming. The coleslaw also added a sweet crunch to the sliders.

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Beer Braised Mini Carnitas Tacos with Guacamole, Onions and Cilantro

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Though I wish I could have tasted more of the meat in the tacos, I figured it was intended to be light in anticipation for the main meal. The house-made guacamole was delicious though, as you can see in the picture, I was most definitely licking my fingers afterwards.

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Baby Spinach with Stilton Blue Crumbles, Apple, Pancetta, Crispy Shallots, Candied Walnuts, Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

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When I heard the phrase “Warm Bacon Vinaigrette” I was intrigued. When the salad arrived, I realized it was pretty much seasoned bacon fat. And, you know what? It worked.

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Roasted Pig

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skin
Pork

The crown jewel of the dinner, since it was Porktoberfest after all, was the roasted pig (crispy skin and all). There’s nothing more satisfying than feeling that crunch of fatty skin when biting down. Just wish there was some sauce to go with it.

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Buttermilk Biscuits with Ham Hock Gravy

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I was sold on the biscuits as soon as I first bit into them. Awesome glaze that made them sweet and salty at the same time. Then the waiter brought out the gravy. Heaven.

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Maple Glazed Donuts with Crispy Prosciutto Bits

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The final item of the night, the donuts where a much welcome dessert to compliment the pork-heavy menu. Sweet and flavorful with a hint of saltiness from the prosciutto. Absolutely had more than one.

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Photos taken by Brian Yamamoto

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Man Drops 14 Pounds by Only Drinking Beer and Eating Sausages

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Inspired by Oktoberfest’s boozy shindigs, Arizona resident Evo Terra managed to shed 14 pounds last year by living off a diet of beer and sausages. Terra began the dream peculiar diet three years ago, which consists of two sausages and up to six beers a day — about 15,000 calories per week.

“Most of it was body fat,” says Terry Simpson, Terra’s doctor. “His cholesterol went down by a third.” Simpson monitors Terra’s health and assures non-believers that if the diet ever proved harmful, it would be “shut down.”

Of course, this isn’t magic. It’s just simple numbers. As Terra points out, if his body burns 2100 calories on a daily basis and he only consumes 1500 calories that day, he’ll be burning more calories than he consumes — regardless of the source of those calories.

Of course, “variety” is key here and Terra chows down on everything from breakfast sausages to polish dogs and sips on fruit beers in the morning, kicking back with an imperial stouts around dinner time. The one con to this Oktoberfest regimen is that Terra isn’t fit to drive due to his diet’s food-to-booze ratio. Luckily, his son has volunteered to be the designated driver for the month of October.

H/T Oddity Central