Craft beer adventures and experiences… one pint at a time

Posts tagged ‘Budweiser’

If a Beer Pic is worth 1000 words, How about 400 from Halfway There?

Looking to do something grand and beer-related on a sultry Saturday evening in downtown St Petersburg FL?   Tampa Bay Beer Week (#TBBW) and our supporters definitely did it up in grand style this past weekend!

halfway there logoSaturday, Sept 6, 2014 at the historic St Petersburg Coliseum marked the second annual #TBBW Halfway There Rare Beer Festival.  With the event capping attendance at 1000, we’re making our mark on the Florida beer scene.

It was an incredible event thanks to the #TBBW board and legions of others who donated time, beer, enthusiasm, and planning.

A big thank you to all my VolunBEERs who came out and donated their time, energy and heartbeats to make this an incredible festival for everyone!

VolunBEERs

With Tampa Bay Beer Week slated for Mar 7-15, 2015, we’re Halfway to incredible times ahead…But that’s still 6 months away, and we’re just getting started.

Saturday’s Halfway There fest featured rare and little seen (in these parts anyways) brews – local and international. This fest had over 60 confirmed breweries, 8 local home brew clubs, vendors, volunteers, and paid attendees who sampled, swirled, drank, and enjoyed what is fast becoming an incredible craft beer community in Tampa Bay.

Photo credits go to Tom Scherberger, Tiese Melton, and myself.

With close to 400 pics from the event itself, you can get a sense of the merriment and fun we had.

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While I don’t have pictures from The Ale and The Witch’s pre-party, I do have some from Hops and Props after-party:

Next up is The Ale and The Witch’s Local Fresh Brew Fest THIS WEEKEND (Sept 13, 2014) featuring live music, local brews, and lots of new friends.

See you there or at another upcoming St Pete/ Tampa area brewfest!

p.s., If you’d like to be added to my VolunBEER database (in case you live here OR you’re going to visit FL in the future and might want to volunteer) for future brew events in Florida, send me your name, email address, and cell number. It’s a great way to celebrate that Brews and Florida and Friends go together!

Cheers!

Carol

The Health Benefits of Beer – Let’s Drink to your Health Florida!

There’s no question that anything used in excess or irresponsibly such as coffee, alcohol, pills, or even grapefruit juice (contraindicated with particular prescriptions) — or even sunshine (!) – can be deadly.  Irresponsible use (abuse) is never a good idea, no matter what.

BUT, there are proven health benefits to some of controlled substances such as those going through various legislatures (such as the medical marijuana) and to freely available products such as BEER.  And it doesn’t have to be a Craft Brew either… (even though I’d profess that a craft beer drinking experience involves more tasting and savoring that ever does with mass-produced volume beers.  But that’s a matter of opinion.)

health benefits

Perhaps some of the states with Aging Populations and Health Problems, such as FLORIDA, might want to consider encouraging moderate beer consumption as a holistic way to health? (Seriously!)

Here’s a sampling of recent media releases (there are MANY more) about the Health Benefits related to Beer.

NOTE: I have not researched the medical validity of said claims or whether the studies are funded by alcohol distributors – maybe one of my readers knows?)

10 surprising health benefits of beerhttp://health.yahoo.net/experts/dayinhealth/10-surprising-health-benefits-beer

health benefits2http://www.care2.com/causes/6-health-benefits-of-drinking-beer.html

health benefits3http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/03/16/surprising-health-benefits-beer/

health benefits4http://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living/0315/tap-into-beers-health-benefits.aspx

If we have legalizing medical mary jane on the slate for health benefits, why wouldn’t we be encouraging the responsible (read: MODERATION!) consumption of readily available, and now tastier than ever, CRAFT BEER?

It’s cheaper than many prescription drugs, has less side effects with moderate consumption (I’ve never heard of someone dying by negligently mixing two different craft beers in an evening!) and IS LEGAL.

Perhaps craft beer could be a low-cost, tasty, and healthy way to improve the lives of our overall population and improve longevity.  I’d like to say it would also improve the overall mood of many (seniors and others) on a given Florida day, but I also know  people with horrible “alcohol” personalities who would negate this statement.

For everyone else, perhaps drinking a beer a day could be a diet change – with long term benefits that truly makes sense!

To your safe imbibing!

Maracuja (Passionfruit) Lambic 14% ABV

“Real men don’t drink girly fruit beers.” – Anonymous (Could be attributed to 99% of male beer drinkers – especially in FL)

While I am not a fan of some of the berry beers (I believe that Leinenkugal’s Berry Weisse needs to be “cut” with a Budweiser or other light beer to be drinkable!) – I do enjoy a well done Lambic (Belgian sour ale).

While traditional Lambic brews are low in alcohol content (around 4-5% ABV) and usually feature red fruit (raspberry/framboise, cherry/kriek, strawberry/fraise) and are brewed in Belgium, it is enjoyable to stumble upon a special Lambic on occasion.

Such was the case with a local Tampa Bay area brewpub called Lagerhaus in Palm Harbor, FL which featured a wonderful in-house Maracuja (Passionfruit) Lambic topping out at a whopping 14% ABV.  I had heard that brewmaster Franz Rothschadl knew his stuff – and after tasting this Lambic, I couldn’t agree more.  It was subtle yet bold in passionfruit flavor (my favorite of all fruits) and packed a complexity not commonly found in the lighter lambic brews.

The Lagerhaus beer menu on the week I was there (the first week in January 2012) featured several other lambics (the brews change with the batches) and a medieval brown sour ale among others.

To give you an idea of the extent of Franz’s featured beers (the ones above the line are brewed onsite), here is an excerpt:

Lagerhaus is a brewery and grill definitely worth a visit if you are in the Tampa Bay area!

Enjoy…

the unOfficial beer goddess

Tuborg Julebyrg (Christmas beer)

Greetings from Copenhagen!

Tuborg Julebryg

I have to say that this was a huge disappointment in terms of Christmas beer… perhaps I am becoming more critical in terms of my expectations of Christmas beers (or spoiled by the array of seasonals now available in the U.S.).  I anticipated from the coloration that this would measure up to the Norwegian Christmas beers of seasons past in terms of full-bodied and caramel taste, but it unfortunately, did not.  (Note to friends in the US – you are not missing anything here.)  Measuring in at 5.6% ABV, the pouring was wonderful only  in color, but the aroma (non-distinctive), taste (bland), and overall experience made for a forgettable experience. The best thing about this pour was that there was gentle snowflakes falling outside!

BUT… all is not lost as I sampled a second, surprisingly good second pour – none other than a Carlsberg (yes, a Danish institutional brewery) Carl’s Special Golden Ale (see photo below).

Carl's Special Golden AleThis brew was definitively caramel in aroma with a hint of molasses and competes with some of the nicest craft amber/golden ales I’ve tasted here or in the U.S.  I anticipated a much more industrial (mass-produced) flavor having had the Tuborg immediately before.  But the Carl’s Special IS special – full-bodied, refreshing with caramel/toffee aftertones.  (Hmmm… hints to Budweiser – if Carlsberg can do a good job on a specialty amber, perhaps there is hope?)  Carl’s Special Golden Ale measured in at a respectable 4.6% ABV but packed taste rivaling a much more robust brew.

Recommendation: If you happen to be in these Scandinavian parts anytime soon, the Carl’s Special Golden Ale is definitely worth the price of a pint!

Next post — Microbrewery visits in Copenhagen and the Christmas lights of Tivoli Gardens at night.

Until the next pint,

An unOfficial beer goddess.


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Beer Bloggers Conference 5-7 November 2010

108 Beer Bloggers descend on Boulder, CO

BBC10What a great weekend of lectures, tastings, tours, and discussions based on the original nectar of the gods (brewing is older than wine!)  The crowd was as diverse as the brews… hailing from every corner of the United States (with one hearty soul from the UK!) – and all coming together to celebrate the love of craft beer.

Not just any beer mind you – but craft beer of all shapes, sizes, styles, flavors, colors, origins, recipes, and secrets! It was amazing to listen to so many words about beer, yet the “B” word (Budweiser) was nary a mention.  One attendee, who worked for Coors for many years, hastened to mention the term “Coors” at least 10 times during the various lectures, but it seemed to be more to let everyone know that he had worked for a big brewer than to mention any particular mega-bland brewery. (Or perhaps there was a contest where Coors was the secret word of the day?)

Taste… did we!

tastingsThere were many highlights of the weekend for me! These included the “Night of Many Beers” (attendees brought craft brew samples from near and far to share on Friday night) and the “Beer Blogging” (ala the 5 minute speed dating with brewers showing off their talents instead of guys/gals! Now if we added shoes to the mix – I know this is a sexist comment but whatever… – it would be my ideal way to spend a date!) There were so many styles and flavors that I will need to spend many evenings doing research to get up to speed of the experts at the conference. How to do so and also keep up my girlish figure is going to be a challenge. (Sidenote:  The idea of drinkers with a running problem like the “hash house harriers” is sounding more attractive all the time.)

Hmmm… that leads me to the thought – could there be some future success with a beer diet?  Perhaps not as a formally published method, but as long as I cut my overall calories consumed (that’s the key to losing weight) it should work! And maybe it would even change the metabolic mix if a higher percentage comes from healthy fruit and wheat/barley/hops food groups.  (Note to self: do research to see if I can lose weight on the “beer diet”!)

Craft Brewing is growing…

BBC10

With fellow attendee Rick at #BBC10

An early morning network news program last week cited 1600 craft breweries in the USA alone, with many micro and craft brewers emerging in Canada and throughout the world (Japan is an emerging craft brew market making significant strides!)

And with such an explosive growth comes a plethora of experimentation and explosion of distinctive flavors.  I was amazed at some of the remarkable and non-traditional ingredients that today’s brewers are testing in their brews.  Just a couple of days ago, I read an article about the Sam Adams Brewery partnering with a leading chef to add beef hearts as a final ingredient to a new brew.  Not my style or preference (I can imagine it will be a dark Oktoberfest type of beer) – but interesting at least. And as any smart marketer knows, publicity is publicity especially when it comes from negative comments by the SPCA!

The Beer Bloggers Conference (BBC) in 2011 will be in Portland Oregon somewhere around June-August 2011.  In the meantime, I can’t wait to get more posts up and more experience with Florida and beyond craft brews. Watch for updates on the local, U.S., and international scene as I drink my way around the world (and I don’t mean at Epcot!)

To your good health, cheers!

Until the next pint,
The unOfficial beer goddess.


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Beer 4 Women…

Today was Spirit Day:

On Spirit Day wear purple in remembrance. On October 20th, 2010,we will wear purple in honor of the several young adults who committed suicide in recent weeks/months/years due to homophobic abuse in their homes and at their schools.

I am staunchly opposed to bullying of any form and so I wore purple when I went out for lunch today… but the only purple t-shirt I had to wear was one from The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium in Houston emblazoned with a tactful: Beer4Women.

Talk about stares of disdain and disgust from patrons of a local Panera Bread! I knew from experience at Brewpubs that a lot of people don’t understand that women can appreciate good craft beer, but I wasn’t ready for the looks of disapproval from passersby – it made me wish that I had a beer in my hands at 2 o’clock this afternoon!!!

Then I read a posting referenced on the Beer Bloggers Unite website today on Rabid about Beer’s Blog:  Girlie Beer Anyone? And in reading the responses to the blog posting about women liking fruit infused beer (some by women) – I realized just how judgmental everyone in the world is today!  And that includes opinions about craft beer and women (as expressed by – women!)  While I have no issue with women defending their pride about drinking stout and porters and other hearty brews, what’s the problem if some of us also imbibe on the sweeter side?

What happened in the last several years? – I simply do not recall such polarization and opinionated comments when I started drinking beer.  And, hey, I’m female and I absolutely love a good IPA (such as Harpoon, Drifter and others) at the best of times.  But, if it makes me a wuss or some sort of stereotyped “candy ass” to admit that I also enjoy fruit and flavored beers, so be it.  I’ve been called worse by better!

There is a variety of flavors and styles of craft beers that involve fruit or other flavors ranging from syrups (yuck!) to other infusions.  My personal “fruit beer” tastes run the gamut from Sam Adams‘ Cherry Wheat and Sam Adams’ Blackberry Witbier to Magic Hat #9 (not quite pale ale), Pyramid Brewery‘s Apricot Ale, Dunedin Brewery’s Apricot Peach Ale, and Hurricane Reef’s Raspberry Wheat Ale.

But there are also fruit beers that I do NOT like:  (does this change the judgment?) — I have to cut a Leinenkugel Berry Weiss at least 1/2 and 1/2 with a lager because otherwise it’s just too syrupy sweet.  I also don’t fancy a few of the offbeat varieties such as Kona Brewing’s Wailua Wheat Ale brewed with passion fruit (it just didn’t taste like beer at all and I thought I pulled out a mislabeled Seagrams Wine Cooler by mistake from the cooler!)   And, I can only stomach one 375 ml of Lindeman’s Framboise Lambic on a hot summer day!

What I do like is a 1/2 pint of Lindeman’s Kriek Lambic topped with a 1/2   pint of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout.  Or a Southern Tier Pumking or a Hoegarden pint anytime!

Quite frankly, as is said on one beer shirt I saw recently, beauty is in the eye of the “beer holder” – and I believe that in whatever direction your personal taste for beer lies, that’s okay as long as you and your beer are both consenting!  Just as in art or music or even cooking – variety is the spice of life!

Even if it means – dare I say it – Budweiser or – gasp – Miller Lite!

Have a great beer weekend!

-The unOfficial Beer Goddess.

Summer Brewfests…

One of the reasons to love summer is the number of Brewfests that emerge nation-wide.  Last week it was Philadelphia Brewery Week and I discovered just how many craft brewers are in the vicinity!

Then Saturday night, I was part of The Florida Aquarium’s SudsFest 2010 to raise money for programs and events put on by the not-for-profit Florida Aquarium in Tampa, FL.  Can you believe in the once Anheuser Busch stronghold of Tampa Bay, we now have Pepin Distributors bringing in over 35 craft brews from across the nation?

Here’s a sampling of the “new” beers on the Florida menu (from the SudsFest Beer Menu) which I know are available at both Publix (the larger ones) and also at Total Wine: (note: ABV means Alcohol By Volume and is expressed as a %)

Obviously absent was any appearance by Sam Adam’s Brewing Company or Rogue Breweries (also available in Florida grocery stores!)

It’s so great now that the former lobbyists who were so intent on keeping Florida an Anheuser state are now less powerful and we can finally join the nation in raising a craft brewery toast to the microbrewery industry!

This weekend, I venture to NYC for their annual Brewery Festival on Governor’s Island.

Until next week,

Beer Goddess…

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