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Bullets2Bandages .50 Caliber Bottle Opener

The guys at Bullets2Bandages recently reached out to me to see if I was interested in field testing one of their signature products, the .50 caliber bottle opener. Clearly, they look totally badass so I said, “Of course!” and prepared to launch an offensive on the arsenal of craft beer bottles waiting in the fridge.

Founded by a couple of former Navy bomb technicians, Bullets2Bandages is committed to donating at least 15% of its profits to veteran charities on an annual basis–and for the co-branded products featured on their website, they donate 40% from each sale to the respective charity.

Bullets2Bandages .50 Caliber Bottle OpenerThe bullet bottle openers are 100% made and sourced in the USA, from once-fired military grade .50 caliber® brass casings and demilitarized projectiles. They are available in a variety of finishes and can be customized with up to two lines of text, each with up to 25 characters. Mine came with a durable matte black powder coated finish, engraved with my web address. (BONUS!)

So anyway… on to the beer drinking! The opener feels nice, heavy in my hand. The notch cut in the side of the bullet fits snug against the cap and it comes off easily, with one swift pull. Pour, drink, repeat! Not only that, but my husband, a former Army man and avid hunter, is totally jealous… so there’s that.

If you’d like to snag one of these for yourself, head over to their website, www.bullets2bandages.org, and browse their selection of unique designs, or create your own. As a special bonus, enter promo code CHEERS10 for 10% off your order!

Cheers!

The Perfect Pint?

A Perfect Pint? - Read more: http://thecraftbeergirl.comWe’re all familiar with the standard “shaker” pint glass, which derives it’s name from it’s original use as a cocktail shaker when paired with a slightly larger metal cup. They’re cheap, durable, and easy to stack, making it a popular choice for many American bar owners. But despite being the common choice for many beer drinkers, it’s not the best fit for craft beer.

You’ve probably seen other glasses of all shapes and sizes… but do they really affect how the beer tastes? Turns out, they do! Not only that, the geometry of the glass can affect how the beer looks, smells, and even how the beer feels in your mouth.

So how do you know which glass to use? When determining appropriate glassware, an educated drinker will note the beer style, and consider things like alcohol content, and whether the beer is bottle conditioned. Here are a few quick tips to help you choose the right glass for the right beer…

Weissbier “Vase”

A Perfect Pint? - Read more: http://thecraftbeergirl.com
The weissbier vase has a tall, slender shape that beautifully displays the bright colors and swirling haze typical of wheat beers. The glass is tapered at the bottom and wider at the the top to provide ample space for the thick, frothy head, representative of the style. A quick rinse with cold water can help break surface tension and reduce excessive foaming, though a great head is a desirable characteristic of any wheat beer, helping to lock in the aromas of the beer being served.

This is the preferred glass for hefeweizens, weissbiers and other wheat beers.

 

Stemmed Tulip

A Perfect Pint? - Read more: http://thecraftbeergirl.comThe tulip glass, named for it resemblance to the Spring flower, is my favorite glass for craft beer, and will work in most cases if you’re struggling to find the right glass. The flared rim helps support the head and fits well to your lips, while the inward taper helps hold aromas inside, a treat to the senses with every sip. You can also hold this glass by the stem to prevent heat transfer from your hands to the beer, or conversely, cup the glass in your hand if the beer is served too cold.

This is the preferred glass for serving Scottish ales, American double/imperial IPAs, barleywines, Belgian ales and other aromatic beers.

 

Tapered Pilsner Glass

A Perfect Pint? - Read more: http://thecraftbeergirl.comPilsner glasses are tall, slender and tapered to reveal the color, and carbonation of the beer, with a broad top to help maintain head. They are similar in appearance to the Weissbier vase, but a true Pilsner glass has an even taper without any amount of curvature.

This is the preferred glass for Pilsners, Amber Lagers, Maibocks/Helles Bocks, and other American and imported lagers.

 

 

Snifter

A Perfect Pint? - Read more: http://thecraftbeergirl.comTypically used for serving brandy and cognac, the snifter is perfect for capturing the complex aromatics of Belgian ales, IPAs, and stouts. The shape of the glass allows swirling to agitate volatiles, producing an intense aroma. At the same time, the snifters smaller size make it a great choice for beers that are high in alcohol, such as barleywines and Russian imperial stouts. Like the tulip, the round shape allows for the beer to be warmed by the hand, as these styles are generally meant to be enjoyed at 55-60º F or “cellar temperature”.

This is the preferred glass for Belgian Strong Ales, Gueuze, Flanders Red, Russian Imperial Stouts, Barleywines, Wheatwines, and other aromatic or high alcohol content beers.

Rochester Real Beer Week: The Women & Beer Symposium

Here in Rochester, it’s not officially Spring  until the lilacs bloom, and Summer kicks off with Rochester Real Beer Week! This year, I am SO happy to announce that I’ll be hosting my own event, The Women & Beer Symposium, at Cure, located in the Rochester Public Market!

Women & Beer Symposium - More info at: http://thecraftbeergirl.comThe event will be held on Monday, June 16, 2014, and will begin with the Womens Industry Beer Dinner at 6pm. The 4 course menu will feature the inspired cuisine Cure is known for, expertly paired with world-class craft beer from across the country. Women participating in all levels of the craft beer industry are encouraged to attend, including those working with breweries, distributors, bars & restaurants, and retail beer stores; as well as beer writers & bloggers. Tickets for the Industry Dinner are $65, and can be purchased online.

After dinner, 8pm – 10pm, Cure will open to the public for a free open house, featuring beer shots, floats and cocktails at the bar. So if you can’t make the dinner, here is your opportunity to come out to meet and mingle with leading female voices in the craft beer world. No tickets are required for the open house.

The goal of the night is to celebrate the increasing contributions women are making to support the craft beer industry, and to provide a space for thoughtful discussion, social connection, and networking. Although women are the focus, men are welcome to attend both the dinner and the open house. So please join me for this very special night, it’s sure to be a treat!

Women & Beer Symposium - More info at: http://thecraftbeergirl.com

Fractured Beer Quotes: Almost Famous Words About Beer & Life

Plenty of famous words have been written about beer… with a little research you can find countless references to the beloved suds attributed to founding fathers, ancient proverbs, and great authors of the past. A good quote, just like a good beer, can inspire us to expand our minds and reach for something more. Inspirational quotes can become mantras for our daily lives, encouraging us to follow our dreams and motivating us to keep going when things get tough. Whether you’re looking for some wisdom to inspire a new career, or just the next great beer, here are some almost famous words to keep you going.

"Fractured Beer Quotes", Find more at http://thecraftbeergirl.com

Original Quote:  “Where there is love there is life.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Read More Fractured Beer Quotes…

Why My Christmas Sucked…

Why My Christmas Sucked... - http://thecraftbeergirl.comSanta came early this year when I received a package on Christmas Eve from Petaluma, CA with not one, but two(!) 320z. bottles of Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga’ Substitute, a previously seasonal, now year round offering from Lagunitas Brewing Company.

I was working on Christmas Eve, a regular Bob Cratchit, and I couldn’t make it to the grocery store before it closed. Unfortunately, that meant that Christmas dinner would consist of whatever we already had at home… which, turns out, was a frozen pizza…and now beer!

Sucks is described as an American Strong Ale, as well as an American Double and an Imperial IPA… whatever you call it, Lagunitas describes this beer as a ‘cereal medley’ of barley, rye, wheat, and oats. At 8% ABV, it’s full of ‘complexishness’ from the grains, then dry-hopped for big aroma and resinous flavor. All you really need to know, is that it’s a damn good beer.

The beer was first brewed in 2011 as a substitute to Lagunitas’ seasonal release, Brown Shugga’. In the midst of rapid growth, the brewery was hitting full capacity, brewing around the clock. They were brewing 80 barrels of their core brands, every 3 hours, but could only brew 60 barrels of Shugga’ every 5 hours… which meant for every case of Shugga’ brewed, they’d be short 3 cases of their regular lineup. Instead, they brewed a beer that would fit better into the brew schedule, calling it “Lagunitas Sucks” to play on their mistake.

Read More About Why My Christmas Sucked…

Hoppy Holidays from The Craft Beer Girl!

 

Malty Christmas and Hoppy New Year

Channeling The Beeroness: Chocolate Stout Crinkle Cookies

I have a confession to make; I’m not a good cook. My husband will be the first to tell you, if it weren’t for him, we would starve… or at the very least, live on a diet that consists mainly of charcuterie, aged cheese, and the occasional burrito. So when a request for Christmas cookies came, I knew I needed to reach out to my old friend, The Internet, for guidance… Chocolate crinkle cookies have been a holiday favorite of mine since I was a kid. My mom would make them every year and I was always intrigued by the way the sugared top would crack, revealing the dark chocolate cookie inside… and they taste freaking awesome. So when I came across Jackie Dodd’s recipe for Chocolate Stout Crinkle Cookies on her site, The Beeroness, I knew I had found something special.

If you’re ready to make these for yourself, head to Jackie’s site for the recipe. But if you’re an insecure baker like me (is that what it’s supposed to look like?), here are some tips to let you know you’re doing things right… or at least to make you feel better about your own abilities in the kitchen!

espresso powderFirst things first, gather your ingredients. If you’re like me, that means at the grocery store… so here’s your shopping list.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 12 ounces good quality dark chocolate (60% cocao)
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Stout
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Now that you’re back from your second trip to the store (because you thought you had eggs but you didn’t), you’re ready to make cookies! Get a bowl and throw in your dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, espresso, and granulated sugar), mix it up and set it aside for later.

Next, chop up your chocolate and put it in a microwave safe bowl, along with your eggs and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. You’re gonna melt this in the microwave, 20 seconds at a time, so the smaller your chop your chocolate, the quicker the melting will happen. But don’t take it to extremesI see you over there mincing your chocolate into tiny crumbs… no one like a smart ass.

Ghirardelli® 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar

When your chocolate’s all melted and looking good, add the beer. Now, you’re probably noticing about now that the recipe calls for only 1/2 cup of delicious velvety smooth chocolate stout, which means you’re left with 2/3 of a 12 oz. beer or, in my case, a solid 14.5 ounces of Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout… Well done, my friend. I trust that you’ll find a suitable use for that leftover beer. (Cheers!)

Read More About my Chocolate Stout Crinkle Cookies…

The Spirit of Rochester, NY

the spirit of rochester ny

This post is not entirely beer-related. However, to appreciate one’s city, celebrate its history, champion hard work and the spirit of service… that’s totally craft beer. So, in the spirit of craft beer, I bring you the spirit of Rochester, NY—my city.

Every so often I hear someone rag on Rochester; usually they say there’s nothing to do here. It seems to come mostly from people that grew up here, living in the suburbs, outside the vibrant life of the city. If you’re one of those people, I invite you to read the following text and reconsider Rochester, NY. Come to our city, experience it, and come to understand what many of us already know—The “get together” spirit is strong here. It’s in our neighborhoods, like The South Wedge and the Neighborhood of the Arts. It’s at The Public Market on Saturday mornings. It’s in our bars and restaurants, seen in the thoughtfully prepared menu’s full of quality, local ingredients. And it’s in our beer scene, close knit and accepting…. full of variety and quality, creativity and collaboration.

I recently stumbled upon The Book of Industrial Rochester, published for the Allied Trade Commissions of Great Britain, France, Italy and Belgium, on the occasion of their visit to Rochester, NY in November, 1919, under the auspices of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce. In reading the introductory statements, which I’ve copied below, I found myself filled with emotion—an overwhelming sense of pride for the city I’ve come to call my home. Feelings of social contentedness and a sense of community, strengthened by words written nearly 100 years ago.

The Spirit of Rochester

To obtain recognition in these strenuous times one must carry his pedestal with him.
The meek and lowly may inherit the earth—later.

So said a commercial cynic recently. Rochester doesn’t need a pedestal in order to obtain recognition. It is a city that in the eyes of the knowing part of the world is set on a hill. Neither does Rochester desire to inherit the earth. It wants the earth to inherit Rochester.

Rochester is a young city. It was only a hundred years ago that a handful of pioneers settled in this beautiful valley of the Genesee at the brink of a great waterfall, and set up the beginnings of what is now the City of Rochester, the twenty-fifth city of the United States in size. The story of Rochester’s growth is not unlike the story of the growth of many other American cities. It is a story of enterprise and thrift coupled with an intense desire for advancement in education and the things which make life more worth while.

Read More About The Spirit of Rochester…

Crushing the Myths: Craft Cans

craft beer cansFor years, glass bottles were the package of choice for craft brewers. But recently, you may have noticed a growing number of canned beer on the shelves at your local beer store. Canning seems to have become a hot trend in the craft beer market, with more and more brands adding the alternative packaging to their lineup. So what’s with the cans? Read on as we debunk some common myths about canned beer.

Only cheap beer comes in cans.

No longer a sign of “cheap beer”, craft breweries all over the country are embracing cans. In fact, from a list of the countries top 50 craft breweries*, nearly half are canning in some capacity. Even Jim Koch, founder of Samuel Adams, who had previously sworn never to put their beer in cans, has changed his mind. “The debate over bottles vs. cans has been a sticking point for brewers in the craft beer community for years,” Koch said in a recent interview with Forbes. “In the past, I had my doubts about putting Sam Adams in a can because I wasn’t convinced that Boston Lager would taste as good as it does from a bottle. But cans have changed. And I believe we’ve designed a can that provides a slight but noticeably better drinking experience than the standard beer can.”

Read More About Craft Cans…

Rochester Real Beer Week 2013

rochester real beer weekIt’s that time of year again! Friday, June 14th is the official start of Rochester Real Beer Week. Much like beer weeks held in other cities across the country, Real Beer Week starts with the Rochester Real Beer Expo and continues with a week long series of craft beer related events including tastings, food and beer pairings and dinners, socials, concerts, and craft beer launches. I love beer week as both a celebration of great craft beer, but also a celebration of Rochester’s eclectic neighborhoods, local businesses and all the great people that live here!

If you attended any of the events last year, you know that Rochester Real Beer Week is a seriously good time. This year, it promises to be even better… Tonight, the party has already begun over at Tap & Table for ROCkin’ on the River, the RRBW Official Kickoff Concert. Head down from 4-9pm for an outdoor show on Tap & Table’s riverside patio with a local beer focused draft list,  guest bartenders from local breweries, and a “Nose to Tail” Pig menu. Chef Brendon Clar will be creating dishes for the evening using a whole Berkshire hog. Note: T&T will not be offering their normal menu for the evening, but a vegetarian and vegan option will be available.

beer pouringThe big event is tomorrow’s Real Beer Expo. The Business Association of the South Wedge Area (BASWA), along with neighborhood business owners, bring you a kick-ass street party with over 80 of the most exciting craft beers currently available.  The third annual Rochester Real Beer Expo will be held tomorrow, Saturday June 15th from 6-10pm with a pre-event VIP/Preview hour from 5-6. The party takes place on tree-lined Gregory Street in the South Wedge, right outside Tap & Mallet. Along with a world-class collection of craft beers they’ll be serving up ciders, locally made cheeses, and local eats including Cajun BBQ, fresh pizza, poutine, German & Italian sausage, wraps and sandwiches, hand rolled cigars, and more. All against the backdrop of live local musicians.

Beer will be flowing from breweries including Anderson Valley, Ballast Point, Brooklyn Brewery, Captain Lawrence, Custom Brewcrafters, Dogfish Head, Evil Twin, Founders, Great Lakes, Green Flash, Ithaca, Left Hand, Naked Dove, New England, ROC Brewing, Rohrbachs, Smuttynose, Southern Tier, Stillwater, Stone, Three Heads, Uinta, Unity Kombucha, and SO many more! This is not just a bunch of breweries pouring their regular line-up of beers… I just saw the beer list for this event and you DO NOT want to miss out on this selection!

There are still tickets available but they are going quick so get in on this while you can!

Check back for updates about more events happening all week long as Rochester Real Beer Week continues!