Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Beer Review: Bud Light Golden Wheat

When Bud Light Golden Wheat first debuted in October, I was really excited! I love wheat beers, and I have no problems with drinking a light beer.
This beer was a little hard to find for the first month it was supposed to be available. I didn't end up spotting it until I went to Tom's Party Store in East Lansing, MI. Tom's is known for its great wine selection and formidable hard-to-find beer selection. A 6-pack of bottles of BL Golden Wheat will set you back about $8.75, about $2 more than traditional Bud Light.
My first sips were unfortunately disappointing. From the description on the bottle A wheat "Light beer brewed with coriander and citrus peels" I was expecting something like a lighter version of one of the Sam Adam's seasonal brews. What I got was an unfiltered bud light with a hint of citrus. The end result looks beautiful in a glass, I will give it that. But it has very little (if any) head and a bitter, sour flavor.
Since my original purchase, I have started to see BL Golden Wheat on tap at several bars and even some bowling alleys. If you're short on cash and don't want to spend big on a microbrew, this is a good option. But don't forget that it is Bud Light, and tastes a lot like other beers in the Bud Light family.

-Sandy

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Beer News: Kid Rock's American Badass Beer

This news is a little old, but worth putting out there for those who don't follow the new in the beer world as closely!

The wait is finally over. Badass Beer, Kid Rock’s signature beer, was rolled out in grand fashion July 17th and 18th with his back to back concerts held at Comerica Park. Brewed by Michigan Brewing Company out of Webberville, MI, Badass hit restaurants around the park at noon on Friday and then inside of Comerica Park at select beer kiosks.

Long awaited since the original announcement that a deal was struck between Kid Rock, Drinks Americas and Michigan Brewing Company back in February of this year, much anticipation and high expectations were finally realized when Kid Rock fans tasted their first sip of Badass Beer. A lager beer, Badass was brewed to appeal to Kid Rock’s fan base was a priority. Kid Rock is one of only a handful of performers who has successfully appealed to the Rock, Rap and Country audience and his beer was no exception.

“We shipped over 140 barrels of beer to cover us for both shows and before his first concert was over, all of our beer was sold out.” exclaimed a proud and very tired Bobby Mason, owner of Michigan Brewing Company. “We scrambled on Saturday morning, when our distributor drove empty barrels back to Webberville to get them filled and then back to Comerica Park before the gates opened for Kid Rock’s second concert!”

Demand will now be high for Badass Beer as thousands of fans who tasted the bubbly brew, stream into their local stores. “It will take our brewery a few months to get ramped up and have the beer out on the shelves.” said Bobby. “Michigan Brewing Company has the capacity; it’s getting the beer to our distributors and then on to the shelves that will take some time. We are asking that fans of Badass Beer be patient.”

The Badass Beer roll out would make any Michigander proud. Kid Rock, born and raised in Michigan has almost single handedly raised public consciousness on a national level that he’s supporting and 100% behind Michigan and its businesses. Hiring Michigan Brewing Company, utilizing fresh water from a Saginaw aquifer, with support from the State Government, tax incentives and a hard working Michigan workforce, completed the Michigan connection.

Look for Badass Beer in stores in the upcoming months. In the meantime, stop out at the Brewery where the beer is on tap!

(Written by Mike Mnich, CVMedia - Northville, MI)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Beer Event: Crunchy's of East Lansing "The Hoppening"

Crunchy's of East Lansing is hosting a hops festival all month long. They will have a wide selection of hop-full beers through the month of November!

Here is a peek at their first Draft Beer List:
What is IBU? This is a measure of the actual bitterness of a beer as contributed by the alpha acid from hops.

IBU:48 Darkhorse Crooked Tree IPA
IBU:45 Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale
IBU:100 Southern Tier Unearthy IPA*
IBU:120 Dogfish Head 120min IPA*
IBU:45 Great Lakes Independence Amber
IBU:60 Left Hand Warrior IPA
IBU:75 Short’s Huma Lupa Licious IPA
IBU:60 Dogfish Head 60Minute IPA
IBU:44 Rogue St. Rogue Dry Hop
IBU:60 MBC High Seas IPA
IBU:85 Kuhnhenn DRIPA
IBU:102 Lagunitas Hop Stoopid
IBU:67 Bell’s Hopslam Double IPA*
IBU:55 Bell’s Two Hearted IPA

IBU:10 Miller Lite Pilsner
IBU:70 Founder’s Red’s Rye IPA
IBU:85 Founder’s Hand of Doom Double IPA*
IBU:85 Arcadia Cannonball Gold*
IBU:65 Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale
IBU:60New Holland Imperial Hatter IPA*
IBU:48 New Holland Oak Aged Hatter IPA*
IBU:100 Livery Double Paw Double IPA*
IBU:70 Firkin Dry Hopped Two Hearted IPA
Labatt’s Blue Light Pilsner
Labatt’s Blue Pilsner
Guinness Stout

*2 Mug Limit due to abv%

Sizes: 16oz Pint or 25oz Mug

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Beer News: Michigan Beer & Food

As seen on NBC 5 Chicago, featuring the New Holland Brewing Co.
To read an article based on what you see in the video, please click the link to the NBC 5 Chicago website.
Special thanks to the New Holland Brewing Co. for posting the video to youtube !




-Sandy

Beer Website: BeerMenus.com

BeerMenus.com is exactly what it says to be: a database of beer menus for a variety of bars. Although it is only limited to NYC, Philadelphia, Chicago and Milwaukee, they seem interested in adding new cities in the future. You can browse the site by suburb or area, the most popular bars or most popular beers, or you can see what's new. And if there's a place that you really love that isn't shown, you can add it!
So for now, if you are in any of those four areas and want to know what kinds of beer to expect at a restaurant or bar, check this site out!

-Sandy

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Beer Recipe: Alton Brown's Beer Bread

This recipe looks amazing and I cannot wait to try it!

Via the Food Network

Prep Time:
15 min
Inactive Prep Time:
25 min
Cook Time:
55 min
Level:
Easy
Serves:
10 to 12 servings

Ingredients

  • Nonstick spray
  • 8 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 4 ounces whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
  • 4 1/2 ounces sharp Cheddar, grated
  • 12 ounces cold beer, ale or stout (Alton recommends a lager)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, optional

Directions

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat the inside of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with the nonstick spray and set aside.

Whisk together the all-purpose flour, wheat flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and dill in a large mixing bowl. Add in the cheese and stir in the beer just to combine. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the sunflower seeds, if using.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven until the bread reaches an internal temperature of 210 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 45 to 55 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving.


-Sandy

Friday, October 16, 2009

Beer News: Seasonal beers: Kalamazoo-area Halloween and autumn fun

Courtesy of MLive.com

By Kalamazoo Gazette staff

October 15, 2009, 8:57AM
SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — Sure, Halloween may be mostly a children’s holiday, what with all the dressing up and candy consumption.

But adults also know how to get down with their inner-goblin. For all those grown-ups who spend more on their costumes than holiday gifts, here’s a list for you — everything from the freaky haunts to burlesque shows to local seasonal beer:

LOCAL SEASONAL BEERS
  • The Livery’s Oktoberfest, a lager with an amber/copper color and nutty malt flavor with a 5.5 percent ABV. Available through November at The Livery, 190 5th St., Benton Harbor. (269) 925-8766. liverybrew.com.
  • Olde Peninsula’s Pumpkin Ale, a golden ale, lightly hopped with spices added with a 5.5 percent ABV. Available through November at Olde Peninsula Brewpub, 200 E. Michigan Ave. (269) 343-2739.
  • Bell’s Brewery Inc.’s Octoberfest, “a coppery amber lager” with a 5.5 percent ABV. Available through October at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., and area retailers. www.bellsbeer.com.
  • Arcadia Brewing Company’s Jaw-Jacker Ale, pours an orange-amber color with a blend of nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon with a 6 percent ABV. Available through the fall at the brewery, 103 W. Michigan Ave., Battle Creek, as well as some area bars and retailers. On special at Harvey’s on the Mall, 416 S. Burdick St., all month. (269) 963-9520. www.arcadiaales.com.
  • New Holland Brewing Company’s Ichabod, combines malted barley, real pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg with a 5.2 percent ABV. Available through the fall at the brewery, 66 E. Eighth St, Holland, and at area retailers and bars. (616) 355-NHBC. newhollandbrew.com.
  • The Old Hat Brewing Company’s Pumpkin Ale, rolls in at 5.6 percent ABV. Head brewer Tom Fuller said it “tastes like grandma’s pumpkin pie.” It’s available through November at the Lawton microbrewery at 114 N. Main St. (269) 624-6445. oldhatbeer.com.

Pumpkin Ale, Olde Peninsula Brewpub

A glass of Pumpkin Ale sits on the bar at Olde Peninsula Brewpub.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Beers in my Fridge Right Now

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. The beer news has been particularly slow.

The beers currently in my fridge:
Corona Light, Bell's Octoberfest, Busch Lite, Miller High Life, Guinness, Leinenkugel's Honeyweiss

-Sandy

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Beer Review: Bell's Brewery Octoberfest


I found the Octoberfest Beer by Bell's Brewery at my local Oade's Big Ten. Oade's is a beer and liquor specialty store in the Greater Lansing, MI area. I got a 6-pack of bottles for $11.76 after tax. The cap is traditional, not a twist-off. The bottles were not chilled. But Oade's has a "build your own 6-pack" where you can get chilled single bottles to make your own. The label, although beautiful, on these bottles is not stuck on very well. By the time I was done pouring the beer in to a mug, the label has half fallen off.

The description at the Bell's website says, "A coppery amber lager that showcases a full bodied, malty flavor that is balanced by a refreshing bitterness derived from fine noble hops."
There is about 2 fingers of head that dissipates very quickly. This is very similar to Bell's Oberon. The color is bright orange and clear. This is another similarity to Oberon; however Octoberfest is more orange/amber in color.
This beer smells like beer. There is very little pumpkin or spice scent. The flavor is similar. It is a barely sweet beer, with a hoppy finish. The carbonation is very fine, but abundant. It's very tingly and enjoyable :) Although a lot about this beer feels light, it settles heavily and satisfyingly.
I think next time, I will drink this beer out of a pilsner glass instead of a frosty mug.

This is a beer I wish were available year round. This is a very flavorful beer, without too much pumpkin flavor (which I think is a fault of other Fall beers). I have a feeling this 6-pack will be gone quickly.

-Sandy

Beer Poll: Pumpkin Beers Winner!

And the winner is...

Which fall ale do you want to see reviewed?

* Michigan Brewing Company Screamin' Ale 23.08% (3 votes)
* Sam Adam's Octoberfest 7.69% (1 vote)
* New Holland Brewing Co. Ichabod Crane 0.00% (0 votes)
* Bell's Brewery Octoberfest 38.46% (5 votes)
* Blue Moon Harvest Moon 30.77% (4 votes)

This beer will be reviewed soon!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Beer Poll: Pumpkin Beers

Which fall ale do you want to see reviewed?

View Results
Create a Blog Poll

Official results taken for review on 9/17.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Beer News: Chew It Up, Spit It Out, Then Brew. Cheers!

Via The New York Times 09-09-09
SAM CALAGIONE, the founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales, has a taste for exotic brews. There is Midas Touch, created from sediment found on drinking vessels in the tomb of King Midas in Turkey, and Chateau Jiahu, inspired by trace ingredients from a 9,000-year-old dig in China.

But his latest seemed extreme, even for an extreme brewer. He planned on making a batch of chicha, a traditional Latin American corn beer.

And in order to follow an authentic Peruvian method as closely as possible, the corn would be milled and moistened in the chicha maker’s mouth.

In other words, they spit in the beer.

“You need to convert the starches in the corn into fermentable sugars,” the always entertaining Mr. Calagione said by phone from his headquarters in Rehoboth Beach. “One way is through the malting process. But another way — there are natural enzymes in human saliva and by chewing on corn, whether they understood the science of it, ancient brewers through trial and error learned that the natural enzymes in saliva would convert the starch in corn into sugar, so it would ferment. It may sound a little unsavory. ...”

A little?

“The fact is that this step happens before you brew the beer, so it’s completely sterile,” he continued. “It’s boiled for over an hour.”

Won’t it take an awful lot of people to create a commercial beer?

“We’re going to have an archaeologist and historians and brewers sitting around and chewing 20 pounds of this purple Peruvian corn,” he said. “You kind of chew it in your mouth with your saliva, then push with your tongue to the front of your teeth so that you make these small cakes out of it, then lay them on flat pans and let them sit for 12 hours in the sun or room temperature. That’s when the enzymes are doing their work of converting the starches in that purple corn.”

Dogfish’s best selling beer is 60-Minute IPA, an India pale ale. But since its brewery opened in 1995, Dogfish has made a name for itself with storied, unknown brews. (Its slogan: “Off-centered stuff for off-centered people.”)

“Liquid time capsules,” Mr. Calagione sings.

Mr. Calagione hoped to make about 10 kegs of chicha, which would be available only in his Rehoboth Beach pub, Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats. He was confident that his team would be able to process the 20 pounds of corn his recipe required in about an hour.

On an August evening, at 6, I joined Mr. Calagione at his pub, a few blocks from the beach. The restaurant was packed with craft-beer devotees, many of whom had traveled from out of state. A large window between the restaurant bar and the small brewhouse was covered with newspaper.

“We want to keep it quiet,” Mr. Calagione said. “The last thing we want is some guy who came in from Ohio sitting there with his $18 crab cakes, sees a bunch of adults spitting in their hands.”

“Bunch of adults,” overstated it. Only two people had shown up: Dr. Patrick E. McGovern, the scientific director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Clark Erickson, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. McGovern was the force behind Midas Touch beer and has a book on ancient brewing, “Uncorking the Past,” coming out next month. Dr. Erickson studies agricultural systems of pre-Hispanic farmers in the Amazon region of Bolivia. He brought along a wooden goblet called a kero, a traditional drinking vessel in the Andes.

Neither man had actually seen anyone using the spit method to make chicha, but they’ve drunk a lot of chicha and they’re pretty sure the method is being used in South America.

The three men took their seats on upturned plastic pickle buckets in the brewhouse. Beside them was a large container of milled, dried Peruvian corn kernels, which despite their purple skin are a dusty yellow white inside.

As befitting a bold craftsman, Mr. Calagione took the first chomp, grabbing a small handful of corn and plopping it into his mouth. A small puff of flour escaped his lips. Mr. Calagione choked, concentrated and then chewed. After a few minutes, he removed a gravelly, purple lump from his mouth and put it on the tray. It resembled something a cat owner might be familiar with, if kitty litter came in purple.

The professors cautiously followed suit, taking smaller amounts. I did the same, in the time-honored journalistic practice of verifying the obvious: chewing milled, dried corn is like chewing uncooked oatmeal.

Mr. Calagione called for water, but drinking didn’t seem to help. “It doth thoak aw the moisthture out of your mawff,” Mr. Calagione said choking. Mr. Erickson saw another problem: “Ideally, it would be half the size of the grind. In the Andes you use a rocker mill, mortar and pestle.”

Mr. Calagione sent to the kitchen for a Cuisinart and added water to the ground corn. The drone of the Cuisinart, combined with the chewers’ problems enunciating while dried meal sucked moisture from their mouths, made accuracy challenging, but I’m fairly sure Mr. Calagione, who did much of the chewing, said the following:

“I fwy to thew id foroughly to make thaw I haf enuff to weth it aw thwoo.”

“Would it be bad if I thed we bit off maw than we could thew? Heh, heh.”

At the end of two hours, there were but two trays of salivated corn. We took a break for dinner in the pub.

At 9:30 p.m., it was back to the brew room. A weigh-in of the larger tray showed but 14 ounces of salivated corn.

“It’s dismal, I’m not going to lie to you,” Mr. Calagione said. “I’d say everybody is deeply, unpleasantly surprised at how labor intensive and palate fatiguing this stuff has turned out to be.”

Mr. Calagione said he would call in his staff to help.

“I’m going to be the Tom Sawyer of chicha production,” he said. “I’m going to have a whole lot of purple painted fences. I’m going to pay $20, make that $25 a person, to mass produce chicha.”

That brought in one more chewer — and from a brewing point of view, the meter was running. The two experts were now exhausted. Mr. Calagione, bent over his bowl, was stuffing larger handfuls of purple meal into his mouth. His hands and mouth were stained purple, purple meal was stuck on the outside of his mouth. He exhorted his chewers to keep chewing.

“I want at least the next fawty-five minutes of yaw best wouk,” he said.

“I can’t imagine how they ever did it,” Mr. McGovern said to Mr. Erickson.

“It’s the flour in your mouth,” Mr. Erickson said.

“Fwin waaaah!!!!,” Mr. Calagione shouted.

“What?” Mr. Erickson asked.

“It’s better if you drink water,” Mr. Calagione said. “I take a drink of water before every time I do it. It’s not as pummeling on my gag reflex.”

At 11:02, even Mr. Calagione had to call it quits.

“I feel like I just tongue kissed everyone in this room,” he said, getting up.

The salivated corn output for the evening was 7 pounds, significantly less than the 20 Mr. Calagione had planned. He had a sore in his mouth. He was also forced to reconsider the commercial possibilities of chicha.

“The 20 pounds that we were hoping for was going to go into a five-barrel batch,” Mr. Calagione said. “If we went to production, the smallest tank would be 200 barrels.” He did the math. “We’d need 40 times this much. We would have to chew 800 pounds of this.”

Nonetheless, the next day, the group continued with the brew, using unsalivated corn to make up the difference.

As the ingredients of the traditional recipe they were using included 190 pounds of barley and 150 pounds of yellow corn, as well as 30 pounds of strawberries, a cynic might consider the amount of salivated corn negligible in any arena other than marketing.

Ten days later, four bottles of chicha arrived in New York from the Dogfish brewery. The color was cloudy pink; the flavor was mild and vaguely fruity. But experts were required for a real test.

The musicians of Agua Clara, an Andean band whose members come from Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Japan (hey, it’s New York), were asked to weigh in. They were playing in Times Square on a hot day last week. They smiled broadly as the cool chicha was poured. Then they tasted it and three made faces.

“This is not chicha,” Angel Marin (Ecuador) and two others said, almost simultaneously.

“It tastes like beer,” said Yanko Valdes (Chile).

“It’s supposed to be sweeter,” said Martin Estel (Peru). “It’s not bad though.”

Asked about the chewing and spitting method, Mr. Marin said that it was “old school — in the jungle.”

He also made a suggestion: “You want chicha, you should go to Queens, or any Peruvian or Chilean restaurant.”

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Beer News: Bud Light Golden Wheat

The Associated Press

Anheuser-Busch is launching a wheat version of Bud Light this fall as it looks to keep growing the momentum of its best-selling brand by tapping into the growing wheat segment.

The national roll-out of Bud Light Golden Wheat the week of Oct. 5 is the second extension of Bud Light, after the St. Louis-based brewer launched Bud Light Lime last year. Bud Light Lime has since become one of the company's most successful new products.

The company has been looking to these product extensions to drive growth and bring in consumers who already know the brand but want to try something new, Keith Levy, vice president of marketing, said. It's also a way to boost sales since the different versions typically cost more than the original, by about $1 to $1.50 more a six-pack, he said.

American Ale, a hoppier, more amber-colored version of its older sibling, Budweiser, was introduced in the fall to woo new drinkers.

The move to the wheat category comes as more wheat beers from craft brewers have hit the market in the past few years, Levy said. Consumers have been asking for more wheat beers since they offer more flavor, he added.

So Anheuser-Busch came up with an offshoot of Bud Light that uses unfiltered wheat, orange and coriander to give its stalwart brew a new twist. The beer has a cloudier look since the wheat is not filtered and has a sweeter taste.

"We're trying to keep it in the franchise of Bud Light but certainly give it its own look," Levy said. "We're not trying to out-craft craft. Certainly it's the personality of Bud Light but in a very different way."

Levy said the company is working on its advertising for Bud Light Golden Wheat and said it expects to spend about the same as it spent last year on Bud Light Lime's launch - around $30 million - to market it.

The new beer has a few more calories and carbohydrates than Bud Light: 118 calories compared with 110, and 8.3 grams of carbohydrates, up from 6.6 grams. The new brew has slightly less alcohol at 4.1 percent by volume, compared with Bud Light's 4.2 percent.

Last year, MillerCoors launched craft-style versions of its flagship Miller Lite brand, with plans to offer up a trio including wheat, amber and blonde ale.

-Sandy

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Beer Event: Michigan Renaissance Festival; Buccaneer Beer Fest

This upcoming weekend is a theme weekend at the Michigan Renaissance Festival. The name of the event is the Buccaneer Beer Fest and it is the weekend of September 5, 6 and 7.

For more info please visit their website: http://www.michrenfest.com/buccbeer.html

-Sandy

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Beer Quickie: Corona Light

Just tried the Corona light. It is surprisingly full-bodied! It tastes just like original Corona, and still goes great with lime. I recommend trying the light style! (Whether you are watching your diet or not)

-Sandy

Monday, August 24, 2009

Beer News: Model to be Caned for Drinking Beer

Via AP Video News Wire

"A Muslim model on Friday said she was ready to face a caning penalty next week for breaching Malaysia's Shariah law, which forbids Muslims to consume alcohol. (Aug. 23)"

Please follow the link to watch the video.

http://video.ap.org/?f=MIHOL&pid=VEl5mIUwmX9ZzU6ZR8OiK_Rs4J6pSR_b

-Sandy

Beer News: A beverage of many uses - Try beer in your cooking

Via The Holland Sentinel

The Holland Sentinel
Posted Aug 23, 2009 @ 10:53 PM

Holland, MI —

Although I’ve never really acquired a taste for beer, on a rare occasion, having one on a hot summer evening is refreshing. But beer has other uses than for quenching a thirst — try it in your cooking.


I have made beer can chicken that has become a favorite, and have even purchased the little stand that holds the beer and the chicken. When I am ready to make the chicken, I put the can of beer in the holder, prop the seasoned bird on top, set it on a grill that is at pre-heated to 350 degrees, close the lid and don’t peek until an hour has passed. The chicken turns out browned and crisp all around and is always tender and juicy. Try it with chicken stock when there is not a beer in the house.


Marinating chicken in beer for an hour before cooking makes for some tender and flavorful chicken. You can then season it, grill it, deep fry it or bake it.


Sometimes, I use beer in barbecue sauce concoctions I experiment with. Using barbecue sauce as a base and adding extras like beer, honey, brown sugar, or fruit marmalades makes for some interesting flavors. Sometimes hitting the mark, sometimes not. But that’s the fun of experimenting.


The German culture dictates to cook brats in beer, and a Milwaukee tavern offers an outdoor cooking with beer class in their beer garden. Lucy Saunders (from the Web site www.beercook.com) has published a cookbook called “Grilling with Beer: Bastes, BBQ Sauces, Mops, Marinades & More, Made with Craft Beer.” She has also authored a book called “Cooking with Beer.” Both look interesting. The site has a plethora of cooking and grilling ideas.


The Beer Cake recipe is from a friend who loves to cook and share her recipes.

BEER CAKE
By Sylvia Tanis
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 (12 ounce) can of beer, any kind
1/2 cup peanuts
Cream shortening, sugar and eggs, add sifted dry ingredients, add to wet ingredients alternate with beer. Add nuts. Bake in a tube pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

BEER CAN CHICKEN
By Connie Page
1 (4 to 5 pound) whole roasting chicken, rinsed and dried
Salt
Pepper
Olive Oil
Garlic Powder
1 (12 ounce) can of beer, any kind.
Open beer and pour out 1/3 of the beer. Rub entire chicken with Olive Oil (to help hold seasonings in place). Season chicken liberally inside and out with salt pepper and garlic powder. Insert chicken onto beer can, place on a pre-heated grill, positioning legs so it doesn’t tip over (sometimes I use a throw-away square baking pan and put the chicken and can in it). If your grill uses indirect heat, use the outside burners and turn off the middle burners. Place chicken and can in the middle of the grill, close the lid and let cook for 1 hour 15 minutes, keeping the temperature as close to 350 as possible. Check the chicken after 1 hour to make sure it’s not getting too brown. The bigger the bird, the longer the cooking time.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Beer Review: Market Street Pub's Frau Blucher


Last week I was in Florida for vacation. I was tipped off by beerme.com about a brewery in Gainesville, the Market Street Pub. This is a quaint English-style pub. Their website was really lacking, so I wasn’t quite sure what kind of beer I would be encountering.
They had one house brew available, Frau Blucher. (Note the Young Frankenstein reference.) It was described as : "Traditional dunkel wheat with understated hops, lending to a sweet malty finish."
Cool. I ordered a pint. No gimmicks here, this is a straight up bar, with a selection of pub food (more on that later).
The Frau Blucher had no head and minimal carbonation. Its color was very dark but clear; think a Guinness that was clear. Its taste was very acidic, and reminded me of a ‘malt beverage’ that was beer flavored. It was sour, with a little bit of sweet for balance. And although the smell kept reminding me of the restroom, the beer grew on me while I drank it. I think it would go very well with a sausage meal.
Speaking of food, the pub also had a small menu selection, mostly traditional pub food. However, since Florida is in The South, they also offered black beans and rice. Let me tell you! This place has the best black beans and rice I have ever had!
My suggestion: order a import English beer and the black beans and rice.

-Sandy

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Brewery Review: New Holland Brewery (and Artisan Distillery)


I visited the New Holland Brewery pub on Thursday, July 30 2009. I am sad that I visited too late at night to take a tour of the brewery. The cost for tours is $5 per person.

The pub at the New Holland Brewery is very artistic. In line with the typical downtown Holland architecture, the pub has a tin ceiling. They use their tap handles as art on the walls. And it is clear they have become a big part of the culture of downtown Holland with esoteric trophies and homages to life in Holland. The lighting in the pub is adequate, no one is left in the dark, but the lighting is very strategic to make the bar feel like a ‘hole in the wall’. My only complaint as far as d├ęcor and architecture in the bar is that the bar is very tall, and the stools are very short. For anyone who is not very tall and Dutch, this can be a bit uncomfortable. But since I understand that their average patron is Dutch, and larger than the average American, this is excused.

New Holland Brewery pub has a very large selection of beer on tap; 12 beers, plus a selection of hopwines, wheatwines and ciders. Sizes of beer offered are 10 oz, 16oz, 20 oz, pitcher and boot. You can also buy 6-packs, gift packs, growlers and kegs of their beer and take it home. Their beers are offered in a variety of stores. I can always find Mad Hatter and Sundog at my local Meijer. Sometimes I can also find The Poet stout and their seasonal beer. Their summer seasonal is called Zoomer. It was not available on tap the night I visited the pub. My drinking partner Andrew is quoted as saying “They have good brand cultivation.” And he mentioned that the beer is “exceptional.”

This brewery has also ventured into artisan distilling. They offer at the pub 8+ artisan liquors including: vodka, gin, white rum, dark rum and whiskey. These are offered for sale to take-home. Due to Michigan state law, these liquors are not available yet for off-site purchase. On top of these, they make liqueur infusions at the bar from farmer’s market finds. I was fortunate enough to try a cucumber-infused gin. I had it as part of a cocktail made with lemonade. I highly recommend it! It was as refreshing as a cold salad on a hot summer day.

The prices are fairly typical of a bar. Drafts range from $4-$6.50, 6-packs are around $9. Flights of 6 beers are available and prices vary depending on selection. Distilled liquor starts at $4.50 for a shot, and prices go up depending of the drink. Their signature cocktails are $6 each (which includes the farmer’s market infusions). Their whiskey is a bit more expensive. Bottles of liquor may be bought for $30-$60 depending on their flavor.

If all this isn’t enough, they have a mug club. For a small fee they will give you your own engraved 10 oz mug. Every time you visit, you will be able to drink your beer from your very own custom mug.

On the food side, a full menu is offered, and they bake their own bread. I would go just for the fresh-baked bread. Delicious!

I am definitely going to revisit the New Holland Brewery pub.

-Sandy

Photos courtesy of E. Ogle

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Beer Review: New Holland Brewery’s Copper Pot Vienna Lager


I ordered the Copper Pot Vienna Lager at the New Holland Brewery Pub in Holland, MI. It was one of their specialties on tap on Thursday, July 30 2009. I have a feeling that finding this brew at any other time would be difficult. They offer it in a 16 oz, 20 oz, pitcher and “boot” size (comes in a pitcher shaped like a boot a la “Beerfest”). Flights of multiple brews are also available – for more on this, wait for my brewery review. The pint cost $4 and was served in a stout glass.
My overall impression of this beer is that it is a surprising light-feeling lager. I really wanted to keep drinking it!
The head is about 1 inch, it was creamy but was able to maintain a lightness that was unexpected, not thick at all. It is a medium-dark caramel color, which was very beautiful. But I couldn’t help but notice that the color on every beer at New Holland Brewery was nothing short of beautiful.
This lager smells like wheat with a light yeastiness. The first sip is somewhat surprising, in that it is sweet. Although not overwhelming by any means, this sweet beer was a welcome contrast compared to my average pint. This sweetness adds to a well-balanced flavor profile: wheat, sweet, light bitter, hops. These four flavors, I think, are what every beer drinker wants out of their drink! As the beer warmed up, it started tasting crispier, almost like a good salad. The hint of vegetable started coming out as it warmed. This beer may possibly win me over to the dark side of warm beer drinking!
I will definitely order this beer again – if I can find it.

-Sandy

Friday, July 31, 2009

Beer News: Obama, Biden, professor, officer sit down over brews

Via CNN.com:

Obama, Biden, professor, officer sit down over brews


President Obama sat down for a beer at the White House Thursday night with a top African-American professor and the police officer who arrested him earlier this month.
They were joined by a previously unannounced guest, Vice President Joe Biden.
Sgt. James Crowley and Henry Louis Gates Jr., both dressed in suits, sat down with Obama and Biden, who both had their white dress shirt sleeves rolled up.
Video from the meeting showed mugs of beer being delivered to the men, who sat at a round table at the edge of the White House's Rose Garden, munching peanuts and pretzels from silver bowls.
The president was drinking Bud Light, Biden was drinking Buckler (a nonalcoholic beer), Gates was drinking Samuel Adams Light and Crowley was drinking Blue Moon.
After the meeting, Crowley told reporters that the men had a "cordial and productive discussion," in which they agreed to move foward rather than dwell on past events.
He said he and Gates plan to meet again and will speak by telephone to finalize details in the coming days. Both men bring different perspectives, he said, but he would like to hear more about Gates' views.
"It was a private discussion. It was a frank discussion," Crowley said of the meeting, but would not divulge specifics except to say that no one apologized.
Gates was arrested July 16 and accused of disorderly conduct after police responded to a report of a possible burglary at his Boston-area home. The charge was later dropped. The incident sparked a debate about racial profiling and police procedures.
After the meeting, the renowned Harvard professor reflected on the significance of the event and thanked Obama for arranging the meeting.
"It is incumbent upon Sergeant Crowley and me to utilize the great opportunity that fate has given us to foster greater sympathy among the American public for the daily perils of policing on the one hand, and for the genuine fears of racial profiling on the other hand," Gates said in a statement on his Web site, The Root.
"Let me say that I thank God that (I) live in a country in which police officers put their lives at risk to protect us every day, and, more than ever, I've come to understand and appreciate their daily sacrifices on our behalf. I'm also grateful that we live in a country where freedom of speech is a sacrosanct value and I hope that one day we can get to know each other better, as we began to do at the White House this afternoon over beers with President Obama," he said.
"At this point, I am hopeful that we can all move on, and that this experience will prove an occasion for education, not recrimination. I know that Sergeant Crowley shares this goal. Both of us are eager to go back to work tomorrow."
After the incident, Obama himself quickly got involved, saying at a news conference that police in Cambridge, Massachusetts, "acted stupidly."
His comment itself drew criticism and later he softened his stance, saying, "I could've calibrated those words differently."
After the meeting, Obama said in a statement he was thankful to Gates and Crowley for joining him at for "a friendly, thoughtful conversation.
"Even before we sat down for the beer, I learned that the two gentlemen spent some time together listening to one another, which is a testament to them," the president's statement said. "I have always believed that what brings us together is stronger than what pulls us apart. I am confident that has happened here tonight, and I am hopeful that all of us are able to draw this positive lesson from this episode."
Earlier Thursday, Obama said the chat was prompted by an exchange he had with Crowley, who said in a phone call with Obama, "Maybe I'll have a beer in the White House someday."
The president replied that that could be arranged.
On the meeting's being dubbed the "Beer Summit," Obama said, "It's a clever term, but this is not a summit, guys. This is three folks having a drink at the end of the day, and hopefully giving people an opportunity to listen to each other, and that's really all it is.
"This is not a university seminar. It is not a summit. It's an attempt to have some personal interaction when an issue has become so hyped and so symbolic that you lose sight of just the fact that these are people involved," he said.
He said he would be surprised if the media makes the meeting out to be more important than his meeting Thursday with Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, president of the Philippines, but "the press has surprised me before."
Gates and Crowley brought their families to the White House, and the two toured the East Wing together before the meeting, officials said. The two met Obama in the Oval Office before moving out to the Rose Garden. Their families were touring the West Wing during the sit-down.
Separately, a Boston, Massachusetts, police officer became part of the controversy by referring to Gates in a mass e-mail as a "banana-eating jungle monkey."
Officer Justin Barrett later apologized, saying he's not a racist. He told a local television station on Wednesday night that he was sorry for the e-mail.
"I regret that I used such words," Barrett told CNN affiliate WCVB. "I have so many friends of every type of culture and race you can name. I am not a racist."
He was placed on administrative leave after the e-mail surfaced, and he might lose his job as a result.
Barrett's attorney, Peter Marano, on Thursday offered an apology on his behalf.
"Justin Barrett is a citizen, a husband, a father, a soldier, a police officer and a human being," Marano said in a statement. "He has made a mistake -- his poor choice in words is that mistake. His lack of thought into the possible outcome of using such words has caused this debate. Justin never intended for these words to bear such a racial connotation."
Meanwhile, a black Cambridge police sergeant on the scene the day of Gates' arrest wrote a letter to Crowley, asking him to mention to Gates and Obama that he is now known as the "black sergeant" and to some others as an "uncle Tom."
"I'm forced to ponder the notion that as a result of speaking the truth and coming to the defense of a friend and colleague, who just happens to be white, that I have somehow betrayed my heritage," Sgt. Leon Lashley wrote. "Please convey my concerns to the president that Mr. Gates' actions may have caused grave and potentially irreparable harm to the struggle for racial harmony in this country and perhaps throughout the world."
Lashley wrote in the letter he would like Gates to reflect on the incident and ask himself what responsibility he bears, what he can do to heal the rift and what he can do to mitigate the damage done to the officers' reputations.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Beer Review: Bell's Lager of the Lake

Recently I tried Bell's Lager of the Lake. I had this beer on draft at Crunchy's of East Lansing. Crunchy's offers a "bucket of beer" which I shared with about 10 friends. (We also got a free pizza with the bucket, as part of the special.) A "bucket" is literally that. It is a utility bucket which they fill with beer. They give the group pitchers and plastic Dixie cups to share it (not available for groups smaller than 4 average-sized persons).

My first sip impression: this is not a very tasty beer at all.
The beer looks and smells like piss, with a HUGE head. And by the time we got down to the bottom of the bucket, we were betting each other to drink another cup.
The flavor was very bitter and hoppy. It definitely needed a sweet element to make it more balanced and drinkable. Eventually I was alternating sips of Coca-Cola with sips of the beer, just to add some sweetness and make it drinkable (it's such a shame to waste beer, even the bad ones). It's definitely a gulper, not a sipper -- just so you can get it down.
One person in the group is quoted as asking "Did they do the floors before they [filled] the bucket?"

I would NOT drink this beer again (even if it were free, and I was already wasted).
Please drink responsibly. The Boobs and Beer Blog does not condone binge drinking.

-Sandy

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Brewery Tour: Royal Oak - Bastone

Hello all! My name is Megan, hailing from Grand Rapids, MI.
I went to Royal Oak yesterday to see what the city had to offer by way of craft brews.

Our first stop was to Bastone which is an affiliate of other breweries around Michigan such as Grizzly Peak and Blue Tractor in Ann Arbor and North Peak in Traverse City.

*Brewery Tip* When possible, ask about getting a flight, which is usually a 4-5 oz. sample of each of a brewery's beers - typically not including seasonals. Some places will give you an option to choose your own beers for the flight while others will have set beers.

Of course, I got a flight. There were 6 beers; Monumental Blonde, Main Street Pilsner, Great White Wit, Royal IPA, Dubbel Vision, and Nectar des Dieux Triple. All beers served in a 5 oz. taster glass on draft.

Monumental Blonde: Very clear, this is Bastone's lightest beer. Golden yellow color with virtually no head. Nose is absent and taste is similar. Mouthfeel is light and watery. Taste is salty with light malt notes and almost no hops. Not a beer that I would get very often, but I think this is a great beer for those who are transitioning from your traditional macrobrews into the craft brew world.

Main Street Pilsner: Cloudier than the blonde, this has a head about 2 fingers high. Color is that of lemonade. This has a nose of malt and a little more hop smell than the blonde. Mouthfeel is slightly heavy. Taste is similar to smell. Nothing really special.

Great White Wit: Cloudy, Lemonade look, one finger of head. Mouthfeel is perfect, refreshing. Obvious wheat taste, obvious white taste. Exactly what is advertised. Very delicious, I ordered another in a full pint glass after the flight :).

Royal IPA: Tea colored, a little cloudy, half a finger of head. Nose is hoppy. Mouthfeel is crisp and taste is slightly bitter with the help of sweet malt. Delicious!

Dubbel Vision: Dark brown/red belgian beer with one finger of head. I'm not a huge fan of belgian dubbels and this one didn't change my mind.

Nectar des Dieux Triple: Very fruity! This was one of my favorites. Half a finger of head, good lacing down the glass. Orange/Yellow color, a little cloudy. Taste is citrus fruits and hops when it hits your mouth then warms into belgian malts and bananas. Excellent brew!

I know this one is kind of long...I have 2 more breweries to review but I'll let you soak all of this information in before I post another :)

Megan

Beer Review: Founder's Cerise Cherry Ale

Today I am reviewing the Cerise Cherry Ale by Founders (Grand Rapids). I tried this drink on draft at Crunchy's of East Lansing. Right now, Crunchy's is having their annual localvore event -- all their beers and cheese are from Michigan. There is a Founder's Brewpub in Grand Rapids, MI.

This is a very beautiful beer. It was served in a clear, classic pint glass (also available in a 25 oz. mug). There was hardly any head on it. But it was a beautiful red/magenta color. This is probably the reddest beer I've ever seen, even more red than the Irish Reds.
It smelled like a wheat beer (which I am partial to) and slightly of cherries.
The very first sip is very tart. But if you give the beer some time to linger it goes through a wonderful progression of four flavors: wheat --> cherry --> wheat --> pumpkin . The pumpkin flavor comes if you can stand to stop and let the beer flavors mellow in your mouth. This was not something I did more than once with this beer unfortunately, because it is too delicious! It went down very quickly, despite good conversation that night at the pub. When I got near the bottom, and let the beer warm slightly, the cherry flavor got MORE tart. The beer with more amazing flavor near the end is definitely a beer worth drinking! (Reminiscent of Sam Adams' Spring Ale.) Speaking of the bottom of the glass, of all the little head that there was, the head was so thick that it stuck to the sides of the glass all the way down. It makes for a great experience.

Overall, this is a very balanced beer. It is start and sweet and slightly savory all at once. And it is beautiful when drunk from a pint glass at the pub. I would DEFINITELY drink this again -- but I think I will look to find it for less than $5 for a pint.

-Sandy

Friday, July 17, 2009

Beer Quest: Sam Adams' Chocolate Bock

I just read about a brew from Sam Adams called Chocolate Bock. It sounds really amazing, and I would love to try it.
It sounds like a lighter, sweeter Guinness (Since Guinness is a dark stout). It would be interesting to try it, like I have with Guinness, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream as a float.

Anyone heard of this Sam Adams brew? Do you know where to find it? Let us know!

-Sandy

[EDIT 7/18/09 10:35]
A little birdy told me that Sam Adams' Chocolate Bock is only seasonal, and our best guess is that it is a Winter brew. Has anybody ever tried it?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bar News: Old Chicago

The restaurant chain Old Chicago, known for its pizza and beer, offers a beer club called The World Beer Tour. July through August they are offering a Craft Beer Mini Tour.
From my own experience, the brews at any given Old Chicago restaurant change often.
Here is a link to the beer list offered on the website.

-Sandy

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Beer Review: Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat

Tonight I am trying Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat. This isn't the first time I've had this beer, and it probably won't be the last. It's a very solid wheat beer.
I am drinking it bottled. I got a 6-pack at my local Meijer.

My first reaction is that there is practically no head. This is somewhat disappointing, since the head on wheat beers is generally very creamy and delicious. The color is a golden rust, and it is fairly opaque.
There are three 'waves' of flavor in each sip. The first bit is very sweet, the next becomes a little fuller, and then the drinker is left with a pleasant wheat flavor. This is a very fruity wheat beer;there are hints of citrus, and a flavor almost like fresh and spicy apple. I am reminded of Fruity Pebbles, like from when I was a little kid, not always what I want when I drink a 'grown up' drink like a wheat beer.
As with the head, the body leaves something to be desired. I really wish this were a little thicker. With a name like Sunset, and not, say, Summer Sun, the body and feel of it are not quite up to par.


This is a good option for a lighter body wheat beer. I would drink this again, but I might look to other brews first.

-Sandy

First Post

Greetings!
This blog is meant to be written by women about beer. And only beer. We aim to share our experiences, good and bad, about the beers, our local breweries and our local bars.

I would like to share a favorite toast about beer:

Who'd care to be a bee and sip
Sweet honey from the flower's lip
When he might be a fly and steer
Head first into a can of beer?


-Sandy

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