Home Brewing for Wedding season

 Home-Brewed Beer Bottle Escort Cards

Brewing your own beer for a summer wedding can be the perfect personal touch.  The photo above, from a wedding featured on the knot, shows the home-brewed beer served with customized labels featuring their dog, and hand-drawn table name cards wrapped around the bottles helping guests find their seats!

We love the idea of home brewing for special events!  After all the work that goes into making homemade beverages, we can help you serve your drinks in the style they deserve to optimize taste and experience.

Upgrade your pouring system with the Kegman!




Beer Classification 101: There’s a Beer for Everyone

Are you new to the world of beer? Not sure whether you’re first beer experience should be from the ale of lager family? We decided to give you a brief run-down between the many varieties of beer that are served across the globe.  Where there is beer, there is a way.

As a source of reference for the visual learners, 40Cozy’s “The Very Many Varieties of Beer” shows you an overview of where all your favorite beers match up against one another.

If you’re a fan of the chart, an online novelty retailer even has it for sale so you can hang it up at home. (Pop Chart Lab, $25.00)

The World's Most Comprehensive Beer TaxonomyIn a traditional sense, beer classification is determined by the timing and temperature used within the fermentation process as well as the selection of yeast used for the process.  For example, if you have a “top-fermenting yeast,” the beer ferments at a higher temperature and gives off a variety of aromas and scents.  Ales are typically produced through a top-fermenting yeast production, which includes: pale ales, mild ales, stouts, and brown ales.

On the flip side of the classification tree, we have the lagers.  Contrary to the production style feature with ales, lagers are usually created through a bottom-fermenting yeast.  This methodology uses a lower temperature range before cooling the beer a lower temperature in the “lagering phase.”  This process is meant to create a crisp tasting beer.  Beers that use the bottom-fermenting yeast include: pale lagers, Pilsners, Bocks, and Dortmunders.

Stella ArtoisDid you know that the most commonly consumed beer around the world is pale lagers?

So you get the classification system a little better now; but where does my beer fit into these categories?

When observing beer with the naked eye, some of the visual traits the are quick to pop out include clarity, color, and how the “head” looks.

The color of your beer can range from a faint yellow for a pale lager to a dark black for an imperial stout.Russian Imperial Stout

What do you mean by “beer head?”

It’s that frothy foam found at the top of your glass of beer.  Realistically, it’s bubbles of gas that has risen to the surface.  The foam’s density is dependent on the type of malts used.

Are you having foam issues with your beer?  We are hear to help troubleshoot all your beer-related issues.  Foam issues may arise from an imbalanced system, having your beer keg set at the wrong internal temperature, or having improper pressures.  

We are here to fix any foam issues you have – whether it’s an issue involving flat beer, cloudy beer, or sour beer.  Call the Kegman for the answers to your questions at 973-512-2028, and make sure that no beer goes to waste.



Will Ferrell’s Super Bowl Surprise

When you first saw Will Ferrell popping out of the water holding an Old Milwaukee found underwater, did you have to do a double-take?

Do not worry, you were not seeing things.  The comedic hero continued his publicity stunts for Old Milwaukee into the past weekend, with a featured 30 second commercial that aired during Super Bowl 46.  If you were not viewing the game from the state of Kansas, unfortunately you did not get to view the latest campaign.  The commercial was aired exclusively on KNOP, the NBC affiliate programming in North Platte, Kansas.

Pabst Brewing Company, which owns Old Milwaukee, has run several campaigns featuring Will Ferrell in various outlets throughout Iowa, Indiana, and Milwaukee.  Rumors have been spreading that the reason the commercial aired in North Platte was because Patriot running back Lewys Carlini grew in the small town in Kansas.

Many are claiming it was ingenious to run the short commercial within such a segmented marketplace.  As the average Super Bowl commercial cost $3.5 million this year, Old Milwaukee was able to decrease the cost in spending which was made back in the virality of the video online.  Will Ferrell’s commercial has promoted more buzz than any other advertisement that ran this past Sunday.

When he hasn’t been sponsoring Old Milwaukee in a variety of commercials, Will Ferrell has been busy promoting his upcoming movie Casa De Mi Padre, which opens next month.

This video short features Will Ferrell horseback riding through the country with a friend, who then stop to enjoy a twelve pack of Escorpion Cerveza.

Have we got you a little thirsty with all the mouth-watering beer clips? Grab an Old Milwaukee, a Escorpion Cerveza, or any other beer that quenches your thirst.




Beer Industry’s Super Bowl Shows its Competitive Side

With the Super Bowl quickly approaching, the hype continues to grow – for the players, the coaches, the city, and the advertisements.  Our society has grown to associate the television commercials with Super Bowl Sunday, along with other traditions.  When it comes to the beer industry, the competition is just as fierce as it is on the playing field between the football teams.  What brewery takes the crown for being your favorite beer commercial?

Take a look at Budweiser’s classic advertisement with their infamous frogs.

It’s no wonder our society reminisces over commercials such as Budweiser’s infamous Clysedale Horses shorts, or the following Bud Light ad where a loyal fan fills his house with Bud Light cans.

Did you know that over the past decade Anheuser-Busch In Bev spent the most on super bowl advertisements?  Anheuser-Busch easily beat out Pepsico to gain the crown, spending approximately $240 million in advertising campaigns between 2002 and 2011 (Pepsico spent approximately $175 million).

Anheuser-Busch will be schilling out quite a bit this year for advertising space, seeing as the average 30-second commercial for the 2012 Super Bowl will run $3.5-$4 million a pop.  According to the latest reports, the company will focus their ad’s on Budweiser and Bud Light Premium.

Although Coors Light scored higher in taste testings, Coors is no longer the official sponsor of the National Football League.  Here is one of Coors Light’s recent commercials featuring rapper Ice Cube.

We will have to wait and see how the commercials match up this year.  What companies do you predict will put on a good show for us this year?


The Greatest Part of Being a Fan of Craft Beer

One of the greatest benefits of being a fan of better brew isn’t the ability to fly or to have superhuman strength, while they are up there – not the greatest.  The greatest part of being a craft beer fan is the seasonal beer!  Variety is the spice of life, plus if you have to wait for it – it’s that much better.  For some breweries, seasonals are their best sellers – and not for nothing either; not much is more delicious than a brew you’ve been waiting for nine months to have.  Any homebrewers plan on crafting their own seasonal ales? Make sure that you have your foam situation under control for next season’s brew.  If you have foamy issues, the Kegman is here to the rescue.Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Punkin Ale

Most assumed that due to popular demand, seasonal beers have been released earlier every year.  This year you can expect to start seeing the first of the summer brews in March, while a few years ago you wouldn’t be able to enjoy them until May.  You can be sure to find some spring beers by February, considering that we saw pumpkin ales in early August last year – which is arguably too early, too humid, and too hot for that.

Sierra Nevada Celebration AleIn fact, I’ve just seen the first of Sam Adam’s seasonal variety, Alpine Spring.  Visit their video library to catch a glimpse of the latest addition to the family.

There is reason behind the efforts to be the first on the shelves and the first of the season in the hands of a craft beer connoisseur, for most – if they like it – it’ll likely be the one they stick with until the next season.  I mean, honestly nobody want to have left overs, because by the end of the season you’re ready for the next big thing and you’ll need the space on you shelves.


Tap of the Week: Fajitaville Grille

There is a new restaurant that just recently opened in Corpus Christi.  If a place as picturesque as this doesn’t make you want to visit, then at least go to enjoy a few margaritas and some fajitas from the Fajitaville Grille.Brews and Tunes, what more could you ask for?

This promising place is all about cold brews and beach views, with tortillas that are done right under the moonlight. Founded on the principles of great food, incredible atmosphere and being the best beachside bar you’ve ever been to; because honestly, who could resist that – the description doesn’t fall short of paradise.  Not to mention that Fajitaville Grille is the only restaurant in town with on-the-beach service!

A view of Fajitaville Grille from the outsideCorpus Christi’s newest munching mecca is a 3-story entertainment and dining complex that will be sure to be serving up some of the best times in Texas.  This one-of-a-kind eatery is perfect for everyone, from the casual patio dinner to live indoor cooking shows, Fajitaville Grille is sure to please everyone in the family. The first floor is pretty much for the vacationing beach bums stopping in for a quick meal or drink. The second floor is for entertaining – with a hibachi and ceviche bar it sure is! While the third floor is where the party’s at, serving as a meeting room for private functions.

Cold Brews and Water Views

Fajitaville Grille is the place to be in Corpus Christi, with three bars included.  Two of the bars are located on separate floors, while Bamboo Beach Bar is outside in the blazing hot Texas sun, right by the beach.  Let me tell you this, it took a lot of careful planning for the systems to all work together.  With the help from our Glycol Cooled Systems, the beer flows smoothly and tastes delicious.Endless possibilities across three bars

So the end result turned out to be very promising – who would turn down an offer for an ice cold beer or cocktail after a long day at the beach?  Next time you’re in the Corpus Christi area, make sure to check out Fajitaville Grille.

Beer Industry Takes a Dip

The downward sales trend in the beer industry has been rough on some –  Anheuser-Busch InBev  hasn’t seen shipments this low (less than 100 million barrels) in an entire decade. Yeah, per year.

Even Miller Coors has seen a decline.  Shipments fell 3% – which puts them below 60 million barrels last year.

Hunter S. ThompsonHowever, despite what they may think (or tell reporters), it isn’t really the spirits that havetaken over the past decade’s drinking occasions.  It’s a craftier competitor – small breweries creating quality craft beer that customers can’t seem to get enough of.Nonetheless, the hard work of our beloved small town brewery has hardly put a dent in the market share owned by beverage behemoths Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors, only down a combined 1.1% from the past year.
Some companies, like Flying Dog Brewery from the video below, were on the upswing. Samuel Adams owner Boston Beer Co. scored an 8% increase; while small brewer D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. of Pottsville, Pa., was up 16.9%. 

Moving forward, the wine sector is expected to see a boost of 3.5% over the course of the year, while beer sales will probably see a 2.2% increase, especially with the growing popularity of craft brews.

So, cheers to a better year with better beer – for you guys at Dogfish Head and all of us “off centered” craft brew loving people!

Given the rise in craft beers on the market, what craft beer do you prefer?


Next stop: England to Enjoy a Cheeky Pint With the Furrier Members of Your Family

the Branding Villa pub in South Gosforth, Newcastle

Photo courtesy of North News & Pictures Ltd.

No, not Uncle John; but Charlie the dog, who can have a dog beer while you have one of your own. Man’s best friend and man’s favorite beverage have finally come together.  At the The Brandling Villa pub in South Gosforth, Newcastle they couldn’t bear the idea of leaving Fido out, so the pub is now serving beer for dogs. An ingenious attention-grabbing idea!

Next time you want a fresh one from the tap, there is now no need to leave your best wingman behind. The Branding Villa pub is just like most European bars, but does just a few things a little bit differently.  For example, The Branding Villa welcomes pet owners to enjoy the atmosphere not only with each other, but with their 4-legged friends as well.

You can be sure that your pooch will be hounding you to bring him back; the pub decided that dogs should be able to join in on the craft beer revolution as well. The new beer is made from malt, hops, and meat extract. The beefy beverage is obviously non-alcoholic, and not surprisingly unappealing to people. The taste of the beer is as revolting as dog food to humans, but it’ll certainly suit a puppy’s palate.

Pub manager Dave Carr told The Daily Mail: “It tastes of beef. I don’t want to give it to my dog without trying it first. It’s pretty revolting – and my dog doesn’t like it, but I’ve got enough people who drink my stock, so it’s nice if my dog doesn’t join in.”

The beer was such a hit that within two weeks Carr went through the entire 48 bottle stock. Disappointingly as of yet, there are no plans to ship the beer – so you’ll need to visit the pub with your pet for them to enjoy their very own brew with you.

“I scoped the internet looking for ridiculous stuff, and we became dog-friendly. There aren’t many pubs you can go to with your dog,” explained Carr. “The dogs were drinking water and eating biscuits, so we also created a dog menu, designed for dogs but based on traditional English dishes.” You’ll find things like fish-flavoured beef stock – that’ll be the “cat-flavoured gravy” among the delectable doggie dishes.  They can even get their own version of chicken chasseur, but it doesn’t end there. Every good meal deserves a great ending, so don’t forget to remind your little friend to save room to order on of their doggy desserts.  To combat that inevitable dog breath, Dentastix are offered as after dinner mints. Dave added: “Dog friendly is really the way it should be. Pubs should have wooden floors and dogs in front of the fire.”

I was surprised to hear that this isn’t the first beer made for dogs.  Actually, right here in the US 3 Busy Dogs brews Bowser Beer (around $20 for a six pack) which is made from beef or chick broth with malt barley. The beer is non-carbonated, non-alcoholic, and it doesn’t have any hops – which can be toxic for dogs.

So bottoms up, well that might be difficult without thumbs.

Regardless, cheers – or woof – to an interesting new trend, one that’ll hopefully be near you soon.


Enjoy Craft Brew Without The Beer Belly

With the New Year already here, many of us have renewed our gym memberships and sworn off beer in hopes of achieving our weight loss resolutions.  However, you might be able to keep your whistle wet and your waistline slim, so before you empty the keg take a look at my Top Tips for Losing Weight While Also Enjoying your favorite Brews:

1.) Pay Attention To What You Eat, Especially When Out Drinking Beer With Friends! It’s easy to order that nacho platter, the creamy artichoke dip, and a plate of wings when at a bar with some buddies, but try to keep your intake minimal – if any at all – and order something healthy for the main course. If possible, get a salad instead of fries with a burger or sandwich. And be sure to avoid those bacon-cheese-sour cream potato skins!

2.) Exercise. It’s that simple, seriously. Do whatever you can – even if it’s just power walking a few blocks.  Work toward building up strength and endurance. I prefer jogging, but who knows what the weather’s going to be like so if the climate isn’t cooperating, get up and just do anything that gets the heart pumping – treadmill, stationary bike, bicycle riding or any variety of sport activities. Heck, plug in your kid’s Kinect and just move for half an hour to start. A recent study revealed that an overwhelming 25 percent of the country – that’s a quarter of all Americans – get no exercise whatsoever, not even going for a walk. Don’t be that person.

3.) Eat Well.  McDonald’s is off the list, just don’t do it to yourself. The same goes for similar fast “food” venues. Avoid the sweets aisle at the grocery store, and limit things fried and empty calorie junk.

4.) Eat Less. We’re not auditioning for Man (or Woman) vs. Food , if that’s your resolution, you’re reading the wrong article. By following the above two steps, the stomach should start to naturally shrink which means in turn you will become full with less, which will make it easier to shed those extra pounds. That’s the whole point of dieting anyway, right?

5.) Discipline Yourself The Day After Drinking. Don’t was the day in bed, watching ESPN and eating a bag of chips. Hit the gym, go on a run or play a pickup game. Get up and get out and do some exercise! This is how to get and stay trim while drinking beer.

If you make excuses, put it off until tomorrow, chances are you won’t do it tomorrow. Or the day after that. Or the next day either. This is how you get out of shape.

Always stay disciplined in your workouts and maintain consistency. More than likely, after you’re done you’ll be much better than when you started.

BONUS TIP: Enter a 10K with a few friends (they have 5K runs, as well, and this is a good place to start if you’re new to them). These events are not only a blast, but also very social as well as good for a morning’s work out.  Even better, getting in shape to actually do the 10K requires a few weeks of build-up exercise, which is usually more fun to do with a workout partner. And afterwards, you’ll all want to stay in 10K shape.  So next year we’ll finally have to come up with a new resolution.

Best of luck!


Happy International Bacon Day!

Have I got a treat for you guys, just in time before the New Year! So even though International Bacon Day is apparently celebrated on the Saturday before Labor Day, we’ve decided that we should go back to the roots and celebrate it on the 30th of December – as it originally was by the founding university students in Boulder, Colorado.

So for this fantastic celebration, I’ve put together some recipes and beer pairings I found while reading more about the wonder that is bacon and the day (or days) dedicated to its appreciation.

Instructions for a great cele-bacon!

Make Bacon:

Sauteed Cabbage and Bacon

Broccoli Bacon Salad

Mushroom Bacon Tart

Pimento Cheese & Bacon Crostini

Bacon, Cheddar, and Scallion Strata

Applewood Smoked Bacon and Onion Dip

Jalapeno Poppers

Drink Beer:

CraftBeer.com’s Craft Brews and Bacon Recipe and Pairing Guide

Make Dessert:

Beer Cup Cakes with Beer and Bacon Icing

Eat Bacon. Drink Beer. Eat More Bacon. Repeat and always enjoy.

Get it in before the Mrs. starts you on that new year’s diet! Her and the doctor have been working on this since bacon day started back in 2004 – but honestly, who can pass up craft beer and bacon?!

Happy International Bacon Day!



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