As anyone bullied in school knows, it’s no fun to be around a bully or be the target of their bullying. Many beer fans don’t realize it but they’ve become the thing they hated in their early years. Are you a Craft Beer Bully?
The Craft Beer Bully
When craft was the new thing, we took some criticism from the big beer drinkers. They made fun of our high-priced, fancy craft beers. You’d go to a party and someone would always point out the fact that you’d brought your own beer because the stuff provided wasn’t good enough for your sophisticated tastes.
Though times have changed, and craft beer has become an acceptable drink, that doesn’t mean the bullying has stopped. Instead, it’s simply switched sides.
We’ve seen the rise of the Craft Beer Bully in recent years. These folks may never have known the time when you may have gotten a bit of light-hearted joking from macro-drinkers, but they take every opportunity to slam those folks on their drink choice. They’re constantly telling others why their choice of craft beer is better than the “swill” macro lager they choose to drink. It’s sad and this behavior needs to stop.
It seems they’re either unaware or don’t remember how we felt when others criticized us for our beer choice. Everyone should be free to choose what they want to drink (be it macro or craft), without judgement from others. You may not like tomatoes or squid, but that doesn’t give others a right to make fun of you for it. Why should beer choice be any different?
We’re trying to raise the profile of craft beer as a whole, and the Craft Beer Bully does nothing but make all craft beer fans look like assholes. We need to stop them (and stop ourselves if we find we’re slamming others for their beer choice).
Belittling others for their choice of drink is wrong and does nothing to make craft beer or the culture appealing to those we hope to convert. We don’t need more comments about how macro lager is just water. We’ve heard them all before and it doesn’t make you look funny or intelligent. Please, just stop.
Better Beer Ambassadors
If we hope to continue to show others the wonderful appeal of craft beer, we need to be good ambassadors. This means not judging people for their choices in brew, but showing them there are more options than just the standard Big Beer most are use to drinking. The Craft Beer Bully destroys any chance of appealing to those we look to show the light. They need to be stopped.
If you or someone you know is being a bully, please ask them to stop. We need more positive voices in the craft beer world, not those pushing people away. Let’s embrace a love of beer. The only bully we want in craft beer is the mid-19th century adjective version. “This beer is really bully!”
Beer travel is the best reason to travel. There’s so much to explore in the world of beer and while the newest craft breweries get most of the attention, the true classics may offer the most beautiful and unique exploration of all.
We’ve all indulged in the romantic fantasy of exploring breweries in far away lands. Those with history to offer, and unique brews to try. Trappist Beer Travels: Inside the Breweries of the Monasteries takes you on a journey to learn the history, people, and beers which each of legendary breweries run by Trappist monks hold.
The book begins by looking at the Trappist origins and how they came about. From there we begin to explore each brewery and monastery. All eleven are looked at individually, with great detail into their history, the uniqueness of their brewery, those who run them, and the beers they produce. Travel tips and nearby attractions are also provided.
The pages filled full of history and detail, along with countless wonderful photos which bring the monasteries to life. Brilliant pictures of brewing setups, both old and new, are sure to inspire your desire to travel to check each out for yourself.
The ladies who crafted this book were given amazing access to document the place, history, and people of Trappist beer. It’s sure to inform even those who have had the opportunity to visit these amazing abbey breweries.
It doesn’t matter if you’re planning a beer trip, becoming better beer-informed, or just looking to learn more about some of the most unique breweries in the world, Trappist Beer Travels will feed all of these needs.
Located upstairs from the Chuck Norris Grill (no, seriously) and through the red door, we had Dillon Whiskey Bar mostly to ourselves on both visits. The staff were just opening things up and we enjoyed some quiet time and conversation.
The bartender was very friendly and we chatted a bit while she got things ready for the day. They have a great spirit selection and she made a number of recommendations (though we saved the whiskey for the second visit).
The bar itself is small and quiet. Entering, we were met with the smell of a wood-burning stove heating the place (though I didn’t see such a heat source), which brought about a sweet and welcoming aroma, mixed with just a touch of stale beer. A small bar that seats maybe ten and there are a number of small tables about the space.
Though we visited only during the day, the great whiskey selection and small space could certainly create potential for packed nights and a spirited atmosphere. They have live music frequently, which would be great in such an intimate space.
The beer list wasn’t amazing, but those visiting are sure to find something tasty to try.
They have 5 beers on tap and about 8 options in the bottle. Everything available is made in Iceland, with the tap options being pretty standard at most bars in the area.
The beer isn’t the focus here, but we found a nice local Úlfrún Session IPA to enjoy. These were our first beers in Iceland, having arrived early that morning and taken a quick nap at the hotel before venturing out.
Standard happy hour in Iceland means 1/2 priced beers, so two for ones it was.
Though we didn’t eat there, they do have a small food menu, made up mostly of burgers (I’d guess they’re made downstairs at the Chuck Norris Grill).
Another couple arrived during our second visit and the bartender was happy to make recommendations and share a bit of history for each option.
The middle-aged gentleman claimed to be a spirits enthusiast, but his lack of basic knowledge made it clear he was a beginner at very best. Don’t be afraid to let others know when you aren’t knowledgeable about beer or spirits, and let them guide you. American Tourist: always giving other American tourists a good name.
The bartender didn’t let this bother her, and helped him find something to his liking, along with wine for his wife.
With a couple beers in our bellies and our day plan determined, we wandered from the comfort of Dillon Whiskey Bar.
Warm, welcoming, and plenty of whiskey. It’s a great stop on the Reykjavik strip. They might not have the best beer selection, but you’re unlikely to find a better whiskey selection anywhere around and there are enough beer options for at least a quick stop along your trek.
Breathalyzer users use to have to pick either small or accurate but not anymore. The new BACtrack C6 packs an ultra-accurate police-grade sensor into a package small enough to fit on your keychain. Now there’s no reason you can’t bring it with you and get a trusted reading you can rely on.
Using the C6 is simple. Press the single button to turn it on. It takes just a couple seconds to warm up, and then prompts you to blow. Take a deep breath and blow until the *beeeeep* noise stops and you hear the unit click.
Within seconds, the reading shows on the display (make sure you wait 20 minutes after you last drink or eat to get an accurate measurement).
In addition to being small and precise, the BACtrack C6 also comes at a price anyone can afford. For just $49.99, there’s no reason every beer drinker shouldn’t have one and use it. They’re far less costly than a DUI and could save a life too. They may also help you from getting to the point where you’ll be feeling it tomorrow morning.
In addition using the built-in screen, the C6 has Bluetooth too. The smartphone connectivity is super cool. Just like the BACtrack Mobile Pro, the C6 can connect to your iPhone or Android device to record readings.
The app also allows you to track your BAC over time and see when you’ll likely sober up.
If you’re past the point of safe driving, the app also allows you to call an Uber, so you can get home safe.
Smart Device For Safer Choices
Making smarter choices when drinking can be made easier by having the ability to accurately gauge your current level of intoxication. The BACtrack C6 breathalyzer gives you accurate results in a device you can carry with you everywhere. I’ve noticed just having it with has made me more cognizant of how much I’ve had and helped me make smarter choices.
We first dropped into the Sæta Svínið Gastropub (Sweet Pig) to grab lunch on our first day in Reykjavik. The convenient location puts it close to the shops and bars along the strip. Micro Bar is located right behind it and is a must-visit spot for every craft beer fan.
Warm wood fills the room, with small tables throughout the place. A small bar fills the far corner and there’s seating upstairs (though we didn’t venture up there). Out front, there’s a good sized patio area, where one can sit to watch tourists and others pass on the square during the warmer months.
Though it was busy, we were seated right away and the service was quick and friendly. Our server was happy to share the specials and make recommendations.
The Drink Situation
Drinks and spirits are arranged by country and then maker, along with nice descriptions of many, for those of us from out of town. They offer about 10 taps of Icelandic beer and around 20 in bottles, so there’s plenty to pick from.
As it was the first place we enjoyed a beer once we’d landed in Iceland, we asked our server for a recommendation and settled on a nice locally-made stout.
Like most bars in Iceland, they have a daily happy hour which offers 1/2 off beer, cocktails, and house wine. Plan to stop in when you can get 2 for the price of one and stretch your drinking dollar even further.
The beer list wasn’t huge, but it did contain a decent selection of Icelandic beers. They’ve got a nice range of options, so you’re sure to find something to enjoy. Micro Bar is next door for those looking for the best options, but the list here is just fine for enjoying with a meal or a quick bite.
They also offer a number of Icelandic and European spirits, an entire gin menu, cocktails, and a nice wine list.
The menu offered plenty of choices, from full meals to lighter appetizers and lunch fare. Prices are on par with what you’ll generally pay in Iceland at any decent restaurant and bar.
On our first visit to Sæta Svínið Gastropub, we kept food light by just ordering a basket of bread. My wife fell in love with the fresh, creamy, and sweet date butter with Icelandic sea salt which accompanied it. Fresh, crusty and chewy, the bread was a far bigger hit than we’d planned and there was much consideration with ordering another basket to enjoy with our beers.
On our second visit, we enjoyed a fantastic bowl of house-made soup of the day (served up with more bread and date butter of course). It was a wonderful way to warm ourselves on a cool winter day in February. Beers helped to wash it all down.
Everything we saw being served up to others looks delicious too.
I loved scratch & sniff books growing. They were a fun way to engage and interact with the topic of education and now you can do so as an adult too with your favorite beverage as the focus. The Scratch & Stiff Guide to Beer: A Beer Lover’s Companion not only brings the smells of the beer world to life, it makes learning about beer fun too. See why.
Scratch & Sniff Guide To Beer
If you’re looking for a beer book that covers a bit of everything, The Scratch & Sniff Guide to Beer: A Beer Lover’s Companion is the one. It’s filled with a wide range of information on everyone’s favorite beverage and like beer, it’s easy to consume.
Starting with the basics, we cover what beer is, how it’s made, along with classic styles. Next we move into the newer varieties and more extreme examples common today.
Each of the ingredients found in beer are looked at next. A good bit of information is presented on each. The author keeps it easy going and fun, with plenty of humor inserted amongst the informative pages.
Information on how to buy beer, tasting it, starting a cellar, and glassware are all covered in detail. Fear not, because they’ve got all the basics to get even craft beer newbies up to speed fast.
We round things out by learning about food and beer pairings, some recipes, understanding beer labels, designing your own labels, and finally, getting started on beer travel.
Enjoyment of beer isn’t just about taste, it’s about smell too. Throughout the book you’ll find 10 different scratch & sniff stickers featuring aromas you’ll find in various beer styles. Things like tangerine, cedar, dried fruit, pine, whiskey, and more.
The pages of The Scratch & Sniff Guide to Beer are packed full of information, along with wonderful illustrations to help understand it all. They also feature plenty of helpful tips and notes.
Getting Started With Suds
Learning is a lot easier when it’s fun and this book does a great job of making it as simple as drinking a great beer (which you should certainly be doing while reading it). It condenses a lot of information without being heavy and the wonderful illustrations add to the adventure.
Bringing a 3rd element to this book (text, graphics, smell) with scratch & stiff stickers only adds to the engagement and education.
We love exploring the world of craft beer! There’s something magical about traveling to a new brewery and trying all they have to offer. If you want a reason to explore the great breweries of Minnesota and save some money on the brews you sample, check out the Northern Ale Guide 2018!
Going Places With The Northern Ale Guide 2018
Hit the road, explore Minnesota’s great brewing scene, and save money at each you visit. The Northern Ale Guide 2018 gets you buy one get one free pints and more, at breweries across our great state.
Filled with over 60 breweries, this passport for drink discounts is sure to offer some new places to explore, along with old favorites.
Each page list location information, hours, and brewers notes. Show up, get stamped, get a free pint when you buy a pint. It’s that simple.
Having a beer passport is a great way to encourage yourself to explore breweries around our state. It can inspire a weekend road trip or weekday taproom visit. I’m often finding myself flipping through the pages and heading off to check out spots I haven’t visited, inspired by this booklet.
Your Ticket To Brewery Travel
You love to check out new breweries and revisit your favorites. Why not save yourself some money while you do so, and inspire visits to awesome places in the process? The Northern Ale Guide 2018 is a great way to do both.
We put beer in our chili, beer in our chocolate cakes, and beer in our bellies. ReGrained SuperGrain+ put it in a healthy snack and does it using upcycled brewers grain which was previously used to create the beverage we love!
After most of the sugars are extracted from grain during the brewing process, there’s still plenty of awesome nutrient value left behind. Rather than allowing it to go to waste, ReGrained takes that spent grain and turns it into a tasty treat.
While they won’t replace your favorite beer, they’re a healthy alternative when you can’t have a drink. They’re also a great way to keep you fueled throughout the day. Packed with prebiotic fiber, protein, and other micronutrients, they’re a great source of energy. In fact, ReGrained SuperGrain+ has far more protein or fiber than you’ll find in many of the flour sources used in other bars.
SuperGrain+ bars come in three great flavors:
Chocolate Coffee Stout
Honey Cinnamon IPA
Blueberry Sunflower Saison
While we’ve all tried products that claim to taste like beer but miss the mark (beer flavored candy anyone?), these bars truly do recall flavors of the beers their names imply. The darker grains used in the Chocolate Coffee Stout bars have a nice roasty malt flavor, with a bit of chocolate. The Blueberry Sunflower Saison has the slight peppery spice and yeasty note you’d find in the beer style and Honey Cinnamon IPA has the sweetness and bit of spice one might find in their favorite hoppy brew.
Beer In Bar Form
Beer comes in many styles. IPA, stout, faro, and now bar form. Delicious ReGrained SuperGrain+ bars are a great way to indulge in something made from the brew we love, fuel ourselves, and upcycle brewers grain at the same time.
Hoppy, high ABV, barrel-aged, black IPAs, sours, NE-style, they’ve all had their time in the spotlight. A new trend is just starting and it’s far different than anything that’s come before. Non-alcoholic craft beer is about to make a name for itself.
Non-Alcoholic Craft Beer
No alcohol you say? Why would anyone want that? The attraction of non-alcoholic craft beer shouldn’t be surprising. Who wouldn’t love the flavors we drink craft beer to enjoy, without the negative impacts alcohol can often make?
No hangovers, risk of DUI, or making fools of ourselves (you can do that without the help of alcohol). Imagine drinking all night and still being able to drive home or get up in the morning without a headache!
In the US, Bravus Brewing recently became the first craft brewery dedicated exclusively to non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beer. WellBeing Brewing launched shortly after, and is also brewing up non-alcoholic beer.
Booze-Free Beer Please
Will non-alcoholic craft beer grow to be the next big thing? We’ll have to see.
There are certainly advantages to booze-reduced brew and times when it may be a great option. If brewers can offer the same flavors we look for in our beers, without the alcohol, there’s a good chance they could catch on.
Check out the non-alcoholic craft beer if you see it available. It’s an interesting new option and like any new offering, you don’t know if you’ll like it until you try it. Who knows, maybe you’ll find the flavor was all you wanted from your beer, without the sometimes unwelcome after effects. Drink up.
While local beer options keep getting better, sometimes the only way to get your hands on a brew you crave is to trade for it. Keeping that precious cargo safe in transit can be challenging and you don’t want to risk any lost liquid. To keep your beer safe, you need Whale Pod craft can shippers. Here’s why they’re so awesome.
The Whale Pod
The Whale Pod is much more than just a sturdy box for your beer. It’s a specialized shipping container made just for transporting craft cans across country.
The pod features a foam shell to keep your cans safe. The thick foam has room for 12 cans per pod and works with both 12oz and 16oz. Special tabs on the top piece of foam can be flipped down to keep smaller 12oz cans secure, and you can mix and match both sizes in the same package.
Printed on the top flap of each Whale Pod is a map of the United States. You can use it to keep track of everywhere the pod has traveled, carrying great beer within. No longer will you wonder about all the places your well-worn beer containers have seen.
I know you’re thinking that reused Amazon box with some packaging material will get the job done for less, but Whale Pods are far better suited for the job. They offer better protection, are custom sized for their contents, and they’re inexpensive. Ordering a 5-pack works out to only about $9 a pod. A small price to pay to know your liquid cargo is safe as can be.
Perfect Beer Packaging
Worry about the safe delivery of your beer boxes simply isn’t worth it. Why not go with an option you know will protect your badass beers? Shipping or receiving, the peace of mind is well worth it and trading partners are always happy to see some well packaged cans.