For more than 45 years, First Avenue has played a headlining role in the Minneapolis music scene. Since 2005, Surly Brewing has been a star of the Minnesota brewing scene. It only seems right that these two icons came together to create +1 Golden Ale, a beer that tastes better loud.
+1 Golden Ale
Music and beer go hand in hand. Surly Brewing and First Avenue collaborated to create a beer that goes great at any show, no matter who’s playing.
When you’re drinking at the venue, you want something that’s flavorful but will also let you make it until the encore. This beer has a subtle hop flavor with low bitterness, easy going malt body, and low enough ABV (5.1%) to let you rock all night. It won’t melt your face, even if the music does. Indoors or out, winter or summer, it’s a style that drinks easily and offers just the right balance of flavor, while not overdoing it if you crush more than a few.
These awesome looking cans sport the same black with white lettering that the outside of the iconic First Avenue building does. But just like the building, while the outside looks great, it’s what’s playing inside that you came for.
Grab A +1
When you head to hear a favorite band, you want to drink something that’s awesome and goes all night, just like the music. Grab a Surly Brewing +1 Golden Ale and raise it high, as you hope the night doesn’t end. It’s easy drinking, no matter what style of music you pair it with.
Now you’ll be asking the bartender (in addition to the door guy), “Can I get a +1 please?” And remember, this one tastes better loud.
Are you looking to become a beer snob (I don’t care for the term, please don’t call yourself that)? If that’s your goal in life, you’ll want to check out this guide to your new life of snobbery. Have a look at Stuff Every Beer Snob Should Know.
Learning Stuff Every Beer Snob Should Know
How do you achieve beer snob status? Stuff Every Beer Snob Should Know by Ellen Goldstein is a guide to beer basics, with an unfortunate title.
After laying a groundwork of beer basics, we drink up some knowledge on glassware, tasting, scoring, off-flavors, and other items involved in drinking our favorite beverage.
Beer becomes life with a guide to food pairings, selecting the right beer, hosting a tasting, descriptors, and festival basics.
While it’s not overly in-depth, it’s a good guide for beginners. It reads quick and easy, covering a large range of topics in order to get you started fast. It’s certainly too basic for most that have been drinking craft beer for some time, but it’s perfect for those just introducing friends to the beverage, or getting started in craft beer themselves.
Drink Up Knowledge
The only way to become more knowledgeable is by learning. This book covers a great range of beer topics every fan should understand and does so in a simple and quick manner. While it’s not the largest reference on the topic, it’s sure to help get beginners up speed so that they don’t feel intimidated around seasoned craft beer fans.
The original IPAs were created to weather the long journey to India, but there’s much more to the story than that quick history. In IPA: A Legend In Our Time, author Roger Protz gives a detailed look at how the style first began, the evolution, and much more.
With the history lesson taking up the first third of the book, we then move into profiles of commercial IPAs for the remaining 2/3 of the book. These profiles are arranged by country of origin and include a short description, history, and tasting notes on each brew.
While they’re interesting at first, and may be useful for those looking for brewing inspiration, the beer profiles wear thin after the +20th page of them. With nearly 200 pages of beer profiles, you’re likely to find yourself (as I did) taking a pass on most of them.
It would have been much more interesting to have investigated the current climate for IPA in each nation, rather than just beer profiles native to those lands.
Hopped Up History
Though the beer profiles quickly became boring, the history and level of detail explored in IPA: A Legend In Our Time made for an interesting read. If you’re a hop-lover, it’s sure to be worth the time to learn more about the origins of our favorite beer style.
From all 50 states to Sasquatch, deer, unicorns, and jackalopes too, they offer countless designs.
Each opener is made by hand and cut using a CNC plasma cutter. Then it’s hand ground to take off the rough edges and make the opener look great.
Created by husband and wife team Brandon and Erin Spangler, they’ve combined the creative talent of their metal shop and pottery studio in the family barn in rural Georgia. They draw inspiration from the great outdoors and nature around them, putting it into the imaginative metal offerings.
An interesting, unique bottle opener is just one more way we show our personality and BE Creations & Designs has a lot of ways to show that personal style. Through creative, cool, industrial designs, they’ve got something that will speak to every beer drinker in some way.
Many beer cookbooks are all the same. Some interesting recipes that feature heavy-handed use of beer in each. While it’s awesome to involve our favorite beverage in the things we cook, like any other ingredient, it’s pointless to add if it doesn’t work with the rest and bring value in being there. As the title implies, The Beer Pantry is filled with recipes at the intersection of craft beer and food, without always feeling the need to force the two together.
Filled with wonderful recipes, this cookbook only adds beer when the addition makes sense. Maybe adding a bit of brew will really bring about the flavors we’re looking to create in a dish but if it won’t, that’s certainly okay too. These chefs understand that beer and food can go together, without having to contain each other to work.
Recipes are broken down into sections based on the tastes we find in beer. Crisp & Clean, Hoppy & Bitter, Malty & Sweet, and others give us a great way of finding the right recipe.
Between each chapter, a brewers spotlight features a bit on well known brewers and a profile of some of their most loved brews, plus what to pair it with.
Each recipe includes easy instructions and mouth-watering photos. They have pairing strategies, along with recommended beers. This really takes the guesswork out of which brew go pick.
Best Served With Beer
Food plus beer make a perfect pairing and this book helps you bring them together in many wonderful ways. Through helpful recipe-type arrangement, wonderful pictures, great descriptions, informative pairing strategies, and beer recommendations, The Beer Pantry gives you tools to create delicious dishes.
If you’re a beer drinker, you’ve probably done it. You enjoy a couple too many great brews and wake up the next morning feeling less-than awesome. When hangovers hit, you need to rehydrate to recover. Revitalyte is a rehydration solution filled with many of the things you need to start feeling better after imbibing.
Rehydrating With Revitalyte
There are a million claimed cures for a hangover but what your body needs most after a night of drinking is hydration. Revitalyte helps you replace the electrolytes, zinc, and other minerals lost when you drink alcohol.
Revitalyte offers more of the stuff you need than other common recovery drinks. It’s got more sodium and electrolytes than Gatorade, with far less sugar and carbs. It also has potassium, zinc, and chloride that you won’t find in sports drinks. It’s comparable to Pedialyte but for the 21+ crowd.
Where To Grab Your Recovery
So why not just buy Pedialyte? The problem is we have to go to the grocery store or pharmacy to get it, then make another trip to the liquor store. A second stop significantly decreases the chances you’ll bother grabbing one for the following morning (and ideally drinking half before bedtime).
Not every fun night results in a bad morning but we all have a drink or two too many from time to time. By having proper rehydration on hand, we can help ourselves recover faster and get back to the party quicker. Revitalyte can help you make that happen.
Located just off the Ingólfur Square in Reykjavik, Skúli Craft Bar is a great spot to grab a beer.
We wandered in during the late afternoon and found we had the bar nearly to ourselves. High top tables and a good sized L-shaped bar fill out a bright, industrial-feeling space. Windows line two walls and make the place feel bright and welcoming, waking us from our late-afternoon slowdown.
The bartender was very nice and knowledgeable about the beers. Being so quiet, we had the chance to talk with him quite a bit.
He mentioned that they see mostly tourists during the day, due to the price of alcohol in Iceland. Having the ability to buy booze directly from the distributors at a discount of about 30% less than you’ll pay at the bar leads many to drink at home instead. When they do go out, it’s usually later in the evening, after they’ve pre-gamed at home first.
Grab A Brew
They offer a great beer list, with a number of options we didn’t see elsewhere in town. Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout was a surprise to see on tap all the way off in Iceland (though they had it incorrectly listed as 2017, which hadn’t been released yet at the time).
In addition to 14 taps, they also had a fine bottle selection with some gems included like Lost Abbey, Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen, Jolly Pumpkin, and others.
Like most places in Iceland, they offer a good discount on drinking during happy hour. While most places seemed to do 1/2 off all beers, Skúli Craft Bar only offered a discount on select taps. With this discount meaning $4-8 off per drink, it can add up to big savings. Most of the taps discounted were the more common beers you’ll find around Iceland, rather than those more appealing to craft beer fans.
Like all Icelandic beer bars, the prices can add up quick. Be sure you do your math before you order, or you might end up with quite a large bar tap when you unexpectedly order a $40 USD 12oz bottle.
I grabbed a delicious glass of Mikkeller and Three Floyds Risgoop Barleywine to start and sipped for a bit.
If you’re looking for a great place to grab a glass and pass the time with nice beer on tap, check out Skuli Craft Bar when in Reykjavik. It’s a great space, close to many of the other spots you’ll likely look to explore. It’s unlikely to be too busy and the tap and bottle selections give you plenty to choose from.
Exploring new Minnesota breweries is awesome but how about getting free pints while doing so too? The 2018 Minnesota Hop Passport gets you buy 1, get 1 free beers from Minnesota brewers.
At 46 participating Minnesota breweries, simply show your passport and they’ll hook you up with two pints for the price of one. It’s a great way to try even more brews for your buck, while visiting new places and exploring the state’s great brewing scene.
In addition to a great discount, the first person to visit all 46 breweries will receive a $100 gift card and victory t-shirt for completing the Amazing Brewery Race.
Explore Minnesota Beer
We’re lucky to have so many awesome Minnesota breweries. Learning more about each and having a chance to visit these spot is great way to spend your time. Getting discount drinks with the 2018 Minnesota Hop Passport is sweet addition.
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.