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A device that will create a foamy head — great for some beers
A beer foamer that provides an at-home simulated nitrogen pour.
Craft beer’s rising popularity was always sure to give rise to fun gadgets to go along with it, and California Creations’ Sonic Foamer is one of these. Resembling a hot plate, it sends ultrasonic vibrations into your beer, activating carbonation and creating an attractive, consistent head. But does it really make beer taste better, as the box claims it does?
The Sonic Foamer is easy to use. Two teaspoons of water go on the plate, giving you complete coverage on the bottom of your glass for vibration transmission. Shaker pint glasses with thin bottoms yield the best results. Pour your beer with as little head as possible, put it on the plate, press the button, and voilà, thick, luxurious head rises right in front of you!
The effect is absolutely noticeable in both mouthfeel and taste. Essentially, what you get is a "nitro" pour of your favorite beer (think draught Guinness). The mouthfeel becomes nice and thick, silky, and creamy. However, whether or not the taste is improved depends on the style of beer. With a black ale (such as Two Roads' Route of All Evil), the Foamer brought delicious coffee and chocolate notes to the forefront, the creamy mouthfeel complementing the beer perfectly. On the other hand, when tested with Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale (a fresh hop IPA), the creaminess completely obscured the hop flavors, taking away the best part of that beer. Not an improvement.
In summary, if you’re a fan of nitrogen-infused beers, look into getting a Sonic Foamer. You won’t be disappointed. The mouthfeel and taste are there, not to mention that it’s just fun to play with! Just be aware that it’s not optimal for every kind of beer, specifically those of the hoppy variety.
9 IPAs For IPA Haters
Ah, the IPA. Hoppy, bitter, intense – like a soulful rabbit. As is the case with wheat beers, opinions of this great beer category are usually pretty polarized. You either love that hop bite, or you scrunch up your nose in disgust. Look, it’s understandable that an onslaught of hop drama can be too much for some people, especially if you’re looking to pair beer with mild food. But what if we were to tell you that IPAs don’t have to be hop-bombs that are so aggressive they make you reach for a glass of water and plead with the brewing gods for mercy? What if were to tell you that IPAs can be remarkably palatable, easy, and food-friendly?
If you’ve had some unfortunate experiences with out of whack, over the top IPAs, don’t worry. We’re here to convince you that actually, you do like IPAs, you just prefer them on the gentler side. While there’s nothing wrong with an ass-kicking beer, if you’re an IPA skeptic we recommend you sip a moderate, balanced brew. Here are nine of the chillest to get you started.
1. Lagunitas IPA
Let’s start with something historic. This IPA has been around since , and twenty years later it still rocks. While you’ll get plenty of hops on the finish, what we love about Lagunitas IPA is the refreshing citrus, the toasted bread palate, and the dash of floral invitation. The body is on the thinner side, which makes Lagunitas easy to gulp without needing a cleansing sip of water. This is the IPA you pour for all of your friends at a gathering because no one will argue about it.
2. Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin
So, besides having an animal themed label that we adore, Grapefruit Sculpin – the twist on Ballast Point’s regular Sculpin IPA, is delicious. Now, this beer is no shandy. In fact, it’s dry as can be. But the addition of grapefruit will ease any IPA hater into the realm of the hop lover. As we mentioned, there’s very little sweetness, but the fruit essence gives this beer the appeal of an unsweetened Arnold Palmer.
3. Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
This IPA is named as such because it has more than sixty hop additions and is boiled for sixty minutes. While Dogfish Head also makes a 90 Minute and a 120 Minute IPA, their 60 Minute IPA is far lower in alcohol and hop intensity. At 6% ABV, this IPA is close to being sessionable while still being full-flavored. This beer has a nice malty nose, which gives way to a grassy palate with a hint of butter, tropical fruit, and earth. The hoppiness is there, but you won’t drown in it.
4. Ithaca Beer Co. Flower Power IPA BEST OVERALL
Have you ever taken someone to your childhood home, looked your mom in the eye, then said with conviction, ‘this is the one?’ Well, that’s the feeling you’ll get when you try this IPA. You didn’t think you could love an IPA? This one is here to change your mind. An intoxicating nose of honey and elderflower seduce you into a sip of this remarkably food friendly beer. You’ll taste bread pudding, dried fruit, and of course, flowers. The mouthfeel is creamy and luscious. Get ready to fall in love.
5. Braven Brewing White IPA
This is a bit of hybrid beer, because it has typical IPA characteristics (grapefruit, hops), but it’s also made with plenty of wheat, giving it the spicy appeal of a witbier. This is a very mild beer, so we’d recommend drinking it solo instead of alongside a heaping plate of food. As Braven is a startup brewery, this guy is only available in New York, but the brewery is looking to expand distribution soon.
6. Westbrook IPA
Solid, bright, and canned (oh, yeah), Westbrook IPA has all the makings of a good time. The nose is a mix of farm fresh fruit and pine, a very intriguing combination. Like 60 Minute IPA, there’s a hint of heavier, more tropical fruits, including pineapple. Lemon, honey, and hops mingle nicely, never vying to K.O. one another. Plus, the crisp body makes this a great food beer. Pair it with lighter barbecue fare like seafood or poultry. This is what your yoga teacher meant when she said “achieve balance.”
7. Bear Republic’s Racer 5 IPA
All hail to California. Wine ain’t the only good thing in Sonoma, it’s also home to this delightful IPA. Brewed with barley and wheat, this IPA is one of the hoppier on this list, but it doesn’t overwhelm you with the pungent sweetness that a lot of IPAs fall prey to. Pine and citrus on the nose give way to an even-keeled IPA that boasts just a hint of malt, like fresh bread crumbs sprinkled over tangy lemon curd. The finish is a little spicy, perfect when you need a kick in the pants.
8. Cigar City Jai Alai
A supreme combination of herbs, caramel sweetness, and ripe fruit, Jai Alai packs complexity into every sip. Unlike some of the IPAs on this list, the body is heavier, a bit similar to an oaked Chardonnay. The hops introduce themselves on the palate, but they won’t assault your tongue. The malt-forward flavors express themselves beautifully, with a smidge of enjoyable oiliness. This is a beer that can stand up to steak, not because of a particularly sharp flavor, but a great textural feel. Plus, two more points for being in a can.
9. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
This beautiful beer has a fragrant, fluffy head (go beer foam) and a vibrant amber color, so it’s definitely a showstopper when it comes to laying out a beautiful spread at a dinner party. This beer is bitter, but it’s not hopped beyond all belief, so you can still enjoy it without wondering ‘oh God, when will this be over.’ In fact, you’ll probably love every sip. Toasted aromas preface an earthy palate, and the finish is warm but still crisp. We also like Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout (which pairs well with Oreos).
The Ultimate Guide to Homebrewing Hard Seltzer
Ok, Ok, Ok, I know there are some purists out there who think this whole Hard Seltzer fad is ridiculous. I know you’re out there because until very recently, I was with you! Don’t get me wrong, something light and refreshing to take to the beach is always a good thing, so I was never a hater, just not a total believer. But now that everybody has a hard seltzer, including some of our favorite craft breweries like Imbib and Heretic , I thought we should at least try this whole thing out.
What I found out was that it is not as easy as it should be! There’s a ton of science happening here, and it’s taken quite a few experimental fermentations to get our Hard Seltzer Kits simplified and tasting great. This week is all about hard seltzer, the surprising amount of science behind it, and how you can make sure that your seltzer ferments, whether you’re brewing 5 gallons or 30 barrels!
The simple answer is pH and available nutrients. If you’ve tried making your own hard seltzer, you know that within a day or two, fermentation just stops. It seems like it’s for no reason until you throw a pH meter on it, then it all makes sense.
In alcoholic fermentation, sugar is broken down to pyruvic acid, and from there broken into ethanol and CO2. With so few nutrients and minerals in a hard seltzer, since it’s really just dextrose and water, the yeast are only capable of making so much ethanol before the pH slams down below the level where they are capable of working. This is because a lower pH literally changes the structure of the amino acids in solution, and the enzymes that they use to break them down are no longer effective. These are the main issues in making a seltzer, so let’s fix them and make some seltzer!!
First and foremost, we need to address the water profile. If you just use your normal tap water or distilled/RO water, fermentation pH is going to drop like an anvil in a Warner Bros cartoon. We have to add some carbonates and bicarbonates to the water profile to counteract the acidic profiles that are going to be created. We started with a high gravity stout kind of profile, a little like Dublin’s water, then pretty much doubled up on CaCO3 and baking soda when it still wasn’t enough!
The trick when building your water is not to get the pH high, but to give the water the minerals that it needs to combat acidic compounds as they are released into solution through fermentation. Your yeast, whatever strain you choose, has no interest in being in a pH that’s higher than 6.0, and prefers to be closer to 4.5 or 4.6. That means that when we build the water, we need to have enough buffer in there so that by the time fermentation is done, we’re sitting around 4.2. This is not only for fermentation, but if you’re too far below that, your seltzer takes on a distinctly tart flavor profile, and might mess up your whole balance.
Our preferred method for this is to start with R.O. water, or distilled, and build everything from the ground up. If you’re savvy with water and water profiling, you can easily build your tap water up to a profile where you’re buff enough to handle this super simple glucose fermentation.
If you are a DIY spirit, like most of us who home brew, here are a few things that we've tried successfully before we landed on the mixture of mineral additions in our BrewWater Yeast kit.
For a fruited Peach seltzer, we tried adding approximately 7 tablespoons total over the course of fermentation, of Burton Water Salts to a 5 gallon batch, which actually made a wonderful, fruited peach seltzer. While this worked out pretty well, fermentation did start and stop and drop pH quite a few times (hence the 4 total additions of Burton salts!), and needs to be re-visited adding in the total amount with the pitch of yeast. The pH ended a little low, but ended up balancing really well with the peach flavor from the Peach Wine Base.
Another, more promising, experiment, was adding in a packet of our BrewWater Water Profile Kit - Malty Stout and High Gravity. Fermentation was pretty consistent, although it still needed a little CaCO3 bump to increase the pH a little to get the last few points down. This one was a fresh lemon lime seltzer that came out fantastic! The fix here was building a similar water profile, again super similar to the Guinness water profile, but adding in some extra baking soda and a little extra calcium chloride to this already robust profile to give it just a little extra pH buffer.
Going into a fermentation with basically nothing available, you need lots of delicious, high quality nutrients to get things started and keep things going. If you’re using our BrewWater Hard Seltzer Water Kit, buffing the water and adding nutrients is all already handled, but let’s explore what kind of nutrients we really need for this kind of fermentation profile for those of you who are a little more DIY and adventurous.
To get started, we need lots of nitrogen. This promotes cell replication and fermentative metabolism. This will give our yeasties the boost that they need to handle multiplying enough to eat all of the sugar that’s in solution.
For this part of the process, we use a little bit of Diammonium Phosphate , commonly known as DAP. This puts available nitrogen directly into solution that the yeast can easily uptake and use to build their mass up and start budding. If you prefer a more organic approach, consider using White Labs Servomyces, which is a more natural nitrogen source, and just as effective, if not more so.
Next we need a full spectrum yeast nutrient that has absolutely everything that the yeast will need during the fermentation, and ‘yeast energizer’ isn’t going to do it! For us, Fermaid O is the way and the path. The ‘O’ stands for organic, and this is one of the cleanest and most comprehensive yeast nutrients available. We’ve had amazing luck on beer, wine, mead and cider with Fermaid O, so it’s a no brainer to use this in something with absolutely nothing to hide behind…. because it’s basically carbonated alcohol water. You can also use Fermaid K, which is Kosher instead of organic, but we've found that Fermaid O lends itself towards helping the yeast produce less sulfur compounds.
Usually, we follow the directions given by the manufacturer and add in the Fermaid at 33% sugar depletion, but we’ve found through testing that in this type of fermentation, it’s best to give the yeast all of the nutrients from the get-go. It seems a little counter-intuitive, especially if you’ve been brewing for a while, but think of it this way: in a seltzer, there’s even less nutrients in solution than with a mead, which is notorious for not having any nutrients in solution.
Basically, we have to set our yeast up the right way, which means we have to add all of the nutrients that we would have otherwise added to solution at the beginning, and make sure that they’re dissolved in before the yeast even have the chance the touch it. Per 5 gallons, start with 20 g of DAP (or 2 servomyces tablets) and 30 g of Fermaid O. That’s been the sweet spot for us, so far.
The only other note on nutrients is that if you don’t add everything at the beginning, some stuff gets left behind, and you can definitely smell it! We had one batch that we did that, before adding flavoring, was like drinking a nice, carbonated batch of Fermaid O! Surprisingly, not as bad as it sounds, but also not great!
Crushing Them With Clarity
The clarity thing is more about patience than anything. If you’ve attempted this type of fermentation already, you know how it comes out. Cloudy, not quite milky, with a little bit of off-color haze. It seems like it will never clear, and you’re pulling off of the keg for weeks when, one day, all of a sudden, you have a clear, perfect seltzer.
For whatever reason, all of this stuff just stays in suspension. Think of it like when you fill a bucket of water from your hot water heater and it’s cloudy from the build up of all of the minerals in the heater. Same concept.
Faster solutions are around, but if you’re not adding an extra additive, then plan on 3 - 4 weeks for natural clarity. As far as faster solutions, these are the two best that we’ve found.
First, our Super Clear Fining Kit seems to be able to clear anything and everything, from stubborn wine and cloudy, pectin-filled ciders to Hazy IPAs. This stuff is pretty unstoppable, even though it says it’s not great for hard water or pectins, because it targets both negative and positive ions in two different stages. This means it runs the gambit on making things stick together, get heavy, and fall out. This stuff is the real deal, and has no problem clearing up your seltzer in about 48 hours!
For a more natural, and maybe more sciency approach, try pitching some White Labs Clarity Ferm when you pitch your BrewWater Hard Seltzer Yeast Kit. This will enzymatically clear everything, especially with a proper crash chill.
Fruits, Flavorings, or All of the Above?
Of course, the answer is all of the above! What we love about using the Fruit Flavorings is they are easy, fast, and you can really come up with some stellar combinations, as seen in our 5 Gallon Hard Seltzer line of recipe kits. These are all high quality and natural flavorings, so no worries about your seltzer tasting fake unless you add too much. You TRULY know the flavor I’m talking about if you’ve been tasting seltzers available on the market! The other benefit of the flavorings is that you want to make a chocolate-banana-marshmellow seltzer, well, you can do that!
The cool thing about adding fresh fruit or puree is that, well, it’s fresh! It’s a little harder to work with, especially if you are bottling your seltzer, but think of adding fruit more like a back-sweetener than something you ferment with. The added sugar in the fruit is what you’ll use to get the fruit flavor (remember, fruit flavors are attached to the fructose in the fruit).
The other fun thing about adding fruit is playing with it and trying to find the proper balance, which I think appeals to the home brewer in all of us!
Update 9.9.20 - A Note on Carbonation
Some of you who keg your seltzer may have noticed that it can be hard to find the balance between properly, almost over carbonated, seltzer and getting it to pour like anything other than a firehouse out of the faucet. A quick tip from one of our customers who makes tons of seltzer using our recipes, is probably the simplest thing ever, and I can't believe I didn't think of it!
He carbs his seltzers fairly high, around 3.3 volumes or so, but found that he got huge head when he poured, and his seltzer wasn't staying as fizzy as he wanted. So all he did was add in a Carbonation Lid! So simple and easy, and the same fix that we've seen used for pouring kegged Cold Brew Coffee!
This is effective because the carbonation lid has a 2 Micron Diffusion Stone attached to an extra Gas-In Post on the lid. This makes sure that all of the CO2 going into solution is in the form of super small bubbles, increasing the surface area of the gas exponentially, and making sure that it gets into solution. Very cool science, and a super simple fix if you've run into this! Also a great tool to have to carbonate just about any fermentation in 24 hours!
Update 10.1.20 - Step by Step Selzter Instructions
We've had tons of emails from our DIY home brewers that want to craft their seltzer with fruits and flavors that they already have on hand, so we wanted to post up some simple step by step instructions for everyone that will work with our BrewSeltzer Kits, or with the sugar, fresh fruit or flavors that you have at home!
Step 1 - Use the Right Yeast!
Of course, the easiest option here is to use the BrewWater - 5 Gallon Hard Seltzer Yeast Kit. This packet already contains everything, including the yeast, that your seltzer needs to rock and roll with minimal effort!
If you want to experiment like we did and figure out your own Seltzer Yeast Kit, remember that you want to use a strain that is already geared towards simple sugar fermentation, like Prise de Mousse or another variant of the Champagne Strain like K1V-1116. These guys are super competitive, ethanol tolerant, and use nutrients efficiently.
Step 2 - Use the Right Nutrients
Traditionally, especially with mead, wine and cider, we will wait until day 2 or 33% sugar depletion to start adding nutrients, but in a seltzer, the yeast need those additions right away. Calculate what your total nutrient additions would be for the complete fermentation, and add all of it at once either when you pitch your yeast, or right before. This will give your yeasties everything they need right off the bat, and encourage them to use all of it so it doesn't linger in the finished product. We prefer Fermaid O and DAP, and use almost 25 g in our yeast kit.
For the sake of the end product and it's overall flavor and clarity, use distilled or reverse osmosis water! The idea here is to find the balance of pH by building your water profile to have plenty of salts and minerals to combat the acidity produced during fermentation, but not have so much that it lingers after fermentation has finished.
Build your water up using a classic Dublin water profile, something high in bicarbonates and calcium, but not so high in TDS (total dissolved solids) that you can taste an off flavor in the finished product and have clarity issues. The idea here is to give plenty of counter-balance to the production of acids and low pH.
You don't necessarily have to boil your water for the sugar addition step, but it makes the sugar go into solution easier. That being said, especially if you are using clean, distilled water and a sanitized stirring utensil, no need to get crazy. Your sugar will go into solution.
For 5.5 gallons of Seltzer at 7% abv, use 6.5 lbs of dextrose, and for 5.5 gallons of 5% abv Seltzer, use 4.5 lbs of dextrose. This is an easy rule of thumb, and ensures that you will come out of fermentation with 5 full gallons of product.
Step 5 - Allow Fermentation To Finish!
Make sure that you give your seltzer 14 full days to finish fermentation and let the yeast clean up after themselves. This is paramount!
Step 6 - Fruits and Flavors
You have tons of options when it comes to fruits and flavors. It's no secret that we love the Fruit Flavor Extracts, but you can also add fresh fruit or fruit purees to fermentation and as a back-sweetener!
For Flavoring Extracts, you'll add the desired amount directly to your keg or bottling bucket, a little at a time until the flavor is where you want. For Fruit Wine Bases, you want to add these during fermentation, and we like to supplement with another flavor extract at packaging.
For Fresh Fruit and Fruit Puree, you can add these either during fermentation, as a back sweetener, or both! Adding at both times will give you the most complex and complete flavor profile for the fruit that you are using, but it's much trickier to bottle with so much extra sugar in solution. Head over to our article, My Fruit Wine is Done Fermenting. Now What, for a full run down on different methods of back sweetening with a more natural sugar.
With everything that's in these seltzers, even though it doesn't seem like much, a good fining agent like Super Clear will do wonders for the finishing clarity. This will not only help it look like the alcoholic water you are trying to make, but also help your finished product taste cleaner and more neutral, bringing out the fruit or flavoring. You can also use Clarity Ferm when you initially pitch your yeast, which will also help everything clear up and give you a nice, clear finished product.
See our Update from 9.9.20 for some awesome tips on carbonating your seltzer! Lots of good trials and information there. Just remember that you want to carb a little heavier than you do on most of your beer or cider, adding a bit of extra carbonic acid to help bring all of the flavors to the forefront of the aroma.
Thank you all for reading, and I hope this helps you with your next hard seltzer! Post any questions you have below, and tell us about your experience making hard seltzer! If you want an easy, seamless seltzer, check out our line of Hard Seltzer Recipe Kits ! Want to make your own, just not sure about the yeast? Grab a pack of BrewWater Hard Seltzer Yeast Kit, and worry about making what you want without having to science the whole thing start to finish!
Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook , Instagram , and Twitter to keep up on fun happenings, news, and more science! Follow us on YouTube at BrewChatterTV for even more fun, info and get to know us a little! Brew On!! .
Update 3.19.21 - New Advanced Seltzer Blog!
If you've gone through this article, but you're ready for the next step, head over to our Advanced Home Brew Hard Seltzer Brewing Techniques! In this article we cover stuck fermentations, elaborate on clarification, and even talk about getting rid of that funky sulphur smell in your finished product! Cheers!
Drinks with little or no alcohol continue to be trendy, and beer is no exception to this. Young adults are more likely to abstain from alcohol than in the past, and they’re not the only ones. Beer brands are working to capitalize on this, with 2019 seeing new offerings from industry giants such as Budweiser and Heineken, as well as the rise of new brands based entirely around alcohol-free beer. This trend will continue to pick up momentum in 2020 with more consumers demanding no- and low-alcohol beers and brewers of all sizes working to meet that demand. Expect to see alcohol-free versions of existing products along with new innovations both big brands and craft brewers in North America and Europe.
It’s debatable whether hard seltzer qualifies as a beer, but you’ll find it at many breweries. It rocketed into popularity last summer with products like White Claw, offering a low-calorie, low-alcohol, affordable beverage that appeals to a lot of today’s drinkers. While a few brands dominated the market in 2019, many craft breweries and other beer companies are creating their own offerings to meet this spike in demand.
Industry experts disagree on whether seltzer has long-term staying power, but for 2020 at least, there will be more new varieties hitting the shelves as brewers capitalize on its popularity and consumers continue to seek out light, low-alcohol beverages.
Ultrasonically Foam Your Beer, If That Appeals to You - Recipes
In addition to the practical benefits, one of the most delicious advantages of having a SodaStream is the ability to make tasty recipes. Rather than limiting yourself a six-pack featuring a single flavor, you can use the machine to make an incredible range of appealing drinks. From beverages featuring healthy ingredients to drinks and desserts suitable for an indulgent night indoors, the following flavorful drinks and treats can perk up your palette all year long.
1. Melon Mint Quench
Enjoy the soothing qualities of mint enhanced with your favorite melon flavor. With its cooling effect on the body, mint can refresh your senses while offering a unique alternative to citrus-type drinks.
- Fresh juice from one large lemon
- 400 grams of your favorite melon (such as seedless watermelon or honeydew)
- 25 fresh mint leaves
- 3 spearmint springs
- 1.0 liter sparkling water
- 30 mL SodaStream Simple Syrup
- Optional: 240 milliliters (mL) vodka
- Prepare the sparkling water by fizzing 1.0 liter of sparkling water in your SodaStream.
- Slice melon into desired shape and size. (Consider using a vegetable cutter to achieve unique and attractive shapes.)
- Combine sparkling water, lemon juice, simple syrup, and melon (as well as vodka if desired).
- Add mint leaves and springs. Stir thoroughly.
- Serve over ice and enjoy.
2. Kombucha Apple Seltzer
Kombucha is a fermented tea tonic that has soared in popularity in recent years. Often considered a functional food, many health enthusiasts drink kombucha for its probiotic benefits. Instead of purchasing small servings of kombucha at a health food store, however, you can make your own refreshing kombucha drinks at home.
- 5.0 ounces of kombucha
- 10 fresh mint leaves
- 1.0 liter sparkling water
- Two fresh apples
- Prepare the sparkling water by fizzing 1.0 liter of filtered water in your SodaStream.
- Slice apples into desired shape and size. (Consider using a fruit cutter to create unique and attractive apple shapes.)
- Combine ice, sparkling water, fresh mint leaves, and kombucha into a glass.
- Pour sparkling over the kombucha mixture.
- Garnish with apple slices. Serve immediately and enjoy.
3. Classic Raspberry Lemonade
Raspberries are among the most popular kinds of fruit added to old-fashioned lemonade. This fresh take on a classic recipe is a great way to sparkle and sweeten one of the most beloved drinks of all time. Whether you want to host a lemonade stand or serve something different with lunch and dinner, it does not get much better than sipping on this blend.
- 12 ounces of raspberries
- 60 mL of old-fashioned lemonade syrup
- Five springs of fresh thyme
- 1.0 liter sparkling water
- 12 ounces of NON-carbonated water
- Lemon slices for garnish
- Ice cubes
- Heat raspberries and non-carbonated water to make the fruit tender and enable the seeds to easily separate.
- While fruit is still hot, place in a metal sieve and mash gently with a small potato-masher to extract the juice. Set the juice aside for later and discard the seeds.
- Prepare the sparkling water by fizzing 1.0 liter of filtered water in your SodaStream.
- In four separate rocks glasses, combine ice cubes, a teaspoon of raspberry juice, 15 mL of lemonade syrup.
- Top each glass with 125 mL of sparkling water. Garnish with lemon slices and enjoy.
4. Organic Strawberry Milkshake
What can be better than the quintessential fruit milkshake? As one of the most nostalgic beverages around, the milkshake is a great as a stand-alone drink or dessert. Strawberry is one of the three “original” milkshake flavors, and the fact that this drink is organic means that you can enjoy your treat guilt-free. Take a trip down memory lane or create new pastimes to enjoy with this strawberry shake.
- 2.0 pounds of very ripe organic strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 3.0 cups of cold water
- 2.0 cups of white sugar
- 250 mL sparkling water
- Organic vanilla ice cream
- To prepare organic strawberry syrup, place strawberries and cold water into saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir, reduce heat, and simmer until strawberries are soft.
- Strain strawberry juice into a second saucepan using a fine mesh strainer. Discard pulp.
- Stir white sugar into until it dissolves. Bring the juice mixture back to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for a final five minutes. Skim any excess foam off the top of the syrup. Turn off heat and let cool the syrup cool to room temperature.
- Pour syrup into a lidded container and refrigerate until cold.
- To make the organic milkshake, combine one-part syrup to five-parts milk.
- Pour the syrup-milk mixture into a blender. Add ice cream and top with chocolate syrup OR sparkling water as desired. Blend.
- Divide finished milkshake into four glass milk-bottles. Garnish with a whole strawberry and red-and-white striped straw. Enjoy.
5. “Life of the Party” Punch
Party punch is an instant way to make any gathering feel welcoming and authentic. Whether you are hosting a holiday get-together, lounging outdoors, or planning an epic house party, this punch can help ensure that everyone has a good time. You can prepare this punch with or without alcohol along with other party foods.
- Six limes, peeled and diced
- 7.0 ounces of red currants
- 7.0 ounces of raspberries
- 7.0 ounces of blueberries
- 20 teaspoons of granulated sugar
- 1.0 ounce of SodaStream Berry Mix Flavor
- SodaStream sparkling water
- Crushed ice
- Optional: One bottle of sugar cane rum and 3.5 ounces of orange-flavored liqueur
- Place the limes and half of the fruit ingredients into a large, glass punch bowl. Crush these ingredients against the side of the glass using a muddler. Let sit for five minutes.
- After the five minutes, add the sugar and Berry Mix Flavor into the punch bowl. Add the rum and liqueur if desired. Stir well.
- Fill the bowl with crushed ice and top with sparkling water. Add the rest of the berries and stir gently.
- Garnish with lime slices and enjoy!
- Bonus Tip: For winter holidays, try using cranberries and blackberries (instead of raspberries and blueberries) along with orange or clementine slices (instead of lime) as a special treat.
6. Ginger Peachy Cocktail
For many chefs, ginger and peaches make the perfect culinary match. Ginger can enhance the plush flavor of peaches while offering antioxidant benefits to boot. You can also add optional alcohol to this blend to create a true cocktail worth celebrating.
- One peach, sliced and pitted
- One nectarine, sliced and pitted
- Six basil leaves
- 30 mL lemon juice
- SodaStream sparkling water
- 1.0 cup brown sugar
- 1.0 cup white sugar
- 7.0 ounces of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced (Note: Removing the hard exterior will result in approximately 4.0 ounces of sliced ginger)
- 4.0 teaspoons of whole Allspice mix (with cardamom pods, peppercorns, and anise pods)
- 2.0 cups of NON-carbonated water
- Optional: 45 mL of gin
- To make sweet ginger syrup, combine non-carbonated water, white sugar, brown sugar, and sliced ginger into a small pot.
- In a separate saucepan, toast the Allspice until it begins to brown and become fragrant. Add the toasted Allspice to the ginger-sugar water mixture.
- Bring mixture to a simmer and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let the ingredients steep into water until cool.
- Use a metal strainer to remove solid ingredients. Discard the solid mash. Refrigerate the ginger syrup until cold.
- To make the ginger-peach cocktail, combine peach slices, nectarine slices, and basil leaves with lemon juice and muddle inside clean serving glasses.
- Add ginger syrup and optional gin to each glass, then top with sparkling water.
- Garnish with an extra peach slice and basil leaves. Serve immediately and enjoy.
Bonus Tip: For a quick alternative to cola, combine 2.0 tablespoons of ginger syrup with 12 ounces of sparkling water for a refreshing glass of homemade ginger ale.
7. Old-Fashioned Root Beer Float
One of the main benefits of owning a SodaStream is the ability to make old-fashioned treats with ease. This root-beer float recipe transports your senses back to a classic American diner or dive. Whether you want a midday treat or a fun idea for sleepovers and gatherings, try this recipe to enjoy ice cream and soda the old-fashioned way.
Frozen Dark Stout Beer Float with Ice Cream
- 1.5 cups brown sugar
- 1.0 ounce sarsaparilla root
- 1.0 ounce sassafras root
- 0.5 ounce licorice root
- 0.5 ounce burdock root
- 0.5 ounce dandelion root
- 0.5 ounce juniper berries
- 2.0 quarts of NON-carbonated water
- 0.5 cup plain milk
- Vanilla ice cream
- SodaStream sparkling water
- Optional: Whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and chocolate shavings or sprinkles for garnish
- In a small pot, combine non-carbonated water, roots, and berries. Bring the mixture to boil, then reduce to simmer. Let the roots and berries steep for at least one hour (longer for stronger root beer flavor).
- After steeping, add brown sugar. Stir to dissolve.
- Allow the mixture to cool and then strain into a lidded container. Discard boiled mash. Refrigerate the herb-syrup mix until cold.
- To make the root beer, combine about 1.5 cups of herb-syrup mix with carbonated water.
- To prepare floats, divide milk into two 16-ounce glasses.
- Add two scoops of vanilla ice cream to each glass, then pour in homemade root beer.
- Top with whipped cream and optional cherries or other garnish.
8. Cherry Cola Popsicle
Make the perfect frozen treat with the complementary flavors of cherry and dark cola. This recipe allows you to make a dessert or snack with out the worry of excess preservatives. Whether you need to cool off on a warm day or need a quick alternative to ice cream, it is hard to beat the appeal of the classic cherry-cola Popsicle.
- 150 mL SodaPress Organic Blond Cola
- 500 mL filtered water
- 2.0 cups of frozen, pitted cherries (defrost before using)
- Eight Popsicle molds and sticks
- Using a high-speed blender, blend cherries until smooth.
- Pour in SodaPress cola and water. Stir.
- Pour cherry-cola mixture into Popsicle molds.
- Place in freeze until semi-frozen. Add Popsicle sticks and continue freezing overnight.
- When ready to serve, hold Popsicle molds until warm running water for easy release. Serve immediately and enjoy.
9. Watermelon Wonder Fizz
While watermelon and lime make a naturally tasty combination for snacks and candies, many people find it hard to imagine enjoying watermelon juice from scratch. Thanks to the SodaStream, however, enjoying the refreshing benefits of watermelon juice has never been easier. This fizzy drink is a delectably sweet-and-sour combo that you will want to enjoy at any gathering.
- 16 cups of seedless watermelon
- 1.0 liter sparkling water
- 60 mL SodaStream Simple Syrup
- 1.0 cup blueberries
- 1.0 cup strawberries, sliced
- One lime
- Prepare the sparkling water by fizzing 1.0 liter of filtered water in your SodaStream.
- Cut watermelon into chunks. Using a blender, puree the watermelon in batches. With a mesh strainer or cheesecloth, extract all watermelon juice into a pitcher. Discard any solid pulp.
- Add syrup and the juice of one lime to the pitcher. Top with sparkling water.
- To serve the fizz, pour over ice and top each glass with a few berries. Enjoy.
10. Tropical Passion Fruit Mocktail
What says “escape from the ordinary” better than a tropical getaway? While most of us cannot jet-set to an exotic isle on a daily basis, the SodaStream enables us to enjoy tropical flavors anytime we wish. With its striking blend of sweet and colorful fruit, this drink is the perfect way to sweep your senses into bliss.
- Whole passion fruit, halved
- One lime, sliced
- Six fresh strawberries
- Six mint leaves
- Pineapple slices or chunks
- 1.0 tablespoon agave syrup
- SodaStream sparkling water
- Optional: Coconut shavings for garnish
- In a large cocktail glass, muddle half of the passion fruit and four slices of lime. After muddling, Add the agave syrup and three mint leaves. Stir well.
- Using a blender, combine strawberries and ice to produce a crushed mixture. Add the crush to the cocktail glass and then top with sparkling water.
- Finish the drink by topping with remaining passion fruit, mint leaves, and pineapples. Garnish with coconut if desired and enjoy.
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Ultrasonically Foam Your Beer, If That Appeals to You - Recipes
Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Pale Ale shone with a coppery body in my glass. An ample head of caramel-white foam sat thick and creamy above, while aromas of 12 grain bread, earth and citrus danced in the air. I had just removed the pimentos from three dark green olives, and prepared to plunge my naked olives into the effervescent liquid.
When I initially heard olives in beer was a common practice in the Midwestern part of the USA, tiny hairs stood up on the back of my neck. That bittersweet malty profile, violated by a Pit Junkie! I reasoned that the producers of tasteless macro-lagers had removed so much character from the common lager that olives, undoubtedly, added flavor. Nevertheless, I was curious about the effects, especially when using a full-flavored beer.
The olive is a fruit, structured the same as coffee, peach, mango, date or coconut. An inner pit that holds a seed is surrounded by fleshy pulp. This type of fruit is known as a “drupeEor stonefruit. Most fruit of this type has pulp saturated with water, but olive pulp is rich in oil. When picked directly from the tree, olives have an extremely bitter profile that must be altered if they are to become a palatable part of the gustatory experience.
In the first stage, they are cured by soaking in a solution of water, vinegar, or food-grade lye (followed by a three-day regimen of soaking in water to negate the harmful, caustic agents in the lye). Olives may also be cured using the dry method of covering with salt. After 4-6 weeks of curing (less with the lye-method), a fermentation process may follow in a mother brine of vinegar, brine, oil, or similar liquid, infused with herbs and spices. “Is this so different from beer?EI thought.
Green olives and black olives come from the same tree, but are picked at different stages. Pale green to dark green olives have a sharper flavor. As they darken from purple to black, the mellower profile emerges in a soft and savory presence.
Whether you place olives in martinis or beer, the flavor profile of the liquid will be slightly altered due to the natural salts and oils in the fruit. English Pale Ale draws its characteristic complexities from burtonized water Ewater with ions similar to that found at Burton-on-Trent. This water is rich in calcium, sulfates, magnesium, sodium, and chloride. With the addition of olives, the chemical profile may be enhanced by the brine that has percolated into the olives during common processing. A small amount of olive oil is often used by brewers to give yeast unsaturated fatty acids to feed on, rather than introducing oxygen into beer that can cause flavors of wet cardboard or old sherry. With that in mind, it almost seems normal to throw a few olives into the finished beer.
In addition to the slight flavor enhancement, olives add an entertainment value. Olives may seem heavy, but because beer is carbonated, bubbles adhere to the surface of the olives as they lay in the bottom of the glass. When a sufficient army of air accumulates on the olives, they act like mini-helium balloons and carry the olive to the surface of the beer. As the olives come in contact with your upper lip, the bubbles are interrupted, and the olives tumble to the bottom of the glass until they have attracted yet another swarm of airy bubbles.
If the idea of entertainment and flavor alteration has little appeal to you, you may wish to nosh on your olives as a tapas treat, paired with beer. Labneh, a Middle Eastern cheese with a yogurt base, pairs well with olives and Weissbier, Strong Belgian Ales, or Herb/Vegetable Beers. You may also wish to stock your shelves with E. Waldo Ward’s Imported Beer Olives, an unpitted variety flavored with beer.
For your creative moments, save room for a beer martini, complete with olive garnish. I would recommend that you choose an American or English Pale Ale. India Pale Ales are also ideal for this fine libation. Good choices would be Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Ale, Ipswich Original Ale, Meantime India Pale Ale, Three Floyd's Blackheart, Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale, Two Hearted Ale, or Hop Rod Rye. Take care to select one that has a slight fruity profile with firm bitterness. Avoid using a lager, because the flavors are less pronounced and will not blend as well.
Into a cocktail shaker pour: 1 oz. of pale ale and 3 oz. of gin. Add ice cubes, shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with two pierced olives on a cocktail pick. You may prefer to stir with your finger rather than shaking. For a two-person serving (or a big thirst), use 2 oz. of pale ale and 4-6 oz. of gin.
Content copyright © 2021 by Carolyn Smagalski. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Carolyn Smagalski. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Carolyn Smagalski for details.
Fine beer is enjoying a renaissance worldwide, from international classics to American micro-brews, and demand for truly great beer is on the rise. The icons of style hail from great European brewing traditions, like those of Belgium and Germany.
Up-and-coming brewers in the “New World” are pushing the envelope too, dreaming up new categories and making world-class beers in their own right.
The finest brews range widely in color from straw gold to chocolate brown, but share tremendous flavor impact and a lingering, food-friendly finish. Most are strong ales that deliver heaping helpings of malty goodness and snappy hop bitterness. All are full-bodied sipping beers that invite good company and contemplation. For best results, serve in a snifter, goblet or stemmed wine glass at no colder than 50º F.
Be sure you also check out this Complete Guide to Beer for even more delicious brews.
> The selections are presented in alphabetical order.
1. Abtsolution Dark Belgian Ale
Origin: Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium
Beer type: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Price: $17.50 for 750 ml.
Brewed by: De Proefbrouwerij
The name is a play on the word absolution, a word meaning the formal forgiveness of sins the extra letter “t” is for the Abt abbreviation for Belgian quadruple dark ale, a style known for its deep fruity notes.
Although it’s brewed and bottled at De Proefbrouwerij in Belgium, this collaboration between Belgian brewer Dirk Naudts of De Proefbrouwerij and Daniel Carey of the Wisconsin-based New Glarus Brewing uses American ingredients: Santiam and Chinook hops, which add pine and spice notes, and lactose derived from local Wisconsin cows to impart extra mouthfeel and sweetness. The beer is aged in both French and American oak, which lends a complexity and velvety smooth palate. This ale can be enjoyed now, but if you have the patience to wait, it will evolve beautifully over the next one to two years.
2. Alesmith Speedway Stout
Origin: San Diego, CA, USA
Beer type: American Double, Stout
Price: $12 for 750 ml.
Brewed by: Alesmith Brewing Company
This modern classic has been produced by the San Diego-based AleSmith Brewing Company since 2002.
Made year round, this 12% ABV behemoth pours a deep black with a tan head and an aroma of bitter coffee and roasted nuts. This beer offers the best of two tasting experiences. When sipped cold, fresh out of the fridge, a malty sweetness with toffee and caramel notes dominates. As it warms, the flavor transforms into a richness of bitter dark chocolate and roasted malt with a generous dose of locally-roasted coffee from Ryan Brothers Coffee. This beer’s robust mouthfeel and enduring bitter chocolate aftertaste make it quite food friendly, or a wonderful dessert to sip after a meal.
3. Bourbon Street Old Fashioned Pale Ale
Origin: Covington, LA, USA
Beer type: American Pale Ale
Price: $11 for 22 oz.
Brewed by: Abita Brewing Company
Is it a cocktail as a beer? Or beer as a cocktail? Either way, this Louisiana-made brew is made for sipping.
Inspired by the classic Old Fashioned cocktail, this unique creation from Abita Brewing Company is brewed with malted barley and rye, then aged four months in bourbon barrels that have previously aged small-batch whiskey. After aging, the same ingredients you would find in the cocktail are added to the mix — fresh orange peel, maraschino cherries and aromatic bitters. Just as you would sip a cocktail to appreciate its savory notes, this brew at 9.25% ABV is definitely one to enjoy slowly.
4. Deschutes Pinot Suave
Origin: Bend, OR, USA
Beer type: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Price: $17 for 22 oz.
Brewed by: Deschutes Brewery
Part of the Bend, Oregon-based Deschutes Brewery’s Reserve Series, this unique Belgian-style ale is a prime example of melding beer and wine.
Its 11.2% ABV is in the average range of a wine’s alcohol content and it’s aged for 18 months in French oak Pinot Noir barrels that contain Pinot grape must (the freshly-pressed juice that includes the skins and seeds). Other ingredients include malted wheat, flaked oats, black barley and U.S. Tettnang and Crystal hops. The result is a slightly sour beer that brings complexity with notes of dried fruit, berries, tannins and acidity along with hints of tropical fruit and spice from the Belgian yeast. This brew will appeal to lovers of fermented grapes as well as those who prefer fermented barley. And like a fine wine, it can be enjoyed now or cellared to enjoy years later.
5. Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron
Origin: Milton, DE, USA
Beer type: Brown Ale
Price: $17 for four-pack 12 oz.
Brewed by: Dogfish Head
First crafted at Dogfish Head’s Rehoboth Beach brewpub in 2006, Palo Santo Marron was such a big hit that it was bottled the next year.
This unfiltered ale spends three weeks in a stainless steel fermenter before being transferred to a massive 10,000-gallon tank handmade from Paraguayan Palo Santo wood. It’s the largest brewing vessel built in America since pre-Prohibition days, and cost an estimated $140,000 to build. Although Palo Santo Marron is labeled a brown ale, it’s almost black in appearance, and the tan head gives the impression of a stout. That is, until you take your first sip. Fermented with Sucanat, an all-natural whole-cane sugar sourced in Costa Rica, the beer boasts a bold, molasses-like sweetness with plenty of vanilla and caramel compliments of the exotic wood. Complex flavors of bitter dark chocolate also shine through, making this a sipper that satisfies both dark beer fans and those who like to drink their dessert.
6. Firestone Walker Stickee Monkee
Origin: Paso Robles, CA, USA
Beer type: Quadrupel
Price: $17 for 22 oz.
Brewed by: Firestone Walker Brewing Company
Since its inception in 1996, Firestone Walker has specialized in fermenting beer in oak barrels.
The brewery stays true to its roots with this version, aged for more than a year in Woodford Reserve, Elijah Craig and Four Roses bourbon casks. It calls this strong ale a “Central Coast quad” thanks to the California twist it undergoes before bottling. That is, the brewery blends Mexican turbinado brown sugar and Belgian candi sugar to contribute to the beer’s caramelized character. The Stickee Monkee moniker is a nod to the Belgian monks who pioneered the Quadrupel style, as well as the Sticky Monkey flower that is native to California’s Central Coast. There is also a sticky sweetness to the ale’s taste, which is counterbalanced by the bourbon and oak astringency, along with hints of leather and rich cigar tobacco. This one-of-a-kind sipping beer will age well if you can resist the urge to pop the cap.
7. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
Origin: Chicago, IL, USA
Beer type: American Double, Stout
Price: $20 for four-pack 12 oz.
Brewed by: Goose Island Beer Company
Originally released in 1992 to commemorate Goose Island’s 1,000th batch of brew, this imperial stout is widely considered to be the first mass-marketed beer to be aged in bourbon barrels.
Over the years, Goose Island Bourbon County Stout has garnered a cult following — it’s released annually on Black Friday when true aficionados skip the department store lines and instead head to their favorite craft beer store. Its opaque black appearance and thick foam head are joined with an intense aroma that is a mix of charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and smoke. At 14.4 percent ABV, it certainly qualifies as a sipping beer. The stout pours rich, thick and chewy, and must be savored slowly in order to appreciate its complex flavors of sweet chocolate, roasted malt, dark fruits and pronounced bourbon.
8. Great Lakes Eliot Ness Amber Lager
Origin: Cleveland, OH, USA
Beer type: American Amber Lager
Price: $9.99 for six-pack 12 oz
Brewed by: Great Lakes Brewing Co.
As the seasons change and a chill creeps into the air, we begin to crave the rich color and flavor of amber beers.
Inspired by the classic Vienna style of lager, Great Lakes incorporates both nutty Munich and sweet Caramel malts into this smooth brew that combines craft ale complexity with pilsner-like refreshment. Brassy in color, its honeyed multi-grain toast scent is lifted with a pinch of peppery Hallertau hops. Named for the ‘noble do-gooder’ who pursued Al Capone, Eliot Ness is a gem of a lager — a simple, honest beer of substance that sure gets the job done.
9. Gulden Draak
Origin: Evergem, Belgium
Beer type: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Price: $5 for 11.2 oz.
Gulden Draak is Flemish for “golden dragon,” and this dark tripel is named for the large golden statue that has stood atop the Ghent Belfry since 1382, just ten miles from the Brouwerij Van Steenberge brewery.
While most Belgian tripels are light in color, the Munich malt used in this ale results in a dark brown appearance. As the 10.5 percent ABV leads to a natural malt caramel and toffee-like sweetness, it’s considered to go best with dessert, or as a standalone liquid sweet treat. The bottle’s distinctive wide shape allows for natural refermentation to take place in the bottle, which also contributes to a creamy head. The centuries-old brewers’ yeast adds a full body and complex aftertaste, leading to repeated satisfying sipping. Brouwerij Van Steenberge recommends replacing the whiskey in an Irish coffee with Gulden Draak to make a unique Belgian-style version.
10. Ommegang Gnomegang
Origin: Cooperstown, NY, USA
Beer type: Belgian Strong Golden Ale
Price: $17 for 750 ml.
Brewed by: Brewery Ommegang
This blonde ale is made in Cooperstown, New York, but it’s inspired by the centuries-old brewing practices of Belgian Trappist monks.
Gnomegang incorporates the fruity, spicy yeast of the Belgian Brasserie d’Achouffe and is bottle conditioned with Ommegang yeast. The playful label depicts two chouffes (magical gnomes from Brasserie d’Achouffe) drinking a toast. Flavors of fruity esters, clove and spice from the Belgian yeast are balanced by hop bitterness and an effervescence that manages to hide the 9.5% ABV alcohol strength. After swallowing there’s more enjoyment with a lingering dry, slightly sweet aftertaste.
Can We Drink Beer In A Steel Glass? The Reason Behind
We see beer everywhere, in the movies, on the television and especially in real life. No matter what setting, they are always served in transparent glasses, whatever the shape. How about stainless steel vessels? Are they also qualified to hold such a delicate beverage? Apparently, no, and here’s why.
However, before you go further, here’s our thank you for checking out this article: free samples ! Be sure to check out our free VIP club to avail of our exclusive rebate program.
There are stainless steel beer mugs in existence, yes, they keep the beer cold longer and yes, technically, you can drink beer from them because they are containers that can hold liquid, but it doesn’t mean that you should drink beer from them. Beer is a unique beverage, in a way that it affects almost all the senses. Serving beer in a stainless steel glass deprives perhaps the most important sense, the sight.
Getting a good look at your beer has a huge impact on how it’s going to taste. Being able to see that golden or dark hue with the majestic and velvety foam on top greatly affects the drinking experience. Serving beer in stainless steel mugs denies the drinker from this opportunity. And for what? For keeping the beer cold longer? It doesn’t seem like a worthy choice, to sacrifice the chance to see your beer just so it can keep a low temperature.
Truth be told, stainless steel mugs are not harmful to the drinker or to the beer. In fact, beer is brewed using equipment made from stainless steel. But, brewing is different from drinking. Stainless steel is used for brewing beer because it doesn’t add any unusual flavors and scents to the beer. But, when you are drinking from a stainless steel mug, your nose gets in close proximity to the stainless steel vessel, allowing you to take a whiff of metal. Smell and taste go hand in hand, when you smell that metallic container, you would also seem to taste like your beer is metallic which can be unpleasant.
Stainless steel is different from pewter but the latter is known to hold beer. While reminiscent of beer tankards that used to hold beer in the old days, pewter mugs may pose some hazard to the health as they contain lead. Nowadays, pewter mugs are developed to be lead-free and are said to be safe. They tend to be expensive though, so beer glasses still have the upper hand.
We eat or drink first with our eyes. But, the only thing we see with beer served in a stainless steel mug is the peeping head or foam that will soon deflate and the gray outer surface of the mug that blocks the supposedly awesome view of the beer’s color. There are numerous shapes of beer glasses that play a particular role to each type of beer. And a stainless steel mug or glass doesn’t offer much shape and design and doesn’t give the same appeal as the glass ones. Beer glasses made from glass have also been the norm since it evolved from the tankard, so it may be difficult to drink beer from a different vessel other than the ones that are already perfect for it.
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10 Great Aged Bourbons and Ryes to Look For
Whiskey producers are always looking for the next new thing, which sometimes happens to be an old thing: Extra-aged whiskey is having a moment.
“When I got into the business 20 years ago, I would go to Kentucky for holidays, and I knew there was all this old bourbon being blended into four-year-old whiskey or evaporating into nothing,” says Trey Zoeller, founder of Jefferson’s Bourbon. “Back then, there wasn’t much appetite at all for it.”
Times have changed and more brands sell old whiskey than ever. But many of them are sourcing inventory from established distilleries, so a ready supply is becoming tougher to come by. “Demand has grown so dramatically you have to look hard and far to find it,” says Roy Danis, CEO of Clyde May’s Whiskey. “But it’s out there.” With that bit of encouragement, we searched high and low for 10 exciting aged bourbon and rye bottles to recommend. (Nota bene: Some of these bottles are expensive. Like, insanely expensive. The rarest bourbons are in high demand, people!)
If you’ve ever played regular Jenga before then you know that this game is all about anticipation. The tension builds with the removal of each piece. As the structural integrity of the tower decreases in stability, the adrenaline coursing through your veins increases until finally the laws of physics and your senses become overwhelmed, and the tower crumbles to the ground in an instant. Now apply that release to a much larger scale and you have yourself an outdoor game for the ages.