Hop on board this epic Philadelphia-wide pub crawl to experience the best in craft beers (and let someone else do the driving)
Looking for a way to celebrate the milder temperatures and sunshine this weekend? There are still tickets available for the Craft Beer Express — the semi annual pub crawl, where Philly’s thirstiest beer lovers pile into school buses and plunder the finest pints found in all four corners of town. A $10 ticket buys you a spot on the bus for as long as you’d like it — if a particular pub suits your fancy, feel free to settle into a barstool or booth and let the mobile party cruise on without you. Buses run every 25 minutes, so you can always hop back into the fray whenever the mood strikes!
The participating bars are offering specials all along the way. The Express starts at Kraftwerk in Fishtown at 11 a.m., where beers from Illinios’ Two Brothers Brewing will be pouring, including a gluten free Golden Ale. Johnny Brenda’s will be rocking a wide variety of stouts, and The Institute is holding the 4th Annual "Banging Barley Wine Bonanza." Next, the tour heads out to Fairmount, with stops at The Bishop’s Collar (featuring a tap takeover by Shangy’s), and Kite & Key, where a number of brews by the always-stellar Firestone Walker will be ready for imbibing. After a quick detour to Jose Pistola’s in Center City, the Express will veer southward, stopping first at The Sidecar Bar, where hoppy IPAs will have the spotlight. The Pub on Passyunk East, always a raucous stop on the tour, will have a dozen oak barrel-aged beers ready to pack an extra boozy punch. Devil’s Den has got beers from the mid-Atlantic, and Brauaus Schmitz on South Street will be in the midst of Starkbierfest, a 12-tap ode to bocks. Finally, if you make it as far, it’s "Lights Out" at the Race Street Café in Old City, where they’ll be bidding adieu to winter’s dark beers, and you’ll be saying farewell to an excellent beer-soaked Saturday.
For more detail on these tap lists, as well as info on where and how to buy tickets, see the Craft Beer Express website.
Wildermiss from UMS
December 4, 2018
Wild Basin Offers Contemporary Flavor Profiles at 100 Calories, 0g of Sugar, 1g of Carbs
LONGMONT, Colo. (December 4, 2018) – Building on their long history of innovation, Oskar Blues Brewery is set to launch the first national craft hard seltzer with Wild Basin Boozy Sparkling Water. Crafted and canned at Oskar Blues’ Longmont, CO, facility, Wild Basin utilizes water from the St. Vrain River to create a liquid as clean and pure as its Rocky Mountain origin.
As the tagline “Keep Running Wild” implies, Wild Basin will speak to active lifestyle consumers who value the outdoors, socializing with friends and healthier living. From outdoor yoga to rooftop happy hours, Wild Basin will provide drinkers with a tasty alternative to wine and spirits. The hard seltzer segment has exploded over the last year and shows not sign of slowing down. But unlike other recent fads, Oskar Blues believes that hard seltzer – or boozy sparkling water as they put it – is here to stay.
“The response from both distributors and retailers so far has been tremendous,” said CANarchy President Matt Fraser. “We’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that we have product in warehouses and on shelves.” To that end, Oskar Blues is making a significant investment in new canning and packaging lines that are able to handle sleek cans at volume.
In terms of nutritional credentials, Wild Basin (5% ABV) checks in at a compelling 100 calories with 0g of sugar and only 1g of carbs. Additionally, the boozy sparkling water is gluten free, contains no artificial ingredients and uses only natural flavors.
From a flavor standpoint, Wild Basin takes a contemporary approach with profiles that are designed to resonate with younger drinkers who seek new, culinary combinations. From Cucumber Peach to Melon Basil and even Lemon Agave Hibiscus, Wild Basin will intrigue consumers and mixologists alike. Additionally, Classic Lime offers a familiar, refreshing option in the mixed-flavor variety pack.
Packaging is also a core differentiator for the brand. The colorful cans are intended to grab shoppers’ attention and evoke the natural beauty of the mountain landscape that inspired the brand. In a category that is predominately white in color, Wild Basin will defy convention with artwork that is bold, vibrant and eye-catching.
Oskar Blues will donate $1 per case to their charitable partner, The Can’d Aid Foundation, in support of river preservation initiatives and other forms of people-powered do-goodery. Through various digital channels, consumers will be able to track in real time how much money has been donated and see exactly how their contributions will be used.
“Wild Basin is unique in that it challenges some existing category conventions,” said Oskar Blues CMO Patrick Daugherty. “Our goal is to introduce something that can help grow the category and give drinkers a true craft option in hard seltzer.”
Food And Liquor Soaking Pairs That Make Perfect Boozy Treats
You haven't lived until you've had green apples soaked in caramel vodka!
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While I definitely consider myself a picky eater, I have never shied away from the suggestion of soaking pretty much anything in alcohol in an attempt to make a boozy treat. All the fruits. All the candy. I am not, however, very creative and tend to stick with the same type of alcohol for the, er, experiments.
Times are a changin’, though, my friends, and it’s all thanks to this brilliant chart by Delish that shows 10 different foods and the best type of alcohol to soak them in. No more gummy bears soaked in plain old tequila for this girl, from here on out it is all Twizzlers marinated in kiwi-strawberry vodka.
Delish helpfully posted the chart on their Facebook page, where it has become quite popular (I mean, duh). It’s racked up more than 64,000 shares, 26,000 reactions and 10,000 comments!
Take a look at their suggestions below and then please feel free to join me in trying all the recipes. Right. Now.
Watermelon and tequila? Green apples and caramel vodka?! Did I mention this is brilliant?
Delish says if you like piña coladas (and getting lost in the rain … ?), then the pineapple soaked in coconut rum is perfect for you. And if you’ve ever had moonshine cherries, obviously, cherries in spiced rum will be right up your alley. You also can’t go wrong with the double-watermelon taste of watermelon gummies with watermelon pucker (hello, summer!) or strawberries with whipped cream vodka!
Have you come up with any liquor-soaked concoctions that aren’t on the chart?
Book A Trip
If you’re interested in trying out the experience for yourself, you can do submit your information at the Durango Train website. Ticket prices range from $109-$169.
Don’t worry if you’re not able to make it to Colorado for the Brew Train experience. The Durango train company also offers a Wine & Rails ride (which also has a waiting list for 2019), as well as a Polar Express Train Ride that showcases the magic of Christmas during the holiday season. So whether you’re traveling solo, with friends or with the whole family, there’s a Colorado adventure waiting for you!
If you happen to live in the northeast area and can’t make it to Colorado, Amtrak also offers fall foliage views in a train ride that travels from Albany, New York, across the Canadian border to Montreal.
The Mind Eraser is a fun drink that hails from the decade of so many other fun drinks: the 1980s. Combining vodka, coffee liqueur and sparkling water, it’s essentially a Black Russian with bubbles. And over the decades, it’s become a popular option for bar patrons seeking a boozy cocktail with a caffeinated kick.
The Black Russian was created in the late 1940s in Brussels, and since the drink’s inception, it has spawned numerous variations. That includes the White Russian, which adds cream to the combination of vodka and coffee liqueur. Those two base ingredients are topped with a splash of club soda, which adds a vein of effervescence throughout the drink, in the case of the Mind Eraser. And while the Black Russian sees a two-to-one mix of vodka and liqueur, the Mind Eraser is even easier to remember, calling for equal parts of the two liquids.
The cocktail can be made directly in the glass rather than shaken with ice. You can build it in any order you please, but many bartenders choose to make the Mind Eraser as a layered drink, in which each ingredient is stacked in the glass. To follow suit, start with the coffee liqueur, then slowly add the vodka followed by the club soda for a dark-to-clear effect from the bottom up. When consumed with a straw, you imbibe the liquids in order, tasting each layer as you down the drink.
No, the Mind Eraser won’t delete your intellect and memories, but it’s a potent cocktail. Have one or two, and the cares of the day will disappear. Drink too many too quickly, and you might enter a self-fulfilling prophecy—in which the cocktail lives up to its name.
McMenamins Roseburg Station Pub & Brewery | Roseburg, Oregon
McMenamins operates dozens of brewpubs and boutique inns around Oregon, but their Roseburg Station location in the small town of Roseburg in the southwest region of the state will be of most interest to rail fans. The brewery and restaurant is housed inside a former Southern Pacific rail station built in 1912 that has been lovingly restored to its former glory.
The taproom station features the original vaulted, 16-foot ceiling, tongue-and-groove fir wainscoting and marble molding. Pictures of the town’s railroad history cover the walls. You can even download a PDF tour guide for the photos and a written history of the town’s railroading past before you go.
An outdoor patio provides a peaceful setting to enjoy the brewery’s beers, like Terminator Stout or 33rd State IPA. At least, it’s peaceful most of the time. As the brewery’s website warns, “When a train passes by –hold on to your beer!”
The 6 Foods Found On the Hogwarts Express Trolley
I tackled them-the six foods first found on the Honeydukes Express Cart on the Hogwarts Express. Certainly not a list that’s easy to just pop out, but here we go!
He had never had any money for candy with the Dursleys, and now that he had pockets rattling with gold and silver he was ready to buy as many Mars Bars as he could carry — but the woman didn’t have Mars Bars. What she did have were Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum, Chocolate Frogs, Pumpkin Pasties, Cauldron Cakes, Licorice Wands, and a number of other strange things Harry had never seen in his life.
-Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling
“A risk with every mouthful!” is Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Bean slogan. We made a homemade version and tackled the majority of the flavours first heard of on the Hogwarts Express.
A bluebell- coloured gum available in sugar-free crazyberry flavour. We couldn’t guarantee it would never loose its flavour, or make bubbles that wouldn’t pop for days, however this is what we thought crazyberry gum would taste like.
Probably inspired by a Monty Python sketch, Crunchy Frogs, Chocolate Frogs are made from 70% Croakoa that makes it act like a real frog. After trying a solid Chocolate Frog from The Making of Harry Potter, this is our attempt to make them more frog-like.
This is probably the most ‘normal’ food on the trolley. Pumpkin pasties is basically a pie with pumpkin filling. We made them into pumpkin shapes to up their cuteness factor.
I made two versions for cauldrons cakes–the first is inspired by the description in the book–can be bought in ‘a stack’ and were given as ‘a batch’. I also made a second version earlier on, when I couldn’t get the idea out of my head of a self saucing cake (in this case overflowing out of the ‘cauldron’).
A licorice wand is just that. A piece of licorice shaped like a wand. Figured these would be loved by underage wizards who weren’t yet allowed their own wands.
Jose Cuervo Is Hosting A Day Of The Dead Train Ride This November
There will be live music, tastings, and storytelling.
Day of the Dead, or Día de Muertos, is a three-day long Mexican holiday remembering those who have passed. People dress up and participate in gatherings and processions, including bringing food and offerings to cemeteries, in order to celebrate the lives of those they have lost. If you&rsquove never attended a Day of the Dead event before, you still might be familiar with some of the decorations and offerings made for the yearly event, like colorful sugar skulls.
This year, Jose Cuervo is offering travelers the chance to get up close and personal with Día de Muertos, its traditions, and its stories.
Jose Cuervo leads a number of tequila-themed trips to the town of Tequila in Jalisco. Travelers can visit the distillery and partake in other local activities. A very special activity this year is the Day of the Dead train ride.
The experience is a two-day package. On Friday, November 1st, guests get to celebrate a Day of the Dead fiesta in the town of Tequila. They&rsquoll be a part of traditions like the altar lighting and a procession, plus there will be live music, tastings, and storytelling. Stories will include legends, lore, and facts about Día de Muertos, spirits, and the birth of tequila.
On Saturday, November 2nd, guests can visit agave fields and the La Rojeña Distillery before traveling to nearby Guadalajara on the Jose Cuervo Express Sunset Train, a scenic ride that&rsquos a permanent option in the Mundo Cuervo (Jose Cuervo's experience hub) selection of activities but will be put to special use for this Day of the Dead weekend.
The hotel, train, and excursions can all be booked on the Mundo Cuervo website. The train trip goes for $107 per person and includes the outings to the agave fields and distillery.
Like LaCroix, but With a Buzz
As their beer sales flatten, craft brewers are wooing a new audience with hard seltzers — low-calorie, low-cachet drinks that have become wildly popular.
Trent Mooring was tired of mixing drinks. At beach gatherings and garden parties, Mr. Mooring, the president of Mother Earth Brewing in Kinston, N.C., was stuck on cocktail duty for his wife and sisters-in-law, who don’t care for his craft brewery’s pilsners and I.P.A.s.
Last year, his wife, Caroline , started buying alcoholic seltzers as convenient stand-ins for her favorite gin and tonic. The growing popularity of hard seltzer — a fizzy, low-calorie alcoholic beverage typically made by fermenting sugar — piqued his interest. People were excited about a 5 percent A.B.V. (alcohol by volume) drink that “tasted just like LaCroix,” Mr. Mooring said.
In February, his new company, Sercy Spiked and Sparkling, began selling a line of organic, 100-calorie hard seltzers — made at Mother Earth, packaged by Sercy and marketed to reach beyond the craft-beer consumer — in Kinston. (They plan to sell it statewide in July.)
“We’re not really targeting the guy drinking session I.P.A.s,” Mr. Mooring said of Sercy, which is Southern slang for an unexpected gift.
These are boom times for hard seltzer. Sales in the United States jumped 169 percent in 2018 to nearly $488 million, according to data from Nielsen, led by large breweries and beverage companies, notably the makers of Mike’s Hard Lemonade and their White Claw Hard Seltzer.
Now, smaller craft breweries are entering the lucrative field and releasing hard seltzers, a move that may seem odd for an industry built on boldly flavored beers.
In 2018, the Brewers Association, a trade group for small and independent brewers, reported that craft brewing’s volume growth had slowed to 4 percent, the smallest increase in a decade. “You still have to fill those tanks,” said Harry Schumacher, the editor and publisher of Beer Business Daily, who believes that producing hard seltzer is “an opportunistic way to go.”
But not everyone in the craft-brewing world is fired up.
“ They’re the fast food of alcoholic beverages,” said Mary Izett, an owner and brewer at Fifth Hammer Brewing, in Long Island City, Queens. “It’s scrubbed clean or designed to be as neutral as possible, then flavor is added. This is the antithesis of what we do as beer, wine or cider makers, where we strive to showcase our ingredients in our beverages.”
In December, the Brewers Asso ciation rescinded its requirement that inde pendent craft brewers mainly produce beer. (A 2018 poll of 1,000 members had showed that a majority were either making other products or considering it .) That change has made drinks like ciders, THC beverages and hard seltzers fair game, in any amount.
One big beneficiary of the switch is Boston Beer Company, which faced losing its status as a craft brewery because of shrinking beer sales. The company makes Samuel Adams beer, as well as Angry Orchard cider and the alcoholic Twisted Tea.
The 2018 sales for its hard seltzer, Truly Hard Seltzer , totaled more than $131 million at grocery , convenience and other retail stores, according to IRI, a Chicago market-research firm. The company projects that production will double this year.
What to Cook Right Now
Sam Sifton has menu suggestions for the coming days. There are thousands of ideas for what to cook waiting for you on New York Times Cooking.
- Do not miss Yotam Ottolenghi’s incredible soba noodles with ginger broth and crunchy ginger. for fungi is a treat, and it pairs beautifully with fried snapper with Creole sauce.
- Try Ali Slagle’s salad pizza with white beans, arugula and pickled peppers, inspired by a California Pizza Kitchen classic.
- Alexa Weibel’s modern take on macaroni salad, enlivened by lemon and herbs, pairs really nicely with oven-fried chicken.
- A dollop of burrata does the heavy lifting in Sarah Copeland’s simple recipe for spaghetti with garlic-chile oil.
“We weren’t able to keep up with demand all last year,” said Jim Koch, the chairman of Boston Beer, and a Brewers Association board member. “We were running out on a weekly basis.”
Beyond the lucrative luster, brewers find hard seltzer appealing because they can use established infrastructure, licensing and knowledge to create the beverage, which the federal government classifies as beer.
But making hard seltzer isn’t as easy as brewing another hazy I.P.A. The challenge is creating a neutral alcohol that, like seltzer, is a blank canvas for flavor. During fermentation, yeast creates aroma and character in beer here, the aim is to avoid both.
Last year, Platform Beer Company, which brews at five locations across Ohio, began testing hard seltzers. The brewery spent six months refining recipes and techniques before settling on a blend of barley malt and cane sugar that is run through a specialized filtration process. (Platform also uses a brewing enzyme to reduce gluten content.)
The first time they made it, said Paul Benner, a founder, they were amazed by the crystal clarity of the brew , in contrast to its richly colored beers. “We were like, ‘Wow, this looks like water.’”
In December, Platform debuted the first offering in its Seltzer Project line, the sparkling Black Cherry. It contains 110 calories and four grams of carb ohydrates in a 12-ounce can (5 percent A.B.V.), an alternative to craft beers like imperial stouts that can top 300 calories for a similar serving size.
“People are looking for a quick, easy way to cut down on their caloric and sugar intake, and still be social with their friends,” said Christopher Shepard, a senior editor at Beer Marketer’s Insights.
Because the Food and Drug Administration forbids alcohol companies to make health claims about products, breweries find other ways to indirectly communicate hard seltzer’s better-for-you message. In December, Oskar Blues released Wild Basin Boozy Sparkling Water in tall, skinny 12-ounce cans. They prominently display nutritional info rmation — 100 calories, one gram of carbohydrates, no sugar or gluten — and the brewery’s name.
“We put the Oskar Blues logo front and center to lend credibility to the package itself and the liquid,” said Matt Fraser, the president and chief operating officer of the CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective, of which Oskar Blues is a member.
Have Boozy Vending Machines Gone Mainstream?
Vending machines have been around since the 1880s. Since that time, they’ve been used to dispense everything from stamps to gumballs, French fries to cupcakes. Their presence has become quite familiar in break rooms and grocery stores. But recently, they’ve been showing up in a new venue altogether: your local bar. Wine, beer, even cocktails are now getting the automated treatment. Is this the wave of the future or just a passing fad?
Before alcoholic vending machines could become a reality, a few legal hurdles had to be cleared. In Connecticut, for example, self-serve dispensers were illegal until state representative David Arconti introduced legislation in 2016, opening the door for what he called “self-pouring technology.” It passed by a wide margin.
In many states, there’s nothing explicitly preventing automated alcohol, so long as they’re contained in bars already licensed to serve booze. New York City bar star Don Lee took advantage of this reality at Existing Conditions in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. He retrofit two vintage soda machines from the 1960s to carry prebatched cocktails. It started off as a way to appease crowds as they waited for a seat to open up at the full-service bar. But it immediately took on a life as its own as an Instagram star: #boozyvendingmachine.
The sideshow wasn’t without complications, of course. His first challenge was to keep an eye on consumption. “We created custom coins so we can monitor who gets bottles and also so people can’t leave with them,” says Lee. The other challenge was a less expected one. “Millennials didn’t grow up with vending machines. So many of them don’t know how to use them.” Using a bottle opener, it turns out, is this generation’s equivalent of programming a VCR.
Although Existing Conditions’ trendsetting devices are decidedly low-tech, more advanced models are becoming the norm. BeerBox, as an example, couldn’t have existed 10 years ago. The airplane-cart-size unit—currently being used to dispense Bud Light at a handful of sports stadiums across the country—automatically opens your beer can for you. Without this feature, it would have been a nonstarter—most venues don’t allow unopened containers, as they could be used as projectiles.
Further, Anheuser-Busch is working with a tech company to integrate a blockchain-based identity app into BeerBox. It won’t be long before a scan of a QR code will serve as proof of legal drinking age.
Thanks to Moët & Chandon, a series of Champagne vending machines have sprouted up across the nightlife landscape. The famed French producer has branded its own unit, which holds up to 320 mini-bottles. They’re available in high-volume markets such as New Orleans, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. At Richard Blais’ Crack Shack in L.A.’s Century City, the fast-casual dining outlet uses the machine to combine that most classic of high/low combos: Champagne and fried chicken.
For dessert, Hoot the Redeemer in Edinburgh dispenses a wide range of boozy ice cream out of its vending machine. For £4 ($5.30) bargoers at the 1950s-era funfair throwback can enjoy pre-packaged treats including bourbon berry pie and a lavender milk bottle spiked with Reyka vodka. It’s enough to make you feel like a kid in a candy store.
But not everyone is climbing aboard the boozy vending machine bandwagon. Most of the 34 lawmakers opposing the Connecticut measure did so on the grounds that it could result in job loss for bartenders. And then there are those that think it’s all just an overblown gag.
“These things are 100 percent novelty, and anyone who begs to differ is full of shit,” says Dustin Drankiewicz, the bar owner of The Swill Inn in Chicago. “I’ve seen the machines at bigger brand events, where it’s not so much about hospitality as it is about how to keep people talking about what was there that was so ‘outside the box.’ But it makes zero sense in a bar. Let’s not embrace the idea that one day we’re all gonna be replaced by robotics.”
In his sarcasm there is, of course, a kernel of truth. Kiosks and screens are eroding the foundation of hospitality: face-to-face interaction. Boozy vending machines are, perhaps, merely a mechanism for enjoying that inevitable ride. If we are fated to be overtaken by robots, let’s hope they’re still willing to serve us prebatched cocktails and the occasional split of Champagne. We should be so lucky.
Watch the video: Looking for a New England One for the Road. The Craft Beer Channel (January 2022).