Monday, June 13, 2016

Wut up, gnomey

Saturday, June 11, 2016

If we're lucky, there will be beer there

My husband shared an article with me on 
alternate uses for beer.  I know he was trying to help me with blog content but I’m still surprised.  As far as he’s concerned any use for beer, other than drinking it, is considered alcohol abuse.  

A lot of the alternative uses call for left over flat beer.  Left over beer??  I’m not sure I know what that is or how it’s even possible.

Some of the uses I was familiar with . . . and others were unexpected.  I use beer for cooking . . . chili, bread, soup, etc.  Beer works great as a meat tenderize (let it marinate for at least an hour or overnight in the fridge).

I’ve heard of it being used as pest control.  After all . . . who can resist beer?  Make a beer trap for hornets by putting beer in an old jar and punch holes in the lid . . . the bastards will be able to get in the jar but not out.  To distract and terminate garden pests like sligs and earwigs . . . bury a can just up to its lip in the garden and fill the can with beer; they’ll fall in and get caught. Just make sure you check the trap daily, emptying it and refilling it with new beer.  

To trap fruit flies . . . I hate those little buggers!  Put some beer in a cup; cut the corner off of a sandwich bag and place the cut corner in the cup; folding the rest around the cup and securing with a rubber band.

To enrich soil and help grass to grow?  One of the uses was to add  few tablespoons of flat beer to the soil. Plants absorb nutrients, sugar and energy from the beer and help them grow.  Interesting.

As hair therapy?  This one I’ve heard of but never tried . . . until now.  Beer is credited with adding bounce, shine and vitality to hair.  The sugars in beer are supposed to add shine and the proteins from the malt and hops found in beer coat, rebuild and repair damaged hair. 

Choose a beer that does not have a strong odor. Shampoo and rinse hair as usual . . . then pour the flat, warm beer on your hair and work it through. Rinse with lukewarm, not hot, water.

The beer rinse was something easy enough to try.  I left a beer out overnight to de-fizz it . . . shhhh, don't tell my husband.  I used a baking soda wash with apple cider vinegar rinse.  Then a second rinse with the beer.  My analysis, my hair doesn't seem to have more body or bounce but it is clearly shiny as hell and looks pretty darn healthy.   It doesn't smell like beer . . . which I'm not so sure wouldn't be a bad thing . .. rowr! My hair was manageable and blow dried smooth and soft with absolutely no additional products used.  

Monday, June 6, 2016

Pineapple Basil Brewtail

I was recently reading Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. An interesting book, to be sure. However, I can't understand how a book about a pedophilic middle-aged man absconding with a 12 year-old for the express purpose of fulfilling his carnal fantasies for little girls became a classic.  Just sayin'.

Anyhoo, in the book, Humbert mentions his favorite drink is gin and pineapple juice

“I had a drink. And another. And yet another. Gin and pineapple juice, my favorite mixture, always double my energy.”

I like pineapple juice and gin but I've never considered mixing them. Frankly, I'm a straight up uber dry martini kinda gal - lots of olives. Nonetheless interested, I googled the combination and found a drink that sounded absolutely fabulous - a Pineapple Basil Cocktail. It's probably not what Humbert Humbert consumed, but his tastes and mine don't necessarily intersect.

The pineapple basil cocktail looked summery and refreshing. A perfect drink to make for chillin' on the deck on a hot day.

I modified the original recipe only by substituting  beer for the club soda - I used Two Roads Honeyspot Road White IPA. The result was amazing - crisp, light, and cooling. Just like Humbert Humbert, I had one drink, and another, and yet another.

So good!

Pineapple Basil Brewtail 

3 Medium to Large Basil Leaves
Quarter Wedge of a Lime
1/4 cup Fresh Pineapple Juice
1 1/2 oz Good Gin
Ice Cubes

Roll the basil into tubes and slice into thin strips. Put the basil into a glass and squeeze the lime wedge over top. Drop the lime wedge into the glass and muddle with the basil. Add pineapple juice, gin, and ice cubes, and top with the beer. Garnish as desired.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Nitro in a can

For the past few months, whenever hubby and I are out for wings and beer night, I keep seeing television commercials for Guinness Nitro IPA. I say to myself, "That's interesting, I really should try that".

I usually like beer on a nitro tap; I love the smooth creaminess the nitro bubbles impart to the brew.

However, I have the long term memory of a goldfish and I kept forgetting to pick some up.

Flash forward a couple weeks (months or some such),  I finally remembered to look for said beer while I'm out shopping.

Clueless lil' ol' me discovered there were numerous varieties of canned nitro brews. Sheesh! Decisions, decisions.

I picked up the Guinness Nitro IPA and a couple Samuel Adams Nitros; Nitro IPA and Nitro White Ale, respectively.

Overall, the canned nitros present quite prettily in a glass; a cascading fall of tiny little bubbles. They are generally quite easy going and very drinkable. They have a lush, smooth mouth feel. Unfortunately, despite the infusion of gas, they fall quite a bit flat in the carbonation department. I like the tingly feel of voluminous effervescence in traditionally carbonated brews.

Don't get me wrong. They're not horrible, just not my thing. That being said, I wouldn't turn one down if offered.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


I have discovered my new favorite summer beer.

It happened during a regularly scheduled wings and beer night. New on tap was TropiCannon. I'm always up for trying something new. A new Heavy Seas beer? Bring it!

The brew was brought forth. One whiff and I thought I died and went to heaven.

The aroma of this beer is so flippin' salivatory. I'm drooling just thinking about it. Loads and loads of tropical fruit and a smidge of tart grapefruit. The smell simply makes my salivary glands gush.

And the taste? OMG! Like IPA swimming in a sea of sweet juicy fruits  and snappy citrus.

I promptly went out and bought a case. Drank that case. Bought more. Repeat.

TropiCannon is awesome. Drink it.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Here’s to alcohol, the rose colored glasses of life.

I’ve been known to imbibe on occasion . . . sometimes more occasionally than others.  

When I’m drinking with someone else we always toast each other; even if it’s just to clink glasses.  I mindlessly touch my glass with the person I’m with and at the very least simply raise the glass to the other; symbolically clinking . . . after all, that IS what is done.  But why exactly do we perform that little ritual?  Does the toast only really matter if you actually touch glasses?  Does raising your glass and saying “clink” to the people you can’t reach count?

Russian tradition is that the only time you don’t clink glasses is when you’re drinking in honor of the dead.  Conversely, if you fail to clink when making a happy toast means that someone is going to die.  It seems a small thing to do to keep someone else (or yourself) from an untimely death, no?  Russian’s also believe that the toast only matters if you actually touch glasses.

Note to self - do not ever go vodka shot for vodka shot with a bunch of Ukranian dudes. It happened once. The result wasn't pretty.  :)

What could be worse than death?

It is a widespread European superstition that failure to make eye contact with your drinking companions as you clink results in a bad sex life for a year.  That sounds pretty risky to me.  

Apparently, it’s also pretty perilous to clink with an empty glass and clinking across someone else’s arm. Seriously bad luck!

Many believe that sounding the bell can help ward off evil spirits . . . the clinking of glasses after a toast was a way of getting rid of devils while drinking.

Another school of thought is that the point of striking glasses together was meant to be done so that some of the liquid from each glass would spill into the other . . . to deter someone from poisoning you.

Perhaps it is nothing more than a silly drinking game; happily clinking away as much as possible.

Whatever the reason, raising a glass and striking them together demonstrates harmony and friendship.  And is a nice exclamation to punctuate the toast.



Thursday, May 5, 2016

St. John Brewers revisited

A year ago I visited St. Thomas with family. During that trip we ventured to St. John for the day to experience the beautiful white sand beaches and clear blue waters. We ended up at the Tap Room in Mongoose Junction. It was here that I got a real taste for St. John Brewers beers.

This year hubby and I decided to take a vacation to St. Thomas. For a day trip, we took the ferry to St. John. We drove the wicked windy roads, saw the sights, swam in the sea. All the typical touristy things.

Of course we stopped into the Tap Room for some cold brews and a meal. There were some beers on tap that I hadn't had before; that's always a good thing!

I started out with a Liquid Sunshine, a Belgian Blonde (5% ABV) which I'd seen listed on beer menus everywhere on St. Thomas but everyone seemed to be out of. It was light and delightful and I wish I could have had more of it.

Hubby got a Roundabout Coffee Stout; which he was sweet enough to share. Especially, since we both appreciate a good coffee stout. It was a good, smooth brew with just the right amount of coffee flavor.

This was followed up with a Hard Cider which was tasty and refreshing.

But, hands down, the best beer we had was Mongose. As the name might implies, it is a gose (5.1% ABV). I'm a fan of sours and more recently goses. My local brewery, Two Roads, makes a wicked good Gose that is a collaboration with Evil Twin. So, I was very interested in comparing and contrasting the two.

The Mongose is a richer, golden color. The taste is fuller and has a fruity character, mango perhaps, that is absent from  Geyser Gose. Similarly, it's mildly salty, as a gose should be. I asked the source of the salt; salt ponds was the reply; ew. Nonetheless, Mongose is a refreshing, delicious beer. Though quite different in flavor, Mongose and Geyser Gose are comparatively delicious. We had more than one. Yum!