Archive | Beer

And for your Next Glass

Next Glass appIt is being touted as the “Pandora for beer” although you can’t taste beers straight from your smartphone the same way you can listen to music.

The Next Glass app is available for both Android and iOS and serves both beer and wine drinkers. After you download it, it will have you rate some beers. Then when scan a bottle at your local store or do a search for a particular beer it will return a score that predicts if, and how much, you’ll like that beer.

“The more you rate, the more we learn about you,” said Next Glass CEO Kurt Taylor. “We look through chemistry of the beers and wines you have given us your preference on and we are able to find correlations and trends within your profile to figure out what is driving your enjoyment of those bottles.”

Saying thanks for Anchor Christmas Ale

Anchor Christmas Ale PosterNot long ago beer drinkers had to wait until the Monday before Thanksgiving to get their hands on the most recent Anchor Christmas Ale. And for more than a dozen years after Anchor first brewed the beer in 1975 it might have been the only American-made Christmas beer they could find. Brewing a special beer for the holidays is still another tradition the San Francisco brewery revived.

Times have changed. Holiday beers have been on the shelves since September. There are hundreds of festive choices.

But there’s still something special about opening a bottle of Anchor Christmas Ale on Thanksgiving, or maybe a different vintage or three. There’s a reason we’ve spread Anchor bottles across the top of the page.

Anchor produces a different label every year with a different tree, explaining “the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew.”

The brewery also sells a poster with all 40 labels on it, available at its online store.

Black Friday: A new beer holiday

Lakefront Black FridayWe’re not sure when this became official, but drinkers get more opportunities each year to celebrate Black Friday with beer. For several years, some bars and brewpubs have been hosting special events the day after Thanksgiving, providing and opportunity for those not interested in shopping.

Now more breweries are getting in the act. This is the fifth year Goose Island is releasing Bourbon County Brands on Black Friday. At the release event in Chicagoin 2013 more than 500 people were in line by the time the beer went on sale. This year, the company it will hold special Black Friday events in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Jacksonville, Fla., Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and San Francisco. In addition, some stores in other states plan celebrations when they receive their allocation of Bourbon County beers. The most prominent is Bourbon County Brand Stout, which the brewery first made in 1992. The variations are Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout, Bourbon County Brand Barleywine, Vanilla Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout, and Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout.

For the fourth year in a row, Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee is holding a day-long party featuring a limited-edition beer. The exclusive brew, Black Friday™ Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels, will be available only at the brewery and only for one day.

Lakefront’s Black Friday event will start at 8 a.m.. In addition to the special beer, the Lakefront Brewery Beer Hall will offer beermosas, Stone Creek coffee, baked French toast and breakfast skillets; a live deejay from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and a live band, the Brewhaus Polka Kings, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m..

Patrons will also receive a free Black Friday pint glass with each bottle they purchase, while supplies last. Full details about the event can be found on the brewery’s Black Friday website.

The Chosen Beer

Build your own menorahShmaltz Brewing Company once again celebrates the holiday with new beers, a gift pack and a contest. The eight-pack of 12-ounce bottles includes the two new beers — the 18th Anniversary Jewbelation 18 and Hanukkah, Chanukah: Pass The Beer Dark Ale (8 malts, 8 hops, 8% ABV). It also has the barrel-aged sour beer, 2014′s Funky Jewbelation, Rejewvenator, the collaboration beers with Terrapin Brewing (Reunion Ale ’14 – A Beer For Hope) and Cathedral Square Brewery (St. Lenny’s – The Immaculate Collaboration), Death of a Contract Brewer Black IPA, and Messiah Nut Brown Ale.

The gift pack includes a custom glass, Chanukah candles and a “Build Your Own” Beer menorah portrait by Jennifer Maher. Transform each of the 8 iconic bottles, plus one Shamash bottle (0 malts, 0 hops, 0% ABV), into your own beer menorah. The brewery invites fans to submit a photo of their menorah in its 5th Annual “Build Your Own Beer Menorah” competition on Facebook.

What’s a beer lover want most?

Samuel Adams UtopiasBeer, of course. There was a time that “Real Beer for the Holidays” included a somewhat comprehensive list of holiday beers. That’s become impossible to compile. But beer remains at the top of any beer lover’s wish list, whether it is seasonal or otherwise special.

Pictured here is Samuel Adams Utopias, which has a suggested retail price of $199 when you are lucky enough to find it.

You don’t need to spend quite as much to find a special beer. You also shouldn’t be intimidated by a beer aisle that has begun to look as scary — so many labels, so many varieties, such a range of prices — as the wine aisle. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If somebody who works at the store isn’t available there’s every chance that another of the customers will be something of a beer expert. Turns out there are times beer geeks can be of use.

You might even find a beer to take home for yourself.