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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.

Toast with beer?

Jelly made with beerIt’s a silly pun, but we can’t resist.

These jellies made with beer aren’t just for breakfast. Here’s the story from the website:

“The indulgence of craft beer meets handmade, small batch preserves in this set of beer jellies—including one each of IPA, Black IPA, Porter and Oatmeal Stout. Intrepid former archaeologist and hardcore foodie Nancy Warner moved to Vermont and, inspired by the bountiful local food and beer culture, transformed a variety of beers from notable local craft breweries into enticingly unique jellies. The traditional ingredients of beer (hops, malt and yeast) are rendered into jellies that balance malty sweetness with the hop profiles of the beer styles used: floral and spicy notes in the IPA and Black IPA, smoky-sweet in the porter, roasty and earthy in the stout. Add a distinctive touch to cheese platters, use them to glaze meats, mix them in cocktails and salad dressings, use them for irresistible baking (like peanut butter and porter muffins), or indulge in a grown-up pb&j!”

Only in Vermont.

Hop-infused Beerd Balm

Beerded Beard Company Bundle: All Natural Hop Infused Beard Care & Lip Balm SetThis is what happens when a chemical engineer becomes a Certified Cicerone. You get stuff like beard balm that smells like hops.

Lesher’s Beerd Balm varieties include a full range of what hops can offer, from New World Citra to the classic Czech Saaz. And Bob Lesher’s Etsy store includes other hop-infused products as well, including lip balm. This picture is for the bundled set, but the items may also be purchased individually.

Don’t forget Santa

Beer cookies for You are ready for Christmas. Your shopping is done. You’ve selected the beers you will drink tomorrow. Time to open one and relax.

Except … what about Santa? He might want more than a beer set out by the chimney. So here’s a recipe for “White Beer Cookies” from the Food Network:

Ingredients
2 bottles (12 ounces each) Belgian style white beer
5 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium orange, zested
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Icing: (Optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 orange zested using a bar grater, optional

Directions
Put the beer and honey to a medium saucepan and reduce over medium heat until you have about 1/3 cup of liquid. You will occasionally have to skim the foam off the top of the beer. You will know you have hit 1/3 of a cup of liquid as the liquid will suddenly begin to aggressively foam due to the high concentration of sugar. Let this reduction cool to room temperature.

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and blend thoroughly. Then add the vanilla, orange zest, coriander, and beer reduction and blend again. Mix the flour and baking soda together then slowly add to the batter.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Using a uniform scoop scoop mounds of cookies onto an aluminum cookie sheet lined with parchment. Make sure you do not overcrowd the cookies; you should be able to fit about 12 cookies on a half sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes (depending on your oven it may take more or less time, for some ovens it could take 15 minutes for others it could take 25; 20 minutes is an average time).

Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet until they are cool enough (about 10 minutes) to transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Better with a beer in one hand

Sweetwater 420 Cornhole gameHave you every noticed that the very best beer festivals offer attendees a chance to play cornhole?

We have.

This cornhole set, complete with eight bags, comes from Sweetwater Brewing in Georgia, but we suspect you can find others with different brewery branding. And if your favorite brewery doesn’t make a set (yet) it is easy enough to make your own, either from scratch or by buying a generic set of boards and adding you favorite logos.