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Lakefront hosts Black Friday party

For the third straight year, Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee will celebrate the start of the holiday shopping season with a Black Friday party that includes the release of its Black Friday Imperial India-Style Black Ale. The beer will be available only on Friday, and only part of the day if last year is any indicator. The beer sold out in 90 minutes in 2012.

The brewery doors open at 8 a.m. and the event features brewery breakfast food (and “beermosas”) from Karma Bar & Grill; a live deejay from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; brewery tours starting at 11 a.m.; and a live band, the Brewhouse Polka Kings, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Lakefront first brewed the Black Ale for last year’s party. Sales will be limited to three 22-ounce bottles per person, while supplies last. Because last year’s supply of Black Friday went so fast, the brewery has more than quadrupled the number of bottles it will make this year from 1,200 to 5,000. The brewery is also adding a “bottle swap” component for the 2013 event – encouraging participants to bring and trade bottles of rare or unusual beers.

“Black Friday is all about one-day-only, limited supply deals, so we wanted to offer our customers an exclusive beer worth getting up early for,” said Lakefront’s director of business development, Chris Johnson.

The first 1,000 people to buy the beer will get a limited Black Friday pint glass. Full details about the event can be found on the brewery’s Black Friday website, blackfridaybeer.com. Patrons can also buy advanced brewery tour tickets online via the website if they want a guaranteed spot on a specific tour.

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Dogfish Head’s Randall Jr.

Randall Jr.It’s been nearly 10 years since Sam Calagione at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery introduced the world to Randall the Enamel Animal, otherwise known as an organoleptic hop transducer module. Basically, it infuses beer with fresh hop flavor as the beer passes through a filter full of hop cones between a beer keg and glass.

More recently, Dogfish Head rolled out a Mini Enamel Animal (Randall Jr.) that works at home. Just twist off the top; add hops, spices, fruit or whatnot, fill with ale and drink. It holds 16 ounces and is made of double-walled, BPA-free plastic.

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For the barrel-loving beer drinker

Wine barrel sinkThe Rocky Mountain Barrel Company in Colorado sells wine barrels that may be used in many ways — for instance, for barrel-aged beers, or even for . . . winemaking.

In addition the barrels themselves, the company offers items crafted from barrels and staves. For instance, the wine barrel sink pictured here, both small and large benches, and a bourbon barrel stave coat rack that should probably come with a sign that says, “Do not lick.”

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Keep on beer truckin’

Hudepohl Beer TruckOnce there were horse-drawn beer wagons, then motorized trucks hauling beer and advertising breweries. Beerbooks.com has an extensive collection of miniature die cast metal trucks, for both current brands and those long gone. American Beer Trucks, a wonderful collection of photos is out of print, but you ask the folks at Beerbooks.com to notify you when it becomes available or search various used book stores.

Hudepohl Beer Truck
• Hudepohl Brewing Co., Cincinnati, Ohio
• 1952 GMC Insulated Van
• First Gear Die Cast Metal
• Scale 1:34
Price: $24.95

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Pedaler-friendly six-pack holder

Bicycle 6-pack holderThis leather frame cinch was honored as one of the ten best bike-related design innovations of 2011, and as its developer notes “it “secures just about anything somewhat narrow to your top tube – why not a six pack?”

The strap is adjustable to hold variably sized items, so when there are less important items to tote than beer it can still be useful. It works best on a top tube that is parallel to the ground.

More information.

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