Keeping your cool

Cool-brewingfermentation coolerIt’s always a sad day when a beer doctor suggests to a homebrewer that her or his beer might be “fermentably challenged.”

The Cool Brewing Fermentation Cooler works much more effectively to keep fermentation temperatures from soaring, and thus ruining a batch, than swamp coolers or other homemade coolers.

It is designed specifically to accommodate standard 5-gallon and 6.5-gallon fermentation buckets and carboys, and is built to hold ice packs, ice, or anything cold (such a frozen-2-liter jugs) and 100 percent waterproof. It costs $56 plus shipping.

Jewelry fit for a Hop Queen

Hop Queen Whole Leaf Hop Pendant NecklaceThe Etsy store bin52 offers accessories made by a homebrewer for homebrewers and craft beer lovers. All pieces are made with real grains and hops.

The “Hop Queen Whole Leaf Hop Pendant Necklace” is pictured here.

A search at Etsy using the word beer will return more than 60,000 options, so you might want to include a second words, such as hops, ornament, earring or . . . use your imagination.

Hydro Flask: A high end growler

Hydro FlaskWe’re well aware that there’s been plenty of debate in the beer world about the good, the bad and the occasionally ugly of beer growlers. What’s obvious is that if you invest in your own you should take good care of it, keep it clean and remember to drink you beer in a timely way.

With a suggested retail price of $49.99, Hydro Flask Growlers are definitely high end, both in look and feel. Hydro Flask makes containers in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from 12 ounces to 64, the largest intended to keep beer in better shape than the standard glass growlers used by most brewpubs.

Hydro Flask states its containers will keep cold liquids chilled for up to 24 hours and hot liquids steaming for 12 hours. They are cast from double wall vacuum insulated food grade 18/8 stainless steel, BPA-Free and resistant to bacteria and odors.

The growlers are available with a stainless finish, a Black Butte powder finish, or in copper brown.

Details.

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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.