Cigars and Beers: The Perfect Pair


One of the perks of being a craft beer fan is that breweries are always doing crazy, interesting things. For instance, Flying Dog introduced an old bay beer, Stone collaborates with everyone and their sister, and Telegraph Brewing Company is even helping a band release their album ON their label. That being said, it should be no surprise that Flying Dog collaborated with CAO Cigars to create a suggested Craft Beer and Cigars pairing. Together, the two determined which Flying Dog beers would pair the best with which CAO Cigars. Then, they packaged the cigars and published the pairings for all to try. Turns out they were pretty spot-on. Check out the pairings, the beers, and the cigars. If you can’t find either in your area, take the style of each and pair them together.

Here’s what you can expect from the Flying Dog/CAO pairing:

Flying Dog Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout and CAO Mx2


The oyster stout carries the typical malty sweetness, but finishes dry and includes earthy and bitter undertones throughout. It’s definitely an interesting stout worth trying. Be warned – this is not a breakfast stout style, so the sweetness is not as strong as it is in other stouts. The Mx2 cigar is paired well with this stout. The cigar complements the dry and bitter finish of the stout. The Mx2 is a darker cigar, but not as bold as you may think. Instead, it has a medium strength with a smooth smoke from beginning to end. The flavors of the cigar include some herbal spice characteristics as well as those of coffee and bitter chocolate.

Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA and CAO Sol


Hoppy meets Spicy. The snake dog delivers the promised citrus and hop flavors throughout the brew. Nice crisp mouthfeel makes it a refreshing brew with a bitter and sweet bite. Not sure what to expect, I lit the CAO Sol and was pleasantly surprised with the spicy taste that went with the IPA. The cigar had a peppery flavor throughout the smoke. Moving through the smoke, earthy notes and even some citrus were included. Another medium cigar, but it complemented the IPA well. Possibly a tie for first place in this pairing list…

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Endless Beers: What Difference Does a Glass Make?

stoutglassIPA Glass

Hopefully most of our readers have finally bought in to the #drinkcraftbeer movement. Really, it’s not even a movement, but common sense. Why would anyone pay to drink something that tastes like (a) nothing, (b) pee, or (c) crap? You wouldn’t. So the next step in becoming an all-out beer snob is to drink beer from a GLASS, not the bottle or can. I originally thought the whole experience of picking glassware depending on the kind of beer was a gimmick. However, after testing various Spiegelau glasses out, I’ve changed my tune.

First of all, the main reason behind drinking your suds from a glass rather than the bottle or can is to get the aroma of the beer and to allow it to properly carbonate. The aroma will indeed change the taste of the beer – typically heightening your senses as you indulge in a cold one. Typically, I’ll just pour it into a pint glass no matter what kind of beer, and enjoy. But there are different and innovative ways to drink our beer now. Here are two taste tests (I know…my work is difficult) of the latest innovative beer glass collaborations.

The Glasses:

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The Mount Rushmore of Craft Beer


Recent talks in the sports world have centered around Lebron James’ comments on the Mount Rushmore of Basketball. His claim is that he belongs on it. From there, we digress to Mount Rushmores of all kinds: NFL quarterbacks, best baseball players, etc. Nobody mentioned the Mount Rushmore of Craft Beer. After much thought and debate, I’ve created two Mount Rushmores—one is made up of the top craft beers. period. The other is made of the top craft beer companies. Of course, many of you will disagree…so please tell us what yours are. Here are mine:

Mount Rushmore of Craft Beers:

1. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale

KBC Two Hearted Ale

ABV: 7%

The Two Hearted Ale is a true American IPA that meets expectations every time. This brew has balance in flavor between citrus and earthy hops. When drinking, you aren’t overwhelmed with bitter flavor, but hopheads are consistently pleased. The finish is dry and crisp, which is expected with an IPA. While it makes hopheads happy, it also welcomes newcomers to the party and may even open their minds to trying another IPA. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale makes it on to the Mount because of it’s bold flavors, and welcoming notes of sweetness that often makes new hopheads with every sip.

2. Dogfish Head, Stone, and Victory Saison du Buff


ABV: 6.8%

Collaboration brews bring more awareness to craft beer and create unique flavors that work. It is hard to choose one collaboration brew, but the Saison du Buff was the most memorable. The saison style brew is flavored with rosemary, sage, thyme, and parsley. You can actually taste the spices in the beer…in a good way.

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Endless Beers: Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout


ABV: 7.5%

In my travels around the world of beer, I took out the bottle with the owl on top. Turns out my next stop was in Japan: Hatachino Nest. In the hours before bed, I’ve been craving more stouts and darker beers than IPAs and lighter beers. Must be the cold, dark (particularly without power) weather we’ve been having in Philly. Anyway, I digress…on to the Japanese espresso stout. This beer is a sipper, but in a good way.

With the name “Espresso Stout,” it better live up to its name and provide a rich espresso flavor. I’ve grown skeptical of many of these kinds of stouts, because I’ve found more chocolate or vanilla flavors than coffee. If you are looking for a stout that has a bold coffee flavor—this is it. The taste throughout the entire drink is remniscent of coffee beans followed by dark chocolate.

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Endless Beers: Innis and Gunn Original


We had our engagement party last weekend and were showered with gifts from our family and friends. Included in these gifts was a basket of beers from around the world, thanks to my future sister-in-law. I placed the selection in the fridge and they are officially “on reserve.” Earlier this week, during out FIRST snow storm of the week (we are on our second today), I tapped into the reserve. First stop on my trip around the world: Scotland. I cracked open an Innis & Gunn Oak Barrel Aged Original.

Crafted in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Innis & Gunn Original is what “started it all” for the brewery…and by accident. A whiskey distillery near the brewery was looking to infuse their barrels with a malty beer flavor. Innis & Gunn whipped something up and sent it to the distillery. After fermenting in the oak barrels, the distillery dumped it out for the Scotch goodness. However, later, Innis & Gunn received another call from the distillery—this time asking about the kick-ass beer left in the barrels. Thus we have Innis & Gunn Original.

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Endless Beers: Bourbon County Brand Stout


The holidays are over. Bring on the dark, cold days of gray. I’m still stuffed from the new year, but I have found time to explore the 100 Beers of Winter list. Of those 100, there are a few particular beers that stand out. The Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout doe so because it is so rare. This suds are brewed every year—but with different flavors and a different taste each year. It is a rarity worth picking up before they are off the shelves.

I’ve mentioned this drinking strategy before, but if you haven’t paid attention—you want to get a case. Half of the case is for you to enjoy now. Impress your friends with your brew knowledge, and enjoy every last drop. As for the other half of the case: store away in the cellar to compare with next year’s…and the next…and the next.

How it tastes:

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The Pumpkin TAP


Now is the time to give thanks. What to I give thanks for? Amongst other things: pumpkin, beer, and booze. Well now I need to give thank to Kegworks for the PUMPKIN TAP! Some of you may have seen it on your pinterests or facebooks, but how many of you have had the opportunity to USE it? The pumpkin tap comes in a few simple pieces that you screw together. Then, in three simple steps, you have a working pumpkin tap:

– Step 1: Hollow out pumpkin

– Step 2: casino online Cut small hole in bottom of the pumpkin & screw in the tap

– Step 3: Fill with boozy beverage of your choice

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