Endless Simmer Beer Trade

Beer Trade: Try Something New

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Whoever said “let’s make America great again” doesn’t know about the American ingenuity of craft beer drinkers. One of the best things about craft beer is that we all love to share. We’ve mentioned the great beer exchange, but let us not forget about beer trades. Typically between two people, a beer trade will consist of a set of parameters and a deadline for each person to meet and ship out a selection of beers. Beer trades allow us beautiful beer people to not only partake in a diverse amount of beers that we may not otherwise purchase, but to also try beers that are well outside of your geographic bounds.

One of my co-workers would bring up which beers his brother sent him from California in exchange for some local beers from the Northeast. He would brag about the most recent batch of Pliny or a small microbrewery in San Diego. Finally, it hit me: my wife has a cousin in Seattle. After a few texts, we set up a trade of our own from PA to Seattle and back. Success.

Of course, I am not the founder of the beer trade. This has surely been going since the dawning of craft beer. When visiting in Tampa, I was given business cards of fellow beer lovers to arrange a trade. They went on about how they are a member of a network that posts the beers in their cellar and then offers are made. I’m sure there are a bunch of networks out there (in addition to just arranging through personal relationships), but what appears to be a more exclusive network is The Beer Exchange.

At the Beer Exchange, you are required to create an account before even perusing through the options. First things first, provide your cellar, or inventory. From there, you can post what you have for trade, what you want and what is not for trade (your means of bragging about beer to people who care). For those fantasy football fans – think of this as your waiver wire. Finally, you can manage who your friends are and provide feedback through star ratings as well as providing actual reviews. This is a social network for beer people. WIN.

Even reddit has a beer trade thread. Obviously since it is on reddit, it’s a big deal. I will be trying my hand at the online beer exchange, however I personally think the easiest way to go is to trade with your personal friends. Find a friend in a far away land and pony up the bill to trade some suds. Let’s make America great again…one beer at a time.

Endless Beer: Top 10 Beers of Winter

Happy New Year, folks. Time to pretend that you’ll hold to those healthy resolutions and become a “better you.” I’m right there with you, as the fiance and I try out “clean eating” for a while. Except for beers — I will NOT stop drinking beers. Which is why I bring you our top ten winter beers of the season. Note that even though Christmas is behind us, those tasty Christmas brews are still available as well as the special winter seasonals. Get ’em while you can. Here ya go:

10. Sly Fox Christmas Ale

ABV: 5.5% (canned), 6.5% (bottled)

A leader in the beer canning industry, Sly Fox offers their annual Christmas ale. The ale is a very “spiced forward” brew with Cinnamon and Ginger at the forefront. Flavors of clove continue throughout, complementing a sweet malty flavor.

9. Victory Winter Cheers

ABV: 6.7%

For those of you that don’t enjoy a winter warmer or strongly spiced ale, the Winter Cheers is a tasty and sweet wheat that takes away some of the booze flavor associated with winter warmers.

Jubelale

8. Deschutes Brewery Jubelale

ABV: 6.7%

Jubelale includes the traditional Christmas spices, but then has a pleasant sweetness of caramel and toffee with fruity flavors of cherry and raisin. The award-winning brew is a solid warmer that gives you a nice warm feeling all the way down. A great brew for after a hard day’s work on the slopes.

 

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Endless Beer: 2014 Anchor Christmas Celebration Ale

 

The tradition continues! Anchor releases their 40th Anniversary edition of the Christmas Celebration Ale. Every year, Anchor Brewing tweaks the recipe to the traditional Christmas Ale. And of course…they add a new illustration of the tree to the collection. Generally, Anchor ensures a dark ale packed full of spices that remind us all of Christmas. This is my third year sipping this beverage and it has become a tradition for myself as well. Anchor keeps the recipe secret, but we know that it is made with a mix of strong malts, spices, and hops to be complemented by the dry hopping process. Anyway, here’s to beer traditions.

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Top 10 Foodie Gifts

Ah yes, Christmastime is here. Christmas music is playing at every department store in the nation, fathers and husbands are crankily rushing around to strings of lights, Christmas trees, and other gadgets that are used for one month out of the year, and yes- – we are all searching for gifts to please those special people in our lives. There are so many things to choose from. But what about for those of us who love food the most? What are you going to get them? A fruit of the month club? Another cookbook that will sit on the shelve to collect dust? NO! How about something that is different/unique but also enjoyable? Well, we’re here to help. Here are our 2014 suggestions:

First Nibs: Chocolate Subscription

10. Raaka Chocolate Subscription

Raaka now offers a subscription service that offers two limited edition bars and one of their “classics” sent directly to your doorstep. The limited edition bars are only available through subscription. We were in Bryant Park and got a chance to sample their Pinot Noir Salt and Pink Peppercorn bar which was very tasty. A neat idea for any chocolate lovers out there who also appreciate a twist on some original flavors.

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9. The Original Bacon Kit

If you don’t like bacon, you most likely hate America as well. This kit would be fun for ANYONE to try out themselves and pride themselves on serving their own bacon on Sunday morning.

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8. Handpresso Auto

You already know how I feel about this product. If you have an espresso lover in your life, I guarantee they will enjoy this. Fresh espresso in your car – what else is there to say? I mean, other than the fact that it also ensures your car will always be smelling like Starbucks!

7. Spiegelau Craft Beer Tasting Kit

Spiegelau is known for their high quality glass and practical designs, enhancing the flavors of the beverage poured into the glass. We’ve already tried the IPA, Stein, and Stout glass, but this kit gives the beer lover a glass to drink each beer they have in their fridge. I’ve been doing some in depth testing of the kit that Spiegelau sent us and I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by the way each glass enhances the aroma, flavor, and sometimes carbonation of the beer. If you know someone who loves beer, invest in two of these kits as a gift – they need to have enough glasses to share with you!

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Endless Beer: Sierra Nevada Wild Hop IPA

Sierra Nevada concludes their 2014 Harvest series with the Wild Hop IPA. Sierra Nevada went on a journey for the best wild hops around and crafted brews around what they found for these suds. The Neomexicanus “is the literal wild card” of the five bottle package with the hops’ unusual flavors. “Unusual” does not get the cravings going, but that’s why it is the wild card, right? Sierra Nevada introduces the brew with a teaser of melon, apricot, and citrus aromas in the beer coming from the hops.  Here’s what we thought:

6.5% ABV

Flavor Profile:

Appearance:  Hazy dark orange

Aroma: Heavy hops and subtle citrus and apricot.

Taste: Hop-forward flavor provide a pleasant bitterness for hopheads. Slight malty sweetness comes through complementing some citrus.

Mouthfeel: Dry finish with light aftertaste that does not linger.

Overall: This is a definite hophead pleaser. The hops begin and finish the beer nicely. First, the aroma hits hard with scents of being in a sweet hop garden. Then, we get some quick sweetness from the malts that are quickly cut by the pleasant hop bitterness of these WILD unusual hops.

ES Rating: 3.75/4 Suds!

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Endless Beer: Ommegang Three Philosophers

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Ommegang famously brings us the Game of Thrones series beers, but also offers other varietals that pack their own punch. Speaking of fame, one of Ommegang’s more well known brews is the Three Philosophers. Weighing in at 9.7% ABV, the Three Philosophers promises to relax if nothing else. Three Philosophers was born when Ommegang asked homebrewers what the “perfect brew” would taste like. The answer was flavors of caramel, chocolate, and cherry. Ommegang messed with various variations until the reached a mixture of 98% ale and 2% kriek (lambic). Here are our tasting notes:

ABV: 9.7%

Poured into tulip glass.

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The ES Summit: Top 10 Beers and Booze for Politics

The tides are shifting in American politics. A new party is in control and our President is willing to work with them to make a better America. Blah blah blah. Yet another cycle has completed and we now have another lame duck president. BUT WAIT. Obama and US Senator Mitch McConnell are going to solve all of our problems with a Bourbon Summit. Now that’s something we can get behind. A little Kentucky booze may be just what our leaders need to get things done. This got us thinking…what would an ES summit look like? Other than the usual gallivanting around, bitching and moaning about irrelevant things, and gorging ourselves with food, we would pick the best beer and booze to offer for the occasion. If it were up to us, here’s what the Obama-McConnell summit would consist of:

10) Flying Dog Raging Bitch

What better to drink while BITCHING and moaning about the great problems of the world (or what to have for dinner)? Raging Bitch is an in your face IPA with a nice sweetness that makes it very drinkable at a high ABV.

Arrogant Bastard Ale

9) Arrogant Bastard Ale

Need I say more? Not only does the name sum up just about every one of your very proud “ES’ers, but it also sums up the jerks in Congress. What’s more? The brew is one of the highest ranked in the United States with complex flavors that will also kick your ass.

Knob Creek® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

8) Knob Creek

A little bourbon never hurt nobody. Knob Creek is about that level where you stop drinking whiskey with coke and actually start enjoying the sweet and oak-aged flavors of bourbon.

7) Titos Vodka

What’s more American than an all-American made vodka? We have to be at least a little patriotic, right? Plus, this is some of the smoothest Vodka we’ve ever had! Try it with water and lemon…just be careful – you won’t taste the whiskey.

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