Monthly Archives: January 2013

Untappd Beer App Coming Soon to Windows Phone

Untappd Beer App Supporter on Android

I told you last month that Untappd, one of my favorite beer-related mobile applications and services, was coming soon for BlackBerry 10 devices, and today the developers officially announced the release of a native BlackBerry 10 app. (Untappd is also available for iOS and Android devices.)

I’ve been using the BlackBerry 10 Untappd app for about a week now, and it’s solid. The native BlackBerry Untappd app doesn’t support older versions of Research In Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry OS , so those users have to access Untappd via a Web app. That means they don’t get the full set of features available to iOS and Android users. But new BlackBerry 10 users are in luck.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform doesn’t currently have a native Untapped app either, but Untappd also announced today that it’s working on a Windows Phone app, and it should be available in the first quarter of 2013.

If you’re not familiar with Untappd, I strongly suggest you check it out. Here’s why.

UBN

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No Such Thing as Bad Beer? Bullshit

Billy Carter with Billy Beer

“There is no such thing as a bad beer. It’s that some taste better than others.” – Billy Carter

Sorry, Billy, I don’t care if your older brother was the president of the United States or if you call yourself “one of America’s all-time great beer drinkers,” that’s complete bullshit. Bad beer most certainly exists. Just check the cooler of your local bodega or corner store. See those big, missile-shaped 40-ounce bottles? They’re full of bad beer. Some people like bad beer. That’s just one example. I could go on and on.

A lot of good people drink bad beer, and some bad people drink good beer—trust me, I know. That’s fine. To each his own. But don’t try to tell me shit beer doesn’t exist.

UBN

Image via AmericanProject.tv

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MA Isn’t Getting Stone Enjoy By 2.15.13 IPA After All—Neither is TX or MO

Stone Brewing Enjoy By IPA Twitter Conversation

Earlier this month, Stone Brewing Co. announced the markets in which the latest batch of its stellar Enjoy By IPA will be available. The company posted a confusing blog entry to introduce the beer and the markets, and it mentioned the little social media promotion it used when the last batch of Enjoy By was released.

I wrote a blog post listing the markets, and I reached out to Stone via Twitter for some clarification on whether or not the states that “won” the social media contest-deal would get the latest batch, Enjoy By 2.15.13, because I thought that was the point of the whole promotion. Stone sent me a direct messaging saying the winning states, Texas, Massachusetts and Missouri, would indeed be getting more Enjoy By. And since I asked specifically if these states would be getting the 2.15.13 batch, I thought Stone’s response meant that these three states would be on the Enjoy By 2.15.13 distribution list. I then updated my blog post with the new information

But apparently I was wrong. And I’m a bit pissed off. I’m not pissed that I won’t be able to get any Enjoy By 2.15.13 in my home state of Massachusetts. It’s just beer. (Okay, I’m a little pissed about that.) I’m pissed Stone told me that the beer would be coming to the three states I asked about. I reported that on my blog, which makes me look foolish for posting misinformation. I take this blog very seriously, even if it is just a silly beer blog. I value every reader, and I hate posting misinformation.

Looking at Stone’s Twitter response, I see that it could mean Massachusetts will get more Enjoy By IPA at a later date, and not the Enjoy By 2.15.13. But I asked Stone specifically about this batch. (See the Twitter conversation above.) And apparently it was never coming to my area—or Texas or Missouri.

Anyway, I apologize for the confusion. I’m a big fan of Stone, but I’m not pleased. If they didn’t make such damn good beer (read my review of Enjoy By 12.21.12 here) I might be inclined to boycott them…or at least talk shit on this blog and on social network.

UBN

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Carry Your Beer Like a Boss with a Badass Bottle Tote

Beer Bottle Tote Bag

My girl got me a bottle tote bag for Christmas this year. When I first unwrapped the gift, I wasn’t exactly thrilled, because it’s a kind of pussyish tan-green color, and I never really wanted one. But after using it for a few weeks, I’ve become a big fan, and now I never go to the liquor store without it.

Not only does the tote make it easy to carry a half dozen bomber bottles while shopping around my local beer store, it reduces the number of brown bags I take home every time I buy beer. Most of the beer stores I frequent individually wrap each bomber with a paper bag so they don’t clank around or they place each bottle inside one of those plastic bottle net thingees. They then put all of the bottles in another, larger brown-paper bag. That’s a lot of paper bags, and I buy a lot of beer. I recycle any paper bags I get, but the bottle tote largely eliminates the need for them, and it’s convenient to use.

My bottle tote bag has compartments for four bottles and a center space that can hold another couple of bottles or even a four pack of 12-ounce beer bottles. It is made of thick, durable canvas, and it costs $19.99 on HomeWetBar.com, plus shipping. I highly recommend it. You can also find other cheaper options online, including a cool, branded bottle tote from Russian River Brewing Co., one of my favorite breweries.

So go on and get yourself a badass bottle tote, whydontcha?

UBN

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So You Want to Be a Beer Nerd?

Charles Bukowski drinking beer

if Craft Beer doesn’t go rushing into you
in spite of everything,
don’t drink it.
unless Craft Beer flows unasked into your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t drink Craft Beer.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your refrigerator
or hunched over a
bartop
deciding if you’re going to have a Craft Beer,
don’t drink it.
if you’re drinking Craft Beer for money or
fame,
don’t drink it.
if you’re drinking Craft Beer because you want
women in your bed,
don’t drink it.
if you do not have to sit there and
drink Craft Beer again and again,
don’t drink it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about drinking Craft Beer,
don’t drink it.
if you’re trying to drink it like somebody
else,
forget about Craft Beer.

if you have to wait for Craft Beer to roar into
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar into you,
drink something else.

if you first have to drink Craft Beer with your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many Craft Beer drinkers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves Craft Beer drinkers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the Beer bars of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t drink Craft Beer.
unless Craft Beer flows into
your soul like a rocket,
unless not drinking Craft Beer would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t drink it.
unless the need inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t drink Craft Beer.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
Craft Beer will do it by
itself and Craft Beer will keep on doing it
until you die or Craft Beer dies in you.

there is no other way to be a true Beer Nerd.

and there never was.

UBN

(If you enjoyed this poem at all you should really check out Charles Bukowski’s version. Even if you hated this post, check out Hank’s poem.)

Image via mbwctop.blogspot.com

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Barfly’s View: Todd English P.U.B in Las Vegas, Nevada

Todd English P.U.B. Las Vegas ARIA

Anyone who is familiar with the Las Vegas restaurant and bar scene knows Sin City is the land of buffets, celebrity-chef branded restaurants and in-casino bars designed to serve free drinks to fools gamblers. To say Las Vegas doesn’t exactly have a lot of beer bars would be an understatement. But that doesn’t mean the city doesn’t have any beer-nerd friendly establishments at all. (Check out my recent post for a list of the best beer bars I found on a recent trip to Las Vegas.)

One such beer-nerd friendly joint is Todd English’s Public Urban Bar, or P.U.B. (Mr. English obviously thought this name was quite clever; I think it’s kind of corny, but, honestly, the name of the bar doesn’t matter, I was just happy to find a craft-beer-centric spot in the middle of the Vegas Strip.)

Todd English’s P.U.B. is located inside ARIA hotel and casino, at the ARIA entrance closest to the Crystals shopping center and The Strip. ARIA is one of my favorite Vegas casinos, and it is home to a great Chinese restaurant I always visit when in the area, Blossom, so I’m a fan of P.U.B.’s location.

The beer list is decent, nothing exceptional, but impressive for Las Vegas, with a solid draft list of 30 or more beers and an adequate bottle list. The draft beers, however, are rather expensive at $12 each for the better brews (I drank New Belgium’s Snow Day and a Fruli Strawberry beer), but I visited during “happy hour”—between 3 PM and 6 PM—so I got my brews for half off, which basically reduced the price to a semi-normal number.

Todd English P.U.B. Las Vegas ARIA

I didn’t try the food, because it too was exorbitantly expensive, especially for bar food. But the menu did look appetizing, thanks to some interesting twists on typical pub grub. The tattooed, hipster bartenders supplied free shelled peanuts, and you can just drop the shells on the floor when you’re done eating. I don’t know why, but I’m a big fan of the whole eat-nuts, drop-shells-on-the-floor thing, so P.U.B. gets a thumbs-up on that account.

The atmosphere in Todd English’s P.U.B. is a bit too Vegas for me, meaning too shiny, fancy and loud, but it is located on The Strip, in one of the nicer casinos, so, you know, that makes sense. A number of tables around the bar have built-in taps so you can pour your own beer, and they were clearly a hit with the customers I saw using them. P.U.B. also had a nice dart-board area, so if you like throwing sharp objects at circular cork board, you’ll find a friend in P.U.B.

Overall, I’m a fan of Todd English P.U.B., especially because it is one of the few craft-beer bars I found in Las Vegas. The bar’s website is down at the time of writing, but hopefully you’ll be able to find information on Todd English P.U.B.’s site in the future.

UBN

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Dogfish Head ‘A Hop Eclipse Now:’ New IPAs, New Glass and New Randall the Enamel Animal

Dogfish Head A Hop Eclipse Now

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery today announced a new promotion it is calling “A Hop Eclipse Now”—a play on the title of the classic film “Apocalypse Now”—and it will be unveiling two new IPAs, a new beer glass and a “new” Randall the Enamel Animal fresh-hopping device during the next few months.

The idea behind A Hop Eclipse Now is to celebrate the current popularity of IPAs and other hoppy beers in America right now, as well as spotlight Dogfish’s rich history of brewing hoppy ales.

The brewery hasn’t specified which new IPAs will be unveiled, though he did say one of them will be fruit infused, not unlike its Hellhound on My Ale IPA. That beer is expected to be released on March 1, and it could be called A Hop Eclipse Now. And a few months ago Dogfish announced that it is working on another collaboration brew with Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., an imperial IPA called Rhizing Bines, so that could be one of the new hoppy brews. Dogfish also didn’t unveil its new glass design yet, but the brewery’s founder Sam Calagione says the glass will be shown off in early February. And the following image, taken from the end of the A Hop Eclipse Now video clip below, gives us an idea of what the new Dogfish glass could look like.

Dogfish Head New Glass Design?

Calagione also says Dogfish will begin selling mini Randall the Enamel Animal fresh-hopping gadgets soon, and the Dogfish website says the $20 Randall Jr.s will begin shipping in February. Dogfish also listed the next-generation, full-size Randall, called Randall 3.0, for sale last month.

Finally, as part of the A Hop Eclipse Now celebration, Dogfish will host a number of related beer dinners across the United States starting on February 7 in Philadelphia and ending March 17 in Cambridge, Maryland. (I’m kind of pissed off that none of them are close to Boston, but I guess that’s my problem. Meh.)

Find more information on Dogfish’s A Hop Eclipse Now and the related new products and beer dinner’s on the brewer’s website or watch the above video.

UBN

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Beer and Loathing in Las Vegas: 11 Places to Find Good Beer in Sin City

Welcome to Las Vegas sign

I’m a bit spoiled when it comes to beer bars, because I live in Boston, a city with a thriving craft beer scene. Boston is packed with great beer bars. (Check out my list of the best Boston beer bars here.)

Whenever I travel, I make it a point to locate quality beer bars, but depending on the area I’m in, that’s not always an easy task. This week I was in Las Vegas, Nevada, and though there’s definitely no shortage of bars in Vegas, the craft-beer scene is somewhat lacking. Las Vegas is a drinking city for sure, but the focus is mostly on free drinks for gamblers or expensive bottles of fancy-schmancy booze and Champagne for clubhoppers.

That said, I was able to find a handful of quality establishments that cater to beer nerds like myself. The following list isn’t meant to be a comprehensive guide to beer bars in Vegas, but each and every one of these bars serves quality beer, and each and every one of them gets a thumbs up from this Urban Beer Nerd. If you know of another joint that I should know about, drop a comment below.

UBN

Image via LasVegas360.com

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How to Keep Beer Cold in Hotel Rooms without Refrigerators

Hotel Room Sink Filled with Beer and Ice

I travel frequently, and so, I lay my head in quite a few hotel rooms. Many of those rooms have mini refrigerators. Some even have full-size refrigerators. But lots of the rooms don’t have any refrigerators, only small buckets and ice-making machines in the hallways.

Refrigerator-less hotel rooms can be an issue for beer nerds who need to keep brew cold. But thankfully it’s an issue that is easily resolved.

First, call the hotel’s guest-services line and ask them if they have mini refrigerators that they can send to guests’ rooms. If so, ask if they charge for use of the machines. Some hotels will send up refrigerators for free, but others—I’m looking at you MGM Grand in Vegas, you cheap fuckers—charge fees.

Getting a refrigerator sent up to your room is obviously the best way to keep beer cold. But if you’re like me and don’t want to pay $20 a day for a shitty refrigerator, you can make one out of your bathroom sink or your bathtub if you’re throwing a hotel-room party and need to cool a bunch of beer. (You can also tell the hotel that you need a refrigerator for medical reasons—you have diabetes, and you need to keep insulin cold—and they should wave the charge, but that’s kind of a scummy thing to do.)

Just fill up the sink or tub with ice and then pack it with as much beer as you can.  Of course, if your sink is full of beer you won’t be able to use it to wash your hands after you take a piss. But that’s a minor price to pay for frosty brew—and you can always wash your hands in the bathtub or shower.

UBN

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Stone Announces Markets for Enjoy By 2.15.13 IPA

Stone Brewing Co. Enjoy By IPA 2.15.13
Update 2: Sooo, MA, TX and MO will NOT get Enjoy By 2.15.13 IPA. Read this post for more information. I’m sorry for the confusion.

Update 1: I just heard back from Stone, and MA, TX and MO will be getting Enjoy By 2.15.13 IPA. Thank God. (I live in Boston, and I need more Enjoy By.)

Stone Brewing Co., maker of the much-lauded—and hyped up—Enjoy By IPAs today announced the 10 markets in which its next Enjoy By IPA, 2.15.13, could be released. I say “could be” because the company’s blog post isn’t exactly clear on the subject. It states that the following markets are “in contention for Stone Enjoy By IPA 2.15.13.” But it also states that Texas, Massachusetts and Missouri showed the most social media engagement while the last version of the IPA, Enjoy By IPA 12.21.12, was still on shelves, so it’s unclear if these states will get the next batch of Enjoy By IPA or not. (Read my review of Stone Brewing Co. Enjoy By 12.21.12 IPA here.)

Anyway, here’s the list:

  • Arizona
  • Oregon
  • Idaho
  • New Mexico
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Sacramento/Lake Tahoe, CA
  • Washington, D.C.

I’ve reached out to Stone via Twitter for clarification, but who know if they’ll actually respond. Regardless, the next batch of Enjoy By IPA is scheduled to be bottled on Friday, January 11, and that’s good news anyway that you look at it. You can learn more about Stone’s Enjoy By IPA 2.15.13 on the company’s website.

UBN

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