Category Archives: Beer

Guinness Reminder!

Just a friendly reminder, if you were interested in participating in helping Guinness the stout get into Guinness the book, you have only a couple more weeks to go. (Remember, too, you’ll help me earn a little money and possibly win a trip to Ireland.) Here’s what you do:

  1. Go out to the Guinness site.
  2. After you click through the age-verification screen, you’ll be invited to “Join the Party.” Click that link.
  3. Next, you can choose to enter your name and zip code, or log in with your Facebook account. I would love it if you entered your name and zip; if you use Facebook, you won’t be able to pledge.
  4. I would also love it if you entered the word DASH when prompted for an optional code.
  5. Finally, you will then — and I’m sorry for this — have to jump through a Captcha hoop.

This pledging system only works within the United States. Sorry, foreign devils!

Guinness Goes Out for ‘The Largest St. Patrick’s Day Celebration’

Recently, I was contacted by a public relations firm that represents Guinness. The iconic stout brand is holding a promotion in conjunction with St. Patrick’s Day this year. The idea is to set a record for the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration. In this case, the celebration would be virtual: Guinness is asking people to sign a pledge on its website, promising to drink a Guinness on St. Paddy’s Day this year. If successful Guinness will win a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records (which, incidentally, used to be affiliated with the beer brand but no longer is).

So, how does it work? Here’s what you do:

  1. Go out to the Guinness site.
  2. After you click through the age-verification screen, you’ll be invited to “Join the Party.” Click that link.
  3. Next, you can choose to enter your name and zip code, or log in with your Facebook account. I would love it if you entered your name and zip; if you use Facebook, you won’t be able to pledge.
  4. I would also love it if you entered the word DASH when prompted for an optional code.
  5. Finally, you will then — and I’m sorry for this — have to jump through a Captcha hoop.

What’s in it for you? In addition to enjoying a nice frothy draught of Guinness, you can enter to win a trip to Dublin.

What’s in it for me? I won’t lie to you: I get a little money for every pledge that uses my promo code, and there’s a chance I’ll also win a trip to Dublin. Why would I sell myself like this? Simple: I honestly really enjoy Guinness. It’s a brand I support, have spent my own money on enjoying, have bought for other people, and plan to enjoy again soon. I wouldn’t do this for Coors or Corona.

Also, this is a good time to announce that I’m hoping to broaden the focus of this blog in 2012. The bulk of my spirits and cocktail writing is over at Serious Eats these days, but I want to keep this blog alive. That means writing about beverages other than hard booze and fast cocktails. So, I’m launching that with a post about Guinness. Why not?

Guinness has asked me to remind you, of course, that its renowned stout is a beverage that is best enjoyed responsibly. Please do not overindulge; we’ve all had stout hangovers and man, they’re no fun. Please do not drink and drive or operate heavy machinery. Please think twice before trying that line again; that joke never works, so don’t expect it work this time either. Please don’t attempt to dye your Guinness bright green, or for that matter your hair. Leave the funny hats and fake beards at home, or better yet, save your money and buy your buddies a round. When stumbling through the streets of Boston, watch out for cobblestones. Face-planting yourself in the middle of Quincy Market is never as much fun as you think it’ll be.

UPDATE: As noted in the comments, the pledge only works if you’re in the United States. Guinness is running this promotion internationally, but other jurisdictions have other ways to pledge, and I don’t know how those work.

A Very Hoppy MxMo

MxMo HopsWow, I don’t even want to think about how long it’s been since I’ve participated in a Mixology Monday. All sorts of things–lazyness, apathy, antipathy, psychopathy–have gotten in the way. But I’m back, dammit, at least for this one. I love this month’s theme–beer cocktails–so I’m happy to play along. Ta muchly to Cocktail Virgin Slut for hosting!

I’ve decided to update a cocktail I submitted to a Food52 competition, in the long-ago days of October 2009. I didn’t win or place or even show, unfortunately, but I love the drink I made, so I’m hoping this time it meets with more enthusiasm. Here’s my writeup from Food52:

The Seelbock is a variant of the classic Seelbach cocktail, from the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky–bourbon, Cointreau, and generous amounts of both Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters, topped off with a big pour of champagne. For this version, I used a 100-proof rye whiskey in place of bourbon and I tinkered with the bitters. And most importantly, I used a weisse beer, a wheat beer, in place of the champagne. Wheat beers are light, effervescent, and yeasty, just like champagne. For this, I chose the Schneider & Brooklyner Hopfen Weisse, a collaboration between Schneider Weissbier and Brooklyn Brewery. If you can’t find this brew, substitute any good quality wheat beer. If you can’t find lemon bitters, you can muddle lemon peel into the mixing glass before you add the other ingredients.

Some things I didn’t tell the Food52 crowd (I like to keep my headnotes there short):

  • I swapped rye for bourbon because I thought it would provide a stronger backbone for a beer cocktail.
  • I ditched the Peychaud’s because, frankly, I didn’t like it at all in this drink. I found it clashed with the beer. So instead I used lemon bitters (The Bitter Truth’s version), and that was a great choice because it highlights the natural citrus notes in the beer.

photo © Jennifer Hess; all rights reserved

Now, as I said, the July 2011 version of the Seelbock is an update, and here are the changes I’ve made:

First, although it makes a lot of sense to choose a Weisse beer that somewhat resembles champagne (light, effervescent, and yeasty), I’m not sure it makes a lot of sense to name a drink -bock when you’re using a Weisse. And, since I wasn’t sure I’d find the Schneider & Brooklyner Hopfen Weisse again (since it was a limited-edition brew), I thought, well, hell, Dietsch, just get a goddamn bock this time.

So I got a goddamn bock this time, but I kept it in the G. Schneider und Sohn family, choosing their Aventinus doppelbock. It’s wheaty, of course, like their Brooklyn Brewery collab, but it’s a lot darker and richer. I wanted to play with it in this cocktail, to see what a darker brew would add.

The only other change I made to the original recipe was here: “1 ounce rye whiskey”. Let me be honest: I did that for Food52, concocting a less-potent cocktail than I normally drink, in hopes that civilians would try it. I don’t need to do that here.

Between the oils from the lemon twist, the lemon bitters, and the Cointreau, this is a brightly citrusy cocktail, which makes it all the more refreshing for a hot July day. I think I’m happier with this version than I was the Food52 edition.

Seelbock

  • 1 1/2 oz. rye whiskey (I used Rittenhouse, as I did in the original)
  • 1/2 oz. Cointreau (I don’t know why I preferred Grand Marnier originally; perhaps it was all I had at the moment)
  • 1/4 oz. lemon bitters (measure!)
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 4-5 oz. Aventinus doppelbock
  • lemon twist, for garnish
  1. In a mixing glass filled with ice, stir rye, Cointreau, and both bitters.
  2. Strain into champagne flute and top with beer.
  3. Add garnish.
  4. Burp and be happy.