The holidays are upon us, and with that comes an over abundance of flavored offerings. Gingerbread scented condoms, candy cane infused ketchup, red velvet organic deodorants, and egg nog oak-aged muscle relaxers are a few that come to mind. There is literally no escaping it. I am not complaining, just making a point. So, embrace it.
Even beers get this enrichment treatment, and of course I want to try em’ all. I want them to be inside me and I want to be inside them. So, when this time of year comes, I put on my tightest undergarments and jog the 6 miles to my favorite booze store (Honeygo Wine and Spirits) to peruse their stock. Christmas Ale this. Snowflake Porter that. Seemingly the same stuff any of us would have come to expect. When up on the shelf, a 4-pack sparked such a chatter, I pushed my way through to see what was the matter! And what to my wondering eyes should appear, words like “Pudding” and “Toffee” splattered across this label of beer! Merry drinking to me, and to me it would be a good night!
Yes, this isn’t exactly a “holiday” seasonal offering, but it was nestled amongst a barrage of labels featuring Santa Claus and elves, so its differentiation is what grabbed the immediate attention of my retinas. Plus, I was familiar with Wells & Young’s and whether you realize it or not, you are too. Their most popular variety being that of their Banana Bread Beer, which people seem to either love or hate. Also, the very first “flavored” beer I had when I was a young, smooth boy of 3, the Double Chocolate Stout, was a thing that dreams were made of. Needless to say, Wells & Young’s know a thing or two about making beer synonymous with dessert, so their new “Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale” should fit right in with the rest of the family! Shouldn’t it?
Usually, when sitting down with an ice-cold beer, I do it to relish in the experience. It’s to lean back in my chair, appreciate the flavors, while the suds dance around on my taste buds, and get emotional when nothing is left in the glass except for the sheer, foam lacing. However, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that on more than one occasion I drink for the sole purpose of just blacking out, removing my shorts, and cracking my collar bone while trying to break into my own house window (even though the front door isn’t even locked), but that’s a story for another day. So, back on topic, when getting shit-housed, why not have something on hand to get you to the finish line fast? Really fast. The Beer Tusk is here to help.
We all know what “shotgunning” is, but in case you were in the Model UN Club during college, I’ll give you the Cliff’s Notes version. It’s when you take a knife, key, thumb, etc., jam it through a beer can (towards the bottom), place your mouth over the hole, rotate the can horizontally, pop the tab and let gravity force the beer down your gullet. The problem is, that there is a bit of risk that accompanies this technique. Ya see, when aggressively plunging one of these foreign objects into said can, you are left with the danger of shredding your fingers and disfiguring your face on the jagged aluminum. As the creators of the Beer Tusk, Raging Mammoth, so eloquently put it, “keys are made for doors, not beers.”
The Beer Tusk conveniently rests on your key ring or comfortably in your pocket. It punctures a large, clean-cut hole in your drinking vessel so that you can safely slurp your beer without a care in the f’ing world. Plus, it does it all with zero beer spray! So you don’t have to worry about drenching your friends with Natural Ice while trying to show off. BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! The shiny little sidekick even doubles as a standard opener for your beer bottle!
Now, I ask YOU, faithful Beer & Pig reader, what’s not to love? After all, this is a tool that advances the art of intoxication for the greater good of this fine planet! So, saunter on over to their Kickstarter, toss em’ a few shekels and wait for your Beer Tusk to arrive so we can all gather in the streets to pound beers the way our founding fathers intended!
I’m a man. Not much of a man, but a man.
As a man, I am expected to be able to do 5 things in life. 1) Have the ability to chew and digest bark from a redwood tree. 2) Have the ability to throw a cinder block the full length of a football field. 3) Have the ability to hunt wild boar by moonlight with nothing but a shoelace. 4) Have the ability to pilot a rocket ship/submarine hybrid blindfolded. 5) Have the ability to drink any, and every, beer put out in front of me without hesitation. I can happily say that I can currently do one of those things extremely well.
Beer comes in many different flavors, colors and variations. They are brewed in warehouses, basements, restaurants and mall kiosk kits. Many are fantastic, some are mediocre, and a few are the equivalent to decomposed elf urine. However, amidst the sea of mediocrity, one company continues to make a fantastic product consistently across the board. That company is DuClaw Brewing Co.
I love seasonal brews, and DuClaw is no slouch in that department. As a faithful Beer & Pig reader, you know that during the sweltering summer, I had the pleasure of tasting and reviewing one of their summer offerings, Funk. Just last month, I sat alone in my basement, completely devoid of any clothing and polished off a case of their early autumn 31. Right on the heels of that gem comes one of DuClaw’s most anticipated releases of the calendar year, the release of Retribution and all of its coinciding flavor iterations.
The “OG” Retribution is damn tasty on its own. An imperial stout aged in God damned oak barrels for 6 incredible months! What’s not to love? But I would be remiss if I didn’t admit to you all that my wife has caught me in full-blown coitus with bottles of their Cocoa Vanilla Retribution on more than one occasion. Don’t judge me. It’s the thing that dreams are made of. After all, Pastry Dan knows what I’m talkin’ about! So, imagine my fervor when I was able to get my hands on a bottle of one their more rare offerings, the “white whale” of the Retribution series, Pumpkin Retribution.
Usually while I’m sitting around waiting for whatever slab of animal product I have sprawled out on the grill to cook to perfection, I am engaged in an abundance of activities. Activities that usually involve a combination of drinking something with an ABV, day dreaming about future denim purchases, yelling at neighborhood children and eating. Yes, eating. Why would I eat while waiting to eat? Did you really just ask yourself that? If so, do all of us a favor and head over to Pinterest and look at pictures of crafts cause this obviously isn’t the place for you.
Of course, I could just sit back, relax and breathe in the aura of natures being like an every day Joe, but I can’t. I just can’t! The whole notion of a “lazy Sunday” is not something I follow. I need to be in the thick of things. Runnin’ around in foliage, belting out lyrics to songs with washboards and gettin’ elbow deep in appetizers. Fist-fulls of decadent appetizers! And there is no better app than one that is not only easy as shit to put together…but one that’s chock full of pork and God damned cheese!
Enter, the EASY SPICY SAUSAGE DIP!
Us fellas get a bad wrap. If you don’t believe me, then just turn on your television and wait a minute. People assume when we say we are bringing a dip to an event that we’re most likely showing up with either a jar of Tostitos queso or a can of Fritos French onion dip. While I would happily take both of those and coat my entire body in their splendor, I demand a bit more reverence, and you should too! So lets get you all set up to WOW the crowd without taking a shit load of time away from your day.
Sometimes a good side dish is just as important as the main attraction. Shit, sometimes I will get in this unexplainable trance where I decimate all my sides before I even take a glance at the Old 96’er. I’ve even been known to make an entire plate composed solely of sides as my meal. Sure, when no one is looking I will then grab a fist full of brats and scurry off alone into a dark corner to shove them down my gullet before anyone is the wiser, but the point here is that I like sides.
This is more than my personal likes though.In case you haven’t noticed, we here at Beer & Pig love ourselves some BBQ. It’s what we think about when we pleasure ourselves in the morning and Its the last thing we think about before drifting off into a beer induced slumber at night. Yea, it’s a big deal around here! And there is no other side that goes with BBQ quite like a fluffy on the inside/crispy on the outside hush puppy!
Little known fact, hush puppies can be made by you. Yes, YOU! You can do so without getting a to-go order from Long John Silver’s, without getting a ready-made mix from Food Lion and *GASP* without a deep fryer!
Inconceivable, you say?! C’mon reader, I thought you knew me better than to question my sovereignty. I’m mildly offended. In fact, if we weren’t separated by this computer monitor, I’d spit in your mothers face. But I’m a good man; someone who can forgive and forget. I refuse to let your ignorance thwart you from receiving yet another secret recipe from me that might as well be hidden in the index of Professor Henry Jones diary. Hit the jump for your shopping list. (more…)