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May 19 2014
The Ultimate Maneuver: Mad Fox Brewing & Big O and Dukes Collaboration Beer Tapping Party

*Editor’s note: Thank you to our palls at Brew Keep, Sean Creel & Matt Van Sant, for this fabulous write-up of the Mad Fox Brewing/Big O and Dukes Show Release Event for their collaboration beer, The Maneuver in Falls Church, VA.  Check out their site at BrewKeep.com, like them on Facebook, and give them a follow on Twitter @BrewKeep.

We witnessed history on May 16, 2014. When the clock struck 9pm, The Horde got its first taste of the inaugural Big O and Dukes Show/ Mad Fox Brewing Company collaboration brew: The Maneuver.

The ultimate result of a brief Facebook message years ago (plus a tremendous amount of brainstorming and hard work in between), The Maneuver was brewed as a session-able, or low alcohol, American India Pale Ale (IPA). Being a session beer, it is a bit more approachable than the beers you might think of when you normally hear IPA. Oh, and you can drink a lot of them! And on Friday night, The Horde took full advantage.

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May 17 2014
The Beer Blizzard

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Editors Note: Our pal and Beer & Pig reader Billy Hanley is back with another innovation in keeping your beer nice and cold. Check out his previous article on Jalapeno Poppers HERE . Enjoy!

Since the dawn of time or at least since the first beer was brewed man has tried different ways to keep it cold as he sipped it on a hot day. The coozie was the greatest way to keep your frothy elixir cold for a short period of time until now.

Introducing the Beer Blizzard, a reusable ice cube molded to fit on the bottom of your can or bottle. According to the company when placed at the bottom of any beer coozie or used alone as a coaster, your beer will actually get colder as you drink it. Beer Blizzards on average work throughout three beers icy cold before needing to be refrozen.

Costing much less than previous products with similar claims the BeerBlizzard can be purchased currently through a Kickstarter Campaign until Monday, Jun 9 2014 10:48 AM EDT . The best part is they will fit in your Beer&Pig coozies.

Rewards range from $13(after shipping) for 3 Beer Blizzard cubes and a coozie, $25(after shipping) for 6 Beer Blizzard cubes, 2 coozies, and 1 Beer Blizzard T-Shirt size XL (they know the truth), to more expensive sets with cooler bags, stadium chairs corn hole sets.

May 15 2014
The Magnetic Beer Coozie

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Be it advances in growlers, unique bottle openers, Mini Keg Coozies, or tools that just help you black out before sunset, we here at Beer & Pig try to keep you updated on ways to improve your drinking experience. With that in mind we present the GEKO Magnetic Can Coozie.

Now you may ask yourself, when would I use such a thing? Yard work. No one enjoys it. Perhaps its why some go to the local home store and find some cheap labor to do it for them. But wouldn’t it be better if you had a little liquid refreshment while driving that riding lawn mower on a hot day? Of course, but it’s not likely your mower, tractor, or what have you has a cup holder for your brew. That’s where the Magnetic Can Coozie comes in.

Available on Amazon for $11.99 (through the Big O and Dukes Amazon tab, naturally) the product features:

“Stainless steel construction with a thick insulating liner to help keep your drink nice and frosty. The key is the heavy-duty magnet on the bottom that’ll keep the GEKO in place on any metal surface, even if you travel over bumps and up and down hills. Holds a standard 12-oz. can.”

No word on if this can handle a longneck but while longnecks and rednecks are your friend, those of us who prefer it* in the can are all set. Of course, if you’re using a riding lawn mower best practices may be to hid the kids, neighbors, and pets if you plan on drunk landscaping.

 

Apr 21 2014
Reader Submission: The Best of Two Worlds- Jalapeño Poppers

Editors Note: Thanks to Beer & Pig reader Billy Hanley for submitting this comparison and critique of two different styles of Jalapeño Poppers from two local Virginia establishments: hot and savory from Cowboy Café and sweet and flavorful from the Q Company.  Enjoy! 

An instant go to appetizer for me will always be the jalapeño popper.  However, with this appetizer there has always been big controversy, down to the type of cheese, breaded or un-breaded, bacon wrapped or bacon stuffed.  For me, the one question I always ask is, “Are they hot or sweet?”

Cowboy

Love the Heat- Cowboy Café:

If you would prefer the melt your face hot and savory popper;  The Cowboy Café in Arlington, VA has the hottest most delicious poppers I have ever tried.

Cowboy Café takes a full pepper and injects it with cream cheese then frys the entire thing, stem and all.  Without pitting the jalapeño the capsaicin level stays as high as possible.  Asthmatics be warned, I have seen these hot little bad boys bring on coughing fits and take men to their knees.  This is one of the tastiest and hottest poppers I have ever had and a go-to whenever we have enough people to share.  One plate is too much for this guy to tackle alone.

 

QCoCrave the Sweet-The Q Company:

Some people are not fans of the heat, and prefer the flavor of a jalapeño without being burned by the awesomeness.  If this your go to then you should swing into The Q Company in Leesburg, VA. Their bacon wrapped poppers are such an amazing way to gear up for incredible BBQ.

The Q Company has crushed the competition when it comes to the sweet and flavorful Jalapeño Popper.  They are halved and cleaned before being stuffed, with a cream cheese and wrapped in bacon.  These baked canoes of awesome are packed with flavor and unlike the other type get a plate for yourself, you won’t want to share.

Jan 29 2014
Pastry’s Corner: The Croissant Donut

croissant donutThe croissant donut, if you’ve paid attention to pastry related news you’ve no doubt heard about this hybrid concoction that combines the flakiness of a croissant and the sweetness of a donut.  (Author’s note: Cronut is trademarked by the inventor, so that’s the last time I’ll use the term to avoid any pastry related lawsuits.)  I’m a donut connoisseur, so a new spin on the perfect pastry is a hard thing to pass up.  On one of my weekly Pastry Patrols through the bakery section of my local Safeway (don’t judge, grocery stores often have great bakeries and they are convenient places to grab donuts) and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a glorious display showcasing croissant donuts.  They had two varieties- glazed and cinnamon-sugar.  Naturally, I grabbed both styles because I’m a journalist dammit, and the complete croissant donut story must be told.

cronut 2At first bite the croissant donut did not blow me away, but then it hit me: how great is a fresh and warm Krispy Kreme?  Thinking on my feet, I threw the croissant donut into the microwave for 10 seconds and BAM, a whole new experience. Look at the picture to the right, see all those little pockets of air?  Those are layers of dough and between each of those layers is butter. After warming the donut, all that butter remelts and you get a buttery soft, sweet pillow of deliciousness the likes of which you’ve never experienced.  This thing just melts in your mouth.  I cannot recommend these enough and I’d love to try them fresh out of the fryer.  Maybe I’ll have to start stalking the bakery ladies to get some fryer intel. Between the two types of croissant donuts Safewway offered, I found the glazed  to be superior to the cinnamon sugar; the glaze provided a better cover while the cinnamon-sugar tended to fall off.

So the moral of the story here: get you’re ass to Safeway and grab some croissant donuts.  You can pick these up at the price point of $5 for a 4 pack, a bargain at twice the price, and  is not bad considering the croissant donuts you read about in NY are $5 a piece.  Grab a box, throw them in the microwave for a bit, and get ready for a bite of heaven.