Beer or Metro ticket?

Brazil is famous for its Carnival, which is an annual four-day festival that begins on the Friday before Ash Wednesday. Celebrations vary by region. Most Americans are familiar with scantily clad women dressed in colorful, extravagant costumes. Parades led by dancers in the streets of Rio de Janeiro or Sau Paulo are frequently covered by the media. Tourists from around the world flock to Brazil to experience Carnival.

Photo Courtesy of the Sacramento Bee

Photo Courtesy of the Sacramento Bee

Unfortunately, the media does not talk about some of the consequences associated with a nationwide festival and an abundance of booze. Drunk driving incidents skyrocket during this time of year according to the Ministry of Health. In attempt to reduce the number of drunk drivers, Companhia Antarctica Paulista,(this is a link to its Facebook page, they don’t have a U.S. website) a Brazilian brewery and soda manufacturer, developed an innovative new product. A beer can that doubled as a subway ticket.

Photo Courtesy of www.adverblog.com

Photo Courtesy of http://www.adverblog.com

The special beer can was designed to encourage Carnival goers to use the subway rather than drink and drive. According to PR Examples, “Fatal accidents caused by drink drivers increase by 50% at this time of year, and the stunt – as well as being great PR – reduced the number of drunk drivers caught after the event by 43%.”

I think this was a great PR move by Antarctica. It was the official beer sponsor of the Rio de Janeiro carnival. The beer company managed to make public transportation cool and helped to rectify a serious problem for Brazilian law enforcement. Consumers were intrigued by such as new concept and had to test out their metro”ticket.” Brilliant.

This campaign helped to generate media attention for Antarctica and was extremely successful in combating drinking and driving. About 1,000 people per hour went through the turnstyle in subway stations, which was an 86% increase than traditional turnstyles on the same day. Plus, all of the cans were recycled! I don’t think they could have developed a better campaign.

So, who wants to go to Carnival with me next year?

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Beer of the Week: Anchor Summer Beer

After a long week at work all I wanted was an ice cold beer. I stopped at my local liquor store hoping they would have something different than the traditional light beers. I perused the beer cooler and saw some six packs from Anchor Brewing Company, a San Francisco based brewery. I have had Anchor Brewing’s Anchor Steam Beer before, but have never seen its other brews. I didn’t even make it in the house before I opened up one of these beers. I took a seat on my patio, put my feet up and took a sip. I didn’t waste any time finding a glass and drank right from the bottle-the picture below is from the next day. Sometimes a girls gotta do what a a girls gotta do.

Anchor Summer Beer

Anchor Brewing Anchor Summer Beer (4.5% alcohol): This American style wheat beer has a light, golden color. The aroma consists of mostly wheat with a bit malt undertones. This brew tastes the way it smells for the most part. I could clearly taste the wheat and malt. I was expecting the beer to have some citrus flavors based on ther other summer beers I had, but there was no citrus in this beer whatsoever- thank you Anchor Brewing! Overall, this is a light beer with some flavor. I wouldn’t go out of my way to purchase this beer again, but I would drink it if it was readily available. I definitely liked it better than some of the other summer beers I’ve had, but it’s not award-winning. Basically, this beer tastes like a wheat beer got together with a summer brew. On a hot day though, this might be my go to.

Beer: Reason # 1 to Drink Up

I read an interesting article on Fitness & Spice. Many people like to say that beer is good for your health, but here is concrete evidence that beer drinking is good for WOMEN’S health. 20130315-193553.jpg

A 2010 Harvard study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed moderate alcohol consumption assisted in preserving the mental faculties of older women. Women are more susceptible to certain mental health disorders such as mood disorders including: depression, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder, dysthymia and cyclothymia – read more here.

Please note that this study refers to moderate beer consumption which is one beer a day for women.

Cooking with Beer: Cheddar Beer Drop Biscuits

You all know I love to drink beer, but what about cooking with it? There are tons of delicious recipes that can be made even better with a little bit of beer. I came across this awesome recipe on Evil Shenanigans.

Photo/Recipe Courtesy of www.evilshenanigans.com

Photo/Recipe Courtesy of http://www.evilshenanigans.com

Cheddar Beer Drop Biscuits (Recipe makes a dozen biscuits)

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup beer (Kelly Jaggers used Shiner Bock, but I used Pilsner Urquell)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter, for brushing

Cooking Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Whisk to combine. Next, add the cubed butter and, with your fingers, rub it in until the mixture resembles coarse sand with only pea sized pieces of butter remaining. Add 1 cup of the shredded cheese and toss to combine.
  3. Make a well into the center of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk and beer. Gently fold the ingredients until just combined, about 12 strokes.
  4. Scoop the biscuits onto the prepared baking sheet then top each biscuit with a little of the reserved cheese.
  5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the biscuits are firm to the touch and just golden brown on the bottom. Brush each biscuit with melted butter and place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown on the top. Cool for 3 minutes before serving.

These biscuits were so good my family and I ate them all before I could get a picture. We ate them while they were still warm along with an ice-cold Pilsner. If you’re looking for other beer recipes, I would definitely recommend checking out Evil Shenanigans for some great ideas. Enjoy!

Celeb of the Week: Katy Perry

Photo courtesy of www.thepourblog.com

Photo courtesy of http://www.thepourblog.com

The two-time Grammy nominated singer has become a pop-icon. Katy Perry was born on October 25, 1984, in Santa Barbara, California. After several failed records, she climbed pop charts with her single “I Kissed a Girl.”  Her 2010 single, “California Gurls” featuring Snoop Dogg propelled her to stardom and became the summer anthem of that same year.

Last year, Perry  made headlines for her marriage to and divorce from actor/comedian/TV host Russel Brand. Most recently, Perry has been named Billboard’s Woman of the Year.

Most people don’t know that she pop sensation is also a fan of beer! She can be seen drinking an ice-cold brew at Coachella 2012. I can’t figure out exactly what she’s drinking, but I can tell that it is not some watered down beer (Coors Light etc.) from the color. Go Katy!

“Mmmhops”

MMMHop-23

I came across this great article on Beer Street Journal. Anyone who wasn’t living under a rock in the 1990s remembers the song “Mmmbop” by Hanson. I think it was so popular my friend’s grandmother was singing it. I haven’t heard the name Hanson in about ten years, but it looks like they’re back- with some craft beers with the same name (almost).

I think it was a great public relations move on their part. Hanson created this product in celebration of the bands 21st anniversary as well as the release of their 6th album, Anthem (read more here). In lieu of the devastating tornados in the region, a portion of the proceeds will go to victims.

According to the Beer Street Journal, Mmmhops is brewed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma by Mustang Brewing.

Naturally, Hanson released the beer at a party for Hangover 3. I wonder if there is a cameo? The Hangover trilogy is extremely popular internationally and what better way to associate with the brand than to create an alchoholic beverage that could lead to a hellish hangover- much the like the characters experience in the films.

Maybe a new song for their product would generate some of the same success as Hanson’s 1997 hit. I can hear the melody already- maybe they can resurrect that yellow car (I think its a Volkswagen), do some awkward dance moves and produce another trippy video. I’d watch it- I mean come on, have you seen them all grown up?

Taylor Hanson-Ed-Helms-Hops

All I can say is what a great way to generate media attention for a band that no one has talked about in years. I’m really interested to see what Hanson will do once this beer is fully released. This whole thing seems like a PR stunt to me, but who knows I guess. Maybe Hanson really is passionate about beer, but I think theres more to it than that.

So I say run with this. I think Hanson should attend some beer events this summer- maybe even perform while they’re there- put out some new songs and record a new music video!

So, when can you buy Mmmhops at your local liquor store? The official release date is scheduled for June. I’d be willing to give it a try. What about you?

Beer of the Week: Ayinger

I was so impressed with Gary’s Wine and Marketplace after my first visit, I had to go back and try some new brews. This time, I had a different goal for my visit. I wanted to see what individual beers I could find for under $5. I came across the some brews from Ayinger Brewery. Gary’s had a handful of beers from this brewer all for about $4. I purchased one and hoped for a decent German beer. Ayinger Brau Weisse

Ayinger Bräu Weisse (5.1% alcohol): This hefeweizen really surprised me. It had a cloudy, golden color and a small bright, white head, which dissipated quickly. Its aroma featured hints of citrus-mostly lemon- and notes of banana. Wheat aromas and flavors are on the back burner for this beer. It has the flavor of a traditional hefeweizen without the heavy, filling qualities. I tasted some herbal flavors along with the banana that was apparent in the aroma, but the sweetness is not overpowering. This beer is highly drinkable. It is light, but full of flavor. I could easily see myself drinking this on a warm summer day (or night). I’m definitely a fan. If you want the flavor of a great hefeweizen without the heaviness I would definitely recommend this brew.

P.S. Sorry about the picture quality. I thought it looked better when I took it!