Dogfish Head Piercing Pils

Dogfish Head Piercing PilsDogfish Head Piercing Pils (6% alcohol): This seasonal Czech Style Pilsner is a unique take on this style – if you’re expecting a fruit beer or are looking for a traditional pilsner, try again! Piercing Pils pours a translucent golden honey with a head that disappears quickly. The fragrance is made up of bready malt and herbal hops with a hint of sour lemon and sweet pear. The sweetness comes through a bit more in the overall flavor. Piercing Pils starts off with a malty bitterness that is balanced out with sweetness from White Pear Tea and Pear juice and finishes off dry, crisp and refreshing.  This brew is less bitter than traditional Czech Pilsners, but not as sweet as one would think. There is no denying that the pear blends well with this pale lager, so I’d say another success for Dogfish Head Craft Brewery!

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Top 10 Gifts for Beer Lovers

Holiday shopping can be stressful, especially when you have a beer snob on your list. I’ve got some great gift ideas that will make shopping a little easier this year. The Top 10 Gifts for Beer Lovers is sure to help you find the perfect gift this holiday season! Happy shopping!

I Heart Hops: Whole Leaf Hop Necklace

  1. I Heart Hops: Whole Leaf Hop Necklace ($14): This adorable homemade necklace is a great gift for any fashionable beer lover. Bonus, it’ less than $15!bohemianlagerperfume
  2. Craft Beer Glassware Set ($37): This glassware set will allow any beer enthusiast to maximize their drinking experience. The set comes with 6 glasses: strange glass, pokal glass, tulip glass, weizen glass, snifter and dimpled beer mug. I would also suggest buying a couple brews so that these glasses can be tested immediately. Cheers!
  3. Bohemian Lager Perfume ($40): This beautifully packaged perfume is made with “rich aged lager blended with nuances of creamy pumpkin, dark patchouli, oak resin and subtle spice.” Beer lover or not, this is a unique gift that will boost your present-giving abilities!
  4. Chillsner Bottled Beer Chiller ($30): Forgot to stick those beers in the fridge? Don’t worry! Instantly chill any bottled beer in seconds with this great gift.
  5. Stainless Steel Growler: This stainless steel growler is perfect for any modern beer drinker. The stainless steel is stylish, durable and scratch resistance. Plus, the wide mouth allows for easy cleaning. SS Growler
  6. Beer Caramels ($8): Does your beer lover also have a sweet tooth? Satisfy all of their taste buds with these beer caramels available in three delicious flavors: roast Stout, tasty Lager and hoppy IPA… mmm! If caramel’s not your thing, try Beertaffy or Hopdrops.
  7. Personalized Coasters ($20 – $30): Customize these coasters using a variety of designs to make beer drinking that much more special.
  8. iPhone “Bottle Opener” Case ($20): Is your beer lover always on the go? This multifunctional iPhone case will prepare them for beer drinking anywhere.
  9. Port-a-Pint ($12): Don’t have room to pack your favorite beer glass? This portable pint glass transforms from pocket to full sized in seconds. Enjoy your favorite beer with class anywhere.PINT-1744
  10. Beer Themed T-Shirt ($22): Outsmart any beer geek by glancing at the Beriodic Table of Elements on one of my favorite beer themed shirts. Available for in both men’s and women’s sizes.

Beer of the Week: Brooklyn Brewery’s Winter Ale

Brooklyn Winter AleBrooklyn Winter Ale (6.1% alcohol): This Scottish-style ale pours  dark mahogany – a bit of red shines through in the light – with a creamy head that lingers for a bit. Brooklyn Brewery’s Winter Ale is as aromatic as it should be. Bready malt is at the forefront; however, caramel, spiciness, fruitiness and toasted nuts are also picked up by the nose. The aroma lends itself to the flavor as well. The rich, caramel maltiness is the first thing I tasted, followed by a subtle toasted fruitiness finished off with a dry, spicy hoppiness. This is great easy-drinking winter beer. I look forward to drinking one of these in front of the fire while watching the snow fall!

Beer Cheese Steak Soup

Growing up in New Jersey, Cheese Steaks have always been one of my favorite sandwiches. I’m talking about real deal Cheese Steaks, not any of that steak-umm and cheese out of a can crap – sorry Philly! I’m talking about fresh steak, peppers, onions and mushrooms all covered in melted cheese on an Italian sub roll. Mmm…my mouth is watering just thinking about it. My favorite local spot to get Cheese Steaks is Vitale’s Delicatessen in Parsippany, NJ.  They make one of my favorite sandwiches because they don’t just melt the cheese on top of the meat; Vitale’s cooks the cheese with the meat so everything is smothered in melty goodness. Pair that with a beer and I’m in heaven! Unfortunately, my schedule doesn’t always align with Vitale’s, and I just can’t bring myself to order a substandard Cheese Steak anywhere else. I’ve always wanted to replicate this treat at home, but wasn’t sure where to start. Then, I stumbled on a recipe on ERecipeCards and found the answer to my question – Beer Cheese Steak Soup of course! 

Photo Courtesy of erecipecards.blogspot.com

Ingredients (Serving Size: 5):

  • 5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrot sticks, diced
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 1 package white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. hot sauce (I like Sriracha)
  • 1 cup beer (Any dark beer will do)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 oz. cheddar cheese (You can use sharp cheddar for a bit of a kick if you want)
  • 8 oz. provolone cheese
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound thinly sliced top sirloin steak (Try to slice your meat about 1/2 inch thick)

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit
  2. Melt extra virgin olive oil over medium heat and add onion and peppers.
  3. Saute until softened and add salt, pepper and garlic. (Tip: Stir frequently to make sure the vegetables don’t burn).
  4. Stir in the flour and allow to cook for about 3 minutes.
  5. Add hot sauce and stir.
  6. Pour in the beer and allow to cook for about 3 minutes or until liquid is slightly reduced.
  7. Stir in milk and chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  9. Turn off the heat.
  10. Using an hand blender, blend the vegetables until mixture becomes a puree.
  11. Turn the heat to low and stir in your cheddar and provolone cheeses.

For the steak:

  1. Heat remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add steak to the skillet and cook for about 1 minute on each side or until desired temperature. (Tip: Watch the meat closely. It will cook quickly because it is thin.)
  3. You can stir your steak into your cheese soup or place in the middle of the bowl as a garnish.

Serve with a fresh piece of Italian bread and dig in! Dobrou chuť!

Harpoon Winter Warmer

Harpoon Winter WarmerHarpoon Winter Warmer (5.9%) alcohol): This seasonal brew from Harpoon Brewery, based in Boston, is sure to put you in the mood for the holiday season. The name itself was appealing on a cold December night, but I still had to get a second opinion before I ordered. The bartender summed it up pretty nicely; “It tastes like Christmas!” Warmer pours copper with an off-white head that dissolves instantly. I immediately stuck my nose in the glass and was pleasantly surprised with an aroma of sweet apples, spicy cinnamon and nutmeg. At first sip, I was expecting and overly sweet beer. However, Winter Warmer has a smooth, crisp flavor. The spiciness of the cinnamon and nutmeg helps to mellow out the sweetness. A bit of malt comes through at the end, but then finished with the same sweet spiciness. This beer is unlike other spiced ales I’ve had. The low ABV allows Winter Warmer to take on a different flavor profile. I’m glad I tried this beer on tap, but you won’t see me buying a 6-pack anytime soon.