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I’m Dreaming of a Moonshine Christmas

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Blueberry Pie Moonshine Recipe
bb-moonshine-620x330

By Brad Smith at Giffin’s Guide

Bring a bottle of this homemade blueberry pie moonshine to your next gathering and you will go home with more friends than you arrived with.

In this recipe for homemade blueberry pie moonshine, the alcohol taste is not so subtle. Actually, it comes right out and smacks you in the face but then goes easily down with a nice full blueberry aftertaste. Blueberry pie moonshine is more my style as it is designed to be a slow sipper instead of a big gulper like apple pie moonshine sometimes can turn out to be.

To get this started, let me first go on record and say again, this is not real homemade moonshine. This is a very strong mixed drink that can have the appearance of moonshine since it is stored in a jar like the real stuff.

Ingredients

1/2 bottle of 190 proof Everclear (750ml)
1/2 cup of vanilla whipped Vodka
1 can of blueberry pie filling
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 gallon of Blueberry Juice or juice cocktail (found at any grocery store)
1 tub of blueberries
5 cinnamon sticks

Directions

Begin by bringing the juice, cinnamon sticks, and whole blueberries to a slow simmer in a large soup pot.

When simmering, add in the brown sugar and one can of blueberry pie filling. Stir slowly and continue to simmer for about 25 minutes.
When the blueberries are soft and the all the sugars are dissolved, turn the heat off and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

Once at room temperature, add in 1/2 cup of vanilla whipped vodka, and about 1/2 of the bottle of Everclear.

Transfer the moonshine into 1 quart jars and store in the refrigerator for at least 5 days before drinking.

This will be a much harsher drink than the apple pie moonshine, so be ready for that. The blueberries just don’t hide the strong alcohol taste, however with slow sips, this drink is delicious. The longer it ages in the fridge, the better it will be. I would suggest at least three or four days. This recipe, as listed, will make just over 3 quarts. You may need to experiment with the amount of Everclear to add to this recipe. I enjoy bourbon and rum straight up, so stronger tasting drinks are right up my alley.

There are some variations to this homemade moonshine that I have found as well:

Variation #1. Use about 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract instead of the vodka.

Variation #2. Strain the blueberries out of the mixture. However, I like putting the blueberries in the jars and eating them later…

Variation #3. Use white sugar instead of brown. It will taste a little more like juice and not so much like pie though.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Moonshine

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Ingredients

1 750ml bottle of 190 proof everclear – If you can’t get this in your state, a high proof vodka will work also
1 750ml bottle of chocolate liqueur – I used Crave Chocolate Truffle
2 jars of 32 oz tart cherry juice
1 large jar of maraschino cherries
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
Any size mason jars of your choosing
Directions

To get this chocolate covered cherry moonshine recipe going, bring the cherry juice to a boil in a larger pot. Once boiling, add in the large jar of maraschino cherries and 1/2 cup of both white and brown sugar. Stir for a few minutes until all the sugar is dissolved. At that point, turn the heat off and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

Once cooled to room temperature, pour in 2 1/2 cups of the everclear into the mixture along with 1 full cup of the chocolate liqueur. Feel free to add more everclear if you like. The cherry hides the alcohol taste very well so you can probably get away with a whole bottle of the everclear if you are feeling froggy. I like strong booze though so more isn’t a problem for me. I intentionally made this batch a little weaker because I was bringing this for a family gathering and was more concerned with taste than effect. However you roll is up to you.

Stir the mixture until everything is blended then pour into mason jars of the size of your choosing. I also added the cherries from mixture to the jars as well. I also used pint jars so I can give them away as Christmas presents to a few people. Be careful though! Depending on the amount of everclear you add to the mixture, this can be very strong!
These should store in your fridge for a long time, but otherwise, just keep them in the cupboard or closet until you are ready for them. Normally these types of drinks are better after a week or so anyways.

Raise that pinky finger, Pretentious Beer Glass Company

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Pretentious Beer 1 set all PG glasses

Beer glasses in sets called The Pompous Set or The Snobby Set, from the Pretentious Beer Glass Company.

Owner, artist, and designer Matthew Cummings explains,

The PBGC originated from a small drinking club at the Mellwood Arts Center in Louisville, KY. Each Friday afternoon, we would take off work early to sit in the courtyard and drink great craft beer. After a couple too many (all good ideas start this way, right?) the club decided that I should make beer glasses for everyone.

Cummings spent months perfecting his designs before launching his product line and is now working 7 days a week to keep up with orders as he still runs his shop largely on his own. He maintains the pretentious tone throughout the site, including recommended beer pairings with each glass. Descriptions about which types of beer each glass can get to “really sing,” how they can enhance the “aromatic qualities,” or ways in which “you can smell the bouquet of both beers” will either leave you feeling right at home or have you reaching for a Bud Light.

See some of Cummings’ creations below and visit his Etsy page to order one (or a set) for yourself…

The complete “Pretentious Set”

Pretentious Beer 2

 

Pretentious Beer 1 set all PG glasses

Sauvin Glass

Pretentious Beer 3 sauvin glass

Dual Beer Glass

Pretentious Beer 4 dual beer glass

Ale Glass

Pretentious Beer 5 ale glass

Malty Beer Glass

Pretentious Beer 6 malty beer glass

Aromatic Beer Glass

Pretentious Beer 7 aromatic beer glass

Imperial Beer Glass

Pretentious Beer 8 imperial beer glass

Subtle Beer Glass

Pretentious Beer 9 subtle beer glass

Hoppy Beer Glass

Pretentious Beer 10 hoppy beer glass

(via Neatorama)

Five Great Dive Bars Between the Florida Keys and Miami

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Dive bars are a place you can go without needing to dress up and drench yourself in cologne. Each has its own character which makes the casual wanderer-in want to be him/herself. While in the Keys recently, we found a few such dive bars worth mentioning.

· Green Parrot Bar – 601 Whitehead St. Key West – Open Daily 10am – 4am
This dive bar is a long time favorite among locals and tourists. Formerly called The Brown Derby Bar during WWII, it was a favorite among the submariners and sailers stationed a few blocks away. Now called Green Parrot bar, some of the retired sailers still come back to the bar to find it virtually unchanged. I’m sure it can get very busy during the summer but the bartenders are quick and knowledgable so you won’t be waiting for your drink for too long.

· Capt. Tony’s Saloon – 428 Greene St. Key West – Open Daily 10am – 2am
It is always great to go somewhere that has plenty of history. Capt. Tony’s Saloon is just that. Opened in 1851 as an icehouse and morgue, it eventually transformed into a humble watering hole for many influential people. It was Ernest Hemingway’s regular bar. He even stole a urinal and dragged it to his private garden where it still provides water for the 45 cats currently in the compound. This is a must-visit place for anyone that wants to have a good time.

· Alabama Jacks – 58000 Card Sound Rd. Homestead Fl. – Open Daily 11am – 6:30pm
Although it is about a 10 miles drive from US1 in Key Largo, this place is a must. It has a legendary following who love the homestyle food served there. It is located on a small river surrounded by mangrove trees. The obvious go-to food options are the Conch Fritters and Dolphin Burger. The jalapeno poppers and friend pickles were the best I’ve ever had.

· Mac’s Club Deuce – 222 14th St. Miami Beach – Open Daily 8am – 5am
This is your quintessential dive bar in South Beach. It’s grimy and you probably wouldn’t want to touch a whole lot. Once you get past that, soaking in the atmosphere is a lot easier with the ocean breeze creeping in through the windows. The beer and liquor selection is nothing special but there is something for everyone to enjoy (unless you’re underage).

· Lost Weekend – 218 Espanola Way Miami Beach – Mon-Sat 5pm – 5am / Sun 2pm – 5am
Located just a short drunken walk away, Lost Weekend is the most spacious of the aforemetioned bars. Drinks are similar to any dive. Although I didn’t enjoy this bar as much as the others, it did have an air hockey table in the back which gives it bonus points.

Just as a caution to anyone that is sensitive to cigarette smoke. Smoking is legal in bars down there. So maybe grab a seat by a window for fresher air. You are allowed to drink in public as long as it isn’t in a bottle and many bars will not let you in with outside drinks. Pretty standard.

[Photos: Steven D/Jaunted]

Beer and Bacon: “When Pigs Fly”

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beer-bacon_600Philly.com
POSTED: FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014, 12:22 PM
David and Jack Cunicelli have introduced all-natural, house-cured and smoked, thick-cut bacon at their 320 Market Café (713 Chester Rd., Swarthmore)

And what goes better with bacon than beer.

The Cunicellis have launched a beer and bacon flight called “When Pigs Fly” that is available for $12 through April.

You get a sampling of each.

Their tasting notes:

Saison + Balsamic, featuring Stillwater Classique (4.5% ABV): Drizzled with a house-made balsamic reduction, the bacon in this pairing takes you back to the pasture, where farmers historically ended their days with a light and refreshing Saison.

Belgian Tripel + Blood Orange, featuring Allagash Tripel (9.0 ABV): Salty and sweet combine in this pairing, where the bright citrus crispness of blood orange holds its own against savory bacon as the honey notes of a Belgian-style Tripel tie everything together.

Stout + Dark Chocolate, featuring Founder’s Breakfast Stout (8.3% ABV): A thick, roasty stout provides a perfect complement for smooth and dense dark chocolate, while the bacon’s smoky crunch intensifies the richness of the stout and the chocolate.

Bleu Cheese + Bacon, featuring Bell’s Two Hearted Ale (7.0% ABV): A creamy gorgonzola spread amplifies the bacon’s satisfying, salt-cured richness while simultaneously coaxing a subtle sweetness from this traditionally bitter style of beer.

The beer pairing and the bacon sampling are available separately for $8 apiece, for beer lovers who don’t eat bacon or bacon lovers who don’t drink beer.

 

Beer taps installed in Colorado governor’s mansion

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govwithbeerDENVER (AP) — Colorado’s governor used to brew beer for a living, and now he has new beer taps in his home.

State officials announced Friday that private donors have paid for a new “draft beer system” in the governor’s mansion.

The mansion now has three taps that will feature changing Colorado-made brews.

The Colorado Craft Brewers Guild helped pay for the taps, along with the Governor’s Mansion Preservation Fund. The price of the taps was not disclosed.

Gov. John Hickenlooper co-founded a downtown Denver brewpub in the late 1980s and frequently espouses his love for Colorado beers.

“It just seemed appropriate,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper, a former brewer who founded the Wynkoop Brewing Company in LoDo back when downtown was a ghost town and craft beer wasn’t anything close to the $800 million a year industry it’s become with 232 federally licensed breweries and brewpubs in Colorado.
“If you’d have told me we’d one day have 235 breweries, I’d have laughed,” Hickenlooper told FOX31 Denver Thursday. “I think it’s a symbol of Colorado; I think it stands for freedom, having a lot of choices.
“The mansion is another symbol of Colorado. It’s where we entertain. It’s where we kind of show off Colorado, and beer has become a big part of what Colorado is.”
Not surprisingly, a Wynkoop beer, Silverback Pale Ale, was the first small batch keg tapped at the mansion on Thursday; and the plan is to rotate unique small batch brews from breweries all across the state.
“We’re going to try and rotate all the different breweries, all the different beer,” Hickenlooper said. “So it becomes a showcase for the quality of Colorado.”
The taps will be ready in time for a party at the mansion Friday night to kick off Colorado Craft Beer Week, a celebration of an industry that now employs around 5,000 Coloradans.
“With more than 200 different breweries in Colorado, we’re probably brewing several thousand beers in a year,” said Steve Kurowski with the Colorado Brewers Guild. “These are some of the freshest, some of the most world-class beers being brewed around; to have these on showcase at the mansion is very exciting for our industry.
“They will create a conversation; it’ll be very unique every time there’s an event here and these beers are being poured.”
The industry has grown steadily since the first brewpub was founded in 1979; but the growth is really frothing of late, with 53 new small breweries licensed just last year.
“That’s one new brewery opening up every week,” Kurowski said. “It’s just getting bigger and better every single day.”
Installing the taps inside the mansion’s historic first-floor parlor, already home to a bar and photographs of every governor in Colorado history, wasn’t a done on a whim but with months of planning and consideration for preserving the integrity — structural and historical — of the mansion itself.
But it wasn’t as difficult as some staffers thought it might have been.
“We were lucky,” said Kevin Patterson, Hickenlooper’s deputy chief of staff. “The drain worked extremely well; we were able to just run [the tap line] straight up from the basement. We only had to add a little bit of electrical power for the refrigeration unit downstairs.”
Patterson, who’s been involved with this project from the start, says the former brewpub founder governor hasn’t left much to chance, wanting to sign off on the pint glasses and the pours.
Hickenlooper, who’s been criticized by GOP rivals heading into his reelection year as a “state bartender”, isn’t worried about the new craft beer offerings at the mansion, being tapped now just a few months into Colorado’s recreational marijuana experiment, impacting his own fortunes or the state’s.
“Craft beer doesn’t fit into that notion with the legalization of marijuana that Colorado is a party state,” said Hickenlooper. “If you’re going to get drunk, you’re not drinking craft beer.
“Craft beer is really about drinking less and partying less to some extent, but really enjoying it more. It’s about the flavor and bouquet of the beer.”

Beer Battered Cauliflower Tacos Baja Style

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babaTacosCauli.Beer Battered Cauliflower Tacos via Nicole Presley at Presley’s Pantry

1 – head of cauliflower
1 1/2 – cups flour
1 – teaspoon baking powder
1 – teaspoon Lawry’s seasoning salt
1 – teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 – teaspoon cumin
1 – egg
1 – bottle Mexican beer
Vegetable oil (about 3 to 4 cups)
Corn tortillas
Ingredients for garnish:

avocado
lime
cabbage (thinly sliced)
radish
cotija cheese
Mexican crema

Ingredients for salsa chile de arbol:

5 – tomatoes
8 – chile de arbol
4 – cloves of garlic
1/2 – onion
salt

Directions:

Wash and cut cauliflower into bite size pieces by removing the leaves and stem. Then break off pieces.
In a large pot filled halfway with water over a high flame, bring water to a boil. Drop cauliflower pieces in hot boiling water and let par-boil for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from water and drain completely.

Cut the cauliflower into little nugget sized chunks and set aside. Heat up the oil in a pot over a medium to high heat. Mix all the batter ingredients and dunk a little pea sized amount of the batter into the oil to test if it’s ready; if it is ready, it will bubble happily. Place a few cauliflower chunks at a time in the batter, let them drip off and then place them in the oil; flip a few times and cook until golden brown. Place on paper towel. In a large bowl add in flour and baking powder. Then the lawry’s, garlic powder and cumin. Mix to combine. Pour in egg and beer. Whisk until batter is no longer clumpy. Set the batter to the side to rest for 10 minutes, then it’s ready. Pour drained cauliflower pieces into beer batter. Mix to combine well.  In a pot add vegetable oil over a medium flame. Allow to get hot. Using thongs add in one piece of battered cauliflower at a time. Deep fry for several minutes or until golden brown. Oil will bubble, and once it starts to calm down a little the piece is golden and crispy. Place all crispy cauliflower pieces on a paper lined plate to drain.

Make the salsa: In a small pan filled with water halfway over a medium flame bring to a boil. Add in tomatoes and chile de arbol. Boil for 35 to 40 minutes.

In a small frying pan with a touch of vegetable oil over a medium flame, add in onion and garlic cloves. Fry until browned on the outside.
In a blender add in tomatoes, chile de arbol (stems removed), onion, garlic, salt, and 2 cups from the water the chiles boiled in. Blend until smooth about 5 minutes. Heat the corn tortillas, fill with crispy cauliflower pieces, and garnish as you desire.

 

Buttery Beer Bread

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quick, easy, fast, quick bread, easy beer bread, fast beer bread

Buttery Beer Bread Via Jessica Segarra at The Novice Chef Blog

Yield: 1 loaf Total Time: 1 hour
Recipe Note: I used Yuengling (original) this time. I prefer to use Shiner Bock, but the store was out. I would suggest using a darker beer because it gives the bread better flavor, but a light beer will work in a pinch!

ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 bottle (12 ounces) beer
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
Butter w/ Canola Oil
directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Line with parchment paper for easy removal (optional).

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir the beer into the dry ingredients until just mixed.

Pour half the melted butter into the bottom of the loaf pan. Then spoon the batter into the pan, and pour the rest of the butter on top of the batter.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve immediately with a smear of more butter, or reheat in the microwave for 20 seconds.

 

Couch By Couchwest Online Music Festival #CXCW14

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BeerCanCouch copy copy

Yes indeedy it is that time of year, If it’s SXSW it’s CXCW  March 9th through March 15th

Find us on WebTwitterFacebook and Instagram

Let’s face it, we’re all too broke to go to Austin, and even if we had the money, we couldn’t get out of work anyway. There’s this pesky thing called “life” that keeps getting in the way. Allow us to introduce you to Couch by Couchwest.

960X960CXCW is an annual online music festival that is for everyone. No badges, lanyards, bracelets, parking fees, ticket lines, exclusive parties, VIP tents, porta-potties, babysitters, dogsitters, expensive beer prices, or crappy hotel rooms…just the sweet comfort of your own couch. Here’s how it works, artists and bands from all over the globe record a video performance for us from their living rooms, kitchens, porches, bathrooms, you name it…pretty much anywhere but a stage…and we post them during the week of the festival (March 9 – 15, 2014).

Listen, you’re not the only person out there stuck in an office or a classroom or at home while all the supposed “cool kids” are trudging through the crowds of Austin. We are here for you, friends! So crack open a beer and a laptop, crank up the volume, and enjoy the couch!

Musicians: Please upload your unique to CXCW 2014 video (i.e. for the CXCW festival) to YouTube or Vimeo and send the link to us via the below form or to cxcwest at gmail dot com. (Think of this video as your performance for the Couch by Couchwest audience.)

  • Videos do not have to be recorded on a couch, but they should be recorded essentially anywhere but a stage (we strongly encourage creativity). See these videos from CXCW 2012 for examples.
  • Submitted videos should be unique (i.e. for the CXCW audience). Please do not send us promos, EPK’s, live concert footage, music videos, slideshows, etc…
  • Low-budget iPhone videos are absolutely acceptable, in fact, they are encouraged.
  • For the love of god, no lip syncing.
  • You may do more than one video, but if we run out of time we may post both videos at the same time, or post only one. Your best bet is to do one kick-ass video that knocks our socks off!
  • Please tag your video with “CXCW2014″ so that we may keep track of it on our YouTube channel (if you use Vimeo or some other service, please do the same).
  • Also please include where you are from and any links you wish us to use (website, facebook, twitter, etc…) so that we may point our readers to you.
  • If you are uploading your video prior to the start of the festival, please set it to “Unlisted”. This can be changed once the festival starts. Setting it to “Private” means we won’t be able to see it.
  • We will be your new best friends if you submit your video link in this format – Youtube: Share: Embed: Video Size: 640 x 360/480, copy/paste
  • We love all types of music and will try to post everything (unless overly offensive of course…i.e. Nickleback covers). Only Darius Rucker* is allowed to send in a video of “Wagon Wheel.”

*The Darius Rucker “Wagon Wheel” provision was enacted in 2012 well before his version was even recorded, and quite frankly, we are amazed and sickened at the power we wield. Proof. This provision still stands and is henceforth known as the Darius Rucker Wagon Wheel Provision of 2012.

Those in the crowd: we want to see how you spend the CXCW festival! Send us pics of your CXCW festivities, recipes, haikus, pet photos, avant garde performance art, kegerator, moonshine still, etc… viacxcwest at gmail dot com.

We are currently accepting submissions, but we will not begin posting them until March 9. Receiving videos ahead of time makes life a lot easier on this end, and allows us more time to watch videos and drink beer during the week (hint hint).  The last day to submit photos/videos is at 12:00pm Noon Eastern/9:00am Pacific time March 15th!

Remember, we do hand out dubious awards at the end of the festival so be creative and get your rock on!

Where the beer is cheaper and the only hipster is you.

Where the beer is cheaper and the only hipster is you.

CXCW2014 Beardliest Beard & Mustachliest Mustache Contest
The fine folks at The Mod Cabin have graciously offered some of their premium beard and mustache care products to us, so what to do…HAVE A BEARD AND MUSTACHE CONTEST OF COURSE! Winner for each category will win a Mod Cabin prize pack which will consist of Beard Balm + Beard Oil set and Mustache Wax + Mustache Comb respectively. To enter simply tweet or email us a photo of your glorious face fur tagged with #CXCWbeard or #CXCWmustache

Hooper

@Hooper

@AaronOfOhio

@AaronOfOhio

CXCW2014 Taco Tuesday Contest
Here at CXCW, Taco Tuesday runs from Tuesday to Saturday. Send us photos and/or recipes to be entered. Please tag with #CXCWtacos

CXCW2014 Waffle Taco Wednesday Contest
We want to see your best examples of the infamous Waffle Taco. Send us photos and/or recipes to be entered. Please tag with #CXCWwaffletaco

CXCW2014 Haiku Contest
It’s a CXCW tradition, tweet us or send us your CXCW Haiku to be entered. Please tag with #CXCWhaiku

CXCW2014 “Roll-Your-Own” Poster Contest
Budgetary cuts have forced CXCW to slash budgets and gut departments, and of course the lowly art department is the first thing to go. This is where you all come in friends. We know there are some talented people out there who can create MUCH better posters than we ever dreamed of, plus we enjoy seeing what you guys come up with. So this year we are announcing our CXCW Poster contest. Send us your best CXCW poster via twitter or email to be entered. All entries will be entered in the final CXCW2014 Raffle to win prizes from our prize pool. Please tag your tweet/email with #CXCWposter to be entered. To view the posters we have received, please visit our Downloads page.

CXCW2014 Poster Posting Contest
What good is having a bunch of awesome posters if they never get posted anywhere? Here’s how it works, choose from the posters on our downloads page and send us a photo of one posted somewhere. Around your town, at your favorite bar, on your own walls, in your Grandma’s bathroom, hell we don’t care and we LOVE creativity. Send us a photo via twitter or email to be entered. Make sure to use the tag #CXCWposter to be entered.

The CXCW2014 Prize Pool
Participants from all contests (except beard & mustache) will be entered into one big CXCW raffle at the end where we will draw names at random for each of the prizes listed below. Please note: you may participate as much as you like in each contest, but you will only be counted once per contest entered (example: You send in an entry for 3 contests, your name will go into the raffle 3 times. You send in 3 entries to one contest, you will go into the raffle once).

 

 

Visit the CXCW Archives for a list of past performers, and highlights from previous year’s CXCW festivals.

Contact us at cxcwest@gmail.com

For video and photo submissions, please see the Submissions page.

Visit our Youtube channel for videos from past CXCW fests.

Find us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

Text us: 240-CXCWEST (240-292-9378)

 

Amsterdam Alcoholics Are Given Beer to Clean Streets

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NETHERLANDS-SOCIAL-ALCOHOLISMAmsterdam Alcoholics Are Given Beer to Clean Streets
By Erika Watts

Getting paid in beer might sound like a pretty sweet deal for some of us, but many are questioning Amsterdam’s new program that gives alcoholics beer to clean the streets. As odd as this sounds, Amsterdam officials say these people are actually consuming less alcohol per day now thanks to the program.

The homeless people who participate in this government-funded street cleaning program are given five cans of lager, half a packet of rolling tobacco and the equivalence of around $11 USD per shift to clean the streets. They are also given a hot lunch. The officials are pretty strict about when these people can consume their beer–they are allowed two beers before work, two at lunch and one after their shift is over. Beer before and during work? It’s easy to see why some people question the program. (But wouldn’t most of us like to get on board for that?)

Since many people are questioning Amsterdam’s “pay alcoholics beer to work” policy, the leader of this group, Gerrie Holterman, addressed the concerns. “This group of chronic alcoholics was causing a nuisance in Amsterdam’s Oosterpark: fights, noise, disagreeable comments to women,” she said. “The aim is to keep them occupied, to get them doing something so they no longer cause trouble at the park. They’re no longer in the park, they drink less, they eat better and they have something to keep them busy during the day. Heroin addicts can go to shooting galleries, so why shouldn’t we also give people beer?”

How much beer is left in that keg? There’s an app for that

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kegman

By LuAnn LaSalle

MONTREAL _ Beer servers can find out in real time how many pints of their customers’ favourite brews are left with the help of an app on their smartphones or tablets.

Steve Hershberger, CEO of SteadyServ Technologies, says he wants to eliminate the guess work of how much beer is left in kegs to help bars and restaurants keep track of their inventory with his iKeg system, which has sensor and an app.

“How much beer is left in a keg due to guessing and shaking?” asks Hershberger, who’s based in Carmel, Ind., and is courting beer distributors, breweries, bars and restaurants.

“You can’t see inside the keg. It’s this heavy and unwieldy thing.”

Hershberger estimates there are about 20 pints of beer left unsold in each keg, wasting thousands of litres of beer.

He incorporated social media into the app because “beer is a supportive actor to virtually any social engagement.” Bar owners can post their current beer selections to Facebook and Twitter so customers know what’s available.

“If you go to a bar and your favourite beer isn’t there, you won’t leave but you will drink one third less,” he says.

Hershberger’s iKeg system uses a sensor that goes under a beer keg to keep track of how many pints are left through changes in pressure. The information is sent wirelessly to the app.

Hershberger’s inspiration for the iKeg came from his background in the software industry and as a former co-owner of a craft brewery.

He wanted to know if his brewery’s primary beer was being offered on tap when he was out for an evening and more often than not he was told: “We’re sorry, we’ve run out.”

“At first, I thought that problem was unique to us. It was not. It’s unique to a lot of breweries.”

Roger Mittag, founder of the beer education company Thirst for Knowledge, said there’s already a system in use in Canada that basically shuts down draft lines once there’s no more beer left in a keg, eliminating guess work or shaking kegs. But he likes the app that’s part of Hershberger’s iKeg system.

“If the app actually tells you that this is how many usable pints you can get out of this keg, what it then helps the bar to do is hold the bartenders responsible for making sure there is no waste,” Mittag said from Toronto.

“It can then show a bar owner where the waste is being created.”

But Mittag said he’s not impressed with idea of telling patrons how many pints of a particular beer are left in a keg.

“That frightens me because if I see when that keg was tapped and there’s a certain amount left in there, I might not buy it anymore because I might think it’s not the freshest beer.”

Source: Canadian Press DataFile

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