With a standard one containing 15.5 gallons of beer (and costing around $80), a keg is one of the most cost effective and fun ways to mix up your party. After all, with a keg, no one’s stashing their case of Bud Light in the corner, or having to carry around their half-full bottle of wine; it’s much more communal. You just never know what attractive party-goer you’ll meet while you’re pouring your crew some refills. 15.5 gallons, depending on the party size, could be an awful lot of alcohol…or, your party could be like the one I attended last …
I used to think I wasn’t a beer person. But then a wise friend urged me not to dismiss beer so fast, and encouraged me to diversify my drinking portfolio. While I have full respect for the girls who drink Guinness upon Guinness (as I recently bore witness to at the Bear pub in Oxford) I have yet to embrace a full bodied dry stout. Let me just say that I’m no beer snob—I credit the wells of Keystone Light up at school for that. But with the privilege of summer vacation and the added pocket money from my summer gig, I figure that these are the weeks to get out and try new brands.
Brewery: Johanssons Dining House
Beer: Whistle Stop Amber
Bottle, Can, or Draft: Draft
Price: $3.25 (during Happy Hour)
A lot of people wouldn’t take me as a beer girl. They would look at me, in my over-sized pink sweater and Audrey Hepburn cigarette pants and think, “Oh, she’s a vodka-and-soda girl,” or “Oh, she’s a gin fizz girl.” And honestly, I’m all of those girls. However, I became a beer bunny while abroad in Dublin, Ireland. One small sip of Guinness and I was a goner. I started looking for interesting brews …
I’m usually a Belgian beer snob, but recently my drink of choice has been a little closer to home. As a matter of fact, it’s made just three blocks away from my house, at the Lancaster Brewing Company. You can’t get any more Lancaster County than this place, with names like Amish Fourgrain, Hop Hog, and my personal favorite, Rumspringa. For those of you who don’t know, Rumspringa is a period of time in the life of some Amish teenagers, when they are essentially given a free pass to experience life outside of Amish culture, before deciding whether or not they want to remain in the church. My hope is that they drink plenty of beer from LBC before going back.
Brewery: Flying Fish
Beer: Exit 4
Bottle, Can, or Draft: 12 oz bottle
Appearance: Clear golden straw, with a beautiful white head that eventually diminishes.
Flavor Profile: A crisp, floral taste with a sweet citrusy finish. It is medium-bodied with a delicate, spritzy mouthfeel.
User Profile: You enjoy pale ales and pilsners but want to expand your repertoire. Or, you’re looking for a light beer that stands apart from the others, as this beer doesn’t scrimp on taste or ABV.
Occasion: Happy hour (one beer will have you feeling quite happy) or outdoor get-togethers. Unlike some pale ales that benefit …
Brewery OR Bar: Magic Hat Brewing Company, South Burlington, Vermont
Beer: Elder Betty
Bottle, Can, or Draft: Bottle
Body: Hazy golden color with a light to medium body
Flavor Profile: Noticeably fruity aroma with banana and berry flavors that brighten the strong malty background.
User Profile: Those sick of watered down “summer beers” who long for something with bold flavor.
Occasion: a backyard barbecue or quiet night on the porch
Brewery OR Bar: Brouwerij Van Steenberge in Ertvelde, Belgium OR Café Retro, Copenhagen, Denmark
Beer: Du Monde Blanc
Bottle, Can, or Draft: Draft
Body: Hazy opaque golden orange color with light carbonation and a thin white head
Flavor Profile: Strong honey aroma with citrus and slight malt. Flavored with sweet orange and coriander.
User Profile: This beer is summery and tangy (read: girly). However, it’s a genuinely enjoyable beer for any gender.
Occasion: A free jazz concert in a hyggeligt coffeehouse
The first sip did it. Du Monde Blanc was the best beer …
Brewery OR Bar: Guinness, Dublin, Ireland OR Kitty Hoynes, 301 West Fayette St., Syracuse, NY.
Beer: Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale
Bottle, Can, or Draft: Draught
Body: A dark amber color with medium body and a rich, creamy head.
Flavor Profile: Similar to a Guinness but with more subtle flavors. Slightly malty with a great balance of sweetness and bitterness.
User Profile: Perfect for those who aren’t huge Guinness fans, but still want a true Irish brew. This beer has some similar characteristics, but is easier to drink.
Occasion: St. Patty’s Day celebration or any night as your favorite Irish pub…
Brewery: Stone Brewing Co., from San Diego, CA
Beer: Arrogant Bastard Ale
Bottle, Can, or Draft: 1 Pint Bottle
Flavor Profile: A smooth ale that is darker and richer than most. Full-on hops, but the bitterness is tempered with a caramel sweetness.
User Profile: Arrogant Bastard seems to either have its diehards or those that try it for novelty’s sake. If you’re new to strong ales, share the pint — the high alcohol content and strong flavor means that it’s best enjoyed in smaller quantities.
Occasion: Beer-tasting with friends, a slow night chatting at an uncrowded bar, or a night …
Brewery: Saranac; Utica, N.Y.
Beer: White IPA
Bottle, Can, or Draft: Draft
Body: A mildly heavy beer lightened by bright, fruity notes
Flavor Profile: This hybrid IPA and Belgian White maintains the crisp, lightness of a pale ale, but with a more mellow hop, softened by the addition of wheat.
User Profile: A beer with wonderful complex flavors that stand up well to food. Good choice for those who want a substantial, but enjoyable beer. You’ll know you’re drinking a quality brew.
Occasion: Game-time at your favorite pub, with munchies, of course.
This is the perfect beer to sip casually …