Gift Series Part III: Inhale

First things first, sign up for our new mailing list HERE.

 This is the last part of our gift installment and not only do the featured items from Swag Brewery smell amazing, they’re also available via Amazon Prime which means they’ll arrive in time for Christmas! Swag Brewery was founded in 2012 by two recent college grads and their craft beer themed goods are all American made by employees who make fair wages. 

Beer Candles: Their hand-poured, soy wax, beer candles are each inspired by a different craft beer and are poured into an upcycled beer bottle. I got Vanilla Porter and I love it. My house smells like I’ve been baking up a storm (newsflash: I haven’t been). Other scents include Tropical Lager, Hard Cider, Breakfast Stout, Apricot Wheat, and more! 

Click picture to purchase


Beer Soap: I am a soapmaker and sucker for homemade soaps, so when I heard about this I had to try it. Beer used to be used to nourish hair, so the concept of it in soap isn’t too far fetched. The soap is made with craft beer and all-natural ingredients. I just used it as shower soap for now, but I tossed a bar in my gym bag as well because it can also be used as a shampoo (or shave soap for you men out there).

I tried hard cider, breakfast stout (made with coffee grounds), and tropical lager and they also have honey pilsner with crushed oats, vanilla porter, an IPA soap with crushed hops, oatmeal stout with crushed oats, and more!

Click picture to purchase


The links are affiliate links. This means our blog gets a percentage of the purchase for no additional cost to you. It keeps us running. 
 

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Gift Series Part I: The Botanicals Edition

This is Part I of our 4 Part Gift Installment

This year I’ve broken down our gift picks into categories because you really can’t lump every beer fan under the same umbrella. First up is the “Botanicals Edition” which is for the person who likes floral flavors, herbal cocktails, and gin cocktails.

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Beer and Food Ideas

Much like how you wouldn’t put curry in your apple pie, there are some guidelines when pairing beer with food. A lot of people know the wine guidelines, but the beer ones aren’t as well known yet. In general with beer you want something that either a) complements or b) contrasts with the food being served. You also want to go from the most mild to the strongest and boldest when arranging a beer dinner pairing.

While we are at it, check out this great book (image is a link) on pairing food and beer:

And this one with some delicious recipes and combos for you to try. New Years Eve party idea:

With these basic guidelines you can get creative and try different combos. After the cut are some tried and true pairings in an infographic from Erik Krass, whose page could be found here: Stateline Nissan Auto.

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Review: Revival Double Black IPA

It’s not secret that we are longtime fans of Sean Larkin and the beers he produces. We had him write the intro to our book, because in our opinion, he’s one of the driving forces behind the RI craft beer scene. And he’s just awesome. He’s the type guy who brings kegs to a first birthday party. For real. From Trinity to Narragansett he’s won 14 awards at the Great International Beer Festival and a bronze at the GABF. This week I got to try the Double Black IPA, one of Revival’s offerings.

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Why did I buy so much pumpkin beer? A solution.

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Did you get all #pumpkinspicebasic this fall like I did and WAY overbuy on the pumpkin beers? “They said there would be a shortage!” Trust me, I’ve done it as well. I live in a Pumpkinhead hoodie because the logo is sweet, and I’ve bartered with reps at fests with beer from the brewery I was working for to land a Pumpkinhead tee.
Well, if your fridge/garage/basement has a few pumpkin beers kicking around and you’ve kind of moved onto winter warmers: I have a solution for you! If you’ve run the gamut of pumpkin rimmers, pumpkin with vanilla vodka, and so on, try these recipes crafted up by Shipyard using Pumpkinhead, a UK meets USA amber ale that is perfect for the fall with it’s sessionable ABV and lightly spiced flavor.

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Smuttynose: The Stallion

I’ll be upfront with this so the haters don’t call me a shill- Kristie of Two Girls is a Smutt peddler now and works for Smuttynose. Lucky for me, I get to enjoy all of the fringe benefits this entails- Smuttoberfest, having her come to my area more often to hit up accounts which usually means getting together for a beer, getting Smuttty at our local beerfests, and samples of Smuttlabs offerings.
Tonight I’m enjoying The Stallion – an 11% imperial stout aged in red wine barrels, from Smuttlabs up in Hampton, NH.
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Wenches, Beer, and Wine

 

 

Alas, it is the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Sixteen. Carvershire is under the rule of the benevolent King Richard, and I prithee well.

Okay, so it’s not a beer fest, but King Richard’s Faire, which is a whole new beast. For two magical months the pine barrens of Carver transform into a medieval shire – replete with jousting, monarchy, minstrels, and mead. Stepping into the forest you’re immediately transported into the past. It conjures to mind different literary worlds. The Canterbury Tales, Hogsmeade, Westeros…men and women walk around in boiled leather armor eating turkey legs with tankards of ale and drinking horns of mead while the more refined go in corsets and ermine, sipping on strawberry garnished champagne from crystalline chalices.

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Upcoming Events 

September is shaping up to be a busy month, so here’s a rundown of upcoming events. Are we missing something? Hosting an event? Have some info you want us to add? E-mail us for info on how to get it promoted- twogirlsonebeerblog@gmail.com


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A BBC for everything 

I found myself out on one of the myriad of heatwaves we had this summer looking for a place to feed the baby and simultaneously feed myself. The Cedarville BBC was right nearby and I love it because it’s:

A) Got good pub food and good pub beer, but…

B) It’s also not pub-ish enough so that I feel like a BAD MOM ™ for bringing my newborn in with me mid-afternoon.

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Jambalaya Beer Pairing

image(3)I came across a Jambalaya recipe at Cooking and Beer that seemed right up my alley. Normally, I’m not a big fan of Creole-style stews (jambalaya, gumbo, etc), but this recipe used a cream sauce, making it more like a stroganoff than jambalaya. She also used fettuccine in place of rice, which looked great paired with the rich, thick sauce, but I still opted for rice. Another key difference in my recipe – no seafood. This is not a personal preference, but rather, a compromise for others in the house with food allergies. Anyone else live with a person who can sense a can of tuna being opened from across the house and will then shame you for it until you dispose of the can outside? Join my group- we can go out for oysters and not have to deal with being given the stink-eye.

As for which beer to pair, jambalaya can definitely accommodate a lot of different flavors. In this case, the rich and creamy base, as well as the tomatoes, spices, chicken, chorizo, and if you opt for the aquatic – shrimp.

image(4)Because there’s so much going on, let’s look at some beers that probably won’t work, before we find out what will. You don’t want something that’s too light. This is still a relatively heavy meal and you want something that will hold up. You don’t want a beer with too much acidity, or one that will be too overbearing. Ideally, you want something that’s big in flavor, but not necessarily in texture.

A couple of options are –

  • Saison – One of the best styles for food. The spicy and peppery notes will match up nicely.
  • Pale Ale/IPA – An IPA with a solid malt base and a non-aggressive hop presence would probably be best. A light hop presence will help accentuate the spiciness of the dish, and an underlying sweetness will keep it in check.
  • Light lager/pils – A clean and crisp light lager will help cool everything down, balance it out, as well as provide a light lemon/citrus character.

I grabbed a few different options from the fridge and (if I was writing a title for a clickbait article) THE RESULTS WILL ASTONISH YOU (they won’t).

image(5)1. Ballast Point Even Keel Session IPA – A floral and fruity character. Light bitterness and a decent amount of bready malt. Good carbonation. One of my least favorite Ballast Point’s but works perfectly in this situation. 3.8%

2. Ommegang Glimmerglass – A 5.4% “spring saison” with orange peel and peppercorns – Bready and floral, with a peppery and spicy yeast character. Light tingling peppercorn spice. I enjoyed this one with the dish.

3. Grey Sail Flagship: A 4.9% cream ale – I thought this would be better but it’s not just a very good food beer; most just a hot summer day beer. Was a little too light in body.

Rhode Island Beer Book Release Party & Show: Cape Cod Edition/RECAP – 4/18/15

“Rhode Island Beer: Ocean State History on Tap” has already launched throughout the Ocean State, but since Ashleigh and I are both native Cape Codders, we figured we’d continue the party into Massachusetts. We’ll be at The Lost Dog in Orleans from 9-12pm with books, posters, raffle prizes, and a live show from surf-punk band The Inframen.

The Infra-Men

ALL ARE WELCOME.

Check out the Facebook event page

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RECAP: What an amazing night! The Lost Dog Pub was packed with people showing support and enthusiasm, not only for us as writers, but for the Rhode Island brewing industry as a whole – Cape Codders drinking Foolproof Backyahd IPA , unheard of! The Infra-Men blew the roof off with their twin baritone surf punk laserblasts and raffle winner Anya took home a goodie bag of TGOB/Inframen schwag.

Location

Lost Dog Pub
63 Rt. 6A – Junction of Rt. 6A and Rt. 28
Orleans, MA

134. Craft Beer Infographics (I love infographics)

Both students and professors at the School of Hospitality at Kendall College paired up to learn about craft beer and came up with a pretty cool infographic. Some of the more interesting points found in this infographic are:

• Just over a third (36%) of consumers drink craft beer. That number may not seem that high but it is way up in the last decade.
• Almost half of consumers (45%) would be more willing to try craft beers if they were more educated about them.
• If a wheat beer like Bells Oberon is a beer of choice for you, try pairing it with Sushi.
• If you are more of darker beers like Stouts, try pairing it with a dessert food like Chocolate cake. Southern Tier Choclate would be a great choice here!
• Sales of craft beer equaled roughly 5.7 billion in 2007. In 2012 the sales of craft beer doubled to just over 12 billion. By the time 2017 rolls around, craft beer sales are expected to triple to over 36 billion. These numbers show excellent growth of the craft beer industry.
• Craft brewers in the United States alone account for more than 103,585 jobs. That’s a lot of people put to work by craft beer.

110. Where do we fit in?

John Smiths 1616 New England map

John Smiths 1616 New England map

We’ve been slowing down on the posts lately, and that’s because we’ve both been trying to figure out what niche we want the blog to fill, along with waiting on site redesign, business cards, and other ways of branding the blog. When we started Two Girls, One Beer, it was a fun way to review any beer that we drank. But that’s vague, and with so many different beer blogs we needed something to set us apart. We didn’t have an existential crisis per say, but instead realized we need to do some serious blogger soul searching, om…

So we decided to focus on local beers, specific to our New England region. We love beer, and we love the Northeast. That’s not to say we won’t post about beers from elsewhere if we have one we truly love (I’m currently working on a post reviewing Left Hand), but here we are living in a part of the country where microbreweries are springing up left and right, and where motivated individuals are sometimes working full-time jobs on top of running their beer start-ups. And that type of passion needs to be recognized.

The great part is that not just brewers, there are brewpubs, liquor store cashiers who are insisting on creating a craft beer section in their otherwise Bud/Miller store, and beer clubs meeting on a weekly basis now. Just on Cape Cod alone we have seen the start of Girl’s Pint Night Out, a home-brewers association, and a mug club at the BBC. And this is all in the slow off-season! The Seacoast region of New Hampshire is also experiencing a nano-brewery boom, with the arrival of Earth Eagle Brewings, Throwback, and Blue Lobster. And the only way the movement will grow is if it garners noticeable attention, and yes, money. So we feel that by sticking to local, buying local, and blogging local, we can help the craft beer scene keep going strong.

I know, I know, drinking local beers is so selfless and noble of us. It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it. So you can expect to see a lot more posts on local beers, brewery tours, and individuals who are working to promote the craft beer scene in our small New England towns. Enjoy!

91. Good last minute gifts for bad shoppers

Yesterday I had my company Christmas lunch, yay, and then I had to go shopping at the mall for last minute Christmas gifts. I had managed to avoid it and go local for everyone this year- but there’s always that one person who throws a wrench in the spokes. And that person would be my sister wanting nothing but a blender for mixed drinks. Thanks. Because I knew I had to face the mall, not only ripe with Christmas shoppers, but also with the addition of the rainy day crowd, I made it a two-drink lunch and went to face the fourth circle (greed) of Dante’s Inferno (the mall) with a nice buzz. Seriously, the women swarming around the Victoria’s Secret bin of discount “PINK” yoga pants remind me of maggots to meat, and then there’s hundreds of their red-faced, squalling spawn, far past the age of bawling to convey their needs (not babies) pitching fits for expensive toys. Back in my day, back when I walked uphill to school, both ways, Santa would have given me a big, “lol no, u suk u were bad. tty next year.” Or, you know, I would have just known not to act that way. But in a world where Wal-Mart greeters get trampled to death so people can buy trac-phones on sale, can we really be surprised by this behavior?


So to help you avoid the stress of last-minute shopping (no one should experience the horror), here’s a list of gifts that don’t require the mall, won’t break the bank, and are good for people who like to drink beer, or who want to get into beer. Sure, it’s almost Christmas Eve, but if you are shopping this late, you did it to yourself and you will just have to suck up the hefty expedited shipping fees. Here are my picks:

1- Brooklyn Brew Shop Beer Making Kit- $40

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Brooklyn Brew Shop Kit

These kits are great for anyone looking to get into homebrewing, and there are so many flavor options- jalapeno saison, chocolate maple porter. you name it. They make a one gallon batch, which is a lot easier to manage if you are just learning, or if you live in a small apartment. One gallon batches are the way to go, bottling is easier, and if your space is limited you can have several different brews going at once, and if one doesn’t come out as planned, it’s a lot easier to get rid of a bad one-gallon batch than tossing out five gallons. If you’ve tried their kits and like them, or already have all the equipment and want to take it to the next level, that brings me to gift #2…

2- Brooklyn Brew Shop Beer Making Book- $19.99

Beer Making Book

Beer Making Book

This book is loaded with seasonal beer recipes, and each chapter ends with food dishes and snacks that can be paired with each beer. The recipes range from spruce beers, to peanut butter porters, all using seasonal ingredients that can easily be sourced locally. They also have some gluten-free recipes, so for glutards who think their beer-lives are over due to intolerance- think again!

3- 99 Bottles of Beer journal $7-10

Beer journal set

Beer journal set

These little journals are great. They’re small and thin enough to fit in a purse, but come with a cardboard case so that you can store them all in one place as they fill up. Each journal holds 33 beers (so the set of 3 adds up to 99 bottles…get it?) and each entry page has places for you to mark price, ABV, type glass used, a flavor/aroma charting system, spaces for the nuances of the beer, color, you name it. It’s nice to have something to organize reviews instead of writing on margins of receipts and napkins, or texting myself snippets of a review as I sip beer out with friends. These are the *official* journals of Two Girls, fyi.

4- Brewery tour and dinner-

Miller tour

Miller tour in 2009- my first brewery, aw. I’m on the right.

This one is kind of a no-brainer, but good if you are looking for a romantic gift and are on a budget brewery tastings are almost always free, and brewpubs often have affordable flights paired with cheese plates and meats. Make a day of it, the brewery tour takes up an afternoon, dinner in the evening. A lot of people don’t realize how fun tours are. I’m planning on taking my dad to Sam Adams as a father/daughter activity this week. He used to homebrew, and I don’t know if he’s toured a brewery before so I know he’ll love it, plus we get to spend time together having more fun than we would if I threw down money for a fancy dinner.

5- Collection of beer to cellar, $10-?- 

Beers for aging

Beers for aging

The cool thing about beer is that you can get a nice bottle of beer for a fraction of the price of a nice bottle of wine. That makes it good for giving- if you buy someone a $10 bottle of beer, you’ve gotten them a nice gift, and it can be aged to taste even better. If you get a sommelier  $10 bottle wine, it probably comes in a gallon jug, and probably isn’t meant to be cellared. For example, I picked up a bottle of the very limited Boulevard Saison-Brett for around $10-15, and was thrilled. Into my budding “beer cellar” it went. The general guidelines for cellaring beer are that it should have an alcohol volume of 8%, be more of a malty beer as opposed to an IPA, and check if it has something like “aged” or “reserve” in the description. That’s not necessary, but it usually means the beer is more suited for being cellared. This site has some helpful tips.

6- Custom Beer Tasting Flight Set-  $29.95

Custom flight set

Custom flight set

I just got this for my birthday, and it was one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten. It’s great for when you want to sample a bomber with some friends, or compare a couple different brews. It looks really nice out on the counter with your bottles of craft beer, you know, makes you look more like an aficionado instead of a person with beer on the counter.