Weekend Roundup: Thanksgiving Edition

by: Sara Bozich
November 25, 2015
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I’m essentially MIA all week long, doing a semi-crazy tour of Pennsylvania through Sunday. Highlights include seeing family (of course), plus checking out two new breweries in the Pa. Wilds.

All the Boziches.

All the Boziches.

I am hoping to swing by ZerØday this evening but we’ll see. Lots of packing and rest to figure out. IF I was in town this weekend, I’d be hitting up the mall then grabbing lunch at ABC for a discounted Bargain Black IPA, and by night, it’d be dancing to The Dirty Sweet. On Saturday, the Odd Ones Bizarre is a must for local, handcrafted original gift buying, and Sunday’s Toys for Tots party is another can’t-miss.


What are you doing this weekend?


5 Ways To Lessen Thanksgiving Stress

by: Kelly Leighton
November 25, 2015
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Thanksgiving, while wonderful, can also be quite stressful.

kelly family

It’s a lot of family time. As someone who thrives on alone time, constantly being surrounded by people can certainly feel overwhelming. And while sometimes I do find myself hiding in my childhood bedroom with a book, a bottle of wine and some tortilla chips, I recognize that’s not the best way to deal with the stress that accompanies holidays.

Here is what helps get me through:

  1. Run (or exercise!). Duh, you knew this would be on here. Running calms me down, allows me to clear my head, and gives me alone time. When I return home, I always feel much less overwhelmed, and I usually have that sweet runner’s high, which makes me much less likely to snap at someone.
  2. Watch what you eat — to a degree. While Thanksgiving is a time to indulge, I know when I eat like crap, I feel like crap. This is a lesson I have learned hundreds of times, and yet, occasionally I “forget,” and then pay the price. There have been many years when I ate just to eat or because it was there. Now, I try to be more mindful (especially as my husband and I have two dinners to go to) of what I am eating, whether I am full, and if I am eating because I am bored, stressed or annoyed. I don’t love pecan pie, so why am I eating it? However, second helpings of my mom’s mashed potatoes? Yes, please. It makes me enjoy the meal so much more.
  3. Remember to be grateful. Sure, when my aunt is asking me for the 13th time when we are having a baby (try never), I can feel my blood pressure rising. But I try to remember I am so fortunate to have an awesome family that cares about me. (Obviously, I am also quite grateful for a multitude of other things, but this isn’t that type of post.)
  4. And on that note, appreciate your family, or whomever you are spending the holidays with. Last year, I dug out the old family photo albums and most of us looked through, laughing at fashion and hairstyles of the 80s and 90s. Sure, I was accused of being “a little too nostalgic” (completely accurate), but that is one of my favorite Thanksgiving memories.
  5. Lend a hand. So much work goes into planning these holidays, and I realize that. So, while my mom is running around in her heels, trying to cook a meal for 25 people, I know the last place she wants me is the kitchen. So, I often help by dusting, vacuuming, taking the dog out, whatever I can do to make her life a little easier. Tis the season.

Categories: Fitness, Holiday, Running

A Thanksgiving Beer Pairing

by: Jimi The Intern
November 24, 2015
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My fellow SB.com colleague wrote about the five fall beers you should still be drink. Now I am here to help you pair those brews with a classic Thanksgiving Dinner.

Maybe I’ll throw a Randall recipe in here as well?

Before we get to Tierney’s list I do have one thing I want to slip in here. Mimosas have always been a tradition in our house while watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade. I got a tip last year about a new way to get your buzz going early with craft beer.

LaMosas – Troegs LaGrave and OJ

It’s a perfect and slightly lower alcohol option for your morning drinks.  The reason it works so well is because LaGrave is pretty like champagne beer. No, not the champagne of beers. The bottle conditioning adds extra carbonation, which makes it the perfect substitute.

You’ve got your early buzz on, now what should you reach for next?

hop knife


Hop Knife

with football and hors d’oeuvres

If you’re like my family, you don’t just show up and eat. The whole day is an event-filled with yelling about football, a little guilt and  getting full from hors d’oeuvres before the turkey hits the table.

Hop Knife has been my go-to beer all fall, so this is what I am reaching for first. IPAs are pretty versatile when it comes to beer pairing. If you want something to compliment the flavor reach for some meats and cheeses.

To give your taste buds a bit of a wake up call, go for something sweet.

A few Hop Knifes can get the day started off right.

Now we hit dinner.

Bell’s Best Brown Ale

with sweet potatoes topped with brown sugar and marshmallows

Tierney is right on with this. Brown ales do not get the credit they deserve. Sometimes I think people have tried Newcastle’s brown and have an adverse reaction to it.

Bell’s brown fits the style perfectly with notes or toffee, caramel and a slight hop flavor. That is why I would crack open this fall pounder with sweet potatoes either in pie or side-dish form.

The sweetness will play with the malt of the beer, while you get a bit of a kick when the cinnamon meets the hop.

The Bruery Autumn Maple

with your choice of stuffing. 

I love stuffing. It’s a staple at any Thanksgiving dinner. The best way to have it is right out of the turkey, to make it even better pair it with the Autumn Maple.

The spices and herbs mix perfectly with the Belgian yeast strain which naturally has clove flavors.

Evil Genius Chickity China the Chinese Chicken

with Fried Turkey


Jimi Family Turkey

We do Thanksgiving big. Two turkeys. One done the traditional way, the other is deep fried to perfection. If you haven’t deep fried your turkey yet, what are you waiting for?

You don’t have to do anything to the bird except drop it in the oil. Fried chicken is always recommended as a pairing for IPAs because of the rich flavor.

In years past I’ve paired the turkey with Sierra Nevada Celebration Fresh Hop Ale. That worked so well, I can’t wait to try this pairing.

evolution rise up stout


Evolution Rise Up Coffee Stout

with Pumpkin Pie/Sweet Potato/Pecan Pie

Here comes some Randalling. You can still do this  if you don’t have a Randall. Just open the bottle of Rise Up and throw some cinnamon sticks in it and put a wine stopper in the top. If you have a Randall, just do you.

The chocolate, coffee and cinnamon will go perfect with any of the fall treats that your grandma is shoving down your face.

Don’t fret if you can’t find these specific beers. They all can be substituted for similar beers that are more readily available.

Plenty of websites offer help for pairing beer with food. I can also help with any pairing questions you have.

Whatever you drink on Thanksgiving, just make sure it’s with the ones you love. It’s a time for family, friends and seriously being thankful for what we have.

What beer are the Steelers making us drink?

by: Jimi The Intern
November 24, 2015
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While it’s technically past the halfway point of the season, the bye week gave us a chance to look back to see if we’re still drinking the same beers as we were at the beginning of the season.

To jog your memory a little, at the beginning of the season I broke down this Steelers team in terms of what beer would represent certain aspects of the team.

Here they were:

  • Offensive line – Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  • Ben Roethlisberger – Troegs Troegenator
  • Running back and wide receivers – Heady Topper
  • Defense – Yeungling Lager

I think a few of them have held up pretty well.

Offensive line

They are still a solid Pale Ale. It’s not always the best beer in the world, but it is reliable. Big Ben has been getting the right protection, for the most part, and they have been integral in the running game.

Looking forward, the offensive line will be good enough for the Steelers to make a deep run in the playoffs.

Barring any injuries.

Ben Roethlisberger

Speaking of injuries. This guy is still pounding Troegenators on the field almost every Sunday.

After suffering two injuries this season (one serious, one not-so-much), he should be good to go. Ben looked fine last week in relief of Landry Jones and should be counted on for the rest of the season to put up video game type numbers.

Nator still fits our fearless fat-ass quarterback perfectly. In fact, when Troegs rebranded they should have used Ben’s grizzly mug for the new look.

Running backs and wide receivers

This core started off as a Heady Topper. It was the envy of all other teams. A one-two punch of Bell and Willams coupled with the head turning speed of Brown and Bryant made this team a nightmare to match-up with. They were unstoppable.

Well, almost. There is one thing that can stop any team’s march toward greatness — injuries.

Bell looked poised to have a historical year until a non-assuming tackle hampered our star for the season. Losing Big Ben also took its toll on the receivers as well. Antonio Brown looked pedestrian with Vick and Landry under center.

Considering all of that, they are still good. Heady good?

Possibly, but I’m down grading it slightly to Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA. This group is still one of the best, but the loss of Bell has to mean something.

Still, I’d rather have 90 Minute in my hand than the piss water the Ravens are dealing with right now.


I have said from the beginning that this defense doesn’t have to be great to make a deep playoff run. They just need to be good enough to keep the offense in the game.

They have exceeded my expectations. I give them a lot of credit now. I hope not too much, though.

Bud Dupree has been a revelation this season. If you pair his play with Ryan Shazier, when helathy, you have a damn good group of guys.

Throw that Yeungling out and pick up a Oskar Blues Pinner.

Yeah, one of our favorite beers here at SB.com is now the proud sponsor of the Pittsburgh Steelers defense.

It exceeds expectations of a session beer, just like the Steelers D exceeded my expectations thus far.

Let’s look ahead.

Pittsburgh has a brutal schedule in front of them. Seahawks, Colts, Bengals and Broncos are all teams in the playoff hunt. The other two games are against the Browns and Ravens away from Heinz.

That’s a rough stretch. I think a healthy Steelers team can win five of those six games, which could even put them in a position to win their division. Pittsburgh is two games behind the Bengals for the top spot in the AFC North.

Verdict: Pittsburgh makes the playoffs as the first Wild Card team and plays the Broncos in the first round.

It wont be easy, so saddle up with a fridge full of beers to keep the stress to a minimum.

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