Star Wars Craft Beer Pairing

If there is one thing that can make grown men cry, little kids laugh and most wives roll their eyes, it’s Star Wars.

The sheer excitement that has been building up inside me for the past few weeks is unlike anything else. It’s Star Wars. A new Star Wars. New characters, music and plots. It’s all new.

I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

This is like the Super Bowl, game seven of the World Series, Stanley Cup and NBA Finals all in one.

While prepping myself for the best early Christmas present any of us could ask for, I of course had to re-watch all of the previous Star Wars movies. Both good and bad.

As I was watching, I began to think about what beer would properly represent each iconic film.

(Welcome to how my mind works.)

And thanks to the awesome boss-lady, I am bringing it to all of you.

I am going in “release” order.

Episode IV: A New Hope and Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

Star Wars IPA

It’s the one that started it all. It started this crazy frenzy that has been passed down generation to generation. Just like the movie created its own culture, so to did 60 Minute.

Episode V: Empire Strikes Back and Arrogant Bastard

ABA 1

It’s brash. It’s in your face. Empire is so important to the Star Wars craze. It showed that the first one was not just a fluke. I think something like Arrogant Bastard takes on the same soul as this movie.

Yes, I just said a beer had a soul. It showed people that beer could have flavor. It could be more than just lagers and pale ales. Stone, like Lucasfilms, has been guiding their culture through many ups and downs.

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and your personal favorite

Jedi was the last one for almost 16 years until all of our prayers were answered (we’ll get to those, don’t worry) in 1999. Jedi pairs with your favorite beer because you need to treat it like it’s the last one you’re going to have for 16 years.

Scary thought, right?

For me, this would have to be Pizza Boy’s Arck Angel. It’s an amazing beer that might keep the buzz going all the way through the next three movies.

Darth with Arck Angel

Drink up and enjoy that beer. The next few you’re going to have to choke down won’t be as pleasurable.

That’s right, we have come to the dreaded second trilogy. If you watch the saga like I do, you would have needed your favorite beer to prepare yourself for what’s next.

Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Blue Moon

No five words send shivers down the spine like “Meesa called Jar Jar Binks.” Good lord. I just typed it and felt dirty. How did Lucas not feel the same way?

I don’t hate Blue Moon, just like I don’t HATE this movie. I really dislike both of them, but there is no hate.

I dislike them both for the same reason. They are a wolf in a sheep’s clothing. Blue Moon pretends to be craft, as Phantom pretends to be a Star Wars movie.

Episode II: The Clone Wars and Genny Light (Hello college)

Genny Art

Clone Wars is still a Star Wars movie. Genny light is still a beer, I guess. I just cant bring my self to watch or drink either one of these.

That’s all I have to say about that. – Forrest Gump

Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith and Goose Island IPA

Sith pulls out all of the stops. It’s a fun movie, but there is still something missing. It’s still not really Star Wars. Goose IPA acts like a real IPA. Goose IPA looks like a real IPA. But it is missing an intangible that makes it a true IPA.

Both Sith and Goose changed to appeal to a larger audience. Goose lost its hop flavor so non-IPA drinkers would choose it. Just like Sith tried to have too much of a wow factor rather than just making a good movie.

I have faith in Abrams that he won’t let us Star Wars fanboys/girls down this weekend. It’s something that we have been waiting for since the credits closed on Revenge of the Sith. Probably before.

Everyone take a few deep breaths, sip on your beer because a new Star Wars is here!

Please, J.J., don’t let us down.

Categories: Craft Beer, Movies

New ‘Escape Room’ to Open February in Harrisburg

Coming soon to downtown Harrisburg — a little something different to add to your nightlife needs.

By the end of February 2016, “Outside the Box Escape Room” will open at 717 N. Second St. in Harrisburg.

717nsecond

Escape Rooms are a growing trend that originated in 2010 in Asia, then quickly spread to Europe. Today there are nearly 3,000 escape rooms worldwide. The concept is prominent on the west coast of the United States, and locally, you can find similar themed strategy game houses in York, Hershey, Annville and Lancaster.

Unlike many of these, Outside the Box is not a franchise, but owned and operated by attorney Ben Andreozzi, Esq. and former victim’s advocate Tammy Lerner, both of whom were looking for something to balance the heaviness of their day jobs.

They’re¬†renovating the space, owned by Andreozzi, and are working with professional game designers to build a multi-sensory experience.

Lerner said they expect to host corporate clients by day for team-building activities, and by night they’ll welcome families and couples or groups of couples.

Outside the Box should have a website up by the end of the week (I’ll update the post then with the links), but in the interim, you may email¬†info@outsidetheboxescaperoom.com for more¬†information.

Have you participated in an escape room? Would you?

I’ll get the chance to preview Outside the Box when it opens in late February. Stay tuned.

Gift Guide: Upgraded Classics for Men

Guys are easy to shop for. They always have been.

Throw a nice button up shirt or anything with their team colors on it in a bag and call it a day.

Stand in the middle of a department store and just pick out everything with in a 10-foot radius if you’re really struggling with what to get.

Don’t over think it. We’re easy.

But, if you want to go outside the box, here are a few things to slip under the tree to really make his Christmas special.

Liquor –¬†But not his favorite kind.

Upgraded from a bottle of wine.

It seems like a no brainer that you would just grab his go-to bottle, right? However, the chances are that while you’re reading this he already has that bottle sitting somewhere in the house.

Our fine friends at Pennsylvania Fine Wine and Good Spirits are always throwing great bottles on special around this time of year. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Irish Whiskey: 2 Gingers, Jameson Caskemates, Teeling Irish Whisky Small Batch
  2. Bourbon: Jefferson’s, Basil Hayden’s, Four Roses Single Barrel
  3. Gin: Hendrick’s, Bombay Saphire (My dad’s favorite)
  4. Scotch: Glenfiddich 12 year, Laphroaig 10 year, Glenlivet 12 year

All of these will bring a smile to his face. The smile will get bigger with every sip.

Gift Boxes – Something that he will actually use

Upgraded from a gift card.

There are gift box subscriptions for everything now. Bombfell is great for clothes. The Handy Box is cheap and sends useful tools out every month.

My favorite is Man Crates. They have boxes for every manly thing a man could do. Grilling, sports, drinking and a lot more.

One of the boxes is all about bacon. What’s more manly than that?

Pair this with the whiskey and his chest hair might grow right out of his shirt.

Sports Memorabilia – If you want to see a grown man cry.

Upgraded from a team jersey.

Memorobillia

(Pictured Dr J autographed shoes, Joe Paterno signed hat and Paterno and Franco Harris signed football.)

The connection that men have with sports is scary at times. I’m just as guilty as the rest. While these gifts do tend to aire on the more expensive side, they can make it one of the most memorable presents ever.

It will sit on the mantle with pride for years to come. You will see look of pure joy on his face when he sees the signed jersey or ball.

A Suit – The gift every man needs

Upgraded from a shirt and tie box. 

Every man has a suit, probably more than one, but he could always use another. I’m sure there are a few that he wears just because he has it. Also, there’s has to be one with mustard on it, which he hides with some sort of pin.

Make an appointment with a professional tailor so that this suit is the most comfortable one he owns.

Gifts like this will show that you put a little extra thought into his gift this year. You don’t have to get “the perfect gift,” because as long as it’s not another tie (except this one) it will be welcomed.

Nothing suits me like a suit!

This list can be tinkered and tailored to fit the particular guy in your life. Think outside the box and make this holiday season special.

Any of you guys reading this have idea for a great present? Let me know!

Categories: Gift Guide, Holiday, Sports

Steelers Week 14: Cheers, Jeers & Fears

Well we have arrived at a time I had been dreading since Ben went out for the first time.

Every game now is a must-win if the Steelers even want to make the playoffs. The AFC wild card race is very tight, and right now the Steelers are on the outside looking in.

Pittsburgh has looked unstoppable in their last few games, but still have tough games ahead of them that could shape this season.

Cincinnati is the first of two division leading opponents the Steelers will face over the next two weeks.

Rough. But I have faith.

Cheers

The last meeting between the two teams was Big Ben’s first game back after his four week hiatus, and it didn’t go as planned. Pittsburgh had their lowest point output of the season with only 10 points.

Thats won’t happen this time.

Pittsburgh’s offense is rolling. They have put up at least 30 points in each of their last four games.

Brown and Bryant are tearing it up and the Bengals don’t necessarily have a good defense.

Neither does Pittsburgh, however.

Jeers

This one is going to be short. Although it is worth pointing out.

As much fun as it was to see Antonio Brown starfish the goalpost, it was incredibly stupid and selfish. He could have easily hurt himself and there goes the season.

When any of our players score, no matter who, they need to find the closest ref and hand him the ball. A few “slap hands” are okay too, I guess.

Just don’t put your manhood on the line when you’re already blowing the team out.

On that note, why the hell was Brown still even in?

Fears

I have all the faith in the world in the offense to put up close to 500 yards a game for the rest of the season, which will hopefully extend into February.

I have zero faith that we have a Super Bowl caliber defense. Defense STILL wins championships. I may sound dated, but it’s true.

The problem is that there is not much you can do about it this year. We are stuck with our cornerbacks getting beat with every play and out safeties making constant mistakes that will continue to cost us games.

My little bit of faith in the defense lies in the front seven. They are actually playing pretty well all things considered. Heyward, Dupree and even Harrison are showing that they can still be intimidating.

Don’t expect a total of 26 points again this time. Both teams will score over that this week.

In the end I think the Steelers offense and the running attack with Williams will be able to grind out crucial time to seal a 30-27 victory.

A win is a win no matter how many points you give up.

Categories: Pennsylvania, Sports

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