GIVEAWAY: The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey

by: Sara Bozich
March 18, 2017
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Class is in session at The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey with their Wine 101: Food & Wine Chemistry Class on Sunday, March 26.

Enjoy a boozy chemistry lesson led by head winemaker L. Paul Vezzetti as he gives you an in-depth look at how to properly pair food and wine.

┬╗┬╗ BUY TIX!

Vezzetti will break down food to the basics of acid, fat, salt, sugar and protein to demonstrate how each of these elements affects the wine experience and how to use this knowledge to create pairings for your next meal.

The class finishes with a live food demonstration and Vineyard at Hershey cider floats topped off with ice cream made during the lesson.

This is one class you won’t want to skip.

This week, we’re giving away a pair of tickets to The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey’s Wine 101: Food and Wine Chemistry Class.

To enter, complete the Rafflecopter widget below. 

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Categories: Food/Drink, Giveaway, Wine

5 Better Options to Drink on St. Patrick’s Day

by: Tierney Pomone
March 17, 2017
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So here’s the thing: I know Guinness and green light beer are cheaper than cheap for St. Patrick’s Day, but you can do better. There are thousands upon thousands of other stouts out there waiting for you, and don’t forget about those Irish Red Ales! The only green thing you need in your beer is the hops, so grab a better beer option and truly enjoy the day.

Left Hand Milk Stout

I know, it’s not an Irish Dry Stout, but it’s delicious. Left Hand Milk Stout is the industry standard milk stout if you ask me, and when poured on nitro, it’s heaven in a glass. I love doing the nitro bottle hard pour from the bottle, and I will definitely be grabbing a few of these for St. Paddy’s Day. This beer pairs perfectly with all of your parade day shenanigans, especially milk stout mustache selfies.

Great Lakes Conway’s Irish Ale

Gotta love an Irish Red to celebrate the day. Conway’s Irish Ale was named after the co-owner of Great Lakes’ grandfather, so toast to him. Expect biscuit malt flavors and little to no “hoppiness” in a way-too-easy-to-drink 6.5% format. You’ll find this readily available in bottles and on tap. This beer pairs perfectly with all the corned beef and cabbage you can take.

Appalachian Brewing Co. Celtic Knot

I’ve been drinking this beer basically since the moment I turned 21. It’s one of the best beers that you can get at ABC and is only available this time of year. You’ll get caramel malt flavor up front that lingers throughout followed by a short floral hopped finish. It’s crisp and easy to drink at 4.8% ABV. This beer pairs perfectly with curly-haired Irish dancers.

Victory Donnybrook Stout

For the traditionalist, Donnybrook is an Irish Dry Stout and only 3.7% ABV, the way it was meant to be. This beer is incredibly clean and has distinct roasted malt flavor mingled with a bit of earthy hop bitterness. This beer pairs perfectly with that drunk guy in the corner who’s been singing along with the Irish drinking songs since 8 am.

Wyndridge Farm Crafty Hopped Cider

Fun fact: for my 21st birthday I went to NYC for the first time ever, and upon walking into the bar, where I could drink anything I wanted, I had no idea what to do. I remember the bartender saying, would you like to try a cider, and drinking Magner’s cider for about two weeks after that, unsure of what else to do at the bar. Magner’s is great, but I now prefer Wyndridge’s Hopped Cider. I tend to try to stay away from overly sweet ciders and was delighted to find┬áa crisp dryness to the Hopped Cider. So, if you prefer a cider drink over a whiskey drink or a lager drink on St. Patrick’s Day, this is the one for you.

Editor’s Note: Or, layer your cider WITH your stout — Yum!┬á

Categories: Craft Beer

Weekend Roundup 3/16

by: Sara Bozich
March 16, 2017
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March Madness is here (and Matness, ask my husband). Brackets lock at NOON TODAY, so be sure to JOIN our FREE Bracket Madness and you could WIN free Wing for Year from Arooga’s!

I’m skipping the St. Paddy’s Day craziness this year, but see below — there’s plenty more where that comes from.

Tomorrow I’m planning to try Next Step Performance’s new Yoga class before hitting up some 3rd in the Burg gems. Saturday is my usual routine, then dinner with friends.

On Sunday, I’ll be guest-judging the 4th Annual Central PA Soup Cook-off at Appalachian Brewing Co. Tickets are just $10/advance; $12 at the door, so stop by for a good cause and some great soup — perfect to warm up on these final days of winter.

What are you doing this weekend?

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Irish Whiskey: How and what to drink this St. Paddy’s Day

by: Jimi The Intern
March 14, 2017
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It’s not quite confirmed what country owns the right to be called the birthplace of whiskey.

While most people now agree that the “water of life” was first produced in Ireland, there is always some contention.

The Scottish scream their peat-filled heads off that they are the rightful parents because it was in Scotland that the first documented transaction of whiskey occurred.

Whoever created it, thank you.

For our purposes and the purposes of the holiday on the horizon, we’re going to the focus on the drink that hails from The Emerald Isle.

What is Irish Whiskey?

Similar to drinks like tequila, champagne, and K├Âlsch beer, whiskey also has some regional stipulations. There is a reason why bourbon, scotch, and Irish whiskey all have distinct flavor profiles.

Stipulations with Irish whiskey abound, but the only one that really matters is that it is produced in Ireland. Sounds pretty simple, right?

A great Irish whiskey is also usually triple-distilled before going through a minimum aging period of three years, but not all are created equal. Some distilleries like Cooley only twice-distill and smoke their whiskey, similar to a Scotch. It’s still considered an Irish whiskey though.

What to try

We’ll skip the overwhelmingly popular choice of Jameson for this part. You know it, there’s no reason to detail the flavors.

West Cork Black Reserve

┬╗┬╗ Buy it!

We first discovered this Irish whiskey at the Central PA Whiskey Fest at the Zembo Shrine. West Cork is an Irish distillery in West Cork (thus the name) that has a full line of different whiskeys.

The Black Reserve version starts out in first-fill bourbon barrels and is then transferred over to double-charred casks to give it a dark color and depth of flavor.

Knappogue Castle 12 Year Bourbon Cask Finish

┬╗┬╗ Buy it!

This is a perfect representation of how not all Irish whiskey is the same. Most Irish whiskeys are a blend of malted and unmalted barley, while Knappogue 12-year utilizes only a single malted barley.

Knappogue ages this whiskey in bourbon oak casks for 12 years to extract as much flavor as possible from the oak. The flavors of sweet caramel, spice, and a slight fruitiness make this whiskey easy to sip on the rocks.

Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition

┬╗┬╗ Buy it!

While we should skip over regular Jameson, we shouldn’t skip over this offering. Craft beer usually is aged in whiskey barrels, but Caskmates flips that concept by aging this whiskey in barrels that were used to barrel-age stouts from Franciscan Well’s Brewery.

The normal Jameson flavor is accompanied by notes of cocoa and coffee that are picked up while in the barrels.

How to drink your whiskey

Most of the whiskeys mentioned should be savored in a rocks glass with a large ice cube to release the flavors. No, adding ice does not dilute your drink that much.

NERD ALERT: Adding a small amount of water or ice to your glass helps separate the molecules in your whiskey to open up aroma and flavor. Try drinking a small amount with and without water to see the difference.

If you’re not into drinking whiskey straight, here are a few simple and traditional drinks that work with any Irish whiskey of your choice.

Irish Mule

  • 1.5 oz Irish whiskey
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 8 oz ginger beer

This is a simple and easy drink to enjoy all day long. Keep it local by using Zer├śday Ginger Beer (it’s the best out there, period).

Irish Coffee 

For a lot of people, St. Paddy’s Day starts early. Irish coffee is a go-to drink to get the day started or wipe away the hangover from the night before.┬áNo, just adding Jameson to your coffee doesn’t qualify as an Irish Coffee.

  • 1.5 oz Irish Coffee
  • 1 oz brown sugar syrup
  • Hot brewed coffee
  • Whipped cream

Make your brown sugar syrup by simply by adding brown sugar to water and heating until it is dissolved. Then, combine your whiskey of choice with the syrup into a coffee mug and top it off with hot coffee and whipped cream.

Slainte!

What are you drinking this St. Paddy’s Day?

Categories: Cocktails, Holiday, Whiskey

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