Jeff Flowers

About Jeff Flowers

Jeff Flowers has been a self-described beer geek for over a decade now. When he's not chasing his daughter around, you can usually find him drinking a fresh brew and wasting tons of his time on both Google+ & Twitter.

The 3 Types of Beer You’ll Find at NFL Stadiums

Football & Beer

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of going to the Houston Texans game at Reliant stadium. It’s been awhile since I’ve been to a game in Reliant, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they offered a wide range of beer that didn’t have the world “light” in it. Of course, they were all over-priced, which is the norm for all food and drinks in a sports stadium, but at least they had flavor.

This discovery got me thinking about what types of beer the average football fan will find at their teams stadium. It is no secret, however, that certain NFL stadiums have far better selections than others. I would imagine that the stadium’s location plays a large role in determining what types of beer are available at the games. No matter where it’s located or how terrible the team is playing that year, there are a few common themes that can be found in all NFL stadiums.

Cheap Beer

Pretty much every NFL stadium will have a few premium brews available, but for the most part, the overabundance of cheap light beers will be what you find at every concession stand. To the surprise of no one, these are standard at every professional sporting event nowadays. You will find these more popular, mainstream beers available on draft and, in some cases, cans and bottles. Although, it’s unlikely they’ll let you take the bottle back with you to your seat.
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How to Setup the Perfect In-Home Bar for Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving is a time to surround yourself with family and friends. If you are entertaining everyone in your home this year, then you are probably searching for a simple way to setup the perfect in-home bar for Thanksgiving Day. With so many people in your home, space is at a premium. Fortunately, there are a variety of space-saving tips that you can use to maximize the little amount of free space you have available.

Choose the Right Kegerator

Every beer geek out there loves a good draft beer. If you really want to impress your guests, then you need a kegerator for your in-home bar. Kegerators are not only a great accessory for Thanksgiving dinner, but they’re great for year-round use. Not only are they perfect for football season, but they offer a simple way to dispense adult beverages without consuming a lot of space. Most people immediately think of full-size kegerators but don’t always have space for them. If you want to add a kegerator to your home bar this Thanksgiving but don’t have the space, then consider these alternatives.

Ice Maker for Home Bar
  • Mini Kegerators

    The easiest way to enjoy all of the perks of a kegerator while also saving space is by using a mini kegerator. Mini kegerators are much smaller your typical kegerator dispenser. You can put them on your countertop or home bar top for convenient use, and then store it away when you’re not using it. While they include all of the functionality of a full-sized kegerator they are designed to dispense beer from mini-kegs. Some can even store and dispense beer from two mini-kegs simultaneously.

  • Undercounter Kegerators

    If you want to use a full-sized keg then consider an undercounter kegerator. Undercounter kegerators are nearly identical to traditional full-size kegerators, but the primary difference being that you can install them directly in your countertop. This is an ideal solution for anyone that has little floor-space for a portable kegerator.

  • Outdoor Kegerators

    The final option is to buy an outdoor kegerator. This is the perfect solution if you spend a lot of time outside or simply have limited space to entertain indoors. The best part about outdoor kegerators is they are designed to maintain a constant internal temperature regardless of what the surrounding temperature is. This means you can safely store and dispense your beer outdoors all year round.

Take Advantage of Beverage Refrigerators

If a kegerator isn’t your style, then consider using a space-saving beverage refrigerator. A mini-fridge is a simple way to keep all of your adult beverages cool without having to make a trip to the kitchen all the time. Beverage refrigerators take up very little space and can even act as an additional countertop as well.

If you have the space in your kitchen, you can install a built-in beverage fridge directly into your countertops. This would allow you to have an extra fridge with a convenient location, but not sacrifice any of your floor space. If you have an old trash compactor, many undercounter fridges are designed to be the same shape for an easy transition.

Don’t Forget to Accessorize

When setting up your in-home bar for a Thanksgiving Day celebration there are a number of important bar accessories which will make entertaining much easier.

Ice Maker for Home Bar
  • Ice Makers

    One of the most important pieces of equipment to have is an icemaker or ice crusher. Icemakers take up very little space and are incredibly convenient. First, they make ice easily accessible to all of your guests. This will allow you to worry about preparing Thanksgiving dinner, entertaining and ensuring there’s enough pumpkin pie leftover for seconds rather than continually getting ice for everyone’s glasses. Second, having an ice maker readily accessible eliminates the risk that you’ll run out of ice.

  • Blenders, Juicers & Cocktail Accessories

    If your guests will primarily be drinking mixed drinks then there are a variety of bar accessories you may want for your in-home bar. The market for drink and cocktail preparation appliances has greatly expanded over the past several years. You can get anything from a margarita mixed drink maker to a premium juicer and blender. When choosing the right appliances for your in-home bar the most important consideration is what types of beverages your guests will be drinking. There is no reason to purchase a professional juicer or blender if your guests will primarily be drinking beer, wine, or beverages on the rocks.

  • Glassware Options

    An overlooked aspect of setting up your in-home bar is choosing the right glassware. While selecting glassware is extremely important if you’re serving wine, it is equally important when serving beer or mixed drinks. Different types of beers will taste best in glasses specifically designed to accentuate their bouquet, clarity, and level of carbonation. This is especially true if you are a home brewer and will be serving your own unique beers during your Thanksgiving Day celebration.

  • Setting up the perfect in-home bar for Thanksgiving Day doesn’t have to be a complicated and overwhelming process. Before choosing what appliances you will use there are two key characteristics to consider. The first is available space. It doesn’t matter what type of appliances you want if you don’t have space to set them up. For example, it would be great to have a full size kegerator but that doesn’t mean you have the space to actually use one. Instead, opting for an outdoor or mini kegerator is a more realistic solution. The second consideration is versatility. While it would be great to purchase bar accessories and appliances solely for Thanksgiving Day, try to purchase equipment which you will likely use throughout the rest of the year as well.

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3 Free Resources to Help You Celebrate ‘Learn to Homebrew Day’

Homebrew Supplies

On this date fourteen years ago, the American Homebrewers Association established the first annual “Learn to Homebrew Day” to help teach people how to brew their own beer. Over the years, partly because of this “beer holiday,” the craft of brewing your own beer has grown substantially in popularity.

Like any new hobby, knowing where to get started and how to do it right can be somewhat daunting for a beginner. I know it was for me. Because of that, I have compiled a list of free online resources that will help you get started, or just learn more about the process and techniques that go into it.

1. Get Started in Our Homebrew Learning Center

We have a trove of information about homebrewing in our Homebrew learning center. We’ve been homebrewing for years now, and it’s a hobby that we think everyone should try at least once. We’ve compiled a collection of information about homebrewing that we think will help you get started. And that information is growing as the days go by.
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6 Common Types of Pale Ale

Pale ale is one of the most popular styles of beer, not just to my taste buds, but all around the world. Made with a greater amount of pale malts, this style is typically lighter in color with a broad range of flavors, bitterness and strength.

This style is the brainchild of brewers who desired a purer product than the beer produced from overcooked hops. Through brewer experimentation with equipment, water and ingredients, different types of pale ale were developed and perfected over the years. We’re now left with a wide range of delicious pale ales that are growing in popularity.

Let’s take a look at the profiles and differences between the most popular types of pale ale.

American Pale Ale

American Pale Ale

This popular type of pale ale was developed here in America in the early ‘80s. American pale ales differ from British bitters in their flavor. They have a more pronounced hop flavor and, generally, higher alcohol content than their British counterparts. Because of these distinctive qualities, American pale ale is one of the most popular choices for home brewers. It is also an excellent commercial beer for people who want to enjoy a good domestic.

American Pale Ales will be dark gold, amber or copper in appearance. You will find a medium body that has an overall smooth and refreshing finish. The aroma will be low in malts, but moderately strong in fruity-esters and hops. This style of pale ale will have a somewhat strong hop flavor that showcases the piney or citrusy flavor often associated with American-grown hops. It may be somewhat bitter, but that should never linger for long.

When served or stored cold, you may notice a slight “chill haze”. American Pale Ales will typically have an alcohol content that ranges from 4.4–6.0%, while IBUs will range from 30-50. Whether it is because of its home brewer friendliness or its smooth, light taste, American pale ale is widely available both in home brew ingredient kits and supermarkets around the world.
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REVIEW: Wake ‘N Bake Coffee Oatmeal Stout from Terrapin Beer Co.

Quick Characteristics
Brewery: Terrapin Beer Co.
Location: Athens, GA
Style: Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout
ABV: 8.6%
IBU: 50
Appearance: Deep brown, almost black
Aroma: Roasted coffee & malts, hints of chocolate
Flavor: Medium-Roast Coffee With Semi-Sweet Chocolate
Availability: Seasonal — Winter
Pairs With: Grilled Steak Topped With Blue Cheese; Cheesecake

It wasn’t very long ago that Georgia was a wasteland for craft beer. Very little was made there, and even less made it out of the state. That has changed over the last few years, spurred on by the success of a fairly young, Athens-based brewery. In the decade they have been open, the Terrapin Beer Company has built up quite an impressive roster of beers, accompanied by plenty of medals.

Perfect for the winter season, their Wake-n-Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout is a pleasant, warming brew that has drawn accolades from beer drinkers and critics alike. Brewed with coffee roasted by Jittery Joe’s Coffee just down the road from the Terrapin brewery in Athens, Georgia, the blend is a custom mix specifically for Terrapin. It is available for sale online, so you can treat your non beer-drinking friends to a taste of this acclaimed mix.

Appearance

Packaged in 12-ounce bottles, the beer pours out thick and dark, brown bordering on black in color. It is dark enough that light will not shine through it, a great look. It creates a high, thick head that is mocha in color. It takes a while to subside, and the beer leaves good lacing throughout the glass. It is best served in a shifter glass, but is acceptable in a pint glass as well.
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Pumpkin Beer: Everything You Want to Know About This Popular Seasonal

Pumpkin Beer

The fall season is upon us. As the chill is in the air, the leaves begin to change color and the smells and sights are evocative of the seasonal shift. My favorite part of the fall season isn’t the cooling weather or the Halloween candy piling up on the shelves at my grocery store; it’s the much-anticipated return of pumpkin ale.

Pumpkin brews originally started as a radical brewing experiment that teased local connoisseurs, but has since grown into one of the best-selling seasonal brews with wider distribution than ever before.

How Brewers Make Pumpkin Beer

Most craft beer brewing follows a general theme in terms of ingredients and recipes. The idea is to soak grains, add them to fermented malts and allow the mixture to season itself or take on the flavors of the vessel in which it rests. Most brewers use wooden kegs for the fermentation process. Others use vats, barrels and even actual pumpkins as kegs in which a secondary fermentation occurs.

While the brewing process is relatively standardized, the ingredients in each brew differ greatly, especially in terms of seasonal offerings. Some brewers chop up fresh, raw jack-o’-lantern bits and toss them into the fermenting mash to impart that squashy flavor. Others prefer to roast the pumpkin with a method similar to that of making a pie, bringing out the sugars and subtler flavors through heat and caramelization. Yet others still opt to use pumpkin extracts, syrups or flavorings and rely on wooden kegs to impart an earthy essence.

Each brew master has their own different process. One brewery in particular chooses to use roasted malts instead of caramelized malts in their pumpkin beer. Although the caramel flavor seems like the obvious choice in terms of pairing the sugars with the pumpkin, the roasted malts bring to mind a likeness of pie crust. Another brewery has found that that tossing whole vanilla beans into the kegs brings out the sweeter notes of natural pumpkin and likens it to the whipped cream atop a warm slice of pie.
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The Mystery Behind Pouring the Perfect Guinness: Step-by-Step Guide

For some reason Guinness seems more prone to be shrouded in a veil of mystery than any other type of beer out there. It is popular dry Stout which was originally developed in Ireland back in the late 1700s. Three centuries later, it remains one of the most popular beers across the globe. Because it is unique in many ways, it must be treated differently when pouring, kegging and distributing it.

We’ve previously discussed how to pour the perfect draft beer. However, in that article we failed to mention that pouring Guinness takes a slightly different technique. To honor our devoted Guinness drinkers, we’d like to take this opportunity to teach you how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness.

Why Does Guinness Need to be Poured Differently?

The first question many people ask is why Guinness must be poured differently from other beers. There are a number of reasons for this, but the most important is the ratio of nitrogen to carbon dioxide. Guinness relies on a much higher nitrogen ratio than any other type of beer. For the perfect pint, the gas mixture is 75 percent nitrogen and 25 percent carbon dioxide released at a pressure of between 30 and 40 pounds per square inch. Additionally, because the beer is so thick it takes longer for the nitrogen bubbles to release which is essential to pouring it correctly.
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The Evolution of Oktoberfest: A Historical Timeline

Today is officially the last day of Oktoberfest 2013. Because of this, we thought it would be a good time to take a look back at the history of Oktoberfest and how the world’s most famous festival has changed over the last two centuries.

When you think of Oktoberfest, it likely brings to mind images of beer kegs, mounds of pretzels, delicious bratwurst, accordion players in lederhosen, and, of course, gorgeous beer maidens carrying a dozen giant mugs at a time. However, many people don’t know that the original event had very little to do with beer, but was more of a wedding reception that quickly evolved into an annual event.

How It All Started

The first Oktoberfest took place on Oct. 17, 1810, in Munich, to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The newlyweds enjoyed the festivities so much, they suggested making it an annual event.

Nine years later, Munich’s city fathers decided to take over management of the event, after it grew large enough to include a variety of contests and carnival booths. Soon thereafter, Oktoberfest expanded from a one-day event to a 16-day festival starting in late September and continuing through the first weekend of October.
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PHOTOS: 2013 Texas Craft Brewers Festival in Austin, TX

Over the weekend, I attended the 2013 Texas Craft Brewers Festival here in Austin. What started off looking like a dreary day, turned out to be quite nice. The rain didn’t pour down like some forecasters were expecting, and the heat never quite reached the boiling point we’re accustomed to here in Texas.

Starting in 2003, the Texas Craft Brewers Festival provides you the opportunity to taste true Texas craft beer and experience breweries from across the state. Here’s a few photos I took at the festival.
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Meet Dave: The $2000 Bottle of Beer

Dave The Beer

Earlier today, the owner and brewmaster at Hair of the Dog Brewing Company announced via Twitter the exclusive sale of bottles of Dave, a special reserve ale, at their brewery in Portland. And acquiring a 12oz bottle of Dave won’t be cheap. It’s price tag is a very reasonable $2,000, or $166.66 per ounce. All the proceeds will go to Guide Dogs for the Blind, a non-profit charity that has been helping the blind and visually impaired since 1942.


Dave is one of the most elusive brews in the American craft beer scene. Weighing in at 29% ABV, this barleywine was made back in 1994. As the story goes, three hundred gallons of Dave was produced and then put away in a freezer. Over the last two decades, it was presumably defrosted and re-freezed three times which reduced its overall volume to less than 100 gallons. What was left is now being bottled and sold.

A Few Facts About Dave

According to Beer Advocate, Dave won first place at the Toronado Barley Wine Festival back in 1998. The users of BA rate Dave at an ‘outstanding’ 94.

Back in November 2012, Hair of the Dog auctioned off two bottles of Dave. Starting bids were set at a measly $1,400 a bottle, with one eventually selling for $2,368.73 and the other selling for $2156.83.

So, the question remains… anybody interested in going in on a bottle with me?

Eliminate the Beer Run: The Advantages of Home Draft Beer Systems

Having your very own home draft system is a dream come true for almost every beer geek. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a cold, draft beer in the comfort of your living room or backyard. Forget the hassle of opening beer bottles and the excess waste they create. Owning your own kegerator is the perfect set-up that every beer geek needs.

Types of Home Draft Beer Systems

There are several home draft beer systems you can choose from.  Before going out and buying the first kegerator you find, make sure you know the differences between the two most common types of kegerators so you know which one will be best for you.

Mini Kegerators

Mini Draft Beer System

The mini kegerator is the smallest kegerator that you will find. It’s designed to tap and serve a 5-liter keg, but only contains approximately 10½ pints. Because of its smaller size, it’s perfect for those that don’t drink beer very often. Additionally, if you don’t have much space in your kitchen or man-cave, then a mini draft beer system may be the best fit for you, because it can fit easily on a countertop or corner table.

Another great benefit of having a mini-kegerator, is how easy it is to find 5-liter kegs of beer. Many grocery stores carry them along with their six-packs and cases of beer. Specialty craft beer and liquor stores also typically carry a wide variety of 5-liter kegs.

Full Size Kegerators

Full Size Draft Beer System

The most common type of kegerator is the full size system. This is your typical draft beer system that you envision when you think of a kegerator. There are many kinds of full-size kegerators available to you. The two most common are the single-tap and the dual-tap.

Just like the draft beer system you see at your favorite bar, this system works the exact same way. You can fit many different size kegs into this larger single tap system, including half barrel kegs, pony kegs and slim quarter kegs. Each size keg will serve a different amount of beer, so be sure to know how much each size keg holds before you go out and buy more beer than you need. If you aren’t sure about how many beers are in a keg, it would be wise to check out our handy keg comparison chart.

Full size kegerators also work better at keeping your kegs at your chosen temperature. Make sure you get a home draft system that has foam insulation or refrigeration within the tower, as this helps keep the beer inside the lines stay at the right temperature before it’s poured.

Cleaning Your Draft System

Like anything you buy for your home, a home draft beer system does require a little bit of maintenance. Draft beer is ideally dispensed through a six-foot line that connects the keg and the faucet. It’s important to clean all of the components of your home kegerator regularly. Not only does this help protect your investment in the equipment, but it also ensures that you have the freshest, best-tasting beer.

Cleaning the various components of your system is easy and doesn’t take much time. We would recommend buying a cleaning kit because it will make the process much easier for you, but it is possible to clean your kegerator without a kit. For more information, please refer to our previous write-up that details how to clean your kegerator.

Don’t Forget About Glassware

Now that you have your home draft system set up and your beer is ready to be poured. We would also recommend getting a nice set of glassware. There are many different types of beer glasses available, so learn about the differences and buy a nice set. You’d be surprised how much better your beer tastes and smells when you drink it out of the right style of glass.

If you really want to go the extra mile with your beer glasses, then purchase a special kind of detergent designed for glassware. Your typical dish washing detergents can sometimes leave a slight film on the glass. You may not notice if this film affects the taste of your beverages, but it may cause the CO2 in your beer to break out and lead to it tasting somewhat flat.

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