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Host a UFC Viewing Party at Home

UFC Jones v EvansWhether you’re a hardcore UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship)  and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fight fan that religiously watches each event (like me), or you’re just wanting to have some friends over to watch an anticipated fight card, you may be looking for ideas to spice up your viewing party. With the UFC now on FX, you can host one of the free events if you’re new to the sport, or you can purchase the next Pay-Per-View event, UFC 145 Jones vs. Evans.

The essentials to host a fight at your home are food or snacks, beer, wine, or beverage of choice, a large HDTV and plenty of seating.

I’ve hosted a good number of events and have been to many hosted at friends’ homes. Besides these essentials, you’ll need great company to enjoy them with you!

For food or snacks, I personally love to grill if the weather permits. Then friends will bring other side items to add to the mix. You could also order pizza, have chips and salsa, and some sweets for later Outdoor Televisionin the evening. If I could put together my ideal viewing party, I would love to set up a backyard/patio living space, equipped with  outdoor furniture, a nice grill (maybe even with a stove on the side),  an outdoor TV and an outdoor beverage refrigerator. If the weather isn’t as friendly (especially for the big New Year’s event they have each year), you could get a griddle for your gas stove. Turkey sliders have been a hit at past events, since they’re easy to eat, and they come out great on a griddle as opposed to a normal frying pan.

The next essential piece for a UFC viewing party is beer, and plenty of it! If you plan on hosting a UFC event on more than one occasion (I tend to rotate with friends), a great addition to your home is aMini Kegerator kegerator, that way your beer is cold and on tap. Kegerators come in different sizes and for different uses. If you don’t want to take up too much space in your home, but like the idea, you could get a mini kegerator! Another alternative that works well if your friends usually bring their own beer is to purchase a beer cooler for your living room. Or maybe you and your friends prefer wine or margaritas… in that case you could get a wine refrigerator or margarator. WTF is a margarator you ask? We wrote about it here. An ice maker may also be an essential addition if you plan to have other drinks, and your fridge doesn’t produce enough. Whatever your preference is, it helps to be ready to entertain your guests.

Besides food and beverages, it’s essential that your television and seating is large enough to accommodate the number of people you plan to have over. I know from personal experience that standing, sitting on the floor, or struggling to see the TV amongst all the guests can be a buzz kill. Having an HDTV makes the experience even better!

Who’s your pick for Jones vs. Evans? Let us know by commenting below!

 

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The Coolest Homemade Kegerators

For those that enjoy drinking draft beers at home, a kegerator is the best idea for getting great-tasting beer. Who can blame them? Kegerators are a sound investment, and they allow you to get a good supply of beer at a lower cost than buying them by the bottle.

Your kegerator is great. It gives you beer, and you drink it. That is your simple, easy relationship with this beer-dispensing god.

But what if your kegerator is lacking that certain look? While having a kegerator is awesome, most today don’t have an innovative design or layout. If you’d love to be able to build a kegerator out of everyday objects or into unique places, then you are in luck: today we’ll be showing you some of the coolest and most innovative homemade kegerators we’ve seen so you can get your creative juices flowing.

Chest Freezer Kegerator

chest freezer kegerator     chest freezer kegerator inside

This kegerator was made out of an old chest refrigerator/freezer and modified to hold up to 8 kegs, making the home it resides in a proverbial bar for anyone that walks through. The inside of the freezer holds both 5 liter and ¼ barrel kegs filled with local and national brews for those with varying tastes. Lines run through each keg to their respective taps, while gas lines run from the back of the kegerator to the kegs to give the pump enough CO2 to deliver the delicious liquid to your glass.

An extra side bucket keeps bottled beers on hand in case you don’t like what’s on tap. This unique kegerator is great because of the size of the container and quantity or variety of beers that it can hold.

Truck Tailgating Kegerator

truck tailgating kegerator

Let’s hope this doesn’t interfere with any open container laws! This innovative kegerator is made out of a truck bed toolbox, which allows you to drink and serve beer wherever you go. This is (of course) a perfect accessory for tailgating and BBQs, and you can be sure the party will stay wherever the beer goes.

It is also easy to change the kegs out, as the toolbox lid lifts up and allows you to access the inside of the refrigerated unit. The customized tap handles also give the entire kegerator that manly feel, just in case a truck kegerator didn’t do that enough.

Driver Arcade Kegerator

racecar arcade kegerator     driver arcade kegerator tap

For the hardcore gamer, the arcade car/kegerator allows you to play your favorites while drinking your favorites. Just relax in front of the screen and play any racing game you’d like. Whenever you get thirsty, just reach behind you and pour yourself another beer!

Recommended situation: if applicable, try playing Need for Speed while downing a nice brown ale such as a Newcastle, Sam Adams Brown Ale or Brooklyn Brown Ale.

Arcade Machine Kegerator

arcade machine kegerator

This is the dream of many men who still keep their inner child inside of them. As a fully stocked arcade machine and kegerator, the Arkeg allows you to play all of the classics while never having to go far for a nice pint.

This machine features 69 of the classic video games from the golden era of gaming, including Missile Command, Paperboy, 1942, and Mortal Kombat (among many others). You can also buy a 5 gallon keg of your favorite beer, or you can brew your own to taste whenever you’d like!

Refrigerator/iPod Kegerator

refrigerator ipod kegerator

Why own a regular refrigerator when you can have a fridge that solely serves beer? That seems like all you’d ever really need in your home. But what if that fridge also played your favorite tunes on a built-in iPod dock? Well, that would just be outright fun.

This fridge features a kegerator tap built onto the front of a fridge where the kegs of your favorite beer are kept, and the iPod dock is right above it, so you can change to your favorite song while pouring your favorite beer.

And you thought fridges were just for food…

We are always looking for great ideas for new kegerators. If you have a kegerator you’d like to show us, send us a picture on our Facebook page.

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WTF is a Margarator?

We’re always on the lookout for the next big thing in home appliances here at Kegerator.com, and one of our employees recently came across “margarators” while combing the net for interesting beverage dispensers.

Curious to find out more about this “mystery product”, we had some questions: Was it refrigerator-based like a kegerator? Can you build them into your counter space? And more importantly – is it as convenient as pouring from a keg? For example, can you purchase a large volume of already mixed margarita (like a keg of beer) for optimal serving ease?

After some more research we found that we, in fact, carry a selection of products that could be called “margarators”… So what is one? Well, a margarator is a machine used for blending and mixing frozen drinks both alcoholic and non (we call it a margarita machine). It’s different from a blender because the blades are crafted to specifically cut through ice and fruity deliciousness. And, instead of just selecting a speed, you can adjust the setting by consistency to ensure your concoctions turn out just right. Plus, the majority of “margarators” have more power than your average kitchen blender and include a built-in spout for easy pouring. It’s really a “must-have” for all margarita and frozen drink lovers.

If you’re going to get one (and you should), don’t be a fool and call it a “margarator”. Why? Because unlike a kegerator, the unit does not always chill and serve the contents (the commercial ones do, though), so naming it a “margarator” (which is seemingly synonymous with the term “kegerator”) just plain defies the logic of the name since it does not serve the same purpose of a kegerator.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this hot topic. Do you think margarator is a fitting name for these products?

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Circle Brewery Tour

Circle Brewery Kegs

A few weeks ago, Groupon offered a deal for a brewery tour at Circle Brewing here in Austin. For $15, you got a brewery tour package for two, which included two Circle pint glasses with koozies and a self-guided tour. It also technically came with 6 drink tickets (3 each), but Groupon advertises that alcohol isn’t included in the cost of the package.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when the day of the tour came around. The website said we could arrive any time between 1 and 5 pm to take the tour. My friend and I showed up around 2 pm and the place looked packed. They had marked off a huge area in front of the brewery for people to hang out and eat food (available from two local food trucks) and there were quite a few groups of people just standing around. It looked like a carnival that had forgotten all of their rides and games. There wasn’t much of a line though to get in, so we showed our IDs, got our drink tickets and picked out which color koozie we wanted for our pint glass.

Circle Brewing

The Crowd at Circle Brewing

We decided our best bet would be to grab a pint before starting the self-guided tour. Luckily, the line for beer wasn’t very long and the people were pouring pretty quickly. I opted to try the Envy, an amber beer they offer year round, and my friend got the winter brew, Nameless, a winter amber. I definitely preferred Nameless to Envy, though both were very tasty.

Outdoor Beer Station     Pouring the Envy

Once we had our beer, we ventured inside the warehouse to start our tour. There was actually a line for the self-guided tour, which we thought was a little strange, but we jumped in line and waited. At the start of the tour, there were some Self-Guided Tour handouts to explain what you were seeing as you walked by the equipment. The handout included the line:

Please DO NOT TOUCH any tanks, pipes, valves, hoses, etc. Bad things could happen.

An appropriate warning, but just in case you missed it, all of the equipment was also blocked off with yellow tape. It seemed overly cautious to me at first, but I was still on beer #1; who knows what I would have been capable of after beer #3.

Turned out the tour line was completely pointless and only forming because some people had decided to stand and talk in front of the equipment. We stepped out of the line and walked next to it to get glimpses of the equipment. Honestly though, if you’ve been on one brewery tour, you’ve been on them all. What really makes a brewery tour interesting and unique is getting to talk to the actual brewer, ask questions and learn unique things about the brewery. All of that was stripped away on the self-guided tour, which was disappointing, but getting to try the beers made up for it. It turned into more of an afternoon happy hour, which is never a bad thing.

I will say I learned one interesting fact from the tour handout:

It takes us about 2 minutes and 35 seconds to wash a keg, and about 2 minutes and 15 seconds to fill one.

Checkout the gallery for the rest of my pictures from Circle Brewing (Please forgive any blurriness. It isn’t really easy to hold a beer in one hand and take steady pictures with your iPhone in the other.):

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Black Star Co-op Brewery Tour

Black Star Co-op is a fairly new brewery and pub in Austin, TX, and the first co-op brewery in town. Being a co-operative means that the business is owned by the people (or members, in the case of Black Star) and the employees. We decided to check them out by scheduling a brewery tour for Kegerator.com employees that were interested.

One of the first things I learned about Black Star when I arrived is that the employees at the bar don’t accept tips. I ordered my first beer (a Thirsty Goat Amber) and looked around for a tip jar with no luck. I asked the girl who took my order where I could leave a tip, and she informed me that the employees of Black Star all receive living wages. So no tip jars on the bar and no tip line on the receipt. Awesome.

    

A few of us in the group enjoyed a beer as we waited for everyone to arrive and the tour to begin. It’s definitely a nice setup for hanging out with friends, inside or out on the patio.

The tour began with us climbing a ladder to a loft in the brewery room where the grains and mill are stored. We tasted some of the grains on hand and got a quick overview of Black Star’s process. The next part of the tour included two mash tuns where the grains are steeped and 4 fermenters, which each can hold 20 half barrels of beer. The final stop was the cold room where the beer being served at the bar is stored and kept cool.

         

We learned that Black Star never makes the same beer twice; they’re constantly tweaking and improving the recipes, so while the beer might have the same name, there could be subtle changes in the taste.

After the tour, some of us hung around to drink some more, chat, play darts and try some food. The place got fairly crowded in the evening, so there was a bit of a line to order beer or food, but the atmosphere was very relaxed and enjoyable.

I look forward to going back soon and possibly becoming a member. Do you have any co-op breweries near you? Plug them in the comments!

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