Beer Geer 101
December 02, 2005
With Christmas around the corner I thought I would do some online beer gear shopping for my beer buds. What better time than Christmas than to share the joy of beer.
Come on now – look at Santa’s belly. Yes it shakes like a bowl full of jelly, but let’s get real here. If you were stuck up in the North Pole 364 days per year with the Mrs. and the cast from The Wizard of Oz, we all know you would be loading up that sleigh with the best beers in the world on the way back to your winter wonderland. We all know what make’s Jolly Old St Nick jolly; ice-cold beer!
In my initial Internet shopping research I was amazed by the amount of beer gear out there. For instance, if you were to search on “beer glasses”, replications of mugs, goblets and steins that are throw backs to designs hundreds of years old will appear. It really shouldn’t come as shock seeing since the early days of beer people have tried every fathomable method to deliver this frothy nectar to their thirsty mouths.
I was recently asked which beer glasses would be best for starting a glassware collection. That is a question with varied answers depending on what you like to drink.
In most cases I think a good tulip, goblet, pilsner glass and of course the classic pint glass will get you by. For Barleywine, Abby Ales and Belgum styles, IIPA’s, Imperial Stouts and Lambics, I have my favorite beer glass; a tulip-shaped Duval glass. I also have a ton of glassware from the brewers themselves suggesting which vessel will be best for their brew.
I will be honest with you and admit that to a greater extent being served the wrong beer in the wrong glass can be increasingly frustrating with each infraction. We will delve into the finer details of beer glasses in a later column, but to put my frustration in simple terms we all know if you can’t smell, you can’t taste.
Different shaped glasses release the carbonation and aroma of the beer in different ways that in turn circumferences the area around the nose in different ways. If the beer smells different it will taste different. It’s that simple.
The one piece of glassware that has stood the test of time is the yard glass. This horn-shaped glass delivers 2.5 liters of beer to the stomach in mere seconds. Its bulb-shaped bottom lets you know that this glass is not to be set down after a sip. Wielders of this mighty vessel are in for the long haul. I would not consider this a must have for sampling beer but it is a great addition to a ManRoom shelf or wall.
You might have seen the American plastic flat-bottomed version of this classic glass with a Bud or Coors logo on it at the last bar promotion you attended. I am starting to think that the macros are out to bastardize and ruin anything good and holy about beer. No wonder the English think we are barbarians. Thanks to our big three brewers it is now a plastic glass to serve up fizzy yellow swill, fruity vodka and rum concoctions with a neon straw. Putting a straw in a yard glass is like putting training wheels on a Kawasaki Ninja.
From the yard glass to the infamous construction helmet with the duel beer holders and mouthpiece we’ve seen it all. With so much to touch upon and so little time between now and Christmas I’ll stick to the newer stuff that caught my eye, beginning with an original contraption from the crew at beerbong.com.
Beerbong.com markets what they call the Party Shooter. This little invention works like a beer funnel and fits right in your pocket. The shooter has a straw that delivers air to the bottom of the bottle sending the beer out of the bottle at in incredible pace.
The Party Shooter claims a 266% increase in your beer guzzling, delivering a 12 ounce bottle of beer to your waiting belly in just 3 seconds. In other words, it shaves 5 seconds off the AGT% (Average Guzzling Time) of a bottle of beer.
Bars should hand these out at last call. Can you imagine how happy the bouncers would be if they shouted out “drink ‘em up!” and everyone was done in 3 seconds? Since I want to savor the beers I buy these days and actually hold them in my hand a little longer that 3 seconds, I think I am going to have to pass on the Party Shooter. If I was still in college I know my Party Shooter would have been with me every weekend, all weekend long.
Creativechemistry.net has a different approach to funneling beer. They feel this activity should be experience by three friends together. The three-foot version of the Triple Play 3-hose beer bong holds 18 ounces of beer. The six-foot version holds probably twice as much.
Their website claims if you beat your buddies in this malt soaked race their girlfriends will actually fight each other to see who gets you!
I don’t know about that, but I do feel confident backing up this contraption’s construction. These guys anticipate that the Triple Play is going to be dropped, knocked around and left in the back yard for weeks after a party so to combat the abuse, heavy duty PVC with stainless steel clamps bring the hoses together. Nice.
In sharpening my pencil and doing some basic math I figure it would cost you around 20 dollars to fill this high-octane beer octopus with quality beer. On the other hand you could fill it with fizzy yellow beer for 4 or 5 bucks. This is not a must have for the beer connoisseur but like the Party Shooter it is a must have for every dorm room, Elks Club and trailer park in America. Next time there is a Jets/Giants/Bills dispute in a New York state trailer park they need not settle the issue with violence. Fill up the Triple Play with Keystone light and settle it like men. There is also a two-tube version for those trailer parks in Florida that are subject to Bucs/Dolphins wars.
Another great new beer invention is perfect for the campus, trailer, bar, or the ManRoom. Have you ever been to a kegger and got sick of going back and forth to the barrel all night? How about a keg in the garage that requires endless trips back and forth to refill your glass? If either of these conundrums affect your beer drinking then the Table Tapper is the answer to your prayers.
The Table Tapper can be filled with 116 Ounces of ice-cold beer. With that volume one would suspect slow drinkers would have an issue with the tower warming the beer before it can be finished. Fear not. To help keep the Table Tapper cold for extended periods of time a chill bat is included that is simply filled with water, frozen, and dropped right into the beer. The deep chill will leave more than enough time to drain this baby to the bottom.
The uses for the Table Tapper are limited by only your imagination. I can picture 116 oz of Black and Tan in one of these baby’s at my next Casa De Securb Pats/Dolphins outings, or come summertime filling it with a Hefeweizen with a couple of chill bats and sliced lemons floating around in it.
Speaking of floating objects, the Table Tapper comes with yet another real cool option: lighted neon ice cubes! You heard me right. With these you can quickly locate the Table Tapper at a late night backyard BBQ or have a lighted path to it if you have the lights down in your ManRoom as you watch your favorite movie.
Now I can here the whining and the complaining already that you don’t have tap beer in the house and I already have you covered with that one with the Beer Machine 2000! I would love to do an infomercial on this thing with Ron Popeil. I can see me now. “Ron we add the grain, yeast the hops and the water” then I would nod to the audience as they the shout out in unision “set it and forget it!”
In a nutshell that is pretty much what this is: a homebrewing kit. The yeast, malts, barley and hops are pre-measured and come in one neat package. You simply add water then “Set it and forget it!”
The recipes span 8 countries and offer a nice variety. Among the most interesting recipes I found were American Ale, a hoppy Canadian Dark Ale, Irish Porter, Pale Ale and a Scotch Ale.
The sweet thing is everything is done in that one vessel so there is no straining or sifting involved. Simply pour the mix and the water into the keg shaped holder and 7 -10 days later voila, you have beer. The price point is really good on this device also. For around 30 bucks you can get a three pack of beer mixes that makes 84 – 12oz. servings – less than 10 dollars per case of beer.
We have looked at all kinds of devices and they all fit into some kind of ManRoom somewhere but my pick for this week’s beer gear “’must have’ is the Suds Buddy. This revolutionary futuristic-looking portable cooler is lightweight so you can easily move it from your ManRoom to the poolside. The unit itself only weighs in at 60 lbs so even a thirsty girly man can move it around the house. It also works with a 12-volt car adaptor that allows you to take it camping or tailgating to your favorite sporting event or concert.
What makes the Suds Buddy so light is its lack of a compressor. Instead of a heavy noisy motor it keeps your beer cold using the latest in thermoelectric coolers. I am not going to dive into the technology behind it but what I can tell you is you will get 200,000 hours of ice cold beer out of this awesome unit.
Imagine no more trips to the corner store for ice to cool down your kegs for your BBQs. The next day as you find yourself picking up the plastic cups in your backyard after a barn-burning kegger, no longer are you staring at a keg with the last six pack ruined at the bottom of it sitting in a barrel of warm water. The cure is at hand for your skull-splitting hangover.
The Suds Buddy has the hair of the dog ice cold carbonated and ready to draw.
Ladies if you want to keep your man close to the homestead the Suds Buddy is the perfect Christmas gift. Think of the smile on your man’s face Christmas afternoon as he is watching the game with a fresh drawn draft beer in his hand. Pop some deep fried treats in the oven and there will never be a reason for your man to ever see the inside of a sports bar again.
Not only is the Suds Buddy great for the man of the house but you too Mrs. Beer guy can join the hubby with a fresh mug of Suds. Hell lets face it; the Suds Buddy is fun for the whole family.
You now have some great suggestions for your ManRoom and some great holiday present ideas for the beer drinkers in your life. Enjoy the holiday season but remember to drink in moderation as we want all of you posting and rating beers in the next year and beyond.