Tag Archives: #beerclub

Happy #IPAday!

EinleyAnyone who knows me knows that I drink an IPA almost every day.

Today is #IPAday, a day created to crack open a new or familiar IPA and share via social media the wonders of craft beer. Why was IPA the chosen beer? I am not sure. Will there be Saison day? I don’t know. What I do know is that I love that #IPAday exists, for a few reasons:

1. I love that it is a social media driven event. I’m a social media junkie.

2. Anything that gives me an excuse to yammer about craft beer is cool with me.

3. Any reason for breweries to pimp their beer, have events, and promote craft beer is plain awesome in my book.

4. It’s my favorite style of beer, and from my experience, the most misunderstood.

This last reason may be my favorite reason. I have been told by many people that they cannot stand IPAs. They protest that the beer is too hoppy, too strong, too heavy, too this, too that. And then they hit just the right one and fall in love. Not everyone will love IPAs, I get that. I’m pretty sure I will never fall in love with a barleywine, but I’ll keep tasting them in the meantime. So I love that #IPAday may give someone who normally wouldn’t drink an IPA an excuse to drink one, and just maybe, become a fan.

Milwaukee Brewery – Hop Happy IPA

There has been a small amount of brouhaha over #IPAday. People getting pissy that they don’t need a special day to drink an IPA. People getting pissy that this will snowball into “holidays” for all types of beer. People getting pissy for the sake of getting pissy.

When it comes to beer, and life, I’m pretty chill. I’m cool with Miller existing and people drinking it. A friend once told me that sometimes it’s just nice to have a Bud Light with lunch. I think he’s come around since then, but honestly, it’s not a big deal. I’ve been known to slam down a shandy or two, and even enjoy it. But the fact is, that in my heart I’m a beer snob and love to convert people over to craft beer. So if someone wants to institute a day for IPAs, a day for Saisons, a day for Porters, a day for Sours or even a day for Barleywine, I’m down. Stout day already exists, so maybe that snowball is already rolling.

I’ll be enjoying #IPAday at the first Milwaukee Barley’s Angels meeting, so if you’re a gal and you want to join in, come to Sugar Maple!

#beerclub BOTW – Sierra Nevada/Russian River Collaboration – BRUX

What do you get when two breweries who are consistently rated as some of the best brewers in the world pair up for a collaboration beer? In this case you get Brux Domesticated Wild Ale.

I could discuss this more, but why not let the guys behind it do it for me.

Brux Domesticated Wild Ale

Drink with us next Monday August 6th, 8:00 PM on twitter at hashtag #beerclub. Join us for the #beerclub afterparty on Google Plus.

Can’t get the beer? No problem, #beerclub is all about learning, and discussing beer. We often have participants who are drinking different beers, or even water, or wine.

#beerclub’s Favorites

A few weeks ago during the weekly #beerclub chat, the topic of the American Homebrewer’s Association2012 Best Beers in America” came up. There was some discussion about if it was too west coast focused, or if they focused too much on rare beers. That’s a discussion perhaps for another post in the future, but I decided that #beerclub should give the list thing a go. We have a lot of knowledgeable beer drinkers in our ranks, there’s no reason we couldn’t come up with a list that we could call our own.

So, I’m asking for you to fill out a survey. Give me a list of your favorite beer related things and I’ll compile them for a future blog post and discussion. I’ll use your answers to compile the list. I’ll also compile a list of #beerclub’s favorite bars, Wisconsin beers, breweries, and other relevant information.

In addition to listing your favorite things, I am also giving you the opportunity to give me some feedback about #beerclub. I’m working on revitalizing the blog with the Beer 101 series I’ve started, and I have some other ideas for future posts that you should keep an eye out for. I’m putting more effort into the #beerclub, but this group is more than just me. We need your input for the group to live up to its fullest potential. This survey is your opportunity to give me feedback that will make the club a better group for everyone.

As a thanks for your assistance, I’m offering a prize. If you include your twitter handle in the survey, I’ll do a drawing for this set of Lakefront Brewery pint glasses.

That’s it. Go forth and answer some beer related questions. It might take you some time to come up with your answers, so I recommend you have a beer within reach before you start.

#beerclub’s favorites survey 

I’ll leave the survey open until August 6th. Please fill it out and have some fun doing so.

#beerclub gives back

When I started #beerclub I wasn’t sure what it would become. I had visions of trying a new beer each week, but the friendships forged over the virtual bar are what really make the club what it is. We’ve sampled beers from several breweries, been on brewery tours and been to a bunch of great beer bars. It’s been fun, but I’d like to take this club to a place we haven’t been before.

It’s time that #beerclub gave back to the community at large. Most of you in the Milwaukee area know Julie Larsen. She’s not much of a beer drinker, but she is a friend of #beerclub and she’s sat in on a few meetings. She’s putting together a huge fundraiser for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network called PurpleStride Milwaukee.

PurpleStride is a two mile walk along our beautiful lakefront. Participants can make donations themselves, or get their friends and family to sponsor them.

Not only am I doing this walk because of Julie’s commitment, but I have a very personal connection to pancreatic cancer. My father-in-law was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July of 2006. I didn’t know much about that particular kind of cancer at the time but I did learn pretty quickly that it was one of the worst types of cancer out there.

We were lucky and his tumor was blocking his liver and he had symptoms far before most pancreatic cancer victims. It was caught early and he put up an amazing fight. He eventually succumbed and died in December of 2008.

Gary would have loved #beerclub even if he couldn’t partake. He was a member of AA for many years though the second A didn’t mean much to him personally. He was a very generous man who fought hard to help as many alcoholics as he could. He spent every Friday night that he could, going to detox in Minneapolis and talking to the inmates. He was always helping alcoholics and fighting alcoholism in any way he could.

Despite this alcoholic past and his personal crusade against alcoholism he was at peace with that part of his life. He loved going to the liquor store and seeing all the new flavors that were coming out. If the family was having a party or other get together he would be the one supplying the beverages. I will never forget him distributing drink tickets at our wedding. Lets just say that the bridal party had enough to drink that night and they had Gary to thank for it. As long as you were being responsible, Gary was glad to get you another drink.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is a great organization helping people who really need it. They provide funding to research, offer assistance and answers to families who are struggling to come to grips with this awful disease, and probably most importantly they provide hope to patients.

This is why it’s so fitting that we’ve created a #beerclub team for the PurpleStride walk. Raising money for the fight against Pancreatic Cancer and combining it with beer is perfect.

I want to personally challenge everyone who can to join in and support this cause. The day of the walk promises to be fun and you’ll feel great knowing that your efforts will be helping people who really need it. We’ve created a #beerclub team and would love to have you join in.

#beerclub Year in Review

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been doing #beerclub for a year now. When I started this little thing, I had no idea what it would become, and it’s grown in ways I never could have imagined. I’ve met friends, expanded my beer horizons, been to new bars and breweries, and had a lot of fun doing it.

The idea of #beerclub stemmed from public radio host John Moe’s now defunct #candyclub. They met once a week, ate candy and talked about it on twitter. I had participated in #candyclub a few times when inspiration struck me to create a #beerclub. If they could do it with candy bars, why couldn’t we do it with beers? I approached the guys at Blatz Liquor with the idea and they were on board. A week or two later, we were drinking and tweeting.

The first night of #beerclub we drank Point Brewery’s 2012 Black Ale. There weren’t many of us drinking that night, but I could tell that this was going to be something special. Over the next months we grew, slowly gaining attention from across the internet. As of today we’ve had almost 100 participants from all around the country, and sampled some great (and not so great) beers.

As the group got to know each other, we decided that we should meet in person. The first #beerclubfieldtrip happened in June of last year. We had sampled Lakefront Brewery’s Fixed Gear on one of the #beerclub nights and the discussion turned to the fact that several participants had never been to Lakefront for the tour. As an avid Lakefront tour fan, I knew that we had to do the tour as a group. The first field trip was such a huge success, we all knew we had to do it again.

Since that first tour, we’ve had several field trips. We’ve done the tours at Lakefront Brewery, Sprecher Brewery and Milwaukee Brewing. We’ve also met for drinks at the Glendale Oktoberfest, Roman’s Pub, and Sugar Maple. In 2011 we’ve made a point to have one field trip each month. Plans for future field trips range from big day long voyages to Chicago or Madison to gathering at local pubs. Be sure to follow this blog space for details of the future trips. There has even been talk of field trips especially for the South Central Wisconsin drinkers.

Since the demise of Blatz Liquor, I’ve been lucky enough to team up with Joel from The Wine Cellar of Wisconsin to help with selecting beers. Since they are primarily a wine shop we haven’t been able to source every beer we’ve sampled from them, but he has been very helpful in picking beers, and stocking the BOTW when possible. We even have some ideas that we’re kicking around for a future field trip to the shop. With the increased focus on beer at his store Joel has conscripted Dan to start a new BeerCellarofWI account on twitter. Stay tuned to this account for more #beerclub related news.

One of the things I want to emphasize is that #beerclub is more than just me. Without the active participation of you, the members of the club, this would be nothing more than me drinking beer on Monday nights at my house. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I’m no more responsible for the success of #beerclub than you are. Because of that, I am very open to suggestions for how we can improve the club. Be it a beer of the week suggestion, a field trip you’d like to take, a blog post you’d like to write, or a even format change for Monday nights. #beerclub is what we all make of it, so please don’t hesitate to make your suggestion, ask me a question, or heck, just go out and make the changes yourself.

As we enter into the second year of #beerclub, I have some ideas to spur conversations, grow the club, and make it more educational. I don’t want to turn the club into Beer 101 class or take the fun out of drinking, but I do want to see more conversation, more active participation and more experimentation as we go forward. I’ll be posting some of those ideas here on this blog for feedback in the weeks to come. Again, if you have suggestions, or ideas please don’t hesitate to approach me.

I appreciate everyone who has ever joined us on a Monday night, or at a field trip, but I do feel I need to make a special mention of Genevieve and Craig who have been with the club since the very first meeting. Genevieve in particular has the honor of actually managing to make it to more #beerclub meetings than I have (I missed once due to family obligations, and another due to a wicked hangover). Thank you both for helping mold #beerclub into what it has become.

With that, I’ll simply say Cheers! and here’s to many more years of drinking beers with good friends!


PS: don’t forget to join our Flickr group, our Facebook group, and to RSVP for the next #beerclubfieldtrip

Happy Anniversary!

I am not even going to pretend that I remember how this all came about. This is what I know to be true. I saw Joe from Blatz liquor tweeting about a beer club.  I schlepped the kids into the now deceased Blatz Liquor store (pour some out for our homie) to buy beer including the beer of the week. I followed Mitch on twitter and attended the very first #beerclub.  Anything else I remember probably isn’t true.

I have been present at each and every beer club since – whether the kids or I were sick, whether I was at home or not and I think once I didn’t even have the beer of the week but still participated. By (not my) popular demand, the beer club time was changed and since then it has been a challenge for me to be present, but I always try to at least stop in and say hi.

This is what else I know to be true.  I have had great conversations, learned a thing or two, and made life-long friends through #beerclub. I am so grateful for this group that gathers on twitter every Monday night and shares a beer.  I look forward to it every week and I can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for us.  I imagine some more great (and not so great) beer, more friends and more field trips!

I am hoping we have a great turn out of old friends (@vasser40 I am looking at you) and new friends to celebrate the one year anniversary of #beerclub! See you at 8pm this Monday night!

A special shout out thank you to Mitch! Without you, none of this would have happened and I so appreciate you!

#beerclub BOTW: New Glarus Brewery Cabin Fever

We’ve been cooped up indoors waiting for winter to pass for months now. Cabin Fever has set in and we’re ready to get back outdoors. Unfortunately Mother Nature isn’t cooperating and it’s still cold and snowy outside. This is when we need a special beer to break the monotony and help us make it till spring.

Thankfully, New Glarus Brewing is all too familiar with this feeling and they created Cabin Fever for this very reason. A honey bock, this beer promises to be sweet and delicious and just what we need on a cold February night.

From their website:

Cool days draw us close to the warmth of home fires. This is the season to sip away the chill and embrace quiet evenings with friends and family.

You hold a Wisconsin Style Honey Bock, easy going and more approachable than its traditional dark German cousin. Bock beers have existed in Wisconsin for over 150 years. This pale bock is brewed with an exclusive blend of Wisconsin two row barley that balances seamlessly with our special European hops. Naturally sweet Clover Honey was added in the kettle accenting warm flavor notes on your tongue.

Whether you reminisce the passing summer sun or thrill to squeaky steps through drifting snow one thing is certain about winter in Wisconsin, this too shall pass.

Style Pale Wisconsin Honey Bock
Flavor Naturally sweet Clover Honey was added in the kettle accenting warm flavor notes on your tongue.
Alcohol 5.50% by volume
Pairings Foods:BratsLambCurryGraham CrackersHamPorkBBQ saucesCheeses:Dunbarton Blue (Cheddar from Roelli Cheese)
Available in 6 packs, Cases, 1/2 Barrels and 1/4 Barrels

Join the #beerclub as we drink New Glarus Brewing Cabin Fever. Monday February 21st. 8PM Central. Don’t forget, we’re doing the February #beerclubfieldtrip this Saturday at Sugar Maple. Details and RSVP on the twitvite.

#beerclub BOTW: Bell’s Hopslam

Bell's Hopslam

Bell’s Hopslam

It’s that time of year again, Bell’s Hopslam is on shelves. This is the third highest rated Double IPA on Beeradvocate.com, and another of the more highly anticipated beer releases of the season.

What makes it so special? It’s a 10% ABV beer with generous amounts of hops that maintains a balanced flavor thanks in part to the addition of honey to the brew.

From the Bell’s Brewery Site:

Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell’s Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell’s repetoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style.

Alcohol by Volume: 10.0%
Original Gravity: 1.087
Shelf Life: 6 months
Dates Available: Winter seasonal
Available Packages: Bottle, draft, and 5 liter (1.32 gal.) mini-keg

Join us Monday night February 7th 8PM Central as the #beerclub drinks Bell’s Hopslam.

#beerclub BOTW: Hinterland Winterland

Hinterland Winterland

Hinterland Winterland

We’re not out of winter just yet, and there are several winter themed beers that we can sample from. Hinterland Brewing is one of the newer breweries to release their product into the retail market, and they’ve been making a splash with their beers. Last summer #beerclub drank their Cherry Wheat beer and it was generally well received. It’s time to revisit their brews and this time we’re sampling their Winterland porter.


Opaque, deep brown to black color. Rich roasted malt flavor. Generous hop bitterness and aroma. Reminiscent of a porter or stout with a surprising juniper berry finish.

Join the #beerclub as we drink this Wisconsin Porter, Monday Jan 31st at 8:00 PM central.

#beerclub BOTW: Victory Beer Prima Pils

I didn’t post about last week’s BOTW. We had Lakefront Brewery Rendezvous. It was delicious. This week we’re drinking one of the classic styles of beer. Pilsner, the first lager beer, and a standard in any beer lovers arsenal. We last attempted a Pilsner this summer when we drank the Lagunitas Pils. That was a very well received beer, and now we’re ready to try another pilsner.

#beerclub also has a history with Victory Brewing. In the summer of 2010 we drank the Victory V12, and it made @Einley’s list of her favorite #beerclub beers. Victory Prima Pils is well known as one of the best examples of pilsner made by an American craft brewery. We will be putting this reputation to the test next Monday as #beerclub tackles Victory Prima Pils.

Prima Pils

Victory Prima Pils

Heaps of hops give this pale lager a bracing, herbal bite over layers of soft and smooth malt flavor. This refreshing combination of tastes makes Prima a classy quencher in the tradition of the great pilsners of Europe.


Malts: 2 row German pilsner malt
Hops:German and Czech whole flowers
Alcohol by volume: 5.3%

Join us on Monday January 24th at 8:00 PM central, as we drink Victory Prima Pils.