The first playable beer. Practical, not even a little but. Curiously fun, you bet.
19th Century technology meets 21st Century music over a bottle of beer in the latest extension to the Beck’s Record Label project.
This time, the art label has evolved, and been replaced by the grooves of Auckland band Ghost Wave. Their new single was inscribed into the surface of a Beck’s beer bottle which could then be played on a specially-built device based on Thomas Edison’s original cylindrical phonograph.
Making the world’s first playable beer bottle was a formidable technical challenge. The clever people at Auckland firm Gyro Constructivists first had to design and build a record-cutting lathe, driven by a hard drive recording head. Then they reinvented Edison’s original cylinder player, using modern materials and electronics and built to very fine tolerances.
The Edison Bottle made its public debut at SemiPermanent in Auckland in May to a standing ovation from the assembled media and design community.
All Craig Reynolds wanted his beer fridge to do was keep his brewski cold, but the machine was capable so much more than that. It took down a mobile network in neighborhoods all over Melbourne, Australia. According to technicians, the fridge’s motor went on the fritz and started emitting electric sparks that created enough radio frequency noise to black out the cell network. Using a tracking antenna named for its creator, Mr. Yagi, the crew followed the interference until they were led to a specific home address. And a specific beer fridge. “I’m going to run and see if my fridge is all right next time there’s a problem with the network,” said an amazed Reynolds, who will at least still have cold beer even if his cellphone’s down.
What goes with vodka? Beer, or at least one of the ingredients from beer, namely hops. I’ve seen vodka made with just about everything, so I’m not surprised to see hops in the mix.
Anchor Distilling president David King had no idea that he was entering the flavored vodka business when he suggested distilling hops, the main flavoring agent of beer.
“It started as a weird curiosity,” he told us. “And then when we actually did it, the resulting product defied categorization; not enough sugar to be a liqueur, not a gin.”
Ultimately, the government decided: When he sent it to the TTB for labeling approval, they deemed it a flavored vodka.
But the spirit, named Hophead ($35 for 750 ml; buy it here), couldn’t be further from the confectionery train wrecks of the same genre.
It’s made with two types of hops, which offer a funky, herbaceous scent that gives way to notes of honeysuckle. Flavors of pine needles and herbs recall gin, while a bitter spine echoes a classic IPA. It is a crossroads for three very different drinking sets: the vodka-eschewing bartender, the gin-fearing drinker and the pint swiller.
Try it first in a Bloody Mary, where the vodka’s savory character augments the tomato and horseradish. Then consider it in a cocktail from Absinthe in San Francisco, where bar manager Matt Conway uses it as the base of a refreshing shandy (see the recipe).
Or do as the brewers at Anchor’s brewery do for double-hop action: Take a shot with an IPA back.
Ever wanted to share your beer with your dog but were afraid giving alcohol wasn’t a good idea? Now there is a non-alcoholic beer just for dogs.
Dawg Grog, a non-alcoholic mock brew for canines, is the brainchild of Daniel Keeton, 32, who perfected it over the past year with a little help from his seven-year-old American Staffordshire terrier Lola Jane.
It’s made with wort, or spent grain, left over from the process of making real beer at the Boneyard Brewery of Bend, Oregon, where Keeton works in the tasting room when he’s not home-brewing his own suds.
“I’m recycling a spent product that would otherwise go down the drain,” Keeton, contacted by telephone on Tuesday, told AFP.
“I’ve had a lot of people say dogs love human beer,” he added. “But obviously that’s not good for dogs, so I wanted to make an alternative that’s fun to give to your dog as well as a beneficial healthy treat.”
The first batch of Dawg Grog, which comes in 16-ounce (half-liter) bottles in cases of six or 12, went on sale last August in Bend, a beer-loving city of 76,000 in the heart of the Pacific Northwest state.
But a spate of national publicity in recent days has seen Keeton suddenly facing a rush of orders from around the United States, where craft beers from small-volume local breweries have exploded in popularity in recent years.
“It’s sweet and kind of caramelly and malty,” said Keeton when asked how Dawg Grog tastes. He adds that his product — which also has vegetable broth among its ingredients — is best served on its own or poured over dog food.
Last minute holiday shopping got you in a jam? Never fear, Brew-K is here!!!! Of course, if you can’t get the Brew-K, remember that a 6 pack or growler of beer brewed by a local brewery is almost always a great gift for an adult. Have fun with any last minute shopping you may be doing!!
Love Game of Thrones and beer? Well then there is some good news for you today.
Fans of the HBO series “Game of Thrones” will have an opportunity to raise a flagon of ale in its honor next spring, when a new line of beers inspired by that series is introduced. HBO is set to announce that it will team up with Brewery Ommegang, a Belgian-style brewery in Cooperstown N.Y., to create beers based on themes and characters in the fantasy series adapted from the novels by George R. R. Martin.
The first beer, Iron Throne Blonde Ale, will be inaugurated nationwide in late March, to coincide with the Season 3 premiere of “Game of Thrones,” which is scheduled for March 31. Three more beers are planned, with the second to be released next fall. The others will follow in subsequent seasons.
If you like Game of Thrones, do you think you’re going to try out this beer?
We all love games based on drinking, and it looks like Nick Helmholdt of Ann Arbor, MI is trying to make a craft beer game. The game is card based (check the the official rules in this PDF file) with pints (points) being awarded for various brewing tasks. The first person to a set amount of points wins the game. Essentially, you will brew craft beer and expand your brewery to earn victory pints!
The description from the website for the game is as follows:
Picture yourself as beer brewer challenged to create distinct and appealing recipes. Pint Craft incorporates elements of resource management and seasonality to generate variety. Creativity on the player’s part ensures that no two games are the same. No knowledge of brewing is needed to play Pint Craft.
Your friends loved your latest original home brew recipe and encouraged you to quit your job to brew beer full time. At first you hesitated – how can anyone make a living brewing small batches? Then the right combination of frustration and fortune made this craft beer idea seem like the perfect way to escape your dead end job and ferment some passion into your work! But you’re not alone. Other aspiring brewers want to make their mark, too. In this fast-moving industry you’ll need to expand your operations, brew unique styles, and attract thirsty beer enthusiasts to stay ahead of your competition.
Beer Style Cards
The game looks like a lot of fun, and I’m considering donating to get myself a copy. You can pre-order Pint Craft starting at the $25 level. The game will be made in the good ole USA, no need to involve China. If you pledge, you get a copy you can download and start playing right away (printing at Kinkos is suggested).
The Pint Craft Box
Check out this video demonstration of how the game works: