Archive for Blog About Beer

10 Beer T-Shirts Any Beer Lover Could Wear

Posted in #Beer with tags , on January 19, 2016 by VanPort Brewing

Over the past few years I’ve racked up quite a collection of beer related t-shirts. From breweries I’ve been to, general craft beer shirts and random swag I’ve been given, my closet is a good indication of my love for all things beer related.

One thing I’ve noticed when going to beer festivals is that there are tons of other people out there like me who love to rock shirts dedicated to the greatest beverage on earth.

I’ve found a lot of great companies online and my favorite is I Love Apparel and their collection of beer t-shirts. Below, you can find 10 of my favorite shirts they offer.

#1 Beer=Salad

beersalad

#2 I Make Beer Disappear

makebeerdisappear

#3 I Brew Beer What’s Your Super Power?

ibrewbeer

#4 Just Brew It

justbrewit

#5 Beer + Deer = Beer

beer-deer

#6 I Like My Water With Barley Hops and Yeast

waterhopsyeast

#7 More Hops Please

morehopsplease

#8 I’d Tap That

idtapthat

#9 Women Come And Go, Beer Is Forever

women

#10 In Dog Beers, I’ve Only Had One

dog-beers

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Widmer’s Upheaval IPA The Latest Addition To Their Lineup

Posted in #Beer with tags , on May 1, 2014 by VanPort Brewing

The bros at Widmer have been busy in the lab again brewing up another beverage to take up that precious real estate on the shelf of your fridge!

This new beer is called Upheaval, and it is a Northwest style IPA that is the result of the Widmer brewer’s pursuit of creating the perfect IPA. Whether or not they have succeeded is up to you of course.

This 7% ABV beer weighs in with 85 IBU’s and is brewed with Alchemy, Simcoe, Chinook, Willamette, Brewer’s Gold, and Nelson Sauvin hops.

Pouring orange and topped with a white head, the citrus and floral notes inform the imbiber of what style of beer they are about to drink.

Although the floral notes and the pine are apparent in the flavor, this beverage is quite smooth with not any one flavor dominating the palette. The bitter and light bready malt notes assist in rounding out this beer as well.

Light-bodied with plenty of carbonation, Widmer has added another nice refreshing brew to their lineup of beers.

So “upheave” yourself from whatever chair you’re sitting in and go check out this new beer!

 

Photography and Editing by Megan Ramos

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Order San Diego Based Modern Times Beer Online

Posted in #Beer with tags , on March 17, 2014 by VanPort Brewing

What’s better than a delivery from FedEx that contains beer? That’s right, a delivery from FedEx that contains amazing beer.

Our friends at InsideTheCeller.com have added the complete year-round lineup from Modern Times Beer out of San Diego to their website.

For those outside of Southern California, you may have not yet heard of the greatness that is Modern Times Beer. I’m sure however you soon will grow to love these guys.

Their first beer became available on June 24, 2013, so they are still very new to the scene. Trying their beer, you’ll never know they are a young brewery. Founder Jacob McKean does have quite a bit of experience both homebrewing, and working for Stone Brewing Co.

For those outside of Southern California you can order their lineup and have them delivered to your door. Each beer comes in a 16oz can that has a simple, yet very stylish design.

InsideTheCellar.com sends them out in a very sturdy package that contains info on each beer, which is an added bonus for those of you like me who like to geek out over the beers I’m drinking.

You can order just the styles you like, or buy a four pack that gives you one of each of the following:

Lomaland Saison

A clean, dry and extremely easy drinking saison. 5.5% ABV. 30 IBU. Click to Buy

Fortunate Islands Session Wheat IPA

It’s as if an IPA and a hefeweizen had a love child. Very sessionable. 4.8% ABV. 46 IBU. Click to Buy

Black House Oatmeal Coffee Stout

This oatmeal coffee stout is brewed with coffee that Modern Times roasts themselves. So much complexities in this beer, perfect for those coffee lovers out there. 5.8% ABV. 40 IBU. Click to Buy

Blazing World Hoppy Amber

They call it a hoppy dank amber. One of my favorites of the four (although all are phenomenal). 6.8% ABV. 85 IBU. Click to Buy

Get The Four Pack

If you want to try one of each, order the four pack and you’ll save a buck. Click to Buy

Order more beer and you’ll save on shipping. For orders of 12 and over bottles/cans, you’ll get free shipping.

At checkout, make sure to enter promo code BAB and they’ll throw in a free Govino travel glass while supplies last.

Please note this post was sponsored by InsideTheCellar.com.

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B.O.B “Bottle Opener Board” Cutting Board & Bottle Opener

Posted in #Beer with tags , on March 14, 2014 by VanPort Brewing

Just when I thought I’d seen someone create a bottle opener on everything imaginable, the guys at B.O.B created what might just be the most unique opener I’ve seen to date.

B.O.B stands for Bottle Opener Board.

If you’re like me, your first thoughts might be that it just sounds crazy to combine a bottle opener and a cutting board. Then the guys who designed the board sent me out one and I can honestly say it’s pretty cool.

Their line of boards consists of “The Tailgater”, a small cutting board with a bottle opener that’s perfect for camping. Their other board is called “The All-Nighter”, which is a bit bigger and has a handle built into it.

For those of you who enjoy cutting up limes, oranges, or other fruit to put in your beer, this is targeted towards you. Even if you’re like me and don’t want to put fruit in your beer, the novelty of this things makes it great for conversations.

bobboard

What I like about it more than anything is that it’s a pretty good looking cutting board. Made with bamboo, I’d probably buy it even if it didn’t have a bottle opener built in.

bobmeat

I don’t generally promote Kickstarter related projects on this blog, but after I saw the board in person I’ve became a fan and figured I’d share it with our readers. I’m not sure if I’ll ever really use the opener (although it will come in handy when camping), but I do love their boards.

bobmaster

They also have a stand that will hold the boards along with an iPad so you can read this blog while cutting up some fruit and opening your beer at the same time.

bob

Make sure to check out their Kickstarter campaign to see it in action along with more details on what they are creating.

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Switch Taps Interchangeable Tap Handles and Growler Stoppers

Posted in #Beer with tags , on March 10, 2014 by VanPort Brewing

Switch TapsAs a homebrewer I’ve often been bored with the boring old tap handles that are available. Don’t get me wrong, there are some pretty cool options out there, just none that excite my creative side.

If you have more than one tap, you have a couple of options. You can put a piece of tape on the handle or possibly get one with a chalkboard on it, but to me my handwriting sucks so it ends up looking pretty tacky.

Matt & Jonathan Logue over at Switch Taps had an incredibly simple, yet innovative idea when they started to tackle this problem. Their idea turned into a very cool interchangeable system that works with both tap handles and growlers alike so you won’t be left wondering what beer was in what growler or keg.

It’s pretty simple really. The system comes with a handle that screws into normal beer faucets as well as another one that acts as a stopper for your growlers. On the top there are plates with different beer styles that you can interchange to help you know what’s pouring.

Currently they offer six styles (IPA, pilsners, wheat, stout, lager and ale), but keep an eye out as they’ll be adding more in the near future. The simple design looks pretty cool and turns your homebrew up a notch. If you have a beer that you have a logo for, you can order a custom made face plate and bam, your homebrew is looking much more professional already.

It’s still a new product, but I can imagine a world where breweries sold face plates to attach to the system so you can nicely label your growlers or kegerator with some professional beers.

I got the ale and lager face plates to start and was pretty impressed with how durable they felt. Another added benefit I noticed was that they put a magnet on them so you can stick them on your beer fridge.

Check out the video below and then head on over to their website to see what they have to offer.

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NewAir AK-200SS Stainless Steel Kegerator Review

Posted in #Beer with tags , on March 7, 2014 by VanPort Brewing

It doesn’t get much better than drinking fresh beer on draft in the comfort of your own home. Something about draft beer makes it just taste better in my opinion.

For a true beer fan, having your own kegerator is a must, especially if you’re a homebrewer.

Over the past few years, I’ve had my beer fridge in my garage that has room for 2 corny kegs (I could probably fit a few more) that I’ve used for my homebrew. I never ran tap lines and have needed to open up the fridge every time I wanted to pour some beer. That’s not that big of a problem, but it takes up space for the many bottles I want to keep cold.

The other problem I had was that I didn’t have the hookups for non corny kegs, so I was unable to serve kegged beer I got from a brewery. In the back of my mind I really wanted to get a small kegerator to go next to my fridge that would allow me to use multiple keg sizes, plus free up space in my beer fridge for other goodies.

Thanks to the amazing people at NewAir, my wish came true. In full disclosure they sent me out one of their NewAir AK-200SS Stainless Steel Kegerators in exchange for writing up this review. Not a bad perk for writing a beer blog, eh? However like anything else I get sent for review, I will always give my honest opinion. If something just plain sucks, it doesn’t matter how expensive it is, I’ll let my readers know.

My AK-200SS Review

First, I was pretty frustrated in the obstacles I was running into for writing this review. I was really wanting to do a high quality video showing the kegerator and me pouring some delicious beer from it, however I couldn’t get my camera to work right. Once I can get it fixed I’ll be attaching the video to the post so you can see it in action.

Along with that I have it out in my garage, which doesn’t have the best lighting. Last week our garage door broke so I couldn’t even open the door to get natural light in so you’ll have to just view the stock photos as they are 1000 times better than mine. (side note, if someone ever wants to teach me how to take good pictures, I’d love the help).

Anyways, with that said, on to the review.

What is the NewAir AK-200SS?

Newair AK -200SSThe AK-200SS is a stainless steel, single tap kegerator that stands just over 33 inches tall. It is setup to fit full size kegs and pony kegs (I got a sixth barrel keg that works as well) and both cools and dispenses the kegged beer.

It includes all that you need except for a keg and CO2 (although it does come with the CO2 tank that you’ll need to fill).

For those interested in the technical specs, here you go:

Dimensions: 26.50″ L x 21.25″ W x 33.13″ H
Weight: 89.00 lbs.
Warranty: 1 year limited
Voltage: 115 volts
Amps: 1.9 amps
Frequency: 60 Hz
Casters: Yes
Number of Taps: 1
CO2 Tank Size: 2.5lb Canister

Unboxing the Kegerator

As you’d expect, shipping a kegerator isn’t the easiest thing. The AK-200SS weighs in at 89lbs with a total shipping weight of 103.85lbs. I was hoping that there would be no problems with the unit, as shipping it back could have been a pain. Luckily everything worked out fine.

NewAir knows what they are doing when it comes to shipping. The box was packed tight with no room for any movement. They even had a film that covered the stainless steel to protect it. I don’t think they could have packed it any better and it arrived in perfect condition.

Installing the Kegerator

NewAir AK-200SS KegeratorI was a little nervous when I opened the box and noticed all of the parts as I’m not the handiest guy around when it comes to putting things together.

However I had everything up and running in probably an hour. After getting it all together I was left with more washers, nuts, and random parts than I was comfortable with. Apparently they are extras, but they didn’t really explain why they were there. I was left with a nervous feeling that I didn’t put the thing together correctly, but it worked so I was happy.

Overall the installation manual was my least favorite part of this product. I’m not sure if they forgot to have someone outside the company read through it before they printed it, but it was incredibly confusing. Luckily I was able to hack my way through it and won’t have to look at it again.

Since it is a refrigerator, I had to wait a day or so before I plugged it in as it had to go on its side to put the casters on (which is explained in the manual). I was anxious to get my first beer poured, but I had patience.

Inside they have a spot designated just for the CO2 tank that secures tightly to the wall. It also has an adjustable thermostat so you can get your beer at the proper serving temperature.

Using the Kegerator

I knew my inaugural keg had to be something pretty special since it was my first, and also because the Super Bowl was that weekend and my Seahawks were playing (and might I add it ended up being the best Super Bowl of all time). I ended up heading down to Total Wine & More and snagged a 1/6 barrel keg of Georgetown Lucille IPA. I needed a Seattle beer, and Lucille is one of the best IPAs around.

I also stopped by our local homebrew shop and got the CO2 tank exchanged with a full one. For obvious safety reasons NewAir can’t ship a full tank, so you’ll need to either get yours filled up, or swap it out with a full one.

With both a full keg and CO2 tank, I hooked them up to the AK-200SS. I’ve only hooked up corny kegs before and I was surprised at how easy it was this time to get everything working.

Thankfully the folks at Total Wine keep their kegs in a refrigerated room so it was already cold and I was able to pour my first beer. It was beautiful. The tap pours fairly slowly giving your beer just the right amount of head.

They thought ahead when adding the tap dispenser as it’s tall enough to fill large glasses, growlers and pitchers with no problems. It also includes a drip tray so you don’t make a mess all over the stainless steel unit.

Also one thing to note is that it is setup for Sankey style kegs. If you are wanting to use corny kegs to dispense homebrew, you can do it, you’ll just need to buy some extra parts to convert it.

Newair AK -200SS

What I Think

I’m not going to lie, I’ve loved this kegerator. It is incredibly well thought out and pours beer exactly how I was hoping. I’ve had multiple friends over and they’ve all loved it as well.

One cool feature that they designed into it is the ability to turn it into a beer fridge when you don’t have a full keg. You can plug the dispenser and it includes two racks that can be placed inside to hold your cans, bottles and growlers. While I already have a beer fridge, this might just be the perfect option for that person trying to convince their spouse into letting them get a standalone beer fridge when they don’t have a lot of space.

My only gripe that I mentioned before is the poorly written installation manual, but once you get it setup it’s really not a big deal.

It really is a sturdy and very easy to use kegerator that looks beautiful. I’ve greatly appreciated the casters on the bottom which has made moving this thing across the garage pretty simple. I do however wish I had a man cave to put this in.

If you’re looking for a single tap kegerator, I wouldn’t hesitate at all to recommend the AK-200SS.

Where To Buy The Newair AK -200SS

Here are current prices around the web.

Seller Details Base Price
Amazon Free Shipping $599.99 Shop
Best Buy Free Shipping $599.99 Shop
Wayfair Free Shipping $599.95 Shop
Hayneedle Free Shipping $599.95 Shop
Walmart $7.50 Shipping $647.95 Shop

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BridgePort Brewing Trilogy 1 Released

Posted in #Beer with tags , on March 5, 2014 by VanPort Brewing

For most of us around Oregon, BridgePort Brewing has been a staple on the craft beer scene for just about as long as craft beer has been produced.

In fact the Portland based brewery is the oldest craft brewery in the state. Founded in 1984, BridgePort is celebrating 30 years of producing craft beer by brewing 3 special beers (1 for each decade) over the course of 2014.

The first of the Trilogy series, known simply as Trilogy 1, is available now where BridgePort beers are sold. The other two will be released in May and September of 2014.

Trilogy 1 is a Crystal Dry-Hopped Pale Ale that focuses less on the malts, and more on the locally grown Crystal hops used for a bold aroma and a pleasant citrus flavor. The presence of Rye malt lends a slightly spicy malt character and the Munich malts add a soft yet definite mouthfeel.

The brewery is planning on casting a vote at the end of the year between the 3 beers in the Trilogy and will bring the winner back as a year-long offering in 2015.

I’ll be honest. I was really pleased with this beer. Even though I have no idea what the other two beers are they will be brewing, I’m hoping this one wins. It’s easy drinking, yet packed with tons of flavor. Definitely give this one a try.

ABV: 5.2%
IBUs: 40
Style: Pale Ale

What’s your thoughts on BridgePort Brewing Trilogy 1 Crystal Dry-Hopped Pale Ale?

Also, congrats to BridgePort on 30 years! That’s quite an accomplishment.

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