Saying Goodbye to Memories

I crawl the line

Madison, rocking her Johnny Cash onsie and tutu.

Saying good bye to little baby clothes is hard to do. Putting them away after the first baby is hard enough but you hold onto hope for a chance when they will come back into your life. After two little princesses have worn the same tutu it gets even harder; there are just so many memories in those little bits tulle.


When your baby no longer fits into her your favorite pieces you have two choices: you can get rid of it by donating or throwing it out or you can hold on to it. You have to pick and choose which pieces to keep so as not turn into a hoarder. But what about those other pieces of memory? The place you took them for their first ice cream or their first hair cut or the very first beer you had after they were born.

That last one holds a lot of memories. Your body is rushing with endorphins. You haven’t had beer in so long. You are having your first chance to celebrate the new precious little one who changed everything in the most amazing, crazy, scary ways possible.

You dream that some day you will be able to share this brew with your child when they are grown. You choose this beer for different reasons. Perhaps it’s your favorite. Perhaps it’s a prized whale of a beer. If you are like me, however, you choose the first because it is perfect. Baby Tree by Pretty Things. The adorable name to the adorable art work. It’s the beer you spotted on a cross state lines beer adventure with your husband back before you even started trying to have kids. You both saw it and you both knew it was just perfect. When the second baby comes around you look for something just as perfect and find another Pretty Thing; this time, perfect for the little fairy tale you find yourself in with a second baby girl. You choose a beer from their Once Upon a Time series. You save the bottles.

Pretty Things, Pretty Bottles, Pretty Blankies

Pretty Things, Pretty Bottles, Pretty Blankies

You tuck away the memories and you love the beers and the brewery because of all they hold. All they mean to you. And then you find out they are ceasing to be. The brewery is no more. True, Pretty Things have always been nomads but you loved that about them. The free spirit of it all added to the charm. Still, you never imagined they would be done.

Somethings are too hard to let go of.

Somethings are too hard to let go of.

They are part of your past and you dreamt of how they would be part of your future. The nostalgia of it all brings tears to your eyes.

How do you say good bye to little clothes that kept your baby warm, protected and were so darn cute? How do you say good bye to the nomads that slipped into your life and made such an impression?


Picture Credit: Pretty Things Beer And Ale Project

Picture Credit: Pretty Things Beer And Ale Project

For more information on Pretty Things farewell check out their blog post here.

Living a fairy tale with two little princesses. Take lots of pics. Cherish the memories.

Living a fairy tale with two little princesses. Take lots of pics. Cherish the memories.

Victory Brewing Co. – NEW Parkesburg, PA Location

IMG_0355bThe newest addition to the Victory Brewing Company family has just opened at 3127 Lower Valley Road, Parkesburg, PA. It’s the third brewpub for the Philadelphia-based brewery and I got an inside look of the new facility.

I’ve been a fan of Victory’s brew for quite some time now and visited the Downingtown, PA location last year. The food was great and the beer… well… of course it was delicious. That set the bar pretty high in my mind and was hoping the new Parkesburg location would meet my expectations…. and IT DID!

The day I stopped by, it was raining and quite chilly outside. So sorry. No outside photo from my camera on this visit. But you’ll get the idea from this artist rendering of the size and design of the building. It’s enormous – 212,000 square feet to be exact. That’s twice the size of the Downingtown location.

Victory Brewing Co. Parkesburg Location

“Opening our third brewpub is truly a Victory for Ron and I, and for our fans,” said Victory’s President and Brewmaster, Bill Covaleski. “As the popularity of craft beer has grown, so has the desire of fans to see where the barley-and-hops magic happens. We are proud to show our fans the great lengths to which we go to give them delicious beer and food made with the highest quality and freshest ingredients. This is what they have come to expect from Victory, this is what they deserve, and this is what we will deliver.”

When you walk through the doors, you are greeted at the hostess desk. You can either be seated in the taproom or you can hang a left and peruse the gift shop filled with apparel, merch, bottles to-go and Victory beer-infused food items.

Once inside the spacious, two-story taproom, I stopped dead in my tracks to take it all in: polished concrete floors, table tops made from reclaimed white oak wood from a Chester County barn, cinder block exterior walls, exposed duct work, steel, glass and various architectural elements painted in primary shades of yellow, red and blue. Know that I was grinning from ear to ear.

Victory Parkesburg: Seats 400There’s a bar both downstairs and upstairs. In the dining spaces, you have the choice of traditional seating, high top tables and communal tables as well. All in all the whole taproom can seat 400 guests – plenty of room for everyone. Take a look:


30 Different Brews Available on Tap

All the Beers
The photo above of the taps? Yeah. That’s 30 different Victory brew selections. There are 90 total taps in the building to keep us thirsty visitors well served plus a double-headed growler machine and crowler filling machine giving you more ways to take home your favorite Victory beers.

(scroll down once your on the page to view the drafts)

Taste Victory Coaster in TaproomThe Food
I was pleasantly surprised to see items for vegetarians as I have quite a few friends that are. It makes dining all together so much easier. But have no fear carnivorous ones, there’s lots and lot o’meat. Three custom grill/smokers are used to create authentic, great-tasting barbeque. It’s all wood-fired and is the shining star of the menu.

I was able to sample the mesquite-smoked beef brisket tossed in a sweet and tangy BBQ sauce and savory caramelized onions. Melts in your mouth. It paired nicely with the Caesar Salad that has spent grain croutons and smoked caesar dressing.

I have to admit, I’m more of a seafood and poultry kinda-gal. I went gaga over the Roasted Sea Bass and Potatoes paired with Sliced Granny Smith Apples topped with Brie, Honey Mustard and Red Onion.


Featured Dishes

  • Fried Tortillas with Jalapeño HopDevil Cheese $6
  • Mussels Steamed in Shallots, Butter, Parsley and Golden Monkey with Crusty Bread $13
  • Homemade Vegan Veggie Burger $9
  • Short Rib and Chuck Brewery Burger $11

Taproom Hours:

  • Monday to Saturday 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Sunday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm

I grabbed a juicy Vital IPA before heading upstairs to check out the self-guided tour. I’d have to say. The tour at this facility is one of the best of its kind with lots of interactive displays, video screens, fun facts, bold graphics and peak-a-boo windows to look down into much of the brewery. You get a real live look at the equipment and ingredients that are used to produce Victory beer.

My favorite display? The hops segment of the tour. You could look into the Whole-Flower Hop Freezer, push a button on the wall and whoosh! A rush of air from the room blew glorious hop aroma right into your face. I pushed the button several times.

FUN FACT: The Parkesburg location has an excellent and reliable water source from a reservoir fed by the West Branch of the Brandywine (similar chemistry to the Downingtown source, the East Branch).

The idea to build in Parkesburg, PA was three years in the making from concept to opening its brewpub doors. Owners, Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet, showed us around the new 200-barrel German-built brewhouse that has the capability of producing 225,000 barrels of craft beer a year—more than doubling the previous production capacity at their Downingtown location. To put it into perspective, they can brew ten batches of brew per day with each batch yielding approximately 66,000 12 ounce bottles of beer. The new bottling line is capable of filling 250 12 ounce bottles every minute to fill over 600 cases an hour. Whoa!

“Efficiency” and “environmentally-friendly” were two common themes that kept coming up during the discussion. The new state-of-the-art cooling systems for climate control and process chilling require less than half the energy used by standard systems. Plus, the brewery uses Wort Boiling Energy Recovery. The condensed wort boiling vapor will be used to create hot water. Throughout the plant, this hot water will pasteurize and sanitize pipelines, packaging lines, tanks and accessories without the use of chemicals.

“Consistency” and “High-Quality”—two more themes that were noted as a focus. I made sure to sample lots of beers while I was here to make sure this statement was true, mind you. I give them a double thumbs up.

FUN FACT: The Biological Acidification system installed allows the brewmasters to naturally optimize pH values throughout the brewing process, yielding cleaner and fresher tasting beer.

Guided Tours Available:

  • Monday to Saturday 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Sunday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm

Chelsie & Bill Cheesing It UpTHANK YOU
Props going out to Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet for their hospitality and question answering throughout the afternoon. And, “thank you” to the staff for all the hard work they put into the Victory Parkesburg preview event.

I love the fact that not only is Victory Brewing Co. dedicated to the very best in beer and food but also gets actively involved in the community. It was heart-warming to hear that they donated 350 turkeys this Thanksgiving season to the Chester County Food Bank/Octorara Area Food Cupboard which will help to feed needy families in the area.

I wish you all much success!

Victory Brewing Limited-Edition Java CaskBREW NEWS FROM VICTORY
After my visit, I got to go home with this caged and corked beauty: Victory Brewing Co Java Cask (750ml) made in collaboration with brewery friends Philadelphia’s Standard Tap and Johnny Brenda’s restaurants. It actually was brewed using JB’s hand-roasted coffee beans. This big beer weighs in at a whopping 14.3% ABV.

Available on Wed, Nov 25. You can expect this limited-edition barrel-aged imperial stout to have notes of coffee, chocolate, sweet bourbon and a pinch of vanilla. Your mouth is watering, isn’t it?

Back in the Lineup
For the next three months, Victory will be re-releasing some old favorites as they’ve been reminiscing over the past 20 years in business. Through November 2015, Hop Wallop will be available, followed by Yakima Glory in December 2015 and in January 2016, Ten Years Alt will be available on tap across the country.

“Introducing new brands is very exciting to us and we love the artistic process which is one of the greatest joys of my job,” said Victory’s President and Brewmaster, Bill Covaleski.  “On the flip side, the least favorite part of my job is choosing which established brand will have to pass the baton to make room for the new, young gun. I hope our fans will be as delighted as I am to see some of their cherished brands make a comeback and take a walk down memory lane through drinking some really great craft beer.”

(Follow Me On: Twitter & Untappd: @dzyngrl | Instagram: @dzyngrl14)

Beer Review: Big Bad Baptist Stout by Epic Brewing Co.

Amanda: Is there anything more satisfying than sipping a rich barrel-aged stout on a snowy evening? That’s a hard no for me. In this review, we’d like to introduce you to Epic Brewing Company’s Big Bad Baptist, an imperial stout aged in whiskey barrels with coffee and cacao nibs. Epic uses a different coffee for every seasonal release, which gives each batch its own distinct twist. The amount of cacao nibs also varies, depending on how the beer develops during the barreling process. I love that Epic embraces such an experimental approach to this beer and couldn’t wait to see how it compared to past batches.

Big Bad Baptist

Big Bad Baptist is perfect for a snowy evening. (Photo courtesy Amanda)

Sonora: Amanda and I had such a good time reviewing Ballast Point Pumpkin Down that we decided to do another one. While writing our last review, we talked about our love of barrel-aged beers; so that style was a natural choice for our next collaboration. Amanda suggested Epic Brewing Big Bad Baptist, a beer I’d never had before. I readily agreed, and after searching for a few weeks (the beer took awhile to get to Virginia), I found a bottle to try.

No light passes through this beer. The body was motor-oil black with a caramel-colored head. Small- to medium-size bubbles formed on the top but quickly dissipated. Just looking at this beer warmed me right up.

Sonora: This beer poured dark and thick, almost cascading into the glass. It started to form a tan head on contact, which was maintained after pouring was done and through the first sip. After a few sips, the head turned into a rim; but a little bit remained until the last drop.


Big Bad Baptist pours a black body with tan head. (Photo courtesy Sonora)

Coffee was heavy on the nose with complementing notes of smoke and char. The whiskey came in on the end and became more prominent as it warmed. There was also a touch of vanilla sweetness.

Sonora: The first scent to hit my nose was fresh coffee. I also got some hints of roast and chicory. There was not much whiskey on the nose. If there was ever a breakfast beer, this would be it (though I’d recommend drinking this later in the day).

The whiskey seemed lighter than previous batches. In this version, whiskey was more of an undertone, similar to its presence in the aroma. Of course, there was no missing the bold coffee and roasted malts, which left a subtle bitterness on the palate. While coffee was the dominant flavor, it was also well-balanced with oak as well as a touch of sweetness–almost like burnt sugar. Cocoa with hints of licorice rounded out the flavor profile.This complex beer came together nicely.

Sonora: As the scent suggested, the primary flavor I got was coffee. This beer had a very smooth coffee profile – nice and creamy, and not overly bitter. I got more whiskey on the aftertaste, as the beer left a bittersweet malty note behind that was neither coffee nor chocolate in nature. However, the whiskey was definitely an afterthought to the coffee in this beer. As such, this stout sips very smoothly for its 11.9% ABV.

This is a full-bodied beer that left a creaminess on the tongue. That said, it’s not as syrupy as some barrel-aged imperial stouts. The carbonation is on the lower side, which is not surprising considering the style.

Sonora: The beer is smooth and velvety, and not too thick despite its strength. It stays with you in flavor and essence as opposed to stickiness. It leaves no bitter aftertaste, which is impressive given the combination of coffee and whiskey.

Amanda: If workers across America put this in their morning coffee mugs, the work force would be a happier bunch. I adore this beer, and I imagine nearly every coffee lover would appreciate Big Bad Baptist. If you’re in the market for other barrel-aged coffee stouts, I also recommend Avery Tweak and Great Divide Espresso Oak-Aged Yeti.

Sonora: This is an excellent coffee stout, and runs a good price for a high-ABV barrel-aged beer (I paid $9.99 for a bottle). I did not get a lot of whiskey, so don’t expect a boozy pint from this one. Some boozier favorites of mine include Hardywood Bourbon Sidamo, Heavy Seas Siren Noire, and Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. However, Big Bad Baptist tastes wonderful, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good stout. Also, we did a bonus pairing and had this beer alongside some delicious smoked salt caramels.

Big Bad Baptist

For a perfect food pairing, try smoked salt caramels. (Photo courtesy Sonora)

Meet Otra Vez, Sierra Nevada’s New Gose

Sierra Nevada Otra Vez Gose can

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is launching Otra Vez, an incredibly refreshing gose-style ale that will join the brewery’s year-round lineup starting January 2016.

Otra Vez means “another time,” and for Sierra Nevada that time is early California when beers were made from local ingredients. The brewery trialed various native produce searching for great flavors. Prickly pear cactus flourishes in the state’s arid deserts, and grapefruit fills the Central Valley’s flats. Together their fruity-tangy blend makes Otra Vez, whose tartness is true to the gose style, pop with character.

“We wanted to make one of the easiest drinking craft beers out there, and funny enough Otra Vez has been a bear to get just right,” said Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada’s founder. “We brewed several test batches a week for nearly a year, and even delicate changes made a big difference. Then it all clicked with perfect balance and complexity. We think folks will really enjoy it.”

Otra Vez clocks in at a sessionable 4.5% alcohol by volume, and its extremely low bitterness allows the prickly pear cactus, grapefruit and pinch of coriander to shape a bright and refreshing finish.

Otra Vez will be available throughout Sierra Nevada’s nationwide distribution footprint in 12-ounce bottles, 12-ounce cans and on draught.

2015 Holiday Gift Ideas for Craft Beer Lovers

Holiday Gift Ideas for Craft Beer LoversI’ve been scouring the Internets for almost a year now looking for unique, well-crafted items that have a craft beer theme. I think I’ve come up with a pretty killer list of gift ideas for craft beer lovers and those who have craft beer lovers on their shopping list. Some of the items I currently own. And, some are definitely going on my Christmas Wishlist. I hope this collection helps make your gift shopping easier, quicker and hassle-free so you can kick back and enjoy the holidays with a beer in hand.

Craft Beer Clothing

Hop Hedz Gear LogoOne of my favorite local craft beer gear companies. Super comfy and well made shirts, hats, sweatshirts, tanks and more.

> Visit Hop Hedz Official Gear Store



~ $39 ~
Join the nation… the Hops Nation with this warm but not bulky zip up hoodie. You’ll find you wear it EVERY. DAY. Goes with everything.

Zip Hoodie

~ $20 ~
I actually have this one in short sleeve and long sleeve. There are a variety of colors for this Beastie Boys inspired beer tee.

> ‘She’s Crafty’ Tee

~ $24  ~
This one just hit the store. There’s a version with bright blue, red and white. And, my fav is this ‘destroyed’ logo version with darker colors.

Captain Hops Tee

~ $24  ~
This mens shirt is also available in a v-neck style for women. I have one in heather grey with a black logo. Be sure to pick up one of the new hats in this line.

Hops Nation TeeGift-Categories-Divider


HopCloth LogoKnown for their ‘Drink Beer From Here’ tees, Hopcloth has some fun new wearables that just hit their store. I’m lovin’ it all.

> Visit Hopcloth Store


Hopcloth Hop Zip Hoodie

~ $35 ~
God bless the hops! It makes an eye-catching pattern and design. I wear this hoodie with all my favorite craft brewery tees under it.

Hop Zip Hoodie

Hopcloth Drink Beer From Here Tank top

~ $20 ~
I’m from Pennsylvania and love supporting our local breweries. This one is always a hit. Also available in a navy blue short sleeve tee style.

> ‘Drink Beer From Here’ Tank Top

Hopcloth Real Women Drink Beer Tee

~ $20  ~
Damn straight! A super sassy statement for my super sassy self. I pair it with a casual cardigan sweater for winter and as is for summer.

‘Real Women Drink Beer’ Tee



Craft Loyal Logo

The ultimate beer culture merch with an edgy vibe. I can’t get enough of their intricate designs and beautiful typography.

> Visit Craft Loyal Store


Craft Loyal Tee

~ $22 ~
Their signature hop symbol that I can’t get enough of. I have this design in a zip up black hoodie. Check out their store for available styles.

Craft Loyal Tee

Craft Loyal Hops Highway Tee

~ $24 ~
New to the Craft Loyal store. This badass tee is going on my Holiday Wishlist (wink. wink.). I’m all about the black tees these days. Love this one.

> Hops Highway Tee

Craft Loyal Craft Beer is my Spirit Animal Tee

~ $18  ~
Super light and soft. Perfect for layering under it and over it. I’m part Native American so this design grabbed me at first sight.

‘Craft Beer is My Spirit Animal’ Tank Top

Craft Loyal Brewed to Perfection Tee

~ $20  ~
Remember what I said about Craft Loyal’s lovely type design? I have the ‘Revolution is Brewing’ tee and am adding this one to my must-have list.

‘Brewed to Perfection’ Tee



I Hop Craft Beer Tee

~ $16  ~
Hop Head Alert! Where has this shirt been all my life? I love the vibrant green, bold lettering and weathered look. So my style.

‘I Hop Craft Beer’ Tee

Hop Hoodie

~ $15 (Sale)  ~
Described as super soft and comfy, the modern hip vine design down the side is stunning. The phrase Live to the Fullest. Brew to the Fullest. is on the left sleeve.

Hops Hooded Thermal Shirt

Hop Lady Tee

~ $14.95  ~
Another shirt that gets me. I’m all about the hops. The hops. The hops. I guess you can call me a ‘Hop Lady’, but don’t call me ‘Ma’am.’

Hop Lady Tee

Flying Dog Ugly Sweater

~ $30  ~
The perfect Ugly Sweater for those holiday office parties. Show ’em your craft beer side with this fun and festive sweater this holiday season.

Flying Dog Brewing Ugly Sweater


So many breweries with great clothing options in their merch shops. Be sure to look up your favorites online or visit their taprooms for great shirts, hats and more. I know I’ll be hitting up Troegs for their newly rebranded merch.

Craft Beer Hats

Brewers Hat

~ $24.99  ~
My husband is the hat wearer in this house and he just happens to be a homebrewer. This hat may be waiting for him under the tree. Shhhh! Don’t tell.

Brewer’s Hat

I Hop Beer Hat

~ $14  ~
Don’t have enough hats? Of course, you don’t. You can never have enough. This one has a retro, casual look and is one of Hop Gear’s most popular designs.

‘I Hop Beer’ Hat

Craft Beer Jewelry

Hops Necklace

~ $26  ~
Finally! A necklace that screams hops and goes with all my party dresses. Yes. I’m not all about the beer tees. Sometimes I get all fancy. I clean up nicely.

Hops Necklace

Hops Bracelet

~ $60  ~
Gorgeous, handmade Craft Beer Element bangles: The Hop, The Grain and The Water Drop. So elegant and causal all at the same time. Classic.

Beer Lovers Bracelet Bundle

Hop Earrings

~ $14.50  ~
Another beautiful option from The Lysine Contingency. The mix of materials is divine: glass, print, metal. Arrives in a little jewelry box for easy gifting or storage.

Hop Earrings

Beer Bottle Hair Clip

~ $12  ~
Glam up your hair with this feather clip! Not sure if this designer would customize the cap attached. I think it would be easy to switch it to your favorite brewery.

Beer Bottle Hair Clip

Gift Categories CANDLES

Craft Loyal Brew Candle

~ $17.99  ~
Craft Loyal is now offering Swag Brewery Brew Candles Scents: Apricot Wheat, Hoppy IPA, and Vanilla Porter. Each is made from a 22oz beer bottle.

Craft Loyal Brew Candles

~ $15  ~
A new twist on the beer candle: Beer Can Candle. Clever and so functional. There is a 12oz and 16 oz can option and many breweries. I heart upcycled items.

Beer Can Candles

Craft Beer Decor

Hop Cone Ornaments

~ $15  ~
The crafter of these beauties calls these ‘heart’ tree ornaments. All I see is ‘hops.’ Am I right? Each is 2.5″ Wonder if they can be made in green?

Hop Cone Ornaments

Upcycled Beer Sign

~ $20  ~
Each 9.5″ x 11″ beer art is made to order with over 250 different signs to choose from. I especially love the ones that feature shadow-boxed hop cones.

Upcycled Beer Signs

Beer Bottle Dish

~ $35  ~
Simple. Functional. And, Fun! What a great idea to upcycle a craft beer bomber bottle (22oz). Each dish is made from 3 bottles. Neat!

Beer Bottle Dish

Beer Cap Map

~ $34.95  ~
Keep track of your brewery visits across your state as you explore the world of local brew. Made from baltic birch and available in different states and shapes.

Beer Cap Map

Hop Pillow

~ $24  ~
Meant for Easter decor, I spin “Hippity Hop Hop” to mean the luscious, green flavor-makers of great craft beer: Hop Cones. You can call it an obsession.

Hop Pillow

Beer Bottle Lamp

~ $50  ~
This really belongs in my office so I can look at it while writing my craft beer blog posts. Available in a bunch of bottle sizes and breweries.

Beer Bottle Lamp

Craft Beer Bottle Openers

Wooden Bottle Opener

~ $29.95  ~
The grown up version of the simple bottle opener. Handmade and crafted of Cherry, Peruvian walnut, Maple, Walnut, Oak and Chrome.

Wooden Bottle Opener

Hanging Bottle Opener

~ $38  ~
Pop off the cap of your favorite craft brew and catch the cap, too. The wooden back says: THIS HOME RUNS ON LOVE, LAUGHTER, AND ICE COLD BEER.

Hanging Bottle Opener

Craft Loyal Bottle Opener

~ $8  ~
It’s a match to my t-shirt I have from Craft Loyal. ‘The Revolution is Brewing.” Yes. Yes it is. The opener is made of heavy 14 gauge stainless steel.

Craft Loyal Bottle Opener

Put Your Beer in Here

Stylish Beer Carrier with Bottle Opener

~ $30  ~
This black bottle carrier is handmade from a variety of fabric types (even has a denim jean pocket on the other side) and has built in bottle opener.

Stylish Beer Carrier with Bottle Opener

Handblow Beer Glasses

~ $35 & Up  ~
Truly a work of art and completely funky! This craftsman is making beer glasses that are like no other I’ve ever seen. Available individually or in sets.

Handblown Beer Glasses

'Crazy Beer Cooler' by Sweetwater Brewing

~ $20  ~

Proceeds benefit ‘Project Healing Waters‘ – a non-profit that aids in the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active and veterans.

Crazy Creek Beer Cooler

Growler Grips

~ Price Varies  ~
Interchangeable medallions that let you transform your growler into a custom conversation piece. Plus, you always know which growler is yours at the brewery.

Growler Grips

Growler Holder for Bike

~ $55 ~
These cages have a steel core wrapped in a soft, smooth, waterproof neoprene sheath that protects the glass while holding on tightly.

Growler Holder for Bike

Craft Beer Books

Comic Book Story of BeerCOMIC BOOK STORY OF BEER
~ Price varies on book format ~
A full-color, illustrated graphic novel of the history of beer from 7000 BC to present day. Available for the Kindle or in paperback.

Comic Book Story of Beer

Cool Beer Label Book

~ $11.56 ~
More than 400 full color pages of beer packaging eye candy. It contains brewery interviews and artist case studies. Would love to have this on my coffee table.

Cool Beer Label Book

Cookies & Beer Recipe Book

~ $19.99 ~
Yum! 40 different cookie recipes that feature beer as an ingredient. It’s packed full of helpful tips like how to acquire spent grain and more.

Cookies & Beer Recipe Book

Craft Beer Food

Stone Brewing Co. Mustards

~ $5 – $7 ~
This would be great on sandwiches, beer cooked brats or with hard pretzels and cheese while enjoying your favorite craft beer. Available in Pale Ale and Cali-Dijon.

Stone Brewing Co. Mustards

Sea Salt Flavored with Hops

~ $4.25 ~
A spin on straight up sea salt. It has crushed hop cones mixed in for big flavor on popcorn, fries and anything else you season with salt.

Sea Salt Flavored with Hops


Hops Sticker

~ $2 ~
4″ x 4″ in size. Waterproof. And, completely great design. Jazz up your laptop, work bench, garage, beer fridge or anything else you put stickers on.

Hops Sticker

Hops Laptop Decal

~ $5.99 ~
Give your laptop some style and personality! Made from self-adhesive vinyl and can be removed without gunky up your laptop shell.

Hops Laptop Decal

Hop Fridge Decal

~ $15 ~
The hop-centric decal comes in 3 standard sizes. small (14″ wide x 10″ high) , medium (20″ wide by 14″ high), and large (32″ wide x 23″ high).

Hop Fridge Decal


Beer Lip Balm Set

~ $20 ~
Flavors include: Minted Ale, Honey Pale Ale, Chocolate Porter, Citrus Summer Ale, Spiced Amber Ale and Lemon Ale.

Beer Lip Balm Set

Beer Soap Set

~ $22 ~
Made from olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, shea butter, sodium hydroxide, beer, rice bran oil, cocoa butter, and vitamin E oil.

Beer Soap Set

Hops Essential Oil

~ $20 ~
Remember when I said I wished they made a hop scented perfume? Well this might be the answer to my wish. Made from Cascade hops.

Hops Essential Oil

Craft Beer Cool Stuff

Beer Ingredients Tie

~ $30 ~
Design is from illustrations from botanical prints. Available in a variety of lengths and colors. Perfect for the craft beer loving guy.

Beer Ingredients Tie

Beer Gear Wallets

~ $18 ~
Craft beer themed wallets for men and women. Tons of brewery options available. My personal pick is this Stone Brewing Co. fold over wallet.

Beer Gear Wallets

Hoppy Tote

~ $15 (sale) ~
Carry everything and anything in this playful canvas tote. “Hoppy Hoppy Joy! Joy!” printed on the front. Dimensions are: 16”W x 14.5”H x 5”D.

Hoppy Tote



If you didn’t check out my list from last year, it might be worth a look. Many of the items are still available and still super awesome. > Craft Beer Lover’s Gift Ideas 2014

And, this… > Stylish Beer Gear Ideas

(Follow Me On: Twitter & Untappd: @dzyngrl | Instagram: @dzyngrl14)

Counting the Calories in Craft Beer

Counting the Calories in Craft Beer

The holidays are near and with them bring great feasts filled with turkey, ham, mashed potatoes & gravy and let’s not forget the pies, cookies, and chocolates. We all know over-eating is upon us. There will be parties to attend and plenty of alcohol to go around. Over-indulging is inevitable and so are the extra pounds.

Ever wonder how much beer contributes to weight gain? You could cut it out of your life to test the theory, but why? Instead, look for other ways to cut calories.

  • Avoid sugary drinks during the day to save on calories. Soda and sweet coffee drinks are packed with calories. Women should ingest 1200 calories daily. A caramel latte from Star Bucks contains 250 calories and 6 grams of fat. Replace it with black coffee and low-fat milk.
  • Snacking obviously packs on the pounds and it’s hard not to grab those chips at night. Find a substitute that’s less fattening but still satisfying.
  • I don’t about you but I love mayonnaise on my sandwiches. Substitute it for ketchup or mustard to drop those unnecessary calories.

Little cheats here and there really help. Light beer is another option, but I can’t find one I can stomach. Exactly how much does beer affect your figure, particularly your waistline?

Someone once told me that beer itself is not fattening. The weight comes from eating AND drinking. To verify, I hopped on-line and found an article on WebMD titled “The Truth About Beer and Your Belly.” The article states that it’s not necessarily beer that contributes to a “beer belly” as much as it is the abundance of calories. Consuming too many calories certainly is easy to do when polishing off 5 or 6 beers in a sitting. Let’s think about that for a second, the average beer has 150 calories. Multiply that by six and you’ve just added an extra 900 calories to your daily caloric intake. That’s a lot. Beer however does not contain fat. As you drink, your liver burns alcohol first, not fat, leading to greater fat storage especially around your mid-section. Any way you sum it up, beer or just about anything you put in your body adds to weight gain.  

Here’s a list of how many calories your favorite style of beer contains.    

Average stout has around 225 calories per beer
Imperials average around 300 to 350 calories per beer

Christmas beers
Love a good Christmas Ale?  They average around 175 – 225 calories per beer

IPA’s (my favorite)
Average IPA has 200 calories per beer
Imperials average around 300 calories per beer

21st Amendment Hop Crisis – 291 calories

21st Amendment Hop Crisis – 291 calories

These wheat beers are not packed with calories like those above. Calories from a Hefeweizen range between 150-175 per beer.

Traditional Lagers
Budweiser 145 calories per beer
Yuengling 128 calories per beer

While researching I found an interesting website called “Get drunk not fat”. The website contains a nifty device called “The Drinking Calculator”!!  It tallies your blood alcohol level and caloric intake. Check it out!

My results after drinking 5 Dogfish Head 60min IPAs in a 4 hour period of time:

Blood Alcohol Level: 0.064.
Level  of Drunkness: Legally Impaired
Calories: 1045

1045 calories from 5 beers and that’s just the 60 minute IPA. I don’t even want to think of the calories in the 90 minute IPA or the 120 minute IPA.

Again you can eliminate calories by avoiding beer, but why would you? I asked the ladies of Stout & Stilettos what their thoughts were in regards to eliminating alcohol to lose weight.  We all are in agreement that we would rather give up something else before giving up our favorite brew.     

I will leave you with a quote from fellow Stouts & Stilettos blogger Amanda D from Maine.

“I would never give up beer for a nicer rear”

I couldn’t agree more.

Heavy Seas Celebrates 20th Anniversary With 20 Year Storm and Special Events



BALTIMORE, MD — On December 8, 2015, Heavy Seas Beer will celebrate its 20th year of brewing craft beer in Baltimore. To commemorate, the brewery will release an anniversary ale and host special events in Baltimore and other markets.

Heavy Seas Founder, Hugh Sisson, was responsible for successfully lobbying the Maryland Legislature in 1987 to legalize brewpubs in the state, making Sisson’s Tavern, now Ryleigh’s Oyster Federal Hill, one of the birthplaces of craft beer in Maryland. Hugh remained at Sisson’s until December 1994, when he left to form a new company, Clipper City Brewing Co., now home to Heavy Seas Beer.



REVIEW: Boardwalk Food Craft Beer Popper Mix

REVIEW: Boardwalk Food Craft Beer Popper Mix

I love cooking, so when Boardwalk Food Co. offered to give me some of their bread mixes to try, I hopped on the change to blend my two interests in the kitchen: food and craft beer. Experimenting with not just pairing your beers with food, but adding them to food is a great way not just to improve your tasting skills, but to expand your cooking repertoire.

I had a weekend with two food-centric events a few weeks ago, and decided that this was the time to try out the mixes. First, we were going to a friend’s for chili, and the next day we were headed to Made from PA’s headquarters for what we are all calling Lambapolooza.

When I go to get-togethers, I usually just bring some beers to share or something pre-made that I picked up on the way. I’m not good at planning ahead, so these two options are the easiest for me. What I love about the Boardwalk Craft Beer Popper Mixes is that they’re ready in about 20 minutes, so even if I’m running late I can still pop some of these in the oven and have a homemade item to take over. Plus, they’re only $7.99/box, I was going to spend that much on pre-made chips and salsa right? This is WAY better! (more…)

Overhyped? That’s My Call to Make

Hardywood Christmas Morning

An excerpt from local beer/wine shop Arrowine’s newsletter promoting Hardywood Christmas Morning (a gingerbread stout with coffee), and addressing the reality of the hype around it.

We know the routine: every couple of months, a Big Time Beer gets its annual release. People line up around the block to get it, bottles — no matter the price — sell out in minutes, and unlucky folks beg for trades or hook-ups at their local shop. For every enthusiastic hyped beer hunter, though, there are several people ready to call out the hype, questioning if said beer is really worth all the hullabaloo, and offering less-hyped, “better” alternatives that they believe beer enthusiasts should focus on instead.

I believe in hype cynicism. It’s good to be discerning and to separate the beer we like from the beer that’s hyped. However, these are not always mutually exclusive. Sometimes a beer is hyped because it’s just that good. But even when a beer isn’t nearly as good as the cheerleading suggests, that’s still a distinction that should be left to individual beer drinkers to make for themselves.

While I believe in healthy cynicism, I do not believe in condescension. Even if a given beer is overhyped to high heaven, it’s never okay to treat people as if they are dumb or uninformed if they choose to buy and drink it. Have you ever taken a suggestion from someone who sneered at what you were currently drinking, or classified what you wanted as something only uninformed bandwagoners drink? I’m guessing no. It’s okay to have a different opinion, but it’s never okay to make someone feel inferior because they don’t share it. (more…)

GIVEAWAY: Hibrewnation Harrisburg Nov 21st

hibrewnation harrisburg giveaway

Hibrewnation returns to Harrisburg on Nov. 21.


Stick around — this is your chance to win ticketsHibrewnation is a beer festival featuring 80+ beers to explore from local and national breweries. With a few secret selections thrown in that you won’t want to miss. The organizers hand-select what beers will be served at each Hibrewnation, and they aim for quality and diversity. Don’t expect this to be like any other cookie-cutter festivals!



  • $55 – VIP Session (12-5 p.m.)
    Score: An extra 2 hours, beer floats, access to limited and timed-release offerings, and a special cup if you want. Limited to 300.
  • $40 – General Admission (2-5 p.m.)
  • $20 – Designated Driver (12-5 p.m.)
    Score: Pre-sale DDs get a DD Only t-shirt, root beer floats, bottomless cups of water and root beer, and maybe a few more surprises. DDs can even accompany VIPs. DD tickets will not be sold once regular tickets are sold out.



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