Brewelist Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 15 – Super Mario Run Arrives!

When it was first announced that Nintendo would be entering the mobile business, Jackie and I couldn’t contain our enthusiasm. Really, listen to our MiiTomo episode if you don’t believe me. At that time, we also knew that everyone’s favorite plumber would also be getting a game called ‘Super Mario Run‘ and today it’s being released.

Look at this adorable video below and be sure to head over to the iTunes Store to get your hands on the addicting hit of the Winter! (Sorry Android users, but I’m sure it’ll be soon!)

Brewelist Advent Calendar 2016 – More Advanced Drinking Games – Drinking Quest and Exploding Kittens

We’re getting closer to that holiday but some of you are going to have gatherings sooner. So, it’s important to have PLENTY of distractions for your guests.

If you’re the king of your local nerd kingdom, sometimes the simple stuff simply will not do. It’s for this reason that we’re proposing two slightly more advanced games for your friends.

Drinking Quest is by the prolific Jason Anarchy (he’s also a pretty friendly dude). It incorporates humor (some bawdy, some not), RPG stylings and…well drinking. The game has some pretty clear drinking rules but you can adapt those to non-alcoholic beverages if you’re trying to be responsible, or, like me, lose a lot.

It looks like the original Drinking Quest in physical form is sold out, but you can get it on iOS for $3.99 or Android for $1.79 (prices are in USD).

Also worth the mention – obviously as this is a drinking game, it’s not suitable for minors (unless they’re playing with the non drinking rules or have an “advanced” sense of humor). It is, however, a ton of fun and worth looking into.

exploding-kittens

Exploding Kittens, which took the card gaming world by storm by being the most backed Kickstarter Game in history, is also a little more complex than the games we mentioned last time. You can still get the physical cards on Amazon and the like, and if you’re feeling particularly naughty, there is a NSFW edition you can obtain.

If physical isn’t your thing, or you are very, very pressed for time, this game is also available on iOS for a mere $2.79 US. Android users get a bit of a discount, paying only $1.99 US for the same privilege.

I’ve personally not played Exploding Kittens (yet) but my sister backed it on Kickstarter and raves that it is incredibly fun. While smart, wonderful and good looking, she also has great taste, so that was enough for me.

Also, kittens.

What are your favorite games to play with friends, family or your worst enemies? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Brewelist Advent Calendar 2016 – Dark Beer for Dark Nights – Blue Moon Cappuccino Oatmeal Stout and Genesee Salted Caramel Chocolate Porter

Ok, I know I lost some of you with the title. Blue Moon? Is that even a craft beer? Well, not really, but it’s really delicious and worth your consideration if you like coffee-ish stouts and it’s hella available.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s chat a bit about these, shall we?

Blue Moon Cappuccino Oatmeal Stout – 5.9% ABV – Stout – This Limited Release from the company who brought you that obnoxiously common wheat beer that requires an orange garnish has actually done a great job on this one, in my opinion. The beer is simultaneously light yet creamy in taste but dark like night. Added bonus? Under 9 bucks a six pack. It may also appeal to your pickier guests who claim they don’t like beer.

Genesee Salted Caramel Chocolate Porter – 6.5% ABV – Porter – As much as Casey and I have talked about this beer, I’m not certain we’ve ever actually reviewed it. It’s a dark beer and packs a little bit of a punch in terms of alcohol, but not enough for you to be concerned. Unless you’re a lightweight, in which case, do the responsible thing and make someone else drive you. It combines salted caramel and artisan chocolate. It’s like drinking a delicious truffle out of a fine glass. Or a bottle. Whatever floats your boat. This one is a bit more expensive and less available, running around $11 for a four pack. If you’re local-ish to Rochester, NY you may also get to take advantage of places that do growler fills or make a quick trip to the brewery itself. From what I know, if you have access to a Wegmans, you stand a good chance of having access to this beer. Also if you’ve been “aging” some of it, I found last year’s batch kind of tasted a bit like maple syrup.

I’d also like to add that if you’re a person who does baking or makes sweets of any kind, either of these beers might be great flavoring for those creations. I’m not certain how you’d make them, but if you figure it out, let me know because I’m curious.

If you happen to live in an unfortunate place that does not have either of these brews, I’m finding that coffee stouts are quite common this year. If you’re super super local, Triphammer Bierworks in Fairport, NY has (maybe had at this point) a very tasty variant that brought me great joy.

What dark beers would you add to the list? Have a different opinion? Let us know in the comments or ping us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Brewelist Advent Calendar 2016 – Let’s Play a Game

I hope everyone had a restful and productive weekend. If you didn’t, we’re not here to judge.

The holidays can be stresssful, especially if you have a bunch of people in your house. But, we can help with keeping them occupied while you do other things like hide in the bathroom.

Just kidding. You’ll likely want to play with your friends and family. We’ll make some suggestions that are easy-ish and require/encourage varying levels of inebriation to provide the desired effect.

First off, Monopoly is NOT your friend in these situations. Unless, of course, you’re looking to decrease the number of people you have to buy gifts for by making them violently angry with you.

The first up is one of my favorite games for inexperienced players/people who may have had one too many or can’t be bothered to learn anything too complicated. I taught my dad how to play it in less than five minutes.

Zombie Dice – The game uses dice (either physical, or there is an app for your phone) that have a brain, an explosion looking icon and feet. The brains are the objective, as you want to obtain as many as possible before you get shot three times (the explosion looking things). Footsteps are those meddlesome humans that got away and are therefore useless to you. You can continue to test your luck by rolling more dice and risk losing all your brains if you collect three gunshots per round.

The game retails for less than $15 and comes in a handy tube if you go for the physical edition, and fits in your pocket if you are doing the digital version. The app is free to download with in app purchases and is available for iOS and Windows Phone (sorry Androids!). The physical game can be purchased any number of places, but you should definitely support your local game shop if they have it. There are also expansions and different versions of the game, but the base game suits my target audience just fine.

Our next recommendations will require a basic knowledge of how offend able your guests are and if you will be in the presence of minors (that will be drinking sodas and juice, not alcohol. Let’s make that clear). One will be better than the other for certain circumstances, which should be clear shortly.

Apples to Apples – This game is a perennial favorite and also very easily obtained. Each player is given a cache of nouns to pair with a dealer’s adjective card. So, for example, the dealer may present a card that reads “arrogance,” to which you can anonymously pair something along the lines of “Potbellied pigs” or “George Washington.” The dealer then reviews the cards for their suitability, and entirely at their discretion, determine a winner. The player who obtains the most adjective cards is the winner. Simple. This is better for company who may be easily upset by drinking, profanity or inappropriate topics. It’s still a ton of fun.

Cards Against Humanity – This game, and its seemingly infinite expansions, is quite possibly one of my favorite games to play with people while drinking. The rules are basically the same as Apples to Apples but the cards are more along the lines of sex acts, slang terms, and truly politically incorrect statements. If you’ve ever played, you know what I’m referring to. That being said, this is probably not the game for you to play with grandma or Aunt Maybel, unless they’re the tolerant fun kind of relatives.

Apples to Apples is probably the priciest of the bunch, but very easy to find. Cards Against Humanity (with a bit of planning) is actually free to print out and play.

If you’re lazy, pressed for time, or impatient, you can buy the cards at a lot of places, including Target. The base deck is going to run you around $25 and expansions run around $5-10 a piece.

It’s also worth mentioning that these make great gifts as well and won’t break the bank.

We’ll report back with some other fun games you can play during the holidays later in the Advent Calendar. Is there a game you’re a huge fan of? Something we should check out? Let us know in the comments or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter.

**image is from sjgames.com

Brewelist Advent Calendar 2016 – The Cure for Cabin Fever – Stone Brewing Company’s Cabin Fever Mixed 12 Pack

Buying beer for a crowd can be difficult. Like, very. You’ve got the guy who only drinks Bud Light, the guy who will only drink West Coast IPAs and the person who won’t touch anything they can see through. And then the person who swears they don’t drink beer because they don’t like how it tastes.

If you have one of those last people in your life, get rid of them. You don’t need that negativity in your life (though we kid).

The Cabin Fever Mixed 12 Pack does a decent job of coming thisclose to giving a little something for everyone. Alas if you’re only into Pilsners/Lagers/Weak Beer, you won’t be well served here. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, like some flavorful beers and are willing to spend around $22 for the people you love, you’ve got yourself a winner here.

Stone includes 3 bottles of their Delicious IPA, their Ruination Double IPA, their Coffee Milk Stout and, the star of the show, their Vanilla Bean Porter.

The Delicious IPA is, as advertised, delicious. There is a subtle sweetness and fruitiness that lacks the bitterness that some people don’t care for. It’s the second highest alcohol content in the pack, so take it easy.

The Ruination Double IPA 2.0 takes things up another level (and increases your chances of misery the next morning). This isn’t my favorite but it’s strong. So if you’re just trying to get through that awkward gathering you went to as a plus-one, hide in the corner with one of these. It’ll be over soon.

The nights, and our seasonals, are getting darker. This one has a clear coffee taste and a smooth flavor that makes it perfect to unwind after a long day.

My favorite, overall, is the Cabin Fever exclusive, the Vanilla Bean Porter. It’s not too sweet and you can taste the freshness of the vanilla. It reminds me of a cold latte or a milkshake. Stone – won’t you pretty please make this a recurring beer and maybe make it possible for me to get a 6 pack of it in the future? It is THAT good.

Yes, this pack will run you more than most variety packs (ones that are similar in content and styles around me run about $17), but this is more than worth it to offer something a bit different to your guests.

The Stats:

Stone Delicious IPA – 7.7% – India Pale Ale (Year-Round, available in six-packs, 22oz bottles and on draft)

Stone Ruination Double IPA 2.0 – 8.5% – Double IPA (Year-Round, available in six-packs, 22oz bottles and on draft)

Stone Coffee Milk Stout – 5.0% – Milk Stout (Seasonal, also available in six-packs or on draft)

Stone Vanilla Bean Porter – 5.9% – Porter (Exclusive, only available in this pack)

Brewelist Advent Calendar 2016 – Day 1 – Gifting Glassware

Welcome to day 1 of the Brewelist Advent Calendar. Over the next 25 days we’ll bring you some gift ideas, gadgets or seasonal brews to help you make it through the Holiday season.

Today, we discuss that thing that you seem to have a ton of in your cabinets or habitually break. Both apply in my household.

I’m talking glassware. Have a friend or family member who lives far far away and may never taste the simple pleasures that come with the beers from your favorite watering hole? Have someone locally that you need to buy for and know they are a HUGE fan of a local place, sports team or game franchise?

Well, there’s probably a glass for that. I’m serious.

Despite multiplying inexplicably in your home, they’re really inexpensive and easy to get. The drawback is that they can be a pain to package and ship, but not really if you’re diligent with bubble wrap or package filler (pro-tip, plastic grocery bags can work nicely here…if you happen to have a huge stock of those also). You can also DIY a set with whatever you want if you’re crafty enough.

This time of year you can also find yourself a relatively inexpensive gift set of various types of glassware to accommodate IPAs, Lagers, Pilsners or Stouts for the person on your list who is trying to get into glassware, or is really picky about what they drink theirs out of.

Added bonus? They don’t even have to drink beer out of them. These vessels don’t discriminate and will happily accept milk, juice, soda (or pop) or whatever liquid joy your heart desires.

I personally love receiving a thoughtfully selected pint glass or shot glass from the magical places my friends and family visit. I’m also known to pick one up as I travel to remember the awesome places I’ve been or the events that I don’t want to forget.

Almost EVERY brewery you visit will have some form of glass that you can get really cheaply. The places I’ve been typically have them for $5 or less, maybe a little more if they’re a fancy goblet or huge stein, but overall, so inexpensive you could easily use them for a Secret Santa or an extra special something to put homemade snacks, tiny gifts or a gift card to the place that you got them from (so they can get a growler of something to enjoy out of it!).

 

If you’re keen to get them something of the gaming persuasion, actual online stores can provide options, like the Bioware Shop, Gearbox Shop or Bethesda Store. ThinkGeek.com can also be a great source for these things if you need a lot of different stuff for a lot of different people. Also, Etsy.com can give you an even wider variety and the possibility to commission a custom piece, but may run you more for the artisan’s time and may have a much longer lead time.

Brewelist Advent Calendar Day 25: DuClaw Brewing Company Sweet Baby Jesus

Here we are, on the final day of the Brewelist Advent Calendar! It’s been a full twenty-five days of games, beer and sharing, which is what the season is all about.

The beer that inspired this entire project is about to be reviewed – Sweet Baby Jesus from DuClaw Brewing Company. So steal a few seconds, grab a cold one and read on.

Where to find it: Mid Atlantic Region Supermarkets, Beer Shops, Gas Stations, etc.

ABV: 6.2%

Style: Porter

Availability: Year-Round

Taste/Smell: The beer smells and tastes like dark chocolate. If you remember the dark chocolate Reese’s cups, that’s pretty much what it’s like. The beer is thick and dark and offers both flavors without being sweet at all. You may be left with some bitter notes but they do not detract from the overall flavor.

Rating (out of 10): 9/10

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from the Brewelist Crew!

Brewelist Advent Calendar Day 24: Ellicottville Brewing Co.’s Lloyds Christmas Ale

Lloyd’s Christmas Ale – Festively brewed ale with fresh ginger and fig.

Where to find it: They distribute locally near the brewery and to select locations in New York and Pennsylvania. You can find their distribution map here: http://www.ellicottvillebrewing.com/find-us/find-our-breweries-retailers-and-distributors/

ABV: 8%

Style: Belgian Brown Ale

Availability: seasonally in the winter

Taste/Smell: Smell- this had a very light and airy smell with a hint of ginger. Not a lot of extra flavor going on here. You can get some of the fig, just because it’s a unique flavor that isn’t normally in beer. The ginger was there, but just as a slight “bite” on your tongue.

Rating (out of 10): 7 out of 10 but this is the first year they’ve released it, so expect some tweaking of the recipe in the years to come.

Lloyds Christmas Ale

Brian Beer God: Please follow me on Facebook and on my website to see more great pictures and read more reviews on your favorite brews.

Brewelist Advent Calendar Day 19: Blue Point Brewing Company Blueberry Ale

I first had this beer over the Summer, when fruity beer and shandys are all the rage. I had wanted to try something that was imbued with Blueberry flavoring, as it’s one of my favorite fruits and why not just mix it into alcohol? After trying a lot of disappointing offerings, I came across the Blue Point Brewing Company Blueberry Ale and just loved it. I had one and then went out and bought a six pack. It has the right kind of fruit to malt ratio that it’s competitors didn’t offer. As of right now, I have not found a better Blueberry beer.

Brewery Name/Location: Blue Point Brewing Company, Long Island NY

ABV: 4.60%

Style: Frut/Vegetable Beer

Where to find: Your local beer Store

When to find: Seasonal

Taste/Smell: Tastes like a blueberry pie and smells like your grandma’s house if she was someone who baked pies. Otherwise it just smells like a nice bake shop.

Rating (out of 10): 9/10

Blue Point Brewing Company Blueberry Ale

Brewelist Advent Calendar Day 23 – Naught Reawakening and Silversmith Brewing Black Lager

On the 23rd day of Advent, we bring you Naught Awakening and Black Lager from Silversmith Brewing! This episode of the podcast goes through an unusual pairing of craft beer and indie game. Enjoy the episode below and let us know what you think!

Grab the game on STEAM or on Mobile devices and the brew exclusively at Silversmith Brewing.

Check our Facebook page for updates, along with our Twitter and Instagram. We also have an UnTappd account where you can see what we’re drinking; and you can catch us on iTunes for your listening pleasure.

Any ideas you have for a game to play and a drink to go along with it? Email us: brewelist@gmail.com.

Stay Thirsty and Play Indie!

~Casey and Jackie