Turbo Tap USA
Yes, Virginia, L.A. Does Have Microbreweries
Perhaps you saw this cute and well-designed map from The Atlantic titled “The Geography of Craft Beer” in your various Google Reader feeds/Facebook reblogs/general Internet browsings. Through electoral map-centric shadings, it goes through each of our 50 states to find out which have the most craft breweries within their borders. The findings are not so surprisingly West Coast-centric:
- Michigan takes 5th place, with 102 breweries
- Oregon is 4th, with 121
- Colorado is 3rd, with 127
- Washington is 2nd, with 134
And by far outpacing the rest of the pack, nearly doubling second place, is:
- Our own California, with 261
However, as the piece is quick to point out, this doesn’t necessarily mean the citizens of California are more lushful than the rest — the results have to be weighted a bit considering the respective populations, seeing as California has an extra 12 million people over the second most-populous state. So, accounting for how many breweries there are per 100,000 people, the rankings shift dramatically:
- 3rd place: Oregon
- 2nd place: Montana
- 1st place: Vermont
California, meanwhile? Not even on the top ten.
See L.A.’s best breweries here.
8 Reasons You Should Bring Every First Date to a Beer Garden
1 - Icebreaking
Everyone knows that the world’s most reliable social lubricant is booze. This is not up for discussion. And at a beer garden, you can talk about the interesting kinds of beers if you know about them, and ask about the interesting kinds of beers if you don’t. You can also practice saying danke schön to each other which I think means “you look stunning in the moonlight” in German. Somebody google it.
2 - Picnic Tables
The picnic table set-up is an excellent way to judge how your date interacts with other people? At a cramped picnic table, interaction is unavoidable. Your elbow will be in someone’s beer, and someone’s will be in yours. And that is sort of the point. And if you like that, and your date does not, you might meet bigger problems down the line. Plus, you can see if they’re rude, funny, shy, or if they make friends with everyone who sits down next to them and ignore you. In that case it’s so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen etc.
3 - Sharing (Beer Pitches) Is Caring
Pitchers of beer are the name of the game at beer gardens. This means you have to talk about what you want to drink. Are they willing to share or do they insist on drinking a vodka tonic? Call me a beer garden snob (and seriously, I am okay with that), but vodka tonic at the beer garden? That’s like being the only one at a Halloween costume without a costume. Come on. At least wear a funny hat. At least sip a Hoegaarden. And sharing beer in a beer pitcher is only one step away from sharing spit. Which means kissing. Which is adorable.
4 - Can They Can Kick It Beer Garden-Style?
Can she forgo her mini-dress and heels for some jeans? Is he squirming in his seat texting other people because he wants to be in a club dancing to house music? These people do not belong in the beer garden. They are in alien territory. You seem like a cool person. You deserve to date someone who can relax with you.
5 - Are They Worldly And Adventurous?
Can he order his beer in Czech? Is she willing to try the German beer she can’t pronounce? That’s sexy.
6 - It’s Outside!
Have you ever been a bit uncomfortable on a first date and thought, “I could use a little fresh air, here?” Well, welcome to all the fresh air you can get. Even crazy congested cities like New York have spacious beer gardens that attract people from greener pastures. (You might even run into a Midwesterner, if you’re into that sort of thing.) Don’t forget that trees create a great ambiance. Also, your date won’t have to leave you by yourself, inside, to go outside for a smoke. (I suppose, if the date is not going well, this is a bad thing. But let’s be positive. Beer garden dates have a much higher success rate than non-beer garden dates.)
7 - Will They Share A Basket Of French Fries And A Bratwurst With You?
You can do your victory dance now that you have a happy belly to go with your happy heart. (Convince yourself it’s beating faster because you’re crushing on your date, not because your cholesterol is breaking the charts.) And you know, a kiss from someone with stinky french fry breath is so romantic when you have stinky french fry breath, too. It’s the little things.
8 - It’s Way Harder To Get Totally Trashed
One of the best things about beer is that it takes a little bit more to take you to the “oops I had one too many and now I am suddenly so drunk I can’t stand up” place. Obviously it can still happen (trust me, I know) but if it does, it’s probably the sign of hours of great conversation. Sounds like a great date! That’s the whole idea!
Sriracha in my beer? Yes, Please.
Mix icy cold beer with spicy Sriracha, fresh lime juice and a couple dashes of Maggi sauce and what do you have? A refreshing, terrifically savory beer cocktail with a lingering heat that has become my new favorite summer drink. Meet the Cocky Rooster.
The recipe comes from An Choi, a banh mi restaurant in New York City that serves the drink alongside their Vietnamese sandwiches. It’s an Asian riff on the Mexican michelada, which mixes beer with hot sauce, salt, lime and Worcestershire sauce, and as a lover of Asian condiments, I daresay it improves on the original. Umami-rich Maggi sauce might be a little harder to find than Worcestershire sauce — look for it in Asian or Latin markets — but its depth of flavor can’t be matched. And Sriracha? I’ll always choose it over plain old hot sauce.
G.Q. featured the cocktail in their August issue, but hasn’t made the recipe available online, so this is my adaptation. The original calls for a couple jalapeno slices to garnish the drink, but I have yet to do this and haven’t missed their presence. Use them if you like a little more heat. And while the original recipe calls for a specific brand of Vietnamese beer, any pale lager will work. I’ve been using Pacifico.
Adapted from An Choi and G.Q.
Makes one cocktail
1 lime wedge
Kosher or sea salt
1 ounce lime juice
2-3 generous squeezes of Sriracha
3 dashes Maggi sauce
2 jalapeno slices (optional, for garnish)
12 ounces lager-style beer
Rub the lime wedge around the rim of a pint glass, then dip the glass into a small plate of salt to coat the rim. Add the lime juice, Sriracha and Maggi to the glass and stir. Slowly pour in the beer. Add ice cubes and jalapeno, if desired, and garnish with the lime wedge.
CraftBeer.com’s Great American Beer Bars
Why the hell not!? It’s a Wednesday anyways :) Hell or High #Watermelon Wheat #Beer! (Taken with Instagram at 21st Amendment)
See Turbo Tap in action
Beer-Battered Buttermilk Fried Chicken
- 3 cups buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 4 pounds medium chicken wings, thighs and drumsticks
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 18 ounces crisp beer, such as lager or pilsner (2 1/4 cups)
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk with the salt, black pepper and cayenne. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours or refrigerate for 4 hours.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, salt and black pepper. Whisk in the beer to make a thin batter.
- Drain the chicken and thoroughly pat thoroughly dry with paper towels. Transfer the chicken to the batter, turning to coat.
- In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 inch of oil to 350°. Set a rack over a baking sheet and line the rack with paper towels. Lift the chicken from the bowl, letting the excess batter drip back into the bowl. Fry the chicken in batches at 315°, turning once, until golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 160°; about 18 minutes for wings and 20 minutes for thighs, breasts and drumsticks. Transfer the fried chicken to the rack and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
The fried chicken can be kept at room temperature for up to 4 hours