Beer

Steigl-Radler Grapefruit: You Can Drink Summer V2

grapefruitA couple of years ago, I wrote a post about Summer Shandy titled “You Can Actually Drink Summer” (check it out HERE). Well, 2009, Ms. Bright-Yellow 2013 has something to share with you!

 

Thanks to my beer loving husband, I now know that the German version of a Shandy is called a Radler. He also introduced me to my new favorite beer – Steigl-Radler Grapefruit. YUM, YUM, YUM! Steigl-Radler Grapefruit is fizzy, slightly sweet, slightly sour, and a whole lot of delicious. Plus, it is much lower in alcohol (2.5%) and calories (175 per .5ml can) than many other beers out there. Did I mention how tasty it is?!?!?

 

Steigl also makes a lemon Radler. I tried that one last summer and while I liked it, for me, it was not the home-run that the Grapefruit flavor. But, that’s just me and my taste buds.

 

So, while I’m enjoying my Steigl Radler Grapefruit, I’d love to hear about some of your favorite summer drinks. Personally, I’m too lazy to make drinks for just the two but if you have an easy-peasy cocktail recipe that we simply must try, well, then share it in the comments section!
Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow.

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The Drink Deck – 52 Ways to Sample Chicago Drinking Establishments

Remember my love of a la Card Chicago?  Well, Jeff and I are enjoying checking out new places (yes, we just got to Smoque) and old favorites (yummy Big Jones).  We can’t figure out how two people will be able to spend $25 at Hot Doug’s but we’re up for the challenge!

I just discovered the unofficial companion deck to a la Card Chicago – the Drink Deck!  Jeff, the beer man husband, should be happy when he reads about this!  Like a la Card Chicago, the Drink Deck puts 52 establishments on a deck of cards and encourages you to “play” Chicago!  The Drink Deck divides the watering holes by a number of categories including wine bar, beer bar, music venue, dive bar, hip hangout (don’t worry those of us over 25 – these places are hip but not so hip that we have never heard of them!) and more.

The Drink Deck is only $30 and each card gives you $10 off of your tab ($30 minimum before tax and tip).  You can order a Drink Deck by clicking here.  Remember – outdoor drinking in Chicago is just around the corner…

Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow!

Stock Up Chicago!

boozeWell, in case you missed it, Chicago (actually all of Illinois)  is implementing yet another tax and this one affects your drinking, sweet tooth, and, for some of you, sanitary habits.  Yep, starting Tuesday, Illinois is raising taxes on booze, candy, and dandruff shampoo.  However, not all taxes or items are created equal in Illinois!

The dandruff shampoo is the clearest – unless a doctor prescribes the shampoo, you’ll see a tax increase to 6.25%.  On the other hand, what constitutes candy is up for grabs.  Chocolate bar = candy (6.25% now).  Chocolate covered peanuts = food (so no tax increase and stays at 1%).  Makes sense, right?  Only in Illinois!

The highest tax increase, though, affects booze and is based on the product’s alcohol content and is calculated by the gallon.  Technically, the distributor is the only one facing a tax increase; however, I think we all know that the tax increase will quickly make its way to all of us.  So, just how much is this tax increase? A six pack of beer goes from 10.4 cents to 13 cents, a bottle of wine increases from 13 cents to 28 cents, and a fifth of most spirits jumps from 90 cents to $1.71 – ouch all around!

For those who wonder where this money is going, the state plans to use it for public works projects like roads and schools.  I’m sure they’re starting with the giant pothole right outside my house.

So, if you live in Illinois, spend today (Monday) stocking up on dandruff shampoo, candy (if you can figure out what is candy and what is food), and booze before the latest in a series of tax increases takes place.  Or, have a flaky scalp, cavity-free teeth, and a happy liver and use your money savings for other vices!

Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow!

Beer, Beer, Beer – and some Cider!

Yesterday Jeff and I were fortunate to be invited to a beer expo hosted by Chicago’s largest distributor. When I was at WXRT, I did a lot of work with the distributor and the station provides the music and some prizes for the event. Jeff’s part-time job at Sam’s Liquor was also a bonus at the event as different brands were suddenly very interested in talking with us once he mentioned that he works there (for those outside of Chicago, Sam’s is one of Chicago’s largest beverage retailers).

For Jeff, the expo was like his birthday and Christmas combined. Seriously, his eyes were huge when we entered – I think he felt like he got a taste of what heaven would be like for him! We sampled many different beers, some for the first time and some were old favorites. We even got to meet Jim Koch of Sam Adams!

When we got home, I asked Jeff what was his favorite beer he tasted. We both agreed that our favorite was Peak Organic. Jeff loves the IPA (I’m not an IPA fan but I have to admit that Peak’s is mighty tasty!) and I’m a fan of the pale ale. I admit that I was skeptical that organic beer would really taste all that different but, indeed, organic beer has a cleaner, crisper taste than most non-organic beers. Peak was created by a couple of home brew pals and it is a relative newcomer to the beer world. I know you can find it along the east coast (they’re based in Maine), Oregon, parts of California, and, of course, Chicago (preferably, at Sam’s).

The other stand out at the expo was Crispin Cider. Crispin, based in Minneapolis, is an all-natural cider that you drink over ice. We sampled the light, original, brut and unfiltered. I really enjoyed the original but I think I would have also really loved the light if I hadn’t tasted it side by side with the others. In that context, it definitely tasted “light”. Again, since it’s all natural, the clean flavors really came through when tasting.

For those of you in Chicago, if you are looking to expand your beer repertoire, Sam’s is hosting a beer tasting night on June 30 at the Lincoln Park location. For $25, you can sample up to 150 beers (you’d better have cab fare!) and meet some folks from the brands. To order tickets, just click here.

Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow. Remember, it’s all about giving each other ideas to share so remember to post in the comments or just send me an email.

You Can Actually Drink Summer!

Sorry for the delay everyone. I had an eye doctor appointment and, as a result, I spent most of the afternoon with my eyes dilated and unable to see much on the computer. But, now I’m back and it’s time for a beer – specifically, a Leine Summer Shandy.

I have my brother-in-law, Brian, to thank for my new summer drink. Last summer he visited us in California and raved about the Summer Shandy. Jeff and I spent the rest of the summer on the search for the elusive beer in SoCal. Once we returned to Chicago, in February, we searched again – and again no luck. Then Cubs Opening Day (yes, it’s capitalized on purpose – it’s a holiday at our house), we spotted it in the bar – the Summer Shandy season had begun! Leine Summer Shandy mixes wheat beer with lemonade (the Leinenkugel site has a much more elaborate description) for what tastes like summer in a bottle!

We have since learned that Summer Shandy is only available from April – August. Supposedly it is sold nation-wide but we never saw it in SoCal – let me know if you find it outside of the Midwest.

For those who can’t find it, I wanted to supply a recipe to make your own. In searching for a recipe, I came across what may be the history of the Shandy, aka the Radler, on The Splendid Table Web site (The Splendid Table is on Minnesota Public Radio and I loved listening to it when I lived in the Twin Cities. Lynne Rossetto Kasper is over the top in her love of food – in a good way).

Here’s Lynne’s take on how this yummy beverage came to be: The story goes like this: in 1922, an innkeeper in Bavaria didn’t have enough beer to accommodate the bicyclists and other guests, so he cut the beer with lemon-lime soda and it was a hit. He named it “radler,” which means “cyclist.”

And here’s the Shandy recipe from Epicurious:

Lemon Shandy:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • four 3-inch strips lemon zest, removed with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 fresh mint sprigs
  • chilled beer, such as pale ale

In a small saucepan bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and stir in zest. Cool sugar syrup to room temperature. Transfer syrup to a small pitcher and stir in remaining 2 cups water, lemon juice, and mint. Chill lemonade until cold. (Makes about 4 1/2 cups lemonade.). Pour 1/4 cup lemonade, or to taste, into each of 4 chilled beer glasses and top off with beer.

Or, the easy-peasey way to do this – mix 1/2 a can of light or wheat beer with 1/2 a can of lemon-lime soda and splash of lemonade.

Enjoy!

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