Monday, December 15


Looks like Budweiser's invention of the term 'drinkability' wasn't quite enough for them, as they are also going to be re-doing their packaging early next year. Yes! That is exactly what will make me want to drink their beer. 

Hm. Or maybe they should re-do their recipe. Right ...

Honestly, I know back in the summer I said I'd take Bud light over Miller Lite (and I still would) but truth be told I haven't had a Bud light OR a Miller Lite probably since the day I said that. I am waaaaay too deep in the world of microbrew.

And sad, but true, I have a case of Bud Light that is three-quarters of the way full and has been since Nick's brother was down visiting and decided to buy it after having drank a few on his last night. Needless to say, he didn't have time to finish it and Nick and I don't want to ... (Alcohol abuse!)

On that note, what have I found time to finish?

What's Lyssa Been Drinking? I put my hands around a nice bottle of Flying Dog Snake Dog India Pale Ale. With 7.1% alcohol, this IPA packs a pretty good punch of hops but is still easy to drink. 

Should you drink it, too? (1 - Hell no. 10 - Don't pass this beer up!) 8. This is definitely one of the better finds I've gotten ahold of here in Florida. Now, its your turn. Take a sip, I dare you.

Friday, December 12

A beer phenomenon

I just had to share this little phenomenon I've been having as of late. 

Has anybody ever been on the drive home from a long shift at work and just thought, "I could really go for a beer right now"? Or, perhaps its a sunday afternoon and with nothing better to do you wish you just had a cold one in your hand.

Well, I'm sure this scenario is not too far off any one's trail (especially if you're a beer drinker and that's why you're reading this blog). 

But, what I must share with you is this: lately, I've been coming home and not only craving beer, but more over I've been craving one of my beers. That's right, our second batch has aged so deliciously that I want nothing else but it. Unfortunately, we've gotten down to only having one left. There will probably be a brawl in the kitchen for that one later. And, now comes the time to start thinking about exactly what our next brew will be ...

Sunday, November 30

"Well, I don't like beer, but ... "

Say what?! That's right, some people are just that crazy. They don't like beer, they won't drink beer and they'll have nothing to do with it. (On the bright side of things, these leaves more beer for the rest of us.)

But, for those who would like to take a stab at turning these crooked people around, I have found the solution: cider beer.

More specifically Kelly's Irish Hard Cider beer. It tastes like juice. It's like drinking a mixed drink but with the bonus of being able to blend in with beer-drinkers alike.

I've had other cider beers, too, such as Woodchuck Draft Cider, but Woodchuck seems to still turn away people that don't like beer. If anyone has ever hard Leinenkugel's Apple Spice beer, I'd compare Woodchuck closer to that than to Kelly's. Kelly's Irish Hard Cider, therefore, is fool-proof. You'll have your none-beer drinking friends drinking beer in no time. 

This was a short little post, yes, but I have to go get ready to serve beer-after-beer to Coasters Pub's customers. Too bad it can't be the other way around.

Thursday, November 27

Lost in a beery-beer world

My apologies, for it seems my beer drinking lately has made the world of blogging disappear from my mind. 

Or, and perhaps more likely, my excellent procrastination skills (which I am forever indebted to my college career for fine-tuning) have lended to over a month's worth of days passing without me writing a single note on this site.

Either way, I'm back now, so buckle up and get ready for one crazy joy-ride ... Yay!

Now, what is there to tell? Well, there is oh-so-much to say! But, just where will I start?

Well, let's go with the obvious (and easy), my favorite beer to drink: Blue Moon.

I've found a few Blue Moon twists recently that I would love to share with you. Hopefully you will soon learn to enjoy them just as much as I do.

First off is a Black and Blue. No, I'm not going to fight you, but I am going to give you a delicious drink! Think, Black and Tan (for the uneducated beer-drinker, Guinness and Harp, or something like that, etc.) but instead, add some blue. Putting it simply, its a drink with both Guinness and Blue Moon (Guinness likes it better on top — and trust me, it looks better up there anyway). MMM delicious. For those that wouldn't normally drink stouts (such as myself), this is a great way to lighten their taste and allow you to enjoy such a dark beer. 

Also, I recently invested in a six-pack of Blue Moon's Full Moon Winter Ale. It's a really nice beer, with a dark taste but the drinkability of something light, combined with the all-too-familiar, fruity feeling of a plain Blue Moon, and the perfect drink for all of you up in Wisconsin trying to stay warm. (Me on the other hand, I've got my Florida sun. I'll be sure to think of you next time I'm on the beach, so please think of me next time you're catching snow-flakes during a beautiful white blanket storm. At least you'll be able to have a Winter Ale in hand.)

The Full Moon brew was much more impresive than their Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale, which I talked about drinking a few posts earlier. There was just nothing impressive about the pumpkin beer (not to mention nothing pumpkin-ey about this particular one). You'd be much better off with a plain ol' Blue Moon and orange slice, which I think still fits nicely with fall.

And orange slices bring me back to Florida and, well, back to sunshine again. Which is probably the root reason for my recent procrastination. So, again — my apologies — but have no fear because my beer drinking days are far from over. Cheers!

Tuesday, October 14

Beer Fest in Florida

OK - not an actual beer fest, but I went to a festival, and beer was consumed.

It was my first Florida festival experience. Let me tell ya, it was a little low-key — dontchya' know. (I threw that in there because I was recently picked on by a local for the midwesterner's use of this term.)

Anywho — this was nothing like a street festival in Wisconsin. First of all, most of Wisconsin's festivals that I have seen are swarming with people and the jam-packed streets form a wave-line of people moving through. (We cannot pass up an opportunity to drink beer in the street, can we?) But here, well — the people were a little scarce. And, from where Nick and I entered the fest, we had to walk a long way before we found the ONE beer stand in the street.

There was a plus side, though. The beer was only $3 a pop. Say what?!?! I remember paying at least $6 at the Wisconsin State Fair, Summerfest ... even at good ol' Octoberfest in Appleton, Wis.

I also tried Bud Light Lime for the first time. Sorry to admit this to anyone from Milwaukee who's still following my blog, but Bud once again wins my heart over Miller. Don't get me wrong, I really did like Miller Chill. But, now that I've tried Bud Light's copy cat, it actually is better — it's got more citrus to it.

What's Lyssa Been Drinking? My most recent beer investment was a six pack of Yuengling Black & Tan. I find that Yuengling is a pretty popular beer down here in Florida, and I'd never heard of it until arriving in the state (the first person to tell me about it was my grandma, believe it or not.) I've also never had a Black & Tan, so I thought I'd give it a try (OK - I know a bottled Black & Tan isn't quite the same because it's all blended up, but still ... I'm trying.) Yuengling's version is a blend of their Dark Brewed Porter and Premium beer, and its pretty delicious. Again, like the pumpkin beer, close to good enough that it can replace dessert.

Should you drink it, too? (1 - Hell no. 10 - Don't pass this beer up!) If you can find a way to get your hands on one of these, I'd rate its taste-testing worthiness as a 9. Drink up.

Thursday, October 9

Trick or pumpkin beer

I don't like pumpkin pie, but when Coaster's Pub began sporting a new beer, Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale — I decided to give it a try. Because, well, why not?

What I tasted was extremely delectable. I love dessert, but I would say this could almost replace the need for pie with any good thanksgiving dinner (I repeat, almost. I love pie a little too much to totally dismiss it.) The pumpkin flavor was very mild, and the beer left a fresh feeling in my mouth after I'd finished drinking it.

It was so good that Nick and I took a trip to the grocery store looking for a six-pack of the brew so he could have a try (or two). Well, they don't sell six packs of the beer. They sell four packs. For $9.49 a piece. Being that that's a bit expensive, we decided to get a six pack of Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale (a brother to Blue Moon and produced by Coors) so at least I could compare.

While this version was good, it tastes nothing like pumpkin and is not nearly as to-die-for. So, I have once again learned my lesson of not making my decision based on price. (But, in this economy, I'm not sure how easy it's going to be to follow that motto.) 

Tomorrow night I will make an appearance at my very first Florida beer, wine, food, yada yada street festival. I'll have to let you know how they compare to the many festivals that sprawl the lands of Milwaukee. In the meantime, have a drink for me. Cheers.

Monday, October 6

I've been cheating on beer

I'm afraid I must come clean - what with all this sun and sand around me I've found more time to kick back with a margarita in hand than I have to crack open a fresh new brew. 

For instance, just last week Nick and I went camping in the Florida Keys — Key Largo to be exact, at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. It's about a four hour drive from where we live, so once we got into town we decided to stop at a restaurant along the water for some lunch. Of course, the draw of the sun, the breeze and the cool, blue water — I couldn't resist a margarita. (Lucky for me, I can rely on my girl card and get away with this.) Moreover, we never made it all the way down to Key West, which is about another hour down the island, and I have a feeling there is just a little more night life down that way. (At least I hope so for them or they might need some lessons from us drinkers back in Wisconsin.)

Fortunately, I found an exciting way for all that to change. Saturday, Nick and I walked down the street to this little market that was giving out food, wine and beer samples. That's where we learned about Florida Beer Company. Now, don't get me wrong, I had actually heard about them before and I have driven past the building. But I didn't know the brewery offers free tasting hours five days a week. And, if all goes as planned, we should make it over there this week to try out some good ol' Florida beer. (We'll see just how it compares to the excellence in beer we cherish in Wisconsin.)

Oh, back to the Florida Keys. I found this post with some old, rusty bottle caps on it. Hopefully it restores your faith that there are people, in fact, who drink beer in the keys. (It's too bad that I wasn't one of them. Next time.) And, this did act as a pretty good photo-op. Aren't the flats beautiful?

Saturday, September 27

Beer, its music to my ears

I have the internet in my apartment, finally! And, being bored on a Saturday night, I decided to surf the internet world of beer (especially since the beer I am supposed to be drinking tonight turned out to be inarguably disgusting, I needed to find another way to get my Saturday night buzz ... but I'll get to that later.) As for now, entertain yourself with this little video of lego men singing about beer. Cute. And - I bet it would be even more entertaining after having a few beers yourself.

Now, on to the gross beer. I've been on a bit of a budget recently after the move and all the expenses associated with it (not to mention spending nearly a month as an unemployed slacker.) So, tonight, after buying my Guinea Pig a new bag of food, I had a total of $2.54 left over for spending money. As luck would have it, that's how much the four pack of beer I picked up cost. As luck would not have it, it's not even worth that price.

What is it? Steel Reserve. The guy at the check out laughed when I bought it, saying, "I haven't had this in years." He went on to compare it to Natural Ice. OK - so, not good, but I only had $2.54. I had no choice, and being a beer girl I was willing to try anything once.

Hah. I laugh in the face of Steel Reserve. As Nick put it, "Reserve? Reserve for what? Not human consumption." 

We tried to drink it via a drinking game, but this beer is barely even forceable. Needless to say, there are two-nearly full open cans sitting on the counter destined to be dumped down the drain (I know, alcohol abuse, I'm sorry! But, do you want to drive down here and drink the #&*$?!) And, there are two more cans that will probably last in my fridge until I've had enough other drinks that I am willing to dive into that crap pile again.

Oh, and at that point, the 8.1% alcohol content might not be such a sweet surprise (consider the morning after). Maybe it will just end up in the garbage. Next time, I refuse to hold on to the stinginess of my budget. Better beer = way worth it.

Speaking of being cheap, I super slacked on my beer of the week due to being unable to buy beer. But, we pretty much wiped out the supply in our fridge and eventually had to give in to buying a six-pack or two. So, I've returned with my beer ratings on a slightly different note. Get ready to gear yourself up for some new brews.

What's Lyssa Been Drinking? Nick and I decided to try Shock Top. I'd seen the bottles around and had been interested for a while, but never did too much investigating. After buying it, I was disappointed to learn it is actually a macro brew by Anheuser-Busch. After trying the beer, this was obvious. It lacked in flavor and body, like most macro brews do. We even added a slice of orange, but it didn't do enough to up the flavor. This beer needs a LOT of help, and does not do anything to satisfy the buds on a warm summer day when a citrusy brew seems like just the ticket (Or, in my case, on a warm any day because its just about 90 degrees daily in this sunshine drenched beach city of mine.)

Should you drink it, too? (1 - Hell no. 10 - Don't pass this beer up!) I say, 4. You won't die if you drink it, but trust me when I say your life will go on the same without ever trying it.

Wednesday, September 17

A little beer goes a loooong way

My most intriguing find so far is a beer that packs a six pack in its one tiny bottle. Its the Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA, and at 20% abv drinking one 12-ounce serving is equivalent to drinking six (We have a little disclaimer on our bottles at Coasters: if a customer orders one, that's their limit for the evening. Plus, each bottle costs $2o, so that's probably enough beer spendage for the customers, anyway.) Interestingly, too, the description online claims the beer to have 450 calories per 12-ounce serving. Hmm. This bottle packs a lot of punch.

Reading on the Web site, I've learned it is a limited edition brew and it was released 3 separate times in 2007, so I'm not sure if, and/or where (besides Coasters), you can still get your hands on any. But, beer is always worth a try, right? I haven't done so yet, but I am working on it.

Speaking of trying beer, we gave our second batch the grand opening as well. It turned out pretty good, I'd say, and I think I even like this modge-podge better than our first batch. As I told you when we were brewing the batch, we kicked the sugar amount up a notch in hopes of increasing the carbonation, and - OH Man, did we kick up the carbonation. One crack of the bottle cap sounds like the chorus of a six pack of soda being broken into. So, next time we'll be sure to find a happy medium. 

I was a little disappointed, though, that you can't really taste the orange peel. We were being really conservative with the amount we used because we didn't want the citrus to over-power the beer. Turns out, it would take A LOT of citrus to do just that.

Thursday, September 11

Beer in Amherst ... ahem - where?!

Granted this was a couple of weeks ago already, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth writing about. What, already? Well, before I headed down here to Florida, I spent a weekend with some friends in the quaint little town of Amherst, right outside Steven's Point. Believe it or not, the city that doesn't even have stop lights has a brewery - and my friends and I made a point to check it out.

It's called Central Waters Brewery, and it was our first stop on our Amherst pub crawl. (The picture above is the group of sexy pub crawl attendees. We made a pretty big fuss at all the Amherst bars, seeing how they don't get that kind of action very often. Translation: free shots and drinks for being so cool.)

Anyway, back to the brewery. I was pretty impressed with the wide variety of beer the brewery offered. They don't do tours, but instead have open bar hours when you can come and sample all the beers. We started off with a sample platter of the beer selection so we could each decide which flavor we liked best before investing in a pint. Pretty much all the beers were good, although I had a bit of a harder time swallowing some of the darker beers, which were all tinted with a strong dose of coffee flavor (not a coffee drinker, sorry). I'm not sure how far they distribute, but if you can get your hands on any flavor I guarantee it would satisfy your beer craving for the day.

The brewery open-bar hours are a cool concept, and you can pretty much see everything from the bar area that you would on the tour anyhow. Here's a sneak-peek of me chilling in front of some of the beer-barrels with my friend and Amherst native, Alicia.

In a little less than three hours I start my first shift at Coaster's Pub. Wish me well in this new beer world, and I will be sure to report to you all of my findings.

Sunday, September 7

Sand in my feet, beer in my hands

Okay, so I can finally show you my transitional trip across the country - from my beer-drinking home state to the sun-drenched, sand-covered shores of Florida. Monday's driving day was spent sporting my "Here for the Beer" shirt that so perfectly fit with my time in Milwaukee (this picture was taken after about 14 hours of driving after 5 hours of sleep, mind you. And, before our pizza arrived. Thus, I was hungry, tired, dirty and just ... blah). But, on Tuesday, I happily made the transition to island time (this time showered with a full 8 hours of sleep and a filling continental breakfast).

And, here's the long-awaited photos of my fridge for the first few days of life in Florida. Note: Lots of beer. (Update: Since this photo was taken, my beer supply has mysteriously been diminishing, and it no longer looks quite so crowded with such good brews).

Lastly, I have great news. I did end up getting a job waitressing at Coaster's Pub, which means my beer-girl destiny continues on. I start on Thursday, so keep in touch if you want to learn all about the great beer industry I am about to be introduced to. I am sure I will be learning plenty more about beer. 

Wednesday, August 27

Beer makes me laugh

I found this joke online that I thought many Milwaukeean's should appreciate - in a twisted sort of way. Well, the men may not like me so much because it is a female-body-related joke. (I wonder what you're all thinking this is going to be now ... well, read on.)

"A guy walks into a bar, sits down, and asks, 'Bartender, any specials today?'

Bartender answers, 'Yes, as a matter of fact we have a new drink, invented by a gynecologist patron of ours. It's a mix of Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer and Smirnoff Vodka.'

The guy asks, 'Good grief, what do you call that?'

The bartender replied, 'It's a 'Pabst Smir.' "

(I got the joke here.)

Oh, and how is Florida?! In a word: Awesome. The weather is amazing. (We'll see if I feel the same way after tomorrow, upon the arrival of Hurricane Hanna ... or whatever it will end up being). 

I already made a stop in to Coaster's Pub, but unfortunately not for a beer. I actually went in there to apply for a job - they are hiring servers. Woot! How perfect is that for this beer girl. Even better, one of the owner's at the tavern has been reading my blog. What a small, little world it really is. (Oh, and if you, owner, happen to read this - no hard feelings if I don't get the job. Although, I still am crossing my fingers). 

And, right before I left a couple of my friends gave me a little going-away/birthday gift basket filled with a wonderful selection of Lakefront Brewery brews. For a day that was about all we had in our fridge. Well, that and a case of our homebrews - a site that would make fellow beer drinkers proud. I had one of the Lakefront brews today, actually. I gotta say, there's nothing like a good ol' Wisconsin beer in the warm, sunny weather of Florida.

I do have photos to put up from some fun down here and also from my last beer-full weekend in Wisconsin, but I currently can't find my camera cord among the boxes and other piles of la-ti-da, so I'll get to that as soon as I can. Also, my apartment doesn't have internet, so I will be coming to you from internet cafes across the coast. This should be fun, so stay tuned.

Beer spills out the truth

OK - I'll come clean. This past weekend I really went to the Minnesota State Fair to see the Backstreet Boys in concert. Yes, it's true. They were my childhood sweethearts, my passion and my obsession and nobody can take that away from me. And ... they are still awesome.

These pictures take me back every time - and hopefully can offer you a little bit of their flavor. Trust me, it won't turn you gay. Just sexy.

I actually saw the Backstreet Boys for the first time during the good ol' days of middle school at Milwaukee's own Bradley Center. So, what's changed over the past years? Well, the boys now consist of four members, instead of five (one decided not too continue on because he's too old to be a BSB. Come on, doesn't he understand you're never too old for anything?) Secondly, I'm 22 years old now, not 12. I can, and did, drink beer before, during and after the concert. It was awesome. And that thought brings me to the ever-famous and a little behind beer of the week.

Lyssa's Beer of the Week: This week's pick is Minnesota grown Premium Grain Belt. A beer that I learned about during college due to Eau Claire's proximity to Minnesota and an overwhelming population of Minnesotans at the school, it's a cheap domestic brew that tastes better than just that. Trying to be economical in this day and age, my friend and I ordered a pitcher of it at the fair. She'd never had it before, but said she enjoyed it.

Worth-A-Try scale: (10 - way worth it. 1 - um, don't bother.) Not that it is a beer to brag about, but for the price I think I'll settle on an 8. It'd be an affordable way to get the fridge stocked again - but also a chance to stock it with something new.

*Blogger's apology: I know I haven't been keeping up on my posts much since leaving JSOnline. However, please stick with me  because I plan to write more once I am situated in Florida. As of now, I am too occupied packing and catching up with friends, who seem to like distracting me with beer. So, sorry for slacking. Check back for more regular updates in about a week, when I will be relaxing with the sand in my toes, the sun in my eyes and a beer in my hand. 

Tuesday, August 19

Time flies when you're drinking beer

Honestly, I can't believe how quickly that twelve weeks with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel blurred into a vision of my past. Time sure does fly, and beer definitely helps us all keep ticking along.

Speaking of flying, beer and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - I don't know how I missed this little tid-bit of news back in June. (Well, maybe I do, because the only news of it I could find on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was a two-sentence woohoo! note on NewsWatch. But, this is not a rip on, because they obviously have bigger fish to fry. It's more of a cover-up for me, because I should just know all the news when I work at a newspaper, right?)

Alright, already, what story, you say? Well, Delta Airlines now serves Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat on all their flights. What?! That makes me want to get a job as some high-and-mighty business woman who travels Delta across the country every day. Me and Sunset Wheat would become great friends. (Although somebody once told me they thought Sunset Wheat tasted like fruity pebbles. Despite the fact that I like the beer, every time I drink it I think about that comment and do, indeed, taste fruity pebbles.)

You can scroll down about a quarter of the way and find the short tid-bit about this beer in the air on, or read a brief but a bit more intuitive story posted on (The Leader Telegram is in Eau Claire, Wis., my precious college-town news), or read a longer version posted on According to the article, its the first craft brew Delta has offered above the clouds.

On a different note, last night officially marked the end of my tour-de-Milwaukee. My little hole-in-wall I called home for three months is now an empty, white space. But, I'm glad to say my last night went out with a semi-bang.

After packing, Nick and I (for new blog readers or to those who need a refresher course, Nick is the other brewmaster of our small home brewery) headed over to Real Chili for some dinner. I'd been told about this place before, and ironically found a coupon in my awesome coupon book I told you about here, so we decided it would be a good way to go out in style.

I was a bit aprehensive at first. The restaraunt seemed a bit outdated and somewhat of its own hole-in-the-wall. I was even my scared by the overflowing bowl of meat placed in front of me (my childhood chili is a bit more relative to a bowl of soup.) But, when I bit in I was pleased. It had a real chili flavor (haha, Real Chili) with a little bit of a kick. Good thing my friend Sam Adams was there to wash it down for me - well, their Boston Lager, that is. I'd never had this brew before and it was pretty good. Definitely a meal worth having again.

Then there's this place I am going to take the liberty of informing all you still-Milwaukee residents about, because I am sad that I never got a chance to experience it. I received an email from the manager about a week ago telling me all about it, but in the hustle and bustle of getting ready to pack up and ship out I didn't have time to drop in for a brew. It seems it may be some sort of competition for the place I found in Florida (Coasters Pub) that I was bragging to you all about, although I guess that's not really competition. Maybe sister bars, you know - like sister cities?

Anyway, the bar is called The Bomb Shelter and denotes itself as a classic Milwaukee tavern. It has a beer list with a running count of 136 different brews (Coasters only chimes in with 127. Once again, I guess Wisconsin still wins.) The manager tells me the bar opened on June 21, and boasted of hosting "oddball stuff you won't find anyway else in Milwaukee." If anybody gets a chance to check this place out, stop back to my blog and let me know about its level of awesome-ness. That way whenever the wind blows me back to Milwaukee I'll know if its worth stopping in for a brew.

In the meantime, I'm heading home for a couple days until I head up to Eau Claire to visit some friends and then over to the Twin Cities for some Minnesota State Fair fun. Being unemployed, my schedule isn't piled up too high, so until I leave I have myself a seat at home next to my parents beloved purchase: their kegerator, stocked with Redhook ESB. I've never tried it before, so it sounds like it should be a good time. Until then ...