Thursday, September 29, 2011

Free T-shirts anyone??

I have a theory, and much like my other theories, it exists almost exclusively in my head, but makes sense when it is unleashed on real people. The theory for today is "People will do anything for a free t-shirt" This has been documented by many companies, and demonstrated by many people, including my husband. Well I guess it's time to put at least one more person on the "will work for freebies" list!!

A while ago, I said that I ordered t-shirts for giveaways right here on this blog (not so Podunk anymore!). Well they came in last night (YAAAAAYYY!!!). So of course I had to get a model to show you all what you could win in my upcoming contest thingy.
This is the T-shirt folded on my desk. Nice, right? I like the way that the fold makes me look like I am winking at you, or have a nervous twitch. They really came out amazing! The quality is 10 times better than I had expected.

Not sure how it looks on an actual human?? Well this is Dan. Dan works with me and is a great sport about most things, including me asking him to model things for me.

Doesn't he look great in that t-shirt? Wouldn't you LOVE to make it yours?? Well maybe a not-previously-worn-by-Dan shirt can be yours! Yes, Dan is getting a shirt for being a good sport and graciously being my male-model. Next time though, I might make him walk the cat-walk.
This is the back of the shirt... Yes, I had to put my website on the back... that is sort of the point of freebies. I give it to  you, you get all excited for getting something for free and then you become my walking billboard.

So I apologize, but today I have no beer news, no beer tasting, but I have beer-blog shirt news! Maybe you aren't as super excited about these shirts as I am? Well I suppose I should appeal to your Beer nature... Here are two videos to help you get your beer entertainment fix:

This next one is a little loud, and might frighten the uptight... so look away uptight

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

No Canfest, No worries!

Well, you may know by now (or not) I didn't win the trip to Canfest 2011. But that is okay, because "there is always next year" and I "just started blogging". The most important part, to me anyways, was that I didn't come in dead last. So thank you very very much to everyone who voted, and a special shout-out to Kate for voting on all the computers in her library. So who won? Sean from Beer Search Party won. Best of luck to Sean, hope you have fun in Reno... 

What we need to cheer us up is a video (I will refrain from more Swedish Chef for now)

I am not entirely sure what the point of this is, but if he was drinking a beer while doing it I would be that much more impressed.

What else is going on??? A good friend of mine has graciously agreed to help make my website a bit cooler!! YAAY! If you have suggestions, or feel like harassing him, you can welcome him to the Hoppy Beer Girl world by emailing him at

Have you heard of Women Enjoying Beer? Well you will be excited to know (maybe not as excited as I am) that I will be hosting one of their focus groups in November. I am very excited about this!!

Beers! Well, we had several tasty beers this past weekend. The first and most impressive beer that we had was Dreadnaught from Three Floyd's. This was not as overly hoppy as I thought it would be, or maybe my tastes are changing. Either way, I thought that this was a fantastic IPA, and have to thank (profusely) my uncle Fred for giving me this fantastic beer gift!

A little less exotic and local, Blake bought me a 12 pack of Sam Adams Harvest pack. That includes, Oktoberfest, Boston Lager, Bonfire Rauchbier and Pumpkin Ale. I was trying my hardest to not have one of each in one sitting, but I was able to try the Bonfire Rauchbier and Oktoberfest.I thought that the Oktoberfest was a nice clean session beer, as one would hope and expect for an Oktoberfest beer. The Bonfire Rauchbier was quite flavorful and nicely roasted. I thought that it had a taste like fall... How cliche, I know. But it was warm and earthy and tasty. 

Have I mentioned that I love fall beers? I am looking forward to trying more seasonal beers. If you have any suggestions, questions or just want to tell me that I am not the worst blog out there, send me an email!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Final Push for Canfest 2011-- Send me to Reno!

Alright, this is it. The final plea for you to vote for my blog so that I can go and represent at Canfest 2011 in Reno Nevada this November. You can vote for Hoppy Beer Girl here:

So why should you vote for me? I came up with a few reasons...
1.) I checked out the competition, and they are all really great. Looks like some really creative and funny people entered, with some great established blogs. I know I am making you think you should vote for them... BUT, if you dont' vote for me, chances are that my dinky, barely off the ground blog will whither on the vine. My true beer potential never harvested for your enjoyment. All because I suffered a devastating blow to my overly inflated ego. Don't believe me about everyone being better than me? Go check them out!
2.) If I win, I can share all of my excitement and passion about beer, and history with all of Reno. I am sure they are truly lacking in people as genuinely enthusiastic as me. Heck, I could be a beer-cheerleader, if such a thing existed and didn't require skimpy clothing... on second thought... I would rather not be a cheerleader.

3.) I would totally feel like a legitimate blogger and beer drinker if I won. So much so that I would be able to convince myself and my wonderful husband to order more Hoppy Beer Girl stuff for give-aways. Which means more free stuff for you, and who doesn't like that?!?! (Answer no one)

Adorable Autumn
4.) You have seen pictures of my cute, adorable, wonderful, smart and funny daughter? She is pretty cute, right? If I win, she will get to spend the weekend with her grandparents being spoiled rotten, for a  non-stop Yo Gabba Gabba, Ice Cream for dinner, Jump on the Bed, bed-times are for losers, fun-a-palooza. Now, how could you deny such an adorable child a weekend that would be so much fun and so wonderful?? HOW COULD YOU??? (answer, you can't, so vote for me)

5.) Finally, the reason you should vote for me to go to Canfest is, I want to go so badly I can't even come up with a decent list of 5! Better vote for me now before I lose all composure!! Voting ends tomorrow (September 23rd) at 12:00 Noon Pacific Time.

Get a votin' and don't forget to tell your friends!

Oh, Man she is too cute!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Trip To Germany-Guest Post

Herforder Pils

Recently I asked my cosuin Jeni and her husband Greg (the world's best drummer) to write a guest post about their trip to Germany, mostly on the beer. Well, here it is (I added a few comments in a different color)

Greg and I went to Germany in May, to visit my Great Uncle Erhard, and
to drink beer, and to see where my ancestors lived, and to drink beer
again.  We accomplished all of these things. (YAAY BEER! YAY GERMANY!)
I’d say we tried about 20 beers, as a conservative estimate.  Some of
the beers we drank were: Franziskaner, Ayinger, Bitburger, Freiberger,
Andechs Dunkel, Herforder Pils, Schofferhofer Weizen, and Berliner
Kindl Weisse.  My official analysis of the complexities of the
different beer tastes: they were all awesome.
Highest Beer Garden

We drank beer in many locations, including beer gardens.  The highest beer garden in Germany is at the top of the German Alps.  One of the most famous is the Hofbrauhaus.  And the largest is the Hirschgarten, which has 9 billion seats.  No, wait, it is 8,000 seats.  We also drank beer in castles! CASTLES??!! We drank beer on the train.  And we drank beer while in Rüdesheim am Rhein, which is a winemaking town. How about in a box, with a fox?

Chinesischer Turm and beer garden in Englischer Garten

Beer Bike

Two other nice beer moments: While driving on the autobahn, we saw fields of hops, mmm.  And, in Berlin, we saw a beer bike, which is 12 people drinking while pedaling a keg down the street.  Yes!

Do they sell these in America? Who wants to start riding a bike with me?

Schofferhofer Weizen

Now, here are some things that you may find interesting about German
beers (if you don’t already know them):
 You know I love all things knowledgable about beer, so I don't seem like a lush.


(1) The name of many German breweries, as you probably noticed, is the town that the beer is brewed in, with an “er” at the end.  For example, Ayinger is made in Aying, and Freiberger is made in Freiberg.

 Literally, Ayinger means “of Aying”, and so on.  Or at least I think that’s the translation, but if I’m wrong about this, please correct me.

Berliner Weisse (The Purple One)

(2) Berliner Weisse is a wheat beer with a flavored syrup.  The red was raspberry and the green was woodruff, but I don’t remember what the purple was, aside from tasty.  You drink it with a straw.  Nom nom

Those look very interesting! Making me want to go drink one...

Berliner Weisse (Red and Green)


(3) We also had pilsner mixed with lemonade, which was very tasty.
This is called the Radler (which means cyclist).  There is a story about cyclists drinking it as a refreshing drink, with much needed beer in it, but not too much booze.
Did it taste like Leinenkuegel's Summer Shandy? Just curious, in case I need something refreshing on my next bike ride....

(4) There is a special way to hold the large mugs of beer, so that you
can drink them without using both hands.  See picture. This made me giggle when I saw it at 6 this morning... Because you look like you are giggling.

Official way to drink beer in Germany
Ok, that’s it.  Your homework for next week: Go to Germany; drink beer. I second that!

Thank you Jeni so much for helping me with my blog! Now I can say I have smart content instead of just Muppet Videos this week!

Don't forget to vote for me to go to Canfest 2011!!! Did you lose that link? Don't worry, I have it right here

Do you have an idea or want to do a guest post? Do you have a question or a suggestion for me? I always welcome comments and emails.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What do Muppets have to do with Oktoberfest?

Well, Actually, nothing. I just found an amazing clip of the Swedish chef making pumpkin pie which reminded me of Oktoberfest... not that pumpkin pie is Oktoberfest-y, but you get the idea. Besides, who doesn't love the Swedish chef? If the answer is you, then I am not sure we can continue this imagined friendly relationship...( just joking! Please don't stop reading my blog!).
Do you know what DOES have to do with Oktoberfest? Beer (now get ready for an awesome segue and not the motorized kind, that is a Segway). I may have mentioned that I recently fell in love with Pumpkin Ale. I happened to pick up a can of Wild Onion's Pumpkin Ale, and it was surprisingly different from Wild Bill's Pumpkin Ale... I should say that I was surprised at the difference in tastes. Where Wild Bill's pumpkin Ale brought to mind all the tastes of fall and reminded me of pumpkin pie, The Wild Onion's Pumpkin Ale was a little cleaner, not as spiced as Wild Bill's, but still a very good beer to try. They are a local brewery, so if you are in Northern Illinois you should check them out!

As I mentioned in my last post (yesterday) I have been sick this week, so I wasn't able to keep my normal two post regimen on top of having to catch up with school work and work-work. However, we did go out this past Saturday, to see my cousin's awesome band play at the US Beer Company on Clybourn in Chicago. I should mention that we left before They All Have Legs went on because I wasn't feeling well... maybe they will forgive me if I do a shout-out on my blog.

Daisy Cutter beer-Da Bomb
So what did I drink at a bar named "U.S. Beer Company"? Not much, but I managed to get two beers and a pepperoni stick in before we left (yes, I am so in the mom-mindset everywhere we go I bring snacks). The First beer I had was Half Acre's Daisy Cutter, which was a very nice pale ale. I thought that it was a pretty strong hops taste up front but mellowed out as you drank it (went great with my pepperoni stick). One of my favorite parts of the beer was when Greg (the most awesome drummer in the world) gave me a history lesson on why Half Acre named the rather strong beer "Daisy Cutter"(I thought it was a lawn mower reference). So now I shall share with you... Daisy cutter is the nickname for the BLU-82 bombs. These bombs are the largest conventional bombs used by the US Military, so Greg, thank you for the beer lesson, and for the rest of you, check out the article on Wikipedia.
Actual Daisy Cutter bomb

The second beer was Abita's Purple Haze, which went even better with the pepperoni stick! Actually, All joking aside, this was a really fantastic beer. I wasn't able to get a decent picture in the bar of the beer, so i can't even show you how pretty it was. I am not really a fan of fruit in beer, but this raspberry beer might make me change my mind. The raspberry added a nice amount of sourness, but not enough to make you think the beer had gone bed, like most fruit beers I have tried. I like that it was a wheat brew also, it made it a little more even keeled in the mouth.

Since I mentioned Oktoberfest, it officially starts in Munich today!!! YAAY! Oh, I am at home, on the couch... well at least I have beer in my fridge. If you are one of the lucky ducks who is going to Oktoberfest, here is a list of some of the times and dates for festivities at Oktoberfest. Since I am not going to Oktoberfest, I thought I would throw my own Oktoberfest celebration.To celebrate, I ordered some Hoppy beer Girl T-shirts, one of which I will be giving out through this here blog in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out to be sure you don't miss your chance.

Don't forget to vote to send me to CanFest in Reno this fall!!! The voting is only open until Friday, September 23rd at noon Pacific time. follow this link to vote! If I get to go to CanFest I will be the happiest Hoppy Beer Girl Ever! And think of all the beer I can tell you to try!!! I am not above begging.

And because I can, here is another video from the Swedish Chef

Friday, September 16, 2011

Can Fest voting!

I (finally) got the instructions on voting for my blog for CanFest 2011!!!
Here is the link:
You can only vote once, you can post this link on Facebook, Twitter or anywhere you want, and tell people to vote for me (Hoppy Beer Girl).
Feel free to pass this along as many times as you want :)
PS, I have had the stomach flu this week, but I will have a new post this weekend so keep an eye out

Friday, September 9, 2011

5 beers-a very tough question

I had a message yesterday from BeerBloggingBuddies (check out their blog) asking what my top five favorite beers are. That shouldn't have been SUCH a tough question to answer, right? Well it was. I could only come up with 3 that rotate their spot in my heart as number one beer. After further discussion with my husband, I decided that there is no way I can answer that question... I have such a love for ALL beer that if I choose five, I would feel like I was picking a favorite child (I only have one of those so that would be easier). Therefore, I have modified the question (I hope the Beer Blogging Buddies won't mind)...
What five beers would you serve to someone to make them love beer as much as you do?
Of course, being as hyper organized as I am (or try to be) I broke my list into categories, then chose my favorites from each category, because not everyone has the same tastes as me I would have to showcase the variety and tastiness of a variety of beers.
The categories I picked? The beers I chose? Glad you asked! Yes, I know some categories have two beers, and there are more than five categories; I couldn't decide!

Ebel's Wiess
Belgian Style
  • This is my favorite type of beer, so narrowing it down was difficult, very difficult. I was able to decide on Ebel's Weiss from Two Brother's in Warrenville, IL and Juliet from Goose Island in Chicago (no Illinois breweries are not a requirement, just a coincidence) Dog Fish Head’s Raison D’Etre should also be on here… because sometimes it is my Raison D’Etre (French for reason to be). Oh, and that is JUST the American craft beers…

    IPA and APA
    This was tough also, because I am not particularly fond of IPA’s, but they are growing on me. The IPA that I would choose to share with a potential convert would have to be Three Floyd’s Apocalypse Cow(Seasonal). Yes, I know it is a double IPA and can knock you on your butt, but it is also well balanced and doesn’t assault your taste buds. (I also really like Resistance IPA from Two Brothers but didn’t want to muddle the waters with too many from one brewery)

    For my APA choice, I chose Magic Hat’s #9. It is so well balanced that it embodies everything that you would want a beer with the moniker “American” to have. The malt is clear and perfectly roasted; the hops are strong, but not overpowering. Just thinking about it makes me want to have one now…
      Creme Brulee Stout
      • A stout that I could not live without (ha-ha) would be difficult to find… I am not a HUGE fan of stouts, but I do like them on occasion. Guinness is the obvious choice, but ever since I had expired Guinness (sometimes bargain bins should be left alone) I can’t even smell a Guinness. Recently I have tried some really fun stouts from Southern Tier, and I have to say I might pick one of them to “win” over my imaginary beer convert. The stouts? Well they were Mokah and Crème Brulee, both by Southern Tier.


        Krombacher Pils
        • Pilsners are always a welcome sight in my house. We       have had some really fantastic stand out of the crowd Pilsners, and some that were just “eh”. There are two that I would recommend to anyone, Pilsner Urquell and Krombacher’s Pilsner

          Fruit Beer
          (not my favorite but some people go nuts for it)

          I really liked Clown Shoes Clementine Beer, it wasn’t overly sweet or fruity. I also like (in small doses) Banana Bread Beer by Wells and Youngs Brewing.

            • Pumpkin Ale
            There are thousands of seasonal beers to choose from and all are good for their specific season. Since we are coming into fall, I would have to choose and Oktoberfest beer, a pumpkin ale or perhaps something like Leinenkugel’s Fireside Nut Brown. Say what you will about me picking a mass distributed beer… I like it. Now, I will admit that my favorite beer is a spring time beer... you may have heard me gush about it. It's from Ommegang in NY and it is Biere De Mars (I can't help but salivate as I write about it). It occurs to me that if I gush about it too much, you may buy it and leave me none... which would not be cool. 

            Chateau Jiahu

            • Theobroma from Dogfish Head and Château Jiahu from Dogfish Head are great examples of thinking outside the Bavarian Purity law and making beer that is unique and fantastic! Another interesting “specialty” beer is Biere de Miel (beer with honey) from Brasserie Du Pont. This beer is not like any that most have had before, it is sweet while remaining crisp and balanced.

               Whew! All that beer talk made me thirsty! So, as you can see I can't just choose FIVE beers that I love the best... I can barely choose 15! I know I missed some types of beers and some fantastic breweries, so why don't you write me a list of your favorites, of what you would subject a beer convert to? Need the email address again? It's or you can tell me on Twitter or Facebook.

                Wednesday, September 7, 2011

                Beer Tasting at Bliss

                As I mentioned on Friday, we had another phenomenal time at Bliss Wine and Gifts with their beer tasting. Once again Scott prepared a well thought out beer menu for us to enjoy (did I mention that you get 6 beers for $5?). On the tasting:

                Original Sin Cider
                Original Sin Cider An incredibly light and clear brew, it was really not sweet like you would have imagined from a hard cider. Original Sin uses no artificial flavors or colors in their products which makes the taste unlike any hard cider you have ever had before. 

                Victory Summer Love
                Victory Summer Love I will be honest, I haven't found a Victory beer that I have liked yet, between the Golden Monkey fiasco and some other abrasive beers Victory was not on my list of beers I was hoping to see. However, Summer Love was a surprisingly good beer with a wave of two different hops, both clearly distinguishable in your mouth then a beautiful lemon end taste. This was far from the abrasive beers that I expect from Victory, which proves that you can't pigeon hole a brewery based on a few less than stellar tastings.

                Southern Tier Harvest
                Southern Tier Harvest This is an English Style Ale that has a gorgeous ruby red color that is the perfect beer color for a Harvest ale. A very zesty beer, like you would expect from an English style ale, it remains well balanced without becoming too hoppy or too malty. This is a great beer for a fall evening.

                Bear Republic Red Rocket

                Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale Another red ale that was a bit more hoppy than the Southern Tier Harvest. Definitively not one I could drink a lot of, it was perfect in the taster sized glasses that it was served in. If you like IPA's you will like this one

                Magic Hat Hex
                Magic Hat Hex Darker than the previous beers, but still a hoppier ale, this one had a very distinct smoky flavor from the malt. Very tasty, but again not one I would call a session beer. As a side note, we just bought Magic Hat's #9 Almost Pale Ale and we really thought that it was a perfect beer. If you are not into something that will kick you in the mouth with the bitterness from hops, but want a decent hops flavor this is the beer for you.

                Boont Amber Ale
                Boont Amber Ale A gorgeous dark ale with a perfect white head, Boont Amber Ale gives you a respite from the hops-fest that the rest of the tasting was and you can really taste the yeast that was used in this beer. I am not saying you can't taste the hops, because there is a clear hops after-taste to this one.

                Southern Tier Mokah
                Southern Tier Mokah Well the beer tasting has become so popular it appears, that they ran out of Boont Amber Ale while we were finishing up our tasting. Scott had to think of his toes and pulled out Southern Tier's Mokah. A very dark stout that was very sweet and very chocolatey. I was reminded of the Creme Brulee Stout that we had not too long ago. Not one I could drink a whole pint of, but a nice "beer dessert" in a small taster glass.

                Did you notice the way that the colors of the beers got progressively darker? I was impressed.

                On another note, Blake bought me my first copy of "Beer" magazine, which I thought was very nice of him. I was pretty excited to read all sorts of beer info that I was sure would blow my mind and enlighten me to the level of Beer Guru. I was rather disappointed that the articles were few and highly opinionated, there seemed to be more ads and pictures of scantily clad women than actual information on beer. Now I know you guys are thinking, well it's a beer magazine... isn't that what you expected? I guess I was hoping that more women would be represented in an intelligent way, in a positive way, in a not just a model for St Paulie Girl way (not that there is anything wrong with being a beer model). It reinforced to me that women in the beer world are still a minority. Well that is the end of my rant. Beer Magazine, if you hear me, please write and article or two showcasing women in beer.

                Jennifer England-St Paulie Girl 2011

                Friday, September 2, 2011

                Friday (BONUS) Beer post!!

                HAPPY FRIDAY!!! Oh how nice it is to have a 3 day weekend ahead of us (unless you don't then just ignore this post).
                So many of the blogs I follow do fun Friday posts filled with other websites with funny stuff related or not related to the subject of their blog. Clearly that idea didn't occur to me... probably because my free time (aka not beer time, work time or mom time) is devoted to school work so the thought of MORE aimless searching on the Internet just wasn't appealing. However, I found something that I had to steal today!

                I am not trying to offend anyone who is politely following my BEER blog but is in fact interested in snooty wine tasting (Thanks Rachel, you're the best). It was just TOO funny to not post... because this is in some small way why many of us want to be beer people. I am not saying I don't like wine, hey I actually won tickets to a wine tasting at an honest-to-God-winery.

                Wine can be a nice alternative if you want a beer break, and beer people and wine people can live harmoniously together (unlike lions and water buffalo). The proof is apparent at places like Bliss Wine and Gifts in Wauconda. I know I have already said that I love this place for the beer tastings... but last night I actually checked out the extensive wine selection. This is absolutely a place where you can go with your wine friends and both be happy (Hey Rachel, we need to go together soon). I will have a full write up of the beer tasting from last night at Bliss this weekend.

                Other fun stuff that was easy for me to find to share... Did you know that people get BEER tattoos? I suppose it makes sense, but until I read this article from it hadn't occurred to me. Do you know anyone with a beer tattoo? Now I am considering getting a beer tattoo...

                Okay, another funny video! I know you have all seen it, but it still makes me laugh.
                Have a great Friday!!!

                My Blog Roll