Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Beer Accessory Spotlight: Redefining the Purpose of the Bullet

I hope everyone is recovering from the mayhem that is Thanksgiving weekend. We at Virginia Beer Blog enjoyed the time spent with friends, family, food, and amazing Virginia Craft Beer. After Thanksgiving dinner round three, Sam and I had a moment to sit down, enjoy some brews, and marvel at our newest gadgets: two new, customized bottle openers from Bullets2Bandages

Bullets2Bandages was founded in 2011 by two former Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal officers, and joined a year later by another US Naval Academy classmate who served as a Marine Corps infantry officer. During their 3+ years in business, they've donated at least 15% of their profits to veteran charities on an annual basis, to include partnerships with the Travis Manion Foundation, MARSOC Foundation, 31 Heroes Project, Wounded Wear, and the Red Circle Foundation.

The .50 Caliber Bullet Bottle Opener is about as solid as a bottle opener gets and will make for one hell of a conversation piece when you have company. As you can see, the product itself can be customized for businesses and individuals alike. There is an optional Custom Engraved Case that looks great, but I would caution against it, as it appears to add $20 to your total which, in some cases, is more that the bottle opener itself.

Being slightly smaller, the 7.62mm Keychain Bullet Bottle Opener didn't knock the bottle top off with ease like the .50 Cal, but it did the trick just fine. It doesn't grant the leverage of it's larger brother, but the trade-off is for mobility. Coming on a key chain, this is definitely a perfect stocking stuffer, and it goes towards a good cause.  

Parkway Brewing's Bridge Builder Blond was the first test subject.  

Popping with style and ease. 
It should also be noted that Bullets2Bandages' initial sales were more directly to active duty military and veterans. In recent years they have branched out to multiple retailers, such as Cabela's and they are now offered in 60+ Craft Breweries and Pubs across the United States. These items can be custom ordered for businesses through the Whole Sale tab on their site. 

A bottle of 3 Brothers Brewing's The Great Outdoors helped us test out the 7.62mm key chain.

If you're looking for an interesting gift for the beer connoisseur in your life, visit Bullets2Bandages' website to see what they're about. If you find something you like, you'll be helping give back to those who have served.

Blogger Disclosure: Virginia Beer Blog received free product from Bullets2Bandages.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Quick Notes: Apocalypse Ale Works

Apocalypse Ale Works has been on my radar for a bit now; solid beers with great names...Lustful Maiden being the first to come to mind- great taste, only need one or two, and a great name. Their artwork is also incredibly badass. I mean, seriously?! Look at that logo! Their can art is so good that craftcans.com did an interview with the artist!

   So, I wanted to make some notes about their Golden Censer Honey Wheat Ale. This beer looks great when it is poured- nice and clear, not too much head, and some great smells coming out of that glass.
I know they are in Forest, VA...but I don't have a glass for that.

There is a good amount of honey flavor without the beer being overwhelmed with any kind of sweetness. I did taste more hops than I usually would expect from a honey wheat ale, but maybe it is there to contrast the honey? Either way, great flavors without too much hoppiness and some great underlying flavors. I think I tasted some lemongrass, maybe some citrus added late in the brewing process even.

As a side note, I had a couple of these with my Thanksgiving dinner and they really worked well with cranberry sauce and the hickory-smoked turkey I made.

Yeahhhhhhhh I cooked that bird. 

The smokiness of the turkey and the sweet/ tart combo of the sauce really brought out some extra flavors in this beer.

I can't say this is my favorite beer from them but I won't shy away from it either. Definitely worth trying!