Category Archives: Holidays

Budweiser extending “Give a Damn” Lyft offer

csr-give-a-damn-300x160Driving drunk is never OK. Even driving after just a couple of drinks can be dicey (see my series on my experience with a DUI). So, why risk it? With so many options to get you home safely after a night out on the town, it is foolish to even consider driving after drinking.

Not long ago, Budweiser launched a program called, “Give a Damn.” The program is geared toward raising awareness of the options available to avoid drunk driving. In the program, Bud provides free rides with on-demand car service Lyft.

The program was so successful that the brand is extending the offer just in time for the Halloween weekend and the holidays, a peak time when drunk driving is at its highest; Budweiser and Lyft are stepping up their efforts to reduce drunk driving by delivering more rides to help more people get home safely.

Starting on Thursday, October 27, the first 6,000 adults 21+ (an increase of 1,000 rides weekly) who obtain a ride code from Budweiser’s Facebook page (at 2:00pm every Thursday) can now redeem it for a Lyft ride home on Thursday as well as Friday or Saturday during peak party hours now through the end of the year (10 p.m. – 2 a.m.).

Additionally, to account for the high instances of drunk driving on Halloween, Budweiser is extending that weekend’s 6,000 rides to be redeemable by an extra day from Thursday, Oct. 27 through Monday, Oct. 31.

Last month, the companies announced a partnership to provide safe rides home in New York, Colorado, Illinois and Florida. Now, the partnership has officially expanded to Washington, DC. The partnership, the largest ever of its kind between a beverage company and a ridesharing company aimed at reducing drunk driving, pledges up to 90,000 safe rides home.

To complement its partnership with Lyft, Budweiser is also unveiling a cheeky ad featuring Helen Mirren, in which she calls out drunk drivers with her signature charm and tone of voice.  The spot, titled “Give A Damn,” is on the Budweiser YouTube page and offers a slightly new take on last year’s popular Super Bowl ad starring the British actress, but the message is the same: Budweiser wants drinkers to #GiveADamn and take personal responsibility for not driving drunk.

Watch the new video here:


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Posted by on October 25, 2016 in Beer, Brewers, Holidays


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15 gifts beer lovers will flip over

IMG_9406_webIt’s a story old as time, it is the day before Christmas Eve and you still have not finished your shopping. You know the malls are packed and you do not even want to think about the carnage that is Walmart this late in the game. What is a person with several beer fanatics to do? Buy some witty greeting cards and tell your recipients that you ordered their awesome beer gifts online. How do you get around the, “You should have ordered/shopped earlier” thoughts? Blame it on slow delivery – it has been all over the news for the past few weeks after all.

Here are 10 awesome gifts you can order that any beer-lover will absolutely love and a few more gifts that you can fill today by just making a few stops.

  1. Have a friend that has a kegerator? This idea is bound to be a hit. The Chalk It Up wood tap handle provides a cool and fun way to display the beer currently on tap. Made with a rich walnut wood finish, this beer tap handle is made so users can simply write the kind of beer on tap on the chalkboard.

Cost: $39.99      Source:

  1. Anyone who has seen the movie Beerfest knows the legend that is Das Boot. This German inspired boot glass is guaranteed to inspire shouts of “Das Boot!” along with “Chug!” The boot holds one liter of cold, delicious beer for you to enjoy. Just remember how to handle the bubble or you will be wearing a lot of that brew.

Cost: $16.95      Source:

  1. Been eyeing that 18% Imperial Stout you bought in the 22-ounce bomber, but not sure you want to drink the whole thing in one sitting? Beer Savers are the thing for you or any beer-lover on your gift list. These silicone rubber stoppers will keep that half-empty bottle of beer from going flat so you can return to the deliciousness later.

Cost: $7.95        Source:

  1. For the beer lover with a sweet tooth, you cannot go wrong with a stocking stuffed full of Jelly Belly Draft jelly beans. The world’s favorite jelly bean maker introduced this off-the-wall flavor just last year, but the flavor had been in development much longer (read my article on it here). Described by the manufacturer as an, “effervescent and crisp flavor packed in a golden jelly bean with an iridescent finish.”

Cost: $2.49        Source:

  1. Fresh beer from your favorite local brewery is one of life’s simplest of pleasures. But, getting a growler of that fresh beer home can be a nightmare. The large jugs tend to roll off of seats and roll around on the floor, worse when they fall they can become over-carbonated and blow their top spewing precious liquid gold all over your car. The folks at Growler On Board have a simple, yet elegant solution: The Growler on Board Beer Transport Unit is the most unique growler carrier on the market. Made of molded foam it is still light enough to hand carry even with 3 filled growlers.

Cost: $29.99      Source:

  1. Ever grab a bottle of beer out of a cooler at a party and realize that someone has walked off with the opener? Instead of launching a massive search and rescue mission, just reach for your wallet. With one of these thin, credit card size openers tucked away next to your over-used Amex, you will always have an opener handy. NOTE: These will set the metal detector off at the airport, so unless you enjoy a full-cavity search performed by an underpaid federal employee, be warned.

Cost: $5.95        Source:

  1. Jeff Alworth is something of a legend in beer circles. This year he published “The Beer Bible,” that is one of the best books ever written on the subject of beer. Alworth traveled the world documenting different styles of beer and their history, ingredients, flavors and more. It’s a fascinating read for your buddy who only drinks styles of beers that were invented within the last decade, as well as for your friend who thinks Blue Moon is a craft beer.

Cost: $19.95      Source:

  1. For the beer lover that has always had a desire to make his own beer, look no further than Mr. Beer. These easy-to-brew kits make brewing easy with no hassle and very little mess. Each kit comes with a beer fermentation keg that holds up to two gallons of glorious, I-made-it-myself brew and all the instructions you will ever need. There are several levels of kits you can purchase, so pick the one that fits your gifting needs.

Cost: $49.99      Source:

  1. Happy hour always seems to be such a long time away. And regardless of what Jimmy Buffet says, if it is not five-o’clock where you are it really does not matter. But, with a Happy Hour timepiece you can at least count down the hours until happy hour in style since five-o’clock is the only time marked.

Cost: $79.99      Source:

  1. Greet each new day with your perfect companion; a new, interesting beer! A Year of Good Beer Page-A-Day Calendar 2016 brings you a new brew every day for 365 days. It also includes pairings, trivia, quotes and more.

Cost: $13.99      Source:

Beer Gifts That Keep the Love Local

  1. Want to visit several of Jacksonville’s outstanding breweries but do not want to drive. Leave the driving to the Brew Bus. Riders can choose from several options including the Sampler Tour or the Full Pour Tour. Both make stops at several local breweries and provide interesting information on each. And, best of all, a brew is served at each stop!

Cost: From $45  Source:

  1. Heading into its eighth year, the Jacksonville Craft and Import Beer Festival is the largest beer festival in North Florida. As in the past, the festival will be at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena Friday, May 20, 2016. This year there will be over 40 participating breweries bringing more than 350 different beers to taste. Along with great beer, you can expect food samplings and much more. For an enhanced experience opt for the VIP ticket that provides earlier access and VIP perks.

Cost: From $45  Source:

  1. If your beer-lover is also a homebrewer, a membership to Cowford Ale Sharing Klub (C.A.S.K.) makes a great gift. Membership includes discounts at local brew store Just Brew It and access to meetings, the club’s website, information on homebrew competitions and a yearly banquet.

Cost: $20          Sources:

  1. Jacksonville has a wealth of craft beer stores and pubs. From Beer:30 Bottle Ship in both San Marco and Riverside to Alewife in Five Points, you do not have to go far to find a good beer to take home. Add our growing selection of craft beer pubs and restaurants like The Silver Cow, Kickbacks, European Street and Hoptinger and there is a lot for beer lovers to explore. A gift certificate to any one of these establishments makes for a wonderful stocking stuffer, multiple gift cards could make for a really great evening.

Cost: Varies       Source: Multiple

  1. Currently there are eight craft beer breweries in and around Jacksonville, with several more planned for the coming year. Treat your beer lover to a couple of growlers of their favorite brewery’s more exotic beers, ask the bartender at the taproom what they recommend.

Cost: Varies       Source Multiple.

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Posted by on December 23, 2015 in Holidays


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Belgian National Holiday Feestdag to be celebrated with tastings and special events

The original flag from 1830

The original flag from 1830 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Often revolution is sparked by existing passions roused to a boiling point by a work of art, music, or theater. Such is the case with the Belgian Revolution of 1830 in which the Belgian people rose up against the Dutch to wrestle its independence from The Netherlands in part as the result of the opera La muette de Portici. The opera dramatizes the historical uprising of Masaniello against Spanish rule in Naples in 1647.

With the aid of French intellectuals and armed forces, as well as the Catholic clergy who were against the Protestant Dutch King William I, the Belgian people fought for full independence. Because the European powers of the time feared Belgian may become a republic or get annexed to France, a monarch was found to lead the country from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in Germany. On July 21, 1831 the first Belgian king, Leopold of Saxe-Coburg was installed and the date became the Belgian National holiday known as Feestdag.

Since Belgium is known as one of the world’s greatest beer countries, it seems only fitting to celebrate their national holiday with beer-centric celebrations. Here in Jacksonville, there are several events taking place that you will not want to miss including a tasting, beer specials, and a special Bier Garden event at the Jacksonville Suns game.

The first event, takes place tomorrow night at Total Wine and More in the St. John’s Town Center with a tasting of Belgium’s top selling ale, Palm. Palm is a Belgian Pale Ale that was originally produced as competition to the pilsners and lagers that were becoming popular throughout Europe. It is described as neither heavy nor bitter with toasty malt aromas, slightly bitter orange flavors, and a tart, refreshing finish. The tasting at Total Wine will go from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

In addition to the tasting, all four European Street Cafes are celebrating with several specials. Look for beer specials on all week, a happy hour all day on Saturday, July 21 starting at 10:00 a.m. on Palm and Bright Lights White, a new Belgian-style Wit from Intuition Ale Works.

The new Belgian-style Wit from Intuition was fermented with the Celis yeast strain, the same strain used in Hoegaarden in Belgium. Ben and his crew also used a combination of Belgian Pilsner Malt, German Malted Wheat, and Munich Malt along with some flaked wheat and oats. To that grain bill, the wizards at Intuition added acidulated malt or what the Germans call Sauer Malt to give the beer a subtle tang. All the spice flavors percieved in the beer come from the yeast, as Ben says no spices were added.

Estreet is also celebrating with the popular Beer and baseball event at the Jacksonville Suns baseball game Saturday night. Every month baseball fans and beer-lovers alike can spend a night at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville in the European Street Café Bier Garden located in the left field area. For one low price fans can get admission to the game, all the beer you can drink and all the Estreet food, including Monster German Wieners, Estreet sandwiches and wraps, cole slaw and chips from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p. m. The price is just $20 and tickets are available at all European Street locations.

In addition, the guys out out at Engine 15 along with Carolyn Graham of Brown Distributing are planning to pull out a few surprises, Carolyn says, “It’ll be delicious, I promise.” Festivities begin at 2:00 p. m.


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Cinco de Mayo, Was Not Always About Beer

One 4-pack and one can of the Mexican beer, Do...

One 4-pack and one can of the Mexican beer, Dos Equis (XX) ‪Norsk (bokmål)‬: En 4-pakning og en boks av det meksikanske ølmerket, Dos Equis (XX) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Somehow, in the mists of time, the true reason for Cinco de Mayo has morphed from a minor Mexican holiday – it celebrates a little-known Mexican victory over France in the state of Puebla — to a major American beer bash. That is not a complaint, merely an observation of the power of the American beer industry. But, what most beer lovers do not know is that many of the Mexican beers that feature red, white, and green color schemes, brightly smiling and beautiful Mexican women, and serene beach scenes, are really German styles brought to our Latin neighbor by Bavarian immigrants as far back as the middle 1500’s.

Fermented beverages are nothing new to Mexico; history provides plenty of examples of beverages being made from such familiar ingredients as maize (corn), agave, and even cocoa beans. But, the first evidence of beer comes from a short-lived brewery established by Alfonso de Herro in the 1940’s. This was well before the first breweries were established in either North America or Canada and establishes Mexico as the home of the first home to beer in the Americas.

From there the history of beer in Mexico jumps ahead to the 1800’s. The influx of Bavarian immigrants saw the beginnings of the beer industry and the birth of many of the familiar brands we now consider Mexican beer. Brews such as Corona, Negra Modelo, Dos Equis, and Sol all owe their existence to German brewers, living in Mexico.
Indeed, all are recognizable European beer styles that, for one reason or another, fell out of favor in Europe, but found great approval south of the U.S. border.

Negra Modelo

A Munich Dunkel Lager, the name simply means dark lager. This smooth and sessionable brown lager displays subtle caramel character, a sweet and malty backbone, and very faint hops character. This beer pairs very favorably with beef fajitas, enchiladas with a rich mole sauce, or other spicy Mexican fair.

Dos Equis

Long before the most interesting man in the world was born, Dos Equis began its life called as a Vienna Lager called Siglo XX. It was brewed to welcome the 20th century by German-born Wilhelm Hasse at his Moctezuma Brewery. The Ambar version of this brew is the more traditional and most closely resembles the Vienna Lager it is based on. It has a sweet, toasted malt nose with a similar, mid-palate sweet flavor. As with most brews of this style, hops are barely present and provide very little character to the beer. As a companion to Mexican dishes, serve this with spicy salsa and chips or carnitas.

Cervaza Pacifico Clara

More commonly known as Pacífico, this Pilsner-style beer was first brewed in 1900 when three Germans opened the Cerveceria del Pacífico brewery in Mazatlán. Like its cousin Corona, Pacifico is characterized by slightly skunky aroma and flavor that is enhanced by the addition of a lime. Though it may not score highly on many beer websites like Beer Advocate, this is one of the beers locals are most fond of. Drink this one while sitting at the beach on the Mexican Riviera with a plump lime wedge and forget about the world for a while.


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Jax St. Paddy’s Parties All Over Town

Top o’ the morning to you, faith and Begorrah, erin go bragh and any other Irish cliché you can think of is sure to be part of the vernacular tomorrow as the world celebrates St. Patrick’s Day. Known as the biggest drinking holiday of the year, surpassing New Year’s Eve and Oktoberfest, this holiday always brings out the leprechaun in all of us.

Pull on your favorite green outfit, swear to stay away from green beer (its just not natural!), and set out for one of dozens of St. Paddy’s celebrations throughout the area. Here’s a list to help you find some of the best parties and happenings:

Brewer’s Pizza in Orange Pak opens at noon and is offering a number of Irish and Irish-style brews (try the Pinglehead Red) and traditional Irish stew to go with the brews.

Engine 15 at the beach will be serving a selection of Irish-style brews as well tomorrow. Get there early and expect a lively crowd of revelers dressed in green to greet you.

European Street at the beach is throwing a St. Paddy’s party featuring Irish folk band Meridian. Be one of the first 100 people to arrive and receive free 20oz Killian’s Irish Beer dimpled mug. Fill your mug with $2 Killian’s and be in the running for schwag all day! The other E-street locations will feature the same beer specials and giveaways as well.

The Jacksonville Landing is offering a whole slate of events all weekend to celebrate the wearing o’ the green. On Friday night the Courtyard hosts the Hooter’s Green Bikini contest and live music from The Ride. Saturday, plan on a day of Irish music and dancing, green beer, and a green fireworks display to end the day.

Fionn MacCool’s at The Landing opens at 8:00 AM Saturday for a traditional Irish breakfast and great beer specials the rest of the day. You can be sure that there will be plenty of Irish music and fun to go with the huge selection of tap beers to be found at this great pub, too.

Green Room at Jax Beach opens at noon on Saturday and has their own version of an Irish Red – Irish Red Tide – on tap and ready to quench thirsty partiers at the beach,

Bold City Brewery will be tapping its Irish Red Ale at 1:00 PM to get the party rolling. The party doesn’t end there, though. There will also be a flip cup tournament, Irish stew from their on-site caterer, and a performance by The North Florida Emerald Society Pipes & Drums at 6:30.

Lynch’s Irish Pub in Jacksonville Beach is throwing the granddaddy of all St. Paddy’s parties with stages both inside and outside the popular pub. I suggest you get there early and wear your party shoes.

O’Brother’s Irish Pub in Riverside is hosting a street party in conjunction with Folio Magazine that will feature an outdoor food court, five bars, live music, and loads of shenanigans. The party starts at 2:00 PM and goes all night!

The Tilted Kilt will be also be putting on a street party in Tinseltown featuring live music, plenty of beer, and the best looking, kilt wearing servers anywhere in the city.

Intuition Ale Works, puts The Red Man Irish red on tap at 1 p.m. Saturday. The Riverside brewery will also feature on-site St. Paddy’s Day T-shirt production.

With a list like this, you should have no difficulty finding an event to attend. Just be sure to wear your green and drink responsibly.


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