Happy Hour

Dive Bar Tuesday – Phone Booth Lounge

Since the team started working on Dive Bar Tuesdays, one bar has been at the top of our list to get to sooner than later. It is one that we all discovered while working together and we had been attending for a while. The location was relatively central to where we all lived, the food and drink prices were right, and the atmosphere was incredibly relaxed. Schedules did not align, especially since on Tuesday nights the bar was packed. Packed to the point people were making reservations. Reservations? In a dive bar? When Tuesday Night Trivia is so popular that majority of the tables in the place … [Read more...]

Dive Bar Tuesday: Dog’s Breath Tavern

Last week was cold. And snowy. So when we were looking for a dive bar to visit, we wanted something relatively central. There are many in the area that we have been to, but one I had always been curious about but had not explored. Well, not since I moved to the great city of Dayton, and it was better known as Alan’s Billiard’s and Brew. When it was Alan’s, I remember pool tables as far as the eye could see and beer that was exactly what beer should be: inexpensive and cold. I don’t remember much in the way of food, but who needed it? It would just ruin the flow of beer and pool. Bits and … [Read more...]

Dive Bar Tuesday: Miami Valley Sports Bar

We love to talk about the crafted, well built side of the culinary world: fine dining, well balanced cocktails, and hand crafted beers. What we don’t discuss very often is the other side of the coin. The places where the food is comfortable, the shots are full, and the beer is cheap. Dive bars do not get the love that fine dining gets, and there is no good reason for it. There is a certain charm to loud and dimly lit places. You have some control of the music. They are a little more willing to serve one more (heavily poured) drink after last call. They have character, and there is nothing … [Read more...]

Cocktails with Champagne: A New Way to Ring in a New Year

No one appreciates champagne like they used to. The bubbly wine was created, accidentally, in England in the 16th century. The process was developed over the next two centuries, first to get the bubbles on a regular basis, then to create a bottle with the strength to contain the pressure of the carbon dioxide in the wine. Once the bottles stopped exploding, this treat became a favorite in the French courts. The French leaned to the sweeter sec and demi-sec varieties, while the English preferred the drier bruts. The wealthy were the only people that could afford it initially, turning it into a … [Read more...]

Cocktail Recipes to Celebrate Cinco De Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that celebrates Mexico's victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla.  But  for many of us  it is a great excuse for a day of patio drinking! And since we are drinking in honor of Mexico, it only seems right that we should feature some drinks made from the blue agave plant, a spiky-leafed member of the lily family. By Mexican law the agave spirit called Tequila can be made only from one particular type of agave, the blue agave, and can be produced only in specifically designated geographic areas, primarily the state of Jalisco in west-central … [Read more...]

Sip & Stroll – Coming Soon To Outdoor Drinking Districts

Grab a beer and head outside. Well, not yet. But soon. Maybe. It depends on where you are. State lawmakers gave final approval Wednesday to legislation that would allow outdoor alcohol consumption in areas such as The Oregon District, The Greene or Austin Landing. Governor Kasich signed House Bill 47 yesterday making it effective now,  allowing more than 60 Ohio cities with a population greater than 35,000 people to create 'outdoor refreshment areas' that are exempt from the state's open-container laws. The legislation designates that these entertainment area's are limited to a half … [Read more...]

The Bourbon and The Chainsaw: Jackyl Brings Their Own Party

When I was younger, one of the first concerts I went to was a sold out show at the Richfield Coliseum on the Aerosmith “Get A Grip” Tour. The Coliseum was an amazing venue south of Cleveland, seeing many great musical acts come through there and hosting some incredible sports teams. It was the home of the Cavaliers for three decades (and the home of Larry Bird’s final game), and where every major band that came to Cleveland played. Thus the rock legends from Boston touched down there, bringing another, lesser known band to open for them. Jackyl was entertaining to watch and blended in well … [Read more...]

Popping the Cork!

There's no doubt that a bottle of bubbly is the perfect go-to-libation to celebrate New Year.  But how do you choose the right sparkling wine for your festivities? Probably the biggest factors are taste and budget.  If budget is no object, Champagnes like Krug, Dom Perignon and Cristal come to mind.  It's rare to find a bottle of champagne for under $50. Champagne is the name given to sparkling wines produced in the French region of Champagne. The name “champagne” is protected by law and can only be used by winemakers from that region. But Italy and Spain offer delicious (and less … [Read more...]

The Long, Cold Fermentation of Beer – National Lager Day

No one would mistake Budweiser as a craft beer. With over 50% of the market share of beer sales in the United States, it is anything but a small brewery. Jim Koch, head of Samuel Adams Brewery, has famously said that Anheuser Busch spills more beer in a year than Sam Adams brews. It was not always that way. In the 1860’s, all beer in the U.S. was craft beer. It was local, it was fresh, and as you went further west, it was German. After the Civil War, German immigrant and Civil War veteran Adolphus Busch bought into his father in law’s brewery, Anheuser and Co. It was one of roughly 3,700 … [Read more...]

The Second Century

Bourbon is complex. It starts off as any ethanol does, trapped in corn kernels and barley shells. Those grains, the proportions of which are known as a mash bill, are warmed up to release the sugar. While the meal is still warm, the yeast and a little sour mash feast on it in stills made of a variety of materials. The completed wash is then poured into unused, charred white oak barrels, where they take a nap of two years or more. After that long nap, they are usually blended from their 65 percent (130+) proof) or higher barrel strength down to a more drinkable 40 to 50 percent (80 to 100 … [Read more...]