Stone’s 21st Anniversary Celebration & Invitational Beer Festival

Stone Brewing Company really knows how to throw an epic birthday bash for its 21st Anniversary. On Saturday, August 19, I had the pleasure of attending the largest independent owned brewery’s 21st Anniversary Celebration & Invitational Beer Festival at California State University, San Marcos. With their festival map in hand, beer connoisseurs navigated the festival grounds to drink as much beer as they could made by Stone, its offshoot brand, Arrogant Brewing, and 57 guest breweries. Craft wine, craft sodas, chocolates, and artisan cheese were offered in case the attendees craved something different. Those who purchased the coveted Rare Beer tickets gained access to a separate section of the festival and Greg Koch, the co-founder of Stone Brewing led a sold-out tasting seminar. Various bands such as the Creepy Creeps and Jimmy and Enrique entertained the attendees, and memories were captured at the various photo spots. My go to beer at the festival? Stone’s Notorious P.O.G., a fruit berliner weisse captured my heart with its citrus taste. I also need to find out where I can purchase that mouthwatering Truffle Tremor cheese. As an Orange County local, Stone’s Anniversary and Invitational Beer Festival was worth the travel and is now my annual tradition.

 

Pair Beer with S’mores on National S’mores Day

National S’mores Day celebrates the sweet yet crunchy treat that has delighted several generations around the campfire. Not just a child’s dessert, adults not only enjoy s’mores but can pair them with adult beverages such as beer. Thanks to Provisions Market in Orange, I have found four craft beers that I will be pairing with my s’mores tonight. I cannot wait to hear about what beers you paired with your s’mores in celebration of National S’mores Day.

Three Reasons Why Madame George Is the Best Cocktail Bar In Barcelona, Spain

All I wished for was to find a “chill bar” and I ended up stumbling upon the best cocktail bar in Barcelona, Spain - thanks to my friend, Adam. He researched bars near our hostel, which is located in the Poblenou neighborhood and found some great reviews online about Madame George. Now, all I want to do is tell everyone why I simply crave cocktails from this amazing bar!

 Madame George's Munich Mule

Madame George's Munich Mule

1. Madame George’s cozy atmosphere is perfect for outings with friends and significant others.

The intimate venue’s energy radiated an aura of warmth the second you entered the bar. The layout of Madame George consists of two rooms complete with seating areas at the bar, at a bar table that lines a wall, and at one of the several clusters of vintage style furniture.  Parties of six to 10 people sit inside the bar’s beautiful turquoise room filled with elegant furniture, chandeliers and wall candelabras.

 Madame George's intimate venue

Madame George's intimate venue

2. Madame George has extraordinary and talented mixologists.

Mixing a cocktail is an artform. At Madame George, patrons immediately notice the mixologists’ attention to detail as they craft each cocktail. I was fortunate to have Jenia as my mixologist during both of my visits, and she was incredible! I was intrigued by the way she created each drink with a fluid and technical approach. Despite the busy weekday crowd that she managed by herself, all of my drinks tasted perfectly.

 Madame George mixologist Jenia

Madame George mixologist Jenia

3. Madame George mixes flavorful cocktails.

Madame George offers a variety of cocktails that cater to every palate. Craving something sweet? Try the El Pepigroso. Wishing for something that reminds you of chocolate? The Georgette is perfect for you! Even the Madame Old Fashioned tastes incredible with the orange bitters complementing the whiskey. The bar’s own creations all infuse ginger beer - definitely something I savored in my drinks. They also serve patrons classic drinks, such as a Long Island Ice Tea, a Whiskey Sour, and a Mai Tai. Madame George’s menu undergoes slight changes every evening.

 Madame George's El Pepigroso

Madame George's El Pepigroso

Since Adam and I loved this bar so much, and raved about it to our friends the next day, we went back for round two. This time, we brought more friends! Our second experience equally matched our first time. Madame George definitely enhanced my travel experience. This extraordinary cocktail bar in Barcelona is definitely worth the visit!

Madame George is located at Carrer de Pujades, 179, 08005 Barcelona, Spain. On Mondays through Thursdays, the cocktail bar is open from 18:00 (6:00 p.m.) to 02:00 (2:00 a.m.). On Fridays through Sundays, Madame George’s hours of operation are 18:00 (6:00 p.m.) to 03:00 (3:00 a.m.). Additional information about Madame George, my favorite cocktail bar in Barcelona, Spain can be found at www.madamegeorgebar.com.

These 11 photos will show you why you must visit Germany during the holidays

Start looking up airline tickets for Germany next winter, my friends! These 11 photos will show you why you must visit Germany during the holidays. Throughout the country, various cities host a Christmas Market - a month-long festival that features gifts, food, drinks, entertainment and more. Beginning shortly after Thanksgiving and ending a few days before Christmas, attendees shop and eat while spending quality time with their family and friends. It's time to start planning a Christmas Market Tour of Germany in 2017!

Glühwein: Germany’s Holiday Beverage

While walking through Baden Baden’s Christmas Market during freezing weather, I craved a tasty drink that would keep me warm while I shared a warm waffle drizzled in nutella with my friend, Jackie. In the United States, people often connect hot chocolate, hot tea or coffee as the beverage to drink during cold weather. Although Germany offered these hot drinks, many Germans and tourists drank glühwein (pronounced ɡluːvʌɪn) or mulled wine as they wandered the rows of booths displayed at the Christmas Market.

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Translated as “glowing wine,” Glühwein is made from red wine that is heated and spiced with cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, and orange juice with zest and sugar. You can also drink the mulled wine “mit Schuss” (with a shot) of rum or some other liquor. 

Glühwein’s taste reminded me of a warm, cabernet sauvignon, but with a slightly sweeter finish. The glühwein I drank with a shot of rum gave the beverage an extra kick. My favorite mulled wine that I tasted during my stay in Germany is heidelberr-Glühwein (blueberry mulled wine). I truly savored every sip of this drink, since I absolutely love the sweet taste of blueberries.

Vendors at the Christmas Market served glühwein in specialized mugs made specifically for the event. When you purchased the glühwein, you paid approximately €2.50 in addition to the price of the glühwein for the mug. This practice enables Christmas Market visitors the opportunity to take the mug home, or to receive their money back after returning the mug to the vendor. Although I did not take the physical souvenir home, I will never forget the taste of glühwein.