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The Beer Friends write, review, and discuss Craft Beer as fans instead of experts.  They share their unique voice and affinity for craft beer through multiple platforms and offer a range of media to join their craft beer conversation.

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Filtering by Category: Hashtag Battles

Hashtag Battles Season 2 - Championship Weekend

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Just when you thought Hashtag Battle fun was over, the NFl's second season begins... live on Hashtag Battles!

Championship Round - San Francisco 49ers vs Atlanta Falcons (#21stamendment vs #terrapinbrewing)

The Final Four of football - win and you play for the Superbowl in two weeks, lose and you start looking at players plummeting in the first round after character issues, poor performance in the Senior Bowl and those involved in a twitter dating hoax.  In the AFC we have a rematch of last years game, hopefully with more sure handed receivers and more sure footed kickers.  In the NFC we have Atlanta trying to double their playoff win total from the past couple years and San Francisco in a familiar place.  2 more wins to Superbowl glory!

Championship Round - San Francisco 49ers vs Atlanta Falcons (#21stamendment vs #terrapinbrewing)

In the spirit of competition, Beer Friends would like to invite everyone to our second season of NFL hashtag battles! Using hashtagbattle.com we will pit two fan bases against each other when their NFL counterparts are facing off on the gridiron. Are you ready for some football? And drinking? And #hashtag battle?!?!?!

What's a hashtag battle? When you're drinking a beer of a brewery competing in the battle, throw a #hashtag of the brewery and tweet it (or setup your foursquare or untappd to push to tweet and include the #hashtag) and we'll use hashtagbattle.com to declare a winner after the Monday Night football game on ESPN. Support your team, support your beer, drink local and hashtag battle!

San Francisco hosted this game last year in a thriller that came down to a special teams mistake.  This year they upgraded on QB (or rather supersized with those long "ostrich-like" legs) and gained experience from last years short comings.  Somewhat surprising to see them in this position after a tie to the St Louis Rams and a lost with 30 seconds left in the OT period a few weeks later.  Then Strong Arm Harbarugh opened up the play book and made the Green Bay defense look foolish.  A huge play in last years NFC Championship was the naked bootleg by Alex Smith for a TD, this year a majority of the QB runs are by design and directly up the middle - just ask AJ Hawk and  Clay Matthews.  With the 49ers clicking and firing on all cylinders - can this experienced Falcons defense put a cage around the bird?

21st Amendment returns for this Championship game, but awards are nothing new to the San Francisco brewery.  With clever names and even better can art, 21st Amendment raises the stakes for their beer from the outside in.  Then on your first taste you realize how you can tell this can by it's cover.  The Year Round offerings (Brew Free or Die - Back in Black - Bitter American) are all delicious and are great representations of their style.  The seasonals remind us how great a change of weather can be with their Sneak Attack Saison, Hell or High Watermelon Wheat and Fireside Chat Winter Ale, and finally their brewmasters series with Marooned on Hog Island Oyster Stout, Hop Crisis Double IPA and Monks Blood, a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, only reinforces that these guys know what they are doing.

Atlanta Falcons are flying into unknown territory.  After one of the most successful regular seasons in franchise history - they finally got that post season win for Tony Gonzales, Matty Ice and Mike Smith.  However, football is a what have you done for me lately sport, and the Falcons fan base are looking for more... maybe even a SB victory.  The last time the Falcons were in this situation they were doing the Dirty Bird and beat the Vikings in OT to face the John Elway Victory tour in Miami.  That Superbowl was a blow out and most people were discussing the actions of Eugene Robinson who was arrested the night before for soliciting a police office posing as a prostitute.  Hopefully the jailbirds took it easy on him, because the Broncos didn't and Elway hooked up with Rod Smith for a 80 yard TD pass, the longest at the time in SB history.  Now the Falcons are charged with wiping out those Superbowl memories and starting new ones - just wonder what the dance is gonna be.

Terrapin Beer Company has a few more beers than the 9 21st Amendment features.  With a turtle theme, Terrapin has the adorable little pre-ninja guy on all of there labels strumming the banjo (Rye Pale Ale), riding rapids (Golden Ale) and about to behead someone (Hopsecutioner IPA).  In addition to the year round offerings, they have 4 seasonals, 4 in the "Monster Beer Tour," 18 beers in the "Side Project Series", 5 collaborations and 7 special releases (not to mention the 5 retired beers) - which makes for a full week of drinking.

Let the battle begin! Tag with #21stamendment or #terrapinbrewing, the battle begins Saturday morning and ends Monday night… drink to support your teams!

Hashtag Battles Season 2 - 2nd Round

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Just when you thought Hashtag Battle fun was over, the NFl's second season begins... live on Hashtag Battles!

2nd Round - Seattle Seahawks vs Atlanta Falcons (#widmerbrosbrew vs #Atlantabrewco)

This week features the second day of exciting playoff football - a situation which the Seahawks are thrilled to be in and the Falcons are trying to advance past.  The Seahawks are possibly the most dangerous team in the playoffs with a killer defense and "beast mode" running back, and the Falcons have struggled to find playoff success (much less the endzone) in previous years.  With the high scoring affairs yesterday, this game is completely up for grabs as the Falcons nervously prepare and the Seahawks continue their East Coast tour.  Let's see who advances in this week's hashtag battle!

2nd Round - Seattle Seahawks vs Atlanta Falcons (#widmerbrosbrew vs #Atlantabrewco)

In the spirit of competition, Beer Friends would like to invite everyone to our second season of NFL hashtag battles! Using hashtagbattle.com we will pit two fan bases against each other when their NFL counterparts are facing off on the gridiron. Are you ready for some football? And drinking? And #hashtag battle?!?!?!

What's a hashtag battle? When you're drinking a beer of a brewery competing in the battle, throw a #hashtag of the brewery and tweet it (or setup your foursquare or untappd to push to tweet and include the #hashtag) and we'll use hashtagbattle.com to declare a winner after the Monday Night football game on ESPN. Support your team, support your beer, drink local and hashtag battle!

The Seattle Seahawks make a living being the underdog.  They have the 12th Man (that is outside of College Station) and even with that extra support they still don't make enough noise to get respect around the league.  Is it because of the Northwest location?  Is it because people are tired of following the "Pete Carroll Adventures in Coaching"?  Well, they are overlooked no more - a fearsome defense that RG3 took one look at and tore a LCL - then played 3 more quarters with Shanahan telling him to "rub some dirt on it".  The Seahawks are also not overlooked by the NFL front office either and both of their all-star (in tweeting and football) cornerbacks got busted for Adderall.  How amazing is it that this team succeeds with two ADHD cornerbacks... I'm surprised they can focus enough to produce so many coverage sacks. Sherman chose the Ryan Braun defense, not disputing the test results but the means in which the test was conducted - which makes us think "what do all these testing guys have against big time, suddenly successful athletes?"  Sherman fought the suspension and played each and every week, and the Seahawks kept winning.  Now they face a team with two fantastic WR's and a QB trying to earn that elite tag - this was the week to take all that adderall.

Widmer Brothers Brewery from Portland, Oregon produces fantastic brews and I'm always excited to see one in NYC.  The Rotator series makes its way around quite often and focuses on big hop flavor.  In addition to the Rotator series, Drift Pale, Brr Seasonal, Pitch Black IPA have all shown up around bars in the city.  Currently I'm aging an Old Embalmer and patiently waiting until next winter to crack that one open.  According to Beertown.org and their Craft Brewing Statistics, Widmer Brothers is ranked 3rd nationally in craft breweries - which means more beer for everyone and even more beer for me from those people that don't drink!

The Atlanta Falcons are playing with a monkey on their back, a huge-can't-win-a-playoff-game-gorilla-sized-monkey.  This is the story that started in week 10 when the Falcons clinched a post-season spot and everybody remembered last years 2 point performance against the eventual Superbowl Champion Giants.  The season before they were beaten 48-21 by the eventual Superbowl Champion Packers, and two years before that lost in the wild card round to the eventual NFC Champion Cardinals.  The Falcons will try to flip the pattern and become that Superbowl winner or NFC Champion - but the future also looks promising for the Seahawks if they happen to win.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel for this Falcon team, last week Seattle's best pass rusher went down and as long as the Falcons can have a balanced attack, they might be able to play point for point against the Seahawks and the "Russell Wilson Option Show," playing another "playoff themed" high scoring affair.  With the Pats and Texans playing in the late game, we could see every team score 28 points or more - and who says defense wins championships...

Atlanta Brewing Company started in 1993 and is the oldest operating craft brewery in Metro Atlanta.  Doesn't seem like that long ago, but considering two of the giants of the industry: Samuel Adams was started only 10 years earlier, Sierra Nevada 13 years earlier; 1993 is pretty early in the craft beer game.  They started with Red Brick Ale and branched out from there with a Red Brick Peachtree Pale Ale, Red Brick Brown Ale, Red Brick Blonde and Red Brick Porter.  Even their seasonals get in on the Red Brick naming; Red Brick Spring Helluva Bock, Red Brick Summer Hefeweizen and Red Brick Winter - I guess when something isn't broke... no need to fix it.  The Red Brick Blonde won a Gold Medal at GABF in 2007, shortly after they expanded to Alabama, Tennessee and Florida.  In 2010 they branded themselves as the Red Brick Brewing Company as they continued to expand.  As the company continues to grow, I can't wait to get my hands on some, or at least for the next name change.

Let the battle begin! Tag with #widmerbrosbrew or #Atlantabrewco, the battle begins Saturday morning and ends Monday night… drink to support your teams!

Hashtag Battles Season 2 - Wild Card Weekend

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Just when you thought Hashtag Battle fun was over, the NFl's second season begins... live on Hashtag Battles!

Wild Card Weekend - Minnesota Viking vs Green Bay Packers (#surlybrewing vs #hinterlandbrew)

Last week's game was so good we need a do-over! Last week, Aaron Rodgers's arm played Adrian Peterson's legs in a playoff deciding match. Surprisingly, another set of legs - Rookie Blair Walsh out of Georgia - won it for Minnesota. Peterson's historic bid came up 9 yards short but his season continues, Aaron Rodgers spread the ball out to 6 receivers, hitting Greg Jennings for 120 yards and 2 TD's - which really pissed off his sister. Let's see how Peterson comes up just short and who Rodgers pisses off by throwing them 2 TD's this week in Hashtag Battles!

Wild Card Weekend - Minnesota Viking vs Green Bay Packers (#surlybrewing vs #hinterlandbrew)

In the spirit of competition, Beer Friends would like to invite everyone to our second season of NFL hashtag battles! Using hashtagbattle.com we will pit two fan bases against each other when their NFL counterparts are facing off on the gridiron. Are you ready for some football? And drinking? And #hashtag battle?!?!?!

What's a hashtag battle? When you're drinking a beer of a brewery competing in the battle, throw a #hashtag of the brewery and tweet it (or setup your foursquare or untappd to push to tweet and include the #hashtag) and we'll use hashtagbattle.com to declare a winner after the Monday Night football game on ESPN. Support your team, support your beer, drink local and hashtag battle!

The Minnesota Vikings rode Peterson's legs to a playoff birth this year, and for all you Christian Ponder fans out there (mainly his parents and Samantha Steele) you have to notice that Ponder only succeeds when other teams play 9 (and sometimes 10) in the box. As Peterson was running to history, Ponder played the role of "spoon" - a means to get the food to the mouth, or the ball to Adrian Peterson. However, as the season progressed, teams started to fill the box and Ponder had some decent games and - more importantly - didn't lose any (taking notes Sanchez?). By the end of the year Ponder helped the Vikings into the playoffs with 3 TD's (only one to Peterson) and finally earned some respect - he was upgraded to spork.

Surly Brewing comes from Brooklyn Center in Minnesota and opened in 2005. The owner, Omar Ansari, has been homebrewing since 1994 and was an apprentice at the delicious New Holland Brewing Company (Dragon's Milk will change your life). In the 7 short years, Surly has been very busy, with 5 year-round beers, 6 seasonal brews, and 12 brewmaster beers with names like "Sausage Fest" for a smoked belgian (so they have a sense of humor). Surly is so also on the "canning beer" bandwagon - so we can only assume they are environmentally conscience and we like that - and good beer... it's like a double rainbow!

The Green Bay Packers were involved in the one of the most bizarre situations in NFL history; the emotion at the end, the last second heroics and the confusion on everyone's faces made for one of the most talked about situations ever. People were elated and furious - even politics got involved and the circus began... but then Brett Favre signed with the Jets and the circus left town. Now the Pack is led by Aaron Rodgers who spent countless years waiting in the wings and burst onto the scene with big arm strength and making the once run heavy Pack into a constant 7 on 7 drill. The Packers have made the playoffs each of the last three seasons; losing in Arizona on a 51-45 OT game in the Cardinals season of destiny, winning the Superbowl in 2010 and losing to the Superbowl Champion New York Giants in the divisional round last year. The Packers are hoping for a every-other-year kinda success, which means the possibly of one of the greatest Superbowl rematches this year (Packers vs Broncos, Favre vs Elway - 1998). The Packers are football royalty with success each decade and as long as Rodgers is around - the pattern looks to continue... just looking forward to future decades and finding out how sisters can insult him then!

Hinterland Brewery and restaurant is located in Green Bay and Milwaukee; however the Green Bay location was founded first in 1995 in a reformed meat-packing warehouse. Now the Hinterland folks pack delicious and full flavors into their beers - of which they have many. 5 year round offerings including their Pale Ale flagship and a Luna Coffee Stout, 5 seasonals and 4 limited releases - two of which (stout and doppelbock) aged in bourbon barrels... sounds like my kind of brewery. Currently the Hinterland line is available in the Wisconsin and down in Chicago area, but I can only hope they continue to expand and I can get my hands on some.

Let the battle begin! Tag with #surlybrewing vs #hinterlandbrew, the battle begins Saturday morning and ends Monday night… drink to support your teams!

Hashtag Battles Season 2 - Week 17!

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Week Seventeen  - Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (#rahrandsonsbrew vs #dogfishhead)

Ah, the last week of the season.  When the Chiefs are officially on the clock and Tom Coughlin is on the hot seat (according to the backpage).  This is the time of the year when we look back at the successes and failures and quietly judge how we could've done a better job from our living room.  With the AFC playoff picture all set we turn our attention to the NFC and specificially the NFC East.  The Redskins have been riding a successful rookie backfield (take that Cleveland) all season long with RG3 stumping for a ROY candidacy in the toughest field ever, meanwhile the Cowboys are figuring out new ways to disappoint and instead of this being Romo's fault - he's done nothing but throw for almost 5000 yards and keep them in playoff contention.  Let's see who wins the NFC East crown in this weeks hash tag battle!

In the spirit of competition, Beer Friends would like to invite everyone to our second season of NFL hashtag battles! Using hashtagbattle.com we will pit two fan bases against each other when their NFL counterparts are facing off on the gridiron. Are you ready for some football? And drinking? And #hashtag battle?!?!?!

What's a hashtag battle? When you're drinking a beer of a brewery competing in the battle, throw a #hashtag of the brewery and tweet it (or setup your foursquare or untappd to push to tweet and include the #hashtag) and we'll use hashtagbattle.com to declare a winner after the Monday Night football game on ESPN. Support your team, support your beer, drink local and hashtag battle!

Week Seventeen  - Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (#rahrandsonsbrew vs #dogfishhead)

The Dallas Cowboys have the Rex Ryan of owners,  or rather the New York Jets have the Jerry Jones of coaches... Either way both make promises of post-season and can do very little about it.  Jones builds a monument to "Americas Team" circa 1950, then expects the SuperBowl titles to come flowing in.  Well, when you're from the Al Davis school of Ownership and practically send down offensive plays from the owners box to be run... You know your team is doomed.  This year the Cowboys have staved off the off-season blues until the last week of the season and only have to win, on the road, against one of the most exciting teams in football... No big deal.  Romo's offensive explosion carried the winner of my fantasy football league to the championship, although in the first few weeks I was giving them a hard time - talk about a Texas sized egg on my face.  Romo has thrown for 4685 yards going into the game, and averaging 312 yards a game, leaving him 3 yards short of the once famed single season yardage mark.  However, this record now falls the way of 50 home runs where everyone can reach it in a juiced ball era - or rather an era in which DB's have to take ADHD and erection helper meds to keep up.  Now if the defense can keep up and limit RG3, Dallas will have a chance - unless RG3 gets hurt and the 2-0 backup rookie comes in to save the day, again.  Might be a Texas sized off season.

Rahr and Sons Brewing Company comes from Fort Worth, Texas and sports 5 year round brews and 6 seasonal's.  Included in the year round Rahr's Blonde, Texas Red, Ugly Pug Black Lager, Stormcloud and Buffalo Butt; which they have a nice collection of awards from various beer competitions.   The seasonals sound very interesting in the Iron Thistle (Scottish Ale) and Gravel Road (German style Altbier).  With brewery tours on Wednesdays and Saturdays - it gives me time to visit and recover before we head to another tour.

The Washington Redskins have defied expectations this season with the Shanahan and Son LLC coaching staff.  They traded up and took a shot on RG3 and then pulled a "Shanny" and drafted a downhill running RB in the late rounds - then rode this success to a 9-6 record with a shot at the NFC East crown.  RG3 is part of one of the most exciting rookie quarterbacking classes in history.  With Andrew Luck in Indy and Russell Wilson in Seattle, all three have led/could lead their teams into the playoffs.  Not discounting what the other two have done, RG3 has done it in the most difficult division.  The defending SB champions, the high spending Cowboys and the talented (and often out-coached) Eagles make for a very muddled division.  What's possibly the most amazing thing about this situation is that Dan Synder has stayed out of the way long enough to allow this to happen, although more likely he's spent most of the season on the phone trying to Albert Hayneworth to come back and get a return on his biggest investment.

Dogfish Head Brewery is one of the more visible craft breweries on the scene today.  Known for big, bold taste and high ABV's Dogfish Head is typically a favorite of any beer nerd.  The Beer Friends have reviewed a few on camera (Bitches Brew - Theobroma - Festina Peche - Burton Baton), and a bunch more of camera (could you imagine a 120 Minute review?).  Dogfish Head's head brewer and founder Sam Calagione once even had a 6 episode series on Discovery called "Brew Masters" that showed how he got inspiration for many of his brews.  Dogfish Head is very creative with styles and once you've tasted them, you understand why so many beer nerds seek them out.

Overheard on text this week:

This week the Pro Bowl rosters were announced and besides the Richard Sherman snub - perhaps his biggest supporters have ADHD too and couldn't focus long enough to cast a vote after sending him their adderall - is the Chiefs having 5 pro bowlers on their 2-13 team.  Yes, that's 3 more pro-bowlers than wins for the season.  Upon hearing this, a friend texted his frustration with voting: with the combination of a high school student body president popularity contest fan voting, and "oh, I've heard that name" reputation votes...  is a joke.  But the real answer is this: when your team has already lost by halftime, you have a lot more time to cast votes on NFL.com.

Here's to another successful hash tag season and let the battle begin! Tag with #rahrandsonsbrew vs #dogfishhead, the battle begins Sunday morning and ends Monday night… drink to support your teams!

Hashtag Battles Season 2 - Week 15!

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Week Fifteen  -  Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (#sunkingbrew vs #saintarnold)

This week we all take another step back and realize what's important.  The heroic stories of teachers shielding students and a troubled young man affecting so many lives allows us to look at what matters during the holiday season.  The Beer Friends send their thoughts and prayers to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings.  We asked that you remember the names of the fallen and only look to the shooter to find out how to avoid this in the future - the dead are the true heroes and deserve their faces on the news and not his.  We try to focus on the heroes, and in troubling times, use sports as a brief release from the reality we still have to face.

The Colts' stock is rising with a young QB that lives up to the billing (take that Ryan Leaf!) and the  strength of team recovering in the hospital.  The Texans had a slight setback on national TV and look to take that next step to prove they belong in the playoffs.  With three games left in the season and these two teams facing off, the AFC South is up for grabs... will the Texans lose their grip and Colts pull off a miracle season?  Let's find out in this week's #hashtag battle!

In the spirit of competition, Beer Friends would like to invite everyone to our second season of NFL hashtag battles! Using hashtagbattle.com we will pit two fan bases against each other when their NFL counterparts are facing off on the gridiron. Are you ready for some football? And drinking? And #hashtag battle?!?!?!

What's a hashtag battle? When you're drinking a beer of a brewery competing in the battle, throw a #hashtag of the brewery and tweet it (or setup your foursquare or untappd to push to tweet and include the #hashtag) and we'll use hashtagbattle.com to declare a winner after the Monday Night football game on ESPN. Support your team, support your beer, drink local and hashtag battle!

Week Fifteen  -  Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (#sunkingbrew vs #saintarnold)

The Indianapolis Colts are one of many amazing stories this year - but they are a mashup of everything right in the NFL.  With the neck injury of Peyton, the Colts dropped to 2-14 and allowed many players to leave and go into rebuilding mode.  Story #1 - Peyton is released and joins the Broncos, enter the 10-3 record.  Story #2 - The Colts draft Luck and are in playoff contention. Story #3 - The "year of the rookie QB" with Luck and RG III leading their teams, but Russel Wilson making noise in Seattle and the "rookie" in experience only - Brandon Weeden suddenly finding his stride in Cleveland.  In addition to these story lines we have their source of inspiration, Chuck Pagano, recovering in the hospital from leukemia treatments - how could you not root for these guys?  I know the Broncos, Patriots, and Ravens all are as the #1 and #2 seeds in the AFC are up for grabs.  Can the Colts cap a storybook season with a couple wins and a division crown?  Even without Peyton - some story lines might live on with the Colts taking the AFC South - and this time they will definitely have to earn in.

Sun King Brewery from Indianapolis turns the table on brewing schedules.  In addition to three year round offerings - Sunlight Cream Ale, Wee Mac Scottish, and Osiris Pale Ale; they have an extensive seasonal menu including an Imperial ESB and an apple pie favored wit, challenging the Pumpkin Pie November supremacy.  Their ability to brew all the seasonal stuff is amazing because it seems like they spend a lot of time receiving awards for their brews at festivals, including a few Golds, Silvers and Bronze from GABF and the World Beer Cup.  With all this success, it seems like the Colts might have a nice role model to copy, or at least something delicious to drink to forget the 2-14 season.

The Houston Texans got embarrassed by the Patriots on MNF, if this is news, come out of the hole you're living in.  JJ Watt, Defensive Player of the Year candidate, was frustrated all night by the fast paced offense of Tom Brady and had three QB hits, but that didn't stop the New England WR from torching the CB's for 4 TD's.  Fortunately they don't still attend high school, they only wear the letterman varsity jackets, because they might have been picked on this week.  However, they have a chance to right the ship at home against a division foe.  In the past, the Texans struggled to beat the Colts, but finally broke through last season, as did everyone else.  Now the Colts have reloaded and are walking on air, but the Texans have a chance to clinch the AFC South and move closer to home field throughout the playoffs.  Can the Texans stop the bleeding? Or will they be dodging slushies this week in the halls of Houston Texans high with another loss? Only time will tell, but the 7-Eleven has the slurpie machine ready to go, just in case.

Saint Arnold Brewing Company is Texas' oldest craft brewery, and appropriately named after the patron saint of brewing: Saint Arnulf of Metz (which gives me something to aspire too... is the Patron Saint of Stouts still available?).  Speaking of stouts, Saint Arnold brews a Winter Stout which has won a few awards (Silver at World Beer Cup and GABF) itself.  With 7 year round beers, a root beer to take a break with, and the brewmasters "Divine Reserve" series - you could certainly treat this place like church and start going religiously.

Let the battle begin! Tag with #sunkingbrew vs #saintarnold, the battle begins Sunday morning and ends Monday night… drink to support your teams!

Hashtag Battles Season 2 - Week 14!

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Week Fourteen  -  Baltimore Ravens at Washington Redskins (#flyingdog)

This week features the closest thing to an inner city rivalry the NFL has (lets face it - Giants vs Jets is like when Varsity scrimmages the JV squad).  The Ravens are constantly at the top of the AFC North and always in line for a playoff spot - no matter who's kicking field goals, and the Redskins went from a few re-building years with Shanahan and Sons to a wildcard in the NFC East race.  Let's see who takes Mid-Atlantic bragging rights in this weeks hashtag battle!

In the spirit of competition, Beer Friends would like to invite everyone to our second season of NFL hashtag battles! Using hashtagbattle.com we will pit two fan bases against each other when their NFL counterparts are facing off on the gridiron. Are you ready for some football? And drinking? And #hashtag battle?!?!?!

What's a hashtag battle? When you're drinking a beer of a brewery competing in the battle, throw a #hashtag of the brewery and tweet it (or setup your foursquare or untappd to push to tweet and include the #hashtag) and we'll use hashtagbattle.com to declare a winner after the Monday Night football game on ESPN. Support your team, support your beer, drink local and hashtag battle!

Week Fourteen  -  Baltimore Ravens at Washington Redskins (#flyingdog)

The Baltimore Ravens have been doing it on defense for a number of years... Remember when they won the 2000 on the arm of Trent Dilfer?  You must've have been drinking because Dilfer had very little to do with the win... much like a waiter carrying a tray full of drinks - he was doing his job and trying not to screw it up too much.  The Ravens always remind of us this SuperBowl winning 2000 team, because it's basically the same team.  Ray Lewis and Ed Reed still command the troops and although Lewis has been sidelined with an arm injury, he's still a presence on the sideline and the heart and soul of the defense.  The offense is a completely different story - Joe Flacco calls himself an Elite QB, yet doesn't realize you don't need to be elite to win, you need a RB.  Ray Rice is a solid choice for Fantasy players and game winning drives, but the Ravens avoid him like they've got the opposing defense on fantasy (it is Fantasy playoff season).  Even after a 4 and 29 conversion in San Diego (leading to the win) - the Ravens against their biggest rivals were outscored in the 4th quarter 10-0, when after the 3rd quarter leading 20-13.  The turning point?  With 9:49 left and the ball, instead of safe hand offs to Rice to kill the clock (and get me extra yards), Flacco drops back and is strip sacked, giving the Steelers the ball on the 30 yard line, which meant it would have only taken 5 maximum distance throws by Charlie Batch to reach the 5 yard line.  Let's see how they avoid Ray Rice this week, lose to the Redskins on the rise and continue to ruin my fantasy football season.

The Washington Redskins have changed head coaches so many times, a Tea Party representative spends more time in the D.C. area.  Dan Synder is always going after the big name head coaches and hooked Mike Shanahan after he was let go of in Denver.  Shanahan brought his son along and setup the offices of Shanahan and Sons LLC in D.C. in search of QB talent.  In his first season he dealt with Beck, Grossman and an aging McNabb causing him to rotate QB's like he used to rotate RB's in Denver - last year he lost McNabb and ended up 5 -11 but in position to trade up to #2 getting Luck or RG III (whichever the Colts didn't take).  Enter a season of rebirth.  Shanahan suddenly has the second coming of John Elway and a RB picked in the 6th round (Terrell Davis anyone?) to bolster his offense.  The defense is still questionable, but so is the NFC East with the Cowboys and Eagles preparing "Help Wanted" signs and the Giants struggling to win against the lack of division rivalries/competition.  The Redskins are 6-6 with 4 winnable games left; and save a dumb WR play in the Rams game, an unsportsman plenty drive killer in the Bengals game, and just 1 of 2 defenders stopping Victor Cruz (the Giants only offensive weapon) from running by them - the Redskins are 9-3 and the toast of the town.  Let's see how they shock the NFL world by winning OR blowing up in the 4th quarter for the rest of the season, and watch the growth of a very exciting prospect in RG III.

Flying Dog Brewery is so good, it has no competition in the D.C. / Baltimore area.  Flying Dog has it's origins in Aspen, Colorado and moved to the Maryland area in 2008, taking their Dog themed brews and Hunter S Thompson inspired bottle art with them.  With Belgian roots, Flying Dog doesn't impress all the beer friends (#callingoutphil) but the Gonzo Porter is always tops on the list this time of year and the Garde Dog Saison and Snake Bite IPA find their calling in the warmer months.  I guess there is always something to look forward to - just like this Redskins vs Ravens game.  This week we're taking one brewery and using hashtag battles to call out fans - use the hashtag "flyingdog" and put "Ravens" or "Redskins" behind it to support that team.

Let the battle begin! Remember to Tag with #flyingdogravens vs #flyingdogredskins, the battle begins Sunday morning and ends Monday night… drink to support your teams!

Hashtag Battles Season 2 - Week 13!

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Week Thirteen  -  Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers (#hoppinfrogbrew vs #stonebrewing)

Before we start hashtag battling - the Beer Friends would like to send our thoughts and prayers out to those hurt by the events yesterday in Kansas City.  In the big picture, smart-ass comments and football matters very little in the long run and human lives are much more important.  Hopefully we can find what was hurting this poor young man and find ways to prevent the next instance.

This weeks battle pits a team that struggled for years and have made the turn around to a playoff contender vs a playoff contender that has taken the exact opposite path.  The Bengals are playing great ball and eye-ing the #2 wild card spot and the Chargers are in a free fall that has coaches and front office in hot water.  With the very little I know about physics, I know that a object in motion tends to stay in motion (Newton's Law of Motion)...which means the gap is growing as we speak between these two teams and we might see 100 Bengal points and 10 Philip Rivers turnovers.

In the spirit of competition, Beer Friends would like to invite everyone to our second season of NFL hashtag battles! Using hashtagbattle.com we will pit two breweries against each other when their NFL counterparts are facing off on the gridiron. Are you ready for some football? And drinking? And #hashtag battle?!?!?!

What's a hashtag battle? When you're drinking a beer of a brewery competing in the battle, throw a #hashtag of the brewery and tweet it (or setup your foursquare or untappd to push to tweet and include the #hashtag) and we'll use hashtagbattle.com to declare a winner after the Monday Night football game on ESPN. Support your team, support your beer, drink local and hashtag battle!

Week Thirteen  -  Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers (#hoppinfrogbrew vs #stonebrewing)

The Cincinnati Bengals were the laughing stock of the NFL about 10 years ago... but after a few good drafts and finding their identity as a team (defense and run strong) in the hard hitting AFC North, the Bengals have challenged the big guys for the past couple years.  As the focus today is on the Steelers and Ravens, Bengals quietly keep winning and improving their chances to make some noise in the playoffs.  The secret to their turn around was drafting to match their team colors, and Andy "Ginger" Dalton hasn't disappointed.  In his first season he led the Bengals to a playoff game - but this success didn't start last year.  Dalton led the TCU "little brothers" against some of the best NCAA big brother teams and had 42 wins, 3 bowl wins (including a Rose Bowl) and a handful of TCU records to show for it.  With a weapon like AJ Green, the top two in the AFC North better make room for another "little brother" that might overshadow the big brothers and become moms favorite sooner rather than later.

Hoppin Frog is from Akron, Ohio and produces world class beer.  Feel free to read that sentence again... yep Akron.  For those of you who are familiar with Ohio, it's in the middle of nowhere.  However, Hoppin Frog proves that good beer will always be found.  They have many great beers but being stout season, B.O.R.I.S. is their infamous Oatmeal Imperial Stout and winner of a GABF Gold Medal is the first one that comes to mind.

The San Diego Chargers have been in trouble for a number of years, but playing in a weakened AFC West hid flaws like a cheap cover up - well with all Rivers crying, the mascara is starting to smear and expose those blemishes hidden by a bunch of offensive weapons.  Every year we patiently wait for the turning point in the Chargers season, usually it's sub-par play at the beginning and a strong push at the end, with a loss against a non-playoff team that knocks them out.  This year we had a early Christmas as they squandered a 24 point halftime lead to AFC West rival Broncos led by Peyton Manning who has historically struggled against the Chargers - talk about a buffet of epic fails.  Since then they've beat fellow struggling Chiefs and lost 4, failing to score a TD in one game, losing a 10 point lead in another.  While Norv and A.J. Smith take the blame, the Chargers struggle in everything football related.  18th in passing yards is deceiving because a few of Philip Rivers picks have gone for Pick-6, if we included that they'd jump to top ten.  With 14 INT's and 9 fumbles, Rivers is a turnover machine that has been caught yelling at his line while he's being sacked... if thats not a guy I want to block for I don't know who is.  The only question is, with the turning point so soon in the season, the off-season seems closer than ever and what changes will take place... but most likely everyone will take a surf break and we'll get to do this all over again next season!

Stone Brewing has been a big leader in the industry for years.  With a beer named Arrogant Bastard, what man doens't wanna try to prove his self worth by drinking it?  Well word of mouth is one of the most successful types of advertising, and Stone has done pretty well for its self. Making delicious brews recognized by the extended Beer Friends Nation and collaborating (playing nice) with other breweries, Stone has endured and endeared itself to beer drinkers everywhere.  So much so that they have a hotel on their brewery and a hop farm to support themselves and create local.  Really, whats not to love?  Well maybe after a couple Russian Imperial Stouts - the next morning isn't to love...

Let the battle begin! Tag with #hoppinfrogbrew vs #stonebrewing, the battle begins Sunday morning and ends Monday night… drink to support your teams!

Hashtag Battles Season 2 - Week 12!

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Week Twelve  -  Denver Broncos vs Kansas City Chiefs (#GreatDivide vs #Boulevardbrew)

This week the Mile High Broncos face the struggling Chiefs.  The Broncos have answered critics and modern day medicine with a healthy Peyton and a much improved defense, while the Chiefs have fallen way short of expectations as many in the business had them winning the AFC West - funny to think how these two franchises were linked to the Bill Belichick coaching tree.  This week we explore which apple has fallen furthest in #hashtag battles!

In the spirit of competition, Beer Friends would like to invite everyone to our second season of NFL hashtag battles! Using hashtagbattle.com we will pit two breweries against each other when their NFL counterparts are facing off on the gridiron. Are you ready for some football? And drinking? And #hashtag battle?!?!?!

What's a hashtag battle? When you're drinking a beer of a brewery competing in the battle, throw a #hashtag of the brewery and tweet it (or setup your foursquare or untappd to push to tweet and include the #hashtag) and we'll use hashtagbattle.com to declare a winner after the Monday Night football game on ESPN. Support your team, support your beer, drink local and hashtag battle!

Week Twelve  -  Denver Broncos vs Kansas City Chiefs (#GreatDivide vs #Boulevardbrew)

The Broncos were facing a lot of questions in the off season.  First - could Tebow actually be the QB of the future?  Can they win with a offense like that and what strain would that put on the defense?  Then came the Peyton Manning sweepstakes and the Broncos (surprisingly) came out on top again (but seriously - would want to play football in the same state as your in-laws?).  This Peyton development sparked an entire new set of questions about Peyton's health and the offense mixing with one another - then the season began with one of the toughtest schedules in the NFL.  Peyton impressed in the first game, threw a couple picks in another and continued to mix well with his new teammates.  This week more questions about the running game with Willis out and Hillman (youngest player in NFL) and kno-show Moreno spliting carries with Lance Ball getting the 3rd Down looks.  With a franchise full of questions, you might wonder why so many - rewind to the Josh McDaniels days in which a young hot shot coach was given absolute power of a franchise and decides he's going to be the next Bill Belichick - the problem was Bill Belichick is Bill Belichick because of the amount of time he had spent in the league and been kicked around so many times (see Cleveland Browns, New York Jets).  Fortunately for the Denver Broncos, they answered those questions quickly and moved on - unfortunately for our next team in hashtag battles, the Bill Belichick coaching tree continues to grow... them right towards the top overall pick.

Great Divide has been a Beer Friends favorite for a long time.  Always excited to see their stuff out in NYC, we've visited the brewery on our Colorado Brewery Trip and review quite a few brews (or maybe just drank them).  With the changing seasons - we come into Stout territory and Yeti is always on tap.  Yeti Stout comes in a bunch of different variations and with such a solid beer, you can't go wrong when you mix it with espresso, chocolate or even make it Belgian style.

The Kansas City Chiefs are a proud franchise with a loyal fan base.  Many forget the glory days of the AFL vs NFL Superbowl and how the Chiefs were constantly representing the AFL or how Arrowhead is one of the most difficult stadiums to play in - well the Chiefs this year are so bad they make anyone have selective memory.  When you're franchise player was a backup to two struggling NFL QB's in his college days and the second best option is the ND product would dropped 15 spots in the draft?  Romeo did wonders as a interm coach, but this team has bigger problems than a coaching change.  With bold moves and questionable draft picks, this franchise has hit new lows (including brown paper bag sightings), crowds leaving at half, and even the fans paying for airplanes to fly over with banners expressing their discontent.  The only question for the Chiefs is, when to hit the reset button and try again.

Boulevard Brewing comes from Kansas City and you can find their line of delicious brews in deep beer stores in NYC, which is sad because they are wonderful.  The first two that come to mind are the Dry Stout and Amber Ale, but the Smokestack Series is also very tasty.  With this fantastic brewery being located in Kansas City - at least the Chiefs fans can drown their sorrows in great good beer, if they can continue to watch the game for that long.

Let the battle begin! Tag with #GreatDivide or #BoulevardBrew, the battle begins Sunday morning and ends Monday night… drink to support your teams!

Hashtag Battles - Thanksgiving Edition

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Thanksgiving Edition - New England Patriots at New York Jets (#Capecodbeer vs #barrierbrewing)

The NFL is attempting to maximize profits, so the novelty of the Thursday night game has lost some significance, but this is Thanksgiving and with Dallas and Detroit taking their usual spots in the afternoon the night game is for digestion and turkey naps - well that covers the Jets... the Patriots will be there too!

In the spirit of competition, Beer Friends would like to invite everyone to our second season of NFL hashtag battles! Using hashtagbattle.com, we will pit two breweries against each other when their NFL counterparts are facing off on the gridiron. Are you ready for some football? And drinking? And #hashtag battle?!?!?!

What's a hashtag battle? When you're drinking a beer of a brewery competing in the battle, throw a #hashtag of the brewery and tweet it (or setup your foursquare or untappd to push to tweet and include the #hashtag) and we'll use hashtagbattle.com to declare a winner after the Monday Night football game on ESPN. Support your team, support your beer, drink local and hashtag battle!

Thanksgiving Edition - New England Patriots at New York Jets (#Capecodbeer vs #barrierbrewing)

The Patriots are firing on all cylinders... running up the score on a lowly Indy team and scoring 59 points.  Busting heads and breaking arms - and the Mad Hoodie is coming under some fire with leaving the starters in so long.  However, Bill's response was "Football players play Football" - well someone should tell Tim Tebow and the Jets Coaching staff.  The Pats face the Jets which oddly has had their number for the past few years including a playoff win - but this year the Pats are looking to make a statement - against an awful AFC East.  Even with a dancing Tight End out, the Pats still have their eyes on the playoffs and look to be healthy for the Superbowl - thats only if they don't score 59 points and Tom Brady is on the line blocking.

Cape Cod Beer is a favorite of the Beer Friends - check out a countless number of reviews.  Cape Cod Beer is a fantastic brewery located on Cape Cod and you can't get their stuff unless you go to them (or have a friend that has parents that live on the Cape).  They are a small brewery that only produces in growler fills and a few pint swing-top bottles.  Cape Cod Beer is actually so good there isn't much else to say until you try it... then comment below for a conversation that goes "They are so good!"  "I know" "Right?"

The New York Jets are saved!  They won against the Rams who haven't been good for a number of years - however the Yankees right fielder didn't tip on a cab home so they'll avoid the backpage until someone starts complaining about Tebow again.  The Jets are a TV series that has jumped the shark and constantly looking for new story lines - introducing a new character with shaky results.  At the end of this season - the Jets management will consult Nelson ratings and decide what the viewers want - then make their Combine choices based on a Facebook poll posted on their news feed.  The good news?  We still have at least 4 episodes left to resolve story arcs and find out if they'll ever get the power back on - unless they get cancelled and suddenly there is a "Save the Bluths" episode.

Barrier brewery is a up-and-comer from the NYC area.  With a brewery located in Rockaway - we can all only hope that they are ok.  Barrier has delicious beers and clever names like Caddy Wompus for their English Bitter and Evil Giant for their Rye IPA.  With around 15 brews year round - you'll never get tired of the brews and always find something to drink  or something to quickly research on your iPhone so you don't feel out of the loop (Evil Giant refers to Surtr a norse God and caddywompus is a "not quite right" individual - which they might be referring too).

Let the battle begin! Tag with #CapeCodbeer or #barrierbrewing, the battle begins Thursday and ends Monday night… drink to support your teams!

Hashtag Battles Season 2 - Week 11!

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Week Eleven - Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers (#twobrosbeer vs #speakeasy)

Hashtag Battles this week features two NFC Superbowl hopefuls.  The 49ers were a punt catch away from the SuperBowl last year and the Bears were a healthy MCL from the SuperBowl two years ago.  In Concussion Sunday, both of these teams had a concussed starting QB, both of which took a few more snaps and then left the game for good.  This weeks matchup is full of "Plan B's" that hope not to de-rail a championship season.  Let's see who's backup is best in this weeks hashtag battle!

In the spirit of competition, Beer Friends would like to invite everyone to our second season of NFL hashtag battles! Using hashtagbattle.com, we will pit two breweries against each other when their NFL counterparts are facing off on the gridiron. Are you ready for some football? And drinking? And #hashtag battle?!?!?!

What's a hashtag battle? When you're drinking a beer of a brewery competing in the battle, throw a #hashtag of the brewery and tweet it (or setup your foursquare or untappd to push to tweet and include the #hashtag) and we'll use hashtagbattle.com to declare a winner after the Monday Night football game on ESPN. Support your team, support your beer, drink local and hashtag battle!

Week Eleven - Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers (#twobrosbeer vs #speakeasy)

The Chicago Bears are back!  A scary defense and an actual offense leads to SuperBowl shuffle re-mix mashups and high hopes in the windy city.  The only problem is the Bears line which seems to be spending more time making mix tapes rather than blocking for Cutler.  Cutler has been sacked so often he's developed stargazing as a hobby, that's including day games.  In steps backup Jason Campbell who took over last week in a mistake filled game and did... well ok - the same ok that Bears fans had been living with post-McMahon (who sadly knows a thing or two about concussions) and pre-Cutler.  As long as the defense out scores the offense, the Bears will be fine - which is a problem into itself.

Two Brothers is from Warrensville, IL and Beer Friend Paul still raves about how great this brewery was.  Delicious brews and a great brewpub were highlights (plus a really cool coaster/bottle opener) but he doesn't shut up about the entire day.  But for us Beer Friends that don't travel, we had to have the Beer Mountain come to us.  We had our doubts after the first taste from Heavy Handed IPA, but Two Brothers came roaring back with Cane and Abel and Hop Juice which we enjoyed with our good friend and awesome bar owner The Rev.  With brews like Domaine DuPage, The Long Haul and Northwinds Imperial Stout - there is no need for a backup - these are all starting beers to go the distance.

The San Francisco 49ers came into the season with high hopes.  A Head Coach as a former QB found a way to reach Aaron Smith and bring out the potential that got him drafted #1 overall.  A scary defense with arguably the best linebackers in the game - and everything was clicking - then a tie.  I feel like all the "kissing your sister" jokes have been made - but I find it disturbing the amount of NFL players that don't know the rules or that a game can end in a tie.  You can't tell me that they are so focused on winning (because the Rams players didn't know either) that they don't care about anything else, this is where the NFL should take a note from the college game and switch to the "California Overtime" in regular season games, giving both teams - offenses and defenses - a chance to make a play.  Unfortunately the Rams vs 49ers game wasn't a great argument because of the number of missed opportunities by both teams.  Overall Kaepernick is a better option than Campbell, but Aaron Smith says he's ready to go an according to reports he can throw a TD pass with blurry vision anyway... lets just hope that the blur is on his team and not Brian "Molasses" Urlacher running the other way.

Speakeasy Ales and Lagers is from San Francisco and plays on the history of beer and that unsettling time of Prohibition.  Speakeasy obviously refers to the underground bar where patrons could get their booze, often hidden in back rooms or with fronts - like Moe's "Best Damn Pet Store in Town".  Speakeasy's year round available brews include Prohibition Ale, Big Daddy IPA and the brewmasters series called "Bootlegger Series" with Scarface Imperial Stout and Vendetta IPA.  One of the legendary beers that the Beer Friends still speak of today was a Porter aged in Red Zinfandel barrels - this was amazing.  Overall I'm a bit of a history geek and after drinking a few from the Speakeasy series - I might actually learn something too... unfortunately it will probably be forgotten the next morning.

Let the battle begin! Tag with #twobrosbeer or #speakeasy, the battle begins Sunday morning and ends Monday night… drink to support your teams!