Six Pack Sunday: Blessed with BEER!!

It’s been FAR too long. Six Pack Sunday posts are some of my favorite things to write but, as of late, I’ve been swamped with working, learning, and a little bit of playing.  One of my buddies from school asked me in class this week,

How on EARTH do you have time to write a blog?

Good question. I regularly wonder, when reading some of my favorite blogs, how they manage to go out and run 7 miles, food prep for the week, work their jobs, get their education, and look gorgeous while socializing AND blogging.  It’s a mystery, but I guess folks make it work. Bravo to all those overachievers in the blog world.

I’ve been feeling pretty fantastic, primarily because I’ve been achieving a bit, at least in the beer world…  Yes, I had a GREAT TIME with my new beer babes of Philly Girls’ Pint Out on Monday, but there’s been some other stuff….

1. FREE BEER!! Thanks, Yuengling!

Tastes like home

Sometimes, the stars align, and something wonderful happens. When that wonderful thing involves free beer… that’s even more wonderful. On Friday night, Yuengling treated the folks of Philly to a free Lager to thank them for helping make Yuengling the largest American-owned brewery. The Philly-wide Toast was a great way to start the weekend off on a solid, free note!

I have to give props to Neiman for what I think was a unique and very popular campaign. That’s the kind of advertising I’m into…

2. Midterms are Coming

AHHHHHH!!!!!!

That’s all.

3. Worth It.

I’ll admit, I was a little hesitant about shelling out $4 for an order of sweet potato fries.

Well, consider my doubts swept RIGHT under the rug!

Shut the FRONT DOOR!

Hip City Veg is DANGEROUSLY close to Athleta. Like… when you have a 15 minute break, you can get there and back in time to eat an entire order of sweet potato fries. Add a side of black bean cilantro dip (which I now FULLY intend to recreate, ASAP) and you have the most decadent treat I can imagine. Salty, sweet, creamy dip AND a decent sized portion. I don’t know if this is a blessing or a curse.

My tastebuds say blessing.

4. Drink Your Paycheck, Much?

Ever since Monday’s glass of Consecration, I’ve been JONESING for a sour beer. And then, last night, I got paid.

Sure, the check was a fraction of what I used to get working full time in research.

Sure, I’m also attending grad school and shelling out dollars for that.

But it was an itch that only a good beer could scratch.

Sexy, right?

Hey, Russian River… You make one heck of a sour beer, blonde or otherwise. And in your tartness, you have won me over completely…. It was ALSO totally worth it to enjoy a lone peer that harbored on perfect to end a LONG Saturday full of work and Zumba. I slept like a baby (if babies could drink sour ales).

5. Freezing Fashion

The weather was in the 60s this week. And, since my body, accustomed to North Carolina temperatures, panics at the sight of 7s and 6s leading the numbers on the thermometers, I did what any sane employee of Athleta would do…

The coziest.

The Reversible Training Headband by Smartwool screamed out to me since we got our winter shipment at the store. And, last night, the crisp air DEMANDED the purchase of my very own headband. I also have barely taken it off since then.

6. The Luckiest

Remember that time that I booked a flight, mid-summer, to Denver, Colorado for the weekend of October 11-13 for $7.50 since I had so many points for flying back and forth to Philly from RDU for the past two years?

And I chose that weekend specifically so that I could go to the Great American Beer Festival.

Then… the tickets when on sale.

Four minutes later, I sat at my computer, shell-shocked by the fact that I didn’t score a single ticket. The sell-out was nearly instant, and I REFUSED to drop hundreds of dollars on a scalped ticket.

My buddy Melissa and I then promised each other we would enter any and every contest to get our tickets, hoping for luck to be on our side.

Enter: BeerGram

I signed up to receive their emails, crossed my fingers, and said that, without question, I’d send my first “BeerGram” to my beer babe, Melissa.

And then I was told that I won tickets to GABF.

I not only won one ticket, but two tickets for EVERY session.

Oh, we’re GOING THERE!

My heart skipped a few beats, and then I immediately wrote back YES YES A MILLION TIMES YES!!

This is the most exciting Six Pack Sunday of ALLLLLL Six Pack Sundays.

I’m scoping out survival guides, I’m making my plan of attack, and I’m getting thirsty.

Anyone else going?! HOORAYYYYY!!

What’s the most exciting thing that’s happened to you lately, my friends?

Bottom of the Barrel

I think I’ve done it.  I think my cupboards are officially bare (my cupboard being my fridge, because the stuff I keep in the cupboards could last until 2020).

Sure, it involved a bit of over-eating at lunchtime, namely in the field of “half a bag of Trader Joe’s sweet potato fries” but hey, no one likes freezer burn, right?

So little green, so much delicious.

Those orange rods of goodness were fantastic. Their sweet flavor was complimented by a kick of spicy habanero ketchup and a squirt of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce and, to round out my meal of generally white/brown/tan/orange colors, an egg/pepperoni/pepper jelly sandwich.  Mmmhm.

I also spent some time during lunch wrapping up all my presents for my family. My apartment complex was nice enough to offer us free wrapping supplies, so I snagged a roll of happy penguin Christmas paper and went to town.  One day, when I have many more presents to wrap and perhaps some little kids to wrap them for, I hope to have a sweet wrapping set-up with all the tape and scissors I can handle, but, in the meantime, I’ll take my paper and ribbon where I can get it.  And, hopefully, my family/friends will take my presents, torn wrapping paper and messy folds and all, without questioning my love for them.

Beautiful mess, yes?

I also have all my clothes folded in neat little piles around the apartment.

While this may sound organized, it is actually not the same as having your bags packed.  On that note, with a beer in my belly, it’s time to get busy finishing up my luggage AND packing the car!! I have high hopes of leaving NC before noon, tomorrow, so I’ve got lots to do before I go!!

Do you have any wrapping talents? Or are you a bag + tissue paper person?

Top of the Hill Goes Green! And a beer review!!

Good evening ladies and gentlemen!!

I actually went to Chapel Hill’s Top of the Hill last night for dinner with the beau.  I’ll admit, I’m a huge fan of Top of the Hill (or TopO as most of us Tar Heels call it).  However, to be totally honest, most of my nights there look something like this:

Sucking back lemon chasers post birthday-cake shots...

Stalking Tyler Hansborough (or any other UNC superstar)

You know… the usual.

The drinks are a little more expensive than your average UNC/Franklin Street bar but, honestly, you get what you pay for: the food’s good, the beers are handcrafted, and the view… well you can’t beat it.

Love it. Source

However, last night, thanks to a LivingSocial deal from a while back, we had a date night to TopO followed by a viewing of Harry Potter 7:2 (it was amazing… but that’s a post for another day.)  I decided I wasn’t in a beer mood, and went with a diet coke to drink.  I stepped out of my box in other way, too, and ordered this:

Edamame Burger, if you please!

On the menu tonight: The Edamame Burger, a house-made soy bean vegetarian patty with lettuce, tomato, red onions, tzatziki sauce & sweet potato fries. And for my stepping outside of the box… I was rewarded!  The burger was delicious!!  It certainly didn’t taste anything like a burger, but it was light, it was flavorful, and the tzatziki sauce paired nicely with it (though the sauce was a little thin for my liking.) The rest of the toppings (onions, tomato, lettuce) were crisp and fresh, good quality. On the side, the sweeet potato fries, which I love in a romantic sense.  Normally, I’ll get the sweet potato fries appetizer, which includes the fries covered in cheese (cheddar and gorgonzola!!!!!!! AHHHHH!!!) but I knew that the fries stood strong on their own, so I enjoyed every last bite.  I’d recommend this to anyone, vegetarian, meatatarian, pizzatarian…. it’s just a superior dish, and a steal for less than $10 (but only by 1 penny.)

Since I didn’t have a beer last night at TopO, Ryan and I decided to pair dinner tonight with a new beer we’ve never tried!!

Cottonwood Endo IPA, in a Harp glass. Don't get confused.

The Cottonwood Endo IPA from Carolina Beer Company (the website is very weird/confusing, but there’s the link if you’d like) poured a lovely gold color, lots of carbonation, and honestly, I was just excited because it was from Mooresville, NC (not even 3 hours from where I live, and the hometown of a friend of mine!!)  The smell was hoppy, and I was pumped to take a sip.  It was the sip, though, that burst my bubble.  It’s not that this is a bad beer, don’t get me wrong.  Even at first taste, I thought I tasted maybe some sort of citrus flavor somewhere.  But after letting it sit on my tongue for a bit, the taste went away and was replaced with a bare bones beer flavor (or lack of flavor).  Basically, what I’m saying is that the flavor was short lived, and there was little to no mouthfeel of any sort.  Like a pale ale that just kind of gave up…  It’s a shame, because I wanted to love this beer.  Alas, there’s plenty of love lost.

The only redeeming quality of this beer: drinkability.  I am already on my second one and think, if I wanted, I could have another.  I don’t want to…. but if I did, I’d be set.  I still have hopes for Carolina Beer Company… but not high ones.