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3BG Blog



 

The Blog that Shows you how to Lose your Beer Belly, Not the Beer.

 
Welcome to the Blog- Let’s face it. Life without beer sucks. The boys at Team3BG share a passion for helping people achieve their personal & fitness goals without sacrificing the things they love.

If you haven’t guessed it, we love beer. This blog highlights useful fitness, health and nutritional information as well as a few of our own personal adventures.

Let us know what’s on your mind by posting comments below and be sure to sign up for our newsletter. Thanks for visiting!

Drinking and Driving: Two Drinks can be Too Many

DUIAn interesting conversation was had last week over a few pints of beer about Blood Alcohol Contents, Drinking and Driving and How to be Safe when out for a night on the town.

Short answer, do not drink and drive when out.

In order to get a better understanding of the issue I have guest author Richard Jacobs who is the chief editor of MyDUIattorney, to put an end to the confusion once and for all.

Richard, take it away…
 

 

The Two Drink Rule: true or false?

 
If you are aware of drinking and driving, you must have heard of the “Two Drink Rule”, which people use to determine whether they can drive back home from a bar, pub or party safely or not. A lot of people make the mistake of following this rule by assuming that having two drinks will keep them under the legal limit of 0.08 and they can safely reach home. This is what can get them in trouble.

If you are driving back home after having a couple of drinks and happen to pass through a DUI checkpoint or are stopped by a police officer as a DUI suspect, you will be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test.

Regardless of your individual tolerance to alcohol, two drinks can be more than enough to make you blow a 0.08 or greater on the breath test. Not realizing you were over the legal limit, you might utter something like, “But I only had two beers, Officer!” in disbelief.

However, the fact that you did not realize your were over the allowed legal limit for BAC is not a valid defense for DUI/DWI and will lead to a DUI charge. In order to avoid such a situation, you need to understand what blood alcohol content or blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is and how it works.
 

How our Body Metabolizes Alcohol

 
The amount of alcohol you consume directly affects your blood alcohol concentration, regardless of the number of drinks you have had. All states have implemented a per se limit of 0.08 BAC, which means that irrespective of your individual tolerance, you will be charged with drunk driving if you have a BAC of 0.08 or more.

The amount of alcohol in the blood does not depend on the number of drinks you’ve had, but it depends on the amount of alcohol consumed in a specific time period. BAC also depends on the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream and will depend on several factors such as sex, weight, percentage of body fat, fitness-level, tolerance-level and how much you’ve had to eat.

Since so many factors are involved in calculating BAC levels, it is very likely that the same sized glass of wine taken by two different people at the same time could lead to very different BAC levels.

To make things easy for you, you can use our BAC calculator to help you get a rough estimate of BAC levels.

Irrespective of the fact how BAC levels are affected, the rate at which alcohol is metabolized and eliminated from the human body is fairly consistent, which is on average 0.015 per hour. This means that anyone with a BAC of 0.15 will take ten hours to get it all out of their system.

So if you decide to go home after the bar shuts at 2am with a 0.15 BAC level, and intend to drive to work the next morning after 5 hours of sleep, you could still be over the limit.

The concept that you can “sleep it off” is totally false as sleep has zero effect on how quickly alcohol is expelled from the body. You may not be feeling drunk the next morning, but you may still have a blood alcohol concentration over the allowed legal limit.

Most people believe that they can “sober up faster” by drinking coffee, eating a big meal, taking aspirin, drinking lots of water or caffeinated soda, but these are big misconceptions. These things can help you feel more sober, but they will have zero affect on your BAC level.

Only time will make the difference in your blood alcohol levels.

 

Variation in the Amount of Alcohol Contained in Drinks

 
When drinking at a bar, restaurant or pub, you have to understand that the amount of alcohol in a drink varies per serving. It depends on how much tequila, triple sec or other strong liquors were used in making the drink, which is impossible to measure.

Many bars and restaurants offer small and large glass sizes, but precise serving sizes are never measured. In fact, many bars and restaurants take a “free pour” approach to serving alcohol. Depending on how strong the beer was, you can be way above the legal limit after just one drink.

To help you understand how the blood alcohol content levels vary with weight and the number of drinks consumed, we have included the following reference chart. The chart only takes into account two factors which include the number of drinks and weight. Other factors will influence your BAC levels, which means you could have lower or higher BAC levels than the ones given below.

The safest rule to follow is to not drink and drive.
 

A standard drink is:

  • 12-ounce bottle or can of regular beer
  • 5-ounce glass of wine
  • drink of one and 1/2 ounce of 80 proof distilled spirits (either straight or in a mixed drink)

 
 
Blood Alcohol Content Chart
Use the chart to get an estimate of your BAC level, depending on your weight and the number of drinks consumed. Once you find the estimated BAC, subtract the percent of alcohol eliminated during the time elapsed since you started drinking.
 

Example:

  • For a 200 lb. man who has had 6 drinks, his BAC after 2 hours will be:
  • 113% minus (.015×2) = .083 % which is above the legal limit

 
 
Again, to avoid any misfortune, your safest option is to not drink and drive at all!

Be safe,

Richard Jacobs
 

Author Bio

 
Richard Jacobs is a chief editor since early 2007, and currently works for MyDUIattorney. A website that helps you to find the right DUI Attorney, you can search for a New Jersey DWI Lawyer online, anytime!
 


And now you have the truth about drinking and driving.

Thanks again to Richard for taking time to answer these questions.

Be safe and make smart choices,

Sean

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

Cooking with Beer - Beer Mussels

Beer MusselsThis week on Cooking with Beer we’ll be making Beer Mussels.

These Beer Mussels are fresh from Prince Edward Island and not the kind you get after a few too many pints at the bar. Those are Beer Muscles, not to be confused with Beer Mussels and unlike the latter should be kept away for no one to see.

Sticking with the Maritime theme (region of Canada) we will use Alexander Keith’s Red Amber Ale to steam our Mussels. We are also going to spice up today’s dish by adding spicy Italian sausage to the mix.

Mussels are quick and easy to prepare, fun to eat and a very popular dish here in Quebec. Head to any local pub and order the classic “Moules Frits” and you won’t be disappointed.

Cooking with beer’s take on this classic dish will be served accompanied by a spinach salad drizzled with homemade Balsamic and Hummus dressing. Let’s get started…

Watch below to see how it’s done:
 

Beer Mussels

 


 

Keith’s Red Amber Ale Mussels

 
Here’s what you need:

  • 4 lbs of Fresh Mussels (we’re using Mussels from PEI, best in the world)
  • 1 bottle of your favorite Beer (we’re using Alexander Keith’s Red Amber Ale)
  • 2 Cloves of garlic
  • Juice of ½ a lime
  • ½ a sweet onion
  • ½ a Red Bell Pepper
  • 2 Spicy Italian Sausages
  • 2 tablespoons of butter (yep butter)
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Sea salt and pepper

 
How to put it all together:

Dice up the red bell pepper, onion and garlic and place in a large pot on medium high with the 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook until the onion is translucent (approximately 3 minutes). Slice your Italian sausages into small pieces and add to the pot cooking for 5 more minutes or until lightly browned.

Add the bottle of beer, juice of ½ a lime and Mussels to the pot, cover and steam for approximately 7-8 minutes. Mussels are ready when they open (do not eat any Mussels which have not fully opened). Season with sea salt, pepper, fresh parsley and serve with the beer broth. Enjoy.
 

Spinach Salad

 
Hummus and Balsamic Salad DressingYou need:

  • 4-6 cups of Fresh Spinach
  • ½ Red Bell Pepper
  • 2/3 of a Long English Cucumber
  • 10 Cherry tomatoes

 
What to do:

Wash your vegetables. Chop your spinach if the leaves are too big and place in a bowl. Roughly chop your Red Bell Pepper and tomatoes. Peel and roughly chop your cucumber. Add everything to the bowl. Drizzle with homemade Balsamic and Hummus dressing, toss and enjoy.
 

Balsamic and Hummus Salad Dressing

 
You need:

  • 6 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar
  • ½ tsp of sea salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
  • 1 big spoonful of traditional Hummus

 
What to do:

Put everything into a Mason jar, cover and shake until everything is mixed thoroughly. Makes enough for a few salads. Drizzle a bit over the spinach salad, toss and enjoy.

Mmmmm so good.

Yours in health,

Sean

PS. Follow the link for more Cooking With Beer Recipes.

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

March 9, 2012Posted by Drew in Body

Post Workout Muscle Soreness and the Best Total Body Exercise

Question: I started working out yesterday for the first time in awhile and today I can barely move. What’s going on and should I even think about working out again?

Rafael Eduardo, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Post Workout Muscle SorenessRafael, great question. Post workout muscle soreness is a normal and natural reaction following a workout or athletic event. It is your body’s way of saying, “Hey I need protein and carbs to repair all this micro tearing”.

Proper nutrition combined with rest allow your muscles to repair and rebuild, coming back bigger, stronger and better than before.

Every person is a little different but usually between 24 to 48 hours after exercise you begin to experience muscle soreness and discomfort known as delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS.

However, it is important to be able to distinguish pain from discomfort. DOMS is typical post workout discomfort that is OK. But if you are experiencing pinching, sharp or tingling types of pain or sensations… this is not a normal post workout reaction and should always be run by your doctor.

I strongly suggest never training the same muscle group on back to back days but even if you waited 48 hours and especially if you’re a beginner (or back in the gym after time off), it is not uncommon to experience some post workout discomfort. As long as you give it 48 hours of active rest between training muscle groups, you are likely OK to hit them up again.
 

To get over the soreness try this simple technique;

On the days between weight training it’s helpful to walk, do gentle bike riding or even body-weight exercises to flush the area with blood and enhance waste removal and the healing process.

 
 
In summary: DOMS is a perfectly normal result of exercising and giving a muscle group 48+ hours of active rest is always the best idea. Make sure you are able to distinguish between pain and discomfort (this comes with time) and although very tempting… avoid laying on the couch all day following a workout (even a slow walk around the block the following day will help reduce the soreness).
 

Question: What’s the best total body exercise?

Steve, St. John’s, Newfoundland

Best total body exerciseIt’s a toss up for the the best total body exercise (exercise that has multiple joint involvement) between the Olympic Clean and Jerk and the Snatch.

I’m guessing most of you are not competing in the upcoming England Summer Olympics so we might not need to take it that far. Don’t get me wrong these are 2 of the best exercises to develop total body strength, power and muscle but they come with a caveat- they are highly technical. So technical in fact that I would urge anyone who wants to incorporate these lifts into their exercise programs to find a good qualified Olympic strength coach.

Having said that I’ve found some nice alternatives that meet in the middle between technical requirements and total body benefit.

If I had to pick one exercise I would go with the One Arm Dumbbell Clean and Press. It is a very explosive movement that will hit every muscle in the body (except the Pec) and ramps up your nervous system and heart rate like no other.

As far as total body fat burning and muscle building go- it is highly effective. It is still important to note that there is proper technique and timing required to perform this movement but it is much safer and less risky than Olympic lifts. Master this movement before moving onto the Clean and Jerk or the Snatch (who named these things anyhow?).
 


Great questions. Keep em coming.

Stay Strong,

Drew

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

Thirsty Thursday - Non-Alcoholic Beer Review

This weeks Thirsty Thursday will review Bitburger Drive Alcoholfrei, Buckler, and Kaliber non-alcoholics- all available in most beer stores.
 

Why the heck are we doing non-alcoholic beer reviews? Well… let me tell you.

 
There are a number of reasons why it is important to have a look at the non-alcoholic class of beers. First and most importantly our father made the choice some 20 odd years ago to give up drinking and is always on the look out to find good “Near Beers” (He’s probably spilled more beer in his earlier days than I’ve had to drink).

In honor of him, we’ve decided to help with his quest to find the best non-alcoholic cold one.

Secondly, I came across a great non-alcoholic malt beverage at the bar this week and was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Who knows, maybe there are more out there…
 

The Setting

 
After a long drive into Montreal to celebrate a friends new job- I was thirsty for a beer. We went to support his move to manage a relatively new drinking establishment called the Royal Phoenix Bar in the hip mile-end region of the city.

After quenching my thirst with a pint of Sleeman’s Honey Brown (the happy hour special) I was ready for another. With a long drive home I pondered my alternatives and being the responsible man I am I asked the bartender if he had any non-alcoholic beers available.

To which the barkeep shockingly replied, “As a matter of fact we do. Bitburger Drive. We just got it in last week and I didn’t even know it was non-alcoholic. I actually served it to some of our patrons when they asked for an import.”

From the outside these Non-Alcoholic beers look like regular beers… Lets find out if they taste similar on the inside.

Bitburger Drive Alcoholfrei
Imported from Germany
0.0 ABV

Bitburger Non Alcoholic Beer ReviewI haven’t had a non-alcoholic beer in sometime and was shocked (in a good way) after tipping this bad boy into the pint.

It poured a golden straw color with a slight froth that hung around a little. The aroma wasn’t all that powerful and smelled a bit off, which from memory is like most “near beers” I’ve sampled.

It was crisp, clean and nicely carbonated, reminding me of its father (traditional Bitburger). Often, non alcoholic beers tend to be on the sweet and sugary side but not so in the Drive’s case.

All in all, I rather enjoyed the Bitburger Alcoholfrei and barely noticed I wasn’t drinking something a little more potent.

Would I order another? Absolutely and had the barkeep thrown one my way before he realized it was alcohol free, I probably wouldn’t have noticed either.


Not to be outdone… Jon wanted to get in on the action and gave a couple near beers a try (for my father’s sake of course).

 
Here is what he found:

BUCKLER Non-Alcoholic Malt Beverage
Imported from Holland
0.5% ABV

The Buckler malt beverage is brewed by Heineken and imported from Amsterdam so it carries similar traits to other European brews minus the alcohol and calories. How many calories? There are just 65 calories in a bottle of Buckler.

The appearance of Buckler in a pint glass resembled much of the lighter style beers found in most bars. The shimmering honey color was topped with a thick layer of foam. The beer released minimal carbonation.

The aroma was over powered with heavy European hops.

The taste was light and sweet with very little crisp.

The Verdict:

This particular brew was on the watery side but if someone handed it to me in a bar I wouldn’t have been able to taste the difference between it and some of the light domestics most drink.

KALIBER
Imported from the brewers of Guinness
Less than 0.5% ABV

kaliber non alcoholic beer reviewThe label described this Malt Beverage by its rich amber color and full body, delivering all the taste of a premium import with less alcohol than beer.

The appearance of the Kaliber in a pint glass was light amber with very little to no head.

The aroma was strong homemade bread with heavy yeast characteristics.

The flavor was deep and the malts tasted of burnt caramel. On a side note; Guinness is also made from burnt malts.

How many calories in Kaliber Non Alcoholic beer? This darker malt beverage has a whopping 71 calories (hint of sarcasm). Again a favorable alternative to those really counting calories or those who chose not to consume alcohol.

The Verdict:

I think most would be fooled as to what they were drinking when trying to compare this reasonably good non-alcoholic to a domestic. I did notice a slight difference but it was very minor and was pleased with the result.
 

One versus the other

 
Between the two I tried, Buckler won this battle.

And a word for the wise… make sure the Non-Alcoholic beers are served ICE COLD. Makes all the difference.
 

A little Near Beer Info:

 

How is non-alcoholic beer made?

 
In the early days brewers would shorten the fermentation process and although it reduced the alcohol content it also altered the taste of the beer.

Nowadays malt brews are made the exact same way as their full-bodied (alcohol) counterparts and allowed to ferment to full term.

It is only before the very last step that the alcohol is then removed, either through reverse osmosis, heating or by vacuum evaporation. The basic premise is this; alcohol and water have different boiling points and therefor one can be evaporated at a lower temperature than the other (yay for science).

Once the alcohol is removed the beer is filtered and carbonated. Real beer avoids the previous step and goes straight to filtration and carbonation.
 

How many calories in Non-Alcoholic Beer?

 
Being that the majority of calories in beer come from the alcohol, Non Alcoholic beer is much lower and in some cases even has half as many as its alcohol filled counterparts.

Typically a non-alcoholic beer contains between 60-80 calories and is a perfect option for someone looking to pinch a few calories anyway they can.
 

When was non alcoholic beer first made?

 
“Near beer” dates back to the early days of Prohibition. Initially President Wilson tried to reduce the alcohol content to 2.5% but the Temperance Society wouldn’t have it.

 
 
The next time you’re out and about and happen to be behind the wheel don’t be afraid to try a couple of these Non-Alcoholic brews and let’s eliminate the stigma that comes with ordering one at a bar. There isn’t any shame in drinking one of these vacuum evaporated cold ones, especially when you’re the DD.

Cheers,

Jon and Sean

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

Cooking with Beer - Corona Lime Fajitas

Corona Lime FajitasMost who know me have seen me go to town when it comes to Mexican food at one time or another. Known for my fresh made Guac, I can also put back my fare share of nachos. The problem with nachos is the calories add up very quickly.

To get my Mexican fix I stick to healthy recipes like this one. This tasty recipe is a regular I cook up and one to keep in your bag of tricks when guests unexpectedly show up.

The Corona Lime Fajita recipe is quick and easy, tastes incredible and is made fresh from scratch (no fajita kits in my kitchen). You’re going to love em… I do.

Watch below to see how I whip them up:
 

Corona Lime Fajitas

 


 

Here’s what you need for the Corona Lime Fajitas:

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers
  • 1 bottle of Corona
  • 2 Medium Red Onions or 1 large Red Onion
  • 2 Limes
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
  • ½ cup of Greek Yogurt
  • 4-6 8-inch Whole-Wheat tortillas
  • 2-4 Ounces of Cheddar Cheese
  • ½ Cup of fresh spinach (chopped)
  • Guac (homemade)
  • Fresh Salsa (homemade)

 
Here’s what you need for the Guacamole:

  • 2 Ripe Avocados
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 5 Cherry tomatoes
  • 2 table spoons of diced onion
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper
  • Small pinch of cayenne pepper

 
Here’s what you need for the Fresh Salsa:

  • 1 small red chili pepper
  • 20-25 Cherry Tomatoes
  • Small bunch of Cilantro
  • 2 table spoons of diced onion
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper

 
Here’s how to put it all together:
 

Fajitas

 
Halve and seed your red peppers, then slice lengthwise into thin strips. Peel, halve and finely slice your red onions as well. Slice your chicken breasts into thin strips and place everything into a bowl.

Pour a half-cup of Corona, squeeze the juice of 1 lime and add 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the bowl. Dump in your cumin, paprika, chili powder and season with a little sea salt and black pepper. Mix well and lit sit, tenderizing while you prepare your Guac and Salsa.
 

Salsa

 
Roughly chop your cherry tomatoes and cilantro. Finely chop your chili pepper and dice up 2 tablespoons of onion. Add everything to a bowl then drizzle in 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, squeeze in the juice of 1 lime and stir everything together.
 

Guacamole

 
Cooking with Beer GuacamoleHalve, seed and score the insides of your 2 ripe avocados. Use a spoon to scoop out the fleshy inside and place in a bowl. Finely chop the garlic, dice up another 2 tablespoons of onion, roughly chop your 5 cherry tomatoes and add everything to the bowl. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper, squeeze in the juice of 1 lime and season with a little sea salt and pepper. Mix and mash with a fork.
 

Serve it up

 
Turn a grill pan to medium high, add the chicken mixture using tongs and cook until chicken is golden brown (roughly 7-9 minutes). Keep an eye of the chicken, turning the pieces so they cook evenly and don’t burn.

Heat your tortillas in the microwave for 15 seconds, spread some guacamole in them, and add your chicken and veggies, a little chopped spinach, a spoonful of Greek yogurt, fresh salsa and a little cheddar cheese. Squeeze over a little lime, sprinkle on some fresh cilantro and go to town.

Sooooo delicious.

Yours in health,

Sean

PS. Follow the link for more Cooking With Beer Recipes.

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

Are Abs are made in the kitchen?

Question: @DavidZinczenko (Men’s Health Editor) tweeted the other day, “Abs are made in the Kitchen, not in the gym.” This true?

Henrique Adventa, Los Angeles, California

Are Abs made in the kitchen?Answer: Henrique thanks for the great question. Let me start off by first saying that I also follow Zinczenko and have always appreciated the information he has provided readers, notably in the ever popular Abs Diet.

Any qualified coach you ask will not deny the fact nutrition plays a huge role in an athletes recovery, performance and yes- even their abs. Whether or not it’s 70, 80 or 90% of your results, we all agree it is high and often underestimated by people.

The right nutrients at the right time of day will tell your body to either burn fat or build muscle. Your job in the kitchen comes down to nutrient timing. More specifically, at what times of day your body needs what kinds of nutrients (fancy word for food components; ie. carbohydrates, proteins and fats).

Before you get the timing down, you need to know what the right nutrients are… and the right nutrients differ depending on your goal. Do you want to burn fat, build muscle or get stronger?

The foods you put in your body will dictate what hormones are released. Your hormones then assist in telling your body to either burn fat or store food calories in your muscle tissue (or your fat cells).

Each persons nutritional plan can be customized to the fit his or her needs based on current body fat and muscle content. Below I’ll highlight some simple techniques proven useful for people trying to lose fat or gain muscle.

For Fat Loss and Abs:

  • Minimal carbohydrates during main meals; breakfast, lunch and dinner. Stick to meals composed of protein, healthy fats and vegetables which helps to minimize insulin production and prevent fat storage.
  • Medium dose of carbohydrates before an after your workout. Whey protein powder and a fast acting carbs/sugars like a banana or a small handful of raisins before and after a workout.
  • Total daily calorie estimate = Body-weight x 12. Example- 175 pounds x 12 = 2100 calories.

 
For Muscle Gain:

  • Carbohydrates, fat and protein with each meal to maximize insulin production driving calories into your muscles.
  • Pre and post workout nutrition protocol same as above.
  • Total daily calorie estimate = Body-weight x 15-16.

 
I cannot stress enough the calorie totals mean nothing if you aren’t getting the quality and the source of the nutrient content right in the first place. You need to master eating whole, unprocessed, natural foods before stressing about the amounts.

And Yes (after that major side track) getting back to your first question- abs are made and/or lost in the kitchen.
 

Question: Is it dangerous for me to run and train in the cold?

Michel Baptiste, Montreal, Quebec

running in cold weatherAnswer: Growing up in the mild lower mainland of beautiful British Columbia, thankfully I never had to train in really cold temperatures. That being said I do remember (like it was yesterday) a few very damp and wet early morning Football practices where the temperature hovered around freezing. The coach made sure we went through a good warm up prior to getting into anything too strenuous and we were fine. Then again, we were young and invincible back then and cold weather didn’t really phase us.

Regardless, provided you get in a good warm up, don’t begin the run or activity with a cold body and avoid extreme cold (minus 15-20 C or lower minus -4-5 F) temperatures- you should be fine.

There are a lot of myths associated with cold air training and how it can be potentially damaging to your lungs and oxygen supply in the body. Sure it might tingle a little when cold out but your lungs certainly can’t freeze or become damaged. Unless you plan on training atop mount Everest where you’d easily develop a narrowing of the airway known as exercise-induced asthma, exercising in cold air is OK.

Instead of worrying about your interiors you should focus on your exterior limbs such as feet toes, hands, fingers and of course- the family jewels. These exterior appendages are far from the center of your body where most of your heat is kept and will be the first place to experience the cold and drop in temperature.

To stay comfortable and safe in frigid weather wear a microfiber shirt as a first layer followed by a breathable windbreaker, tuque (Canadian version of a beanie or cap), gloves or mittens. Also make sure to run with the wind at your back when possible in cold temperatures to prevent excess sweating, since sweating when its cold will only make matters worse by causing you to lose more body heat.



Great questions this week guys. Keep them coming and I’ll do my best to answer them…

Stay Strong,

Drew

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

Birreria - A New York City Beer Garden Review

 

BIRRERIA and the Gang Aft Agley

 
Beer Review Birreria

  • Fifth Avenue & 23rd Street, New York City
  • On top of Super Chef Mario Batali’s Eataly

 
Instead of reviewing just one beer, this week the Thirsty Thursday Beer Review will focus on a New York City beer garden. A must see hot spot for locals and tourists in my books.

BIRRERIA is a modern take on an old world Italian craft brewery and beer garden located atop a Manhattan office building. With a retractable roof this beauty of a place is ready for action year round; come rain or shine, winter or summer.

Although I prefer the summer months as BIRRERIA boasts beautiful views of both the Empire State Building and Madison Square Park. The winter months offer some beautiful indoor scenery if you catch my drift.

Aside from one of the best selections of beer in the city Birreria offers a wide variety of Italian food but I’ll refrain from comment as I have yet to sample any of the dishes. I’m guessing the food doesn’t stray far from Mario Batali’s Eataly which is located on the ground floor and offers some great varieties. Each section of the Italian style market restaurant offers a different taste- I might be mistaken but I think it goes Pizza and Pasta, Meat and Cheese, and Vegetables and Bakery.

Apparently the opening of the restaurant was delayed several months as they had trouble getting the large copper clad brewing system up 14 floors. A crane eventually came to the rescue and got the job done.

A relatively new addition to the NYC craft brew scene, Birreria and the Eataly were inspired by the best of Italy and America. Brewers Teo Musso of Baladin and Lurisia, Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head and Leornardo di Vicenzo of Del Borgo put their knowledge together along with Eataly’s very own brewmaster Brooks Carretta to create three exclusive cask ales only available at the beer garden.
 

What is Cask Ale?

 
Thirsty Thursday Beer Review BirreriaIt is my understanding that Cask Ale is much like someone would make as a home brew (if you didn’t use bottles that is). It is beer served from the same cask in which it was conditioned. The beer is naturally carbonated, unfiltered, and served at a traditional cellar room temperature of 50 – 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to the Eataly Website here are the details to the House Brewed Ales:

RUBY
An American Amber wheat brewed with dried fig and mustard seed.

WANDA
Chestnut mild ale. Chestnuts are a unique brewing ingredient in Italy. Eataly Birreria’s Wanda is a moderate dark traditional mild ale with hints of roasted chestnuts.

GINA
Thyme Pale Ale. A traditional American Pale Ale with fresh thyme from the hills of Borgorose, Italy. A twist on a classic.
 

Beer Prices

 
The house cask beers are reasonably priced for a New York pub at $10, and the draft choices range from $6-10. On the high end there are a few imported bottles that range from $6-40. Some of the bottles serve 2-3 people but I think I still might need to try a couple on my next visit.
 

Beer I had: Gang Aft Agley

 
This time around I couldn’t stay long (probably a good thing) as I was off to meet friends at another local hot spot and only had time to sample one beer. Seeing as how I recently wrote about Scottish Ales I decided to give another a try and went with the Gang Aft Agley from Sly Fox Brewing Company.

According to the Sly Fox website the beer is described as,

“A Scottish Wee Heavy brewed with roasted barley and pale malts. A full-bodied malt lover’s dream beer: mellow, rich and filled with flavor. Gang aft agley translates “go oft astray,” as in Robert Burn’s famous line about “the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men…””

Birreria Beer ReviewMaybe it’s the lights… maybe the energy, but there is something about being in New York City that makes beer taste better. I really enjoyed this beer and as I alluded to in last weeks beer blog- I am growing fond of the malt brew.

If you have not yet visited the big city- do so. And while you’re here do not let the tall buildings and shiny lights distract you from giving Birreria a try.

I Look forward to trying other Micro Brews in and around the city but will surely keep this gem as one of my go to establishments. If you know of any other hot spots with local micro brews, by all means let me know!

Cheers,

Jon

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

20 Minute Ladder Workout

3BG Ladder WorkoutThis month’s 20 Minute Fat Blasting Circuit is called the 3BG Ladder Workout. It involves 3 total body exercises and all you need is a pull-up bar. So if you have one at home- it can be done there or get outside to your local park and use the monkey bars.

You’re going to perform the exercises one after the other in a circuit. You will start with one rep of each, then two, then three and so on until you reach 10 reps of each of the 3 exercises. You’ll go up the ladder but you won’t be coming down… not yet anyway.

Watch below as I struggle to complete this months 20 Minute Fat Blasting Circuit:
 

3BG Ladder Workout

 


 
Perform the following 3 exercises in circuit:
 

  • Drop Squat
  • Push-up
  • Pull-up**

 
**If you cannot perform a pull-up, do a body-weight row.

Complete all 3 exercises in circuit for 1 rep, then 2, then 3 all the up the ladder until you reach 10. Use proper form when completing each exercise and rest as needed.

In the video you’ll see me take my share of rest periods as I struggle through this months circuit. It took me 9 minutes and 53 seconds form start to finish. I did however just finish a workout of weighted dips, chin-ups and deadlifts right before, so my arms were pretty shot.

Regardless, see if you can beat my time.

Yours in health,

Sean

PS. Follow the link for more free workouts.

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Cooking with Beer - Beer Can Chicken

Beer Can ChickenAs opposed to last weeks Beef and Guinness Stew today’s cooking with beer recipe (Beer Can Chicken) is a summer classic. I usually prefer to make this baby on the grill but due to the 25 cm (12 inches) of snow we had over the weekend the barbecue is covered and out of commission.

Not to worry, my version of Beer Can Chicken tastes just as good roasted in the oven.

The beer of choice for today’s Beer Can Chicken is a lager but any variety or your favorite kind will do. I’ve even seen people get creative, add sangria to an empty beer can, shove it up the chicken and fire it on the BBQ.

Like Beer Chili Con Carne this recipe takes a half can of beer so make sure to take a few gulps while prepping. (Little gulps… Leave half for the Chicken)

Watch below to see how it’s done:
 

Beer Can Chicken

 


 

Here’s what you need for the Beer Can Chicken:

  • 1 – 3-4 pound Chicken (innards removed, washed inside/out and patted dry)
  • 1 can of Beer (Lager)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • Half a lemon
  • Dried Rosemary and Thyme
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

How to put it all together:

Remove the innards (if any) from your chicken. Wash inside and out and pat dry.

Preheat your oven to 450°F but before you do make sure to place the bottom rack at its lowest position and remove the middle rack so the chicken can stand stall.

Finely Chop your fresh garlic, place in a bowl and mix together with a few pinches of rosemary and thyme.

Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper, rubbing it in all over.

Pat down the bird with the garlic, rosemary and thyme and squeeze the juice of half the lemon all over.

Place the (half full) beer can into a roasting pan (on a solid surface) and stand the bird (cavity down) onto the can using the legs to balance like a tripod.

Turn the oven down to 400°F and carefully place the bird in the oven. Cook for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes checking mid way through to make sure it isn’t drying out. Once done, remove and let stand covered with a clean towel for 10 minutes.

Carve it up; serve with a side of roasted brussel sprouts, asparagus and sweet potato and enjoy.

How to make your roasted brussel sprouts, asparagus and sweet potato:

Chop the ends off the brussel sprouts and remove the outer leaves. Chop the sweet potato into small cubes. Wash and dry the brussel sprouts, asparagus and sweet potato. Place everything into a bowl and season with sea salt and black pepper. Add approximately half a tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a teaspoon of Red Chili flakes. Mix well.

When there are 40 minutes left on the timer for the Beer Can Chicken put the brussel sprouts and sweet potato into a roasting dish and then into the oven. Add the asparagus for the last 10 minutes.

Soooooooooo good.

Yours in health,

Sean

PS. Follow the link for more Cooking With Beer Recipes.

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Post Workout Beer - Does a Body Good

Todays questions were a perfect way to introduce our new Friday Q and A. Keep them coming and we’ll do our best to answer them.


Question: Is beer really a good post workout beverage?

Jeremy Miller, Steamboat, Colorado

Post Workout BeerAnswer: Believe it or not scientists say a beer after a strenuous workout can be good for the body. Beer has been shown in studies to rehydrate better than water can. The carbonation in beer helps quench thirst while the carbohydrate content helps to replenish calories burnt while working out.

My strength and conditioning mentor used to train a guy who drank a considerable amount of beer- mostly post workout. Acknowledging that he was maybe drinking a little too much they gradually tried to ease back his beer intake and noticed that he had more and more trouble recovering from workouts. He was even experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness more often than he used to.

They eventually made the connection that a large part of his calorie and carbohydrate intake he’d been getting from beer post workout was no longer going into his muscles and was hindering his recovery. As a result he needed to re-introduce good foods to make up the missing calories and replenish his energy stores.

A cardiologist who has worked with professional basketball teams suggests that beer has the perfect post workout make up, adding that he has long recommended the use of barley drinks to professional athletes following exercise.

Another study demonstrated when 2 groups of athletes were put through the same rigorous workout and half were given water and half beer, those who drank brewskis re-hydrated better.

While some argue beer has such a powerful diuretic effect due to the alcohol drinking only one after a workout doesn’t contain enough to cause any notable water loss.

Regardless, it always comes back to moderation. Having a beer after a good hard workout is beneficial and not a problem. 3 or 4- you’d be over doing it. Just to play it safe be sure to follow up with a glass of water!
 

Question: What’s the difference between white and brown rice?

Albert Yew, Wichita, Kansas

white rice vs brown riceAnswer: Both brown and white rice have very similar calorie contents at 4 calories per gram. The main difference lies in the processing and nutrient content.

White rice has the husk bran and germ removed leaving nothing but the starchy center. In the refining process several vitamins and minerals are lost such as b vitamins and iron.

And losing the bran isn’t that great since it has been shown to reduce LDL or bad cholesterol in blood- improving cardiovascular health.

Sometimes these nutrients are re-added to highly processed white rice but it’s never quite as good as the real thing. A very important mineral usually not added back to refined rice is magnesium which is essential in muscle relaxation. (Quick side tip: If you ever experience muscle spams or cramps, first check that your hydration levels are up to par and secondly your magnesium intake)

It is tough to argue against white rice considering over half the world lives on it but much like any grain- the more you strip it down and refine it the less nutrition it will yield.

So, sure you can live on white rice as it provides the same amount of energy as brown rice but you certainly won’t thrive on it because you’ll be losing out on all the b-vitamins, iron, magnesium, trace fatty acids and fiber.

Go for brown if you have the option.



Albert and Jeremy, thanks for some great questions and as always keep them coming.

Stay Strong,

Drew

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