Articles

Just Say No... to Green Beer

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! Or, as I like to call it, one of the two holidays from other countries that we Americans have turned into days for drunken debauchery.* According to my Ancestry DNA results, I'm 4% Irish. Of course, they also point out that it really means that it could be anywhere from 0-9% Irish, and my heritage could be from the Channel Islands, Faroe Islands, France, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, or Scotland. So who knows? But, as someone who is nominally Irish, …

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Define a Style: Cold IPA

The India Pale Ale (IPA) beer style has long been a favorite of craft beer drinkers. With its bold and hoppy flavors, it’s the perfect beer for those who like a bit of bitterness in their brew. But a new kid on the block has been gaining popularity in recent years: the cold IPA. A Cold IPA is meant to be a showcase for hops. It contains adjuncts like flaked rice or corn (or a combination of the two). Caramel malts are not used since the goal is medium-to-low malt character. While Cold IPAs are …

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The Joy of Beer-Clean Glassware

I went to a work-related event at a local brew pub late last year. It had been a while since I had been there, and I was curious to see what it was like. My first disappointment came when not one but two different bartenders told me that a beer I was asking about was a "light beer." (It was actually a Belgian wit.) The second disappointment came when I was served my beer. I know I shouldn't have been surprised that bartenders who don't know beer styles don't know how to properly clean beer …

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Unmasking the Past: The Colorful History of the Ojen Mardi Gras Cocktail

[ Editor’s note: This week’s cover story was co-written by Hoperatives writers Michelle Lentz and Monika Royal-Fischer. At this time, our CMS is only showing Michelle’s byline, but it definitely was a collaboration. As they say in Hollywood, we’ll fix it in post. 😁] Laissez les bon temps rouler! What comes to mind when you think of Mardi Gras? Likely your imagination immediately goes to New Orleans and lively celebrations, parades, beads, masks and colorfully costumed party-goers. But have you …

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Hoperatives Guide to Aphrodisiac Cocktails

Aphrodisiacs The dictionary defines an aphrodisiac as “something (such as a food, drink, or drug) that causes or increases sexual desire.” They are aptly named for Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. According to ancient Greek legend, Aphrodite was born from the sea and arrived on land carried on either an oyster or scallop shell. This helps to explain why we hear that oysters and shellfish are thought to be aphrodisiacs. But what about drinks? Can cocktails be aphrodisiacs? In the spirit of …

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The All-Important Pizza Wines

Since launching The Grape Gatsby back in the fall, I've started to feel a lot of pressure (self-induced, of course) to always drink higher-end wine. But here’s the thing - sometimes a girl just wants a “pizza wine.” And for me, pizza and wine is a pairing that is meant to be. Photo by The Nix Company on Unsplash With the Super Bowl coming up on Sunday, this seems like a perfect time to talk about two of my favorite pizza wines. Rus Jimenez Manchuela Spain, 2020 ~$15 14% AbV This is a weird …

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Origins: The Hot Toddy

I don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling sick or the weather is cold and gray, there’s only one drink that will chase away the chill – a warm, cozy hot toddy. Nothing says comfort like a mug of bourbon (my fave), honey, and spices, with their toasty goodness. But what makes the hot toddy the beverage of choice on cold winter nights? Interestingly, the origins of the hot toddy are as varied as the recipes to make it. Maybe part folklore, part fact? You decide. INDIA, ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, AND …

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What We're Drinking Right Now (Jan. 27, 2023 edition)

Once a week (or so), we post a beverage (or two) that we are enjoying right now. These aren't long reviews analyzing the drinks, just what it is and a sentence or two about why it's our go-to right now. We may even talk about the foods that pair well with those beverages. You never know! [This article may contain affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.] Carla and Tom - Certain restaurants will always be …

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Non-Alcoholic Spirits: Why Not Whisky?

It’s been six months since I’ve had real whiskey. Maybe my palate has changed– but the NA spirits being introduced today are shockingly good. None of them quite duplicate bourbon (okay, maybe my palate is just right) but if you’re looking for a substitute, there are some pretty decent options. I’ve recently tried three different “whiskies”, from three different “distillers”. A quick warning about all NA spirits: they are not meant to be consumed neat. Not a one of them. I assure you, you will …

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What We're Drinking Right Now (Jan. 20, 2023 edition)

Once a week (or so), we post a beverage (or two) that we are enjoying right now. These aren't be long reviews analyzing the drinks, just what it is and a sentence or two about why it's our go-to right now. We may even talk about the foods that pair well with those beverages. You never know! [This article contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.] Carla and Tom - We went old school this week. Some …

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Beer and Being Diabetic

I remember parts of the phone call vividly. “We got your test results. You’re diabetic.” I managed to let the medical assistant from my doctor’s office know that I appreciated her calling and I would discuss it more with the doctor at my appointment. I said good-bye and hung up. Then I sat there for a bit and then I told Tom. “My A1C is 7 and I’m officially diabetic.” I said “officially diabetic” because I had been pre-diabetic for years. My A1C had been hovering in the 6.3-6.5 range for so …

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The Best Part of Waking Up

They say the path to Hell is paved with personalized Instagram ads. Wait, no, it's "good intentions," isn't it? I always get those two things mixed up. Don't get me wrong though, in general, I 100% do believe that personalized ads on social media are effectively the opening of the rabbit hole that's sooner or later going to lead the Alice in all of us down into a dark, corporately-controlled, advertising Wonderland. But that's a rant for another time (and probably a whole other place). Rail as …

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What We’re Drinking Right Now (Jan. 6, 2023 edition)

Once a week (or so), we post a beverage (or two) that we are enjoying right now. These aren't be long reviews analyzing the drinks, just what it is and a sentence or two about why it's our go-to right now. We may even talk about the foods that pair well with those beverages. You never know! [This article contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.] Carla - The last few years, we’ve really gotten …

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2023: (Not Just) Dry January

Happy 2023! If you’re someone who’s doing a Dry January– you’ve come to the right place. Yes, I know this is Hoperatives. Yes, I know we focus on better beer. But in 2023, those of us who are sober, sober-curious, reducing our alcohol consumption or just want to have some other options? Well, we finally have them. The last time I went dry was in 2017. And honestly, there just weren’t many options, and the ones we had were pretty bad: sparkling cider tastes nothing like Champagne. Mocktails were …

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Hoperatives: the 2023 Edition

Exactly fourteen years ago, a brand new bouncing baby blog was born. And though there was a test post before it, that was indeed the title of the first post on Hoperatives. It started like this: Welcome to Hoperatives, a place for believers in better beer. What's better beer? It's not just the beer you like, it's the beer you love. It's the beer you'll search for far and wide, the one you'll drive long distances to sample and buy, the one you'll hoard for yourself or grudgingly share, but only …

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