Tigín Irish Pub Blog

Dads Quiet lessons on beer

Dad’s Quiet Lessons on Beer


Summertime memories of my childhood always include Dad, yard work and Coors Light. He loved to get his hands dirty. And in hindsight probably needed a place to go when a house full of 6 kids got as hectic as a house full of 6 kids sounds.  He’d disappear in the back yard for 2-3 hours and emerge sweaty, revived and thirsty. His reward? An ice cold Coors Light, almost frozen.  He always made that beer look so good too. My Dad, swigging that beer down,  admiring his garden, should have been a commercial.  That is, if Coors Light wanted to sell “can I please have a sip Dad?”.   Because that is all I wanted. And I knew by gulp 3 (he finished in about 5) if Dad was feeling generous or not.

It wasn’t until college and my first trip to the UK during Christmas break where l discovered that a whole world of beer existed outside of American Lager. These ‘sophisticated’ European beers were dark, strong and poured from these things called casks. So cool.  My worldview changed instantly! Suddenly light beer was NOT cool.  What an eye opener.  I now understood that, despite my father’s inclination, beer actually CAN be good if it is warmer than 33 degrees.

There was one problem though. My newly formed view of how to drink beer and look cool doing it was shaped around cold weather.  Ah! If only I had traveled to Europe during the summer!  No one told me about shandy, cider and fruity, wheat beer.  Or low ABV and day drinking.  More delicious learning needed to be done!

Still, naively, I carried on drinking all those really great beers  - at all the wrong times.

And as all good parents must do, my Dad kept his wise silence and let me fall on my face (figuratively speaking of course!) so I could grow.

Now I get it.  Certain beers simply taste better during the summer.  Great taste! Less filling!  Forget malt. Think apples and grapefruit! Forget meal-in-glass. Think low calorie.  It took me entirely too long to figure out that a low abv beer means I can hang out MUCH longer in the blazing summer sun. The craft beer boom and its plethora of seasonal beer makes this all seem VERY obvious now.  Such a waste …beer 101 was not offered at my university.

My radical college days are past me. Even Dad is drinking imports now (Corona Light). But I also see the wisdom in his Coors Light circa 1988. COLD  = REFRESHING.  And I see why it was his go-to thirst quencher back then …and why Budweiser is still making its case today.

It’s summer of  2015 and when the occasion calls for afternoon drinks on the patio…

I proudly grab my Schoefferhofer Grapefruit, Magners Pear Cider or Crabbie’s Ginger Beer from the cooler, dripping with bits of ice, slide it in a koozie or pour it over ice and, like a veteran, make an afternoon of it.   With age comes wisdom. Thanks Dad.

schofferhofer 11755068_10153604547254781_3994215965836023296_n       magners cider          crabbies IMG_20150626_221018



*Dad and baby with beer* image grabbed off the interwebs. Photo credit: Bopfish Blogspot

USA fans during Womens World Cup

The USWNT Has a Bandwagon. And You’re Complaining, Why?

I get it. You’re old enough to remember Mia Hamm when she was selected to the National team at 15, 90s enough to remember Michelle Akers and her “I used to drink Tab” head of curls and the golden boot in ‘91, and certainly fan enough to remember Brandi Chastain rip her shirt off after the ‘99 World Cup Final. I get it. You are all #SHEBELIEVES #USWNT #SCORETOSETTLE  …because YOU get it.

Mia Hamm Mia Hamm   Michelle-Akers Michelle Akers

Brandi Chastain  Brandi Chastain

Or, maybe not. Maybe those names and these photos mean nothing to you …except Hammbecause she did that commercial with Jordan.  And furthermore, to you, the Women’s World Cup is boring. Slow. Meh. And the only names you know to throw around at the water cooler are a TMZ version of who’s hot or not hot enough …or even girl enough.

And then maybe, JUST MAYBE you are in another category altogether.  You get soccer – enough. You watch EPL when you go out for brunch. Or maybe you played in high school (or not – whatever) but had a helluva time last summer with the boys and #Ibelievethatwewillwin and #thingsTimHowardcouldsave.  And somewhere over the course of the past couple of weeks you dipped your toe in and the water felt pretty great. The timing at happy hour was solid and with the sound on and plenty of fans in red, white and blue ….so was the atmosphere.

You may have even been interested enough to check in on the other semi final, ENGLAND v JAPAN, last night and, like me, shed a little tear for an England side and a great player who deserved so much more than the final result. Ugh, that one still hurts me a little today.

USA will face Japan in the mother of all redemption matches on Sunday, July 5 at 7pm ET/4pm PT.  And you’re all-in now. Bandwagon?  Maybe. But it’s July 4th weekend and your country is playing for a world title  …not like a baseball faux world series title, but a REAL world title against Japan!  Can’t get any more ‘merican than that!

Endorsement deals and viewership are all up  … a feat in women’s sports never to be taken for granted.  Little girls will be watching Sunday -which is a very good thing. But little boys, grown men and the American Outlaws, the largest organization of USA soccer supporters, will be watching at soccer bars like Tigin too, which is even better.

Point is, we aren’t really talking about a bandwagon, like Miami and Cleveland fans crying over their Lebron James. Blah – who cares. No. We’re talking about the US Women’s National Team and they aren’t going anywhere. Fans aren’t switching sides either.

During this 2015 World Cup campaign, the USWNT is just getting another spark of support that will keep the sport moving forward.

...and make no mistake, there will be fireworks this weekend.  The Yanks are coming!



Miami USA   Staff are warming up!      Denver staff on USWNT game day


Extreme Beer – Extreme Love

For the past month, we have been celebrating extreme beers.  High quality.  High alcohol by volume (abv).  Big beers.  And when talking, sampling and selling such unique -sometimes hard to get- beers, it’s important to take a moment to learn (give thanks!) to the history of the big beer. Because that Cappuccino Chocolate Stout didn’t happen by accident. Mmmm Nutty.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

While beer dates back to the Egyptians, the history of big beers can be pointed to a very special Medieval time (6th century) and a place (Europe) where clean water sources were about as prevalent as women’s rights (Non-existent. Feel me?). And even though the Trappist monks in France didn’t invent beer, they sure as heck had the time and diligence required to perfect it.  Important to know that back around 500 A.D., although people consumed a lot of beer, it was not very good.  And beer drinking wasn’t just for the gents either. Women, children and monks consumed it daily. During Lent, monks consumed up to 4 litres a day and little else (do not try that at home).  It was an important part of trade at that time as well and monks, living and working at the center of it all, became master brewers.  For all intents and purposes, Abbeys were the original breweries. Those tenacious little monks learned how to make beer stronger, tastier and even last longer, so they could export itWho says God and science are incompatible? To this day, behind water and tea, beer is the most widely consumed drink in the world.

 tripel kameliet

Hop yeah!

One of the most significant moments in the evolution of beer was the introduction of hops.  (And we have the Germans to thank for that). Notably, without hops, you’re still just looking at ale. More importantly, hops serve as a preservative, which is an integral step in beer trade. Fast forward to 2015– and its clear the tremendous popularity and growth of IPAs is representative of something else. America’s taste buds have changed –think spicier and lighter.  And despite the bitterness of the hops, foods actually taste better and just a bit more intense too. The numbers don’t lie. IPA sales grew a staggering 450% from 2013-2014.  New styles, like sour beers, are certainly emerging, but IPAs are still king of this growth category.  Part of this enormous growth is due to the fact that brewers are giving hop heads more options, like white or black IPAs, high abv and the more flavor-forward options with chocolate, fruits or malts.  IPAs are among some of the most popular of the big beers. They’re buzzing, figuratively and literally.

     attachment (34)    *fish tacos with a spicy aioli sauce

Love Child DC attachment (37)   *salmon bites

Spring beer 1

Session on!

Just a note of extra caution.  We always advocate responsible drinking. These big beers have an alcohol by volume often twice that of what you probably drink. That’s fun, of course, but you’ll be on your face if you aren’t careful. Think of abv beers like cocktails. More for sipping than quaffing. Admire them for their complexity more than their thirst quenching capabilities and count 1 beer as two of your usual and you’ll be fine.

Not sure how to get started? I recommend that you sample with a ‘beer flight’. It usually involves four – 6 ounce pours – of hand-selected draft beers but without the worry of getting stuck with more than you want or can handle {because a 9.2% abv imperial double IPAs sometimes hits like …whoomp!}

beer flights

There is certainly a place and a time for session beers and luckily great breweries are continuing to make plenty of tasty options.   But when it comes to beer these days …go big or go home!  Big beers are here to stay.  I, for one, am raising my glass in thanks. Who’s with me?

    Extreme Beers

Give us a follow on Instagram @tiginirishpub …we know you love big beers too, so keep taking those fantastic photos coming. Just be sure to tag us!