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3 Pumpkin Beers To Try This Year

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Pumpkin Beers

Fall is just around the corner, and everyone is bracing for another wave of pumpkin-flavored … everything. While pumpkin flavors help create enjoyable fall-themed variations of many popular foods and beverages, pumpkin-infused beers gained a bad reputation. Every autumn, breweries across the nation attempt to cash in on the pumpkin craze that takes hold. The reason behind pumpkin beer’s bad reputation may be due to too many breweries jumping on the pumpkin-flavored bandwagon. Additionally, they are not devoting the proper time and care to develop robust, flavorful, and enjoyable pumpkin beers.

That trend has shifted now, and many different pumpkin beers are both enjoyable and perfect for fall weather. Respected online beer review hubs like Beer Advocate have even developed their rating categories for pumpkin beers thanks to the innovation of the breweries behind these brews. As you prepare for fall, the following top-shelf pumpkin beers could change your mind.

Cigar City Brewing Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Pumpkin Beers
Cigar City Brewing

This product of Ft. Collins, CO, has earned a world-class rating of 95 on Beer Advocate. It is the perfect addition to your October costume parties. Beer lovers have rated Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale as a well-spiced and full-bodied pumpkin beer with notes of Jamaican allspice, Ceylon cinnamon, nutmeg, and Zanzibar cloves. It’s a well-balanced beer that clocks in at 8.5% ABV. If you like a full complement of robust fall spices to accompany the flavor, this is the pumpkin beer for you.

Elysian Brewing Company Punkaccino

Pumpkin-spiced lattes have inspired a wave of food and beverage products aiming to capture the unmistakable blend of pumpkin and coffee. In the race for the best pumpkin coffee-infused beer, Punkaccino is a strong contender. It’s earned an outstanding rating of 92 on Beer Advocate, with drinkers reporting a pumpkin pie and spice aroma and subtle coffee undertones in a creamy, smooth body. Punkaccino has an ABV of about 6%, and it’s perfect for pumpkin and coffee lovers alike this fall.

Saint Arnold Brewing Company Pumpkinator

Pumpkin Beers
Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Pumpkinator from the Saint Arnold Brewing Company in Texas is a must-try. If you are interested in trying yet another world-class pumpkin beer, this one’s for you. With a rating of 95 on Beer Advocate, Pumpkinator is 10% ABV, making it one of the strongest pumpkin beers on the market with a complex and enjoyable flavor profile. Some reviewers think it is pumpkin pie in liquid form. Others report aromas and flavors reminiscent of roasted pumpkin and autumn spices. One thing they can all agree on is that Pumpkinator is one of, if not the best pumpkin beers made in the US.

These three are just a couple of the most highly rated pumpkin beers on the market. With the explosive popularity of microbrews today, you’re sure to see a slew of new pumpkin beers. As the fall season rolls in, Payless Liquors can help you get the pumpkin beers you want. Contact Payless Liquors today to learn more about our beer services and the pumpkin beers we have available.

Skunky Beer

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Skunky Beer – and How to Avoid It

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Ever heard of a Skunky Beer? Imagine it’s a hot day in late August. You’ve spent the entirety of the day wrestling the backyard into submission. You’re sweaty, a bit overheated, and all you want is a nice, cold beer. So, you open the fridge and savor the wave of cold air that hits you before reaching for your favorite bottle of domestic. You pop the top and tilt the bottle. But instead of the refreshing taste you’re expecting, you get the offensive flavor of musty, wet animal.

What happened? What scenario possibly could have unfolded to turn your favorite beer into a malodorous bottle of sludge? Let’s find out.

Why Skunked Is an Apt Term

Since you were old enough to buy a case of beer and toss it in the trunk of your car to transport home on a hot day, you’ve likely heard the warnings – never let beer get warm and then cool it again, lest it become ‘skunked.’ While the advice was flawed in one respect (allowing beer to cool, warm, then cool again isn’t what causes skunking), the use of the term ‘skunked’ is pretty accurate. Skunked beer tastes the way it does because chemical reactions inside the bottle have created a compound called 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol (MBT) – a compound nearly identical to the one skunks spray in self-defense.

Humans can taste this compound in ridiculously small doses; just a bit of MBT is enough to completely ruin a beer. So, how does it appear in your beer bottle? More importantly, how can you prevent it?

What Causes Skunky Beers

Contrary to popular belief, beer does not become skunked after exposure to heating and cooling – unless you’re regularly boiling and nearly freezing your beer. (It does, however, increase the speed at which your beer oxidizes, leading to a slightly less offending wet cardboard flavor.) Instead, the main culprit behind skunking is the UV rays of the sun.

Over time and in large enough quantities, the blue spectrum of UV light interacts with the hop compounds (isohumulones) in your beer, breaking them down and lending an electron to an amino acid. The result is the dreaded MBT compound that gives your beer that skunked flavor.

How Can You Avoid Skunky Beer?

The first step in skunky beer prevention occurs at the brewery – brewers choose packaging that helps to block out UV light and avoid skunking altogether. Kegs and cans are completely opaque and are the best way to prevent skunking, and brown bottles come in a close second – there’s a reason most craft beers are packaged in these two containers. Green and clear bottles let in the most UV light, and the beer contained within is thus the most susceptible to producing MBT.

Skunking can happen at any time– usually during the warehousing or in-store portions of your beer’s trip to your fridge. That means there isn’t a lot you need to do to prevent skunking except purchase beers that come in cans or brown bottles. If your favorites are packaged in clear or green bottles, just do your best to keep your beer out of the sun.

You can trust Payless Liquors for all your cold, fresh beer needs. Our beer stock is regularly rotated to prevent unnecessary exposure to the UV light that can cause skunking. We also have a large selection of brands and styles to please any palate. Stop in or complete an online order form for pickup today.

Our Essential List of Beach Cocktails You Can Enjoy at Home

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Beach CocktailsIt’s summertime, which usually means beach cocktails, long weekends at the lake, and even excursions to tropical destinations abroad. Unfortunately, summer travel plans—including tropical fun—seem to be on hold this summer with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Many Americans are choosing to partake in simpler, at-home vacations instead of heading to the surf and sand and dealing with the travel restrictions and quarantines that are sometimes required upon return.

No Beach Vacation Doesn’t Have to Mean No Tropical Drinks

One of the aspects of a beach getaway many of us will miss the most are the exotic, tropical drinks so often found at vacation destinations. Fortunately, they’re also one of the easiest parts of your vacation to recreate right here at home. Check out our list of beach cocktails from some of the most popular tropical destinations and corresponding recipes you can enjoy in your backyard.

Blue Hawaiian

This classic Tiki beach drink from one of the only domestic tropical locations is a must-have for any backyard luau. You’ll need:

  • 1 1⁄2 ounces vodka of your choice
  • 3⁄4 ounce blue Curaçao
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1⁄2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1⁄2 ounce simple syrup
  • Splash of half-and-half
  • Pineapple for garnish

Combine all ingredients except pineapple into a cocktail shaker and shake with ice—strain into a tall glass of crushed ice and top with pineapple.

Bahama Mama

As you’d expect, this tropical drink hails from the Bahamas. This fruity drink is best blended, but some swear by serving it over crushed ice instead. Round up these ingredients:

  • 1/2 ounce coconut rum
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • 1/2 ounce cherry grenadine
  • 1/2 ounce white rum
  • 1 ounce orange juice

Pour all ingredients into a blender, along with 1 cup crushed ice. Blend until smooth, and serve in a tall glass.

Mojito

Originating in Cuba and the Florida Keys, depending on which type of lime you prefer, this citrusy, minty drink is a refreshing twist on tropical. Gather up these essentials:

  • 1 1/2 ounces white rum
  • 1/2 ounce fresh key lime or traditional lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 1/2 ounces club soda
  • 8 mint leaves

Muddle mint leaves in a shaker, then add 2/3 cup of ice. Shake vigorously before adding club soda and pouring into a tall glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Michelada

This classic Mexican drink is a great sipper inside in the AC or the backyard by the pool. You’ll need:

  • Mexican lager beer, like Modelo or Tecate
  • Clamato juice
  • 3 splashes hot sauce, preferably Tapatio
  • 2 splashes Worcestershire sauce
  • Juice of one lime
  • Tajín seasoning

Rub a lime around the edge of the glass and press Tajín seasoning onto the rim. Fill the glass 1/3 full with Clamato, add the hot sauce, Worcestershire, lime juice, and fill the rest with cold lager. Season with Tajín and salt as desired.

Get Your Tropic On at Payless Liquors

While there are a host of other popular tropical drinks out there—from the Sex on the Beach and the Mai Tai to the Pina Colada—we think the four listed above are a great representation of the different styles you’ll find on beaches around the world. For all the best spirits, mixers, and even a recipe suggestion or two, stop into your nearest Payless Liquors location today.

Modern IPAs—What You Didn’t Know About One of America’s Most Popular Beers

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IPAIf you’re a beer enthusiast of any persuasion, you’ve undoubtedly heard of IPA by now. This hoppy, floral, slightly bitter brew has found its way onto the shelves of nearly every beer cooler in America—and is the star of many a craft brewery lineup. The IPA is often an object of scorn by beer traditionalists. They claim to dislike its relatively high alcohol content, bitterness, and often-extreme level of hops. However, the beer market tells a different story—IPAs make up a full 13 of the top 25 beers on Beer Advocate’s Top 250 Beers list.

What’s in an IPA?

IPAIPA is an acronym for India Pale Ale and is, of course, a version of the classic pale ale styles that emerged in England in the early 1700s. These old pale ales utilized malts roasted with coke (a coal-based fuel that produces practically no smoke), resulting in ales that were much lighter than the traditional dark, smoky ales of the region. Since the malts were lighter in flavor rather than color, the hops were able to become the star.

The IPA became popular over a hundred years later. British expatriates living in the east Indian colonies requested barrels of their favorite “bitters,” or pale ales, to get a taste of home. According to legend, brewers feared their beers wouldn’t make the journey without becoming too sour and flat. So, they drastically increased the alcohol and hops content in the hopes that the beer would be drinkable when it arrived. However, it’s now believed that this explanation is just a story, because other beers made the journey without this addition. Whatever the origin, an IPA is simply a lightly malted pale ale produced with more hops and, in most cases, more alcohol.

What’s With All the Lingo?

As the style became more popular in the US in the 1970s and ’80s, American breweries utilized American hops like Cascade or Simcoe in both their pale ales and their IPAs. The pale ales were already higher in alcohol and more hop-forward than the British pale ales that came before them. Common sense dictated that the IPAs should be even more so. By the time the style took off in the late ’80s and ’90s, there were so many different types of IPAs. Consequently, brewers had developed terminology to describe their unique brews:

  • West Coast IPA—these brews are more bitter, hoppy, and floral than the average American IPA.
  • East Coast IPA—this style is maltier and mellower, although hops still shine.
  • Double IPA—the Double IPA simply doubles the amount of hops included rather than the brewery’s traditional IPA.
  • Imperial IPA—the term was originally synonymous with double IPAs, but now can even include triple IPAs.
  • Hazy IPAs—also known as New England IPAs, these beers aren’t filtered and, as a result, are creamier and less bitter than other IPAs.
  • Juicy IPAs—usually a type of hazy IPA, juicy IPAs include citrusy hops and yeast esters to impart a fruity flavor.

Try a New IPA for National IPA Day

With the ever-increasing number of releases from craft and big-name breweries around the world, you’re more likely than ever to find the perfect balance of hops and malt. No matter which type of IPA appeals to you, August is an ideal time to start looking. The first Thursday of the month is National IPA Day. So, stop into a Payless Liquors location near you and find your new favorite IPA to celebrate.

summer beer varieties

Beer Can Be Seasonal, Too – Try These Six Summer Beer Varieties

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Choosing a beer for any occasion used to be simple – for the most part, Americans were limited to the light lagers and pilsners that were readily available at any corner store, regardless of season. With the eventual rise of imports, diversification of large American breweries, and the influx of smaller craft breweries in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, however, beer has become much more nuanced. In fact, as American tastes became more adventurous, beer brewing – and beer drinking – has taken on a seasonal component once only seen in wines and cocktails. However, there’s no reason choosing the perfect summer beer can’t be simple. Just think of what your taste buds crave during a long, lazy day in the sun, and you’ll be on the right track. If you’re still not sure, consider this list of light, easily drinkable summer beer varieties:

Fruit beers

This category consists of everything from the traditional German radlers (a mix of lemonade or citrus soda and pilsner) to the more diverse British shandies (ale mixed with lemonade) and every watermelon ale and blueberry stout in between. The hottest days of summer are the perfect time to try these easy to drink, often lower-alcohol, beers.

IPAs and pale ales

Pale, hoppy, a little bit bitter, but somehow still refreshing, pale ales and their India pale ale cousins truly come into their own in the summer. IPAs have a stronger hop profile than pale ales, but you can find both in hazy, filtered, and even citrus-centric varieties for summer.

Wheat beers

Many a brauhaus serves its traditional hefeweizen or Belgian wit with a tiny bit of fruit juice (typically banana or orange) at the bottom. American wheat beers are similarly hazy and have a unique bit of spiciness that lend themselves perfectly to an orange or lemon garnish. No matter which you choose, wheat beers of nearly all varieties lend themselves to some refreshing summer drinking.

Saisons

While sometimes marketed as a “sour saison” or similar, not all saison beers are sour. In fact, most are considered dry and pleasantly spicy with pale malts and very subtle hop flavor – and some even contain a hint of cucumber or fruit rind flavoring. Whichever you choose, these tasty brews are perfect for summer drinking.

Blondes

Perhaps the most classic of summer beer styles, blonde ales are lighter, easier-drinking, and more approachable than their darker counterparts. In addition, most blondes are brewed without a focus on citrus, fruit, in-your-face hops, or any of the other complex flavors you’ll find in other summer beers – making them a perfect crowd pleaser for the beach or barbeque.

Lagers and pilsners

Although there are numerous types of easy-drinking summer beers crafted especially for the adventurous crowd, there’s nothing wrong with appreciating a classic American or European lager. These brews are produced at a cold temperature with

fermenting yeast to produce the signature mild flavor. If you need something even lighter, grab a pilsner – a traditional type of lager with a paler color and spicier, more refreshing taste.

At Payless Liquors, we have an extensive selection of summer beers – from craft-brewed fruity varieties to the traditional American lagers you love. Alternatively, change up your summer drinks and ask about our wine and liquor offerings. Call ahead or fill out an online order form to ensure we have your favorite summer beer ready for curbside or in-store pickup.

kegs

How Long Does Beer in a Keg Stay Fresh?

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Are you a bottled beer fan or a connoisseur of the keg? Each variety has its own set of characteristics that makes the flavor and effervescence unique and palatable. If you are of the opinion that there’s nothing like a pint of foamy beer right out of the keg, you certainly know that keeping the beer fresh throughout the lifetime of the keg can get a little tricky. Exposure to oxygen, bacteria, and temperature are all factors that affect the rate at which a beer will lose its finest qualities. The keg is at its freshest point the day the brewery fills it. After that, it slowly begins to lose this quality. Here are a few facts about a keg’s freshness that you can use to get the most out of your beer on tap.

How Long Does a Keg Stay Fresh?

For most beers on tap, dispensed with CO2, the rule of thumb is that non-pasteurized beer will retain its freshness for 45-60 days, if proper pressure and temperature are maintained. If you are serving up pasteurized draft beer, the shelf life is around 90-120 days. If you have just gotten an air pumped party keg, you should consume the beer within 8-12 hours if you want to enjoy it at peak freshness. You will find that most breweries now print a freshness date on the keg for your convenience. Be sure to read the labeling carefully, as some breweries print this as an expiration date, while others opt for a “born on” date. These dates have the days it is in inventory at the brewery figured into the equation and generally print the date on the side of the keg or on the cap.

Are There Exceptions to the Rule?

The short answer to this question is yes; there are always exceptions. For instance, bigger beers with higher alcohol content will last a bit longer than “the norm.” The character imbued on the beer by its hops will fade a bit, but these beers can be expected to last up to six months. In other cases, beers change even more slowly.

How Do I Know How Much Beer to Get?

If you are concerned about having a keg that is too big to finish before it loses its freshness, there are options you can consider to avoid this dilemma. Kegs come in varying sizes, so it is not always necessary to buy the biggest one on the market. Standard sizes and the amount of beer you can expect to get out of them are as follows:

  • Full-size Keg (Half Barrel) = 165 12oz beers
  • Euro Keg = 140 12oz beers
  • Quarter Barrel Keg = 82 12oz beers
  • Five Gallon Keg = 55 12oz beers
  • Three Gallon Keg = 32 12oz beers

If you pay attention to these tips and facts about draft beer, you should be able to maintain freshness in your keg for the amount of time it takes for you to finish the beer. For more

information, and a selection of fine kegs for your home or business, come and see the experts at Payless Liquors today.

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

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January 31 | 6:45 – 8:45 pm

9520 Uptown Drive, Suite G, Indianapolis, IN 46256

Saint Archer Gold is a Helles-inspired Lager. At 95 calories and 2.5 grams of carbohydrates per 12oz serving, this is a sessionable option. Craft beer quality with lower calories and carbs! Come give it a try.

Genesse

Genesse Lemon Strawberry Cream Ale Tasting

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January 25 | 6:30 – 8:30 pm

726 Adams Street, Carmel, IN 46032

The Original Cream Ale rolled out in new packaging and now has its first innovation: Lemon Strawberry Cream Ale! Join us for a taste of Genesse Lemon Strawberry Cream Ale!

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

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January 25 | 6:00 – 8:00 pm

14580 River Road, Carmel, IN 46033

Saint Archer Gold is a Helles-inspired Lager. At 95 calories and 2.5 grams of carbohydrates per 12oz serving, this is a sessionable option. Craft beer quality with lower calories and carbs! Come give it a try.

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

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January 25 | 3:30 – 5:30 pm

954 N. STATE ROAD 135, Greenwood, IN 46142

Saint Archer Gold is a Helles-inspired Lager. At 95 calories and 2.5 grams of carbohydrates per 12oz serving, this is a sessionable option. Craft beer quality with lower calories and carbs! Come give it a try.

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

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January 24 | 5:30 – 7:30

1453 East Main Street, Plainfield, IN 46168

Saint Archer Gold is a Helles-inspired Lager. At 95 calories and 2.5 grams of carbohydrates per 12oz serving, this is a sessionable option. Craft beer quality with lower calories and carbs! Come give it a try.

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

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January 24 | 5:00 – 7:00

7157 Whitestown Parkway, Zionsville, IN 46077

Saint Archer Gold is a Helles-inspired Lager. At 95 calories and 2.5 grams of carbohydrates per 12oz serving, this is a sessionable option. Craft beer quality with lower calories and carbs! Come give it a try.

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

Saint Archer Gold Tasting

[Total: 0   Average: 0/5]

January 24 | 4:00 – 6:00 pm

60 BRENDON WAY, Zionsville, IN 46077

Saint Archer Gold is a Helles-inspired Lager. At 95 calories and 2.5 grams of carbohydrates per 12oz serving, this is a sessionable option. Craft beer quality with lower calories and carbs! Come give it a try.