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Stocked holiday liquor cabinet

Holiday Liquor Cabinet: How to Properly Stock

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’Tis the season yet again, and as we prepare to gather and make merry, let’s be sure not to skimp on the holiday liquor. Knowing what to have on standby is crucial to creating the perfect drink.

 

A well-stocked home-for-the-holidays offers drink selections that are both diverse and accessible, with a mix of classic crowd-pleasers and exceptional choices to prominently feature holiday and deep-autumn flavors.

 

The Holiday Liquor Cabinet

 

A liquor cabinet that can hold up through Thanksgiving and well into the New Year is important. Nobody wants to break their holiday groove to make an emergency run to the liquor store in their Christmas pajamas. So, make sure you have the following liquors available for guests at a minimum.

 

  • Rum—Try a spiced rum for warm wintertime vibes. You can’t go wrong with Captain Morgan or Sailor Jerry’s. Mixes well with nog and in hot mixed drinks.

 

  • Whiskey—Make sure you have something on hand for the whiskey connoisseurs at your holiday gathering. Irish whiskeys and bourbons can both hearken back to the memories of a traditional country Christmas. Try exploring offerings from Jameson or Knob Creek.

 

  • Vodka—a simple, clean vodka is a must-have for guests who want mixed drinks. It’s the most versatile and adaptable of the liquors. Try Svedka or Smirnoff, both of which also offer flavor-infused vodkas that might spark your holiday creativity.

 

  • Peppermint Schnapps—for those candy-cane-themed mixers or shooters, of course. Try spiking your hot cocoa.

 

  • Brandy—Brandy is another drink that can go well with egg nog, but it’s also a favorite for just sipping around the fire. Rémy Martin XO is a staple, but in some households, it’s a Christmas tradition to acquire a bottle of Spanish Brandy, or Brandy de Jerez, which owes its unique qualities to being derived from Spanish sherry.

 

Hearty Winter Beers

 

It’s not all about liquor. The beer-drinkers at your holiday festivities also deserve consideration. Stock up on a crowd favorite like Budweiser, with their annual holiday-themed cans, but think outside the gift box as well.

 

There is no shortage of craft brewers putting out seasonal brews each year. Try to have choices in at least three categories. Grab a lager, an ale, and round out the offerings with a porter or stout because you’ll want to have something hearty and dark on hand this time of year.

 

  • Bell’s Brewery—Christmas Ale
  • Tröegs Brewing—Mad Elf
  • Revolution Brewing—Fistmas
  • Sierra Nevada—Celebration Ale
  • Samuel Adams—Winter Lager
  • Leinenkugel’s—Snowdrift Vanilla Porter

 

Mull-Worthy Wines

 

Mulling wine is a fun and easy way to add some warmth and holiday spice to your celebration. You simply simmer a dark wine at low heat and add cinnamon sticks, cloves, oranges, and whatever other herbs or spices you like, infusing it with that magical Christmastime flavor. Don’t boil it. Set your heat too high, and you’re likely to burn away alcohol content.

 

  • Merlot
  • Zinfandel (not white)
  • Garnacha/Grenache

 

Mixers and N/A

 

Don’t forget your nog, sparkling juice, ginger ale, and cola. Head to your nearest Payless Liquors and stock up on holiday cheer.

Gameday drinks

Gameday Drinks: End Zone Dance-Worthy Beverages

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Football and beer are no strangers to one another. Americans have cherished the tradition of cracking a brew for the big game for as long as football has been around. However, there are also football enthusiasts with more refined beverage tastes, those who prefer shots over beers. And don’t forget the fans who reach for something non-alcoholic when suffering dry mouth from watching their team set up for a fourth-down goal-line stand. If you’re hosting a tailgate party or having friends over to watch the game, you’ll want a variety of gameday drinks on hand.

 

With this year’s football season already underway and the winners beginning to separate themselves from the teams experiencing yet another “rebuilding year,” only one question remains: What’s there to drink?

 

Bud Light NFL Team Cans

 

Bud Light’s popular team cans are back in 2021, and now glass bottles are also available with team designs. This year’s sleek redesign features team slogans, rallying cries, and hashtags and still allows you to represent your team’s logo while quenching your thirst.

 

Some of the war cries include “Mile High Salute” for the Broncos can and “Geaux Saints” for the New Orleans team.

 

The designs are available for most teams, but not all. For example, the Packers, Bears, and Vikings all have their own beer deals elsewhere, leaving the NFC North almost entirely left out.

 

In a tailgate setting, beer also works great as a marinade for grilled chicken or a medium for boiling up extra juicy brats and hot dogs.

 

Other Available Gameday Beer Options

 

Try adding in some fall flavors if you want to go beyond the predictable cooler full of light beer. Oktoberfest brews, newly released spicy seasonals, hearty dark beers are all good options for offering variety.

 

  • Elysian – Great Pumpkin
  • New Belgium – Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin
  • Harpoon – Flannel Friday
  • Founders Brewing – Oktoberfest

 

NFL Spirits Partner

 

The first-ever official NFL spirits sponsor will be Diageo. Unfortunately, we have to wait for the 2022 season for this exciting partnership to kick off, but meanwhile, let’s take a look at some of the beloved Diageo brands that might be participating in next year’s football promotions.

 

  • Smirnoff Vodka
  • Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey
  • Captain Morgan Spiced Rum

 

That’s a starting lineup to make any playoff team jealous!

 

Team Spirit Shooter Tray

 

Do you have friends coming over who prefer shots to beer? If you want to get fancy, you can try to recreate your team’s logo using shots! Try serving touchdown celebration shots in a color-coordinated array for variety and team spirit. Add the perfect touch to your gameday drinks!

 

Liquors and liqueurs that feature standard team colors and work equally well for mixing and straight-shooting include:

  • Cherry Dr. McGillicuddy’s—red
  • Sloe gin—dark red (can vary)
  • Orange Curaçao—orange
  • Limoncello—yellow (can vary)
  • Midori Melon Liqueur—green
  • Hpnotiq—bright blue
  • Blue Curaçao—blue
  • Bailey’s Irish Cream—off-white

 

Explore fruity flavored liqueurs for additional options.

 

Whatever the final score turns out to be, your tailgate or game-watching festivities will be a championship-caliber success after a trip to your nearest Payless Liquors location.

 

pumpkin beers

Top 10 Pumpkin Beers

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In the fall, pumpkin beers are a go-to choice for many beer drinkers. The sweet and nutty flavors of these beers provide a perfect way to get out of the sunshine and into the cooler weather that is just around the corner. In light of this, we’ve compiled a list of some popular pumpkin beers to help you decide which one will be your new favorite! 

Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale

Pumpkin is the favorite flavor of all time, and this seasonal release tastes as good as it smells. This beer has a rich body orange color with a liquid caramel nose, reminiscent of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving morning – before anyone had to go back to work. Taste this nostalgia-inducing brew today!

Samuel Adams 20 Pounds of Pumpkin

Made from a pile of pumpkin, some malted barley and the pure spirit of Samuel Adams for true happiness. Allowing you to drink your beer like your ancestors drank theirs (we’re assuming they took their ale in through the nose). Drink it alone or with friends, but be careful because sometimes these things can get worse before better.

Dogfish Head Pumpkin Ale

There are few things better than pumpkin pie, except for this. Dogfish Head has combined all of the spice you love about Thanksgiving dinner with a rich brown ale to create something wickedly delicious. It’s brewed not-too-spicy, but crispy with plenty of warmth from molasses and brown sugar flavor—or as we like to think: it’s everything you and your taste buds need together in one perfect drinkable package. So this season say “yes” to fall and enjoy the flavor explosion that is our Pumpkin Ale.

Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin

Get your pumpkin fix with a twist. Shipyard has been around for over 100 years and there’s no denying that the New England brewers have perfected their versions of America’s favorite seasonal beers. But who could ever get tired of pumpkin beer, even if it is nearly October? Don’t try to tempt fate because this one is expertly crafted right down to its 9% ABV so you can enjoy every last drop.

Elysian Punkuccino

We tried Elysian Punkuccino craft beer and we loved it so much. We’ve never tasted anything like this before! It’s got just the right amount of sweetness, mixed with a wonderfully subtle pumpkin spice flavor that makes for an excellent change in pace from regular coffee. Plus, even when you’re drinking it over ice, you don’t have to worry about getting warmed up or feeling sleepy – because at 9% alcohol by volume (ABV), Elysian Punkuccino is one little can of happiness that’s perfect for 3 o’clock in the afternoon!

We hope that this list has helped you decide on your new favorite pumpkin beer! If not, come by our store and we can help you find the perfect one for any occasion. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

hard cider

Fall’s Hard Ciders

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You know that crisp, refreshing feeling you get from drinking a nice hard cider on a cool autumn day? Yeah, it’s about to be your favorite season ever.  In the past year alone, sales of hard ciders have nearly doubled and shows no signs of slowing down. There are so many different flavors and types out there for everyone to enjoy! Check out these tasty fall favorites!

Redd’s Apple Ale

Redd’s Blissful Apple Ale is the perfect combination of refreshing beer and crisp apple flavor. Two things that are great on their own, but together? Whoa. At only five percent alcohol by volume, our traditional brew is less caloric than most other beers too! Redd’s Hard Apple comes in a limited 16oz can 4-Pack for those who don’t need to go home with their drink or an assortment of 12 packs for all your hootenanny needs.

Angry Orchard Crisp Hard Cider

Angry Orchard’s crisp apple is perfect for any occasion that needs a beverage with just the right balance of sweet and dry. Pair it up with your favorite spicy wing sauce, eat some strudel, or throw on some jorts after an all-nighter…hard cider has never tasted so good!

Stella Artois Cidre

Since the very first step of conversion, this carefully crafted cider has a subtle, sweet fruitiness that is striking. As you take a sip and let it linger on your tongue, you will delight in a dryness that gently takes over until the sweetness starts to come through. There’s no need for any other drinks by the pool because Stella Artois Cidre is just right!

Ace Apple Cider

Ace Apple is made with 100% all natural apples, which are sourced from the heart of our nation’s most fertile apple-growing region. This cider is crisp and refreshing thanks to its 4.2% alcohol content, perfect for pairing with BBQ pork or wasabi crème fraîche when out on the patio in September.

Aspall Organic Cider

This fancy-sounding drink is certainly a one of a kind. Nearly every sip lights up your tastebuds with lively floral flavours, offering rich and delightfully complex dry notes on the finish. Quit wasting time trying to go into that bar brawl tonight when you could be sitting back with this brew instead.

Fall is the perfect time to enjoy a delicious hard cider. Whether you’re looking for something light or dark, sweet or dry, fruity or hoppy – there’s an apple-based brew out there that will perfectly complement your season. Why not take this opportunity to explore some of these tasty fall favorites? We have all sorts of flavors and types available at Payless Liquors so you can find what suits you best! Happy hunting!

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.

Hot IPAs for Summer

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Summer craft beers are quite the talk of the town this time of year. They are becoming more and more popular, especially within the local Indianapolis beer circle. We are thrilled to announce that this season at Payless Liquors, we are offering a majority of the hottest craft-beer products out there! Here are a few of the big IPAs we recommend you enjoy this summer.

Stone RuinTen IPA

First released in 2012 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Stone Brewing’s Ruination DIPA, RuinTen has now become a yearly release. Brewed with five pounds of hops per barrel, the process adds a heavier malt bill, balance and alcoholic depth. The dry-hopping of the brew has also doubled, with a large amount of Citra and Centennial hops. RuinTen is guaranteed to please your palate with a mixture of aromatic and resinous hoppiness. With 10.8% ABV you can buy these 22 oz. bottles for $8.99.

Founders Double Trouble 

With a 100 overall rating by RateBeer.com there is no reason not to try this IPA! Founders Double Trouble Imperial pays homage to summer with fruity and piney aromatic hop notes. The pungent scents of juicy apricot and peach flourish. Bread and caramel malt flavors also hit your tongue at first sip. This brew is meant to turn your world upside down—note the logo. Crisp and bitter, enjoy Double Trouble during these summer months. We have it available 9.4% ABV $12.99 4NR.

Sun King Grapefruit Jungle

Last, but not least, an IPA that has certainly created a buzz around the Indianapolis area: Grapefruit Jungle was the first beer by Sun King to sell out in a matter of days. The brew is a tribute to the 1955 film, Blackboard Jungle, starring Glenn Ford and Sidney Poitier. Grapefruit Jungle focuses on the citrusy high alpha hops. Flavors of grapefruit, orange and tangerine run wildly through the brew. Bursting with hop flavor and aroma, Grapefruit Jungle is any hop lover’s dream! It’s fantastic beers like this one that has allowed Sun King to become one of the best breweries in Indiana. We caution you that this product is going fast, so get it while you can! Get it for $18.99 4NR 7.5% ABV 77 IBUs.

Do summer right this year and be sure to pick up at least one of these popular seasonal, craft beers at Payless Liquors.

What is your favorite summer beer? Tell us in the comments below!

Horny Goat Brewing Company Takes on Summer Classics

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Summer is here! And there isn’t a better time to develop your craft beer senses. I can’t imagine anything more relaxing than laying poolside with a cold one in my hand.

There are numerous colors, tastes shapes and sizes of craft beer, so let us be your insight into the industry. Here at Payless Liquors we have two great Horny Goat beers that are a MUST TRY for the summer season.

Horny Goat Watermelon Wheat

The first one is Horny Goat Watermelon Wheat, an American wheat beer with real watermelon juice added during fermentation. This is essential for any seasonal beer enthusiast. At first pour, the Watermelon Wheat is a hazy gold color with a frothy white foam. The sugars from the juice are converted into alcohol resulting in a crisper, dry take on a fruit beer – it is light and refreshing with subtle watermelon in the finish. Don’t let the watermelon name scare you—the taste is subtle enough to not overwhelm the appetizing sweet beer. The delicious taste is a must try for those who enjoy a sweet alcoholic beverage. Horny Goat Watermelon is 5.6% ABV and at Payless, we have a 6 pack of 12 oz. cans for $8.99 available!

Horny Goat Laka Laka Pineapple Hefewiezen

Let us take you to the nearest tropical island, because next up is Horny Goat Laka Laka Pineapple Hefewiezen. This craft beer is a unique take on a traditional German style wheat beer or Hefewiezen, with pineapple juice added after fermentation. This process adds a sweet, tropical fruit flavor to an otherwise dry style. Esters from the German yeast strain add aromas of banana and clove that pair nicely with the pineapple. This makes for a very refreshing brew. The beer goes down smooth which is just what you need this summer. The Laka Laka Pineapple Hefewiezen is 5,1% ABV. We have 6 packs of 12oz. cans for $8.99!

What’s even better about these beers is that they are now available in cans. This makes traveling easier without worrying about breaking the usual glass bottles. The aluminum cans are perfect to throw in the cooler and chill for later!

If you would love to be on a beach somewhere with a cold one, I suggest you check out our newest Horny Goat fruity flavors this summer at all Payless Liquors locations. We can provide you with the beer, but unfortunately not the beach.

If you have a favorite summer seasonal beer that you enjoy this time of year, let us know in the comments below!

February Beer Round Up

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We are all creatures of habit. We tend to get the same pizza delivere and see the same rock bands when they come to town. Not only is familiarity comforting, but it’s also risk-free. You know what you’re getting when you get the same thing over and over again.

But where’s the fun in that? Variety is the spice of life, as they say. The problem with adding something new to your drinking palette is that there are so many choices. How the heck can you pick out a new beer when Payless Liquors has so many to choose from?

That’s where the February Beer Round-Up comes in. We want to provide you with some new choices from beers we love at the store. While these brews may not be as safe as your old favorites, they will spice up your routine.

Bell’s Hopslam: Brewed with six different high alpha hops and then dry-hopped with Simcoe, this IPA bruiser is in high demand around Indy. A massive malt and honey flavor adds plenty of heft and balance to this 10% ABV hop bomb. In stock now, but there is limited availability and high demand! Get a case of 6 for $18.99.

Founders Imperial Stout: This fan favorite is brewed with ten different roasted malts and plenty of hops for heavy dose of 90 IBU’s. Weighing in at 10.5% ABV, this dark masterpiece is dangerously drinkable. A stout cut above the rest, Beer Advocate gives it a world-class score of 97%. Only $12.99 for a pack of 4.

Humboldt Brewing Company’s Black Xantus: This Imperial Stout is infused with fair-trade, organic coffee from local California roaster Jobella. Then this 11% ABV beer is aged for 6 months in bourbon, retired Firestone Union and wine barrels. Black Xantus is deliciously complex, and sure to keep you warm on a winter day. In stock for a limited time. Our 22 oz bottle is only $14.99.

As you can see, we love new beers here at Payless Liquors. In fact, we love to geek out at the counter about it. What new brews have you tried in the New Year? Did you discover any new favorites? We’d love to hear from you on Twitter, Facebook or at our website. Cheers!

Fat Head’s Brewery Spooky Tooth Imperial Pumpkin Ale Now Available

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Something weird happens to me towards the end of September. Like the werewolves of legend, I begin to change. I don’t crave virgin flesh, though. No, I want pumpkin flavored ice cream. I remember when the craze first hit in the late nineties. It was like the McRib for ice cream lovers. Now the pumpkin flavored thing has become a mainstay in our culture. But perhaps some of the best pumpkin-flavoring comes not from sweets, but from craft beer.

Take Spooky Tooth Imperial Pumpkin Ale. It’s a seasonal pumpkin-flavored beer produced by Fat Head’s Brewery, who originates from North Olmsted and Pittsburgh, PA. Now Spooky Tooth is by no means the only pumpkin flavored beer out there. There are some good opponents, but I feel Fat Head’s creation blows them all out of the water. This beer scores 4 out of 5 stars on Untappd and has a 98 out of 100 on Rate Beer. Brewologist Steve Goble comments that Spooky Tooth has a “very smooth feel” and “quickly climbed near the top” of his list of pumpkin beers. Second place, if you read his full article.

Spooky Tooth pours a deep orange in the glass, with a nice thick off-white head. The foam residue is minimal. The aroma is immediately that of pumpkin pie, and spiky smells will make your mouth water. The mixture that you drink has a medium body, but you will feel pretty full drinking it. Some drinkers have commented that it has a chewy, thick feel to it.

The first hints of taste are, again, pumpkin pie. You then get tastes of nutmeg, vanilla, and brown sugar that will remind you of floury pie crust and whipped cream. As the beer warms, the brown sugar will become more apparent. Despite sounding so sweet, the overall flavor isn’t overwhelming. If you’re a fan of ales, this will sit well with you. At 9% ABV, the lasting flavor is warm and alcoholic, but the booziness is slightly hidden. Be careful—especially if you’re new to higher alcohol craft beers. This one can sneak up on you.

Overall, I cannot say enough good things about this beer. I would suggest you go out and get it now. I know it is still early October, but this seasonal craft beer is going to fly off the shelves like a vampire bat. If you have any more questions, please hit us up on social media, or speak with our Beer Guy Josh at the SR 135 store in Greenwood.