Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Major Golf Drinks By Jeff Piraino

Golf has blessed us with much more than this magnificently frustrating game. It has blessed up with a coping mechanism for when we’re trying to stay sane on the links. Legends like Arnold Palmer and John Daly will be remembered for much more than their heroic major wins, they’ll be remembered for the drinks we enjoy on and off the course. But it doesn’t stop there with just major winners. It’s also the major venues themselves that have “secret” drinks worth getting. Finally, we’ll get to my favorite underground drink that I’ve found out about after joining Metacomet CC.

Arnold Palmer’s high swing finish and 7 majors has him saluted well into the Golf Hall of Fame. For those who don’t golf, they may recognize the name for his drink that he made famous, the Arnold Palmer consisting of a perfect 50 50 blend of iced tea and lemonade. Many have recognized it in their local convenience stores in the Arizona brand bottle. Deep in the golf world, stories have made their way from one another, and the ones who knew Arnie knew that from time to time he would spike it and make an adult version. For years, we have been making this on our own with Smirnoff or Tito’s Vodka, but now MillerCoors has made life ultra simple and taken that step out. We can now go to the liquor store and find Arnold Palmer sitting on the shelf in a single, 6 pack, or 12 pack. As ones who enjoy trying a new drink, a few of my friends and I took a taste test, for science. The results were 5/5 of us thought it tasted 95% similar to the Arizona Arnold Palmer. Also, after 3 of these drinks, 5/5 of us noticed a significant change in our behavior. Be careful when enjoying this drink because it tastes that good! It will most likely be your new go to on the links or at the beach. This adult drink replicates the John Daly. Golfers have been known to share many secrets and maybe, in this instance, Arnie shared his beverage of choice with John, and John Daly made the adult version famous. Now that Miller made the adult version, they have you covered!

Nothing beats 5 golfing Sunday’s every year. Can you guess what those 5 Sundays are? It’s the 4 major Sundays and the Sunday of the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup. A few years back my dad got to have the experience of a lifetime and witnessed the Masters in person. He saw Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player all play together in the par 3 contest, truly a golfers dream! On top of the golf stories that I could go on for hours about, he mentioned that there’s an official drink of the Masters. Huh? I knew of the famed pimento sandwich but never a beverage. After a quick google search I found the Azalea, the Masters famed drink! It consists of 1 part lime juice, 1 part pineapple juice, 3 parts gin (I recommend Tanqueray) and a splash of grenadine. Shaken with ice is the way to go! Next April when you’re watching the Masters come Sunday, remember the Azalea and you’ll feel more connected to the tournament.

At the moment I am not aware of official drinks of the other 3 majors or for team USA. At the very least, please, let's come up with a drink for when we support team USA at the end of the year during the Ryder Cup. Until we do, we can support with an American classic in Miller Lite on Sunday.

If people want to vote one in, I am voting for a Transfusion. After many hear the name of this drink, I see a confused look on their face, and the notorious question soon follows. What’s a Transfusion? I fell victim to this when I first joined Metacomet CC in Providence, RI. After playing in a weekend tournament, I ordered my golf go-to, a Cape Codder (Cranberry, vodka, and lime), and the table all ordered Transfusions. This is the first time I learned about this notorious golf beverage. It consists of vodka (Kettle One or Tito’s work great!), ginger ale, and a splash of grape juice. Trust me, once you have one you get hooked! Chances are you may order them afterwards at other restaurants/bars. A fair warning, that puzzled face look that your friends gave you when you ordered one at the golf course- a non golf course bartender may give you that same puzzled look. If you’re in any luck, the restaurant will add it to the menu after they find out about this golf secret and name it after you.

Golf has many twists and turns and finding out about golf secret drinks may be one of them. Be careful, if you dive deep into this it opens up a whole new world, especially when you search for European golf drinks. My beverage go-tos have expanded from this so I would definitely recommend trying the transfusion! We all thank MillerCoors for their phenomenal work in creating a drink worthy of the King. In conclusion, let’s rally together and come up with a drink for team USA, thank you America!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Brews and the games we love- an intro to beer sponsorship beyond your backyard!

There has always been a symbiosis between sporting events and beverage marketing. All over the world, beverage brands are sponsoring teams/leagues to promote themselves to their consumers. In this piece, we are going to look at different sports all over the world and the brands that support them in hopes of expanding our horizons and seeing how other regions celebrate their local ball games.

North America
Starting in our own backyard, I’m sure many of you are already familiar with the powerhouses that market in the USA, Canada and Mexico. Coors Light and Molson Canadian are huge sponsors of the NHL Hockey league. Heineken is a main sponsor of the Major league Soccer organization. Their Tecate Mexican beer is the “Official beer of Boxing”. Even right here at home, Sam Adams and Boston Beer are now the main sponsor of the Boston Red Sox!

South America
Soccer in South America has a rabid fanbase and a long history, but- in 2003- beer and other forms of alcohol were banned in stadiums in Brazil and other nations in an attempt to limit fan violence. Those bans were lifted in 2014 to allow for the world cup and have since made a slight comeback. Modelo Especial has become the main sponsor of UFC which has been growing in popularity over the last decade.

Outside of the main World Cup sponsor, brands like Heineken, Carlsberg and Guinness are some of the more well-known sports sponsors in Europe. Heineken is the main sponsor of the UEFA Champions league and has a large global reach with their main sponsorship of F1 – Racing. Carlsberg sponsored the European championships and a Canadian beer company Carling, which is owned by Molson Canadian, was the main sponsor of an inter-league tournament in England from 2003-2016.

Carling and Castle are the most popular beverages in South Africa but alcohol sponsorships are an area of concern for the region. Petitions against alcohol marketing campaigns are gaining traction due to rising issues with alcoholism.

Asia / Oceania
Asian alcohol is largely an unknown quantity for those of us who haven’t traveled over there. However, through my research I discovered there are many brands that are quite popular. Asahi Extra Dry is one of the most popular beers in Japan and is a staple in most Japanese baseball stadiums. The Chinese beer brand Tsingtao is a popular choice and is the main sponsor of the Asian Football Confederation and have recently extended their contract until 2020.

It is clear to me from this short investigation that many brands are still using sports to promote themselves to consumers across the globe with big players like Molson Coors and Heineken International still taking a huge chunk of the profits. However across the globe there is still a number of brands out there vying for their place on center stage. Smaller brands like Carling, Castle or Asahi give us opportunities to expand our taste pallet beyond our local package store.

By Cam Corey

All photo copyrights belong to original sources (Sam Adams, Modelo, Tecate)

Monday, March 26, 2018

Irish Stout Meets American Lager by Gabby Boualavanh

Guinness Blonde will be the new face of Baltimore and the first Guinness Brewery in the United States in more than 60 years. The Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House opened in fall 2017 in Baltimore County. The new establishment may be giving the iconic stout a run for its money. Before Guinness went Blonde, the Irish Stout built its reputation, legacy, and success in Dublin, Ireland.

Quick History Lesson: 1725 marked the birth year of brew master, Arthur Guinness. At age 34, he packed up his small brewery in Leixlip, County Kildare and moved to a property in St. James Gate where Guinness became a staple of Dublin.
The flavor of Guinness Blonde is described as light and hoppy on the nose with a long, biscuit malt finish. Its golden amber colored beer touts a dense head and has a lively and crisp feel. It’s very different from its popular sibling, Guinness Stout, which is the world's most popular dark beer, a creamy stout and thick head.
I decided to take this mysterious Irish blonde beer to the office for a quick survey. We used a quantitative research method asking GAP Promo surveyors to rate their experience on a scale of 1-10.

Attention: All surveys were collected anonymously in the tasting of this beer.
Average Appearance: 9.6
Average Flavor/Mouth Feel: 9.5
Average Overall Impression: 9.8

Both Guinness Beers are popular choices for St Patrick’s Day. Gloucester (home of GAP Promo) is not too far away from the big city of Boston, Massachusetts where St. Patrick’s Day festivities surround the popular parade starting from West Broadway to East Broadway. People of Irish descent form the largest single ethnic group in Boston. When celebrating St. Pat’s, you can find an Irish pub on almost every street you walk down. Boston Magazine published an article on the 17 Best Irish Pubs in Boston. Look for yourself! http://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaurants/blog/2016/03/13/best-irish-pubs-boston/.

Be sure to visit The Guinness Open Gate Brewery & Barrel House while on your next trip to Baltimore!  It will brew Guinness Blonde American Lager, while also serving as a world-class visitor center, featuring taprooms, food, merchandise and opportunities to tour the brewery and learn about the history of Guinness.