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!

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.


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Thirsty Thursdays

Here at GAP, we consider ourselves to be brand experts. Learning about our clients is a focus for us and, to become experts, we have to interact and experience our brands in many different ways. One of the ways we learn about our client’s brands is by setting time aside for a little weekly team bonding with them. 

In college, Thirsty Thursdays were an excuse to drink during the week. In the real world, I’ve stolen this excuse to bring together the GAP team for some bonding time. GAP is a small company. We rely on each other every day to give our clients the best service possible. Thirsty Thursdays are a time for us to come together to learn about each other and our brands at the same time.

We like to have a little fun with it! Ring toss competitions and dance offs are a common occurrence. We are lucky enough to work in an office that used to be one of the most popular taverns in Gloucester. What better place for a little product testing?
While planning each Thirsty Thursday, I like to take drink suggestions from around the office. New brands or brands we have new projects with are usually what we go with. Signature drinks, or new twists on classics are our favorites.

We’ve done Margaritas, Martinis, Sangrias, Mojitos, Dark & Stormy’s and many more. And this is just the beginning!  These are all amazing, refreshing ideas that we love to relate back to our brands!
Here are some of the recipes we have done so far. 

Co-jito (Coconut mojito)

Serves: 1
  • 3 fresh mint leaves
  • Dash of sugar (to taste)
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 ounces Parrot Bay rum
  • Dash of club soda

Tito’s American Mule

Serves: 1

  • 1.5 oz Tito's Handmade Vodka
  • 0.5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 3 oz ginger beer
  • Garnish with a lime wedge

Tequila Sunrise

Serves: 1
  • 4 ounces orange juice
  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 1/2 ounce grenadine
  • Orange slice for garnish
  • Maraschino cherry foarnish

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

La Cucaracha Shot

I was on our annual family vacation to Puerto Rico visiting my Mom’s family for the holidays.  As we sat in a Mexican restaurant, I sipped on my margarita when I heard a sudden bang and a crowd of people yell some gibberish.  I turned to see a group of people downing a shot, and suddenly my margarita seemed a little boring. 

My mom and grandpa cheered them on.  Obviously confused never having seen a shot taken in such a strange manner, I asked my mom what they were doing.  My mom and grandpa explained that it was a “Cucaracha Shot”, which is a traditional Mexican drink.  Instead of mixing it in a usual shaker, the bartender or waiter pours the ingredients into a small shot glass, takes their hand over the top with a towel or small lid, and slams it against a wooden board.

The popularity of this shot has transcended country borders beyond Mexico.  So, in Puerto Rico, the slamming of the shot against a slab of wood to mix its ingredients and a shout of “cucaracha!” is just one rendition.  Another traditional rendition is to pour in the ingredients, mix it, and set it on fire.  Once aflame, you put in a straw and try and drink the shot before the flame burns the alcohol.

There are a few variations of the drink, but the most traditional calls for the following ingredients:

·       1/3 of tequila
·       1/3 of Coca-Cola
·       1/3 of your favorite coffee liqueur

For the Cucaracha shot on fire, your best bet is to include the following:
·       1/3 tequila
·       1/3 of Bacardi 151
·       1/3 of Coca-Cola