Disney Flower and Garden Festival- fun for kids big and small

The topiaries at the Flower and Garden festival were amazing, but did you know there’s a whole lot more?

~bonzai

 

 

Whether you’re a group of adults or a family with small children, you’re bound to find fun things around the park all day.

 

 

TinkerBell’s butterfly garden

 

The garden was in this screened-in tent area where butterflies were “free” to fly all about the place.  It was kind of magical to have them all around you.

~tink

~tink butterfly

~butterfly

~cocoon

~faerie 2

~faerie can

 

~pirate fairy

 

 

Fun food and drink stands

 

There are not as many as one would find at the Food and Wine Festival, but there are a decent amount.  It’s always fun to try new/different things!


~frushi

~linie aquavit

 

 

Children play areas

 

There are a number of well-themed children play and activity areas.  If I came here with my family when I was a child, my dad would have brought us here and said “ok- now go and get your ya yas out!”

~kids monsters
~mike and sully

 

~ kids fun

 

 

And my favorite garden:

 

~biergarten

~biergarten2

~beer

Friend me on untapped (museinitiative) to see my reviews of the beers.

 

There are many more things to see and do at the festival that I didn’t get to do (they do tours of the festival for example- I’m sure there’s plenty of awesome things to learn).  Click here to learn more.

~futbol

 

 

To read more about the topiaries and see photos of them, click here.

 

Or if you’d rather, check out my post on geeky Cupcakes (click here)! I mean, Disney now owns Star Wars, so it’s fitting, right?

 

  • Have you been to the Flower and Garden festival?  What was your favorite part?

 

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Brew Dog UK

A visit to Brew Dog Pub

 

things you drink brew dog beer

 

Do you like craft beer?

Do you like supporting awesome places?

Do you want to see an awkward squirrel stuffed with a bottle?

 

Then read on to learn more about my time at Brew Dog Pub (and click here to visit their website)!

 

beer taps brew dog

 

Brew Dog is a fantastic brewery which has numerous pubs throughout the UK. They even recently opened pubs in Stockholm, São Paulo, and Tokyo!  Click here to find out where else Brew Dog exists.  Sadly, they have not graced the US with their presence as of yet. Weh.

 

menu brew dog

 

We are your friends

 

brew dog b&w

 

 

Quick history:

 

Brew Dog has grown from 2 men and a dog producing some craft beer in tiny batches to a pretty hardcore brewery that is known internationally (and is one of my favorite local places to go in the UK).

 

2007

2007 Facts

2012

2012 Facts

 

That’s a whole lot of awesomeness guys!  Congrats to Martin and James, and thank you for making superb beer!

 

beer bottles brew dog

 

 

Tastings!

 

Most of you know I LOVE tasting things- and Brew Dog has a whole lot of things to taste.

You can read more about my tastings on Untappd- I’m there under museinitiative. Feel free to send me a friend request!

 

Most notable of the tastings:

  • Abstrakt14- I had to try it, since this one is discontinued.  I didn’t like it as much as most people; it was a bit too sweet for me.
  • Abstrakt15- “When the bartender tells me there is only 2/3 of a pint left [I just have to try it!]…. Taste of salted caramel, bourbon- surprisingly sweet.” (From my check in on Untappd.)

 

beer tasting taster brew dog

 

 

Steve the Squirrel

Last but not least, this is our buddy Steve.  Steve is one of the squirrels from one of the most interesting brews from our Brew Dog friends, the End of History.  Steve can be found at the Camden Market (London) pub. Each of the squirrels has a different name.

 

The End of History, at 55%, is the final installment of our efforts to redefine the limits of contemporary brewing.

This blond Belgian ale is infused with nettles from the Scottish Highlands and fresh juniper berries. Only 12 bottles have been made and each comes with its own certificate and is presented in a stuffed stoat or grey squirrel. The striking packaging was created by a very talented taxidermist and all the animals used were road kill. This release is a limited run of 11 bottles, 7 stoats and 4 grey squirrels.

 

steve squirrel beer brew dog the end of history

 

 

Friends: go visit a Brew Dog pub if you get a chance.  The beer is great, the little bit of food I had was tasty, and the bartenders and staff are friendly, helpful, and fantastic!

 

Like beer?  Check out my 14 facts about Guinness (properly researched too!)

 

  •  Have you ever been to a Brew Dog pub, or ever tried their beer? – do you want to?
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7 things you should drink INSTEAD OF green beer

Green beer is generally food coloring poured into the cheapest beer the pub has on tap. Bad idea guys!! Because quite honestly, green beer is [expletive deleted]! Why would you even consider drinking that [expletive deleted] when there are soooo many other fantastic Irish choices??!!?  Friends don’t let friends drink green beer.

 

If you’re not sure what to drink, here is some inspiration for you:

 

1. Guinness

guinness tap at academy st james's gate

Guinness is an Irish staple.  It’s a tasty, dark pint of goodness.  (and if you haven’t yet, click here to learn 14 Guinness facts!)

There are some fantastic Irish stouts made by other brewers too!  Check out O’Hara’s, Murphy’s, and Beamish to start.

Dark and rich, stouts may not be the best choice for everyone. No worries- read on to find other fantastic Irish drinks.

 

2. Jameson

 

jameson barrel

I personally find Jameson to be quite lovely.  I prefer the smooth taste of Jameson (and most Irish whiskeys) to the peat of Scotch whisky or the smoke of American Whiskey/Bourbon.

But let’s not just limit it to Jameson.  There are plenty of other awesome Irish whiskeys out there to try: Bushmills, Tullamore Dew, and Teeling – just to name a few.

 

Though it’s fantastic neat, on the rocks, or with just a splash of water, feel free to try some of these whiskey cocktails to spice things up:

from ezrapoundcake.com and buzzfeed.com

 

Whiskey Ginger= whiskey + ginger (served with lime)

Irish redhead= whiskey + grenadine + Sprite + lemon and lime juice.

Manhattan= whiskey + sweet vermouth + bitters.

Or get other ideas here

 

 

3. Cider

Magners Cider

photo from telegraph.co.uk

Ireland has a number of fantastic ciders too! Magners, Bulmers, and Kelly’s are the most famous, but there are a number of small/craft ciders to try as well (such as Stonewell)!

This is a great idea if you’re not a beer drinker or if you need a gluten-free option, as most ciders are sans-gluten!

 

 

4. Any other awesome Irish beer

irish craft beer festival

irishfest.ie

I went to craft beer festival recently in Dublin (by recently, I mean a few days ago). It was pretty awesome.

If you have not yet tried the app Untappd, and you’re a craft beer guru, I recommend it! It’s like facebook for beer!  You can even friend me by searching for museinitiative :)

Keep on the lookout for a number of fantastic beers made my smaller Irish breweries such as Trouble Brewing, Eight Degrees, Metalman, and Galway Hooker.

 

 

5. Shamrock Shake!

shamrock shake recipe alcoholic

Alcoholic Shamrock Shake image from http://www.irishcentral.com/

Not just for kids anymore (was it ever?  I think not)!  Visit this page (click here) to learn how to make your own alcoholic shamrock shake!

 

 

6. Irish Coffee

nationalirishcoffeeday.com

The original recipe as per Joseph Sheridan:

Cream as rich as an Irish brogue;
coffee as strong as a friendly hand;
sugar sweet as the tongue of a rogue;
and whiskey smooth as the wit of the land.

Visit this page to learn more about Irish coffee and how to make it!

 

If it seems too complicated for you, you can always make the “poor man’s Irish coffee” (which is not like Irish coffee really- but it’s still yummy) by adding some Bailey’s Irish cream to your coffee.

 

 

7. Irish Car Bomb

irish car bombs because bartenders love when you puke on them

idowhatiwantblog.com

 

These are definitely not my favorite, but some people swear by them…. so here’s to you:

Traditional Irish Car Bomb

  • 3/4 pint Guinness stout
  • 1/2 shot Bailey’s Irish cream
  • 1/2 shot Jameson Irish whiskey

Directions:
Add the Bailey’s and Jameson to a shot glass, layering the Bailey’s on the bottom. Pour the Guinness into a pint glass or beer mug 3/4 of the way full and let settle. Drop the shot glass into the Guinness and chug. If you don’t drink it fast enough it will curdle and increasingly taste worse.

 

 

Or- Any drink whatsoever…

Seriously guys, it’s St. Paddy’s day- go drink what you like (even if it doesn’t include alcohol)! Gather up a fantastic group of mates (friends), wear something green, find the best Irish pub you have around, and just enjoy the festivities.  Have fun and may the luck of the Irish be with you!

 

I know I missed posting this prior to the weekend; I apologize and I hope you didn’t indulge too much in the green beer.

 

Slainté!

(“cheers” in Irish.  If you want to learn some more Irish phrases or get some ideas for fun things to do for your workplace on St. Paddy’s Day, click here!)

 

  • Do you have a favorite Irish drink or a St. Paddy’s day drink tradition that you would like to share?
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14 facts about Guinness

14 guinness facts

 

In hono(u)r of St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to share some great facts about Guinness as well as some photos I took from my visit to the Guinness Storehouse at St. James’s Gate in Dublin, Ireland. Learning is fun (especially when learning about alcohol)!

 

1. Guinness is good for you!

  •  Studies show that Guinness might actually be good for you.  Participants in the study who were given a pint of Guinness a day showed reduced clotting in their blood, which could help prevent a heart attack.

 

2. Give blood, receive Guinness! (ok, not anymore… but history is cool)

  • Guinness is very high in Iron and Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), and in Ireland it has been given to blood donors, post-operative patients, and pregnant women. The hops used in Guinness has been said to prevent excessive calcium build-up as in kidney stones.

 

guinness bottles at the academy

 

3. Guinness is low in calories!

 

4. The perfect Guinness has two pours.

  • Click here to learn how to pour the perfect pint- or go to St James’s Gate where you can learn how to pour the perfect Guinness by the masters themselves!  Below is a photo of me passing my Guinness “exam;” scroll further down to see my certificate!

 

guinness proper pour dublin

 

5. Guinness cannot be hurried.

  • A number of “FACTS ABOUT GUINNESS” posts say that the amount of time to pour the proper pint of guinness is 119.5 seconds.  However, that is simply the amount of time Guinness recommends you allow the first pour to settle.  If ever you order a pint of Guinness, expect it to take a while (if they are pouring properly).

 

6. If you’re not near a proper pub, you can still pour yourself a proper Guinness at home.

  • It’s arguably not as good, but follow these recommendations from Guinness for pouring at home:
  • GUINNESS® Extra Stout (bottle) – Pour into glass or drink directly from bottle.
  • GUINNESS® Foreign Extra Stout (bottle) – Pour into glass or drink directly from bottle.
  • Draught GUINNESS® (can) – Pour into glass.
  • Draught GUINNESS® (bottle) – Drink straight from bottle.

 

proper pour certificate

 

7. Guinness is not actually black

  • Often called “the black stuff,” Guinness is not really black.  The coloring comes from roasted barley, which gives Guinness a dark ruby hue.  It can be seen when looking at a light source through a pint of Guinness

 

8. The St James’s Gate Brewery will be around a looooooong time.

  • Arthur Guinness leased St James’s Gate Brewery for 9,000 years.  9,000 years!! The lease was signed on the 31st of December 1759.  Do the math, kids! That brings us to the year 10,759. (Though this is a cool fact, the family has since purchased the land outright).


 Arthur Guinness signature

 

9. The majority of Guinness breweries are located in … ::drumroll:: …    AFRICA!

  • Guinness owns 5 breweries in 5 countries around the world. These are in: Ireland (Dublin), Malaysia, and three in Africa – Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon.  Overall, however, Guinness is brewed in approximately 50 countries by other breweries.

 

10. Guinness, though thick and tasty, does not contain oatmeal 

  • There is a slight misconception that Guinness contains oatmeal.  It does not. The ingredients are barley, hops, water, and yeast.

 

horse at st james's gate dublin

 

11. Ten (10) million glasses of Guinness are enjoyed every day around the world

 

12. Guinness and the Irish government share a symbol- the Harp

  • The ancient Irish Harp symbol was first used as a symbol for Guinness and only later adopted by the Irish Government as the official government symbol.  The two are identical except that the Guinness harp faces left while the government harp faces right.

 

 

guinness tap

 

13. The Irish drink a lot of Guinness

  • (See?  I told you that you would likely know a number of these facts!) Almost 1 in 2 pints consumed in Ireland every day is a pint of Guinness.

 

14. Guinness is an aphrodisiac!?

  • Guinness is known as an aphrodisiac and is advertised as such in Nigeria. “It makes me feel powerful,” says 46-year-old Adegbite, “If I have three stouts, my wife knows she had better watch out. I have energy in my body.”

 

dublin view from sky bar

Gravity Bar is the highest bar in Dublin located 46 meters off the ground.

 

 

Side note: If you find you can never remember how to spell ‘Guinness’ correctly, here’s a hint for you: A person should always have TWO pints- just one would never do.  Thus, there are TWO of each consonant in question.  GuiNNeSS. Also, the “G” is always capitalized out of reverence/name.

 

pass me a pint!

 Sources for the facts are all linked somewhere on this page- mostly, the Guinness FAQ site.

 

  • Which fact was the most surprising to you?  Do you know of any random tidbits that you would like to share about Guinness?
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