Tag Archives: Beer

Get Your Craft on at DIY Bar!

Image result for Boston Bars

Image result for Boston Bars

One of the things I love most about Boston is the eclectic choices of bars around the city.  Some bars specialize on craft beers (my personal favorite kind of brews!) while others shift their focus towards a product strategy.  Either way, there’s always some random spot I haven’t drank at that I have to check out.

Image result for Four Winds Bar and Grill

With so many choices to choose from, the intriguing part is discovering what makes them tick.  Just a few nights ago I went into this awesome place called Four Winds Bar & Grill that had that neighborhood feel where the people would remember you.  Not only was the food amazing, but the bartenders were so friendly that I stayed a few more minutes after finishing my meal!  On a random note, I’ll post up a list of neighborhood bars around Boston if I find more.

Image result for Salem MA Bars

Image result for Boston Bars

Back to my point, cities like Boston or Salem have those unique restaurant or bars that customers remember.  Whether it is simply rotating drinks or having live music, there’s always some unique selling point that will keep your customers staying longer.  Audiences stay longer when there is an interesting theme within the bar.  Boston sure has some vivid bar themes, but a Portland, Oregon has a bar with a DIY theme.

Image result for DIY Bar Portland Oregon

Nestled on 3522 North Vancouver Avenue is DIY Bar, a joint specializing in beers and craft projects.  DIY Bar opened in Spring 2017, a place where customers can choose from a variety of craft projects to work on while sipping on their favorite wine, cider, or beer.  Projects range from easy to hard and take about 1-3 hours to complete.  It’s the perfect joint to get your craft on while sipping on your favorite brew!

Image result for DIY Bar Portland Oregon

DIY Bar definitely has a great unique selling point here!  The USP of providing fun crafts to do will pull audiences into the establishment, having them stay longer and drink more.  Other than the drinks, it’s a great craft place to socialize with other patrons about their work as well.  While the price may be high ($39 for each project!), it would definitely be worth checking out.

Image result for DIY Bar Portland Oregon

We need more places like DIY Bar around this country.  What makes it so special is the USP of doing craft projects while drinking with your friends.  This is definitely a place I could see myself going with my friends in the future.

Image result for a4cade cambridge ma

Image result for Bitbar Salem

This sounds like an awesome place!  I’ve been to bars that had arcade games (BitBar Salem and A4cade in Cambridge!), but this idea sounds really captivating.  Not sure if something like this is around Boston, but this would definitely fit well with the city.  As a matter of fact, Boston should think about establishing a bar with a writing theme to it (lots of famous writers started in Boston, FYI!).

Image result for Unique Bar

Image result for Unique Bar

There’s always some grand idea that’s part of the USP for a bar.  Sometimes you have to think outside the box to pinpoint your main theme for your audiences.  A bar or restaurant isn’t nothing without some USP that would distinguish itself from the competition (otherwise it’ll become another monotonous chain restaurant!).

Image result for diy bar portland oregon

With that, I’m so grateful to stumble upon this awesome gold I dug up in the internet.  DIY Bar is definitely something to check out if you enjoy completing DIY craft projects.

Denver’s Restaurant/Bar Mile ‘High’ Club

win drama victory success entourage

There’s been a lot of excitement in the entertainment industry over the past few weeks.  Recreational cannabis use was made legal for 4 more states, the adult film industry protected itself against Prop 60 in California (more on their victory here), and many incredible video game titles are being released next year.  It may not have been a major victory for the democratic party, but the entertainment industry has certainly been gaining more victories.  Cannabis has been celebrating milestone victories this year, especially in the Mile High City.

Last month, Denver became the first city to allow cannabis use in restaurants and bars.  This a progressive move in for Colorado, a state that legalized cannabis use 4 years ago!  There are two catches to the law:  One catch is that smoking cannabis will NOT be allowed inside and the other is that the locations would have to get the approval of neighbors before anything happens.

So before anybody starts toking up before their meal, bars/restaurants would prove they have neighborhood support before acquiring a license for such use.  Another rule to be aware of is that patrons are required to bring their own cannabis with them at the bar or restaurant they dine at.  This is part of the state law revolves around banning pot, food, and drinks being sold at a single location.  It isn’t really a big hiccup because this law helps dissolve business brands from losing their core identity of what they provide for their audience.

Besides restaurants/bars, businesses such as yoga studios or art galleries would be permitted to allow cannabis use if they decide to do so.  These yoga/art studios would be able to provide pot-smoking areas or hold events where they provide food, cannabis, and drinks.  These systems will become much more restrictive than what we see with the alcohol industry.  Our only rule with alcohol is that there’s very few places to consume openly in public (some examples of places you CAN consume are New Orleans and Las Vegas).

This progressive initiative may provide some benefits, but it also comes with some challenges as well.  Colorado is one of the pioneering states (as well as Washington State!) that first made cannabis legal, meaning that all eyes are glued towards their social experiment.  Employees of the cannabis industry are walking on egg shells, keeping things in check to prevent a statewide PR nightmare from happening.  Favor of recreational use of cannabis in America may be at an all-time high, but there are still major opponents out to shut down the 4/20 parties.

Another challenge that comes into play is tapping into various audiences for businesses.  This initiative will cause businesses to be stuck between a rock and a hard place.  On the one hand, businesses will be pressured to allow cannabis consumption in order to tap into that niche audience.  That niche audience is essential for increasing awareness, profits, publicity, and other benefits to help drive their business further.

On the other hand, there are the patrons who enter the restaurant/bar that don’t want cannabis consumption around.  These people could take their business elsewhere, thus driving away those former customers that made the business what is today.  There has to be some line drawn where both audiences could be satisfied and minimal damage is done in the business’s representation.

In the end, what’s the solution to Denver’s PR dilemma?  Could 4/20-friends/enemies drink and dine harmoniously in the same place without any social controversy?  Would there be exceptions to consuming cannabis outside since using inside is still illegal?

I do think there is a way for Denver to have their cake and eat it too.  They can drive their business further by allowing 4/20-friendly audiences and still keep their former audiences from taking their business elsewhere.  If employees drum up a good strategy to allow fluent options for both audiences, then Denver can generate some good publicity for their city.  The Mile High city may be flourishing through the cannabis industry, but one wrong move could keep the state grounded from progressing any further.

It’s amazing how far we’ve come as a country after legalizing cannabis use in 2012.  We are progressing a new industry that is met with a large demand for these cannabis products and the supplies have been flying off the shelves.  Like I mentioned in the introduction, it has been a watershed victory for the entertainment industry within the past few weeks.  This is just the beginning of what will become a mainstream industry that will cause a major rift in how companies do business in the future.

I guess what they say is true: money DOES grow on trees!

Fall Favorite: Pumpkin-Spiced Ale with Cinnamon-Sugar Coated Rim

Last month I went to Breakaway for the PRSSA ‘Painting Under the Influence’ event.  This was my first time going into the restaurant, so naturally I was curious about what food and drinks they had there.  Breakaway served the typical pub food like burgers, pizza, pasta, chicken tenders, and other good things to eat for dinner.  The restaurant also provided some interesting craft beers to choose from for your meal.

One drink item on the menu that stood out to me was a ‘pumpkin-spiced beer with sugar rim’.  Reading the order made me curious to try it out, so I ordered the drink with Shipyard Ale before heading to the paint room.  As I sat down towards my easel, I had some sips of what would be the BEST thing I ever tasted that night.  Drinking Shipyard Ale is one thing, but this drink order was AMAZING.  I didn’t know which part I liked better: the Shipyard Ale itself or the light-brown cinnamon sugar that was coated on the glass.

Now I’m sure this drink order has been out for a while, but this was the first time that I tasted this masterpiece.  Here’s how the order works: you order a pumpkin-spiced ale (whether it be Shipyard Ale or Sam Adams Oktoberfest).  The waiter/waitress will ask if you want the sugar-coated rims, which is what you are looking for with the order.  Only thing left is to take a sip and enjoy the cinnamon-sugar coat on your favorite pumpkin-spiced beers.

I love drinking pumpkin-spiced ales during the fall, but this simple idea raised the bar even further.  This is one of those simple marketing techniques that is cheap and would be popular among customers.  It involves one of the most basic ingredients (cinnamon sugar) and makes the drink taste that much better.  Honestly, I would compare this awesome technique to providing whipped cream and a cherry on top of a hot-fudge Sundae.  Even though I am not a kid anymore, I would still enjoy some desert with my beer.  Other restaurants I have been to that provide this option were Renzo’s in Revere Beach and the Porthole Restaurant on the Lynnway.

If you go into a restaurant that provides this amazing option, I HIGHLY recommend getting it.  Drinking pumpkin-spiced ales with cinnamon sugar coated rim is a sugary experience that you will never forget.  All cinnamon lovers should drive over to the nearest pub/restaurant for this tasty brew order.  While we have a month and a half left of fall, I would love for this drink to be available for the winter (I just love it THAT much!).

This was an amazing drink order I just had to rave about for everyone.  Not only is the order delicious, but it’s an excellent way for promoting pumpkin-spiced ales within the food/beverage industry.  Little things like coating glasses with cinnamon sugar are what will drive more customers into your restaurant/bar.  People usually order Margarita with sugar-coated rims, but this idea would target audiences that love pumpkin-spiced ales.

If I were a customer at a restaurant that served this option, I would definitely come back to the place.  Excellent customer service is always great, but the cinnamon-sugar coated rims go the extra mile in terms of creativity.  I now have a new favorite thing I look forward to in the fall: pumpkin-spiced ale with cinnamon-sugar coated rim.

BitBar Salem

Salem is a fun city to roam around in during the day.  Home of the historic Salem Witch Trials, this city provides lots of fun restaurants and shops to poke through with your friends and family.  Because of its popularity surrounding the famed event, Salem has become a popular hotspot on Halloween.  In fact, the whole month of October is booming with tourists from all across the country to get a taste of the witchcraft that go on around the streets.  I should know how amazing Salem is because I graduated from Salem State University not too long ago!

Being that Salem State University is mere steps away from downtown, Salem brings in a great crowd of young adults who want to go bar crawling at night.  Restaurants like Opus and In a Pig’s Eye provide unique dining selections for friends and family.  One popular spot that opened up last month was BitBar Salem.  When I found out that it was an arcade restaurant/bar, I just HAD to check this place out!

BitBar Salem is located on 50 St. Peter street and is set within the old jail house.  This unique bar provides over 30 classic arcade games for you and your friends to enjoy.  The main entrance features 2 long tables within the middle and arcade machines within the side of the building.  A bar area is set up to the right to grab your favorite beer or cocktails while you play your favorite games.  There is a small room to your right that features even more games and another small bar area as well.  An outdoor patio area is available if your finger gets tired from all of the button mashing.

Some classic titles include Galaga, Altered Beast, Mortal Kombat II, Donkey Kong, and many other nostalgic games.  Pinball machines like Hook are also around for those pinball wizards that want to challenge their friends in friendly competitions.  Best part about the arcade aspect?  ALL of the games available take one quarter!

BitBar Salem also comes with a menu featuring comfort food to enjoy.  Some food to snack on include flavored popcorn or BBQ Bit Sticks that are grass-fed beef jerky from the Walden Local Meat Company.  Notable sandwiches include the Elk Burger, a burger featuring smoked cheddar and bacon served on a Doughssant with black garlic icing.  A wide range of beers and cocktails are available at the bar.  One notable dessert on the menu is the Doughssant with maple bourbon bacon frosting and orange jam.  Foodies are sure to enjoy the eclectic range of options available on the menu!

I had an amazing time at BitBar Salem!  This was a great arcade restaurant and I would definitely come back again soon.  Arcade bars are hard to find these days, so it was great to find one so close to my home.  BitBar was a unique experience that blends classic arcade games inside a restaurant with American comfort food at your service.  It was so fun playing these nostalgic games that were created decades ago.  Hopefully there will be new games put in every once in a while.  If you are looking for a fun restaurant with lots of classic arcade games, I highly recommend checking this place out.  So grab your roll of quarters and head on over to BitBar Salem!



Summer is the BEST Season

Happy summer!  Today marks the 1st day of summer 2016.  The days get longer, the sun shines a lot brighter, and ice cold beers taste great on a hot day!  Summer is the time to head down to your favorite beach to unwind after a long week of work.

Schools are out and restaurants are opening up their patios to provide outdoor seating for their customers.  Summer is my all-time favorite season of the year.  There are many reasons for why I look forward to the summer solstice starting.  Here are a few good reasons for why summer is the BEST season of all time:

Days Get Longer:  During the summer solstice, days get a lot longer than usual and the nights get shorter.  Longer days means more excuse to stay outside longer.  It’s always cool to watch the sun about to go down at 7:30 at night.  Nowadays the sun sets around 8:30ish or so, providing you with a reason to stay up later!

Wearing Less Clothes:  Hot days are the perfect excuse to wear less clothes outside.  After being stuffed up in your house while wearing those long-sleeve shirts, it is so relieving to finally give your body the light of day.  Soaking up your body with the sunshine feels good and is healthy for your mental/emotional health.  One of my favorite past times is to sit outside in my underwear while sipping hot tea.  Your body is a temple, not a prison!  Take the time let that beautiful sunshine touch every part of your body.

Staying Outdoors More:  Now that the weather is warmed up, you can find more reasons to get outside with your friends and family.  You will start to feel guilty about staying indoors for your job, but most companies allow their employees to leave early to get outside more.  Make the most of your summer by planning as much outdoor events as you can.

School’s Out:  Alice Cooper sang it best: school’s out for summer, school’s out forever!  Summer means millions of students are finally out of school for vacation.  After all of that hard work you completed, you finally get out of those classrooms to hang out with your friends.  No more pencils, no more books, no more dirty looks!

Camping:  Ah, camping in the great outdoors!  What better way to get back in touch with nature than pitching that tent and roasting marshmallows on an open fire?  There are thousands of campgrounds for you and your family/friends to go for a camping trip.  Camping is that quintessential vacation that you help you get closer to nature.

Beach/Oceans/Lakes/Other Bodies of Water:  If you live close to any body of water, you should definitely spend time there during the summer.  Lucky for me I live close to a few beaches near my apartments and it is always a blessing to lay out after an exhausting day.  Spending some time out on the beach with your friends is a great activity if you just want to loaf around.  Laying out on the beach is also a great time to get that tan you have been working on!

Outdoor Music Festivals:  What do Bonnaroo, Coachella, and Electric Forest all have in common?  They ALL take place outdoors!  Summer is the perfect season to attend that music festival you and your buddies have been planning for months.  Concerts are always fun, but attending a music festival outdoors is an experience like no other!

The Movies:  Some days will be too hot to even go outside, so going to the movies is a PERFECT indoor activity.  You and your friends can finally see that Captain America vs. Thor film you have been dying to see (or whatever superhero blockbuster Marvel is releasing these days!).  There’s nothing like heading into that air-conditioned theater to see that awesome blockbuster movie on a hot or rainy day.  Use up those rainy days to find the perfect movie to watch in theaters.

Traveling/Vacationing:  Most people plan their vacations around the summer time since there are very few holidays to prepare for.  Summer is the time to plan that cross-country road trip idea with your friends or that week-long trip to someplace you have never been to before.  Whatever your destination is, summer is the perfect season to do some vacationing with your family/friends.