The Pros and Cons of a Home Kegerator

ImageOne of my silly dreams in life is to own a Kegerator.  I would love to have fresh tapped beer on my premises, ready to drink at any time.  I debated registering for one for my wedding (we didn’t have a house then, so no room) and I debated registering for one on our baby registry (somehow deemed inappropriate…. I don’t get it).  But yeah, I’ve always wanted one.

Look at the pros:  If you find a beer you love, maybe one you can only get in growler like say Carton’s Boat Beer or Kane Head High, you can always have it at your house, by picking up a keg once a month or so.  You’d also be the hit of the party, assuming you had a beer everyone likes on tap.  Plus, it just seems really classy.  No fuss, no muss, just fresh beer, anytime.  Delicious and wonderful.

But, there are two hindrances to me getting one.  One, they’re expensive.  It’s 500 bucks for a kegerator easy.  And then you have to pay for a keg.  Some of the best beers are 90 bucks a pop.  So, you usually end up relegated to Miller Lite or Pabst, just on money alone.

Second, I like to try new beers.  I love going to the liquor store each week or every two weeks and stocking up with stuff I’ve never tried before.  Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose, but it’s always interesting. With a kegerator, I’d be stuck with 1 beer for months at a time.  (Or a month….)

But the allure of a kegerator still stands.

So, what say you?  Those that have and those that don’t?

Is it worth it?

Today Is IPA Day!

Today, August 2nd, is a day to celebrate IPAs.  So go out, drink an IPA and enjoy yourself!

Here are some of my favorite IPAs and Double IPAs.

Kane Head High:  From the New Jersey brewery, and one I’ve reviewed before, Kane never fails with this beer.  It is always drinkable, and any time I see it on tap, I order it.  The beer is smooth and full of citus goodness.  The hops don’t overwhelm and lead to an almost sweetness.  Probably my favorite beer, right now.

Carton Brewing 077XX:  A Double IPA (in my eyes), and just as good as the Kane beer.  Smooth and boozy, this is a beer to get a buzz on.  The other great New Jersey beer.  The same hoppy deliciousness as the Kane, and addicting as well.  I’m dying to get back to Carton and grab a growler of this.  It’s been too long.

Troegs Perpetual IPA:  Recently had a six pack of this, and when it’s cold and fresh, it is just plain good.  This only style of beer this quality brewery has been missing had been a really solid IPA.  Perpetual goes above and beyond that.  A great example of what an IPA should taste like, especially once you get your taste buds adjusted to the IPA flavor–if you’re an IPA newbie.

Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale:  Unavailable in New Jersey, but worth hunting down (PA is your best bet).  Fresh and good, it’s like biting into an orange.  The hops are mild, but the flavor is sharp and decadent.  One of the best IPAs out there.  Find this.

There are many other quality IPAs and DIPAs out there that I haven’t coved.  Pliny the Elder by Russian River is impossible to track down, but well worth it when you find it.  Pliny the Younger even more so.  I’m a huge fan of Terrapin beers and their So Fresh & So Green, Green is fantastic.  That was one of my gateway IPAs.

But, today is August 2nd, so you need to drink an IPA.  Tell me which ones in the comments below.

Craft Beer Bar: The Copper Mine Pub

ImageLocated in North Arlington, NJ, the Copper Mine pub is one of the best craft beer bars around.  With 20 taps, that are constantly being rotated, you never know what gems you’ll find on a given day.  Not only do they have a fantastic tap list, but they also have over 50 bottles of different beers available. 

The owner, Vito, is-quite frankly-a gentleman.  He’s willing to sit and talk with you about just about any kind of beer he has on tap, and always willing to make recommendations.  Not only that, but, if he gets to know you, he’ll ask about all kinds of things: work, writing, sports.  He’s a true bartender, willing to let you share your sorrows, you worries or your successes.  A great guy–who also has clear great taste in beer. 

At the same time, he’s also up on technology.  Follow him on Twitter, and you’ll get all the new draught beers, the minute they’re tapped.  There have been times where I wasn’t even craving a beer, but have been surfing Twitter and saw the CM has tapped something awesome or rare.  I immediately ran out just to have a sip… or fill a Growler.  Yes, the Copper Mine does Growler fills.

Also, nearly every Thursday night, they host a Brewery Night.  Usually it’s a local brewery, but you never know what you’re going to get.

They don’t serve food, but they do have all the local take out menus.

I’ve been there for my bachelor party, it was the first place I had Sam Adams Utopia, Kane Beers, you name it, I’ve checked it out at the Copper Mine.  If you’re in North Jersey and you’re parched, the Copper Mine is the place to go.