Stay Cool With a Summer Ale

Summer Ale-Columbia Distributing

Different types of beers are better suited to different times of the year. For example, a thick stout beer is much better suited to the winter than it is to the summer. So what should you drink to stay cool now that the summer is here? Summer ales, of course!

What is a Summer Ale?

The fact that a summer ale is perfect for the summer weather is kind of a no-brainer. It’s all in the name, after all. But what exactly makes a summer ale a “summer” ale? The main characteristic of a summer ale is a light and crisp taste. Breweries will get this taste by combining wheat and barley together. Every year, some of the best breweries in the world prepare new summer ales for the summer season.

Summer Ales That You Should Try

The following are a few of the summer ales that we highly recommend now that temperatures are beginning to rise:

  • Fremont Summer Ale – Fremont puts out a new summer ale every year that never tastes the same, which is a testament to their refusal to settle. This year’s Summer Ale is crisp and piney without being overwhelmingly fruity or bitter.
  • Samuel Adams Summer Ale – Samuel Adams is well known for producing a variety of seasonal beers every year. This year marks the 21st year that they are releasing a summer ale. Their Summer Ale is an American wheat ale style beer that has a crisp and citrus-y flavor due to its lemon peel and grains of paradise ingredients.
  • New Belgium Sunshine Wheat – This American pale wheat ale by New Belgium is actually a year-round beer, but as the name implies, it’s an excellent choice for the summer season. Sunshine Wheat is a crisp, filtered wheat beer with a flavor profile that exhibits notes of coriander and orange peel tartness.
  • Deschutes Hop Slice – The Hop Slice is a unique summer ale put out by Deschutes, a brewery out of Oregon. The beer is something of a cross between an amber and an IPA. With a floral head, sharp hints of lemon, and semi-dry finish, this is a beer that’s perfect for sipping slowly on a warm, lazy afternoon.
  • New Holland Lost Dune – If you’re in the mood for a beer that’s a little bit fruity, then Lost Dune by New Holland is a great option. Lost Dune is a summer fruit ale that releases an impressive combination of aromas that includes lemongrass, wheat and blueberry. Although it has a bit of a sharp front, the beer does transition to a creamier center. The Lost Dune’s flavor profile includes spice and citrus, with maybe a light hint of scotch.

These are just a handful of the wonderful summer ales that are being produced by some of the country’s leading breweries this year. For more information about the summer ales or the brands that we carry, be sure to contact us at Columbia Distributing today.


Mimosa recipes for the Morning

A mimosa in the morning is that little bit of heaven that gives you an energy boost and a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Mimosas are a must-have for any brunch, but if you are a frequent brunch goer or mimosa drinker it can be easy to get a little bored with a classic mimosa. The great thing about mimosas is that they are easy to elevate, that classic orange flavor is easy to work with and compliments many other flavors.

Here’s our ideas for a mimosa for every taste:

For the purist

If you prefer to stick to your classic mimosa, but want to elevate it try substituting your orange juice for a high-quality orange juice. This can make a huge difference in the quality of flavor.

Calypso Classic Mimosa

For a classic mimosa try mixing Calypso Orange juice with champagne. Calypso Orange Juice is 100% juice and made with the finest ingredients.

For those that sparkle

If you want a morning mimosa with more fizz and a little bit of sparkle try substituting the orange juice for a sparkling water. You can easily make a mimosa with any fizz and flavor you want in this combination.

Sparking Strawberry Kiwi Mimosa

For a fun refreshing morning twist on the mimosa, try substituting a sparkling water for orange juice, we suggest Yerbae Kiwi Stawberry. Great for morning and great for summer.

For the bold

For a bold morning mimosa try using a flavored orange juice or an orange soda. This will give your mimosa a new flavor while still keeping true to the classic mimosa recipe you love.

Honey Orange Mimosa

To kick up the classic mimosa recipe instead of orange juice substitute Rogue Soda in Honey Orange. The Rogue Soda Honey Orange is a refreshing craft brew with a bite of citrus finished with a floral touch, it’s your new favorite orange soda.

For brunch with a bang

If you like your mimosa to have a little more edge you can make your own version of a mimosa with spicier substitutes for orange juice and harder substitutes for champagne.

Pink Gin Mimosa

If you’re looking to kick your morning mimosa up a notch and have brunch with a bang. Rogue Spirits has developed a cocktail that fits the bill called Pink Gin and Juice. It’s a combination of Rogue’s award winning Pink Spruce Gin, grapefruit juice and orange juice.

Fruit Salad Cider Mimosa

For something different and a twist of both flavor and color try Rogue Fruit Salad Cider in your mimosa. With a purple color and a rich berry flavor the fruit salad cider will elevate your morning mimosa to a whole new level.

Whether you enjoy your mimosas with a classic flavor or prefer mimosas to have a little more edge there is guaranteed to be a mimosa for you. For more cocktail recipes and to learn more about top quality unique brews and booze check out www.chillist.com and look for our flavors in a store near you.


Ale and More: Ginger in Drinks

A glass mug full of hot ginger tea. Isolated on white.

While many tend to imagine plain ginger ale like Canada Dry, or typical mixed drinks with ginger beer when they think of ginger drinks, there are plenty of recipes that can bring out the nuances of this familiar spice.

Here are some unique alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages that can help expand your palate and give you some ideas about how to use ginger when you’re in the mood to throw it into the mix.

Pom Pomme

If you love pomegranate as much as ginger, this four-ingredient drink is the perfect autumn beverage. It blends hard apple cider, ginger liqueur, apple brandy and pomegranate juice to create a colorful ruby-red cocktail that’s easy to mix.

Southern Baptist

This rye drink mixes ample lime with fresh ginger syrup that enhances the whiskey spice, giving it a unique and refreshing taste.

Bermuda Black

Looking for a change-up from the old-fashioned Dark ‘n Stormy? This cocktail originating from NYC combines ginger juice with two different kinds of rum. Instead of ginger beer as the soda, the drink uses chocolatey and bubbly dark beer.

Grapefruit and Ginger Sparkler

This drink is a nice and easy one. It’s made using Prosecco or another type of sparkling wine, which is then flavored with grapefruit juice and the ginger liqueur of your choice.

Napoleon’s Loss

Like the Pom Pomme, this is a great option for the fall. This one mixes fresh ginger syrup with mezcal and aged tequila, with a hint of lemon juice to add more color.

The Dahlgren

As another great option with a tequila base, this drink is an update to the Diablo. Rather than ginger ale, this version uses fresh ginger syrup. You can also top it with a candied ginger garnish.

Pear and Rosemary Cocktail

An elegant blend of rosemary and pear gives this beverage a nice easy flavor, with ginger liqueur for added spice and a bit of lemon juice.

No. 8

This drink uses a ginger liqueur mixed with fresh grapefruit and lime, along with some orange bitters and mezcal.

Non-Alcoholic Ginger Drinks

Not one for alcohol? Ginger is equally delicious without the boozy mixer.

Shirley Temple

Add ginger ale to the classic Shirley Temple and further switch it up by adding lime juice in addition to grenadine syrup, with a thin lime slice and cocktail cherry to garnish.

St. Kitts

This is a nice tropical summer option for a hot day, blending pineapple juice and freshly squeezed lime juice and grenadine together, with cold ginger ale to top it off.

Ginger and Elderflower Summer Cup

This delicate drink mixes elderflower cordial, a small amount of peeled and grated ginger root, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and sparkling water for a nice alternative to traditional lemonade. Add a mint sprig and lemon slice as garnishes.

Firepit Steamer

The Firepit Steamer lives up to its name as a hit and spice yet fresh-tasting beverage to keep you warm on those chilly nights. Mix cranberry juice, red grape juice, anise, a cinnamon stick, a teaspoon of brown sugar, and a slice of peeled fresh ginger root for this one-of-a-kind drink.

These are merely some of the many great drink recipes that make use of delicious ginger additions. You also can try making your own ginger drink recipes at home to take advantage of this delicious ingredient.


5 of the Best Iced Teas Around

iced tea from Columbia Distributing

 

Iced teas are, perhaps surprisingly, a relatively new thing in the American consciousness. It’s only been a bit over a hundred years, after all, since the World’s Fair in St. Louis when Englishman Richard Blechynden served it up cold to the public. Today, the overwhelming majority of tea consumed by Americans is served iced.  Here is a selection of some of the better options for iced tea on the market.

  1. Kombucha Teas – The New Rage

You might have heard about this by now – especially if you frequent the gym or watch fitness programs. Kombucha is a type of tea-inspired beverage that has quite a few superstar qualities. Composed of probiotics, fungi, fermented tea and natural sugars, it is advertised as being able to stave off certain cancers, supply your body with loads of natural energy without the impending crash, weight loss, and immune system fortification. It’s a non-alcoholic beverage for the most part, although the fermentation process can give it a slight alcoholic kick.

  1. Snapple Tea

A true success story, Snapple was once a much smaller brand that found tremendous favor with the public; it is one of the most well-received cold ice teas on the market – ever. After just nine years of being out in the open, they were bought out and now form an essential part of the Dr. Pepper soft drink empire. A cool, refreshing sweet tea that comes in many delicious flavors such as Mango tea, Diet Peach, Snapple Apple, Green Tea and Orange Carrot.

  1. Numi Organic Tea

Another brand that started small and flourished explosively in the past decade, Numi Organic Tea comes from all the regions of the world. The herbs that comprise this delectable beverage are grown in India, Africa, China, South America and other places. The brother and sister team are also very artistic, and design the packaging on the brand. You can find green teas, bottled teas, herbal teas, chocolate teas, turmeric teas and more – all carried by Columbia Distributing. An ice tea made of orange spice or white rose makes for an amazing summer day.

 

  1. Yerbae Sparkling Water

Although marketed as sparkling water, Yerbae is enhanced with white tea extract; you can just catch the fleeting scent of the water that’s also mixed with guarana seed and a bit of natural caffeine from the tea. It is a calorie-less drink that has all the qualities of spring water. Try the Lemon, Pomegranate Berry and Strawberry Kiwi flavors to avoid missing out. For best results, make sure they’re chilled.

For more than eight decades, the people at Columbia Distributing have believed that when it comes to beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic represent the best of both worlds. Our humble roots in the Pacific Northwest stretch back to the mid 1930s, which proves our long-time commitment to providing our cherished customers throughout Northern California, Oregon and Washington with their choice of successful brands of ice tea and other drinks.


Staying Cool This Summer: 10 Hydration Tips

Summer Hydration by Columbia Distributing

The summer months these past few years have seemingly been hotter than usual, and the current one is shaping up to be the same. As connoisseurs of iced tea and cold draft beer, the people at Columbia Distributing know a thing or two about hydration in summer. With that said, we’ve compiled a list that should help you stay cool as the mercury rises.

  1. Wear cotton clothing as often as you can. Materials such as polyester, rayon and the various sweat-wicking sportswear actually retain heat better than cotton – and you don’t want that.
  2. Keep a flask of iced tea or cold water with you throughout the day. If you can manage one of those 40 oz cold-preserving flasks, then hydration in summer will be no problem for you. Many of these flasks can keep a beverage cold for a full day — especially if you put ice inside. Remember; by the time you’re actually thirsty — your body’s already been a bit dehydrated.
  3. Ditch the tight-fitting slacks and tops. Not only should your clothing be looser — it should also be light in color unless you live in the Sahara desert.
  4. Watch what you eat. Eschew those large, hot portions that benefit your body during the winter time in favor of cooler fruits and dairy products.
  5. No air conditioner? Head to your local Starbucks or shopping center for the afternoon and cool way down inside. As early evening rolls around, it will start to get a lot more manageable inside your own home.
  6. Exercise cannot wait for the cooler months to roll around; however, you shouldn’t go on a run at high noon this summer. Either start very early, or wait until late. And even then, make sure you carry a bottle of electrolyte-replenishing sports drink or iced tea for hydration.
  7. Take cool or cold showers if you’re in the house and the heat becomes close to unbearable. It will do wonders, as the effects can last for an hour. Do this before bed, in fact, and the heat will be unlikely to keep you from falling asleep.
  8. Although we mentioned fruits earlier, this one deserves its own place because of how essential it is on hot summer days: watermelon. You would be hard-pressed to find a better fruit to eat for hydration and fulfillment — without the excess calories, as 90%-plus of the fruit is actually water.
  9. Buy a fan if you cannot get an air conditioner. It will make a difference on those particularly warm days. In fact, even if you use AC, a fan will circulate the cold air and make it feel cooler at less of an overall cost to you.
  10. Hydration in summer does NOT mean you can drink anything cold. Caffeine-laden drinks and alcohol should be imbibed in moderation, as too much will dehydrate you.

7 Totally Underrated Domestics

Underrated Domestic Beers - Columbia Distributing

 

According to the Brewers Association, domestic breweries produced over 139 million barrels of beer in 2016 alone – completely dominating the U.S. beer marketplace. As craft beer sales continue to grow, it’s common to find Americans underestimating the value, taste and importance of domestic brews. Here’s our list of seven totally underrated domestic beers you need to try this season.

#1: Miller High Life 

Often referred to as the “champagne of beers,” Miller High Life offers a crisp, smooth taste at an affordable value. As an American adjunct lager, this light golden brew complements roast chicken, grilled salmon burgers and other richly flavored main courses.

#2: Coors Banquet

Another underrated American adjunct lager, Coors Banquet is a traditional, straw-colored beer that has been brewed in Golden, Colorado since 1873. Uniquely crisp and refreshing, Coors Banquet pairs well with virtually any meal, making it a staple at summer barbecues and picnics.

#3: Old Milwaukee Light

A refreshing beer, Old Milwaukee Light delivers a creamy feel, slight malt flavor and a clean finish with fewer calories than that of the classic Old Milwaukee Lager. Food pairings are virtually endless with this light lager.

#4: Icehouse

As America’s first domestic ice beer, Icehouse is brewed traditionally and fermented before its temperature gets lowered to below freezing. Bold, yet smooth, this American adjunct lager boasts an enjoyable malt character that complements various dishes, from barbecue to Indian to Thai.

#5: George Killian’s Irish Red

Available year-round, George Killian’s Irish Red features a toasted/roasted caramel malt aroma and taste. This well-balanced American amber/red lager contains a subtle sweetness that pairs well with beef and poultry.

#6: Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve

Brewed with 100% Cascade hops, Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve is an American Pale Lager with a crisp, clean flavor. For food pairings, this lager goes well with grilled chicken, seafood, steak and everything in between.

#7: Olde English 800

Smooth, yet rich, Olde English 800 offers a slightly fruity aroma indicative of its malt liquor style. As one of the leading malt liquor brands, Olde English 800, otherwise referred to as OE800, complements Indian, Latin American, Pan Asian and other cuisines.

At Columbia Distributing, we distribute a wide range of domestics as well as import and craft beers. Get in touch with a member of our team to learn more about the brands we supply.

 


The 10 Craziest Soda Flavors Across The Globe

Crazy Soda Flavors - Columbia Distributing

Do you consider yourself a soda aficionado? Are you feeling adventurous? Outside the parameters of your local grocery store or corner gas station, there’s a world brimming with unusual soft drinks just waiting to be explored. From international favorites to fizzy drinks that taste just like your favorite meal, here are the 10 craziest soda flavors from around the globe.

#1: Bacon

As bacon mania continues to sweep the United States and Canada, it’s no wonder bacon-flavored soda has made its way onto store shelves. Perfect for lovers of this crispy comfort food, bacon soft drinks are unsurprisingly available from several different brands.

#2: Candy Corn

Have you always wondered how to bottle the spirit of Halloween? Just one sip of this limited-edition candy corn soda will have you reminiscing about ghastly ghouls, spooky skeletons and plenty of tricks and treats.

#3: Turkey and Gravy

Another crazy soda invented as a limited-edition holiday flavor, the turkey and gravy soft drink tastes just like Thanksgiving dinner.

#4: Curry

Spicy, sweet and certainly unique, curry soda is a bold, fizzy beverage made in Japan that offers an authentic curry flavor.

#5: Cucumber

Cool and refreshing, cucumber-flavored soda combines the taste of crisp cucumber with invigorating sparkling water, making it great for a summer spritzer.

#6: Black Garlic

Hailing from Switzerland, this distinctive soft drink contains a slight hint of black garlic – a type of garlic that tastes sweet and syrupy.

#7: Onion

Manufactured in South Korea, onion soda tastes just like its name implies. However, this unique beverage is said to offer various health benefits, which makes up for the tear-provoking flavor.

#8: Grass

Soapy and bright green in color, grass-flavored soft drinks are definitely not for the faint of heart – or for those with weak stomachs.

#9: White Fungus 

Only for the adventurous, white fungus soda hails from Vietnam. Presenting a chunky texture, this soft drink is made from white fungus and the nests of cave-dwelling birds.

#10: Brussels Sprouts

If you just can’t get enough of these leafy greens, then Brussels sprout soda may be the right soft drink flavor for you.

Whether you’re looking for a well-known soda brand or a soft drink that’s truly one of a kind, Columbia Distributing supplies a variety of non-alcoholic beverages to suit every palette. Contact us to learn more about the premium soda brands we distribute.

 


Four Creative Ways To Use Kombucha

Creative Kombucha Uses - Columbia Distributing

Columbia Distributing is proud to provide Townshend’s Brew Dr. Kombucha. Earthy and tart with a slightly sour aroma, kombucha, or mushroom tea, is a health beverage that packs a serious punch. Made with black or green tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast, this fermented beverage brews over the course of approximately 7 to 14 days and contains nourishing probiotics. Whether you have extra kombucha on hand that you need to use up or you’ve let a batch ferment for too long, you’ll be able to put the surplus tea to good use with these four creative elixirs.

#1: Dressings, Condiments And Marinades

With a sour tang that closely resembles the taste of apple cider vinegar – especially if it’s brewed for an extended period of time – kombucha makes a great replacement for vinegar in salad dressings, condiments and marinades. Swap out the white vinegar in an Italian dressing recipe or in condiments, such as ketchup or barbecue sauce. Due to its acidity, you can also use kombucha to create marinades for seafood, poultry and other types of meat.

#2: Smoothies And Frozen Treats

From granitas to popsicles to smoothies, give your kombucha a second life with delicious and nutritious frozen treats. Simply blend kombucha with fresh fruits or juices and then freeze the mixture in molds or ice cube trays to produce refreshing popsicles. Alternatively, you can toss a teaspoon of kombucha into your favorite smoothie recipe for a simple immunity booster.

#3: DIY Household Cleaner

Is it time for spring cleaning? Step your routine up a notch with a simple do-it-yourself household cleaner made with kombucha. Take one part water, one part kombucha and a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender, lemon or tea tree, and shake all the ingredients together in a spray bottle. And voilà – now you have an all-natural cleaner that can be used around the house.

#4: Mixed Drinks

Did you know kombucha can be used in both cocktails and mocktails? Exchange sweet and sour mix or club soda with kombucha in virtually any cocktail recipe for a healthy twist on your favorite mixed drinks. You can even ferment the kombucha for a second time with juice for a sweeter, more carbonated concoction.

From Townshend’s Brew Dr. Kombucha to soda to beer and more, Columbia Distributing supplies a diverse range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to suit your personal taste. Contact us today to learn more about the brands we distribute.

 


What’s The Deal With Sour Ales? (And Which Ones Should I Try?)

Fruity, tart and complex, the flavor profile of sour beer is sure to leave a lasting impression on your palette. And as the craft beer market continues its upward trend with sour ales by its side, you may be wondering how this distinct beverage gets its tartness or which style you should try next. Continue reading to learn more about this one-of-a-kind brew. The Deal with Sour Ales - Columbia Distributing

How Sour Beers Are Made

Where does sour beer get its trademark tartness from? The answer – bacteria and wild yeasts. Introduced into the brewing process, these two ingredients are responsible for the majority of sour beers. The most common agents used to deliberately sour beer are:

  • Brettanomyces – Brett is a strain of yeast used to slowly ferment beer and produces funky brews, a subset of sour beer.
  • Lactobacillus – Used to convert sugars into lactic acid, lacto is a bacterium that creates sour styles with crisp, clean sourness in a short amount of time. Lacto is often found in Gose and Berliner Weisse brews.
  • Pediococcus – Like lacto, pedio is a bacterium that lowers the pH level of the beer by creating lactic acid. However, pedio is known for its funkier flavors and aromas.

Some brews, like Lambic, are made by leaving coolships, or big open vats, of wort exposed to the outside air, letting wild yeast and bacteria ferment the beer naturally. Then, they are aged in barrels and later blended for consistency.

What Sour Beers Should I Try?

As you peruse the beer selection of your local grocery or liquor store, you may notice the sheer variety of sour ales, from Lambic to Berliner Weisse to Gueuze to Gose. Consult the following flavor profiles, and choose the sour beer that best suits your personal taste.

Flanders red ales – These are a great choice for those new to the world of sour beer. Generally light-bodied and reddish-brown in color, they are characterized by sharp, fruity, sour and tart notes.

Berliner Weisse – On warmer days, go for a Berliner Weissbier. Pale-gold in complexion, Berliner Weisse beers are refreshing, tart, sour and acidic, and typically feature a lemony, citrus sharpness.

Lambic – Crisp, yet tart, Lambics are light-bodied beers with little to no hop flavor or distinctive bitterness. Lambic varieties are often blended with fruit to balance out the brew’s sour nature.

Gueuze – If you’re looking for a dryer, yet fruitier, flavor profile, seek out the traditional Belgian Gueuze, which is made by bottling both young and old Lambics together and aging them for about two to three years.

Gose – A German sour ale, Gose is slightly tart, yet highly refreshing. This brew features a signature spice and dryness attributed to the addition of salt and coriander.

Contact Columbia Distributing today to learn more about the sour ales and other alcoholic beverages we distribute.

 


H2O Decoded: Sparkling Vs. Still Water

You spent the past hour at the gym working out and are now on the road to recovery. As you go to grab a refreshing bottle of water from the cooler, two different options catch your eye – still and sparkling. Regular water has always been your lifeline, but sipping sparkling varieties is such an enjoyable experience. Then, the question hits you. Are there really any differences between the two? After all, they’re both just water, right? Before you replace your old standby with a bottle of sparkling water, consider the different processes and flavors and how they relate to your hydration needs.

Why Sparkling Water BubblesWater

A satisfying fizzle emerges from a just-opened bottle of sparkling water. Slightly above the water’s surface, tiny bubbles dance in harmony. As you enjoy your fizzy beverage, you wonder, “What makes sparkling water bubble?”

Made by adding carbon dioxide to water under pressure, sparkling water is produced by a process called carbonation. Known by many names, including club soda, seltzer water and mineral water, carbonated water is much the same as regular, still water, except that it contains bubbles and may also consist of other beneficial minerals and additives.

Pamper Your Taste Buds

Sparkling water is an enjoyable alternative to still water. Offering an immersive drinking experience, sparkling water can be found in a variety of thirst-quenching flavors, from lemon-lime to wild berry to coconut pineapple. Like regular water, you can also flavor sparkling varieties with natural ingredients found around your kitchen, such as mint leaves, cucumber, lemon and lime slices and other fresh fruit. With so many delicious and invigorating options to choose from, reaching your daily water intake requirement is both simple and enjoyable.

Meet Your Hydration Needs However You See Fit

Whether you’re cooling off after a long run or quenching your thirst throughout the day, both still and sparkling water serve the same basic purpose – hydration. So go ahead, indulge in your favorite bubbly beverage or stick to plain water. The choice is up to you.

Contact Columbia Distributing to learn more about our selection of still and sparkling water.