Bullz-Eye returns for another round of Bud Light’s Whatever, USA

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For the second year in a row, Bullz-Eye was invited to Bud Light’s Whatever, USA. Last year’s #UpForWhatever adventure took us to Crested Butte, Colorado, where they painted the town blue, literally. It was a weekend of epic proportions, and we couldn’t wait to see how this year’s event would compare.

For Whatever, USA 2.0, Bud Light took over the quiet town of Avalon on Catalina Island, California, throwing a two-day rager for some 1,000-plus contest winners from all across the United States who earned their invitations by proving that they were Up For Whatever.

Day One started painfully early, with a 7am flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. Despite the fact that we had 10 other winners on the flight, it was pretty chill at first, as most of us were still half asleep at this point. But once we arrived in LAX and hopped on the party bus that would take us to our ferry in San Pedro, it was a whole other story! The Bud Light started flowing almost immediately, and everyone was amped up for whatever the weekend had in store for them.

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After getting checked in at the port, we boarded the ferry that would take us to Catalina Island, our home for the weekend. Once we got there, we dropped off our bags at the hotel, changed into our swim trunks, and immediately headed off to a pool party they were hosting, where there was plenty of food, Bud Light and a bevy of gorgeous bikini-clad women. Yes, suddenly that early wake-up call didn’t seem so bad anymore.

The festivities officially began Friday evening, with a crazy color-themed welcome parade and performances by Elliphant and T-Pain. People were having a blast, and the energy was contagious. Later that night, we went down the beach for a DJ show featuring Diplo and Jack Novak. It was pretty awesome, with a 42-foot LED dragon, electro hula hoopers, light shows and more. Eventually, we had to call it a night and get some rest for the next day’s activities.

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Drink of the Week: The Spicy Cerveza Cocktail

the Spicy Cerveza Cocktail.I’m sure that many will never forgive my decision last week to favor Derby Day over Cinco de Mayo which, alas and alack, passed us by last Tuesday. Still, this week I have been gifted by the PR gods of Big Cocktail with a drink so muy delicioso that it’s worth celebrating on el Ocho de Mayo, el Nuevo de Mayo, or pretty much any day of the year.

As the name implies to anyone with a basic Los Angeleno knowledge of the Spanish language, the Spicy Cerveza Cocktail contains, you guessed it, beer. While I’ve been messing around with cocktails combining brews with various hard liquors for some time, the combination of Hornitos Plata Tequila — last featured here back on el Cinco de Julio — and the good Mexican lager of your choice makes for a drink that manages to be flavorful, refreshing, and pretty strong. Kind of like a more macho variation on a really good margarita. Let’s get started.

The Spicy Cerveza Cocktail

1 1/2 ounces Hornitos Plata Tequila (“plata” means the clear stuff)
4 ounces Mexican lager
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup (2 1/2 teaspoons of superfine sugar will also work)
1 slice of fresh jalapeno
Salt

Start with a good sized glass — I had the best luck using a double rocks glass — rimmed with salt. Toss in your jalapeno slice and muddle it with a certain degree of vigor. Next, combine tequila, lime juice and simple syrup/sugar in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Shake very vigorously. Strain into your glass, which by now should be filled with sufficient ice…but leaving room for four ounces of your all-important cerveza. Top the drink with the beer, and begin to sip, but not too quickly.This is a drink that benefits from taking your time.

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This is also a beverage that develops as you drink it. If you’re the patient type, sip slowly. You’ll start out mostly tasting the beer but, as you go,you’ll get closer to the chewy tequila/lime/sugar/jalapeno center. The cool part is that the fizziness of the Mexican lager will still be there as you continue. If you’re impatient to get to the drink’s margarita center, though, feel free to stir it, but do so very gently.

Finally, this is a drink that can stand up to some variation. For my beers, I went with Corona and Pacifico, and both were just dandy. I suspect Dos Equis, Tecate, et al, will also be just fine. Since this drink comes to from the PR gods who have gifted me with a free bottle or two, I naturally recommend you use Hornitos Plata as your tequila and not just because I’ve been corrupted; its very slight sweetness complements the Spicy Cerveza Cocktail pretty beautifully. However, I did experiment with a very well known Brand X plata on one try, and the results were not horrific.

  

On location at Bud Light #HouseOfWhatever for Super Bowl XLIX

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Here’s the scoop: For Super Bowl weekend, Bud Light took over the beautiful Hotel Palomar in downtown Phoenix, and directly across the street in a previously vacant lot, Bud Light paved over and built the House of Whatever. You’ve seen the commercial, but what was it like?

Day One

The highlight of day one was something “off menu” from the Bud Light festivities.

While getting hassled by overly aggressive security guards at the entrance as we attempted to enter the House, a familiar voice chimed in from behind us. “Excuse me, fellas.” We turned around and it was none other than NFL Hall of Famer Warren Sapp. Little did we know, the next 48 hours were essentially the requiem of Sapp’s media career, as he was busted for assaulting two prostitutes at the very same hotel two days later. RIP, Warren.

The first-ever Bud Light House of Whatever got the party started with unique “Up For Whatever” experiences, an unpredictable party and epic concerts. Inside the House, DJs spun from the top of a beached yacht, food trucks lined the interior, and a massive social media tree served as the epicenter of a kinetic forest. Bullz-Eye was on location to partake in whatever. 

Here is what it was like when the House was thrown open:

Friday’s activities included:

– An unexpected delivery from Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan, who gave partygoers a pep talk and arrived with plenty of Pizza Hut pizza.
– A variety of spontaneous activities, including Super Fry, where guests could have anything edible deep-fried for them by people dressed as super heroes; Brew U, which offered a ten-minute crash course on beer-making with Bud Light brewmasters; and the ultimate Pac-Man black-light arcade.
– Guests putting on animal masks as part of a party boat-themed concert with epic performances by Kongos and Nicki Minaj.

The best thing about the House of Whatever on night one, besides endless Bud Light, Warren Sapp’s inevitable demise, and meeting Riley from the Bud Light Pac Man Super Bowl commercial, were the bottomless quesadillas.

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Get some Samuel Adams Cold Snap for the Super Bowl

Samuel Adams Cold Snap

Cold Snap is the latest beer creation from Samuel Adams we tried, and the name pretty much says it all. It’s an unfiltered White Ale with a smooth wheat taste brightened up with some spring spices. There’s a subtle hint of sweet orange peel and plum along with a hint of pepper. It’s a very smooth and very refreshing drink that should go well with any Super Bowl spread this weekend.

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Drink of the Week: Shock Me

Shock Me.Since the Superbowl is just about upon us, a beer-based recipe seems like a good idea and, guess what, we’re in luck.

You see, with the aid of divine providence (which I’m agnostic about), not to mention Google and Epicurious (which I’m pretty sure exist), I stumbled upon a beverage that was damn near irresistible. Seriously, this drink is so sweetly easygoing and deceptively gentle and refreshing, you WILL want seconds and thirds and you DO want to make sure you’ve got some extra beds handy at your Superbowl party…or at least make sure you’ve got Lyft or Uber good and downloaded for everyone’s ride home.

Developed by bartenders at Virginia’s Virtue Feed & Grain, the only actually shocking thing about Shock Me is that it’s not a staple of every bar in the land. It’s rich and full bodied comfort booze of the highest order.

Shock Me

2 ounces brown ale
1 ounce bourbon whiskey
1 teaspoon Southern Comfort
1 teaspoon maple syrup

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker or mixing glass. I think it’s okay to stir this very vigorously, but I would not shake it since ale is carbonated, after all. Strain into a well-chilled Old Fashioned/rocks glass, the smaller the better. Sip and toast American football, American booze, or anything else American. Also contemplate why it is that movies with word “American” in the title always seem to do better at the box office.

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Cocktails are largely a U.S. invention. Even so, this is a drink with an unusually American cast to it. So, even though Brown ale is an olde English favorite, it makes sense that the original recipe for this calls for Brooklyn Brown Ale over, say, Newcastle. That brew isn’t available in my North Hollywood locality, so I went with Get Up Offa that Brown Ale from L.A.’s own Golden Road Brewery, perhaps the best (only?) good ale I’ve had from a can. It worked beautifully.

For my whiskey, I first went with Evan Williams, which is  becoming the well bourbon at many of your better bars for a reason. It also worked with the slightly snootier Wathen’s Kentucky Bourbon I had on hand as well, though the result arguably had more of an edge. Since Maker’s Mark is mentioned in the original recipe, I’m sure that would work extremely well also.

Shock Me marks the first time DOTW has had anything to do with Southern Comfort. This is a much maligned and very American liqueur that I hadn’t had since college days and which is, admittedly, sweet to the point of absurdity. However, when you stretch it’s mix of honey, vanilla, and whiskey-like flavors out properly, it’s an important member of this particular party.

That also true of the maple syrup, like beer and raw egg another all rare cocktail ingredient I’m a real sucker for. I should add that when I say “maple syrup” I mean the straight stuff, not your mass market commercial pancakes syrups like Log Cabin or Mrs. Butterworth. If they contain any actual maple or maple derivatives at all, they’re keeping it a secret.

  

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