Handmade Bars Made in Less than 8 Hours

Last weekend, the world’s largest BBQ competition took place in Kansas City, Missouri as more than 600 chefs and 100,000+ attendees descended on the American Royal World Series of BBQ.

George Dickel Tennessee Whisky hosted their Raising the Bar competition at the event to celebrate the beauty behind the handcrafted hard work that goes into this mecca of meat. The rules were simple: six teams of three craftsmen had eight hours to build a badass bar from scratch. They could weld, saw and hammer to their heart’s delight, but they couldn’t leave the set, and at day’s end, the bar had to be capable of pouring a shot of George Dickel.

Check out the results below.

Why It’s Awesome: The robotic arm in the right hand side of the photo pours your shot at the push of a button no matter which bar stool you’re seated at. This whole technology thing could work out after all…

Why It’s Awesome: Let’s face it. Drinking whisky anywhere is a good thing. But drinking whisky served by pulling the trigger on an electric screwdriver while seated in stools made from actual George Dickel whisky casks is a VERY good thing.

Why It’s Awesome: Because nothing tastes better than a stiff drink after a day in the garage. Just remember, put the power tools down before picking the whisky glass up!

Why It’s Awesome: A) Because if you build a bar like this, former Cincinnati reds pitcher Rob Dibble (left) might just show up to party with you! B) You’re sitting on a full-fledged whisky barrel C) A suspended pulley triggers a shot of George Dickel. It’s like the Wild West, but better.


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Sunday Reading: Mustang Boss and Ted Edition

Summer is in full swing, and the Fourth of July is just days away. Hopefully many of you are ready and able to get some R&R over the next couple of weeks. We’ll keep slaving away of course to give you some reading and entertainment options as usual.

Before we get to the reading, we wanted to point out the ultimate time waster we’ve launched that has nothing to with reading. Yesterday we launched our new Picture of the Day feature here on the blog showcasing some of the best photos we’ve published through the years of our models. We’re sure you’ll like this one . . .

As for reading, you can start with our review of “Ted,” the hilarious new comedy from Seth MacFarlane. Also, check out our 2007 interview with MacFarlane, along with a second interview with MacFarlane and Ricky Blitt.

We doubt much of our audience will head out to see “Magic Mike,” but David Medsker’s review wasn’t too bad. We’ll take his word for it as we don’t plan on seeing the Steven Soderbergh film. Meanwhile, “People Like Us” gets a solid rating from Jason Zingale and while Ezra Stead loved “Take This Waltz.”

This week Will Harris has another great interview with Maurice LaMarche about “Futurama.”

As you can see from the photo above, the coolest thing we had for the week was Gerardo Orlando’s recap of his adventure driving the 2013 Mustang Boss 302 at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. If you ever get the chance to drive a machine like this on a track make sure you take advantage of it.

For the fitness buffs out there, Jamey Codding reviews the Sportiiiis heads up display and audio feedback system that will help you improve your training. Meanwhile, our fitness blog addressed some of the dangers around sugar consumption. Bottom line – put away the damn Twinkies!

It’s summer, and of course it’s time to enjoy great beers, but should we be mixing beer and lemonade? It sounds like a bad idea, and our beer expert Mike Barakacs addresses the topic this week:

Some people think that a shandy is the perfect summer drink. I am not one of those people. The argument in favor almost always stresses the thirst quenching properties, which is fine; I’ll grant that these concoctions can quench a thirst. My only argument against is the dire taste. A shandy is, most often, lemonade mixed with a beer. Lemonade and beer are not anything like peanut butter and chocolate. These two great tastes do not really belong together in my mind. But, perhaps I’ve just never had a decent one? Well, I’ve just spent a hot month of moving and mowing and painting — and tasting shandies to find out.

Check out the rest of his article and let us know what you think.

Finally, check out our review of new shaving products, Bob’s weekly cocktail and some sexy biker gear you can buy for old lady. That’s a “Sons of Anarchy” reference for anyone who gets offended by politically incorrect terms!


The Opena iPhone case to the rescue

I’ve seen people open beer bottles using screwdrivers and pliers, cigarette lighters, belt buckles and the corner of a table when a proper bottle opener was nowhere to be found. Turns out there are all sorts of other items you can use too, including car keys, your wedding ring, a toothbrush and even a piece of paper. (We can’t, in good conscience, recommend using a chainsaw.) How about a cellphone case? The Opena iPhone 4/S case ensures you’ve always got a proper bottle opener on you. This slickly designed snap-on case hides an integrated bottle opener in the back — simply slide out the stainless steel extension in your time of need, pop off the cap and get your drink on.

The Opena definitely adds some heft and bulk to your phone, but credit the makers for keeping the added weight to a bare minimum. It won’t take long to get used to, and in the meantime, you’ll be the guy all the ladies flock to when they need someone to open their beverages. Okay, maybe not, but you’ll no doubt attract some attention when you bust the Opena out at a party.

Available in black and white, this PC/ABS hard case is sleek, slim and more more than capable of protecting your phone, and it offers easy access to all buttons and ports. The bottle opener slides in and out easily enough and locks into place, all while your phone remains safely clear from all the action while opening your beverage. It is, however, a little slick in your hand, and you also may want to choose a different case when traveling since a piece of metal hidden behind your phone may attract some attention when going through airport security.

But while the Opena may not be an ideal everyday case, it’s an excellent choice when you’ll be spending the night knocking back some beers with your friends. It’s certainly better than strapping a spatula to the back of your phone.


Smooth Musings with Keith Stone

This video from Keystone is pretty funny. Basically – think twice before using Man Bags!


Guinness Brews Up New Believers in NYC

Guinness gave a simulated tour of its famed St. James’ Gate Brewery at the Altman Building in New York City last night. Though the actual brewery is, of course, in Dublin, the Guinness folks provided a virtual tour via video screens, and talked the audience through a brief history of the company. Founded in 1759 by Arthur Guinness, who signed a 9,000 year lease at St. James’ Gate, Guinness is now watched over by master brewer Fergal Murray, who is in charge of making sure the dark, creamy beer maintains its consistent texture and flavor. One of the most interesting things I learned was that the famed harp logo associated with Guinness also happens to be the logo of the Irish government. If the harp is facing right, it’s Guinness; if left, it’s the government.

According to the official slogan, it takes exactly 119.5 seconds to pour a perfect pint of Guinness; that half a second is allegedly the difference between a good pint and a perfect one. After being given a perfect (and, more importantly, free) pint upon entering the event, an announcement was made that “our show will begin in 119.5 seconds,” at which point a countdown began. Charismatic comedian Dan Soder then appeared onstage to give us some background on the classic Guinness draught we had just imbibed, which is nitrogenated, a process that sets it apart from other beers and gives it that unique, smooth texture. He also gave us some helpful hints on how to mix Guinness with other beers made by the same company, such as Harp Lager and Smithwick’s Ale: Guinness mixed with Smithwick’s is a “blacksmith,” while Guinness mixed with Harp is a “half and half.”

We then proceeded to try mini-pints of a few special brews developed by Guinness. First up was the Foreign Extra Stout, a tasty brew with slightly more bite to it than the classic Guinness and also a bit more sweetness, giving it a flavor similar to very dark chocolate. The Foreign Extra Stout contains more hops and more alcohol (7.5% ABV) than any other Guinness brew, because it was originally developed to be shipped long distances overseas, and alcohol and hops both act as preservatives. The last beer we sampled was Guinness Black Lager, which was my personal favorite of the three. It is cold brewed with roasted barley, giving it a crisp, clean taste that is lighter and more refreshing than the standard thick, creamy finish of the brew for which Guinness is best known. Though not as strong as the Foreign Extra Stout, it is definitely a better summer beer, and one that I will likely sample again in the coming months.


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