Picnic and BBQ Beer Stuff

24 04 2010

Summer is quickly approaching here in the Northern Hemisphere. And in the United States, the unofficial beginning of summer (Memorial Day) is just a month away. And with that, it means the return of drinking outside is here! Whether at a picnic in the park or in the back yard, there are a lot of ways to enjoy your beer outside. Here are some gadgets and tricks to help make your outside drinking a little bit better.

Of course when you are drinking a serious beer, you are drinking from serious glassware. But sometimes, you are not drinking serious beer. And what you are looking for is ease and convenience. That is usually when you bring out the red Dixie cups. But they are so bad for the environment! That is why you need the sturdy, reusable, melamine “kegger” cups from One Hundred 80 Degress. $14 for a set of 4.

But if you want your plasticwear to be a bit more “high class”, Crate and Barrel have some pretty nice wine glasses made of acrylic. So you can throw them in your picnic basket or cooler and not worry about them shattering.

But where to put your drink while eating? Balancing a beer in your lap can be a death defying act. And putting in the lawn leaves your beer open to contamination or tippage at the first strong breeze. The Steady Stick has you covered. Able to hold a class of wine, cocktail glass, or bottles and cups, the Steady Stick gets pushed into the grass or sand to help give you a hand with your drink.

Carrying a cooler around can be such a burden. And those hard sides can make it difficult to pack. But this Rolling Can Cooler can carry a couple of six packs, ice packs, and be still have room for lunch. It’s soft sides make it easier to pack up. And it has wheels and a collapsible “luggage-style” handle. All this for less than $40!

Let’s say you are one of those lucky jerks who lives in California, where it is beautiful all the time. And it rains less than a month out of the year. And you live by your grill. Well, you should have an outdoor kegerator! For less than a thousand dollars, you can have your own tap beer prepared to your exact specifications just a mere few feet from your grilling spot. Have a couple thousand to drop? This deluxe model holds a keg and several dozen bottles and cans and has place for ice and cups!

Oh no! Lets say your friend has just shown up to your BBQ with an awesome bottle of beer that you have just been dying to try! But it is warm! You just don’t have the time to wait to cool this puppy down to the right temperature. Have no fear! Science is here! First grab a big stock pot. Fill it about half way with ice and add a cup of salt. Any salt will do. What this does is lower the freezing point of the ice to below 32 degrees (0 Celsius). Then fill with water. What you have there is a flash freezing tank. Your water will rapidly drop to around freezing. After submerging the beer bottles or cans into the freezing cold water, it will be completely surrounded by cold, allowing for a quick and even chill. Just submerging in ice will allow for pockets of warm air to surround your beer, thus lengthening the chill time.

Let’s face it, there are times when bringing a beer is illegal. Municipal parks and some venues don’t allow alcoholic drinks or glass bottles. Its a crying shame. You didn’t here it from me, but there is a way around it. If you are crafty enough.


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One response

25 04 2010
Beth

Thanks for the idea on how to cool down your beer. Some times you just don’t have enough time to chill your beer.

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