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The Mans Cave

The Mans Cave was a concept originated long before my time. The men in my family have always had their place of solitude where men could be men and there was no questioning. I now live the city life which means the man cave has been greatly reduced in size. That brought me to create an internet based man cave where all men can join in. Whether geek, gamer, jock, fitness, brewer, BBQ-er, or just looking for a place to read about manly news, you will find a home in the Man Cave

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Beer Drinkers Guide to Drinking Beer and Losing Weight

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I've gotten several emails from several different websites about what beer to drink while you are trying to lose weight or stay slim over the summer, and I'm here to tell you that most of those lists are garbage.  Here are several reasons that I can't stand those lists, and then my choices for the beer-drinker's guide to drinking great beer and losing weight at the same time.

#1- For the majority of these lists out there, the top 10 beers are filled with Light American Style Lagers and Pilsners.  Not discrediting those beers, but they pretty much all taste the same so having 8 of them in your top 10 doesn't really give anyone new information.

#2- The calorie difference between the "worst" beer and "best" beers is usually not as great as they like to make it seem.

#3- Rarely do these lists take into account the ABV%.  It's one thing to say that MGD 64 is the healthiest beer in the country, but then to notice that it is 2.8% ABV makes you realize that drinking 6 of these would barely get you to the same point as drinking 2 Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPAs.  (Let's do some math- 6 X 64 Calories= 384 Calories- 2 X 200 Calories= 400 Calories) A lot closer than it would seem to be, because let's face it... Who drinks 1 MGD 64 and is done??

#4- Many of these lists automatically assume that you're going to drink an entire 6-pack every time you sit down to drink a beer.

#5- I have yet to see a list explain that exercising or weight lifting harder or longer than you currently are can also have an impact in offsetting the beer you drink.  Maybe they think people will assume that?

Now it's time for my top 10 beers that you can drink and not drastically impede your weight loss or muscle gaining efforts. Our magic number here is 155 calories.  The reason being that you can burn 350+ calories in just half an hour of running at a 10 minute/mile pace.  Running stairs for half an hour can get you up to the 500 calorie range, and even just 15 minutes of bodyweight squats will burn over 200+ calories.  Just remember, 1 to 2 beers is all that you really need to both feel the effects of these beers, and to gain the health benefits from the alcohol.  The occasional night where you drink a few more than that is not going to kill you, but drinking 4 to 5 beers every night will sabotage your efforts.

#10- Anchor Steam Beer- Clocking in at 4.9% ABV and right at our limit of 155 calories, this beer is tasty and smooth, with just enough hop bitterness to balance it out.  Stick to the 1 to 2 beers with this one for sure.

#9- Newcastle Brown Ale- This 4.7% ABV beer is a great pair for many different types of food, and it comes in at 140 calories.  Good flavor all around, but keep those clear bottles out of the sunlight!

#8- Samuel Adams Rustic Saison- Perfect for the summer, this beer will keep that gut from hanging over your belt.  Only 143 calories and 4.35% ABV, this brew is crisp, bright, and extremely refreshing.  Hot summer days watch out!

#7- Deschutes Brewery Cascade Ale- 140 calories and 4.5% ABV pack one heck of a hop punch in this beer from Oregon that highlights the bold hops from that area.  You've got to love that citrusy, resiny hop bite to it.

#6- Budweiser Select- I felt like I need to include at least one American Lager styled beer so I could remain fair in this list.   With it's low calorie count, and more taste than Bud Light, this is my choice for a low-calorie American Lager.

#5- Widmer Hefeweizen- Bright, refreshing, and a great balance between fruitiness and spice, this beer is a fantastic choice for the summer.  At 4.9% and 155 calories, this one tops the list in our calorie count, but play some football out back between beers and you'll have no problem burning off the couple beers you drink.

#4- Stone Pale Ale- One of the great IPAs out there, prominently displaying the bold, spicy, citrusy hops of out west.  Only 150 calories for this 5.4% beer help it climb up the list.

#3- Magic Hat Circus Boy- Similar to the Widmer above, but with a little more focus on the fruitiness and a little less spice.  Another great summer choice at 132 calories and 4.4% ABV.

#2- Guinness Draught- At 4% ABV and just 126 calories, this one is pretty surprising to most people.  It's impressively depth of flavor is great with rich foods.

#1- Yuengling Black and Tan- A new favorite.  Bold at first, but crisp and clean at the finish.  Works well when the weather is hot because of the clean finish, but also when cooler because of the rich opening to this brew.  While the ABV is 4.7%, the bold flavor makes it seem like a much stronger beer , and the 136 calories make it a little more reasonable to drink more than 2 of these.


Don't forget to search for our Grain to Glass: Basics of Homebrewing DVD on iTunes, or get your own free copy (just pay the $6 for shipping!) at www.themanscaveshop.webs.com!  We love to hear from our fans, and let us know if there is something you would like to see on here. 

Be on the lookout in the next few weeks for a unique opportunity to get involved with the founders of themanscave.org!

Cheers and Happy Brewing!

Friday, July 22, 2011

New Beer Review: Southern Tier Creme Brulee Stout

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I know what you're already thinking.. It sounds like you're trying to drink dessert.  In this case, you are.  I've been searching for this beer ever since I heard that it existed.  Along the way, I've heard rave reviews, big haters, and all sorts of people in between.  I finally found it the other day and snatched up two bottles of it while I could.  Time for the beer.

It pours dark.  Basically what you expect from a stout at over 9% ABV.  Rich black color, with barely any head at all.  The bottle recommends serving at 42 degrees so I basically took it right out of the fridge and poured it into my glass.  It smells incredible.  It literally smells like creme brulee.  Vanilla is probably the most dominating scent, but there's also some sweetness in the smell like burnt sugar, and a roasty note so you know that it is still beer.

The taste is pretty tough to do justice with words.  The best way I could think of describing it was to take a bite of creme brulee and then wash it down with a rich, dark roasted stout.  The alcohol hides very well.  Hops really have no impact on this beer, other than a little bitterness to round out that sweetness.  It's creamy, smooth, sweet, vanilla goodness.  If you like creme brulee, this is a must have.  If you don't, it could be worth a try anyways.  As for myself, I'm headed back to the store to try and pick up a few more bottles.

Rating- 9/10

Cheers and Happy Brewing!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

41 Uses For Beer

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I know, I know... What more do you need beer for than to drink it?!  We're usually in that boat, but there are some really great things out there that beer can be used for besides drinking.  And if you can come up with more reasons to use beer in your life, well we think that's a good thing.
41.  Baking Bread- Replace half the liquid in your favorite bread recipe with a nutty, Brown ale for a rich flavor throughout the bread.
40.  Highlight Your Girl's Hair- Save yourself like $100 (so you can buy more beer) and just soak your girl's hair in beer for 10 minutes before she goes and sits out in the sun.  She'll look like she spent much more and you'll have a fridge full of beer.
39.  Polish Furniture- Use the last ounce from the beer you didn't finish last night to rub into your wooden furniture.  You'll be surprised how much it will glow.
38.  Cleaning Carpet- The carbonation in beer will help get those ridiculous stains out.  Just rinse with water after to keep the smell out.
37.  Turn Your Grass Green- The yeast in bottle conditioned beers can promote healthy growth in your lawn.  Use it on those spots you just can't keep green.
36.  Stay Cool- Pour your favorite beer into popsicle holders and enjoy an icy treat on a hot day. 
35.  Get Rid of Bees- At your next party fill a few different jars with beer and place them around your yard where people won't be sitting/standing.  The bees will be too busy with the beer to bother you or your guests.
34.  Beer Batter- Add 1 cup flour, 1 egg, and 1 cup of ice cold beer to a bowl.  Mix together and dip anything from onion rings to chicken to fish and fry in oil at 350 degrees for 1-2 minutes per side.  AMAZING.
33.  Polish Gold- Give your gold that shine it once had without damaging it by using just a small amount of beer on a cloth to gently polish.
32.  Making Pretzels- My favorite are mini-pretzels.  Just replace half the liquid in your pretzel recipe with just about any beer.  The beer you choose will change the flavor.
31.  Put Out a Fire- In a tough spot, shake up the can and puncture the top to create a shower that will put out most small fires (ie. your grill).
30.  Find a Date- "Accidentally" spill a little beer on that girl next to you in the bar.  Just don't pour the whole thing on her.
29.  Kill Slugs- Slugs love your garden, but they also love beer.  Fill a dish with some beer and the slugs will climb in, but be unable to get out.  Game over.
28.  Relax Your Feet- Pour a beer or two into a bucket and soak your tired feet in them.  Don't drink it after.
27.  Attract the Bugs You Want to See- Combine a beer with a mushed up rotten banana and place in your yard.
26.  Polish Your Cooking Gear- Much like with the gold, beer works great on cookware.
25.  Fall Asleep Quicker- The smell of hops supposedly helps you sleep better.  So just wash your pillowcase in a hoppy IPA and get to sleep quicker.
24.  Clean Yourself- Adding some beer to your shampoo will make your hair and body smell and feel cleaner and smoother.  Some places even sell beer shampoo and shower gel.
23.  Loosen Rust Up- The carbonation in beer can help loosen up stubborn rusty bolts.
22.  Make Rice Actually Taste Like Something- Use beer to cook rice instead of water and the flavor will blow you away.  Use a rich porter or stout for a special treat.
21.  Make a Slide- Long plastic tarp.  Lots of beer.  Fun times.
20.  Calm Your Stomach- Just like ginger ale, the carbonation can help settle your stomach.  And unlike ginger ale, the alcohol will actually dull your pain.  Sip slowly.
19.  Stay Warm in the Winter- If you live somewhere where someone likes to keep the heat barely on in the winter, trick the thermostat into thinking it's colder than it is by placing an icy cold can of beer on top of it.  The heat will kick on pretty quickly.
18.  Catch Mice- Mice also enjoy beer.  Fill a small bucket with beer and give the mice a ramp to get into it.  They will be stuck in the bucket and can't get out.  Just don't forget to check it every now and then.
17.  Pass a Kidney Stone- Beer works as a diuretic and can help make the passing easier.
16.  Bring Down that Blood Pressure- The effects of hops have been shown to help loosen arteries and decrease blood pressure.  Doesn't replace medicine (yet).
15.  Stop Waking Up the Person Next To You- Sew a can of beer into the back of a cheap t-shirt and go to bed with it on.  It'll keep you off your back, and therefore less likely to snore.
14.  Reduce Swelling- In a tight jam, an icy cold beer works great as an ice pack.
13.  Prop Your Chicken Up- For a moist, tender chicken, stick a can of beer between it's legs and cook on the grill standing up for 30-40 minutes on medium heat.  The beer will keep the chicken juicy from the inside.
12.  Chili on Steriods- Add a can of beer to your chili pot to help develop rich, robust flavors that will greatly improve the flavor.
11.  Go Fly Fishing-  There are recipes involving beer from as far back as the 19th century to help tie tighter fishing knots when going fly fishing.
10.  Protect Your Garden- The yeast and nutrients in beer will give you great life in your plants without using harmful pesticides.
9.  Make the Best Shellfish You've Ever Tasted- Start by caramelizing onions in a deep pan with butter and olive oil.  After 20-25 minutes, add garlic, tomato, and a can of your favorite Belgian Wit or Hefeweizen and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.  Then add the shellfish of your choice and cook until they open.  The liquid at the bottom is irresistible. 
8.  Make Your Skin Softer- The yeast in beer is great for moisturizing and smoothing your skin.  Pour a bottle or two into a bath and you'll be very surprised.
7.  Build a Dog House-  Use mortar and empty beer bottles to create the coolest dog house your friends will ever see.
6.  Beer and Cheese United- Just Google "Beer Cheese Soup."
5.  Self Massage- Roll a cold can of beer across your legs or under your feet for a great massage.
4.  Marinades- Beer works great in marinating everything from beef to chicken wings.  Just add a can to your next marinade.  My favorite- Beer, garlic, soy sauce, olive oil, and any fresh herb.
3.  Clean Your Fresh Catch- Nail several beer caps to a piece of wood and use the jagged edges of the caps to clean the scales off of fish.
2.  Make BBQ Sauce-  Cook bacon and onions in a pan over medium heat until the bacon is crisp.  Add garlic, a can of beer (I use an amber ale), Worchestershire sauce, mustard, ketchup, and a 1/4 cup of your favorite dry rub.  Simmer until the sauce thickens to your liking and puree to make it smooth.
1.  Most Importantly- Drink It! Couldn't resist it...

Give a few of these a shot and you'll be surprised!

Interested in learning how to brew your own beer?? Check out our Grain to Glass: Basics of Homebrewing DVD for FREE here http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mans-cave/id447544605,  and get your own copy on DVD for just the cost of shipping at www.themanscaveshop.webs.com!

Cheers and Happy Brewing!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Beer Review: Cigar City Jai Alai IPA

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Have you seen our Grain to Glass: Basics of Homebrewing DVD yet??? You're missing out if you haven't!! It's available for free on iTunes, and also for free on our themanscave.org Store Front at www.themanscaveshop.webs.com
All you have to do is pay for the shipping! It's great for a gift and covers everything you need to know to make your own beer!

Now for the review.. Being a Florida guy, I've been wanting to try this beer, and finally got the chance to drink it at a Street Cart Mexican Restaurant called El Jefe Luchador (Incredible Food!).  The beer poured a rich golden color, with a decent amount of head on top of it.  The bright, citrusy, piney hoppy aroma is immediately present.  There a subtle fruitiness behind the hops as well.  The taste is impressively smooth, despite there being a strong presence of those piney hops coming through.  The fruitiness really comes through in the taste, and exceptionally balances the hop bitterness of the beer.  Almost like a tropical fruit taste.

This beer was a great pair for some spicy Mexican food.  The hoppiness cuts through the spiciness, but the tropical fruit flavors really help match up with the cilantro and salsas that are common in Mexican food.  Definitely a beer to try, and makes me much more interested in trying some of their other offerings.

Rating- 8.5/10

Monday, July 11, 2011

Latest Free Stuff, and Deals!

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We are expanding our simple free Android App of the day post to now include lots of other great free things and deals.  We hope you all start saving a ton of money using these!

First off its 7/11 most of you probably already know that on the date 7/11 you can go to any 7 - 11 store and get a free slurpee!  Can't remember where your closest store is, then click here to locate the nearest one.  Not all stores participate but about 95% of them do!  So get over there and slurp up this once a year deal!

Second on our list is a FREE Uno's Chicago Grill appetizer!  This one requires a step or two for the free goodness... first click here and you will be sent to their Facebook fanpage.  Then click "Like" so you can see their content.  Enter your e-mail (your coupon is sent to your e-mail) a window will appear asking you to allow access, just lick "allow" and v-wa'la check your e-mail for a printable coupon!

Third we have Ironman Performance Sports Drink for free (20oz.).  This is a simple one, just click here and print the coupon that appears.  After that just click here to locate the closest retailer near you and go get your sports drink!






That's all the free stuff, but here we have some great deals!  Here's Dungeon Siege 3 for any console with $20 knocked off!  The next best price is $57 at Best Buy, but who cares get it by clicking here and you can order it for $39.99 for any console, and $29.99 for PC users!



Finally we have the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer powered by the latest Android tablet software.  This is a bad-ass tablet with NVIDIA Tegra 2 and a front and rear facing camera.  This is a full 10 inch tablet that even docks into a laptop stand for a full keyboard if wanted. All this with $20 knocked off the top price, its the best deal for a great machine!  Just click here for the greatness!


We hope you guys take advantage of these great offers!  We'll do our best to keep these awesome savings rolling into to your computer, just be sure to check back everyday for the latest offers!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New Beer Review: Blue Point Hoptical Illusion

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Time for another beer review from the Brewmaster!  We hope you have all enjoyed our Grain to Glass: Basics of Homebrewing Video! It's available on iTunes for free or in DVD form on our themanscave.org shop at www.themanscaveshop.webs.com!  Either way it is free, and the DVD makes for a great gift. 

Time for the beer... Hoptical Illusion is a beer that I have seen several times, but was never really drawn to buy it.  The label looks pretty neat, but I just always seemed to see something else that I wanted to try more.  After having another bottle of Blue Point's Pale Ale though, I decided I needed to try it. 

The beer pours a nice light gold, and has decent carbonation bubbles coming through it.  The aroma is all hops, but a little more subdued than I though they would be.  Mostly some citrus and resiny type aromas.

The taste was also mostly hops, with a little balance coming from some light malt flavors.  The taste was more of the American hop varieties; citrusy, piney, and a little floral notes as well.  The carbonation was pretty good on this beer, but overall it tastes more like a slightly higher hopped pale ale than an IPA.

Overall, I thought this was a decent offering, but their Pale Ale is by far better, and I would say shos off the hops better as well.

Rating 7/10

Monday, July 4, 2011

Top 10 Independence Day Beers

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Happy Independence Day to all of you Patriots out there! We're here to give you ten beers that scream, "I love this country!"  Try not to lose any fingers with all the fireworks out there tonight!

10. Budweiser American Ale- The name says it all.  For a cheaper alternative that still has great flavor, this is the beer to pick up.

9. Pabst Blue Ribbon- All American classic.  Red, white, and blue can with a classic, American taste.

8. Bud Light (In a Can)- Refreshing and light, this beer will help keep you hydrated on those wicked summer days.

7. Yuengling Lager- America's Oldest Brewery certainly deserves a spot on this list, and this classic lager is a perfect beer to keep it light and refreshing on a hot day.

6. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA- Such successes as DH are the true American Dream, and this beer is my favorite of theirs.

5. Thomas Hooker American Pale Ale- Just enough hops to go with your big, bold foods on 4th of July, but balanced enough that it remains drinkable after several.

4. Rogue American Amber- Solid Amber Ale with a great label as well.  Is a perfect pair to your big BBQ flavors.

3. Southern Tier Phin and Matt's- The red, white, and blue bottling definitely helps, but this beer can stand on its own.  Smooth and malty, balanced by a crisp taste of several different hops.

2. Dale's Pale Ale- This red, white, and blue can sings America, and the beer inside of it is outstanding.  The can also helps hold up to the heat outside.

1. Samuel Adams Boston Lager- Brewer and Patriot.  Enough Said.
Cheers and Happy Brewing! And Happy Independence Day!
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