What is the difference between Ales and Lagers?


Have you ever been at a bar and you walk in and there’s all these amazing beers on tap, you see the chalkboard filled with them, but you kind of don’t know what to do?  I had no clue what to do and I know a lot of people out there also have no clue what to do. There are so many restaurant breweries opening up. I want to break it down for those people so they can be confident when they go into these places and have a great beer drinking experience.

So maybe you walk in and you order a beer based off the name or the color. Sometimes if I see a type of fruit in it I’ll just buy it. How can you go wrong with orange in a beer?

So for the most part beers can be broken down into two groups: ales and lagers. Ales originated in Europe. They’re a lighter more hoppy beer. A lot of people dislike the hoppy bitter taste, but other people crave it. It’s an acquired taste. If you like hops you’ll really like IPAs, they’re very pungent and grassy flavored. Another is a Hefeweizen. A hefeweizen is really crisp and yummy. Perfect for an outdoor barbecue. Citrusy and sweet flavored. It’s a great beer for the summer.

If you’re unsure which beer to try the best option is to try a flight. A flight is an assortment of five small glasses with different flavored beers. This gives you enough to try and taste what you like so you can order a larger glass of your favorite ones.

The darker beers are also considered ales: porter and stouts. Sometimes people think porters are heavy, full flavored and full bodied. They have chocolate flavors, kind of like a milkshake.

Lagers are next. They originated in central Europe. These are made from bottom fermented yeast. Ales are from the top and lagers are from the bottom. A good example of a lager is a pilsner. Ales are fermented at room temperature while lagers are fermented cold. Lagers are real light, think Bud Light. Another good one is a Shiner Bock. These are great for cooking. I like to put these in chili or in dips or to marinate brats. Shiner Bock is brewed for a long time which gives it that dark color. Another great one is Samuel Adam’s Octoberfest. This reminds me of Octoberfest in a glass. Malty and full of flavor. Definitely reminds me of the fall and Halloween times. Can’t go wrong.

So hopefully this gives you an idea of what you should order at a craft brewery. All these beers are great, it really just depends on what your like. Some people like the cold crispy lager, while others like the pungent IPAs. There are of course many varieties of these beers where each brewery wants to try a new spinoff. Hopefully this helps. Send me a message and let me know if what you think. Until next time.

Exciting news — We are re-opening in a new location!

re-opening in a new location

We are proud to announce that Sip Charleston will soon be re-opening at a new location in Charleston, SC in the Spring!  We are so grateful for our patrons who have helped us make Sip Charleston the best coffee shop in Chucktown, and we’re excited that the move will help us to open our doors to a new part of town!

So… Where Are You Moving?

It’s top secret for now, but as you will find out very soon.  Our team has been developing our roll-out strategy since the beginning of the year, and we’re ready to make a splash (of coffee that is) when we announce the actual location!

Will You Still Be Serving Your Delicious Treats?

Absolutely, and we have expanded our menu even more for our new location– oops, did I say too much? 🙂

How is the Move Going So Far?

As you can imagine, it’s been a bit hectic around here as we finalize everything, and get the paperwork complete.  We have been working with the awesome real estate team at Chucktowner to help us make the transition, but yeah, even when you have a good team helping you, it can still be challenging when making the move.

If there’s been any issues so far, it’s been with dealing with The City, but we’ve finally have taken care of that aspect of the new move.

Can You Tell Us More?

I really wish I could!  How about this: when we can announce the plans, we will definitely tell you, deal?  We’re planning a grand opening ceremony, in which, we should have more information on that here very soon!

Sponsors for the Grand Opening

Oh yeah!  We are looking for additional sponsors for the grand opening– if you’d like to be considered to be a part of our big event, please contact!

FYI: This would give you some insight for the big plans that are ahead! 😉

Really though, as you know, Jan and I are really excited for the move!  We thought since we do have some followers for the blog, that we would announce this on here and let you know first!

As always, thanks so much for being a part of this journey and we will clue you in with more details soon!

PS – Sorry, Jan and I are sworn to secrecy for revealing the plans even to our closest friends!


Amazing No Bake Coffee Cream Pie

I’m going to be making this amazing no bake coffee and cream pie and it’s going to be featuring coffee liqueur flavored syrup and it’s going to be so delicious and so easy. I know you’re going to want to make this for your next family dinner so let’s me tell you how this all comes together.

Alright i’m going to go over the ingredients that are going to go into this coffee and cream pie. This is a refrigerator pie, no bake and super delicious. We’re going to take some help from the grocery store and we’re going to get some pre made ingredients and some instant ingredients just because this is what makes the pie so easy and delicious. If you’re cooking for your next family meal it’s always nice to have a pie like this under your hat because you really don’t have to think about it too hard and you can just throw in the fridge.

So I’m going to start off with a 9 inch chocolate cookie crumb pie crust. This is just you know your standard, this is a Keebler chocolate pie crust and then we’re going to use two four serving size boxes of instant vanilla pudding mix. two cups of heavy cream (don’t substitute the heavy cream with half and half, it won’t have the same effect, we also need one cup of strong brewed coffee and a quarter of a cup or one shot of coffee liqueur flavored syrup and then I have one little packet of instant espresso powder right here that we’re going to put across the top as a decoration.

So this really couldn’t be any easier. I grab a large bowl and grab my hand mixer and I pour in the heavy cream, the coffee, and the coffee flavored liqueur syrup. This syrup tastes similar to Kahlua or other coffee liqueur syrup of some sort. I sprinkle my instant vanilla pudding across the top and then I have my hand mixer that’s fitted with the wire whips and I’m just gonna whip this up.

What you want is you want the filling to resemble a whipped filling. You don’t want to over beat it because if you do that you might run the risk of turning this into a butter pie and we don’t want that.

Pour the filling right into that pie shell. Now you can choose to put more whipped cream on the top of this pie, but I’m not going to because I really feel like there’s a lot going on in there. You can always serve whipped cream on the side if you want. Then what I’m going to do is take this little packet of instant espresso powder and sprinkle it generously on the top to give is that really pretty look.

There you go coffee and cream pie. Also, a big tip, you know when you get those store bought pie crusts and they have those little circle shields? Hopefully you don’t throw those away because I didn’t know this until I was an adult but those shields can be used to protect your pie!

I put this pie in the fridge for a couple of hours I’ll bring it back out right when it’s time to slice. That way it can get firmed up and delicious.

There you have it, a coffee and cream refrigerator pie no bake full of coffee liqueur and full of coffee goodness. Listen, if you don’t have the coffee liqueur flavored syrup don’t worry, make this anyway, it won’t even matter. The liqueur just boosts the coffee flavor. If you want to forgo the syrup you can just add a full espresso packet and mix it up with the cream and go from there. It’s all going to be fine.

So I want to thank you so much for reading today. I hope that you try this pie and I hope that you love it. I mean how could you not unless of course you don’t like coffee, but if you do like coffee you’re going to want to try this.

Five Unique Ways to Spice Up your Morning Coffee

As many of your probably know coffee is right at the top of my food pyramid. It is an absolute essential in my life. As the summer months are approaching it’s always great to cool things down with new tasty iced coffee recipes. This year I have five new iced coffee ideas that I think you guys are going to love.

We’re going to kick things off today with a vanilla bean iced coffee. As with any great iced coffee recipe this one starts with some coffee. Now I just made my coffee in advance and chilled it in the refrigerator overnight. It’s always nice to wake up and have the coffee already chilled, am I right? To that I add some milk. I’m adding dairy milk but of course almond, coconut, or soy milk would also taste great. I also add little bit of simple syrup for sweetness. Simple syrup is really easy to make you just combine some sugar and some water in a saucepan and heat it over medium low heat until the sugar dissolves completely. What you end up with is a liquid sweetner that is great added to iced drinks. So as I said I add a splash or two of simple syrup and then it’s time to add the vanilla. You always have the option to add vanilla extract, but in this case I want to make it extra delicious so I am going to be slicing a vanilla bean in half and removing the seeds. Vanilla beans can be on the expensive side so you may want to save this iced coffee for a special occasion. Vanilla extract is a much more affordable option if you want a similar flavor on a smaller budget. You have the option to stir this but I like to put it all in a mason jar, put on the lid tightly and shake it well. What you end up with is a vanilla bean iced coffee that will just make your morning go much better.

Next up I’m going to make a salted caramel iced coffee. Now in this case I’m going to be using a store bought caramel sauce, but if you want to go ahead and make your own it’s very easy. I pour the caramel into some hot coffee and then put in a sprinkle of salt. Then again I put everything in a mason jar, tighten the cap and shake it until it’s combined. Then just add ice and it’s a salted caramel iced coffee. I didn’t add any milk to this coffee. That is an option if you want, but I like this one without milk.

Now I’m going to tell you about a wickedly good coffee Nutella smoothie for breakfast. And yes it’s just what it sounds like and it’s going to be delicious. I get a blender full of ice and add the brewed coffee I chilled overnight, I then add some milk and a banana for creaminess and a few spoonfuls of delicious Nutella. Then put on your lid and give it a blend and what you get is a breakfast with a pretty serious kick.

Next is a great way to spice up your morning, it’s a cinnamon almond iced coffee. I start off with making some simple syrup and make it more delicious with a stick of cinnamon. It is great stuff, I recommend you make a little extra. I add some more coffee that I chilled overnight, add some almond milk and a splash of almond extract. You can usually find this in the baking aisle of your supermarket. Finally add a splash of two of the cinnamon simple syrup and once again shake it up until combined.

Finally for something a lot more decadent an incredible blended smore iced coffee. Of course this is what it sounds like. All the yumminess of smores in a frosty, blended coffee drink. What is not to like about that? I start with a blender full of ice and some chilled brewed coffee with milk. Now things are going to get exciting. I add some chocolate sauce, marshmallow fluff, and some broke pieces of graham crackers. Pop on the lid and blend this baby up and pour it in a glass. Don’t forget to top it with some more marshmallow fluff. Oh you’re going to want some more when you try this.

I really hope you will give these iced coffee recipes a try. If you are an iced coffee lover like me tell me how else you like to enjoy this great drink and let me know if you enjoyed these recipes!