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10 Things You Didn't Know About Craft Beer (Slideshow)

10 Things You Didn't Know About Craft Beer (Slideshow)

Whether you’re a new beer drinker or an expert, we’re sure you’ll learn a little something more about craft beer here

10 Things You Didn't Know About Craft Beer

For beer newbies, steering away from comfortable classics like Sam Adams and dabbling in craft beers with names you’ve never heard of can be intimidating. There’s plenty that sets craft beers apart from classic ales.

Most Popular Style in America

India Pale Ale — a hoppy style of beer within the pale ale category, which is brewed with mostly pale malts for a more equal malt-to-hop ratio — is the most popular style of craft beer among American craft beer drinkers.

What’s in It?

The three main ingredients in craft beer, besides water, should be malted barley, hops, and yeast.

Favorite Hop

Cascade is the favored hop varietal among craft brewers.

Worst Glass for Beer Tasting

What is a Craft Brewer?

An American craft brewer is defined as a small, independent, and traditional producer of beer. Craft breweries are small in production size, independent in ownership, and traditional in brewing ingredients and fermentation methods.

Famous Home Brewers

Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Barack Obama have all brewed beer in their homes while serving in office.

It’s Good for You

Thinkstock

Beer is good for your bones! It contains high levels of silicon, a substance that promotes strong bones.

Number of Craft Breweries

States with the Most Craft Breweries

California, Washington, Colorado, and Oregon have more craft breweries than any other states.

Second-Largest Hop Producer


10 things you (probably) didn't know about Tunnock's

There are several essential things most people in Scotland (and elsewhere) are likely to add to their list of things they'd need to survive on a desert island, but we are guessing that more than a few would have Tunnock's Teacakes or Caramel Wafers written down in the top 5.

Few things made visiting an elderly relative's better than the obligatory offering of some form of Tunnock's treats, be it the luxurious Teacake, the delicious Wafer or on the odd occasion the mildly exotic Snowball.

In fact, most Scots would probably have 'do a Tunnock's factory tour' on their list of 'Scottish things to do before you die'.

It's the one ice breaker guaranteed to bring any Scottish people in a room together: "What's your favourite Tunnock's - the Teacake, the Caramel Wafer, the Caramel Log or the Snowball?"

Almost as iconic as Irn Bru, smoked salmon, haggis or whisky, here are 10 things you (probably) didn't know about one of Scotland's best love confectionery companies:

1. The company was formed by Thomas Tunnock as Tunnock's in 1890, when he purchased a baker's shop in Lorne Place, Uddingston.

Thomas Tunnock with his son Archie. Picture: TSPL

The company grew from these humble beginnings into a successful private baking company before striking it rich with their confectionery line.

In a recent interview with the Telegraph, Boyd Tunnock, Thomas' grandson said: "Between the wars, my father [Archie] was the biggest private caterer in the Glasgow area. I have all his daybooks from 1933 to 1942 – we take them to exhibitions and someone will say, 'Your father did my granny’s wedding,' so we’ll look it up and there it is."

Originally bought for just £80, The company now makes 80 tonnes of caramel each week – 1.5 tonnes an hour.

Caramel is poured out of bubbling cauldron. Picture: TSPL

They buy in around 25 tonnes of coconut a month and around 15 tonnes of cocoa butter each week.

With these ingredients they make between ten and 12 million biscuits and cakes each week, including around 5 million wafers (referenced on the wafer packaging) and 3 million tea cakes.

2. Tunnock's sells in more than 40 countries and is extremely popular in the Middle East

The Tunnock's Boy. Picture: Wikimedia

The Uddingston-based biscuit company ships to more than 40 countries worldwide and is very popular in the Middle East, with Iraq and Kuwait, making up around 20 per cent of its total exports.

The family baker recently revealed that Yemen had taken delivery of 300,000 Caramel Wafers in the last 12 months alone.

Caramel Wafers are also a big hit in Kuwait, where they are known as 'boy biscuits’ after the face of the Tunnock's boy (who has never been named) on the box.

The first products exported by the company were Caramel Logs to Newfoundland, Canada in 1957, while Trinidad loves Caramel Wafers and Wafer Creams and even the Faroe Islands are reported to eat around 125,000 Caramel Wafers a year.

All this success and the company still only has one export sales manager and he apparently doesn’t travel abroad.

3. Boyd Tunnock, inventor of the Teacake has a very special Tunnock's notebook

Boyd Tunnock with staff on the caramel wafers production line. Picture: TSPL

Boyd Tunnock, the inventor of the Teacake, carries a very special notebook in which he has written down all that he needs to know about the family company. The notebook's contents, which includes all the latest sales figures and company statistics, also has the recipes for his signature creations and ideas for future recipes.

Apparently, he even keeps a small circle in the notebook, drawn onto the inside cover, with which he measures the baked biscuit bases for the Teacakes to ensure they are just the right size.

4. The giant Tunnock's Teacakes from the Commonwealth games opening ceremony were put up for auction

The Tunnock's dancers at the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony. Picture: TSPL

That's right, you could have bought and owned one of these amazing pieces of memorabilia. We wish we had, just so we could have been as cool as the guy in the bottom right.

The giant Teacakes were sold as exclusive, limited-edition mementos and even came complete with hologram and letter of authenticity.

Tunnock's was such a hit at the Opening Ceremony that Waitrose revealed that in the weeks following the performance sales of Tunnock’s Tea Cakes soared by 62 per cent!

In fact, the company even reported this year that they made a whopping 15 million rise in tea cakes sold since the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

5. Tunnock's have featured on T-shirts, been the inspiration for wedding cakes and have even had some of their products miniaturised for doll's houses

The Tea Cake company’s clothing collection includes t-shirts, hooded sweaters and beanie hats.

The Tunnock's T(ea) Shirt with the caramel wafer logo. Picture: Tunnock's

They have also sold cufflinks with caramel wafer logos and a Tunnock’s Rubik’s Cube.

Tunnock's products have even been miniaturised and sold as doll house furniture.

Dolls house maker Sheena Hinks holds her miniature Tea cakes and Irn Bru creations. Picture: TSPL

They have even served as inspiration for a wedding cake, with Mathew Watt, 37, and wife Siobhan, 34, going a bit further than the average couple with their love for the Teacake.

The couple spent £395 on this super-sized chocolate sponge wedding cake, topped with red and silver icing to recreate the famous wrapper.

The Tunnock's themed wedding cake. Picture: TSPL

Mr Watt, an interior designer, told the Scotsman: “On the day, the cake actually got more attention than we did, but that wasn’t a bad thing. We were very happy with it.”

And they are not the only ones to share their love of Tunnock's on their wedding day, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, is said to have commissioned Tunnock's to make her wedding cake.

6. There's been an art exhibition dedicated to the company

Tunnocks exhibition at the Glasgow Print Studio. Assistant Olivia Bliss moves the artworks around. Picture: Robert Perry

In 2010, the Glasgow Print Studio held an art exhibition, Tunnocked, in which artists honoured the humble Teacake as well as its cousins, the Caramel Wafer and the Snowball.

Among the 40 different pieces of art inspired by the delicious products created by Tunnock's, was one Caramel Wafer which had been placed behind glass for emergencies, so essential was it to artist Harry Magee.

7. Tunnock's products have many celebrity fans, including several world famous pop stars

Chris Martin, the Coldplay singer, has said of his favourite treats: "You can’t choose between the Caramel Wafer and the Tea Cake – they’re like Lennon and McCartney, you can’t separate them."

While Howard Donald, of Take That fame, was delighted after fans from Manchester bought him a Tunnock's Teacake birthday cake which was presented to him on stage in Glasgow.

Singer Amy MacDonald even suggested she'd have loved to have been one of the dancers inside a giant Tunnock's at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

8. Alex Salmond once greeted Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch with a Tunnock's Caramel Wafer and a cup of tea

The First Minister admires a Tunnock's Teacake for a photshoot at the Uddingston factory. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Alex Salmond apparently offered a Caramel Wafer and a cup of tea to Rupert Murdoch while he was entertaining the boss of News International at Bute House.

Alex Salmond reassured MSPs during the subsequent FMQs when he was questioned about the visit, that there was no fancy stuff involved. “There were no oysters. All you get at Bute House is a cup of tea and a Tunnock's caramel wafer.”

We are sure MrMurdoch was more than happy to accept the offering!

9. Tunnock's once took on the tax man over the classification of their snowballs, and won!

Workers pack Teacakes at the Tunnock's factory.
Picture: Robert Perry

Tunnock's, teamed up with rival Lee's, to challenge a ruling that saw them pay tax on their snowballs, placing them under “standard-rated confectionery”, which classified them as a biscuit.

Judges Anne Scott and Peter Sheppard, from the First-Tier Tax Tribunal, tested a plate of treats including Jaffa cakes, Bakewell tarts and meringues – all classified as cakes for tax purposes – as they made their decision.

Ms Scott then said: “A snowball looks like a cake. It is not out of place on a plate full of cakes. A snowball has the mouth feel of a cake.”She added: “Although by no means everyone considers a snowball to be a cake, we find that these facts mean that a snowball has sufficient characteristics to be characterised as a cake. For all these reasons, the appeals succeed.”

Tunnock’s received a rebate of just over £800k after both companies won their appeals.

10.The company is so successful that Boyd Tunnock is now on the Sunday Times rich list

With a net worth of £75 million pounds - the minimum needed to make the cut in Scotland - Boyd Tunnock is now on the Sunday Times Rich list.

11. Even Squirrels apparently love Tunnock's Teacakes

A squirrel enjoys a Tunnock's Teacake taken from a bin in Glasgow's Kelvingrove park. Picture: Mike McGurk

This cheeky chappy was spotted enjoying a Teacake in Kelvingrove park one afternoon.


9 Things You Didn't Know About Beer

Quench your thirst for knowledge with these impressive boozy facts.

1. The White House brews its own beer.

President Obama is the first president to ever brew beer on White House grounds, according to the official White House blog. Check out the recipes for The White House Honey Porter and White House Honey Ale, which include honey from bee-hives also grown at the White House.

2. The oldest known recipe for beer is over 4,000 years old.

This clay tablet, which dates back to 3100-3000 BC in Mesopotamia, shows the allocation of beer, according to The British Museum. The symbol for beer is "an upright jar with pointed base," which you can spot three times in the image above.

In other mind-blowing news, Egyptian pyramid workers were paid with beer, according to Smithsonian magazine. Workers received four to five liters a day, per archaeologist Dr. Patrick McGovern, who added that "you would have had a rebellion on your hands if they'd run out. The pyramids might not have been built if there hadn't been enough beer."


3. Aquavit Was Once Believed to Have Healing Powers

Aquavit is derived from the Latin aqua vitae, meaning “water of life.” The name comes from early distillers believing spirits to be a healing liquid, and the convention is shared by other liquors, such as the word whiskey stemming from Gaelic’s uisce beatha or brandy being referred to as eau-de-vie.

Alcohol, especially with infused herbs, was said to help ward off disease and old age, and it appears that it was commonly used as medicine during the Black Death period. Today, aquavit is still often used to help digest rich food.


A single honeybee produces a meager twelfth of a teaspoon of honey per day. Because most meads require up to two gallons of the sweet stuff, each drop is precious. The honey used determines the overarching flavor of the mead, and can vary according to a honey bee’s particular diet of nectar and pollen. Traditional mead often uses a mild honey such as orange blossom, clover or acacia, but wildflower, blackberry and buckwheat honeys produce great results with sturdier spiced meads.


How a German craft brewery works around the German Beer Purity Law

&ldquoThere&rsquos a beer I&rsquove been meaning to try that&rsquos been brewed with pizza and money.&rdquo I&rsquom pretty sure the moment those words came out of my mouth was the moment the German I was chatting with lost all respect for me. &ldquoWhy would you crazy Americans drink such a beer?&rdquo he asked with a look of disgust and horror. The Big Ass Money Stout , which features mashed up frozen pizza and fat stacks of cash, is the brainchild of Evil Twin Brewing – a brewery originating in Denmark and currently making its beers in New York – and Lervig Aktiebryggeri, a brewery in Norway. It's just one of the many examples of breweries worldwide using peculiar ingredients to entice beer drinkers.

The global craft beer movement, spearheaded by the United States, has been on the rise for years. According to the Brewers Association , the number of craft breweries in the U.S. has exploded from 1,511 breweries in 2007 to 6,372 in 2017. And countries like Denmark, Japan and even Italy have saturated craft beer markets. As the amount of beer choices has gone up, so has the number of stunts brewers pull to help them stand out.

Among some of the most the wild experimental brews are Dogfish Head&rsquos Beer for Breakfast Stout , which is brewed with pork scrapple Wynkoop Brewing Company&rsquos Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout , which is brewed with bull testicles and Rogue Ale&rsquos The Beard Beer , whose special ingredient is yeast grown in the beard of the company&rsquos master brewer. The list goes on and on.

But while brewers in the United States can play with wacky ingredients, brewers in Germany – a country that reveres beer – are restricted to four basic ingredients. The German Beer Purity Law, or the Reinheitsgebot, has been enforced since 1516, and it limits the ingredients used to brew beer to water, barley (or malt) and hops. Yeast is the fourth ingredient that is allowed, but it&rsquos not listed in the original law because yeast&rsquos role in the fermentation process had not yet been discovered at the time that it was written.

Photo courtesy of Kae Lani

The decree had three purposes: to protect beer drinkers from high prices, ban the use of wheat to ensure the availability and affordability of bread, and most importantly, to stop brewers from using dubious and sometimes toxic ingredients.

Prior to the passing of the Purity Law, medieval German brewers were using wood shavings, soot, thorn-apple, poisonous roots, deadly nightshade and other ingredients to enhance the flavors, aromas and intoxicating effects of their beers. But if the brewer didn&rsquot measure out the ingredients properly, it could've meant serious illness or death for the poor soul who drank the contaminated beer.

The 500-year German tradition is no longer about safety it&rsquos main purpose is to ensure quality for every beer produced in a country that takes pride in its beer culture. So it&rsquos no surprise that centuries after the law was written, Germans are appalled by the idea that pizza and money are going anywhere near the brewing process.

Photo courtesy of Kae Lani

Unfortunately, for craft beer fans, that means no citrus-flavored beers, no spiced ales, and especially no chocolate porters in Germany, right? Not quite.

There are rebel brewers who don&rsquot abide by the rule and use things like chocolate, orange rind, and sugar (tame ingredients compared to what other brewers worldwide are playing with), but they can&rsquot market these products as beer. Instead, they must call them by the name of the specific style (IPA or stout, for example) and market them as Biermischgetränke, &ldquomixed beer drinks.&rdquo Still, according to The Guardian , 85% of Germans still trust in the German Beer Purity Law and insist that any beer with more than barley, hops, water and yeast is simply not beer.

Most German brewers are traditionalists who still abide by the rule and believe that with 100 varieties of hops, 40 kinds of barley and malt, and 200 strains of yeast, there is plenty of room for innovation. Maisel &amp Friends , a craft brewery in Bayreuth is among the traditionalists exploring the boundaries of the Purity Law – and trying to prove that the possibilities are limitless.

When the Maisel Brewery started out in 1887, it quickly became known for taking the traditional Franconian style of brewing and marrying it with innovation. Whenever a new technology was introduced – such as steam engines and semi-automatic bottling machines – the Maisel Brewery adapted, enabling it to become known throughout the Franconia region for quality and consistency, especially when it came to its Maisel Weiss, a classic Hefeweizen.

Photo courtesy of Kae Lani

Maisel &amp Friends is a byproduct of that pioneering spirit. The experimental craft beer brand, which is an offshoot of Maisel Brewery, started in 2015 and quickly set to work playing with new brewing technology and a variety of local ingredients. Maisel &amp Friends has achieved some pretty bold and complex flavors, many of which you wouldn&rsquot think were possible under the German Beer Purity Law.

Most of the brewery&rsquos secrets lie in the carefully selected local ingredients. The clever brewers have spent much of their time and expertise searching for just the right barley (or malt), hops and yeast strains. The Choco Porter, for instance, tastes like dark chocolate with hints of espresso and sweet caramel, to the point where you&rsquod swear they used those ingredients in the brewing process. But those flavors are thanks to a selection of dark roasted malts, allowing Maisel &amp Friends to get a robust flavor while still adhering to the German Beer Purity Law.

Along with the Choco Porter, Maisel &amp Friends inventive line of beers include the Citrilla, a citrusy hybrid of a Bavarian Weissbeir and American IPA, as well as a special Bavarian ale that has notes of Asian spices. All of these creative brews can be sampled at Maisel &amp Friends&rsquo brewpub, Liebesbier.

Photo courtesy of Kae Lani

A trip to Maisel &amp Friends in Bayreuth is a whimsical and immersive beer experience. In addition to a brewery that bends the reality of the German Beer Purity law, the facility is also home to Maisel&rsquos Brewery Museum.

The museum is a Willy Wonka-esque labyrinth leading visitors through rooms of decommissioned brewery equipment preserved so well it looks like brewers just left for the day. The copper brewing kettles and old timey temperature gauges look like they&rsquove been taken from the set of a Wes Anderson film.

The museum also houses a record-breaking collection of beer memorabilia, which includes more than 5,500 beer steins and glasses, as well as more than 400 rare tin beer signs. It&rsquos an educational and enlightening beer extravaganza for beginners and experts alike.

Kae Lani Palmisano is the Emmy Award-Winning host of WHYY's Check, Please! Philly, a television show that highlights dining throughout the Philadelphia region. She also writes and hosts WHYY&rsquos Delishtory, a digital series exploring the history of food. As a freelance food and travel writer, she has been published in KitchenAid Stories, Resy, USA TODAY, 10Best, Roads & Kingdoms and more.

Read more about Kae Lani Palmisano here.

Connect with Kae Lani Palmisano via: Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Top 10 Home Brew Beer Recipes

To home brew a great beer&mdashwhether it's all-grain or extract&mdashrequires, first and foremost, an understanding of the process and mastery of brewing technique. That's not to say creative, well-balanced recipes with all the right ingredients don't help with the final product. We scoured brewing books, listened to beer podcasts, and talked to brewmasters to find ten of the best homebrew recipes out there, representing a range of beer styles. The recipes we found come from some of the best professional brewers in the country as well as absurdly dedicated homebrewers. Cheers!

Definitions:

Batch Size: The amount of beer present by the end of your batch.

Original Gravity (OG): The amount of sugars present in the wort before the yeast is pitched

Final Gravity (FG): The amount of residual sugars present in the beer after fermentation

Bitterness: Measured in International Bittering Units (IBU), the higher the number the more bitterness you can expect

Color: The Standard Reference Measurement (SRM) reflects degress Lovibond which range from 3.5 for a pilsner shade to over 25 for a nearly opaque stout.

Hops: Different hop strains provide different flavors and impart varying levels of bitterness. The percentage listed indicates the bitterness level for that strain. The number of minutes listed in the recipe indicates how long each addition should be boiled. Thus a 60 minute hop addition should be added at the beginning of the boil and a 5 minute hop addition should be added 5 minutes before the flame is turned off and cooling has begun. Dry hop additions get added after fermentation has been completed.

Tips and Tricks

Learn your boil-off rate: Boil a fixed amount of water as a test to find out how much water your system loses to evaporation during a boil (it can vary from brewer to brewer with variables such as kettle size and burner output). This will tell you how much wort you need in order to reach your targeted batch size. For instance, if you fill your kettle with 4 gallons of water and boil it for a half hour and find that you're left with 3.5 gallons of water then you know that you're boiling away a half gallon every 30 minutes. A typical 5 gallon batch with a 60 minute boil will require you to start with 6 gallons of wort.

Adjusting the gravity of a beer: If your gravity readings aren't what you're targeting you can add dry malt extract to raise the gravity or add water to lower the gravity. Just make sure that dry malt extract adjustments are added at the beginning of the boil.

Adjusting the bitterness of a beer: The bitterness levels (Alpha Acids or (%AA) of hops vary from crop to crop, but you can make some quick adjustments to ensure that you're bitterness remains consistent. Just plug the numbers into a brewing software program or free online tool like beer calculus to figure out how much hops to add to a beer to hit a recipe's targeted bitterness level.

Yeast Quantities: Pitching the proper amount of yeast is hugely important for any recipe. We highly recommend using Mr. Malty's Pitching Rate Calculator to determine how much yeast you'll need for any beer recipe. The calculator is a free online tool and is also available as a paid iPhone app.


15 Things You Didn't Know About Chipotle

How can you have eaten at Chipotle so many times and yet still have so much to learn about the popular Mexican grill? For example, did you know there's an exclusive customer rewards program that people go crazy over, or that a popular singer-songwriter supplies the chain with 30,000 pounds of avocados every year?

If you are a true fan of the greatest burrito mill on Earth, read on so you can drop some knowledge on your friends the next time you go. Sure, nothing can replace your local Mexican restaurant. And while Chipotle's ads have been criticized for skirting around some details, the chain does appear to be making an effort toward quality and sustainability. Perhaps it's not a surprise then that their delicious food prompts some obsessive fandom, but it is a little more shocking that so few people know that.

1. A special "burrito coin" exists.

These are pretty rare, but as far back as 1999 Chipotle has been awarding free burrito coins to loyal customers. The design has changed through the years and you can buy a few different versions on eBay. Chipotle has confirmed that the coins are unfortunately only valid for one burrito.

2. 100,000 avocados are used every day in their guacamole. Here's the secret recipe, according to an ex-employee.

You might have to scale this one down, unless you're making a massive batch. But when have you ever had too much guacamole?

Avocados (48 normal sized)
Red onions (2 1/2 cups diced)
Cilantro (2 1/2 cups 1/4" flake)
Jalapenos (1 cup diced)
Lime juice (Citrus juice, 1/2 cup ((FIRST BEFORE MASHING!)))
Salt (3 tbsp)

Sometimes it needs another 1/2 tbsp of salt, I usually put less cilantro in mine. I work at chipotle.

While this is technically designed for a chain that goes through 97,000 pounds of avocados every day, a Chipotle fan website has a recipe for a smaller serving.

3. Jason Mraz supplies avocados to Chipotle.

Singer-songwriter Jason Mraz operates an avocado farm outside of San Diego that produces 30,000 pounds of the fruit every year. Most of these avocados go to a local Chipotle, but Mraz says he usually eats two to four of them himself everyday.

4. There actually isn't a secret menu, though employees will kindly make you a "quesarrito" if the line is short.

The "secret menu" that everyone knows about isn't real. That said, employees are required to make whatever you order from their ingredients, so you can technically order items like nachos or the famed "quesarrito." Here's how an ex-employee explained that food behemoth.

"We don't really have a secret menu but the most popular (not-so-secret) item is the quesarrito: making a quesadilla and then opening it back up to make a burrito. Please for the love of Spongebob do not order this if there is a long line. Your burrito will get burned and it won't taste very good. You can also order plain or meat quesadillas."

5. Chipotle may be getting into the pizza business.

Chipotle recently announced that it was an investing partner in Pizzeria Locale, a growing pizza enterprise in Colorado. Chipotle had been quietly partnered with the business before going public.

For just $6.50 and a few minutes of waiting time, you can get an entire 11-inch pizza. Pizzeria Locale has loose plans to expand, but unfortunately for now it seems like they're going to stay in the Centennial State. Coloradans get everything.

6. A customer in a wheelchair successfully sued the company, claiming their tall ordering counter denied him from seeing the "Chipotle experience."

Maurizio Antoninetti and his attorney, Amy Vandeveld, brought Chipotle to court, accusing the company of failing to accommodate customers in wheelchairs. At the time of the lawsuit, Chipotle's policy was to offer samples and lift the food containers over the counter to show wheel-chaired patrons, but Antoninetti wanted them to lower their 44-inch tall ordering counter. In the end, Antoninetti won the case.

7. Chipotle currently only serves breakfast in two locations, but some are wondering if they'll expand their coffee operation.

Baltimore-Washington International and Dulles airports are lucky enough to have Chipotle restaurants that serve during breakfast hours. The BWI location even has its own breakfast menu, which includes frittatas.

Chipotle also started serving Philadelphia’s La Colombe coffee in a few Washington D.C. locations as of late 2013, sparking speculation that they could be testing this out for future growth. A Chipotle representative told HuffPost that they have no plans to do so.

8. The word "chipotle" comes from the Náhuatl word, "chilpoctli" and means "smoked chili."

Náhuatl was the language of the Aztecs and came to dominate the region of Central Mexico since about seventh century A.D. The Náhuatl word for a type of smoked chili ended up becoming the word for the Mexican chili pepper we know and love today.

9. An exclusive customer rewards program called the "Farm Team "exists.

The Farm Team is a customer rewards program with an educational focus on factory farming and other aspects of the food industry. Participants in the program can win free food, t-shirts and potentially even $200 catering orders. Unfortunately, joining the program requires an invitation code, which aren't easy to come by.

Apparently you can get one if you convince a local Chipotle manager to help you out (be nice!) or you can try your luck by buying one off eBay. Someone bought an invitation code for $45 in 2013.

10. Chipotle delivery trucks have a sign to prevent hungry thieves that says, "Drivers Do Not Carry Burritos."

Although we weren't able to find an official statement mandating this label, many similar photos can be found uploaded to Twitter and Instagram accounts, proving this isn't just a Photoshopped image.

11. Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks was given free burritos for a year.

Russell Wilson is the 25-year-old starting quarterback of the Super Bowl-bound Seattle Seahawks. Wilson is also the luckiest person on the planet, because he was given a personalized card by Chipotle that gives him a whole year of free burritos.

The quarterback seems to be enjoying his gift so far.

So @ChipotleTweets is batting a 1000 in my dinner book!

&mdash Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) October 22, 2013

12. Chipotle is experimenting with serving craft beer.

Beer from the 5 Rabbit Brewery started entering Chicago Chipotle restaurants back in 2012, with offerings of a golden and dark ale. The partnership is still ongoing -- last Fall, the Chicago-based brewery created a "Farmhouse Ale" just for Chipotle.

13. On Halloween, burritos officially become "booritos."

Chipotle even owns the url, "boorito.com."

Although they used to offer free booritos on Halloween for customers who dressed up in tinfoil, they now offer them for $3, with proceeds of up to $1,000,000 going to their Chipotle Cultivate Foundation. The foundation is a non-profit intended to promote sustainable food practices.

14. The founder originally started Chipotle just to make enough money to open a fine dining establishment.

After attending the Culinary Institute of America, founder Steve Ells originally wanted to own a fancy, white table cloth restaurant, so he started Chipotle to make the money to do so. Even after the initial expansions from the first Chipotle restaurant in Denver (which was converted from an old ice cream store) Ells still was thinking about cashing out and going into the fine dining business. When the burrito business took off extremely quickly, Ells decided to stick with burritos.

15. Chipotle went with a minimalist store design because it lacked the money for something fancier.

"I didn't have much money, so we had to make these very simple parts from the hardware store work in order to create the design," said Ells of the simple and now iconic decor.

The founder of the company, which is now estimated to now be worth over $15 billion, originally had to take an $80,000 loan from his father to open the first restaurant.

Ells still recalls "hauling his butt to the hardware store to buy the plywood, barn metal and conduit to make Chipotle's often-mimicked utilitarian light fixtures."

Bonus: Steve Carrell signed a tortilla for a Chipotle employee.

Not too much is known about this story, but apparently Carrell went into a Chipotle where an employee asked him to sign a tortilla. Carrell obliged, and immediately became a burrito legend.

Burritos truly bring us closer together.

All images Getty unless otherwise noted.

This story has been updated with additional information about Chipotle's coffee service, as well as the nature of Wilson's free burritos card.


10 Things You Should Know About Deschutes Brewery

“Do your best, and next time, do better.” Such is the motto of Deschutes Brewery, a brewery deeply rooted in its home and community of Bend, Oregon. As the eighth-largest independent brewing company in the country, and 15th-largest brewing company overall, it comes as no surprise that the brewery is constantly working to improve.

Aside from its serious business sense, and impressive sustainability efforts, Deschutes also knows how to have fun. Here are 10 things to learn about that brewery you didn’t know you were mispronouncing.

Deschutes Brewery is named after a river, a county, and a forest

It’s pronounced “Deh-schutes,” and it’s based in Bend, Oregon, a small, beer-loving city on the Deschutes River in Deschutes County. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the brewery names a number of its beers after nearby landmarks, like its flagship beer, Black Butte Porter. Black Butte — pronounced “beaut” (basically, a standalone hill with steep sides and a flat top) — is a hill formed by volcanic ash, and it’s a popular hiking destination in Deschutes National Forest. It is said to be a vantage point for central Oregon mountains like the Three Sisters, Mount Jefferson, Three Finger Jack, and, on a clear day, Mount Hood, Mount Adams, and even Washington State.

Every Beer Lover Needs This Hop Aroma Poster

Deschutes is 100 percent family- and employee-owned

The brewery is still majority owned by its founder, Gary Fish, and his family. In 2013, Deschutes announced an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), meaning employees are able to gain company shares correlating to their number of years at the company. To do this and be one of the country’s biggest breweries is pretty badass. “We are not owned by, or selling to, any large brewer or other entity, nor do we have any plans to,” Fish says. “We’re having too much fun to change.”

Deschutes turned 30 in 2018

You don’t turn 30 and look this good by winging it, trust us. In 1988, Deschutes opened Deschutes Brewery & Public House on Bond Street in Bend. Twenty years later, it opened a second brewpub in Portland, Oregon. Last year, Deschutes debuted its first East Coast location: a new tasting room in Roanoke, Virginia. The brewery also operates a tasting room out of its production facility in Bend, where it offers tours, brewery swag, crowlers, and, of course, lots of beer.

Deschutes is building an East Coast production facility too

The Roanoke taproom is already open, complete with 20-gallon pilot system, but the big debut is yet to come. Deschutes will be breaking ground in 2019 on a new production facility here, aiming to ship beer by 2021. Deschutes beer is already available in most cities in Virginia.

Deschutes likes to party!

For its 30th anniversary, Deschutes threw a birthday bash that featured 30 different beers on tap. A subsequent party at the brewpub, Brew Bash 5000, celebrated 5,000 batches of beer brewed. Deschutes also participates annually in a state-wide beer festival called Zwickelmania, organized by the Oregon Brewers Guild. February 2018 marks the 10th year of Deschutes’ participation in both Bend and Portland. For the special day, the brewhouses are open to the public for free tours, special samplings, and, of course, Zwickel tasting straight from the tanks, as per Bavarian tradition.

… And to party for good causes

Go Outside Fest, a partnership between the nonprofit Roanoke Outside Foundation and the City of Roanoke Department of Parks and Recreation, presented by health insurance corporation Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, encourages healthy outdoor activities for Virginians. Street Pub, an outdoor street festival in which Deschutes takes over an entire block, raises money for local charities around the country. Past locations have included Cincinnati, Roanoke, Milwaukee, Portland, Oregon, and Sacramento.

Deschutes loves food … a lot

In addition to operating two brewpubs, one in Bend and one in Portland, Oregon, Deschutes maintains an active blog with advice on beer cuisine-related topics like pairing beer and pizza, beer and ramen, and beer and pie (its favorite dessert pairing). The brewery also posts recipes that use its beers as ingredients, like Easy Porter Cupcakes (using Black Butte Porter) and Ale Seafood Ceviche (with American Wheat).

Deschutes makes a beer whiskey

Along with year-round beers, seasonals, the hop-driven Bond Street Series and a special Reserve Series that includes the famously annually released Abyss, Deschutes partnered with Bendistillery to create a malt whiskey from a Deschutes beer — you guessed it — Black Butte Porter. The whiskey is double-distilled from the wash of the beloved flagship beer. Black Butte Whiskey is available at the Bend and Portland brewpubs.

Deschutes is a leader in sustainability

Deschutes Brewery won a 2016 Sustainability Award in the leadership category for making sustainability an integral part of its business. The company also won a 2015 Oregon Sustainability Award after purchasing 5 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy (enough to take 763 cars off the road for a year) replacing production facility lighting with LEDs (this uses 69 percent less energy, enough to power eight homes for a year) and recycling 404,407 pounds of cardboard and plastic. The Deschutes pub in Portland also received an honorable Gold Certification through the City of Portland Sustainability at Work program.

Deschutes started distributing in cans in 2018

After 30 years as a leading craft brewery in the Pacific Northwest, Deschutes announced in February 2018 that it would finally release its beers it cans. In particular, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Pacific Wonderland Lager, and Fresh Squeezed IPA are available in 12-ounce cans nationwide, with the likelihood of rolling out more brands in the future.


10 More Things You Don’t Know

Ever wanted to learn interesting facts or difficult skills, merely by eating another person who already learned them for you? Studies have shown that certain kinds of flatworm can do exactly that: simply by eating the mashed-up corpses of their wise and experienced elders, they can learn how to navigate a maze, for instance. Since we humans have to rely on other means of acquiring knowledge, here&rsquos a list to get you started:

One theory of why Albert Einstein was so brilliant at mathematics has to do with a physical abnormality: he was born without the visual reasoning center of his brain. This is the center that enables you to comprehend the difference between a zebra and a trash can. Assuming Einstein had never seen either, he would not have been able to reason which was which. But to make up for this, his mathematical computation center grew to twice the size of yours and mine, because it was able to use all the room next door where visual reasoning was absent.




Because of Fearless Felix Baumgartner and his record breaking skydive in October this year, scientists now know for a fact that if an astronaut equipped with a parachute were to become trapped outside a stationary spacecraft in orbit, he could simply kick off the side of the craft and fall to Earth. He would have to radio ahead, of course, lest he find himself bouncing around in the middle of an ocean. If he were to wear a wing-suit, then upon striking sufficiently thick atmosphere, he would be able to glide the whole way across the Atlantic Ocean, from Nova Scotia to Ireland.




The astronauts who walked on the Moon quickly discovered a number of very strange things about it, and most of these remain unsolved mysteries to this day. As an example, whenever a meteor of the size of a basketball of larger struck the Moon, the astronauts reported hearing the Moon ring like a gigantic gong &ndash as though it were hollow metal. The Moon is pitched in C-sharp.




In almost all commercial and print advertisements, watches and clocks read 10:10. If it&rsquos a watch commercial, this is because the hands don&rsquot block the brand name. If the time is featured in a commercial or ad for any other product, the hands resemble a person&rsquos arms raised in happiness. It is a more positive hand position than the inversion of 8:20, and banks on the theory that a person in a happier frame of mind is easier to persuade.




Certain species of planarians (a type of flatworm) have been gradually taught to run a maze. If you grind them up and feed them to a second batch of planarians, the second batch can run the maze on the first try.




There is a South Dakota state law, still current, that goes as follows: &ldquoAny group of five or more Indians of any tribe or nation is to be considered a raiding party and may be fired upon.&rdquo Many lists could be compiled of truly stupid laws, but this one is genuinely dangerous. A person in South Dakota could deliberately murder 5 Native Americans at once and get off scot free.




You are born with all the brain cells you&rsquore going to get, anywhere from 50 to 100 billion. They are the smallest cells in the body. Once they die, the number goes down and stays down. A 12-ounce beer will kill precisely zero of them. Drinking 5 beers and waking up with a hangover will kill precisely zero of them. But drinking yourself sick every day for 30 years will kill millions of them, because of the stress through which you&rsquore putting your brain. The next morning&rsquos headache is caused by the alcohol evaporating water all over the body, especially in the head. Drinking water during the night&rsquos festivities will largely prevent the hangover. However, a 10-minute fever at 106 degrees Fahrenheit will kill about 50 million brain cells.


If hunters are counted as a military force, the State of Wisconsin has the 8th largest standing army in the world, at about 615,000. That&rsquos almost 100,000 more armed people than there are in the Iranian Army.




One of the most horrifying cryptids is the J&rsquoba fofi (CHAH-bah FOO-fee). It is a brown spider, either a tarantula or something similar, with a leg span of four to six feet. The Baka tribe of the Congo Jungle in Africa swears these spiders exist. The Baka have never profited a single cent from tales of the spider, and they adamantly maintain that it lives just outside their villages. It builds ground webs of leaves formed into tubes resembling cornucopias, with a sheet of silk around the front. The Baka claim that anything smaller than a medium-sized dog &ndash including children &ndash can be snatched by the spiders




Consider this a definitive answer to a recurring trivia question. The strongest muscle in the human body, in proportion to weight, is the masseter muscle, which is the muscle you use for mastication. You have two &ndash one on either side of your jaw &ndash and each can impart 900 pounds of force. If only your teeth could withstand it, you&rsquod be able to chew up a cinder block, or puncture a truck tire.

The butter vs cooking oil debate has finally been resolved. Fotie Photenhauer has published a cookbook in which every recipe calls for human semen as a cooking oil. He touts it as extremely nutritious.