Nails and Ales

I love beer and I love nail art. This is where I combine them for a pleasurable experience. Sometimes the beer inspires the nail art, sometimes the nail art inspires the beer.

Disclaimer: I am in no way an expert On either of these subjects. This is strictly for fun so take a deep breath and enjoy!

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Waterworks Mani feat. Brouwerij West’s Dog Ate My Homework Blackberry Saison

Did you guys miss me? I missed the hell out of you. Sorry for the extra long delay in posting but I hope this mani will make you forgive me. 

NAILS: Ya know, this label looks deceptively easy to reproduce. Don’t let those adorable elephants fool you, it is not. After an epic fail my first time around, I was thankfully able to figure out how I could make this mani happen without going insane. I painted all my nails white at the base and then mixed the blue and purple colors together with acrylic paint. The only tool I used was my tiniest dotting tool (tip the size of a ballpoint pen) and the rest is history:

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You have to check out the label artist’s website, btw. He has some awesomely adorable stuff going on there: http://www.thefloatingworld.net/  (Note: DO NOT make the mistake of going to thefloatingworld.com, especially if you’re at work…) 

As you may have noticed, I’ve stopped including step-by-step instructions for manis, but if anyone ever wants to know anything about a mani I do, feel free to message me and I’d be glad to chat!

ALE: I stopped by Bierkraft in Park Slope on my way home from work and while I was ordering one of their delicious sandwiches, I saw an empty bottle of Dog Ate My Homework on the counter and it was love at first site. 

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LOOK AT THAT COLOR. It’s so pretty. Rarely do I have a beautiful label AND a beautiful beer. The photo doesn’t do it justice. The head is a really lovely pink-purple color. I’m not a fan of sweet, fruity beers and my first sip made me wonder if I’d be able to finish the bottle but after it warmed a bit I really got into it. The sweet blackberries are evened out by the crisp sourness of the saison style. I’d definitely have this beer again after a Spring or Summer meal. 

Have you seen a sweet label lately? Give me suggestions for my next mani in the comments! 

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I’m finally getting around to posting these videos I shot with Howcast a little while back! The video above shows you how to make the owl from my Hitachino Nest post but check out the full playlist to see some other fun nail art tricks and tips! The playlist also features designs from the following posts:

Coney Island Lager Tat Mani

Brugse Zot Belgian Ale Jester Mani

And one of my very first posts (!): Lightning Brewery Electrostatic Ale Lightning Bolt Mani

Enjoy!

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Ace Mani feat. Four in Hand IPA
Nails: This one was a bit tough as I’m a bit rusty due to my extreme slacking lately. For a second there I thought about just not finishing this bad boy but my friend Chenz turned on Starship Troopers and I decided I’d rather work on this mani than watch that movie. Thanks Chenz!

Ale: My roommate saw this beer in Whole Foods and wanted to see it on my nails, so thanks to her for buying it! Only problem is that I let it sit in our fridge for 6 months or more (oops) and I’m pretty sure this beer did not age well…
I found that Four in Hand is a bit of a mystery beer. After digging around I learned that World Brews Winery Exchange Inc. “makes” the beer. By “makes”, I mean contracts Genesee  Brewing Company (of Genny Cream Ale fame) to brew the beers and World Brews just manages everything and then distributes to large grocery chains. No one actually claims this beer as their own and I can see why. It wasn’t good at all. This could be because of the extended time it spent in my fridge or, according to online reviews, it could just be the beer. 

It poured a dark amber color with a nice finger-width head, but was EXTREMELY cloudy. Particles hung out in the beer for quite some time. They weren’t settling or moving at all which I had never seen before. I mean I’ve seen some yeasties at the bottom of a beer but I’ve never seen particles just chillin’ everywhere and not settling. If someone knows what’s going on here, please educate me as I couldn’t find anyone else talking about this in the reviews. Again, this could be the result of an old beer. The nose was a really strong rose smell. Taste was all over the place. Tangy and tart with bitterness at the end. I didn’t enjoy it all. I think I’ll need to drink a fresh one to compare! 
This post is dedicated to my poker-loving brother, Kevin. Here’s a picture of us bartending as children, duh: 

Ace Mani feat. Four in Hand IPA

Nails: This one was a bit tough as I’m a bit rusty due to my extreme slacking lately. For a second there I thought about just not finishing this bad boy but my friend Chenz turned on Starship Troopers and I decided I’d rather work on this mani than watch that movie. Thanks Chenz!

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Ale: My roommate saw this beer in Whole Foods and wanted to see it on my nails, so thanks to her for buying it! Only problem is that I let it sit in our fridge for 6 months or more (oops) and I’m pretty sure this beer did not age well…

I found that Four in Hand is a bit of a mystery beer. After digging around I learned that World Brews Winery Exchange Inc. “makes” the beer. By “makes”, I mean contracts Genesee  Brewing Company (of Genny Cream Ale fame) to brew the beers and World Brews just manages everything and then distributes to large grocery chains. No one actually claims this beer as their own and I can see why. It wasn’t good at all. This could be because of the extended time it spent in my fridge or, according to online reviews, it could just be the beer. 

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It poured a dark amber color with a nice finger-width head, but was EXTREMELY cloudy. Particles hung out in the beer for quite some time. They weren’t settling or moving at all which I had never seen before. I mean I’ve seen some yeasties at the bottom of a beer but I’ve never seen particles just chillin’ everywhere and not settling. If someone knows what’s going on here, please educate me as I couldn’t find anyone else talking about this in the reviews. Again, this could be the result of an old beer. The nose was a really strong rose smell. Taste was all over the place. Tangy and tart with bitterness at the end. I didn’t enjoy it all. I think I’ll need to drink a fresh one to compare! 

This post is dedicated to my poker-loving brother, Kevin. Here’s a picture of us bartending as children, duh: 

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4th of July Mani w/ Southern Tier’s Phin and Matt’s Extraordinary Ale
I haven’t been able to do some nail art in a while people and I have to say, it feels good to be back! Lots of things have been going on lately: I starting working full-time again a couple months ago (I produce web videos) and work has been cray-cray. Yeah, I just said cray-cray, shut up. Anywho… that’s been keeping me from posting as well as the fact that my iPhone was stolen a while back and that was my camera for these posts. Well, the iPhone is back and I plan on rollin’ with this again! 
In nail news, I shot about 13 nail art videos with Howcast a while back and I will be doing a post about those shortly. Also, Brooklyn Brewery just reached out to me to work  at an NYC Brewers Guild event this summer. I’m super excited about it, but I’ll post more on that later! 
Onto these Independence Day nails! I’ve been wanting to use Phin and Matt’s Extraordinary Ale for a while. I saw it last year around this time and thought the label would be PERFECT, but then they went and changed it on me. Here’s the old:

And here’s the new:

While I like both of them (Southern Tier never disappoints when it comes to their labels), I thought the old one was a bit more fun for the 4th. 
I’ve decided to not do a step-by-step walkthrough of the nail art anymore and to just focus more on pics and the beer review. Enjoy!


Ale: Made with 3 different hops and 3 different malts, this America-style ale is quite refreshing and packs a nice flavor. It pours a translucent gold with a minimal, quickly dissipating head:

The first thing that struck me was the carbonation. There’s a ton of it and it gives the beer a nice crisp, clean mouthfeel. Loved that. The flavor is almost sweet, but you definitely get the hops in there as well. It’s super refreshing and I’m glad I bought a sixer so I can enjoy the rest of the on the 4th. Have fun tomorrow everyone!

4th of July Mani w/ Southern Tier’s Phin and Matt’s Extraordinary Ale

I haven’t been able to do some nail art in a while people and I have to say, it feels good to be back! Lots of things have been going on lately: I starting working full-time again a couple months ago (I produce web videos) and work has been cray-cray. Yeah, I just said cray-cray, shut up. Anywho… that’s been keeping me from posting as well as the fact that my iPhone was stolen a while back and that was my camera for these posts. Well, the iPhone is back and I plan on rollin’ with this again! 

In nail news, I shot about 13 nail art videos with Howcast a while back and I will be doing a post about those shortly. Also, Brooklyn Brewery just reached out to me to work  at an NYC Brewers Guild event this summer. I’m super excited about it, but I’ll post more on that later! 

Onto these Independence Day nails! I’ve been wanting to use Phin and Matt’s Extraordinary Ale for a while. I saw it last year around this time and thought the label would be PERFECT, but then they went and changed it on me. Here’s the old:

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And here’s the new:

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While I like both of them (Southern Tier never disappoints when it comes to their labels), I thought the old one was a bit more fun for the 4th. 

I’ve decided to not do a step-by-step walkthrough of the nail art anymore and to just focus more on pics and the beer review. Enjoy!

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Ale: Made with 3 different hops and 3 different malts, this America-style ale is quite refreshing and packs a nice flavor. It pours a translucent gold with a minimal, quickly dissipating head:

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The first thing that struck me was the carbonation. There’s a ton of it and it gives the beer a nice crisp, clean mouthfeel. Loved that. The flavor is almost sweet, but you definitely get the hops in there as well. It’s super refreshing and I’m glad I bought a sixer so I can enjoy the rest of the on the 4th. Have fun tomorrow everyone!

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Uinta Brewing Co’s Dubhe Imperial Black IPA: Beer Fest Edition!
I apologize for being MIA this year, folks. Job searching and Winter hibernation have taken over my life lately but now that Spring is just around the corner, the beer and polish will flow! Last weekend I went to the NYC Craft Beer Fest and, as usual, had a flippin’ blast. I decided on Uinta’s Dubhe (pronounced “doo-be”) as my muse because 1.) the label is sweet and 2.) I just happened to have a bottle in my fridge that I bought a few months ago to use for the blog. It was meant to be! BUT, when I walked over to the Uinta table, I was saddened to see that the Dubhe tap did not have the label on it. SAD FACE. I had based the nails on the tap I found online, which is always a gamble when doing nails for a beer fest. This is just the first time I lost. Here’s an image of the tap, for reference: 
 
Nails:  Not going to do my usual step-by-step here because the coloring just wasn’t coming out right in the photos and it also would have been about 10 boring steps for you guys to read through. Instead, I’ll give the basics: 

I started with 2 coats of Sally Hansen’s Black Out and waited until it was completely dry. All of the next steps are simply layering acrylic paint. I painted the outline of the canyon first and once that dried, I added the black shadowing. Next, I added the orange sky streaks and once that dried, I painted the yellow accents. Last step was painting the stars with a very tiny dotting tool. I didn’t notice this until I read the beer description on Uinta’s website, but the stars are the big dipper! I love how all of these colors go together. I usually don’t like using flash when I take these photos, but it really made the colors pop! Here’s a daylight pic so you can see the difference:

Ale: Everything about this beer suggests that it would be extremely (almost too) heavy, but it is just the right amount of heavy, especially for 9.2%. It pours a very dark brown, almost black color with a medium head:

Smells like a sweet coffee stout and those scents linger in the flavor as well. The taste is just a perfect balance of sweet, chocolate, coffee, citrus and hops. I really don’t think I could get enough of this beer. They were pouring this at the spring seasonals beer fest and I think that’s a testament to the drinkability of this brew. I would definitely enjoy this in the dead of Winter or on a warm Spring day. 
Who am I kidding? I would enjoy this beer every day if I could. Psssh.
Thanks to JGo for offering up her phone for pictures and sitting in my living room for a few hours while I ignored her and painted my nails instead. :) 
Another thanks to all these jerks for coming to the beer fest and making it such a great time (and wearing my signature pretzel necklaces). And another thanks to JGo and Jenni for helping me make all of them! 

Uinta Brewing Co’s Dubhe Imperial Black IPA: Beer Fest Edition!


I apologize for being MIA this year, folks. Job searching and Winter hibernation have taken over my life lately but now that Spring is just around the corner, the beer and polish will flow! Last weekend I went to the NYC Craft Beer Fest and, as usual, had a flippin’ blast. I decided on Uinta’s Dubhe (pronounced “doo-be”) as my muse because 1.) the label is sweet and 2.) I just happened to have a bottle in my fridge that I bought a few months ago to use for the blog. It was meant to be! BUT, when I walked over to the Uinta table, I was saddened to see that the Dubhe tap did not have the label on it. SAD FACE. I had based the nails on the tap I found online, which is always a gamble when doing nails for a beer fest. This is just the first time I lost. Here’s an image of the tap, for reference: 

 

Nails:  Not going to do my usual step-by-step here because the coloring just wasn’t coming out right in the photos and it also would have been about 10 boring steps for you guys to read through. Instead, I’ll give the basics: 

I started with 2 coats of Sally Hansen’s Black Out and waited until it was completely dry. All of the next steps are simply layering acrylic paint. I painted the outline of the canyon first and once that dried, I added the black shadowing. Next, I added the orange sky streaks and once that dried, I painted the yellow accents. Last step was painting the stars with a very tiny dotting tool. I didn’t notice this until I read the beer description on Uinta’s website, but the stars are the big dipper! I love how all of these colors go together. I usually don’t like using flash when I take these photos, but it really made the colors pop! Here’s a daylight pic so you can see the difference:

Ale: Everything about this beer suggests that it would be extremely (almost too) heavy, but it is just the right amount of heavy, especially for 9.2%. It pours a very dark brown, almost black color with a medium head:

Smells like a sweet coffee stout and those scents linger in the flavor as well. The taste is just a perfect balance of sweet, chocolate, coffee, citrus and hops. I really don’t think I could get enough of this beer. They were pouring this at the spring seasonals beer fest and I think that’s a testament to the drinkability of this brew. I would definitely enjoy this in the dead of Winter or on a warm Spring day. 

Who am I kidding? I would enjoy this beer every day if I could. Psssh.

Thanks to JGo for offering up her phone for pictures and sitting in my living room for a few hours while I ignored her and painted my nails instead. :) 

Another thanks to all these jerks for coming to the beer fest and making it such a great time (and wearing my signature pretzel necklaces). And another thanks to JGo and Jenni for helping me make all of them! 

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Valentine Mani w/ Dugges Ale’s Idjit! Imperial Stout
Nails: Alright people. I put lots of pink and hearts on my nails for YOU this week. I don’t “do” Valentine’s Day (yeah, I’m one of those people, shut it) so you better appreciate this! And you better send me cards and teddy bears and flowers and chocolate. (“But Meg, I thought you didn’t ‘do’ Valentine’s Day?”)  ;) 
Enough with this lovey-dovey stuff. Let’s talk nails! 

I started with 2 coats of Sally Hansen’s Diamond Strength “It’s Chiff-on!”. Using a long, fine-tipped brush and acrylic paint, I placed a dot where I wanted to heart to eventually sit and from that dot I drew about 5-6 lines out to the edge of the nail. I filled in each of those lines so they were thinner out toward the edge and thicker as they came together. 
Next, instead of using the same base polish to make the inner design, I mixed acrylic paint together to match the polish color (using the polish doesn’t work well because you would need to use 2-3 coats of it to get the same color). I used the same steps as the lighter color, but simply made the design smaller. 
Once the hard part was over, I used a dotting tool and acrylic paint to add hearts in the center of each design.
Even though I’m not much of a hearts and pink person, I like that this design came out with a comic book feel to it, which I can dig!
Ale: I have used a Dugges beer for Nails and Ales in the past (here) and it’s easy to see why. These guys like to have fun with their labels but they’re also serious about their brews. This imperial stout is no exception to that rule. First sip of Idjit! felt like all of my taste buds got punched in each of their little taste bud faces. It pours very dark with little head and almost non-existent carbonation:

The nose is very strong, with sweet chocolate and coffee coming through immediately. It almost had a little rustiness to it as well. (Side note: I don’t know how long this beer had been sitting around, but looking at the browned price label on it, I’d say it was in the store for a while…) Coloring is a really nice deep brown. This is one thick, syrupy beer. Like I said, the first sip was a bit much, but then I was able to focus on the dark, bitter chocolate and coffee flavors. Everything was amplified in this stout. I also caught some licorice in there, which I am not fond of at all. Overall, it wasn’t the best dark stout I’ve had, especially because of that licorice. And at almost $20, I don’t think I would pick this one up again. 5 out of 10 nails! 
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Here’s an example of a valentine I will never give to anyone:

Valentine Mani w/ Dugges Ale’s Idjit! Imperial Stout

Nails: Alright people. I put lots of pink and hearts on my nails for YOU this week. I don’t “do” Valentine’s Day (yeah, I’m one of those people, shut it) so you better appreciate this! And you better send me cards and teddy bears and flowers and chocolate. (“But Meg, I thought you didn’t ‘do’ Valentine’s Day?”)  ;) 

Enough with this lovey-dovey stuff. Let’s talk nails! 

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I started with 2 coats of Sally Hansen’s Diamond Strength “It’s Chiff-on!”. Using a long, fine-tipped brush and acrylic paint, I placed a dot where I wanted to heart to eventually sit and from that dot I drew about 5-6 lines out to the edge of the nail. I filled in each of those lines so they were thinner out toward the edge and thicker as they came together. 

Next, instead of using the same base polish to make the inner design, I mixed acrylic paint together to match the polish color (using the polish doesn’t work well because you would need to use 2-3 coats of it to get the same color). I used the same steps as the lighter color, but simply made the design smaller. 

Once the hard part was over, I used a dotting tool and acrylic paint to add hearts in the center of each design.

Even though I’m not much of a hearts and pink person, I like that this design came out with a comic book feel to it, which I can dig!

Ale: I have used a Dugges beer for Nails and Ales in the past (here) and it’s easy to see why. These guys like to have fun with their labels but they’re also serious about their brews. This imperial stout is no exception to that rule. First sip of Idjit! felt like all of my taste buds got punched in each of their little taste bud faces. It pours very dark with little head and almost non-existent carbonation:

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The nose is very strong, with sweet chocolate and coffee coming through immediately. It almost had a little rustiness to it as well. (Side note: I don’t know how long this beer had been sitting around, but looking at the browned price label on it, I’d say it was in the store for a while…) Coloring is a really nice deep brown. This is one thick, syrupy beer. Like I said, the first sip was a bit much, but then I was able to focus on the dark, bitter chocolate and coffee flavors. Everything was amplified in this stout. I also caught some licorice in there, which I am not fond of at all. Overall, it wasn’t the best dark stout I’ve had, especially because of that licorice. And at almost $20, I don’t think I would pick this one up again. 5 out of 10 nails! 

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Here’s an example of a valentine I will never give to anyone:

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Electric Mani w/ 8 Wired Brewing Co.’s Super Conductor Double IPA
Long time, no post! Hope everyone is having a lovely 2013. Let’s start this off with a “jolt” of fun! (Go ahead, you can boo at me for that one, I’ll allow it.)
Nails: Started off with 2 coats of Milani’s Breezy. Since this mani involves a tape design, you have to wait until the base color is COMPLETELY dry before moving forward (when I know I’ll be using tape, I try to paint the base the night before). Then I sketched a lightning bolt onto pieces of painter’s tape that were cut (with scissors or an x-acto knife) to match the length of every individual nail. The bolt should be placed so that it moves from one of the top corners to the opposite bottom corner:

Only work on one nail at a time, as you want to pull the tape off immediately after painting over it. If you don’t do that the paint gets tacky and when you pull the tape off, it will stick to it and ruin your nice, straight lines. 
Next, using a very fine-point dotting tool and the same base color, I added some messy lines through the middle of the bolt. Using the same dotting tool, I used acrylic paint to add black lines on either side of the bolt and tiny red and white dots:

Clean up any rogue paint with an orange stick, cover it up with a thick top coat and you have yourself one “shocking” manicure! (I’ll be here all evening, ladies and gentlemen! Don’t forget to tip your waiter!)

Ale: This. Beer. Is. So. Good. It comes all the way from New Zealand, which is probably why I paid $16 for it, but damn…it was worth it. I’m a huge hophead so when I saw this “warning” label, I was happier than a pig in you-know-what: 

Surprisingly though, this beer has an equally sweet side to it. The nose is pretty fruity, almost like blueberry. It pours a nice, foggy amber color with a small head that dissipates quickly:

The sweetness in the nose is not lost in the flavor. Yes, the bitterness is definitely there, but the sweetness pulls through and mellows it out in the most wonderful way. I am not a fan of fruity notes in my beer, but this just goes together perfectly. I wish I could get this beer at a cheaper price because it is now on the top of my list. If I ever find any of the other beers 8 Wired makes, I will definitely be buying them. This one gets a 10 out of 10!

Electric Mani w/ 8 Wired Brewing Co.’s Super Conductor Double IPA

Long time, no post! Hope everyone is having a lovely 2013. Let’s start this off with a “jolt” of fun! (Go ahead, you can boo at me for that one, I’ll allow it.)

Nails: Started off with 2 coats of Milani’s Breezy. Since this mani involves a tape design, you have to wait until the base color is COMPLETELY dry before moving forward (when I know I’ll be using tape, I try to paint the base the night before). Then I sketched a lightning bolt onto pieces of painter’s tape that were cut (with scissors or an x-acto knife) to match the length of every individual nail. The bolt should be placed so that it moves from one of the top corners to the opposite bottom corner:

Only work on one nail at a time, as you want to pull the tape off immediately after painting over it. If you don’t do that the paint gets tacky and when you pull the tape off, it will stick to it and ruin your nice, straight lines. 

Next, using a very fine-point dotting tool and the same base color, I added some messy lines through the middle of the bolt. Using the same dotting tool, I used acrylic paint to add black lines on either side of the bolt and tiny red and white dots:

Clean up any rogue paint with an orange stick, cover it up with a thick top coat and you have yourself one “shocking” manicure! (I’ll be here all evening, ladies and gentlemen! Don’t forget to tip your waiter!)

Ale: This. Beer. Is. So. Good. It comes all the way from New Zealand, which is probably why I paid $16 for it, but damn…it was worth it. I’m a huge hophead so when I saw this “warning” label, I was happier than a pig in you-know-what: 

Surprisingly though, this beer has an equally sweet side to it. The nose is pretty fruity, almost like blueberry. It pours a nice, foggy amber color with a small head that dissipates quickly:

The sweetness in the nose is not lost in the flavor. Yes, the bitterness is definitely there, but the sweetness pulls through and mellows it out in the most wonderful way. I am not a fan of fruity notes in my beer, but this just goes together perfectly. I wish I could get this beer at a cheaper price because it is now on the top of my list. If I ever find any of the other beers 8 Wired makes, I will definitely be buying them. This one gets a 10 out of 10!

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Merry Christmas Mani w/ Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Christmas Ale
Merry Christmas people! I am currently visiting my family in the Cleveland area and, DUH, of course I chose Great Lakes Christmas Ale for my personal holiday mani. Us Clevelanders live for this beer. I don’t feel like spending my Christmas morning typing though, and I’m sure you don’t want to spend it reading this post, so here are a bunch of pictures! ENJOY!
Nails:


Final step: add the gold accents on the tops of the ornaments and the sides of the train, clean up any rogue paint around the cuticles, add a top coat and BOOM:


Ale: Like I said, Clevelanders live for this beer and I’ve had Christmas Ale too many times to count, so of course I’m going to give it a 10 out of 10. I do want to say that many people have told me they like Thirsty Dog’s 12 Dogs of Christmas better. I hadn’t tried Thirsty Dog’s yet and yesterday I finally was able to do a side-by-side comparison. I’m happy to say that I still chose Great Lakes:

I can see why people would like Thirsty Dog more as it isn’t as sweet and still let’s that bitterness come through. I’m all for that, but when it comes to Christmas ales I like to embrace those sweet, warming flavors, which Great Lakes does oh so well. All hail the Christmas ale king!
And just for fun, here’s a picture of me with a junky Santa at the VFW in Mayfield a very long time ago. Why anyone would let their child sit on this man’s lap is a mystery to me. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Merry Christmas Mani w/ Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Christmas Ale

Merry Christmas people! I am currently visiting my family in the Cleveland area and, DUH, of course I chose Great Lakes Christmas Ale for my personal holiday mani. Us Clevelanders live for this beer. I don’t feel like spending my Christmas morning typing though, and I’m sure you don’t want to spend it reading this post, so here are a bunch of pictures! ENJOY!

Nails:

Final step: add the gold accents on the tops of the ornaments and the sides of the train, clean up any rogue paint around the cuticles, add a top coat and BOOM:

Ale: Like I said, Clevelanders live for this beer and I’ve had Christmas Ale too many times to count, so of course I’m going to give it a 10 out of 10. I do want to say that many people have told me they like Thirsty Dog’s 12 Dogs of Christmas better. I hadn’t tried Thirsty Dog’s yet and yesterday I finally was able to do a side-by-side comparison. I’m happy to say that I still chose Great Lakes:

I can see why people would like Thirsty Dog more as it isn’t as sweet and still let’s that bitterness come through. I’m all for that, but when it comes to Christmas ales I like to embrace those sweet, warming flavors, which Great Lakes does oh so well. All hail the Christmas ale king!

And just for fun, here’s a picture of me with a junky Santa at the VFW in Mayfield a very long time ago. Why anyone would let their child sit on this man’s lap is a mystery to me. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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Winter Wonderland Mani w/ Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale
Nails: I enlisted my friend Julia to be a nail model for this post and her choice of holiday brew was Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale which, surprisingly, I had never had before. The label proved to be a bit difficult to come up with a design for, as I had no choice but to paint something really literal and realistic. There was no way I was painting a log cabin on her nails, so I focused on the backdrop and the poinsettias. To start, I painted the thumbs, rings and pinkies with Milani’s Gold Glitz and the pointer and middles with Revlon’s Dreamer: 

We’ll go over the snowy nails first. I used Sally Hansen’s White On to sponge an ombre fade onto the pointers and middles to act as the snow and then I covered it in Sally Hansen’s Angel Wings to add a little sheen to it (TIP: adding any light, sheen-y polish over an ombre really helps to smooth out the sponging and make it look a bit more blended):

I used dark green and light green acrylic paints for the tree colors. Using a small, thin-edged brush, I lightly covered the end in the paint (dab excess paint off on a paper towel) and VERY lightly dabbed the brush on the nail horizontally making each “branch” smaller as I worked up the tree. I used the lighter green for the smaller tree in the front to give the 2 trees some separation:

Moving on to the poinsettias…I mixed 3 different shades of red (light, med., dark). Starting with the medium red and a small brush, I painted the basic shape of a poinsettia. This first step won’t look so much like a poinsettia, but have no fear! Once the shading is added and you define the petals, it all comes together. Next step I used the light red to color in half of each of the large petals. Then using a fine-tipped brush (you could also use a dotting tool) I added a line down the middle of each large petal and the “veins” coming off of it. I also lightly colored over the little petals that lay lower in the flower to give them some depth. Using the same greens I used in the trees, I painted 2 small leaves on each. To top it off, I used some large glitter to act as the buds in the middle of the flower:

Top it off with a coat of Seche Vite and Julia was all set to go deck the halls! (Really? Could I GET any cheesier?):
 
Ale: So, when I see Christmas- or Winter-themed labels on beer, I assume it will have some of those classic Christmas ale flavors: nutmeg, cinnamon, honey…all the things that warm you up. I could also be thinking this because I’m from Cleveland and I was raised to bow down to Great Lakes Christmas Ale, but alas, I was surprised at the lack of those standard Winter warmer flavors. Putting that thought aside, this beer was GREAT. Beautiful deep amber color and a nice sweet, yet hoppy, nose:

I’m a huge hophead and Celebration definitely embraces them. It’s wonderfully balanced though, as there are hints of sweetness to it so the bitter hops, while still very strong in flavor, are never too overpowering. This would be a great year-round brew. I’m giving this one 9 out of 10 nails! 
I want to thank Julia and Mike (my fellow beer nerds) for letting me invade their apartment! And for the lovely dinner that Mike made for us to pair with the beer: chicken stuffed with apples, fennel and gorgonzola, Brussels sprouts, and whipped sweet potatoes (TIP: if you forget to buy twine to truss the chicken, a few orange sticks will stand in quite nicely!). My friends are pretty dope:

Winter Wonderland Mani w/ Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale

Nails: I enlisted my friend Julia to be a nail model for this post and her choice of holiday brew was Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale which, surprisingly, I had never had before. The label proved to be a bit difficult to come up with a design for, as I had no choice but to paint something really literal and realistic. There was no way I was painting a log cabin on her nails, so I focused on the backdrop and the poinsettias. To start, I painted the thumbs, rings and pinkies with Milani’s Gold Glitz and the pointer and middles with Revlon’s Dreamer: 

We’ll go over the snowy nails first. I used Sally Hansen’s White On to sponge an ombre fade onto the pointers and middles to act as the snow and then I covered it in Sally Hansen’s Angel Wings to add a little sheen to it (TIP: adding any light, sheen-y polish over an ombre really helps to smooth out the sponging and make it look a bit more blended):

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I used dark green and light green acrylic paints for the tree colors. Using a small, thin-edged brush, I lightly covered the end in the paint (dab excess paint off on a paper towel) and VERY lightly dabbed the brush on the nail horizontally making each “branch” smaller as I worked up the tree. I used the lighter green for the smaller tree in the front to give the 2 trees some separation:

image

Moving on to the poinsettias…I mixed 3 different shades of red (light, med., dark). Starting with the medium red and a small brush, I painted the basic shape of a poinsettia. This first step won’t look so much like a poinsettia, but have no fear! Once the shading is added and you define the petals, it all comes together. Next step I used the light red to color in half of each of the large petals. Then using a fine-tipped brush (you could also use a dotting tool) I added a line down the middle of each large petal and the “veins” coming off of it. I also lightly colored over the little petals that lay lower in the flower to give them some depth. Using the same greens I used in the trees, I painted 2 small leaves on each. To top it off, I used some large glitter to act as the buds in the middle of the flower:

image

Top it off with a coat of Seche Vite and Julia was all set to go deck the halls! (Really? Could I GET any cheesier?):

 image

Ale: So, when I see Christmas- or Winter-themed labels on beer, I assume it will have some of those classic Christmas ale flavors: nutmeg, cinnamon, honey…all the things that warm you up. I could also be thinking this because I’m from Cleveland and I was raised to bow down to Great Lakes Christmas Ale, but alas, I was surprised at the lack of those standard Winter warmer flavors. Putting that thought aside, this beer was GREAT. Beautiful deep amber color and a nice sweet, yet hoppy, nose:

image

I’m a huge hophead and Celebration definitely embraces them. It’s wonderfully balanced though, as there are hints of sweetness to it so the bitter hops, while still very strong in flavor, are never too overpowering. This would be a great year-round brew. I’m giving this one 9 out of 10 nails! 

I want to thank Julia and Mike (my fellow beer nerds) for letting me invade their apartment! And for the lovely dinner that Mike made for us to pair with the beer: chicken stuffed with apples, fennel and gorgonzola, Brussels sprouts, and whipped sweet potatoes (TIP: if you forget to buy twine to truss the chicken, a few orange sticks will stand in quite nicely!). My friends are pretty dope:

image

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Mr. H Mani w/ Tröegs Perpetual IPA
Nails: The NYC Craft Beer Festival: Winter Harvest was held this weekend and I probably spent about 5 days going over all of the beers that would be in attendance and finally decided on Tröegs. I have been gravitating toward Tröegs lately and have been loving what they’re doing. They also have awesome labels, so I decided to take on this challenging design.
For those of you who don’t know who The Letter People are, I feel sorry for you. We watched this show in Kindergarten  and I just realized that this label reminds of Mr. H, who had horrible hair. Let me introduce you: 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy4vCYoIQcY

I even dressed up as him for Halloween when I was 6. No, I don’t have a photo to show you (trust me, I wish I did…) So there’s my reasoning for the mani name and here’s how I did it: started with 2 coats of Petites Color Fever in Vintage Gray:

Next I used Sally Hansen’s Xtreme Wear in Pacific Blue for the blue hair in the background. Using a small dotting tool, I started in the center of the nail and just made some squiggly (getting super technical here…) lines heading outward. I decided to do a literal take of the label on my ring finger, so I made a blue triangle in the center of that nail: 

I mixed some acrylic paint for the next color, as I didn’t have a polish that matched and simply did the same thing as the blue:

Final step for every nail except the ring finger was to add gold dots to mimic the gears in the label:

For the ring finger, I placed gold dots for the “eyes” and “mouth” gears and then I filled them in with a smaller dot of blue. In the blue triangle, I repeated the eyes and mouth dots and added another small red triangle (if you can’t see on the label, they make the image go on and on in the red triangle, like an infinite mirror). I then added the tap coming out of the mouth and the beer below it. Here’s the process:

This was a pretty intense design that was difficult to do and I think it would have been much better if I had a bigger canvas to work on. Thanks to the guy running the Tröegs taps for letting me get in his way while I snapped some photos!

Ale: I was pretty surprised at how light and golden the coloring was. The nose was hoppy, but also very sweet. That sweet smell doesn’t come through in the flavor though, as it’s a very hoppy and bitter beer. Mmmm. There was a good amount of carbonation which added a nice feel. I had heard this was a great IPA and those people were not lying. Next time I see this on tap, it will be in my hand shortly thereafter. 9 out of 10 nails! 
Thanks for another amazing beer fest, Hand Crafted Tasting Co.! This was my 3rd or 4th NYC Craft Beer Fest and they never disappoint. 

Mr. H Mani w/ Tröegs Perpetual IPA

Nails: The NYC Craft Beer Festival: Winter Harvest was held this weekend and I probably spent about 5 days going over all of the beers that would be in attendance and finally decided on Tröegs. I have been gravitating toward Tröegs lately and have been loving what they’re doing. They also have awesome labels, so I decided to take on this challenging design.

For those of you who don’t know who The Letter People are, I feel sorry for you. We watched this show in Kindergarten  and I just realized that this label reminds of Mr. H, who had horrible hair. Let me introduce you: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy4vCYoIQcY

I even dressed up as him for Halloween when I was 6. No, I don’t have a photo to show you (trust me, I wish I did…) So there’s my reasoning for the mani name and here’s how I did it: started with 2 coats of Petites Color Fever in Vintage Gray:

Next I used Sally Hansen’s Xtreme Wear in Pacific Blue for the blue hair in the background. Using a small dotting tool, I started in the center of the nail and just made some squiggly (getting super technical here…) lines heading outward. I decided to do a literal take of the label on my ring finger, so I made a blue triangle in the center of that nail: 

I mixed some acrylic paint for the next color, as I didn’t have a polish that matched and simply did the same thing as the blue:

Final step for every nail except the ring finger was to add gold dots to mimic the gears in the label:

For the ring finger, I placed gold dots for the “eyes” and “mouth” gears and then I filled them in with a smaller dot of blue. In the blue triangle, I repeated the eyes and mouth dots and added another small red triangle (if you can’t see on the label, they make the image go on and on in the red triangle, like an infinite mirror). I then added the tap coming out of the mouth and the beer below it. Here’s the process:

This was a pretty intense design that was difficult to do and I think it would have been much better if I had a bigger canvas to work on. Thanks to the guy running the Tröegs taps for letting me get in his way while I snapped some photos!

Ale: I was pretty surprised at how light and golden the coloring was. The nose was hoppy, but also very sweet. That sweet smell doesn’t come through in the flavor though, as it’s a very hoppy and bitter beer. Mmmm. There was a good amount of carbonation which added a nice feel. I had heard this was a great IPA and those people were not lying. Next time I see this on tap, it will be in my hand shortly thereafter. 9 out of 10 nails! 

Thanks for another amazing beer fest, Hand Crafted Tasting Co.! This was my 3rd or 4th NYC Craft Beer Fest and they never disappoint. 

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