Relaxing is easy if you've got a cold beer and one of those massage chairs made of lifelike mechanical hands. Kick back with this Groupon.
$19 for the Mardi Crawl Pub Crawl for Two ($38 Value)
On Saturday, February 9, Mardi Crawl participants gain free all-night access to 10 participating bars such as Whisky Park, Kieren's, and The Pourhouse—each of which will feature live entertainment and drink specials such as $3 Budweisers and $4 vodka drinks. Wristbands also grant access to free video games from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Insert Coins, free mechanical-bull rides from 8 p.m. 10 p.m. at Whisky Park. After the crawl, all crawlers gather for an afterparty at Epic Event Center, where two live bands—including a Prince cover band—play until 2 a.m. Participants must pick up their wristbands from Whisky Park or Insert Coins, starting at 8 p.m.; see the full itinerary here.
Customers also receive $30 worth of gift cards to local bars and restaurants. Thanks to a partnership with Feeding America, each ticket for the event goes toward providing underserved members of the community with three meals.
As you travel from pub to pub, the one constant will be beer. Check out our study of the natural process that makes all beer—from light ales to dark stouts—sizzle: carbonation.
Carbonation: Beer’s Fifth Element
Scrutinize the contents of just about any bottle of beer and you’ll find it includes more than just hops, malted grain, water, and yeast. No matter how basic or old fashioned the brew, it’ll almost invariably be infused with something else, an elemental presence not necessarily part of the beer but that is nonetheless integral to its character: carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a soluble gas, which means it becomes trapped in water—in this case, the water content of beer—under pressure. Releasing that pressure causes the CO2 to instantly revert to a gas, separating from the water molecules and rising in effervescent beads.
Carbon dioxide occurs naturally in beer—it’s created, along with alcohol, when yeast devours glucose (sugar) during fermentation. However, fermentation doesn’t usually take place in a pressurized environment, so much of the CO2 escapes along the way. To make up for this, brewers have two options: they can either try to trap the gas before the yeast has finished fermenting—as is done with cask-conditioned ales—or, using modern machinery, inject CO2 directly into the liquid afterward (much like artificially carbonating soda or seltzer). Although artificial carbonation has become the industry standard in America, many European brewers (and beer drinkers) prefer the natural approach, which is sometimes associated with a less fizzy mouthfeel.
Pass to Party
When it's your birthday, the last thing you want to be worried about is party logistics. With the Pass to Party, all that planning is taken care of for you—reservable on the Friday night of your birthday week, the package includes free drinks for the guest of honor, drink specials for up to nine friends, and free cover charges for the entire group. The Pass gets you access to five Minneapolis bars—including Rouge, Aqua, Bar 508, or The Pourhouse—and even includes a gift card for food or edible napkins at either Urban Eatery.