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Grateful Dead Tailgating Dallas TX

Posted by lukelorick on December 2, 2017 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Being the tailgating afficianado that I am, I love to check out a variety of different tailgating venues, outside of just football. Last night, I had the opportunity to attend the Grateful Dead show here in Dallas, TX at American Airlines center. I've never been to see THE DEAD before, but when offered the chance to go, of course I said yes. 

I pulled into the parking garage and there were some people here and there that were tailgating and drinking a few beers out the back of their vehicle, but really no tailgating gear, or big set ups in the garage. We met a few people that are all extremely chill and nice but, then it was time to explore the area to see what the Dead are up to. 

This was my first dead show, so I was set to learn quite a bit today. I learned the spot to head to was SHAKEDOWN. The Shakedown is where all the fans go to hang out before the show. The Shakedown is a large area that vendors and cars can park and have a big tailgate. The vendors were selling many food items. My favorite sign was the the grilled cheese vendor and from the sign it appears they use BACON in their melts: 

Everyone was decked out in their dead gear, which for most is brightly colored tie dye shirts. I even had one made for me in a polo style to be a little different (you know how I roll). In walking around the Shakedown one thing that was strange was there were NO BATHROOMS. We had to go across the street to CVS (shout out to CVS for letting everyone come over to use the bathroom). #HippiesUseSideDoor

In addition to the food vendors there were many shirts, posters and heck even cold beer being sold out of coolers. We came upon a full sized school bus that had the HIPPIE touch, shall we say. The owner was gracious enough to give me a tour and wow he spent some time and money on this thing. The funny part is he parks this in a VERY affluent neighborhood here in Dallas, TX. The neighbors love him, I'm sure!


I did a short walk around video to give you a perspective of what you can expect if you attend a Grateful Dead Shakedown: 

https://youtu.be/qvBP12vpgSA" target="_blank">https://youtu.be/qvBP12vpgSA

It was then time to hit up the concert and see the Grateful Dead with John Mayer on the guitar! The Dead faithful showed up big time and almost packed out the arena. Beers were crazy expensive inside, to the tune of $24 for 2! People, this is why we tailgate before an event! An excellent show that lasted over 3 hours then transpired with Dead fans of all ages rocking the stadium. Literally, there were small kids, teenagers, young adults, and a more tenured bunch too. Throughout the show there were the Dead being the Dead and lighting up things that I don't believe were cigarettes LOL.

After the show we returned back to Shakedown to check out the after party and boy were they having a good time. The cool part about tailgating with the Dead is that everyone is happy. I didn't see one fight, argument or upset person. Unfortunately, when sports are involved that can't always be said. During the after party there were vendors placing a gas into balloons that people were going crazy for. I had never seen this before and learned that it was nitrous oxide or laughing gas (I did not sample one, but they were $5 bucks a balloon should you be around). It got even crazier as people came out with megaphones to announce they were selling 'special' brownies. This was shocking to me as we are in downtown Dallas, a place where these type of brownies are not yet legalized and they were announcing on a megaphone they were selling them (again I didn't buy one, but for those that are interested they were going for $10). 

It could be brownies, it could be the balloons or it could just be everyone there was just real chill, but I had a great time checking out the Grateful Dead and the Shakedown. I encourage YOU to try tailgating for more than just football games. This is Luke with Tailgating Challenge. Get out there and tailgate!


Nostalgia Beer Growler Review

Posted by lukelorick on November 26, 2017 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

I have a confession to make: I LOVE BEER. No shocker to those that know me, but sometimes it's nice to get some beer that is more unique than what you find in you local convenience store. A beer growler is the the way to get custom brews poured to take home with you to enjoy when you so choose. The Nostalgia Beer Growler is a BEAST of a growler, as you'll learn soon,as it adds a full CO2 system to the top of the growler.

First off, why is it called a growler? It's a fun name, but the meaning behind the the term came from the 'old days' when people would get beer poured into a container and then put a top on it to take home. They would hurry home as the container would start to 'growl' when the carbonation began to exit the container. Better make it home quick to enjoy:)

The Nostalgia Beer Growler is a 64oz beer growler that is double-wall vacuum-insulated to keep your beer cold, up to 24 hours. It also has two tops. The first is the standard plug to get the beer home safely, which works great. Then it has the BEAST topper that includes a full CO2 system to really step your growler game up.

I have to be honest, this is the first growler I've ever used, so it also stands to reason it's the first time I've ever used the CO2 system on a growler as well. Hey, you have to start sometime, so I figured the best way was to head down to a local growler filling area and fill'er up! I got it filled with a delicious amber ale and then placed it in the car while I completed some other errands to see how well it kept the beer cold.

Some 3-4 hours later I tapped it with the CO2 system and I'll say that the beer was still cold, so check there.

The CO2 system took some getting used to and I wasted quite a bit as I learned how to use it.

Here are my tips now that I learned a little more. The more CO2 you use the worse it pours, so follow the PSI recommendations in the manual (as a side note they should etch these on the side of the growler for the different beer types)

 

The PSI Recommended amounts are:

Stouts, Porters, Cream Ales and Barley Wines: 3-6 PSI

Brown Ales, Ambers, Reds: 5-10 PSI

IPA's, Pale Ales, Wheat Beers: 7-12 PSI

Lagers, Pilsners: 12-15 PSI

 

I found that around 5 PSI worked the best for the beer I had (I went through most of the container figuring it out!) One of the CO2 cartridges should last for the pouring of a full growler...mine did not in this case, but should on my next go around.

It also has a purge valve, so if you add too much CO2 you can purge it to get it to where it should be. If you add too much it will not pour well and the CO2 container will actually freeze!

 

PROS: looks awesome, keeps beer cold, CO2 system

CONS: needs to have the PSI for each beer type etched on the growler

 

The Nostalgia Beer Growler was fun to use and something that will come in handy to take to a tailgate to have something different on hand.



Just Squeeze It Review

Posted by lukelorick on November 26, 2017 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)

If you sit in bumper to bumper traffic, or have ever been a little frustrated after your team lost the big game then you may get stressed behind the wheel. Let's face it road rage is a real thing and if you have it, or just need to relax in general (behind the wheel) then it is time for you to: Just Squeeze It!

The Just Squeeze It is a steering wheel cover that has gel pads inserted at the four corners, so you can squeeze it out when you start to get annoyed at the sea of brake lights in front of you. You can squeeze it out when your team lost the big game and you are on the way home. The Just Squeeze It comes in 3 sizes: one for your regular passenger vehicle, semi trucks and golf carts.

With all the hours that semi-truck drivers log behind the wheel they really need to squeeze it! Golfers, have a terrible shot and are trying to watch your potty mouth, then you better just squeeze it! The Just Squeeze can be used to relax and build up your forearm strength too.

I installed one on my Dodge Ram by myself. It takes a little effort to work it around the steering wheel to fit, but not terrible. It looks pretty good and the gel pads are nice to SQUEEZE:)

 

PROS: fits just about any type of steering wheel, actually feels good when you SQUEEZE IT!

CONS: they need to double the thickness of the squeeze it areas for even better results.


ChillBit Review

Posted by lukelorick on November 26, 2017 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Warm beer sucks. There I said it. Not that it is a ground breaking statement, but that it was something that could haunt us, if we don't plan correctly. Let's face it there has been a time when all you had was a lukewarm beer that didn't fit in the fridge, or make it in the cooler. Have no fear the ChillBit is here.

The ChillBit is made by the team at SpinChill who love to take warm beer and make it cold..FAST! The ChillBit is a literally a drill bit that fits into your power screw driver with a clip on the end for a can of beer. You attach the ChillBit to the power screw driver and then hook up a beer to the end(works with both bottles and cans). Find some ice and then pull the trigger. Let the beer spin in the ice for 60 seconds to bring the temperature down 20 degrees. You can go a little longer if you want even colder. Now I know what you're going to say; well thats great, but then the beer explodes all over the place when you open it! WRONG! I've tested multiple times with little to no explosion at all, so the cold beer is all yours to drink! Check the video to see the ChillBit in action and what happens when we open it right after use.

The ChillBit can only do one beer at a time. Can you imagine when they bring out the six pack edition!?

 

PROS: Chills beer in 60 seconds by 20 degrees, small and portable, fun concept to show off, works with cans or bottles

CONS: must have a powered screw driver, only does 1 beer at a time

 

If you hate warm beer and need a contingency plan in place, then its time to get the ChillBit! WHY? Because warm beer sucks!



ULLO WINE PURIFIER

Posted by lukelorick on November 19, 2017 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Wine to some is the nectar of the gods, but with one flaw...the wine hangover the following day. What if there was a way minimize the hangover while still enjoying the wine you love so much? Well now there is, with the ULLO, the ullo filters out the hangover inducing sulfites and it also aerates the wine for even better flavor! Win win situation!

I was sent a ULLO for testing purposes and I'll be honest, I'm not a wine drinker, but I have plenty of people in my life that are. They were so gracious to help me by coming over to drink wine on multiple occasions and use the Ullo. After bottles upon bottles of testing I gathered the pertinent data from these testers to bring you the knowledge you need to know if the ULLO is right for you.

The claims for this product is that it can help eliminate a hangover (by filtering out the sulfites in wine) and that it adds flavor to the wine by aerating the wine after filtering. Let's looks at both of these claims:

1. Does it stop a hangover? The filters that are used are good for 1 bottle of wine (you need to replace each time you pop a new cork). The consensus is that the filter DOES help reduce the effects of a hangover, but you do need to replace it with each bottle. The more wine you drink the greater chance you could have of having some hangover effects (no brainer right) but if you use the product it should minimize the effects to an extent.

2. Does the aerator add flavor? After the wine passes through the filter it goes directly to the aerator and then goes into your glass. The consensus is that it does add flavor to the wine as well. It may be perception but, in the taste tests people agree that the wine tasted better when used through the ullo.

 

Ullo offers a decanter that fits on the filter device so you don't have to use the filter on each glass for each person. I recomend getting this too as there are little wine spills each time you take the Ullo off and back on another glass that you then have to clean up.

 

PROS: filters the sulfites out to reduce hangovers, aerates the wine to bring out the flavor, portable (easy to take the tailgate or party)

CONS: the filters are NOT reuseable, so that would be a big win if they offered a washable filter.

 

Overall, the ULLO does exactly what it claims and was a crowd pleaser in my testing events. If you need to give the gift of better flavor and less hangovers then its time for the ULLO.

Get yours HERE


 

Tuffy Mat Grilling Mat Review

Posted by lukelorick on November 15, 2017 at 9:55 PM Comments comments (1)

If you grill then there is a chance that you'll spill, but its ok Tuffy Mat is here so you can chill. The Tuffy Mat is a grilling mat that helps save your patio or deck from getting the stains from oil spills, sauce squirts and greasy meat hitting the ground.

I was sent a Tuffy Mat to check out for myself. The Tuffy Mat comes rolled up in a rectangular box and you have to lay it out and work its shape flat after you unroll it. The Tuffy Mat is made from recycled tires, which is awesome as I love environmentally friendly products, so when you first pull it from the box the smell is that of tires. The smell quickly fades, just leave it outside for a day or two.

I placed the Tuffy Mat in front of my grill and one of the benefits that it wasn't touted for, but that I like is that I found myself wanting to stand on it. While not very thick it feels better that standing on concrete.

The Tuffy Mat can handle the spills that may fall its way: Ketchup, Mustard and Oil did no damage to the mat or to my patio during our tests. I didn't test with dropping cooked meat on it (because come on I couldn't waste something so delicious), but given how it held up to these test I'm sure it will dominate whatever you drop on it.

 

PROS: Looks good, handles spills and keeps your deck/patio looking so fresh and so clean, made from recycled tires

CONS: can't use this under a fire pit, everytime I step on it with my shoes I can see the shoe print

 

Overall, if you grill then you're bound to have a spill, so chill and order the Tuffy Mat. Your Patio and Mother Nature will thank you.



Double Up Can Cooler Review

Posted by lukelorick on November 7, 2017 at 10:10 PM Comments comments (1)

It is common knowledge that TWO is better than ONE for most things in life. That mantra holds true for a koozie too, being able to hold more than one beer is better!

The Double Up koozie does exactly what you think it would do: Holds two beers in one koozie. The neoprene Double Up koozie holds two canned beers and comes in 7 fun colors.

They sent me a few to use and put to the test. I took these Double Up Koozies to a recent tailgate to show these off and shoot the video that you can watch below.

The Double Up koozies are made out of quality material and the different colors from neon green, to orange, pink, red, blue, black and more look great. The koozies come printed with the DOUBLE UP logo, but I hear they can even get some custom logos on these too. (hint hint need some Tailgating Challenges ones:))

Let's talk about what makes the Double Up Can Cooler special, it is a single koozie that is longer than the normal koozies you have. It's made longer so that it can hold two beers (or other canned beverages) and keep the drinks cold while you are away from the cooler.

This Double Up koozie is perfect when you are walking around the tailgate, as you have both beers in one koozie and you're not hauling around a cooler, using both hands, or putting them in your pocket (Don't be ashamed I've done that too). When you finish the top drink you can simply slide the next beer up to enjoy. You can also fold the koozie over, but as you see in the video that could be easier said than done....so I recommend just sliding beer number 2 up to the top of the Double Up koozie and enjoying the liquid beverage refreshment.

The Double Up koozie keeps drinks cold just like the koozies you have in your arsenal now, but it just does it on a bigger stage...Double Time!

 

PROS: fun colors, great concept to hold both drinks, quality materials

CONS: doesn't work with bottles, doesn't fold over as easily (so slide your drink up)

 

Overall, this is a fun koozie that is great when you are tailgate hopping or at a concert. You can Double your koozie game up by visiting:

www.doubleupcancooler.com


Crafty Mule Copper Cups Review

Posted by lukelorick on October 29, 2017 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

If you love Moscow Mules then you know the importance of having the right cups to enjoy this delicious beverage...Copper Cups! The team at Crafty Mule sent us their signature 100% copper cups to test out.

The Crafy Mule copper cups are sold in sets of 2 that come with a copper muddler and copper shot glass, so you can make the perfect drink for your friends.

There is a history of using copper cups when drinking the moscow mule. For some, its all about the presentation when serving this iconic beverage. For others, its the way the copper keeps the drink ice cold. For others, there is a mild oxidation when the vodka hits the copper that brings out some additional flavors. With all of the positives for using a copper mug it is a no brainer you better get one when you serve up some Mules!

The Crafty Mule set of copper cups look great with the bright copper shine, mixed with the hammered edges, give these cups the look you will love.

 

PROS: great looking cups, come in set of 2, comes with copper spoon and shot glass.

CONS: like ALL copper cups you can not place in the dishwasher.

 

Overall, if you're ready to step your Mule game up, then its time to get Crafty with Crafty Mule.


See the video review and ordering link here: 

http://www.tailgating-challenge.com/crafty-mule-review


 

Texas AM Tailgating

Posted by lukelorick on October 2, 2017 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (1)

I was able to make it to College Station this past weekend to check out the tailgating scene at the South Carolina Gamecocks vs Texas AM football game. 

The kickoff to the game was at 6:30pm and I drove in from Dallas early that morning to get there around noon. I met up with some friends at a nearby hotel and we actually did some HotelGating for a couple of hours. No really, we set up camp in the Hawthorne parking lot and got down to tailgating!

I learned that while its called tailgating at Texas AM you can't actually have a tailgate around the stadium as you can't park and tailgate out of your vehicles, like I am used to. We took a LYFT from our HotelGating to the stadium to walk around and ensure we got the full game day experience at Texas AM. 

There are white tents all around the stadium where tailgaters can set up shop and enjoy some pre-game festivities. There was no shortage of tailgaters around, heck Texas AM boasts one of the largest stadiums in college football and the fans show up to have a big time before kickoff. 


Everyone is nervous when traveling to other stadiums that they may meet some aggressive, drunk or down right mean fans...That was not the case in College Station! The fans were awesome and there was not one fight, altercation, or really anything negative from anyone that we came across that day. 

While there, we did walk around the stadium multiple times (over 8 miles of touring tailgates on foot to be exact) and saw tons of tailgates and there was a great BBQ food truck in front of the stadium that had a bbq sandwich that was on point. 

With having no vehicles it made it challenging to take around some product samples and keep beers cold so we were outfitted with a few backpack coolers to make this easier and the Polar Bear Cooler backpack did a great job of keeping the beers cold!

Hours before game time there were fans all around the stadium...I see why they call them the 12th man!


You know you're deep in the heart of Texas when horses are a part of the tailgate. There were many horses ready to help patrol the tailgates as seen in our quick video when we stumbled across where they kept the horses in the tailgating scene:

https://youtu.be/ed9IuYUN8FA" target="_blank">https://youtu.be/ed9IuYUN8FA

As game time approached we ran into a small problem: what were we going to do with the backpacks? We didn't have a vehicle or anyone tailgating that we could leave them with, so we had to improvise! We found some bushes near the stadium and tucked them in the bushes hoping they would be there when we returned (also was hoping no one thought we were planting a BOMB!) 

From there we entered into the massive Kyle Field stadium to watch some SEC football on a Saturday night. Check out the inside of the stadium and the video on the team entrance!

https://youtu.be/qL8kXaB1E5U" target="_blank">https://youtu.be/qL8kXaB1E5U


It was a tight game that Texas AM pulled out in the 4th quarter and the fans were LOUD! They also have a cannon that fires everytime the Aggies score that will literally shake you! Texas AM does not have female cheerleaders, but male Yell leaders that do an amazing job of getting the crowd going!

After the game was over we exited in the sea of people and were happy to find out backpacks still in the bushes. We hopped a LYFT to go back to the hotel and crashed after a long, fun filled day in College Station. 

Nice job Texas AM. You throw a fun tailgate! Only feedback.. let me bring my truck to tailgate:)

Special thanks to Blowfish for Hangovers and The Restroom Kit for providing samples that some lucky fans got to use. 

A Tailgating Fanny Pack

Posted by lukelorick on September 25, 2017 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (1)

Back when I was a kid in the 1980's fanny packs were a big deal. I remember my mom getting me a NEON green fanny pack when we went on vacation that I got to wear to keep my essentials ie: toys, tissues, sunglasses etc. in. I loved that thing, but like many fads these iconic fanny packs fell out of style. 

Fast forward to 2017 and fanny packs are trying to make a come back! Heck I even saw a "Dad Bod" Fanny pack that you could get to make you look like you are halfway fat....still don't get the dad bod craze, but to each their own. 

A company: The Mini Belt reached out to me and asked me to sport their rendition of the fanny pack. While it doesn't have a large pouch waiting to hold your tailgating essentials it does hold one tailgating item and it holds it well...Mini Bottles. 

The Mini Belt holds 4 mini bottles, so you can easily bring them just about anywhere in a discrete fashion. 

My question would you rock THE MINI BELT? 

See the Mini Belt here in our video: 

https://youtu.be/Vdzo1lptld0" target="_blank">https://youtu.be/Vdzo1lptld0


Learn more check their website out: 

http://www.theminibelt.com/





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