Booze Buzz: Circa Brewing Co. in Brooklyn

Circa Brewing Co. opened in downtown Brooklyn, New York, less than a month ago, but people are already fans of its craft beer and pizza. Here's why.

You know what I like even better than a glass of ice cold beer on a scorching summer day? Not having to take a long, sweaty subway ride home afterwards. Circa Brewing Co., welcome to the neighborhood.

Circa Brewing Co. opened in Downtown Brooklyn less than a month ago, but it’s already found a steady stream of regulars (including us) who are incorporating it into their weekend bar circuit. Here’s why.

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“Indy South”: Why You Need to Visit Johnson County, Indiana

Johnson County, or "Indy South," has great craft beer and fun for the whole family. Find out why you've got to visit this Indiana hotspot.

There are places you visit expecting to have an amazing time, and they deliver in spades: Hawaii, perhaps, or Rome and Hong Kong. Then there are other corners of the Earth you travel to without an inkling of what to expect and are wonderfully surprised by how charming they are. Johnson County, Indiana — or “Indy South” — is one of these places. Here’s why.

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How to Fall in Love with Indianapolis in 10 Easy Steps

Indianapolis's food and drinks scene, Midwestern charm, and hip factor took me by surprise. Here's how you, too, will fall in love with Indiana's capital.

I’ve got an announcement: Indianapolis is my new favorite city.

But wait, you’re thinking. Don’t you say that about every new place you visit? Well, actually, no. I have no shame in admitting that I wouldn’t return to certain parts of China, for example. And Brussels? Not going back either. #Sorrynotsorry.

With so much of the world to see, it’s rare for me to want to return to the same place twice. You’d better keep me on my toes — and have some darn good beer to boot.

Indianapolis’s charm took me by surprise: I loved its food and drinks scene, as expected, but I found so many more things to love. In fact, once I returned to New York City, I immediately told Mr. Five O’Clock that we’d better get back to Circle City as soon as possible. Here’s how you, too, will fall in love with Indiana’s capital.

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Why I’m So Excited To Visit Indiana

Surprised to learn that Indianapolis is on my bucket list? Indiana as a whole has been on my radar since I was teen, which is why I'm excited to visit!

You might be surprised to learn that Indianapolis has been on my (fairly) secret bucket list for years. In fact, Indiana as a whole has been on my radar since I was teen, which is why I’m so stoked to be visiting this week!

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Drinking for a Cause: Negroni Week 2017

You’ll never forget your first… negroni, that is.

My first ever negroni was like a first kiss gone horribly wrong: we knocked teeth (actually, my two front teeth hit the rim of my glass because it was too dark to see properly); it was slobbery; and we just didn’t really connect. At the time, I liked bitterness in my cocktails about as much as I like stepping on chewing gum in flip flops on the Times Square subway platform.

All that changed, however, once I tried a negroni at August Laura in Brooklyn last year. Their negroni was boozy, to be sure, but also well balanced and had just enough bite to leave me wanting more. I’ve finally warmed up to the drink, which is traditionally made with equal parts gin, campari, and vermouth rosso. It’s a good thing that I have, because August Laura is participating in Negroni Week 2017!

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Where to Drink in Sacramento Right Now

Sacramento, California's capital city, has a surprisingly robust bar scene. From craft beer to cocktails, here are my favorite watering holes in Sacramento.

I’ll be honest: when one of my best friends told me that she was moving to Sacramento, California’s capital city, I immediately thought, That’s too bad — you can say adios to great food and drinks!

As a California native, however, I should have known better. Sacramento has been called “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital,” and with good reason. The region’s 1.5 million acres of regional farmland and Mediterranean climate, among other things, make it an agricultural powerhouse.

I recently explored Sacramento as part of a visit to my friend’s new digs in February 2017. Though my main goal was to explore Lodi’s excellent wine country, I was caught off guard by how much I genuinely loved Sacramento’s bars and restaurants.

Some stops I made were intentional and others accidental, but they all shared one thing in common: the caliber of the drinks was top notch. Here are my favorite places to grab drinks in Sacramento.

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: What I’ve Learned in One Year of Blogging

Nearly a year ago – on April 4, 2016 – I unveiled “It’s Five O’Clock Here,” my travel and drinks website, to the world. At the time, I had no idea what kind of impact it would have on my life, but I knew that I had to press that “Publish” button or else I’d never know if I could hack it at travel blogging.

What a difference a year makes. I’m currently en route to Boston as I type this, gearing up to visit Amsterdam and Belgium. I won’t be alone: Ashley, the hilarious travel blogger behind My Wanderlusty Life, will be throwing back a pint or two of beer with me. Still, it’s odd to think that a year ago, I had yet to meet her for the first time on a “blogger blind date” in Boston.

But that’s how travel blogging works. It keeps you on your toes, your fingers glued to a coffee mug in one hand and your camera or laptop in the other. You’re always on the hunt for that next topic or idea for a new post.

Despite this, the rewards will come. You will feel more creatively alive than you have in years. You will have complete autonomy of—and accountability for—your work product. Plus, you never know who will enter your life and when; I’ve been astounded by the number of incredible people I’ve met through Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook before we met IRL.

As with everything, though, I’m not always looking through rose-colored glasses. There are days—though thankfully they are fewer now—when I struggle to get work done and toss my computer (OK, my notebook, actually; computers are @#$!ing expensive) at the wall.

So today, let’s pull back the curtain on travel blogging. I’m here to tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly—or, what I’ve learned from one year of blogging.

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Why Lodi Needs to Be Your Next Wine Country Destination

Have you ever gone wine tasting in California? Check out the wineries in Lodi. They're the Zinfandel Capital of the World!

Spring is nearly upon us, which means it’s wine tasting season! Granted, you can actually go wine tasting year round, but now is generally the time I start daydreaming about driving around wine country and checking out vineyards with unbeatable views and delicious pinots. In previous years, I’ve toured Sonoma, Long Island, the Finger Lakes, and Paso Robles — but this year, I headed somewhere new: Lodi.

And you know what? After spending time there, I’ve seen the light. (Or at least the sunlight filtering through rows and rows of old vine zinfandel grapes.) I’ve become an official lifelong #LodiWine fan. In fact, if I wasn’t headed abroad soon, I’d be back in town for their ZinFest in mid-May.

But what wine does Lodi specialize in? And how the heck do you even get there? Patience, Vino Jedi. Here’s everything you need to know about why Lodi needs to be your next wine country destination.

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Where to Drink in Hawaii Right Now

Looking for the best places to drink in Hawaii? We've found spots serving cocktails, wine, and beer. One spot even overlooks a volcano!

Picture this: you’re sitting on the beach in Hawaii in your comfy lounge chair. You’ve got Colson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad” in hand, your SPF 50 sunblock applied, and your sharpest Oakleys on. What’s missing from this picture? Why, a cold beverage, of course. You need to get a drink in Hawaii, stat!

Only problem is, where do you even start? The hotel bar is always a safe (and, let’s face it, usually lazy) option, but if you’re reading this post, you probably want something that’s a cut above a typical piña colada.

Not that I have anything against piña coladas… oh wait, I do. I’m allergic to pineapple, so that’s never happening. I’m pretty sad about that one. But I digress.

If you want to find a drink in Hawaii that will rock your world, read on to discover some of our favorites.

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Pretty in Pink (and Red): Delicious Valentine’s Day Drinks

In the mood for love or hanging out with your BFFs for Galentine's Day? Check out these pink and red drinks that are perfect for Valentine's Day!

I don’t know about you, but Valentine’s Day usually sends me into a tailspin of stress. I always want to find the perfect grand romantic gesture, something that would have Lloyd Dobler — John Cusack’s character in Say Anything — nodding in approval.

Of course, this mostly revolves around upping our food and drinks game, not holding up boom boxes playing Peter Gabriel songs (though Mr. Five O’Clock does think it’s romantic when I sing to him, which happens maybe once a month). Sick of buying champagne every year, then, I decided to mix things up and seek out some creative pink and red drinks for my valentine this February.

Whether you’re in the mood for love or hanging out with your BFFs for Galentine’s Day, we’ve got you covered in the Valentine’s Day drinks department. Read on to see our colorful roundup of cocktails, wine, and beer!

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