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Oct 17, 2017

Question: Does Anyone Actually Like Hard Cider?

I won't make that mistake again. A few Octobers ago, I was at a medium-sized dinner party, and volunteered to be the guy who ran down the block to fill the three growlers the group would enjoy for the evening. The spot only had six taps, so I tasted every one, and came back with the three things I thought were the most interesting: a Northwest Pale Ale, a Cascadian Dark Ale, and a Semi-Dry Honeycrisp cider.

After struggling to juggle three (full and very cold) 64 oz. glass jugs in my lowly two arms, I "knocked" on the door with my left foot, entered, and declared my haul to eight very thirsty guests. Growler One? Good to go. Growler Two? Great, let's try it. Growler Three?

People, I drank Growler Three all by myself. Not all in the first night, but the semi-bubbled leftovers were all mine.

Turns out, absolutely NO ONE else in that group was even remotely interested in a hard cider.    

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Oct 10, 2017

7 Stylish Coffee Mugs That Will Make Everyone Else in Your Office Jealous

When I think back to my first office job, I learned two key takeaways: 1) always share your process and thinking with your supervisor, and don't hold out til the end to show them the completed project and 2) drink a bunch of liquids all day long so you'll have to get up to go the bathroom. 

Seriously. Moving about the office gets you up and out of your seat, your eyes off the computer screen, and the ability to mingle a bit with your coworkers. And while we recommend switching to water after 11:00am, it's nice to enjoy a few small personal mugs of coffee vs. a huge thermos. It always stays hot, and remains fun to sip the whole morning

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Oct 01, 2017

How to "Pumpkin Spice" Any Bottle of Booze

created at: 10/07/2014

I'm not much for lattes. In general, they don't do much for me, but I especially can't stand the overtly frothy, foamy ones that demand all that sugar and syrup and whipped cream to cover up the fact that the coffee is burnt in the first place. 

But, I'll admit it: I get jealous that people get so excited about these pumpkin spice coffee drinks this time of year. I like seasons, especially fall, and I wish I could grab a scarf and march right down to the burnt coffee shop

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Sep 27, 2017

These are the Best Bottles of Whiskey Under $20

There are times for spending on an investment bottle, but there are even more times for enjoying something perfectly good that cost less than an Andrew Jackson. None of them are going to blow your mind, but you know that already. But - seriously - if you're having fun and it's more about the conversation than what's in the glass, twelves drinks of anything palatable for less than twenty bucks is money well spent.    

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Sep 17, 2017

Okay, Let's Talk: What's Your Favorite Stephen King Novel?

So... I realized something over the weekend. I was listening to a podcast that had intended to have a conversation about the new Dark Tower movie, but since it was, apparently, completely boring and not worth discussing, they decided to chat about their favorite Stephen King books, movie adaptations, mini-series, etc. And it hit me:    

I have never actually read a Stephen King book.    

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Sep 13, 2017

Perfect Fall Project: How to Wax Canvas Pieces for Better Weather Resistance

created at: 09/26/2014

In summer, light breathable cotton works wonders to keep you cool, but as fall and winter weather approaches, it's time to turn to more heavy duty fabrics to keep the wind and water out - wool, leather, synthetics, and canvas.   

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Sep 12, 2017

Never Buy It Again: Three Ways to Make Your Own Killer Ginger Beer

Dark and Stormy Ginger Beer

One of my favorite cocktail mixers is the spicy ginger beer, used for the summer favorite "Moscow Mule", or evening sipper, the "Dark and Stormy." But I've had enough of the spendy, over-sweetened bottles from the supermarket, so I figured: it's time to make our own. Here are three ways to make an extremely tasty version happen at home. 

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Sep 06, 2017

5 Men's Style Staples to Help You Transition from Summer to Fall

created at: 09/16/2014

This is the time of year when no one's ever quite sure what's best to wear on any given day. The nights are cool, but the days are still warm, especially in the sun, but then a breeze or the clouds hit and everything changes. Multiple layers are usually overkill, but the sandals are gone, and some flexibility is certainly required to not only look the season, but the feel prepared for the day.

Make it happen with these five summer-to-fall transition essentials.    

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Dec 06, 2016

How to: Care for Your Leather Goods (and Keep Them Looking Sharp)

The best part of investing in quality leather goods is how well they age. But how your leather ages really depends on how well you treat it. Treat them poorly and they’ll fall apart, but if you’re sure to take care of them and give them a quick clean up about every 6 months, not only will they age beautifully, they’ll also last you a life time.

But before we jump in and talk about the right way to care for your leather goods, it’s important to know a few basic things about leather.

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Nov 10, 2016

Check It Out! All Sorts of Cool New Stuff in the ManMade Store for Fall

It's our favorite time of the year, and to celebrate, we've added a bunch of new items to the ManMade Store. There's a solid mix of creative tools, things to do during colder weather, and plenty of reading and inspiration. And if you're looking to get a little bit of an early start on your holiday shopping, we're thinking the hand-selected items in our store are a reliable place to start.    

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Oct 24, 2016

How to Make: Crazy Tasty Spiced Pumpkin Butter in Your Slow Cooker

created at: 10/19/2015

You know those little pumpkins you practically trip over in the supermarket this time of year? It turns out: they're good for more than just Instagram props. With, like, no work, they make a really tasty pumpkin butter you’ll want to have in the fridge all year long. I’m talking about pumpkin butter with the magical spice flavor of pumpkin pie, but simple, less sweet and much more, well, pumpkin-y.

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Oct 12, 2016

8 Seriously Tasty Reasons to Bust Out Your Slow Cooker This Week

I did not grow up in a "crock pot" family. We had one, an old avocado green job my parents got from their wedding registry. And, though I'm sure it got used, it wasn't something that characterized the food in our house. My wife's parents, on the other hand, were both doctors working day shifts, and according to her, nearly every thing her mom cooked came from the slow cooker. And, says my wife, protein + a mix of canned foods = dinners, all which tasted basically the same... like "crock pot food."

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Oct 11, 2016

Designated Sippers: 6 Whiskeys You Should Drink This Fall

created at: 09/30/2014

And it came to pass that the season for sandals and gin subsided, leaving in its place jackets and layers, autumnal aromas, and whiskey season. 

So, this is a collection not for the kind of guy who finds a label he likes and sticks with it. Cause, those sort of fellows already know what they're enjoying this season. Instead, these are the best-bang-for-your-buck bottles, those that have a great relationship between their price and their flavor.

And by that, we don't mean these are value whiskeys that are simply tolerable or "good for the price." Instead, they're solid, investment whiskeys; some of our favorites that will make you

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Oct 11, 2016

5 Ways to Wear and Layer Denim Jackets for Fall

created at: 09/24/2013

If you only think of a denim jacket as something to throw over a t-shirt, we hope this post will change your mind. Just as blue jeans can be dressed up and down, denim jackets are actually quite versatile. Paired with basic black pants and trench coat, a denim jacket can feel casually sophisticated. Throw a denim jacket over a camo blazer to give a peek of on-trend pattern. And since they work perfectly for fall,

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Oct 07, 2016

How to: Make a Swedish Flame

created at: 01/21/2016

What's a Swedish flame? Something you can buy at IKEA? No sir.

If you haven't seen one of these Swedish Flame logs lately, they definitely need to be the star of your next outdoor fire. Its genius design allows the fire to burn from the inside out which means little to no tending from you! 

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Oct 06, 2016

What's the Single Best Meal You Can Cook on a Camping Trip?

Fall means many things: the return of wearing layers, trees a-changin', and that tenuous day when you have to make the decision to finally turn the furnace back on. But for me, it's not fall unless I'm getting away to spend weekends in the woods.

Not the ultra-light, no-other-human-around treks of summer, but some honest to goodness, old fashioned camping trip. I'm talking cast iron skillets, flannel shirts and wool blankets, ice-filled Coleman coolers, and all-night campfires.

And while I love the day hikes and card games and guitar-strumming, my no doubt favorite part of car camping is:

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Sep 26, 2016

The Surprisingly Fascinating History of the Tailgate

These days, the word "tailgate" conjures up images of cooler and pavement, jerseys and face paint, grills and foldable chairs. But, despite its current association with parking lots and sporting events, it's actually got quite a rich history. Like, older than you think. Like... 1861?   

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Sep 20, 2016

The Everyman’s Guide to Classic Film Noir

The term film noir (or “dark film”) was first coined in 1946 (though not used commonly for many years) by French film critic Nino Frank to describe the emerging genre of gritty films that proliferated in the American studio system during the 1940’s-50’s featuring hardboiled detectives, femme fatales, and doomed anti-heroes.   

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Jan 12, 2016

How to: Care for and Protect Your Leather Boots and Shoes for Winter

created at: 04/16/2013

This time of year, footwear choices can be a gamble. Overthink it, and you're stuck in snow or hiking boots all day. Under-prepare, and your socks and feet stay wet, cold, and covered in  road salt. 

How to care for your leather boots in winter.

The answer, of course, is to opt for the middle, and choose a natural weather-resistant material that's stylish no matter what the season: leather.   

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Nov 11, 2015

Poor Man's Pappy: How to "Make" Your Own Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon... No Waiting List Required

If you know anything about bourbon, you've no doubt heard the fables of Pappy Van Winkle, one of the most hard-to-find and sought-after bottles on the market. It's become the stuff of legend, perhaps better known for its rarity than its flavor. Or, if reports are to be believed, perhaps not. People say it's pretty amazing.   

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