NEW YORK | Beer snobs, turn away, Ben Robinson has some hacks involving your favorite, foamy beverage.The editor in chief of The Observer has written a handy little every guy’s illustrated guide of 100 tips, tricks and projects involving beer.Heading to Munich for Oktoberfest, or perhaps just out to the ball park? He has the best ways to partake. Oops, forgot that bottle opener. Robinson’s got you covered. Want to stash some for later? You can do that under the right conditions.This cover image released by Workman shows “Beer Hacks: 100 Tips, Tricks, and Projects,” by Ben Robinson. The book will be released on Oct. 2. (Workman via AP)At 37, the Long Islander has been partaking since his college days, but why write an actual book about the stuff? It has remained a passion, he told The Associated Press in a recent interview.“I went to college in Wisconsin, which is a place that is very devoted to beer in many ways,” he said. “In college is really when I had my first very good beer. There was a brew pub called the Angelic that we would go to. Back then, if you went to a bar with your parents (pre-21) and your parents said it was OK, they would serve you beer.”Some highlights from his “Beer Hacks,” otherwise known as how to make yourself a better beer drinker:MAKE THEM COLD QUICKWarm beer. If it’s not your thing, it’s your nightmare. When you’re really, really thirsty and you come home to a beerless fridge, Robinson has some ideas.Wet a rag, paper towels or a dish towel, ring out the excess and wrap up your brew for a trip into the freezer. On top of an ice tray or in actual ice is even better. A standard 12-ounce can or bottle should take 10 minutes or less to get to an enjoyable temperature.That’s the path of least resistance. You can grab a receptacle, ice and cups and cups of salt for a cold spin. The ETA is about three minutes of spinning. If you’re in a really, really big hurry, like 20 to 30 seconds worth, always have a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher handy. Just put the warm beer in a bucket and fire away in quick blasts of one to two seconds. Quickly rinse.But remember these words: carbon dioxide fire extinguisher. Not a monoammonium phosphate version.WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE AN OPENERFind a sturdy disposable lighter and use the end that doesn’t make fire as a lever. Do some magic by folding a standard piece of computer paper in half, then again and again until it’s thick. Six or seven folds should make it stiff enough to do what you did with the lighter.There’s always the open one beer with another beer trick, using the cap. Robinson begs off when it comes to the teeth method.STORAGE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE FANCYIt’s easy to overspend on high-end fridges. Most of the priciest are for wine, anyway. Robinson said resist. Go on Craigslist for a stand-up freezer and purchase a digital temperature control outlet thermostat for $30 or so. It plugs into any outlet and will regulate the temperature of your new freezer to turn it into a perfect beer fridge instead. Set it to about 45 degrees.Beer cans and bottles should be stored upright to last as long as possible. The enemies of beer are light, heat and oxygen. Only brown glass and opaque containers such as cans can stop beer from “skunking,” meaning when light breaks it down and changes the flavor.Fluctuations in temperature will skunk beer as well. Consistency is key. When you open it, drink it! Remember that whatever storage place you choose should be kept dark 99 percent of the time. Use your basement, dark garage or the inside of a closet.Also remember, according to Robinson, that not all styles of beer are cellar-worthy. The exceptionally hoppy are intended to be consumed as fresh as possible. Most beers with ABV (alcohol by volume) below 7.5 percent won’t last very nicely long term, he said.AROUND THE HOUSEBeer isn’t just for getting things dirty. For gold and gold-plated jewelry, drop some into a glass of beer and soak for a bit before polishing. Robinson said “good” beer actually cleans jewelry worse than the very cheap, so bonus.It’s the slight acidity, he said, which also works on greasy, grimy pots. Copper pots especially.In the garden, know that slugs love beer. Bury a plastic cup or a few around plants that slugs have taken to, with the lips of the cups slightly above ground. Fill three-quarters of the way up with light beer. No, you won’t get every single slug to slime on over, drink and fall in, plus it’s ethically your choice to decide on their beer deaths.A hack for the weary: Pick up a bag of hops at a local brewing supply shop or order online. You’ll need “leaf” hops, not pellets. Rub liberally on your pillowcases for some help falling asleep.HOW TO ORDER BEERAt a professional sporting event, Robinson urges purchase of the biggest beer they sell. Your cost per ounce generally declines as the size of the cup goes up.At beer fests, take advantage of those long lines to pace yourself, plus the beer’s probably better than those to be had in the shorter lines. Also, realize that Oktoberfest in Munich actually began in September.
Jockey Victor Espinoza, left, celebrates aboard American Pharoah after winning the 140th Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course, Saturday, May 16, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)BALTIMORE (AP) _ American Pharoah wins on dry tracks, wet tracks, any tracks.He’s won from the rail and he’s won from an outside post, and now, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner will attempt to become the 12th Triple Crown winner and first since Affirmed in 1978.So, Bob Baffert, what kind of track surface would you prefer for the Belmont Stakes on June 6?“I want the same track Secretariat had,” he joked on a humid Sunday morning just outside the Pimlico stakes barn. “Give me a Secretariat track. I’ll take that.”Of course, Baffert was referring to the 1973 Triple Crown champion who won the Belmont by a mind-boggling 31 lengths.The 62-year-old trainer will try for an unprecedented fourth time to sweep the Derby, Preakness and Belmont, while jockey Victor Espinoza will be the first rider with a third chance to pull off the feat.Baffert stood next to American Pharoah as the colt had the white wraps around his legs hosed off. All seemed well with the Triple Crown hopeful. The ear plugs? Still in.“He looks fine. He’s a little quiet. He’s a little tired, like he’s supposed to be after a race,” Baffert said after he and Espinoza appeared on the “Today Show.” “That’s usually him. Health-wise he looks good. No changes. No surprises.”Baffert said American Pharoah would be sent to Churchill Downs on Monday for a week of rest and relaxation and resume training at the Louisville, Kentucky, track before traveling to New York. His arrival date is scheduled for Wednesday, June 3.“It’s hard for me to imagine I’m going through this again,” said Baffert, back in the Triple chase for the first time in 13 years, when War Emblem lost his chance when he stumbled at the start of the Belmont and finished eighth. “I can’t believe this is the fourth time I’m doing this, and how lucky I’ve been.“All I can do is rely on my experience going to the next one. I know what to expect; I know how difficult it is. With a horse like this it makes my job a lot easier. You see the way he moves. He just floats. He’s effortless.”American Pharoah won the Preakness by seven lengths over a sloppy track in a driving rainstorm. Baffert’s take? “He’s by Pioneerof the Nile, and it was like he was running in the Nile.”The track was drenched. Baffert said jockey Gary Stevens, who was aboard seventh-place finisher Firing Line, told him with all the water in his boots and soaked into his saddle pad, he weighed 135 pounds after the race. With equipment and rider, horses carry 126 pounds for the Preakness.While American Pharoah is scheduled for the Belmont, Baffert said the colt has to be perfectly sound before making the trip to New York.“Everything has gone really smooth, other than that hiccup in the Breeders’ Cup,” Baffert said, referring to a leg injury that kept American Pharoah out of the BC Juvenile. “So we just got to keep our fingers crossed, keep him healthy and keep him happy. I don’t want to go up there with a tired horse. Right now, he’s tired. He went through a lot with that rain and all that and still doing what he did carrying a lot of weight. He just showed what a special horse he is.”Dortmund, American Pharoah’s stablemate, is headed for a break after finishing fourth. So will third-place finisher Divining Rod.The Belmont field will likely include a group of Derby also-rans who skipped the Preakness.Among them are Frosted (fourth), Materiality (sixth), Keen Ice (seventh), Mubtaahij (eighth), Carpe Diem (10th) and Frammento (11th). Also probable is Peter Pan Stakes winner Madefromlucky.“I understand,” Baffert said of the potential spoilers. “It just shows the respect they have for American Pharoah. It’s something you can’t control. You have to earn it, just like he earned it in the weather yesterday. I’ve seen a lot of great horses leave here and (lose) in the Belmont _ Smarty Jones, Big Brown, Real Quiet, Silver Charm, Funny Cide. I’ll Have Another (in 2012). You just don’t know.”Preakness runner-up Tale of Verve will take another shot, too. Trainer Dallas Stewart said Sunday his horse is headed to Belmont Park on Monday.`He ran so big yesterday,” Stewart said of his 3-year-old who has only a maiden win on his resume. “He’s a tremendous horse.”This will be the third Triple Crown try in the past four years. I’ll Have Another was scratched the day before the 2012 Belmont with an injury and California Chrome finished in a dead heat for fourth last year.___Follow Richard Rosenblatt on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/rosenblattap