A Traveling Harry Potter Beer Festival Is Coming to Several U.S. Cities

If you’ve ever wondered what the alcoholic version of a butterbeer would taste like, you’ll soon have the chance to find out. A series of ongoing Harry Potter-inspired beer festivals has been traveling to cities across the U.S. over the past several months.

According to Rock Star Beer Festivals, which is organizing the event, Muggles and wizards alike will get unlimited samples of 20-plus beers. There will be plenty of adult butterbeer to go around, and for more daring souls, there’s Snape’s Lair of Secret Cider Potions. Is it actually cider, or could it be a polyjuice potion? Attendees will soon find out.

This fall, the festival will be coming to Portland, Oregon on September 13 and Fullerton, California on October 25. Tickets to the festivals can be purchased through Eventbrite or booked on Rock Star Beer Festivals’ Facebook page under the Events tab. Act fast, though, because tickets—which generally sell for $35 to $45 apiece—regularly sell out.

What else can you expect to see at such a magical event? Rock Star Beer Festivals says the venues hosting the festival will be “transformed into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” with guests being transported to the Great Hall, Diagon Alley, and, of course, the Leaky Cauldron. You’ll also get to snap photos with Hagrid and dance to music by the Sorceress Sisters and DJ Dumbledore. Just be careful not to drink and do magic, or you could end up having an accident à la Neville Longbottom.

Kodak’s New Cameras Don't Just Take Photos—They Also Print Them

Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Kodak

Snapping a photo and immediately sharing it on social media is definitely convenient, but there’s still something so satisfying about having the printed photo—like you’re actually holding the memory in your hands. Kodak’s new STEP cameras now offer the best of both worlds.

As its name implies, the Kodak STEP Instant Print Digital Camera, available for $70 on Amazon, lets you take a picture and print it out on that very same device. Not only do you get to skip the irksome process of uploading photos to your computer and printing them on your bulky, non-portable printer (or worse yet, having to wait for your local pharmacy to print them for you), but you never need to bother with ink cartridges or toner, either. The Kodak STEP comes with special 2-inch-by-3-inch printing paper inlaid with color crystals that bring your image to life. There’s also an adhesive layer on the back, so you can easily stick your photos to laptop covers, scrapbooks, or whatever else could use a little adornment.

There's a 10-second self-timer, so you don't have to ask strangers to take your group photos.Kodak

For those of you who want to give your photos some added flair, you might like the Kodak STEP Touch, available for $130 from Amazon. It’s similar to the regular Kodak STEP, but the LCD touch screen allows you to edit your photos before you print them; you can also shoot short videos and even share your content straight to social media.

If you want to print photos from your smartphone gallery, there's the Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer. This portable $80 printer connects to any iOS or Android device with Bluetooth capabilities and can print whatever photos you send to it.

The Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer connects to an app that allows you to add filters and other effects to your photos. Kodak

All three Kodak STEP devices come with some of that magical printer paper, but you can order additional refills, too—a 20-sheet set costs $8 on Amazon.

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This Board Game Teaches You to Blind-Taste Your Wine Like a Sommelier

It's OK if you play with boxed wine.
It's OK if you play with boxed wine.
Sommify, YouTube

Reading wine guides and talking to trained sommeliers might help you learn about wine-tasting, but the only real way to hone your skills is to sip a lot of wine. Finally, there’s a board game for that.

Sommify was created by husband-and-wife team Jessica Bush and Conner “Trash Palate” Taylor to give aspiring wine experts an opportunity to blind-taste in a setting that isn’t pretentious or intimidating. First, you and your favorite drinking buddies each bring a different bottle of wine to the table and conceal them in the drawstring bags that come with the game (so each person only knows the identity of the wine they brought). When it’s your turn to be “The Somm,” you pour each player a glass of your wine, and they take turns rolling dice to move through the halls of the wine cellar (i.e. the board). As they advance, they encounter locked doors that they must unlock by guessing qualities about the wine—like sight, acidity, and tannin level—which they keep track of on their scorecards.

There are also “Bottle Shock Cards,” which could help or hinder you on your journey; maybe your vineyard is tainted with smoke from a nearby wildfire, for example, and you have to hop back two spaces. The round ends when a player reaches the end of the board and correctly guesses the grape and country from which the wine came. After that, The Somm reveals the bottle and tallies up the points from all the scorecards.

The $49 game, available on Kickstarter, is expected to ship by November 2020 and even comes with a Zoom wine-tasting hosted by a Master Sommelier. And though you can definitely bring your own wine to your game night, the Sommify creators have partnered with Lifetime Vintage on two wine kits with unlabeled half-bottles of wine that are perfect for blind-tasting. It’s $75 for three half-bottles and $95 for four half-bottles, and you’ll get two $20-off coupons when you purchase the board game.

Learn more about Sommify here.