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New York, NY
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The Beer Friends write, review, and discuss Craft Beer as fans instead of experts.  They share their unique voice and affinity for craft beer through multiple platforms and offer a range of media to join their craft beer conversation.


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Idle Hands Learn Beer Avery: Live Blog

Phil Foleen

Here we are, Brad and Phil, and our table partner and guest blogger Crystal (follow her on twitter @chhchh ) at the fantastic Idle Hands Bar for their Learn Beer And Bourbon event. First up are the bourbons from Knob Creek


That's our local Knob Creek rep helping us though the history of Bourbon, and giving us the skinny on our two samples


Phil's thoughts: yeah it's bourbon. I'm not a big bourbon guy, and this keeps me strong in that opinion. I'm just not that into the really strong alcohols, especially when I can taste so much of the concentration. To each their own, but I'll stick with getting as close as a Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout.

Brad's Thoughts: I'm the bizarro Phil, I love bourbon... Coming soon: Bourbon Friends! Now I need to find some friends... I've had all three bourbons offered (Knob Creek, Knob Creek Single Barrel, Basil Hayden) and enjoy the slight tasting notes around the alcohol taste. Next up... Avery!

Crystal's Thoughts: first bourbon of the night and warming up the pipes for that strong back of the throat alcohol taste. Not too bad, I can sip leisurely.


Two gentlemen from our local very distributor who is responsible for Avery tonight, according to Rev here at Idle Hands they are going to destroy our palettes...bring it on!

1st up: Joe's Pilsner


Phil: nice and light. For me it's walking the very thin line of being a watery beer, but it doesn't quite go that far. Good clean taste with a clean finish, it's definitely one to seek out.

Brad: This is a Pilsner that I can get behind. My biggest complaint about Pilsners is that they are watery, this Pilsner leans on the "beer" side and has some heavy to it.

18th Anniversary Beer


Phil: 5 different yeasts and a Belgian yeast is definitely in there, still though it has a good fruit note in the smell that carries in to the taste pretty well. Still it's a Belgian.....

Brad: Enjoyed this beer at the Pony Bar second Anniversary event and this was a wonderful reminder. Starting to wonder if Avery ever makes a non-big beer.

Maharaj Imperial IPA


Phil: yay for IPAs! Had this one before and it doesn't disappoint. Milder on the hops than some others, but still a good sweet taste to counter the higher alcohol from being and Imperial.

Brad: I dig it, the only problem is it brings up the Imperial vs Double IPA discussion with Phil that I spared you all from (it was 20 minutes)... Tryin to drown Phil out...

Crystal: my palate doesn't accept IPAs, Sorry phil. No further comment.

Hog Heaven


Phil: y'know, as barleywines go this one is actually pretty good. Not very alcohoky or sweet, it has a good balance that i can appreciate. This one I could drink, don't quote me on this though.....

Brad: Full disclosure... when I started my Beer-education I had tried this barleywine and was very put off... so put off in fact that I tore the label off the bottle and kept it in my wallet as a reminder.  I've since changed but the label image will always have a special place in my memory.

Crystal: i don't recall ever having a barley beer. It's something new so give me some to sip, think, and talk about later.

Sammael Oak Aged


Phil: Oh dear lord! I'm pretty sure the cut down some sort of devil oak tree, at least as far as the taste goes. Very oaky, a good amount of alcohol in the taste here, but if you take it in sips it's a great taste.

Brad: this is a great beer, loving the oak aged revolution and this fits perfectly, the beer might be biting but the barrel aged effect makes it smooth like the bourbons from earlier - needless to say I'm enjoying my night.

White Rascal on tap

Crystal: yes, this one is for me.

Brad: The rep said "This is what Blue Moon Should taste like", I agree - this is a great light taste.

The Fallen:


The Offering:


The Offering pt 2: