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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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Empire Brewing night at Rattle 'n Hum: Hangover Edition!

Phil Foleen

We had a great time at Rattle n' Hum last night at the Empire Brewing Company event.  Being a fan of the Empire Cream Ale I was excited to try some of the brewery's other offerings.  Of course, they did not disappoint.  The "Dragons" were the standouts to me. I tried both and am interested to try these, and more like these, again.  The addition of the basil to the Belgian style was great, and it almost got Phil to call a Belgian ale delicious...

If you  missed out last night, NEVER FEAR! Empire is hitting NY Craft Beer Week hard and you should make sure you don't miss it.

They have 2 events scheduled tonight; one at Spring Lounge and at Puck Fair. If you miss those, then you can hit up Dive Bar tomorrow night.

I suggest you try to get out to one of these events, and check below for what Phil and I thought of the night as it unfolded.


Well here we are, gentle beer drinkers, for yet another NYC Craft Beer Week. We find ourselves at Rattle 'n Hum this evening for the Empire Brewing night and it looks pretty darn good! Now while I wait for Paul to get here let's have a beer!


Phil's 1st: I have chosen to go historical first with Ol' Wooden Tooth, which according to the flyer, is base on our dear founding father George Washington's personal homebrew recipe. As the words say, good molasses and oak flavors in a deep, dark color. It doesn't hide it's 8.5%ABV, but the front flavors do a good job of rounding out the alcohol in there.

Phil's 2nd: Empire Hop Harvest - very hoppy and very good. Hoppy to the pint of almost being airy in the mouthfeel. If you like hops this is a good one, it has a slightly sweet back end that might turn a couple of people off, but over all a good hop offering. Bonus points for the hops all being grown on the Empire grounds.

Paul's 1st: Starting easy, I went with the Empire India Pale Ale. It's a good IPA. It's sweet and bitter at the same time. The flavor doesn't roll over your tongue, this beer more or less slaps your mouth in the... Mouth. This beer hits your taste buds and doesn't stay very long. That is neither a good thing or a bad thing, it's just its thing.

Phil's 3rd: Empire Black Magic Stout - having this served on the nitro tap I thin serves this beer the best. I would describe this as the best example that I can think of for a stout with a mostly toasty flavor. The nitro smooths the feel out of the beer and the toasty part just takes over in the mildest way you could imagine.

Paul's 2nd - This time I went bigger and had the Empire Deep Purple. It is a beer made with NY Concord grapes. It is described as "tart & dry" and that would be accurate. What would also be accurate would be to describe this as adult grape juice. It tastes like a slightly carbonated, slightly sour grape juice that gets you drunk. I suggest this beer, but know what you are getting into.

Paul's 3rd- I got an Empire Golden Dragon. This round was bought by my father, you could all learn a thing or two from him in the comments section. As for the beer, it's been described as mint or licorice. There is no denying this one is different. The Thai basil really adds something to this brew. It's already sweet being a Belgian golden ale, but the basil and other spices make this something very different. It tastes more like a cocktail than a beer. Like I ordered a mojito by accident. Absolutely a fun beer and is worth ordering.

Phil's 4th: Empire IPA - pretty much your run of the mill IPA, but in a good way. Good hoppy flavors with a little sweetness that's tamed by the hops just enough to be unobtrusive.