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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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LIVE BLOG! Idle Hands $10 Tasting of NY Breweries Week 1

Beerfriend Paul

Hello Beer Friends Nation!!! New York City Beer Week is looming around the corner and it is beginning to make its presence felt!

Over the past 4 years this week has brought some amazing events, great fun, and ton of beer brought to the masses. This year the Festival will run February 22nd through March 3rd this year and promises to be absolutely epic.

As part of this celebration, or rather a slight sidecar to this celebration, Idle Hands is calling February NY Beer Month and they will be pouring great craft beers from all over New York State. A main part of this will be our favorite weekly $10 Tasting they do every Wednesday. Starting tonight the next 4 Wednesdays will be full of great New York Breweries and we for one are going to start celebrating our craft beer week tonight.

Stay Tuned for the kickoff round of the festivities!

Paul’s First: Captain Lawrence Captain’s Kolsch- This is a nice crips brew from a good brewery. I tend to enjoy their darker and more flavorful brews like Brown Bird but that doesn't mean I dislike this brew. It's light and has a sweet malty finish. It's not the beer I'm reaching for with enthusiasm at a christmas party, but a backyard cookout or a beach party is a different story. Bring this beer to my Fourth of July party and we will be friends.

Graham’s First: Captain Lawrence Captain’s Kolsch– A Kolsch is a kolsch is a kolsch. But that's not entirely true. German Kolsch's taste too German, other Kolsch's taste like... well I don't think other people make Kolsch's. Except Captain Lawrence (and many other American craft breweries that brew in a German style). This Kolsch is light, but not without a bready malt profile. It's clean and lacking any hop residue but that's no bad thing as the style calls for a clean finish. In the end I'd take this brew alongside a dinner of burgers or wings where I wanted my taste buds assaulted by food but cleansed by liquid. I'll save the IPA and overly hopped pale ale for later/earlier in the evening.

Phil’s Frist: Captain Lawrence Captain’s Kolsch– its a Kolsch. i like these as an interim beer, and this one is not exception. Kolsch's for me are a good choice for when i have too many options to head to next, and i'm not sure which way i want to go, but i don't want to waste any beer time. light and a little malty with a clean finish these will usually never dissapoint, i'm partial to the Captain's because its more malt centric than tasting like a beligian or a farmhouse. so i like it.

Paul’s Second: Ithaca Flower Power- This has been, and continues to be, one of my favorite beers to find. The complexity of this IPA is fantastic. If you love IPA's then you need to try this beer. The hop flavor varies throughout the brew and leaves you with an excellent hop finish. I love this beer and the beer rep said that the new facility that Ithaca has opened will produce a lot more Flower Power for us to consume, and that makes me happy.

Graham’s Second: Ithaca Flower Power- Flower power is easily one of my favorite IPA's - solid top 3. Layers upon layers of flowery, citrusy hopp-stravaganza. On top of that it goes down easy and refreshing - by the end you are never overwhelmed, always wanting another pour to reinforce that fantastic hop profile.

Phil’s Second: Ithaca Flower Power- I really enjoy the Flower Power. it has a very smooth way to bring you the flavors that are present in the beer. i'm usually partial to a very sharp and intense hop taste, but when i'm looking for a good smooth way to satisfy my hoppy desires, this is a good go to. also on my list for a great way to introduce people that aren't into the know to a hop centric beer without scaring them off. delicious.

Paul’s Third: Butternuts Porkslap Draft- This was one of those good beers we used to get in cans before cans became cool. Porkslap was always a favorite beer to drink out of a can due to it's excellent taste and great label. This was a treat because it was on tap and it was excellent. You don't get the adorable pig on the label, but the beer still tastes great. Porkslap and Butternuts are not celebrated the way they should be.

Graham’s Third: Butternuts Porkslap Draft- Butternuts is a staple of NY State craft beer. First brewery (to my knowledge) to can it was for a little while profiled as a cheap brew that just happened to be intensely more flavorful than Genny or Golden Koch (New York State did not have a great beer scene until half a decade ago). Now that every mother and their brewery son is canning Butternuts has gained that recognition they deserved. I mean, after all, one doesn't consistently brew and can 4+ brews for that long without doing something right. It just shows ya - don't judge a beer by its aluminum covering.

Phil’s Third: Butternuts Porkslap Draft- Butternuts is a staple, here's a local grown beer that makes its name on being a no-bones-about-it beer aimed at the Miller and Coors crowd, and rightfully so. A decent way to spend a glass with a good malty finish hinting at a little hops in the middle.

Paul’s Whiskey Tasting- Tonight is Evan Williams Single Barrel 2003. This is the only vintage bourbon that you can find by year like you would a wine. The single barrel bourbons from Evan Williams has always been a favorite of ours ever since Idle Hands had their own barrel from 2000 which, for those who missed it, was absolutely incredible. That barrel is one of the reasons I have fallen in love with bourbon over the past couple years. This year certainly does not disappoint, it's smooth all the way through with a nice whiskey burn at the end. I am going to have to get myself a bottle of this for my home.

Graham’s Whiskey Tasting- Butter and popcorn and peanut butter. I'm not a huge whiskey aficionado ( I partake when it's available and when it's available I usually take it down quicker than slower) but this spirit deserves some smooth recognition. The bite in this whiskey is welcomed as a compliment to the smooth butteriness of the rest of the flavor profile exclaims. I'll say this again, I don't go out and pursue a whiskey/bourbon that often (exclusion: Jim Beam Rye) but I will be seeking out the Evan Williams Single Barrel 2003.

Phil’s Whiskey Tasting- you know, i'm one that usually makes a nasty face for the bourbon part. i'm not a big fan of the hard alcohols, mostly because i'm not a fan of the extreme taste of the alcohol that happens with a very good bourbon. that being said, i didn't make the nasty face with this one. it's actually smooth and not an aggressive alcohol taste. so a plus for this one in my book.

Sauce of the night by That Burger- Tonight is a Ranch Hot Sauce made with Porkslap and realistically that's all you really need to know. if you haven't experienced the Sauce magic that Dan at That Burger cooks up every even, you're really missing out. the standard Bourbon Ketchup is the staple for the bar, but every bourbon and beer event the Master takes one of the beers that is part of the night and crafts an fantastic sauce to go along with the requisite Tots that are part of the deal. Tonight was no exception, a fantastic ranch based hot sauce infused with the Porkslap on tap for the evening, and it is AMAZING! if you have any sense you'll toss in for the That Burger kickstarter to bring these sauces to the masses, but for now you'll have to come here with us and get some tots.

Dan has been making incredible sauces for his burgers and tots since we’ve known him and he is now trying to move on to the next step of bottling these specialty sauces. He has a Kickstarter up and needs our help. There are 12 days left to pledge and help a great guy take the next step. If you’ve had the food you already know this Kickstarter will be worth it, if you haven’t been down to Idle Hands and had some of Dan’s signature items I honestly don’t know what you are waiting for.