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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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Filtering by Tag: Beer

Beer Review 123: Sixpoint Apollo

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! This weeks SPotW is part of the seasonal series from Sixpoint Craft Ales in Redhook, Brooklyn.  It's no secret that the Beer Friends love Sixpoint and love what they are doing with their cans.  The art, the size (tallboys) and the quality is a great look in to a craft brewery growing and improving their brand daily.  In honor of the recent Olympics - SPOILER ALERT:  This is a Bavarian style wheat beer with Belgian roots - guess who's gonna hate it? Sixpoint! Nanokegs! Sun God!

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Sixpoint Reviews: Bengali Tiger Growler - Bengali Tiger - Sweet Action - The Crisp - Righteous Ale - Diesel - Autumnation - Resin

Live Blog! Great Divide Night at Idle Hands

Phil Foleen

Hello Beer Friends Nation! It was a dark and story night. Two intrepid beer drinkers braved the elements, the sheeting rain and slow busses to bring you a night of one of our favorite breweries out of Colorado. Wetsocks and all we are always excited for a little Great Divide and a Cowboys From Hell burger with crab seasoned tater tots from That Burger. Read on for the goodness...

Phil's First Hoss - For the beers that we are having tonight, this one is probably the one I would've picked to drink first anyway. It's not an overly strong beer, but with good malty notes from the Rye it doesn't disappoint. Smooth all the way down to the bottom of the glass.

Brad's First Hoss - Hoss is a great beer, I've had it before and it's a perfect fall beer, but without a pumpkin theme so it's great to drink year round.

Brad's Second Titan IPA - As I just got done talking with (name drop in 3, 2, 1...) Dave Woodlock the Great Divide beer rep, I told him that Titan is top 5 IPA for me. Balanced and piney really gives it a nice Colorado IPA feel.

Phil's Second Titan IPA - this is one of my all time fav's from Great Divide. Nice and hoppy, hoppy almost to the point of a double IPA, but without that overbearing bitterness and sweet ending that is pretty typical of those. I agree with Brad that this is just a very well balanced beer, a little floral taste from the hopes too but not in a tea-leaf kinda way.

Phil's Third Hercules Double IPA - this is the great next step in hoppiness for tonight. I love this beer, very hoppy and it does have that double IPA sweetnes but it's ny ere for a little bit and doesn't become the defining flavor on your tongue. That's left up to the hops, thankfully.

Brad's Third Hercules Double IPA - Re-read the Titan Review above.... Now double it. This is a delicious brew with a sneaky 10ABV that will seduce you like a beautiful woman (or so I've heard beautiful women seduce people... Lucky bastards).

Phil's Fourth Yeti Stout - yum yum yum yum yum. This is such a great opposing taste to the rest of what we've had tonight. So smoky and so dark and so delicious, the bitterness is such a great point at the end. A slight coffee taste, good and burnt that just makes you want whole second glass right away.

Brad's Fourth Yeti Stout - as much as this pains me... I agree with Phil - mostly on the Yum Yum Yum Yum part. This is a delicious stout that of course Great Divide with put into all sorts of barrels (whiskey, bourbon) and different varieties... (Belgian, Oak aged, Chocolate, Espresso). What's amazing is the base beer is so delicious by itself!

Brad's Fifth Rumble IPA - I've had this before and I like what they do. Honestly I'd like it more if it was bourbon barrel aged and a double IPA but we can't always get what we want. Also that's incredibly unfair to the beer because the version at present is delicious as well.

Phil's Fifth Rumble IPA - I agree with Brad to a point (theres a lot of agreeing going on here tonight, maybe they put something in the beer) I would like this a bit more if it were a Bourbon Barrel, BUT it is still a very good beer. A little on the sweet side for me, but still hoppy enough to keep me on board. Definitely a good choice for the smaller glasses.

Thanks to Rev and Rob at Idle Hands Bar and Dave bringing the Great Divide around. Can't wait for the next one!

New York City Craft Beer Events for the Week of August 12, 2012

Graham

Tuesday, August 14 - Tuesday Night Tasting: Sierra Nevada Beer Camp @ Bierkraft, Brooklyn: Every craft beer lovers dream is to go to a summer camp for brewers and beer lovers alike.  Well, a little over a year ago the good brewers at Sierra Nevada made that possible - giving both professional brewers and homebrewers a chance to work together to create delicious new craft beer.  If you're lucky then you've stumbled upon a spot serving these camp brews.  If you haven't been lucky, then tonight is your night.  Head over to Bierkraft to have Brian from Sierra Nevada educate you on the program as well as tap four new offerings for your drinking pleasure.

Floral IPA Imperial Pilsner Oatmeal Stout Imperial Red

Bierkraft is located at 191 5th Avenue between Berkeley and Union Streets in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Tuesday, August 14 - Belgian Beer Night @ Rattle n' Hum, Manhattan:

Don't get me wrong, I like Belgian beer.  This event, however, probably wouldn't have made the list this week though if it weren't for how passionate Phil is about this country's beer.  Phil's so passionate about it that you should check out our reviews of different Belgian style brews just to see his reactions.  Maybe you'll even catch Phil at Rattle n' Hum tonight as he samples all six (at least) of the Belgian brews they'll be pouring.

La Trappe, St. Feuillien Urthel Kwak Tripel Karmeliet St.Feuilien/Greenflash Collaboration Ale

Rattle n' Hum is located at 14 East 33rd Street between 5th and Madison Avenues in the Midtown neighborhood of Manhattan.

Wednesday, August 15 - Beer, Bourbon and Rock: Great Divide @ Idle Hands Bar, Manhattan:

Great Divide will be gracing the beer, bourbon and rock loving masses at Idle Hands this Wednesday for the newest installment of their Wednesday night beer and bourbon tastings.  For $10 you get two pours and three tastes of Great Divide, a sample of whiskey/bourbon (this week is TBA) and some delicious tater tots from That Burger (located upstairs).  Here's the list:

Full Pours: Hoss Rumble

Tastes: Titan Hercules Yeti

Idle Hands is located at downstairs 25 Avenue B between 2nd and 3rd Streets in the Alphabet City neighborhood of Manhattan.

Thursday, August 16 - Pretty Things Meadowlark IPA Release @ Bierkraft, Brooklyn:

NEW BEER! 25 points if you can name the craft beer bar that popularized that one.  Well, we have a real new one for ya this time.  Pretty Things is releasing a new beer and style that is new two them.  Usually a brewer of Belgian and English styled brews, this one is inspired by a staple of most American craft brewers: the American IPA.  The Meadowlark IPA is heralded as being smooth, slightly bitter and layered with floral hops and it's coming at you for the first time ever this Thursday at Bierkraft.  Jim Barnes of Pretty Things will be there to lead you through the brew, share some other Pretty Things pours and of all things, spin some tunes.  There will also be bottles of Meadowlark to take home with you.

Bierkraft is located at 191 5th Avenue between Berkeley and Union Streets in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Beer Friends Nation Review #1: Stone Ruination 10th Anniversary

Phil Foleen

Hello Beer Friends Nation!!!  You may have noticed our fancy new logo AND you may have noticed we are up on iTunes now(so you can take us everywhere with you) BUT here's our brand new feature: Beer Friends Nation Reviews!  That's right!  Have we missed your favorite beer?  let us know by writing up a review and sending it to phil@thebeerfriends.com or brad@thebeerfriends.com and we'll get it up on the site!  Spread the love and Spread the word! For our first BFN Review we have Michael from San Diego telling us his thoughts on Stone's Ruination 10th Anniversay.  Click through for Michael's review...

Stone Ruination IPA 10 year anniversary.

This being my first review I will start off with a small introduction about myself. Im in the Navy and curently stationed in San Diego, so most of my beer reviews will be about beer created in the magical beer factories of the San Diego area.

Now that the introductions are out of the way, lets talk beer. The Ruination IPA from Stone is an Imperial IPA or 'double' IPA, given the name because this style uses double the amount of hops and double the ABV of normal IPAs. If anyone is curious this one is 10.8% ABV so be forwarned.

I first opened this beer and like any 'responsible' beer reviewer I sniffed it. Once I recovered from my mental walk through the pine forest the initial whiff gave me I took a sip, and contrary to the smell of the beer, it is actually very drinkable. It still has the trademark bite that I've come to expect from a Stone IPA but the aftertaste is much fuller than its non-imperial cousin. It even feels richer when I swish it around my mouth.

One thing that stands out as a plus for me with this beer is that even as I nurse it slowly, it being a pint and quite strong, I am finding no reduction in taste or enjoyment; which is a large selling point for me since IPAs are made to be consumed while cold and any beer that stays tasty while it warms up is an beer I can enjoy.

Thanks again Michael.  We'll have another one from him for you guys next week!

Live Blog! Bourbon and Beer Night at Idle Hands Bar: Sierra Nevada edition

Phil Foleen

It's Live Bloggerin' time!!!! (Phil's kinda excited for The Avengers). Hello Beer Friends Nation! Here we are again for our current favorite live blogging beer event at Idle Hands Bar in New York City welcoming Sierra Nevada to the stage. For now were are chilling with a couple of pre-gamers:

Phil's -1 Sierra Nevada Torpedo - alright I know this is why we're here, BUT I personally kicked two kegs for my first round just looking for a beer, so lay off. The only thing I have for this one is its actually got a bit of a spice note (talking like I know liquor). Pretty good actually and not what I was expecting, but I dont know if it's for real or a trick of the taps. I'll let you know when I have it again for the event.

Brad's -1 Troegs Nugget Nectar - I dig this beer. It's the only double/imperial Red I can remember because it's delicious. A deeper taste than any red (hence the double) it's still incredibly smooth. The downside is it's higher ABV (7ish) and I have a empty stomach. The latter part of this live blog might get interesting...

Phil's First Kellerweis - alright, I know everyone knows I'm not the biggest fan of German/wheat beers. This one included, BUT off the tap it's not so bad. I like the unfiltered part, there is a good bunch of bananas at the beginning, bane of my existence, but the most intriguing thing is I detect a distinct after taste of corn breakfast cereal that keeps me coming back.....at least till the end of this glass (thank god for 8 oz pours).

Brad's First Kellerweis - I like it! As explained to us by the Sierra Nevada guy, this is a unfiltered, open aired German wheat beer which allows for the yeast to germinate naturally. I like it but couldn't do them all the time, fortunately not a lot of American breweries are into this so I'll have to stick in the good ol' US of A

Phil and Brad's 2nd and 3rd Pale Ale & Ruthless Rye - what else can we say? Solid stand by brews, always take the Ruthless over the Pale. (insert shameless self plug of our own review)

Phil's 4th Hoptimum 2012 - So I love this one. Good bright and hoppy flavor with enough malts at the back that it doesn't dry you out, but not too much to overtake any of the flavor. Good competition for Torpedo in my opinion. I agree with the Sierra Nevada guy in that it's a very deceptive 10% ABV. You should probably pick this up when you see it.

Brad's 4th Hoptimum 2012 - Interesting... I believe this is the first year of this brew. It's like me signing my name "Brad 1981" every time. The hop taste is delicious - I feel it's like Sixpoint Resin but sweeter. I dig this beer - but the ABV is dangerous.

Phil's Last Torpedo - yes I know again, but I already told you that story. Always a classic, now my fourth fav from Sierra (thanks to Hoptimum), but definitely still pleases. Again the weird part is getting that slightly spicy note from the back end of the taste. Never really seen it before, but I'm not against it either. A good way to finish up the night, and if you haven't picked this one up in cans yet,do it.

Brad's Last Torpedo - yep. same old same old. This is a delicious beer. This was the first beer we reviewed and recently did a cans vs bottles taste test with it (look for the video in the upcoming days). I don't get the same spicy note Phil gets but he's weird like that. At least he only mentioned he didn't like Belgian beers once during this live blog...

Thanks for joining us tonight! Can't wait for the next one, thanks Idle Hands and Sierra Nevada!

P.S. Did I mention I don't like Belgian beers? Phil

P.P.S. Brad: "Two!"

Beer Review 100: Sixpoint Diesel

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! "I'd like to thank my friends and family, those that supported me in low times, thank you Gigi, my little girls watching at home and most of all the academy, thank you!"  It needs a little work, but we had barely any time to work on it (or about 100 weeks...)  We made it.  100 reviews.  100 videos of a "bunch of boring dudes drinking beer on camera."  This week we return to one of our favorite breweries - Sixpoint from Redhook, Brooklyn.  The Beer Friends have always been huge fans of Sixpoint and it was like Christmas when we could get their stuff in cans.  We quickly ran out and reviewed our favorites, our new favorites, newer beers to Sixpoint, old standby's, and their first seasonal.  Now this Black IPA/Stout mix - Diesel comes along and confuses some people on it's exact style and admittingly the Beer Friends were confused as well - until we went to the source and sought out the truth.  Thanks to all the viewers out there who caught us for the first 100, and keep watching for the second 100!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-YeNlbtmzY]

Empire Brewing night at Idle Hands NYC

Phil Foleen

Hello Beer Friends Nation!!!! Phil here tonight we are live logging from the awesome basement bar Idle Hands in New York City for Empire Brewing's tasting night. The brewery is joined by Finger Lakes Distillery for a little compare and contrast. Paul and Graham will do the comparing and I will probably be the contrasting opinion......so sit tight, we're gonna grab an intro beer and a burger and when the party gets started we'll let you in on the fun!

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Phil's First: we have started off the evening with the Finger Lakes Distillery White Pike Whiskey. I am definitely the farthest thing from a whiskey fan here at The Beer Friends, but I have to say that this one out of all of the times I have had whiskeys in the past, this is the ONLY time I have not been completely turned off and can finish the one shot taster. I actually could have a full serving of this, which coming from me, says a lot.

Graham's Thoughts

Enticing creamy corn nose that makes you want to drink it all right away. It Drinks with a string corn flavor but it's quickly eclipsed with a warming sensation. Note: not burning, just warming. This whiskey is too smooth for the word burning. And delicious. Corn delicious that begs you to come back for more. And it's clear. Boom.

Paul's thoughts

This was a revelation for me. I have had a few corn whiskeys and none of them have been particularly delicious. This whiskey was sweet and easy to drink. Aged for only 18 minutes, it has almost no flavor of the barrel. It's incredibly easy to drink and absolutely delicious. I will look for and purchase this whiskey to keep on my shelf at home.

Phil's First Beer: Empire Scotch Ale

This beer is great. Bar none. empire's brewmaster was kind enough to be here and give us a little history lesson on Scotch beers and where/why they come from. The beer is very dark, in the best way. Very smooth and clean, with a pleasant bitter taste. Not sweet, and you really only taste is one on the front half of your tongue. All in all this is one you should keep an eye out for.

Graham's First Beer

As the man said - I don't like overly sweet beer so I made this one malty and dry. Exactly the way a scotch ale should be. Flavored by peat not sugar. I'll drink to that.

Paul's First Beer

To call this beer weak will be an insult to the brewmaster, but I will do it anyway because to anyone who's had some craft Scotch Ales will notice that this beverage is not as sweet as other Scotch ales. This Scotch ale doesn't punch you in the face like other Scotch ales do. Absolutely delicious, Empire continues to impress the more I drink.

Phil's Second Beer: Strong Ale

We have just been given the Strong Ale. As much as the Scotch Ale was delicious, this one for me is so much more in the right direction. Much more to my liking with the addition of a bunch of hoops to load the front end of the flavor with that great hoppy bitterness. This has now become my favorite Empire Beer. We learned here too that Empire really takes pride in differentiating between Hop sweetness and Hop flavor, and it definitely shows in the taste.

Graham's Second Beer

Strong ale? What comes to mind? Probably not this. Cause although strong ales are awesome this one is awesomer. Crisply hoppy with a focus on the flavor profile of the hop rather than the bitterness. The master brewer said the inspiration came from Arrogant Bastard. Try less malty sweet with a better, much better hop flavor.

Paul's Second Beer

This beer is awesome. I'm not sure it's something I can drink it all year round. But I'll take this beer anytime Labor day though Flag day. Quick crisp hop flavor at the beginning and a smooth finish. Impressively drinkable for a strong ale. I will be seeking this one out again and again.

Phil's Third Beer: Wheat Wine

I had my reservations about this one, given my aversion to Barleywines, but I will admit tha this one is a good sipping piece of beer. Super cloudy with a touch of the "rotten"(my personal description) taste that I attribute to a Barleywine, but it's sweet enough to counteract that with a touch of bitterness at the end to keep that super-sweet at bay.

Graham's Third

Interesting but not too exciting. Sweet and slightly alcohol-ish. Almost a little watery, but not quite. Just a tad on the week side. I kind of want my barley wines to be a kick in the face. This is more a dirty look.

Paul's Third

I am new to wheat wines and am willing to admit that. I am unsure how I feel about them. I have liked some a lot and I have had some that I am not so sure of. This one falls in the middle. It starts with a great flavor but as it rolls over it leaves a taste that lingers too long. I certainly do not dislike it, and I do enjoy drinking this beverage. This one will take another tasting to get an accurate reading. Perhaps a pint will be in order...

Phil's Fourth: Empire IPA

Alway a favorite of mine, I hint this is a good balance, if not a little on the sweet side. As an IPA it's really good, but for the hops SPF at this evening I'm gonna go with the Strong Ale.

Graham's Fourth

The Empire IPA is to me a crisp citrusy IPA that is easy to drink but not over the top. What it lacks in eXtensive flavor it thrives in easy drinkability. A six-pack of something that I would buy and drink very often.

Paul's Fourth

This is an IPA I'd like to see more. It's very balanced but leaves a nice bitterness on your tongue. It's a beer I enjoy but do not run into very often. I will echo Graham and say that if this was in a six pack I would seek it out.

Phil's Fifth: Empire Amber

For the final offering from Empire tonight we have the Empire Amber ale. It s got an interesting taste to it. As ambers go it s good middle of the road. It's got an almost coppery finish to it, taste wise, which isn't altogether unpleasant. Overall for me I would like or hops, but being one of the resident hopheads that should go without saying. A good ending for tonight but I'll take the strong ale any day.

Graham's Fifth

Amber ales are not really my thing unless they are hoppy enough to be an amber IPA. This one isn't quite but it is approaching something delicious. Something I would definitely order on multiple occasions. And I do appreciate the hops, however the style is always more malty for me than hoppy. Still, as usual Empire does it well - proving that New York State is truly the Empire State.

Paul's Fifth

I am different than Graham and I enjoy ambers very much. This one stacks up and then some. The balance in this beer is spectacular. It's incredibly drinkable and absolutely enjoyable. This is one of the beers they have started brewing in Brooklyn and is available in New York City(along with the Cream Ale and the IPA) and I look forward to finding this beer in more bars.

Keep an eye out for more and better beers from Empire as their new facility gets under way. This is definitely one to watch

Thanks so much to Empire for being here and to Finger Lakes Distillery too, Beer Friends signing off.

Beer Review 93: Great Lakes Brewing Burning River

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Today we return to Great Lakes Brewing for their Burning River Pale Ale.  This is a true to form Pale Ale, not like the overly hopped pale ales that we usually gravitate towards.  Great Lakes Brewing is a fantastic brewery and we look forward to each chance we can try their beers so find one yourself, crack it open and play everyone favorite home game... Beer Reviews with the Beer Friends!  Ohio River Valley!  Pale Ale! Home Game!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wq1HRDFV-dA]

Beer Review 92: Tundra Brewery Red Ale

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! This week the Beer Friends decided to stay in - we didn't travel to California for Speakeasy, or Florida for Cigar City... instead we stayed local and tried Tundra Brewery Red Ale.  Tundra Brewery is super local, only available at a few greenmarkets and local conscious shops around NYC.  This up and coming brewer is Mark VanGlad and pretty much IS Tundra Brewery, he owns it, grows the hops, makes the beer, bottles it and outsources his label designs (UPDATE: to his girlfriend).  At the time of production Tundra only had two available brews: Red Ale and Ma Pale Ale, but have now added a Brown Ale for the Holiday season.  Do yourself a favor and find his stuff, you won't regret it!  Local Brews! One-Man operation! NYTimes friends! Beer!

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Beer Review 88: Cape Ann Pumpkin Stout

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Happy (Belated) Halloween from the Beer Friends!  This week our SPotW was the perfect Halloween hangover in Cape Ann Brewing Pumpkin Stout.  After you've dressed up and hit the houses in your neighborhood (yes I understand that our readership should be at least 21 - but I had a huge haul this year - even got a full size Snickers!) kick back and crack open this Pumpkin Stout to wash down all the Sweet Tarts and multi-colored Tootsie rolls (that I most likely gave you from my bag/pillowcase).  This is the third Pumpkin brew in a row and we couldn't help ourselves but to review the latest trend on the market.  Warning: this will not save you from the stomach ache (or possible diabetic coma) you will have from eating all your candy in one night - but it will make you go to sleep faster...  Beer!  Candy! Pumpkin!

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