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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: Brooklyn Blast

Tis the Season for "Best Summer Beer Lists"

Graham

It's happening all over the place these days - everyone is weighing in on their favorite summer beers.  I don't just mean you, me and all of our favorite craft beer bartenders but rather some of the more popular online and print magazines and newsletters have jumped on the craft beer bandwagon. As a craft beer enthusiast (READ: nerd with a slight drinking problem) it always intrigues me how these lists are seemingly created.  Sometimes the lists are for the masses - widely known beers that everyone can relate to (even the ice cold blue mountain drinkers), sometimes they include some bonafide craft brews but try to include brews from every state/region and end up containing a lot of filler brews that no one can either find or would drink during the hot months of the summer and other times the list is one of beer snobitude - impossible to find, extra expensive and rarely very palatable for the type of summer drinking we all like to partake in.

And sometimes, these popular media outlets hit it right on the head.  Enter Esquire Online Newsletter's "Best Beers for Summer 2013."  Despite Esquire's know-how when it comes to cooking up the most delicious man-food ever and their top of the line fiction/non-fiction writing staff I was wary that their summer beer list would be more on par with their men's style section - snobby, expensive and mainstream.  I was definitely proven wrong.

Although they definitely make a point to include beer from a variety of regions and definitely include some more mainstream breweries/beers the choices are a mixture of unique and intriguing (Cigar City Guava Grove and New Belgium Rolle Bolle), delightfully surprising and slightly rare (Brooklyn Blast and Deschutes River Ale - can't get it in NY) and as for the obvious choices - obviously delicious enough to be on any craft beer enthusiasts summer list (Victory Golden Monkey, Bell's Oberon and Avery Joe's Premium American Pilsner).

The descriptions of each beer are fun to read and the food pairings will make your mouth water.  Check it out here, this one gets the Beer Friend's stamp of approval:

Esquire's Best Beers for Summer 2013

Other Lists for You Craft Beer Masses to Enjoy and Judge Accordingly:

Thrillist's Massive 150 Summer Beer List

Totally Liberal Huffington Post Summer Beer List

Men's Health "We Pretty Obviously Googled "Summer Beer" and Made a List After Throwing In a Cider" Summer Beer List

New York City Craft Beer Events for the Week of December 9, 2012

Graham

Tuesday, December 11 - Tuesday Night Tasting: Kelso Beer Company @ Bierkraft, Brooklyn: Kelso is one of the unsung heroes of the NYC craft beer scene.  A Brooklyn based brewery that often gets overshadowed by Brooklyn's omnipresence and Sixpoint's artsy-edginess, Kelso still puts out a wide range of delicious craft brew.  Owner Kelly Taylor will be hosting a taking over tonight's Tuesday Night Tastings at Bierkraft and they'll be bringing an interesting selection that is sure to please.

Nut Brown Lager Winter Lager IPA Industrial Imperial IPA Rye-barrel-aged Tripel Fuku (a rauchbier/witbier/gose hybrid)

There will also be a special opening of the Bierkraft 10th Anniversary Maple-liquor-barrel-aged Imperial Stout.

How's that for overshadowed?

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

Wednesday, December 12 - Stone Brewing Co. Vertical Epic - The Final Chapter 12.12.12 @ Alewife, Queens:

For the past 10 years Stone has created a brew ready to drink on the triple-repeated-date of that year (2/2/2 - 12/12/12).  Even though that brew could've been enjoyed anytime between then and now, they were specially developed to be aged and sipped gently (read: Devoured) on 12.12.12 - the last reincarnation of Vertical Epic until the next century (seriously, Wednesday is the last triple-repeated date until 2100 - time to celebrate!).  They'll be serving up every Vertical Epic since 2003 alongside Ruination IPA, Smoked Porter, and Imperial Russian Stout.

Can you drink all the Stone beer at this event?  It would be vertically epic.

Alewife is located 5-14 51st Avenue between 5th Street and  Vernon Boulevard in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens.

Wednesday, December 12 - Once In 100 Years Event @ Beer Boutique Inc., Brooklyn:

Thought we were done with triple repeating dates?  Not even close. Beer Boutique Inc. of Brooklyn wants to help you celebrate by providing you with access to some of the rarest, biggest Brooklyn brewery beers of this (and the last decade of the previous) century.

Vintage Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

The Companion
Brooklyn Blast
There Will BE Black
Beer Boutique Inc. is located at 497 Union Avenue between N 8th Street and Withers Street in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Thursday, December 13 - Christmas Bash @ Standings, Manhattan:
It's not quite Christmas yet.  For that you'll have to wait until this Thursday.  At Standings.  They'll be pouring three of the finest Christmas ales in the land for your  holiday cheering pleasure alongside free brat's from Wechsler's.
Brekcenridge Christmas
Defiant Christmas
Southern Tier 2X Christmas
PLUS: Weyerbacher Last Chance IPA on Cask
Nothing says happy holidays like beer and free brat's.
And afterwards you can head downstairs to Jimmy's No. 43 for their Barrier "Submersible" Belgian 1 event.
Standings is located at Upstairs 43 East 7th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan.
Thursday, December 13 - Thursday Tap: Barrier "Submersible" Belgian 1 @ Jimmy's No. 43, Manhattan:
Jimmy's No. 43 has been close friends with Barrier brewing since they started brewing.  So, when Hurricane Sandy devastated their brewing processes, Jimmy's happened to have some of the last kegs on hand and in honor of helping them get back on their feet have been slipping them into rotation one-by-one.  This Thursday they'll be tapping the keg of their Submersible Belgian 1 - the brew in the fermenters at the time the storm hit - extra fermented by the hurricane.
This is a rare one, that you'll probably never see again.
And afterwards you can head upstairs and hit up Standings for their Christmas bash.
Jimmy's No. 43 is located at Downstairs 43 East 7th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan.

New York City Craft Beer Events for the Week of November 25, 2012

Graham

For some reason the beer gods have decided to grace this week with an extensively excellent selection of beer events to check out.  We picked the best six and are throwing them your way.  Try to make them all?  Sounds crazy, but you're not a light hearted craft beer fan, you take this seriously.  So do we.  Afraid of the magnitude of it all?  Us too. Good thing beer helps with courage.

One more thing, read this one all the way through.  We saved the best for last.

Wednesday, November 28 - Brooklyn Brewery Tap Attack with Garret Oliver @ Dive Bar NYC, Manhattan:

Remember the good ol' days when you could just bump into Garret Oliver at a beer event as he poured you a cask aged Brooklyn Blast while you discussed the ins and outs of craft brewing in America?  Well, we do.  Brooklyn in recent times has reached super-stardom in the craft beer community, expanding their brewery and upstate brewing capacities in order to meet the demands of expanding to other cities, states, countries...and planets? (the Mars rover totally digs Mary's Maple Porter)  We're proud of Brooklyn but we still have fond memories of those face to face times.  If you do to, then you happen to be in luck.  This Wednesday head on up to Dive Bar NYC and meet with Garret Oliver and the Brooklyn Brand Manager Brian Duprey as they serve up an impressive selection of that delicious Brooklyn brew we're still in love with.

Blanche de Brooklyn

2009 Black Chocolate Stout
2009 Monster Ale
Mary's Maple Porter
Brooklyn Radius
Brooklyn Blast
Sorachi Ace
There Will Be Black
Brooklyn Lager
Ama
Brooklyn Winter Ale
Black Chocolate Stout
The Companion
The River

Dive Bar NYC is located at 732 Amsterdam Avenue at 96th Street in the Upper West Side neighborhood of Manhattan.

Wednesday, November 28 - Avery Brewing Co. Night @ Sunswick 35-35, Queens:

Avery is well known as being one of the big beer hop kings of Colorado - a title not to be taken lightly in a state that, despite what certain rocky mountain fresh breweries want you to think, also does not take it's beer light.  Sunswick 35-35 in Astoria will be pouring a few taps lines of these Colorado favorites and if you're anywhere nearby, you should stop in to consume them.

duganA DIPA

Ellie's Brown Ale
India Pale Ale
Old Jubilation Ale
The Kaiser Imperial Marzen
Sunswick 35-35 is located at 3502 35th Street on the corner of 35th Avenue in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens.
Wednesday, November 28 - Added Value Fundraiser @ The Double Windsor, Brooklyn:
Brooklyn loves a few things:  community garden/farm empowerment programs, charity for hurricane victims in Red Hook and beer.  Combine all three of these things together and you'll find yourself at the Double Windsor this Wednesday showing off your Brooklyn.
Added Value is a community farm located in Red Hook that provides access to healthy, affordable food for the local community through something called a Food Justice ecosystem - youth empowerment programs that engage local youths in art of gardening and growing foods while providing them, their families and their communities with cheap, healthy produce.
Stop on in to the Double Windsor this Wednesday, throw down a $10 donation and get a free pint of either of these big-time locally brewed beers:
Barrier Brewing Saazsquash - butternut squash ale brewed with ginger, honey and Sichuan peppercorns.  A note on this one:  Barrier brewery was heavily affected by hurricane Sandy and will be out of commission for some time.  This could be your last chance for awhile to get any fresh Barrier brew.
Captain Lawrence Golden Delicious - Belgian style Tripel aged in Apple Brandy barrels.
Sixpoint Gorilla Warfare Porter - made with Brooklyn's own Gorilla Coffee
Windsor Terrace is located at 210 Prospect Park West at 16th Street in the Windsor Terrace neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Thursday, November 29 - Weyerbacher @ The Gate, Brooklyn:
What better way to celebrate the onslaught of winter with an over-the-top winter brew from one of PA's best breweries?  Weyerbacher will be bringing their Merry Monks Tripel along with several of their other delicious brews to help you get your holiday indulgence on at the Gate this Thursday.  Check out the rest of the list:
Merry Monks Tripel

Verboten Belgian Pale Ale
Blithering Idiot 2006
Double Smile
Last Chance IPA
Old Heathen 2007
16th Anniversary Braggot
The Gate  is located at 321 5th Avenue at 3rd Street in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Thursday, November 29 - A Night of Pumpkin Ales @ Standings, Manhattan:
Alright, we accept it:  winter is here.   That doesn't mean, however, that we have to give up on the delicious fall brews that we came to love over the past three months.  Standings agrees.  They'll be pouring a trio of pumpkin brews - the last of their kinds for this year - in defiance of the wintry mix raining down on us this week in NYC.  So nestle up to the bar and the warm glow of Thursday night football, fill your belly with the delectable free pizza arriving at 8 p.m. alongside one of your last pieces of pumpkin pie and top it all off with a few pumpkin brews.
Southern Tier Pumking
Carton Imperial Pumkin Cream Ale
Stoudt's Pumpkinfest Lager
Standings is located at Upstairs 43 East 7th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan.
Thursday, November 29 - Meet Owner Mike Stevens of Founders @ Barcade, Brooklyn:
I told you to read all the way to the end and now reader, you are rewarded.  Beer = good.  Founders beer = fantastic.  Drinking Founders beer with the owner and giving him your eternal thanks and praise for changing your life = Momentous, Epic, Life Defining, etc.  You'll get to do just that at Barcade this Thursday.  Not only will Founders owner Mike Stevens be on hand to pour, drink and talk about his beer, he'll also be bringing a selection unheard of in NYC until now.  Brews that we wish we could consume regularly but rarely get the chance.  Go for the beer, stay for the video games and get giddy like a school girl while talking to the owner.
The (epic) list:
Backwoods Bastard
Blushing Monk
Bolt Cutter
Breakfast Stout
Canadian Breakfast Stout
Centennial IPA
Cerise
Curmudgeon's Better Half
Devil Dancer
Dirty Bastard
Frangelic Mountain Brown
harvest Ale
Imperial Stout 2011
nemesis 2010
Pale Ale
Porter
Red's Rye
Happy Early Christmas.
Barcade is located at 388 Union Avenue between Ainslie and Powers Street in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.

New York City Craft Beer Events for the Week of August 14, 2011

Graham

It happened today - you looked at your calendar and started to get depressed.  We've all noticed that as of today it is the mid-point of August.  Summer is almost over - and that is a depressing thought.  We're already starting to feel it slipping away.  It's been an especially hard summer for Manhattanites - street temperatures in the heart of the city hitting well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, air-conditioners keeping everyone inside cool but pumping out waves of hot air for the rest of us, concrete hot enough to cook an entire turkey and that beautiful skyline blocking any sort of breeze from giving any respite.  So this week the Beer Friends are giving Manhattan a break. That's right - this week every NYC Craft Beer Event is happening outside the center of New York City.  From Brooklyn, to Jersey, to Westchester (first ever I believe!) we've got beer events for everyone else in the Tri-State, multi-boroughed area.  Check em' out!  And watch out for the Manhattan yuppies!

Monday, August 15 - Brooklyn Brewery "Ghost" Night @ The Diamond, Brooklyn:

Talk about black ops - this event might not even exist.  It's the kind of thing that gets blacked out in government documents.  That shady characters with dozens of names and passports engage in only to disappear into the fold.  Some people may or may not have found some brew that may or may not exist and it may or may not be served TONIGHT at a bar that may or may not be real.   Actually, it's all very real - there are four bottles of incredibly rare and specialized brews that sound, to be honest, made up.  Which makes them all the more desirable.  Here's what we're looking at:

Crochet Rouge Rose - Local 1 aged on chardonnay and pinot noir lees. Crochet Rouge Riesling -  Local 1 aged on reisling lees. Barrel Aged Cuvee Noire - Self - explanatory Black Ops Late Bottle Vintage 2007 - Self-explanatorily AWESOME!

There will also be drafts of Blast, Sorachi Ace AND the debut of an all new Brooklyn brew called "Radius."  As if that wasn't enough awesome in your Monday night they'll be pouring the Brooklyn Brown through  the cask engine.

Just remember, keep this under wraps - you definitely didn't here about this from us.  Actually, you totally did and should tell all your friends you heard it from us too.

The Diamond is located at 43 Franklin Street at the corner of Calyer Street, Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Tuesday, August 16 - Tuesday Night Tastings with Sierra Nevada @ Bierkraft, Brooklyn:

Brooklyn's beer selling masters at Bierkraft will be featuring Sierra Nevada brews and the sales-rep Brian Dwyer as the next installment of their Tuesday Night Tastings series.  The Tuesday Night Tastings events are a great way to get to know a brewery's style and in this case, to help you remember why you love a brewery that you're familiar with already.  We all know how Sierra Nevada rolls and we all love it.  If you haven't had a sampling of Sierra recently then hit up Bierkraft for tastes and pints of Torpedo IPA, Pale Ale, Tumbler, Life and Limb and Ovila Saison.  You get some old, some new and some a rare one to tide over your secret or not-so-secret Sierra Nevada lovefest.

Bierkraft is located at 191 5th Avenue, between Union and Berkeley Streets, Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Tuesday, August 16 - Sam Adam's Beer Lovers Choice @ The Cloverleaf Tavern, New Jersey:

Who says Jersey doesn't get a say?  We certainly don't.  In fact at the moment they're one of the only advertised places that do get a say - in this years Sam Adam's Beer Lovers Choice that is.  Every year Sam Adam's asks you, the customer, to choose between several at first and then narrowed down to just a couple of brews for the newest member of the Sam Adam's family.  This year the choice is between an Oaked Ale or a Maple Pecan Porter.  The people are divided and the lines have been drawn.  Head out to the Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, NJ this Tuesday for a chance to voice your concern - an have a few pints of each!

The Cloverleaf Tavern is located at 395 Bloomfield Avenue in Caldwell, NJ - Driving Directions Found Here

Wednesday, August 17 - Meet the Brewer: Evil Twin @ The Double Windsor, Brooklyn:

Networking is huge.  And unless you're a brewer the only reason you'd come to this event has nothing to do with networking.  You'd most likely show up, having heard of this Danish brewer and his legendary status, expecting the best.  Then you'd taste the beer.  After it blew away your highest of expectations you'd insist that you meet him, only of course to be reminded that he's from Scandinavia and not in town.  Except he is.  And he's at the same bar you are.  Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø of Evil Twin brewing (of which he IS Evil Twin brewing) from Denmark will be bring a range of his brews - Ryan & the Beaster Bunny, Wet Dream, Katz Pis, Before, During and After Christmas Beer and Biscotti Break - as well as his famously vast knowledge of beer brewing.  At this point you will inevitably decide that even though you work as a hedge fund manager/teacher/lawyer/doctor/sanitation worker/subway train driver/mayor/president of the USA/David Beckham/Madonna that networking with this man is imperative for success in your life.

The Double Windsor is located at 210 Prospect Park West between 15th and 16th Streets, Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Friday, August 19 - Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA Night @ The Lazy Boy Saloon & Ale House, White Plains:

It was a dark, late night in June (or maybe July or August).  The Pony Bar was mostly empty, not a soul to be seen (realistically there were probably around 8 - 10 people to be seen).  That's where my love affair started.  A taster of a strong elixir  was poured and handed to me with the explanation - "We can't serve it in anything bigger."  I was immediately intrigued.  What could be so dastardly, so impressive, so BIG that it could only be served in a 6 oz. tasting glass?  I brought it up to my lips, took the first sip and fast forward over two years later and I will search draft pours of brew out at every opportunity.  The Lazy Boy Saloon & Ale House, White Plains' brightest craft beer bar will be tapping a keg of 120 Minute IPA this Friday at 8 pm.

We anticipate that you will be out of luck acquiring a pint around 8:15.  So get there early.

The Lazy Boy Saloon & Ale House is located at 154 Mamaroneck Avenue between East Post Road and Maple Avenue, a short walk from the White Plains Metro North stop, in White Plains, New York. (Or you can drive in)

Saturday, August 20 - Ballast Point Tastings @ GRAB Specialty Foods, Brooklyn:

After this Beer Friend's recent trip to Ballast Point Brewery there was no way I was going to leave this one out!  Head on over to GRAB Specialty Foods for a sampling selection of one of San Diego's hoppiest breweries.  The full line up of brews has not been released but we can only anticipate Sculpin, Big Eye and other hop-monsters to be pouring this Saturday.  Make sure to pick up a growler of SoCal to take home with you for this weekend's summer barbecue or lazy day at the park!

GRAB Specialty Foods is located at 438 7th Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets, Park Slope, Brooklyn.

There you have it all you Beer Friends out there!  Enjoy adventuring to far off places - like Brooklyn - and locations you only dreamed existed - like White Plains - in search of your favorite, rare and always delicious craft brew.  We'll see ya at the taps!

New York City Craft Beer Events for the Week of July 11th, 2011

Beerfriend Paul

It is the unofficial half way point of Good Beer Month 2011! Unofficial because I mostly just made it up... But forget all that.   It's time to talk about good beer, and here are some great events you should keep your eye on this week.

Tuesday July 12th - Mikkeller Single Hop Event @ Rattle N Hum

It's like an event hand picked for our resident hop head Phil... Graham, Paul, and Brad.

This is a great event for hoppy beer lovers.  It doesn't matter if you are new to hop heavy beers or if you have been drinking Imperial IPA's that have been hopped 5 times for years, this is an event for all beer lovers.  Mikkeller has put together a great list of single hop brews that give you a chance to taste what each different hop does to your beer separately.  This is a great event for new beer drinkers to learn about different hops and old beer drinkers to get out and quiz your beer sense.

Rattle N Hum is located at 14 E. 33rd St. Manhattan

Wednesday July 13th - Dogfish Head Special Tapping & 120 @ Standings

Standings is getting a special keg from Dogfish Head of an Imperial IPA called "Hellhound" as well as bottles of the new batch of 120 Minute IPA.  Dogfish Head always does great stuff and they excel at making big beers dangerously drinkable.  Add a bottle of 120 Minute and suddenly your Wednesday is looking up, though much more of that and your Thursday is going to start looking down...

Standings is located at 43 E. 7th St. Manhattan

Thursday July 14th - Brooklyn Black Ops Monster Blast @ David Copperfield's

Brooklyn Brewery is bringing the heat to the Upper East Side this Thursday.  As the title of the event says; they are bringing Monster, Blast!, and Black Ops(limited quantity, come early). Also throw in Black Chocolate Stout and The Concoction and you have the best Brooklyn beer this side of Williamsburg.

David Copperfield's is located at 1394 York Ave. (at 74th St.) Manhattan

Thursday July 14th - Epic Brewing Company NJ Release Party @ Barcade Jersey City

Epic Brewing Company has landed! This is the final venue in this "release party tour" of New Jersey.  Barcade will have 10 special beers from this Salt Lake City brewery.  It is outside of the city, but Barcade always seems to find a way  to be worth the trip.  So put $5 on that metrocard and find your closest path station.  Barcade is a quick walk from the Grove St. Path station.

Barcade is located at 163 Newark Ave. Jersey City

Friday, July 15th - Kelso Beer Tasting with Maya Kaimal Curries @ Nolita Mart and Espresso Bar, Manhattan:

When you think about pairing beer with food this event would probably never enter into the realm of possibilities.  But to tell you the truth - I kind of dig it.  Kelso of Brooklyn will be bringing their favorite brews (Nut Brown, Pilsner and Carroll Garden Wit - their seasonal summer brew in homage to one of Brooklyn's greatest summer neighborhood's) over to Nolita Mart and Espresso Bar.  Nolita Mart - usually just a Nolita style coffee shop/gourmet grocery store - will then be doing a complete 180 and will be combining forces with Maya Kaimal Curries to feed your beer fueled hunger.  Who's Maya Kaimal you ask?  An award winning chef and cookbook author who uses only all natural ingredients to make her delectable curry sauces.  Yes that's right - beer and curry.  We don't know who was the force behind dreaming up this food/beer combination - but we are truly pumped to try it out.

p.s. - There will even be live music.  Local artists Sandra Hong and Laura Sjogren will be providing a live acoustic set.

Nolita Mart and Espresso Bar is located at 156 Mott Street, Manhattan.

Saturday, July 16th - Schmaltz Brewing Company @ GRAB Specialty Foods, Brooklyn:

Here's a two-for-one deal for you.  Schmaltz Brewing Company is the yin-and-yang of breweries.  They put out the selection of Coney Island Craft Lagers as well as the list of He'Brew the Chosen Beer.  Both will be available for your sampling pleasure out at GRAB Specialty Foods this Saturday in their newest installment of the Saturday Tasting Series.  Don't be a bad consumer now - head out and get a two-for-one on your free samples this week!

GRAB Specialty Foods is located at 438 7th Avenue, Brooklyn.

The Beer Friends Final Four: Round 2

Corporate Kerouac

An exciting round of voting yesterday to get us to the round of 16.  Brooklyn and Sixpoint were the big winners in the first round, both coming through with three wins.  The biggest upset was Troegs Hop Back Amber Ale over the Harpoon Celtic Ale.  Not so big but still significant was Sixpoint Sweet Action also over the slightly favored Magic Hat Vinyl, and the West came out strong and sent New Belgium Fat Tire on to the next round.  Ithaca Flower Power surged late but ultimately it was not enough to beat the lower seeded, but nationally popular Sierra Nevada Torpedo. Now, on to the second round.

No Surprises in the Stout/Porter Bracket despite Beer Friend Brad's best efforts. The Cinderella story stopped Dostal Alley Stout stopped before it had a chance to begin when it lost out to the heavily favored Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. Round 2 pits two New York favorites against each other in Game 1 and two rarer, but still well regarded, brews against each other in Game 2.

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The Wild Card Bracket brought us some surprises. Sixpoint Sweet Action had a strong showing against Magic Hat Vinyl to move on to the next round. Also, Bud Light Lime scored no points even though their coach had promised that they would be able to keep it close in hopes to be able to steal a tournament win.

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The IPA Bracket was the most fun to watch throughout the first round. Three of the four games were back and fourth late into the evening and into this morning. It's West coast versus East coast in both match ups today featuring Sixpoint against Stone and Brooklyn against Sierra Nevada.

[polldaddy poll=2983958]

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The R.A.B. Bracket holds true to its name today with one of each style moving on to the second round along with the surly underdog. Troegs Hop Back Amber takes its unorthodox approach into the round full of traditional styles.

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The Beer Friends Final Four

Corporate Kerouac

It is March and here at the beer friends we are all swept up in bracket madness.  We picked 32 beers to fight through a bracket to see which one would come out #1.  Today is the first round of voting to help us decide the #1 BFFF Beer.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMLsjDAo34k&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

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To Swirl or Not to Swirl...Does the Question Really Matter?

Graham

Hello all Beer Friends out there! This Craft Beer Revolution has sure been refreshing and delicious, however it has also brought much complexity to the way we drink beer. Some of that complexity is exciting and eye opening, some of it is overwhelming and frustrating…especially to a newcomer to the Craft Beer Revolution. Let’s talk about some ways that we can keep our beer drinking feet on the ground.

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Brooklyn Night at Barcade

Corporate Kerouac

Here it is! The hangover edition of the liveblog from Barcade last night.

It was a great event all around.  The brews were great and we had a chance to chat with Brewmaster Garrett Oliver.  He was gracious enough to answer all our questions even the dumb ones!  He even brought Ben Hudson from the brewery over so we could accost him for a few minutes as well.  We really enjoyed ourselves and if you didn’t get a chance to get out last night then get yourself down to the brewery and try some of these pours.  You can thank The Beer Friends later…

Update: check out the pictures from the event including our shot with the one and only Garrett Oliver, Brewmaster Extraordinaire!!!

If you live around New York and drink beer you are surely familiar with the Brooklyn Brewery.

Their Lager is the staple and can easily be found when in the city (even some places that sell it for $3 all the time!). They also have the other regulars with a Brown and an IPA that are available throughout NYC.

Recently Brooklyn has been letting a few specialty brew out of their clutches to the fiendish masses. In a coming out party of sorts, Brooklyn has brought some of their fancy brews to Barcade and taken over 10 taps and a Cask for people to come, drink, and enjoy!

The Beer Friends decided this was worth investigating…

6:32pm- First Round!

Paul - Had a Backbreaker to start. This is labeled as an American strong ale, it is one of the rare full pints tonight as most of these brews are in 10 oz pours. It’s a lighter pull but that doesn’t cut down on flavor. Malty at first but the end grabs your jaw with a flavor that makes you salivate like sour candies do. These flavors are not overpowering though. Just enough to notice as you pick the glass up for another pull.

Graham- Had a Sarachi to start. Solid Saison. I like the light candy sweetness and the grassy hops. I mean who doesn’t like grassy beer? Reminds me of spring… And lawn mowing.

7:00pm- Second round.

Paul - Got into the barley wine Monster. I have only recently began trying this type of brew. I think it’s good, but it has a little more alcohol than I usually like in my beers, but I do enjoy this. It is very sweet, but can also get you very drunk. I would like to try this after its been aged even longer (this has a date of 2004 on it… It was a great year!)

Graham - Backbreaker…strong, lightly tart American Ale. You'd better like it. Unless you don’t like America…and Ales.

Third Round?

Graham - Alright I feel foolish saying this, but the Brooklyn Blast on cask here might be top three IPA all-time. It’s too cold perfect for a cask but the flavors at this temp (35 degrees F instead of 40ish F 55 instead of Room) are ridiculously delicious. Floral, citrus and balanced.

Paul - Graham is right, this cask is too cold perfect, this does cause the flavors to be very stark. Graham, however, does have a tendency to embellish. Top 5 IPA of all time might be a stretch. Especially since I’ve personally heard him say that about 7 different IPAs…

Update: After talking with Brewmaster Garrett Oliver we found out an interesting fact.  Cask ales are actually SUPPOSED to be served cooler than room temperature.  The reasoning follows that Casks were stored in basements and cellars that are always cooler than the houses above. Oh the things you learn talking to the Master.

Round 3.5! Graham - WHAT! You just told me you would buy mine for all the cash in your wallet so you wouldn’t have to wait at the bar for your own. However, you are kind of right. You won’t find a cask at this temp usually so Blast experiences may vary. Right here, right now though it’s Top 5.

Paul- Yes Graham, I did say that, but that is effectively $2…

7:12pm Phil finally showed up! Still waiting for Brad...

First Round!

Phil - Cookie Jar Porter: If I could convince my Grandma to make her cookies with some alcohol and put them in a glass, this would be it.  A lot of coffee, like an alcohol cookie with chocolate covered espresso beans…in a beer.

7:42pm Brad made it! Hooray!

Brad’s Late First Round - Brooklyn’s Dark Matter is served in a 10 ounce pour and it’s still the biggest shot of Makers Mark I’ve had. Conditioned in bourbon casks this is a wonderfully smooth beer with a slight alcoholic bite at the beginning that finishes smooth… Well worth the wait!

8:08pm Graham had a Dark Matter… where’d he go?

8:22pm Brad’s Second Round – Brooklyn Blast on cask… Nice smooth IPA- the cask effect seems to tone down the spicy IPA side and it’s a nice pour. Somewhat like the Fort Collins Brewery Rocky Mountain IPA which The Beer Friends reviewed… Watch for the video on Monday!

8:23pm - Phil’s Second Round – Monster Barley Wine- A little too sweet for my taste, but as a barley wine it is the only one I can drink a full glass of. If you have never had a barley wine this is a good first try. A little more flavor, a little less alcohol taste.

8:25pm – Round 4!!

another round!

Paul - The one I have been waiting for! Dark Matter… as a man that loves beer and bourbon this beer is heaven. The taste is amazingly complex. The easiest way to describe it is "it’s the smoothest shot of whiskey I’ve ever had.” In other words, if you have the chance don’t pass it up.

Here are the rest of Phil’s posts because he doesn’t know how to play well with others…

Blast! Talk about an engaging IPA, whew!  Good bold flavor but not overpowering.  A discussion was had amongst us Friends Of Beer about the temp to serve Blast at.  Seems like before tonight it had always been warmer, but after a fantastic brain picking with Brewmaster Garrett Oliver we learned it actually IS better served slightly chilled, in his words at “Cellar Temperature”.  Learn from the masters, Padawans, and we will become strong in the Beer Force.  And in the meantime find some Cellar Temperature Blast, you’ll thank me.

Chocolate Stout: simple and easy going down with quite the biting taste in the beginning, but as always with the BK Brews it finishes the race with a healthy dose of chocolate and a hint of coffee.  If you’ve had get it before, get it again, it’s worth it.