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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 Dark Matter

Beer Review 48: Founders Backwoods Bastard


Hello Beer Friends Nation! For today's Six Pack of the Week we take a trip to the woods and find Founders Backwoods Bastard.  Founders is a brewery from Grand Rapids, Michigan that has been quite the hit with the Beer Friends, we've reviewed Breakfast Stout, Nemesis, and enjoyed the Founders Porter at our Holiday Party.  Backwoods Bastard is their Dirty Bastard aged in Oak Bourbon barrels, bringing to mind Brooklyn Brewery's barrel series including Dark Matter and Black Ops.


The Beer Friends Final Four: Championship Round

Corporate Kerouac

Four Beers, One Champion. We have finally made it through the first three rounds of bracket play, and now we're ready to crown a champion.  The four bracket winners now face off in an every man for himself, fatal four way style, match up.

In the Stout Bracket Left Hand Milk Stout won, a great beer from Longmont, Colorado will have some stiff competition in the Beer Friends Final Four!

In the IPA Bracket Sierra Nevada Torpedo won, beating in state rival Stone IPA.  Sierra Nevada will have to travel the longest distance, so we'll see how that effects them in the Finals.

In the Red, Amber, Brown (R.A.B.) bracket we saw the second beer from the state of Colorado, New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale, maybe they can carpool out to NYC - Beer Friends support going green!

In the Wildcard Bracket we had Overtime and a winner in Brooklyn Brewery Dark Matter which was a bit of a shock being so new on the scene.  Be sure to click on the Dark Matter link to check out what the Beer Friends thought about it at the Private Release Party.

Voting will go through Monday afternoon. Scroll Past the Video to Vote!


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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.

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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.



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.