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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: Cask Ale

New York City Craft Beer Events for the Week of March 20, 2011

Graham

March Madness is fast upon us and we have some craft beer to keep you company while watching all the games.  If you happen to feel empty and wanting the minute-to-minute thrills of bracket competition  in between rounds then you should check in to The Beer Friends to vote on our own March Madness Tournament - Beer Style.  Whichever event we see you out at this week we expect to see you buried face first into your personal-internet-device as you continuously update TheBeerFriends.com to see who is leading the nations most important beer competition.  Vote early and vote often to help us decide what is the best beer in the country. Tuesday, March 22 - East Coast versus West Coast IPA Challenge @ Rattle n' Hum, Manhattan:

The Beer Friends have often discussed how American Craft Breweries often prove their worth by brewing a great IPA. It stands as a benchmark that solidifies you as a notable member of the American craft beer community.  Well, then what better way to judge an East Coast v West Coast competition then going head to head with IPA's. Expect a wide selection of hoppy brew from your favorite east coast and west coast breweries including cask offerings, barrel aged and rare releases that only the craft beer gurus at Rattle n' Hum can get their hands on.  East Coast verse West Coast? Let's let the hops decide!

Rattle n' Hum is located at 14 E 33rd Street between Madison and 5th Avenues, Midtown, Manhattan.

Take the 6 train to 33rd. Walk West.

Tuesday, March 22 - Avery Brewery Event @ The Pony Bar, Manhattan:

Avery has long been know in and out of Colorado as a brewery that pushes the boundaries - making some of the hoppiest, maltiest, bad-assiest brews around.  They will be making their Pony Bar debut this Tuesday in full force - taking over all the taps and bringing some of their rarest pours.  Expect the Holy Trinity, Demon and Dictator Series to be hanging out - with a few of the rarer brews only available in 5 oz. pours, due to their extreme awesomeness.  Extreme Awesomeness.

The Pony Bar is located on the Northwest corner of 45th Street and 10th Avenue, Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan.

Take the A/C/E to 42 St.-Port Authority.

Thursday, March 24 - Midwest Beer Night @ Barcade, Brooklyn:

When you walk by random people in the street do you say hello?  If someone bumps into you on the subway do you smile and wish them a good day?  Are you 24 and already married with three kids?  Do any of these things scare the crap out of you as the hard-ass New Yorker that you are?  Well then, this event is the event for you.  Whether you're from the Midwest or wonder what it means when someone "smiles" at you in a "friendly way" in public, we can all agree that they know how to brew some decent craft beer.  Expect your favorite suds from the following Midwest breweries: Arcadia, Atwater Block, Erie, Founders, Goose Island, Jolly Pumpkin, Kuhnhenn, Leinenkugel, Nebraska, Point, Schlafly and Two Brothers.

Even the most bad-assed, sarcastic New Yorker will be friendly as a Nebraska corn farmer after having one from each brewery.

Barcade is located at 388 Union Avnue, between Ainslie and Powers Streets, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Take the L to Lorimer Street.

Thursday, March 24 - Empire Brewery Tasting @ Dive Bar, Manhattan:

Empire Brewery will be making a big appearance Thursday night at Dive Bar on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  They'll be featuring 7 draft lines of Empires brews.  No specific names have been released yet but we can only hope that we get some Cream Ale, Black Magic Stout, Deep Purple, ESPA and many others.

Dive Bar is located at 732 Amsterdam Avenue between 95th and 96th Streets, Upper West Side, Manhattan.

Take the 1/2/3 or the B/C to 96th Street.

Thursday, March 24 - Bear Republic Tap Takeover @ Bierkraft, Brooklyn:

Bierkraft continues their plentiful weekly events by hosting one of California's strongest and hoppiest breweries - Bear Republic - this Thursday.  They say to expect some rare and not so rare stuff.  You know, here at the Beer Friends, we would care if they only poured Racer #5 and Hop Rod Rye - we'd drink em' up and have two of each.  Expect hops and California style in your favorite Brooklyn beer mecca.

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

Take the D/N/R to Union Street.

Friday, March 25 - Sunday, March 27 - Cask Ale Festival @ Rattle n' Hum, Manhattan:

Cask Ales are those elusive brews that every craft beer fan claims to love but rarely orders.  It's time we fix that.  Jump on in to a deep (15 - 20 line) selection of popular and not so popular craft ales at Rattle n' Hum this weekend.  You have 3 days, starting Friday, so we're pretty sure you can go from a novice to an expert by Sunday.  Even if you don't leave with any increased knowledge, you're brain will forgive you and your taste buds will love you.

Rattle n' Hum is located at 14 E 33rd Street between Madison and 5th Avenues, Midtown, Manhattan.

Take the 6 to 33rd.

We hope to see all of you out at the events this week!  And remember the Beer Friends Final Four starts today with the Midwest Bracket and continues with the rest of the regions throughout the rest of the week.  Make sure you check in every day to vote in the new regions and in the new rounds!

New York City Craft Beer Events for the Week of 2/21

Graham

When it comes to the Beer Friends, we love America.  It's most important ideals are represented everywhere in the craft beer world: liberty, industriousness, creativity and pursuit of happiness.  It's no surprise that the people who penned these ideals, our Founding Fathers, were craft brewers themselves.  Not only were they forming the world's most famous democracy they were doing it while enjoying a pint of their own home brewed porters, stouts and pale ales.  Let's celebrate their ingenuity by drinking the most prized of their creations: craft beer. Tuesday, February 22 - $10 Tuesday Tastings - Imperials @ Jimmy's No. 43, Manhattan:

Imperial doesn't quite go well with the Founding Fathers and early America.  It does however go well with, well, everything else.  Expect Imperial IPA's, Souts, Porters, Pilsners and more.  Imperial might not be good for democracy, but it goes great with about every style of brew.

Jimmy's No. 43 is located at 43 East 7th Street in between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, East Village, Manhattan.

Tuesday, February 22 - Tuesday Night Tastings with Great Divide @ Bierkraft, Brooklyn:

Apparently Tuesday night is a good night for beer tasting.  Perhaps it was deemed so by President Grant in 1876 when he admitted Colorado into American statehood.  However it happened, Grant must have loved his craft brew enough to foresee that Colorado would someday become the craft beer capital of America having the highest number of breweries out of any other state.  One of those breweries stands tall.  That brewery is Great Divide out of Denver, Colorado.  Head to Bierkraft on Tuesday to sample some of Great Divide's best brews - including a possible appearance of the Espresso Yeti Stout.  Tuesday Tastings at Bierkraft are free and entertaining and you'll probably leave with at least one growler.  However, you should probably be prepared and bring two or three.

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

Wednesday, February 23 - Captain Lawrence Pairing @ Nita Nita, Brooklyn:

We've now established that beer and democracy go well together.  A fine pairing of two ideas that compliment each other, each thing making the other better just by being together.  Beer does that with something else - food.  Nita Nita will be hosting Captain Lawrence Wednesday - pouring the Kölsch, Smoked Porter and Pale Ale.  On top of that they will also be rolling out a special menu to compliment each pour.  Check this out:

Drink a Pale Ale while trying the chicken curry or the smashed sweet potatoes & chorizo.

Down a Smoked Porter alongside the smoked beef brisket or the bacon wrapped pork loin.

Sip a Kölsch while savoring the Captain Lawrence steamed mussels (steamed in Kölsch, butter, fennel + coriander) or the garlic shrimp.

It's not glutenous to have all three right?  After all, all opinions need to be taken in account in any sort of healthy democracy.  Holler.

Nita Nita is located at 146 Wythe Avenue between 8th and 9th Streets, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Thursday, February 24 - Avery Tap Takeover @ Bierkraft, Brooklyn:

I think Bierkraft is trying to tell us something:  They are obsessed with Colorado Brewing.  I mean honestly, who isn't?  Last week was Left Hand, Tuesday is Great Divide and Thursday they'll be bringing in Avery Brewing from Boulder, CO to take over their taps.  Avery is famous for brewing over the top type beers (hoppiest IPA in Colorado - the Beer Friends are still testing this claim).  Whatever your favorite craft brew style is you'll be able to find a pour (or two, or three) on tap Thursday - Avery will be taking over all 14 lines.  Fourteen.  Catorce. Or Franklin Pierce, the 14th and often considered worst president of the United States.  Don't worry about him though, the beer will be great.

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

Thursday, February 24 - East Coast meets West Coast @ Dive 75, Manhattan:

George Washington? Totally West Coast.  Man was gangsta.  Lincoln?  Obviously West Coast.  He kept one in the chamber.  Always.  Jefferson?  Nobody had more East Coast status like TeeJeezy.  Where does Barack fit in?  Chi-town is it's own animal.  Mr. Obama would do both and on Thursday he, and the rest of us have that chance.  Brooklyn Brewery will be bring 10 of their best to compete against 5 of Anchor Brewery's finest pours.  Where do the Beer Friends stand?  Come on out Thursday to find out.  We might even tell you who our favorite presidents are.

Dive 75 is located at 101 W 75th Street at Columbus Avenue, Upper West Side, Manhattan.

Friday, February 25 - Sunday, February 27 - Rattle n' Hum Cask Festival @ Rattle n' Hum, Manhattan:

To round out President's Week the guys at Rattle n' Hum decided to bring it old school.  Serving beer the way the forefathers of America did while writing the Declaration of Independence and arguing about whether there should be an Amendment declaring craft beer's awesomeness in the Constitution (it was the famed 'lost amendment - Jefferson told Hancock at the bar the night before the signing that they were "totally going to write that shit in when that lame ass Washington wasn't looking" but managed to forget the next morning).  Expect a huge selection of cask craft pours at Rattle n' Hum the entire weekend.  A menu will come soon.

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

Get Real NY Cask Ale and Food Festival Recap

Graham

Last Saturday Get Real NY threw an epic bash that will sure to be remembered in cask ale history. The Get Real NY Cask Ale and Food Festival was held at the spectacular space in the Altman Building on 18th street between 6th and 7th in the Chelsea Neighborhood of Manhattan. Craft Beer Week banners hung from the outside of the building and there were happy cask alers milling about, at once this Beer Friend knew he was at a friendly place. Upon entering I was given a list of the featured cask ales and food, a NYC Craft Beer Week passport AND a commemorative glass. As well as unlimited access to all the craft beer and NYC featured food that I could eat. To say that I was exhilarated here would be an understatement. I did a quick round of the place, trying to take in as much as possible before diving in to all the delicious beer and food. A large red curtain hung in the entranceway, dimming that harmful sunlight that we all know can inhibit drinking and make hangovers worse, but while keeping the room classy at the same time. The cask brew kegs were set up in the middle of the room on a three tiered rectangular wooden structure that had to be 10 kegs x 4 kegs x 3 kegs for you geometry nuts out there. The cask structure was then surrounded by serving tables that held even more kegs, with one side completely devoted to specially selected regional homebrew winners. An excellent staff of pourers - including the homebrewers themselves as well as a selection from the NYC Bartending School - were kindly serving up generous samples of the cask ales all the while providing good beer conversation. The food tables lined the walls, with a special selection devoted to even more beer mostly from Duvel and Ommegang. In one corner a 3 piece band - stand up bass, saxophone and electric guitar - made up of the members of the NYC band Big 5 Core (who will be playing at Rodeo Bar on 10/10/10) played jazz/classical/blues favorites with an electric guitar rock twist, which gave the event an edgy-classiness. After taking all this in, I decided to head for the beer.

This is just a short list of the cask brews I sampled during the event. Somewhere near the middle you'll notice that I found the Sixpoint section and got sucked in, rightfully so, to trying 3 new brews of theirs that were not only new to the taste, but I had never even heard of - you can imagine how excited I was. I tried to describe the ones that really stuck out in my mind, but since the sampling of food and brew was so fast paced I wasn't able to record all my thoughts. I will however denote whether or not it was a brew I'd never tried or never heard of before, of which there were many.

Bear Republic - Rebellion - New! citrusy and nicely hopped. Left hand - Milk Stout Greenport - Hopnami Sixpoint - Pumpkin - New! Lighter in flavor but definitely pumpkin pie. Smooth and easy to drink with a thanksgiving feel to it. Sixpoint - Oyster - New! A lighter tasting stout, still big in flavor but real easy in drinkability. Sixpoint - Missionary - New! This beer smells like a hop nugget. I want an air freshener that smells this way. That I could liquify and drink like a beer. Maybe I'd just like this beer all the time. Bruery - Mischief - New! Strong Belgian pale ale Southern Tier - 2x IPA - Hops, hops, hops. Alcohol. Hops. Riverhorse - Hippo Latern Otter Creek - Alpine Black IPA - New! Really roasted malt heavy IPA. The cask brings out that malt flavor, which keeps the hops a little more in check but with out putting them to bed. Lagunitas - Maximus - This beer has been steadily rising on my all-time-favorite-beer-list, and this helped it go up further. The cask style brings out so much of the bready malt flavor and the hops are perfect. If you can find a sixer of this, then do so. Two Brothers - Resistance IPA Blue Point - Toxic sludge Black IPA - New! Another black IPA well worth the adventure to find. Again the cask brings out those dark malts and this one had a bit more hops present than the Otter Creek Alpine. You know how those hops get me goin'. Bear Republic - Norcal Bitter - New! Billingsgate - Belgian Strong Ale - New! This is a home-brew winner made by Dylan and Andrew out of a home-brewery they've named Hell's Gate. Very tart and delicious. I will be plugging you with their info very soon (like two paragraphs from now!) Pretty Things - St Boltophs

Now mind you, these were only sampler pours. Had they not been, well...you can imagine the state I would've been in. Throughout the process of sampling all these delicious cask brews I would head over to grab samples of meat, cheese (Lucy's Whey Cheese Shop), bread (Grandaisy Bakery - their bread is incredible and I probably ate half of it), pretzels (Martin's Pretzel's), salsa (Brooklyn Salsa), olive-based-everything-that-is-delicious-stand (Wall and Water), pickled everything (Sour Puss Pickles), lobster rolls (Luke's Lobster's), cookies (Amy's Cookies), etc. Needless to say, with all these fantastic restaurants participating, I did not go hungry (or thirsty!).

Towards the end of the event I started up a short conversation with one of the home-brew winners that I mentioned earlier. Dylan and Andrew are a home-brewing team that submitted two beers into the Get Real NY Cask and Food event. I got to try their Strong Ale, which was nice and tart with a great drinkable character to it. They've also submitted a couple concoctions to the Whole Foods HomeBrew Contest and are waiting to see how they place. They were friendly enough to chat me up for awhile even as the event was closing down, so I'm sure they'd be friendly enough to chat you up as well. Maybe even give you a sample, or at least tell you where to find one of their brews. You can stay up to date with Dylan and Andrew on Facebook at Billingsgate.

I feel like I can't give this review enough positive feedback to you as a reader, without you having gone and experienced it with me. The music was calming, creative and energetic. The food was top notch and the event space was beautiful. The staff was friendly and familiar with beer and was happy to pour you anything twice. The cask ales gave unique perspectives to familiar brews and offered us fresh tastes of newly brewed (or never had before) creations. This is an event that I will keep coming back to as long as they decide to keep throwing it. Cheers to this one!

As always you can friend and follow The Beer Friends on both Twitter and Facebook. Just look us up under the name TheBeerFriends