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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: Craft Beer

2008-2012 Leap Year Aged Beer: Blog from The Gate, Brooklyn

Graham

It takes a community to build a house but only one man to live blog a fantastic beer event. Or does it? The guys at the Gate have kept six kegs in the deepest dankest part of their basement and tonight this one Beer Friend is drinking his share. Here's the lineup, each one keg aged four years:

J.W. Lees Manchester Star Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock Hitachi no Nest Celebration Ale Sprecher Bourbon Barrel Scotch Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Allagash Curieux

Graham's First - Sprecher Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale

Let's recap an important conversation:

Me: How's the bourbon barrel scotch ale. Bartender: How is it? It's kinda f$ck%n awesome. Me: Then I kinda f#ck€n want some.

Small pour of epic deliciousness.  Five weeks of bourbon barrel aging already puts it over the top but keg age the brew for 5 years and it really opens up.  Your talking each delectable flavor of the brew: hints of vanilla, sugar, smoke and wood.

Over the top flavors of bourbon. Which I suppose includes all those aforementioned flavors. Did I mention that I love bourbon?

Graham's Second - Allagash 2008 Curieux

Another recap - the last beer was dark. Like the soul of a southern republican. It was bourbon aged with 6 different malts and two different hops. Bourbon/whiskey aged means nothing constant to anything however. The Allagash Curieux proves that. Aged 2 months in Jim Beam barrels at first sip one wouldnt know the difference - until you got real deep into it. The vanilla from the oak/whiskey barrels is dominant. Belgian flavors are reserved but present and the 9.5% ABV is non-existent.

Cloudy (as hell, which is most likely cloudy) and blonde-ish this beer defines what a bourbon aged Belgian should. Awesome.

All-in-all this is one of the most delicious beverages with this much flavor east of the Mississippi.

Graham's Third - Hitachino Nest  Celebration 2008

Apparently one of the rarest breweries on the planet after the tsunami - located right where that terrible wave hit.  This beer was brewed a bit before the disaster and and after four years of aging it was delicious.

This beer gives...er...has great head.  They serve a 10 oz. pour in a pint glass because the head is so active.  And it's not empty fizzy head either - it's packed with the aromatic flavors of the beer. Speaking of the beer's flavors...

This is a light colored, intriguingly spiced winter warmer.  If you were wondering what a Japanese winter warmer would taste like this is it...on four year aged steroids.  Very spicy but definitely verging on sweet at some points.  Flowing in between the orange/vanilla side and the coriander/nutmeg/cinnamon side.  All the while staying incredibly smooth.  One of the best brews of the night.

Thanks to the guys and gals at the Gate! You guys really know how to rock an imaginary type of day in the right type of way!

Wait...Who owns that brewery?

Phil Foleen

 

After a good conversation with a friend of mine about the wonders and wiles of the MolsonCoors company vs the Belgian Juggernaut InBev, I stumbled across this neat little Infographic on a sweet little website called coolinfographics.com.  It was put together by Philip H Howard  at Michigan State University and is a really great way to show the various relationships of some of the top over-arching beer conglomerates, and who they own in the craft beer world.

Granted it's not the most comprehensive guide to the craft beer world, but I would be willing to bet there's at least one ownership connection that might surprise you.  Take a look and let us know which one was a shock!

Show me the beer people!

Philip H Howard at MSU via CoolInforgraphics.com

New York City Craft Beer Events for the Week of September 4, 2011

Graham

This has been a busy summer for the Beer Friends.  We've been through an earthquake, two regional brewery tours (Southern California, Boston/Massachusetts), three of us relocated within the boroughs and finally, to top it all off, a hurricane-the first to hit New York in like 300 years (give or take a few decades).  And none of it could stop us.  This tumultuous summer has come to a close, we'll miss the sun and relaxation - but we're already gearing up for the fantastic craft beer season that autumn brings us.  Let's start off the fall correctly. Tuesday, September 6 - Tuesday Night Tastings: Farmhouse Ales @ Bierkraft, Brooklyn:

I know this week's intro was intriguing, invigorating and inspiring.  Now disregard it.  Just for tonight.  Farmhouse is not quite the style of brew you'd expect to start the fall with, but it's not exactly the worst style to spend an evening imbibing.  Bierkraft will turn it's craft-beery eyes towards the brews that characterize France and Belgian farms during springtime this evening and you should  expect some unique interpretations of the style as it has become a favorite of craft brewers in America for experimenting purposes.  You can find them spicy, herbal, grassy, Belgian-y, candyish and hoppy.  And you can find all types of farmhouse stylings tonight at Bierkraft.  Dr. Carl Burger will be on hand to walk you through the tasting and as always the whole shebang is free.

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

Thursday, September 8 - Smuttynose Promo to Benefit Sanctuary @ The Half Pint, Manhattan:

Drinking for a good cause is a good idea.  Drinking great beer for a good cause is a great idea.  Smuttynose and The Half Pint are throwing a charity bash to benefit the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.  Smuttynose will be bringing the Farmhouse Saison, Pumpkin, Robust Porter and Star Island Single and The Half Pint will be generously donating 25% of the nights tab to Sanctuary.  They'll also be serving smashingly good food from Blossom du Jour - from which 100% of the proceeds will be donated.  Another way in which drinking great beer helps us feel awesome.

The Half Pint is located at 76 West 3rd Street, on the corner of Thompson Street, Greenwich Village, Manhattan.

Thursday, September 8 - The Bronx Brewery Pale Ale (Re)Release @ The Bronx Ale House, The Bronx:

Reflection is a good thing.  Awhile ago (you can find it all the way back when) the Bronx Brewery released their first brew, the Bronx Pale Ale at the Bronx Ale House.  Apparently they've spent the past 6 months refining their recipe and are releasing it yet again.  This time only tastier.  A deep amber pale ale brewed with 5 malts , dry hopped with Cascade and Centennial hops and left unpasteurized for a filling body.  Head over to the Bronx Ale House, in Riverdale, this Thursday to sample this recreation.

The Bronx Ale House is located at 216 West 238th Street, Riverdale, The Bronx.

Saturday, September 10 - I Love New York Beer Weekend @ Mug's Ale House, Brooklyn:

It's no secret that the Beer Friends love New York.  That's why this event is one of our yearly favorites.  Mug's will be pouring 24 lines of brew straight from New York's finest breweries.  We're talking Empire, Ommegang, Captain Lawrence, Kelso, Sixpoint, Brooklyn, Ithaca, Keegan...the list goes on and on and never gets old.  It starts Saturday and goes on all weekend, but the good stuff will run out fast so get there early.

Mug's Ale House is located at 125 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Saturday, September 10 - GRAB Specialty Foods Saturday Tastings - Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project @ GRAB Specialty Foods, Brooklyn:

The friendly staff over at GRAB Specialty Foods are bringing another great brewery into their store this Saturday for your tasting pleasure - Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project!  Pretty Things, a self-proclaimed gypsy, small batch, artisinal brewery, with no real home but a real knack for brewery delicious beer, will be bringing some of their finest to GRAB Specialty Foods.  You can expect their flagship - Jack D'or - but look for some other rare and delicious offerings including Baby Tree and St. Boltoph's.  Because they only brew when the funds and spaces are available to do so they have a limited selection, but it also means that there is a tremendous amount of care that goes into each one of their quality batches.  As always, the knowledgeable staff at GRAB will walk you through any brew questions that pop into your head.

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

New York City Craft Beer Events for the Week of August 1, 2011

Graham

We are officially approaching the dog days of August, but it seems like we've been there for a couple of weeks already.  The rest of the world characterizes the "dog days" as those times in August where the days stretch on for endless hours and are filled with heat and humidity that requires 24/7 air conditioning.  Well, after experiencing 2+ weeks of these oppressively hot/humid days and it only now has become the month of August, we are a bit tired of the weather.  We're going to need some help getting through whatever August has to throw at us.  And we have the solution:  Craft beer. Actually there's more than that in this week's post.  In fact, if you keep reading there is a surprise that will make you very, very hoppy, uh, I mean, happy that you did.

Tuesday, August 2nd - Smuttynose Tap Takeover @ Rattle n' Hum, Manhattan:

No Smutty, No Beer.  Know Smutty, Know Beer.  They don't need to say a word more, it's literally as simple as that.  New Hampshire's premier brewery will be hitting up Rattle n' Hum and owning their tap's this Tuesday night.  They have an impressive list and will be adding a few secret surprises just to keep you intrigued.  Check it out: 2010 S’Muttonator Doppelbock, 2010 Baltic Porter, 2010 Wheat Wine, 2011 Barleywine, 2011 Imperial Stout, 2011 Hommunculus, 2011 SSB#13 Noonan, Big A IPA, “Finestkind” IPA, Old Brown Dog, Robust Porter, Star Island Single and Shoal’s Pale Ale.

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

Wednesday, August 3 - Captain Lawrence Night @ The Double Windsor, Brooklyn:

One of our favorite New York State breweries will be making an much welcomed appearance in Brooklyn this Wednesday at the Double Windsor in Park Slope.  Captain Lawrence (of the Beer Friends Final Four Fame!) will be bringing a slew of their favorite brews - St. Vincents Dubbel, Ginger Man Ale, Xtra Gold, Liquid Gold, Freshchester Pale Ale, Captain’s Reserve Imperial IPA and Kaptain’s Kolsch - for you to imbibe with pleasure.

And imbibe them in a pleasure-filled manner you shall.

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

Now we have a real surprise for you.  It might seem like we're ending the events week prematurely, but it's only because Thursday is a big day.  A really big, hoppy day.  Welcome to...

Thursday, August 4 - International IPA Day!

Traditional IPA Class @ Jimmy's No. 43, Manhattan

Thought you knew everything about the world's favorite beer style?  Think again.  Time to get schooled at Jimmy's No. 43 this Thursday night.  For a nominal fee ($25) you can participate in an incredibly informative, just over an hour long classes, taught by a couple of NYC beer legends - the esteemed professors of the New York City Degustation Advisory Team: Chris Cuzme of Wandering Star Brewing Co. and President of the New York City Homebrewers Guild and Mary Izett of National Beer Judge and blogger at mylifeoncraft.com.  They won't only show you the ropes, they'll make you climb them all the way up to the brewery ceiling.  The topic?  India Pale Ales.

Right now you might be thinking - "wait, this sounds awesome, but 25 smackaroones and all I get is a lecture?."  C'mon, this isn't college where a bunch of hack's overcharge you so they can have a pedestal to share their "worldly" opinions - the $25 gets you a whole bunch of IPA to drink as well.

So if you're like me and went to your classes a bit tipsy then it shouldn't be too far off from your college experience either.

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

International IPA Day Event @ The Iron Monkey, New Jersey:

Don't worry Jersey - you get IPA's too!  The Iron Monkey, one of Jersey City's finest craft beer bars, will be pouring the finest regional, national and international IPA's for all of Jersey's denizens to enjoy (it's might be a bit of a far drive from Atlantic City, but we recommend it none-the-less).  There isn't an official list out yet, but as the big day approaches, the ladies and gents over at the Iron Monkey suggest checking in at the Iron Monkey Facebook page and the @theironmonkey Twitter feed for all those hop-head updates.

IPA-Day "Hop Wars" @ Cafe D'Alsace AND Rattle n' Hum, Manhattan:

Here at the Beer Friends we enjoy a bit of theatrics as much as the next guys.  And this is the best, despite being the last.  Possibly one of my favorite events of the year (in it's first annual inception) the IPA-Day "Hop Wars" will prove to be an epic battle between old school European styled IPA's and new school American style IPA's.

It is a hot-topic in all genres of creativity - pay homage to the old, the original or embrace the new and trail-blazing.  This is the exact canyon that lies between European and American IPA's.  European, although at the time they were created considered revolutionary flavor, are usually a bit more subdued, but more easily drinkable and tolerable in their flavor profile.  On the contrary American IPA's (and craft beer in general) prides itself on pushing every boundary possible, including the list of boundaries to be pushed (oak-aging a dry-hopped beer brewed with vanilla, oranges and then refermenting it a few times and only serving it on cask seems like something that only arrogant American idealism could come up with).

I could say that this event looked to provide the world with a winner.  An absolute champion.  But I think it really will prove to highlight the immense care, craft, culture and creativity that goes in to beer brewing no matter what side of any of the ponds you brew on.  Head up to Cafe D'Alsace, an Alsatian (French/German border) restaurant that also pride itself on it's international craft beer selection will be featuring Old World IPA's.  We're talking German, Austrian and the original English style IPA's.

Rattle n' Hum will be featuring a boatload of American style IPA's.  How many is a boatload?  Twenty-five plus.

Short list:

Cafe D'Alsace - Meantime IPA, Thornbridge Jaipur, Nogne-O IPA, Evil Twin Cat Piss and Mikkeller Willamette Single Hop

Rattle n' Hum - Barrier Ruthless Rye, Undarum, Dunegrass, Oil City & Medula, Smuttynose Big A, Two Brothers Hop Juice and Stone Ruination

Just to name a few for either place.

Cafe D'Alsace is located at 1695 2nd Avenue at the Southwest Corner of 88th Street, Upper East Side, Manhattan.

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

New York City Craft Beer Events for the Week of July 24, 2011

Graham

Hello all you Beer Friends out there!  We'd like to apologize for releasing the craft brew events a bit late this week.  We promise it's not because we drank too much craft brew.  Actually we've been so caught up with our different regional brewery tours - the South, Southern California (Day one, two, three and Stone) and Boston/Cape Cod - that we were late for the boat this week.  Although, I suppose that's from drinking too much craft brew during our brewery tours. Anywho's - we got a great (half) week of events for ya!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 27 - Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Cookout @ The Double Windsor, Brooklyn:

I think Sierra Nevada just became the new replacement for my nerdy childhood dream of Space Camp.  Every year they invite some of the best and luckiest homebrewers out to Chico to participate in their Summer Brewing Program.  Throughout the program they pick the best homebrews and produce a bit more for people throughout the country to fruitfully imbibe.  This Wednesday you can drinks pints of these brews while enjoying campout inspired food, including, but not limited to, s'mores.

Here's the list of brews:  Beer Camp Double IPA, Beer Camp Juniper Black Ale, Beer Camp Weizenbock, Beer Camp California Common and the Torpedo, Ovila Saison and Summerfest (these last three are normal Sierra brews).

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

Wednesday, July 27 - New York, New York @ The Hop Devil Grill & The Belgian Room, Manhattan:

Is there a better place to be during the summer than in New York?  The temperature is perfect, there are no unpleasant smells and everyone is at their friendliest.  Well, at least the beer is good and year round too!  Southampton, Ithaca, Kelso and Captain Lawrence will be bringing their crews and their brews down to the St. Mark's area of the East Village and taking over the taps at not just ONE bar but TWO!

The Hop Devil Grill and the Belgian Room will be hosting these breweries and their brew crew (coming with brewery junk for your trunk, or pockets rather) throughout the night, so we suggest you do what they'll probably be doing - a pint here, a pint there, a pint here, a pint there.  It's good to mix it up.

The Hop Devil Grill is located at 129 St. Mark's Place (8th St.), while The Belgian Room is located just down the street at 125 St. Mark's Place both between Avenue A and 1st Avenue, East Village, Manhattan.

Thursday, July 28 - IPA Night!! @ Bierkraft, Brooklyn:

Remember last month when I informed everyone out there about Beirkraft's new monthly event installment dubbed "IPA Night" which happens on the last Thursday of every month?  Well it's back!!

Join the boys (and girls) of Beirkraft as they celebrate everyone's (or at least mine and sometime Phil's) favorite beer style: the IPA.  They only have a partial lineup so far but it includes some good stuff, let's check em' out:  Barrier Dunegrass Double IPA and Captain Lawrence Captain's Reserve IPA on Cask!

No better beer to have during the summer than IPA.  At least Bierkraft agrees with me, and I agree with them.

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

Friday, July 29 - Sixpoint Tasting @ The Whole Foods Bowery Beer Room, Manhattan:

It seems like Sixpoint has been the brewery in demand this year.  They've put out their "micro-keg" series that is now distributed throughout several northeastern states and they are brewing up a storm of new and different brews that they are pouring at dozens of events around New York.  Well, this Friday they'll be blowing your mind with both of these success stories.

Head over to the Whole Foods Bowery Beer Room to sample a selection Sixpoint's canned series - The Crisp, Sweet Action, Righteous (Rye) Ale and Bengali Tiger IPA.  They'll also be filling your growlers of all sizes with Signal (remember: smokey), Gemini IPA, Autobahn IPA and the Brevity Wit - of which I could go on and on and on and on and on about how much I enjoy this brew.

The Whole Foods Bowery Location is located at 95 East Houston Street, you can find their Bowery Beer Room at the same address just on the corner of East Houston and Chrystie Streets, The Bowery, Manhattan.

New York City Craft Beer Events for the Week of July 3, 2011

Graham

We definitely have a reason to celebrate this weekend.  Actually, two reasons. First, we celebrate the great country we live in.  A country, that sense its beginning has encouraged ingenuity and creativity among its citizens.  It's that common instinct that inspires that brewers of the craft beer that we love to do what they do.  It's why the craft beer industry has continued to be successful and grow by leaps and bounds every year. Craft Beer is as natural to America as fireworks and cookouts on the 4th of July.

We also get to celebrate craft beer itself.  As deemed by the brewers and craft beer bar owners behind The Good Beer Seal, July is Good Beer Month.  Now here at the Beer Friends believe every month should be Good Beer Month.  But we're pretty okay with picking one out and giving it a name.  So tomorrow, while your cooking out and watching the fireworks, raise your glass of your favorite brew in a toast to craft beer and to America, the country that not only allows craft beer to exist, but inspires it's incredible and delicious diversity.

Enjoy the events:

Tuesday, July 5 - The Big Le-Brewski Event: Part 2 @ Rattle n' Hum, Manhattan:

Sit down.  If you're sitting - get closer to the ground.  I'm about to unload every craft beer lovers dream on you.  Imagine you could sample everything that Rattle n' Hum keeps in their cellar.  Bottles of the some of the rarest stuff that's ever been brewed, aged to perfection.  Well, it's not a dream.  It's a reality.  In Part 2 of their "Big Le-Brewski" event Rattle n' Hum will be raiding their cellar to quench any desire your craft beer imagination can conjure up.  Head over Tuesday to sample some really special stuff.  No list is available yet, but c'mon, if it's coming out of Rattle n' Hum's private cellar then who needs a list.

Rattle n' Hum is located at 17 East 33rd Street between 5th and Madison Avenues, Midtown, Manhattan.

Wednesday, July 6 - Barcade Yards Events @ Grove Street PATH Plaza, Jersey City:

One of the best parts about summer is outdoor craft beer drinking.  The cool, carbonated hops and barley make even the hottest summer days bearable.  Barcade Jersey City feels the same way.  As you step of the PATH train Barcade will be waiting with their new draft trailer to pour you a cold, delicious beer from Yards Brewery.  Yards beer, poured by Barcade, outside at the Grove Street PATH Plaza?  Yea, it's summertime.

The Barcade Beer Trailer is located at 325 Grove Street between Newark Avenue and Christopher Columbus Drive, Jersey City, New Jersey.

Thursday, July 7 - Brooklyn Brewery BLAST @ Standings, Manhattan:

Brooklyn Breweries Brewmaster Reserve Collection is a much anticipated and coveted collection of beers that push the boundaries of craft beer to new and excellent heights.  The newest concoction - called "The Concoction" - doesn't stray from the theme.  The Concoction is brewed from an old Scottish cocktail recipe called "The Penicillin" and includes peat smoked malt, minced ginger, lemon juice and wildflower honey.  If you don't know what to think right now, then I think you're getting the point.  To try to make sense of aptly named "The Concoction" head to Standings this Thursday.  It will be on tap alongside four other Brooklyn favorites.  And as always, in perfect Standings tradition, there will be free pizza.

Standings is located at 43 East 7th Street, Upstairs, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, East Village, Manhattan.

Thursday, July 7 - Captain Lawrence Meet the Brewer Event @ Bierkraft, Brooklyn:

One of our favorite New York State breweries will be bringing their beer and their brewmaster to Bierkraft this Thursday night.  Scott Vacarro of Captain Lawrence will be on hand to discuss his brews and what makes them so delicious.   Bierkraft hasn't posted a list of brews yet, but we expect the usual Captain Lawrence favorites will be on tap.  As the Beer Friends found out during this years Beer Friends Final Four, Captain Lawrence has a cult following.  So we suggest getting to Bierkraft early to score a seat next to Scott.

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

Saturday, July 9 - Kelso of Brooklyn Tasting @ GRAB Specialty Foods, Brooklyn:

GRAB Specialty Foods will be featuring a local Brooklyn favorite in this Saturdays installment of their Saturday Craft Beer Tasting series.  They'll be four or five beers from Kelso of Brooklyn available for tasting.  The people at GRAB also suggest you bring home a growler or two of your favorite brews to help you enjoy your weekend.  We endorse their suggestion.

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

New York City Craft Beer Events for the Week of May 1, 2011

Graham

May.  What a month.  Spring flowers, worker's rights, Mexican Fives and Memorial Day.  May is like a non-stop party.  What kind of beer should we drink to start this party?  Ithaca Flower Power for the flowers? The Peoples Lager from China for May Day? Negro Modelo for Cinco de Mayo? A Southhampton Double White for Memorial Day?  You know, cause we're all double excited to finally be able to wear white now. Tuesday, May 3 - Pretty Things "Once Upon A Time" Launch Party @ The Rye House, Manhattan:

Ever wonder what beer tasted like in 1855?  The country was just about to be divided by civil

war, Lincoln hadn't yet traded in his coon skin hat for his top hat in NYC after having a pint at McSorely's and electricity was still relegated to lightning and sparks between young lovers.  The brewers at Pretty Things wondered all these same things.  So, presumably they dressed up in top hats, turned off all the lights and took different positions on states rights.  Then "Once Upon A Time" was born.  Join the Pretty Things brewmasters along with beer historian Ron Pattinson for a brew event with historical flavor.  There will be cask and draft offerings of many Pretty Things brews, including the new "old" creation!

The Rye House is located at 11 West 17th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, Flatiron District, Manhattan.

Wednesday, May 4 - California Dreaming @ The Double Windsor, Brooklyn:

Simple word recognition.  Spring: Hops.  Summer:  Hops.  Sunshine:  Hops.  Beach: Hops.  Reading in the Park:  Hops.  Going to work in short sleeves:  Hops.  If you're finding this to be a familiar train of thought in your life, as it is in mine, then I think we have the event for you.  The Double Windsor, in honor of the transition into Spring/Summer will be pouring hoppy brews brewed in the state the practically invented summer:  California.  Expect a hopped up night with the likes of Firestone Walker, Ballast Point, Lagunitas, Stone, Green Flash, The Bruery, Anderson Valley and Sierra Nevada.  There are rumors that a certain Sculpin will be available alongside a certain casked Torpedo.  Hello sunshine.

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

Thursday, May 5 - Oysters and Greenport Harbor @ Jimmy's No. 43, Manhattan:

Favorite food to pair with beer:  Shellfish.  Oysters to be specific.  And you can get East End oysters and beer by a brewery straight from a town built on oysters this Thursday at Jimmy's No. 43.  Greenport, Long Island can be called the oyster capital of New York.  So one would assume that the brewery with the town's name would know how to brew beer that goes with oysters.  And they'll be bringing two new brews with them.  I wonder if they'll pair nicely with oysters?  Of course they will.

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

Saturday, May 7 - Smuttynose Brewing Company @ GRAB Specialty Foods, Brooklyn:

Know Smutty, Know Beer.  GRAB Specialty foods will be featuring Smuttynose Brewing Company at their next installment of their Saturday tasting series.  The reps at Smutty will be bringing an offering out of their Big Beer Series (Big-A-IPA?) as well as some of their more laid back pours for you to try.  Be generous, try them all.

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

Enjoy the party Beer Friends Nation!

Beer Apps: Untappd.com

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Welcome to 2011, where everyone has a blog, makes 14 tweets a day and "there's an app for that."  Recently the Apple App store has been filling up with "craft beer apps" that can do any number of things from find a beer on tap to give you food pairings.  This is the first post in the Beer Friends App Reviews that will walk through these apps to find (trumpets) "The Ultimate Beer App!" (end fanfare.)

Ironically the first "app" reviewed isn't an app at all, but gets a huge endorsement from the Beer Friends, so check out Untappd.com! Untappd.com is actually a website built for a mobile device.  There are pros and cons to this format, but I believe this is the best "app" out there (so far).  Untappd.com is the brain child of Tim Mather and Greg Avola and is "a new way to socially share the brew you're currently enjoying, as well as where you're enjoying it, with your friends!".  Basically like a FourSquare for beer drinkers... which is awesome.  Now I can drink an awesome Great Divide Yeti, rate it, check in on FourSquare and post on Twitter and Facebook and let the millions (ish) that follow thebeerfriends where to find this divine brew.

Master BadgePros:

It's a mobile website.  This has created a lot of debate in the Beer Friends circle.  Since it's a mobile website it never needs to download an update - awesome, because sometimes those downloads are annoying if they are too big and you have to connect to a computer, or you're on 3G and AT&T charges you an arm and a leg for your data plan; however, you can't check it out without 3G or wifi, like in the subway (to which I say get out from underground and find a dimly lit bar to drink at - and check in!)

Mobile websites aren't platform specific.  Amongst the Beer Friends we have both iPhone and Android users.  Sharing apps turns into searching the appropriate app store for hours trying to find some - then the differences between the apps on each device can be drastic causing a lot of yelling, glass throwing and basically a Tuesday night with the Beer Friends.  Untappd.com is available on both platforms because both platforms (and others out there) access the internet.  Win!

Doesn't take up space on your mobile device. Raise your hand if every year you get excited when Apple offers a free iTouch with purchase of a new computer for "school", me too.  Suddenly that year old P.O.S. in the corner looks in need of an upgrade - with iTouch!  However, Apple only offers the 8GB iTouch model and by the time you download Angry Birds, Plants vs Zombies and the (legally) ripped movies - Goonies and the latest Star Trek for me - you're out of GB's.  Untappd.com just accesses the web so no GB's needed!

Badges. Now I was (and still am) against the weird Social Movement where you tweet a hundred times a day about the long lines getting coffee and the size of that number 2 (I don't tweet, just tell who-ever is in the room), but tweeting/Foursquare check-in's/facebook updates with a purpose is alright by me.  Twitter can be a brillant way to update everyone where they can find a delicious brew or what beers are on special at the local store.  Badges fall somewhere in the middle, badges can be gained once the user (drinker) achieves something, most of the time unknowingly.  But badges can be fun, especially when they are interesting and make you think.  I don't care about the 5 American Light Beers badge, but enjoyed getting the HomeBrewer badge (inputting so many new beers into the system - only means I'm finding the rare stuff).  I also enjoyed the "Take It Easy" Badge (12 beers in 24 hours) - I was on vacation dammit!Easy Badge

Cons:

It's a mobile website. While there's no need to download updates - you don't have any idea when badges are added or improvements have been made.  Of course when your life is beer I check often enough to recognize these updates.

Mobile Websites aren't Apps. Duh, but if you've played around with an app and then notice the limitations of a mobile site in interactivity it clicks.  Oh yeah... this isn't an app.  While FourSquare now allows you to take a picture, there's no functionality (yet) on Untappd.com because it would involve uploading to the website, but an App can put everything in a package.

All in all any app or mobile website with social networking as the focus is only as people on it, and as Garth Brooks once said "I've got friends in low places" which I can only assume is bars, and I've got plenty of friends (look mom - 155!) that would like to know what beers I'm drinking and where... or I'd like to think so.

New York City Craft Beer Events for the Week of 2/14

Graham

Valentines Day is a time to express your love for the most wonderful, important and meaningful thing in your life - craft beer!  And instead of buying it chocolates or roses you can show your affection by heartily consuming it at the following craft beer events - enjoy! Monday, February 14 - Magic Hat Beer Tasting @ Broadway Dive Bar, Manhattan:

What says Valentines Day most to you?  A) Chocolates B) Overpriced Greeting Card Holiday C) Roses D) Magic Hat Beer.  In the unlikely chance that you answered D, then you've made it to the right place.  The Dive Bar on Broadway in Morningside Heights is having a Magic Hat beer tasting event Monday night for all you lovers...and haters...out there.  Stop on by for some of the best brews that Magic Hat has to offer.  Stick around for the good music and good atmosphere.  And the love.

Broadway Dive is located at 2662 Broadway at 101st Street, Morningside Hieghts, Manhattan.

Tuesday, February 15 - Geary's Brewery @ Rattle N' Hum, Manhattan:

When you think of Geary's one thinks of lobsters.  I know I do.  On Tuesday when I think of Rattle n' Hum, I'll now think of Geary's.  New Hampshire's staple brewery, Geary's, will be bringing some of their craftiest pours to you at Rattle n' Hum on Tuesday.  They'll be pouring the Pale Ale, Geary's Hampshire Ale, Porter, Winter, Autumn and a delicious Geary's Hampshire Ale on cask infused with whiskey.  With Whiskey!  New Hampshire winters are pretty frigid, what would you expect them to do?

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

Tuesday, February 15 - A Taste of Victory @ The Stag's Head, Manhattan:

Our favorite brewery from Pennsylvania will be having themselves an event at the Stag's Head on Tuesday.  Victory Brewing Co. will be setting up 10 draft lines that will be pouring all our favorites - Saison de BUFF, Moonglow, St. Victorious, Yakima Glory, Storm King, Pursuit Pale Ale and Harvest Pils.  They'll also be introducing their newest brew - Headwater Pale Ale.  Headwater refers to the water source that they use for brewing their craft - The Brandywine River.  They'll also be serving up some classic Philly-style cheese steak spring rolls in order to satiate your love for Philadelphia.  And steak.

The Stag's Head is located at 252 E 51st Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, Upper East Side, Manhattan.

Wednesday, February 16 - Learn More About Beer with Blue Point @ Idle Hands Bar, Manhattan:

We all know plenty about beer.  It's kind of our passion, inspiration, life.  Well same deal goes for Blue Point and they are showcasing event to share their love with you.  They will be bringing a few of their master brewers down to Idle Hands Bar in Alphabet City to share their knowledge and their beer.  A $30 event ticket gets you access to a two hour event tasting featuring tastings of 5 of their brews, an expert to inform you and answer any questions about style and brand, special Blue Point pours, appetizers and collectibles to bring home.  Whether you are a beer genius or beginner Blue Point will bring their passion to you.

Idle Hands Bar is located at 25 Avenue B between 2nd and 3rd Streets, East Village, Manhattan.

Thursday, February 17 - Left Hand Tap Takeover @ Bierkraft, Brooklyn:

Left Hand has been showing up a lot recently in the Beer Friends world.  Events around the city, visits to the brewery this past summer and a possible Fade to Black Beer Friends review coming in the near future (hint hint).  Well, nothing better to keep them on your mind than another Left Hand event in NYC!  Head out to the BK Growler Mecca at Bierkraft this Thursday and have a few pints of Left Hands best offerings.   Just to let you know - this years Fade to Black is a smoked Baltic porter.  Holler.

Bierkraft is located at 151 5th Avenue between Sackett and Union Streets, Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Saturday, February 19 - Left Hand Brewery Tasting Event @ GRAB Specialty Foods, Brooklyn:

Are you seeing double?  Well that depends how many craft brews have you had before you started reading this?  In reality though you are not.  Two Left Hand events in 3 days is a reality.  And we're excited.  Head over to GRAB Specialty Foods for the next installment of their Saturday brewery tastings.  Left Hand will be heading straight from Bierkraft over to GRAB with their finest brews for you to continue tasting.  And oh will you continue tasting them.

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

Beer History Lesson Poster

Phil Foleen

Ever wonder where our wonderful Beer came from?  The good people over at Manolith.com have found a great little piece of artwork to help us on our quest for more Beer Knowledge called The Story of Beer. Smack full of fantastic little tidbits, this one is worth printing out and hanging on the back of the door in your bathroom, for some in depth study.

Manolith History Lesson: The Story of Beer