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New York, NY
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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: Hop Devil

BFF4 Round 2: East & Midwest

Beerfriend Paul

This week we know what teams have advanced to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament we move on to our second round in our Beer Madness 2013.  Congratulations to to Michigan, Syracuse, Wichita State, and Louisville for making it to the Final Four.  We here at the Beer Friends would like to wish Kevin Ware a speedy recovery, it was reported yesterday that he was up and walking around on crutches which is great news after his injury this past weekend. Now, on to the beer!

East #1 vs #9

Flying Dog Gonzo Porter came out of a tough match up to face Cigar City Maduro Brown.  These two darker beers come from the maltier side of beer, will the fantastic oatmeal brown ale from Tampa be able to hold off the delicious Porter from Frederick?

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East #5 vs #13

An interesting match up here with the double bock Troeg's Troegenator goes up agaist the pale ale from lambertville River Horse Hop Hazard.

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East #3 vs #11

The incredibly underrated Victory Hop Devil comes through as an 11 seed to take on the strong (in taste and strength) Dogfish Head Festina Peche.  Will this IPA have enough to take down one of the premier Sour beers?

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East #2 vs #7

Yards Brewing Company extends its stay in the tournament with Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce and goes up against the established Smuttynose IPA.  Spruce ales have interested the beer friends this past year with 2 of them brewing their own versions of the O Tannenbock Spruce by Brooklyn Brew Shop, but will that be enough to get past the classic IPA from New England.

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Midwest #1 vs #9

Left Hand Milk Stout is always a favorite around the beer friends but will the sweet stout have enough to get past the Dark, Rich, and Sexy Founders Porter?

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Midwest #5 vs #13

This is the first match up between beers by the same brewery.  Founder's Red's Rye PA is a fantastic rye ale that is a go to six pack for this particular beer friend but the question is, does it have what it takes to stand up to the incredibly popular triple IPA Founder's Devil Dancer?

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Midwest #3 vs #6

This match up pits the wet hopped Two Brothers Heavy Handed IPA against Founders Dry Hopped Pale Ale in this battle of brewing styles and hops.

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Midwest #2 vs #10

This match up puts the incredibly popular Two Brothers Cane and Ebel up against the incredibly rare Founders Old Curmudgeon's Better Half.  Both beverages are fantastic but for very different reasons.

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Beer Review 83: Victory Hop Devil

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Last week we took a week off - mainly because we were deep in the Beer Friends Vault searching for a gem of a video.  This weeks video was recorded quite some time ago for Victory's Hop Devil.  A good beer in it's own right - however a certain Beer Friend purchased a six pack that was all over a year expired.  This was the first of many Beer Friend Fails.  Please be kind - we were still green under the ears, getting our feet wet, and all those other excuses for purchasing AND reviewing a year old beer.  We've learned from our mistakes and just don't record the expired beers we drink anymore.  Victory!  Reading Labels!  Drink by date!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XE3afY08Tr4]

Victory Beer Night at the Blind Tiger Ale House

Graham

A long, long time ago (less than a week) in a bar far, far away (about 3 subway stops) Victory Brewery held a night of epic craft beer proportions.  The Blind Tiger Ale House hosted Victory Brewery last Wednesday night, 7/14/10, showcasing 20+ of their brews.  Two of the beer friends made this long trek and their account of the night follows below.  Enjoy! Graham's Beers:

I arrived here about an hour before Paul did, just to check out the scene.  It wasn't too busy, but it was also early-late night, which is when this bar shines in my opinion.  You can always get a seat or a table and one has little trouble ordering or chatting about the beers with the bartender.  Even though it was 10ish (the event started at 6) there were still some of the Victory guys there.  Notably their regional marketing/sales guy and one of the head brewers.  And since it wasn't terribly busy they were available to discuss some of their beers with us (notably the difference between the holletaur and the holledaur).

Pursuit Pale Ale  - Amarillo

The Pursuit Pale Ale series is a bunch of pale ales brewed with different types of hops.  I started with the Pursuit Amarillo, which by name, is brewed with Amarillo hops.  The Amarillo is very drinkable, which is the pale ale part, but the Amarillo hop presence gives it a taste approaching that of an IPA.   The smells off draught is almost non existent which probably lends to the light mouth feel and easy drink-ability. How ever the flavor from front to back is straight Amarillo hops. Very pleasing and very much in the sense of earthy herbal Victory hop brews.  Hop Devil is next.

Scratch Hop Devil Sean, the New York City Regional Sales Manager (don't worry, he wasn't a suit and was very well versed on everything Victory Beer related) bought us a round of CBC Hollertaur - Belgian single hop.  CBC stands for the Craft Brewers Conference and is a series of beers that Victory brews.  They brew many different styles for the CBC series, most of which you can only get at the brewery.  Those of us at the Blind Tiger for the event however were lucky enough to score some of the CBC brews.

CBC Hollertauer

CBC Hollertauer is a Belgian Pale Ale.   It pours a nice golden color, which a good sized head.  The smell of bread and spicy noble hops greats me as I go for the first sip.  Very easily drinkable, approaching a medium body, the yeast flavor gives it a mellow Belgian underpinning but, like this beer is supposed to do, it completely showcases the hops. It is single hopped, of the Hallertau variety I believe.  Very herbal and satisfying. Easily drinkable with that good fruit/bready presence. Truly showcases Victory's range in the craft beer world in which they are already legends.

After the Hollertaur, I had to move on to the CBC Hollerdauer - a Bavarian Pale Ale.

It pours with a similar golden color to the Holletauer, slightly more on the copper side.  The smell is more of a weiss, with a similar bready smell that is complimented by a slightly caramel malty presence.  The brew approaches medium body but even though it is hopped with, I believe, 5 different hop varieties it comes off as less herbal and spicy that fades quickly leaving a very present weiss taste. It takes away from the 5 hop variety and lends to a much smoother finish.

Hop Devil

After having those Belgian brews that are showcasing the hops you are a bit let down with the Hop Devil. The beer is copper in color and smells of dominant bitter hops.  There is a strong bitter hop there and the malts are present but in comparison it is so easy drinkable.  I have had it many times before and very much respect it as a beer, but it comes off as being more of a strong bitter hop, rather than the herbal showcasing of the Belgian and Bavarian Pale Ales I had previously.  Still a great IPA and is a readily available Victory product here in NYC.

Old Horizontal Barleywine

To finish the night I went with the Old Horizontal Barleywine.  It's exactly as I remember it.  Darker copper/reddish in color and smelling of a strong alcohol burn that is almost perfectly complimented by that malts.  The taste is strong and bitter, there is a sweetness that runs side-by-side from start-to-finish with a strong alcohol burn.  It definitely leaves a warm feeling inside, that maybe was too warm for the temperature of a hot NYC summer night, but it left a nice haze perfect for the end of the night.  Have one of these and then have a cab driver get you home.  Which I did!

Paul's Beers:

Victory Helios - Saisons is a style I'm not incredibly familiar with but I generally like them. This one is a good ale. Smooth start that rolls over sweet and leaves with a taste you'd expect from a saison. This was one of the first Saison's I ever had. This is what I am expecting when I order a Saison.

Victory Scarlet Fire - what a delicious Rauchbier. This is another style that is new to me, but a lot of my friends like to call rauchbiers  "bacon" beers, but this is a different type of pork.  This is ribs, delicious smoky  ribs...

Victory Grassy Jack Bitter- very tasty beer. Its hoppy, but not overly hopped. The flavor is good and strong.  Its a beverage that I would like to have after work. Strong enough to let me know the day is over and shows me the gateway to the night.

Thanks Victory and Blind Tiger for a great event!  We hope to see Victory being showcased in the city soon and more often!

New York City Good Beer Month: Events for Week of 7/12

Graham

Hello Beer Friends!

The first week of New York City Good Beer Month was a resounding success with the 'Cool Sh#t Event' at Rattle n' Hum, the Bear Republic 'Sour Patch' Event at Bar Great Harry and Magic Hat Brew Night at Standings.  And we heard that Sixpoint Craft Ales were pouring like waterfalls over at Meatopia on Governors Island Sunday.

Let's look forward to another great week, as usual you will be able to catch The Beer Friends at most of these events.

July 13 - Rattle n' Hum, Manhattan: Pretty Things Brewery event!  The self-proclaimed gypsy brewery, Pretty Things, is most notable for their cute tap handles (seriously, craft beer chick's love the tap handles) and their Belgian influenced beers and ales.  Rattle n' Hum will be featuring some of our Pretty Things favorites, might we even see the appearance of the 22 oz.  London Mild Ale historical recreation?  One could only hope...

July 13 - Burp Castle, Manhattan: Starkbierzeit Festival!  The Starkbierzeit Festival, which tranlates to Strong Beer Festival, will be featuring several high profile and high intensity brews along with free Belgian fries (are there better fries then Belgian fries?).  But Shhhh!  Try to keep your excitement quiet while ordering, Burp Castle has a strict, low volume rule while on premise.  Sometimes though, it's better to sip on high octane brews in a low octane sort of way.

July 14 - Blind Tiger Ale House, Manhattan: I'm happy to announce that one of The Beer Friends favorite breweries will be having a brewery event at one of The Beer Friends favorite New York Beer Bars.  Head down to the West Village this Wednesday for the Victory Brewery Night at the Blind Tiger Ale House.  You will definitely find The Beer Friends at this one having a few of their favorite Victory Brews:  Prima Pils, Hop Devil IPA, Storm King Stout and hopefully a few other secret/rare releases.

There is another special event on Tuesday, July 13.  New York City Beer Month has its own Beer Sessions Radio hosted by Jimmy Carbone, co-founder of the Good Beer Seal and owner of Jimmy's No. 43 in the East Village.  This week they will be releasing, for the first time, a limited smoked beer brewed by Sixpoint Craft Ales specially for the New York City Good Beer Month.  It was poured for the first time at Meatopia and can only be found at certain Good Beer Seal bars.  This is truly a treasure that The Beer Friends will be hunting to find throughout the month.  Listen to the Beer Sessions Radio tomorrow @ 5 p.m. for where to catch it and follow The Beer Friends twitter/facebook feed to join the hunt with us.

As always, thanks to our New York Good Beer Month organizers over at the Good Beer Seal and our beloved Mayor Bloomberg.

Let's hope Good Beer Month stays for awhile.  See you at the bars!