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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: Southern Hemisphere Harvest

Hashtag Battles Season 2 - Week 6!


Hello Beer Friends Nation! In the spirit of competition, Beer Friends would like to invite everyone to our second season of NFL hashtag battles! Using we will pit two breweries against each other when their NFL counterparts are facing off on the gridiron. Are you ready for some football? And drinking? And #hashtag battle?!?!?!

What's a hashtag battle? When you're drinking a beer of a brewery competing in the battle, throw a #hashtag of the brewery and tweet it (or setup your foursquare or untappd to push to tweet and include the #hashtag) and we'll use to declare a winner after the Monday Night football game on ESPN. Support your team, support your beer, drink local and hashtag battle!

Week Six -  Oakland Raiders at Atlanta Falcons (#sierranevada vs #terrapinbeer)

The Oakland Raiders came into the 2012 season looking to challenge for the AFC West crown, then they remembered they were the Raiders.  While the team was crazy fast (see Denarius Moore) with a strong downhill runner (see Darren McFadden) and a big arm (relatively speaking) they continue to be a undisciplined mess of a team.  At 1-3, the season isn't completely over, but visiting the Falcons in ATL this week might have people saying, "The Oakland Raiders are now on the clock."  However, there is a glimmer of hope in the no-longer-so-scary Black Hole... the Raiders play a very soft schedule after this week and with a strong finish, they could land themselves outside of a top pick in next year's draft and allow the re-building to stall yet another year (at least they don't tank like seemingly half the NBA teams did last year).  Carson Palmer is still struggling with reading defenses (or just likes to get both teams involved with the passing game...) and Darren McFadden might be more effective if he just blocked for himself - but this week they face a 5-0 Falcons team that can basically lock in a playoff position with a win... so there is hope for a W because everyone knows the Falcons can't win when the word playoffs is associated with a game.

Sierra Nevada --along with Sam Adams and New Belgium -- were the biggest craft breweries I could remember growing up.  Pale Ale tasted so different and fresh in comparison with anything else that I found myself seeking it out (even though it was "just" a pale ale).  Since then Sierra Nevada has led a charge in craft brewing and pushed a bunch of different styles (all with a pine taste kick).  Torpedo, Sierra Nevada's 2xIPA, was our first review and still shares a special place in our hearts - so we tested it against the canned version.  Southern Hemisphere used rare(ish) New Zealand hops, and then they celebrated their birthday by making awesome beers for everyone else to enjoy. These guys know how to party (see Beer Camp).  With new styles coming out, we don't have to worry about any rebuilding for a number of years with Sierra Nevada.

The Atlanta Falcons have been here before, started a season very strong and got into their off-season vacations early.  This week the undefeated Falcons face their fourth AFC West opponent in the Raiders.  With some impressive victories, you still can't overlook the fact that only one team they've beaten has a winning record, and their opponents are a combined 9-16 - not exactly an impressive resume; basically like listing Manager positions at Taco Bell, Wendy's and McDonalds...  After this week they get into their AFC South schedule which is always entertaining for the rest of the league.  Another game against the Carolina Hello Kittys, two games against a Saints team acting like this is still the pre-season because Payton isn't on the sidelines, and two against the Bucs.  The Falcon's have a long way to go, but hopefully they stay focused and don't blow it - at a DUI checkpoint.

Terrpain Beer Company comes from Athens, GA and was founded in 2002.  With a name like Terrapin - one would automatically think they were based out of Maryland, but with their new brewery of 45,000 Square feet - they can now provide plenty to the entire state of Maryland.  The Beer Friends have yet to get their hands on any Terrapin beers which is a shame because they've received high accolades and at one time had the motto of "2 Years, 2 Beers, 2 Medals!".  The first beer brewed was a Rye Pale Ale and received the American Pale Ale Gold Medal at the 2002 Great American Beer Festival ( list of 2012 Winners).  With the state of Georgia allowing bigger beers, Terrapin started with seasonal beers like Wake-n-Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout and Hopzilla Imperial IPA (the little turtle is so cute!) then moved into a "Side-Projects" series that seems like a awesome spin on a brewmasters series.  With this little company growing and successful early - all of Georgia is nervous about hitting the wall - oh but wait... they've already won awards.

Let the battle begin! Tag with #sierranevada or #terrapinbeer, the battle begins Sunday morning and ends Monday night… drink to support your teams!

Beer Review 99: Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye


Hello Beer Friends Nation! This video takes us back to our roots in a different way, when apparently we couldn't frame a shot... Imagine that Graham is talking when you hear his voice (because you don't see him often) and check out this review from Sierra Nevada. Sierra Nevada made the news this week by announcing a East Coast Brewery Site so we decided to toss up a review of their new seasonal, Ruthless Rye.  Ruthless joins the recent rye brews (Founders, Sixpoint) but with a interesting twist - watch to find out!  Be sure to check out our ever growing collection of Sierra Nevada reviews - Torpedo - Southern Harvest - Ken and Fritz 30th


New York City Craft Beer Events for the Week of August 28, 2011


Hello Beer Friends Nation! Wow, so that just happened. The Beer Friends hope everyone is safe (to drink craft beer) and has power (enough to watch our videos). While people are getting power back and lives together, this week we'll feature something to do every night in effort to get you out of the house. Some of these events are weekly happenings so if you like it, come again next week!

Monday - 25 Cent Wings and Daily Double at Lansdowne Road

The Beer Friends love The Pony Bar, but Lansdowne Road has a special place in our hearts as well. Maybe because they are run by the same amazing manager, maybe because they are a block and a half down the street from Pony Bar, or maybe because every Monday night they have 25 cent wings which you order in 6 packs (naturally). In terms of craft beer, the same manager from Pony Bar has his hand in Lansdowne Road taps so favorites like Sixpoint Sweet Action, Stone IPA, and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale are available along with a Daily Double: a draft and can/bottle beer that is available for 4 dollars all day long. First to find the Beer Friends gets a free Daily Double of their choice so we'll see you there!

Lansdowne Road is located at 599 10th Ave., New York, NY

Tuesday - Anglo-American Pale Ale Tasting at Bierkraft

The Beer Friends love growlers. There is (almost) nothing better than cracking open a rare beer from a fresh draft pull and enjoying it with friends (we had a few during this Irene thing...). Bierkraft was always mentioned as a destination in Brooklyn for great beer and every time we've made it down we are impressed. While famous for growler fills and a great selection of take home brews, Bierkraft has some great events too. Great beer, knowledgable staff and great sandwiches make the trip to Brooklyn totally worth it. In the spirit of great beer, this Tuesday, August 30th Bierkraft is having Dr. Carl Burger discuss pale ales in the Anglo-American tradition, then a great cool history lesson on styles with focus on the American Pale Ale. Beer-education!

Bierkraft is located at 191 5th Ave Brooklyn, NY

Wednesday - The "Perfect Storm" of Beer Events

Wednesday, hump day - hopefully this trifecta of beer events will get you through it (hopefully the MTA will be running as well!).

4pm - Every week Nita Nita has a Craft Can Beer and Grilled Cheese Night. This is a great weekly event, especially with more and more craft breweries switching/adding cans to their lineups.

Nita Nita is located at 146 Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

6pm - From Nita Nita, jump on the L Train headed to 8th Ave, get off at Union Square and transfer to a 6 Train uptown to 51st St and walk to 2nd Ave for another Beer Friend bar favorite - The Stag's Head. The Stag's Head will be hosting Captain Lawrence, which is a quick easy trip on the Metro North to Pleasantville, NY, a great beer bar and a great brewery is a natural fit. Captain Lawrence will have two different years of their Golden Delicious (a Tripel aged in apple brandy barrels), 5 Years Later (American Black Ale), Nor' Easter (Winter Warmer) and their Smoked Porter.

The Stag's Head is located at 252 East 51st St., New York, NY

7pm - From the Stag's Head you can walk to the 51st St E Train and ride that downtown to West 4th stop and walk west to The Blind Tiger. The Blind Tiger has been a fixture in the craft beer scene in NYC for years and the site of many liveblogs from the Beer Friends themselves. Sierra Nevada from Chico, California has been producing great craft beer for years and are commonly seen on the same craft beer level as Samuel Adams. Sierra's Torpedo was the first beer we reviewed and they continue to impress with Beer Camp and the innovative use of Southern Hemisphere hops in their beers. This event will feature some of those Beer Camp brews, Life and Limb 2 (American Strong Ale) and other rarities!

The Blind Tiger Ale House is located at 281 Bleecker St., New York, NY

Thursday - Brooklyn and Jersey Events

After Wednesday's Perfect Storm, we hope you're still alive. Grab your "Go Bag" of hangover cures (Gatorade and Bacon, Egg and Cheese for me) and head to one of two events - depending on how adventurous you feel.

3-8pm - Kane Brewing at The Copper Mine Pub in Arlington, New Jersey.

Depending on how crazy your Wednesday-night-Beer-Friends-city-wide-perfect-storm-bar-crawl was, this might be the closest location for you! The Beer Friends love new breweries, the excitement of the brewer and enjoying the fruits of their labor. Equinox Brewery was a favorite stop on the Colorado Brewery Tour 2010 and the Beer Friends continue to sing the praises of Cape Cod Beer, only available on Cape Cod itself. Kane Brewing is another startup with three beers on tap: Single Fin (belgian blonde), Afterglow (rye pale ale) and Head High (IPA) and hope is in the air.

The Copper Mine Pub is located at 323 Ridge Road, Arlington, NJ and beers are available on tap at 3pm with the brewers answering questions around 8pm.

7pm - Lagunitas Draft Event at Bierkraft

Lagunitas from California has captured the attention of the Beer Friends twice (and here) and we've been pretty impressed. Now they bring six kegs and three cask (one's a mystery!) to Bierkraft in Brooklyn. If you ventured out to Bierkraft for the Anglo-American Pale Ale tasting on Tuesday use that muscle memory (or beer-muscle memory) and jump back on the train to Brooklyn. They'll have (tentatively): IPA, New Dogtown Pale Ale, Undercover Shutdown Ale, Czech Pils, Lil Sumpin Ale (American Pale Wheat Ale), Lil Sumpin Wild (Belgian Strong Pale Ale), Hop Stoopid (Imperial IPA) on Cask and the Mystery Brew!

Bierkraft is located at 191 5th Ave Brooklyn, NY

Friday - A Night at Home with the Beer Friends

You've had a long week. Survived a Hurricane, ate your weight in wings at Lansdowne Road, had a beer-education at Bierkraft, traveled all over the Boroughs for some great beer events, and got stuck in Jersey with a new brewery. Take a night off. Avoid the crowds of people trying to enjoy Friday night by getting wasted on $2.50 bottles of Bud Light and hoping to take a stranger home... Visit your local beer store or Whole Foods and fill a growler. The Whole Foods all over the city all have a different selection and they are all close to a train (the Columbus Circle Whole Foods has a "growler happy hour" which takes a dollar off growlers from 5-6p). Visit the Bowery Beer room and find the Octoberfest and Fall beers on early release. If you're a Harlemite - stay north and check out the beer selection upstairs at the Best Yet Supermarket. Enjoy a night in, and rest up for the Saturday day drinking as college football begins...

Beer Review 65: Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest 2011


Hello Beer Friends Nation! For this weeks Six Pack of the Week we go down under... to New Zealand!  This week we tried the Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest 2011.  The world on the street (and Sierra Nevada's website) is that this is the first American craft beer to use hops grown in the southern hemisphere, hand picked, dried and flown back to Chico, California and used in this Harvest brew.  The three hop varieties are Pacific Hallertau, New Zealand Motueka and New Zealand Southern Cross Hops - none of which these Beer Friends have heard of or tasted!  Southern Hemisphere!  New Hops!  G-Day Mate! Beer!


Sierra Nevada Blind Tiger Extravaganza Recap


Finally it has returned: The Sierra Nevada Blind Tiger Extravaganza!  One of The Beer Friends favorte breweries has come back to take over almost all of the Blind Tigers taps.  This night started as just one Beer Friend headed down to one of his favorite NYC beer bars to sample some of Sierra Nevada's finest offerings.  It quickly turned into something bigger.  How could one man attempt to tackle so many fine himself?  The choices were tough, but they were made.  Here's the best attempt by one man at recapping a truly epic event. Numero One - Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale 6.7%. - One of the rumors surrounding this event was that this will be one of the places that Sierra will unveil this years Harvest Ale. A fall brew from start to finish, this pour offers up hearty malts, seasonal spices reminiscent of October and a big hop character.  I could definitely see myself drinking this one or the usual Harvest that comes to us New Yorkers throughout the fall season.  It warms you, without taking away the drinkability or versatile flavors. Number Dos - Chico IPA 7.2%. - Do not confuse this with the Pale. It is a different hop animal unto itself. Crisper brew with a lighter malt presence and a very interesting borderline herbal/citrus hop flavor and aroma. EASILY drinkable. I'd have three if I wasn't on a one man Sierra Nevada mission.  Unfortunately this one is hard to find in the New York area.  This is one of the brews that Sierra claims to have hardly made it to the East Coast.

The Third - Sierra Nevada & Rattle n' Hum's Black IPA 8.9% - And here's where things start to get interesting.  I have to come clean. I've been toying with you up until now. Holding back the big ones. I needed to make sure you could handle it. Well, whether you like it or not we're here. This is a collaboration between the brewers at Sierra Nevada AND the owner of NYC's Rattle n' Hum, Patrick Donagher. In fact this keg is a relic donated by Mr. Donagher, from his own collection,  for this event.

Let me be the first to say: Thank you Mr. Donagher. Thank you Sierra. Thank you beer.

Super hoppy - three different New Zealand hops and 'torpedoed' with a fourth. Super dark. Burnt and roasted malts to the max. Easily drinkable, wildly flavorful and an artistic masterpiece of a brew.  This beer has so much flavor that you'll put the whole thing down without even noticing, it compels you to keep sipping.  If it wasn't for the necessity to press on into Sierra's collection, I could see myself drinking this one all night.

Fourth Buck - Jack and Ken 30th Anniversary 1o.2%- This beer makes me nervous. I've been looking at it in front of me now for three minutes. Can't think how to approach it. It's rumored to be a barleywine/imperial stout mix. I don't even know who Jack is. Alright fine, I'll stop being a wimp. Here goes!

No one survived the last post. If you find this brew proceed with caution and have two. But really though, you couldn't handle two.  Seriously though, I can't even begin to describe this one.  The flavor range is so crazy that all I can say is if you have a chance to try Jack and Ken's 30th Anniversary, you try it.  You try it good.

Since I'm only a one man army, and since the Jack and Ken's was so amazing, I decided to leave the jungle after those four before things started to get really hairy (like Predator hairy).  However I did leave behind some good men.  Here's a memorial to their honor:

Soldiers I left behind: Bigfoot 06' and 10', Best Bitter (never arrived), Tumbler, Kolsch, Limb and Life, Estate Harvest, Pilsner, Vienna Lager, Fritz and Ken 30th Ave Stout.

Blind Tiger Sierra Nevada Night

Blind Tiger Sierra Nevada Night