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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: St- Boltoph's

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.

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