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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: Two Brothers

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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LIVE BLOG! The 3rd Annual White Christmas Winter Warmer Beer Extravaganza!

Beerfriend Paul

Tonight Paul and Graham reaffirm their friendship by going out without the other Beer Friends to enjoy a night of Beer and Bourbon at everyone's favorite basement bar, Idle Hands. Tonight The Beer Friends are a day late (or a week) but are NOT a dollar short because The 3rd Annual White Christmas Winter Warmer Beer Extravaganza! is in full swing for the entire holiday season. We missed the first week of this holiday tradition; but good news for us, this is only week #2 of 4. So what if it was 60 degrees earlier this week, Lets get into some Winter Warmers!

Paul's 1st - Two Brothers Northwind: This is the seasonal imperial stout from our favorite brewery from Warrenville Illinois. This is a seemingly average 9 abv for an imperial stout, but it packs a punch. This stout goes down with a smokey flavor that finishes fantastic. It's got a lot of flavor that doesn't linger.

Graham's 1st - Two Brothers Northwind: Roasty! This brew has a coffee, burnt malt flavor to it that is absolutely delicious followed by a slight sweetness that could either be the alcohol (9%) or some other deviousness. A full pint of this could warm ya on any winter's day. Let's hope they put this one out in bottles in NYC soon...

Paul's 2nd - Troegs Mad Elf: This has become a recent favorite during the holiday season. This is a HUGE beer that is VERY tasty. It comes in at 11% abv, it's a Belgian quad brewed with cherries. It's sweet the way Phil would hate, but the rest of you would love... This beer is sweet, sour, and delicious.

Graham's 2nd - Troegs Mad Elf: Quads are some fantastic sort of brews. Add cherries, pump up the alcohol and add some other winters spices and you go from just a quad to some sort of winter warmer quad deliciousness. Which I'm totally into. The slight sweet, tartness compliments the complex mix of other favors bumped up with a warming quality you can't ignore. This is my winter everyday brew. Everyone has one of those right?

Paul's 3rd - Harpoon Winter Warmer + Harpoon Cider = Apple Pies: I've heard bad things about cider beer cocktails, and I understand why. I don't mean bad as in it tastes bad, to the contrary it tastes fantastic. Drink a couple of these in a night and you could be in trouble. It does, as advertised, taste like an Apple pie, and I could drink a couple of these before the cider sweetness had me yearning for something bitter. It a delightful drink that I plan to bring to a couple holiday parties this year.

Graham's 3rd - Harpoon Winter Warmer + Harpoon Cider = Apple Pies: They said it tastes like apple pie...AND it tastes like apple pie! In a really fantastic beer sort of way. Not too sweet, not too spicy and incredibly refreshing. Whoever came up with this combination (Rev) it works fantastically well. Hello Christmas dinner cocktail...

Paul's 4th - Sierra Nevada Celebration: A staple beer at all holiday family functions, this has been a beer I have been very familiar with in my adult life. This is what marks the holiday season for me every year. Sometime after Halloween I pick up my first 6 pack and I begin to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. This has always been lighter than I usually think winter beers would be, but the hop head in me smells the pine hops and it always takes me back to sitting next to the three on Christmas morning,

Enough with the nostalgia, this beer is fantastic! Get some and have a happy holiday season!

Graham's 4th - Sierra Nevada Celebration: Not as I remember it to be. In my memory Celebration was a spiced up dark, strong ale perfect for the winter season but also slightly generic when compared to other winter warmer style brews. This year Sierra Nevada shook things up in a delightfully hoppy way: they hopped the crap out of it. More reminiscent of an IPA than a winter brew with the winter part still noticeably present. It reminds me of an Winter IPA that I attempted, and failed, to brew once. I blamed the style. Thank you Sierra for reinspiring my dreams that such a brew is possible.

Paul's Whiskey taste-Original Moonshine: Another clear whiskey makes a appearance at a $10 Tasting. This is not the same as the last, but the smell and appearance are the same. This is sweet with a stench of booze that goes down smooth but tingles a little on the back end. I'm not terribly familiar with these "moonshines" but this is not as harsh as I would have expected. I certainly enjoyed this more than I thought I would.

Graham's Whiskey taste- Original Moonshine: Moonshine is strong. And tastes like strong booze. The smell of this moonshine is almost fruity, being that it's all corn, but the smell doesn't translate to the taste. Light, but fiery, it would warm you if you were dying of hypothermia. Beyond that, buckle down and prepare yourself for a hell raiser of a night with this one.

Check the Calendar at Idlehandsbar.com for more information on each week's $10 Tasting.

Hashtag Battles Season 2 - Week 11!

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Week Eleven - Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers (#twobrosbeer vs #speakeasy)

Hashtag Battles this week features two NFC Superbowl hopefuls.  The 49ers were a punt catch away from the SuperBowl last year and the Bears were a healthy MCL from the SuperBowl two years ago.  In Concussion Sunday, both of these teams had a concussed starting QB, both of which took a few more snaps and then left the game for good.  This weeks matchup is full of "Plan B's" that hope not to de-rail a championship season.  Let's see who's backup is best in this weeks hashtag battle!

In the spirit of competition, Beer Friends would like to invite everyone to our second season of NFL hashtag battles! Using hashtagbattle.com, 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 hashtagbattle.com to declare a winner after the Monday Night football game on ESPN. Support your team, support your beer, drink local and hashtag battle!

Week Eleven - Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers (#twobrosbeer vs #speakeasy)

The Chicago Bears are back!  A scary defense and an actual offense leads to SuperBowl shuffle re-mix mashups and high hopes in the windy city.  The only problem is the Bears line which seems to be spending more time making mix tapes rather than blocking for Cutler.  Cutler has been sacked so often he's developed stargazing as a hobby, that's including day games.  In steps backup Jason Campbell who took over last week in a mistake filled game and did... well ok - the same ok that Bears fans had been living with post-McMahon (who sadly knows a thing or two about concussions) and pre-Cutler.  As long as the defense out scores the offense, the Bears will be fine - which is a problem into itself.

Two Brothers is from Warrensville, IL and Beer Friend Paul still raves about how great this brewery was.  Delicious brews and a great brewpub were highlights (plus a really cool coaster/bottle opener) but he doesn't shut up about the entire day.  But for us Beer Friends that don't travel, we had to have the Beer Mountain come to us.  We had our doubts after the first taste from Heavy Handed IPA, but Two Brothers came roaring back with Cane and Abel and Hop Juice which we enjoyed with our good friend and awesome bar owner The Rev.  With brews like Domaine DuPage, The Long Haul and Northwinds Imperial Stout - there is no need for a backup - these are all starting beers to go the distance.

The San Francisco 49ers came into the season with high hopes.  A Head Coach as a former QB found a way to reach Aaron Smith and bring out the potential that got him drafted #1 overall.  A scary defense with arguably the best linebackers in the game - and everything was clicking - then a tie.  I feel like all the "kissing your sister" jokes have been made - but I find it disturbing the amount of NFL players that don't know the rules or that a game can end in a tie.  You can't tell me that they are so focused on winning (because the Rams players didn't know either) that they don't care about anything else, this is where the NFL should take a note from the college game and switch to the "California Overtime" in regular season games, giving both teams - offenses and defenses - a chance to make a play.  Unfortunately the Rams vs 49ers game wasn't a great argument because of the number of missed opportunities by both teams.  Overall Kaepernick is a better option than Campbell, but Aaron Smith says he's ready to go an according to reports he can throw a TD pass with blurry vision anyway... lets just hope that the blur is on his team and not Brian "Molasses" Urlacher running the other way.

Speakeasy Ales and Lagers is from San Francisco and plays on the history of beer and that unsettling time of Prohibition.  Speakeasy obviously refers to the underground bar where patrons could get their booze, often hidden in back rooms or with fronts - like Moe's "Best Damn Pet Store in Town".  Speakeasy's year round available brews include Prohibition Ale, Big Daddy IPA and the brewmasters series called "Bootlegger Series" with Scarface Imperial Stout and Vendetta IPA.  One of the legendary beers that the Beer Friends still speak of today was a Porter aged in Red Zinfandel barrels - this was amazing.  Overall I'm a bit of a history geek and after drinking a few from the Speakeasy series - I might actually learn something too... unfortunately it will probably be forgotten the next morning.

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

 

Beer Review 125: Two Brothers Hop Juice

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Remember Tuesday, when we told you about that awesome Idle Hands Bar Birthday coming up... well - it's here.  BUT... Idle Hands Bar doesn't open until a little bit later, so check out this Beer Friends Review with The Rev (hope we can figure it out without "The Table").  Two Brothers is out of Warrensville, Illinois and has shown up on the Beer Friends radar with Cane and Ebel and Heavy Handed so the third times a charm... or just another beer.  Two Brothers has a great story (which The Rev tells us about) and makes some pretty great beer, so sit back - watch a review - subscribe to us on iTunes podcast and enjoy the party!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRAi3kgaAxM]

Beer Review 103: Two Brothers Cane and Ebel

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! This week's six pack of the week (SPotW) comes from Warrensville, Illinois and (like most sports fans) feel the need to take some shots at the Chicago sports community - we apologize in advance.  Warrensville has Two Brothers Brewing which has produced some fantastic stuff for 15 years and is following the latest craft beer trend and putting their stuff in cans.  We've had some stuff from Two Brothers before and it didn't hit it out of the park, but we've never met a beer we wouldn't drink so we'll try them again...

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aPHgfm6oWY]

Other Beer Friend Reviewed Rye Beers: Sixpoint Righteous Ale - Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye - Founders Red Rye PA

Hashtag Battles Week Two!

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! In the spirit of competition, Beer Friends would like to invite everyone to our NFL season hashtag battles! Using hashtagbattle.com 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 hashtagbattle.com to declare a winner after the Monday Night football game on ESPN. And because football needs beer, we're starting on Saturday morning to include the brews consumed during College Football Saturdays. Support your team, support your beer, drink local and hashtag battle!

Week Two - Chicago vs New Orleans (#twobrothersbeer vs #theabitabeer)

Chicago, the Windy City, is full of footballs in the air with Jay Cutlers arm and Mike Martz offensive scheme. They got off to a great start last week taking out Peter King's Superbowl pick Atlanta Falcons and now continue their NFC South tour with former Superbowl Champion Saints. Chicago is also home to a few great breweries that aren't purchased by large corporations - enter Two Brothers Brewing. Two Brothers Brewing is kept in the family by Jim and Jason Ebel and producing quality brews since 1996, will the new combo of Cutler and Martz help the old combo of Jim and Jason win this weeks Hashtag Battle?

New Orleans has been in the news for the right and wrong reasons: the horrific hurricane and the rise and rebuilding efforts of the Saints football team and more specifically Drew Brees. Abita also has it's own rebuilding efforts with their S.O.S. Weizen Pils (Save Our Shores). So New Orleans plays the heart strings card and plays good football, produces good beer and (hopefully) wins this (very) important hashtag battle.

New York City Craft Beer Events for the Week of June 12, 2011

Graham

I had a feeling.  And not just the usual feelings, but the awesome feelings.  The sort of feelings that let you know this is going to be a big week.  A HUGE week.  Seriously though, the closest example I would give for the events happening this week would be a planetary alignment with the center of the galaxy.  It wasn't organized by anything beyond cosmic happenstance but despite it's coincidental nature, it's pretty damn awesome.  Well, this week you can thank The Beer Friends for taking the random alignment of super-awesome craft beer events and organizing them into a coherent list of what you should drink and where you should drink it.  Let's see what we've got... Tuesday, June 14 - The Good Beer Seal 2011 Awards Party @ Barcade, Brooklyn:

Ever had the urge to share your opinion regarding all things craft beer in the New York City metro area?  But didn't feel like being as verbose as creating a blog on the internet?  Now here at The Beer Friends we don't really know about such things.  However, we do know about a more concise method of expressing your expert craft beer opinions.  And it's happening this week.

The Good Beer Seal is an organization formed by the best brewers and bar owners out of the New York City craft beer scene.  They have really made quite a showing on the scene since their inception - providing us with events, interviews, news and the delicious brew we love so much.  Now they are throwing an awards party to acknowledge the best of craft beer happenings here in our humble little seaside village that is New York.

Even better?  It's at Barcade.  Always a fantastic beer selection.  Always great retro video games to keep us entertained.  And now?  An awards show to give us something to cheer about.  Did you favorite craft beer bar get an award?  We all have our horses that we're pulling for.  Let's take a night to give it up for craft beer here in NYC.  Without it, and the people that provide us with it, we wouldn't be here.

The 2011 Great Beer Seal Awards Show is happening at Barcade which is located at 388 Union Avenue between Anslie and Hope Streets, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Tuesday, June 14 - The Blues Brothers @ TapRoom 307, Manhattan:

Were you afraid you missed it?  One of most badass events of 2011.  Well, you did and you're lucky:  it's happening again.  The Blues Brothers event is happening again, this Tuesday, at TapRoom 307.  TapRoom 307 is a new beer bar in located in that weird area in between Stuyvesant Town, Flatiron and Gramercy Park.  We'll just call is 3rd Avenue at 23rd Street.  It's what we'd call a rich man's Pony Bar.  Meaning: Great selection, great food - but pricier.

Either way - they are throwing the next Blues Brothers Event.  Join Oskar Blues out of Lyons, Colorado and Two Brothers Brewery out of Warrensville, Illinois as well as a screening of the movie Blues Brothers, free soul food, a costume contest with prizes and free giveaways.

You missed it once.  Don't let it happen again.

TapRoom 307 is located at 307 3rd Avenue between 22nd and 23rd Street, Gramercy Park?, Manhattan.

Tuesday, June 14 - 4th Annual Belgian Beer Festival @ Sunswick 35/35, Queens:

Our favorite Queens beer bar is throwing a party this week.  A party that we are all going to love.  Except Phil that is.  And he's the only one who actually live in Queens.  I guess we'll have to make a special trip.

Sunswick 35/35 is throwing their 4th Annual Belgian Beer Festival that will be featuring almost 40 taps and bottles straight from the best breweries out of Belgium.  The list is actually too long to include on the NYC Craft Beer post, but I suggest you check it out HERE

Did I also mention that this event is happening all week?  That's 6 days we can spend trying to get Phil to enjoy Belgian brews.  And then making fun of him when he refuses.

Sunswick 35/35 and the 4th Annual Belgian Beer Festival is located at 3502 35th Street at 35th Avenue, Astoria, Queens.

Wednesday, June 15 - Barrier Brewery Night @ The Double Windsor, Brooklyn:

In all our beer travels around the world the Beer Friends have strived to shed light on the little guys.  The newcomers to the craft brew scene.   We love the big brewers but realize that an industry such as the American Craft Beer industry thrives on continual creativity from both the most experienced brewers and ingenuity from the youngest members on the scene.  Barrier Brewery is just that.  They have added their name to the blossoming Long Island/Metro NYC beer world and we couldn't be happier.  They'll be pouring their Barnacle Brown Ale, Oil City IPA (Black IPA), Bulkhead Red, Cycle Saison, Mare Undarum (Belgian IPA), RipRap (Baltic Porter) and the GreenRoom Pale Ale.

Let's take a short quiz.

Are you experienced with any or all of these brews by Barrier Brewing Company?

a) All          b) Some          c) None

If you answered A, then you should attend the event.  If you answered B, then you should attend the event.  If you answered C, then you should attend the event.  That was easy enough to figure out.

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

Thursday, June 16 - Sixpoint Specialty Night @ Standings, Manhattan:

We understand if you are already overwhelmed with the craft beer world this week.  We've dropped a lot of crafty knowledge on your head so far.  Perhaps you should stop reading here.  We know you're better than that though.  So here's a reward - Sixpoint Specialty Night at Standings.

In honor of Sixpoint's 6 Year Anniversary Standings will be throwing them a bash with rare brews that will sure make this a night to remember.  We're talking Gemini, Harbinger Saison and Triple, yes that triple, not just double, Sweet Action.  All that on-top of your regular Sixpoint favorites and FREE brat's from Wechsler's in the East Village.

You're welcome.

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

Thursday, June 16 - FREE Abita @ Mudville 9, Manhattan:

Some things you have to see to believe.  This event is one of them.  The last time someone promised free beer to me I had to sit through a 30-minute presentation of post-modernist Russian interpretive dance.  And the beer was Heineken.

Mudville 9 is promising Free Abita from over 10 draft lines this Thursday night from 6-8 PM.  I'm not sure what the catch is but I can only imagine - Free Save-Our-Shores pilsner with a 6-month committment to the continual rebuilding of New Orleans, a TurboDog pour on-the-house with the completion of eating a dozen raw crawfish-live, or a complimentary Purple Haze when you hotbox some Purple Haze in a bathroom stall with 3 shrimp boat captains.

Or maybe it's just free.  And honestly, the last one doesn't sound like that bad of an option.

Mudville 9 is located at 126 Chambers Street between Church Street and West Broadway, Tribeca, Manhattan.

Friday, June 17 - S.K.I. in the Summer @ Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn:

Beer Distributor Series nights are quickly taking off here at craft beer bars in the series.  And it kind of feels like selling out.  Like getting free beer from the man.  However, after attending said nights it has been quite easy to shed those feelings.

Here's the reason:  Beer distributors have the availability to bring the best kegs/bottles from a range of different breweries, instead of just one brewery.

I like variety.  So do you.  Mug's will be pouring a range of brews from breweries distributed by S.K.I. Beer.  We're talking the rarest of offerings from Speakeasy, Stone, Founders, Bear Republic, Cigar City, Riverhorse, Harpoon and more.  The full list will be up on the Mug's Alehouse website in the coming days and we'll be doing our research and making available as much info as we can find here on TheBeerFriends.com, so make sure you check in and check in often.

Mug's Ale House is located at 125 Bedford Avenue on the corner of North 10th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The Beer Friends love the summer.  This week is an example of why.  We hope to see you at the events this week and in the weeks to come as the summer craft beer season has officially started!

The Stags Head Blues Brothers Event Live blog

Phil Foleen

Shout out to Nick @ Stags head!!! Go see this man!! Phil's First- Oskar Blues G'Knight - Always my favorite from Oskar. Holds up at this great event. Just the right malty seedbeds with a hoppy bite to start the night off.

Brad's First- Oskar Blues Ten Fidy - what else on a hot night but a stout... Wait... Somethings are just so good you need to get them. With no Hungarian Oak Aged available (See: The Pony Bar Oskar Blues Night) I settled on a brew I always enjoy - Ten Fidy, dark, malty and delicious.

Brad's Second- Two Brothers Northwind Imperial Stout - I like a lot of stuff Two Brothers does, but this is no Imperial Stout, not nearly as heavy as the Ten Fidy, but this is unfair - like trying to follow Michael Jordan you're never gonna be as good (Read: LeBron James).

Phil's Second- Two Brothers Northwind Imperial Stout - thankfully I don't really like basketball so I'm unbiased to my interpertaion.......and that means I liked it. Good and deep malty roasted goodness with a nice coffee sidecar attachment to the flavor. Definitely a repeat offender for my Taste buds.

Phil's Third- Left Hand Sawtooth - always a fantastic way to round out the evening. This is one I never fail to have if it's offered. Perfect for the back of the bell curve.

Brad's Third- 21st Amendment Monks Blood - classic, I've had this on tap a couple places and this is always enjoyable. This doesn't taste like rotten fruit (Phil) but like a nice mixture of light fruity taste but still a beer. No overpowering notes makes this very light and drinkable.

Beer Review 62: Two Brothers Heavy Handed IPA

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation!

Ah summer... things are heating up - baseball is in full swing (get it?) and the quest is on for refreshing beers - but put down that Coors Light friend, watch enough Beer Friends episodes and we'll guide you in the direction of a delicious AND refeshing beer.  Two Brothers Brewing Heavy Handed IPA from Warrensville, IL is a great first example.  This IPA has enough of a hops taste to satisfy a hop-head (read: Graham) but is easily drinkable that you could have a few while watching insert name of hometown baseball team here.  Summer!  Refreshing! Beer!

Note: Heavy Handed IPA is a seasonal beer (September - December) but worth picking up whenever you find it.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTEf6QFXbEE]

New York City Craft Beer Events for the Week of April 3rd

Graham

I don't like starting the NYC Craft Beer Events post without an original theme, but this week I'm stealing ideas...from us.  I don't know if you've all been keeping tabs on the Beer Friend Final Four Beer-March-Madness tournament but this year has been the craziest ever.  A #12 seed in the Northeast bracket is currently poised to take it all.  Anyone thinking VCU?  Except this VCU could actually do it.  If you haven't voted yet then you should vote now here: http://thebeerfriends.com  I'll come back with an original theme next week, but this week I'm plugging the Beer Friends Final Four all over the place. In the mean time let's see what, and where you're drinking while you're voting this week. (Vote here, again: http://thebeerfriends.com)

Tuesday, April 5 - Lagunitas Night @ The Cloverleaf Tavern, NEW JERSEY:

New Jersey? NEW JERSEY? Yep.  This will be the second time that the craft beer events of the week will cross the Hudson River to the great state of New Jersey.  Now it's not that we don't like New Jersey...there are several amazing beer bars and beer drinking groups that call the Garden State home.  Jersey just doesn't show up on our radar that often (hint, hint: New Jersey, show up on our radar more often already).  Having a Lagunitas night catches the Beer Friends attention.  We don't have an official beer list released yet, but you should expect awesomeness.  Because Lagunitas (and Jersey!) is awesomeness.

The Cloverleaf Tavern is located at 395 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell New Jersey.

(Recommendation: It's a bit of a hike from NYC so make friends with someone you work with who lives in Jersey and get them to DD for you.  Work fast in the friend-making department, getting to the DD part of a friendship is a serious step)

Wednesday, April 6 - Smutty Part Deux @ The Stag's Head, Manhattan:

Do you love New Hampshire?  Yes, of course.  And cause you're hear already we know you already love craft beer.  So a Smuttynose Brewery night should be a sure thing right?  Right.  Except this one is more than a sure thing.  The Stag's Head will be grabbing as many Smuttynose kegs as they can and their head chef will be brewing up some delectable quantities of New England clam chowder.  Smuttynose rep Pat Fondiller will be on hand to explain why Smuttynose  beer is so delicious.  Probably has to do with the mountains.

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

Wednesday, April 6 - Barleywine Ale, Strong Ale and Old Ale Style of the Month Kickoff @ The Blind Tiger Ale House, Manhattan:

The Beer Friends are devoted to innovation.  We've been trying to get into barleywines for a while.  Mission - Success. We love Strong Ales too.  And have since gotten into Old Ales.  Despite our love and expertise we need some more practice.  Lucky for us, the Blind Tiger is featuring barleywines, strong ales and old style ales this month in their Style of the Month series.  Head to the Blind Tiger Ale House this month of a continuous, recycling sample of these styles of brews. We're talking the best brews from the best breweries.

Head there a few times each week to achieve maximum expertise.

The Blind Tiger Ale House is located at 281 Bleecker Street between Jones Street and 6th Avenue, West Village, Manhattan.

Thursday, April 7 - Two Brothers Tap Takeover @ Bierkraft, Brooklyn:

The Fighting Illini' fought hard in the March Madness tournament this year, the Cubs are not yet mathematically eliminated from the MLB season, the Blackhawks still have a chance to grab that last playoff spot and the Bulls, well screw the Bulls, they're actually playing pretty damn well right now.  Anyways our love for Illinois goes beyond the pity we occasionally feel for their professional sports teams - we also truly love their beer.  Two Brothers Brewing Co. is one of Illinois most treasured and creative breweries and Jim Ebel, the brewmaster, will be bringing his finest pours alongside his extensive knowledge of brewing.  The list hasn't been released yet, but we expect it to be a pretty solid showing.

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

Thursday, April 7 - Cisco Brewery Night @ The Pony Bar, Manhattan:

Continuing their tradition of featuring the country's best and most creative breweries, the Pony Bar will be hosting Cisco Brewery this Thursday night.  Cisco Brewery out of Nantucket will be pouring 10 lines and a cask of their seafaring brews.  Catch a Whale's Tale pale ale, close your eyes and imagine your on a trawler name Downeastern Alexa fishing for your pay or playing the piano with Billy Joel.  After a couple brews my daydreams tend to get a bit jumbled...

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

Thursday, April 7 - Bronx Brewery Event @ The Bronx Ale House, Manhattan:

Recrafting a brewing tradition, recrafting a bourough.  That's the slogan for New York City's newest brewery located in the borough you'd least expect to open a brewery.  The Bronx Ale House will be hosting the Bronx Brewery's grand opening event - featuring their first, and for the time being only, brew.

The Bronx Pale Ale is an amber, American style pale ale that is brewed with 5 different malts and a healthy addition of Cascade and Centennial Hops that provide a delicious floral and citrus flavor.  The malts come from Britain, Germany and American and add a nutty, bready taste and feel to the brew.  Take all that, don't filter or pasteurize it and you have the Bronx Pale Ale. A spicy, gritty, unfettered offering from a spicy, gritty, unfettered borough of New York City that we hope becomes famous for its craft beer.

The Bronx's best beer bar presenting the Bronx's best brewery, The Bronx Ale House is located at 216 West 238th Street between Broadway and Putnam Avenue West, Riverdale, The Bronx.

A lot of people make a habit of steering clear of the Bronx.  It's not what'd you expect.  They have subways that take you right to their beer bars.  Take the 1 Train up to the 238th Street stop and walk half a block West towards Putnam Ave W.  We'll see ya there.

Friday, April 8 - Hill Farmstead Brewery Night @ Rattle n' Hum, Manhattan:

Do you love the refreshing creativity that newcomers to the scene bring to an industry that is creative as hell already?  We do.  We also love hops.  Hill Farmstead Brewery represents all these things.

Hill Farmstead Brewery is a creative, small batch focused brewery out of Vermont.  They put the art in artisan ales as they rarely brew any of their beers more than once a year, they always dry hop their brews (plentifully we might add - with most of their beers being 85 ibus or higher) and have a thing for aging just about anything in oak barrels (French Oak, Napa Valley and Russian River).

You'll definitely get to experience Edward, their IPA, and the only beer the brew year round (just what you'd expect from a bunch of hop-heads) but bring an open mind and an extra pint glass cause it'll probably get pretty wild after that.  Napa Valley Oak barrel-aged, dry-hopped, espresso porter?  We hope so.

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

Don't forget to vote in the Beer Friends Final Four!