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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: White Aphro

Live Blog! Empire Brewing & Four Roses at Idle Hands NYC

Phil Foleen

Hello Beer Friends Nation! It's Live Bloggin' time! We are coming to you, once again, from Idle Hands Bar here in New York City for Empire Brewing Night (previous Idle Hands Event - Previous Rattle N Hum) with Four Roses in the guest spot. For now we are laying low and getting ready with a few Oskar Blues G'Knights and burgers from That Burger, but stay tuned for the festivities, there might be a couple we have never had!

Paul's First: Empire IPA (full pour) - Had this one last time at the $10 Tasting. It's what you expect for a staple IPA from a good craft brewery. A good beer I'd like to see in six packs around the city. Until then I will settle for a pint where I can get it around the city.

Brad's First: Empire IPA (full pour) - Always enjoyable and reliable to be a good pour - what I mean is that typically only quality beer bars carry this quality beer with clean lines. Delicious.

Phil's First: Empire IPA (Full Pour) - always a good bet and never disappoints. Well rounded IPA, not too strong but still gives you a nice hop flavor that keeps you thinking this is an IPA.

Graham's First: IPA - for some reason the bitterness in this one is a lot stronger than I remember. I still like it but it was a bit intense as a first pour. Go for this brew as long as you are down with a slight punch to the face.

Brad's Second: Empire White Aphro (small taste) - this delicious sample (two ounces) is a Belgian wheat with hints of lavender - and awesome, can't wait to get more

Phil's Second: Empire White Aphro (Small Taste) - yes. It is a Belgian beer and yes you can definitely tell from the smell and the first part of the flavor, but I've always said my least favorite part of a Belgian beer is the sweetness at the end, and this beers variety of ingredients covers that very nicely.

Graham's Second: White Aphro (small taste)- I'm still convinced I've seen this one before around the halls of the Pony Bar. Either way, they say it's new to NYC (the Pony always did get their hands on some mysterious brew) and I couldn't be happier. Spicy, Belgiany and floral. This brew would be refreshing to a volcano.

Paul's Second: White Aphro (small taste)- Great brew for the summer. Crisp and refreshing with a great floral flavor. This is Empire's answer to the bigger breweries white ales, and it blows them away. This is currently rare one around the city, I look forward to seeing it more.

Paul's Bourbon Taste: Four Roses Single Barrel - had not had Four Roses before this and I am sad to say that I incorrectly categorized them. For some reason I had this distillery pegged for one I did not like. I do not remember what lead me to think this way, but all I can say is I was wrong.... Very very wrong. I am a lover of single barrel bourbons and this one does not disappoint. I suggest this to those who like the taste of their bourbon.

Brad's Bourbon Taste: Four Roses Single Barrel - this is very smooth for a delicious bourbon. The main characteristic I find on a first taste of bourbon is the harshness (maybe I'm not seasoned enough) of the bourbon - some are harsh and overpowering and some are smooth and this falls in the latter category. Enjoyed this in the past and will continue to enjoy in the future.

Phil's Bourbon Taste: Four Roses single Barrel - it tastes like bourbon. I gave mine to Brad and Graham.

Graham Bourbon Taste - smooth, kind of fruity with a nice alcohol taste. Warms you right up with a pleasant flavor and a burn that lets you know you're still a man.

Paul's Third: Empire Summer (Small Taste) - Its a light summer beer. It is heavy on the pilsner malts, and I don't mean that as a bad thing. It's got a nice hop flavor at the beginning before the malts take over. It's an nice take on an American pilsner.

Brad's Third: Empire Summer (Small Taste) - a typical summer beer - light and easy to drink, perfect for a growler and summer concert in Central Park.

Phil's Third: Empire Summer (Small Taste) - nice summer from Empire. A good balance between the hops and the very present Pilsner breads taste. Nice and light with a hint of citrus from the lemon it's fermented with, all in all a great light beer to have on a Saturday afternoon in the sunshine.

Graham's Third: Empire Summer (Small Taste) - The first thing this brew says to me is bread. In a good way. The forward malt factor adds a nice depth that is carried by the refreshing quality of this brew. Good for a summer day when you want a beer that has some substance.

Paul's Fourth: Liv and Let Rye (full pour) - This is their new Rye IPA, this is a style that is relatively new and one that I am a big fan of. This one has a great hop character that mixes well with the rye malts. This has a great flavor that leaves you refreshed, it's a great beer that I could drink anytime.

Brad's Fourth: Liv and Let Rye (full pour) - I like this a lot- with the recent influx of Rye beers in the market, this stands in the middle of strong rye taste and smoothness. I'll be sure to enjoy this taste because I don't know when I'll see this again (hard to type with crossed fingers...)

Phil's Fourth: Liv and Let Rye (full pour) - yum yum yum. I love rye IPA's and this one is no slouch to the style. Double the rye over what is usually put in one of these let's the bitterness run wild with the hops and gives a fantastic overall taste.

Graham's Fourth: Liv and Let Rye (full pour) - this brew creates a conundrum in my mind. Most of the rye beers I've had are super in your face deliciouscity. Empire boasts that they use almost double the average rye malts compared to other rye brewers. However, this one is kind of low key in comparison. Maybe it's because the other ryes are brewed with extra hops for that intense flavor. When I heard double rye malts however, I thought punch in the face. Not quite.

Paul's Fifth: Empire Blueberry Ale (small pour) - For a blueberry beer, and I don't want to talk down to blueberry beers, this is excellent. Lots of blueberry beers lose the fruit flavor to the beer flavor, but this one... This holds the blueberry flavor throughout and reminds me more of another carbonated alcoholic beverage than it does a beer. This isn't a bad thing either, it's a great blueberry beer. If you are open to that sort of thing and come across this beer get yourself a pint.

Brad's Fifth: Empire Blueberry Ale (small pour) - This is very tasty - not too blueberry and not too weak. Having toured Maine and their blueberry beer obsession - this is right up there.

Phil's Fifth: Empire Blueberry Ale (small pour) - this one is not a fruited up as you think. Usually the blueberry beers you find are overly fruity with either not enough beer taste, or a strong beer flavor that completes with the fruit. This one toes that line, maybe straying onto the beer side more than the fruit, with a nice bitter flavor to counter the sweetness of the blueberries. Another good summer afternoon choice in my book.

Graham's Fifth: Empire Blueberry Ale (small pour) - I enjoyed the blueberry thoroughly. Very reserved but still present. Nicely refreshing but not too sweet. Exactly what you want a brewer to do with the king of fruits.

The Beer Friends Sixth: Empire IPA - purchased by Dave (the owner) and Liv ( the NYC rep) for the bar - because they are that awesome. Congratulations to creating great craft beer and the hard work put into every drop.

And here we are. Our Empire t-shirts to show our love!

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New York City Craft Beer Events for the Week of May 15, 2011

Graham

I woke up this morning with great expectations.  The sun was shining, a warm summer breeze blowing through the air, the smell of blossoming plants and then I opened my eyes.  Rain.  Thunder.  Fog.  And it was cold.  And it will be happening all week long.  Then I looked at the list of craft beer events happening this week.  The clouds parted, the sun came back out and the annoying spitting from the dense fog that engulfed the city transformed into a soft mist reminiscent of the Irish countryside.  Yea, craft beer has that affect on me. Tuesday, May 17 - Empire Brewing Company Night @ Rattle n' Hum, Manhattan:

Imagine you were taking a boat trip down the Erie Canal (10 points if you know where the Erie Canal is) rafting through the port towns of Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo and you wanted a beer.  The obvious choice is Empire Brewing Company.  Started in Syracuse and at

times brewing in Buffalo and Rochester it is Western New York's favorite brewery.  They'll be bringing an impressive selection of their brews (which are all impressive) to Rattle n' Hum this Tuesday.    Check out this list of brews:

Empire Brown Ale Empire Wheat Wine Empire IPA (Falconers Flight) Empire Maple Porter

Empire State Pale Ale Deep Purple 2010 Barley Wine 2009 Barley Wine Aged in a Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrel Empire Light Lager Empire Amber Ale Empire Cream Ale White Aphro Black magic Stout

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

Wednesday, May 18 - Great Brewers Beer Tasting @ George Keeley's, Manhattan:

Great Brewers is a group that represents some of the greatest brewers internationally and in the US.  Their draughts are most easily recognized by the light wood tap handles with the Great Brewers seal.  When you get a pour from one of those tap handles, you know you're getting something good.  Green Port (Long Island), Ballast Point (California), Hitachino (from Hong Kong), Schekerla (Germany) and La Rulles (Belgium).  After all nothing is more international than Long Island.  Here's the list:

Greenport Harbor Black Duck Porter, Greenport Harbor Harbor Ale, Greenport Harbor Canard Noir, Greenport Harbor Ahtamaic IPA, Greenport Harbor Rye Saison Cask, Ballast Point Yellow Tail Pale Ale, Ballast Point Abandoned Ship, Ballast Point Wahoo Wheat, Hitachino Ginger, Schekerla Smoked Lager and La Rulles Triple.

George Keeley's is located at 485 Amsterdam Avenue between 83th and 84th streets, Upper West Side, Manhattan.

Wednesday, May 18 - Victory Night @ The Double Windsor, Brooklyn:

Some would say napalm in the morning smells like victory.  We say hops anytime smells like victory.  And Victory. The winningest brewing company ever will be visiting the Double Windsor in Brooklyn this Wednesday.  And they'll be helping you achieve victory with some of their best brews:

Hop Wallop Imperial IPA Hop Devil IPA Yakima Glory Black IPA Headwaters Pale Ale Whirlwind Wit St. Boisterous Hellerbock St. Victorious Dopplebock Braumeister Pils Donnybrook Stout

All for $5 and the first person to bring the bartender a bag of Milano cookies gets a free pint.  Milano's = victory.

The Double Windsor is located at 210 Prospect Park West between 14th and 15th Streets, Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Wednesday, May 18 - Oregon Beer Night @ The Stag's Head, Manhattan:

Beer president of America?  Colorado.  Beer vice president of America?  Oregon.  Oregon, the state, with the help of its best breweries will be showcasing its history of brewing tradition.  Join Rogue, Elysian, Full Sail and Dick's at the Stag's Head to celebrate all things Oregon.  Well, mostly just the beer.  And Phil.

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

Thursday, May 19 - River Horse Tap Takeover @ Bierkraft, Brooklyn:

Here at the Beer Friends we try to be equal-opportunity when it comes to the neighborhoods, counties and states in the New York City metropolitan area.  Certain places get a bad rap with the rest of the world - Murray Hill, Staten Island and Jersey.  Well, River Horse is working to redeem New Jersey's image with the beer world and they're doing a damn good job at it.  They'll be taking over the taps at Bierkraft this Thursday.  The full list has yet to be released but we expect it to be pretty refreshingly gnarly.  Jersey totally just jumped Staten Island in the rankings.

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

Saturday, May 21 - Sixpoint Brewery and Tacos El Bronco @ Sycamore, Brooklyn:

Alright, I know we've made several claims regarding the best food to eat while consuming craft brew, but it's been decided:  Tacos.  The famed Brooklyn taco truck - Tacos El Bronco (as in served from a Ford Bronco) will be making a point to prove their case when it comes to food/beer pairing.  They will be bringing the best tacos in Brooklyn out to Sycamore and Sixpoint Craft Ales will be pouring their namesake and seasonal brews.  I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  Literally.  Top of the "Ways to Spend a Saturday Afternoon List."

Sycamore is located at 1118 Cortelyou Road between Westminster Road and East 11th Street, Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Friday, May 20 - Sunday, May 22 - Maine Beer Weekend @ The Pony Bar, Manhattan:

Maine is the unsung hero of East Coast craft beer.  One of the least populated states on the east coast with most of the population hugging the Atlantic Maine's craft beer is full of fisherman culture and grit.  Malty, full-bodied brews that shine nicely in the noon-day sun next to a pile of steamers on the beach.  IPA's that are hopped to the teeth that pair perfectly with the days deep-water catch.  Stouts that are roasted to perfection packed to the gills with body that a master of the ocean would consume during a rugged winter night filled with crab fishing.

The Pony Bar shares our sentimental views of Maine, seafood and beer and they are throwing the 3rd Annual Maine Beer Weekend.  Belgian brews straight from Allagash, fishermen's straight from Shipyard and Seadog and malty, woodsy brews from Geary's will fill the draught board and the cask lines.  Fresh seafood shipped in straight from Maine will be cooked up by the gastropub culinary geniuses behind Pony's usual menu - we're talking lobster rolls, scallop sliders and fried oysters.

There's even a hint that some super-special brews will be on tap but cannot be mentioned due to legal reasons.

I like that.  A lot.

See you this weekend!

The Pony Bar is located at 637 10th Avenue on the Northwest Corner of 45th Street, Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan.