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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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New York Beer Events for the Week of August 20th - 25th

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! We know why you've come here today, just sit back and let us plan your week of beer swigging events...

Monday August 20th -

Murray's Cheese is a locals favorite of most New Yorkers - legendary on Bleecker, I recently had a true New Yorker get so excited that "Murray's now sells beer!" As if the craft beer revolution was now official in his mind.  Well, those of us who've been following for quite some time welcome Murray's Cheese to the table and let's see what they got!  On Monday, August 20th, Murray's Cheese pairs with the Shelton Brothers to present "Belgian Beers and Cheese" - the problem is (with Murray's being new to the craft beer scene - we're very cheap) it's $75 to get in and availability is limited (10 seats for this class).

Murray's Cheese is located at 254 Bleecker St., New York, NY

Tuesday August 21st -

Who doesn't like a little competition?  If there is one thing New Yorkers do well is tell you how great New York is, and we love to prove it.  So head down to Mission Dolores for their NY vs CA Can Beer Night.  Representing CA are breweries such as: Bear Republic, Firestone Walker, Sierra Nevada, 21st Amendment, Stone, Lagunitas and Green Flash.  Representing NY are breweries such as: Southern Tier, Sixpoint, Kelso, Barrier, Empire, Brooklyn Brewery, and Captain Lawrence.  So make your list of great NY things, and stuff from California you can crap on - and head on down!

Mission Dolores is located at 249 4th Ave., Brooklyn, NY 

Wednesday August 22nd -

The baseball season is winding down and most fans have realized whether or not they have a chance for the off-season.  This means that now baseball games actually start to mean something!  Standings is celebrating it by having a few baseball themed beers on tap including Green Monsta Ale from Wachusett Brewing Co. (it doesn't suck like the Sox this year...) and Summer Love from Victory (see the Sox comment and apply to Phillies).  Best thing about Standings? It's directly above Jimmy's No. 43 so make it a doubleheader!

Standings Bar is located at 43 East 7th St., New York, NY

If this doesn't sound interesting - check out Mad River Brewery at Blind Tiger.  Be sure to get there early, the event starts at 3pm and fills up quickly!

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

Thursday August 23rd - 

Bierkraft is legendary in Craft Beer in New York City - so when they invite a "new comer" like Barrier it must be a big deal.  Well, that's partly true - Barrier Brewing Co. is a really big deal.  Barrier started just three years ago in a 1 barrel facility, yada yada yada... a few awards later they've expanded to a five barrel facility in Oceanside, NY.  If you see them around, try their stuff - if you haven't - get to Bierkraft on Thursday when Barrier takes over the taps.

Bierkraft is located at 191 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn, NY

Feel like playing some video games?  Check out the greatest idea for a bar since... well ever - at Barcade in Williamsburg.  Barcade has a excellent draft list (always) and this Thursday they invite Flying Dog from Maryland.  In addition to their great year round beers (Gonzo, Snake Bite IPA), the draft list looks very dangerous, so bring your wits and your quarters.

Barcade Brooklyn is located at 388 Union Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

Friday August 24th - 

It's Friday!  Find a Happy Hour and enjoy yourself!  Be sure to check in on untappd.com and follow us at @thebeerfriends, @beerfriendbrad, @beerfriendphil, @beerfriendpaul, and @beerfriendgrahm and let us know what you're drinking!

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!

New York City Craft Beer Events for the Week of March 20, 2011

Graham

March Madness is fast upon us and we have some craft beer to keep you company while watching all the games.  If you happen to feel empty and wanting the minute-to-minute thrills of bracket competition  in between rounds then you should check in to The Beer Friends to vote on our own March Madness Tournament - Beer Style.  Whichever event we see you out at this week we expect to see you buried face first into your personal-internet-device as you continuously update TheBeerFriends.com to see who is leading the nations most important beer competition.  Vote early and vote often to help us decide what is the best beer in the country. Tuesday, March 22 - East Coast versus West Coast IPA Challenge @ Rattle n' Hum, Manhattan:

The Beer Friends have often discussed how American Craft Breweries often prove their worth by brewing a great IPA. It stands as a benchmark that solidifies you as a notable member of the American craft beer community.  Well, then what better way to judge an East Coast v West Coast competition then going head to head with IPA's. Expect a wide selection of hoppy brew from your favorite east coast and west coast breweries including cask offerings, barrel aged and rare releases that only the craft beer gurus at Rattle n' Hum can get their hands on.  East Coast verse West Coast? Let's let the hops decide!

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

Take the 6 train to 33rd. Walk West.

Tuesday, March 22 - Avery Brewery Event @ The Pony Bar, Manhattan:

Avery has long been know in and out of Colorado as a brewery that pushes the boundaries - making some of the hoppiest, maltiest, bad-assiest brews around.  They will be making their Pony Bar debut this Tuesday in full force - taking over all the taps and bringing some of their rarest pours.  Expect the Holy Trinity, Demon and Dictator Series to be hanging out - with a few of the rarer brews only available in 5 oz. pours, due to their extreme awesomeness.  Extreme Awesomeness.

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

Take the A/C/E to 42 St.-Port Authority.

Thursday, March 24 - Midwest Beer Night @ Barcade, Brooklyn:

When you walk by random people in the street do you say hello?  If someone bumps into you on the subway do you smile and wish them a good day?  Are you 24 and already married with three kids?  Do any of these things scare the crap out of you as the hard-ass New Yorker that you are?  Well then, this event is the event for you.  Whether you're from the Midwest or wonder what it means when someone "smiles" at you in a "friendly way" in public, we can all agree that they know how to brew some decent craft beer.  Expect your favorite suds from the following Midwest breweries: Arcadia, Atwater Block, Erie, Founders, Goose Island, Jolly Pumpkin, Kuhnhenn, Leinenkugel, Nebraska, Point, Schlafly and Two Brothers.

Even the most bad-assed, sarcastic New Yorker will be friendly as a Nebraska corn farmer after having one from each brewery.

Barcade is located at 388 Union Avnue, between Ainslie and Powers Streets, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Take the L to Lorimer Street.

Thursday, March 24 - Empire Brewery Tasting @ Dive Bar, Manhattan:

Empire Brewery will be making a big appearance Thursday night at Dive Bar on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  They'll be featuring 7 draft lines of Empires brews.  No specific names have been released yet but we can only hope that we get some Cream Ale, Black Magic Stout, Deep Purple, ESPA and many others.

Dive Bar is located at 732 Amsterdam Avenue between 95th and 96th Streets, Upper West Side, Manhattan.

Take the 1/2/3 or the B/C to 96th Street.

Thursday, March 24 - Bear Republic Tap Takeover @ Bierkraft, Brooklyn:

Bierkraft continues their plentiful weekly events by hosting one of California's strongest and hoppiest breweries - Bear Republic - this Thursday.  They say to expect some rare and not so rare stuff.  You know, here at the Beer Friends, we would care if they only poured Racer #5 and Hop Rod Rye - we'd drink em' up and have two of each.  Expect hops and California style in your favorite Brooklyn beer mecca.

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

Take the D/N/R to Union Street.

Friday, March 25 - Sunday, March 27 - Cask Ale Festival @ Rattle n' Hum, Manhattan:

Cask Ales are those elusive brews that every craft beer fan claims to love but rarely orders.  It's time we fix that.  Jump on in to a deep (15 - 20 line) selection of popular and not so popular craft ales at Rattle n' Hum this weekend.  You have 3 days, starting Friday, so we're pretty sure you can go from a novice to an expert by Sunday.  Even if you don't leave with any increased knowledge, you're brain will forgive you and your taste buds will love you.

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

Take the 6 to 33rd.

We hope to see all of you out at the events this week!  And remember the Beer Friends Final Four starts today with the Midwest Bracket and continues with the rest of the regions throughout the rest of the week.  Make sure you check in every day to vote in the new regions and in the new rounds!

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

New York City Good Beer Month Events: Week of July 19th

Graham

  

Woah! Another craft brew filled week during Good Beer Month here in New York City...and this month is jam packed with events!  Let's check a few out.  

Tues, July 20 - Rattle n' Hum, Manhattan: Our favorite Empire State Building beer bar will be featuring Southern Tier Tuesday night.   I am a big fan of the imperal ales from this brewery, I am specifically looking forward to the Oak Aged Unearthy and the Farmers Tan Imperial Pale Lager. Then I'll move to Phin & Matts Extraordinary Ale for something a little lighter...   

Tues, July 20 - Jimmy's No. 43, Manhattan: Every Tuesday this East Village basement cavern of craft brew holds $10 beer tastings with brewing experts.  This Tuesday will feature American made German style beer led by Sean from Victory Brewery.  Sean and the guys at Victory are just coming off a successful event over at Blind Tiger last Wednesday night.  Apparently they just decided to keep it rolling.  We're okay with that.  

Weds, July 21 - Blind Tiger Ale House, Manhattan: Merry Christmas!  In July!  Christmas in July, originally dreamt up by department stores to have an excuse to sell clothes has been commandeered by the craft beer world to provide us with a much needed excuse to consume the winter/holiday ales that we've been "aging" for the past six months.  Well, those long, dark six months are over and it's time to celebrate.  Blind Tiger will be featuring a multitude of winter and holiday brews to celebrate July's only real notable holiday.  Although, there use to be something that happened on the 4th...  

Thurs, July 22 - Swift, Manhattan: Come celebrate Belgian Independence Day with a special pour of Ommegang's Zur, their new sour beer.    They also are promising some other hard-to-find treats  

Thurs, July 22 - Jimmy's No. 43, Manhattan: These guys are busy this week.  On Thursday they are bringing us the Slow Food Oyster Festival with the help of local oyster grower Karen Rivera and Southhampton Brewing Co., which will be pouring all night with those oysters you're shooting.  

Thurs, July 22 -Standings, Manhattan: Bear Republic has been a NYC Good Beer Month favorite, as well as a Beer Friends favorite recently and they are back again!  Standings will be featuring four of their brews this Thursday.  Which ones will they be!?! Racer #5? Red Rocket? Crazy Ivan??  Only way to find out it to show up and have all four!  

Thurs, July 22 - The Gate, Brooklyn: Head on over to this Park Slope craft brew location to try a featured selection of Smuttynose Brewery's finest.  

This is a jam-packed Good Beer Month week.  The Beer Friends will be out attending as many events as possible, maybe even all of them?  Keep following our twitter and facebook feeds to see what we're up to, what we're drinking and where you can be the first to find us an grab a free pint!