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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: sierra nevada

BFF4 Round 5: #Final4

Beerfriend Paul

The day we know the final four contestants for the 2013 Stanley Cup we also have the last 4 beers in the 2013 #BFF4! In this years Final 4 we have two #1 seeds going up against each other on one side of the bracket and we have two beers who have already had to defeat more popular brews to get to this point.

If you need some help deciding you can watch each video for our “expert” opinion. If you’d like to tell us why one of these beers should win over the other you can tweet us @thebeerfriends or find us on Facebook. it won’t help that beer win any but we’ll enjoy it.

EAST vs MIDWEST

#1 vs #1

#1 Cigar City Maduro Brown

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xd5IsXFap0?feature=player_embedded&w=640&h=360]

#1 Left Hand Milk Stout

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lo51DFJ0rZo?feature=player_embedded&w=640&h=360]

Both of these brews had to defeat some great breweries and beers to make it to this point.  Both being #1 seeds there were expected to make it far in this tournament, but now only 1 can move forward into the championship round.

[polldaddy poll=7139799]

 

WEST vs NY/CA

#6 vs #4

#6 21st Amendment Bitter American

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yflo0Le5_Rk?feature=player_embedded&w=640&h=360]

#4 Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Hop Harvest (2011)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ddeYDPkXgY?feature=player_embedded&w=640&h=360]

These 2 underdogs have a great fan following that has propelled them through this tournament.  This battle two brews that use hops uniquely, it's the Hoppy Session ale up against the Fresh Hop Harvest Ale.

[polldaddy poll=7139802]

BFF4 Round 4: #elite8

Beerfriend Paul

After a bit of a hiatus, we are back to finish the 2013 Beer Friends Final 4! We have 3 rounds left to go, this round will decide which beer wins each region and moves on to the Final Four!

If you need some help deciding you can click on the links to each video for our “expert” opinion. If you’d like to tell us why one of these beers should win over the other you can tweet us @thebeerfriends or find us on Facebook. it won’t help that beer win any but we’ll enjoy it.

EAST REGION

#1 vs #2

In a craft beer culture that is still very hop heavy, this final match up in the East Region we have two brews that are famous for something other than hops..  Cigar City Maduro Brown is a "Northern English style Brown Ale" that is very malt heavy creating a very deep complex brown ale that brings a sweet subtle flavor to a deep dark beer.  Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce comes from Yards Brewing Company and brings the great history of American brewing to present day. Made from an old recipe by Ben Franklin, this brew brings the style of a spruce ale to present day while preserving the history of our forefather's brewing style.

[polldaddy poll=7052608]

MIDWEST

#1 vs #10

After facing brews from Founder's in every round of this tournament so far, Left Hand Milk Stout faces its biggest challenge yet.   Founder's Curmudgeon's Better Half Brings the flavor of Founder's Curmudgeon and adds the innovation of Founder's Canadian Breakfast Stout.  Aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels, Curmudgeon's Better Half adds a boozy sweetness to this already delicious Old Ale, it's a big beer with a big flavor. The question is will it be enough for Founder's Brewing to finally overthrow Left Hand's Milk Stout?

[polldaddy poll=7052609]

WEST REGION

#1 vs #6

This match up has come down to two brews that are famous for their similarities, hops and cans.  However, what sets them apart will surely be where you cast your vote.  First we have Oscar Blues Dales Pale Ale which brings a nice 6.5 abv with its 65 IBU's, this brew brings a strong hop flavor to this dangerously drinkable pale ale.  On the other side of this bracket we have 21st Amendment Bitter American.  With it's 4.4 abv and 42 IBU's 21st Amendment brings a brew that is mellow in comparison but doesn't sacrifice any of the flavor.  Will the popular hoppy pale ale take this round, or will the tasty session ale be the one to move on?

[polldaddy poll=7052610]

NY/CA REGION

#4 vs #10

This is the battle of fresh hops vs wet hops! The concept of fresh/wet hops is similar, but there is a difference; there is a great explanation of it on Sierra Nevada's website. Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Hop Harvest (2011) brings us fresh hops from New Zealand.  Basic run down of fresh hops (if you don't know) is the hops are picked, then dried, and then put into the brew within 7 days. Sixpoint Autumnation brings the wet hops which are hops that are undried, in their natural form, and put into the brew within 24 hours. Which of these hopping styles will be victorious and lead their brew to the #final4?

[polldaddy poll=7052611]

BFF4 Round 3: #Sweet16 Part 2

Beerfriend Paul

Today we finish up the second half of Round 3! Voting goes thorough the weekend, Round 4 to start Monday! If you need some help deciding you can click on the links to each video for our “expert” opinion. If you’d like to tell us why one of these beers should win over the other you can tweet us @thebeerfriends or find us on Facebook. it won’t help that beer win any but we’ll enjoy it.

WEST REGION

#1 vs #5

In this battle of Colorado we have 2 beers that are aggressive when it comes to hops.  Oscar Blues Dales Pale Ale has been a trailblazer in the craft beer community for a long time; this well hopped pale ale was America's first hand-canned craft beer, and even though it calls itself a pale ale it packs a much larger punch.  It has its work cut out for it as it goes up against Breckenridge 471 Small Batch IPA.  This 9.2 abv double IPA packs in the hops and claims to bring "big sweet mouthfeel, followed by more hoppiness than you've ever had." This is a match up the hop heads should enjoy.

[polldaddy poll=7022798]

#6 vs #15

21st Amendment Bitter American is an "extra pale session ale" that brings a flavor you would expect form a much heavier brew.  It goes up against New Belgium 1554 which is an "enlightened black ale." Coming out in 1999, 1554 sets the bar for the newer fad of black beers that have come out the past few years.

[polldaddy poll=7022792]

NY/CA REGION

#1 vs #4

Lagunitas Censored Rich Copper ale brings the smooth malty flavor of this deep red ale to battle against the fresh hops of Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Hop Harvest (2011). These very different styles bring very different flavors to this battle of California.

[polldaddy poll=7022788]

#6 vs #10

This battle of East vs West gives us two brews meant for the last 3 months of the year.  Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye is a spicy darker IPA that was brewed for the cooler months later in the year. Sixpoint Autumnation is a harvest ale in the truest sense of the style.  Here we have a beer brewed with pumpkin and spice that help frame the main attraction in this beer, the fresh harvested "wet hops." Each year Sixpoint chooses a different strain of hops for this ale, The Beer Friends reviewed the 2011 version.

[polldaddy poll=7022781]

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 6!

Brad

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 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 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!

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!

Beer Review 111: "Can" You Taste the Difference? Sierra Nevada Torpedo

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation! Fresh off (recovering) our Live Blog of Idle Hands Sierra Nevada Night we have this review and blind taste test of Sierra Nevada Torpedo.  Now Torpedo was the first beer we reviewed and just recently they followed the latest trend in craft beer... canning craft beers.  In this review we revisit Sierra Nevada Torpedo and give a rating based on the canned version along with a discussion of the pros and cons of canning beers.  This is a little longer video - but a two parter!  Consider this part of our "Ken Burns" series of reviews.  Cans!  Nostalgia!  Famous Documentarians!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiqQT7pyFvw]

Live Blog! Bourbon and Beer Night at Idle Hands Bar: Sierra Nevada edition

Phil Foleen

It's Live Bloggerin' time!!!! (Phil's kinda excited for The Avengers). Hello Beer Friends Nation! Here we are again for our current favorite live blogging beer event at Idle Hands Bar in New York City welcoming Sierra Nevada to the stage. For now were are chilling with a couple of pre-gamers:

Phil's -1 Sierra Nevada Torpedo - alright I know this is why we're here, BUT I personally kicked two kegs for my first round just looking for a beer, so lay off. The only thing I have for this one is its actually got a bit of a spice note (talking like I know liquor). Pretty good actually and not what I was expecting, but I dont know if it's for real or a trick of the taps. I'll let you know when I have it again for the event.

Brad's -1 Troegs Nugget Nectar - I dig this beer. It's the only double/imperial Red I can remember because it's delicious. A deeper taste than any red (hence the double) it's still incredibly smooth. The downside is it's higher ABV (7ish) and I have a empty stomach. The latter part of this live blog might get interesting...

Phil's First Kellerweis - alright, I know everyone knows I'm not the biggest fan of German/wheat beers. This one included, BUT off the tap it's not so bad. I like the unfiltered part, there is a good bunch of bananas at the beginning, bane of my existence, but the most intriguing thing is I detect a distinct after taste of corn breakfast cereal that keeps me coming back.....at least till the end of this glass (thank god for 8 oz pours).

Brad's First Kellerweis - I like it! As explained to us by the Sierra Nevada guy, this is a unfiltered, open aired German wheat beer which allows for the yeast to germinate naturally. I like it but couldn't do them all the time, fortunately not a lot of American breweries are into this so I'll have to stick in the good ol' US of A

Phil and Brad's 2nd and 3rd Pale Ale & Ruthless Rye - what else can we say? Solid stand by brews, always take the Ruthless over the Pale. (insert shameless self plug of our own review)

Phil's 4th Hoptimum 2012 - So I love this one. Good bright and hoppy flavor with enough malts at the back that it doesn't dry you out, but not too much to overtake any of the flavor. Good competition for Torpedo in my opinion. I agree with the Sierra Nevada guy in that it's a very deceptive 10% ABV. You should probably pick this up when you see it.

Brad's 4th Hoptimum 2012 - Interesting... I believe this is the first year of this brew. It's like me signing my name "Brad 1981" every time. The hop taste is delicious - I feel it's like Sixpoint Resin but sweeter. I dig this beer - but the ABV is dangerous.

Phil's Last Torpedo - yes I know again, but I already told you that story. Always a classic, now my fourth fav from Sierra (thanks to Hoptimum), but definitely still pleases. Again the weird part is getting that slightly spicy note from the back end of the taste. Never really seen it before, but I'm not against it either. A good way to finish up the night, and if you haven't picked this one up in cans yet,do it.

Brad's Last Torpedo - yep. same old same old. This is a delicious beer. This was the first beer we reviewed and recently did a cans vs bottles taste test with it (look for the video in the upcoming days). I don't get the same spicy note Phil gets but he's weird like that. At least he only mentioned he didn't like Belgian beers once during this live blog...

Thanks for joining us tonight! Can't wait for the next one, thanks Idle Hands and Sierra Nevada!

P.S. Did I mention I don't like Belgian beers? Phil

P.P.S. Brad: "Two!"

Beer Review 99: Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye

Brad

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

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8Ovrb0TUB8]

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

Brad

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...