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  • 2 O'Clock Tasting: J.W. Lees Harvest Ales 2011

    2 O'Clock Tastings - February 4, 2015

    J.W. Lees is all about cask beer. Based in North Manchester, the sixth-generation family business is known for their critically acclaimed English barleywine ales. The four we sampled were essentially the same 2011 Harvest Ale to begin with - but when aged in different barrels for four months, each flavor changed drastically. Whether it was a balanced vanilla or smokey scotch, the ales all around were 11.5% ABV and had a similar copper shade in appearance. Read on for more of our tasting notes with J.W. Lees!

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  • Recipe: Stovetop Beer Mac and Cheese

    Cooking with Beer, Recipes - February 2, 2015

    Some dishes seem like they were invented just to be experimented with (re: add beer to) - and we think mac and cheese is the perfect blank canvas to get creative! When we developed our Beerchamel recipe, we knew the logical next step would be to prepare one of our favorite comfort foods with it.

    Instead of using powders or concentrates, or grating 10 blocks of cheese, using Beerchamel will cut your prep time in half and double the creaminess of your sauce. In addition to Beerchamel, you can add just about anything to make this mac your own - chiles, mushrooms, greens - really, just about anything.

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  • 2 O'Clock Tasting: Borealis Fermentery

    2 O'Clock Tastings - January 30, 2015

    Ken Thiemann of Borealis Fermentary is your modern day 'beer brewing badass.' A near-death fall and a four year construction process did not even yield the one-man-show from his determined goal - to share his love of Belgian style ales with the North Shore of Minnesota.

    Between the Borealis brews' taste and the architecture of his brewery, Thiemann is heavily influenced by the Netherlands and Belgium. He built his straw bale brewery 'literally by hand' surrounding the shores of Lake Superior and it is one of the few in the United States. He almost did not finish the process - by falling 30 feet off of his roof head-first. He miraculously managed to survive and continued on the constructing process, until the fun part - the brewing!

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  • Video: How to Bottle

    Brew School - January 28, 2015

    We know you've been waiting - your beer has been, too! Bottling properly is just as important as brewing, and we've put together this video to help you through every step. Sanitizing your equipment is always important, and make sure you've got a capper and caps on hand if you don't have swing top bottles. You're just a couple weeks away from delicious beer - beer that you made by hand. How cool is that?

    Before you bottle, re-read your instructions, and if you aren't sure about how to proceed, just email us your questions! We're available via Facebook, twitter and Instagram, too!

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  • Ultimate Beer Super Bowl Spread

    Spent Grain Chef, Cooking with Beer, Beer List - January 26, 2015

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  • 2 O'Clock Tasting: Indeed Brewing Company

    2 O'Clock Tastings - January 23, 2015

    Started by three former college roommates Rachel Anderson, Nathan Berndt and Thomas Whisenand in 2011, Indeed Brewing Company is a rapidly growing brewery based in the heart of the arts district in Northeast Minneapolis. From lavenders and dates to hickory-smoked peppers and Mexican honey, Headbrewer Josh Bischoff leads a program that is producing fascinating, complex beers with high-quality ingredients.

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  • Recipe: Beerchamel

    Cooking with Beer, Recipes - January 21, 2015

    One of the "mother" sauces of France and Italy, béchamel has been around for what seems like ages. Made from a roux of butter and flour mixed with milk, it's the base of several classic sauces - such as Mornay, a cheese sauce - and is used in a great variety of dishes like lasagna, gratins, soufflés, and one of our favorites, mac and cheese! Our take, aptly titled Beerchamel, adds flavor complexity to the sauce and makes the perfect addition to your favorite comfort foods, whether hoppy, nutty or slightly sweet. It's the key to making your mac super smooth and creamy!

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  • Apple of the Month: Braeburn

    Brew School - January 16, 2015

    First discovered in New Zealand in the 1950s, Braeburn revolutionized the apple industry by being the first commercial apple with a depth of flavor that rivaled old classic varieties. At their best, Braeburns are top-notch tart dessert apples. Crisp, sharp and refreshing with strong apple flavors, Braeburns carry a balanced sweetness and occasionally hints of pear drop flavor. Braeburns are are most delicious after picking. Some growers and supermarkets offer premium tree-ripened Baeburns from time to time; seek these out.

    There are two major downsides to Braeburns. First, poor quality control - Braeburns are grown throughout the warm apple-growing regions of the world and also store very well. This means that quality and flavor can vary wildly as they arrive in different countries at different times of the year. Secondly, Braeburns are difficult to grow organically. Apple varieties like Topaz have been developed to be more disease resistant and share many of the same characteristics which make Braeburns so tasty.

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  • Video: How to Brew

    Brew School - January 14, 2015

    The day has arrived - it's time to make some beer! Check out our How to Brew video for a step-by-step visual guide to the process, and then make sure you don't forget to download instructions before heading to the kitchen. Whether this is the first (or fifth, or fiftieth) brew day, we want to make sure your beer making goes smoothly. Our Brew Timeline is a great place to start, and you'll find a checklist that we recommend completing each time you brew. We wish we could be in the kitchen helping you, but we're just a tweet or email away!

    Before you brew, re-read your instructions, check out our Beer Making FAQs, and email us your questions! We want to see your beer, too - share your photos on Facebook, twitter and Instagram!

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  • 2 O'Clock Tasting: Wicked Weed Brewing

    2 O'Clock Tastings - January 12, 2015

    King Henry VIII once declared that hops were “a wicked and pernicious weed” destined to ruin beer. This quote is the inspiration behind the name Wicked Weed Brewing, started by brothers Walt and Luke Dickinson. Focused on bold and hoppy West Coast ales and authentic Belgian sours and wild beers, Wicked Weed Brewing has developed a reputation for creative and inspired brews.

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  • Video: Unboxing Your Beer Making Kit

    Brew School - January 9, 2015

    You just got your Beer Making Kit - so now what? It's time to open it up and get familiar with your tools, from the glass fermenter or thermometer to the grains, hops and yeast you'll be brewing with. We know it can feel intimidating at first, but we're here every step of the way to help!

    Get your instructions here, check out our Beer Making FAQs and email us if you have any questions.

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  • 2 O'Clock Tasting: Cigar City/Widmer Brothers Gentlemen's Club Collaboration

    2 O'Clock Tastings - January 7, 2015

    We are big fans of what Cigar City Brewing is doing to push the frontier of craft brewing. From their Cucumber Saison to their Horchata Ale, this Tampa Bay-based brewery is producing adventurous beers for drinkers around the country. Earlier this year, we tasted their Jai Alai India Pale Ale and Florida Cracker along with their limited-release beers Hopped On The High Seas and white oak-aged Jai Alai to our 2 O'Clock Tasting. While we were writing Make Some Beer: Small-Batch Recipes from Brooklyn to Bamberg, we also had the chance to speak with Cigar City’s Vice President Justin Clark and pick his brain on cocktail inspired beers.

    In 2013, Cigar City Brewing partnered with Widmer Brothers Brewing, based out of Portland, Oregon, to produce a beer inspired by the classic Old Fashioned cocktail. Widmer Brothers Brewing is a powerhouse in Northwest brewing; brothers and founders Kurt and Robert Widmer were responsible for reviving German-style craft beers in the Pacific Northwest. Widmer Brothers recently celebrated their 30th Anniversary by launching "30 Beers for 30 Years", featuring 30 small-batch brews of their most memorable beers from their 30 year history. We’ve recently featured Widmer Brothers' Citra Blonde Summer Brew and Drifter Pale Ale in our Hop of the Month column.

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  • Make Some Beer: Brew Timeline

    Brew School - January 5, 2015

    The day is here! Your Beer Making Kit has arrived, you've cleared your schedule - you're ready to make beer.

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  • 2 O'Clock Tasting: Deck & Donohue

    2 O'Clock Tastings - January 2, 2015

    On our recent trip to Europe, we combed through our favorite Parisian bottle shops to collect beers for the ultimate stateside tasting of Deck & Donohue. Founders Thomas Deck and Mike Donohue met in 2002 while attending Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. In 2005, this Alsatian-American duo brewed their first batch of beer together in San Francisco, where Mike started brewing at 21st Amendment Brewing. Over the years, the duo continued to develop their passion for beer, traveling together to breweries, brewing their own beers and attending tastings around the world. Thomas and Mike quit their jobs in 2013, and opened their own brewery in Montreuil, an eastern suburb of Paris. Stamping their names on their brewery, Deck & Donohue produce classic, quality beers with locally sourced ingredients.

    De notre voyage récent en Europe, nous avons visité notre magasins de bières préférés pour collectionner des bières pour une dégustation aux États-Unis de Deck & Donohue. Les Fondateurs Thomas Deck et Mike Donohue se sont rencontrés en 2002 pendant leurs études à Georgetown University à Washington, D.C. En 2005, ce duo Alsacien-Américain a brassé son premier lot de bière ensemble à San Francisco, où Mike a commencé à brasser à 21st Amendment Brewing. Au fil des années, le duo continuait à développer sa passion de bière, voyageait ensemble aux brasseries, brassait de ses propres bières et allait aux dégustations de par le monde. Thomas et Mike ont démissionné leurs travails en 2013, et ont ouvert leur propre brasserie à Montreuil, une banlieue à l’est de Paris. Avec leurs noms sur la brasserie, Deck & Donuhue produit des bières classiques et de qualité avec des ingrédients d’origine locale.

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  • Best of 2014: Favorite Beers

    Beer List - December 31, 2014

    We try a lot of beer (we're dangerously close to 150 2 O'Clock Tastings since we started Brooklyn Brew Shop), and we're always excited to reminisce about our favorites from this past year. We asked our staff what their top beers were from 2014, whether it's something we've tasted as a group or just a personal favorite. Ranging from lighter, lesser-known styles like gruit and Berlinerweisse to hard ciders or bourbon-laced stouts, it's safe to say that our team has enjoyed some great beers this year.

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  • Best of 2014: 2 O'Clock Tastings

    2 O'Clock Tastings - December 29, 2014

    Another year of 2 O'Clock Tastings are in the books! Since we started Brooklyn Brew Shop, we've tasted beer from close to 150 breweries. It's always one of our favorite parts of the week when we get to sit around the table and share beer, taste it and talk about it. This year, we revisited old favorites, explored new offerings and cracked open treasures we saved.

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  • 2 O'Clock Tasting: Cascade Brewing Kriek Vertical 2008-2013

    2 O'Clock Tastings - December 22, 2014

    Sour pie cherries, stunning mahogany gradients and innovative barrel aging were all a part of this week's 2 O'Clock Tasting - straight from Portland, Oregon! Cascade Brewing, a pioneer of the sour beer movement, prides itself on the yearly release of its Kriek and we were excited to try the same beer from the past several years to experience each brew's nuances.

    Utilizing hundreds of barrels that, at one time, carried whiskey, wine and sherry, Cascade incorporates the faint residue of these alcohols when producing each Kriek. The results are rich, complex and tasty, with different strains of bacteria and varying sourness diversifying each brew.

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  • Best of 2014: Spent Grain Chef Recipes

    Spent Grain Chef - December 19, 2014

    Every year, as we brew more beer, we're left with more spent grain to test in recipes! We perfected our method for transforming spent grain into flour years ago, and have been making our own flour ever since. From Grapefruit Bars to Mexican Wedding Cookies, spent grain adds a warm, nutty and complex flavor to to your favorite breads, pastries and desserts.

    Spent grain is one of our favorite ingredients. Finding ways to make delicious treats out of something that most brewers throw away is a challenge we embrace. These are our favorite Spent Grain Chef Recipes of 2014:

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  • 2 O'Clock Tasting: Deschutes Brewery & Goose Island Brewery Class of '88 Belgian Style Strong Ales

    2 O'Clock Tastings - December 17, 2014

    In celebration of their shared 25th anniversary, five craft breweries are working together to brew commemorative beers for the Class of ’88. Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon and Goose Island Brewery from Chicago, IL, have each brewed their own versions of a Belgium Style Ale, and features a recipe that the two breweries concocted together. The recipe includes Mt. Hood hops, Pilsner malt, Michigan Riesling and Oregon Pinot Noir grapes, and an aging process in Muscat barrels. We tried and compared these two beers for this week’s 2 O’Clock Tasting, and even with a similar recipe, the two beers were very different.

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  • Apple of the Month: Golden Russet

    Brew School - December 15, 2014

    The Golden Russet apple was first discovered in the mid 19th century in upstate New York. A dull yellow gold with a creamy white flesh, this apple is prized for its rich, nutty flavor and its versatility in cider making. Both intensely sweet and acidic, the Golden Russet not only makes an excellent base for blending with other apples, but is also one of the few apples that can stand on its own in a single-varietal cider.

    For a time, Golden Russets were widely available commercially. They fell out of fashion for several decades, but the resurgence of craft cideries has breathed new life into this variety. Look for Golden Russets at road-side stands and farmers markets around the country.

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