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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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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:


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • Best of 2014: Cooking with Beer

    Cooking with Beer - December 12, 2014

    We don't just like making and drinking beer - we love cooking with it too! When added to your favorite appetizers, entrees, and even desserts, beer adds a whole new level of flavor and complexity to standby recipes. It can also inspire you to try something new - like swapping wine for beer in mussels, taking a hoppy approach to cocktails or adding some stout our porter to homemade ice cream.

    We have way more fun cooking with beer when we also have a beer in hand, so pick up a few bottles and try your hand at our five favorite beer-infused recipes from the past year:


  • Hop of the Month: Progress

    Hop of the Month, Brew School - December 10, 2014

    Originally developed by Horticulture Research International at the UK's Wye College, the Progress hop was created to replace the Fuggle hop, which has had a history of weakness towards the hop disease Wilt. Despite showing a higher resistance to Wilt, Progress proved susceptible to other hop diseases, and never actually replaced the Fuggle hop. The plant itself is tall and has a cone that looks similar to the Fuggle cone, but is more open.

    This hop is dual-purpose with bittering abilities and is known to impart earthy and citrusy flavors, as well as sweet berry and juniper, and is sometimes described as spicy.


  • 2 O'Clock Tasting: Hard Ciders from Bordatto Etxaldea, Sidreria Sarasola, Virtue, and Domaine Dupont

    2 O'Clock Tastings - December 8, 2014

    With the release of our Hard Cider Kits this fall, we have been on a mission to show people that a glass of hard cider can be every bit as complex and exciting as a pint of beer. Cider has a rich history; from the orchards and pubs of the English countryside, to the sagardotegi of the Basque region of Spain, cider makers have developed strong traditions using local apple varietals and wild yeasts to produce fascinating ciders that celebrate the terroir and character of their land.

    At our tasting table this week, we flew in a flight of ciders from cideries across the globe. We tasted Basandere and Bassa Juan from Bordatto Etxaldea, located in the Basque region of southern France; Sarasola Sagardoa from Sidreria Sarasola, located in the Basque region of Spain; The Ledbury from Virtue, located in Michigan; and Dupont Reserve from Domaine Dupont, located in the Normandy region of France. Read on for our tasting notes, and leave a comment to let us know what you think!


  • Apple Blending Basics For Hard Cider

    Brew School - December 5, 2014

    The craft cider industry is booming - most orchards can’t produce enough cider apples to meet the current demand! As a result, most cider makers in the states use the same apples that you can find at your local market. By blending apples with different characteristics, cideries craft juice with the sweetness, acidity and tannins required to produce a great hard cider. We love going to local farmer's markets and finding new apples to experiment with in our Hard Cider Kit - nothing is more thrilling than finding a new varietal that could elevate our next batch.


  • 2 O'Clock Tasting: Odell Brewing Company

    2 O'Clock Tastings - December 3, 2014

    While working on our second book, Make Some Beer: Small-Batch Recipes from Brooklyn to Bamberg, we had the opportunity to meet and work with craft breweries across the country. Odell Brewing Company graciously opened the doors for us to their tasting room in Fort Collins, Colorado. We shared drinks with Brendan McGiveny (Head of Production) and Doug Odell (the original co-founder) who inspired our Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Stout recipe.

    Founded by Doug, Wynne and Corkie Odell in 1989, Odell Brewing Company was one of the first microbreweries to open in Colorado. In what started as an after-hours side project, the brewery has developed a full-fledged barrel aging program. From Belgian ales aged in new American oak, to imperial porters aged in spent Fernet barrels, Odell is producing fascinating and innovative barrel-aged beers. We managed to snag four bottles for our tasting table - Woodcut No. 5, Woodcut No. 6, The Meddler and the Fernet Aged Porter. Read on for our tasting notes and leave a comment if you’ve tried any!


  • Join Us at the Union Square Holiday Market!

    Brew Trips & Fests - December 1, 2014

    We're really getting into the holiday season, and nothing gets us more in the spirit than the opening of our booth at the Union Square Holiday Market! Whether you are just visiting the city for a few days or NYC is where you call home, you can find us at the Market everyday until Christmas Eve. We'll have our stylish, easy-to-use Beer Making Kits and Mixes - from Jalapeño Saison and Grapefruit Honey Ale to our Evil Twin Bikini Beer Collaboration Kit - as well as our brand new Hard Cider Kits and Refill Packs for all your brewing wants and needs.

    Our booth is located at the SW corner of the market, right across from Arancini Bros, who are selling delicious, Nutella-filled rice balls(!). We can't wait to see you there!


  • 2 O'Clock Tasting: Goose Island's Bourbon County 2013

    2 O'Clock Tastings - November 24, 2014

    Every year on Black Friday, eager beer lovers wake up with a crazy glint in their eyes. Shadowing delivery trucks from stop to stop or queuing up outside liquor stores at the crack of dawn, they wait with baited breath for some of the most widely anticipated beers of the year. Black Friday means one thing and one thing only: the release of the year’s Goose Island Bourbon County series.


  • 2 O'Clock Tasting: Birra del Borgo

    2 O'Clock Tastings - November 21, 2014

    We took a trip overseas for this week's 2 O'Clock Tasting (ok, not really, but bear with us) to none other than Birra del Borgo Brewery between the hilly regions of Lazio and Abruzzo in Borgorose, Italy (in the province of Rieti - it's just 70 kilometers from Rome). Birra del Borgo Brewery was founded in 2005 by Leonardo Di Vincenzo who, originally just experimenting, fell in love with brewing while studying biochemistry at university. By 2009, Birra del Borgo was thriving, and Leonardo opened a larger production facility to house his expanding brewery. Birra del Borgo has several year-round beers, seasonal selections and a series of experimental beers - and is a huge part of Italy’s growing craft beer movement.


  • Apple of the Month: McIntosh

    Brew School - November 19, 2014

    Discovered by John McIntosh, a farmer in Ontario in the early 19th century, the McIntosh apple thrives in the climate of the Northeast and achieves its best flavor in colder apple-growing regions. Most production is centered in New England and in Quebec and Ontario.

    Bright crimson with a pearl white flesh, the McIntosh has a simple direct sweetness with tart, refreshing acidity and a hint of red wine flavor. The taste of the apple fades rapidly after picking - for best results, pick your own or buy them from your local farmers' market.

    When introduced to yeast, the character of the McIntosh changes. Most of the apple's sweetness goes away, leaving behind a subtle acidity and a delightful aroma with a hint of a red wine. McIntosh apples will bring a lovely nose to your finished hard cider.


  • Ultimate Beer Thanksgiving

    Spent Grain Chef, Cooking with Beer, Beer List - November 17, 2014


  • Recipe: Hard Cider Pudding

    Cooking with Beer, Recipes - November 14, 2014

    Beer-filled desserts are a staple at Brooklyn Brew Shop (see Peanut Butter Porter Ice Cream Cake, Spent Grain Spent Grain Macarons and more for examples). We love the complexity that beer lends to crust, chocolate and any sort of sweet. Since we debuted our new Hard Cider Kit this fall, we began experimenting with hard cider in the kitchen, too! Pudding seemed like a great place to start, and this version is spectacular (and simple). It's thick and velvety with butterscotch and apple notes - irresistible to stray spoons on the counter.


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