Remember Robert Frost? He was a pretty great poet with some pretty great poems, including one in particular that has been misinterpreted over and over. Say what you will about the sanctity of art, but this misinterpretation has become incredibly important in American culture. We, as a society, have chosen this poem to champion the ideas of individualism and subversion of the norm. With that in mind, Two Roads Brewing Co.'s name (and motto: "Take the road less traveled") makes perfect sense, encapsulating their image as a craft beer innovator. In our currently-vast beer market, the branding is powerful.
2 O'Clock Tastings - September 28, 2015
Beer List - September 23, 2015
Beer News Mashup - September 21, 2015
We're very excited to announce our newest craft brewery collaboration! We've partnered withbrewmaster Garrett Oliver and Brooklyn Brewery to make it possible (and easy) for you to make your own batch of Brooklyn Sorachi Ace at home.
In creating the Brooklyn Sorachi Ace Beer Making Kit and Beer Making Mix (check out the mix if you already have a kit), we scaled down the production recipe straight from the brewery and include the same grain and hops that go into every bottle of Sorachi Ace the Brooklyn Brewery makes.
2 O'Clock Tastings - September 18, 2015
"Big things comes in small packages."
While the saying perilously dangles in the realm of cliches, few concepts exist as comfortably — and ring as true — as this one in the world of craft beer. With most states now fostering a handful of smaller, independent producers, drinkers all over the globe are finding more and more unorthodox beers created by their local micro- and nano-breweries.
Honestly, we're a bit hesitant when buying plums at the farmers market. Often they're fantastic to eat as soon as you get home. Mouthwateringly juicy and perfectly balanced between sweet and tart, a plum should be far from mealy with skin that's firm but not too firm. But sometimes a plum grown with the best intentions on a beautiful farm somewhere at least an hour from the city just doesn't taste that great no matter how many days you wait for it to ripen up. Read More...
Bar Profile - September 14, 2015
While brewing at home is great fun, the Brooklyn Brew Shop team likes to get out and grab a beer every once in a while. Who doesn't? With that in mind, we would like to give our fellow beer drinkers the scoop on some of the best beer bars in our area. From Brooklyn to Manhattan to the occasional stop out of town, here's where you might find us drinking tonight.
Ten seconds inside The Cannibal and the smell hits: a massive bouquet of smoke, meat and fire. It's house-made beef jerky and sausage. It’s a barbeque sucker-punch. The gastropub, located on 29th Street between Park and Lex, dwells in perpetual campfire mode, with every inch of the space, save for the outdoor seating, swept up in a wave of tantalizing eau de meat.
After about 20 seconds — once visitors snap back from their nose-coma — their eyes will likely hit the walls. In this slender, speakeasy-eque nook of a bar, the walls are rustically paneled with raw wood and lined with bottles upon bottles of beer. Belgians and IPAs, Goses and more line the shelves and fill the refrigerators, which whirr ceaselessly by the entrance.
At 30 seconds, the epiphany: This is a true-blue beer haven.
2 O'Clock Tastings - September 10, 2015
On Nine Pin Ciderworks' impeccably-designed website, there is a section, "Our Story," which chronicles the company's history. Opening with a part of the Rip Van Winkle myth, the story weaves the tale of the notorious narcoleptic's journey through the Catskill Mountains, searching for thunder and instead finding the sonorous cracking of nine pin bowling (played by the ghosts of Henry Hudson's sailors) into the backstory and inspirations of the cidery's founder, Alejandro del Peral. Throughout the saga, one thing is abundantly clear: Nine Pin is selling a story and a world along with its award-winning ciders.
Beyond the myth, Nine Pin showcases their commitment to New York's Capital District (a region upstate that generally refers to the four counties surrounding Albany) in everything they do. All four of their retail ciders, as well as the more than 30 experimental ones only on tap at their tasting room in downtown Albany, are concocted solely with apples from the finest local orchards. Knowing this, what's truly staggering about Nine Pin is the sheer range of flavor and style embodied by their ciders—though all three we tasted looked nearly identical, each delivered wildly different drinking experiences. Here's what we thought.
Brew School - September 8, 2015
For being so established as a traditional cider apple, the Yarlington Mill actually had a happenstance discovery. The wall along a water mill in Yarlington had a stubbornly strong tree growing apples that weren’t even that tasty. The English took note of its rich juiciness, however, and decided to make a cider via traditional methods of using just that apple in a batch or a “single-varietal.”
The Yarlington Mill is bittersweet and juicy, making it an excellent cider apple. Low in acids but high in tannin, this apple gives off a slight bitterness and astringency common in English ciders. The Yarlington Mill isn’t grown too much in the States despite its vigorous growing patterns and high yields. This is likely due to the fact that it is not that palatable when eaten fresh or when baked, unlike many of our other apples featured in our apples of the month. Strictly a cider apple, and strictly delicious in its alcoholic form!
2 O'Clock Tastings - August 31, 2015
Before becoming a brewery, Funky Buddha was a hookah and tea bar on the West Side Highway in Boca Raton, Florida. When owner, Ryan Sentz began exploring the world of craft beer and serving it at the lounge, word began to spread about Funky Buddha's penchant for unorthodox beers. By 2010, Sentz had purchased a larger space for his business on the West Side Highway, and the Funky Buddha Lounge and Brewery was born.
The USDA’s Hallertau hop triploid breeding program produced quite the American ancestry of hops. Among them include the Mount Hood hop and one of its half sisters, the Crystal hop. Out of all the siblings, Crystal is the most pungent. Created in 1983 in Oregon, this hop is most widely used in the U.S., but it can be found in English and German beers as well.
The scents of a forest are comparable to how Crystal smells. With pungent floral, woody and green tones, these natural earthy aromas make Crystal distinct from other descendents of the Hallertau hop. Its low alpha acid rating set the stage for idyllic aromatics. Despite its spice and fruit notes scaling more to the mild side, Crystal is still spicier than its parent the Hallertau. Continue celebrating this July with this hop that was born and raised in the USA.
2 O'Clock Tastings - August 24, 2015
In the world history of beer, pilsners are relatively recent. The light, universal style first became popular in the 1830s, engineered by a Bavarian in the German town of Pilsen. The primary source of the innovation was the use of bottom-fermenting yeasts, which yielded a livelier, more consistent beer than the traditional top-fermented brews. The combination of these yeasts with Pilsen's soft water, paler malt, and the market explosion of cheap, mass-produced glassware resulted in the pilsner becoming the new gold standard of light beer.
American craft pilsners are interesting, hybrid brews, with substantial variation. In this tasting, we try four pilsners from breweries across the U.S., from central California's Firestone Walker to Stratford, Conn.'s Two Roads Brewing.
Though each brewery adds intriguing details to set its pilsner apart, all four adhere to a sense of pastoral simplicity, finding the most compelling traits in nature's smallest details.
Beer News Mashup - August 21, 2015
We were recently invited to San Francisco to create an online class with our friends at Brit + Co., lovers of makers and all things craft. Beer Brewing 101 is now live with our very own co-founder and owner, Erica Shea as your guide, here to walk you through the step-by-step process of making beer.
2 O'Clock Tastings - August 18, 2015
To say that the owners of River Horse Brewing Co., Chris Walsh and Ben Bernabeo, appreciate a local craft brewery is an understatement.
While working finance jobs on Wall St. in 2007, the two then-"suits" with a hankering for craft beer decided to leave their white collars behind and funnel their money into the then-floundering River Horse, a brewery that opened in 1996 in Lambertville, N.J. and was losing its steam 11 years later. Read More...
Brew School - August 14, 2015
With an intense flavor and high aromatics, the Ashmead’s Kernel is for ardent apple admirers. They are true to not judging a book by its cover, for its outside appearance is drab and lumpy with brown speckles. Not so appetizing aesthetically, but certainly appetizing on the palate. It is said that in 1700 a Dr. Thomas Ashmead of Gloucester, England was the first to plant the seed, or “kernel,” of this tree. Although this apple is native to the UK, it is one of the few varieties that successfully flourished in North America as well. As a great cider apple that is good for winter storage, we are thankful for its emigration.
Ashmead’s Kernel has a pear drop flavor and a balance of sweetness and tartness. There is even a nuance of spice and nuts which additionally makes it a delightful dessert apple in addition to it being great for cider. The Ashmead’s Kernel never really took off as a commercially produced apple, giving it heirloom treatment.
2 O'Clock Tastings - August 10, 2015
Somewhere in Tarpon Springs, Florida, Saint Somewhere is brewing. The nanobrewery, which has been run solely by its founder and lone brewer, Bob Sylvester, since its inception in 2006, has come a long way since the initial brewdays in an industrial park. Currently, Saint Somewhere has spread its distribution reach to 43 states, as well as a few international destinations. Yet, after nearly 10 years and sizable growth, the brewery is still just as it was in the beginning.
If there is a leader of the current craft beer renaissance, it is the IPA. There isn’t even a question about it. Every year, new predictions are made as to the next big trend in craft beer, and every year, they are wrong. It seems as though nothing can beat this powerfully bitter brew. The IPA is a global market force - it’s popular, it’s here to stay, and it has its own international holiday (poetry unintended).
2 O'Clock Tastings - July 30, 2015
New York's nanobrewing climate is sizzling. With brand new micro- and nano-breweries cropping up across the boroughs, standing out is a serious challenge for many brewers.
This hasn't been the case for Rob Kolb and Anthony Accardi, co-founders of Transmitter Brewing. At their six-barrel operation out of Long Island City, Queens, Transmitter has quickly generated a loyal local following—after opening their doors just over a year ago in April 2014, the two brewers have produced over 35 different farmhouse-style ales and continue to add to their portfolio. Read More...
If you were on the internet at all this past weekend, you probably discovered that July 19th marked this year's iteration of National Ice Cream Day, that happy time when Americans forget their differences and sprint for the nearest ice cream shop in search of deals and giveaways. We can't blame them; who doesn't love free ice cream? Like, free stuff is good on its own. When that free stuff is ice cream...it just doesn't get much better than that.
We realized it does get better, though, for two reasons: first, National Ice Cream Day kicks off National Ice Cream Month, which is an idea we can get behind; and second, the holiday just turned 21! Since it can drink now, we've compiled a list of recipes for some of our favorite beer-based frozen treats, so you can celebrate this National Ice Cream Month in style.
2 O'Clock Tastings - July 24, 2015
With roots tracing back to an old, brick building in Junction City, Wis., Central Waters Brewing Company (now located in Amherst, Wis.) can evoke a sort of rags-to-riches story. The space, which used to be a barbershop—and before that, a Model-A Ford dealership—was purchased in 1996 by Mike McElwain and Jerome Ebel, two friends with some serious beer-making plans. After two years of planning and countless hours of cleaning and renovation behind them, Central Waters opened its doors in 1998 with a makeshift brewing system made of modified dairy equipment to produce its very first batches of beer.
Brew School - July 20, 2015
Discovered by William Dabinett in England’s renowned Somerset region during the early 1900s, this wild cider apple is often used in the production of local ciders. While the Dabinett has thrived in areas southwest of England, nowadays you can find it in America along the East and West Coasts.
Yellowish-green with spots of red and a greenish-white flesh, the aromatic Dabinett brings to the table ample amounts of sugars perfect for fermentation. Together with its bittersweet flavors and high levels of tannins, this cider apple is great for both single-varietal ciders and blending. Look for the Dabinett coast-side during very late harvest seasons.
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