To ring in December, we have beer festivals celebrating holiday ales, a rock and roll beer festival, another festival honoring only dark beers--perfect for warming you up in the winter, and last but not least, a day celebrating the release of a super rare, super delicious lambic from Bruxelles.
Also if you are in New York City, be sure to check out our booth at the Union Square Holiday Market! We are there every day of the week, helping people give the gift of beer this holiday season. Read More...
A fluffy biscuit still steaming from the oven is pretty high on our list of irresistible foods - especially when loaded with cheese or jalapenos or scallions. That's why when we went to create a spent grain version we opted instead of using it as a flour (which would weigh it down) to use it whole as a mix-in. The resulting biscuits are still light and fluffy with the scattered spent grain and cheddar adding just the right amount of chew.
Try splitting these biscuits and stuffing them with scrambled eggs and breakfast sausage.
When the great histories of American craft beer are written, Samuel Adams and its founder, Jim Koch, will assume their rightful place among the early innovators who were the first to challenge the flavorless monotony of the adjunct lager monopoly. To this day, the seemingly limitless lineup of beers descended from the original Boston Lager offers frequent refuge to craft beer fans stuck in chain restaurants and townie dive bars.
To their credit, the brewers at Sam Adams have never seemed content to offer merely expertly crafted versions of old standbys. Their more creative endeavors have ranged from the notorious Utopias to an ambitious line of barrel aged wild ales. Their Limited Release Series is an experiment in quirky flavor combinations and scaled-up versions of more traditional styles, and we'd highly recommend trying them before these one-off beers are gone for good.
While those of us in the United States eat and drink heavily today and need this weekend to recover, there are beer events going on all around the world that deserve our attention. From South Africa to Ireland, this weekend holds plenty of beer drinking opportunities.
There is one beer festival on our radar in the good ol' U.S. of A, too. But for the most part Americans are going to need to get their beer drinking done in a more conventional manner this weekend. Generally that means in a recliner while watching a football game.
We had a blast at our Holiday Preview Tasting Party last week sharing some our favorite seasonal beers with friends, family, press, and a few lucky fans. On tap were cold weather favorites Bourbon Dubbel, Rye P.A., Chestnut Brown Ale, Everyday IPA, and brand new for the season, Smoked Wheat. There was also plenty of cheese on hand (including two different kinds of cheddar cheese mountains) paired with each brew. We'd like to extend an extra special shout out to Brooklyn Slate for the awesome cheeseboards, without which cheese mountains of all kinds would never have been possible.
Beer and cheese make a great pair (like in our Beer & Artichoke Dip) and we've brought them together again for our Baked Beer Mac & Cheese. We use our deliciously nutty Chestnut Brown Ale, but any brown or amber ale will do the trick. Made with aged cheddar and buttermilk, this cheesy dish is as lactose-intolerant friendly as possible. And with a sprinkling of dried spent grain over the top before baking, we think you'll find yourself unable to stop after just one serving.
Thanksgiving's all about getting together with loved ones you haven't seen in a months and filling a table with the most comforting food you can imagine. Expect family favorites you've had once a year since childhood or new classics you've whipped up while putting your own spin on the fourth Thursday in November (or second Monday in October if you're Canadian).
We've been thinking that all that food and people in one place provides us with our best chance to get beer (and lots of it) in a lot of glasses (and in a few dishes too).
Our 16 Thanksgiving guests will be enjoying some homemade Chestnut Brown Ale, Rye PA, Chocolate Maple Porter, and Bourbon Dubbel. But in case you got a late start on your brewing calendar, here are some great pairings you can do with beers from the store. Remember though, if you're thinking of serving your own beer for Christmas, there's no better day than Turkey Day to brew up a batch with some of your more curious family members.
What better way to gear up for your Thanksgiving food binge than to attend a beer festival this weekend? If you're looking for more than just delectable dishes paired with amazing beer, these events provide other entertainment, from seminars to car shows.
As the temperature drops, we'd like to raise our glass to new releases like Pelican Pub's Mother of All Storms, and celebrate long-standing festivals like the Great Brews Classic Beer Festival. If you find yourself sticking around the city this weekend, stop by the Union Square Holiday Market for its opening weekend and visit our booth to pick up a Beer Making Kit or Mix! And if you can't make it this weekend, we will be there until closing day on Christmas Eve, so you'll have plenty of time
No Thanksgiving meal is complete without a rich and hearty stuffing. Made with our Chestnut Brown Ale for added nuttiness, this stuffing is the perfect complement to your beer-happy Thanksgiving table. And while we certainly prefer our stuffing come straight from the bird - using beer instead of stock in this stuffing makes it friendly for the Tofurky-set.
Phineas DeMink and Allen Yahn founded Southern Tier in 2002 in Lakewood, New York--out on that "Southern Tier" of upstate New York counties just north of the Pennsylvania border. With their hefty brews often clocking in over seven percent ABV, the two prove that small towns are capable of producing big--and wildly popular--beers.
At the moment, Southern Tier is busy cranking out 50,000 barrels per year, but they're quickly wrapping up their latest brewery expansion, which will triple their output to 150,000 barrels annually. That means more Pumking and more Creme Brulee stout is on its way for the brewery's fans across an impressive worldwide distribution area that reaches from North America to Europe, Asia and Australia. Pretty impressive for a couple of guys from a town of 3,000.
Tomorrow morning marks the latest instance of everyone's favorite astronomical event, the year's second solar eclipse. Unfortunately for us, though, the only people who will get to witness it are the Australians and New Zealanders who manage to pull themselves out of bed at sunrise. Over in North America, we'll have to wait a year for our next chance to see one.
But fret not, because here in the Northern Hemisphere the early sunsets and dry, stable atmosphere conspire to make this the best time of year to don your amateur astronomer hat and head out for some evening stargazing. We've picked five perfect beers to bring along as you impress friends, family and dates with your oh-so-romantic newfound knowledge of the night sky. (If you need some review, we recommend Stellarium, which is free, open source software.)
Our weekly whirlwind tour of the world in beer takes us from big beer festivals in Florida and Pennsylvania to a craft beer silent auction in Seattle, another chance to drink for charity in Massachusetts, and a citywide pub crawl in Georgia that isn't a horrible tourist trap.
So take advantage of these last few free weekends before the family filled craze of Thanksgiving arrives, because after that fourth Thursday of November you'll be tossed into a hopeless vortex of wholesome holiday fun that won't let you go 'til New Years, and who knows when you'll have time for beer again.
We've never met a pie we didn't like. And this Bourbon Dubbel pecan pie did little to change our already awesomely high opinion of pies. If anything, it made us love pie even more.
With its oak-y vanilla flavor, our Bourbon Dubbel is the perfect complement to this rich and delicious treat. The Spent Grain Pie Crust adds a satisfying nutty crunch - compliments to the Spent Grain Chef for the recipe. We also chose to use agave nectar over corn syrup because we find it a little lighter, a little healthier and just a touch more flavorful.
Alastair Hook, the founding brewmaster of Meantime Brewing Company, boasts an impressive international pedigree. Training first at Heriot-Watt in Edinburgh before enrolling in the University of Munich's brewing program in Weihenstephan. After graduation, Hook bounced between breweries on the continent and back in England before Meantime was born in his apartment in the Prime Meridian-straddling district of Greenwich, London in 1999.
As Hook tells it, Meantime was designed to fill the void left by English brewers' almost exclusive focus on cask-conditioned real ale. Meantime embraces German and Belgian styles--not often made in the British Isles--while working to recover and faithfully reproduce imperial-era British recipes. The result elegantly combines modern cosmopolitan brewing with a historical nostalgia for the heyday of India pale ales and porters in Victorian London. The four beers we tried are obvious heirs to that 18th and 19th Century English tradition, evoking the days when dockhands rolled barrels down the pier and loaded them onto ships bound for the crown's colonies worldwide.
We want to share some of our favorite holiday beers with you! On November 12th, we are holding a Holiday Preview Tasting featuring our current seasonal line-up including cold-weather favorites: Bourbon Dubbel, Chestnut Brown Ale, Rye-PA and the newly released Smoked Wheat. We have paired each beer with some delicious cheeses (shout out to Brooklyn Slate for the awesome cheese boards!) and we want to give you a chance to experience it all.
Want in? Comment on this post and let us know which of our holiday beers you are most excited about this season (don't worry, your email address stays hidden) and you'll be automatically entered to win two tickets to our invite-only Holiday Preview!
Remember, remember the 5th of November! Also known as Guy Fawkes Day, November 5th commemorates the failed gunpowder plot of 1605 that aimed to destroy England's House of Lords and assassinate King James I. Needless to say, Fawkes met a nasty end for his involvement - an end that is celebrated yearly as his effigies hang and burn on British streets.
Whether or not this holiday rings a bell (think V for Vendetta and the mustachioed mask of Anonymous and Occupy), it's been making serious waves across the Atlantic over the last few years. Maybe it's deep rooted misgivings about monarchy or historic fondness for rebellion - whatever the case, Yanks seem to dig this Guy Fawkes character (even if he was sort of a terrorist). We thought it right to devote a list of revolutionary beers to Fawkes' failed plot.
This weekend's beer events range from a celebration of suds from a single state (Colorado) to a beer festival held under the lights on a baseball diamond. Some offer live music and good food alongside delicious craft brews, others offer beer education classes, but all offer a guaranteed good time.
There are even a few events this weekend with proceeds going to different nonprofit groups like the Palmetto Animal League in South Carolina and the Empty Stocking Fund in Colorado, so you can rest easy knowing that you are drinking for some good causes.
Every fall the inevitable rush toward everything pumpkin begins. We keep little ones on our desks or outside our doors, we carve them, put candles in them, we drink them (in beer form), and we eat them. And while we agree they make for wonderful decorations, we certainly prefer their more edible purposes. That's why this week we took two fall staples: pumpkin beer and pumpkin cake and combined them into one unstoppable autumn dessert small enough to fit in a cupcake tin.
The three heads behind Three Heads Brewing are self proclaimed beer geeks Geoff Dale, Todd Dirrigl, and Dan Nothnagle. The three founded the small brewery in Rochester, New York in late 2010. Since then, their fan base has expanded and we were excited to taste these ones.
"Ales with character, characters with ale" is Three Heads' slogan, and the two beers we sampled--The Kind IPA and Loopy Oatmeal Red Ale--definitely displayed unique character in their flavors and aromas, not to mention in the off the wall illustrations on the labels as well.
Howling winds and rain are announcing the impending arrival of Sandy here in Brooklyn. By now (hopefully) you've already cleared store shelves of bottled water, non-perishable food, and most importantly, beer. It's time to batten down the hatches, watch streaming video of newscasters standing in the surf for no explicable reason, and compulsively check the internet for updates before Twitter goes down or the power goes out and you are forced to entertain yourself 1900s-style (can you even play Solitaire with a real deck of cards? We're doubtful).
You have enough going on with Sandy preparations, so we have put together the perfect beer list to help you to brave the storm. Hopefully the beers on this list will help stave off the cabin fever effect of being stuck inside for the next few days. (And to those of you playing Frankenstorm BINGO, you're welcome for that introduction).
The end of October is a time for mourning in the beer world, as we say goodbye to the parade of Oktoberfest tributes and the bell begins to toll for our rotting Halloween pumpkins.
But we've got one last weekend to celebrate what might be beer's best month, so we're planning to see it out in style. We have all kinds of pumpkin loving for you in Cambridge, a beer geek's dream afternoon in Portland, and a homebrewing pilgrimage to Omaha. Read More...
This quick and easy to make Beer & Artichoke dip is perfect for when everyone is coming over to watch the game or as a last minute dish to bring to a dinner party. With minimal prep-work and only 20 minutes in the oven, you'll have a delicious cheesy, beery snack ready in under half an hour. Our go-to beer is Bruxelles Blonde but Grapefruit Honey Ale works well too. Feel free to experiment with different beers to see how they will flavor your dip - as long as you steer clear of super hoppy you can't go wrong.
Growing up surrounded by vineyards and winemakers, Adam Firestone (of Firestone Vineyard) always had an interest in combining the family business with beer making. He found the perfect business partner in his brother-in-law David Walker and the two founded Firestone Walker in 1996.
Modeled on the Burton Union System, an old staple of British beer making, Firestone Walker boasts its own Firestone Union, a collection of connected American oak barrels used in a shared fermentation process. As pressure during fermentation rises, the union allows excess barm (yeast foam) to be expelled from the oak casks (much like a blow off tube in your own set up), but in this instance the yeast is thrust into troughs above the barrels where it falls out of suspension and the remaining beer trickles back down into the casks. This process loses far less beer to blow off waste, makes for clearer beer and allows brewers to easily reuse yeast. Each barrel at Firestone Walker is used for about 20 weeks before it is retired and used in aging beers for the Proprietors Reserve Series. This limited series features beers aged for several months to a few years in combinations of bourbon, Firestone Union and wine barrels, resulting in specialty beers that are incredibly complex in aroma and flavor.
In honor of Oktoberfest, October's Hop of the Month comes from Germany, the heartland of the noble hop varieties. Bred there from Northern Brewer and 63/5/27M in 1978, Perle shares its parent's minty, pine character as well as the spicy, earthy notes found in other noble hop varieties.
A dual-purpose hop, Perle falls in the high-middle alpha acid range. Perle is resistant to many of the diseases that plague German hops, making it one of the most widely used hop varieties in commercial beers in Germany. Though originating in Germany, Perle is now also grown in the United States and Belgium. Read More...
If ever there was a time to take that beer-themed road trip you've been dreaming of, this is it. Three major cities are kicking off their beer weeks in unison this weekend, and with each one hosting hundreds of events, you better hire yourself a chauffeur. Or a pilot.
Start your trip in Baltimore, and sleep off your indulgences on the overnight drive down I-85 to Atlanta. Then hop/skip/jump across the Gulf Coast to Austin, by which point we'll understand if can't bring yourself to touch another beer. Read More...
Never has a food been named so perfectly as the hand pie--it really is an entire small pie that fits right in your hand. Typical fillings range from the savory (caramelized onion and goat cheese) to the sweet (blackberry)--we fall somewhere in the middle stuffing our hand pies with apples, raisins, walnuts, and coconut, all wrapped in a hearty spent grain dough. These delightful easy-to-travel pastries are fantastic grab-on-the-go breakfast treats.
Fall weather is great, but the season of tweed, apple picking and great jazz wouldn't truly be Autumn if we didn't put pumpkin in pretty much everything we eat. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin ravioli--we'll binge on all of it until we can't stand the thought for another nine months when our infatuation begins anew. Pumpkin beer is no exception, and though the release dates for these supposedly seasonal brews keep creeping into Hefeweizen territory in August, we still love the stuff once the time's right.
We tasted four classic pumpkin beers last year--old favorites Dogfish Head's Punkin and Southern Tier's Imperial Pumking alongside Fire Island's Pumpkin Barrel Ale and Hollow Frog's Hollow Double Pumpkin--so this year we decided to expand our reach. We tried six pumpkin ales from across the country that ranged from light-bodied, easy-drinking beers to darker interpretations that reached as high as 9% ABV.
It's not everyday that you get to drink inside of a giant bank vault. The Village Voice hosted their second annual Brooklyn Pour last weekend at Skylight One Hanson (the former Williamsburgh Savings Bank Clocktower) and we had a blast introducing everyone to our soon to be released Fall flavors: Rye PA and Bourbon Dubbel. With over one hundred beers from 65 breweries, we didn't have time to sample them all and work our booth, but we did get to taste some great beers. Some of our favorites were the Sour Dark Ale from 508 Brewery, Extra Special Oak from Element Brewing Company, and Rockaway Brewing Company's E.S.B.
We also taught a few beer-lovers how to make some beer with our how to brew demonstration during the second session. Dogfish Head and Brooklyn Brine dazzled us with their pickling skills shortly thereafter with some beer-brined Hop-Pickles. To sum up our time at Brooklyn Pour: we drank, we learned, we ate, and we documented. Enjoy the slideshow!
We know there's a pretty big beer event happening in Denver this weekend, but unless you are really quick with a mouse and got your tickets months ago before they sold out in 8 hours, you aren't going to be at the Great American Beer Festival. So instead, we have some other beer sampling options to share with you.
But beer isn't the only reason to check out these events. We have one that benefits a children's hospital in Washington, one that has a beer belly competition, and even one that also has wine and is totally free! So take your mind off of all that you are missing at GABF and enjoy yourself at one of these other fine events happening this weekend. Read More...
Originating in France, these bite-sized butter cakes are known for their lovely scalloped edges, making for both a beautiful and delicious treat. The scallops also give these super moist, subtly sweet cakes just the right amount of soft crunch when you bite into them.
We make our Madeleines with spent grain flour, which gives them a great hearty flavor while keeping the sweetness in check. Madeleines can be dipped in chocolate or dusted with sugar for added sweetness, but we found them to be perfectly delicious right out of the oven (after they'd cooled down just a bit).
While drinking a beer won't make you an archeologist: Drinking one of these nearly lost styles at least gives you a good excuse to dust off your oldest-looking chalice and feel like one for a bit.
This week we sample three takes on historic German beers that due to timing or region don't adhere to Reinheitsgebot, the centuries-old Bavarian Purity Law that states beer can only be made from water, barley and hops (the law was amended to include yeast only after Louis Pasteur discovered them in the 19th Century). The resulting bandit beers are tart, salty, smoky and entirely distinct.
There is enough beer flowing at festivals this weekend to keep you drinking all year long. What's more, all of the events we are presenting to you this weekend raise money for charity. Drinking for a cause is our favorite win-win situation.
For those of you sticking around the city this weekend, we'll be at the Village Voice's Brooklyn Pour being held at Skylight One Hanson in Fort Greene. We will be giving a how to brew demonstration during Session Two and pouring some new beers for the Fall. Come by and say hello! Read More...
When people say something is, "easy as pie" - we tend to believe they mean the eating of and not the making. Pie crusts have a way of causing little spikes of anxiety: lattices (spike), braids (spike), fluted pastry wheel (triple spike). And while we may still dream of one day adorning our apple pies with perfectly placed overlapping leaf cutouts - for now we are going to focus more on the flavor and leave the decorating to those food-styling professionals.
The key to this nutty crust is the addition of spent grain flour, a quick pulse in the food processor and keeping your butter and water ice cold. Other than that just roll it out, prick the bottom, use a fork to crimp the edges and fill with whatever is in season.
As former pub owners, Mark and Lisa Hinkley always had an appreciation for great beer. Which is why the husband and wife duo got to work building a brewery of their own. San Diego-based Green Flash Brewing Company opened its doors in 2002, added brewmaster Chuck Silva to the team in 2004, and has been churning out some mighty tasty brews. And we aren't the only ones to take notice.
With a slew of awards under their belt, Green Flash is best known for their hop-heavy IPAs - which while absolutely delicious - is not to say their other styles should be overlooked. Some of our favorites from this tasting were the smooth, sweet Double Stout Black Ale, Le Freak, and Rayon Vert, a refreshing Belgian-style pale ale.
We recently found ourselves in London boarding the tube from pub to pub and looking left while crossing the street in search of the city's craft beer rediscovery. The English love beer. If it weren't for the Industrial Revolution in Britain, we'd be left without much of our brewing tradition. Walk into any brewery (outside of Germany), and you'll bear witness to the fruits of England's beer-loving labor. Walk into any pub in the world, and you'll do the same.
Uniquely British, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has ushered in an appreciation for fresh-tasting, locally-sourced, traditional cask ales starting in the 1970's. While strengthening English pub culture, CAMRA disregarded much of the craft beer revolution happening in the US, but breweries and craft beer bars have begun popping up to combine the best of English tradition with a pinch of American inspiration. So we went on a mission to track down some of the best spots we think are putting a new spin on a British classic: Beer.
Fall brings with it beautiful changes in the color of leaves and bigger, bolder beers to keep you warm as the weather cools. There are many choices of where to drink a beer this weekend, and these festivals may be some of the best.
Our Coq à la Bière, like the traditional Coq au Vin that inspired us, is a marathon of a recipe. It starts the night before (or two if you are really committed) with a beer and vegetable heavy marinade, which in turns becomes the cooking liquid and the ultimate sauce. In between there is lots of browning and straining and reserving before reaching the plate.
But the end result is well worth it. Rich and comforting with layers of flavor, this is the kind of stick-to-your-ribs dish that cooler weather was invented for (or vice versa as it may be).
This week's tasting features beers of a more whimsical origin.
Based in Somerville, Massachusetts, Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project is just that: a project, not a brewery per se. Self-proclaimed "tenant brewers," co-owners and husband and wife duo Dann Paquette and Martha Holley-Paquette, rent their brew space by the day (or night, actually), but do all the of the brewing themselves.
The two met in Massachusetts where Paquette (a long time professional brewer with previous stints at the Ipswich Brewing Company and John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House, among others) was working at the Haverhill Brewery. They then ventured to Holley-Paquette's native Yorkshire to get married and stuck around for a while where Paquette took a job at Daleside Brewery. There Paquette began to dream up ideas (with Holley-Paquette's help) for a brewery project of their own. Upon their return back to the US, Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project was born. The first beer they ever made was their flagship Jack D'Or - a shining example of the thought that Pretty Things puts into each of their beers. Illustrated and brought to life, Jack D'Or is more than a beer, he is a character - an anthropomorphized, mustachioed barley hull (who closely resembles Brewmaster Dann Paquette). With quirky names, illustrations, the occasional costume and even original poetry, Pretty Things has both taste and character in ample supply.
Every weekend seems to bring us something new and exciting when it comes to beer events, and this weekend will do nothing to change that trend. Whether you want something you can take home, or if you just want to drink something local, we have an event for you.