It’s always fun to read “best beers” lists, but it’s especially exciting to see your own local breweries floating to the top of beer media’s best picks from around the globe. In this year’s 100 Best Beers in the World from Men’s Journal, three beers from New York City-based brewers made it to the list of the world’s finest, and all three of them were from Brooklyn. Continue reading
For you baseball fans and beer weirdos out there, listen up: Sam Adams is releasing a beer at their brewery in Boston today—and today only—dedicated to Boston baseball hero, Big Papi (formerly known as David Ortiz).
The beer is called Big Hapi (get it?!) and it’s a double IPA packed with lots of hops and lots of juice (mango, to be exact). There are only 541 cans being released—one for each of Big Papi’s home runs, because he’s a beast—and the proceeds will go to the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, because he’s also apparently awesome. Big Papi loves his children.
Get the deets in my latest article on MensJournal.com >
Well folks, looks like Hill Farmstead, Trillium and Tree House Brewing companies have been beat for having the “cloudiest” IPAs—the U.K.’s Innis and Gunn just released a beer made with actual clouds.
“Sky P.A.” is an India pale ale whose water came from clouds that originated over the Atlantic Ocean, harvested using a bespoke device that hovered in the air, cooling cloud vapor and collecting it as water, according to the company.
The beer is currently available in a 500-bottle limited release, and is unlikely to be repeated. Read more in the latest beer news I wrote for MensJournal.com.
Beer nerd on a budget? Us, too. The“Beer Tourism Index”—an online beercation guide to hotel and flight deals, beer tours and other booze-related activities in the country’s best large and small beer cities—was recently launched by Travelocity with help from the Brewers Association.
Would you use something like the Beer Tourism Index to plan your next beercation? Why/why not?
Learn more about the Beer Tourism Index in my latest for MensJournal.com.
New York may not win a lot of beer awards, but when we do, we win gold, baby.
The Great American Beer Festival (GABF) celebrated its 35th year in Denver this weekend, bringing 60,000 craft beer enthusiasts and industry members together to sample nearly 3,800 beers from more than 800 breweries. The festival, presented by the Brewers Association, took place at the Colorado Convention Center from Thursday, October 6 through Saturday, October 8.
On Saturday morning, the GABF awards ceremony, now in its 30th year, awarded 286 medals to 254 breweries for exemplary renditions of 161 beer styles submitted in 96 categories. Though the top state winners by ratio of medals to entries per state were Wyoming (45 entries and 5 medals), Hawaii (28 entries and 3 medals) and Virginia (200 entries and 14 medals), New York walked off with gold medals in four categories: Honey Beer; Barrel-Aged Sour Beer; Belgian-Style Witbier; and Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale. Continue reading
This week, the Queens Beer Book made its second annual appearance on NY1 News in an interview with Josh Schneps, owner of Schneps Publications and publisher of QNS.com and Brokelyn.com (co-publishers of the book), and myself, Cat Wolinski, curator, writer, editor and obsessor over this little book of big dreams.
I’m still getting the hang of TV appearances, but I’m sharing this for the sake of the bars and breweries featured in the book. What I hoped to communicate in the interview was that the Queens Beer Book was created to promote local businesses who are making and selling great, independently produced beer, making the craft beer community a possibility in Queens. What came out was more like, “There’s great beer here, and it’s not Budweiser.”
But, foot in mouth or not, I always feel great knowing that people may be catching a glimpse of my efforts to support and encourage the progress of craft beer; that they may retain a little bit of awareness about our local beer makers and the bars, restaurants and shops who are supporting them; and that maybe, just maybe, the next time they reach for a beer menu, they’ll ask for a SingleCut, Rockaway, LIC Beer Project or Bridge & Tunnel, or a Finback or a Transmitter, and they’ll leave the Bud Light behind for the days when better quality, better intentioned beer wasn’t available here.
Queens Beer Lovers Now Have a Guide for Best Brews in the Borough
Beer lovers in Queens now have a go-to-guide to help them find some of the best brews in the borough.
The Queens Beer Book is back for a second year. It showcases more than 30 beers at more than 30 of the best bars, breweries and beer-centric eateries across Queens.
Brooklyn has had its own similar beer book for a few years. Publishers say they’re ready to show off what Queens has to offer.
“The beer scene in Queens is exploding, so right now you have at least a half dozen breweries in Long Island City [and Astoria] alone,” said Josh Schneps , QNS.com publisher.
“The criteria, first of all, is having great beer. That means beers that are made locally, made regionally—things other than the normal Budweiser [and] Bud Light that people might be used to,” says Queens Beer Book curator, Catherine Wolinski.
The book can be purchased online for $30.00. It’s good for one year. For more information visit http://www.QNS.com.
Buy a Beer Book here: Brokelyn Beer Book Store
As far as beer trends go, fermenting a skillfully brewed beverage with the right amount of the right strain of brettanomyces yeast is one we can get behind. Luckily, the latest to join the Brett train, Victory Brewing Co., has decades of brewing history in its brew boots, and with their track record in crisp, well-balanced, German-inspired ales and lagers that tend to stay on-trend without going overboard, we’re certainly interested to see what the brewery has done with Brett in their recently released, boozed-up Belgian Dubbel: Tart Ten. Continue reading
The 2016 Queens Beer Book is here!
I’m always met with a mixed wave of relief and accomplishment when the Beer Books launch, and for the second year running, this is especially true with the Queens book. Though my several years’ history with the Brooklyn Beer Book can’t be surpassed, the Queens Beer Book, which launched in 2015, holds a special place in my heart. This book was my baby last year, and it’s been a rewarding experience watching it fly the nest and be so well received amongst the craft beer curious in Queens.
The limited-edition book, curated and edited by yours truly, brings beer adventuring beyond Brooklyn’s borders, offering an easy, affordable way to discover the exploding craft beer scene in Queens. Buying one gets you 31 beers at 31 of the best bars, breweries and beer-centric eateries across Queens for just $30, featuring awesome venues in Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Jackson Heights, Ridgewood, Forest Hills, Whitestone and Bayside.
Which is why I’m VERY excited to announce that the 2016 edition is on sale, ready for the next round of beer drinkers to journey through its 31 pages, this time enjoying new bars, breweries and beer halls to accompany some favorites from last year, and nice places to go out while saving a little extra cash.
Good through April 15, 2017, this is an explorer’s guide to great food and drink spots you haven’t been to yet, as well as an incentive to revisit neighborhood favorites. (Want proof of how much fun they are? See the books in action on Instagram.)
2016 Queens Beer Book Venues Include:
60 Bean Kitchen & Coffee • Alobar • Astoria Bier & Cheese (Ditmars) • Beer Belly’s • Beer Closet • Bierleichen • Bierocracy • Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden • Bowery Bay • Bridge & Tunnel Brewery • The Courtyard Ale House • Diamond Dogs • Jagerhaus • John Brown Smokehouse • LIC Beer Project • The Local Bar • Maggie Mae’s • Max Bratwurst Und Bier • The Monk • The Other Place • Press 195 • Proof & Gauge (at Astoria Distilling Co.) • The Queens Kickshaw • The Ridgewood Ale House • Rèst-âü-Ránt • Rockaway Brewing Company • SingleCut Beersmiths • Snowdonia • The Standing Room • Unidentified Flying Chickens • Woodbines
Pick one up now to support local businesses bringing craft beer to life in Queens. Oh, and to get a bunch of free beers while you’re eating and drinking your way through the borough this year.
Thank you to 2016 participants and purchasers!
It’s National Beer Day.
What does that even mean?
April 7, 1933 marked the first day in 13 years that the manufacturing of low-alcohol beer and wine became legal. In other words, Americans could legally buy, sell, and drink beer. This happened thanks to FDR signing the Cullen-Harrison Act on March 22, 1933, which went into effect 16 days later. The stipulations and facts:
- Beer could only contain up to 4.05% ABV. (Interestingly, alcohol content was actually measured by weight then – the legislation called for 3.2 alcohol by weight.)
- States had to enact the law on their own terms. In other words, it was not legal everywhere, but in states that deemed it so (or “wet” states).
- 1.5 million barrels of beer were consumed that day, which is a fun idea.
- This is not the day that Prohibition ended. The 18th Amendment and National Prohibition ended later that year, on December 5, 1933, when the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified.
Supposedly, the designation of the “holiday” began in 2009 when Justin Smith, a beer enthusiast in Richmond, Virginia, started a Facebook page to celebrate the day. After that, his page, and the designation of National Beer Day, were recognized by 1) a craft beer blogger in Colorado, Eli Shayotovich; 2) the beer check-in app, Untappd, which made a “badge” for the day in 2011; and 3) Twitter, where the hashtag, #NationalBeerDay has been annually trending since.
What a time to be alive.
All the “days” we endure online and in life are mostly trivial, but this one, we guess we can get behind. So today, if you’re looking for a reason to make this different from any other day, raise your glasses to FDR, to beer makers in the 1930s, to that guy in Richmond, and to not ever having to live through 13 beer-free years.
The results are in—the Brewers Association (BA) today announced the top 50 craft brewing companies and top 50 overall brewing companies in the U.S., based on beer sales volume in 2015. According to the BA, 43 of the top 50 overall brewing companies were craft brewing companies, showing that craft breweries “continue to open new markets and expose beer drinkers to a variety of fuller-flavored styles and offerings,” Bart Watson, BA chief economist, said. Additionally, four New York brewing companies made it to the Top 50 U.S. Craft Brewing Companies in 2015.
New York Craft Breweries in the Top 50
- Brooklyn Brewery of Brooklyn, New York at no. 12 (compared to no. 11 for 2014);
- Duvel Moortgat USA of both Kansas City, Missouri and Cooperstown, New York, parent company of Boulevard Brewing and Brewery Ommegang, at no. 15 (compared to no. 12 for 2014);
- Matt Brewing Co. of Utica, New York, brewers of Saranac and other brands, at no. 17 (compared to no. 14 for 2014); and
- Southern Tier Brewing Co. of Lakewood, New York) at no. 33 (compared to no. 35 for 2014).
Brooklyn Brewery also sits at no. 18 for overall brewing companies in the U.S. (compared to no. 17 in last year’s report), with Duvel Moortgat four spots behind at no. 22 (falling from no. 18 last year); Matt at no. 24 (compared to no. 20), and Southern Tier at 40 (compared to 41 for 2014). The highest ranking overall brewing company from New York is North American Breweries, which stood at no. 6 for both 2014 and 2015, and includes the Dundee, Genesee, Labatt Lime, Magic Hat and Pyramid brands.
See how other craft brewing companies stacked up in this infographic from the BA.
Surprised by these stats? Think a brewery from your state deserved a spot in the top 50? Say it in the comments.