Beer Judging and the Battle of the Belgians at Jimmy’s No. 43

A lineup of secret Belgian and Belgian-style brews awaited our expert palates.

Battle of the Belgians: our beer expert panel judged a total of 28 Belgian and Belgian-style brews.

On a recent morning, Jimmy’s No. 43 owner, Jimmy Carbone reached out to me with a trifecta of good news: he had read and thoroughly enjoyed a feature I had written for Ale Street News on beer web series; he invited me to join him on an upcoming episode of his internet radio show, Beer Sessions Radio, recorded at Roberta’s in Brooklyn for the Heritage Radio Network; and he asked if I’d like to join the beer judging panel at his restaurant for the sixth annual Battle of the Belgians competition to be held that Saturday. Naturally, I accepted. Continue reading

Two-Brew Debut at the Hill-Side With Other Half Brewing and Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione

‘Wabbit Saison’ and ‘To Much Blueberry’ Launch at the Hill-Side for That’s Odd, Let’s Drink It Series

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Last night, First We Feast‘s new web series, That’s Odd, Let’s Drink It brought together brewers, fashion fans and beer acolytes as Dogfish Head‘s Sam Calagione, Other Half Brewing‘s Sam Richardson and Matt Monahan, and fashion designers the Hill-Side celebrated their recent collaboration at the label’s new retail location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Continue reading

Midtown Manhattan’s New Beer Haven, Haymaker, Puts Chelsea on the Map of Craft Curated Taps

Tristan Colegrove, bar manager and David Smith, owner (Jeff Anzulewicz, partner, not pictured) at Haymaker

Yes, there are great beer bars Midtown Manhattan like Pony Bar, the Ginger Man and the Cannibal. But the strange pocket that is upper-middle-Chelsea-near-Penn Station, laden with overpriced Irish pubs, sub-par barbecue and the double-whammy of commuter and tourist crowds, is not exactly an area I recommend venturing to. That is, until now.

Haymaker Bar and Kitchen is a gastropub that recently opened on W 29th Street (by 8th Avenue). At first glance, it’s nothing out of the ordinary: hard wood floors; bar stools; booths; a few anybodies scattered at the bar (in other words, no identifiable hipsters or business men). Sleek, simple, and calm. But feast your eyes on the beer menu and that perception starts to change.

Tristan Colegrove, bar manager and fresh beer aficionado, excitedly curates a list of hard-to-find, hard-to-pass up American craft brews, with a focus on IPAs, dry-hopped sours and saisons—largely the fetishized, though not to a fault—the menu is varied and accessible (and the atmosphere unpretentious) enough to please any beer nerd and convince any newbie. Some approachable options geared toward normal people and happy hour include Southern Tier pilsner and Finback, but in general, Colegrove said, “I want to sell awesome beer. I want to sell the best beer ever.”  Continue reading

Chatting With Sam Calagione – Craft Beer, Overripe Tomatoes and Controlling Your Destiny

Cheersing Sam Calagione with two of Dogfish Head's latest off-centerd ales.

Cheersing Sam Calagione with two of Dogfish Head’s latest off-centerd ales.

Last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sam Calagione, my personal idol and founder and president of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, at the premiere of his new web series on First We Feast: “That’s Odd, Let’s Drink It.”

The show, created in collaboration between Dogfish Head and First We Feast parent company, Complex Media, calls together craft beer lovers and pop culture buffs to watch Calagione brew crazy beers with some of his idols, following escapades with unique and unusual ingredients inspired by industries spanning cooking to hip hop.

At the event, which was held at Eataly’s rooftop restaurant and microbrewery, Birreria on Wednesday, Sam ordered me a glass of the show’s debut beer and we talked idols, the importance of creative collaboration, and how to turn rotten fruit into delicious, refreshing beer. Here’s what I learned. Continue reading

First We Feast Debuts ‘That’s Odd, Let’s Drink It!’ Web Series Starring Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione

On Wednesday, Oct. 28, food-meets-pop-culture blog, First We Feast launched its first official web series, “That’s Odd, Let’s Drink It!” starring Dogfish Head Craft Brewery founder and president, Sam Calagione. The six-episode series follows “fearless brewer,” Calagione as he makes, well, “odd” and inventive beers with a selection of pop icons spanning a variety of creative industries.  Continue reading

Take a Tour of the ‘Bestest’ Beer Bars and Brewpubs in Greenpoint

A single malt and single hop (SMaSH) pint at Dirck the Norseman.

A single malt and single hop (SMaSH) pint awaits live music and schnitzel at Dirck the Norseman.

Orr Shtuhl is a director of user experience at a web design agency, Blenderbox, a cheese pairing instructor at Bedford Cheese Shop and Murray’s Cheese, and a resident of Brooklyn. Why do you need to know this? Because he’s also a beer expert, and he wants to give you “the bestest” tour of bars and brewpubs in what he believes to be New York’s supreme neighborhood for beer: Greenpoint.

When Shtuhl decided to launch The Bestest, the name for his craft beer touring company that will begin tours in November, he had locals’ interests in mind.

“[Greenpoint] is the best neighborhood for beer in New York right now,” says Shtuhl, who lives and works in the neighborhood, and plans to give tours on the side. “It has everything that’s good about beer in New York right now, and it’s still largely undiscovered. There are two brewpubs here within walking distance from each other—that’s insane!” Continue reading

Coney Island Debuts New Experimental Brews at Surf Avenue Brewery and Taproom

Coney Island Brewery - Eric Hernandez

Eric Hernandez, head brewer at the new Coney Island Brewery location on Surf Avenue.

On Saturday, Oct. 24, Coney Island Brewing Company celebrated the kickoff of Freak Week, a city-wide event featuring tap takeovers at NYC bars commencing at the brewing company’s new brick-and-mortar location on Surf Avenue.

Along with a few freaky costumes and a brief tour of the recently developed space, the week-long beer affair began with an impressive lineup of brand new brews, a handful of which will also be debuting at bars such as d.b.a. (Tuesday, Oct. 27), The Allie Way (Thursday, Oct. 29) and New York Beer Company (Saturday, Oct. 31) throughout the week, and the rest, for the time being, available only at the brewery.

“What we’re trying to do here is create a spectrum of beers,” said Adams, the brewery’s operations manager and self-proclaimed stout lover. “We [want to get] as Coney Island as we can get.” Continue reading

All Aboard: Brewery Ommegang Hops on the IPA Train With New 2016 Releases

via Ommegang.com.

via Ommegang.com.

A recent blog post from Brewery Ommegang stated the “exciting and delicious news” that the brewery plans to debut “at least eight brand new beers next year,” with two seasonals, two Brewmasters Obsessions, two Game of Thrones additions and two limited release brews ready to roll out in 2016.

The eight new beers include the Great Beyond Double IPA, Hopstate NY (limited distribution in New York only), Shadow Brewer Imperial Stout, Gnomegeddon, Game of Thrones Spring Release, Game of Thrones Fall Release, Hennepin Hop Explorer: Montueka and Hennepin Hop Explorer: Hop TBD. Continue reading

Harbor Brew Fest Hits a Home Run With Connecticut Craft Beer Offerings

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On Saturday, Oct. 17, Connecticut craft brewers and out of town favorites filled Bridgeport, Connecticut’s Ballpark at Harbor Yard for the fourth annual Harbor Brew Fest. The high-spirited beer affair brought brew-loving locals the the latest craft concoctions from area favorites like Two Roads Brewing Co., Back East Brewing and Half Full Brewery, along with a impressive selection of food truck fare and live entertainment.

With local breweries joined by a selection of widely known Northeast, West Coast and international brands, the fest provided an impressively diverse selection—and proved that Connecticut brewers are standing up to the challenge of creating unique, experimental and well executed ales and lagers. Continue reading

Booze News You Can Use: Bars Mixing it Up With Beer Cocktails in Brooklyn

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Can you tell which one of these is a beer cocktail? Bill Baker’s, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Back in the dog days of summer, there was a drinks concept barking up my FOMO tree that I couldn’t seem to shake: beer cocktails. I’d heard of them, seen them, been intrigued by them and even told other people about them, but when it came time to belly up at the bar, I never ordered them. That is, until I decided to write an article about them for Brokelyn, and after some investigative reporting, learned the truth—beer cocktails can be delicious, intricate, interesting and most of all, fun.

My favorite response had to be from Heather Rush, the owner of Pine Box Rock Shop in Bushwick. Continue reading