2017 Best Nine Instagram Photos

Beer Affair - 2017 Best Nine

The photos you liked the most on Instagram @BeerAffair in 2017.

Beer Affair 2017 Most Liked Photos on Instagram

The “2017 Best Nine.” I thought it was a silly trend at first, but eventually came around to see the value in what viewers liked the most on the @BeerAffair Instagram account over the course of 2017. Of course, every moment of my love affair with beer is special to me, and some of these moments are meaningful, but what I found really interesting is how many of them are, well, sorta not. Continue reading

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Sasions Are Still Cool, So Start Drinking Them

April 8 was Saison Day, a beer holiday created several years ago by Allagash as an ode to the Belgian-style farmhouse ale. As expert brewers of the stuff (you may have heard of their eponymous Allagash Saison), when Allagash says it’s Saison Day, we listen.

I remember when I started drinking saisons and was thrilled about the “new” beer style I was beginning to like. Soon, I grew confused: every saison I tasted seemed completely different from the next, with one dry and peppery, another fruity and sweet, and the next a bit spicy with hints of lemon.

And thus is the beauty of saisons: they are, at their core, seasonal —“saison” being the French word for season—and are inherently varied, each an embodiment of a time and place.

10 American Saisons to Drink Right Now

When I was tasked with planning out this recent feature for MensJournal.com (eventually headlined, “10 American Saisons to Drink Right Now”), I realized how much I like saisons and how little press they’re getting. IPAs are still dominating the craft beer market, while saisons, ever the underdog, are left to where they’ve long been destined: in the dust.

I couldn’t let this beautiful beer style go unnoticed, so, I sat down to think long and hard about what to recommend to MensJournal.com’s national audiences (you can check out those recommendations right here).  But then I faced another problem: I was writing for a crowd craft beer drinkers that spans the country, and couldn’t shout out all of the local saisons I’m currently drinking, which are really good!

5 More Saisons to Drink Right Here in NYC

In addition to the recommendations I made for Men’s Journal that span super esoteric (looking at you, Arizona Wilderness/Other Half collab) to grocery store staples (hey, Hennepin), I thought I’d share a separate list over here with a few saisons that have been standbys for me in NYC.

Interboro Saisonnier

This is one of the first brews to debut from Interboro Spirits & Ales, a brewery and distillery (New York City’s first) that launched late last summer in Brooklyn’s East Williamsburg neighborhood. Saisonnier is a perfect appropriation of the saison style: bright gold, hazy, and a little bit hoppy, the farmhouse style ale is well suited for the urban palate. (PS: watch this video about Interboro Pat and I produced last summer!)

Threes Table Beer

Threes Brewing brought table beer to Brooklyn, or at least, gave it a name and made it cool. This purpose of this simple saison is to have it with food (on the table) and enjoy its fresh flavors of wheat and light bitterness without thinking about it too much, which is exactly what happens when you order one. Try it out sometime.

Transmitter S8

They may not be boasting about it, but Transmitter has been crafting excellent Belgian-style ales (in fact, almost exclusively excellent Belgian-style ales) since they started. One of my all-time favorites from them is the S8, a light and spicy rice saison brewed with pilsner malt and flaked/toasted rice, along with a liberal amount of “new school” German hops.

KCBC Sun Wizard

Kings County Brewers Collective came out the gate with a great portfolio of approachable ales. One the OGs was the Sun Wizard, a bright yellow saison with a fruity tang and citrus bite from El Dorado, Galaxy and Chinook hops. KCBC also recently released the Beggar’s Gold, a Belgian-style blonde ale. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but I hear good things. 

Folksbier Magdalena

Folksbier has quickly become one of my favorite breweries. Their beers are simple, clean, and solid German-inspired classics, ranging from roasty-yet-refreshing dark rye ales or Berliner weisses with fruit (check out the Glow Up series; each one is fermente with a different fruit, and they are all delicious). As pretty much sums up their style, Magdalena blends new school and old school hops, high quality malts and offers slightly sweet and biscuity flavors balanced with a crisp, dry finish.

 

SAISONS POUR TOUJOURS!

Cheers,
BeerAffair

The Best Brooklyn Beer Book Editions Ever Are Here

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The 2017 Brokelyn Beer Book: Zone 1 (Above Atlantic Ave.)

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The 2017 Brokelyn Beer Book: Zone 2 (Below Atlantic Ave.)

Every year since 2010, Brokelyn has published the Beer Book, a pocket guide and passport giving craft beer lovers 30 tickets to the best beers in the borough. Now available in two separate editions, one for upper Brooklyn and one for lower Brooklyn, the Brokelyn Beer Book is created with the dual purpose of making beer more accessible to Brooklyn’s budget-conscious beer lovers, as well as to support and promote the beer businesses that are creating the craft beer scene as we know it.

Without the bars, beer-conscious restaurants and, in more recent years, awesome small and independent breweries that participate in the Beer Book, we would not have the outstanding selection or flavorful variety of handcrafted, lovingly crafted beers—created with the curious, caring consumer in mind—that we have today.

Likewise, without Brooklyn’s beer drinkers, from the craft beer curious to the beer connoisseurs, the bars and breweries we now know and love would not have the opportunity to thrive.

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The 2016 Queens Beer Book is also still available until April 2017.

As the Brokelyn Beer Book (or, as it is also referred to, the Brooklyn Beer Book, since Brokelyn now also publishes a Queens Beer Book, available until April 2017) enters its seventh year, with yours truly as current curator and copywriter, I ask that you take a minute to explore the new editions—both the Upper Brooklyn Beer Book and the Lower Brooklyn Beer Book—and to appreciate the 60 businesses who made the books possible this year. Without them, there would be no Beer Book.

And, I invite you to explore, especially, the new breweries included in the 2017 editions—like Interboro, KCBC, Lineup and Wartega—along with the updated mix of beer-slinging institutions and those who are newer to the scene. If you’re in the industry, or lucky enough to have regular access to craft brews without breaking open your piggy bank, consider buying the Beer Book as a gift for the thirsty and thrifty beer lover in your life.

Here’s to Brooklyn beers, and to a pair of Beer Books that are better than ever!

Cheers,
BeerAffair