Monday, September 19, 2011

The Harmony of Beer and Cheese

If you need a civilized respite from the crowded bars during Beer Week, why not join me at a cheese class at Murray's Cheese?

When:  Wednesday, 21 September, 6:30 - 8 pm
Where:  Murray's Cheese, 254 Bleecker Street
What:  $65, purchase tickets at the Murray's website

I'll by joined by Adeline Druart of Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery; they specialize in artisanal dairy products made from milk from local farmers. We'll be pairing 6 of their French-inspired cheeses with 6 of our French beers and the classroom setting of Murray's provides an excellent venue to learn about cheesemaking and the variety of French beers. And of course there will be photos of cute goats.

After the Murray's class, I'll be heading across the street to the Blind Tiger Ale House at 281 Bleecker Street to help author Christian DeBenedetti celebrate the release of his book The Great American Ale Trail. That event begins at 6pm.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Saturday: Meet French Brewers

When: Saturday, 17 September, 5 pm
Where: The Ginger Man, 11 E. 36th Street
What: pay-as-you-go

After the big Zwanze Day celebrations, why not head over to Manhattan and meet up with brewers from 11 French breweries who will be at the Ginger Man's kick-off event for the first of their International Series during NYC Craft Beer Week. Among those attending are:  Bourganel, Bretagne, Castelain, Jenlain, La Choulette, Mont Blanc, Pietra, and St-Germain/Page 24.

There will be a bottle or draft beer from each brewery attending, some available for the first time ever in New York, as well as bottles from other French breweries. This will be a fantastic introduction to and overview of both the established and new brewing scenes in France, with representation from different regions of the country.

On draft:
- Bretagne Sant Erwann - 7 grain beer (barley, wheat, oats, spelt, millet, buckwheat, rye) from Brittany
- Mont Blanc Rousse - amber ale brewed with glacial water from the Alps
- Castelain Maltesse - strong, golden triple-style ale
- Jenlain Blonde - blonde bière de garde
- Pietra Colomba
- wheat beer from Corsica
- St-Germain Page 24 Bière de Printemps - hoppy farmhouse ale in the style of a bière de mars

In bottles:
- Au Baron Cuvée des Jonquilles - is it a saison?  A bière de garde?  This beer blurs the lines between the 2 styles
- Bourganel Bière de Myrtilles - brewed with bilberries, from the Ardèche region
- La Choulette Framboise - amber bière de garde brewed with raspberry juice
- Theillier La Bavaisienne - earthy, amber bière de garde
- Thiriez Extra - dry-hopped, refreshing, low abv bière de garde 

Saturday: International Zwanze Day

When: Saturday, 17 September, 12 pm start time, 3 pm Zwanze keg tapping
Where:  Spuyten Duyvil, 359 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn
What: pay-as-you-go

For the past several years, Jean Van Roy, the brewer at Cantillon, the authentic lambic brewery in Brussels, has been experimenting with different blends, barrels, and fruits to see what kind of beer emerges through spontaneous fermention. In 2008, he decided to call these yearly releases "Zwanze".

This year, the 2011 version will only be available on draft at the Cantillon tasting room as well as select bars around the world chosen by Jean. You can find out more about the Zwanze beers and why Jean decided not to bottle any 2011 at the Cantillon

At Spuyten Duvyil, there will be a selection of sour/wild/lambic beers on draft and in bottles including the list below.

On draft:
- Cantillon Zwanze 2011 "Pinot d'Aunis"- lambic blended with Pineau d'Aunis grapes from France, cold-hopped with Bramling Cross
- Cantillon Kriek - cherry lambic
- Cantillon Rosé de Gambrinus - raspberry lambic
- De la Senne Taras Boulba - hoppy blonde ale brewed by Yvan de Baets who also collaborated on the 2010 Zwanze

In bottles:
- Cantillon Zwanze 2010 - witbier

We're also excited to try the New York debut of Tilquin Gueuze, from a new lambic blender in Wallonia, imported by our friends over at 12% Imports.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Next week's Tuesday Night Tasting at Jimmy's No. 43 will feature 6 different Porters. Porters originated in England in the 1700s and were extremely popular both in the UK and abroad.  George Washington brewed his own porter and British brewers exported strong porters to the Baltic region where they are still brewed today. Join Mike Lovullo of Union Beer as he leads a tasting of variety of different porters including:

- Kissmeyer Honey Porter (on draft) - after parting ways with Nørrebro Bryghus in Denmark, brewer Anders Kissmeyer didn't let all of his brewing talent go to waste so he opened another brewery. He describes his 6.5% abv honey-driven porter as "Fuller's London Porter married to dark grand cru chocolate and genuine Fanø heather honey".

- Haandbryggeriet Barrel-Aged Porter - the tiny Haand brewery from Norway has tried to recreate what a porter used to taste like when all porters were fermented in wooden barrels and has aged their strong porter in oak Aquavit barrels for several months.

- Mikkeller Chipotle Porter - a complex porter from Denmark's Mikkeller. This is brewed with American malt and hops and is made particularly unique by the addition of warming chipotle chili.

The Details:  Tuesday Night Tastings are held every Tuesday at 7:30pm at Jimmy's No. 43, 43 E. 7th Street. $10 gets you tastings of 6 different beers. Seating is limited so arrive early if you want to guarantee a spot.