Wednesday, December 21, 2011

No Love for the Outer Boroughs?

It's not that we don't love you Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. You think that we beer lovers favor Manhattan. Not true. But biking to Blind Tiger? Piece of cake. Walk to Jimmy's No. 43? No problem. Even a sunny-day jaunt or bike ride over the Williamsburg Bridge isn't too painful (although the return can be problematic). But those late night N/R/F/7 trains (let's not even mention the Staten Island Ferry) can be harsh. But we love what you do and we encourage others to be adventurous every now and then. And locals: support your bars.

Good Beer Seal bar Sunswick is turning 6 tomorrow! They're located at 35-02 35th Street in Astoria and, given the time of the year, will have a draft list heavy on the holiday beers including:
  • Géants Noël des Géants
  • Kulmbacher Eisbock
  • Ridgeway Seriously Bad Elf
  • Ridgeway Reindeer Droppings
  • Ridgeway Santa's Butt Porter
  • Jenlain Noël

If you're not headed to the Blind Tiger for the Toys for Tots event, why not head to Sunswick? Or do both? It's a quick trip on the N/Q train. Happy birthday, Sunswick!

Toys for Tots Pints for Presents

When:  Thursday, 22 December, 6-10pm
Where:  Blind Tiger Ale House, 281 Bleecker St.

The fine folks at Lagunitas Brewing Company have gathered a few breweries together and organized a toy drive for Toys for Tots at the Blind Tiger. Bring a new, unwrapped present and you will get $2 off a draft of your choice from the participating breweries plus free entries into a special brewery raffle. We'll be participating with a keg of Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza; you can see the full list of beers here. Come out for a good cause - and good beer - and share some happiness with less fortunate kids this season.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Naughty & Nice with Ridgeway and Pretty Things

When:  Tuesday, 13 December, 7pm
Where:  Sunswick, 35-02 35th Street, Astoria
What:  pay-as-you-go

Holiday beer madness continues!  Our pals over at Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project came up with the idea of doing an event with 3 Christmas beers from the Ridgeway Brewery in England alongside 3 Pretty Things beers. Apparently, we're the "naughty" ones in this equation. That might be debatable but all of the beers tonight are "nice" so unless you indulge in one too many, you'll be dreaming of sugarplums.

The Ridgeway Christmas series famously started in the days of yore with Bad Elf, a hoppy winter warmer conjured up on a bar napkin over a few pints at the White Horse in London. Every year, the beers got stronger, the elves became worse (ok, so they're a bit naughty), and then we ran out of elf adjectives so we moved on to Santa and then to his reindeer. There will be one from each phase of the series.

little bombs of flavor, falling from the sky
The Ridgeway Beers:
Seriously Bad Elf - English interpretation of a Belgian tripel
Santa's Butt - winter porter
Reindeer Droppings - strong, hoppy amber ale

Mr. Jack D'Or himself
The Pretty Things Beers:
Jack D'Or - saison
Babayaga - export stout
Our Finest Regards - barleywine for the winter

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

City Swiggers Grand Opening Party

When:  Thursday, 8 December, 5-10 pm
Where:  City Swiggers, 320 E. 86th St.
What:  pay-as-you-go

Rejoice Upper East Siders and Beer Lovers! There is a new beer shop in town. Our friend Alan Rice has opened up an oasis of beer in the parched uptown desert. Drop by and welcome Alan and his wife Pam to the neighborhood, stick around for a pint, and enjoy some tasty vegan treats at their Grand Opening party. And why not pick up a few bottles while you're at it. Beer makes the perfect gift - even for yourself!

City Swiggers has a tasting room so you can hang out and drink beer while perusing the shelves. They also fill growlers (bring your own or pick up one there) although they will not be filling growlers during the party on Thursday.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holiday Beers at Blind Tiger

When:  Wednesday, 7 December, 3 pm onwards
Where:  Blind Tiger Ale House, 281 Bleecker Street
What:  pay-as-you-go

If St. Nicholas didn't leave any gifts in your shoes today, or if he left you coal, dry your tears over a festive holiday beer tomorrow. There will be plenty of Shelton Brothers' drafts to choose from.

doesn't everyone have a Bavarian weissebier ornament?

To the list! 
  • Mahr's Christmas Bock  
  • De Ranke Père Noël  
  • Nøgne Ø Winter Ale   
  • Mikkeller Santa's Little Helper
  • Mikkeller Ris a la M'ale
  • Mikkeller From Via To
  • Mikkeller Red/White Christmas  
  • Dieu du Ciel! Solstice d'Hiver  

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Meet the Brewers - Dieu du Ciel! at Blind Tiger

When:  Wednesday, 30 November, 3 pm onwards
Where:  Blind Tiger Ale House, 281 Bleecker Street
What:  pay-as-you-go

It's becoming a post-(American) Thanksgiving tradition!  Jean-François Gravel, Luc "Bim" Lafontaine, and Stéphane Ostiguy from Montréal's Dieu du Ciel! come to town along with an insane number of rare kegs.  You might want to think about taking the next day off from work.

Les bières: 
  • Revenante - smoked porter 
  • Aphrodite Méchante - cocoa & vanilla stout with smoked hot peppers 
  • Solstice Mangues - sour wheat with mangos 
  • Mea Culpa - India cream ale
  • Libre Echange - foreign export stout 
  • Vaisseau des Songes - British IPA 
  • Equinoxe Automne - rauchbock 
  • Voyageur des Brumes - ESB 
  • Pénombre - black IPA 
  • 13e Etage - porter with yuzu and peppers  
  • Rigor Mortis de Table - abbey-style blonde table beer   
  • Péché Mortel - imperial coffee stout
  • Péché Mortel Bourbon - aged in bourbon barrels
  • Libre Echange cask
  • Solstice d'Hiver cask - barleywine 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Scandinavian Beers at Rattle n Hum Tuesday

When:  Tuesday, 29 November, 4 pm onwards until the kegs kick
Where: Rattle n Hum, 14 East 33rd Street
What:  pay-as-you-go

The people of the Scandinavian countries know a little bit about keeping warm during the cold, dark months of winter so even though the current weather feels more like September you should still drop by for some of these tasty beers.  They span a range of styles and the list provides a great overview of the new crop of breweries and their creativeness.

The beers: 

  • Beer Here Nordic Rye   
  • Haandbryggeriet Odin's Tipple    
  • Kissmeyer Pale Ale    
  • Kissmeyer Honey Porter
  • Kissmeyer PilNZer
  • Kissmeyer Stockholm Syndrome DIPA 
  • Kissmeyer/Witter Saison de Fleur 
  • Mikkeller Monk's Brew  
  • Mikkeller Cream Ale
  • Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast
  • Mikkeller I Beat yoU
  • Mikkeller Jackie Brown
  • Mikkeller Koppi IPA 
  • Nøgne Ø Tiger Tripel 
  • Nøgne Ø #100
  • Xbeeriment Black Force One   

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Brewed Awakening" Book Release Party

Beer writer and beer drinker extraordinaire Joshua Bernstein is celebrating the release of his new book, Brewed Awakening: Behind the Beers and Brewers Leading the World's Craft Brewing Revolution. His travels in support of the book have taken him around the country but this week he lands at Jimmy's No. 43 for a release party on Wednesday. With beer. 

When: Wednesday, 9 November, 6-8 pm
Where: Jimmy's No. 43, 43 E. 7th Street
What: pay-as-you-go

Joshua spent 6 years researching the craft beer industry for Brewed Awakening. We're very pleased that for this release party he chose to feature some of our breweries that he wrote about to represent brewers who are "leading a boundary-less charge into the global future of beer". What are those breweries, you ask? You'll have to pick up a book to find out about all of them but some will be poured at Jimmy's No. 43 including Dieu du Ciel!, Epic, Jolly Pumpkin, Nøgne Ø, and Mikkeller.

But before Wednesday's main event, there will be a preview of some of the beers on Tuesday at the weekly $10 Tasting. Please note that Josh will NOT be attending the Tuesday tasting. But if you happen to be in Philadelphia, he will be hosting beer shenanigans (and signing books) at the Nodding Head from 7-9 pm.

When: Tuesday, 8 November, 7:30 pm
Where: Jimmy's No. 43, 43 E. 7th Street
What: 6 samples for $10 (seating limited)

The beers:
  • Mikkeller Drink'in the Sun (on draft) - hoppy American-style wheat beer, 2.4%
  • Dieu du Ciel! Corne du Diable (draft) - American-style IPA, 6.5%
  • Jolly Pumpkin La Roja (bottles) - oak-aged Flanders red ale, 7.2%
  • Nøgne Ø Tiger Tripel (bottles) - balanced Belgian tripel, 9%
  • Mikkeller Monk's Brew (bottles) - dark Belgian-style ale inspired by the Trappist beers of Rochefort and Westvleteren, 10%
  • Nøgne Ø Imperial Stout (draft) - Russian Imperial Stout, 9%

Researching breweries is not an easy task. Check out the video to see how Josh managed to survive it all (hint: beer is involved).

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Celebrate International Stout Day with a Mikkeller Black Hole Stout

We've been told that Thursday, 3 November is International Stout Day. And to celebrate, Sunswick will be featuring 4 drafts of the Mikkeller Barrel-Aged Black Hole Imperial Stout series. If you missed the Black Hole event last week at the Ginger Man, this is your chance to try different versions of this beer side by side. Sunswick will be pouring the bourbon, peat whiskey, tequila, and cognac versions. All were aged for 6 months in their respective barrels.

Sunswick 35/35 is located at 35-02 35th Street in Astoria.

Dutch Days, Dutch Beer

Today marks the start of the annual 5 Dutch Days festival, a city-wide collaboration celebrating the continuous influence of Dutch art and culture in New York City. To honor Nieuw Amsterdam's beer heritage - the first brewery was established here by the Dutch in 1612 - Jimmy's No. 43 will be pouring 7 Dutch beers all week.

Can you spot the brewery?

When:  2-6 November
Where:  Jimmy's No. 43, 43 E. 7th St.

The beers:
  • Christoffel Blond Bier (on draft) - robust, dry-hopped pilsner, considered to be the best in the Benelux according to beer writer Tim Webb, 6%
  • De Molen Molenbier (draft) - English-style strong ale, 9.2%
  • De Molen Cease & Desist (draft) - Russian imperial stout, formerly known as both Rasputin and Disputin, 10.7%
  • De Molen Pek & Veren (bottles) - smoked beer brewed with peat-smoked malt, 8%
  • De Molen/Pattinson Triple SSS Stout (bottles) - a collaboration between De Molen and beer historian Ron Pattinson brewed from a 1914 recipe from London, 10.3%
  • Drie Horne Bananatana (bottles) - brewed with bananas and sultana raisins, 7%
  • Klein Duimpje Porter (bottles) - traditional British-style porter, 5.5%

The tiny brewhouse at De Molen. They produce a whopping 5 hectoliters of beer a year.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Jolly Pumpkin La Parcela

It's Halloween and what better way to celebrate than with a pumpkin beer! And why not double up on pumpkins with Jolly Pumpkin pumpkin beer? The joke was that the Jolly Pumpkin brewery didn't brew a pumpkin beer. But now they do. Every October they release La Parcela, a 5.9% pumpkin ale packed with loads of real pumpkins, hints of spice, and a gentle kiss of cacao. Like all Jolly Pumpkin beers, La Parcela is fermented with wild yeast and aged in oak barrels, resulting in an earthy, complex beer with a subtle but pleasant lactic sourness.  Look for La Parcela in 750ml bottles or on tap. Or, if you're lucky, in your trick-or-treat bag.

Check out what the Wall Street Journal has to say about La Parcela!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Barrel-Aged Mikkeller Black Hole Imperial Stout

When:  Wednesday, 26 October, 4 pm onwards
Where:  The Ginger Man, 11 E. 36th Street (between 5th and Madison)
What:  pay-as-you-go

Mikkeller Black Hole Imperial Stout is a 13.1% stout brewed with malt, roasted barley, flaked oats, dark cassonade sugar, honey, hops, coffee, and vanilla. Mikkel the Brewer describes it thusly: "Black Hole is what Mikkeller is all about. Daring, vulgar, and extreme. From the very beginning, Mikkeller's goal has been to push the limit and with this warming, intense imperial stout, a new chapter in Danish beer history has been written. The high bitterness from the hops and the sweetness from the malt and alcohol create a good balance which makes Black Hole an explosion of nuances but also leaves a feeling of a perfect and complex beer in the heavyweight category." Ladies and Gentlemen, you'll be floating in space after a few of these!

For the Barrel-Aged series, the beer was aged for 6 months in 6 different barrels: bourbon, peat whiskey (only for fans of smoky Islay whiskey!), white wine, red wine, tequila, and cognac. Come try them side by side to see the effects of the different barrels; the results are quite dramatic.

If you can't make it to the Ginger Man, Sunswick - in Astoria - will feature the Barrel-Aged Black Holes along with other Mikkeller drafts on 3 November.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oktoberfest at Spuyten Duyvil

While the traditional Oktoberfest celebrations in Munich are over with, Spuyten Duyvil keeps the party going with their annual Oktoberfest this Saturday, featuring German gravity kegs from Franconia, in Northern Bavaria.

When:  Saturday, 22 October, 12 pm onwards
Where:  Spuyten Duyvil, 359 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn

Gravity kegs are unfiltered, unpasteurized, and naturally carbonated. They are typical of beers that are served in the beer halls and kellers of Franconia and have much more character than many of the beers from the rest of the country.

The 20 liter kegs are tapped and poured directly from the bar.

The beers:

- Mahr's Ungespundet
- Mahr's Unfiltered Pilsner
- Mahr's Hell
- Mahr's Bockbier
- Weissenohe Monk's Fest
- Mönchsambacher Unfiltered Lager
- Bayer Theinheim Landbier
- Löwenbräu Buttenheim Kellerbier

There will also be regular kegs of other German beers including Mahr's Saphir Weiss - a wheat beer brewed with a hefty dose of Saphir hops - and Weissenohe Monk's Fest, a classic version of the malty märzen style, brewed using the traditional decoction mashing technique.

To learn more about the beers and kellers of Franconia, check out our video of Brother Daniel's visit from a few years ago (part 1 of 3):


Friday, October 14, 2011

Cider Week 16-23 October

It's apple time!

Sunday the 16th marks the start of Cider Week, a celebration of all things cider. The week kicks off at the New Amsterdam Market where Marlow & Sons will be hosting a cider bar. While you have to buy tickets for the cider and snacks, the market itself is free and open to the public. Some of the vendors will be showcasing apple-based treats and local cider producers will be selling their wares. Poverty Lane Orchards will have their Farnum Hill ciders as well as unusual varieties of heirloom apples.

There will also be a free panel discussion at the market (from 3-4pm) featuring producers from the Hudson Valley and the Perche region of France. We're pleased that Nathalie Plessis from our newest cider producer, Cidrerie Traditionnelle du Perche, will be participating in the panel as part of the Apple Exchange. Look for bottles of their Cidre Brut, Cidre Demi-Sec, and Poiré (made from pears) very soon!

All week long, bars and restaurants in New York City and the Hudson Valley will be featuring cider, both regional as well as imported ones from France, Spain, and the UK. Check out a few different ciders to find a style that suits you whether it's apple-forward and fruity, still and dry, or with a bit of farmhouse funk. If all you know about hard cider are the cloyingly sweet ones, do yourself a favor and try some traditional styles. A complete list of participating bars and restaurants can be found on the Cider Week's website.

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.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bowl with Mikkel from Mikkeller

When Danish brewer Mikkel Borg Bjergsø of Mikkeller said he wanted to do something fun and different on his upcoming visit to New York, we decided that instead of the common tap takeover, we'd take him bowling! Join us on Thursday at the Gutter for some beers and ten pin action.  There will be 3 Mikkeller drafts plus some bottles as well as beers from 3 of Mikkel's favorite American breweries.

When:  Thursday, 1 September, 5pm - onwards
Where:  The Gutter, 200 N. 14th Street, Williamsburg
What:  pay-as-you-go

On draft:
- Mikkeller Dream Pils - originally known as "The American Dream" in Denmark, this is Mikkeller's version of a Danish pils brewed with American hops
- Mikkeller Drink'in the Sun - hoppy, American-style wheat beer. Easy-drinkin' so you don't get thrown off your game, 2.4% abv
- Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast - need some sustenance? How about an oatmeal coffee stout?
- Hill Farmstead Simcoe - single hop pale ale brewed with Simoce hops
- Hill Farmstead Double Galaxy - single hop imperial pale ale brewed with Galaxy hops
- Green Flash West Coast IPA - extravagantly hopped IPA
- Cigar City Marshal Zhukov - imperial stout

In bottles:
- Mikkeller Draft Bear - an 8%, hop-charged imperial pilsner
- Mikkeller Black - a monster of an imperial stout, 17.5% abv. Allegedly the strongest beer in Scandinavia
- Mikkeller Barrel-Aged Black Hole - coffee imperial stout aged in cognac barrels, 13.1% abv
- Mikkeller Barrel-Aged Black Hole - aged in tequila barrels

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nøgne Ø and Oysters Thursday Night

On most Thursday nights, Jimmy's No. 43 features a brewery to accompany oysters shucked by master shucker, Eddie Oysters. (If you've seen Eddie at work at one of the many beer events around town you know how amazing he is!)

This Thursday, 25 August, Norway's Nøgne Ø brewery will be featured. Drop on by any time to have a beer or 2. The oysters are usually available from 5-8 pm (or until they sell out) and the kitchen is open for dinner from 5:30 pm - onwards.

Jimmy's No. 43 is located at 43 E. 7th Street.

Brewer and commercial pilot Kjetil Jikiun began his brewing career as a homebrewer, having been inspired by the flavorful beers he encountered on flights abroad. Successfully recreating these beers that were not available in Norway, he was encouraged to start brewing professionally and Nøgne Ø - the Uncompromising Brewery - was founded to make beers of strong personality, individuality, and quality. The name is Norwegian for "naked island" and was a term used by poet Henrik Ibsen to describe the stark, barren, rocky islands off of Norway's coast. Brewed with rich Maris Otter malt and often with bold American hops (Kjetil is fond of the 4 C's:  Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, and Columbus), unfiltered and unpasteurized, Nøgne Ø beers are anything but stark.

The line up:
- Tiger Tripel (in bottles) - complex and balanced Belgian-style Tripel, 9% abv
- Porter (on draft) - dark malts provide notes of coffee, chocolate, and dried fruit, 7% abv
- IPA (on draft) - an American-style IPA with a big malt and hop presence, 7.5% abv
- Saison (on draft) - refreshing beer made for hot summer days and brewed with malt and wheat - the perfect accompaniment to oysters, according to Kjetil!

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Beer Shops in Manhattan

We're very excited about the fact that 2 new beer shops opened up last week! More places to buy good beer? Yes, thank you!

On Monday the 15th, our friends over at Beer Table in Brooklyn opened up Beer Table Pantry in Grand Central Terminal. Check them out in the Graybar Passage. They're open from 8am til 10pm and have a small but excellent selection of bottles plus several taps for growler fills.

This past weekend, the team behind Resto opened up a bottle shop next door called The Cannibal.  Not named in reference to their meat-centric menu but rather a tribute to great Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx. Unlike the beer list at Resto which features Belgian beer, The Cannibal will feature beer from around the world and has 10 tap lines for growler fills or on-premise drinking.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Introducing Anchorage Brewing Company

Gabe Fletcher started brewing at Midnight Sun Brewing in Anchorage, Alaska in 1998. When Shelton Brothers met him in 2008 at the Great Alaskan Beer and Barleywine festival, he had begun to work with wild yeast and barrel-aging at Midnight Sun and was happy to share some of our bottles of Jolly Pumpkin. When he called about a year ago to say that he was starting his own brewery, we told him that we'd love to help him sell his beers. All of Anchorage Brewing beers will be aged in oak barrels and fermented with brettanomyces yeast.

We're pleased to announce that the first release has made it down from the cool North and is now available in New York. Look for 750ml corked bottles of Whiteout Wit at your favorite store. Whiteout Wit is a 6.5% Belgian-style witbier brewed with Sorachi Ace hops; spiced with lemon peel, coriander, and black peppercorn; fermented with Belgian yeast in the tank; aged in French oak Chardonnay barrels with brettanomyces; and finally bottle-conditioned with a third yeast strain.

Look for Love Buzz Saison and Bitter Monk Double IPA this fall.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Beer Dinner featuring Cantillon and Jolly Pumpkin

In June, Peter Hoffman's venerable restaurant Savoy closed (read Edible Manhattan's send-off here), to be reopened in the fall with a more casual bent. Chef Ryan Tate decided that he wanted do a dinner that pairs the seasonal dishes he is known for with intriguing beers that could give any fine wine a run for its money.

Join us on Wednesday at Jimmy's No. 43 for a dinner featuring beers from Michigan's Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, brewers of oak-aged beers, and Belgium's traditional Cantillon Brewery, still making authentic lambic the traditional way, fermented with wild yeasts. There will be an informal discussion on each of the beers and the unique brewing process.

When:  Wednesday, 17 August, 7pm
Where: Jimmy's No. 43, 43 E. 7th Street
What:  $55 for 4 courses paired with 6 beers; purchase tickets at Brown Paper Tickets.

As a preview to the dinner, this Tuesday's $10 Tasting at Jimmy's will feature sour beers, including selections from Jolly Pumpkin and one Cantillon. The Tuesday Tastings start at 7:30 pm.

PS. It's Jimmy's birthday on Wednesday, too!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The French Connection

The French are known for their very civilized vacation policies. Pretty much the entire country shuts down for the whole month of August while everyone heads to the countryside, the beaches, or the mountains for les vacances. Assuming that you are not so lucky and are stuck in a hot New York City, why not pretend for a few hours that you are seated in charming café surrounded by hop fields, sipping a cool glass of beer. As we keep saying, the French do make very good beer which is sadly underappreciated in this country. Rattle n Hum will be putting on 10 kegs of some of the finest beers that France has to offer and cooking up some French-inspired food.

There is a reason that Manet did not title this painting The Wine Drinkers

When: Tuesday, 16 August, 4 pm-onwards
Where: Rattle n Hum, 14 E. 33rd St.
What: pay-as-you-go

Les bières:

Brasserie St-Germain Page 24 Réserve Hildegarde Ambrée - an amber bière de garde, the traditional style from the north of France, generously hopped with the local Brewers Gold and Strisselspalt varieties and brewed with locally-sourced malt, 6.9% abv

Brasserie St-Germain Page 24 Réserve Hildegarde Blonde - the blonde version of their bière de garde, 6.9% abv

Brasserie de Bretagne Sant Erwann - Brittany's St. Yves (Sant Erwann in Breton) was a 13th century ecclesiastical judge who was a champion of the poor. This 7-grain, 7% abv blonde ale made with barley, wheat, buckwheat, oats, rye, spelt, and millet is brewed in his honor.

Brasserie de Bretagne Celtika - golden triple, 8.8% abv

Brasserie de Bretagne Gwiniz Du - Gwiniz Du means "black wheat" in Breton and this amber ale is brewed with roasted wheat, giving the beer a hint of spice, 5.4% abv

Jenlain Ambrée - Brasserie Duyck, brewer of Jenlain, is credited with reviving the bière de garde style, a malty farmhouse ale brewed in the cooler months and then stored for consumption in the summer in the days before refrigeration. Their amber version is full of malt sweetness, with notes of caramel and dried fruits, 7.5% abv

Jenlain St-Druon - a blonde bière de garde brewed with a little bit of wheat and 3 varieties of Alsatian hops, 6% abv

Pietra - an amber ale brewed with chestnut flour, from the island of Corsica, 6% abv

Pietra Colomba - a Belgian-style wheat beer, hazy and refreshing, but brewed with the local wild herbes du maquis which give the beer a more herbal note, rather than the typical citrus and spice, 5% abv

Thiriez Extra - Daniel Thiriez brews farmhouse ales in the tiny town of Esquelbecq, close to the Belgian border, and his beers tend to blur the lines between French bières de garde and Belgian saisons. The Extra is a very hoppy, effervescent saison-like beer that is extremely refreshing and easy to drink at only 4.5% abv

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Pilsner Event at Blind Tiger

Each month, Blind Tiger has been featuring a specific style and they kick off the month with a style event. This month, the featured style is pilsner and we've got a bunch of tasty offerings on tap. Don't turn your nose up thinking you don't like lager; instead, come to explore the range of flavors found in this style which is very unforgiving to any brewer making mistakes. The clean profile that make pilsners so refreshing also offers nowhere to hide any off flavors.

When:  Wednesday, 3 August, 3pm onwards
Where:  Blind Tiger Ale House, 281 Bleecker Street

We find that pilsners often tend to get lost next to quadruple-hopped, barrel-aged, imperial beers. Not that those beers don't have their time and place - sipping a glass while parked on a couch, perhaps - but when it's hot out and you want something thirst-quenching yet flavorful that you can drink several of in one sitting, true pilsners brewed with 100% malt are hard to beat.

Originating in Pilsen, in Bohemia (now the Czech Republic), in the 1800s, the light color and delicate flavor of this new style were quite novel at the time and its popularity quickly spread to Germany and beyond.

Blind Tiger will be pouring 12 pilsners, both imported and domestic (I must profess a fondness for Victory's Braumeister Pils), including 6 Shelton Brothers beers (see the full draft list here):

- Kulmbacher Edelherb Pils - voted the #1 pils in 2 blind tastings in Germany sponsored by the newspaper "Die Zeit"
- EKU Pils - a little maltier than northern German pils but with more hops than a southern Bavarian pils - the perfect balance between the two
- Mahr's Pilsner - unpasteurized pilsner from Franconia in northern Bavaria
- Christoffel Blond - robust, dry-hopped pilsner-style lager from the Netherlands
- Mikkeller Dream Pils - originally known as "The American Dream" in Denmark, this is Mikkeller's version of a Danish pils brewed with American hops.
- Mikkeller Draft Bear - an 8%, hop-charged, imperial pilsner? Why not! Just make sure you're comfortably seated on your bar stool.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Great Dane Event aka Mikkeller Takes Over the Taps

Everyone wants to pour Danish gypsy brewer Mikkeller's beers and Mikkel has been so prolific as of late that there are plenty to choose from.  On Thursday, Spuyten Duyvil will be putting 6 of them on tap.

When:  Thursday, 28 July, 6 pm onwards
Where:  Spuyten Duyvil, 359 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn
What:  pay-as-you-go

Hoppy Easter - a cross-cultural beer - an American pale ale hopped with German aroma hops (Tettnang). Mikkel calls it "the equivalent of a bockwurst in a burger bun", 6.6% abv

Rauch Geek Breakfast (aka Beer Geek Bacon) - a version of Beer Geek Breakfast, an oatmeal coffee stout, brewed with smoked malt, 7.5% abv

Beer Geek Brunch (aka Weasel) - imperial oatmeal coffee stout brewed with rare Vietnamese coffee beans that have passed through the digestive tract of the weasel-like civet cat, 10.9% abv

Single Hop IPA - Amarillo - one of the varietals of this year's single hop project. Amarillo hops are similar to Cascade and have a floral, citrusy aroma and flavor, 6.8% abv

Cream Ale - brewed in collaboration with Italy's Revelation Cat, 5% abv

Koppi - coffee IPA made in collaboration with the Swedish coffee geeks, Koppi. Hopped with Tomahawk and brewed with Guji Natural coffee, 6.9% abv

French Cheese and Beer

When: Wednesday, 27 July
Where: Jimmy's No. 43, 43 E. 7th Street
What:  $15 for 3 beers and 3 cheeses

To close out French Beer Month, Jimmy's No. 43 will be offering a menu pairing of 3 French beers and 3 French cheeses. We're thrilled to pair our beers with selections chosen by Anne Saxelby, one of our favorite cheesemongers in the city.
 Saxelby Cheesemongers specializes in domestic cheeses, primarily from the Northeast, but they've recently launched a line of French cheeses from noted affineur Hervé Mons who supports traditional and small-scale producers just like Anne does with her domestic selection and we do with our beers. It's a match made in beer-cheese heaven!

The pairings:

Pietra Colomba and Fromage du Maquis Corse - Colomba is a Corsican wit beer brewed with local wild herbs called "herbes du maquis" which add an herbal, woodsy quality to the aroma and flavor. The no-brainer pairing for this is Fromage du Maquis, a raw sheep's milk cheese also from Corsica. The rind is covered in herbes du maquis, giving the cheese notes of oregano, spruce, and fresh hay.

Theillier La Bavaisienne and Bleu d'Auvergne - La Bavaisienne is an amber bière de garde from a tiny farmhouse brewery in the north of France. It is earthy and complex with cellar notes, a big malt body, and flavors of caramel and dried fruit. Bleu d'Auvergne is a blue cheese made from raw cow's milk and is rustic and hearty, just like the beer it is paired with. The aroma and flavor of mushrooms are combined with hints of hazelnut and milk.

Thiriez Extra and Saint Nectaire - The Thiriez beers are hoppier and more Belgian-oriented than other beers of the region and the Extra, dry-hopped with the rare Bramling Cross, is effervescent and refreshing with some tartness. Saint Nectaire is a soft-rind, raw cow's milk cheese that is earthy and creamy and, depending on its age, just a bit farmy, just like the Extra.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Christmas in July

Every year, Blind Tiger saves up some special holiday kegs from the winter and puts them on in the middle of the summer because you know that there's nothing you want more on a humid, 90º day than a strong winter warmer. But as strange as this logic may be, it's an extremely popular event and we've dug deep into our ice cave in the Arctic to provide a few stocking stuffers such as Slaapmutske Kerstmutske ("Christmas Nightcap"), Géants Noël des Géants, Serafijn Christmas Angel, Weissenohe Monk's Christmas, and Jolly Pumpkin Noël de Calabaza.

I'll let Dave Brodrick of the Blind Tiger say a few more words about the event and where the inspiration came from:

Christmas in July & Happy Hanukkah
Weds July 20th
@ 3pm

Back in 1997, when we began doing beer events to drum up interest in craft beer and its breweries, we came up with the idea of saving barrels of holiday ales and putting them on in the middle of summer. When I say we came up with the idea for Christmas in July, I mean we actually borrowed the concept from Ray and Dennis over at dba. It was kind of hard not to copy a lot of the things they were up to over in the East Village: Ray and Dennis basically invented the New York City beer bar when they opened dba in 1994. Blind Tiger and Gingerman, both of which opened in early 1996, were simply our own variations on a theme they pioneered.

I bring this up because we had a memorial service for Ray Deter this past Wednesday, following his tragic death on July 3rd. He was only 53 years old, and seemed to be loving life more than ever, if that was possible. Ray was a true connoisseur, a person who enjoyed the finer things with incredible joy. Over the past year, I got to see that first hand when I joined Beer Sessions Radio as the roving reporter, which Ray and Jimmy Carbone co-hosted. I can’t think of a person more qualified to talk about good beer, and good stuff in general, than Raymond James Deter III.

Working with Ray was fun, but I especially enjoyed our dinners at Roberta’s after the show. Ignoring the brick oven pizza Roberta’s was famous for, Ray always ordered the dry aged steak for all of us. It came with a marrow bone and Ray liked to slather the stuff on his bread and munch it down until his lips were shiny. The perfect metaphor for a guy who sucked the essence out of everything that interested him, often with that infectious smile on his face. A smile that always made me think, “Man, I’ll have what he’s having...”

Here’s to you, Ray.


There will be a benefit for Ray at dba Brooklyn on August 1st and once we have more details, we'll post the information here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Belgian Beers at Blind Tiger

Last minute beer notice! And who doesn't like those? "Hey, wanna grab a beer?"

Blind Tiger Ale House (281 Bleecker Street) launches July's Style Event tonight, Wednesday, and will be featuring Belgian and Belgian-inspired ales. Why not drop by for a glass of Blaugies La Moneuse (an earthy saison that's named after the brewers' ancestor, a local bandit ), De la Senne Taras Boulba (hoppy blonde ale that packs a punch at only 4.5% abv), or De Ranke Noir de Dottignies (hoppy stout from the brewers who've brought you XX Bitter). And if you're lucky, some of the French beers might still be available from Sunday's event.

Belgian beers will be featured all month so if you can't drop by over the next few days for these beers, there will be plenty of others throughout the month.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Beer for the 4th of July Weekend

At first glance, this might seem like an unpatriotic suggestion: this July 3rd why not try some beer from France? Well, while we're celebrating our Independence this weekend, why not give a tip of the chapeau to nos amis across the ocean who helped us during the Revolution. Merci, Général Lafayette! I'm sure that the Marquis enjoyed some of George Washington's Porter while he was at Mount Vernon so let's return the favor and drink a few beers from his home country. Then, on the 4th, go ahead and celebrate with an American brew!

Martha Washington Pours Tea Whilst Generals Lafayette and Washington Debate Which Fine Ale to Drink

When:  Sunday, 3 July, 3pm onwards
Where:  Blind Tiger Ale House, 281 Bleecker St.
What:  pay-as-you-go

Blind Tiger will be holding one of their Sunday afternoon Beer Exhibitions, featuring the following 4 drafts from France:

Brasserie St-Germain Page 24 Réserve Hildegarde Ambrée - an amber bière de garde, the traditional farmhouse style from the north of France. The young brewers at St-Germain find many modern bières de garde to be too sweet so, inspired by the hop fields that surround the brewery, they brewed a hoppier version, generously hopped with the local Brewers Gold and Strisselspalt varieties and brewed with locally-sourced malt.

Brasserie de Bretagne Sant Erwann - Brittany's St. Yves (Sant Erwann in Breton) was a 13th century ecclesiastical judge who was a champion of the poor. He was glorified in the saying, "A lawyer and not a thief, a wonderful thing for the people" and the brewery decided to honor their local boy, the patron saint of Brittany's lawyers, with this 7-grain, 7% abv blonde ale brewed with barley, wheat, buckwheat, oats, rye, spelt, and millet.

Pietra Colomba - moving south, the Pietra brewery is located on the Mediterranean island of Corsica (birthplace of Napoleon). Colomba is a Belgian-style wheat beer, hazy and refreshing, but brewed with the local wild herbes du maquis which give the beer a more herbal note, rather than the typical citrus and spice.

Thiriez Extra - Daniel Thiriez brews farmhouse ales in the tiny town of Esquelbecq, close to the Belgian border, and his beers tend to blur the lines between French bières de garde and Belgian saisons. The Extra is a very hoppy, effervescent saison-like beer that is extremely refreshing and easy to drink at only 4.5% abv.

Blind Tiger will also be serving brunch and lunch and I've been told that they've just gotten in a killer maple syrup from Vermont that's been aged in bourbon barrels. Go ahead and pour some of that all-American sweetener on your French crêpes! And if you just can't bear to drink foreign beer on a patriotic holiday weekend, there will also be a rare keg of our friend Sean Hill's Hill Farmstead beer from Vermont.

July is Good Beer Month and French Beer Month!

Since 2009, Mayor Bloomberg has pronounced July to be "Good Beer Month" in New York and, not to be outdone, we've pronounced July to also be "French Beer Month" in honor of Bastille Day so that we can showcase the small but growing scene in France. It might come as a surprise to some, but the French not only brew beer, they brew great beer!

The north of France, close to the border with Belgium, has a long-standing brewing tradition which unfortunately was almost completely decimated by the two World Wars. Fortunately, some of the breweries were able to hold out or returned after a hiatus while other new breweries have been popping up like champignons around the rest of the country.

There will be a series of events around the city this month so stay tuned for details and if you're in town for this holiday weekend, why not drop by the Blind Tiger for une bière on Sunday for the kickoff event.

Liberty Leading the People to their Next Beer (apologies to Monsieur Delacroix)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fêtez le Saint-Jean-Baptiste!

Friday is the feast of St. John the Baptist and in Quebec, where he is known as St-Jean-Baptiste, it is also their national holiday. To celebrate with our neighbors to the north - and what would a celebration be without beer? - Third & Long will be pouring beer from Montreal's Dieu du Ciel! brewery and serving mini Montreal-style smoked meat sandwiches with pickles from Mile End.

On tap will be Rosée d'Hibiscus, their wheat beer brewed with hibiscus flowers. Tart and refreshing, with a tropical floral aroma, this beer is perfect for summer. Dieu du Ciel! won a bronze medal for the people's choice award for the Rosée at this year's Mondial de la Bière in Montreal and the Rosée also won a gold medal from the judges in 2007.

When:  Friday, 24 June
Where: Third & Long, 523 Third Avenue (at 35th St.)
What:  pay-as-you-go

We'd also like to congratulate Dieu du Ciel! on winning the highest honor, a platinum medal, at this year's Mondial, for their Helles-style beer, "Helium". Having enjoyed a few pints of it myself while at Mondial, I heartily endorse the judges decision. Félicitations!

J-F Gravel (DDC), Jérôme Denys (Cheval Blanc), and Stéphane Ostiguy (DDC) enjoy a post-Mondial beer at Cheval Blanc