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)