Hello, gorgeous Benedict Beer Blog readers! Thanks for coming back, or, if this is your first time, welcome here! Holly and I have had some amazing adventures this year, which you’ve read about, so I think it’s time to recap the first (a little more than) half of the year with some pictures. Everyone loves pictures, and you wouldn’t be here unless you:
A. Love beer
B. Are related to me, or
Thanks for tuning in for these first couple of months. Now, let’s look at some pretty pretty pictures of craft beer why not??!?!?
January 1st, 12:01am. Singlecut Beersmiths Heavy Boots of Lead Imperial Stout. I’ve gushed over this beer and brewery in numerous other posts. This is liquid chocolate, so drink it if you ever see it. He fills his victims full of happiness. Ozzy approves.
January 3rd. Hilton Garden Inn, Long Island City, NY. Post-ceiling collapse, we stayed in this amazing hotel, where we drank beer and wine out of paper cups, because Holly Kay and I are Renaissance Men. Southern Tier Brewing Company Crème Brûlée Imperial Stout. Skip dessert, drink this instead. Sweet, sugary, vanilla, chocolate, coffee. You (dia)BET(ic) we loved it!
January started off with some stouts! They warm ya up when it’s cooooold out there! Chris “MusicDktr” Benedict, would approve, right, Dad?
January 8th. Belated Christmas dinner at Brad (of Bradco Brew) and Alex’s Apartment! This beer is out of control. Barrier Brewing Company Money IPA. Bursting with tropical citrus and pine, just put me on a hammock in between two palm trees and get me out of this New York City winter for crying out loud!
This is Brad, aka Bradco Brew. He makes amazing brews. Our favorites are the Blueberry Cream Ale (which I wish I could drink all summer), Citrus Saison, and his amazing Chocolate Stout. Become friends with Brad and you can try these. He’s nice!
January 23rd. First major snowstorm of the year. Holly Kay and I got off of work early, and spent the day watching movies, eating, and drinking. This is Pipeworks Brewing Company Lizard King, a single hopped session IPA with Mosaic hops. Mosaic, she’s a naughty, naughty girl… Pineapple, pineapple, and more pineapple. Another tropical dream to escape the 12″ + of snow building up outside our apartment window. Also, this can art cannot be beat.
January 23rd… Speaking of snowstorm… Evil Twin and Two Roads Geyser Gose. Gose (pronounced Gose-uhh) is a traditional German-style beer that is tart, herbal, and salty. Geyser Gose is brewed with ingredients sourced from Iceland (a country I would absolutely love to visit), including Icelandic moss, rye, herbs, sea kelp, skyr (a tart, Icelandic yogurt) and birch smoked sea salt. The kelp, sea salt, and moss, give this beer an earthy, umami saltiness to counteract the sour citrus. It might not sound appealing in writing, but it’s unreal. It’s great for summer, or, in this case, to counteract our Cabin Fever.
February 11th. Sixpoint Brewery C.R.E.A.M., a Cream Ale brewed with coffee… Beer + Coffee + Wu Tang Clan? Dolla, dolla bills, y’all. This blonde ale tastes like coffee with cream, bitter like green bell peppers (which is a flavor that I sometimes pick up from a really bitter black coffee), balanced by a sugary sweetness. Craft Rules Everything Around Me.
February 26th. Barrier Brewing Company and Other Half Brewing Half & Half. This was shared at Threes Brewing. In preparation for Brian and Tanya’s wedding in Houston, I met up with Brian and his coworkers Doug and Martin (I was at work, so I missed their excursion to Other Half Brewing), and we enjoyed some beer and food from BBD’s (Beers, Burgers, and Desserts) who had a pop up restaurant at the brewery. I guess I inadvertently theme my beer drinking, as this tasted like coffee with half & half and sugar.
This one had less of a hip hop theme, but more of two of my favorite local breweries, so it’s a toss up which one I love more. So we’ll leave it at I love them both the same.
March 5th. Our 5th Anniversary, and the day of Tanya and Brian’s wedding. While our lovely wives were getting ready, Jerry, Scott and I decided to walk to a brewery on the outskirts of town. As you’ve heard a million times before by the great Rob Thomas, “Man, it’s a hot one…” And it truly was. Houston, Texas clocked in at literally 7 inches from the midday sun. This Rocket Fuel from 8th Wonder Brewing, made with Vietnamese Coffee and served on nitro, at a sessionable 4.8%ABV, was so Smooth. It gave me its heart, and made it real, so I couldn’t forget about it…
March 12th. “Guest Bartending” at the Grand Opening of Il Bambino’s new location on 8th Street in the West Village, NYC. This man knows how to handle a tap… Wink.
March 17th. Saint Patrick’s Day. Because you have to. Also, this throwback artwork is incredible!
March 26th. My first ever Trillium Brewing Company beer, their Farmhouse Ale. Holly Kay stated, “this beer taps you on the shoulder and says, ‘Hello!'” Dry, funky, grassy, with tart lemon citrus, it’s the perfect beer to accompany rich food, but also stay out of its way and act as a compliment to the salty, funky cheeses.
April 14th. Picked up one of these Pipeworks Brewing Company Ninja Vs. Unicorn Double IPAs at a little store on the East Side called Miso Hoppy. It poured hazy orange, with aroma of pineapple, orange, lemon. Taste followed, with a little candy sweetness from the malt. Pick it up if you see it. This is right up there among the great IPAs out there.
April 20th. The hits keep coming with Stillwater Artisinal Ales, this time they teamed up with Other Half Brewing to make Rockstar Farmer, a hoppy farmhouse saison, with notes of lemon, funk, and hay. Another great compliment to our food that night, Gorgonzola and honey Crostinis with cured hot sausage. Holly Kay and I treated ourselves royally!
April 22nd. Shared this beer with Holly Kay and our favorite bartender, Derek at The Folly on Houston Street. This was a great platform to let the Citra hop do its thing with floral and citrus notes. Other Half always kills it. This can was a gift from Rick Vath! Thanks, Rick!
June 9th. Carton Brewing Company and Barrier Brewing Co. collaborated on this SS-C.R.E.A.M. A hoppy, imperial cream ale, with citrus notes from the hops, balanced with vanilla and cream. This was enjoyed at Rattle ‘N’ Hum in NYC!
June 9th. Westbrook Brewing Company Mexican Cake Imperial Stout brewed with cacao nibs, cinnamon, vanilla beans, and habanero peppers! That’s a spicy meatball! This was quite possibly the best stout I tasted this year. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel with heaps of cocoa and cinnamon, and a slight heat from those pep peps! Mama Mia, me so spicy!
June 16th. Brought back reeeeeal fresh from Tree House Brewing in Monson, MA. Another citrus bomb from these guys! I love their can artwork as well!
Picture taken June 16th, beer shared the night before with Ryan, Erica, and Holly Kay! Trillium Brewing Artaic Double IPA I would say this is my favorite IPA I’ve had all year, but it got slightly edged out by another, which you’ll see in a minute. This is brewed with honey, which just sets off and intensifies the citrus, juicy hop profile. It’s drool-worthy.
July 13th. National French Fry Day. Paired with Troegs Brewing Company Nimble Giant. This is a KILLER beer. Another juicy, Northeast Style IPA, but the malts create a cherry-like sweetness that plays well with these hops. Unreal.
July 21st. The winner for my favorite IPA this year. Singlecut Beersmiths Softly Spoken Magic Spells. Absolutely gorgeous pineapple juice in a 16.9 fl oz bottle of wonder and amazement. If Singlecut keeps making beer like this. I’mma keep drinking ’em.
July 24th. This was yesterday! This has certainly been a year filled with some juicy IPAs, and Tree House Brewing Company Bright fits right in. Mom, Dad, and Holly Kay all loved it! Lime is prevalent in this brew, but complimented by pineapple, orange, and pine. Hops are an amazing creature, and I’m so excited to see what all these insane Brewers will do with them in years to come.
Thanks all for sharing in this half year (plus a little bit) in pictures! The Benedicts will be back with more adventures! Thanks again for reading! Cheers!