Hello, dear readers! I feel like I need to come up with a name for my followers… Like Benedict Beer Babies? Flock of Benedict Beer Birdies? The Triple B’s? The Triple B-52’s? The Triple B-Sharps? The B-Boys? The B-Boys and Girls Club of America? What do you think? Write in the comments below what you think you should be called.
This week, Holly Kay and I had none other than the man, the myth, the legend, known as Bradco Brew, over for a small bottle share. This man makes some incredible home brews. His Strawberry Wheat and Blueberry Cream Ale are two of my favorites, and the perfect beers for these hot summer days (a comment about how hot it is. I’m being topical!). Make these again, please, Brad.
Brad stopped at one of our favorite spots, Astoria Bier and Cheese, and picked up a four pack of different brews. I stopped at our local Foodtown, which, surprisingly, (or not so surprisingly anymore) has a great selection of Craft Beer, for a mix-a-six.
This is a blog about beer. But first… Pizza.
Holly Kay got off work real early, and made two amazing pizzas. The first was tomato sauce (my man Don Pepino makes a killer sauce and it’s super inexpensive, say what up to Donny P next time you hit up the grocery store to make a fresh ‘zza, that’s short for pizza, bro), fresh mozzarella cheese, and because we do what we want, some salty, delicious prosciutto. The second pie (yeah. Second pie. When we eat, we eat right. The whole squad eats… Two pizza pies.) was basil pesto (made from scratch!!!), fresh mozz, and the creamiest goat cheese you ever did see. Holly baked those crusts so crispy, when you took a bite, the heavens opened up and a chorus of Pizza angels began singing songs of praise and wonder. She’s an amazing wife. And not only because she makes killer pizza. I didn’t get to take a photo of the pies before the three of us devoured them, but you can paint yourselves a mind-picture and, not unlike the late Bob Ross, put it on a canvas and hang it in your living room. You’ll thank me later.
The only known photograph of Holly’s pizza from Friday night. Check out that gooey mozzarella and sweet tomato sauce. AND THAT CRUST. Pizza heaven. Also pictured here, Off Color Brewing Apex Predator Farmhouse Ale, and some of the ingredients for an Old Fashioned. Because we so classy.
We started off sharing the Off Color Apex Predator Farmhouse Ale. The smell was funky, lemon, banana, hay, earth. Taste followed, with lemon and orange peel citrus, dryness, and earth. Holly was quoted as saying “The more something tastes like dirt, the more I like it.” Great example of the Farmhouse style, I would definitely pick this up again if I see it. Drink this instead of: Blue Moon. Also recommended if you love this beer: Trillium Farmhouse Ale, Ommegang Hennepin.
Kelso Beer Co Pilsner was our next choice.
Pilsners are a difficult style, because there’s not a lot to hide behind. You can throw in a ton of hops to a not-so-great IPA and it will taste amazing, but the beer will reveal itself after the hop flavors have faded. With a Pilsner, it’s all about balance, and refreshment. Kelso nails it, with a dry, crisp, bready, grassy, super easy drinking Pils. Perfect for post-lawn mowing afternoon, or by the pool, or in the pool, or in the ocean, or on the beach, or on the porch, or just about anywhere. It’s low in alcohol, and amazingly refreshing. Great stuff. Drink this instead of: any of those big name American adjunct lagers. Also recommended: Victory Prima Pilsner, Firestone Walker Pivo Pils.
Lips of Faith Series is a series of beers by New Belgium that are either sweet, sour or spicy. This iteration is a collaboration with Brouwerij De Koninck, from Belgium. This is a summer ale that smells and tastes of key lime and lemon zest, with aromas of rose, citrus and herbs. Again, put me outside on a porch at sunset with one of these in my hand, and I won’t be mad atcha. Drink this instead of: a Corona with lime (this beer tastes like butt without a lime). Also recommended: Stone Delicious IPA (made with lemon drop hops that give it a tart, lemon flavor), Lindemans Kriek (a sour, sweet lambic brewed with cherries).
To Øl Gose To Hollywood.
These dudes from Denmark brewed a Gose (a traditional German sour beer brewed with salt and coriander) with the best oranges California has to offer (hence the name, Gose to Hollywood). This was our favorite offering of the evening. At 3.8% ABV, you could crush so many of these cans at a barbecue and not worry about grilling over open flames. Super orange citrus, balanced out by a bit of salt and some FUUUUNK! Because who doesn’t like funky-a$$ beer like every single day? Drink this instead of: Blue Moon, Lienenkugel Shandy, Shock Top. Also recommended: Westbrook Gose, Two Roads and Evil Twin Geyser Gose (brewed with Icelandic Moss. Wild.).
Stillwater Artisanal Superhop.
This is a nicely balanced IPA from Maryland, with grapefruit, pine and dankness, balanced by some sweetness, and fruit from the malts. Nothing to write home about, but still a solid IPA. The artwork on this bottle is phenomenal, which is par for the course with this brewery. Hand me this brew at a party full of beer nerds who like to talk about artwork as well as beer. Drink this instead of: Sam Adams Rebel IPA. Also recommended: Dogfish Head 60 and 90 Minute IPA, Green Flash West Coast IPA.
DuClaw Sweet Baby Jesus! Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter. Dessert.
Ever wanted to drink a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup? Well, now that DuClaw distributes to New York, you can! I brought this beer back from Pete Shelly’s bachelor party in DC a few years ago, so it wasn’t my first time with it, but Brad hadn’t tried it before. It bursts with candy sweetness, chocolate, and peanut butter. This was a great way to end a night of fruity, crisp, citrusy beers. Our “dessert”. It’s low in ABV (6.5%) so even after a long night of sharing and chatting, it won’t put you over the edge. Put me in front of a fire (or even a Yule Log on the television) in the dead of winter with this bad boy in hand and I’d be happy as a clam. Drink this instead of: Guinness. Also recommended: Greenport Harbor Black Duck Porter, Moustache Brewing Co. Everyman’s Porter, if you want high ABV, Southern Tier Choklat.
There you have it! All in all, a solid share. Brad’s offerings won out over the Foodtown beers, but we had a great time, introduced Brad to the IT Crowd, which is a show all should be introduced to, and watched as much as we could of the Olympics via NBC’s garbage app for the Apple TV. Seriously, it’s the worst.
Anyway, leave a comment below with what you, dearest Benedict Beer Blog reader, want to be called!
Until next time! Cheers!