8th Avenue outside of Port Authority is not one of the most beautiful areas of the city. In fact, it’s one of my least favorite areas of this glistening town. Although, having a multi-level Beer bar to escape the rotten smells wafting from the Subways underneath 8th Ave is always a welcome respite.
We were directed upstairs at Beer Authority when we said we were there for the Sculpin Sessions, and then we were directed upstairs again… And then again… to the rooftop bar. Now, it was covered, and there were heaters, but it was still a rooftop in the middle of winter in NYC. So, we were cold. But guess what? They have beer! Beer that’ll warm ya right to your bones!
As soon as we walked through the door to the rooftop, I noticed a familiar face. I had never met Peter from Beer Today Beer Tomorrow (a Queens Beer Collective with a huge following on Twitter and Instagram) but we’d been chatting for over a year about getting together to do a podcast, or just to hang out. So it was really nice to finally get to meet Pete and have Holly Kay meet him as well, and we ended up having an awesome evening together.
Ballast Point has been doing Sculpin Sessions in bars around NYC the past two weeks, so we were told by the bartender that our host would be there to set up in about 15-20 minutes, as he was on his way from another session, and you all know how difficult getting from Point A to Point B in NYC can be. We were fine, though (albeit a little cold), I ordered a Sierra Nevada Stout, whose roasty, cocoa and chocolate notes went way above and beyond it’s relatively low ABV. Holly Kay ordered an Anchor Brewing Coffee Porter.
The tables were adorned with various Sculpin IPA paraphernalia, including coasters, tasting glasses, and stickers.
SWAG. Stuff We All Get.
We chatted with Pete while we waited for our host, Dan, who came about 10 minutes later with his cohorts Jaye and CJ. Dan was animated, lively, and passionate. He thanked us for waiting and set up the equipment for his presentation.
As Dan took us through the presentation, we learned about Ballast Point as a company (they have 7 breweries across the US), and how they quality control their beer as it’s brewed in each facility (they have a 300 touch point system to make sure the beer tastes the same no matter where it’s brewed). We couldn’t use that system because we weren’t in any of Ballast Point’s breweries, so we used our 5 touch point system, THE FIIIIVE SEEEENSES! Isn’t science magic??
Dan the Man!
Also, I finally learned what SRM means! It stands for Standard Reference Method, which is the color system brewers use to specify finished beer and malt color. Basically, it’s a Beer color scale.
We got to smell some of the hops that go into Sculpin IPA (the two they presented us were Simcoe and Amarillo, Simcoe has characteristics of dank pine and grapefruit citrus, and Amarillo has brighter citrus notes and herbaceous black tea). Dan also talked about the bitter bite on the finish of each sip, a characteristic of bittering hops. We also got to smell dried apricots, mangoes and pineapples, some of the fruits that the hops evoke, and compare them to the nose on the beer.
Simcoe and Amarillo Hops!
We also got to try the Unfiltered Sculpin, which nearly eliminated the bitter bite at the end of the OG Sculpin, and our consensus was that we liked the original better. I appreciate Ballast Point going for the no-perceived-bitterness-Unfiltered-IPA craze of the past few years, but Sculpin ain’t broke, so it doesn’t need to be fixed or improved upon.
The Benedicts and Dan!
I commend Dan for his command skills and composure, as he had to deal with a lot of noise coming from the back of the rooftop, where people were playing Cornhole. He projected very nicely over the screaming, but to be honest, it took away from the experience a bit (again, no fault of Dan’s).
After the event, Holly Kay, Pete and I introduced ourselves to Dan, Jaye and CJ and took some photos. They were all very friendly and so happy we were there. We then shared a delicious pizza from the kitchen at Beer Authority, took some photos in the photo booth downstairs, and headed home.
Benedict Beer Blog, Beer Today Beer Tomorrow, and Ballast Point!
All in all, it was a great night. Thanks to Ballast Point for inviting us, and thanks to Dan, CJ, and Jaye for being incredible hosts.
Until next time,
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