Hey Y’all, Check Out These Pictures, Or, Please Don’t Try to Drink This Blog Post…

It’s picture time! I realize I haven’t put up a picture-heavy blog post in a bit, so here’s one coming at’cha!

ALSO: I wrote an article for TigerLyfe Times about Sand City Brewing’s recent Oops! I _____ed My Pants! triple can release! Check that article out over HERE! Thanks for reading!

Radical One from the aforementioned Sand City Brewing. The hop hits keep coming and coming with these guys outta Northport!

#LGM! LIC Beer Project Dutch Kills Kölsch at Citifield! This is my kind of baseball beer! Crisp, malty, fruity and super refreshing!

From Salt House Bar in Galway Ireland! Brouwerij Boon Geuze Mariage Parfait, all the way from Belgium! This beer brought the house down. Tart, funky, dry, and delicious. Absolutely nothing wrong here!

Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co. Particle Pilsner. One of the more hoppy pils’ I’ve had. Bright, crisp citrus is balanced by sweet, cracker like malt. Love it!

A “candid” photograph at Samson’s Birthday party at Greenpoint! Cheers!

Greenpoint Beer & Ale Tremendous. Paired with an, *ahem*, appropriate movie (on VHS, no less!)

My favorite beer of summer, 2017. Carton Brewing Beach, a session Ale with (I believe) Citra hops and orange zest. Bright, beautiful grapefruit and bitter orange, a bit of dankness, but still clean and dry enough and low enough ABV to keep on drinkin’. So, keep on drinkin’!

Also, I’m getting a foot massage whilst I took this photo. So, your opinion is invalid.

Finback x Jacks Abby Spill The Tea IPL. The green tea is a cool addition to the citrus hops and citrus peel, adding a clean, grassy note that’s intriguing. And no need to boil water and risk burning your precious, precious skin. 😘

Singlecut Beersmiths strikes again! Some Cat From Japan Session IPA, and Charlie’s Good Tonight IPA. Both phenomenal beers, and I’m hoping they’ll release them again in the future.

I know, I know, this isn’t beer. But when Holly Kay and I found the Dingle Whiskey Bar tucked away inside Fraunces Tavern down in the Financial District of NYC, we had to stop in and have some Irish Whiskey (at triple the price we paid for it on the Emerald Isle, of course). And it was worth every penny.

Bradco brought this beer back from Michigan. Old Nation Brewing Co. M-43 New England Style IPA. These cats from Williamston, MI have nailed this style, which surprised me. Watch out, New England, Michigan’s coming for you. HARD.

Enjoyed this collaboration by Other Half Brewing and Cloudwater Brewing, Tremendous Ideas. The simple can design also lends this can to take beautiful pictures even when an amateur photographer (me) is behind the camera (iPhone). Also my bed looks super comfy and as I’m writing this, I’m minutes away from hopping into it and drifting into a blissful slumber so, that’s also cool.

This was at Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint. The Hellboy pizza with soppressata picante and Mike’s Hot Honey (yo, MIKE’S HOT HONEY. Who’s this Mike guy? I want to raid his house and take all of his hot honey for my own.). This hot-ass pizza was paired with a Greenpoint Beer & Ale Milk & Honey, a sweet, creamy ale that paired perfectly with the spicy ‘zza, bro.

Threes Brewing SFY (the artist formerly known as SuperF*ckingYawn) IPA, as we prepared for the magical wonder that is the Binky Griptite Orchestra at Threes Greenpoint Location. Binky plays guitar with the Dap Kings, and brought his musician friends to play some amazing 1940s Jazz and R&B and it was absolutely incredible. It was the opposite of SuperF*ckingYawn, but so was this beer, so…

Sometimes, it’s nice to go back to basics. Allagash White, my first Belgian white beer I fell in love with. Simple, refreshing, with notes of orange peel, clove, banana. Sometimes simple is beautiful.

Again, let the hate flow through you. I will combat that hate with Polar Seltzer’s Unicorn Kisses Seltzer. Is it Strawberry Kiwi? We’ll never know. Polar’s been keeping these flavors as mysterious as the mythical beasts on the cans. Damn you, Polar.

Fan favorites Moustache Brewing Co. made this delightful Saison brewed with Lavender, Honey, and Lemon Verbena. They knocked it out of the park, with floral, sweet, banana, and citrus dancing mischievously around the palate, this beer is simply a delight. Love you, Moustache Gang!

Thanks to my dear friend Will Russell, for asking me to be a part of his wedding party. As part of our Groomsmen’s gift, he got us these HEAVY DUTY USS Enterprise Bottle Openers. This is insanely dope and I will use it always. Make it so.

Treehouse Brewing Company, if you don’t know, now you know. Christopher Benedict, if you don’t know, now you know. Get with the times, y’all.

Interboro Spirits & Ales x Pipeworks Brewing Mad Fat! Unicorn. Thanks Bradco for sharing!! Mad Fat! Fluid plus Ninja Vs. Unicorn equals an amazing liquid combo. New York x Chicago, taking over the world.

If you’re not salivating by now, you need to let me know, and I’ll take you out and buy you a beer. So, if you’ve made it this far, and it’s had no effect on you, let me know. The next one’s on me.

Until next time!

Cheers!

Holly Kay and Patrick’s Brooklyn Beer Adventure with Bradco!  Or, OK, It Was Really Just Greenpoint Which is Basically Southern Queens and Then We Actually Ended Up Back in Queens But Hey, Beer is Awesome!

Holly Kay and Patrick live in Queens.  Our dear Bradco (You’ll remember meeting him HERE and HERE!) also lives in Queens.  Brooklyn is just miles south of Queens.  Yet, the MTA makes it nearly impossible to get to Brooklyn from Queens (or vice versa) without either:

A) Going all the way through Manhattan, or,

B) Taking the G Train (which, according to this New York Times article used to suck but is now cool).

Anyway, it takes nearly an hour to get there, unless you take a car, so we rarely, if ever, find ourselves in Brooklyn.  (Sorry, Brooklyn friends.  We still love you very much.).

We decided to be fancy and took a Gett, cuz we fancy, you know.  Our first stop was the incredible Tørst, in Greenpoint.

Tørst, (pronounced TERST, which is the Danish word for “Thirst”), is owned by Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, owner of Evil Twin Brewing.  It’s a small, modern, dimly lit, clean, sleek space with a marble bar and dark wood tables.  Their beer menu goes from light to dark, and each beer is served at the perfect temperature and with optimal carbonation (which, if I had a craft beer-themed metal band, Optimal Carbonation would absolutely be the name.)

The beautiful taps behind the bar at Tørst.

Holly loves Tørst because when she drinks beer, she either doesn’t want to drink a full pint, or wants to taste a number of different beers.  Tørst offers 5oz, 12oz, and 14 (or perhaps 16)oz pours.  We usually order 5oz pours, so we can taste and share.


My first choice was Hill Farmstead Brewery Citra Single Hop Pale Ale.  If you could animate the aroma, picture giant cartoon pineapples and grapefruits dancing out of the glass and circling your nostrils.  This beer was the bomb, and I believe I had 3 5oz pours.

Holly started with Folksbier Brauerei Glow Up Berliner Weisse with Satsuma Mandarins.  Tart, crisp, refreshing, citrus, which is literally everything you could ever want.  This was a beautiful beer from this new brewery in Brooklyn.

Holly Kay and Bradco having what appears to be a VERY INTENSE conversation as I creepily take candid photos.  TMZ, u hiring?  (As an English major, I have to interject.  Can I interject in my own Blog?  Sure I can!  I know it’s spelled Y-O-U.  I wrote the letter u because I thought it would be funnier.  Ok, carry on.)

 Evil Twin Brewing Aún Más Todo Jésus, a Russian Imperial Stout with cinnamon, cocoa, chili peppers and coffee beans.  The cinnamon dominates, but is rounded by the bitter coffee and cocoa, with some heat from the chili.  My goodness, at 12% ABV this will knock your socks off.  Thank…  Well, thank Jesus for 5oz pours!

I highly recommend this Beer Bar.  The bartenders are super friendly and knowledgeable and will let you taste something before ordering, and they’re serious about beer.  They gave me a list of craft beer spots in and surrounding Greenpoint, which was much appreciated.

After tasting some fantastic beer, it was time to move on.  Bradco suggested we stop at Moe’s Doughs, because he’s a wise, handsome man with exquisite taste.  We each ordered a doughnut and split them up into three. (how do you split a doughnut into three?  Shut up!  That’s how.  I’m sorry.  That was mean.  Please ask Holly Kay.  She told me how to do it.  It’s kind of like a peace sign.)  We shared a salted caramel donut, classic glazed, and banana nut.  They were dope.  Everything is dope.

Like I said, DOPE!

Brad told us about this old movie theater in Greenpoint that turned into a Rite Aid (sad.), so we decided to stop there before heading north to our next stop (it’s like Queens is a magnet and it simply, pulls us back, slowly but surely…)

Behind Bradco and Holly Kay is the former balcony of the theater.  Sad!

Gorgeous dome in the middle of the room.  Sad!

Next stop was Greenpoint Beer & Ale!

Hello!

Greenpoint Beer & Ale occupies a large space in an industrial area of Greenpoint.  I’d tried a few beers from them, thanks to Craft at C’est Cheese (BLOG POST) and Rick Nelson (you’ll remember him from THIS BLOG POST! And check out his blog Rickommended!), and they were awesome, so I was looking forward to visiting the source.

Speaking of Rick Nelson, I texted asking if he wished to join us, but he wasn’t available, and sent me what I can only imagine is an Angry Rick Nelson Emoji…

Yup.

My first choice at Greenpoint Beer & Ale was Vert Mont Double IPA.  An homage to the hazy, Vermontian (is that a word?) IPAs we all know and love.  Balanced citrus, pine, and sweetness.  A solid brew, and, as the kids say, Hazy Ayy Eff.

I’ll have a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice, please.  With extra pulp!
 

Holly posing in front of the cozy fire place in the beautiful industrial tasting room!

Another stand out beer was Catalyst, a saison with Brettanomyces.  Beautiful lemon zest, dry, crisp, amazingly refreshing!

Holly’s favorite beer was Night and Day, a German style Schwarzbier (dark Lager) with roasty coffee notes, but still crisp enough and with a low ABV, this beer suits both cold winter days and hot summer nights, baby!

Please, no butts.  

Our bartenders at Tørst mentioned that Threes Brewing had a pop up shop in the neighborhood, with beer to stay and to go, and merchandise.  Apparently, they took over their friend’s lease after he had to close his restaurant, and were testing the waters to see if a full time restaurant and beer bar would be feasible.

Pop Up Beer Bars?  Where do I sign up??

Gorgeous bar at the Threes Pop Up Shop @ Franklin & Kent in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.  Cans and Growlers to go, as well as Merchandise, with draft lines.

Holly Kay and I are drinking Unreliable Narrator IPA, and Bradco is drinking I Hate Myself IPA.

It’s clear that Threes doesn’t take itself too seriously, making juicy, hazy IPAs with self deprecating names like Unreliable Narrator, I Hate Myself, SFY (the beer formerly known as Superf*ckingyawn), and Constant Disappointment.  (Greenpoint made what I can only imagine is a response beer, a juicy, low ABV Pale Ale with oats, called Constant Reassurance…).

The tap list was small, and IPA-heavy (hey, if you’re going to attract people in Brooklyn to an out of the way spot, the same people who line up overnight for Other Half’s hazy juice bombs, this is the way to do it), but I’ve never had a bad beer from Threes.  Their pils, Vliet (pronounced “VLEET”), is not to be missed, and they make some of the best saisons I’ve ever tasted.

Bradco checking his beer into Untappd probably.

As we’d already made our way north through Greenpoint, we figured we’d share a cab to our favorite Long Island City brewery, Big Alice Brewing.

Not sure who was more excited.  Holly Kay?  Bradco?  That lady?  (The correct answer is: That lady.)

Our awesome bartender friend Annie greeted us with a smile, even as the bar was packed!  

We didn’t get our usual spots at the bar, but we snagged a space around a barrel in the brew house and ordered a flight of 6 beers to share…

Look at all the pretty colors!

Highlights:

Smoked Saison!  Beautiful floral and lemon notes, with a nice smokiness.  Bradco said it reminded him of smoked salmon.  Loved the peaty, campfire smoke on the nose and taste.  It’s such a departure of what I usually gravitate towards, and it was a nice refreshing change.
Date Night, Bro?  A stout brewed with Donuts! Sweet, toasty, bitter.

Peppermint Stout.  It was like a liquid Thin Mint.  I ain’t mad.

Lemongrass Kolsch.  People need to make more Kolsch.  It’s so crisp, bright, and citrusy, with some beautiful fruity esters from the yeast.  Lemongrass adds just the right amount of tart.  It makes me want to drink one after I mow my lawn (?  I live in an apartment in Queens…  A man can pretend to have a lawn, can’t he?)

Everyone’s favorite.  Jalapeño Rye IPA.  I’ve written about this one before, but it’s surprising each time I sip it.  The pepper is a wonderful addition to the spice from the rye and citrus from the hops.  Drink this!!!
After Big Alice, we parted ways with Bradco, went and got massages in Astoria at our favorite place, and went home to watch Quantico before bed, because we like to pamper ourselves sometimes.  

We had a wonderful day with Brad, and felt so welcomed everywhere we visited (of course).

All in all, not a bad little Saturday.  Oh, also, watch Quantico.  It’s on Netflix…

Until next time…

Cheers!

2016, The Year in Beer (So Far…) or Hey, Come Salivate Over These Pictures!

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

C. Both.

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 4th.  Honeymoon Cafe.  These aren’t beer.  They’re beignets.  Because why wouldn’t I post a picture of these gorgeous monstrosities of culinary delight?  You’re welcome.

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 14th.  Stillwater Artisinal Ales On Fleek Imperial Stout.   Pours black as night, tastes like dark chocolate, cherries and coffee.  And this can is out of control!!

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!