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!

A Love Letter to Holly Kay, My Sweet Partner in Adventure, or, Here’s a Bunch of Gorgeous Pictures of my Wife!


This is a blog about beer…

But first, Birthday!

My dear sweet Holly Kay celebrated her birthday yesterday, so I figured this would be an appropriate place to gush and fawn over how special she is to me.  

Without her, I never would have started this blog, and, since starting this blog, we’ve gone on so many different adventures and short trips, which provide some much needed relaxation and a chance to get away and simply be together and enjoy our time together.  

We’re heading to Ireland in 3 weeks to celebrate our 5th (and a half-ish) Anniversary, and each getaway we’ve taken since staring this blog in April, and since booking our trip in late June, has only emphasized how amazing our 8-day, 6-night vacation will be.

So, I would like to celebrate my love, Holly Kay, by showing off how stunningly beautiful she is, with a ton of pictures, some from our adventures, some from our nights out on the town here in NYC.  She’s a special gal, y’all, and you all should let her know how beautiful she is!  I don’t know where I’d be without here!

So, without further ado, let’s get to some pictures…

Holly won this pint glass from Long Ireland Beer Company at a meeting for the Long Island Beer and Malt Enthusiasts, and, why yes, that is Matthew Spitz from Moustache Brewing Co. lurking behind her…  Spooky.

When one flies on a plane, one drinks Woodford Reserve…  It’s just plane delicious!  This is Holly’s go to drink when we’re 30,000 feet in the air.

This is from one of our first visits to Moustache Brewing Co., on July 4th, 2014, before we went to Chris and Caroline’s Wedding!

Our favorite neighborhood sushi restaurant, Happy Kitchen, has hot sake. In tiny cups.  Who wouldn’t want to drink out of a tiny cup?

I’m so sorry for the flash on this picture.  But HK looks super cute, and we’re at another neighborhood favorite, Unidentified Flying Chickens, a wonderful Korean Fried Chicken and Craft Beer Bar in gorgeous Jackson Heights.

If you’re in Midtown Manhattan for a show, and you’re in a rush, don’t go to Bareburger on Restaurant Row.  If you’re not in a rush, go to Bareburger on Restaurant Row.  Have a mimosa.

Holly loves drinking things out of tiny glassware (see: earlier picture of Holly drinking Sake at Happy Kitchen)…  Anyway, here’s a full sized beer mug and a giant.

Sometimes, in the dead of winter, you take a date night to Il Bambino in Astoria, and enjoy paninis, crostinis, beer and wine, and bask in the glow of Holly Kay’s smile.

My stunning wife with a slightly less stunning nitro pour of Keith SW4 Pale Ale from Singlecut Beersmiths…  Go to this brewery!!

Butterbeer!  Frozen is far superior to non-frozen.  Universal Studios, August 2015.

Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA at Pony Bar in Hell’s Kitchen.  This is one of Holly’s favorite beers.

Black and White, because we’re artsy.  We began our New Year (’15-’16) at Astoria Bier and Cheese on Ditmars.

Black & Tan, Singlecut 19-33 Pilsner and Singlecut Heavy Boots of Lead Imperial Stout.  Also, ;-).

Love, Love, Love (Love, Love)

Knee Deep Brewing Ole Molé Stout at Bondurants, NYC.  Sweet chocolate with some dry and spicy pepper notes.  Awesome!

Holly Kay rocking a Boat Beer by Carton Brewing Company in Atlantic Highlands, NJ.  That hair!!!

Tommy’s Tap and Tavern, Sea Bright, NJ.
Bahr’s Landing, Highlands, NJ

Two Roads Brewing, Stamford, CT.

Fat 10-er #37 at New England Brewing Co., a delicious, floral saison from this hop-forward brewery.

Two Roads Brewing Co. was the most massive brewery we’ve ever seen.  HK took home a growler of Espressway Stout and a sweet bandana.

Super cool VW Bus decked out in front of Two Roads!  A fantastic way to begin Autumn 2016!
Share the love, y’all!  Let Holly Kay know how beautiful she is!  Happy Birthday Holly!  

Cheers!

Highlands, Sea Bright, and Carton Brewing Company, or “Everything is Legal in New Jersey”

Holly Kay and I got a very rare two days off together this past week, so we decided to take a little mini-vacation to tide us over until our BIG Vacation in November to celebrate a (belated) 5 Year Anniversary!  (5 years is the Shillelagh Anniversary, right?  No?  It’s Wooden?  That’s fine, I’m pretty sure there’s wood somewhere in Ireland…)

We booked a room on AirB&B in Highlands, NJ.  I figured it was just far enough away from the city to be a getaway, but close enough that we wouldn’t have to stress about traveling.  (It took about an hour and 40 minutes to get there in rush hour traffic, which wasn’t terrible.). Holly and I read nearly all of the 93 five-star reviews on the app, so we figured the place was a safe bet.

We arrived at our AirB&B, a charming, 100-or-so-year-old house about a half mile from the water, with views of Sandy Hook Bay from the window in our room.

The room was prettier than most hotel rooms we’ve stayed in.  It was impeccably clean, bright, cozy and beachy.  We had access to the common areas of the house as well, including a balcony down the hall from our room which offered peaceful seclusion and gorgeous views of NYC and Long Island.

So beachy!

If that’s not impetus enough for you to book this room right now, our hosts, Robin and Robert, were lovely, gracious, and attentive.  They treat their home like a true B&B, offering us a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon and fresh fruit upon arrival, and the most delicious breakfasts each morning.  For under $100 a night, and the way that R & R cater to their guests, we plan on making annual trips back here.  We loved every second.

Also, this is their French Bulldog Finny and how could you not fall in love?

Wait, this is a beer blog?

Our first meal of the trip was at Yumi in Sea Bright, a 5 minute drive from the AirB&B.  (Apparently most of the restaurants in Sea Bright are BYOB, and we didn’t B any B, sad face emoji)  The food was amazing.  We shared a fried soft-shell crab (because when you dine 40 feet from the Atlantic Ocean, you eat crab, for crying out loud), a spicy white tuna roll (with tempura flakes, of course), two unbelievable pork buns, and a gosh darn extra side of spicy aioli that you bet your behind we smothered on our crispy fried soft shell crab, because we’re grown adults.

Holly Kay and a pile of fried, soft shell crab

Spicy White Tuna and a red headed fool!

Soft shell from above!

In the Uber on the way back from the restaurant, we chatted with our driver, who had lived in the area for many years.  We told him our plans to visit Carton Brewing the next evening, and he said, “Oh yeah, I know the whole family!”

I wasn’t surprised.  One of my favorite things about craft beer is the focus on community.  Small breweries form relationships with the people around them (local businesses, restaurants and bars) so it’s not surprising that owner Augie Carton is so well known around town.

We went to sleep early that night, after a little singalong (Holly Kay brought her ukulele) and some wine on the balcony!

After breakfast the next morning (vegetable quiche and fresh fruit!!) we took our coffee onto the front porch to plan out our day.

Front porch sittin’ is one of Holly Kay’s favorite things to do.

It was a little chilly, and we were going to go to the beach, but it was cloudy, and that crisp, fall breeze was a’peckin’ and a’pricklin’ the little red hairs on my sexy legs, so we both decided to change into pants and forego the beach for some apple picking (AUTUMN THINGS!).

We first drove down the stunning, mansion-lined coast to Asbury Park, where we walked around the shops on the Boardwalk.

At this point, it still felt like Fall…

Paramount Theater in Asbury Park!

By the time we got to the Eastmont Orchards, it was over 80 degrees and summery again!  But we’re stubborn…  We committed to picking apples, and pick apples we did!  We got all up in those trees bizness, (neither of us are the tallest of humans, so we had to get creative) and filled up a bag o’ apples, and also bought a jar of blackberry peach jam, which is delicious.

We still had some time to kill before Carton opened, and Holly Kay found some outlets (she has a sort of Spidey-sense when we’re nearby outlet malls and was mapping out our route from the orchard even before we began our apple picking excursion).

After a few hours (new sneakers for me, new leggings for Holly Kay, and two orders of Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Nugs with cheese dip and a large Diet Coke) we were on our way to Carton!

This is a blog about beer, remember??  Sometimes I forget…

Carton Brewing is located in Atlantic Highlands, NJ.  They’re just a few miles (UPDATE FROM THE CORRECTIONS DEPARTMENT: AUGIE CARTON READ THE BLOG AND THEY ARE ACTUALLY ONLY 6 BLOCKS AWAY) from Sandy Hook Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.  Their beer is everywhere in Atlantic Highlands, Highlands, and Sea Bright (from what I saw).  They have a huge presence in that area.   The brewery, on the other hand, if you’re not looking for it, you may just drive right on by.  They took up space in an old abandoned warehouse that was used by Methodists (who came into town only for summer) to store their tents (Praise the Lord!).

Carton Brewing(?)

I’ve been a fan of Carton since my first taste of Boat Beer (their flagship, low ABV session ale/session double ipa/whatever).  I listen to Augie’s podcast, Steal This Beer, on the regular (or, as the kids say, “on the regz”…  Right, kids?), and seek out Carton beer on tap around NYC (their distribution of cans doesn’t go outside of New Jersey, so they’re hard to come by).  Most recently, Holly Kay and I fell in love with Sakura (on tap at Barcade NYC), a sour ale made with sushi rice and cherry blossom, which, in concept, is so weird but worked so well.  It was tart, refreshing, salty, low ABV, a perfect beer to drink on a hot day in summer with a good book (preferably in a hammock, but those are hard to come by in NYC, which is poopy.  Maybe I’ll open a bar that has hammocks.  I come up with so many good ideas writing this blog!!)

We step inside the brewery, and I’d heard that tours of the brew house were mandatory, which I think is a cool concept, to see where and how your beer is made before drinking it, to get a glimpse of the hard work and love that goes into beer.  However, it was just Holly Kay and I, and the young lady who facilitated the (less than two minute) tour, talked so fast when describing all the different iterations of the building, and how beer is made, we barely understood a word she said.  I was genuinely excited to spend time in the brew house, having listened to Augie talk about it on his podcast, and to learn about the Tippy (the small experimental brew system they keep to test out new flavors and ideas), and how they go about brewing beer.  It seemed like, once she had finished her speech, and had walked us from the front of the building to the rear, she was done.  No question and answer session, just an explanation of how the tasting room works, and pointed us up the stairs.  I was a bit disappointed, to be honest.  I was hoping to be able to snap a few pictures of the brew house, but was ushered up the stairs before I had a chance to.

Holly and I were chatting about it later in the evening, that perhaps, they get a lot of people who want nothing to do with a tour of the brew house and just want to get upstairs and start drinking beer.  I don’t think it was the young lady’s fault, I just had an expectation of what the tour was going to look like, and it didn’t turn out that way.  But lets move on to the beer!

On the stairs to the tasting room…

The way the tasting room works is, you can pay $5 for a flight of 6 4oz tasters.  Everyone starts off with Boat Beer, a hoppy session ale, with aromas and flavors of grapefruit citrus, orange rind, and pine, balanced with a crisp, bready malt sweetness.  Again, this beer is the reason I fell in love with Carton, and it didn’t disappoint.

My gorgeous wife holding a Boat Beer and some poker chips!

The next beer we tried was the B.D.G. (Brunch, Dinner, Grub).  Augie wanted to make a Table Beer, meaning this would be a beer that will play well with any food you make (or order).  This was a brown ale with flavors of toast, roasted coffee, a little spice, and lemon peel citrus from the Aramis hops.  I like this beer a lot, Holly Kay thought it was more bitter than she likes in a brown ale (it’s sitting at 45 IBUs), and we both wished we had some food to go alongside it (no food at Carton, so make sure to eat something before, or, like we did, go out for dinner afterwards!).  Next time I see a draught pop up in NYC, I’ll pick up a growler of this stuff and drink it alongside dinner.

Next in our flight was the Carton Canyon, their take on an American Adjunct Lager (UGH GROSS BUD BUD LIGHT MILLER LIGHT COORS LIGHT DAMN THE MAN), brewed with blue agave, to accompany the food at the nearby Southwestern-style restaurant Copper Canyon.  An adjunct is anything put in beer in addition to the malt bill, most of the time used for cutting costs, but in this case, to alter the flavor profile of a style all beer drinkers are familiar with.  It was bready sweet, with some floral, fruity, herbal sweetness (I tasted eucalyptus).  I would definitely go for this if I saw it on tap ‘round these parts.

Carton Canyon!

I had checked out Carton’s Facebook page earlier in the day (because I’m a stalker) and saw they had their HopPun, a hoppy pale ale, that they were Randalling (infusing) through candy fruit slices…  The device they use to infuse the beer is called a Randall and was invented by Dogfish Head’s insane CEO Sam Calagione (check out the link for more info!).

I was told that the Hop Pun was not part of the flight (I misread the Facebook page and thought it was), so I ordered Holly Kay and I the Wit Whale, which I’ll go into in Part II of this post (oh yeah, Part II…), but the amazing bartender (I wasn’t able to get his name) brought over a shareable pour for Holly and I to taste…  AND IT WAS AMAZING!!  Infusing the beer with candy fruit slices is nothing short of crazy, but it added a really nice candy sweetness to the citrusy hops in the beer.  The flavor was new, fresh, and bright, but invoked nostalgia, as only artificially flavored chewy fruit candy can do.  I’m pretty sure I have one more cavity than I had before I got there, but I ain’t mad…

Cheers to the amazing bartenders!  HopPun Randalled through candy fruit slices!

We forewent our last two tastes in the flight, as we were absolutely starving, because the aforementioned two orders of Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Nugs had long since worn off, and we were ready for dinner.

I picked up way too many cans, thanked our awesome bartenders for their hospitality, and we headed off to eat!

#haul

NEXT TIME, ON BENEDICT BEER BLOG…

Tommy’s Tavern + Tap, Twin Lights, Sea Bright Beach, Tommy’s Tavern + Tap, and Bahr’s (OMG BAHR’S…)  Just you wait….

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!