KCBC Tiger Thunder, or, Benedict Beer Blog’s Beer of the Week #2!  

“Such a blunder sometimes, it makes me wonder why I even bring the Thunder (Why he even brings the Thunder)…”

Daveed Diggs, as Thomas Jefferson, paying homage to Grandmaster Flash, in the hit Broadway smash musical Hamilton, invokes the essence of this beer…

Pow!  Bam!  Zap!  Zing!  Kings County Brewers Collective (KCBC) Tiger Thunder IIPA!

Thanks to Rick (check out his amazing food blog, Rickommended, right HERE!), for picking this up for me from Carmine Street Beers!

The smell is super dank, earthy, herbal with some citrus notes hiding behind.  The first sip lowers the electric BOOM!  A blast of pineapple 🍍 (ooh Mama!) , lemon 🍋 (hey now!), juicy melon 🍈 (watch out!), with bursts of strawberry 🍓 (hello!), bready 🍞 malt sweetness (sweet!) and sticky, oily resinous character (sticky!).  This beer is all about balance.  It clocks in at 8% ABV, so it’s a nice sipping beer while relaxing on our beautiful, comfy couch.

It pours a beautiful amber, with a pillowy, off-white foam.  It’s gorgeous to look at in between sips.

The can art is dope.  The bright, almost neon yellows, greens, blues, and reds in the folk-art inspired tiger mask are a nice compliment to the crisp, citrus hops in the beer.  It seems like a lot of care and consideration went into not only the beer itself, but also the art.  It’s amazing.

Beautifully balanced from start to finish, this beer’s great and you should definitely pick it up if you find it (aka those who live in the tri-state area).

Also, I can’t wait to open the other KCBC can that Rick picked up for me, Look Ma, No Hands, a gose with pineapple and lemon zest, to share with the lovely Holly Kay!  Look on our Instagram soon for that beautiful can art as well!

Thanks for checking us out!  You like beer?  Share this with all those you love!

Until next time!

Cheers!

Sundays With Nathan, or How to Make Friends With Beer (OK, Actually With Beer and a Winning Smile)

Hello!  

Sorry I’ve been away from the Blog for a bit.  

Didja miss me?  Huh?  Didja? 🤗

Well, we’re back and we’re here to talk about a man called Nathan.  A sweet, gentle, generous, good natured man with a heart of gold, who just so happens to have impeccable taste in beer.

I texted Nathan the other night before we hung out with him, because I needed to get a picture of him for this post.  The picture encapsulates everything about him, I believe.  Scholars have been known to say… “A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words”…  I’ve decided, after hours upon hours poring over this photograph, and doing all my maths, that this picture is worth exactly 13,764 words.

Ladies and gentleman, I present to you, our dear friend Nathan.

Look at that smile!!

We met Nathan at our favorite spot in Port Jefferson, C’est Cheese.  I’ve written about them plenty before, but if you need a refresher, check THIS out!

Holly Kay and I were sitting at the bar, enjoying the perks of our C’est Beer Club membership, and we look over at this smiling gentleman at the bar, and he’s got a large bottle of Oatmeal Stout that’s still half full.  He caught our eye, and said “Hey guys, I don’t think I can finish this on my own.  Want to share some?”  

…Luring strangers in with beer, huh, Nathan?  I see your game here, pal…  And I wanna play!

We had great conversation, and we followed each other on Untappd (I don’t think we got as far as friending each other on Facebook yet).  

A few weeks later, we spotted him again at a table at C’est Cheese, so we sneakily paid for his drink…

We started meeting up every couple of Sundays, to enjoy some beer, unbelievable sandwiches and cheese, and great conversation.  Nathan’s a musician as well (his main instrument is the Trumpet, but he’s well versed in many instruments.  He’s getting his doctorate in Music Composition), so he got along very well with my Mom and Dad (who are both retired Music Teachers) when we had lunch together.

Wait, isn’t this a blog about beer?

Nathan is all about sharing beer.  As mentioned earlier, the first time we met he shared a beer with us, two people who could presumably be murderers.  He opened himself up to us without hesitation, a tribute to his personality, and generosity.

Nathan hails from Georgia, and shared some Georgia beers with me back in November that made their way to Ireland, which is pretty cool.

We’ve spent many Sundays with Nathan since then, and I figured I’d showcase some of the beer he brought to share, and some of the beer we shared at his house this past Friday night (just pretend it was a Sunday, alright?)

So, this beer was absolutely mad.  Wicked Weed Silencio.  A Bourbon Barrel-aged black sour Ale with coffee and vanilla.  Ok, so, tart fruit, caramel, toasted marshmallow, bitter coffee and cocoa dance around the palate and play really well with each other to create what is probably the most interesting beer I’ve ever tasted.

Terrapin Brewing Moo-HooChiato, an Imperial Milk Stout brewed with Jittery Joe’s coffee and Olive and Sinclair chocolate.  Kind of like an adult Yoo-Hoo, y’all.  Chocolate, coffee, boozy sweetness.  

Our friend Lori from Craft at C’est Cheese invited us back after she picked up some Patsy Rides Again from Matt and Lauri over at Moustache Brewing Co., a Milk Stout brewed with toasted coconut, a beer rife with Monty Python references, the coconut takes an already delicious sweet milk stout and gives it a little tropical flare.  Unbelievable.

Lost Abbey Track #10 (Bat Out of Hell) Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout with coffee and cacao nibs.  Come for the Meatloaf reference, stay for the roasty, toasty, coffee, chocolate bounty that awaits…  “Oh baby, you’re the only thing in this whole world/That’s pure and good and right…”

Funky Buddha Maple Bacon Coffee Porter.  Thanks to Evan for bringing this up from Florida in our “My family’s in Florida, and I’m in New York” beer trade.  When Holly, Nathan and I took our first sip, it evoked the feeling of breakfast.  There’s no bacon in this beer, but they use salt and smoke, and real maple syrup, to bring out the essence of fresh pancakes, coffee, and crispy bacon.  It’s.  So.  Damn.  Good.

**Disclaimer** The rest of these beers were shared on a Friday.  Just pretend they were shared on a Sunday, ok?  Carry on.

We started off with this delicious can filled with orange juice, aka Trillium Brewing Stillings Street.

Sand City Brewing Co. Even Mo’ Mofo, a mosaic hopped double IPA from these amazing dudes from Northport, Long Island.  If you know mosaic, you already know what this tastes like.  Pineapple, Mango, floral flavors dance around ya mouf and leave you wanting more!

Another from our boys at Sand City Brewing, Promises Pale Ale, lower in ABV, but still juicy, crisp, tropical, and refreshing as hell.  Don’t skip on this one.

Thanks, Nathan for saving this one.  Singlecut Beersmiths Jenny Said, super bright, tropical, stone fruit and citrus.  Whatchu know about juice?  Queens knows about juice, baby.

We finished the evening with Finback Brewery Faster Than Light.  Another from Nathan’s seemingly endless collection of Bourbon Barrel-aged beers.  Another top notch Stout with bitter coffee and chocolate, rounded out with some caramel sweetness and boozy heat from that Bourbon Barrel.

Sometimes, a chance encounter in an amazing local haunt (over beer) might lead to a really cool friendship with a super passionate, awesome dude.  

Nathan, buddy, Holly Kay and I are glad to know ya, and look forward to all our Sunday shares, no matter what day they fall on.

Cheers!

Moustache Brewing Co. Blue Box, Or Benedict Beer Blog’s Beer of the Week! Also, Happy 3rd Anniversary, Moustache!

We here at Benedict Beer Blog would love to take a minute to wish a Happy 3rd Anniversary to our dear friends Lauri and Matt Spitz at Moustache Brewing Co.!

They celebrated this past Saturday, and we weren’t able to make it to their gorgeous space in Riverhead, I figured it would be fitting to feature them in our first EVER Beer of the Week Blog Post!

This beer is amazing.  Trust me, I’m a Doctor.  Wink!

Holly Kay asked me what beer we could share with our Eggplant Parmesan dinner the other night, so I pulled this out of the fridge for us (at 10.5% ABV, it’s a great beer to share with those you love!).  With powerful citrus and pine notes balanced by sweet malt, this beer packs quite the flavorful punch in a 16 oz can.  (Not unlike its namesake, its bigger on the inside…  Nyuk Nyuk Nuuk…). Be careful, though, it drinks super easy for a >10% beer.  It’s dangerously delicious.

Don’t Blink…  This angel will sneak up on you, real quick.

I’ve seen nothing but universal love for this well balanced, bombshell of a brew from our lovelies in Riverhead.  #drinklocal 🍺🤛🏻

Thanks for checking us out!  If you’ve been to Moustache, let us know about your experience in the comments!

Until next time…

Cheers!

Po’ Boy Brewery, or How Bobby Created a Bayou in an Industrial Park Behind Fun 4 All in Port Jefferson…

A couple of weeks ago, Holly Kay wrote the first guest blog post (you can read that over HERE!) about the beginning of her Craft Beer journey, which involved our friends at the Long Island Beer and Malt Enthusiasts (LIBME), and one particular instance where she ate spicy pork with ghost peppers.

In our time with LIBME, we got to know Bobby Rodriguez, the multi-talented beer lover, beer judge, pepperhead (who do you think gave Holly that pork with ghost peppers?), brewer and cider maker extraordinaire.  Two weekends ago, after years of homebrewing and hard work building the brewery and tasting room, Bobby opened up Po’ Boy Brewery, in Port Jefferson Station, which is Long Island’s only Farm Brewery and Cidery (meaning the beer and cider must come primarily from locally grown farm ingredients.), and one of the few spaces in the country that is legally allowed to both brew and serve cider and beer in the same location.

Bobby and his team worked long and hard, and built the space themselves, while still working full-time jobs, and you can feel the love and care that was put into the space (I’ll put up plenty of pictures).  They opened their doors to the public on January 27th.

I brought my whole family over to the brewery, located feet from the Port Jefferson LIRR station, on Sunday, January 29th (so all you NYC Folk, you can take the train out to Port Jeff, hit up Po’ Boy, and then a quick Uber ride down the hill to C’est Cheese and Port Jeff Brewing Company, and then stop at Port Jeff Beverage for a beer to take on the train with you!).

When you walk in, it’s like stepping out of an industrial park (behind Fun 4 All Port Jay), and into the bayous of Louisiana.

Vines hang from the ceiling, the wallpaper depicts scenes from a beautiful green forest, animal heads adorn the walls, the bar is made of gorgeous dark hardwood, with 8 tap handles that look like thick tree branches, that directly contrast the brilliant gold metal draft system attached to the wall.  All the signage looks like Tom Sawyer painted it on broken pieces of fence.  It’s simply magical.  You step out of Port Jefferson and into a magical world of enchanting elixirs!

Bobby had 4 beers and 4 ciders on draft (also, an alligator on duty).

Beers:

Days of Ray, a classic Golden Ale, crisp, with honey sweetness from the malt.

Old Kentuckian, a Kentucky Common, bold, malty, and sweet.

Hopalescence, an IPA, malt forward, with herbal hop character.

Darkel, a classic Dry Irish Stout, with roast coffee and chocolate flavors.

Ciders:

Straight Up, a common cider, sweet, dry, crisp and fruity.

Merry Moscato, a moscato flavored cider, reminiscent of the sweet wine.

Berry Blush, a mixed berry cider, with beautiful sweetness from the berries.

Sangria Sunset, a sangria flavored cider, with dark cherry and fresh, citrus fruit.

 

The beers are tasty, and in various malt-forward styles, a refreshing change from all the hop forward beers I usually gravitate towards, but Bobby’s ciders truly shine (or I guess I should say, sparkle).  

I think the consensus was that the Sangria Sunset was our favorite, as evidenced by this photograph:

Mom loves it!

Chris went for a Cider flight!

The entrance to the brew house, in the area behind the tasting room.

A beautiful tribute to our late friend Ed Hahne.  Ed was a music teacher with my Mom for many years, and was also a member of LIBME with his amazing wife, Lee Ann.  I remember he used to bring his home brew to parties at my parents house when I was little.  My Dad found this photo in the entryway to the brew house as he walked around with my Nephew, Silas.  We love and miss you, Ed!

A glass of Sangria Sunset and an awesome burlap coaster!

I visited again the following weekend, and Bobby was selling a limited New England Tropic Cider, made with cranberries (New England) and pineapple (Tropic!). My brother Chris and I kicked the keg it was so damn good.

Thank you Bobby and Wesam for your hospitality!  You can tell how much love and hard work you put into the tasting room, and into the beer and ciders themselves.  We’ll absolutely be back!

Until next time!

Cheers!

Craft at C’est Cheese, or, How Holly Kay and I Belted Out Maria Muldaur’s Midnight at the Oasis Because of the Name of a Beer…


My first visit to C’est Cheese in Port Jefferson was about 5 and a half (!!!) years ago, and in fact, it was before they even opened. I applied for a job there, as they were set to open in the upcoming few weeks, and Holly Kay and I had just gotten married, and moved back to Long Island. I put in my application, and, less than a week later, before their hiring even began, I was offered a job at Unnamed Fruit Themed Technology Company. My journey with Unnamed Fruit Themed Technology Company eventually led Holly Kay and I back to the city, but I always look back and wonder what our lives would have been like if I had gotten hired at C’est Cheese. Joe (Ciardullo, the owner) is so kind and passionate about Cheese, Wine, and (you KNOW this is a blog about) Beer. I would have loved to have worked alongside him and his amazing staff, but I think NYC was singing her siren call from the moment we left.


Thankfully, we’ve been no strangers to C’est Cheese, as, each Sunday, I sing at Infant Jesus Church, which just so happens to be less than a mile down the road (bummer, right?). Now, I wouldn’t say we’re there EVERY Sunday, but I make it a point to say hello to Joe, Brittany, True, Faith and the rest of the gang as often as we can, whether we stop in for a drink or bring our entire (large) family and friends by for a meal. The space is industrial, with large, exposed ceilings, poured concrete countertops, with smaller tables up front with some banquettes where you can people watch, looking out onto Main Street, and large, farmhouse-style wooden tables in the back.


My Dad has enjoyed many a Founders Breakfast Stout here.  My Mom has fallen in love with Framboise here.  Holly Kay had the first Sip of one of her favorite beers here (I won’t say the name because it was exclusive, or, as I like to say, ‘sclusie…).  It’s been a place where we’ve created so many amazing memories over the past 5 and a half years.  I can’t imagine what life was like before Holly and I were married, and I can’t imagine what our lives would be like without C’est Cheese in them (right, Holl?).


When I first saw a Social Media post from C’est Cheese saying “Coming Soon: Craft at C’est Cheese“, my interest was piqued.  WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?  I pictured Ron Howard directing some sort of Da Vinci Code-esque mystery film about it.  BUT GUESS WHAT, GUYS, I FIGURED OUT THE MYSTERY.  Joe partnered with Chris Roche, who was (and is) running C’est Beer, the exclusive Craft Beer Membership Club (of which I am a proud member!), and opened a bar and bottle shop in the storage space behind the restaurant.  It’s an amazing concept, you can get a pint or growler (32oz. or 64oz.) of some amazing (very locally focused) Craft Beer, and pick out beer from their more than 200 bottle and can selection.  I’ve seen beer from our dear friends at Moustache Brewing Co., Finback Brewing, Grimm Artisinal Ales, and LIC Beer Project (THESE GUYS ARE AMAZING).

Last Sunday, Holly and I enjoyed some Sand City Mofosaic (holy shnikes, bursting with citrus and floral notes with just a touch of sweetness), and had a beer and cheese tasting of Other Half Brewing Co. Sunrise at the Oasis Saison (now, just try NOT to sing “Midnight at the Oasis“, because you just can’t, and Holly and I sang it out loud and proud as soon as Chris mentioned the name) and an aged manchego.  The citrus, stone fruit and spice from the amazing saison contrasted perfectly the earthiness and nuttiness from the manchego.  We’ve also gotten to know Chris’ wife Erin Roche, who helps run Craft, and loves it as much as Joe and Chris do.  The passion that everyone we’ve met at C’est Cheese and Craft over the years is so exciting.  It keeps us coming back to watch these folks do what they love, and chat about it.

Beer comes out of the tap, beer goes directly in mouth…
I love that the beers are organized by style, to make things just a little easier…

You want cold beer?  They’ve got a fridge, baby.  You got it.

#drinklocal

“SWAG.  STUFF.  WE.  ALL.  GET.” -Michael Scott


I don’t want to ramble on and on, because I think both C’est Cheese and Craft speak for themselves, but do yourselves a favor, and pay a visit to these fine folks, drink some amazing beer and wine, enjoy delicious cheese, sandwiches, and appetizers (YO, THOSE SPICY GOAT BITES) and just have a great time, because that’s what life’s all about.  And do it while listening to “Midnight at the Oasis” because now I’m on my second listen to it on YouTube because I’ve mentioned it and it’s an amazing tune.

Anyway, head over to 216B Main Street, Port Jefferson, NY 11777 to check out C’est Cheese and Craft!  In fact, just text me when you’re going and I’ll meet you there.  😉 winky face.

Until next time!

Cheers!