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!

Saying Hello, By Saying Goodbye? Pt. Deux

Hey!  You came back!  Thanks for coming back.  That’s really sweet of you.  You’re a real pal.  This is a continuation of my first post, so please, if you haven’t read it, go back and check that one out, then come back and read this one.  I’m very patient.

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Look how patient I am!

Ok!  Let’s continue with Part Deux…

So it was Hiten’s last shift at City Swiggers, a bottle shop on 86th, between 1st and 2nd Ave.  You should go there.  It has 14 draft beers and probably like 40,000 bottles and cans.  This is not an exaggeration.

It was 8pm, which is way past my bedtime.  I believe my wife, Holly Kay, had worked a 6:30am-3:30pm shift that day, and had met up with some friends in between.  I worked until around 7:30, we met up, and got on the 6 (where some guy named Drake ran through with his WOEs), and walked the long avenue blocks over to City Swiggers.  We were, frankly, exhausted.  But we wanted to stop in and make sure we were there to give Hiten a proper send off.

It was pretty crowded, and loud, as it was a Friday night, and a lot of people were there for Hiten.  My coworker David, a home brewer, was there with his girlfriend, and we said hello, and ordered our first two beers.  Thankfully, two seats opened up right at the end of the bar, so we were able to sit.  Our feet and legs thanked us, as we’d both been running around all day.

Holly ordered an Other Half Brewing Company Mosaic Dream (because she has impeccable taste).  This is a single hopped Imperial IPA, hopped only with Mosaic.  I’ve loved every beer I’ve tried from Other Half Brewing (they’re in Gowanus, Brooklyn).  Hiten has waited in line at the brewery, very early on Saturday mornings, for their can releases.  (See previous post for the awesome Make it Rain IIPA he gifted me…)

IMG_1916Other Half Mosaic Dream

I’ve heard of Mosaic referred to as a sexy hop.  And ooh my, she sure is.  She comes from the same family as Simcoe, another hop that I adore.  The aroma wafts into your nose like a tropical breeze.  One sip and you’re transported to a far off, white sandy beach (somewhere tropical, let’s say for this instance, Saint Martin), surrounded by freshly cut mangoes and pineapples.  You take a bite…  This must be the Dream that they’re referring to…

Snap back to reality (oh, there goes gravity!).

This beer is bright, citrusy, and perfect for a day on the beach, or by the pool, or wherever you damn want to, it’s your life, LIVE YOUR LIFE, DRINK BEER WHERE YOU LIKE!  (Is that going to be the Benedict Beer Blog’s first tee shirt?  Probably not.).

If you’re outside of New York and can’t get up here, and that picture I painted appeals to you, I would highly recommend picking up a Founders Mosaic Promise, or Pipeworks Lizard King.  These are both single hopped with Mosaic, so you too can be transported to paradise.  Check them out, and let me know what you think!

I ordered the Grimm Afterimage.  This is an amazing unfiltered Double IPA, with citrusy, dank hops.  According to the Brewers, they used Mosaic (there’s that pretty lady again!!), El Dorado, Falconer’s Flight, Columbus, and Simcoe.  (I want to be a Hop Namer.  Is that a thing?  Can I make that my life’s work?  I mean, come on…  Falconer’ Flight?  Give that man a Nobel Prize!). The hops are balanced out by a burnt caramel, bready malt sweetness.  This was my second time having this beer, and it’s just as good as I remember it.  I rated it 4.5 out of 5 caps on Untappd, which is an awesome Beer Social Networking App that you should absolutely check out.  This comes around in cans from time to time (at least twice, from what I know), so grab it if you can.  This is a gorgeous beer.  If you can’t find it, try to see if you can get Grimm Tesseract, Grimm Lambo Door, Other Half Green Diamonds, or Singlecut Billy Full Stack.  These are some of the best Double IPA’s released in NY.

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Grimm Afterimage Double IPA

My palate needed a change after all those delicious, delicious hops…  And I looked across the bar, and saw some nice gentleman sharing a bottle of 2015 Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout.  This is a variant of the regular Bourbon County Brand Stout, with Intelligentsia’s Los Delirios Nicaraguan coffee beans added.  For those of you who may not know, Goose Island admitted to some Varients of their Bourbon County Brand (specifically Coffee and Barleywine) having what they referred to as “off-flavors”.  I was interested to try it, after reading countless reviews about how the beer was infected.

I have had the Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout once before, about 5 years ago, with my dear friends Matthew and Lauri Spitz, who went on to open Moustache Brewing Company, and it was amazing.

This bottle was certainly off.  It tasted boozy, with sour raspberry and chocolate, but no coffee.  It wasn’t bad, as I enjoy sour beers, but this was unintentional.  I’m glad I didn’t wait on line to pick this up, but was happy I got to try it.  Thank you strangers at the bar, and thank you Hiten for pouring me a taste!

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Looking down into the abyss of an “off flavored”  Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout

At this point, a number of our friends had showed up.  We hadn’t really eaten anything at this point, so we ordered some snacks.  Hiten also had a bunch of pizzas ordered, so Holly grabbed us two slices, and by that point, we wanted to slink back into our cave and hibernate like the tired bears we were.  But we were having such a great time with our friends, and Hiten was having a blast pouring and sharing beers with his friends.

The last beer I tasted, and shared, was the Stone Xocoveza (pronounced “shocko-veza”) Stout.  In stark contrast to being transported to the beach, this beer picks you up and drops you in a rocking chair in front of a roaring fireplace, with untouched, glistening white flakes of snow flittering by the window, family singing Christmas Carols while visions of cinnamon, coffee, and spice dance all over your tongue.  Holly and I shared a 5 ounce pour of this from our friend Sean’s flight (he doesn’t like stouts that taste like coffee), and it was so good (as I remembered) Holly and I ordered and shared another.

IMG_1922Our friend Sean’s Stone Xocoveza Stout.  He promptly ordered “A stout that doesn’t taste like coffee.”

IMG_1927Our second Stone Xocoveza Stout

By this point, we paid our check, and prepared to make our long journey home to Jackson Heights.  We were both exhausted, but really happy that we showed up, and spent time with some amazing friends.  And, as we went down into the Subway station, we saw a group of people doing QUIET CLUBBING!  Have you ever heard of this?  There’s two different stations, and you get to choose which you want to (quietly) rock out to.  It was really cool, and we actually considered doing this.

As memorable as the beers were, I simply loved our whole experience.  I got to share stories and beers with my beautiful wife and our amazing friends, and we were all able to be together and celebrate Hiten’s last night at City Swiggers.  The bar was filled with he and his fiancee’s friends and family.  Hiten, whether he knew it or not, made an impact on people around him, and will continue to do so in Arizona.

I got a few texts after my first post, saying “Great blog!  When are you going to talk about beer?” I hope this post has answered that question.  For me, it’s not just about the beer.  What I love about beer is that every sip, every different beer you try, comes with an experience.  The appearance, aroma, taste, even the environment you’re drinking in and the people you are with, will bring you somewhere.  Sometimes, it brings you somewhere you never want to go again.  Sometimes it brings you somewhere you’ll want to visit over and over again (responsibly, of course).

Until next time, dear, sweet, sexy (I assume) reader.  Keep having and enjoying wonderful experiences, and share any thoughts you have in the comments below!

Cheers!