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!

::GASP:: A Guest Blog Post!  Or, The (Other) Benedict Beer Blog!

We’ve got a special treat this week!
I was texting with the lovely and vivacious Holly Kay (Benedict!!) on Sunday afternoon, and she gave me the most incredible description of the beer she was enjoying (because that’s what you DO on Sunday afternoons!).

What a cutie!!

So, without any further ado, I leave you in the hands of my smart, adventurous, beautiful wife!


2012: How the Beer Journey Began

By Holly Kay Benedict



It was 2012. Patrick and I had been married for a year. We were living on Long Island. I was working a dead end job DJing at a country radio station for pennies. The work itself, I loved. The listeners and the performance aspect of the position were amazing. The misogynists I worked for made the job a living hell for me and the other women working as talent there.

Me and the truck!

That first year was one of the very hardest. We lived with family. We had obnoxious amounts of credit card debt which we were paying down slowly, but surely. We had few friends, but we were able to make some lifelong friends in Moustache brewing’s Lauri and Matt Spitz. At the time, Matt was a coworker of Patrick’s at Fruit Stand.

Matt, and a pint glass I won at Long Ireland Brewing!

Lauri, his wife is one of the absolute coolest people I know. She is a take charge, no nonsense, “Put you big girl panties on and deal with it” kind of woman. I have the utmost respect for her, and have learned from her determination. It was she who invited me to the first LIBME meeting.

Lauri and I, being classy.

LIBME is the Long Island Beer and Malt Enthusiasts. Patrick and I had recently graduated from drinking PBR and Bud Light to drinking real beer. We had discovered local breweries like Blue Point, and that was the location of my first LIBME meeting. BBQ chicken was served with free pours at the meeting. We discussed the upcoming home brewers competition, and I was hooked.
Granted, I was not the real beer drinker. That was Patrick, of course, but I wanted to further the depth of our friendship with Matt and Lauri, meet new people who were like-beer minded and who could open our palates to something more. Honestly, I went to the LIBME meeting for Patrick. His interest in beer inspired me to want to invest time and energy in something other than endless conversations about Fruit Stand customers and bald, Woman-hating bosses (Bless their hearts).

I joined the club for both Patrick and I on the spot.

We were privy to some exclusive beer tastings. There was a bottle share where a rumor went around that I only enjoy high alcohol beers. That’s how the 65% Armageddon by Brewmeister ended up in my hands. Delicious, but dear GOD! 

Bottle share, January 19, 2013.

Lauri posing with Brewmeister Armageddon, the strongest beer in the world.

This same night I had pork with Ghost pepper because another rumor about me circulated which labeled me as a fellow pepper head. (All these rumors are true BTW). It was a pivotal night in our beer journey. We met amazing people like Phil, who works for New Belgium Brewing and previously worked for Great South Bay Brewery, and his wife Katie. I also encouraged Kelsey and Pete Shelly to join us for beer club, and I’ll never forget the meeting where we had Mead, and Kelsey was this close to buying a bee hive.

Kelsey, Pete and I at Moustache Brewing’s Friends and Family preview!  April 13, 2014.

The most exciting part of our Beer journey was seeing Matt and Lauri leave their jobs and pursue their home brewing full time. Matt and Lauri own and brew at Moustache Brewing Co. in Riverhead. They have now begun distributing to New York City and can be found at Alewife in Long Island City, which is one of my fav beer bars.

April 13th, 2014.  Moustache Brewing Friends and Family preview!

Bradco and I enjoying Moustache Brewing Co. Everyman’s Porter at Alewife NYC!  October, 2016.

I like all the tasting rooms I’ve been to, but for me I will always love the beer bars like Alewife, the Jeffery, Barcade, and C’est Cheese. Dedicated to craft beer, of course, but also dedicated to the foods that enhance and define why craft beer should be paired with amazing food.

Speaking of C’est Cheese. About a year ago, they began their Beer Club program. I encouraged Patrick to join, of course, but said I would wait for the next time, thinking I could join the next week. Sadly, I missed the opportunity since they limited the club to 200 people.

A new year is upon us, and I am happy to announce that I am finally a member of the C’est Beer club. The beer journey continues, and I love being a part of it with my amazing writer, beer connoisseur husband.

Long Island City Brewery Tour, or “A Stranger’s Just a Friend You Haven’t Met.”

A rare Saturday afternoon off…  It’s 2pm.  I was sitting in my pajamas on my couch watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  (I wasn’t in my underwear, you sickos!  Stop thinking about me in my underwear!  Wink!). I get a text from Bradco asking if I had any plans for the evening…

Holly and I were going to a pizza party (with SANTA I KNOW HIM)  later in the evening, but my afternoon was free (see earlier comment about me not sitting around in my underwear YOU THOUGHT ABOUT IT AGAIN!  Sickos!) and Brad said he was wandering around Astoria aimlessly…

So I gave him some aim.  I hopped on Transmitter Brewing’s website, and just a second later, Brad texted asking if I’d ever been. We think alike, Brad and I… (read: We think about beer a lot, Brad and I…)

We decided that, since there are 4 breweries in walking distance of each other in Long Island City (Transmitter, Rockaway Brewing Co., Big Alice Brewing, and LIC Beer Project), we would hit all four!

CUT TO: Transmitter Brewing.  I arrived first, and was greeted by Lexi, who was running the tasting room.  She had a few large (750 mL) bottles in front of her (they don’t have draft lines at the brewery), so I asked how it works, and she told me I could taste from the three bottles they were offering that day, and order any of the 750 mL bottles they had for sale for consumption on premesis, or to take away.  Brad arrived mere seconds after Lexi handed me my first sample and told me, “Your friend can catch up.”  Brad also had two large (750 mL) slices of pizza with him, and asked if I could help him eat them.  Yes.  Yes I could.

Ok.  The beer!  Brad and I sampled their three tasting room offerings that day.

First was G2 Golden Ale.  This is a Belgian style Golden Ale, with aromas of citrus (it’s hopped with Azacca), and spice and bubble gum from the Belgian yeast.  

Next up was IB1 Citrus and Elder Flower Saison (a collaboration with Interboro Spirits and Ales).  This had less hop citrus, and had herbal notes from the elderflower and citrus on the backend. 

The Third taste was A4 Belgian Quad, brewed with Star Anise, Black Pepper, and Grains Of Paradise.  A classic Belgian Quad, with candied sugar sweetness, caramel, dark fruits, and a bit of citrus.  It hid the 10% ABV very well.  We would have gotten a full bottle of that, but opted for something lower in alcohol, as we were just starting our day.


We shared a bottle of S8, a Rice Saison.  The rice added some really interesting sweetness (think Sake), and dried out this delicious saison, with spice and citrus notes, leaving you wanting more.  This was a perfect table beer to compliment the pizza.  

The tasting room is right inside the brew house, which I assume would make it impossible to brew on days they’re open.  It’s small, but industrial, with tall ceilings and big barrels (a theme you’ll see in the pictures from the rest of the breweries).

Something is hibernating in here…

Gorgeous stainless steel tanks!

Bradco posing seriously with S8 Rice Saison in Transmitter’s brew house/tasting room.

LOL OUTTAKES FROM OUR MAN PHOTO SHOOT!

We left, and walked the 10 minutes north to Rockaway Brewing Co., which I had never visited before.  My favorite thing about this place was that they were rocking some magical Christmas songs, and one of the bartenders was belting them out from behind the bar, which only spread Christmas cheer throughout the tasting room and made the (already amazing) beer taste better.

Being my first time here, I ordered “The Other Flight”.

First off was Hawaiian Pizza IPA.  At 6.5%, this had a really nice body and awesome pineapple hop profile, and I will absolutely come back and grab a growler of this stuff.

My second in the flight was the Hüllified Gangsta Lean, a 3.9%, summery, wheat ale with notes of melon and peach.  Super interesting beer to drink as it’s getting colder, but it was a nice reminder of summer in NYC.

Third was Black Gold, a lovely, lower ABV, toasty roasty Stout.

Last but not least was El Cuco, a Milk Stout, with bitter chocolate, coffee, and some milky sweetness.  Awesome stuff. 

Brad and I did the free tour, with an enthusiastic host, who told us about the brewery history (Why is it called Rockaway Brewing if it’s not in the Rockaways?  Well, it used to be!  And soon, they’ll have a brewery/tasting room there again!), let us smell some whole cone and hop pellets, and taste barley.  I LOVE TOURS.

Hops!  Barley!  Barrels!

We moved on up to Big Alice Brewing!  You remember my last post about them, right?  If not, here’s a refresher!

Brad and I sat down, and Annie and Cory were behind the bar (you’ll remember Annie from the previous blog post!), and we chatted with them for a bit, although they were quite busy on a Saturday night (Drink local!!). 

Holly joined us here as she got out of work, and we all had multiple tastes from their extensive (12 beers and 1 cider) tap list.  We each had two small pours of our favorite, Jalapeño Rye IPA, with just enough heat from the peppers to balance out the citrus from the hops and spicy sweetness of the rye malt.  It’s unreal stuff.  

Another favorite of ours was the Date Night, Bro?  This is a stout with coffee (OK) and DONUTS (OK!!!)!!!  Dessert.  Plain and simple.

Another highlight?  Sour One with Cranberries.  Super tart, with a lovely cranberry sweetness.  Could drink this stuff all day!

I.  Love.  Big Alice.

As we waited for our Uber to arrive, we each drank another taster of Jalapeño Rye, because that’s what ya do when your driver won’t arrive for 7 minutes.  Ya get spicy.

I don’t like walking out this door…

We could have walked to LIC Beer Project, but, it was cold, and, we were lazy.  And it got us there in like 4 minutes.  And then we were…

Here.

Brad and I ordered the Modern Aberration Double IPA with Brettanomyces (see my post on Sour Beer here!!), which was dank, tart, citrusy and amazing…

I forgot to take a picture of mine.  This one is Brad’s, and is half gone.  I’m so sorry.

Holly ordered the Gal Friday, a delightfully light, crisp, sour.  Pucker up!

Holly Kay (in her Big Alice SWAG) and Bradco!

Another beautiful, spacious, industrial space with barrels!!

So, as I was checking into my Modern Aberration on Untappd, I noticed that one of my Untappd friends had checked in moments earlier to the same beer AT LIC BEER PROJECT.  I swore aloud (I’m sorry) to Holly and Bradco, and said “HOLY SH**!  ONE OF MY UNTAPPD FRIENDS IS HERE AND I’VE NEVER MET HIM!!”  The internet is weird.  

So I walked around the bar, calling his name (BECAUSE I AM A TOTAL WEIRDO!). “JASON S.?  JASON S.?”  Eventually, I found him, and we laughed, along with his friends he had brought to the brewery, about how funny the internet is.  I told them about the blog, and asked for a selfie with him because, you know, Pics or It Didn’t Happen, right?  We became Facebook friends, and actual real life friends (or, he thinks that I’m a maniac, I hope not.)

Untappd, bringing Internet Friends together in actual real life.

So yeah, we hit all 4 LIC Breweries in one night, and then we met up with our friend Bryan and my wonderful family (Uncle Bill and Aunt Dolores, and my cousins Billy, Andrew, James, Aidan and Thomas) at Sokol, the gym where Holly does gymnastics, which just so happens to be attached to the Bohemian Beer Garden in Astoria.  We ate pizza, we drank a pitcher of Oktoberfest, we got our picture taken with Santa, and we did The Turkey Dance.
A Bunch of Turkeys!!
Brad with his empty glass of Spaten Oktoberfest!
James!
Bryan!
I love when an unexpected Saturday off leads to some amazing beer adventures with my sweet Holly Kay, my wonderful friends, and family.  2016 keeps throwing flaming tires at all of us, and all we can do is keep on dodging ’em.  Be kind to everyone.  Have fun.  Spread joy, spread love.  It’s not profound.  It’s just beer.

Let’s do it!

Until next time.

Cheers!

Big Alice, or How I Managed to Get a GIF of Tim Curry Smiling Into a Blog Post

img_1842

I wanted to give a huge shout out this week to Big Alice Brewing in Long Island City.

Last week, I wrote about Craft at C’est Cheese in Port Jefferson, and spoke about their hospitality.  The Craft Beer industry is all about friendship, community, hospitality, and supporting each other.

I want to thank Larissa and Annie, our awesome bartenders on a rainy Saturday evening in early October.  Our experience at a brewery is as important as the taste of the beer, in my opinion.  I was joined by my wife, Holly Kay, who had a rehearsal nearby, and our friend Brad, of Bradco Brew (@itsbradco on Instagram!)

It was my first time visiting the brewery, although I’d tried a few Big Alice beers at Astoria Bier and Cheese (the most notable being Salted Caramel, a tart, salty, sweet brown ale which is pretty mind boggling to think about…), and at The Jeffrey (Queens Honey Brown, a sweet, malty, subtle brown ale that perfectly compliments the amazing, salty pretzels The Jeffrey serves).

img_1991LIC Native White Stout, at Olivers in Astoria

What I love about Big Alice is their ability to offer a beer for any type of palate.  (Insert diatribe about how the IPA market is saturated, how hops are ruining beer, whine, whine, whine, complain, complain, complain, etc.)  I love IPAs, I will seek out the juicy, 0 IBU milkshake beer, and the palate destroying, 100 IBU, dank, bitter IPA.  But I love variety every once in a while.  So, when I stepped foot out of the rain, soaking wet, and into the brewery and, out of 13 taps, only two were IPAs, my smile grew ear to ear.

giphy
Me, upon entering the Tap Room…

 

A White Stout?  A Jalapeño Rye?  Multiple different sours?  This place is cray cray (that’s what the kids say nowadays, yeah?)  I knew I was in for a trip around the beer world on the wings of a Malted Falcon (I just made that up, but it’s my new band name, so…) and I was ready to fly…  (Also I now just realize that Malted Falcon is also a pun on “Maltese Falcon” so I’m smart and funny don’t you think?  Anyone?  Anyone?  )

The first beer I tried was Peach Gose (pronounced Gose-uhhhhhh).  This was the perfect start to my flight, tart, dry, crisp, and salty.  Summertime in a glass.  Next, when Bradco arrived, I tried the Hibiskas Goes-uh.  The floral notes added a nice balance to this salty, tart Gose.  Another fantastic, wildly imaginative brew.

The tap room was nearly filled with large groups of people, which rotated about every 15 minutes.  I asked Larissa, the first bartender I met, if anyone ever stumbles upon the tap room (Big Alice is located deep in an industrial section of Long Island City, so for me, it seemed like a destination).  They said they get a lot of runners and bikers who see the large sign on Vernon Avenue, which runs along the East River.

img_1841The Brewhouse!

I then met the other bartender, Annie, who was just as friendly as Larissa.  I started talking about the blog, and how my last post was about Moustache Brewing Company and how I visited them when they canned their first beer.  Larissa said, “That’s funny, because my boyfriend helped them can as well!”  TURNS OUT, that JAY, from that very blog post, was Larissa’s boyfriend!  The Craft Beer world is smaller than you think!

432e77ba8d987b006f93d18a68edbd34IIIIIT’S A SMALL WORLD AAAAAFTER ALLLLLLL (I’m so, so sorry….)

Jay came by later in the evening for a beer.  And, since this is a beer blog, I will talk about that beer.

Our unanimous favorite beer of the night was the Jalapeño Rye.  Untappd classifies this as a Black IPA, or Cascadian Dark Ale.  The beautiful citrus from the hops is balanced by some spice from the rye, and Annie explained that they take all the seeds out of the jalapeño, so you get all the sweet, pepper flavor, without too much spice, but enough of a bite to intrigue you into another sip…  And then another.  And then another.  It leaves you wanting more, and at 6.3% ABV, you can have another and still be even keel to enjoy the rest of your evening.  Go to Big Alice right now (well, Wednesday through Sunday) and TRY THIS BEER!

Some other favorites from the evening were: the Sweet Potato Farmhouse Ale, a dry, sweet saison brewed with sweet potatoes, with bold sweetness from the potatoes, and some peppery notes from the saison yeast, and Sour One (named for it’s bitterness at 1 IBU).  At 5.2% ABV, it’s a little higher than the two Goses I had earlier in the evening, but I loved the tart, acidic, fruit, and a little bit of funk, baby!  I wanted to get all James Brown up in the tap room but it might have been too lit.  I apologize for that last sentence.

In summary, Larissa and Annie treated Holly Kay, Bradco and I like we were family, and we really appreciated chatting with them and spending the evening in the gorgeous brewery/tap room.  Holly picked up a tee shirt (she’s been collecting shirts from her favorite breweries we’ve visited throughout the year, so, Big Alice, you guys rank!)  We stayed as long as we could, right until 10pm as they were closing.  Thanks again for the great evening!  We’re definitely going back, and you should go too!

Follow Big Alice on Social Media!

Facebook: Big Alice Brewing

Instagram: @bigalicebrewing

Twitter: @BigAliceBrewing

Until next time, Cheers!