What’s in Your Fridge Pt: II, or, What I Wouldn’t Give To Be Leftover Brussels Sprouts Right Now…

We’re back, folks, with Part II if What’s in Your Fridge??

Thanks again to Jordan for the idea (go see Part I!), and thanks to Brad, Dan, and Max for contributing to the collection, and thanks to Holly Kay for navigating around all these cans and bottles… 😬😍 Love youuuuuuuu!!

Oh yeah, and don’t forget, I’ve been writing over at TigerLyfe Times for their Hops and Harvest section, you can check out all my posts over at my author page on TigerLyfe Times! Thanks for reading! (Click the blue link above to see everything I’ve written!)

Alright, let’s open up that fridge, shall we?

Thanks to our friend Inger at Beer Table inside Grand Central for tipping us off to a drop from Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.! This Wilderpils was a delightful little Pilsner, clean, crisp, bready, sweet, with refreshing lemon citrus. I hope they drop off more of their goodies soon!!

Thanks to Brad (you know Bradco? He’s great.) for this one! Evil Twin and Threes Brewing We Are Not There Yet, And We Will Probably Never Be. There is no Start and no Finish. It’s All a Matter if Perspective. Here, There, Now, Later. Always, Never. Ad Infinitum. A Triple IPA (~10% ABV) brewed with Lactose Sugar, Mango, Soursop, and Tangerine. I loved the last Triple IPA collab between these two breweries, and I look forward to this one!

I know when that Stillwater Artisanal and Hudson Valley Brewery Hopvine Bling, that can only mean one thing… An amazing Berliner Weiss with Sauvignon Blanc Grapes! Tart, sweet, and refreshing! Drink these all day and dance like Aubrey Graham.

An absolute Holiday Classic! Sierra Nevada Celebration! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Throw on some Johnny Mathis and enjoy one or two of these by a fire or something. That’s what you do on holidays, right?

Super psyched for this one (thanks Dan!). Destination Unknown Beer Company Berry Necessary… An American Wild Ale with Blackberry, Raspberry, Strawberry, and Lactose. Tell me that doesn’t sound like DESSERT. GET IT.

Jack’s Abby Framinghammer Cordon Rouge, a Stout Aged in Brandy (“You’re a fine girl!”) Barrels. Looking forward to digging into this with a few friends on a cold winter’s night!!

When I heard Singlecut Beersmiths we’re releasing a Double Dry Hopped (still don’t know what this means, because it could mean anything) version of Harry Doesn’t Mind, I had to take the long (read: 10 minute) trek to the brewery and pick up a 4 pack. Also, they had new tee shirts. So I got one of those, too. Tasted one of these a few nights ago, and it’s bursting with beautiful citrus, strawberry, and dank pine. Are you a Sultan of Swing? You will be after enjoying one of these!

Loved, loved, LOVED this Threes and Other Half Brewing collab, Seeds of Doom. A Black Mexican-Style Lager With Pepitas. Guess what? I didn’t know what Pepitas were, and now I do. They’re pumpkin seeds! Perfect for the fall weather (oh wait, it feels like winter now? Sh*t.)

Picked this Foreign Objects Green Galaxy IPA up from Astoria Bier & Cheese this evening. I’ve heard wonderful things about this brewery, run by a former employee of Tired Hands Brewing, so this has to be some delicious liquid! Can’t wait to try it!

Stream of Consciousness, a collab between Gun Hill Brewing and Rockaway Brewing Co., a kettle sour with lactose and oats, and steeped with Prickly Pear (!!!) and Lychee (!!!) purée!!! Holy moly!! This, my friends, is a beer that Holly Kay will love, and I can’t wait to share it with her!

Speaking of Prickly Pear, Mikkeller San Diego released Murky’s Law, a New England Style IPA with Prickly Pear! I’m excited to try it, but not as excited as I am for Mikkeller NYC opening at CitiField!

Interboro Spirits & Ales Premiere IPA. Love this 6% IPA that’s reminiscent of sweetened orange drink (in the best possible way.). Interboro always kills it with their hops, and this is no exception. I think our 🐄 butter holder is trying to drink this before me. It ain’t gonna happen.

And finally, thanks to Max for these Springdale (by Jack’s Abby) IPAs. Amirite? And But I Digress! I’ve loved all the beer I’ve had from Jack’s Abby, and am certainly looking forward to trying these!

Have you drooled all over your phone yet, you weirdos? I know, these all look and sound amazing, don’t they? This is a humble brag.

So, who wants to come over? You do? Good! See you tomorrow! Ok! Byebye!

Until next time!

Cheers!

What’s in Your Fridge? Or, How to Squeeze Your Groceries, Tetris-Like, Around Your Beer

Hello, Fair Readers!

I’ve been told recently by Jordan, a friend of the blog, “You know what you should do? You should do a ‘What’s in my fridge?’ post.” And considering that I’ve had a few awesome hauls over the past couple of weeks, my fridge was literally bursting at the seams with beer.

But like, seriously.

I’m not kidding

Did you think I was kidding? I wasn’t kidding.

Also, one FAT bottle of VEUVE, baby. Because you know We classy, and we gotta let ‘em know.

So what an appropriate time to do a post about what happens to be in my fridge, because what happens to be in my fridge is a metric ton of beer.

So let’s take a look, shall we?

Jordan, you’re welcome!

I’ve been jiving on this Destihl Brewery Wild Sour Series, and this Blueberry Gose is a tart, easy drinking sour beer, whose addition of blueberries balances it with a lovely bit of sweetness that will please anyone.

Holly Kay and I had dinner last night at Astoria Bier and Cheese, where I picked up this newest Grimm Artisanal Ales IIPA, Striking. I haven’t had this, as it’s brand new, but it’s brewed with Motueka, Azacca, and Ekuanot cryo. I did not know what Cryo Hops were, but check it out here. Some insane(ly brilliant) person decided to use science to separate all the different parts of the hop. SCIENCE!

Holly Kay being cheeky at Astoria Bier and Cheese

Bolero Snort Moountie, an Smoked Imperial Brown Ale with Coffee and (!!!) Maple Syrup (!!!). This right here, folks, is a Holly Kay Beer. HK loves Brown Ales, and Coffee, and who doesn’t like maple syrup? I will report back on this, but I’ve liked the three other Beers I had from Bolero Snort!

You all know this one! A classic Northeast Style IPA, and another Holly Kay favorite!

Singlecut Beersmiths DDH (double dry-Hopped, and I would still love an explanation from ANYONE about what this means, because it could mean any number of things…) Is This The Real Life? Pineapple like whoa, juicy, tropical citrus, balanced by that very uniquely Singlecut malty sweetness, and their own house yeast shines through as well.

Amongst the eggplants, garlic, and chicken stock, LIC Beer Project Cannons. Picked this up at their can release two weekends ago. Citrus, ripe melon, with a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. So dang good, this beer is!

Brad and I visited Other Half Brewing on Saturday evening, and discovered that their expansion means… More beer! Pictured above are their collaboration with Amager Bryghus from Denmark, Heavy Mentals IIPA, and their collaboration with Stigbergets Bryggeri from Sweden, Chimera Imperial Oat Cream IPA. They both sound incredible, and I’ve heard great things about both.

Dogfish Head Oak Aged Vanilla World Wide Stout. 18%. Vanilla. Oak. That’s all you need to know.

This one I’m super excited about. River Horse Brewing Craic! You could take anything, age it in Jameson barrels, and feed it to me, and I’d be alright with it.

Speaking of Irish Whiskey barrels, I’ve still got a bottle of Galway Bay Brewery’s Two Hundred Fathoms, aged In Teelings Whiskey Barrels. This is velvety smooth, with chocolate, coffee, caramel, and oak. Sweetness isn’t overpowering, but compliments the bitter chocolate and coffee. It’s unreal.

And a bonus! One of Holly’s coworkers brought a jar of his homebrew, Ice Ice Baby, a 7% vanilla stout! Don’t worry, we made room for this one… ?

So… What’s in YOUR fridge? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

Grimm Pineapple Pop! Or, The Benedict Boiz Share Some Sourz and Watch Epicly Later’d, Brah… And Other Skateboarding Coloquialisms.

Hey y’all!

You know Dole Whip? That delicious, cold, creamy pineapple ice cream treat you can find at locations around Walt Disney World? You know, that stuff that begins to melt as soon as the cashier hands it to you simply because it’s always 1000 degrees celsius (approx.) in Orlando all the time basically?

Yeah, you’ve had it. And now you’re craving it.

Good news! I’ve found a beer that TASTES EXACTLY LIKE THAT COLD, MELTED DOLE WHIP YOU GET THAT BRINGS MAGIC TO EVERY SET OF LIPS THIS BEAUTIFUL ELIXER TOUCHES.

I’m sorry for yelling. I’m just, I’m so excited.

This is my excited stance.

I’m talkin’ about Grimm Artisanal Ales Pineapple Pop!

Look at this sweet angel! ? ? ? ??

This beer, a Berliner Weisse brewed with Vanilla Milk Sugar and Pineapple, explodes on the tongue with tart citrus, immediately rounded out with sweet creaminess and a bit of vanilla. Seriously, it’s like a liquid pineapple creamsicle. My apologies, I meant Dreamsicle. It’s like drinking the last bit of your Dole Whip out of the bottom of the cup. It’s wild.

I brought this to share with my BROTHERCHRIS (this is not a typo) and friends Rob and Vanessa.

Brotherchris hello.

I wrote about Chris just over a year ago, because I decided that some of his first ever beers to try should be 3 >100 IBU IPAs. (IBU = International Bittering Units). He did not like them. Over a year later, I think his palate is finally starting to become superior, or at least, succumb to the magic hop punch that sucker punches you in your face, and yet, you keep coming back for more.

Chris loves sours, so I brought Pineapple Pop!, along with Evil Twin Bushido, a Berliner Weisse with Yuzu and Chili ?, and Evil Twin Tropical ‘Itch, a Berliner with Passionfruit.

Bushido was lovely, with a little spice hitting the back of the throat, but not spicy enough to overwhelm the tart yuzu.

Tropical ‘Itch is a very straight forward Berliner Weiss, low ABV and super refreshing. The passionfruit adds a beautiful sweetness to the tart sour ale.

The Pineapple Pop! was the star of the evening, though. It stood out as one of the best beers I’ve drank in a long time. It was also a nice compliment to the Bam Margera episode of Epicly Later’d on Viceland.

At around $11 for a 22oz bottle, there’s no reason you shouldn’t pick this up next time you see it. Snatch it up before it’s all gone, ye fair pineapple lovers and Grimm fanpeople!

Brotherchris approves. I approve. You got the Benedict Beer Boiz (Triple B) Seal of Approval. Get with it. Get on it. Eat a pineapple for crying out loud.

? ? ?

Until next time…

Cheers!

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!

Mikkeller NYC Coming Soon to CitiField, or, OMG LGM MKLR NYC FTW!

Thanks to my good friend Justin, friend of the Blog, loyal Met fan and member of the 7 Line Army, for sharing this amazing news!

Click HERE for the announcement video from the Orange & Blue Thing show!

Justin enjoying some Galway Bay Brewery Of Foam and Fury IIPA.

Justin was in St. Louis this evening (for a Mets game, of course) and texted me the news.  Needless to say, I began to levitate with excitement like a giant orange and blue balloon.

Long story short, Mikkeller Brewing, which began in 2006 as a Gypsy Brewery (they had no official brew house, brewing on friends’ systems to produce their beer), and has expanded with Bars and Brewpubs worldwide.  There are bars in Copenhagen, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and more, and a partnership brewery with Alesmith in San Diego.

Two Mikkeller exclusive beers for CitiField

Today, Jimmy Raras, Executive Vice President of Mikkeller NYC announced that Mikkeller will be opening a 10,000 sq ft Brewery, Kitchen, and Restaurant with 60 taps (mostly Mikkeller, but there’s bound to be some amazing guest taps) on the 126th street side of CitiField, that will be open year-round.  The goal is to make Willets Point and Flushing a place to come not only during baseball season, but all year.  

Mikkeller Henry Hops IPA

Breweries make great neighbors, and I can only assume Mikkeller will do great things for the Flushing community, and as someone who can be to Flushing in 10 minutes, I’m fully on board.

Mikkeller Say Hey Sally Pils

What do you think?  Are you excited for a new Brewery in Queens?  Do you think the space should have been sold to a more local Brewer? Let us here at Benedict Beer Blog know!

Until next time!  

Cheers!

Mothers Day Weekend, or, KanJam is a Lot Harder Playing One-Handed, But Losing is Easier When The Other Hand Has a Beer in it…

First off, I gotta say, if it weren’t for my Mom, you wouldn’t be reading the words on this page (or computer screen, iPhone, or Android device).  So, without Mom, there’d be no Benedict Beer Blog!  So, thanks, Mom!

Friday night, Holly Kay and I met up with Bradco (have you met Brad?  He’s great.). and our dear friend Dave at Dave’s place of employ for a few tasty beverages (Dave just had a baby, and thankfully was still able to pencil us in to his busy baby schedule).

Brad picked me up at work, like a Big Boy should, and I tried to sneak some pictures of him coming down the escalator into Grand Central, but little did I know he had my number…




That Cheeky Lil’ Bugger was taking pictures of me!  (To be fair, a few weeks back, I was also creepily taking photos of him as he walked in to meet me at Barcade, so, he was prepared this time).

Brad and I walked over to Whole Foods to pick up some tasty tasties for our friend gathering, and we each picked up a 6-pack of Threes Brewing Categorical Error, a Whole Foods Exclusive Hoppy Pale Lager.

What I love about this beer is that it’s low ABV, packs a beautiful, bright, citrus hop punch, with a dry finish, to leave you yearning for another sip.  This is the perfect summer beer, and pretty easy to get if you’re in New York and have a Whole Foods near ya.  So go get it, ya sillies!


Brad picked up a 4 pack of Mikkeller Brewing Fruit Face Berliner Weisse, this one brewed with Green Tea, Tangerine, and Lemongrass.  Another low ABV, tart, refreshing beer with candied fruit and citrus notes, another beer that’s great for a hot summer afternoon.  Don’t sleep on this one, either!

The following day, I met up with Brad and Nathan (you know Nathan?  He’s great!) at LIC Beer Project for their Pile of Crowns release party, as Holly was performing in two shows, one at 3pm, and one at 8pm.  Nathan and I had tickets to the 8pm show, and decided to make a day of it.  I completely miscalculated the LIC release, though, as usually, I can pick up cans of their latest beer for about a week or so after they’re released…

They opened at noon, we arrived at around 2:45pm, and they were sold out of three out of four beers they released that day.  I heard later that there was a tour bus of folks from Upstate NY, who arrived just after noon, and visited a number of NYC Breweries, annihilating any chance for us to pick up that sweet, sweet nectar with amazing can art…

Thankfully, they still had it on draft, and we were all happy to snag a glass of it at the (extremely packed) bar.


Nathan and I with Pile of Crowns, an unbelievably juicy, sticky sweet IPA with notes of pineapple, grapefruit, and dank pine resin that sits up there with all the heavy-hitter NE-style IPAs, in my opinion.  It was lovely on draft, although it was sad we couldn’t pick up a 4-pack, as the can art was absolutely stunning.


We did, however, pick up this delightful collaboration from LIC Beer Project and Mikkeller Brewing, Platinum Plus.  Clocking in at 5.5% ABV, with lovely, bright stone fruit flavors, dry, cracker-like malt, I’d love to see this all summer long.  Great stuff!

​​

Also, DJ Stretch Armstrong is the truth.

Of course, we ended up at Big Alice Brewing, because When in Rome…  *AHEM* Long Island City…  One always visit’s one’s favorite haunt…

I enjoyed one of my favorite brews, the spicy Jalapeño Rye IPA, with the heat from the jalapeño peppers balancing nicely with citrus and floral notes from the hops, with a sweet malt base to balance everything out.  Nathan enjoyed his first visit here as well.

Annie, our wonderful friend and bartender, was kind enough to share her homebrew with us, a mixed fermentation beer with brettanomyces, making for a dry, tart, complex brew that’s again, good for summer (noticing a theme here?)

Brad had to leave us to host a Murder Mystery Dinner Party (have I mentioned how great Brad is?) so Nathan and I decided on dinner at John Brown Smokehouse in LIC before seeing Holly in her awesome one-act play!  The burnt ends are my smoked meat of choice, and you can’t go wrong with any of their side dishes…  Also…


Uhhhh they had a bottle of Jester King Brewery Noble King Saison, blending bright citrus notes with grass, sweet banana, and a little funk to kick things into full gear.  Perfectly paired with them burnt ends, boi!

I can’t praise Holly Kay enough, (if you’ve read any of my other posts, I’m absolutely head over heels for her), and she was absolutely wonderful in her show, Love in the Time of Layoffs, a one-act written by our friend Diana, and directed by the one and only Tanya!  It was fantastic!


Mothers Day was a beautiful celebration as well, I bought this Grimm Mango Pop! to share with my brother, Chris, and I’d love to tell you how it was, except…


The top of the bottle broke as I attempted to open it, and thought it wasn’t worth a stomach full of eeny-weeny shards of glass.  Hopefully, I can snag another bottle and write about it later on, because I’m sure it’s a delight.


This can of Barrier Brewing Co. Kapow got in the way of my brother, Chris!  This wasn’t my favorite of their IPAs, but it’s a nicely balanced IPA that was the perfect beer to accompany our game of KanJam, which, by the way, is much harder playing one-handed.  Not sure why we made that rule, but I at least had this can to cry into when we lost.


Hashtag Squad Goals.  My cousins were super excited to make it into the blog, so here ya go, all you handsome fellas!

We’ve gotta begin and end with Mom!  We had a weekend filled with friends, family, and love.  Thanks Mom, for making it all possible!  

Until next time!

Cheers!​

Hunting for Henry Hops, or, How The Mets Were Down by 5 Before We Even Found Our Seats…


#LGM

Holly Kay and I love Citi Field.  It’s 20 minutes from our apartment, has amazing food, cheap seats, a great, local craft beer selection, and, you know, sometimes (just, like, sometimes…) the Mets play some good baseball.

A few weeks ago, I saw an article by Mikkeller Beer, that said they would be brewing and canning two exclusive beers for Citi Field (I’m not sure what the connection is, or why they didn’t get an NYC brewer to do this).  

Mikkeller is a Danish brewery run by Mikkel Bjorg Bjergsø, who, like his brother Jeppe, owner of Evil Twin Brewing, contract brews his beer with different breweries all over the world.  

The two beers feature Mikkeller’s mascots, Henry and Sally, as “1980’s era baseball cards”.  Henry Hops is a malt-forward IPA, clocking in at 6.5% ABV and Say Hey Sally is a floral, crisp Pils, a great low ABV option at 4.6%.

We bought Holly a really cute Mets beanie outside of the stadium, and headed into the stadium for some amazing Mets baseball.  

I had heard that these Mikkeller beers were a bit hard to find, and Holly and I were very hungry, which complicates things (you wouldn’t like us when we’re Hangry…) 

We stopped at the first Craft Beer stand we came across as we tried to find the best route to our seats (we got some amazing tickets on the Coca-Cola Corner, the artist formerly known as the Pepsi Porch, which is a great decision for Citi Field because Pepsi is garbage and Coke is the truth), and both Henry Hops and Say Hey Sally were listed on their signage, but when I asked for one, the bartender said “Not today!”, which made me nervous, thinking perhaps the WHOLE STADIUM RAN OUT ???…

As I settled on the fact that my trek to find Henry and Sally might not pan out, we looked at the scoreboard as our hunger pangs grew stronger, to find that the Mets pitcher Robert Gsellman (that’s got to be a fake name) gave up 5 runs in the first inning.  At this point, we knew what we were in for.

Citi Field is awesome because, when the Mets begin to lose (which tonight, happened almost immediately), there are many distractions!  Like the pretty planes flying out of Laguardia!  Look at that pretty plane!  Every time we see a plane, Holly says “I wish we were on that plane, and flying some place tropical!”

We decided to walk to find how to get up to our seats, and figure out what food we wanted to eat.  We passed by an Empire State Craft beer stand, and I saw a glimpse of Mets orange through the frosted glass of the refrigerator…  Sally, the ol’ girl, was nestled snugly between the LIC Beer Project Dutch Kills Kolsch and the Queens Brewery Lager.  We snagged it as quickly as we could, and I wondered if we’d ever reunite Sally with her beloved Henry…  (I’m turning this into a love story because I don’t know Sally and Henry’s relationship.  Also, it makes things more dramatic, right?)

Sally was feeling lonely…

Holly suggested I ask where to find Henry Hops (I’d heard Henry was a lot harder to locate than Sally), so I asked, and the bartender said “You’ll find Henry over there, right past the nachos.”  Any directions that include nachos are my favorite directions.  So we followed those directions…

By the by, we still haven’t eaten.  Does this highten the drama?  It does, doesn’t it?

We looked to our right, and saw the nachos stand, still not knowing if we were being led astray…  Our hunger growing deeper.  Should we stop and munch on some delicious, gooey, cheesy nachos?  No, we must push on…  With each step, the dream of Henry Hops seemed further and further away (is this heightening the drama?)

Just past the nachos stand was a beer stand with 4 Blue Point Brewery draft lines, and a lineup of cans…  I caught a glimpse of Mets blue in that lineup, and I knew we’d found him.  Henry Hops…


“Reunited, and it feels so good…”

We heard some commotion, and saw some Mets fans spinning a wheel to win merchandise.  We signed up, and Holly spun and won a Mets hand towel (HAND TOWEL!) and I won a magnetic Mets Calendar (MAGNETIC METS CALENDAR!)

Holly had claimed Sally as her own, because Say Hey Sally is the perfect baseball beer.  It’s an amazing crisp, light, refreshing pils with some beautiful floral hops, that will pair with any food, without having to think too much about it.  It was delicious.


#gorgeous

Henry Hops is a malt forward IPA with some piny, bitter, citrus hops that changes as it warms.  When the beer is cold, the bready, biscuit malts dominate the palate, but as the game progressed, and the beer got warmer, and the Mets continued to lose (?), the hops started to dance their mango, lemon, pineapple tango we all know and love.  


#handsome

The Mets were down by 5 runs in the first inning.  We’d found the exclusive Mikkeller beer.  We were starved.  Skies were gray.  We were at a baseball stadium.  We found the Coca-Cola Corner…


Come on, could my wife be any cuter?

We decided since we were so hungry, we’d stop at the food stand on the Coca-Cola corner.  Holly got a Nathan’s Hot Dog (NATHAN’S HOT DOG!) and fries, and I got Chicken Tenders (CHICKEN TENDERS!) and fries.

Our cousin Billy texted that he was at the game as well.  We found him using technology and celebrated.  It was very merry.  He had won a hand towel as well (HAND TOWEL!)

#love in the time of the Mets losing


#Holly and #Sally, when Circle of Life came on at the stadium

Bathed in the stadium lights…

We found our seats.  We ate our hot dog (HOT DOG!) and Chicken Tenders (CHICKEN TENDERS!). We drank a delicious Pils, and a malt forward IPA.  Sally and Henry.  Holly Kay and Patrick.  Billy from afar.  Mets baseball (who cares if they’re losing).  We ate, we drank, we chanted, we got loud when the megatron told us to get loud.  We kissed even though we never ended up on the kiss cam.  We spotted Mr. Met.  We didn’t get a tee shirt from the tee shirt cannon.  I dropped my phone.  It was a GREAT Wednesday night.


We’re in love (also how cute is that beanie??)!!

Until next time, y’all.

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.

Date Night! Or, “Is It Weird That This Beer Smells Like Sushi Rice?”

Holly Kay and I have been married for 5 years (!!!) now.  We’ve got a trip to Ireland planned for the first week in November (!!!) which we’re super excited for, but we’re always looking for ways to celebrate our love.

This past Friday, we were both done early from work, so I met Holly down in Soho so we could find a nice Happy Hour (who doesn’t love a good Happy Hour?).  As I waited for her to get out of work, I had a hankering to visit one of our favorite special places here in NYC.  It’s got great food, great beer, and great…  Arcade games?

Yeah.  You got that right, Jack (who is Jack anyways and how did he get that right?), I’m talking about Barcade.

Barcade!

The first Barcade opened in 2004 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, then in Jersey City and Philadelphia in 2011, two Manhattan locations in 2014, and New Haven in 2015.  

Our very special Barcade is located in Chelsea, on 24th street, equidistant from the E and the F trains, which both run express to our neighborhood of Jackson Heights, so, bonus.  We haven’t had a chance to visit the other locations, but we’ve spent numerous occasions here, including our 4th Wedding Anniversary (sandwiched between a massage and a Punch Brothers show at The Beacon Theater).

We all love nostalgia, and Barcade touches all the right, nostalgic-like parts of your brain cavity.  With arcade games such as Tapper, Rampage, and Donkey Kong, you’re transported back to your childhood, except it’s cooler because you’re an adult now and you can do what you want and what you want is an extensive craft beer selection and a menu that features Tetris-shaped tater tots.

In this picture: Grilled chicken sandwich with fried onions, Tetris Tots, and a short rib grilled cheese (!!!!) with spicy mayo, beer, water.

We took two stools at the bar when we arrived (it was just before 5pm), and began perusing the beer list.  We were greeted by Brian, (who we later learned was the beer manager for that location), who was amazingly friendly and helpful, and more than willing to answer any questions we had, or let us sample a few beers before deciding (a sign of a great beer bar).

Holly ordered a Kent Falls Lade Øl Saison.  This is a “toasted hay grisette”.  Saison?  Grisette?  They’re nearly the same thing.  While a saison was a low ABV beer brewed for farmers to enjoy after (or during) a long day in the fields, a grisette was brewed for miners (Because nothing prevents black lung like a farmhouse ale!).

Lade Øl is Danish for “barn beer”.  The addition of toasted hay adds notes of grass, vanilla and spice to the funk and citrus of a traditional Farmhouse Ale.

I started with an Evil Twin Erase and Rewind #2 IPA.  Clocking in at 7% ABV, this is a punchy, citrusy IPA bursting with pineapple and orange, pine, and some malty sweetness.  Another hit from Jeppe and crew at Evil Twin.  

Evil Twin Erase and Rewind #2 IPA.  Also, a gorgeous array of taps.
Let’s talk food.  We decided to share a sandwich and some Tetris Tots.  We glanced up at the specials on the chalkboard, and I immediately drooled all over myself.  Why?  Check this monster out…

 Spicy chicken sandwich with shredded lettuce, chipotle aioli, and a pretzel bun.  Also, check out them crispy totz.  We were full.

Holly Kay’s next beer was from the always phenomenal Carton Brewing from Atlantic Highlands, NJ.  It’s called Sakura, and it’s a Gose brewed with sushi rice (!!!???) and cherry blossom.  Weird?  Yup!  But with Augie Carton, you always know he’s going to do you right.  

(Check out This Article about Augie’s philosophy, and you’ll see why I trust this dude with any beer he makes.)

As soon as Holly and I took a sniff of this beer, we glanced sideways at each other.  “Is it weird that this beer smells like sushi rice?”  I asked Holly.  “Yes.”  She responded.  “It’s brewed with sushi rice!”  I said.  She took another sniff…  “That definitely smells like sushi rice.”  The aroma was salty and sweet just like sushi rice, with lemon and floral notes.  Taste was tart lemon peel citrus, floral, and salty.  I’m hoping they have cans of this left when we visit the brewery next week, because this was out of this world.

My next pick was the Stone Farking Wheaton W00tstout.  This is a collaboration beer with everyone’s favorite need Wil Wheaton, and Drew Curtis (who runs the website fark.com).  This year’s iteration was brewed with rye, flaked wheat, and pecans (yummmm) and aged in bourbon barrels.  For a beer brewed by a bunch of nerds, this brew is a bully.  At 13%, it’s dangerous, because the smoothness of vanilla and caramel from the bourbon barrel plus the sweetness of the pecans make for a real easy drinker that’ll shove your head in a toilet and take your lunch money.  I want these dudes to continue making this every year.

Also, can we please all just look at this Star Wars-inspired label?  It’s unfair how cool this beer is.

W00tstout.  My sweet lord.

It was time for video games.  First was Holly Kay’s favorite…

Discs of Tron!  
My wife is amazing.  (Have I mentioned my wife is amazing?).  She always comes on top 10 on this game.  This time, she hit #7.  I thought I had a picture of it, but it turns out, when you get on the top 10, your initials blink on and off on the screen.  Of course, I took the picture when the initials weren’t on the screen.  So, you’ll just have to believe me, or come with us next time we’re at Barcade.

We then hit up Tapper, everyone’s favorite anxiety nightmare Bartending game.  We rock this one out all the damn time, although that probably has something to do with that we downloaded a free version (or was it 99¢?) of Root Beer Tapper for iPhone (the version inside Barcade is completely branded by Budweiser…) and we are now seasoned Tapper veterans.  I think we’re just naturally talented with our hand-eye coordination. 

In summary, you all should head to Barcade.  You’ll have an amazing time regardless, but if you have the pleasure of being served by Brian, prepare to have an elevated Craft Beer experience.  Thanks, Brian!

Until next time!

Cheers!

Beer Plus Music Vol. II, or How Singlecut Saved Us From Our Ceiling Collapsing on Our Heads…

“Hey you!  Out there in the cold, getting lonely, getting old, can you feel me?

Hey you! Standing in the aisles, with itchy feet and fading smiles, can you feel me?”

If you can’t feel Pink Floyd, you can’t feel feelings.

So last week, I put together some beer and music pairings.  A few days ago, I thought to myself, “How did I make a beer and music post and not mention one of my favorite (and literally the closest to my apartment) breweries, that is as obsessed with music as they are with beer?”

Singlecut Beersmiths.  37th Avenue, Astoria, Queens.  This is a place you should go, definitely.

This is their entrance!

As far as beer and music collaborations are concerned, these guys are the (ZZ) tops!


They’ve taken a warehouse and made it home.

When you walk through the door of the giant warehouse, you’re welcomed in with large wooden tables, a gorgeous bar, complete with a record player and some unbelievable vinyl, beautiful, dark wood paneling, and gorgeous guitars hanging from the wall.  Lining the walls are framed bags of malt, tying in their passion for beer with their passion for music.

The tap handles?  All designed to look like guitar heads.  The beers?  Mostly named after the brewers’ favorite musicians, or song lyrics.

A video of me mouthing the line that Robert Plant shouted in the middle of “Stairway to Heaven” during a live recording for the 1976 concert movie The Song Remains the Same, which, apparently, still makes him cringe and inspired Singlecut’s IIPA of the same name.

Does Anybody Remember Laughter? IPA clocks in at 7.2% ABV, with aromas and flavors of dank, piney resin and citrus, tropical fruit (mango, pineapple) and pine.  The forests truly do echo with laughter.

If you’ll excuse me…  My hedgegrow is bustled, and frankly, I’m a little alarmed.  I’ll be right back…

Ok, much better.  Back to the beer.

Mo’Shuggie Soulbender IPA, found at Little Tibet, an unassuming, fun restaurant in our neighborhood of Jackson Heights, features Singlecut and other Queens breweries like Transmitter Brewing.

Mo’Shuggie weighs in at 7.4% ABV, and is brewed with both New Zealand and Australian hop varietals, and has aromas of tropical mango, pineapple, and orange citrus.  The taste follows, with flavors of grapefruit zest, and white peach, leaving it with a dry finish.  Simply, a world class IPA.  Bright, fruity, aromatic, picks you up and drops you on the beach, the ocean lapping at your toes.  Juice, juice, juice.

Singlecut helped Holly and I kick off our 2016. We were undecided on where we wanted to go to celebrate New Years Eve, but we discussed it with some friends, and decided to spend our evening there (not before a quick stop at the Ditmars location of Astoria Bier and Cheese)!

IMG_0606HK Benny looking super cute and wintery…

Holly started out with an Eric More Cowbell! Milk Stout.  This is a creamy, smooth stout at 6% ABV with bitter bakers cocoa and coffee notes with some sugary sweetness.  Great way to kick off the evening.

I had the Bon TNT Pale Ale, which is a hazy, unfiltered Pale Ale (see glass of orange juice in the picture above), a 5% ABV, juicy, citrus refresher and another great beer to kick off our evening.

Singlecut also has the Bon Bon 2XTNT IIPA, which, in my opinion, is as good as and easier to find than all the “New England Style” IPAs that are sought after and waited in line for.  It’s another juicy, citrus bomb that drinks super easy for its 8.2% ABV.  It’s packed with amazing New Zealand and Australian hops (which is appropriate, as Bon is a reference to the late Bon Scott, frontman for AC/DC).  OI! OI!  OI! OI! OI! OI!  He’s dynamite, and he will win the fight.

IMG_0485Boom!

We continued the evening as our friends trickled in, Ryan (manager of Il Bambino, see my love letter to Il Bambino from a few months ago) and Erica, Rafa, and Alex and Shelbie all came by to spend a relatively quiet New Years Eve chatting and celebrating.  The staff at Singlecut are always so welcoming and friendly, and they threw New Years confetti all over the tables, while we all listened to whatever records were spinning that night (I can’t remember exactly, but I think Rolling Stones and T-Rex were both a part of the night).  It was an awesome evening ( aside from getting home at 1am to find our ceiling collapsed in our kitchen, but you’ve probably already read that post.  If you haven’t, check it out here.)

IMG_0632Beer Plus Music Equals Love

IMG_0624Ryan and Erica.  So happy to have these two in our lives!

IMG_0623Alex and Shelbie having a blast!

A grainy picture of Holly, Rafa and I.  It’s grainy because of all the fun we were having.  Also, you know, artsy.  Beer is art.  Grainy selfies are art, too.

Holly and I decided we were going to start the new year with our favorite beer from Singlecut, a MONSTER Imperial Stout called Heavy Boots of Lead.


Is he live or dead?  Has he thoughts within his head?

Named after a lyric from Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man”, this is a heavy hitter, at 11.2% ABV.  It tastes like liquid dark chocolate, with hints of vanilla and coffee.  One of my favorite non-barrel aged Imperial Stouts, whenever I see this around, I have to get it.  I could drink this in the middle of summer.

The moral of the story here is, you should absolutely make the trek up to Northern Astoria (don’t go too far, or you’ll end up on Riker’s Island).  They have amazing sour lagers (ahem, lagrrrs), also, try all of their Billy series IPAs, they range from about 5% ABV to 10%, and are all juicy and delicious.  Their newest juice bomb IPA that I love is…

Breathe…  Breathe in the air…

These guys are making absolute world class beers, and have only been around a few years, so I look forward to seeing what these mad scientists will put out next.  Right on the bottle, it says “Mastery knows no shortcut”.  And they’re not taking any.  You know Holly and I will be there, and you should be too.  Although, their traffic might explode after getting the Benedict Beer Blog Bump!  😉

Thanks for reading.  Don’t sleep on Singlecut!

Cheers!