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!

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!

NYC Craft Beer Week, or, I’m a Hard-Hitting Journalist Who Squeezed All His NYC Craft Beer Week Fun Into One Day and Also Rick Almost Got Attacked/Pooped on by a Pigeon LOL! 🐦💩

After a brief hiatus, we’re back!


I’ve got a ton of pictures from our adventure during NYC Craft Beer Week!  

I didn’t have a chance to participate in many of the events around NYC, so I used my day off and tried to squeeze in as many fun beer events as I could in one day.

Thanks to Ryan, Chris, Brad, Rick, Samson, Annie, and the one and only Holly Kay for being a part of last Thursday’s adventure!

The main goal for the day was to pick up the newest Interboro NYC release, their collaboration with and for the hip hop group Run the Jewels 👉🏻🤛🏻, a 6% ABV juicy IPA called Stay G-O-L-D…

👉🏻🤛🏻 👉🏻🤛🏻 👉🏻🤛🏻 👉🏻🤛🏻 G-O-L-D, G-O-L-D it’s Gold!

My day of adventure started out at Il Bambino‘s 8th street location in the West Village, visiting my dear friend Ryan, the manager, for lunch.  (You’ll remember Il Bambino from THIS POST and THIS POST!). I also met up with Chris, a friend and former coworker, who’s relatively new and super excited about all the amazing beers coming out of the Northeast.  He was at Other Half Brewing the week before, and had picked me up some of their Nummy Nug Nug Imperial IPA, a collaboration with Industrial Arts Brewing, and Citra + Motueka a duel hopped Imperial IPA.

True statement.  Darren Lawless (owner and chef at Il Bambino) got that panini game on LOCK.

Heeeeeere piggy piggy piggy…

Just a few Craft Beer selections, but that’s a fresh keg of Bell’s Two Hearted, which ain’t never bad…  

Smoked Tomato Bisque (not pictured, toasted bread with pesto and toasted bread with spicy mayo…  Also not pictured, Truffle Egg Salad with Speck crostini…  Excuse me, you’re drooling.)

After a nice chat and a walk around Whole Foods with Chris, I was off to Brooklyn to get ready for Interboro’s 5pm opening for their can release.  I got there just after 3, and walked over to the brewery, because, knowing how other can releases go, specifically in Brooklyn (::COUGHHIPSTERSCOUGH::)  I thought there may be a line.  I walked the 5 or so blocks from the train and found the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it warehouse that houses Interboro Brewing.

There’s a brewery/tap room in there!

I walked about 10 minutes from Interboro and found a sports bar that had some decent selection, and hung out there while waiting for Brad and Rick to join me.  We walked back towards Interboro at just about 5pm…

AND ENDED UP IN A GD CRAFT BEER LINEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

If you know me, you know I don’t like waiting in line for things (“Why do you live in New York City, where there’s literally the most people in the smallest amount of space all the time probably?” You may be asking yourself.  “Shut up!  That’s why!” would be my response.). 

We waited about 40 minutes before actually getting our cans.  It was quite chilly outside, and the sun was setting, and about 25-30 minutes of our time was spent outside.  They only had 1 register, and weren’t prepared for the amount of people that would be there, I assume.  

I would have loved to have stayed for a pint or a flight in the tasting room, but it was simply too busy, and we wanted to be able to meet up with Holly Kay after she got out of work at 6pm.  So at 5:40, we got our cans, and had her meet up with us at the Threes Pop Up location in Greenpoint.

Finally at the front door after nearly 30 minutes in the cold.

Brad with Stay G-O-L-D, and Rick with Mad Fat! Fluid

I can tell you, though, that both cans I picked up (pictured above) are phenomenal.  Stay G-O-L-D had beautiful bright citrus hops, with flavors of peach and pineapple, and supa dank hops, with a lovely crisp malty, cracker base.  Mad Fat! Fluid bursts with tropical fruit as well, with a sweeter malt base.  Both dope as hell, though.  

Mad Fat!
Rick’s boyfriend Samson also joined us as we headed to Threes Brewing Pop Up (you’ll remember this place from my LAST POST!)

Holly arrived shortly thereafter, and we all tried a beer that has, quite possibly, the longest name I’ve ever seen.

Two men contemplating life/checking into Untappd/probably still reading the title of the beer I’ve yet to reveal…

We all flipped over the Threes/Evil Twin collaboration, 10% ABV Triple IPA called…  Hold up, this is getting its own paragraph…

“Are We There Yet?  Or Did It Even Start Or Did It End A Long Time Ago, And Where Is There, And Doesn’t Yet Assume A Linear Progression Of Time?  And What’s So Bad About Here, Anyway?”

That’s a mouthful…  But for a beer that packs a 10% punch and smacks you in the face with tropical fruits, strawberry and papaya, and dirty dankZ, it’s fitting.  This beer was 💯🔥🔥🔥.

I also picked up a 4 pack of Threes collaboration with Burial Brewing, a Hoppy Pale Lager called Neither Way, which I hope is available in the summer because it’s literally the perfect beer to drink at the beach.

Next stop, Big Alice Brewing!  Because why wouldn’t we end up with our favorite LIC Beer crew for NYC Craft Beer Week??  (BIG ALICE POST HERE)

From our Sexy Posing in Front of Breweries Series…  Rick, Samson, Brad, and Holly Kay.

As we were walking in, someone shouted out “PATRICK BENEDICT!”  I thought, “Oh hey, cool, people love my Blog and are starting to recognize me at breweries!” And William Joel’s “Big Shot” started playing in my head.  But no!  It was my HIGH SCHOOL CLASSMATE (I graduated in 2001 which is like, 16 years ago or whatever) Max Romer!

Here’s Max with his handsome smile!

Big Alice was having a Beer and Cheese pairing  with Slates & Plates, a MOBILE CHEESE PAIRING BUSINESS WHICH IS PERHAPS THE GREATEST BUSINESS EVER!!  Maxine and Nicole were super friendly, and paired some exquisite cheeses 🧀 with Big Alice’s wonderful beer 🍻.  A match made in heaven.  (Follow Slates & Plates on Facebook and Instagram!)
Patrick: Big Unknown, Big Alice x Destination Unknown collab, 5.4% ABV IPA with Citra and Equinox hops.  Super well balanced IPA with citrus bitterness and beautiful malt sweetness.  Holly Kay and Samson: BIGGIE, a 12% Barleywine monster of a beer, sweet, malty, fruity, gorgeous.  Exclusively for NYC Beer Week.

Rick being a maniac and taking a picture of a maniac (me) taking a picture of him.  Confused?  Me too.

Beer + Cheese + Pictures!

Benedict Beer Blog x Slates & Plates!  Thanks for the awesome Cheese!

😍🧀🍻👌🏻

Our favorite beer, Jalapeño Rye IPA, was not on tap, but it was in the fermenters, so here’s Holly Kay giving a lil’ kiss to her/our favorite bevvie.

Of course our dear friend Annie (see previous Big Alice post linked above!) was slinging beer/being super awesome (we saw Larissa from afar, but we didn’t get to catch up) and she encouraged Holly to talk/sing to the beer because yeast is alive and can hear/feel sound. I’m no scientist, but I think that this will be the best batch of Jalapeño Rye IPA yet.  Holly and I sang and spake (spake?  That’s the past tense of spoke, yeah?) to the beer.  So…  yeah. Science!

Shouts out to Annie, Larissa, Maxine, Nicole, all the Big Alice and Slates &I Plates Crew for all of your hospitality!!  We sincerely appreciate it.

Fun fact: When you spend all day drinking beer, and haven’t had food in hours, you will get the jelly legs quicker than you expect.  So our final stop for the evening was Alewife NYC to nourish our growly tummies/buzzing minds.

Squad.

Brad and I switched hats. 
Two of the most adorable people on this planet, Samson and HK.

Two of the most adorable people on this planet, Patrick and Brad.  Spoiler alert: Brad fell asleep shortly after this photo was taken.

I didn’t get to spend a lot of time out celebrating NYC Craft Beer Week, but this past Thursday was spent with some of the most special people.  Holly and I are so grateful to be able to be where we are and to spend our time with friends, both new and old.

Cheers!

Benson’s NYC, or Beer Plus Carolina Reaper Peppers Equals Patrick Drooling on Himself…

Friday night, nearly two weeks ago, just before 6pm, I was picking up Holly Kay from her new (!!!) job.  

We wanted to celebrate her amazing accomplishments in her career, so I stood outside the corporate office at Burberry (which, by the way, is not pronounced Bur-Berry, but BBBBBBBBBHHHHUUUUU-BBBBHHHHHUUUUUUU-EEEEEEE) until Holly was finished, trying to find a place where we could have a celebration drink, before heading off to our friend Brian’s birthday party.

We had a few hours before it was slated to begin, so we decided to kill two birds with one stone, and head down to Benson’s NYC, on Essex St. on the Lower East Side, the venue chosen by our friend Tanya (who just so happens to be MARRIED to Brian), for some dinner and drinks before the official start of the bacchanal (as Tanya described it, “snacks and drinks”) .

We walked through Rockefeller Center, which is always magical, no matter what time of year, over to the downtown F train, and reminisced over her first few weeks on the job.  

One of the best things is, whenever anyone asks about her new job, she gets to tell them she works in Fashion.  It’s super great, you guys.  My wife works in Fashion!  Is there a magazine called In Fashion?  If there isn’t, there should be.

EDIT: There isn’t.  I used Google.  But I have a feeling that if you started a fashion magazine called In Fashion that In Style would be really cheesed off.  But, you know, you do you.

Oh wait…  This is a blog about beer.

Let’s talk about Benson’s NYC.

We arrived just before 7pm, and we were STARVING.  I’d read really good things about their burgers.  We sat down and glance at the drink menu, and lo and behold, Benson’s was having a Flying Dog tap takeover!

We were introduced to Annie, our bartender (also, as it turns out, Manager and Co-Owner of Benson’s!).  We ordered the Classic hamburger and the special Mac and Cheese with bacon.  The food was awesome, the burger was cooked perfectly, with oozing, melty cheese all up on top of it, with grilled onions, and the Mac and Cheese had big, thick chunks of smokey, succulent bacon.

Holly started off drinking the Jalapeño White, a refreshing, crisp white ale, with just a slight bit of heat from the Jalapeño peppers.  She said it got hotter as she drank it, but it still had really beautiful orange citrus, with a nice malt backbone, and the greenness you get from smelling and tasting a fresh Jalapeño.  It was really nicely balanced.

I decided to have a taste of the Carolina Reaper, a Peach 🍑 IPA with Carolina Reaper peppers.  I took one sip, and was completely overwhelmed by the heat.  It was so hot, in fact, as I was trying to chat romantically with my sweetheart, I literally drooled on myself!  Too hot!  Spicy fire bad!!  🔥🔥🔥👹☠️. I love spicy food, and I love pepper in beers, but the heat was completely overpowering, and I couldn’t taste any peach or citrus from the hops.  Straight up hot fire.

I went with one of my favorites from Flying Dog, the Raging Bitch Belgian IPA (excuse my language).

Nice doggy.  This is an old picture, but I love Flying Dog’s bottle art.

What I love about Belgian IPAs is the citrus from the hops does a sexy lil’ tango with the bubblegum, banana, floral esters from the Belgian yeast.  

Esters are the flavors described above that occur during fermentation of a beer.  “Ethanol combines with fatty acids and a molecule called acetyl coenzyme (ACOA) forming ethyl acetate.”  (Thanks for that, Beersmith.com!)

Brian, the birthday boy, arrived a short while later, as did Tanya, Jerry and Vidhya, Shane and Chi, and Arun and Diana.  

How did I capture a picture of Brian that looks like his mouth is in motion but the rest of him is still?  Well, there was candied bacon in that box, so, you do the math…

We chatted with our friends, enjoying the evening, and Holly ordered the Sea Salt Caramel Brown.  It was VERY sweet, with just a touch of salt.  It’s a nice beer to go alongside dessert, but I’d stick with just a few ounces to go along with, say, a chocolate cake with some ice cream (oh man, now I REALLY want chocolate cake and ice cream.)

Brian (left) and Shane!  

I reminisced with Jerry about our beer adventures this past March in Houston for Tanya and Brian’s wedding.  We went to Saint Arnold Brewing Co. and 8th Wonder Brewing.  At Saint Arnold, we won giant Jenga.  How is that possible, you ask?  Well, we removed literally every block without it toppling over.  So it was a win-win-win.

A photo of Jerry and I, faces swapped.

Shane ordered a bottle of Freshie Salt & Pepper Gose from an Nomad Brewing Co. in Australia.  This was a really nice treat, as we don’t see a lot of Australian beer here in the US.  It was bright, tart, salty, with just a hint of smokiness from the black pepper.  Lovely!

And check out the squid on that bottle!!

I was telling Annie about the blog, and she pulled out this fresh Finback IPA from the fridge to share with me!  Thanks, Annie!

Annie was asking me what local breweries Holly Kay and I love, and of course I mentioned Singlecut Beersmiths (They saved our life, REMEMBER??).  Sure enough, about 15 minutes later, they tapped Singlecut Dean Pacific Northwest Mahogany Ale, a delicious amber ale with notes of fresh pine and freshly squeezed oranges.  A delight!

We had a wonderful night with friends, celebrating Holly’s new job, Brian’s birthday, and simply enjoying the company of our dear friends.

Thank you again to Annie and Benson’s NYC for the awesome hospitality, definitely check them out next time you’re in Manhattan!

Haymaker Bar NYC, or, (Spoiler Alert) This Post Contains a Picture of a Man Called Nelson Drinking a Beer Called Nelson

OK, the above title is misleading (#alternativefacts).  His SURNAME (last name) is Nelson.  His first name is Rick.  So, I present to you, dear readers, a photo of a man called (Rick) Nelson drinking a beer called (Other Half) Nelson, a single hopped, 7.5% ABV, crisp, refreshing IPA, to celebrate his birthday! 

Look at this guy!!

What a time to be a craft beer drinker.

I’ve been saying this a lot lately.  As craft beer drinkers, especially here in NYC and on Long Island, we have access to some of the world’s tastiest most mouth watering (mouth water-iest?) beverages.  I’ve written so much about C’est Cheese and Craft at C’est Cheese, who have provided myself and my family with so much hospitality and world renowned beer, I shed a tear just thinking about it.  They have great relationships throughout LI and NYC and have access to such amazing beer, it’s a blessing to be able to walk in there when Holly and I are out on Sundays, and pick up some world class beer, and spend time with some wonderful people (Joe, Chris, Erin, Lori, Britney and the rest of the staff).

I’m also very lucky to be here in NYC.  Thanks to Clint and Rick (SEE ABOVE PICTURE), we discovered the wonderful Haymaker Bar NYC on 28th Street, just east of 8th Avenue.  Haymaker had followed the Benedict Beer Blog Instagram Page a few months ago, but we hadn’t had a chance to visit (which is very disappointing because *we blew it* because this place is amazing.)

My bearded buddy Will…

*A Photo of Will*

and I had decided to meet here, as Will and his lovely fiancée Sarah had recently gotten engaged, and Will asked me to be one of his Groomsmen (!!!).  So, celebratory beers.  Also, Holly Kay recently got a new job, and brought her new work friends, Sedine and Massiel (!!!).  So, celebratory beers.  Also, our dear friend Rick (Nelson) (SEE ABOVE PHOTO) was celebrating his birthday (!!!).  SO, CELEBRATORY BEERS!!!

We were there on a Thursday evening at 7pm, just before a Rangers (the hockey sportsmen) game, so, when I arrived, it was PACKED.  Their tap list is beyond delightful, and Will and I ordered the insanely awesome Interboro Spirits and Ales Premiere, a juicy, refreshing Pale Ale that sits around 6% ABV, has a beautiful pineapple aroma and super smooth, creamy mouthfeel that transports you from a crowded NYC beer bar to a secluded beach, relaxing in a hammock stretched between two palm trees, sipping actual juice from an actual pineapple.  Yup, believe dat hype, yo.

We waited about 40 minutes for a table, which ain’t bad when you’re getting Tropical (see above paragraph), and once the Rangers fans headed to MSG (just a few blocks away) we were able to sit and order food and some more drinks.  We were joined by Rick’s boyfriend, Samson, and Rick shortly thereafter.

A photo of Samson and I, looking real cute!
Samson is enjoying a Prairie Artisan Ales 4th Anniversary, a 6.5% sour ale Aged on Ginger.  Bright, zippy citrus combined with a zing from the Ginger, this was a hit with the table!  Another amazing beer from Prairie!

I myself had a Prairie Christmas Bomb!  10% ABV, brewed with coffee, cocoa, vanilla, chili peppers 🌶 ❗️, and Christmas Spices.  This giant beverage explodes with flavors of Mexican hot chocolate, with just a hint of chili spice in the back of the throat.  AMAZING.

As we were winding down, after our delicious meal (I had a curried lamb Shepherd’s Pie, which I loved, Holly had the short rib sliders, which were also delightful), they tapped a fresh keg of Maine Beer Co. LUNCH!  When one sees that Maine Lunch has tapped, one does not pass up the opportunity to enjoy Maine Lunch.  Did I mention it was Rick’s Birthday?  Celebratory Beers!

We all had a wonderful time, and I want to extend my sincere thanks to Lou, our server, and the whole staff at Haymaker, for their hospitality and helping us celebrate all our various accomplishments!  

It was a great night with friends, and we’ll absolutely be back.

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.

Business Cards Are Here!  Or, I’m Officially Official!

These came out absolutely SEXY!  And YOU ALREADY KNOOOOOW I went glossy, because you want that amazing looking brew to “Shine like the top o’ tha Chryslaah Building!”  (Yup, I just referenced Ms. Hannigan from Broadway’s Annie in a Blog Post.) 

So, now YOU can spread the word as well!  If you read this and want some to distribute, send me an email at patrickbenedict@benedictbeerblog.com and I can give you a stack for your business, home, or just to give out to friends, etc.  Let me know!  Thank you all for your support!

And as always, thanks to Holly Kay for motivating, encouraging, and inspiring me!  These wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for her!  


😉

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.

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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!

 

As Is NYC, or, How to Stumble Upon a Modern Times Tap Takeover…

Hello, Handsome and Beautiful Creatures of Earth!

I wanted to do a quick shout out this week to As Is, a cool new Craft Beer bar on 50th St. and 10th Ave. in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC.

I was invited here by my awesome (also craft beer fanatic) friends, led by Brandon, who had been telling me about this place for a while and texting pictures of their beer menu each time he showed up there, as a reminder that he was cooler than I was because he was at a new Craft Beer bar and I wasn’t (how dare he?).

I got there a little earlier than Brandon, Clint, Rick, and Samson, who all came in a cab from Brooklyn (plus it was raining), and I ordered an Other Half Equinox/Topaz, a bright, citrusy Double IPA, dried off from the stormy weather outside (I didn’t have an umbrella) and made a Facebook Live video talking about beer and general silliness.

Thinking of tropical islands while watching seas of umbrellas and glistening city streets…

Facebook Live From As Is NYC!

Someone had their eyes closed in nearly every picture I took of humans this evening…

Clint flipped because they still had a keg of Tröegs Brewing Company Nimble Giant, a super nicely balanced Double IPA, with notes of pine, orange citrus, and cherry sweetness from the malt.  I’ve dubbed this beer the “Heady Topper of Pennsylvania” (please don’t be triggered by this.  I’m silly.)

Brandon flipped because they had a Modern Times takeover, featuring some awesome hop-forward IPAs and Pale Ales, and a few roasty, toasty Imperial Stouts.  The highlight for me was the Orderville IPA, hopped with Mosaic (I WILL SING MOSAIC’S SWEET, SWEET SONG FROM ON MOUNTAIN HIGH!) and Simcoe (DITTO!).  It was like sipping on tropical punch.  Also try: Blazing World, a Red IPA, and Fruitlands Gose (my favorite one is the Apricot variant!).

The boys!

I did one more Facebook Live video (THE FUTURE) interviewing the boys and again, being generally silly…  Check that out HERE!

Brandon, one of the owners, was behind the bar that evening, and was super hospitable, and very excited about what a great fit they were for Hell’s Kitchen (they’re practically neighbors with Pony Bar, and just a few blocks from Beer Culture, two heavy hitters in Hell’s Kitchen and in the NYC Craft Beer scene).  I think these guys will do just fine.

I didn’t have a chance to eat anything on my first visit, but I’ll absolutely come back and eat   from their menu of small plates and sandwiches (if the words “Burrata with 18 month Prosciutto” don’t make you salivate, then you’re a robot).

Brandon brought us some Modern Times SWAG, and Samson decided he should make it rain…

Absolutely check this place out (great for stopping by for amazing craft beer, food, and cocktails after a Broadway show!)

I’ll leave you with a really cool photo that Clint took, check him out, he’s @bktexan on Instagram!

Cheers!

As Is on Instagram: @asisnyc