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!

Other Half Double Dry Hopped Space Diamonds, Or, Here’s Something Pretty to Tide You Over Until the Next Blog Post (Tomorrow, Probably)

Yo, Fam, SMASH that m’f’in PLAY BUTTON to see a real pretty (I would almost say it’s perfect, but clearly, I spilled a drop, because I’m terrible) pour of the amazing Other Half Brewing Double Dry Hopped Space Diamonds…  


She’s gorgeous.

She pours a hazy, light golden color, and pine, Grapefruit, and berries rise from the glass upon first smell, taste follows, with super grapefruit and pineapple with a surprisingly dry, earthy finish, begging you to take another sip.  I obliged, because who am I to deny another sip of a #milkshake #hazy #northeaststyle #ipa #juicebomb #whale #hype


I shared the non-dry hopped Space Diamonds with my dear friend Ryan (manager at Il Bambino) a few months ago, and it was very special.

Yeah, this double dry Hopped version is ALSO VERY SPECIAL.  And I didn’t have to wait 8 hours in line.  Because Haymaker Bar and Grill has been selling Other Half, and other cans, to go (WHICH IS AMAZING AND SO SUPER CONVENIENT!). And that, folks, will be my next blog post, about our evening at Haymaker, which should be up in the next day or two!  So, check- ch- check- check- check- ch- check it out!

Until next time (TOMORROW PROBABLY)!

Cheers!

The Perfect Storm, or Weird Surprise After Weird Surprise

Today is a special day.  It just so happens to be both National IPA Day, and, according to Facebook, #NationalGirlfriendDay, (The Perfect Storm) so I’d love to share a quick story that involves both IPA, my brother, and my ex-girlfriend who I married, Holly Kay Benedict, aka @hkbenny aka HBK The Heartbreak Kid aka The Little Negotiator aka The Holly aka My Love!

I adore my wife.  We fell in love in a whirlwind romance involving Karaoke, our friend Jeff, Jefferson Starship, Central Park in the middle of the night, and a wild raccoon that we named Stanford.  She’s smart, funny, talented, and strong willed.  Plus, she’s gorgeous (which is the icing on the cake).  She takes my breath away on a daily basis.

Holly Kay enjoying a Youngs Double Chocolate Stout at the Souveneer show (see earlier blog post BEER, I mean…  Here.)

Here we are, over 7 years later (5 and a half years married) and we’re preparing for a trip to Ireland in November to celebrate a belated 5 year Anniversary (we were at a wedding in Houston on our actual Anniversary, March 5th).  This will be a celebration of our love, and Holly intends on writing handwritten letters to each of the owners of the 5 B&Bs we’re staying in to tell them how excited we are to spend our anniversary with them.  

On Saturday, Holly called me on her lunch break as she was out on a walk through Soho.  We were chatting, and she suddenly said “I’ll be right back.”  She came back on the line about 30 seconds later, and I asked if everything was alright, and she said “Yes, I was just picking up your surprise!  You’re going to be very excited about it!”  I told her she didn’t have to get me anything, but she insisted that this was going to be amazing, and she had gotten a tip.  That was all she told me.  

So I spent the day trying to figure out what it could be.  I had a feeling it was beer related, but wasn’t too sure.  She’s a wily one, that Holly, so you never know what she could bring home (One time, she was dared to convince me she had bought a turtle.  I fell for it, hard).

On her subway ride home, she was texting me, and she asked me about Other Half Brewing Company.  She said “are they the ones who do the can releases where people wait for hours in line to get them?”  I said “Yup!  They had one this morning!” And described the three cans that were released that day.  She responded, “Cool, we should go do that sometime!”  I will refer you back to this post in which she says something similar and you can find out what our friend Kevin’s reaction was(!!!)

So I go to pick her up from the train station, and we’re walking home and chatting, and she says the surprise is something I’ll love, and would only get a few uses out of.  I’m figuring it’s beer related (I don’t know if you guys know this, but I write a Beer Blog.  You should totally check it out), but can’t think for the life of me what it would be.  We get home, she unpacks her bag and says “The surprise is in my lunch bag.”  At this moment, as I unzipped the lunch bag, I knew exactly what she had gotten me, but couldn’t for the life of me figure out how on earth she had pulled it off…

I pull out three 16oz. cans of fresh (we’re talking canned yesterday) Other Half IPAs.  Hop Showers, All Green Everything, and another IPA simply called ! .  I was a little in shock, because I swore she was at work, and she could have gotten up at 5am, drove to Gowanus (where the brewery is located) and then just stayed out all day and pretended to ride the subway home (she didn’t do that).

I asked her how on earth she pulled this off, and we’ll leave it at this…  It’s a secret.  She bragged “People waited in line all morning for this.  I didn’t have to wait in line.”  With a huge smile across her face.  How did I get so lucky?

From Left to Right: Hop Showers, !, and All Green Everything

Earlier this week, I found out that my brother Christopher had tried a Guinness in Ireland, his first drink he’s ever had, ever (also, he hated it).  This was weird for me.  It still is.  He texted me earlier in the day, “do you want to drink beer and watch baseball later?”  Readers, I don’t know if you understand the magnitude of how weird that text message looked in a thread under his name.  Anyway, I thought this would be a good opportunity for him to try some beers that are the exact opposite of Guinness.  Other Half is making world class IPAs, maybe he’ll like those.  Also, all three are presumably over 100 IBUs (International Bitterness Units).  Needless to say, these are not beginner beers, but maybe it was wishful thinking that we would immediately be brothers in hops.  

I cracked open the Hop Showers and poured some for myself, Holly Kay, and Chris.  Immediately we were all walloped upside the head with hops (which I love), dank, grapefruit, pineapple, lemon.  Not a ton of sweetness in the malt, but enough to sweeten that bitterness and let those hops dance (or in this case, punch.)

The next was ! , 8.5%, another dank, hoppy monster.  This time, on top of light citrusy grapefruit and pineapple, were flavors of herbs, green bell pepper, garlic and onion.  It was wild.  Chris liked this one better, Holly Kay was more of a fan of the Hop Showers.  This was my favorite of the 3, lots of flavor but still super drinkable, I picture crushing this at a beach (although at 8.5%, it would be nap time after just one or two).

All Green Everything was next on the docket.  I was hoping that the sweetness of the alcohol and malts (it’s a hefty 10.5%) would balance out the hops, but this is another hop bomb.  Craft a house out of hops and put me inside and I will live there until someone evicts me.  This was a balanced, well crafted, triple IPA with sweet, sugary citrus.  Also, not for beginners.  

I love insane beers like this one, but Holly’s favorite was still Hop Showers, and Chris preferred ! .

What a week full of beer surprises.  Chris surprises me with a photo of his Guinness in Ireland, Holly surprises me with three freshly canned IPAs, and I surprise Chris by destroying his palate with hops so he can’t taste anything else for the rest of the night.

Chris shared all three mega hopped, insanely bitter IPAs, which is brave, and I vowed to find him a beer he would like.  I believe, with time, we can become hop friends, (Holly, do you have any advice for him as a person who was forced to love hops because of your weirdo husband?)

For now, the search continues…

Until next time!  Cheers!

2016, The Year in Beer (So Far…) or Hey, Come Salivate Over These Pictures!

Hello, gorgeous Benedict Beer Blog readers!  Thanks for coming back, or, if this is your first time, welcome here!  Holly and I have had some amazing adventures this year, which you’ve read about, so I think it’s time to recap the first (a little more than) half of the year with some pictures.  Everyone loves pictures, and you wouldn’t be here unless you:

A. Love beer

B. Are related to me, or

C. Both.

Thanks for tuning in for these first couple of months.  Now, let’s look at some pretty pretty pictures of craft beer why not??!?!?

January 1st, 12:01am.  Singlecut Beersmiths Heavy Boots of Lead Imperial Stout.  I’ve gushed over this beer and brewery in numerous other posts.  This is liquid chocolate, so drink it if you ever see it.  He fills his victims full of happiness.  Ozzy approves.

January 3rd.  Hilton Garden Inn, Long Island City, NY.  Post-ceiling collapse, we stayed in this amazing hotel, where we drank beer and wine out of paper cups, because Holly Kay and I are Renaissance Men.  Southern Tier Brewing Company Crème Brûlée Imperial Stout.  Skip dessert, drink this instead.  Sweet, sugary, vanilla, chocolate, coffee.  You (dia)BET(ic) we loved it!

January started off with some stouts!  They warm ya up when it’s cooooold out there!  Chris “MusicDktr” Benedict, would approve, right, Dad?

January 8th.  Belated Christmas dinner at Brad (of Bradco Brew) and Alex’s Apartment!  This beer is out of control.  Barrier Brewing Company Money IPA.  Bursting with tropical citrus and pine, just put me on a hammock in between two palm trees and get me out of this New York City winter for crying out loud!

This is Brad, aka Bradco Brew.  He makes amazing brews.  Our favorites are the Blueberry Cream Ale (which I wish I could drink all summer), Citrus Saison, and his amazing Chocolate Stout.  Become friends with Brad and you can try these.  He’s nice!

January 23rd.  First major snowstorm of the year.  Holly Kay and I got off of work early, and spent the day watching movies, eating, and drinking.  This is Pipeworks Brewing Company Lizard King, a single hopped session IPA with Mosaic hops.  Mosaic, she’s a naughty, naughty girl…  Pineapple, pineapple, and more pineapple.  Another tropical dream to escape the 12″ + of snow building up outside our apartment window.  Also, this can art cannot be beat.

January 23rd…  Speaking of snowstorm…  Evil Twin and Two Roads Geyser Gose.  Gose (pronounced Gose-uhh) is a traditional German-style beer that is tart, herbal, and salty.  Geyser Gose is brewed with ingredients sourced from Iceland (a country I would absolutely love to visit), including Icelandic moss, rye, herbs, sea kelp, skyr (a tart, Icelandic yogurt) and birch smoked sea salt.  The kelp, sea salt, and moss, give this beer an earthy, umami saltiness to counteract the sour citrus.  It might not sound appealing in writing, but it’s unreal.  It’s great for summer, or, in this case, to counteract our Cabin Fever.

February 11th.  Sixpoint Brewery C.R.E.A.M., a Cream Ale brewed with coffee…  Beer + Coffee + Wu Tang Clan?  Dolla, dolla bills, y’all.  This blonde ale tastes like coffee with cream, bitter like green bell peppers (which is a flavor that I sometimes pick up from a really bitter black coffee), balanced by a sugary sweetness.  Craft Rules Everything Around Me.

February 26th.  Barrier Brewing Company and Other Half Brewing Half & Half.  This was shared at Threes Brewing.  In preparation for Brian and Tanya’s wedding in Houston, I met up with Brian and his coworkers Doug and Martin (I was at work, so I missed their excursion to Other Half Brewing), and we enjoyed some beer and food from BBD’s (Beers, Burgers, and Desserts) who had a pop up restaurant at the brewery.  I guess I inadvertently theme my beer drinking, as this tasted like coffee with half & half and sugar.

This one had less of a hip hop theme, but more of two of my favorite local breweries, so it’s a toss up which one I love more.  So we’ll leave it at I love them both the same.

March 4th.  Honeymoon Cafe.  These aren’t beer.  They’re beignets.  Because why wouldn’t I post a picture of these gorgeous monstrosities of culinary delight?  You’re welcome.

March 5th.  Our 5th Anniversary, and the day of Tanya and Brian’s wedding.  While our lovely wives were getting ready, Jerry, Scott and I decided to walk to a brewery on the outskirts of town.  As you’ve heard a million times before by the great Rob Thomas, “Man, it’s a hot one…”  And it truly was.  Houston, Texas clocked in at literally 7 inches from the midday sun.  This Rocket Fuel from 8th Wonder Brewing, made with Vietnamese Coffee and served on nitro, at a sessionable 4.8%ABV, was so Smooth.  It gave me its heart, and made it real, so I couldn’t forget about it…
March 12th.  “Guest Bartending” at the Grand Opening of Il Bambino’s new location on 8th Street in the West Village, NYC.  This man knows how to handle a tap…  Wink.

March 17th.  Saint Patrick’s Day.  Because you have to.  Also, this throwback artwork is incredible!
March 26th.  My first ever Trillium Brewing Company beer, their Farmhouse Ale.  Holly Kay stated, “this beer taps you on the shoulder and says, ‘Hello!'”  Dry, funky, grassy, with tart lemon citrus, it’s the perfect beer to accompany rich food, but also stay out of its way and act as a compliment to the salty, funky cheeses.

April 14th.  Picked up one of these Pipeworks Brewing Company Ninja Vs. Unicorn Double IPAs at a little store on the East Side called Miso Hoppy.  It poured hazy orange, with aroma of pineapple, orange, lemon.  Taste followed, with a little candy sweetness from the malt.  Pick it up if you see it.  This is right up there among the great IPAs out there.

April 14th.  Stillwater Artisinal Ales On Fleek Imperial Stout.   Pours black as night, tastes like dark chocolate, cherries and coffee.  And this can is out of control!!

April 20th.  The hits keep coming with Stillwater Artisinal Ales, this time they teamed up with Other Half Brewing to make Rockstar Farmer, a hoppy farmhouse saison, with notes of lemon, funk, and hay.  Another great compliment to our food that night, Gorgonzola and honey Crostinis with cured hot sausage.  Holly Kay and I treated ourselves royally!

April 22nd.  Shared this beer with Holly Kay and our favorite bartender, Derek at The Folly on Houston Street.  This was a great platform to let the Citra hop do its thing with floral and citrus notes.  Other Half always kills it.  This can was a gift from Rick Vath!  Thanks, Rick!

June 9th.  Carton Brewing Company and Barrier Brewing Co. collaborated on this SS-C.R.E.A.M.  A hoppy, imperial cream ale, with citrus notes from the hops, balanced with vanilla and cream.  This was enjoyed at Rattle ‘N’ Hum in NYC!

June 9th.  Westbrook Brewing Company Mexican Cake Imperial Stout brewed with cacao nibs, cinnamon, vanilla beans, and habanero peppers!  That’s a spicy meatball!  This was quite possibly the best stout I tasted this year.  Smooth, creamy mouthfeel with heaps of cocoa and cinnamon, and a slight heat from those pep peps!  Mama Mia, me so spicy!
June 16th.  Brought back reeeeeal fresh from Tree House Brewing in Monson, MA.  Another citrus bomb from these guys!  I love their can artwork as well!
Picture taken June 16th, beer shared  the night before with Ryan, Erica, and Holly Kay! Trillium Brewing Artaic Double IPA  I would say this is my favorite IPA I’ve had all year, but it got slightly edged out by another, which you’ll see in a minute.  This is brewed with honey, which just sets off and intensifies the citrus, juicy hop profile.  It’s drool-worthy.

July 13th.  National French Fry Day.  Paired with Troegs Brewing Company Nimble Giant.  This is a KILLER beer.  Another juicy, Northeast Style IPA, but the malts create a cherry-like sweetness that plays well with these hops.  Unreal.
July 21st.  The winner for my favorite IPA this year.  Singlecut Beersmiths Softly Spoken Magic Spells.  Absolutely gorgeous pineapple juice in a 16.9 fl oz bottle of wonder and amazement.  If Singlecut keeps making beer like this. I’mma keep drinking ’em.
July 24th.  This was yesterday!  This has certainly been a year filled with some juicy IPAs, and Tree House Brewing Company Bright fits right in.  Mom, Dad, and Holly Kay all loved it!  Lime is prevalent in this brew, but complimented by pineapple, orange, and pine.  Hops are an amazing creature, and I’m so excited to see what all these insane Brewers will do with them in years to come.
Thanks all for sharing in this half year (plus a little bit) in pictures!  The Benedicts will be back with more adventures!  Thanks again for reading!  Cheers!