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!

Poconos Weekend Getaway, or, How Brad Has Eaten at Practically Every Restaurant within 10 miles of Camelback Mountain…

Sometimes, a two hour jaunt outside NYC for a few days can be the perfect getaway.

Sometimes, lighting a fire, staying up until 2am, and staying in your pajamas until Noon can be the perfect antidote to hectic NYC living.

This was just what we needed.

Also, this is a blog about beer.

Holly Kay and I last visited the Poconos in July (you can read about our adventure HERE), just the two of us, and had a WONDERFUL few days.  This time, we brought our dear friends Brad (of Bradco Beer!) and Kelsey and Pete!

My aunt Delia and uncle David have a condo (we call it “The Chalet”) at The Villages at Camelback, right next to the slopes of Camelback Mountain in Tannersville, PA.  It’s an awesome place for a weekend getaway.

It’s got a fireplace.

Fireplace.

And it’s got a VHS player.  With Mrs. Doubtfire and Liar, Liar on VHS.

Mrs. Doubtfire and Liar, Liar.  On VHS.

I picked up Brad from Astoria and Holly from her off-site work day in Hackensack, NJ, and we got to Tannersville around 8pm.  We stopped to get some groceries (also beer) and firewood.


A video of me yelling and Holly and I singing about firewood.

We dropped our things at The Chalet and headed to our absolute favorite haunt, Barley Creek Brewing Company.

Barley Creek!  So warm and welcoming, always.

Love!  In the Poconos!

Brad with Larry the Leprechaun!  (It was St. Patrick’s Day)

Larry the Legend

Kelsey and Pete joined us there, and we all shared some amazing soft pretzels with bier cheese and honey mustard, and some flights of Barley Creek beer.

Pete looking THRILLED with his #greenbeer


From L to R:

Citrabellum: A Double IPA brewed with Citra hops.  Nice juicy, grapefruit peel bitterness, with a sweet malt backbone.

Honey Chili Pepper Brown Ale (on Cask): This is their already awesome Antler Brown Ale put into a cask with honey and chili peppers.  The honey adds to the already vanilla, bready sweetness of the base beer, and the chili pepper gives it some 🌶🌶🌶 heat!  This was amazing.  Think of hot honey, in a beer!

Superhop: Triple IPA, with herbal, medicinal hop flavors and some sweet alcohol booziness.

Tommy’s Black IPA: Medicinal/citrus hops with some roasty malt flavors.

Back at the Chalet, we all got into our pyjamas, and Holly and Brad treated us to some music (Holly brought her ukulele, and Brad brought his uke, a melodica, and a tambourine.  We lit our first fire, sang some songs, shared a few beers (and Brad made Rye Old Fashioneds, because why not?), and finished the evening (read: early morning) watching Mrs. Doubtfire.

Stay G-O-L-D from Interboro Spirits & Ales

From our dear friends at Moustache Brewing Co., the amazing Patsy Rides Again, a Coconut Milk Stout with sweet malt and tropical toasted coconut flavor.  Find this if you’re in NY, and drink a hundred of them.

Pete building our first fire 🔥😱👹!

Pete sexy posing in front of our first fire 🔥😱👹!

Grimm Candlepower, a farmhouse ale brewed with sage and pink peppercorns.  The peppercorns added a nice touch of spice to the banana from the Belgian yeast and citrus from the hops, and the sage adds a unique, herbal, savory note.  This stuff was FUN!  It was like a flavor experiment.


Mrs. DoubtFIRE!  🔥🔥🔥🤣  Hey now!!

Kelsey and Holly were in this position basically the entire weekend.  Cuddle Bugs, the two of ’em!

The morning brought a rousing game of Ticket to Ride, which Brad brought, and the rest of us fell in love with…

Holly and Kelsey made breakfast, which was really nice, eggs, bacon and toast.  We all had coffee, and…

Breakfast stout!  Terrapin Beer Co. W&B (Wake & Bake) Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout.  Roast coffee, oatmeal cookie sweetness, with some sweet cocoa.  What a way to wake!  Oh, this also went really well with all the cookies that Kelsey and Pete brought and baked while we played the game.

We knew Camelback was due for snow, so we weren’t surprised when we opened the shades and found…

Snow!

Hopefully, the Last Snow of the season.

Thanks Evan for the “My Family’s in Florida, I’m in New York” beer trade, so the above video would be possible.

Beautiful!  We drank this later in the evening, and all I can say is, it smells like you’ve stepped foot into a Dunkin Donuts (and I mean this in the best way possible).  Coconut and coffee dominate both the smell and taste.  Gorgeous brew.

We had plans to go to the Outlet Mall, but before we did, we headed down for a dip in the pool and the jacuzzi.

There’s something very magical about swimming/hot tubbing while it’s snowing outside.  This is one of our favorite places at the Village at Camelback.  The ceiling itself is stunning.

You know, we spent some time in the sauna after the pool and hot tub, but sometimes you just gotta step into the HOT ZONE!

This is how three handsomemen Outlet shop.  With WINE TASTINGS!  Speaking of HOT ZONE…

We did dinner again at Barley Creek, and I had a POT.  ROAST.  BURGER.

Another game of Ticket to Ride, with a glass of orange juice 🍊 AKA…

Other Half Brewing Double Dry Hopped Mylar Bags…  Straight up JUICE BABAAAY!

Thanks to Brad’s brother in Michigan, we got a fresh bottle of Founders Brewing Company KBS!  Dark roasted coffee and chocolate, with some delightful vanilla caramel sweetness.  A dream, and dangerous at nearly 13% ABV…  My oh my!

We slept in (did I mention that KBS is nearly 13%?) and lit a few more fires before heading to Breakfast(?  It was at noon, so that’s lunch) at Billy’s Pocono Diner, just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Red Lobster that Brad ate at, and stole firewood from (I think there’s a statute of limitations on wood stealing crimes in Pennsylvania, right?).

Me and a bear.  We cool.

We hit the outlets one more time, and then Barley Creek to bookend our awesome, relaxing weekend, before heading back into the city (and Kelsey and Pete to Long Island).

It was a truly incredible weekend with dear friends (WE LOVE YOU KELSEY AND PETE AND BRAD!), and we couldn’t have asked for more (except for, like, another week of the same thing.)

Can’t wait to go back to The Chalet!

Until next time!

Cheers!

 

The Poconos!  Or, How I Couldn’t Stop Singing The Beach Boys “Kokomo” Incessantly, For Days On End…

“Because we’re going to the Poconos, we’ll get there fast and then we’ll take it slow, that’s where we wanna goooo…  Go to the Poconos!”

-The Beach Boys (original draft lyrics, I think)

We’re continuing our year of quick little adventures!

Holly and I rarely get two days off together, so we try and squeeze every ounce of goodness out of our occasional weekends (read: Wednesday and Thursday) off.  We called up my Aunt Delia, who owns a house (from now on, and forevermore, it will be referred to as The Chalet) on Camelback Mountain, in Tannersville, PA.  We love The Chalet because: 

A.  It is under 2 hours from NYC

B.  It’s quiet, with a ton of outdoorsy-type activities

C.  Our favorite Pennsylvania brewpub, Barley Creek Brewing Company is less than a mile away.

Holly picked me up from work, and we drove through the Lincoln Tunnel, past the seven layers of the Candy Cane Forest, through the sea of swirly, twirly gum drops…  I’m sorry, that’s how you get to the North Pole.  We did stop for Disco Fries at a Diner in New Jersey, though, and they were crispy, salty and DELICIOUS.

First stop after dropping our bags off at the Chalet was the aforementioned Barley Creek.  I’ve been coming to the Chalet for nearly ten years, Holly for about 4, so we’ve dined at Barley Creek many times before.  We’re always delighted, and this time was no exception.  Our bartender Nick, was so friendly and welcoming, he almost made us forget we’d been awake for nearly 20 hours.  They had a 2 for $10 appetizer special, so Holly and I shared two Bavarian pretzels with mustard and beer cheese, and a Beer Cheese Soup.  Whenever we come here with my brother-in-law Matt, we refer to Barley Creek as “Pretzels for Dinner.”  

Pretzels for Dinner.  Giant, twisted, golden delicious, crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and flecked with crystals of salt that gleam, beckoning you for just one more bite.  

Holly rocking a bite of Beer Cheese Soup made with Barley Creek Antler Brown Ale.


From left to right: Rescue IPA, a malt forward, English-style IPA with a bit of citrus hop presence, Summer Double Wheat, a hefty Hefeweizen at 7.2%ABV, Too Bitter ESB, another balanced, English-style ale, and one of the guest taps (they have several), Otter Creek Brewing Company Citra Mantra, an IPL (India Pale Lager), made with pilsner and Munich malt and hopped with Citra for an amazing grapefruit and pineapple dance around your taste buds.  

I told Nick about the blog (shout out to Nick for being amazing!) and told him we’d be back before we left.  We, of course, made good on that promise.  More on that later…

Myself and Nick the bartender, just two guys holding a Barley Creek Growler.

We got back to the Chalet, exhausted, but so excited to finally be on a mini-vacation.  So guess what we did?  We opened a bottle of wine, and popped in a VHS copy of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, and wound down on the giant, comfy couch.  Because that’s how we do.  Christmas in July, baby.

Chaise Lounge, anyone?

I also opened a bottle of Fegley’s Brew Works Hop’solutely Triple IPA.   It poured a beautiful orange color with very little foam.  This didn’t have a date on it, but usually with IPAs this high in alcohol content (it clocks in at 11.5%), even if the hops fade from age (hop flavor begins fading as soon as beers hit the bottle, which is why it’s important to drink them fresh), the alcohol heat and the smooth, sweet malts create a nicely balanced beer with a bit of citrus, and a nice cherry sweetness from the malt.

Tim Curry was interested to see what I was drinking…

Hop’so…  LUTELY!

The next morning, we ventured out pretty early to take a tour of the Tannersville Cranberry Bog (which is as amazing and…  well, boggy as it sounds.  And yes, they do have cranberries, although none were ripe enough to eat.). Our guide, Darryl, had been working for the Tannersville Conservancy for nearly 30 years and you could tell that he was absolutely in love with his job.  At one point, he pretended to fall into the bog, face first.  The guy was a clown.  

Darryl.  Sweet, Funny, Pratfalling Darryl.

If you stepped into this, you would be really wet and also in a bog.

These plants are carnivorous, luring insects in to drink water and then slowly digesting them.

It was about 85 degrees that afternoon, but in the bog felt closer to 856,972 degrees…  Celsius.

We spent the rest of the afternoon in the community pool back at the Chalet, and doing a little shopping at the Outlet Mall.  At the Mall, we did a wine tasting, and I had a Honey Wine, which was sweet and syrupy, and a Bourbon-Barrel Aged red wine that was amazing.  The wine took on the caramel and vanilla characteristics you usually associate with bourbon, along with the oak from the wooden barrel.  It was fantastic.

After working up a powerful hunger at the Outlets, we were trying to decide where to go to dinner.  Nick (our bartender from Barley Creek) recommended we go to ShawneeCraft Brewing Company, about a 30 minute drive from where we were.  We did go there on the way home, but we decided that we’d both be happy going right back to Barley Creek.  But, not before going to Target and picking up Galaxy Quest and Nacho Libre for $5, to watch back at the Chalet.

Barley Creek looks amazing lit up at night.

My cute little Holly Kay with a big ol’ Barley Creek Farmhouse Porter.  Smooth, creamy, malty chocolate and coffee, with some funk, citrus, and hay.  It’s a lovely cross between a farmhouse saison and a porter.  

We shared a Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza and a plate of Buffalo Wings.  It was National Fried Chicken Day, but Holly Kay protested that wings DO NOT count as fried chicken.  They still tasted amazing.  

We fell asleep about 15 minutes into Galaxy Quest, but woke up the next morning and watched it again.  Everyone loves a good Tim Allen film, but Alan Rickman is outrageous, and on a completely different level.  It’s wild.  It was Holly’s first time seeing it, and she loved it.

We packed our things, and decided we would go for a hike along the trails at Camelback.  Let me preface this by saying, neither of us are hikers.  Holly has said, many times before, “I refuse to run unless something is chasing me.”  We’re both up and about all day at our jobs, but that’s on solid, steady ground.  This was a mountain.  So I’ll go ahead and say that the “Easy” trail we chose was, to us city folk, a solid “Intermediate.”

We took the Indian Trail, which was rocky, but that view was unbelievable.
The view from the halfway point of the 1.3 mile trail.  Gorgeous.  What you can’t see is the 90 degree drop off  just beyond these bushes…

We’re hikers (I think)!
Look at my hiking gear!  I’m such a professional HIKER!
Oh, also, about .3 miles from the exit to the trail, Holly Kay made a noise.  This is a blog, and it will not do this noise justice, it sounded like this…  “WOO, WHOO!!!”  And this wasn’t a celebration, this was a WOO WHOO of surprise!!(!)  I looked around, not knowing what was happening, if perhaps we were about to be, or already were, in serious danger.  Holly yelled, “SNAKE!”  I looked towards the ground, and watched this legless, wiggly monster slither (thankfully) away from our general direction.  At that point, we hustled just a bit faster than we had been, as we were done hiking, basically.

On our way home, we made good on our promise to Nick, and stopped by ShawneeCraft Brewery, tucked away behind the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort, right next to the Delaware Water Gap.

We discussed with our bartender the meaning of this symbol (Holly Kay said it was pagan in origin, I said it looked like a Native American dream catcher.).  She told us that the owner of the brewery created it as a conversation piece, and its meaning is a mystery (OOH…  Mystery.)
Hop Bines, with four different varietals of hops.

We sat at the bar and were welcomed warmly by our bartender, and ordered a flight to share.
From left to right, Saison Cuvée, a kettle sour saison blended with a red wine barrel aged saison, (our favorite of the flight),with flavors of tart grapefruit, cherry, sweet red wine, Dry Hopped Saison, which had an aroma of barnyard, citrus and medicine, with a flavor dry, white wine and citrus, Session Porter, on nitro, which tasted like melted chocolate, and went down easy at 4.5% ABV, and Raspberry Blanche, also on nitro, a wheat ale brewed with fresh raspberries.

The bathrooms at ShawneeCraft were located in the brewhouse, so I will leave you fine Blog readers with a few pictures of my trip to the restroom…


Barrels upon barrels of delicious beer!


HIKING!  DANGER! MYSTERY!  PERIL AT EVERY TURN!  These are the adventures…  Of the Benedict Beer Blog!  Tune in next week, when Patrick and Holly Kay do something less perilous probably!
Until next time…

Cheers!