Tag Archives: garett oliver

The most memorable of forgotten weekends!…

6 Dec

With a focus on Sandy, this past Saturday’s NYC Craft Beer Festival: Winter Harvest was fun-filled and festive—a great way to start off the holiday (beer) season.

While I was able to sneak out and sample a few great brews, I spent most of my time hanging out at our Two Girls One Pint table, chatting with folks that love beer just as much as we do.  As one passerby noted: “Aren’t you guys just a bunch of female beer geeks?”  Well, yes sir, thanks for noticing.

I was impressed by the depth and quality of beers represented—I actually didn’t expect it to be that big! (Shameless “That’s what she said” line follows here).  Upstairs in the Connoisseur lounge, those lucky enough to have access were treated to such fine brews as Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout, always a treat for the tongue, and Dogfish Head’s Theobrama as well as comfy couches where they noshed on cheese from Murray’s and listened to talented singer/songwriter Willy Gantrim.

Downstairs in the common tasting area, local breweries like Brooklyn, Sixpoint, and ACBC (Alphabet City Brewing Company) with their “Easy Blonde” poured recognizable brews next to West Coast Lagunitas and Speakeasy.

One standout was Pennsylvania Brewing Company’s (out of Pittsburgh, PA) Nut Roll Ale, a sweet, festive winter-spiced beer that is perfect for the season.  The Founder’s Breakfast Stout seemed to be a festival favorite.  Another was the “Wookey Jack,” from Firestone Walker Brewing Co., always a producer of solid beers, many of which seem to be popping up a lot more often in our area.

I personally enjoyed sipping on Lagunitas’ Cappuccino Stout—I felt like I was drinking some delicious coffee to keep me going in the long hours spent behind the table at both sessions…but then I reminded myself that the buzz I was getting was from beer!

Unfortunately I was unable to attend any of the seminars, as us girls had work to do!  But I’d love to hear from those who did how they were.  You really can’t go wrong with eating cheese from Murray’s or learning food and beer pairing secrets from beer sommelier Hayley Jensen and Chef Stephen Durley.

The location was great and easily accessible from lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, albeit a bit tricky to navigate with a buzz on.  No matter how many “Watch Your Step” signs and yellow Caution tape outlined the path ways, I still managed to trip more than once.  I blame Sandy for this one.

But as far as music goes, my personal favorite was the selection of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” telling people their session was over and it was time to get the F out, inspiring some pretty sloppy kick-lines that The Rockettes would surely shake their head’s at.

So Sandy may have delayed the fun, but the festival was able to happen anyway, and I think this event reflected the adaptation and perseverance that so many strong-willed New Yorkers have displayed following this devastating storm.  The residents of Breezy Point who have been suffering this past month from Sandy’s effects will have a little bit of a happier holiday thanks to the generosity of festival attendees.

So, “Start Spreading the News,” the NYC Craft Beer Festival was a great time and I can only look forward to their spring event.  Look for our newscast, coming soon to Two Girls One Pint.

Image Image 1 Image 2 Image 3 Image 6

The Brooklyn Brewery-everything you need to know

28 Jun

So what does one do after a beautiful day in Williamsburg, sampling tasty craft beers on the waterfront?  Go drink more beer, of course.  The festival’s location a couple of blocks from the Brooklyn Brewery made this the perfect post-event hangout.  After waiting outside for about 15 minutes, we were inside, ready to try some of the seasonal Brewmaster’s Reserves on tap.

            Now for those of you who have never been to the brewery, or haven’t been in recent years, let me explain how this works.  The brewery has recently expanded, doubling their brewing capacity, and increasing their operating hours, so that “small batch” tours are now available during the week.  The small batch tours are limited to a couple of dozen beer drinkers, and will cost you $8 a pop.  While you have to pay, the tour is intimate and informative, so depending on what kind of experience an individual is looking for, the small batch may be for you.  Reservations are available via the Brewery’s web site.

            For years now, the brewery has also been open Friday evenings for happy hour, and all day Saturday and Sunday, for mess hall type drinking and less intimate, hourly tours.  Entrance is free but granted on a first-come, first-serve basis, so it’s wise to get there early, especially if you’d like to have a place to sit.  The place fills up quickly!  It seems as thought the Brewery is always busy, no matter what season it is.   

This recent expansion has allowed the brewery to experiment more as well, and now even more beers are being offered on tap, including a cask of real ale (on our visit, it was their EIPA).             

The draft selections change almost weekly, depending on availability, but seems to always include their flagship Lager, East India Pale Ale, and the Pennant Ale ’55.  Also, since the former Brewmaster’s Reserve Brooklyn BLAST! became a year-round selection, this will most likely be available on tap, and if you’ve never tasted it, I highly recommend it.  BLAST! will cost you 2 tokens (more on tokens later) although be prepared, because this beer goes down way too easily.  It’s extremely hoppy, with a 50/50 split of hops from England and the U.S.   Be forewarned: It has a 9% ABV, and after a few of these you will become what I deem “BLASTED!.”

 

            In addition, on this particular Saturday afternoon, their Summer Ale, Radius, Dry Irish Stout, and Brooklyner Weisse were available on tap as well as two limited release beers.  There is also a limited selection of big bottle beers, including the Brooklyn 1 and 2.  A pour of these will guarantee you a beautiful signature snifter glass—definitely worth the extra tokens.    We were most excited to try the current Brewmaster’s Reserve, Gold Standard, and The Centerfold, which is a brew created by Brooklyn Brewery employee, Rob Lemery.

            The Gold Standard is a kellerbier, an unfiltered golden lager that is a popular beer for consuming in German beer gardens.  Drinking this beer, it’s easy to see why.  It was light and crisp, yet more bitter (44 IBUs) than I expected.  The yeast strain used to brew this beer is actually from New Glarus Brewing Co. in Wisconsin.  I enjoyed this beer immensely and like many other Brewmaster’s Reserves of seasons past, will remember it fondly.  If you plan on visiting Brooklyn Brewery in the next few weeks, I highly recommend trying it.

            Another limited release beer on tap during our visit was the Centerfold.  While I love the idea behind the beer (brewed with rose hips), I found it almost undrinkable.  The name alone brought to mind that annoying song by the J. Geils Band (you know the na na na na na na…) but this didn’t deter me from trying it.  Maybe at this point in the day my palate was shot, but this Centerfold just wasn’t my type.    

            My particular favorite thing about visiting the Brooklyn Brewery is the “ATM” (which stands for Automatic Token Machine).  If you have a Jackson on you, entering it in this machine will entitle you to 5 wooden tokens, which are the currency you exchange for a beer.  Most beers are 1 token, a few are 2 or 3, depending on alcohol percentage or rarity.  The tokens come in one of those little plastic bubbles you used to get toys or candy out of when you were a kid.  Ahhhh, nostalgia!    

            We decided to join the last tour of the day, which brought us into their newly expanded area, and involved a short discussion about the brewery’s origin and current beer production.  Being summer, there were tourists from everywhere, and it was great to see how this local brewery’s popularity has continued to rise, both in the continental United States and internationally as well.  That iconic “B,” designed by Milton Glaser (aka the guy who came up with I “Heart” NY) adorns taps, bottles, and t-shirts alike and has become a bold symbol for the local craft beer movement.

             

 ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage