Category: Beer


My notes for my Trouble-Free Tart Beers seminar can be found here.

Beer Fermentation Homebrewing Speed Brewing Uncategorized

Passion Fruit Mosaic Saison

The Inspiration:

I was invited by Brooklyn Homebrew to brew a beer for a local event: Allagash Brewing Company‘s Saison Day at Three’s Brewing. Allagash debuted their new Century Saison by holding Saison Day events around the country celebrating the style. For the event at Three’s Brewing, eight local homebrewers were invited to brew a saison and pour samples. I recently had a delicious passion fruit sour ale brewed by Oskar Norlander, Erik Norlander and Peter Salmond that inspired me to try passion fruit in one of my beers. Why Mosaic? Well, because I freaking love that hop. And as it turns out, it goes perfectly with passion fruit.

BIAB draining with wide potThe Recipe:

(a 5.5 gallon batch brewed on my stove top using the Brew in a Bag method)

Malt Bill:
  • 8 lbs Belgian Pils Malt (80%)
  • 2 lbs White Wheat Malt (20%)

Mashed in at 154º F for 60 minutes then mashed out at 170º F.  No sparge – drained grain bag in colander over oven rack into my brew pot.

Pre-boil gravity: 1.046

Addition Schedule (60 minute boil):

  • 60 min: 1 oz French Strisselspalt pellet hops (5.6% AA)
  • Flame-out: 1 oz Mosaic pellet hops (11.6% AA)

Approximate IBUs: 21

Pitched 2 packets of Danstar Belle Saison dry yeast (not rehydrated)

Fermentation Schedule: (6-gallon Better Bottle)

  • Days 1-3: 64-65º F
  • Days 4-7: 79-80º F
  • Moved to 33º F fridge on Day 7.
  • Day 9: Split batch into two 3-gallon Better Bottles. Racked under CO2: half onto 14 oz of Mamitas passion fruit pulp (thawed in bag & bag sanitized with StarSan before opening) and half onto 1 oz Mosaic pellet hops. Kept at 33º F. I split the batches as I was considering kegging the two separately but they were so delicious together I ended up blending in the keg.
  • Day 14: Blended, kegged & served (yep, last minute keg shake-a-roo. Not ideal but it works.)

OG: 1.050 (3.7.2015)

FG: 1.001 (3.14.2015)

ABV: 6.5%

Tasting Notes:

Delicious! The Mosaic hops and passion fruit compliment each other beautifully. Both are present but not overwhelming and the passion fruit is not sweet. A non-traditional yet tasty dry saison.


Holy cow – I’m definitely brewing this one again. Although I did not win the mini-comp as the judges thought it was not traditional enough, it got compliments galore (from the public & brewers) and was very popular. I’d like to brew a more sessionable version, perhaps around 4.5% ABV, and I’ll probably use slightly less passion fruit and hops for that version. I’d also like to try using passion fruit and Mosaic hops in cider and kefir beer (boozy water kefir).

Fermentations in Progress:

  • sourdough starter
  • Greenmarket Beet Short Mead (recipe coming soon!)
  • some very old sour beers
  • Jun & Kombucha

Happy Fermenting!

Allagash Saison Day at Three's Brewing
Allagash Saison Day at Three’s Brewing Top Row: Allagash Owner Rob Tod with comp winners Brett Taylor, Jason Sahler & Zack Kinney. The Crowd. Middle Row: Brooklyn Homebrew owners Danielle Cefaro & Benjamin Stutz. Rob Tod, Allagash rep Kristen Demergian & me. Bottom Row: Homebrewer Jason Sahler, me & Three’s head brewer Greg Doroski. Homebrewer Fritz Fernow. Homebrewer Jeff Lyons.


Beer Fermentation Homebrewing Recipes Speed Brewing

The Top Ten appears on the first Tuesday of every month and encompasses ten of my favorite foods, beverages and events from the previous month. I love sharing good food & drink with friends and want to share some of my favorite experiences with you. In chronological order, here is my Top 10 for the month of May:

the linkery mosaic
1. the linkery Draft List, 2. Flight at the linkery, 3. Beer Battered Cheese Curds at the linkery, 4. Smoked Rabbit at the linkery, 5. Sausage Board at the linkery, 6. El Salchichero at the linkery
Carnitas' Snack Shack mosaic
1. Pork Cheek Hash at Carnitas’ Snack Shack, 2. Bacon Chocolate Whiskey Truffles at Carnitas’ Snack Shack, 3. Bacon Brittle Ice Cream Sandwich at Carnitas’ Snack Shack

  • The Banryu Ichi from Cambridge Brewing Company, served during the Sake and Beer Hybrids: Techniques and Approaches Seminar at the Craft Brewers Conference with Kjetil Jiukiun from Nøgne Ø, Todd Bellomy from Boston Beer Company and Will Meyers from Cambridge Brewing Company. An incredibly inspirational seminar for this homebrewer. I loved all of the samples but especially the Banryu Ichi, an incredibly smooth beverage that combines elements from both sake and beer. Very drinkable. Tasted on May 4 in San Diego and again on June 1st at Cambridge Brewing Company.
Banryu Ichi at Cambridge Brewing Company
Banryu Ichi
    • Beers on the back patio at Toronado San Diego. Augie Carton & Jesse Ferguson of Carton Brewing (two fantastic guys!) and I sat out on the patio and split full-sized flights of beers at Toronado SD on the afternoons of May 3 & 5. I could not have asked for better company or beer.

Toronado San Diego beers mosaic
1. Trio of Russian Rivers: IPA, Pliney the Elder & Blind Pig, 2. 4 Russian Rivers: Redemption, Damnation, Consecration, Supplication, 3. New Belgium Tart Lychee, La Folie & Kick, 4. Table of beer, 5. Firestone Walker Sucuba, Parabola & Reginald Brett, 6. Cascade Kriek, The Vine & Summer Gose

  • The Virtue Cider tasting at the Ace Hotel on May 6. Virtue is the new project from former Goose Island Brewmaster Greg Hall. This is some tasty cider – tart, a bit funky, lightly sweet – depth of flavor yet highly drinkable. I’m looking forward to Virtue Cider in NYC which should be late Summer or early Fall.

Virtue Cider Mosaic
1. Virtue Cider Red Streak, 2. Red Streak chilling

  • The Centerfold release at Brooklyn Brewery. The second in their Worshipful Company of Brewers series, this delightful West Coast-style Pale Ale was brewed by Cellerman Rob Lemery. Incredible quaffable – available only in the Brooklyn Brewery tasting room while it lasts.
Rob Lemery at the Centerfold release
Rob Lemery at the Centerfold release
  • Judging at the Brewer’s East End Revival Competition on Long Island. This is one of the best competitions I judge every year. They pick us up at the train station, feed us breakfast, lunch & dinner and drop us back off at the train station. I judged sours (Category 17) in the morning, spice/herb/vegetable (Category 21) in the afternoon and Best of Show after and tasted some mighty fine beers. Thank you, BEER!
NYCHG Judges at BEER
New York City Homebrewers Guild judges at BEER

Beer Here sign

  • The 5 Boro PicNYC on Governor’s Island. I was comped but this would have been worth the price of a VIP ticket. We filled up on tasty vittles, drank our share of Sixpoint beer, listened to live music and relaxed in the shade on my picnic blanket. Colonel’s Row is a beautiful spot and I highly recommend these fests, put on my Food Karma productions. The next one is called Cookout NYC and will be held July 7 & 8. It’ll be the same kind of deal with different food – 5 Boro PicNYC sold out so I would recommend getting your tickets early for Cookout NYC if you want to go. Get there when they open, spread your blanket in a shady spot and enjoy.

5 Boro PicNYC mosaic

1. Bison & chipotle sausage from Alobar, 2. House-made smoked green garlic & poblano chili kielbasa, 3. Rooster Tinga from Left Bank, 4. Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurra Sauce from Jimmy’s No 43, 5. Boudin Blanc Sausage from Vandaag, 6. Vegetarian Bahn-Mi from Jimmy’s No 43

  • The New England Clam Boil in my backyard over Memorial Day weekend. Thanks to my friend Carolyn, we did a good old-fashioned clam boil based on this recipe. Seaweed, lobsters, clams & mussels from Brooklyn Chinatown, chorizo from my local Mexican bodega, Italian sausage, artichoke hearts, corn & potatoes. So good & quite easy. I see more of these happening this summer – easily done indoors if you don’t have a backyard.

New England Clam Boil

  • The Treats Truck goodies-beer pairing that Chris Cuzme & I did at home. I picked up some desserts at the new Treats Truck brick & mortar store on Court St on May 29. All spectacularly tasty and excellent paired with a variety of beers. We had a chocolate mint sandwich cookie, a caramel crème sandwich cookie and a Mexican chocolate brownie. I did not plan ahead so used beer from my cooler and local bodega. We liked Brooklyn Brown Ale with the chocolate mint cookie as it integrated with the chocolate and the mint and brought a bit of caramel in the mix. The Shiner Blonde was nice as well – the cookie was the star in this pairing but the beer cleansed the palate between sips. We liked Troegs Troegenator with the Mexican brownie as the residual sweetness in the beer complimented the cinnamon-chocolate combination and the brownie brought out the complex maltiness in the beer. The caramel cookie worked with all three – the Shiner Blonde highlighted the butter in the cookie, the Troegenator was pure decadence, adding a rich fruitiness to the caramel & butter with every bite and the caramel in the Brooklyn Brown harmonized with the caramel in the cookie yet cleansed the palate between bites. A fun little pairing practice and something we haven’t done in a while. I’m looking forward to bringing these back into my life on a more regular basis.

Treats Truck goodies & beerThose are some of my favorites for May. I’d love to hear about your recent favorites in the comments. Cheers!


Beer Here mosaic
1. Beer Here sign, 2. Beer Hall bar, 3. Jon Bloostein, 4. Beer Here exhibit, 5. Hop basket & press, 6. Fermentation Quote, 7. Miss Rheingold 1956, 8. Beer Hall Menu, 9. Ice harvesting tools

I was fortunate to be invited to a press preview for the Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History exhibition that opens at the New-York Historical Society tomorrow. I’ve been excitedly awaiting the opening – New York City has an incredibly rich brewing history and I was curious to see how the Historical Society would present it. Wow – I was not disappointed.The exhibit is laid out over eight themed rooms and covers a wide scope of information, from the New York hop industry to ice harvesting on the Hudson to the Temperance movement. The variety of objects on display was impressive. I particularly loved the recipe books, ice harvesting equipment and 1886 hop press. The last room before you reach the Beer Hall is devoted to NY City breweries in the 1900s and chock full of breweriana, including a coronation gown and ephemera loaned by Miss Rheingold 1956, Hillie Merritt Mahoney (check out the lower left pic in the mosaic above for a photo of this truly charming lady). The exhibition ends in a beer hall featuring New York state beers (beer hall hours are below). When the beer hall is open, exhbition attendees can purchase a beer for $8, a Sigmund pretzel for $4 or beer/pretzel combo for $10. There will be 2-5 different beers available at any given time and will rotate. There is also a series of Brewery tastings as part of the exhibit. Tickets are $35 (or a six different tasting package for $150) and include an educational tasting hosted by someone from the featured brewery (schedule below). There is also a Beer Appreciation Night on Tuesday, July 10 at 6:30 pm featuring the curators of the exhibit, Brewmaster Garrett Oliver & Co-Founder Steve Hindy of Brooklyn Brewery and Gabrielle Langholtz of Edible Brooklyn and Manhattan. A tasting of Brooklyn Brewery beers will follow. Tickets for the program are $24 or a combo ticket for the program and tasting is $49. Admission to the Beer Here exhibition is included in the purchase of a general admission ticket to the New-York Historical Society – $15 for Adults, $12 for Seniors and Educators or $10 for Students. The Historical Society is pay-as-you-wish on Friday evenings from 6-8 pm. I’m already planning a trip back to the exhibit so I can see it at a more leisurely pace (I had to rush off to a video editing class last night after the preview). And also to purchase some swag – the exhibition t-shirts are sweet. This is a highly informative and entertaining exhibition and a must-see for every beer geek within driving/train distance of the city.

New-York Historical Society Hours:

    • Monday: closed
    • Tuesday-Thursday: 10 am-6 pm
    • Friday: 10 am-8 pm
    • Saturday: 10 am-6 pm
    • Sunday: 11 am-5 pm

Beer Hall Hours:

    • Tuesday-Thursday & Saturday: 2-6 pm
    • Friday: 2-8 pm
    • Sunday: 2-5 pm

Beer Tasting Schedule:

    • May 26– Matt Brewing Company
    • June 2 –Kelso Beer Co.
    • June 9 – Keegan Ales
    • June 16 – Bronx Brewery
    • June 23 – Harlem Brewing Company
    • June 30 – Blue Point Brewing Company
    • July 4 – Empire Brewing Company
    • July 7 – Captain Lawrence Brewing Company
    • July 14 – Genesee Brewing Company
    • July 21 – Heartland Brewery
    • July 28 – Ithaca Beer Company
    • August 4 – Matt Brewing Company
    • August 11 – Bronx Brewery
    • August 18 – Keegan Ales
    • August 25 – Greenport Harbor Brewing Co.

The exhibition is sponsored by Crown Holdings (inventor of the bottle cap in 1892!), Brooklyn Brewery and Heartland Brewery.

New-York Historical Society

170 Central Park West at 77th St
New York, NY 10024

nearest subways: B/C to 81st St or 1 to 79th St

Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History will be on display from May 25, 2012 to September 02, 2012




The Top Ten appears on the first Tuesday of every month and encompasses ten of my favorite foods, beverages and events from the previous month. I love sharing good food & drink with friends and want to share some of my favorite experiences with you. In chronological order, here is my Top 10 for the month of April:

  • Sea Witch in South South Slope, Brooklyn – the new backyard and the Schlenkerla Eiche with the kielbasa sandwich I had on April 6. This is a killer backyard – wood walls, wood benches and tables, a pebbled floor, a waterfall and stream running through with koi in the top and bottom ponds. I will definitely be spending some time out there this summer.

Sea Witch backyard and kielbasa sandwich with Schlenkerla Eiche
1. the backyard at Sea Witch, 2. Kielbasa sandwich & Schlenkerla Eiche

  • Blind Tiger chef Tommy Harder’s meatballs at the Get Real Beer n Balls Festival on April 7. Wild boar, elk, and grass-fed beef prepared Moroccan kefta-style – delicious! Honestly, all of the meatballs were tasty but Tommy’s was my favorite.

Chef Tommy Harder at Beer n Balls

  • The Oaxacan Cocktail at Blueprint in Park Slope, Brooklyn – mezcal, buckwheat honey, fresh lime & cinnamon. Incredibly drinkable – a touch of sweetness balances beautifully with the smoke and spice.
  • Lovullopalooza at The Blind Tiger. Fantastic company and an outstanding draft list. I really enjoyed the Cantillon Mamouche, the 2009 Allagash Interlude and the Saint Somewhere Pays du Soleil.
  • The Carton Brewing Boat beer. I’ve been drinking this session ale whenever I see it on draft. This 4.2% beer is highly quaffable yet flavorful – juicy notes of citrus in both the nose and mouth deliver summer in a glass.
Carton Brewing Boat beer
Carton Boat Beer
  • Hanging with the Empire Brewing Crew. Owner Dave Katleski, Head Brewer Tim Butler, and Assistant Brewer Olivia Cerio joined local reps Kati Stadum and Mike Feeney for a weekend of events this month. I joined them at the Pony Bar on Friday, April 20 for a pre-release of the beguiling White Aphro and then again on Sunday, April 22 at Birreria for an Earth Day tasting. I enjoyed the Empire State Pale Ale aka ESPA, made with New York State-grown Cascade hops, and the Wheat Wine, made with NY State-grown ingredients and malt from my favorite local maltster, Valley Malt. I love that they’re using local ingredients in these beers. This is one of the most passionate, fun and generous brewery crews that I know.
Empire Brewing crew: Tim Butler, Dave Katleski, Olivia Cerio, Mike Feeney and Kati Stadum
Tim, Dave, Olivia, Mike & Kati from Empire

Empire at Birreria
1. The Empire Brewing/Dogfish Head tasting table at Birreria, 2. Jon Bloostein, Tim Butler and Dave Katleski

  • Barcade Jersey City’s First Anniversary Party. Great company, amazing beers & free chile dogs – who could ask for more? I enjoyed the Fisherman’s Raspberry Sour Wheat, the Allagash Saison Mihm and the Harpoon Crimson Warlock. You can view the full list here and here.
Allagash Saison Mihm at Barcade Jersey CityAllagash Saison Mihm
  • The Donut Crawl/Experience given by Hot Grease Radio host Nicole Taylor through Sidetour. This was a fantastic food crawl – Nicole was a great host, I had some insanely delicious donuts and met some really cool people. Looking forward to my next Sidetour experience…Donut Crawl

1. Kolaches from Brooklyn Kolache Co, 2. Clementine Bakery donuts, 3. Lemon-thyme donut from Dough, 4. Lemon-ginger donuts from Dough, 5. Salt and pink peppercorn donuts from Dough, 6. Blood orange donuts from Dough

  • Judging Brooklyn Wort. Brooklyn Wort is a fantastic local homebrewing competition organized by Brooklyn Homebrew and Sycamore. It’s not a BJCP competition but we used a similar scoring system. It was a pleasure to judge with a fine panel of pro brewers and local beery business people – Danielle from Brooklyn Homebrew, Justin from beer table, previous Wort winner Chris, Ben from Bierkraft, Sam from Kelso, Dan from Brooklyn, Jesse from Carton, Jay from American and Ian from Sixpoint. We had some terrific beers on the afternoon of the 28th – here are the winners:

Judge’s Choice:

      • 1st place – Douglas Flamm – Oyster Stout
      • 2nd place – Lucienda Chang and Bernie Gilbert – Milk Stout
      • 3rd place – Brian Craine – Heady Nuggz IPA

People’s Choice:

      • 1st place – Tom Allan and Kevin Lowry – Imperial Stout
      • 2nd place – Joe Enoch – Belgian Strong
      • 3rd place – Bryan Blatt – Chili Wheat

Brooklyn Wort April 2012 mosaic
1. The judge’s table at Brooklyn Wort April 2012, 2. Post judging: Jay Steinhauer, Dan Moss, Jesse Ferguson, Sam Richardson, Ben Granger, 3. Zack Kinney and Natalia Flores with the Habanero Hopper, 4. Danielle announcing the winners of Brooklyn Wort April 2012, 5. Brooklyn Wort April 2012 People’s Choice winners, 6. Brooklyn Wort April 2012 Judges’ Choice Winners

  • The All Duck Dinner at Jimmy’s No 43. A beautiful dinner prepared by Chef Brendon Corr. Six beers alongside – my favorites were the Fritz Briem Grodziskie and the Gueuze Tilquin. The Banoffee pie topped it all off – this is a recipe I need to try soon. A perfect end to the month.

All Duck Dinner at Jimmy's No 43 mosaic
1. Torchons on Rye with sautéed Ramps, 2. Mixed Green Salad with Duck Proscuitto, Duck Cracklings & Citrus Vinaigrette, 3. Sautéed Asparagus & Mushrooms with Goat Cheese, 4. Pulled Duck with Root Vegetable Maple Slaw, 5. Sliced Duck Breast with sautéed Mustard Greens & Rhubarb Compote, 6. American Banoffee Pie

I would love to know what eats & drinks you’ve enjoyed lately – please post your favorites in the comments.


A new monthly post, the Top Ten will appear on the first Tuesday of every month and encompass ten of my favorite foods, beverages and/or meals from the previous month.  I love sharing good food & drink with friends and want to share some of my favorite experiences with you.  In chronological order, here is my Top 10 for the month of March:

    • The Lagunitas/That Burger Place Pairing Dinner at Idle Hands Bar.  This was a ton of fun – 7 Lagunitas beers paired with 4 sliders, tator tots & a ridiculously good tater tot-burger mash-up.  Everything was tasty but my favorite slider was The Kick (dressed with onions & jalapenos cooked in Franks Hot Sauce and cheddar cheese) and my favorite pairing was The Blues (dressed with sauteed onions, jalapenos & blue cheese) with the Lagunitas Imperial Stout.  And, as I mentioned, the Totchos tater tot/burger mash-up was guilty pleasure greatness.  The menu is below – I apologize for the crummy pic, but it’s readable if you click on it & choose to view the large size on Flickr.  Eaten/drank on 3/6/2012.

Lagunitas/That Burger pairing dinner at Idle Hands Bar - the menu

  • Piwo Grodziskie-Grӓtzer from Professor Fritz Briem.  I love that this historical and scarce style is now available to us in NYC.  Grӓtzer is one of my favorite styles, integrating three of my favorite characteristics in a beer – smokiness, sourness & drinkability.  This one combines them all nicely in a tasty 4% ABV quencher.  Drank on tap on 3/10/2012 at Taproom 307.
  • Habanero Sculpin from Ballast Point on cask.  I’ve enjoyed this beer before and was not let down this time.  An inviting IPA with a kick.  Even better, this was enjoyed in the company of good friends at last month’s Split Thy Skull.  Drank on 3/11/2012 at Mugs Ale House.
  • Silver Needle Jasmine Kombucha from Kombucha Party in Williamsburg.  Wow – this is like no kombucha I’ve ever had.  The floral, perfume-y loveliness of the silver needle jasmine tea shine in this lightly acidic, sparkling kombucha.  I tasted several the day I dropped by and all were delicious.  Pure Luck Tea Bar is a stone’s throw from Spuyten Duyvil and I highly recommend stopping in the next time you’re in Williamsburg to try on of these beautiful beverages.  Drank on 3/11/2012 at Pure Luck Tea Bar.
  • The Barrier dinner at The Farm on Adderley – live blogged here.  Pure joy.  Eaten/drank on 3/14/2012.

My creation

  • The Beer & Small Bites Tasting at The Blind Tiger.  This was a first for chef Tommy Harder and hopefully the first of many – a delightful pairing.  Live blogged here.  Eaten/drank on 3/15/2012.

Blind Tiger Beer & Small Bites Pairing

    • Victory Lager.  I haven’t had this Helles-style lager in a long time. And had forgotten how delicious it is – smooth, flavorful & balanced.  Incredibly refreshing after a blind tasting of champagne-style ales and one of my go-to beers for this Spring.  Drank on tap 3/15/2012 at 61 Local.
    • Almost everything that I ate & drank on St Patrick’s Day.  I attended a damned good tasting early in the day at my friend Mike’s with highlights that include Russian River Depuration & Beatification (I love sours), Alaskan Brewing Company Smoked Porter (I love smokes), Perennial Artisan Ales Abraxas (Imperial Stout with Ancho chiles, cacao nibs, vanilla beans & cinnamon sticks.  Nicely balanced – would love to pair a creme brulee or hand-cranked vanilla ice cream with this one) and Cantillon 50n 4e (sour).  And we capped the night off with a wonderful dieu du ciel! pairing dinner at Jimmy’s No 43 – live blogged here.  Eaten/drank on 3/17/2012.

St Patrick's Day Dinner at Jimmy's No 43

  • The Korean BBQ Beef Kim-Cheesesteak from the Kimchi Taco Truck.  Freaking delicious – I ordered it spicy with Cheez Whiz.  While it wasn’t as spicy as I might have liked, it was incredibly rich, meaty, flavorful and filling.  Purchased from the truck which was parked on Astor Pl just west of Lafayette and eaten at Burp Castle on 3/20/2012.
  • Oishi from the Brooklyn Brewery.  The first beer from the new “Worshipful Company of Brewers” series, this saison-style session ale was brewed by brewer Tom Villa (pictured below).  This is a 3.9% thirst slaker with a lot of flavor from the yeast & Sorachi Ace hops.  Very limited draft-only release pouring exclusively at the Brooklyn Brewery Tasting Room (and the Brooklyn Brewery event at the Blind Tiger this Wednesday).  Get some while you can. Drank on 3/23/2012 at the Brooklyn Brewery.

Brewer Tom Villa pouring his Oishi at Brooklyn Brewery

  • Double Sunshine from Lawson’s Finest Liquids (I know, this is #11, but I could not narrow it down to 10 this month).  Pure ambrosia – my notes on this beer are elsewhere but I’ll add them tonight.  Drank at the Vermont Beer & Cheese Festival at the Blind Tiger on 3/28/2012.

I ate and drank some other terrific stuff in March, but these were my favorites.  I’d love to hear the eats & drinks that you’ve dug lately – please post your recent favorites in the comments.


Rattle n Hum “Poor Man’s Dinner”

Poor Mans Dinner with Lagunitas beer pairingsI started the week off last Monday the 3rd with the “Poor Man’s Dinner” at Rattle n Hum. This was the first in a weekly series, each $25 dinner featuring four bites paired with a flight of four beers from a particular brewery. Chef Stephen Durley creates the menu and owner Patrick Donagher chooses the beer pairings. This week showcased beers from Lagunitas Brewing Company. First up was pickled beets with horseradish cream and toasted pine nuts paired with the Little Sumpin’ Wild. The beets brought out the fruitiness & slight funk of the beer and the heat of the horseradish emphasized the earthiness of the beets and the beer. A potato pancake with cheddar cheese, bacon, jalapenos and sour cream was paired with the Fusion VII – the hoppiness of the beer was a nice contrast to the creamy deep meatiness of the potato pancakes. The pulled wild boar slider with BBQ sauce, greens and a pickle highlighted the maltiness of Lucky 13 Alt and the Gnarleywine was a fantastic foil to the richness of the bacon-wrapped, blue-cheese stuffed date with spicy honey glaze. These were all together four lovely pairings. Stephen has really elevated the level of food at Rattle – this pairing was comparable to the ones I’ve had at dbgb. It’s not an excessive amount of food, but the quality is extremely high and it’s a wonderful exploration of flavors and textures in beer and food pairing. If you’re still hungry after, Rattle has 50 cent wings during Monday night football. And Rattle has live jazz every Monday as well. Oh, yes, and after my dinner, my friend Josh stopped by with some vintage barley wines to share along with Peter Bulut, owner of Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto, with some of his own beers to share.

Knights of Bruklyn Homebrewers Sentry Quarterly Competition

Knights of Bruklyn mosaic

1. Melanie & Bob, 2. Pouring at the Knights of Bruklyn comp, 3. Floyd Burger at Union Hall, 4. AJ, Ben & Earl judging at the Knights of Bruklyn comp

Tuesday the 4th I headed to Union Hall in Brooklyn for the Knights of Bruklyn Homebrew Comp. This is a super event that showcases some very fine local homebrew and offers free samples to the public. The winners:

1st Place: Bob Olson with his Fall Pasture Pumpkin Ale

2nd Place: Paul Erwin with his Mittelweiss Dunkel

3rd Place: Simon Tepas with his Broken Arrow Indian Brown Ale

Peoples Choice: Zack Kinney with his Burning Down the House Smoked Habanero Imperial IPA (also my favorite of the evening)

I highly recommend checking out this event – it’s a rare opportunity for the general public to taste some finely-crafted local homebrews. I had the tasty Floyd Burger and headed to the Gate with Jess of Kelso for a nightcap, the delicious Jolly Pumpkin La Parcela.

Double Windsor and Toby’s Public House

Toby's cauliflower & Cippoli pizza
Wednesday I met Cuzme at the Double Windsor for a beer and dinner. Unfortunately their kitchen was closed for renovation – we split a couple of pies from DUB Pies to dull our hunger then headed to Toby’s Public House for the Cauliflower Antipasti and Cipolla pizza, both delicious.

Simply Beer Anniversary Party

Simply Beer 3rd Anniversary tasting
On Thursday, Peter Kennedy of Simply Beer celebrated the blog’s third Anniversary with a private tasting at the Cloverleaf Tavern in Jersey. Cuzme and myself along with our friend Moxey headed out their by train & bus to join the festivities. We tasted some delicious beers in wonderful company – thanks, Peter, and to many more years of Simply Beer!


Philly trip 2011 mosaic
1. Pretzels from Miller’s Twist, 2. Butterscotch Whoopie Pie from Flying Monkey, 3. Yards Brewing Company, 4. Yards Brewing Company, 5. Yards Brewing Company taps, 6. Yards Brewing Company beer descriptions, 7. Yards Brewing Company draft board, 8. Yards Brewing Company flight, 9. Barcade Philly draft board & taps, 10. Barcade Philly sign, 11. Deviled eggs at Barcade Philly, 12. Honey for short mead

Saturday we headed to Philadelphia, prompted by an invite to the soft opening of the newest Barcade. We started off at the Fabric Museum and Workshop followed by the Reading Terminal Market – both worthy stops. We checked out Yards Brewing Company, splitting a tasty flight, then over to Barcade. Whoa, the newest addition to the family is fantastic! Barcade Philadelphia has the usual lovely all-American craft draft line-up as well as awesome vintage arcade games but the space blew me away – larger than the other two (the original in Brooklyn and the second in Jersey City) with a sizable outdoor area, more seating and a wonderful feel – the beamed ceilings are charming. The food that was sampled was delicious and a fun time was had by all. I regret not taking more photos but will return at some point for sure. And Barcade Philadelphia is in Fishtown, an awesome neighborhood for craft beer – we checked out nearby Johnny Brenda’s and Kraftwerks as well.

Beer highlights:

  • Great Lakes Brewery Miami Weisse (courtesy of Peter)
  • Barrier Vermillion Saison Rouge at Union Hal
  • Jolly Pumpkin La Parcela at The Gate
  • Hill Farmstead Edward Pale Ale at Rattle n Hum
  • Almost everything I tasted at Peter’s Simply Beer Anniversary Party: various vintages of New Belgium La Folie, Surly Four, Allagash Vagabond & Coolship Red
  • Victory Scarlet Fire at Barcade Jersey City
  • Bell’s Two-Hearted at Barcade Philadelphia
  • Furthermore Brewing Knot Stock at Barcade Philadelphia

Beer Favorite NYC pizzas

Alewife Queens Soft Opening:

Alewife Queens soft opening1. the drafts, 2. Cavatelli, 3. Braised bacon salad, 4. draft list

Friday night was the soft opening for Alewife Queens in Long Island City. I’ll need to revisit for a full review, but based on my experience, NYC has a new destination craft beer bar. This is no surprise, as Dan Lanigan, the force behind Boston’s Lord Hobo & Alewife Baltimore, is the man responsible for Alewife Queens. We enjoyed several beers and dinner. The food was top-notch – both the Braised Bacon Salad & the Cavatelli were absolutely delicious. This is definitely not your typical bar food and yes, the prices reflect that, but in my opinion, the city has been lacking in establishments like Alewife Queens. This could be considered a solid restaurant with a phenomenal beer list. But the bar snack list is equally appealing, so it’s feasible to drop by for a beer and a small bite at the bar as well. It’s also a large yet comfortable space and they’ll be adding a roof deck next Spring. And the beer list is killer, both drafts and bottles! I look forward to my next visit.

Jimmy’s No 43 Brunch:

Jimmy's No 43 brunch
1. Ham biscuit with coffee porter “redeye” gravy, 2. Black & Tan Griddle Cakes, 3. Bahn Mi Biscuit

I had been very curious to try the new brunch at Jimmy’s No 43. Simon Glenn of the fantastic Tchoup Shop, is behind the menu and it looked very appealing. Wow – I was not disappointed. We split the three dishes shown above and frankly, I was blown away by all of them. Freaking delicious, especially together. The ham biscuit is a perfect harmony of meat, gravy & bread, the black & tan griddle cakes are sweet but not too and the curried pretzel pieces on top are a tasty touch. The Bahn Mi biscuit is a fantastic take on a classic Eggs Benedict – the sauce is extremely flavorful and the perfect balance to the rich pork belly. And my Aecht Schlenkerla Krausen was delcious alongside all three dishes. Heaven.

After brunch, I headed out to Jersey to teach my Off-Flavors class at Amanti Vino. This was a lot of fun and well-received – lots of great folks in the class. I didn’t take any photos, but the Glen Ridge Homebrewers wrote up a very nice review on their blog. I look forward to teaching more classes at Amanti Vino in the future.

Meat & cheese platter at BXL EastI headed back to the city and over to BXL East, finishing the night listening to Chris Cuzme play the saxaphone while snacking on a meat & cheese plate.

Atlantic Antic 2011:

Atlantic Antic 2011
1. me with Cheerwine, 2. Pulled pork sandwich from Building on Bond, 3. Manny from Gotham Artisanal, 4. Smoked meat sandwich from Mile End, 5. Cuzme with a swingle from Steve’s, 6. Honey ricotta toast at 61 Local

Sunday was the Atlantic Antic. We had a super good time – lots of great food, beer & company. We took a break from the Antic to visit the Transit Museum which was free that day. I had not been in years and highly recommend a visit – it’s a fascinating experience. My favorite exhibits are the “money train” section and all of the vintage subway cars in the below station. Back to the Antic – the smoked meat sandwich from Mile End was probably my favorite bite of the day. We headed down to 61 Local after the Antic and enjoyed some local beer and the delicious honey ricotta toast, then on to 4th Avenue Pub to finish the night. Truly a fantastic weekend in every way.

Weekend beer highlights:

  • Ballast Point Sculpin at Alewife Queens
  • High & Mighty Fumata Blanca Smoked Rye at Alewife Queens
  • Aecht Schlenkerla Kreusen at Jimmy’s No 43
  • Wandering Star Bash Bish Bock at 61 Local
  • Barrier Greenroom Pale Ale at 61 Local
  • Southern Tier Harvest Ale at 4th Ave Pub
  • Beer

    Not! A big thanks to Mike Lovullo for organizing and to all of my generous and fun friends for the company and beverages. Posted for posterity.


    Not pictured: a growler of Hill Farmstead Edward and unlabeled bottles of Smuttynose Rouge d’Shire and Woodward Ale. No notes were taken but my favorites were most of the sours (4th pic from the top) and the Cidre Bouche Brut de Normandie Vintage 2001. A very fun evening…

    Pat, Alan & Dennis

    Mike & Brian

    Brian with his Russian Rivers

    The gang



    1. Free food
    2. A great tap list – 12 drafts total
    3. To watch sports – they’ve got all the major professional and college TV packages and eight plasma TVs to watch them on
    4. Happy hour discounts on all draft beers from 5-8 pm Wednesday to Friday and 5 to close Monday & Tuesday

    Standings, 43 E 7th St b/w 2nd & 3rd Aves, take the 6 train to Astor, R or N train to 8th St or the F train to 2nd Ave.

    Beer Beer & Food NYC Happy Hours