Well, the good news is that I survived through the awesomeness that was this weekend. The bad news is- you (probably) weren’t there to experience it with me. Hence- my want to share it with all of you in my finest blog posting form! Cheers and enjoy, frienditos!
Friday night began the journey into a craft beer laden weekend with Brew York Meetup #4. All in all, about 30 to 40 Brew York members showed up throughout the night; amassing over 60 bottles of brew on top of fellow Brew York-er Matt Steinberg’s stunning New Jersey Beer Co contributions- newly kegged from the brewery. Brew York was also lucky enough to have Paul and Kim Kavulak of Nebraska Brewing Company join us for this fun endeavor. Paul and Kim are craft beer advocates and overall fun and kind people. The night was a social gathering full of good craft beer, good food (Andy Z made wicked brownies!), and good company. What else could you ask for?
The highlight brews of the night were Dark Lord 2010 (Iiiii Know- ’nuff said!), Hair of the Dog Blue Dot IPA, David from Grapes and Grain’s Green Chili Saison Homebrew (tasted like a professional brew, not even kidding you), New Jersey Beer Co’s Spiced Abbey on cask (with just the right amount of spice), Mikkeller Chipotle Porter (so smoky which is just my style), Russian River Consecration (deliciously sour) and Cigar City Bolita Brown Double Nut Brown Ale. Disappointment for the night was the Dogfish Head Bitches Brew- it was good, but not great, and definitely did not stand out in the crowd. The coolest entry of the night was the Reutberger Kolster Export Dunkel- brewed by Nuns in Germany. Also standout- the spicy dry rub pork that Matt grilled for us- so juicy and with the right amount of spice to enhance every brew!
As if Friday night wasn’t enough to smash us up, Saturday morning arrived, bringing with it (dunh dunh dunh!) NY BREWFEST 2010! We hopped on a ferry and hightailed it over to Governor’s Island for what we were hoping to be another crazy event. Luckily, we had sprung for the “Beer Connoisseur” pass, which allowed us entry to the festival one hour before the rest of the attendees. This not only allowed us to sample what beer we really wanted before lines got super long (towards the end, they were up to about 30 minutes for anything worth while), but also allowed us to hit up the Nebraska Brewing Company booth for the only real special “Beer Connnoisseur” pour- the Melange a Trois. Let me tell you- this Belgian Strong Ale was the only brew that actually even made the event worth it (besides, again, the good company we kept). Other highlights included Nebraska’s Cardinal Pale Ale, Captain Lawrence Kolsh, Greenport Harbor Ale, and Doc’s Draft Hard Raspberry Cider. While Heartland Brewery did a great job of organizing breweries to show at this event- the booths were shared and the lines were insanity. Also- I waited online for the one single food booth for about an hour, just to find out that the two food items that I wanted were sold out. I enjoyed more the fact of being outside on a gorgeous (albiet hot) summer day partaking in samples of some delicious craft beer while chatting with good people.
Sunday brought about a much needed day of liver-rest. We had scheduled a podcast with Peter Kennedy of Simply Beer, however, due to unforeseen circumstances, the podcast was pushed off for a later date (hint, hint, nudge, nudge, stay tuned!)
Now, to the culmination of this epic weekend- we arrive at Monday, in which I worked my tail off and then hopped on a train to Rattle N Hum Bar. See, this wasn’t just ANY night at RNH- this was “meet Sam Calagione from Dogfish Head” night. The event started at 5, and I didn’t get their until about 6:15ish (curses upon you, capitalist society!) This basically meant that the place was a mob scene and there was no way I was even getting close to Sam Calagione. I did, however, get to feast my eyes upon my fearless Brew York crew yet once again, where we partook in many DFH brews and even a flight or three. My flight consisted of Midas Touch, a Turkish strong ale and the oldest known fermented beverage; Burton Baton, a blend of English Old Ale and the 120 Minute IPA (my fav from the flight); Fort, an ale brewed with a ridiculous (their words!) amount of raspberries; and Pangaea, a spicy ale made with ingredients from each of the continents. I also got to try the Palo Santo Marron, a deep, wooden brown ale.
Sadly, due to the high volume of people- catching a glimpse of Sam was like trying to catch Bigfoot. Lucky for us ladies, there was another DFH event going on at the Uptown Toast- a craft beer bar set in Harlem that also offers some delicious burgers.
We arrived at Toast, and, needless to say- after that flight, it was time for a restroom break. Why am I privileging with this TMI information? Because, to my surprise, who should I encounter on my way out of the bathroom, but the man himself, Mr. Sam Calagione. He turned to me on his way into my restroom and said, “Hi! How are you?” I’ll never wash that part of my Hippocampus again! Sam turned out to be a fun, sweet, and easygoing guy who chatted with anyone and everyone, gladly stopped to take photographs with fans whenever asked, and spent most of the rest of his night serving beers from behind the bar. Genevieve, Clare and I got a brief moment to chat with Sam, in which I did not even mention beer once, but instead chatted about Queens and Brooklyn. Sadly, I did not get a picture of Sam with us ladies, however, Clare did, and once I hunt her down, it will be posted here. As for the rest of the night- we finished up with some more Dogfish brews (My Antonia had already kicked the bucket once we arrived, but there were plenty of other goodies around) and had ourselves some burgers and fries.
That picture of Jonathan and Lee gets my vote for best picture of the weekend- classic! All in all- what a great way to end out an epic drinking weekend. That being said- none of us ladies are talking to Genevieve- she left just in time to be the luckiest lady of the night- to grab a cab with Sam Calagione.
So, that’s what a weekend is like in the life of a Brew York-er. Epic, fun, exciting, tasty, and full of great people who are genuinely interested in craft beer and the people who love it. I couldn’t have asked for a better group to spend my epic weekend with, and my memories will last me a lifetime. As Lee says, BeerPeopleRGoodPeople- it’s a motto I will live until I die…
…hopefully my liver will, too. Cheers!