From April, 2011

Trader Joe’s Kennebunkport

This evening, after inhaling about half a bag of Trader Joe’s reduced fat cheese crunchies (don’t judge), we decided to try the TJ’s beer we had in the house, the Kennebunkport Porter. As far as porters go, it’s a bit thin, but for the price, pretty good. We don’t remember the price but it wasn’t expensive. In my opinion, it’s more like a brown ale than a porter (Giancarlo agrees that it’s caramelly like a brown ale, but to him it definitely tastes like a porter). In some sips I get a chocolate taste, some I don’t. Will we buy…

‘Eastover’ Beer

Beer made a few appearances during our Passover/Easter weekend (even for the Passover Seder, which we celebrated on Saturday, a few days late). Oddly enough the beer we drank at our Seder was Sierra Nevada’s newly released Ovila Dubbel, which was actually brewed in conjunction with the Monks of New Clairevaux in California. As far as dubbels go it had a pretty full and smooth mouthfeel with less of the effervescence of some other dubbels we have had. On Easter Sunday we drank Tröegs beers from a sample pack. Pretty solid stuff. I also tried the Samuel Adams Long Shot 2010 winner…

Brooklyn Beer Dinner at The Vanderbilt

Last Tuesday Sarah and I went to our first beer dinner at The Vanderbilt in Prospect Heights. We definitely lucked out because Garrett Oliver, brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery – who literally wrote the book on pairing beer with food and has hosted over 700 beer dinners – led us through the pairings. The food and beers were all solid but we had a couple of favorites. Brooklyn Sorachi Ace was paired with Moules Frites as our second course. The freshness of the beer was incredible compared to the bottle I attempted to pair with shrimp. The Sorachi hops were…

Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Imperial Helles Bock

For dinner Friday night Giancarlo and I enjoyed an assortment of brie with crackers, olives, raspberries, and radishes with butter and salt. With this we paired Sierra Nevada’s 30th Anniversary Imperial Helles Bock. It  went quite nicely with the food – especially the raspberries and brie – the flavors were fruity and tart. We’ll definitely pick this beer up again. – Sarah

Bierkraft Patio Opening

Today we went to the opening of Bierkraft’s new patio, which was celebrated with their first annual oyster shuck and cask ale festival. At the event, we decided to taste beers brewed in Brooklyn, going with the Kelso Oyster Stout (brewed with real oysters) and Brooklyn Brewery Blast. We were wowed by the oyster stout. It was smooth and easy to drink. The roastiness and mineral mouthfeel were great in the chilly weather. It was cold, windy and rainy but the beer was so good the weather couldn’t dampen the mood. The patio will be definitely be great in the…

A Chat With Garrett Oliver

Last week I had the chance to talk to Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery’s brewmaster, at The Gate in Park Slope during a special Brooklyn Brewery beer night where he was mingling with patrons. He and I discussed Dark Matter, a two-year-old brown ale aged in bourbon barrels. With demand for barrel aged beers like Dark Matter and Black Ops (left) so high, Oliver said the brewery is looking to expand its barrel aging facilities. Its recent expansion will eventually bring their production up tenfold to 120,000 barrels, but the brewery is also looking for additional space in either Williamsburg or Greenpoint…

KBS 2010 vs. 2011

For the past month or so, we’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of Founders KBS. We may exaggerate and go a little over the top with our love for KBS on this blog but really, it’s good. We had four bottles from last year’s release and scored eight bottles from this year’s (thanks to our friend Pete at Glen Cove Beer Distributor). So, for the first time in about a year we tasted a couple of our bottles, one from each release to compare. The fact of the matter is, for such a big, flavorful beer, KBS is actually well…

NERAX

On Saturday I went to NERAX, a cask ale festival, with Mike, Ashley and our friend Kim. The exhibition was held just outside Boston in Somerset last Wednesday to Saturday and was one of the most unique beer festivals I have ever been to. The beers were a mix of offerings from America and Britain. We figured we probably wouldn’t see many of the British beers around so we stuck to them for the four and a half hours we were there. Even without the American options we never ran out of things to try. Thankfully most of the beers…