Monthly Archives: February 2013

How to Follow Me on Instagram

photoA scene from my favorite rice-noodle cart in Chinatown.

Hey, friends! Did I ever tell you that I’m on Instagram? If you’d like to join me on my my adventures in New York and around the world, including my delicious discoveries of food, beer, people and street art, you can follow my Instagram account (joshmbernstein) right . . . here.

Wow! It’s Just a Dollar!

CheapBastard_RascalCowboyHey, fine beer drinkers. In honor of New York Craft Beer Week, we’re discounting my Craft Beer New York app to just $.99 until March 3. You can’t even buy a PBR for a buck, my friends. Nab my app here!

Top Picks for New York City Beer Week

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This was previously published on my app, Craft Beer New York.

This week marks the return of New York City Beer Week, a blowout of the the best brews in the Big Apple. From February 22  until March 3 (yeah, the week lasts 10 days), the city will be overrun with beer-soaked events. Here are my top choices for abusing your liver.

Williamsburg Cask Ale Festival: Over four days, cask-ale expert Alex Hall will be taking over the Brooklyn branch of d.b.a. to serve up some of the city’s choicest cask ales. (February 23–26, 1 p.m. to late daily; pay as you  go)

Spanish Beer and Cider Fest: Today, Chelsea’s La Nacional will be serving some of Spain’s best beer and cider, which will be paired with unlimited tapas. (February 23, 3 to 7 p.m.; $35)

The World of Wheat: All week, Park Slope’s the Owl Farm will be serving strange, unusual wheat beers, from salty and sour goses to strong, caramel-nuanced wheat wines. (February 22 to March 3, pay as you go)

All-Queens Breweries Dinner For two nights, the Queens Kickshaw will host a four-course dinner featuring food paired with the best local brews from SingleCut, Bridge and Tunnel, Rockaway Brewing and Beyond Kombucha. To reserve a spot, email info@thequeenskickshaw.com. (February 26–27, 6 to 9:30 p.m.; $55 plus tax and tip)

Brewer’s Choice: Tonight, City Winery is filled with the best and brightest of the regional beer scene. You’ll find beers from more than 20 breweries such as Evil Twin, Stillwater and White Birch, many of which will be poured by the brewers themselves.  Plus: food and booze! (February 27, 6 to 10 p.m.; $60)

Jimmy’s Homebrew Jamboree: Fifteen of New York’s best homebrewers have crafted beers especially for this brunch blowout, including coffee-infused oatmeal stouts, IPAs aplenty and even an oak-aged Berliner weisse. (March 2, 12 to 3 p.m.; $35)

aPORKalyspe Now: Like swine and beer? Head to Alewife Queens for a celebration of two of the finer things in life. Expect brews from the likes of Blind Bat, Peekskill, Blue Point and Port Jeff. (March 2, 12 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.; $40 for 10 tastes of food and 10 tastes of beer)

Closing Party: Come tie one on one last time at La Birreria’s stunning rooftop brewpub. The event is pay as you go, and it will feature plenty of rarities from members of the New York City Brewers Guild. (March 3, 12 to 4 p.m.)

Murray’s Cheese Bar Beer Dinner with Garrett Oliver: Brooklyn Brewery’s brewmaster will pair rare beers and bottles during a five-course, fromage-focused affair. (March 3, 5 to 7 p.m.; $75)

Weird Beer in New York City

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For Time Out New York‘s annual beer issue, I drop some science on the strangest ingredients population beers sold in the city. From Sichuan peppercorns and matzo meal to wasp yeast, here are 10 of the most offbeat ales you’ll find this year. Cheers!

Announcing Jimmy’s Homebrew Jamboree

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UPDATE: We still have a handful of tickets left, if you’d like to attend. Buy ‘em here. Sorry, we’re sold out.

In September 2009, the folks at NYC Beer Week asked me to lead a tour. I called a few homebrewer friends, set an itinerary and the Homebrew Tour was born. I thought it would be fun to give people a peek into their world, to let tour takers try these beers and learn what makes the brewers tick and decide to brew in these tiny, tiny apartments.

The tour was supposed to be a one-off. But after the first one, attendees asked, “When’s the next tour?” So I did a second tour, then a third tour, then dozens more. Which brings me to today.

For Jimmy’s Homebrew Jamboree, it’s time to return to my Beer Week roots. We’re taking over my favorite East Village bar, Jimmy’s No. 43, for their signature event of Beer Week. I’ve enlisted 14 of my favorite homebrewers to make special beers for the event. Expect double IPAs, hoppy red ales, saisons, stouts and a host of unusual—and unusually delicious—beers as well.

In addition to boatloads of beer, you’ll be well fed too. Jimmy’s is providing a smorgasbord of goodies including: black-and-tan griddle cakes, huevos rancheros, mini grilled cheese, sweet potato-and-bacon hash, ham biscuits with red-eye gravy and bánh mì biscuits.

Plus, Jimmy’s will have a special lineup of beers on tap available for purchase during and after the event. Attendees receive $1 off draft beers all night.

WHAT: Jimmy’s Homebrew Jamboree
WHEN: Saturday, March 2, 12 p.m.–3 p.m.
WHERE: Jimmy’s No. 43 (43 East Seventh Street, NY)
PURCHASE TICKETS: $35. Click here to buy them.

Fantastic Four: Great New Beers in New York

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This post originally appeared on Craft Beer New York.

Every time I go to my local bottle shop to buy a six-pack or three, it seems like there’s another new beer or brewery gracing the shelves. Despite my ongoing drunkenness, I am not hallucinating. Brands are entering the New York City market at a dizzying clip. Here are a few of my favorite new arrivals to seek out.

Sixpoint 3 Beans: To build this burly Baltic porter (hello, 10 percent ABV), the crew from Brooklyn’s Sixpoint turned to a blend of wheat, barley and, yes, three beans. The first is Stumptown Coffee, while the second is husked cacao beans from Brooklyn’s Mast Brothers Chocolate. And the third bean, well, that’s no obvious. It’s a Romano bean, which was once used to extend the fermentable power of barley and, in a nice twist, contribute proteins to create a rich, luscious body. As a finishing touch, the beer was aged in toasted oak barrels for three weeks, resulting in a creamy, silky indulgence sold by the can.

Troëgs Nugget Nectar: For hop heads, January and February are the cruelest months. Brewers have turned their attentions to barley wines and stouts, mothballing bitter beers until the spring or summer. That’s not the case at Hershey, Pennsylvania’s Troëgs, which uses these months to release its highly covetable Nugget Nectar, the ratcheted-up version of the year-round HopBack Amber Ale. The imperial Nugget’s caramel-malt flavor is complemented by a fresh, floral perfume. It’s now available in bottles. Look for it in draft later this month.

Bayou Teche: While the South has long lagged behind in the craft-beer game, it’s recently begun to catch up thanks to wonderful new breweries such as Louisiana’s Bayou Teche. (Currently, much of its beer is brewed by Mississippi’s Lazy Magnolia.) Based around an hour outside Baton Rogue in Arnaudville, Bayou Teche is the brainchild of brothers Karlos, Byron and Dorsey Knott. Their focus is beers designed to complement Cajun and Creole cuisine. Currently, New Yorkers can try the biscuity LA-31 Bière Pâle and the Passionnè wheat beer, which is made with passion fruit. In the future, be on the lookout for my favorite release, Bière Noire. The robust, subtly smoky dark brew tastes of dark-roasted coffee, but it still drinks crisp and surprisingly dry.

Lakefront Brewery Fernet Stout: Eben Freeman is the bartending equivalent of Mr. Wizard, smoking Coca-Cola, infusing bourbon with cigars and creating “white Russian” Rice Krispies that are twice soaked in Kahlúa and dehydrated, then set adrift in a bowl of simple syrup, vodka and milk. Now Freeman is turning his talents to beer, collaborating  with Milwaukee’s Lakefront Brewery to create Fernet Stout. It’s based on the recipe for the Italian amaro Fernet, and the beer is brewed with ingredients including dried orange peel, star anise, clove, lemon verbena, fennel and saffron. The bitter beer is available on draft at Nicoletta Pizzeria and Osteria Morini.