Monthly Archives: August 2013

Tickets on Sale: Carroll Gardens Homebrew Tour


What time is it? Homebrew time! Here are the details on my latest tour. Hurry up: Tickets are going fast.

WHAT: Carroll Gardens Homebrew Tour
WHEN: Sunday, September 22, 1 p.m.
WHERE: Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
TICKET LINK: Buy them here. Sorry, we already sold out. Please stay tuned for the next tour.

On today’s walking tour, we’re starting off by visiting Jason Sahler, who is planning the forthcoming Strong Rope Brewery. In time for hop-harvest season, he’ll be brewing a few fresh-hop beers–most likely a session white IPA with local wheat and a few other treats.

Next, we’re headed down the road to meet Isaac Deutsch, who will be pouring a smoky Rauchbier, pale ale and perhaps a coffee stout.

Lastly, we’re going to finish up in Simon Tepas’ backyard. At this year’s National Homebrew Competition, Simon won a silver medal for his rye-fueled double IPA. Today, he’ll be serving a red IPA, hoppy wheat beer and tastes of his sour beers and burly aged Belgian quads.


The World’s Best New Gins

When I was wee drunk, my preferred mixed drink was a gin and tonic. Bracing and refreshing, I spent much of my early 20s buzzed on cheap gin and tonics bought at my favorite New York dive bars. (Hey, a man can’t get drunk on beer alone!) By and large, I didn’t give a darn about the gin I drank. If it was cheap and cold I was a happy camper. For me, gin was gin. Not any more. Producers have finally embraced gin’s dizzying array of botanicals and are now experimenting with new techniques and ingredients to make their spirits stand out from the pack.

I’ve seen dozens of new gins come to fruition since 2012, but it’s hard to know which ones merit a taste. For Details, I orchestrated a taste test (tough work, I know) of some of the newest gins to hit the shelves. I assembled a panel of 10 judges and we sampled the spirits both straight and mixed (with seltzer or tonic) and distilled the results down to these stand-outs. Check out my story here. Want the crib sheet? Buy anything and everything from Chicago’s Letherebee.

The Best New Imported Beers to Try

BernsteinThat light-up disco dance floor at Bubba’s sure is sweet.

Back in June, I traveled to Portland, Maine, to drink beer. This is pretty common. The seafaring city is one of my favorite on the East Coast, the land where I married my wife and spent far too many hours shaking my tail father on this light-up disco dance floor at Bubba’s Sulky Lounge. (Bonus: can you spot me in this video?)

But this trip was different. Over the weekend in a cavernous boatyard in Portland, ME, beer importers Shelton Brothers and 12 Percent combined forces to create The Festival, a humble name for a wildly ambitious notion: to bring more than 70 of the world’s best breweries together under one roof, with the brewers on hand to discuss their creations.

“You never see all these breweries in one place,” said Joel Shelton, gesturing to the sprawling room lined with brewers from Japan, Norway, Spain, England–basically, everywhere that better craft beer is brewed. And increasingly, it is everywhere. Craft beer is a global phenomenon, but you need not book a plane ticket to savor the best new breweries.

I spent the weekend sampling (and sampling and sampling) the latest crop of imports to touch down on American shores. For Bon Appétit, I reported on the best new international breweries to seek out. Check out my story right…here.