Friday, June 25, 2010

NJ Craft Beer Fest is Tomorrow!

I'm headed to the NJ Craft Brewers Guild's annual festival tomorrow. We always have a good time out on the Battleship drinking the best beers that Jersey's breweries have to offer. It looks like we'll be spared the rain tomorrow, but unfortunately not the heat. Looks like a high of about 93. Yikes.

I'm not entirely sure of the lineup, but it does appear that the new New Jersey Beer Co based out of North Bergen will be in attendance. I got a chance to try their pale ale at the Iron Monkey a couple of weekends ago and it was quite nice. I'll look forward to checking out the rest of their lineup and hopefully chatting up the brewers.

Hope to see you there!!! After the Battleship it will be a quick tour around Philly of some of our favorite stops (I'm looking at you, Nodding Head, with your Berliner Weisse and White Beans and Sage appetizer).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Super Buy-Rite in JC

I've had a few friends tell me that the Super Buy-Rite in JC (down by the Holland Tunnel) has a great beer selection. Finally made the trip down there today with R and it was well worth it. They have quite a few brands there that I haven't seen at any of my other go-to spots in New Jersey (Mikkeller, New Holland, Uinta, more).

So we mixed a few sixes and picked up some fun stuff to try over the next week or two. I'm currently getting into an Otter Creek Solstice. It's an easy drinker, but doesn't completely blow me away. It's nice and balanced and has some great American hop notes (citrus, orange, peach), but also has a bit of a garlic/onion thing going on. Maybe the Amarillo hops?

I also picked up a mixed-six of the Mikkeller single hop IPA's (Amarillo, Tomahawk, Nugget, Warrior, Simcoe, one other...) which we'll do a serious tasting of later this week. Kind of weird that all of these hops get grown here on the west coast, shipped to Denmark for brewing, and then back to New Jersey for me to buy and drink. I don't really know a heck of a lot about this brewery's process and this particular project. If anyone knows whether or not all of these single hop beers are the same grain bill, I'd appreciate the heads up. Anyone know what their house yeast is?

Monday, June 7, 2010

First post in two months - Session Beers

This is my first post in two months. I apologize to those (one) of you who have been looking forward to more. My life the last few months has been all-consumed by house hunting with R, so homebrewing has been put on the back burner. I guess there's a pun in there, right? Homebrewing, back burner.....

Lew Bryson just posted a recap of last year's session beer vs extreme beer brew-ha-ha (yes, another pun!) over at his Session Beer Project blog. In retrospect the whole thing was a little silly, but it was fun while it lasted. I even tried to get in on the action by posting a nasty response to St. Sam's Ale Street piece. Unfortunately it seems that the Ale Street site dates back to the Clinton administration so the formatting and everything on my post got all jacked up. They showed me.

A while back Lew also linked to a blog post by Martyn Cornell. I found it significant because for the first time that I can recall I actually see the definition of the term "session" as used as a noun (as opposed to an adjective used to describe a particular beer):
"The “session” itself, the long night drinking down the pub with mates"
I still have yet to hear it used conversationally, and since it's a British thing I'm not really holding my breath that I will any time soon. I'm still not completely in love with the term "session beer". But it's better than "extreme beer", which as Garrett Oliver once famously stated, is "irredeemably pejorative".