Posts Tagged ‘ breweries ’

Support Your Local Brewery

sylbCraft breweries are popping up around the country like crazy. I love tasting new brews and there never seem to be a shortage of them. Recently I stumbled upon a logo for supporting local breweries. CraftBeer.com, the site behind the logo, has a plethora of great information for everything beer. Anyone can sign up to be a member and receive news and information from the site.

Curious about what craft breweries were in New Jersey, I clicked on the link for my state. There were a ton! I pride myself on being in the know when it comes to the breweries around me, but was surprised by the number I’d never heard of. Several are in the works of being built or growing their business, but there was one that I happened to find at the perfect moment – the opening of the brewery and the creation of their first batch of distributed beer. Cool!

Flounder Brewing Co. is a brand new craft brewery right down the road from me in Central Jersey. Their first batch of beer, Hill Street Honey Ale, is an American Ale brewed with New Jersey harvested honey. I’m super excited to try it and judging from the amount of followers they have on their facebook page, many others are too. One thing I appreciate as a beer enthusiast, aside from a good product, is a well-maintained website and regularly updated social media sites. Flounder Brewing Co. has both. When I posted on their facebook page I received a response within an hour – impressive!

I can’t wait to drive over to tour their brewery and be a part of supporting my local brewsters. 🙂

Five Spring Beers To Try

I am a big fan of good beer, so when my seasonal favorite come around I must share my love. Here are a few of my yearly favorites not only for their flavor, but also because they remind me that winter’s over and warmer months are on their way. So grab your favorite and meet me on the porch!

Ruthless Rye has been a staple grain for millennia—sought after for its stubborn resilience in the field and revered for its unique flavor. Ruthless Rye IPA is brewed with rustic grains for refined flavors—combining the peppery spice of rye and the bright citrusy flavors of whole-cone hops to create a complex ale for the tumultuous transition to spring. Sierra Nevada Brewery

 

Brooklyn Brewery Summer Ale is a modern rendition of the “Light Dinner Ales” brewed in England throughout the 1800’s right up until the 1940’s. They were also called “luncheon ales” or even “family ales”, because they were refreshing and flavorful without being too heavy. We brew our Brooklyn Summer Ale from premium English barley malt, which gives this light-bodied golden beer a fresh bready flavor. German and American hops lend a light crisp bitterness and a citrus/floral aroma, resulting in a beer with a very sunny disposition.

  Garde Dog Biere de Garde is a French farmhouse ale. Biere de Garde means “beer for keeping” and was traditionally brewed in March for drinking during the spring and summer months. Consider it your official release from winter’s grasp. Flying Dog Brewery

 

Flying Fish Brewing Company, Farmhouse Summer Ale is a tribute to the highly drinkable “every day” beers from French-speaking Belgium. Contains Belgian two-row pale malt and 7% wheat. This beer is lightly filtered with an earthy, spicy hop character from imported Styrian Goldings hops and a beautiful rich creamy head from the wheat.

Dogfish Head Aprihop is an American IPA brewed with Pilsner and Crystal malts. It’s massively hopped — in the continuous fashion, of course! — and the flavor is complemented by the addition of apricots. Dogfish Head Brewery

Enjoy these seasonal brews and remember to drink responsibly!

Braving Brooklyn

  The first time I set foot in Brooklyn was just this past spring when I did the Five Borough Bike Tour. I’d always heard great things about the NYC borough with its cultural treasures, cute shops and eclectic collection of peoples. Though my visit was brief, it left me wanting to go back to see what the fuss of Brooklyn was all about.

Yesterday, my girlfriend and I decided to kick off the three day weekend with a visit to Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Museum of Art participates in the Target sponsored “First Saturdays” where entry is free after 5pm and features a cash bar, music, and other special events. I’d been to a free Saturday event before at the MoMA and it’s wonderful. A community of people coming together to celebrate the arts and mingle with each other.

We decided to plan our day around the museum visit and headed into town early to walk around the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Fortunately, we had a perfect, sunny day to tour the gardens. We meandered through the Japanese Tea Gardens, past rosebushes and ornate fountains with other visitors of like mind. I snapped a bunch of great photos and got to see a huge sculpture made of living roots and vines that reminded me of something out of Star Wars.

After the gardens we ate lunch at a tasty vegan restaurant with a great ambiance called Dao Palate. Our meals were creative without being pretentious and I had the best ginger ale (made with real ginger) I’ve ever tasted. From there we journeyed north to hit up the Brooklyn Brewery to continue our quest to visit as many breweries around the globe that we can. As one of the first microbreweries in the states it became one of the forerunners in a growing trend of breweries around the country and remains as such today. We waded among the hipsters to snag a pint glass and jump on the last tour of the day. While the tour was one of the more interesting with stories of robberies and mafia and eccentric logo designers it was held in a cramped room packed to the gills with people who don’t appreciate personal space. Yikes!

By the time we crossed the brewery off our checklist and wandered around a bit (stumbling upon a hipster hive and barely escaping with our uncool lives), it was past five so we made our way back toward Prospect Heights and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Apparently first Saturdays are THE event and while we enjoyed our museum tour, we spent most of our time sitting outside on a low wall eating frozen yogurt and people watching. As the sun set, illuminating the sky in a brilliance of color and the lights of Brooklyn twinkled on, we both basked in the beauty of our lovely day in Brooklyn.

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Brew Fun

I love visiting new and different breweries. It’s fun to see the behind-the-scenes process of how beers are made and distributed. Each brewery has their own unique methodology and recipe, many of which are decades old and passed down through the generations. There’s just something about the blend of history and science and creativity that makes each brewery special.

To top off my interest in visiting breweries is that I collect pint glasses. I’ve gotten some as swag at a couple races which has been incredibly cool as well as from around the world. Each glass is emblazoned with a logo that reminds of where I’ve been and the memories I’ve gathered.

As soon as my girlfriend and I drove into Boston this past Saturday, we headed to the historic Sam Adam’s Brewery. Tours were free – the best kind – and informative. We learned all about the process and the history and were able to see the facility where many of the beers originate. Including their utopia ales which are sold in a small golden cask and are 25% alcohol!!! (A lot of beers, even microbrews, are only around 5% alcohol.) After the tour we were led into the tasting room where we were given complimentary 4 oz glasses emblazoned with the Sam Adam’s logo and were provided with samples of different beers. The guide was friendly and relaxed, the beer tasty, and the brew tour interesting. I made sure to purchase the unique Sam Adam’s pint glass (see pic below) which was designed to enhance the flavor of their well-known Boston Lager. (Side note: Like wine or cocktail glasses, several beers and breweries have their own unique glass for similar reasons – one of the better known ones being Stella Artois.)

Another great brewery memory and pint glass to add to my collection. 🙂

(Please remember to drink responsibly and always have a designated driver.)

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