Wednesday, November 30, 2011

More beer we can't have

This from the Hops and Barley Blog


2011 Holiday Ale Fest - Preview

Beer Luvvas,

Tomorrow begins the greatest beer festival of them all: the 2011 Holiday Ale Festival! Here's a look at the beers I'm looking forward to from this year's press release:

  • Alameda Brewing Papa Noel's Moonlight Reserve - one of my favorite Holiday Olde Ales ramped up by aging in 'whiskey soaked French oak barrels.'

  • Bison Brewing Barry White's Voice in a Bottle - the first time Bison's chocolate stout has ever been aged in bourbon barrels!

  • Burnside Brewing Company Barrel Aged Permafrost - I believe this barrel aged winder strong ale is currently on tap at Burnside based on a buddy's report earlier this week.

  • Columbia River Brewing Drunken Elf Stout - infused with Belgian chocolate and Kona coffee!

  • Fearless Brewing Mjolnir Imperial IPA - 100 IBUs and I'm a hop-head. Gotta give that one a go.

  • Firestone Walker Brewing 100% Bourbon Barrel Aged Velvet Merkin - one of my perennial favorites at each HAF.

  • Fort George Kentucky Girl Stout - another great beer from Fort George, last year did not disappoint.

  • Laht Neppur Brewing Laughing Boy Stout - another bourbon barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout, but from a Washington brewer that I don't know much about.....

  • McMenamins Red Nose Rye - an Imperial Rye Ale with only 30 IBUs, but as the annual 'winner' of Mcmenamins' internal brewer competition to choose their offering for HAF, I'm sure it will be great!

  • Seven Brides Brewing Drunkle 2011 Old Ale - 90 IBUs from Hercules hops

  • Stone Ruination IPA DDH w/Apollo Hops and American Oak Chips Added - a suped up version of Ruination! This one goes to 100 IBUs!

Looking forward to sharing a quaf or two with you this Holiday Ale Festival Season!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Art Fredette believes Bat Shea’s will be more than just an Irish pub, bar

The Troy Record, local news, sports and weather serving Troy and its surrounding communities

Serving Troy and its surrounding communities
TROY — It hasn’t even opened yet but Bat Shea’s Pub owner Art Fredette is buzzing with excitement as he prepares to present his new pub to the Troy Community.

To be clear, it is not just an Irish pub, nor is it just a bar. Fredette’s theme is meant to include the entire Celtic Nation when it comes to its food, which is something he said he really would like to focus on.

“The menu is going to try and have something from every one of the nations,” Fredette said. "We have the symbol of the six Celtic Nations on the wall."

Mike Troidle, the head chef at Bat Shea’s, said focusing on the entire region instead of just one country opens the door to explore various different dishes and provide a wide variety for its customers. He added he will be working with a lot of local and sustainable ingredients when preparing the food.

“It opens up a huge spectrum,” Troidle said. “It gives me so much room to play with. It’s so much more than corn beef and cabbage but it is on there in several different forms.”

Fredette said the area has several Irish bars in Troy and a German bar but not a pure Celtic bar. He is covering areas such as Wales, Isle of Man and Scotland. He refers to it as “an authentic Celtic pub with an old Troy flair.”

The name, Bat Shea, refers to an 1894 murder trial that took place in Troy, which led to the execution of Bartholomew “Bat” Shea, who Fredette holds as his hero, as he believes the man was innocent.

“The whole Bat Shea ties into to the old Troy thing,” Fredette said.

There will also be live entertainment available to patrons that will include Celtic-styled music, which will mostly be acoustic. Fredette said he wants to provide music to people that they will enjoy.

The beer selection will feature drafts such as Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale, McSorley’s Irish Pale Ale, Newcastle Brown Ale, Smithwick’s and Guiness. There will also be large selections of domestic beers as well as craft beers in bottles. A full wine list and liquor list will be available as well.
Fredette said the pub will be open in time for people to come through during the Victorian Stroll on Sunday, Dec. 4. The motivation to be open by then is because the event is one of the biggest the City of Troy puts on and because the people behind it have done a great job with it, he’d like to be a part of it.

“It really puts Troy at the forefront,” Fredette said. "They did it so well that Saratoga stole the idea."

Fredette stressed that Bat Shea’s is not going to be just a nightclub where people only get drunk at. He is aiming to make the bar a family-friendly one. He’s not looking for the Jersey Shore.

“It’s not just a bar,” Fredette said. “You can bring your kids here. You can bring grandma here. It’s a restaurant, first and foremost. The nightlife won’t start here until well after 9 p.m.”

Bat Shea's is located at 95 Ferry St.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Merry Monk

Opening Draft List
Ommegang Abbey
Ommegang BPA
Ommegang Witte
Ommegang Rare Vos
Ommegang Adoration
Duvel Single
La Chouffe
Maredsous Brune
Liefmans Cuvee Brut
Clown Shoes Tramp Stamp
Unibrou Ephemere
Saison Dupont
Delirium Tremens
Chimay Triple
Weyerbacher Merry Monk

Talked to the owner and he says:

"Any Day Now they are just waiting on the SLA"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What Can I Drink at Thanksgiving Besides Wine?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What Can I Drink at Thanksgiving Besides Wine?

I want beer. Any thoughts on which brews would go with the meal?
Just about any good craft beers will do nicely, if you want to know the truth. But here are some specific suggestions.
It’s going to be a long, filling day, so I would start the party with beers that will energize the taste buds. Good pilsners snap you to attention with a lively, bracing bitterness. Lagunitas, Lakefront, Victory andBrooklynall offer good versions, as do Pilsner Urquell and Jever. An alternative might be a Kölsch, a crisp, clean, refreshing German ale, which I love. American versions are hard to find, but Gaffel and Reissdorf fromGermanyare fairly easy to find.
For the feast itself, you can’t go wrong with mildly hoppy pale ales like Flying Dog or Stoudt’s. I love porters, easy-drinking dark beers with a tangy malt character. Geary’sLondonPorter is terrific, as is Samuel Smith Taddy Porter fromEnglandand Deschutes Black Butte, if you live on the West Coast.

A bolder choice would be a Belgian farmhouse ale like Saison Dupont, an airy, spicy brew that is versatile with foods. Even more intrepid would be sour beers, a somewhat vague category of older styles characterized by great acidity. These would include Belgian lambic beers and especially gueuzes, which are incredibly refreshing and complex, and would go beautifully with the feast, though their unexpectedly pungent flavors can be polarizing. Cantillon Gueuze fromBelgiumepitomizes this style. By the way, I will have a lot to say about sour beers next week.

This fracking thing is going to far.

Water is rather important to beer

rare vos thumbnailBrewery Ommegang, of which 50 percent of its property borders land leased to drilling companies, says in a legal filing that it could be forced to move if fracking starts because of concern for its water supply. Fracking has become a verycontentious issue in the greater Cooperstown area. [Oneonta Daily Star] [NYT]

Wednesday, November 9, 2011



Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times
Birreria, a rooftop beer garden.

Details & Reader Reviews

Birreria, 14 stories above the food emporium Eataly, is no one’s idea of an Italian restaurant. This convivial rooftop beer garden is run by the Batali/Bastianich team from Eataly, but its attention is lavished on cabbage and sausage, not pasta or risotto, and a rowdy bar crowd threatens to take over at prime time.
It is easy to be happy there on a balmy evening, watching the staff work the retractable roof with ropes like sailors reefing the sails of a tall ship. Heat lamps, so far, have kept fall’s chill at bay.
Birreria, “brewery” in Italian, makes some beers, presumably incorporating whatever wild yeasts float down from the Empire State Building a few blocks north. But while the stainless casks draw in a young after-work crowd, they do little for the house-made ales, which can be undrinkable. Fortunately there are other options: refreshing American India Pale Ales and the rarely spotted Moretti Bionda on draft; fresh, young Italian wines poured by the carafe or quartino; crisp bottled beers from the artisanal Baladin brewery in Piedmont, the Northern Italian region that inspires much of the food.
The cured meats and cheeses ($11 to $21 for assorted plates) are impeccably handled; roasted sausages ($21) are served with what is undoubtedly the best sauerkraut in Manhattan, tender and served in large leafy chunks. The kraut also comes with a succulent pork shoulder ($19), braised in beer and glazed with apricot.
Meat is not the only matter. On the mushroom menu, a pile of fried shiitakes ($15 to $17) is the high point; among salads, it’s a jumble of potato, cauliflower, cucumbers and olives that serves as a kind of Tyrolean niçoise ($13). Skirt steak ($24) and roasted fish fillet (market price) were perfectly cooked, a rarity.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Merry Monk

Table Hopping

Table Hopping

Eat, drink and be candid
By Steve Barnes | E-mail | About Table Hopping

Belgian bar coming to coner of North Pearl and Sheridan

A bar and restaurant featuring Belgian beer is being developed at the corner of North Pearl Street and Sheridan Avenue in downtown Albany.
Called The Merry Monk, the business is projected to open “within a couple weeks,” according to its Facebook page.
The name, photos showing beer signs and management comments on Facebook indicate beer will include Belgian and Belgian-style brews such as Duvel, Orval, La Chouffe and Ommegang.
The building is owned by Konstantinos Moutopoulos and his brother Steven but is apparently being operated under a management agreement by someone else. The corner location — in years past an annex of the former Big House and later a deli — was an ill-fated bar called The Assembly that the brothersshuttered after five months last year when it became a rowdy college joint. An even shorter-lived attempt, called Corner Bar, folded after five weeks earlier this year after its managers, who also own Blue 82, walked away because of differences with the Moutopouloses.
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