Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Albany Ale Project

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Clarksville Hop Drying Barn

Chef Daniel Smith of Jake Moon's and I visited the old Van Wie Hop Drying Barn now owned by Bob and Linda Bathrick outside of Clarksville, NY.  As you can see from the photos the barn is in great shape.

Barn is in better original condition than the one the Famer's Museum in Coopertown has and the Hop baler is in what looks like working condition.

Down stairs the walls are lathe and plaster to create a more airtight surface so the heat of the wood stove would travel without too much loss to the second floor drying racks.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Wild Game Night

The Helderberg Historian and myself attended the Wild Game Night at The City Beer Hall last night.  Seating is upstairs and family style.  HH and I sat with a very nice group from State Ed.
Chef Dimitri and Brewer Hutch Kurgman from The Crossroads Brewery did a lovely job with beer pairing.

Best pairing of the night was Crossroads BPA with the rabbit dumplings in hot and sour soup.
Brewer Hutch sat and told us this BPA was a collaboration with the Great Adirondack Brewery.  It was brewed with  Belgian Westmall yeast, Amarillo hops and some experimental hop that doesn’t have a name yet only a number.  If you were to compare it to say Ommegang’s BPA Crossroads would be fruitier with a more complex hop aroma, richer mouth feel and smoother finish.The fruitiness of the BPA was a perfect  balance to the hot and sour soup.  The soup had such complexity of flavors you would have been hard pressed to pair it with a wine.

Sorry we drank the last keg of the BPA last night.  Let’s hope they make more.

Chef Dimitri did an out standing job with all the food. There is a lot of love in his food. You know a meal was great when you find yourself savoring that last bite of roasted parsnips, fennel and cippolini onion with the last sip of Outrage IPA.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Farm Brewerys= Hotels?

This from Edible East End

Allowing Farm Breweries to Open Restaurants: The legislation allows Farm Breweries to obtain licenses to operate restaurants, conference centers, inns, bed and breakfasts or hotels on or adjacent to the farm brewery. 
Selling Related Products: The legislation would allow farm breweries to sell beer making equipment and supplies, food complementing beer and wine, souvenir items, and additional products similar to those allowed under the Farm Winery statute.

          Text of the legislation is Here

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I Hopped in it.

I really hop[ed in it  this week.  Council and I were having a beer and a tiny pizza at The City Beer Hall on a quiet Tuesday afternoon--it being council’s birthday and all. My cell phone rang.  I answered (odd in of itself).  It was Rick Karlin a reporter at the TU looking for info on hop growing in New York State--a subject near and dear to my heart. I gave him the 411 on NY hop growing.  Including history, craft beer facts and figures as well as contact info for people far more educated than myself.  Never once did I say Indian Ladder Farms would be brewing beer.  Sometimes it’s good to have a lawyer with you.

Cold Beer and Ammo

The Abyss

Many thanks to club member Alex for bringing a bottle of the fabled Deschutes Abyss Double/imperial Stout back from his recent swing through Oregon. A few members had the pleasure of sampling this rarity (at least in our neck) at recent steering committee soiree. It gets 100 points from BA, which  we don't take as gospel but as a general guideline of quality. 

A fearsomely huge beer, deep black and lovely in the glass. Strong scent of dark chocolate and espresso, plus a hefty alcohol burn. Taste continues the cocoa, with a thick texture and long bitter aftertaste. A huge and complex glass of beer.

Many kudos to members who return from their travels with exotic bevvies for the club to ponder. Such selfless behavior is strongly encouraged.

Down in one


Drink Drank Photo Contest

Over at Drink Drank they are running a beer related photo contest.  With prizes!  Contest or not check out Drink Drank.  A lot of thought and good writing goes into it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Hop Beauties Of Oregon

Dorothy and Olgo Brutke more at

Hudson Valley Hops

 Discover the history of beer and brewing in Albany, New York, while enjoying samples from local breweries.  For more information, call Monica Weiss at (518) 463-4478, ext. 408.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Fuken Firkin Friday

     The allure of a fine beer and some perfectly prepared chicken wings will make people do things they ordinarily would avoid.  Case in point...three grown men in the back seat of a Toyota Prius.  Our destination you ask?  Well, The Ruck - 3rd St., Troy NY Need I say more.  When it comes to The beer and The wings The Ruck is a sure thing and well worth a few moments of discomfort.
     We departed Counsel's house, crammed yet undeterred, with the tasty prospect of a cask of SN Celebration awaiting us.  El Presidente briefly mentioned acquiring a firkin for the club.  An idea that would prove a premonition later on.  We arrived at The Ruck and our door front parking spot was waiting.  Just the first of an afternoon full of serendipitous happenings.
     Upon entering the establishment the crowd was sparse but the beer selection was not.  Turned out the rumor of the Celebration cask was true but had just been kicked.  No worries, perfectly suitable alternatives were aplenty.  El Presidente, El Treasuredente, and Counsel opted for a pitcher of Capt. Lawrence Liquid Gold.  The missus went with a pony of Saison Dupont and I sided with Firestone's Double Jack.  My selection was not misguided.  Very fresh, bright, and powerful at 9.5 ABV the Double Jack furthered my admiration for the Firestone lineup.  The Liquid Gold pitcher ended up being the barrel's last.  Once again, though, not a problem.  The trio simply selected another from the impressive list.  In this case an IPA from 21st Amendment.  All in all the beer we sampled was stellar.  We capped the excursion off with a pitcher of the aforementioned Double Jack; a choice that made the "cozy" ride home hardly noticeable.  I would be remiss if I didn't elaborate a bit on the wings.  The Ruck doesn't know how to make a bad wing.  A fact the has been thoroughly vetted by the members of MAS.  But all in attendance agreed that they were extra special on Friday.  Delicious.
     Gladly, before we departed owner Dave Gardell came in.  Dave's enthusiasm for beer and the business of selling beer is obvious and infectious.  He's into many exciting new things and is eager to spread the good word to those eager to hear it.  The conversation quickly turned to cask beer and before we knew it, MAS, with the help of Mr. Gardell, had its own firkin on order.  Officially known as a pin its a five gallon plastic cask that the club can send out to be filled by any brewery willing to do so.  Dave is certainly a man that makes things happen.  Before we left he regaled us with the many promotions he's working on.  Including a home brew competition slated for the summer and a home brew school of sorts held above The Ruck appropriately dubbed Ruck U.  He also mentioned a future cask from Old Burnside's Brewery called Dirty Penny.   It takes the brewery's Ten Penny brew and runs it through a cask with both espresso and vanilla beans...intriguing.
     We left Dave with a promise to see him again soon and, perhaps, a commitment from him to attend an upcoming MAS meeting.  The Ruck does what it does well...and it's well worth cramming into the car for.