Monday’s Links

Aussie Beers Going Under
Interesting video talking about how the big Aussie Beer brands are struggling, while craft beers sales are up. More and more microbreweries are popping up and that’s a good thing. It makes all breweries work harder to make better beer. Love how the guy at the end talks about how he’s met the brewer of his beer and big beers are created by machines. Which makes me laugh, because I picture little robots dancing, making beer.

Twin Killing
Thank the beer gods, baseball is back. I now have something to do with myself. As spring approaches every team has endless amounts of optimism as a new season awaits. I’ll have a post at some point on my thoughts on the Yankees and other teams. At some point, I may even swing a cool trip down to Tampa for a couple spring games and tour of Tampa’s great breweries, Cigar City, I’m looking at you. Further down the line, I’m going to do a review of the beers(and lack of quality beers) at the New Yankee Stadium, as well as the beer situation at Citi Field.

However, here’s something I just can’t avoid commenting on today. News out of Minnesota Twins camp about how All-Star catcher, only into year two of an eight year $184 million contract extension, received lubricating shots in his knee last week. I thought the Twins giving him that extension last year was a stretch for a catcher that’s never stayed healthy a full season. Despite his incredible ability, I’m glad the Yanks won’t have to deal with that later down the line.

Firkin Friday
Last Friday night my buddy and I attended a tapping of a Troegs Nugget Nectar cask at Café D’Alsace The Nugget Nectar was amazing. Really adding some extra oomph and flavors with a 9.5% abv. We had a great time and even were given a bottle of Dugges 1/2 idjiti on the house to celebrate some good news. Café D’Alsace has one of the city’s most extensive beer selections – including a beer sommelier to assist you in selecting the perfect choice to go with their expertise in Alsatian cuisine. I did not have any food there that evening, but from what I could see and smell, it’s fantastic. They will be tapping a new firkin every Friday. I believe they said Weyerbacher was on deck, with Great Divide the week after. Oh, and they rocked really great music, which is always good. It’s great when a place’s soundtrack sounds like it could be your ipod.

Listening Pile
Radiohead –Codex
Radiohead are great. There is no denying it. They have put together another fantastic album with King Of Limbs. Using a similar method to what they did with In Rainbows, they dropped a record on an unsuspecting audience. They are doing a deluxe version for the record heads and also digitally distributed from their own site. Amazing stuff and really should be respected for doing things on their own terms. Really love the song above, probably my favorite on the album. Check it out.

Cheers,
-fred

Tuesday’s Links

A Joy Ride
Great read about the convergence two things near and dear to me. Advertising, which is what I do and craft beer, which I love. News comes out about New Belgium’s upcoming ad campaign centered around their staple beer(and a personal favorite), Fat Tire. In the double page ad, as it’s open wide, brewer Peter Boukaert claims he’s, ‘always hated Fat Tire. It’s the hardest beer for us to make,’ while opposite co-founder Kim Jordan says she’s ‘always loved Fat Tire.’ Once folded over, a Fat Tire bottle with the signature bike on the label appears. They will roll out the Mad Magazine style ad in a bunch of publications including Rolling Stone, Men’s Journal, Dwell and Wired. There’s also a digital ad that will pop up online and on Wired’s ipad version. Now if we could just get New Belgium’s beers distributed in NYC.

Melo Garden
Great article in the Times on how the Knicks recent blockbuster trade for Carmelo Anthony puts additional pressure on the superstar to do what no other native New Yorker, aside from Bernard King has ever really done. Electrify the crowd and win a title in the Garden. Personally, I feel like it’s a great deal for the Knicks. It makes them relevant again. It gives them two bona fide superstars maybe for the first time ever. It makes them contenders. Yes, maybe not this year, but certainly in the future as they acquire other star players(and role players) to give Anthony and Amare Stoudamire a championship supporting cast. I like they players they gave up for Anthony, but think they can put together a better team in the future.

Free Williamsburg
Interesting article about how some government grants and industrial business zoning helped the expansion of the Brooklyn Brewery. It’s pretty amazing that they’ve been able to expand the way they have. All their new equipment should help them to increase its brewing capacity tenfold, moving its annual production to more than $50 million and creating new jobs in the area. Kudos to the Brooklyn Brewery and their continued success. This other article points out how there’s been some backlash against the brewery in recent years, with bars in the Williamsburg area not even carrying the beer anymore and going with other local breweries. Times have changed, as has the way you can find good beer in a lot more places now, just means there’s going to be more variety and more option. Hopefully the expansion means Brooklyn Brewery gets down to making more of their reserve and limited run beers, which are almost always stellar.

Listening Pile
Telekinesis – Car Crash
Great new record from Michael Learner, aka Telekinesis. His previous record, 2009’s selt titled debut, was one of my favorite of the year. The singer songwriter wrote most of it last winter in Berlin and he plays all the instruments. Along with producer, Chris Walla who recorded the whole thing old-school via analog, made a fantastic sophomore album, 12 Desperate Straight Lines. Really love the song above and the record is just full of jangly, sugary indie pop songs.

Cheers,
-fred

Thursday’s Links

The City That Never Sleeps…Or lacks a good place to find beer
Great issue of Time Out New York hit this week. The Ultimate Guide To Beer. It’s got a listing of the best craft beer bars(though they miss on some), food pairings, happy hours, beer varieties, group outings and local breweries. They even teamed up with local favorite, Sixpoint to create a limited edition ale, Time Out For Porter, which is available at a few local establishments including Barcade, d.b.a., Blind Tiger and Rattle n Hum.

Tactical Nuclear Potato
In the wow that would suck if that happened file. If nuclear radiation wipes all crops across the world, there’s a place in Norway called the Svalbard Global Seed Vault(aka the Doomsday Vault) where they’ve been keeping more than 400,000 seed samples in this place since 2008. Good to know if humanity is wiped out we’ll have a shot at growing lettuce, eggplant and barley. So, at least we can make beer.

A Beer A Day
Great article about some of the health benefits of beer. I kid you not. For a long time, a glass of wine a day has been touted as a healthy lifestyle option. However, it’s the ethanol in all alcoholic beverages, including beer, that is good for the heart, gallstones, lower risk of type 2 diabetes and improved brain function. Beer is also a good source of vitamin B, fiber and protein. Take that winos. Take that.

Listening Pile
PJ Harvey – The Glorious Land
Ah, what more can be said about PJ Harvey. She’s magical. She’s incredibly talented. She just makes incredible records. Her latest, Let England Shake, released on Tuesday is just so good, I can’t stop listening. Check out this nytimes review that really hits it on the nose. Or just check out the great song linked above.

Thursday’s Links

Across The Pond
Great story about how foreign breweries have been drawing inspiration from U.S. craft beers and breweries. The story mentions how many foreign breweries are making American style beers, with heavy hops and huge flavors, amongst them a personal fave, BrewDog out of Scotland. The story also talks about how Stone Brewing is looking to open the first American craft brewery on the European continent, recently narrowing their destination to two contenders, Bruges and Berlin.

Hey Rizzo
Checked out this pizza place after the gym last night. This place just opened up on Lex and 93rd. It used to be a pizza place before, but the slices were anything but memorable. So, apparently, this is a 2nd location for an Astoria standby, Rizzo’s Pizza. I have to say, despite having super thin crust pizza, which I normally despise, the slices were pretty good. Also picked up some garlic knots which were really good. Funny thing about the place was they had like 15 people working a tiny little storefront. Also, they had a bunch of quotes from newspaper clippings and reviews all over the walls. Dude, I’m in your pizza shop already? Just make the pizza not suck and I promise, I’ll come back.

OK Cupid’s Guide To Getting Down
Out of the weird, but fascinating file comes this post, which references some data from dating site, OK Cupid, which says beer-drinkers are reportedly more likely to have sex on the first date. I kid you not. Read the post. They were also the site that said you’re more likely to score from a good photo. Jeez, you think?

Listening Pile:
Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Belong
Here is the title track from their forthcoming album produced by Flood and mixed by the legendary Alan Moulder. I agree with Stereogum’s thoughts, “Here, the guitars sound bigger and the overall feel’s sturdier.” Hope that means good things, not bad for the rest of the album. Definitely think a lot of their charm on their debut album came from the gentle production. Belong is out 3/29 via Slumberland.

Cheers,
-fred

Wednesday’s Links

One If By Sea
From the Telegraph, comes this interesting story. Finnish scientists are analyzing a two hundred year old sample of beer found in a 19th century shipwreck at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. They are hoping to be able to make the same brew using the ancient recipe. It’s going to come down to them finding some live yeast cells. In the same wreckage, they found a bunch of bottles of champagne, including some verified to be Veuve Clicquot. Some of them could fetch as much as $70,000. Pretty insane.

Mexican’t
Ran up to Paragon Sports yesterday to purchase some winter running gear and thought, why not stop by Dos Toros for some lunch. While I really enjoy Dos Toros’ quesadillas and tacos, I have to say I keep waiting to be impressed by their burritos. Don’t know what it is since they are basically made with identical ingredients, but may have something to do with the rice which is only in the burrito. Strange how one ingredient can really kill a dish. You should however, still check them out if you’re in the area.

Don’t be sour
Great post from fellow BrewYorker, Chris Lehault on Serious Eats going over some cider/beer hybrids, calling New Glarus’ Apple Ale one of the more favorable of all the ones sampled. I’ve heard good things about that one in particular and am keen to try some others.

Listening Pile:
Joy Division – Transmission
Wow, this is an amazing clip. A recreation of Joy Division’s 1979 John Peel session video for Transmission. The drumming and set design is just awesome in this stop-motion, Playmobil figurine version. Check it out.

-fred

Tuesday’s Links

The First Beer
Came across this blog post talking about how one of the White House chefs created a special home-made microbrew, White House Honey Ale for the Obama’s Super Bowl Party. It was created using honey from the White House grounds. The Obama’s also offered up some brews from Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to honor the two teams involved. Pretty cool stuff.

Did you see the kid in the big sombrero?
Haven’t you ever wanted to know what game Ferris Bueller and his pals attended during their awesome adventure. Well the guys over at Baseball Prospectus did a little research and found out they attended the June 5, 1985, game between the Cubs and the Braves. The foul ball that Ferris caught was hit by Atlanta rightfielder Claudell Washington in the top of the 11th inning. How insane is that. Also, I always thought Claudell Washington had one of the best names ever for a baseball player.

G’Knight
Heard about this over the weekend, and finally read this post about how Gordan Ale from Oskar Blues is going to be changing its name due to some litigation over the possible infringement of the name by California Brewer, Gordon Biersch. The Gordon Ale was introduced in 2003 by Oskar Blues as a tribute to long time Colorado native, and craft beer pioneer Gordon Knight, who died fighting the Big Elk Fire in 2002.

Listening Pile:
Pinkback – Non Photo Blue
Don’t know what it is about this song, but it always makes me happy. Been a huge fan of Pinback since their debut s/t album. Can’t believe it’s now been ten years since their breakthrough album, Blue Screen Life. On recent tour stops they’ve been playing complete albums. Which is pretty cool. However, I’m hoping we get a good mix of a set when they come to town in April. Word is they are also working on new material, which would be their first album in 3 and ½ years.

Cheers,
-fred

Thursday’s Links

Flo-rida Beer
Nice write up about the honors Florida breweries took in the annual Ratebeer and BeerAdvocate awards. Can’t say I’ve tried all those breweries, but I do love the Cigar City stuff from Tampa. One day I will get down there to check it out and a Yankee spring training game. Jai Alai IPA is one of those beers I’m glad I can stock in my fridge these days. I did also have a Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale last week that was fantastic. And I love the idea of using mango, peppers and papaya in their beers.

Beers for Beasts
Great news from the BeerAdvocate and Sixpoint camps. The two are joining forces to host an awesome event showcasing creative beers, food, and people, with all proceeds benefiting The Humane Society of NYC. The event is taking place at the Bell House in Brooklyn on March 26th. Tickets are $60, but include beer, food(Calexico Cart will be there) and entertainment.

Not only is this a great event for a great cause, you all know puppies are near and dear to my heart, but Sixpoint is going to be unveiling at least 16 new beers, brewed exclusively for the event. From the PR release:

Many of these beers will be collaborative brews, made with other members of the community at Sixpoint’s facility. The beers at Beer for Beasts will be the cumulative effort of months of collaboration, mentorship, and “Mad Scientist” innovation, with each member of the Sixpoint staff proudly representing a brew of their own. “Our goal is to showcase a community overflowing with talent, and celebrate their ingenuity and genuine good spirit with our friends by fostering a really positive experience,” said Shane Welch, Sixpoint Brewery President.

Mayor Rocks Facebook
Don’t know about you, but having Facebook work with government agencies just sounds kindy fishy to me. Here’s some news about Mayor Bloomberg reaching out to Facebook to begin talks about creating a New York City Facebook site, as part of a larger effort to share information, ideas and harness the power of crowd sourcing. Dunno, sounds a little strange to me. This on the heels of the city appointing it’s first Chief Digital Officer, who from everything I’ve read seems to be more of a self-promoter than social guru.

Listening Pile:
No Age – Fever Dreaming
Cool new video from LA based No Age. Their album Everything in Between was one of my favorite albums of last year. Mixing shoegaze, post punk, noise and good ole 90’s indie rock, they create an awesome sound. Just read they are opening up for the Cold War Kids at Radio City Music Hall here in NYC next month. Hope we get a one off show at a smaller club as well. That would be an awesome time. Check out the video below>>>

Cheers,
-fred

Tuesday’s Links

I Think I Can
From the Huffington Post. Interesting that people are picking up on this subject a lot more recently. I wonder what the general thoughts were on canned craft beer. Personally I have no problem with it and if it makes certain brews available to me that once were not, I’m all for it. We know it’s cheaper and easier to can and ship. Also, every once in a while I’m amazed at the flavor of beers once tried in a can. Brooklyn Lager is one that always took on a whole new flavor canned. I remember this one bar in Williamsburg my old roommate ran. I would always ask for that beer in a can. She’d look at me like I had two heads.

They don’t call it a beer belly for nothing
Good article , in the LA Times about two guys trying to lose weight yet maintain a fun and interesting lifestyle. It’s definitely tough to go out and have a few beers and try to eat healthy. More so when you’re out with buddies. Luckily I’ve never struggled with my weight and have put myself on a pretty good routine of exercise and nutrition, but I can understand how this is tough for some guys. It’s gotten even tougher as I’ve gotten older too.

Only in New York
Funny write-up from Alex Belth on his excellent Yankee blog, Bronx Banter. Really funny he writes about this today. On Saturday, I couldn’t get a cab uptown for the life of me and rode on the bus for a couple blocks up 1st Avenue. When I got on the bus I noticed a horrible smell, only to later realize that the smell came from a man in a wheelchair strapped in the front area of the bus. When the bus got to 14th street, driver is like, ok here’s your stop and the guy would not get off the bus. Held it up for a good ten minutes while the driver figured out what to do, calling the bus depot and asking what he’s supposed to do. Well, the answer was nothing. Dude in wheelchair won out. People just had to get on the bus and deal with it. Where else could you even see stuff like that happen. Only in a New York Minute.

Listening Pile:
The Kills – Satellite
The Kills have a new album, coming out in March called Blood Pressures. I’ve always enjoyed their crazy boy girl band dynamic. They write great simple dirty rock songs with good hooks. Last record was a bit experimental, but still featured a couple standout tracks. This new songs seems pretty much along the lines of what they’ve done in the past, which they do well. It always has cracked me up that this is the same girl, Alison Mosshart, who used to be in the emo band Discount. The things we did as kids.

Cheers,
-fred