For This Week’s Lesson

Something old…
So, I made my way over to Rattle N Hum the other night to meet up with a friend, that was staying at a nearby hotel. While there, I was lucky enough to sample the Pretty Things Once Upon A Time 1855, a delicious East India Porter. The recipe dates back to December 6th, 1855, brewed at Barclay Perkins in London. 4.5 pounds of hops per barrel turning out a delicious double porter. It was fantastic and had a nice hoppiness and sweet taste for a dark bodied porter. I’ve always had a thing for history, especially Colonial and Civil War era stuff. So, needless to say I was really psyched to try this classic style beer from Pretty Things.

I’ve always loved the idea of drinking old-timey style beers. Think that’s one of the reasons I love drinking cask beers. It’s just a more authentic experience and generally the flavor is just insane. But, to think of it, there was no refrigeration or oxygen being pumped into kegs in old times. The last two big projects I’ve worked on at my job have been period piece works. I’ve wanted to re-create a period style beer made from our last two games’ time period, 1910 and 1947. Just thought it would be an interesting project and a fun lesson in the history of certain beer recipes. I always love when breweries try out old recipes and make cool recreations of them.

The other day, I posted this article about recipes from some of the nation’s founding fathers, Jefferson, Franklin and Madison are mentioned. The New York Public Library in collaboration with Coney Island Brewing company will recreate George Washington‘s small beer using a historical handwritten recipe. The brew, Fortitude’s Founding Father will only be available during the Public Library’s Centennial gala on May 23rd(cough, my birthday, invite would be nice, cough). However, if you can’t score tix to that, all us regular beer nerds will have a chance to taste it at Rattle N Hum on May 18th.

Listening Pile:
The Antlers – Burst Apart
I have to say, I have been more than pleasantly surprised by this album. Spacey, fuzzed out jams, with touches of electronic and ethereal vocals. There has been lots of hype around this band for a while now. And references to Arcade Fire, who I think are one of the most overrated and boring bands out there, certainly did not help. This record is just awesome. It’s one of those records you can cozy up to with a tasty beer and pleasant company or just kick on with some good headphones.

Cinco De Mayo – Some Thoughts

Cinco In The City That Never Sleeps
With Cinco De Mayo quickly approaching talk of Mexican food, spirits and beer is widespread. Timeout NY takes a look at Cinco De Mayo In NYC. As expected, they miss out on a bunch of great spots, especially when talking tacos. They also miss a few places like Cascabel that has great beers. But as our California friends always say, you can never get real Mexican in NY. I kinda have to agree, it’s almost always sub-par.

Being in Mexico in January and sampling as much local food as possible, it’s just amazing to me how local and fresh ingredients make all the world in this type of food. I think that’s why it’s darn near impossible to get quality Mexican food in the Northeast. I ate a lot of tacos, fajitas and quesadillas while on my trip to Mexico and the big difference was just the quality of the ingredients. Which should really amaze you considering how little everything costs and how much it costs here in the US.

Mexican Craft Beer
Also, lots of news lately about Mexican Craft Beer. I thought about this a whole lot while I was in Mexico in January. There needs to be more variety down there. Needless to say almost all the beer down there is either a light lager or pilsner. They are all basically made by two companies, Cervecería Modelo and Cervecería Cuauhtémoc-Moctezuma, which includes everything you’d find up here, Corona, Negro Modelo, Pacifico, Dos Equis, Tecate, etc… Luckily, there are some great breweries down there trying their hand at breaking into the tough market. I just picked up some of Cucapa Brewing Company’s Chupacabras Pale Ale. There are some companies making Colorado craft-brewed Mexican lager , which is definitely pretty cool.

Here is a cool and simple recipe for Churros, which I’ve always loved. I swear, I get roped into buying them on the subway sometimes. They just smell so good. And who doesn’t love fried dough.

Listening Pile
Wild Beasts – Albatross
Incredibly captivating song from English band, Wild Beasts. The band’s third studio album, entitled Smother, is due for release next week, May 10th. Their previous album, 2009’s Two Dancers was critically acclaimed and nominated for a Mercury Prize. If this first song is an indication of how good the album is, I can’t imagine this record not garnering the same sort of success.


Little Town NYC – My Thoughts

NY State of Mind
Let me begin this by saying, I hit up this bar during happy hour on a Friday. I got stuck downtown because the 4, 5 & 6 lines weren’t running due to some signal problems. I intended to go into Little Town to have one or two beers. The crowd was very, very happy hour. Lots of guys in suits, ladies in heels. Not your typical beer bar crowd. I didn’t think I’d have a good time, instead I ended up having a great time and sampled 5 beers and some snacks. I kept it mostly to lighter brews, lower in ABV.

Little Town is the creation of the team behind Village Pourhouse and Sidebar. The theme of the bar is to bring the best that New York’s various regions have to offer. The bar has an Adironack cabin like feel with dark wood accents, subway tiles behind the bar and handbuilt butcher blocks for tables. They have great buffalo wings, Hudson Valley grilled cheese, NY State chicken coated in pretzels, classic reubens, and New York beers. The daily specials pay tribute to Albany, Syracuse, Buffalo and Ithaca.

In terms of beers(full list here), they had just about all the beers you could expect from NY State. Captain Lawrence, Keegan, Ithaca, Six Point, Brooklyn, Ommegang, Defiant, Kelso, Southhampton, Blue Point, Fire Island and even Gennesee Cream Ale. My favorite beer was the LI’s Greenport Harbor Black Duck Porter. Smooth, chocolate notes, not smokey. It was amazing.

They have some beautiful bartenders that were incredibly knowledgeable about the beers they were serving. Always a plus when there’s that much variety. There’s a lot more to look forward to including, beer tastings, good food and theme buckets like the Long Island, filled with Red Wagon IPA, Lighthouse Ale, and Southampton Double White. Also, individual brewery buckets, for Ithaca, Ommegang and Brooklyn. They also have New York Wine and Spirits, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Listening Pile:
The Strokes – Call Me Back
Sort of fitting, considering they are a great New York City band and they’ve just returned with their skinny ties, chuck taylors and a new album, Angles.