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It’s Worth It

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We are embarking on dark times, maybe some of the darkest this proud and already great country has seen. What I see is a country divided. Divided by anger, resentment and hate. The supreme leader – elect capitalized on that and pushed much of the country to back a man that is a proven racist, misogynist, liar, cheat and failed businessman. He is unhinged, vengeful, irrational, full of hatred and contempt for anyone that stands in his way. He’s not only unprepared to lead this country, he’s the most unqualified person to do so, ever! Now, his presidency might not fully impact your specific way of life, but it will impact someone in your family, circle of friends, co-workers and neighbors.

His hate fueled rhetoric will particularly impact those people in our lives that are women, of color, immigrants, LGBT, Muslim, Jewish, middle or lower class and college students. He’s talked about doing away with the Department of Education and Environmental Protection Agency. He’s talked about putting lackeys such as Gingrich, Christie, Palin and Giuliani in his cabinet, advocated violence against his critics and better relations with one of our nation’s top rivals. The supreme leader will not bring jobs or tax relief to the Rust Belt, Sun Belt, South or Middle-America. If he has his way, he will rip apart immigrant families, turn away those who want to come to our shores, make it harder for your kid’s school to receive funding, alienate our trade partners, reverse climate change regulations, arm more countries with nuclear weapons, get rid of affordable health care and upend our economy. You know, to make America Great Again.

So now, if you don’t think this will impact your life in some way, I ask you to really take a step back, look at all those people you care about and tell me that none of them won’t have a drastically worse life over the next four years. There were roughly 100 million US voters that did not vote on Tuesday. 100 Million that did not lay a stake at who should be leading this country over the next four years. We are a democracy, which means your voice can and should be heard. It’s your right! Like many of you, I’m sad for America right now. Sad for our country, our political system and most importantly for our citizens.

We’ve got four years of this, like it or not. A demagogue who turned Love Trumps Hate upside down and used it to advance his personal agenda, will be the supreme leader for the next four years. We have four November elections to right this ship and move forward as a democratic country that listens to its citizen’s voices and leads us to a united and collaborative future. I’m sad now, but soon after the grieving, the sadness will turn into optimism. Optimism that this hateful regime will not continue to pull us apart, but will galvanize the American people. Freedom always comes at a cost and we’ll certainly pay for it dearly over these next four years.  In dark times you unite, you fight, you lead, you inspire.

Closing with something that Mrs. Clinton said in her heartfelt concession speech the other day. Please take it to heart. “I still believe in America,” she assured her supporters. “This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”

In the Listening Pile: The Clash – Rock the Casbah

Because we need some change. We gotta rock the Casbah, it’s fucking broken.

Make a ladder of what folds

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A snowstorm is coming. All I can think of is how I miss spring and running outside. We have a few more months of this to go. Winter is here and not going anywhere.

Listening Pile: Purity Ring – Push Pull – I’m really looking forward to this album. Haunting and beautiful. The record sounds like it’s going to be the logical next step from their debut. Megan James and Corin Roddick recorded the album for the first time in the same room together, after making their first album remotely while living in two different cities. It’s gonna sound bigger and more impressive, with bigger beats, soaring vocals. 2nd single is tight too. Can’t wait for the album.

I’m falling, far as I can go

In a lot of ways I’m going to miss 2014. The previous year ended on such a sour note for me that 2014 was bound to be better, based on the balance of nature. 2014 still had its ups and downs, but just like before we made it through the good and the bad. As in previous years, I’m going to stick to what I know, baseball, beer, food and music. Here is 2014 as it mattered to me.

Just A Bit Outside
Madison Bumgarner! Wow, what else can you say. The surly lefty carried the SF Giants on his back to a World Series win. I love the guy, but know that he’s gonna have it rough in 2015 with all those innings logged this year. The Kansas City Royals making it to within an out of tying the series was incredibly impressive as well. Baseball, really needed that and obviously so did the KC fans. It gave a lot of hope to just about any team. A few smart moves and your team could end up in the same spot. That’s probably my favorite thing about baseball now, the parity and quality of competition. Just about every team, bar a few exceptions, have a chance to compete.  The Yankees season was just frustrating all around. Injuries and old age really caught up with the team this year. Quote from last year “This team badly needs a youth infusion”. The same sentiment rings true again. They are moving in the right direction, but still have so many questions about their injuries, age and depth. I hope they have a few more moves in store for this offseason, because the team as it looks now, is not a playoff team. And as KC showed, just getting in is half the battle some times. Anything can happen in the postseason now a days.IMG_5986

Last thing about baseball. I cannot remember what it’s like to watch a Yankee game without good old #2 in the lineup. I cannot believe it’s been 20 years since the Yanks had a shortstop different from Derek Jeter. I was fortunate to see him play one of his very first games in 1996 and one of his last in 2014. The guy was a competitor, a class act and a winner. We should be so lucky to see a player like that in our lifetime. He will be missed, by both myself and baseball fans around the world. Best of luck to the man in whatever he decides to do in the future.

 

The Foamy Stuff
I enjoyed so many great beers this year. There was the amazing Bruery event at Gingerman in September that featured so many beers I never thought I’d try. As for other beers I’ve enjoyed, the new Brooklyn brewery, Other Half did not disappoint one bit. They make tons of hoppy and floral beers, Green Diamonds and Southernhopalistic amongst the best. They have a cool little tasting room as well. Worth a visit if you can make it. Transmitter in LIC is also making some really fantastic saison and farmhouse beers, some with really funky sour notes to them. You can try just about anything of theirs and it will be solid.

My favorite new beer bar in NYC, is the conveniently located Bondurants in the Upper East Side. They have a fantastic selection, with a good amount of quality beers on draft, plus really solid food and friendly, knowledgable staff. It’s a great looking bar too, with old wood finish and an awesome copper bar. Other new favorites include the Jeffrey and Fools Gold. Both solid spots with great selections. Lots of great new places opened this year, one of the more anticipated being the Bronx Brewery’s spot in Hunters Point. Surprisingly a quick 20 minute subway ride from the UES.

In My Belly
It was yet another great year for eating out and food. I tried a bunch of new spots in 2014. Amongst my favorite was the fantastic thin crust pizza and rabbit meatballs at Marta. The Roman-style pizza was inventive and delicious, with toppings like a sunny side egg, tripe, goat sausage and zucchini flowers. Lots of other good stuff on the menu as well. Another of my favorite new places tried was Bar Primi, in the old Peels location on the Bowery. Really solid garlic linguini, kicked up with 4 cloves of the stuff. Really solid. Easily one of my favorite dishes tried all year. Alidoro makes probably my favorite sandwiches in the city. So good. IMG_6173

Another of my favorite new places was Mimi Cheng’s dumplings in the East Village. They are doing some cool stuff with dumplings, aside from traditional versions. They had a buffalo chicken dumpling earlier in the fall, plus a Thanksgiving dumpling. Their homemade sauce is also pretty great, so good, I think they should sell it on it’s own. It would become a hot condiment, much like hot honey or sriracha. Speaking of which, Mokbar in Chelsea market is doing some really cool and inventive stuff with Korean-style ramen and kimchi. Their lunch special bibimbap topped with seasonal vegetables, spicy dressing and pork, was one of the best I’ve ever had. Can’t wait to get back there and try more stuff from the menu.

In One Ear
Like last year, I’m going to start with some of the records that I think are good, but just missed on something. First off, is the SBTRKT album. I was expecting so much from this album, maybe unrealistically so. The previous album was a revelation, mixing many electronic, dance, dub and hiphop elements, plus combining an array of talented quest vocalists. The first few singles showed so much promise too. However this record really falters on so many levels. The songs seem incomplete and as if they were written for the vocalists involved, instead of bringing them in as almost another instrument. That’s what made the first album so special. There was a cohesive vibe and the vocalists all blended into the formula so well. A few other records that I was expecting a lot more from include the Gaslight Anthem, Ariel Pink, Antlers and iceage records. The Gaslight album just fell short in memorable hooks and stories. A fine album, but that’s all. The Ariel Pink just didn’t seem to take his songwriting to the next level as I expected. The Antlers, maybe got a little too much into making a certain kind of record. A couple great songs, but a lot of boring fluff too. The iceage album is just sloppy. I don’t mind the change in direction, they just didn’t fulfill it. The production is just bad, with much of the album sounding terrible, despite some really inventive songwriting. All you hear is vocals, when the instrumentation was begging to be let out.

Finally, on to the best! The Horrors delivered what I think might be their best record yet. They’ve  developed from an art-house punk project into one of the most important UK acts around. Luminous takes their sound and just makes it groovier and picking up the pace. The low end really shines through on this album. There are some sick grooves amongst the droney psychedelia, shoegaze and krautrock stylization. It’s an album that could be listened to going on a long run or paired with a bottle of vodka and hallucinogens. It’s wacked out and trippy, but also very rhythmic and machinelike at times. They made a love ballad and huge Soundgarden type riffs(Mine and Yours) all on the same album. They have perfected their formula and are once again my album of the year.

My second favorite album of the year is Tampa post-punk outfit Merchandise’s After the End. I jokingly told a young colleague of mine that they sounds like The Smiths meet The Wedding Present meets Talk Talk. He obviously looked at me and had no clue what I was talking about. Bare with me though. It’s a fantastic record that wouldn’t have sounded out of place being played to death in an early 90’s college dorm. It’s got that angst ridden influence of 80’s Brit-pop yet totally American spirit that many of my generation grew up on. Just a fantastic album that combines so much of what I loved in music growing up, yet feels fresh and original. MerchandiseCloud Nothings Here and Nowhere Else is just an amazing piece of abrasive, fast paced rock and roll with lyrics that explore mental illness, heartbreak and growing up. It’s a punk rock record for 2014. The guitars are loud and edgy, the drumming is propulsive and maybe some of the best I’ve heard all year. Fantastic album from these kids. 8 songs in 28 minutes. Fuck Yeah! Cheatahs self-titled album is much of what I loved about indie(er..college) rock in the 90’s. Sprawlling guitars, hushed vocals, heavy rhythmsection and some stare at the floor shoegaze. I’m a sucker for that shit, everyone knows that. This album hits on all those notes. They were also the loudest band I saw all year….proportionately speaking of course. We Were Promised Jetpacks third album is the realization of years of hard work. Unraveling sees the young Scots leave behind some of the campy, pubescent, nerd punk they were so known for and sees a mature, thoughtful and driven band. They are louder, tighter and more developed. Structurally, they have more in common with bands like Snow Patrol and Coldplay(the good kind), then they do with what they sounded like before. The songs are a little darker and grander then they’ve ever been before. Huge leap by these guys. Live too, they destroy now.  

The rest of the top ten is a mix of old and new. The Eagulls, made a dark post-punk album that just kicks you in the face. It’s measured, aggresive and angular, with tons of feedback and swirling noise. Toronto’s Death From Above 1979 delivered their 2nd proper studio album, a mere 10 years after their first. It seems like they did not skip a beat, with deep groves, explosive beats and snarky vocals. They developed their craft over the years and sound much more cohesive and accomplished than ever before. Pains of Being Pure At Heart make heart on your sleeve power pop. They’ve gotten really, really good at it. Gone are the days of the back-room indie twee, this IMG_6260band has a full and dynamic sound. They scored a Hershey’s commercial for crying out loud. It makes me happy everytime I see it.  Spoon’s 19th record, well not really it’s only their 8th, but seems like they’ve been around forever huh? Another fantastic album, this one a bit more Elvis Costello than the last record, which I thought was a bit mellow. This is a bunch of methodically crafted songs of jangly pop infused with Southern soul. Excellent as always. Jungle, came through with one of the best debut records in recent memory. They had a ton of hype around them and it was pulsating when they played their first live show in the US last March. I don’t think anyone thought they’d look like they do, which I actually really loved about it. They made a really soulful and groovy record that would make disciples of TV on the Radio and Ratatat proud.

From there, a bunch of great albums from old mainstays, TV On The Radio, Interpol, Kevin Drew, Jesse Ware, Kele Okerke, Wild Beasts, Twilight Sad, Caribou, The Drums, Aurelio Valle and more, plus Nenah Cherry came back with a phenomenal new album produced by Fourtet, her first in some time. Run the Jewels made the hip hop album of the year and let us hear something from Zach De La Rocha for the first time in ages. The Jazz June returned with their fist album in some ten years. New stuff from upstarts and new acts Ryan Hemsworth, Movement, Ume, Little Daylight,  Perfume Genius, Alvvays, FKA Twigs, War on Drugs, Phantogram, The Young, Single Mothers, and Bass Drum of Death. Additionally, there were some really solid EP’s and singles from Operators, featuring Dan Boeckner from Wolf Parade, plus a solid EP from No Devotion, featuring old friend Geoff from Thursday, plus the remaining members of Lostprophets. Additionally, old pal Walter Schreifels popped up on Vanishing Life, a melodic hardcore band he fronts. And finally, Les Sins the dancey side project of Chaz Bundick, the mastermind behind Toro y Moi.

Listening Pile: The Horrors– In and Out of Sight – My favorite song on the album,  this trippy sounscape of swirling guitars and funky bassline is just so incredibly awesome. The video is weird. Looks like some sort of loopy clip. Maybe fan made. Don’t know.

Cheers,

-fred

when they love you, and they will


Meant to post this last night, but wouldn’t you know it, I fell asleep early.

The House That George Built
It’s been 40 years since the Boss bought the New York Yankees. Crazy to think, the spent some $10M, which through inflation turns into roughly $55 million smackers today. Just insane. The other thing was that Steinbrenner bought the Yanks from CBS because he failed to buy his hometown Cleveland Indians the year before. Imagine the futures of the two franchises had the initial deal gone through.

Anyhow, the photo above is of The Boss at their Spring Training complex in Tampa. I visited it last year as well as hitting Cigar City Brewery for Hunahpu Day. An amazing three day trip watching baseball in the sun and sippin amazing beers at the Brewery. Hoping I can do the same this year too.

Listening Pile: Japandroids – The House That Heaven Built
One of my favorite songs from last year. This band rocks. They made a stellar sophomore album. Easily one of my top five of 2012. The full list will come soon. I know you can’t wait to see.

Cheers,
-fred

when I’m at the pearly gates, this’ll be on my videotape

Thought this was pretty cool. Radiohead teamed up with 50 fans to shoot in-the-crowd footage on Flip phones. They mashed up all the videos, edited it to make a concert film and secured the music from the soundboard. 25 tracks available in a whole bunch of formats. Or just check out the trailer below. I saw them on this tour last spring and it was awesome.

Happy Sundaze ya’ll.

Cheers,
-fred

Listening Pile: Radiohead – Live in Praha – DVD Trailer

Get Real Belgian Fest

Get Real NY’s Belgian Fest was a lot of fun. Once again, the Altman Building in Chelsea played host to this fine pairing of Belgian beer, food and live music. There were over 90 different brews on tap. All last week, I could not wait to try all those wonderful beers, to eat all that amazing food and to see a bunch of good friends. I had VIP passes to the Saturday Evening session. I would say about 80-100 people were promptly let through the door at 7pm. It definitely was great to have the place all to yourself for that hour. No lines, no wait and you could try just about everything early on.

Favorites of the day were De Ranke Noir De Dottingnies, a wonderful Belgian Strong Ale, Birra Del Borgo, Straffe Hendrick Quad, Hof Ten Dormaal Blonde, Slaapmutske Nightcap, Caulier Blond and Dupont Moinette Brune. Also enjoyed a couple great American brews including Pretty Things Field Mouse Farewell, Sixpoint’s Harbinger Saison, Bruery Mischief, Barrier Mare Undarum and Weyerbacher’s Heresy. I kept more to strong ales, blondes and saisons. I’m not a big fan of wheat beers, so I only sampled a few. I did have a couple interesting Pilsners though. Felt that mixing it up like that would really help keep the palate fresh. I drank a lot of water, which was found at the corner of the tables in huge jugs. Very convenient for both hydration and rinsing.

I certainly did not get to try a few beers I really wanted to. They did run out of a few beers, including the Noir De Dottingnies which was my favorite of the evening. There were only a couple beers I did not like, two specifically the Stone Belgo Anise and Liefman Cuvee-Brut. The Stone Anise, I couldn’t get over the intense licorice flavor, which is a shame since I love Russian imperial stouts. The Cuvee was just way too fruity for me. Sadly by the time I got there, all the homebrews were pretty much gone. I waited too long and only got to sample one, a saison which I believe was called Take One For the Team.

The festival also featured a ton of food, including the Naked Cowboy oyster station, artisanal cheese and meat, lots of chocolate and a bunch of other eats from places like Cafe d’Alsace, Petite Abeille, Danny Macaroons, Roni-Sue’s, Moho Cocoa and more. The food, just as last time was fantastic. Petite Abeille completely stole the show. They had a sampling of sausage, mashed potatoes, pasta, braised meat and some other stuff. To be honest, I can’t tell you what was on the plate because I ate it so fast. I couldn’t even snap up a pic. I had like three helpings it was so good.

The food was fantastic. I really wish I could have sampled more of it, but as with the beers, time and room in my tummy, ran out. This year they also had a cigar vendor. I didn’t partake, but man, two things that go well, a nice Belgian Strong Ale and a cigar. Don’t know if they’ve done this before, as well, but Get Real had the National Down Syndrome Society as a charitable partner. Needless to say, I made a nice little donation to support the cause. Thought it was awesome of Get Real to do that.


Just one complaint this time, they seemed to have a problem with the taps. I got served quite a few beers that were all foam. Sucked, because it meant you had to wait to try beers. Wasn’t the end of the world, that’s usually when I would take a break to try some food or drink some water.

Here is my full beer list. 30 beers had in all, though I may have missed a couple.

Barrier Mare Undarum
Bavik Witterkerke Wit
Birra Del Borgo
Bocker Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge
Bruery Mischief
Caulier Blond
Cuvee Van Honsebrouck Kasteel Cuvee Du Chateau
D’Achouffe Houblon Chouffe Dobbelan IPA Triple
De Koninck De Koninck
De Ranke Gulden Bein
De Ranke Noir De Dottingnies
De Ranke XX Bitter
De Rulles Estivale Triple
Des Geants Gouyasse Triple
Dupont Moinette Brune
Dupont Redor Pils
Goose Island Matilda
Goose Island Pepe Nero
Hof Ten Dormaal Blonde
Hop Ruiter
Liefman Cuvee-Brut
Pretty Things Field Mouse Farewell
Sixpoint Harbinger Saison
SlaapmutskeTriple Nightcap
Stillwater Debutante
Stillwater Stateside Saison
Stone Belgo Anise
Straffe Hendrick Quadruple
Timmermans Bourgogne Des Flandres
Weyerbacher Heresy

Good times. Good times indeed.
Cheers,
-fred

Listening Pile:
Whitesnake – Here I Go Again
There was a moment at the Saturday evening session when this song came on and all was right in the world. Plus, how many times do I get to post a video with Tawny Kitaen doing that crazy split between the two cars.

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.

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.

Cheers,
-fred

Barcade Jersey City A Recap

On Saturday, I made my way over to the newly opened Barcade in Jersey City. Let me start off by saying, I’ve been to Jersey City maybe 10 times in my entire life, despite growing up about 15 miles from it and now living about 10 miles from it in Manhattan. The neighborhood Barcade is in really reminds me of Queens, a little like Long Island City.

I got there about 10 o’clock. There was a short wait on line, about 5 minutes. You could tell people were excited about a new place to check out in the neighborhood. It’s very similar to when Barcade Brooklyn opened up. The space is large with one bar to the right located in the middle of the space. Tables set up in the middle and the arcade cabinets to the sides. Lots of the usual games you grew up playing, Outrun, Galaga, Pong, Tetris, Punchout, Ms. Pacman, etc… The clientele this evening, was probably not what you’re going to normally see. There were a lot of beer drinking “dudes” with no idea what they were drinking. There were also a lot of over dressed girls with no place better to go. I’m sure it’ll balance out, as time and the freshness passes. It did in Brooklyn.

The beers on draft were excellent, though I will say, they ran out of a lot of them, including almost all the pilsners and wheat beers. That wasn’t a surprise as you could tell there were a lot of newbies to craft beers there and generally those are the ones they tend to feel the most safe with, as was evidenced by my company for the evening, some of my cousins. But, I did get them to try some really great beers from Victory, Founders, Blue Point, Brooklyn and Terrapin. My favorite of the evening was the Terrapin Rye Squared and the Founders Red Rye. Seriously, why can’t we have Terrapin beers in NYC?

I did not sample any of the food, in fact I’m not sure they were even serving food on the night. However, the menu looks pretty good. Cheese and meat plates, pickled stuff. There is supposed to be a Nutella and bacon thing that is great. There are also a bunch of sandwiches on the menu. Like I said, looks pretty good.

Overall, a fun evening with my cousins. I’ve seen a few posts from people that live in the area complaining about how expensive the beers were, the lack of “regular” beers, the service and waiting on lines. My answer is, you’re paying for good beer at a new place. It’ll wear off, lines will get shorter, so will the wait for a beer. However, don’t expect a Budweiser, learn to drink better beer.

Listening Pile:
Thursday – A Gun In The First Act
Some old friends just came out with a new record. Pretty crazy to see how they’ve evolved as a band. I did their very first radio interview on my college radio show some 10 or 11 years ago. They are great guys and really pushing the boundaries of their sound. Check out the song. Oh yeah, and they are from Jersey. Curtains should match the drapes, right?

Brewery Profile – Flying Dog

Flying Dog Brewery, located in Frederick, Maryland(pretty cool eh), is a great mid-Atlantic brewery. Many people know them of course for their bottle labels featuring artwork from longtime Hunter S. Thompson collaborator, Ralph Steadman. 2010 was a really memorable year for them. They celebrated their 20th anniversary, which is pretty rare for upstart breweries. Also, their Doggy Style Pale Ale was rated the #1 Pale Ale by a panel composed by The New York Times.

I’ve really been enjoying a bunch of their brews over the last few years. A couple weeks back I picked up a fantastic six pack of their Snake Dog IPA, which has turned into a go-to beer for me. Some of my favorite brews of theirs include the Raging Bitch which is a tasty Belgian-Style IPA and not too hoppy despite an ABV of 9.3%. Their Garde Dog is a fantastic Bier De Garde, a traditional farmhouse ale brewed in March for drinking during the spring and summer months.

I’ve sampled a couple of their other seasonal brews including the Dogtoberfest Marzen, K9 Cruiser Winter Ale and Woody Creek, a Belgian style Wit. They also have their Canis Major series, high gravity & abv’s and full of immense flavor, that includes the Intense Gonzo Imperial Porter, an homage to the brilliant, but insane Thompson.

Just this past week, they released The Alpha Collection locally in Maryland. This limited-release package is “an homage to the hop” 12-pack that features the Single Hop Imperial IPA with Simcoe, Raging Bitch , Snake Dog IPA, and Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale. It’s a first time bottling of the Single Hop Imperial IPA. Hoping some of those make it up to NYC. I love beers made with Simcoe hops.

This May, they will be sponsoring the Frederick, MD beer week. Confirmed breweries include Flying Dog, Brewer’s Alley, Barley and Hops, Heavy Seas, and DuClaw Brewing Company. Sounds like a fun time.

Listening Pile:
The Stooges – I Wanna Be Your Dog
This is one of the most bad ass songs ever. I thought it was completely appropriate for talking about an awesome brewery that has some of the most bad ass labels around. Enjoy!

Cheers,
-fred