Posts Written ByJulia Burke

Recipe: Cherry-Creme Beer Float

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After a hot summer bike ride, nothing tastes better than a good root beer float. But why not substitute sarsaparilla for stout? I like my floats with all sorts of malty, sweeter beers, and after a morning bike ride over the weekend my boyfriend and I hit on what might be the world’s greatest beer float. The beer:  Southern Tier Brewing Company Creme Brulee Stout Unlike many brews by the Stout Kings of New York, Creme Brulee doesn’t have any chocolate flavor –– instead, it’s bursting with vanilla bean and caramel flavors thanks to real vanilla bean and dark caramel…

Governor Cuomo and Legislators Announce Agreement Supporting Craft Breweries

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A threat that could have put New York’s breweries in financial jeopardy and driven up the cost of craft beer has been staved off, thanks to collaboration by breweries and sympathy from Albany. As Rochester correspondent Mark Tichenor reported, a recent lawsuit filed by the Shelton Brothers importation and distribution company resulted in the end of exemption from excise tax and brand label fees for New York breweries. That meant that effective immediately, New York breweries were required to pay a $150 fee on each individual beer label registered for sale, plus 14 cents on the gallon (add an extra…

Peak Organic Brewing Company Local Series: New York

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Peak Organic Brewing Company isn’t a New York brewery –– it calls Portland, Maine, home. But their beers are so consistently good that I forgive them. Now they’ve gone and made a beer with New York ingredients, which, for various reasons, is more than I can say for many of the excellent brews reviewed on this site. Peak has embarked on a Local Series, with each brew in the series featuring hops and barley from a certain state (Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New York) to showcase that state’s particular terroir. Their New York example is here, and it’s a very…

Review: Community Beer Works “The Whale”

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By the time Community Beer Works opened for business this spring, hype surrounding Buffalo’s new nanobrewery had been building for months –– after all, not only would this be Buffalo’s first new brewery since 2000, but the CBW founders, particularly head brewer Rudy Watkins, are well known for their formidable skills and knowledge in the malt, yeast, and hop realm. Like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, the mysterious brick building on Lafayette Avenue practically begged onlookers to speculate about what wild and wonderful libations might flow forth once its doors opened. Belgian quadrupels? Extra-extra-double-double-India-to-the-Max IPAs? Sours to make you cry for…

Niagara County Welcomes Woodcock Brothers Brewery

Niagara Wine Country visitors — and winery staff — have been asking for a brewery in the area for years, and this fall they’ll finally have one. Woodcock Brothers Brewery is building a stunning facility that will include a brewery, restaurant, tasting room and porch on Lake Street in Wilson, New York, minutes from Schulze, Black Willow, Marjim Manor, Chateau Niagara, and Victorianbourg wineries. “The reception from the wine community here has been unbelievable,” says Tim Woodcock, who is founder along with his brother Mark and their wives Andrea and Debbie (all Niagara County natives). “People have been showing up…

Surprised by “Little Burgundy” at TasteCamp: Ankida Ridge

When I visit a new wine region for the first time, I’m most interested in trying the signature wines of that region –– the grapes that grow best and are considered most suited to the terroir. I don’t make a habit of seeking out the stuff I drink back home. But if I see it, I simply can’t resist trying it. Especially if it’s pinot. Nothing gets winemakers and wine lovers waxing poetic like pinot noir. Sweeping generalizations, clichéd metaphors about women and sex, and cool-climate superiority complexes abound, and it’s easy to forget that as haunting and beautiful and…

Tap New York: Experiencing New York Beer at its Best

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Long Island’s Spider Bite Brewing won the TAP New York 2012 F.X. Matt Memorial Cup! Photo Credit: Niko Krommydas Teeming masses of increasingly inebriated folks who don’t know or care what’s being poured. 45-minute lines. Tired, stressed brewery staff dealing with falling-down drunks getting belligerent about “short” pours and closing times. All reasons I don’t love beer festivals. Which is why I was blown away while hanging out at the Custom Brewcrafters table on Saturday at Tap New York 2012; people were returning and bringing friends, even towards the very end of the day, because they remembered the beer. They asked for their…

Community Beer Works Launches in Buffalo

Buffalo has its first new brewery in over ten years. After much hard work getting everything built, brewed, and licensed, Community Beer Works, a nanobrewery located on the city’s West Side, launched its first beers this weekend at neighboring Elmwood Avenue pubs Cole’s and Goodbar. The brewery premiered Frank, a generously hopped pale ale, and The Whale, a chocolatey, chewy brown ale, to an enthusiastic crowd on Friday night. The following weeks will feature more “embeering”, as the CBW gents like to put it, the highlight of which will be a five-course pairing dinner at Belgian gastropub Blue Monk on…

Shmaltz Hop Manna IPA

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Selecting a beer called “Hop Manna” is about as close as I’ve come in years to celebrating Passover/Easter, but it had been too long since I’d had a Shmaltz Brewing Company (Saratoga Springs, NY, and San Francisco) brew and I was feeling particularly like a chosen person. Hop Manna is a new IPA brewed with Citra, Warrior, Cascade, Centennial, Amarillo, and Crystal hops and dry hopped with Centennial, Citra, and Cascade. It’s the brewery’s first single IPA, released last year in four test batches and in distribution for the first time this year. It’s got a beautiful hop nose: fresh, with orange…

A Trip to the West Side (of Keuka Lake)

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Well, I’m once again the midst of my annual month-long break from alcohol –– but that doesn’t mean I can’t still enjoy a trip to Finger Lakes wine country. In need of a road trip and eager to take advantage of Wednesday’s lovely weather, I hopped in the car and headed to Keuka Lake for a long overdue visit. (Note: to the tasting room servers’ credit, I didn’t get a single stare or snide comment when I asked for a spit bucket, which I’ve heard can be a problem at many wineries. I thus managed to taste responsibly and maintain my detox.)…