Posts Written ByJulia Burke

Saranac White IPA

saranac

You never know what’s going to shine in a blind tasting. That’s why it’s so important. Big-name beers from lauded breweries may actually be lackluster in a lineup, without the pomp and circumstance their fame would normally require, while lesser-known or less respected breweries may surprise and force the drinker to reconsider relegating it to “party beer” status. The latter is exactly what happened the first time I tried Saranac’s new white IPA. I was blind-tasting Belgian styles with a group of experienced tasters, and after several samples that turned out to be from Ommegang, Dupont, and Lindeman’s we were…

At Gene McCarthy’s, a Local Irish Pub Gets a Beery Makeover

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By Julia Burke, Beer Editor A very old Irish pub in a very old part of Buffalo is getting a fresh start and a bright future thanks to a group of local-obsessed craft beer freaks. Gene McCarthy’s, located in Buffalo’s historic Old First Ward, has long been a cozy setting with a surprisingly sophisticated tap list thanks to the influence of its neighbor, the world headquarters of the Brewing News publications. Now, Brewing News founder and owner Bill Metzger is teaming up with passionate locavore and brewer Willard Brooks; general manager David Bittner, an avid gardener and brewer; and Matt…

The “Beers of the Year Finalists” That Didn’t Win… That We Loved

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By Julia Burke, Beer Editor The best and worst aspect of our “Beers of the Year” program is the difficulty of choosing a favorite; while we agreed on Krysztoff, and Mark Tichenor has plenty more to tell you about that particular Baltic porter (look for his post next week), several beers caught the crew’s attention in a big way. I highly encourage NYCR readers to try all of the finalists if they haven’t already. The first time I had Ithaca Beer Company’s Brute I found it truly staggering. I had just begun exploring sour beers and this one was a…

2011 Beer of the Year: Custom Brewcrafters Krysztoff Baltic Porter

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On behalf of the New York Cork Report I’m proud to announce our 2011 Beer of the Year: Custom Brewcrafters Signature Series Krysztoff Baltic Porter. We’ll have more commentary on this amazing beer, and on other beers that impressed the entire crew, in the next few days, but at this time I would like to congratulate Bruce Lish and his team on a simply fantastic accomplishment. I’d also like to congratulate all the incredibly skilled New York brewers who created this lineup of finalists. I think I can speak for all Wines/Beers of the Year attendees when I say that…

Flying Bison Brewing Brindle Porter

\A good porter feels like your favorite pair of jeans. It just fits — your tastes, the meal, the moment. I’m constantly in search of the perfect porter. It’s one of my favorite styles not least because brewing it correctly requires skillful composition and, I would argue, a sense of honor for the style’s history of comforting and sustaining the Industrial Revolution workforce. Flying Bison Brewing has produced such a beer. Brindle Porter, a limited release inspired by the classic English porter, pours a deep brown color with a one-finger head and wide, faint lacing. Hints of coffee, chocolate, and…

Sixpoint Craft Ales Diesel

By Julia Burke, Beer Editor A good winter stout in a can. I dig it — great packaging and I have to admit I like the visual and tactile experience of popping a can of stout. Diesel looks scrumptious in the glass: an eponymous black and pours a nice one-finger head with beautiful lacing. Like many stouts, this beer needs to warm up to cellar temperature to before any of its wonderful flavors wake up. After a few minutes, rich malty aromas of toffee, coffee, and licorice emerge, making for a welcoming, sumptuous nose suggesting a winter ale; the palate,…

Niagara Gets a Little Hoppier

By Julia Burke, Beer Editor There are some exciting new vines in Niagara County –– well, make that bines. Rich and Bree Woodbridge, a charming and passionate young couple well-equipped for Niagara with a sense of adventure and a lot of heart, took a leap of faith when they moved to Lockport from California (after working in economic development in India) in March of this year to revitalize Rich's family's sixth-generation farmhouse. McCollum Orchards is a hundred-acre farm dating back to the 1820s, and while it's wonderful land for apples and other produce, the Woodbridges have something special in mind…

Southampton Publick House Double White

By Julia Burke, Beer Editor Long Island brewery Southampton Publick House has arrived in western New York and I can't think of a nicer way to ring in the holidays than with this consistently impressive brewery's lineup of interesting and varied styles. Double White pours a glowing sunrise-haze gold color and shows a brief one-finger head and beautiful bubbles. A clean, crisp nose with only a subtle whiff of cardamom and lemon and just a little bit of clementine give way as it opens to bready wheat character and citrusy Belgian yeast esters. The mouthfeel is excellent –smooth, bready, just a…

Your Ultimate Guide to Pairing Beer and Cheese

By Julia Burke, Beer Editor and Aaron Estes, Cheese Editor Some say the best match for cheese is wine. We say those people are probably the ones who thought Buttercup should’ve stuck with Prince Humperdinck in The Princess Bride. Beer and cheese is where it’s at, folks and with the holidays approaching, you may want to treat your guests and family to this killer combination. But pairing is always a challenge, and you may be asking yourselves, “But doesn’t all beer go with all cheese? Aren’t they both delicious and snackable? Why should I care about specific pairings?” As your…

Cellar Brews: Beer for Winemaking

By Julia Burke, Beer Editor I'd venture to say many of you are winemakers. I'd venture to say many others are home winemakers. And a fair number of you have undoubtedly spent some time in a cellar. So you're all too familiar with the necessity of beer during the winemaking process: to celebrate at the end of a long night of crushing; to sip while filtering (this may just be an intern thing); to enjoy in the lab while figuring out the next day's picking schedule; or just to cleanse the palate after hours of bench trials. Beer's vivacious carbonation,…