Browsing CategoryBeers

southampton-RIS

Comparing a vintage beer at different stages of its maturity isn’t something I get to do all the time, let alone a beer I have taken notes on. Recently, I’ve been cleaning up my wine and beer storage that I’ve wanted to check in on and, well, drinking them. I happen to pop this 2013 Imperial Russian Stout almost two years to the day that I last reviewed it here, on the New York Cork Report in 2013. Much about the beer has changed, yet much has stayed the same. The color and appearance of the stout hadn’t changed at…

keegan-ales-mothers-milk

Keegan Ales began brewing in an abandoned brewery in Kingston, NY around 2003. Since then, their beer lineup (especially the Mother’s Milk) has been a major staple in the Hudson Valley and New York beer scene. They now contract brew some of their beer in Stratford, CT. I like pouring this milk stout from the bottle with some vigor, which creates a nice frothy head and gets all the Oedipus complex out. The stout is mostly black, with a rich brown layer of foam. The nose is more grassy and dusty at first but leads to some sweeter aromas like chocolate…

oktoberfest

I received this beer as a gift, unaware that Southampton Publick House even produced an Oktoberfest (Marzen) beer. Beers made in this style, and not just seasonally, are some of my favorite beers to drink.  The mild hopping, big maltiness, and slight sweetness of Oktoberfest beers work well in basically any situation that involves drinking beer. Southampton Publick House’s rendition this year is excellent and proper to the style. Although there may have been some spice/adjunct additions, the ale is a nice dull copper with hefty foam. The nose diffuses caramel malt, nutmeg, and an earthy quality of dry hay.  The…

brooklyn-blast

I first tried “Brooklyn Blast” ale at the Brooklyn Brewery tasting room in Williamsburg some years ago. I immediately fell in love. At the time, the beer was only available on draft and was not something often found outside of Brooklyn. It stuck in my mind as one of those powerful beers that just feels good to drink. It also happened to be the night of the “Pig and Pickle” event, where pulled pork slathered with hot sauce was served alongside the sourest pickles I’ve ever had. The ale, touted as a “rambunctious IPA” by the producer, seemed to cut…

kelso-ipa

I bought this beer not knowing if I would really like it. Imperial IPAs are often overblown, out of balance and hard to drink. There are always a few solid go-to selections and Brooklyn Brewery’s Brooklyn Blast is the first that comes to mind. When done well, the style can be excellent and mouth-filling. They’re best alongside hearty meat dishes like pork shoulder or short ribs. I equate them to the California Cabs of the beer world. That being said, I’m rarely eating short ribs while I drink these beers so I appreciate a balance and quaffability in them as…

ommegang-fleur

The Fleur De Houblon (hop flower ale) from Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY has been my favorite “summer ale” this season. Albeit not my preferred style of beer, summer ales are ubiquitous this time of year. Many of these ales eventually find my gullet out of pure thirst, oppressive heat and/or lack of a better choice. I like this beer because it isn’t limpid, over-carbonated, and shows more complexity than any other offering in its class. Poured gently to not disturb the yeast sediment, the ale glows a bright yellow-gold color with a pearl frothy head. Whole-cone Bravo hops (featured…

southampton-publick-house

Irish Ales or “Irish Reds” are rarely brewed on Long Island — perhaps because we aren’t in Ireland. Nevertheless, the borrowed style seems to have been almost ignored once people realized they could order a Bourbon Barrel Bacon Doughnut beer. The style has waned in popularity here in the United States, with newer and bigger beers coming along and dominating. It reminds me a bit of Counting Crows’ popularity in the 90’s. “But I always liked Counting Crows” you might say. Well good, me too. I also like Irish Reds. So I’m bringing it back to a beer I have liked for years,…

port-jeff-ipa

On Wednesday, Port Jeff Brewing Company, nestled alongside Port Jefferson Harbor, released its first batch of Party Boat IPA in 12 oz. cans — the first time the brewery has brewed and canned a beer on Long Island. Why IPA in cans you might ask? Well, besides avoiding degradation of the beer from UV light exposure and lower costs than glass — it just feels right. We’re almost programmed to drink beer from a can.  Man buys can, man opens can, man drinks beer. Before the explosion of craft beer, you didn’t have to think about beer as much while…

ithaca-groundbreak

Ithaca Beer Company is one of my go-to brewers when I’m upstate (anywhere north of Westchester for us Long Islanders). They have a solid lineup, yet the brown ale and “Flower Power” IPA are always my favorites. This saison pours a dark yellow to orange color with champagne-like froth. There’s more haze and sediment than I would have expected from an American Saison, although its European counterparts are well known for it. Whatever particles aren’t stuck to the bottom of the bottle slide happily into the bath of ale (it’s ok, yeast is packed with vitamin B and B12). The…

2013-black-ops

According to Brooklyn Brewery’s website: [box_light]“Brooklyn Black Ops does not exist. However, if it did exist, it would be a robust stout originally concocted by the Brooklyn brewing team under cover of secrecy…Supposedly Black Ops was aged for four months in bourbon barrels, bottled flat, and re-fermented with champagne yeast.”  [/box_light] This stout is a limited production, vintage-labeled beer that is fervently sought after by Brooklyn Brewery enthusiasts. The Imperial Stout’s short supply and known aging potential creates a demand that evaporates Black Ops before it hits the shelves. I’ve had the opportunity to drink a 2008 vintage with four…