Writing and Reading a Beer Review

Hooray for more edumacation! As promised, my next education segment would be on beer reviews. Before I begin writing beer reviews, I need to know how to write them and you need to know how to read them. But first let’s talk about a few tips if you plan on writing a review.

Never review a beer you know you do not like. If you hate IPA’s, don’t review them. Your assessment will be extremely biased. Always keep an open mind. Only review beer when your senses are in working order. Got a cold? No beer for you! Don’t review after eating or drinking several styles of beer. It will affect the taste. Also, no drinking and smoking. Smoking, whether first-hand or second-hand, will alter the taste. Finally, no reviewing at festivals or sample tastings. Sample sizes do not do a beer justice.

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NY Craft Beer and Food Festival

Attention all beer lovers, (which should be everyone who reads this blog), there will be a beer and food festival in NYC next month. I must thank my brother for informing me about this amazing event. Tons of beer on tap + food = good! For those interested in drinking yourselves silly with some of the finest beer, you can attend the festival on March 19 and March 20th. The festival will be held in the Flatiron District and it’s all you can drink and eat for a 3 hour session.

Both days there will be a session from 12-3pm, 5-8pm, and a special VIP session from 4-8pm. The VIP session will have very rare and limited quantities of beer and food. Tickets are $65 and VIP tickets are $80. So far there are about 80 cask beers available. Your ticket will allow you to sample all the beer and receive a souvenir glass, taste food from at least 20 restaurants and food trucks, and give you access to brewery discussion panels. It’s a little pricey, but consider all the amazing beer and food you have at your disposal. It ain’t too shabby.

Some of the breweries that will be represented include, Stone Brewing, Flying Dog, Riverhorse Brewing, Smuttynose Brewing, Weyerbacher Brewing, and Blue Point. I’m not going to lie, I got a little excited as I read the list. Stay up to date on the brewers and beers here and check out the list of restaurants here. Tickets are selling fast so make sure you check out Get Real NY’s website to order your tickets.

Money is a little tight for me now, but I’m going to do my best to make it out there! I am fully willing to take donations so I can make some really awesome posts about the experience. Support your local beer drinkers!

Kiss Me Kate Beer

Kiss Me Kate beerI found an interesting little article today about a new beer made specifically for Prince William’s new lady Kate Middleton. The Castle Rock Brewery in Nottingham, England is crafting the beer which will debut some time in March, a month before the April 29th wedding. Head brewer Adrian Redgrove tells us the beer will be, “…elegant, tasteful and British to the core. We’re sure it’ll be the ideal way to toast the couple’s future happiness.” (I find that champagne is a bit more regal at a wedding, but hey, that’s just me.)

The beer is a pale ale brewed with only British barely and hops, of course, and will only be on tap for a limited run. Actually a very limited run –about 40 barrels and 100 bottles around British pubs. So if you want a taste, you better book your ticket now. I have to admit, I’m a little jealous. I would love to have a beer crafted just for me. However, I can’t imagine the royal family, Ms. Middleton especially, sipping on a beer at her wedding. They seem more like the tea and crumpets type of family, or at least a bunch of wine snobs.

Congrats to the happy couple, the tasty beer, and the cliche name!

How To Taste Beer

tasting beerTasting beer is the same as tasting a fine wine. It should be a pleasurable experience for all your senses. Sure, we all love guzzling down a bottle from time to time, but a lot of thought and effort was put into that 12 oz. bottle. Every time you gulp without tasting, a beer maker cries somewhere…off in the distance….You don’t want to make a brewmaster cry do you? I thought not! So today we will learn the correct way to taste beer, which will lead us into our next discussion of reviewing beers.

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Kickin’ It at Josie Woods

Josie Woods PubThis past Friday, I found myself in the quiet comfort of Josie Woods Pub, located just a few blocks from NYU. The bar was recommended by my friend Christine for its delicious bar food and laid back atmosphere. The bar is down in the basement and it’s easy to miss the small sign out front. Despite its dwarf sign, the place is actually huge. The bar counter spans the entire width and there is plenty of seating for those wishing to grab some food. TV screens adorn every inch of wall space and there is even room for two pool tables.

For a Friday night, the place was disturbingly quiet. We arrived early though, around 6 pm, because we wanted dinner. The place did pick up throughout the night, but it was far from crowded, which is unusual since it is an NYU hotspot. That was more than okay by me because I wasn’t forced to shout the entire night, except when that one weird guy would make absurd growling noises.

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Beer Lesson 101: Ales vs. Lagers

Besides rambling on about all the wonderful beer I drink and places I go, I think it’s important to have some education thrown in between. As I learn, you can learn, and we can all learn together and make the world go ’round! Today’s lesson is about the differences between ales and lagers. Think about ales and lagers the same way you distinguish white wine and red wine. Each is made its own way and has certain characteristics.

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Beer Every Month? Don’t Mind If I Do!

beer of the monthIn order to help get this blog going, I decided to entertain the idea of joining a beer of the month club. It seems to be the ideal way to continually try new beers all the time. I could venture to the bar every week, but that would require me to actual jot down notes as I drink and socialize. School taught me that the more I drink, the more my brain deteriorates. I don’t think it would be fun to read a drunk blog. Actually, it would probably be hilarious, but I don’t think it’s the wisest decision.

After some research, the best club appears to be The Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club. For $36 a month, I get 12 beers, 4 different styles. All are from domestic breweries. For $42 a month, I can receive 12 beers and 4 different styles, but it will be half domestic and half international. I’m definitely leaning towards the latter because European beer is just plain delicious. One great feature is that I can set up a plan to receive the beer every other month. My wallet appreciates this!

Is $42 a month a bit pricey for beer? Yes it is, but considering my alternatives, it seems the best course of action. Beers at a bar are $6+ each. I do have an excellent beer distributor right in my town, but my fear is spending $12 on a 6-pack and hating it. So what do my 5 fans think? Yay or nay? And saying “yay” does not guarantee that I will give you beer! I will, in fact, accept bribes though –both in monetary and gift form.

The Beer Diet

The sweet words every beer drinker has longed to hear, “Drinking beer is good for you,” has finally arrived. Oh, what a delight when I searched “diet news” for a client’s blog and came across this wonderful bit of information. We can finally say “suck it!” to all those wine snobs out there. A recent study states that beer contains folic acid, calcium, vitamins, and iron –just like a glass of wine. These nutrients can help your cardiovascular system. The study was comprised of 1,249 men and women over the age of 57. They each drank about a pint of beer a day and followed the Mediterranean Diet.

The participants were at a lower risk for heart disease and diabetes, not to mention many even lost weight. One of the researchers who conducted the study stated, “In this study we banish myths. We know that beer is not to blame for obesity.” Don’t whip out that keg just yet. This does not give you permission to guzzle down a few pints a day and eat pretzels. The doctors recommend men drink 3 small glasses and women drink 2 in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise.

I don’t feel nearly as bad about all the beer I consume now. Forget the Merlot. Enjoy a pint with dinner. Cheers!

The Beginning Was Effin Gruven

Effin GruvenNo, I’m not a stoner who can’t spell right. The beginning of my beer journey literally began at a local bar, Effin Gruven. It might be a slightly ridiculous name, but once you enter the bar, any negative pretense you might have will quickly fade once you look at the extensive beer menu. I still remember my first time there. I was invited there on a “pseudo date.” I ordered an amaretto sour. The date turned into a boyfriend and we began frequently going to the bar because of its chill atmosphere, amazing jukebox, and lack of guidos. Is it a place for hispters? Maybe a few, but I like it because it’s full of people like me –those who don’t fall into anyone’s labels.

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