Beer

Kasteel Rouge Sour Cherry Beer

To whet your appetite for summer sour cherry season, we recommend Kasteel Rouge Sour Cherry Beer, a great spring/summer ale. Brewed by adding sour cherries to a base of brown ale, it is barrel-aged for six months. If you’ve had kriek beers before, you’ll be surprised at the deep, dark red color and prominent cherry flavor of this beer. Kriek beers are made with a sour lambic beer base, which makes them more tart. Kasteel’s brown ale base gives it a richer, sweeter flavor – almost more like a sour cherry cocktail than a beer.

Of course if you’re looking for a true sour cherry cocktail to tide you over until July, we’ve got jarred sour cherries and Cherry Heering, an all-natural sour cherry liqueur. Try the Heering in a Cherry Blossom or Gilroy cocktail. And hang in there, summer’s closer than you think!

Greene GrapeKasteel Rouge Sour Cherry Beer
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Micheladas for Cinco de Mayo

While abstaining from alcohol during three pregnancies we craved the certain bitterness and bite that alcohol provides to a drink. All of the non-alcoholic beers we tried seemed too sweet and bloody mary mix undiluted by vodka was too thick and rich. One day genius struck. Looking at our half-finished non-nonalcoholic beer and the dregs of a virgin bloody, we decided to combine the two. Voilà! You needn’t now convince us of the compatibility of savory and hot spices and beer.

A michelada is basically spiced beer with fresh lime. So if you’re looking for something new (and less labor-intensive from a lime-juicing perspective than a margarita), try a michelada today. Oh and if you’re looking for alcohol-free alternatives and can’t stand the sweetness of nonalcoholic beer, try spicing it up using this recipe!

Michelada recipe

12 oz beer
1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
2 dashes hot sauce (try Greene’s Gourmet of Vermont’s Atomic Habanero, pictured but only use one dash!!)
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce

Pour beer over ice, add lime juice, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce and stir.

Greene GrapeMicheladas for Cinco de Mayo
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Victory is Steve’s

In an article in this morning’s New York Times, Eric Asimov decried the lack of good beer at the new Yankee stadium and ran down the best American craft brew pilsners. Batting lead-off at #1 on the list is our Victory Prima Pils, which Asimov describes as “crisp, floral and wonderfully refreshing with a lively, lingering bitterness.” Steve, beerman at Provisions, carries the large format of the Prima Pils in his regular lineup.

Pilsner is a light, thirst-quenching style of beer pioneered in the Czech Republic using bottom-fermenting techniques borrowed from Bavaria, Germany. The use of lightly toasted malts and bottom fermentation makes for a clear, golden beer with distinctive hop flavor. If you’re interested in conducting your own comparative tasting while watching the game at home with friends, Steve also recommends two german counterparts to the Prima Pils in our beer case: Pinkus Ur Pils (organic) and Radeberger.

Greene GrapeVictory is Steve’s
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Hoch Ybrig

We just started carrying Hoch Ybrig from Rolf Beeler in Switzerland, which is Jada’s favorite cheese, both to pronounce and to eat. Our cheese whizzes report: “This stunner is bathed in white wine during maturation, adding a pungent fruity zest to this walnutty, Gruyere-style raw cow milk mountain cheese. Notes of dried apricot, fir trees and Amontillado sherry and a big, complex flavor.”

We tried the Hoch Ybrig after dinner with buckwheat honey drizzled over it. The rich, malty honey was an amazing complement to the cheese. We had also picked up a couple beers to try with and were looking for a syrupy, rich taste. Both beers (the Delirium Nocturnum from Belgium and the Brother Theolonius Belgian-style abbey ale from California) were delicious but were just shy of that honeyed note we were looking for. Steve the beer man has recommended a double bock so we’ll try that tonight with the remainder of the cheese and report back.

Greene GrapeHoch Ybrig
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Presidential Ale!

Every four years the Avery Brewery makes a batch of Ale to the Chief, a celebratory beer that celebrates the inauguration of a new president.  Luckily we were able to get a case of this special brew that would be a great addition to your inauguration party.  Here’s what Avery has to say about Ale to the Chief:

“Ale to the Chief! We the Brewers of Avery Brewing Company, in order to form a more perfect ale, require new leadership that can liberate us from our quagmires in foreign lands; embrace environmentally sound energy alternatives to imported oil; heal our ailing healthcare system; free us from tyrannical debt and resurrect the collapsing dollar. We hereby pledge to provide him with an ample amount of our Presidential Pale Ale to support in the struggle for the aforementioned goals! Hail to the New Chief!”

So reads the label of Ale to the Chief, the latest limited release brew from Avery Brewing Company brewed to bid a fond farewell to our current Commander in Chief and welcome a new administration. Our thought process for this beer was rather simple: take the classic American Pale Ale, use American ingredients like West Coast Cascade hops and the American Ale yeast strain (a first for Avery Brewing) and produce a beer in the Avery tradition with intense, in-your-face flavor. This Presidential Pale Ale has a pungent nose of citrusy, green Cascade hops along with a medium body and a lingering bitter finish. Ale to the Chief! is a limited release brew, get some while it lasts!

Greene GrapePresidential Ale!
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New York Beers!

Over the last few years American craft beers have become astoundingly popular.  Wouldn’t you know it some of the most well known and best tasting of these beers are brewed in New York!  I know you’re not surprised…..

First up we have Blue Point Brewery’s Toasted Lager.  While the “toasted” may make you think you are in for a heavy brown ale, Toasted Lager gives a nice blend of maltiness and a hint of caramel.  This is a very drinkable beer and good way to trick your friends who prefer to “tap the Rockies” that craft beer isn’t scary.  Blue Point Brewery is based in Patchogue, NY, which makes me proud as a former Long Island native!  We also carry their delicious Hoptical Illusion!

You are probably familiar with Brooklyn Brewery’s Brooklyn Lager and some of their other brews but if want something really outstanding you have try Brooklyn Local 1.  One of the few beers they still brew in their Williamsburg location, this is a Belgian style ale with 9% alcohol per volume, which makes it great for sharing!  It is bottle fermented, which is a technique used very rarely in conventional brewing.  Bottle fermented beers are like a fine wine, they get better with age.  This is a great beer to pair with spicy foods or perhaps a selection of artisanal cheeses.

For you cider drinkers we have one of my personal favorite ciders Original Sin. While many ciders can be overly sweet or tart Original Sin is light and has a refreshingly crisp apple taste.  I find that no matter what time of year Original Sin is everything you hoped a cider would taste like!

To continue the Biblical theme of this post we have Shmaltz Brewing Company’s, based in Coney Island,  He’Brew Origin Pomegranate Ale.  Origin is not a sweet beer like a Lambic but rather a solid and subtle blend of pomegranate in an ale.  If you are looking for a way to get your pomegranate fix while out on the town you no longer have to embarass yourself by ordering a Pomegranatini!

Don’t forget to check out our full Beer Selection at BeerMenus.com, and let us know your thoughts on our selection and your favorite beers!

-Steve

Greene GrapeNew York Beers!
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BeerMenus.com, where have you been all my life!

I was introduced very recently to a fantastic new website BeerMenus.com.  This is a great resource for finding your favorite beer in bars and stores around New York City.  Just search for your favorite beer and they will tell where to get it, map and all!  If you would like to check out our selection take a look here!

-Steve

Greene GrapeBeerMenus.com, where have you been all my life!
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Impress Your Relatives, be a Beer Geek!

Thanksgiving is a day for gluttony and there is nothing wrong with that! I am not trying to dissuade people from drinking wine with their turkey, but there is also a lot of football to stay awake for. Not to mention keeping on your toes for all of those questions from your family about your career/love life/etc. that you need to embellish just enough to make it out alive! Here are four beers that will compliment all of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Also all of these beers are brewed by fantastic American Microbreweries.

First up is the Pennichuck Brewing’s Feuerwehrmann Schwarbier. Pennichuck is a small brewery from Milford, NH and they have been receiving a lot of acclaim as well as winning a Gold Medal at the International Beer Festival. I had the pleasure of meeting their Brewmaster who explained to me that the goal of the brewery, other than making fantastic beers, is to eventually donate a portion of their earnings to various charities to benefit firemen in need. This is a dark lager that has a nice maltiness while still retaining the sweetness of a lager. Many people are frightened by the idea of “dark beers” but this brew could surely help the less adventurous beer drinker put down their “beechwood aged” security blanket and learn to enjoy beer! A good beer to enjoy earlier in the evening with hors d’oeuvres or a cheese plate.

Next on the list is Doc’s Draft Hard Pear Cider from Warwick, NY. This crisp and refreshing cider contains the perfect blend of pear and apple that comes through loud and clear when you take a sip. I would recommend drinking Doc’s with your over-filled dinner plate. The subtle sweetness is the perfect partner for your turkey and mash potatoes.

Lastly we have Butte Creek’s Organic Pilsner from Chico, CA. Now the word organic is thrown around a lot nowadays and doesn’t always translate to a great product, that is not a problem for Butte Creek. This pilsner is light with a spicy hop aroma and a refreshing grassiness which makes you feel like you just spent a long day harvesting crops, even though you were actually just looking for those pants with the elastic waist band you bought specifically for Thanksgiving dinner. This is just what you need to clear your palate before your move on to the pumpkin pie.

So pick up a couple of bottles and have an awesome Thanksgiving. I am going to pass on to you the best piece of advice I ever received, stock up on the yams!

Steve

Greene GrapeImpress Your Relatives, be a Beer Geek!
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Baby it’s Cold Outside!

Though we have been spoiled by unseasonably warm weather for the last few weeks it is starting to feel like fall and I for one am pretty excited. Not only can I start wearing all those sweaters I got for Christmas last year again, I also get to enjoy some fantastic new beers!

First up we have Sierra Nevada’s 12th Release Harvest Wet Hop Ale. Wet Hop means that the same day that the hops are picked they are thrown into the brew kettle, most hops are dried before they are used. Though this beer is hoppy as all get up it is also incredibly smooth and not as intimidating as some of the darker American craft beers.

Not dark enough for ya? Alright then you should try Theakston’s Old Peculier. A dark, malty, and full-bodied ale from Marsham, England. Satisfyingly rich with a wealth of hard to identify flavors. This is a great beer to settle down with after a long day.

Lastly we have Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout. Now before you try to pass this off as breakfast you should know that oatmeal stout does not taste particularly of oats. Though in the late nineteenth century oatmeal stout gained popularity because of the association of porridge with good health. Though this trend soon died out so did oatmeal stout. In the 1970’s the Samuel Smith Brewery took on the challenge and produced the first oatmeal stout in over 60 years. This is a great alternative to the more popular Dry Stouts, such as Guinness, the oatmeal stout has a thick body but is incredibly smooth and refreshing.

So next time you stop in pick up one or all of these fabulous beers and let me know what you think!

-Steve

Greene GrapeBaby it’s Cold Outside!
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