What You Missed On Beer Sessions Radio™: The Breweries of North Fork, Long Island

Matthew and Lauri Pitz of Moustache Brewing before the Long Island show taping.

Matthew and Lauri Pitz of Moustache Brewing before the Long Island show taping.

This week on Beer Sessions Radio™ on The Heritage Radio Network, we’re taking a bit of a vacation! No, we didn’t take the week off, but in this pre-taped episode, host Jimmy Carbone heads out to Long Island (at least spiritually) and welcomes three breweries and a co-host in the form of one Niko Krommydas. And since your itinerant blogger is in San Diego this week checking out the west coast scene (let’s just say: hops, hops and more hops!), we’re gonna let Niko do the blogging this week. You can listen to the full episode here.

Take it away, Niko! (Original post.)

Good Morning, Aquebogue! I was asked to organize a Long Island-themed episode of Heritage Radio Network’s weekly program, Beer Sessions Radio, which we pre-recorded during the last week of July. It airs today at 5 pm.

The host of Beer Sessions, Jimmy Carbone (also owner of Jimmy’s No. 43 in Manhattan), proposed gathering three breweries as guests for the show, so I chose to feature a thriving trio on the North Fork: Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, Long Ireland Beer Company, and Moustache Brewing Company. While Blue Point Brewing Company still defines beermaking on Long Island, Greenport Harbor and Long Ireland are both prompting drinkers, by portfolio dopeness and continued growth, to travel east of the vaunted progenitor in Patchogue—to Greenport and Riverhead, respectively. This has helped establish a noteworthy scene on the 30-mile-long peninsula, one that, in my opinion, now deservedly includes Moustache in Riverhead.

Beer Sessions traditionally broadcasts live every Tuesday from Roberta’s in Brooklyn, but we recorded this episode at Greenport Harbor’s impressive and just-opened 13,000-square-foot facility in Peconic, which is highlighted by a 30-barrel brewhouse and 2,000-square-foot taproom (its original brewery and taproom, in Greenport, remains operational). We also drank—specifically Greenport Harbor’s #5, an anniversary-themed Belgian-style dubbel aged with tart cherries; Long Ireland’s newest release, Trinity IPA; and Moustache’s flagship, Everyman’s Porter.

This is my ninth appearance on Beer Sessions. My last, on July 8, was to promote Niko Weisse, my Greek-themed (and universally acclaimed) collaboration with Great South Bay Brewery.



What You Missed On Beer Sessions Radio™: Blind Tasting Tips & The Best of NY IPAs

PB2This week on Beer Sessions Radio™ on The Heritage Radio Network, host Jimmy Carbone welcomed Peekskill Brewery brewmaster—and recent champion of Brooklyn Magazine’s blind IPA tasting—Jeff O’Neil to talk about what makes a good IPA a great IPA. Jeff and Jimmy are joined by Brooklyn Magazine Editor in Chief Mike Conklin, who talks about why he decided to host the blind tasting (to get beyond the hype), and fellow brewer Mike Philbrick of Port Jeff Brewery (whose Party Boat IPA ranked third on Brooklyn Mag’s list). The panel agrees that freshness is the most critical factor in an IPA (tasting tip: if you get an onion-y or chlorophyll taste on the back end of the hops, your IPA is pretty darn fresh!), making judging somewhat skewed owing to the fact that beers typically have to be shipped a month out from actual judging.

Also in the studio are Os Cruz and Gene Reda II of TalkBeer, a newly launched forum where beer lovers and makers can—surprise!—talk about beer! The pair have plenty of tips on how to taste and rank beer in a meaningful objective manner. Os agrees in the blind tasting formula: “Blind tasting tells you a lot about yourself, and it tells you a lot about your assumptions about tasting and how your mind is going to play tricks on you.”

The panel talks about up-and-coming farm brewery Plan Bee, along with the merits of beer awards and whether or not they are meaningful outside the beer community. Plus a lot of great IPAs are poured during this week’s show. You can catch the full episode here.

What You Missed On Beer Sessions Radio™: Seriously Shelton

ToastThis week Beer Sessions Radio™ on The Heritage Radio Network welcomes Shelton Brothers Imports into the studio. Brother Joel and French beer specialist (and regular BSR guest) B.R. Rolya are pouring some of their favorite European imports, while fellow Good Beer Seal bar owner Joe Carroll (Spuyten Duyvil) reminisces about being one of the very first bars to have Shelton Brothers beers in NYC.

Host Jimmy Carbone admits that Shelton’s portfolio holds the kind of “beers that inspire us to get into craft beer to begin with.” Joe echos Jimmy’s sentiment, noting that 11 years ago, there weren’t a lot of domestic craft beers distributed in NYC and the European beers were “big beers” that didn’t appeal to the north Brooklyn community that frequented Spuyten Duyvil. They were looking for German Lagers, and Mahr’s Bräu was one of the first imports they brought in.

Joel discusses the early days of the company, when he would wander Europe with copied pages of Michael Jackson’s The World Guide To Beer, wandering from pub to brewery in search of finding the best beers (Dan Shelton was friends with Michael Jackson before the latter’s death). Shelton’s philosophy is finding beers that reflect “a sense of place or a new beer tradition.” Shelton Brothers look for beers with an emphasis on balance and depth and simple quality. “It’s always about the beer taste, not the ingredients themselves.”

Joe names his top five brands:

  1. Cantillon
  2. Fantôme
  3. Mahr’s (also a favorite of B.R.’s)
  4. de Ranke
  5. Jolly Pumpkin

And Jimmy admits to loving Dieu du Ciel! from Quebec. Listen to the entire episode here.

And the Good Beer Seal goes to…

GBS_Awards_2014Last night at Edible’s Good Beer—the annual food and beer bash that is effectively a closing party for July Good Beer Month—we announced the sixth annual Good Beer Seal Awards. The Good Beer Seal was established to fill a void in the craft beer industry, whereby there’s a lot of talk about beers and brewers but not so much about the retailers who sell great craft beer. Every year, a group of beer industry insiders and beer writers gathers to nominate a slate of worthy bars and bottle shops that deserve to be included in our elite community. The slate then is routed for voting. This year, eight bars made the cut:

  • ABC Beer Co.—This retail bar/shop on Avenue C has been quietly making its mark on the larger East Village beer scene with a dozen draught lines and growlers to go.
  • Crescent & Vine—Astoria is becoming a go-to spot for beer lovers! This cool shop was where we read this year’s mayoral proclamation that July is Good Beer Month and is at the heart of Queens’ emergence on the craft beer scene.
  • Malt & Mold—There are many bars attempting to do regular beer and food pairings, but Malt & Mold’s beer and cheese tastings place them ahead in a crowded field.
  • One Mile House—Situated right off the Bowery J stop, this “gastropub meets street easy” is a drink of fresh water (or beer!) on crazy Delancey Street, offering a more traditional take in an otherwise trendy SoHo neighborhood.
  • St. Gambrinus—Another Brooklyn bottle shop (within throwing distance of the Barclay Center) is known for its diverse selection of beers and knowledgeable staff.
  • The Good Life—Last year the Good Beer Seal left the borders of the five boroughs and ventured out to NJ and Long Island. The Good Life is this year’s sole non-NYC entry into the Good Beer Seal family.
  • The Sampler Bushwick—This Bushwick bottle shop recently hit its one-year anniversary, and offers up tastings, small plates, and 20 draught lines, bringing craft beer to an area of Brooklyn where few options are available.
  • Tørst—Not only among the best Brooklyn or NYC bars, this Greenpoint bar (home to Evil Twin) has been consistently ranked as one of the best beer bars in the world.

And there you have it! The Good Beer Seal has grown to 59 establishments, in and around NYC. Craft beer lovers from everywhere can rest assured of a superior drinking experience at these venues, and we congratulate the 2014 inductees!


What You Missed On Beer Sessions Radio™: Brooklyn V. Queens and The Mayor’s Proclamation

MayorsProclamationSure, the growth of the craft beer scene in NYC has been phenomenal in the six years that we’ve had the Good Beer Seal, but possibly nowhere is this growth more noticeable than in our “royal” counties of Kings and Queens. This week on Beer Sessions Radio™ on Heritage Radio Network, host Jimmy Carbone is welcoming some of the local beer people and press from Brooklyn and Queens to ask the question: Where is the beer scene cooler?

Alia Akkam of Edible Queens and Rachel Wharton of Edible Brooklyn face off in friendly fashion to talk about their respective boroughs. Alia talks about how craft beer is now making Queens a destination (beyond all the cool ethnic food options). Leading the way in Queens are Rockaway Brewing (help contribute to their crowdfunded canning line here), Singlecut Beersmiths, and Bridge & Tunnel (owner Rich Costanza is in the studio, pouring his Habanero IPA). Rich talks about being a Queens native brewing in his hometown.

On the other side of the island (and aisle), Sam Richardson and Matt Monahan from The Other Half are representing Brooklyn, pouring their Superfun! and Hop Showers. Rachel follows up on a previously aborted interview attempt. Sam talks about his transition from Oregon (where he got his degree in brewing science) to his new brewery opening in Brooklyn.

And Jon Lundbom of B. United returns to the studio to help Jimmy co-host. Later German brewer Matthias Richter also drops in to talk about their beers and brewing style.

Plus Jimmy announces that the suspense is over! As most Good Beer Seal fans know, for the past five Julys, the Mayor’s office proclaimed July Good Beer Month in NYC. With the new administration coming on, we weren’t sure when (or if) Mayor Bill de Blasio would applaud the craft beer scene in the same fashion as the Bloomberg administration. But this week, Jimmy received the Mayor’s letter, praising the growth of the beer scenes in the outer boroughs.

Something we’ve been helping promote for six years. So, raise your glass to July Good Beer Month with your favorite brew from (or at your favorite bar in) Queens and Brooklyn and listen to the full episode here.

What You Missed On Beer Sessions Radio™: NYC Craft Beer Scene

We’re half way through the sixth annual July Good Beer Month, and we’ve gathered a diverse group to talk about the NYC craft beer scene and how it has evolved these past six years. Joining Beer Sessions Radio™ host Jimmy Carbone are homebrewers, Simon Tepas and Andrew Said Thomas of Knights of Bruklyn, Brooklyn Brewery Chef Andrew Gerson, Killmeyers bar owner Ken Tirado, Chris Sheehan of Gun Hill Brewery, Rockaway Brewing co-owner Marcus Burnett, and Katherine Kyle of Blind Tiger. (That’s representatives from all five boroughs, if you’re keeping track!)

Marcus is trying to raise money for their new canning line via crowdfunding. Katherine talks about how the scene has changed from when Blind Tiger was the “go-to bar before there were beer bars all over.” Andrew, who came from the old Chelsea Brewing, talks about the unlikely success of their brewery.

Find out what’s happening on the scene today, and what everyone is drinking on this week’s episode here.