What You Missed On Beer Sessions Radio™: From Bushwick to New Zealand

BSR_062315This week on Beer Sessions Radio™, host Jimmy Carbone is going “down under” in both Brooklyn and the globe (En-Zed, as the natives of New Zealand like to call it). Joining him is a cavalcade of beer stars in the studio: Jake Cirelli of From the Ground Brewery, Steve “Ben” Middlemiss of Ben Middlemiss Brewing, Lauren and Joe Grimm of Grimm Artisanal Ales, beer writer Josh Bernstein, Ben Keene of Beer Advocate and Joel Shelton of Shelton Brothers Imports.

The farm brewery license has allowed for more local grains, and From the Ground opened up at Migliorelli Farms (you can get their beer at the Union Square Greenmarket on Friday and Saturday); in a moment of “synchronicity” (our word of the day!), a malt house opened up the road, allowing for Jake to incorporate local malt as well as the hops from the farm.

Learn how Ben got his nickname while brewing beer at the age of 14 (they start early in New Zealand!) and became a part of the Shelton Brothers line-up. (For those who need a throwback Tuesday, there’s a connection to Hanson! “Mmm hops!”) Ben reminisces about his youth during the strict years of pubs closing at 6 p.m., watching the intense imbibing that would happen while workers tried to drink as much beer as they could in the hour after work before the pub closed. Despite his youthful indiscretions (he began with explosives before turning his attention to wine-making; his impatience in waiting for fermentation led him to beer making), he has all his digits and a successful gypsy brewery today.

The Grimm team talks about their upcoming 2nd anniversary celebration and their reception at Roberta’s (their Super Going is one of the most popular beers currently on tap at Roberta’s, where we record the show). They’ve become a bit of a “cult” brand, also winning at the Great American Beer Festival (their Imperial Stout Double Negative won a silver medal). This year they’re probably going to send in a dry-hop sour brew. They discuss the submission of beers at what is arguably the worst time of year (August) to ship beer and how it affects what beer is submitted. They also reveal some of the secrets of their gypsy brewing success (their double IPAs are being brewed at Flagship on Staten Island; they brew their sours in Virginia).

Ben and Josh discuss the challenges of judging beer in these large festivals, especially as the number of breweries grows exponentially in the United States. They also summarize the most popular brewing styles currently being made and trends in the industry, along with a discussion of the challenges faced by gypsy brewers both here and abroad.

You can listen to this week’s full episode here.


What You Missed On Beer Sessions Radio™: The Bushwick Beer Show

TheSamplerThis week on Beer Sessions Radio™, we’re honoring our home base: Bushwick Brooklyn! Aside from our studio inside of Roberta’s, Bushwick is home to many special places including Good Beer Seal Bar Pine Box Rock Shop (owners Jeff and Heather Rush are in the studio), Arrogant Swine (owner Tyson Ho regales us of life as a pitmaster in industrial Bushwick), and Hops and Hocks‘ Blake Jordan and Rachel Chitwood.

There’s a definite change in the neighborhood as more businesses come in and real estate prices go up, but the Bushwick beer scene has a rich history, which beer writer Chris O’Leary (Brew York New York) reflects on later in the show. Hops & Hocks has built its business on a made-in-Brooklyn and growler shop, and they’re sampling food and beer and discussing session IPAs. “There’s a time and place for every beer,” notes Chris.

Also from Bushwick is another Good Beer Seal bar, The Sampler. Raphael Martinez also reflects on how much his street in the neighborhood has grown in terms of new restaurants.

Chris notes that for a long time, the only place to get good beer was The Bodega but now you can walk from “deep” Bushwick towards East Williamsburg for a “wealth of beer options.”

Listen in to the full episode here.

What You Missed On Beer Sessions Radio™: The Vermont “Old Beer” New Coffee Show


Luke Manson and Jimmy Carbone behind the sticks at Jimmy’s No. 43 after the show, pouring Beanery Brewing’s Ethiopian Coffee Milk Stout.

It’s a nearly all-Vermont takeover of this week’s episode of Beer Sessions Radio™ when host Jimmy Carbone welcomes back the Worthy Burger team of Dave Brodrick, Ian Campbell and Jason Merrill, along with local entity Blind Tiger’s Luke Manson for a discussion about two of Vermont’s greatest contributions to civilization: coffee and beer! Or, in the case of Beanery Brewing, a joint venture between the Worthy Team at Smuttnose Laboratories in New Hampshire, that is using coffee (and coffee beans) to create a new line of specialty craft beer that is currently making its way to NYC.

It’s the latest version of “The Jimmy Show” as Jimmy Ludwig of The Happy Hour Guys steps in as the always gracious co-host he has become on the show. Big shout out to him and his team for reaching the 300 episode mark of their landmark web series.

Also in the studio? Jeff “Chief” O’Neil, who reveals that his latest venture (open in 2016) will be called Industrial Arts Brewing Company and focus on Jeff’s signature hop-forward beers.

So, what does it take to make beer with unusual ingredients, such as coffee? How do you build a brand around caffeinated beer? The Beanery Brewing team is talking about the impetus for their launch and the many different java brews (Turkish coffee!) they long to incorporate into their alcoholic brews.

Plus, Chris Balla of Mile End Deli/Grand Army talks about launching a new bar in Brooklyn and selecting just the right beers when you’re opening a new place.

Listen to the full episode here.

What You Missed On Beer Sessions Radio™: Greenport Harbor and Long Island Beer Scene

BSR060215This week on Beer Sessions Radio™, host Jimmy Carbone hosts a Long Island takeover with favorite frequent guest Niko Krommydas and Ralph Perrazzo of BBD Eats and Rocky Point LI. Also cramming into our tiny studio is the Greenport Harbor Brewing team of owner/brewer John Liegey, Executive Chef Brian Russell and Sales Director Sean McCain.

Six years in, Greenport Harbor is expanding and John weighs in on the new facility and updates to the brand. They recently lost their packaging line, which means that you can now buy their beers in bottles (hopefully coming soon to a Bodega near you!). Plus Chef Brian discusses the beer-local farm focus of the new restaurant.

Plus we’re talking cider with Kris Nelson of Citizen Cider along with a phone in from Jamie Griffith of Lost Nation Brewing.

What You Missed On Beer Sessions Radio™: Václav Berka and Brewing Like a Pro

BSR_052615This week on Beer Sessions Radio™, host Jimmy Carbone is joined by beer royalty as Václav Berka, head brewer of Pilsner Urquell returns to the studio. He’s joined by Bitter & Esters‘ John LaPolla, who is doing tastings and demos around the city featuring Pilsner Urquell. Over its 173-year history, Pilsner Urquell has only had six head brewers, and Václav discusses the challenges of creating pilsners and maintaining the beer’s flavor over changes (wars, occupations, etc.). He brings an unfiltered unpasteurized version of the beer to share with the panel.

Also from Europe is Paul Walsh, who is part of an English-speaking team that is producing Belgian Beer & Food Magazinew that has its US launch this week. He discusses how the craft beer label in Europe is harder to define than in America. He weighs in on Belgian pils beers, including a great pilsner made by Saison Dupont. He also recommends finding unfiltered pilsners if you come to Belgium (and you may be able to get some this week at Good Beer Seal bar Tørst).

Rounding out the panel:  Pilsner Urquell’s Trade Quality Managers James Zinkland and Bryan Panzica, who also was Pilsner Urquell’s 2012 Master Bartender of the Year (awarded for complicated pouring and presentation skills).

John talks about an upcoming pilsner homebrew competition and the homebrew community; they’re having a special meet and greet with Václav at Bitter & Esters Friday (5/29) at 6 p.m. Come out and listen in  (full episode here) and learn everything you always wanted to know about these great lager beers.

What You Missed On Beer Sessions Radio™: Erica Shea & Stephen Valand of Brooklyn Brew Shop

Erica_Stephen_051915This week on Beer Sessions Radio™, host Jimmy Carbone and producer Justin Kennedy are joined by Erica Shea and Stephen Valand, the owners and founders of Brooklyn Brew Shop . Six years ago, Brooklyn Brew Shop was a small operation working out of the Brooklyn Flea. With the idea that making beer (real beer from real ingredients) can be simple, tasty, and – most importantly – fun, they created stylish, easy-to-use beer making kits designed especially for stove-top brewing for space-strapped New Yorkers brewing. Today, Brooklyn Brew Shop is available across the country in addition to 26 different countries.
From Italy (a prison that brews beer) to Bamberg, Germany (Schlenkerla not only inspired Erica and Stephen to start brewing but also is the only Bamberg brewery still malting their own grains) to China and Taiwan, Brooklyn Brew Shop is everywhere! Listen in to hear about their world travels and the state of beer around the globe (and check out their homebrew recipe book for inspiration).
Locally, the couple was recently featured on Brewdog Brewing’s TV show hosted by brewers James Watt and Martin Dickie. Erica and Stephen were challenged to make a kit that would be marketed as the “Ultimate Big Apple Beer” and came up with a Belgian strong ale with apples (sauce in the mash, torched apples in the boil, apple-jack-soaked oak chips in the fermenter).
Collaboration is a relatively new venture for Brooklyn Brew Shop. Jimmy asks them the process of co-branding for clone brews: It wasn’t part of their original business plan; several brewers reached out (including Steve Hindy of Brooklyn Brewery) to scale down their favorite recipes for Erica and Stephen to market.
And here’s a scoop: Brooklyn Brew Shop will soon start offering 5-gallon kits!
Tune in to this fun and fascinating episode about the global homebrew movement here.