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Tag: beer belly be gone

Birreria - A New York City Beer Garden Review

 

BIRRERIA and the Gang Aft Agley

 
Beer Review Birreria

  • Fifth Avenue & 23rd Street, New York City
  • On top of Super Chef Mario Batali’s Eataly

 
Instead of reviewing just one beer, this week the Thirsty Thursday Beer Review will focus on a New York City beer garden. A must see hot spot for locals and tourists in my books.

BIRRERIA is a modern take on an old world Italian craft brewery and beer garden located atop a Manhattan office building. With a retractable roof this beauty of a place is ready for action year round; come rain or shine, winter or summer.

Although I prefer the summer months as BIRRERIA boasts beautiful views of both the Empire State Building and Madison Square Park. The winter months offer some beautiful indoor scenery if you catch my drift.

Aside from one of the best selections of beer in the city Birreria offers a wide variety of Italian food but I’ll refrain from comment as I have yet to sample any of the dishes. I’m guessing the food doesn’t stray far from Mario Batali’s Eataly which is located on the ground floor and offers some great varieties. Each section of the Italian style market restaurant offers a different taste- I might be mistaken but I think it goes Pizza and Pasta, Meat and Cheese, and Vegetables and Bakery.

Apparently the opening of the restaurant was delayed several months as they had trouble getting the large copper clad brewing system up 14 floors. A crane eventually came to the rescue and got the job done.

A relatively new addition to the NYC craft brew scene, Birreria and the Eataly were inspired by the best of Italy and America. Brewers Teo Musso of Baladin and Lurisia, Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head and Leornardo di Vicenzo of Del Borgo put their knowledge together along with Eataly’s very own brewmaster Brooks Carretta to create three exclusive cask ales only available at the beer garden.
 

What is Cask Ale?

 
Thirsty Thursday Beer Review BirreriaIt is my understanding that Cask Ale is much like someone would make as a home brew (if you didn’t use bottles that is). It is beer served from the same cask in which it was conditioned. The beer is naturally carbonated, unfiltered, and served at a traditional cellar room temperature of 50 – 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to the Eataly Website here are the details to the House Brewed Ales:

RUBY
An American Amber wheat brewed with dried fig and mustard seed.

WANDA
Chestnut mild ale. Chestnuts are a unique brewing ingredient in Italy. Eataly Birreria’s Wanda is a moderate dark traditional mild ale with hints of roasted chestnuts.

GINA
Thyme Pale Ale. A traditional American Pale Ale with fresh thyme from the hills of Borgorose, Italy. A twist on a classic.
 

Beer Prices

 
The house cask beers are reasonably priced for a New York pub at $10, and the draft choices range from $6-10. On the high end there are a few imported bottles that range from $6-40. Some of the bottles serve 2-3 people but I think I still might need to try a couple on my next visit.
 

Beer I had: Gang Aft Agley

 
This time around I couldn’t stay long (probably a good thing) as I was off to meet friends at another local hot spot and only had time to sample one beer. Seeing as how I recently wrote about Scottish Ales I decided to give another a try and went with the Gang Aft Agley from Sly Fox Brewing Company.

According to the Sly Fox website the beer is described as,

“A Scottish Wee Heavy brewed with roasted barley and pale malts. A full-bodied malt lover’s dream beer: mellow, rich and filled with flavor. Gang aft agley translates “go oft astray,” as in Robert Burn’s famous line about “the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men…””

Birreria Beer ReviewMaybe it’s the lights… maybe the energy, but there is something about being in New York City that makes beer taste better. I really enjoyed this beer and as I alluded to in last weeks beer blog- I am growing fond of the malt brew.

If you have not yet visited the big city- do so. And while you’re here do not let the tall buildings and shiny lights distract you from giving Birreria a try.

I Look forward to trying other Micro Brews in and around the city but will surely keep this gem as one of my go to establishments. If you know of any other hot spots with local micro brews, by all means let me know!

Cheers,

Jon

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

20 Minute Ladder Workout

3BG Ladder WorkoutThis month’s 20 Minute Fat Blasting Circuit is called the 3BG Ladder Workout. It involves 3 total body exercises and all you need is a pull-up bar. So if you have one at home- it can be done there or get outside to your local park and use the monkey bars.

You’re going to perform the exercises one after the other in a circuit. You will start with one rep of each, then two, then three and so on until you reach 10 reps of each of the 3 exercises. You’ll go up the ladder but you won’t be coming down… not yet anyway.

Watch below as I struggle to complete this months 20 Minute Fat Blasting Circuit:
 

3BG Ladder Workout

 


 
Perform the following 3 exercises in circuit:
 

  • Drop Squat
  • Push-up
  • Pull-up**

 
**If you cannot perform a pull-up, do a body-weight row.

Complete all 3 exercises in circuit for 1 rep, then 2, then 3 all the up the ladder until you reach 10. Use proper form when completing each exercise and rest as needed.

In the video you’ll see me take my share of rest periods as I struggle through this months circuit. It took me 9 minutes and 53 seconds form start to finish. I did however just finish a workout of weighted dips, chin-ups and deadlifts right before, so my arms were pretty shot.

Regardless, see if you can beat my time.

Yours in health,

Sean

PS. Follow the link for more free workouts.

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

Cooking with Beer - Beer Can Chicken

Beer Can ChickenAs opposed to last weeks Beef and Guinness Stew today’s cooking with beer recipe (Beer Can Chicken) is a summer classic. I usually prefer to make this baby on the grill but due to the 25 cm (12 inches) of snow we had over the weekend the barbecue is covered and out of commission.

Not to worry, my version of Beer Can Chicken tastes just as good roasted in the oven.

The beer of choice for today’s Beer Can Chicken is a lager but any variety or your favorite kind will do. I’ve even seen people get creative, add sangria to an empty beer can, shove it up the chicken and fire it on the BBQ.

Like Beer Chili Con Carne this recipe takes a half can of beer so make sure to take a few gulps while prepping. (Little gulps… Leave half for the Chicken)

Watch below to see how it’s done:
 

Beer Can Chicken

 


 

Here’s what you need for the Beer Can Chicken:

  • 1 – 3-4 pound Chicken (innards removed, washed inside/out and patted dry)
  • 1 can of Beer (Lager)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • Half a lemon
  • Dried Rosemary and Thyme
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

How to put it all together:

Remove the innards (if any) from your chicken. Wash inside and out and pat dry.

Preheat your oven to 450°F but before you do make sure to place the bottom rack at its lowest position and remove the middle rack so the chicken can stand stall.

Finely Chop your fresh garlic, place in a bowl and mix together with a few pinches of rosemary and thyme.

Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper, rubbing it in all over.

Pat down the bird with the garlic, rosemary and thyme and squeeze the juice of half the lemon all over.

Place the (half full) beer can into a roasting pan (on a solid surface) and stand the bird (cavity down) onto the can using the legs to balance like a tripod.

Turn the oven down to 400°F and carefully place the bird in the oven. Cook for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes checking mid way through to make sure it isn’t drying out. Once done, remove and let stand covered with a clean towel for 10 minutes.

Carve it up; serve with a side of roasted brussel sprouts, asparagus and sweet potato and enjoy.

How to make your roasted brussel sprouts, asparagus and sweet potato:

Chop the ends off the brussel sprouts and remove the outer leaves. Chop the sweet potato into small cubes. Wash and dry the brussel sprouts, asparagus and sweet potato. Place everything into a bowl and season with sea salt and black pepper. Add approximately half a tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a teaspoon of Red Chili flakes. Mix well.

When there are 40 minutes left on the timer for the Beer Can Chicken put the brussel sprouts and sweet potato into a roasting dish and then into the oven. Add the asparagus for the last 10 minutes.

Soooooooooo good.

Yours in health,

Sean

PS. Follow the link for more Cooking With Beer Recipes.

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

Thirsty Thursday - A Ten Penny Ale Beer Review

Thirsty Thursday Ten Penny Ale Beer ReviewTEN PENNY ALE
Session Ale 5.6% ABV
The Olde Burnside Brewing Company

Today’s Thirsty Thursday Beer Review will take on The Olde Burnside Brewing Company’s micro-brew “Ten Penny Ale” and cover a little history behind Scottish Ale.

While the New York Knicks’ modest JEREMY “LIN-SANITY” is jumping off the couch (literally) and taking the NBA by storm, a small micro brewery just up the road in Hartford, Connecticut has been getting its fair share of fame by producing some high quality brews.

Any micro brewery that can hack it in an industry of major corporations and million dollar ad budgets is in my mind, like Jeremy Lin, a true unsung hero. If you don’t know who Jeremy Lin is I suggest you get off your couch and find out for yourself because it’s truly a heroic story, reminding us when we put our minds to it- anything is possible.
 

The Olde Burnside Brewing Company’s Micro-brew

 
Ten Penny Ale was awarded “Hartford’s Best Micro-brew” in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009, earning it some modest hardware (Connecticut).

The story behind the name is unique. The brewers grandfather used to say, “You can get a good beer for a nickel, but a really good beer will cost you ten pennies!”

The name may also have some relation to its Scottish Ancestry. Scottish Ales were originally given their names based upon the taxes that were levied upon them.

The lower the ABV (Alcohol By Volume) of a beer the less it was taxed. For example: A 3% ABV beer was taxed 60 schilling (the currency at the time) and higher ABVs were taxed at 70, 80 and 90 schilling. The Scotts used these taxes to refer to beer.

Another example of this throw back to the old Scottish Brewing tax is seen with Odell brewery based in Colorado which calls one of its micro-brews- 90 Schilling.
 

What is Scottish Ale?

 
Scotland has a long pedigree of brewing beer even though traditionally the beer was made using various roots and herbs, and not hops. The reason for this was hops were very expensive to import and the main supply had to be purchased from England. This did not please the Scotts to say the least.

Scotland eventually started to add hops to beer however being that barley was grown in massive quantities for production of Whisky the focus became all about malt brews.
 

The Ten Penny Ale Experience

 
I guess subconsciously one of the reasons I like this beer so much is because their motto coincides well with ours. We here at BeerBellyBeGone.com adopt the “EARN YOUR BEER” mentality while their motto is “WORK HARD, DRINK WELL…Ten Penny Ale!” (Hey, maybe they’ll sponsor us one day)

According to master brewer Joe Lushing, the Ten Penny Ale is a mellower version of a Scottish style ale that is second to none.

This beer is available year round at local bars and beer stores. Upon request they even offer draught beer options- smaller kegs are perfect for the weekend BBQ in your backyard.

Ten Penny Ale is copper-brown and lively with rich malt flavors. The ale gives off a heavy caramel tone while the head remains white and frothy.

I highly recommend this beer for the casual beer drinker looking to explore the craft beer scene as there is very little hop bitterness.

People are quick to assume that drinking craft beer is going to leave an extremely bitter taste in their mouth and stick to mass produce lighter beers. This assumption usually comes hand in hand from a first experience drinking IPA’s or darker burnt hop beers, however the Ten Penny Ale is highly drinkable and without any strong bitterness.

This beer is a mild Scottish ale and is worth checking out. Even more so if you are into supporting an ongoing family small business tradition.

Work Hard, Drink Well… and Lose the Beer Belly, not the Beer.

Jon

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

Cooking with Beer - Beef and Guinness Stew

beef and guiness stewUp next in our cooking with beer series is another one of my favorites. Perfect for cold dark winter nights this Beef and Guinness Stew is sure to delight.

Unlike the Beer Chili Con Carne this recipe takes a full can of Guinness so make sure to have another on hand to enjoy while prepping.

Watch below to see how it’s done:
 

Guinness and Beef Stew

 


 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 pound of stewing beef, diced into cubes
  • 1 can of Guinness Draught
  • 1 – 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 Celery Stalks, washed and chopped
  • 2 Large Carrot Sticks, washed and chopped
  • 2 Medium Onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 Handful of Mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tbsp of spelt flour ground flax seed to thicken the stew (whole-wheat flour or all-purpose
  • flour can also be used)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3-4 dried bay leaves
  • Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

 
How to put it all together:

Roughly Chop all vegetables. Place the veges, olive oil and bay leaves into the pan over high heat and cook for 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally.

Then add your flour (or ground flax seed), meat, Guinness and diced tomatoes. Stir and season with sea salt and black pepper.

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Cover and let simmer for up to 3 hours or until beef is tender all the way through.

If the stew is still too runny, remove lid for the last half hour. If stew becomes too dry, add a splash of water. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Serve over a bed of Quinoa and a side salad. Enjoy.

Yours in health,

Sean

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

Thirsty Thursday - A Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Review

Beer Belly Be Gone Weihenstephaner Hefe WeissbierSome of you might wonder how I decide which beer to review? To that I’d say- keep guessing… because there’s no real process to how I pick em. Suggestions are definitely welcome.

Lucky for me, my girlfriend and roommate are on a beer kick and I found a Bavarian beauty kicking around their fridge. Thanks ladies.

The Thirsty Thursday beer I chose to review this week is the German beer- Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier. Say that 3 times fast.
 

Worlds Oldest Brewery

 
Because the inscription on the bottle reads, “The Worlds Oldest Brewery (Seit 1040)”, I decided a little history digging was in need. After a few Google searches and multiple miss spellings I came across the official website and really liked what I found – Weihenstephaner.de (Great video explaining the brewery’s origin and their new state of the art brewing science).

Talk about history- the brewery use to be a Benedictine Monastery and in 1040 the monks were granted the right to brew beer. Petty cool monks if you ask me.

Beer was a part of their daily diet and was even consumed during lent as it was understood the monks did not break fast by consuming liquids (keep that one up your sleeve the next time the old lady wants you to try out her new “fasting diet”).

Today, not only do they brew beer but they study it as well. Weihenstephan is known as the Harvard of beer schools. The tradition of beer is taken very seriously and the brewing behind it is considered a science.

Being that the recipe for this yeast wheat masterpiece is a thousand years old, it’s safe to say they know a thing or two when it comes to brewing a tasty beer.

Lucky for us, Weihenstephan Hefeweissbier is available year round, nationwide and comes in two sizes (12oz or a 22oz bottle).
 

Here’s what I thought

 
In a standard pint glass the appearance is a deep golden wheat. The beer is extremely cloudy and hard to see through. After a strong pour releasing some of the aromas, there was a full long lasting white head which hung around. The beer let loose a general fruitiness and strong European Smell of Alcohol- likely from the yeast or Hefe. The beer is strongly spiced yet not overpowering.

Fellow reviewers noted hints of banana but I’m not to sure of that. The taste was crisp with a light citrus and spice. A very strong bread-like malt on the tongue but it in no way overpowered the beer like I’ve experienced in other Hefes.

This is a full bodied beer yet somehow a light tasting one at that. It is a very refreshing beer and comes close to matching one of my all time favorites which is also a Weissbier.

I give this beer an A and if you’re on a patio enjoying the sunshine an A+.

Prost!

Jon

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

Superbowl Pre-Game Workout

Superbowl Pre Game WorkoutStudies support the best time to refuel muscles is directly after a workout. They are screaming for food in order to restore muscle glycogen.

Try this 6-minute circuit before the big game and make sure the chicken wings and beers go into your muscles and not the beer gut.
 

The Man-Maker

 
The Superbowl pre-game workout is called the “Man-Maker” and the name says it all. Here’s how you perform the Man-Maker:

Holding 2 dumbbells squat down and touch them to the floor. Once crouched jump your feet back into a push-up position and perform a push-up. When you come to the top of your push-up perform a renegade row with each arm. Next jump your feet back in and stand back up while cleaning the dumbbells to your shoulders. Then perform a push-press.

Sounds complicated but it’s not.

Complete the Man-Maker for 2 full minutes without stopping. After your 2 minutes are up, rest 1 minute and repeat 2 more sets of the 2 minute Man-Maker for a total of 6 minutes of work.

Still confused?

Watch Drew perform the Man-Maker in the Superbowl 46 pre-game workout.
 


 

Cheers,

Sean

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

Cooking with Beer - Beer Chili Con Carne

Beer Chili Con CarneWith the Super Bowl this Sunday what better time to not only introduce the new series (Cooking with Beer) but also share my all-time favorite recipe- Beer Chili Con Carne.

This easy to make recipe is packed so full of flavor you won’t even realize it is one of the healthiest Chili recipes on the planet.

When you combine the fiber from the veges and legumes (black and kidney beans) with the mouth watering spice concoction… you get a heart healthy, beer belly reducing bowl of glorious-ness.

Watch below as I show you how it’s done:
 

Chili Con Carne and Beer

 


 

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 Medium Yellow Onions
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Carrots
  • 2 Celery Stalks
  • 2 Red (Green, Yellow or Orange) Bell Peppers
  • Big Handful of Mushrooms
  • 1 Small Zucchini
  • 1 – 24 oz Can of Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 – 12 oz Can of Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans)
  • 1 – 12 oz Can of Black Beans
  • 1 – 12 oz Can of Kidney Beans
  • 1 pound of Extra Lean Ground Carne/Beef (Turkey or Chicken)
  • 1 Can of your favorite Beer
  • 2 table spoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of Chili Powder
  • 2 table spoons of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of Ground Cumin
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of Red Chili Flakes (more or less depending how spicy you like it)
  • Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

 
How to put it all together:

Crack open the can of Beer and sip slowly making sure to save half of it for later.

Chop up all the veggies. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive or coconut oil into a large pot and turn to medium/high heat.

Toss in all the chopped veggies and add in the following spices: 2 heaping table spoons of Chili Powder, 1 heaping tea spoon of Ground Cumin (or Coriander), 1 heaping tea spoon of Cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of Red Chili Flakes (more or less depending how spicy you like it) and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Stir every 30-45 seconds for about 8-10 minutes.

Add the entire can of Diced Tomatoes. Drain and Rinse the Chick Peas, Black and Kidney Beans and stir them into the pot.

Pour in the 1/2 Can of your favorite Beer. With your wooden spoon slowly stir in and break apart the Ground Carne (allowing it to cook in the chili).

Stir in the 2 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar, and add another pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Reduce heat, cover and allow to simmer for about an hour or more, stirring occasionally.

Serve garnished with a scoop of plain Greek yogurt, some grated cheddar cheese and freshly chopped cilantro. Sooooo Good. Makes about 6 – 8 servings.

Enjoy.

Yours in health,

Sean

PS. Stay tuned for another one of my favourites – Beef and Guinness Stew.

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

Flash Fans: 2012 Budweiser Official Big Game Commercial

 

Flash Fan Budweiser Commercial?

 
Most have heard of these Flash Mob things where all of a sudden you’re walking through Times Square and hundreds of people break into some elaborate choreographed dance around you.

In their upcoming Superbowl commercial Budweiser puts a spin on that idea and has a Flash Mob of Fans show up at a local rec league hockey game in Port Credit, Ontario.

Imagine showing up with your buddies for your Monday night beer league game and thousands of fans walk in before the puck drops to cheer you on. Priceless.

One of the best commercials I’ve seen in awhile.

 


 
If that inspires you to lace up the skates, make sure you’re ready by checking out the Beer League Hockey Workout below.
 

Men’s Beer League Hockey Workout

 


 

Cheers,

Sean

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

Thirsty Thursdays: Duvel Beer Review

Beer Belly Be Gone Duvel Beer ReviewWhat better time to sample a Belgian beer than on a snowy Sunday afternoon watching not one, but two awesome NFL playoff games. Just to rub it in a little more- I later enjoyed some of New York City’s finest wings from Blondie’s with a tray of veggies on the side of course.

Needless to say it was a good night for me and both, Patriot and Giant fans. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Raven’s kicker, Billy Cundiff after shanking a 30 yard field goal. I always feel for those kickers but nonetheless I’m looking forward to a heated rematch and some awesomely expensive commercials in a couple weeks time.
 

Dave Matthew’s Band and the Belgium Golden Ale

 
Sunday wasn’t my first time sampling the imported Belgium Golden Ale “Duvel”. My first tasting came while I was over in Europe playing hockey. A few buddies and I planned a road trip from Cologne, Germany to Antwerp, Belgium and hit up a Dave Matthew’s Band concert while we were there.

After 10 of us piled into a van the trip literally started off with a bang. Our designated driver, lets call him “Shannon”, backed the van into a parked car while the occupants sat idling. Whoops. Not the best way to start off a road trip.

I don’t know if it was the fact that we were ten hockey players in a van or that the damaged car was filled with illegal contraband but the mildly pissed off owner of the car said that we should go.

We did however eventually make it to a pub in Belgium and my initial impression of Duvel was this – “What is this “magical” beer the Belgians drink?”

It was good, and I mean really good.

Served in a traditional tulip glass the foam rested on top of the crystal clear beer.

Looking back now I can’t remember with much detail what I liked most about the beer. If I had to guess, it had a lot to do with getting it fresh from the source, the quantity it came in and the people I was with.
 

New York City and the Belgium Golden Ale

 
Being an off day from the hustle and bustle I grabbed the 75cl bottle (the equivalent to 3/4 of a litre or approximately 26 ounces). To my surprise the bottle came nicely topped with a champagne cork and wasn’t something we often see here on this side of the Atlantic.

Nothing is cheap in this city and I had to shell out a handful of dollars and cents, something I’ll gladly do over paying 5 dollars in any New York City establishment for a Coors Light. The alcohol content was a strong 8.5% abv.- giving you a good bang for your buck.

Considering myself more of a beer connoisseur (definitely still a rookie) than I use to be, I opted for a reasonably sized red wine glass in place of the standard tulip shaped glass most bars serve a Duvel in.

Honestly any glass will do and it is what makes you feel comfortable that is important. Just make sure it is clean, as I was reminded how important that is during a recent trip to ‘Beer School’ while visiting the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Colorado. Foam and bubbles stick to dirt in a glass and can make a good beer taste skunky.

I gave the Duvel a steady pour trying to give life to the beer and was pleasantly surprised by the amount of carbonation and foam sitting a top the pale golden beer. The initial smell was on the sweet side but the yeast took over reminding me of Stella Artois (its Belgium cousin).

The heavy foam which hung around forever made it look heavier than it tasted. The beer struck a mix of fruit and spice with a clean smooth aftertaste.

Crisp and clean is the simplest way to describe this beauty.

In my opinion this is a great beer for anytime, with anyone and with anything- 8.9 out of 10. Go earn it!

Cheers,

Jon

PS. Stay tuned for highlights from my trip to Anheuser-Busch brewery, time spent with the Budweiser Clydesdales and Beer School.

Click Here and Start Earning Your Beer

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