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Tag: Micro-brew

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

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

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