Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Triumph Brewing & Brooklyn Beer Dinner : Leap Day was a Raging Success

The title of this post accurately depicts the story of my leap day: a raging success.

Raging, that is a weird word. It describes a great many items. But in terms of leap day, it is used as 'epic' or 'of great magnitude'.

Let's start at the beginning: Pancakes. I began my day with pancakes. Delicious pancakes on an otherwise rainy and cold leap day. Yes - it's the day after National Pancake Day - so what. The pancakes were phenomenal. You can't put up an argument against good pancakes. Period.

Later, I went to Triumph Brewery in New Hope. They threw a Leap Day party like no other. $2.29 beers and 29c wings. I had a Jewish Rye beer (it really tasted like a piece of rye bread) and a Coffee & Cream Stout. Honestly, with this deal, any day instantly becomes a good day.

Not to mention, I always love the chalk art at Triumph.

I came home and relaxed for a bit. Listened to the rain and enjoyed the afternoon. Caught up on some quality daytime TV.

But then at night, the big event. The Brooklyn Brewery Beer Dinner. It was a sold out show at the local tavern. Five courses & five beers.

I was seated at a mismatched long table with eleven other people. There were thirty-two seats at the dinner. All ages were mixed; across from me was a husband and wife with their two sons, next to me was a father and a son, on the other side was a husband and wife in their seventies, and way down on the other side was a group of friends. All at the same table. For the first time I wasn't the youngest. Not surprisingly, men outnumbered the women.

We were introduced to the beers, each in succession, and allowed refills if we requested. The alcohol content was >8% for each beer, however, so I kept myself in check (unfortunately, in New Jersey, Thursday is still considered as part of the work week).

First off was the Lager with homemade soft pretzels and three different dips. Spicy!

Next was Salmon with a honey glaze and Local #1. The salmon was perfect, and the sweetness of the Local #1 was very complimenting.

Water carafe break. I feel like this should be an Untappd check in option. Hydration is important.

Third was a rack of ribs, vegetables, and Brooklyn's limited edition brewer's reserve 'The Companion'. So lucky to be able to taste this on tap - it's very rare to find this, and quantities are nearly extinct now as it is. And the ribs! Marinated overnight in a beer-based sauce; melt in your mouth. Many of my fellow beer dinner mates took home a growler of this brew.

At this point my fellow table-mate explained asparagus is likely to be good this year due to the warm winter and early spring.

Fourth was potatoes, mushrooms, Local #2, and --- wait for it ---- KANGAROO. I'm not kidding. Man, that stuff is chewy, even when cooked flawlessly as it was. Not so much gamey, but there was a grittiness to it that was a little strange.

Finally, an old familiar face (well, these days, anyway) was the chocolate stout with ice cream. Call me crazy, but I like these beer floats.

(Before mixing & after mixing it all up)

Great company and great food. The table really became a community by the end, all of us chatting (which was very welcome to someone like me, who went by myself) and exchanging Untappd accounts. The food was fantastic and our host from Brooklyn Brewery, Miles, was great at narrating us through the pairings. Not to mention, I got a sweet glass that will be cherished provided that it does not break.

FeBREWary & Leap Beers finish with a bang. Your move, March.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Who the F is Q?

For more on Q, see this prior post. Thanks for the recommendation Q! I've been needing a getaway.

Alas, if only Q had done a google-search. Old Hotel Brickman postcards are going for $4.25 on eBay.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Three weekends ago Dr. Ali talked me into doing some pottery with her. I was a bit hesitant but eventually agreed. The option for the day was to paint a pre-prepared piece, and they'd glaze and fire it for you.

After much consideration I chose to do a butter dish. This was for two reasons: first of all, I really need one, and second of all, when are you ever 'blown away' by a butter dish that you simply have to have? I've never fallen in love with a butter dish before, and figured it would effectively solve the problem of butter roaming waywardly in my fridge.

The painting process itself was extremely relaxing. I did feel quite amateur, especially when others came in and were painting murals on their pieces - not to mention Dr. Ali's skillful, even paint job. But, true to form, a mother thinks her own work is best and I am quite proud.

Although it looks like a small child did this artwork, this piece is very functional in my house.

The other awesome thing about this pottery place is there's a Thursday night BYOB ladies night that sounds incredible. Some wine and some paint, what could go wrong? I'm game to experiment.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Four Pours & Seven Cheers Ago

Happy President's Day! In the next installation of holiday drinking ideas (see the past pumpkin beer, or the green beer experiment) here are a couple of beverages and fun facts to help you celebrate and honor our presidents. Hail to the cheifs they're the cheifs and they need hailing!

Fun Facts:

James Madison, the fourth president of the United States, suggested there be both a National Brewery and a Secretary of Beer. I will be accepting all write-ins on the ballot for this position if it ever comes to fruition.

George Washington wrote down his recipe to make beer. Check out the outcome from a homebrewer who recently made General Washington's personal beer recipe.

Franklin Pierce (who somberly died of cirrhosis), is rumored to have said "There's nothing left but to get drunk," after not being nominated for re-election.

Rutherford B. Hayes, with influence from his wife, banned alcohol from the white house during his term, although it was not strictly adhered to.

Prohibition was initiated via the Eighteenth Amendment to the US constitution, under Woodrow Wilson's term.

According to Wikipedia, it was illegal to homebrew a beverage with an alcohol content > 0.5% until 1979, when Jimmy Carter signed the bill repealing these restrictions.

Some Brews & Beverages to be festive with:

- Yards Brewing - George Washington Tavern Porter, Thomas Jefferson Tavern Ale
- Wardland Brewing - Homebrewer, I believe, but maybe he'll share - John Adams Braintree Ale
- Are you a homebrewer? Try out the John Q Adams Patriot Ale recipe.
- Feel free to drink any of these brews in a William Henry Harrison beer stein.
- Rolling Meadows Brewery - Lincoln Lager
- Rusty Truck - Taft Draft Toffee Porter
- Go have some drinks and dinner at the home of Warren G. Harding
- Swamp Head Brewing - Roosevelt
- Does anyone use myspace anymore? Regardless, feel free to check out Wasted Wine's song Harry Truman on their myspace page. It could add some nice ambiance to the room while you're trying all of these presidential beverages. Also note if you peruse iTunes, you can find all kinds of songs you've never heard of about presidents.
- Reportedly, if you order a Nixon at a bar, it is whiskey & citrus soda.
- Why not start a gift giving tradition? Offer this Bill & Hillary set to your politically appreciative drinking buddies.
- You can check out our current president having a beer on the White House's flickr account, but you've already missed out on the Obamagang Inauguration Ale.

Worst case scenario just dust off your three piece suit, drink something on the rocks in a scotch glass, and barrel around making executive decisions. Happy President's Day!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Disney Princes Go Internet Dating

This is the resulting discussion from when the clubs at the Jersey Shore are closed for the season so Dr. Ali and I go see Beauty and the Beast on a Friday night. For the sake of our sanity Jagerbombs need to be year round. But come on who wouldn't want to take Gaston or Hercules to Karma? Plus I feel like every girl in this state has run into at least one Captain Hook.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Jessica is brilliant.

I must've spent ten minutes in her bathroom. Mustaches on mirrors? Fantastic.

Although Jessica is the master of all things moustache. Exhibit A.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Brewery Etiquette

Dr. Ali and I had quite a crafty weekend, visiting several of my favorite local breweries in Pennsylvania, a new brewery in NJ, and topping it all off with some antiquing and pottery. During this expedition we had a realization. As avid lovers of craft beer, we are chronically faced with an uncertainty on a certain aspect of proper brewery etiquette. Can you bring your own growler to a brewery?

Many times I have visited a brewery and have wanted to take some of the freshly poured brews home with me. I would love to have a continuously filled growler at my house, where it hosts a 'beer of the day' (or so); a taste of somewhere I recently visited or just a rotating fill from one of my local hangouts. But there are two major things preventing me: buying a new growler at every location is neither cost nor space effective. I mean, let's face it, at the rate I tour breweries it would be similar to collecting empty milk gallons - they'd kind of just be lying around all over the place. That might be cool if I were a dude with a man cave, but I am not. 

I'd love to simply be able to pack my one trusty growler and get it refilled. Is it proper/appropriate to do so? Or is that a brewery foul? I'm not saying bring one brewery's growler to another brewery, but maybe if the New Jersey Craft Beer scene marketed ad-free growlers, I could tote that around the state instead. And collect their stickers. I seem to be obsessed with brewery stickers.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday

Kane Brewing, in bourbon barrels

Super Bowl Sunday is my favorite Sunday Funday.

Sunday Funday: noun and/or verb. The day you ignore is before a work day and continue to celebrate like the weekend.

A few brews, a day where the diet is ignored... It's fantastic. The Monday after Super Bowl Sunday should be a national holiday.

Anyway, a bit of a weekend recap in photos. And the last photo, of paint brushes, is a sneak preview of a post to come later this week. Feel free to click on any photo for a bit more detail.
Breakfast at the most delicious joint in town. And man did I step out of my comfort zone! Ordered two new dishes instead of my standard special. 

Adventures in Asbury Park. 

Have I mentioned lately I love my iPhone? All photos on this post were taken with it.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Happy FeBREWary

A beer float made with organic ice cream at Troegs
(I would post my current beverage but my legs are beat after a lovely run in the sixty five degree weather. My camera is over there and I am over here. And so I shall retain this level of coexistence, with my beer here and camera there.)