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March 29, 2011

Barcade Jersey City - March 29th Update

Barcade Jersey City just posted the following on their facebook page:
Dear friends,

We were very close to being ready to open but we were told to add some additional sprinklers. Consequently, our architectural plans and calculations need to be re-drawn and then approved by the city, which takes time. Hope to resolve this setback soon.

 Here's to hoping that they can get this resolved and open soon!

March 28, 2011

Beer For Beasts Recap

This past Saturday, Sixpoint and Beer Advocate came together for an event to benefit the NY Humane Society at The Bell House in Brooklyn. Sixpoint brewed over 20 one-off beers to be poured at the event. Along with food from Calexico Cart among other local vendors, it certainly sounded like a recipe for a great time. Well, the event wasn't without its hiccups, but since its all for a good cause, I'll give this event a thumbs up with hopes for future improvements.

It certainly didn't help that I was about an hour late to the event, although comrades informed me that it took quite some time to get in after the doors opened at 1. Beers were organized around the walls of the main room according to the layout of the program. This was Issue #1 as there were no labels or signs indicating which beer was pouring at each station. You would have to either keep track of where you were (which can be difficult while drinking) or continually ask the pourers which one you were about to imbibe.

The beer I was most excited to try at the event was the Baltic Street, which was a collaboration between Sixpoint and my friends Stevie from LadiesOCB and Lee from Hoptopia. Unfortunately by the time I came around to that brew, it was already kicked. This was at about 3pm, only about 2 hours into the event. As it went on, more and more beers were kicked, until a majority of them were finished before 4pm, with still an hour left in the afternoon session. I understand that they probably needed to ensure they'd have enough of each beer for the 2nd session, but it seemed a little early for all of these to be disappearing.

Calexico Cart guys working hard in the cold.

The food situation was also a bit of a problem. All of it was located outside in a cramped, fenced-in area directly in front of the venue. The chefs were making as much food as quickly as they could, but the wait times were still too long to endure in the cold. But once you got your hands on the food, it was quite delicious. I only managed to have a few tacos from Calexico, as I couldn't spend any more time in line with so many beers disappearing so quickly inside.

A bit overwhelmed, but still a happy drinker.

Sixpoint brews some fantastic beers. There were so many that it was hard to really distinguish the subtle differences, especially when worrying about getting around to try all of them before they kicked. Even though I love the rustic feel of The Bell House, perhaps Sixpoint and BeerAdvocate need to find another larger venue to allow for adequate room for the large amount of attendees. Overall, this event was to benefit the NY Humane Society and that is an awesome all of my petty complaints are still with an appreciation toward BA and Sixpoint. But lets hope they do it again next year with some improvements, because the only thing better than drinking good craft beer is doing it for charity.

March 24, 2011

If You Ever Think You Might Need a Blowoff Tube...You Need a Blowoff Tube.

The subject says it all for homebrewers. And if you're a homebrewer, you've probably already realized this. Not sure what I was thinking brewing a huge imperial stout and thinking a mere airlock would suffice. The photo above was taken during the emergency rescue and re-sanitizing of the bucket lid.

I keep all of my homebrewing stuff in a closet in my apartment, so at least the explosion of beer was isolated to that. But the walls did not take kindly to the extremely dark substance spraying all over them...not to mention the ceiling.

The boom was so loud it sounded like someone had dropped a ton of bricks in my closet. I'm holding out hope that during this the beer didn't get infected. But considering the total time the lid was off the bucket was only about 5 minutes, I think I MAY be okay.

I've decided to call the beer "Old Lidblower Imperial Stout".

March 22, 2011

Beertography of the Week - March 21st

This week's User Beertography takes us back down under to the great country of Australia. In our last Australian-based post, we pondered over the existence of great beer in Oz. Well, thanks to the gang over at Back of the Ferry, we now know that there is in fact great beer in Australia.

The guys posted some interesting stuff on our previous Aussie post:
There's no shortage of good beer and great brewers in Australia right now. Victoria leads the way with new breweries opening all the time. I subscribe to Beer Advocate, but much of our stellar stuff wouldn't make it onto Beer Advocate. Blue Tongue is not an Australian beer benchmark by any stretch. It is a wannabe macro.

Murrays Craft Brewing Company, Bridge Road, Matilda Bay, 2 Brothers, Hawthorn, Holgate, True South - mate the list s endless. Subscribe to the Crafty Pint for updates on the burgeoning brewing scene in this country.

Yep, cider's also gone mad, but craft beer is going greater guns. Check out We've coined the term beerporn and there's some great examples.

Yup, they refer to it as Beer Porn, which is just fine by me. But some of their shots could be referred to as Scenery Porn while we're at it...some spectacular views.

March 21, 2011

Three Floyds & Sun King Collaborate to Take On Antiquated Liquor Laws

Recently, Indianapolis-based Sun King Brewing Co.'s staff traveled to Munster, Indiana to make a collaborative brew with Three Floyds Brewing Co. Since both breweries make celebrated American Pale Ales (Alpha King and Osiris, respectively), Three Floyds owner Nick Floyd, Head Brewer Barnaby Struve, and Sun King Brewer/Owners Clay Robinson and Dave Colt quickly agreed on a recipe for "3 Kings Pale Ale", a specialty beer that will be tapped in Munster and Indianapolis in April.

This kind of collaborative effort is commonplace in the craft beer world today, but there is a special significance to this Midwest beer team-up. According to Indiana law, a brewer cannot operate a tasting room, brewpub, or self-distribute its product if it produces more than 20,000 barrels (approximately 40,000 kegs) a year. With Three Floyds on pace to exceed 20,000 barrels this year, the brewery is faced with shutting down either its brewpub or it's brewing operation, or moving their entire enterprise to Illinois. Sun King is on pace to hit the 20,000 barrel limit in 2013, when it will either have to stop self-distributing its product or curtail growth permanently.

This is yet another hurdle in the archaic laws that have curtailed the success of craft beer, dating all the way back to Prohibition. Thankfully, recently there have been some steps made in the right direction. But some state laws still force breweries into unfair and exorbitant fees, or in this case, a pointless barrel limit.

The potential effect of this is massive. Just this weekend, Three Floyds sold out of tickets to their infamous Dark Lord Day, where craft beer fans from all over the country descend upon Munster on one day at the end of April to pick up their allotment of Dark Lord, a robustly dark and delicious Russian Imperial Stout. Will Dark Lord Day not happen in 2012? Will the Three Floyds brewpub even exist in Munster at that point?

Then there is Sun King, who will be facing this same problem come 2013, as will other Indiana breweries in years to come. Businesses like Three Floyds and Sun King already have deep ties in their respective communities and are working hard to create a bright future for Indiana, yet it seems their only viable option at this point is to leave the state to be able to sustain their growth.

March 7, 2011

Beertography of the Week - March 7th

This week's submission comes to us from Alison McGee of the fantastic site From This Pint On. This photo was taken at the Avery Brewing Company tap room in Boulder, CO. What she had here was a sample of the Joe's Premium American Pilsner. Bonus points for sunlight usage!

Head on over to Alison's blog post to read more about her trip to Avery this past summer that produced this fine example of beertography. I'm really going to have to make it out to Colorado breweries very soon....

To submit your beertography, send it via email to CHEERS!