Beer of the Week: Two Roads Honeyspot Road White IPA

IMG_4013Two Roads Honeyspot Road White IPA (6% ABV): This American IPA brewed by Two Roads Brewing Company in Stratford, Connecticut pours a slightly hazy straw yellow with a bright white soapy head that fizzles out quickly after the first sip. Two Roads’ take on the white IPA is refreshing and more in line with a wheat beer than an IPA. The brewing process uses American ale yeast without the spices in order to achieve the unique, refreshing flavor. American Wheat hits your senses first with bread-notes, pungent grapefruit and minimal bitterness that quickly changes and finishes with a healthy dose of bitter hops to remind your taste buds that you’re drinking an IPA. Keep in mind that I was in dire need of a drink when I stumbled into The Crooked Knife – more below – but, Honeyspot Road White IPA is flavorful, with an undercurrent of wheat that nicely highlights the hops for an award-winning* drinking experience that I would recommend all summer long.

I ordered a pint of this beer at The Crooked Knife on W 14th Street in NYC (there are two locations). After a few hours of walking The High Line, Meatpacking and Chelsea, I randomly stumbled on this place in need of a place to sit down and sip on a cold brew. The outdoor seating drew me in, but the friendly staff, good service and drinks made for an enjoyable experience. Bonus, a pint cost $7, not bad for NYC.

* Two Roads Honeyspot Road White IPA is the 2013 Great International Beer Festival (GIBF) gold medal winner for American Wheat.

Beer of the Week: Schnickelfritz Chocolate Cherry Milk Stout

cloverleaf

Saucony Creek Schnickelfritz Chocolate Cherry Milk Stout (8% ABV): This milk/sweet stout from Saucony Brewing Company in Kutztown, Pennsylvania pours a deep crimson brown with a sudsy off-white head that slowly settles into a thin head that lasts. Dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, vanilla and a bit of cherry on the nose. Schnickelfritz is silky and creamy with lots of caramel, vanilla and cherry malt. The chocolate comes through a bit more as this beer warms up for an adult treat on a cold night.

 

Fun Fact: “Schnickelfritz” is a Pennsylvania Dutch term that refers to a naughty rebellious child who is always getting into trouble.

Link here to read more about Cloverleaf Tavern.

Birthday Beer “Cake”

I wanted to help my boyfriend celebrate his 30th birthday in a Birthday-Beer-Cakebig way. I decided to throw him a surprise birthday party, but also wanted to give him a gift that he would enjoy rather than something he needs. We both love craft beer, so I thought it would be a cool idea to present him with 31 beers that he had never tried before for each year – the extra one is for good luck! While searching online, I came across a great idea for a Birthday Beer Cake on Back to Her Roots. As soon as I saw it, I knew this was the perfect gift! Obviously this is not an actual cake, but rather assorted beers assembled in a kick-ass that doubles as a party decoration!

Materials:

  • Craft Beer (I used 34 individual beers total, but you can use 31 for a stable cake.)
  • 3 12-inch cake rounds (My local crafts store was sold out of this size, so I bought the 14-inch cake rounds instead.)
  • 2 rolls of wired ribbon (If you choose ribbon with a design, make sure the design is on both sides of the ribbon.)
  • Glittery flower picks (You can find these in any art and crafts store in the floral department.)
  • Black glitter foam paper
  • Silver glitter foam paper

Preparation: The most important part of this “cake” is the beer. When purchasing your beer, make sure that all of your bottles for each layer are the same height. All 12 oz. beer bottles are not created equal! Some are slightly taller than others, so I would recommend measuring. I scoured all my favorite beer spots in Northern NJ to get the right beers for this cake. I had the most luck at Liquor Outlet and Wine Cellars in Boonton,  Heights Beer and Wine Emporium in Hasbrouck Heights and Wine and Beverage Depot in Totowa. I visited a number of other liquor stores, but had to pass up on a lot of great beers because my boyfriend had already tried a lot of them. The original cake design has a bottom later of bottles, a middle layer of cans and a top layer of assorted bottles. I had a hard time finding cans for sale individually, so I ended up going with three layers of bottles. Assembly (Note: beer bottles are not adhered to the cake rounds. You will need to assemble your cake wherever you plan to display it):

  1. First, put down one of your cake rounds. (As I mentioned, the store was out of 12-inch. I decided to purchase the 14-inch cake rounds instead and add a 1.5 inch border around each cake round. Then, I covered the borders with glue and sprinkled with gold and silver glitter. In my opinion, I think this looked way better than any of the patterned cake rounds available at the store.)
  2. Next, arrange 16 beers on the first cake round. I would recommend putting the bottles close to one another to build a good layer of support.
  3. Place your second cake round on top of the bottles.
  4. Then, arrange 11 beers on the cake round.
  5. Place your final cake round on top of the second layer.
  6. Arrange the rest of your beers on the final layer. (The original design only used 4 different-sized beers for the top layer, but I used all seven beers I had left.)
  7. Tie ribbon around each layer of your cake.
  8. Cut a “30” sign out of your glitter foam paper, attach to a skewer and stick in center of top layer.
  9. Insert assorted flower picks in each layer, focusing on the top layer.

Guest Post: Kendall College Craft Beer Infographic

Learn about the the growth of the craft beer industry from this infographic from the hospitality program at Kendall College.

KC-beer-info

Text provided by Matthew Zajechowski.

It’s no secret that craft beer has been enjoying a renaissance. To see evidence of that, you don’t need to look any further than the wide variety of labels taking up space in the beer aisle at the grocery store, or the regional and seasonal offerings at local bars, or all of the small, independent breweries popping up around the country. The American Brewers Association counted 2,403 American microbreweries in 2012, and in less than 2 years, that number has jumped to more than 2,700. That’s by far the most breweries we’ve had in this country since the brewery boom of the 1880s.

Part of the reason craft beer has enjoyed so much success in recent years seems to be because beer drinkers are becoming more adventurous. Fuller-flavor beers have become particularly popular, with IPAs being the most popular choice. Because there are so many different breweries experimenting with different flavors, consumers are getting more opportunities to try new things.

While microbreweries don’t have the same marketing budget as the Big Breweries, they’ve been thriving on word-of-mouth and the social atmosphere they provide. Most microbreweries offer tours and tastings, and some even have bars and restaurants attached to them so that friends can meet up to try new beers together. Many people enjoy dining out at a restaurant and pairing a craft beer with their food.

How You Can Get Involved in Craft Beer

Several colleges, including Chicago’s Kendall College, currently offer a concentration in Beverage Management in order to prepare students for careers both inside the brewery and on the business side. If you’re interested in learning more about getting into the craft beer industry, you should also reach out to organizations like Pink Boots Society, a group specifically for women beer professionals. With so much opportunity for growth in the industry, both men and women should be able to be a part of the
craft beer revolution.

 

 

Beer of the Week: Saucony Hop Suplex Ale

 Saucony Hop Suplex

Saucony Hop Suplex Ale (10% alcohol): This spring seasonal Imperial IPA from Saucony Brewing Company in Kutztown, Pennsylvania pours a cloudy russet brown with an off-white head that doesn’t last, but leaves decent lacing. The aroma is distinctively floral hops with notes of citrus and sweet melon along with malt undertones. The six hop varieties that Hop Suplex is brewed with lend themselves to the overall flavor; bitter hoppiness cleanses the palate and paves the way for sweet honey citrus finished with malt flavors. The depth and complexity of the flavors are worth trying. Plus, the label is cute 🙂

 

 

Gorgonzola IPA Crackers

I don’t know about you, but when it’s this hot outside, I don’t feel like doing anything! Except for drinking a great, cold beer ;)! I wanted to find a recipe that didn’t involve much work or heated up my house, but satisfied my hunger. Thus, Gorgonzola IPA Crackers from Beer and Baking.

Ingredients: (Makes about 30-50 crackers)

  • 1 cup AP Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup of crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • 4 tablespoons of cold butter cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup of beer ( This recipe used Four Peaks Hop Knot IPA)

Cooking Directions:

  1. In a food processor pulse together the flour, salt, cheese, and butter.
  2. Add the beer until the mixture comes together into a ball.
  3. Put the mixture in some plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Using the wonderful trick of rolling out dough between two sheets of plastic wrap, roll out your dough to about a 1/4 inch thick.
  5. Using a pizza cutter or a pasta wheel cutter cut your cracker shapes.
  6. Put onto a silpat or parchment paper and then stab with a fork to create air holes.
  7. Add salt or any other topping to your desire. Put the crackers in the oven for about 10-15 minutes before baking them so they kept the shape better.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes. I rotated them halfway through and waited to take them out until I could see a little browning on the crackers.
  9. Allow to cool completely.

TIP: These crackers last about 3 to 4 days so eat them while they’re fresh for the best taste!

These crackers will be perfect for any gathering or late night snack. I can also see myself making a little basket full of these crackers and some craft beers for a great birthday gift. I can’t wait to try this recipe!

Top 10 U.S. Craft Breweries (by sales volume)

bells-oberon-ale-1

A few of these were obvious, but I was a bit surprised by some. Can you guess which breweries make the list?

  1. Boston Beer Company (Massachusettes): Top Selling Product: Sam Adams Boston Lager
  2. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company (California): Top Selling Product: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  3. New Belgium Brewing Company (Colorado): Top Selling Product: Fat Tire Amber Ale
  4. Deschutes Brewery (Oregon): Top Selling Product: Black Butte Porter
  5. Lagunitas Brewing Company (California): Top Selling Product: Laguintas IPA
  6. Bells Brewery Incorporated (Michigan): Top Selling Product: Oberon Ale
  7. Matt Brewing Company (New York): Top Selling (beer) Product: Saranac Pale Ale
  8. Harpoon Brewery (Massachusettes): Top Selling Prodcuct: Harpoon India Pale Ale (IPA)
  9. Stone Brewing Company (California): Top Selling Product: Stone IPA
  10. Brooklyn Brewery (New York): Top Selling Product: Brooklyn Lager