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Category Archives: Travel

Beer in the City; Adventures in New York City

The Big Apple, the City That Never Sleeps, Gotham City, the Empire City; whatever you call New York City, add another name to the list: New Beer City. On a recent trip I had the opportunity to visit many of the city’s craft beer spots. And the city that never sleeps knows how to do craft beer.

ponybarThe Pony Bar
637 10th Avenue at 45th Street
New York, NY 10036

Located in a neighborhood of Manhattan known as Hell’s Kitchen, The Pony Bar is more like heaven for craft beer aficionados. We arrived just moments before a drenching thunderstorm shook the city and quickly noticed most of the tables and barstools were occupied. But, no worries, a long table near the door had two empty seats and, after asking if we could share the table, we were invited to sit and enjoy.

At The Pony Bar, the emphasis is on American craft beers, meaning that you may find a Belgian-style beer on tap, but you will never find an import. In addition, there are no bottled beers available other than Bud and Bud Light. The Pony Bar features 20 taps and two hand-pulled beer engines of craft beer at all times, all displayed on a state-of-the-art display that is updated in real time hanging above the bar. The bar also displays their tap list on their website in real time for guests who like to know what is on tap before stepping out into the elements.

During our visit we sampled Elysian Brewing Company’s Super Fuzz, a refreshing blood orange pale ale. We also sampled Blue Point’s No Apologies (Citra) from the beer engine. Beers at The Pony are served in their signature blue-labeled, 14-ounce glass or red-labeled eight-ounce name-sake glass. The name of the bar, is a nod towards the small, eight-ounce glasses of beer – or ponies – that were served in years past between races at horse tracks.

Along with great craft beer, the bar also serves a small menu of pub favorites like burgers, roast chicken and sliders. Like everything else at The Pony Bar, the food was served quickly and with a friendly smile.

If you find yourself in Manhattan and want a craft beer served by friendly and knowledgeable bartenders close to Times Square, The Pony Bar fits the bill perfectly.

rattlenhumRattle n Hum
14 East 33rd Street
New York, NY 10016

Within the shadow of the iconic Empire State Building is an equally iconic to beer-lovers visiting the Empire State – Rattle n Hum. Do not be fooled by the narrow entry, this beer bar opens into a cavernous room that is generally packed with thirsty New Yorkers fresh off-the-clock or other colorful types simply stopping in for a cold pint selected from nearly 40 taps of craft beer and even more specialty bottles.

From the moment you walk in, this Mid-town pub immerses you in craft beer culture and friendly hospitality. Upon bellying up to the bar, guests are presented with an updated menu of the craft beers available that day. The bartenders are knowledgeable and will patiently answer your beer questions as well as provide a small taste of any beers you may want to try before committing to a full pint. And, if you still cannot commit to a single beer, Rattle n Hum offers sampler paddles of four beers chosen by you.

On our visit we chatted with a delightful Irish bartender who spent time answering our questions and even looking at our wedding photos (my wife will show anyone who stands still longer than 10 seconds our wedding pictures). Though, I do not remember her name, she was instrumental in the choices I made for my tasting paddle. Of the many fantastic choices available, I chose Brewer Ommegang’s Fleur de Houblon, Great Divide’s Orabelle, Vixnu from Cervejaria Colorado and Bacchus from Brouwerji Van Honsebrouck.

In addition to an amazing selection of craft and import beers, Rattle n Hum also has an extensive food menu and features brunch on the weekends. Think pub favorites like Baby Lamb Sliders, Shepard’s Pie and selected artisan cheeses and charcuterie.

StagsHead-NY-51st-and-2ndThe Stag’s Head
252 E 51st Street (at 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10022-7744

Down a few step off of East 51st Street you will find the bar level of The Stag’s Head, established in 2008. This popular beer bar boasts 16 rotating taps and over 50 bottles and cans of craft beers. It also features two seating areas and a roof-top beer garden.

When we arrived several television screens distributed throughout the venue were showing a World Cup soccer game to the delight of many boisterous patrons. It was a bit of a challenge to find a couple of bar stools to rest our weary feet, but after a few minutes a couple opened up. The friendly and jovial bartender appeared and took our drink orders. I went with a local brew from Captain Lawrence Brewing Company; Liquid Gold Pale Ale.

After the game ended, the place cleared out a bit and the bartender came down to chat with us a bit. He offered several great tips for where to enjoy more great, local beer that we later tried and enjoyed. Who says New Yorkers are all self-absorbed jerks? Certainly not us since everyone we talked to was more than willing to help and answer questions.

McSorley's Old Ale HouseMcSorley’s Old Ale House
15 East 7th Street
New York, NY 10003

New York is full of history, but it is not often that you drink at a bar that is actually part of the storied history of a place. But, McSorley’s Old Ale House is certainly full of history and character. From its outward appearance in the middle of a block on East 7th Street, one can see that it has been a fixture for many years – 160 years to be exact. That is right, McSorley’s has been around since 1854 and has played host to Civil War soldiers, presidents, musicians such as Woody Guthrie and scores of visiting dignitaries.

When you pass through the door, McSorley’s is revealed to be an old, dusty, dark and musty space; and that is its charm. Hanging from the ceiling are some of the bar’s original light fixtures sporting chicken wishbones awaiting the return of the Civil War soldiers who placed them there. In the back room hangs what used to be a scandalous nude painting of one of the first female regulars to the saloon. Above the fireplace is the bar’s motto, “Be good or be gone!” A motto still enforced in the continuously-packed venue.

Beer at McSorley’s come is just two varieties; light or dark. There are no other choices so do not ask. The only other beverage allowed are sodas that can be found tucked inside the original ice box behind the bar. Beer is served in small mugs often ordered a half-dozen at a time. Grey-vested waiters will deliver your choice of beverage to your table – if you are lucky enough to score one – or you can wait your turn at the bar to order.

McSorley’s is a force all its own in a world of beer bars. It is unpretentious and simple in its approach: serve good beer fast, except no bullshit and treat everyone like a friend. The combination works and, if the size of the Saturday night crowd is any indication, will continue to do so for many more years.

brooklyn-brewery-Brooklyn Brewery
79 N 11th Street
New York, NY 11249

More than just a tree grows in Brooklyn; this brewery near the Williamsburg neighborhood is a hotbed of activity during the week when brewing and even more so when its tap room doors are open. At the end of a large, dark beer hall stands the tap room’s bar with its selection of Brooklyn Brewery favorites like Brooklyn Lager and Local #1 along with lesser known treats like Mister Wilson’s Western Elixir and Ridgy Didge.

But, perhaps the most striking feature are the looming stainless steel fermenters that stand just inside the entrance of the tap room and serve as the starting point of the brewery tour. The tour takes interested beer enthusiasts to the brewhouse where they can get a glimpse at the pilot system as well as their larger main brewhouse. After a quick overview of the viewing process the group is ushered to the fermentation and packaging room where the guide regales visitors with stories of how the brewery started including tales of mob attempts to shut the operation down.

Back in the tap room, lines grow quickly at the bar that accepts only tokens purchased at the small company store inside the main entrance. For just $20 patrons can score five tokens that can be exchanged for a pint of delicious beer.

Just a short subway ride from Manhattan, Brooklyn Brewery is well worth the trip off the island.

birreriaBirreria at Eataly
200 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10010

Walking in to the Mahattan outpost of the European Eataly chain is like walking in to the Ikea of Italian food. The cavernous space houses several Italian restaurants along side of every type of Italian food for sale one can imagine. There is a pastry shop, gelato stand, cheese shop and gadget store all in one space.

But, for beer lovers, it is the roof of the building that holds our attention. From the main store you must board an elevator to the roof, but the short journey rewards you with gorgeous views of New York’s skyline – particularly beautiful at night – and a gourmet restaurant developed with the help of Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head, Teo Musso of Baladin and Leonardo Di Vincenzo of Birra Del Borgo.

At the bar, imbibers can choose from three beers on the beer engine or several others on tap. While we were there we tried the Gina from the engine, a bay and rosemary spiced ale that was delicious and refreshing. The beer was also brewed just feet away at the venue’s rooftop brewery. Other choices were a selection of Italian craft beers such as Lurisia Sei and American craft brews from Dogfish Head and other regional breweries.

While all of the bars and beer halls we visited had friendly staff, the bartenders at Birreria were outstanding. Even though the place was packed and outrageously busy, they always stopped to ask if we had any questions or needed another drink. At one point the kitchen sent up a plate of grilled swordfish by mistake and the bartender presented it to us on the house. “I’d rather you ate and enjoyed it than send it back and it go in the trash, he said.

We were impressed and delighted. The fish was superb.

On our way out, we spoke with the manager to let her know about our stupendous experience and she was just as delightful to speak with as the staff. Next time we are in New York, we know exactly where we will be spending a great deal of time.

gingermanThe Ginger Man
11 East 36th Street
New York, NY, 10016

Michael Jackson, the late beer expert not the one-gloved singer, is quoted as to saying The Ginger Man is, “One of finest beer bars in the world.” I tend to agree. The classy, dark wood interior exudes sophistication. Behind the bar are tap handle after tap handle to sate thirsty beer lovers’ thirsts and draw them in. as you approach and sit at the bar one is handed a beer menu that is chock full of interesting and wondrous brews.

As with many beer bars, a sampler paddle was offered and I filled it with several outstanding beers: Duvel’s Single Fermented, Peekskill Brewery Simple Sour, Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge and a lighter beer from Cricket Hill Brewing Company called Jersey Summer Breakfast Ale.

The staff at The Ginger Man is well-versed in the beers on tap and was able to offer thoughts and insights into most. And, like The Pony Bar, The Ginger Man posts its current beer offering online at its website.

Conclusion

Any trip to New York City is going to be packed with new experiences. There is so much to see and do, so many landmarks, museums and shows that beer bars can easily be overlooked. But, for any self-respecting beer-lover, New York’s beer scene cannot be missed. The bars we visited just scratch the surface, there are so many more that we hope to drop in to on our next visit to the city. Suffice to say, that with the bars listed here you cannot go wrong.

The Jax Beer Guy has partnered with the UBER car service in Jacksonville. Because of this partnership, you can receive a $20 credit for your first ride by simply using the promo code “JaxBeerGuy” when you register for UBER on your smartphone.

Click HERE to sign up now!

 

 

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St. Augustine pub crawl takes to the water

Pub crawls are a fun way to visit several bars and sample the drinks at each. On any given weekend, thirsty crawlers can find haunted pub crawls, beer-centric pub crawls, historic pub crawls or food-centric pub crawls in St. Augustine. But, until now, there was no pub crawl offered for those with a nautical inclination.

watertoursThe idea came to “Booze Director” Deana Paimes one day while she and her husband were relaxing at the Vilano Pier after a day out on the Matanzas River. Docked at the pier Paimes saw the Jax Water Tours boat and struck up a conversation with the owner Captain Brooks. The discussion came around to the topic of pub crawls and a light bulb went off in Paimes’ head; why not combine the beautiful sites that are only available from the water with music, laughter and a pub crawl?

After more talks and some logistical maneuvering, Paimes’ vision was brought to fruition. Guests board the Osprey at the Vilano Pier for a three and one half hour cruise that takes them to three pubs along the Matanzas. On board the Osprey guests are offered a beer and treated to music and breath-taking views.

“If you are looking for a relaxing boat ride filled with Debbie Downers,” Paimes says. “This is not the boat for you. We will be having fun, floating to each destination while listening to music and laughing along the way.”

Guests can board the Osprey at the Vilano Pier Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. and enjoy a beer before the 2:00 p.m. departure. Once the party pontoon pushes off, guests can expect to make stops at The Conch House, Beaches Restaurant and the Kingfish Grill for drinks and food.  The cruise ends with the boat docking at Vilano Pier again at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets for the cruises are $25 per person and are available at the Jax Water Tours website. Or contact Jax Water Tours at 904-322-7194.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2014 in Pubs, Relaxing, Travel

 

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Most expensive and cheapest places in world to get a beer

beerThe next time you complain about the price of the beer you drink, consider what beer-lovers in Tripoli, Libya cough up for a draft pint (technically .5L): $9.30. Talk about hitting a guy where it hurts! In contrast, the cheapest beer in the world can be had in Guangzhou, China where imbibers need only pay $0.36. Clearly, there is a disparity in price around the world for the third most popular drink after tea and water.

The city pricing data comes courtesy of Quartz (www.qz.com) a consumer news blog. Quartz, having seen an article on Thrillist (www.thrillist.com) about the countries around the world with the cheapest beer wanted to dig a bit deeper.

Turns out that the country with the cheapest average cost for a pint is Vietnam where beer is served – almost sacrilegiously – on ice for about $0.76 for a 12oz glass although it is not uncommon to find bia hoi for as low as $0.20. At the higher end of the top five cheapest countries to get beer is Ethiopia where you can expect to drink a beer called St. George’s Lager for just $0.93 a pint. St. George’s Lager is named after the country’s patron saint and has been brewed since the 1920s. Should you ever decide you would like a taste of it, the brew is sold at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom theme park for considerably more than the price in Africa.

Other countries on the top five cheapest beer list include the Philippines, Ukraine and Cambodia. Cities that will set you back the most for a pint include four cities in Norway and one in both Sweden and Denmark. Apparently, beer is very expensive throughout Scandinavia.

Read the entire articles about the price of beer at the links below and be happy that you are only paying $5 or so for that pint at your local tap room. It could be worse.

Quartz: The cites with the cheapest beer in the world

Thrillist: Where’s the cheapest beer in the world

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2014 in Beer, Travel

 

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A visit to a couple of Hawaiian breweries

Our correspondent from the north recently returned from a visit to the Hawaiian islands of Maui and Kauai. In between sight-seeing and beach-going he managed to visit a couple of breweries and has provided us with the following report.

IMG952013122695191439Breweries in Paradise

Over this past holiday season, I had the opportunity to visit the Hawaiian islands of Kauai and Maui. After a little research, I discovered microbreweries on each of the islands. First I drank at the Kauai Island Brewing Company after a long day on the beach.

Kauai Island Brewery & Grill

First Thoughts: The Kauai Brewery is the westernmost brewery in the world. There, you just learned something. It seemed to be a smaller operation but there was an upstairs seating area that I liked. Since they are based on an island, the brewery had a nice nautical/Hawaiian theme.

NO IPAs?!?: Right off the bat, I noticed two beers on the list I wanted to try: Captain Cook’s IPA and Na Pali Pale Ale. Since I am an avowed hop head, those choices seemed to be no brainers. Other beers on their list were just bonuses. Much to my surprise, however, they were out of both! Needless to say I was pretty bummed and even contemplated leaving. I mean, come on, the beers I chose were two of their flagship beers and they were out. To me this is pretty much unacceptable.

The Beer: After I stopped pouting to my wife I made my selections and ordered several ales, they had one IPA on tap called the Fonz IPAaaaaaa (…get it!?!) and a couple lagers. They all seemed a little on the light side, probably for easier drinkability because it is always so hot in Hawaii. Additionally, the IPA could have been a little hoppier but that is just my personal preference.

Final Thoughts: Beside the fact that they were out of two flagship pale ales, I did end up enjoying myself. We had some food, chatted with some locals, and I got a neat shirt. I do suggest you stop by if you are in the neighborhood and have the time.

IMG_20131229_150210_847Maui Brewing Company

First Thoughts: The Maui Brewery has two locations on its namesake island; a bottling plant and a brewpub. The brewpub is located in a strip mall and I was a little unsure about what we would find there. But, after stepping inside, we discovered that the inside of the place was huge. They even had a spot on the upper level for beer tanks. They had a huge selection of beers, both flagship and an even larger assortment of experimental and seasonal brews.

The Beer: I was able to try two different IPAs and some good amber ales as well. We had a coconut porter that my wife loved but was lost on me. I am just not a fan of coconut. Their Big Swell IPA is very floral and aromatic and is great to drink on a warm sunny day on the beach. I also tried the Freight Train IPA which seemed very flat, drinking it seems like drinking odd tasting water. I need carbonation in my beer.

Final Thoughts: Overall I was very impressed, there was good food, and I got another t-shirt. I tried very little of their flagship beers and focused more on the harder to get releases because I found out they are amping up their production. The brewery is building a second brewpub and a larger production facility. This means they will be increasing their distribution as well; I will definitely be on the lookout for Maui beer in a can.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2014 in Craft Beer Brewery, Travel

 

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Anthony Bourdain to bring Guts & Glory tour to Jacksonville tomorrow night

Guts&Glory_350x225_image_2In the world of culinary super heroes there is one man who, through his snarky remarks and laid back attitude, has risen to the pinnacle of his craft. That stellar, unabashedly frank titan is none other than Anthony Bourdain who will be appearing at the Jacksonville Times-Union Center April 25 as part of the Artist Series. Bourdain will storm into town with his Guts & Glory tour to regale attendees with stories of his adventures on the road that are sure to be heavily dosed with his trademark caustic humor.

Bourdain made a name for himself with his best-selling books such as Kitchen Confidential and Medium Raw. In them he reveals the shocking details of what really goes on behind the kitchen doors in hilarious and often sneeringly blunt style. His success has lead him to star in the Emmy Award-winning Travel Channel programs No Reservations and The Layover as well as host of The Taste, a cooking competion series on CBS. His writing has appeared in such luminous publications as The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Times of London, as well as the Harvard Business Review.

But, lest you think food is Bourdain’s only love, you need only watch several episodes of his television programs. Beer is a staple on the tables Bourdain sits at and with the company he keeps. Episodes that highlight his love for all things malt and hops include No Reservations’ Prague episode and The Layover’s Dublin installment. Bourdain has even famously got into a little hot water when he commented on the pulling of Dogfish Head founder Sam Calgione’s Discovery Channel television show Brewmasters.

The popular and superb San Marco Dining District is proud to be the Official Restaurant Sponsor of Bourdain’s show and is providing a dazzling selection of appetizers for the sold-out VIP reception. In addition to the show, attendees can expect a slew of merchandise including copies of Bourdain’s books provided by The Bookmark, the show’s Official Bookstore Sponsor. The Omni Jacksonville serves as the show’s Official Hotel Sponsor.

Great seats are still available for the Guts& Glory tour ranging from $40.00-$75.00, at the Artist Series Box Office between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., at (904) 442-BWAY (2929) and online at http://www.artistseriesjax.org.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2013 in Beer, Food, Travel

 

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Local tour operator and media company collaborate to bring beer tours to Jax and more

A new tour operator based out of Ponte Vedra, Fla. has announced collaboration with Talentino Media. Play Harder Tours (PHT), headed by William Tabone, is offering exciting weekend packages that revolve around two of America’s favorite things: beer and sports. With new partner Talentino Media, founded by Joe and Susanne Talentino, PHT will provide exciting getaways throughout the Southeast and beyond.

“Craft beer is a craft,” Tabone said. And it is for that reason that he focuses his tours on local craft brewers.

Currently planned travel packages include:

  • NFL Road Trip to the Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Lions at Jacksonville, Nov. 2 – 5, 2012
  • NFL Road Trip to the Jacksonville Jaguars vs. NY Jets at Jacksonville, Dec. 7 – 10, 2012
  • New Orleans Mardi Gras, Jan. 25 – 28, 2013
  • Las Vegas Super Bowl Weekend, Jan. 31 – Feb 4, 2013
  • New Orleans French Quarter Festival Apr. 11 – 14, 2013

Other destinations that are still in the planning stages and will be announced soon include Savannah, Tampa, and Atlanta.

Itineraries for the Jacksonville NFL Road Trips include accommodations for three nights in Jacksonville Beach near numerous restaurants and nightlife opportunities. On Friday night guests will have an opportunity to meet other guests at a “Meet & Mingle” welcome dinner that takes place at Joe’s Crab Shack steps away from the Atlantic Ocean. Saturday guests take an interesting and fun guided bus tour to four Jacksonville craft beer breweries. Stops include a free pint of beer and tours of the facilities at Intuition Ale Works, Bold City Brewing Company, Green Room Brewing Company, and Engine 15 Brewing Company. On game day, guests will enjoy a catered tailgate party prior to the game at the Pepsi Tailgate Cabanas with beer included at no additional charge.

Future packages to other cities will include similar itineraries with the focus on fun, food, and beer. Next year Tabone has aspirations to put together tours to beer festivals throughout the nation with festival tickets, brewery dinners, and accommodations. He is even investigating putting together packages to London, Belgium, and Amsterdam next year when the Jaguars play in the U.K.

Talentino Media is a Jacksonville based media and production company founded by Joe and Susanne Talentino, creators of CW17’s weekly television program “I Know Jax,” which features a weekly Happy Hour segment featuring The Beer Guy discussing craft beer. Talentino media also produces Coastal Companion.com, a website for visitors and residents focusing on fun things to do on the coast of South Carolina, Georgia and Northeast Florida. Play Harder Tours is a Ponte Vedra Beach based travel provider with tours centered on craft beer and sporting events.  Together the Talentino/PHT collaboration will work to expand the scope of the tours to eventually include food and musical events.  Talentino Media will spearhead the online and television promotion of travel packages while Play Harder Tours will be responsible for all coordination, booking, and implementation with the goal of safe responsible travel for people that like to have fun

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2012 in Beer, Craft Beer Brewery, Travel

 

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Red Brick Brewing in Atlanta continues a Southern brewing tradition

Red Brick Brewery has quite a story. It began life in 1993 as Atlanta Brewing Company and is the oldest, continuously brewing beer company in the state of Georgia. It has endured copper thieves who stole the wiring out of a box that serviced the brewery’s chiller, nearly ruining a rather large amount of precious beer, and hard times that nearly closed its doors. But, the company, known as Red Brick Brewing since 2005 when current President Robert Budd took over the reins, flourishes regardless of what fate throws at it.

On a sunny and hot Atlanta Saturday afternoon we visited with Budd at the brewery tucked into a warehouse district near Atlanta’s Midtown. After just a few moments it was apparent that we were in for a treat and some very interesting stories. Our conversation ran the gamut of beer, from history to modern practices. And Budd had a story for it all. Budd, you see, is an excellent storyteller.

“We (Americans),” he began. “Were a beer-centric society since the first white man appeared here.” And, indeed that is true by most historical accounts. It has been documented that beer was the beverage of choice on the Mayflower due to unsafe drinking water. The South has a 330 year tradition of brewing beer, and Budd is not about to let that be forgotten. “We are proud of our traditions as a Southern brewer,” he says. But, beer is not always given its due as the social catalyst that it has been. As patrons began arriving for the Saturday afternoon brewery tour, filling the tap room and tables set up in a roped off area of the brewery, that fact was definitely not apparent.

Conversation turned to the subject of beer in Georgia. “Georgia is home to three of the four largest breweries in the South,” Budd said. And with over a third of the nation’s population one would think that Georgia would be leading the pack as far as beer production. But, because of antiquated laws, Budd says that is not the fact of the matter. And it is for that reason that he teamed up with Freddy Bensch of SweetWater and John Cochran of Terrapin to form the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild in 2010. Since forming the Guild, the three have mentored seven breweries in Georgia and look to work with many more.

The local craft brewing community in Atlanta is a tight-knit one Budd says. “We regularly pool our resources to get to the Great American Beer Festival. Usually with SweetWater marshaling the efforts.” This year Red Brick will be entering six beers in the competition; a double IPA, Wee Heavy, their anniversary ale called 17, Laughing Skull and amber ale, their Blond, and HopLanta. In the past Red Brick has been very successful and has procured numerous awards that are proudly displayed on the wall of the tap room.

After sitting and chatting in the tap room for a while, Budd offered a fresh beer and a tour of the facility. Further urging was not required.

The tap room is an airy space with a high ceiling, a glass  wall looking into the brewery at the far end, and a bar near the glass wall. The room was filled with laughing and chatter as eager patrons piled in to taste the brewery’s beers and await the tour later that afternoon. We stopped for refills at the bar and headed through the door into the brewery.

Red Brick looks very much like many other breweries, they have huge stainless steel tanks for fermenting and a few that are wood-clad. They also have a mash tun and brewhouse. But, it is what they do with these tools of the brewing arts that sets them apart and earns them the medals hanging in their tap room. Sipping on the beer provided by Budd, it was apparent that great care and effort has been put into getting things just right.

Over the past few years, red Brick has become known for their anniversary ales and barrel-aged beers. One of note right now is the brewery’s 17th anniversary brew simply known as 17. Before we moved into the brewery, Budd had slipped a couple of these gems into the refrigerator behind the bar and brought them out for us to taste. The brew is an Imperial Brown Ale aged in Jim Beam barrels for a boozy, Bourbon kick that is unmistakable and unbelievably delicious. Dubbed the Brick Mason series, Red Brick’s barrel-aged brews also include Vanilla Gorilla, Old Stock Ale, and their Double IPA.

As we sipped our 17, Budd related another story of the first anniversary ale the brewery produced. The story wound through the back roads of Kentucky, to the streets of New York City, and the freeways of Los Angeles. Along the way there were persnickety Bourbon distillers, Hollywood movie stars, and down home receptionists. Telling the story here just would not do it justice. Suffice to say, the barrels used to age Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon found a home with Red Brick.

After spending an hour and half with Budd, it was time to say goodbye, but not before one last story. Budd spun a story of what his father told him one day, “Son,” he began, “When you get ready to retire, make sure you live close to a brewery.” With a sly smile Budd added. “I did that one better.”

Indeed you did.

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2012 in Beer, Craft Beer Brewery, Travel

 

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