Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pub Walk in the Snow

I just have to say that I love living on the South Side. Other than when a sports team wins as I get pee on my house for days. But I love to walk to my pub. Today it started to snow during rush hour and everybody is in a panic. I came home from work and did a load of laundry and then said, "how what"? I took a nice stroll down to Dish Osteria for a pint (3 actually) and some octopus stew. Nobody on the street and nobody in the bar except for me and four lovely ladies. Ah, the enjoyment of living on the South Side. It does have its down side at times but to be able to walk to your pub in any kind of weather is worth the city tax. After an hour or so several other locals came in with the same thought as me. Walk a few blocks to a nice warm bar with good food and friends and with no fear of getting pulled over for a DUI. This is what a pub makes. Yes, you guys in the suburbs can have your Saturday lawn mowing and driving a mile to get a quart of milk. Me, I will be enjoying a pint (3 actually) at my pub with four lovely ladies. Just wanted to rub it in a bit.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cask Ale Williamsburg

Dateline, Brooklyn. For those of you who haven't seen me on my regular barstool (I have been missed, haven't I?) I am at the 4th Williamsburg Cask Beer Festival. The event is at the Williamsburg location of D.B.A. and is taking place 7 - 9 January 2011. It's my first festival of the year. There are 16 firkins of beer from the United States but England and Wales are represented as well. The lowest ABV is 4.2 from Elland, England going by the name "Beyond the Pale" and made with American Cascade hops. Two Pennsylvania beers are on deck and they are impressive in their strength. Blue Canoe Aged Wheat Wine from Titusville is pulling at 11.5% and Black Magick from Voodoo is on top at 15.5% ABV. Those guys in Meadville really know how to make a Russian Imperial Stout. It was also NOT aged in oak barrels. And no, my spell heck is not broken, it is spelled Magick.

This festival was put on by Alex Hall from Brooklyn. The one thing I liked about all this was that all the beers have the ABV listed. Most bars in New York City also dispay the ABV. I for one would like to know what I am drinking and when you have a 15% beer in you glass yu should know about it. The festival is operated with a mix of the English way and the American way. Entry is free and you just buy the beer you want to drink. But you had a choice in glass size you wanted. Gleaases came in 10, 16 and 20 ounce size and cost was typically $4, $7 or $8, respectively. The real high strength brews were adjusted some what in blass size or cost.

The Friday evening seeion was great as I got there before most eveyone else and it wasn't too bad that evening. Saturday afternoon was another story. It was packed and with only one batender it made for a long waite for a refill. As this bar does not do food a food service was put in place for the Saturday session. As it is Sunday morning as I write this I don't know what it will be like this afternoon. Still, it was great to see the interest in cask ale. I don't know if most of th4 people here came in to see what this was all about or if they have been drinking cask ale before. I have to think they are here as they aa their cask affection goes way back. A lot of bars in metro New York have at least two beer engines and demand is here.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bottom of the Glass

I will let this video speak for itself. It would be interesting to see what bartenders and bar owners have to say about this. This may be good for baseball games but I doubt anyone would like to see this at a beer festival and I further doubt that it will work with cask ale. Pouring beer FROM the bottom of the glass: how interesting.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Beer and Cheese, Totally

A new beer has been fermented in Leicestershire, England and you could make a pig of yourself drinking it. The Belvoir Brewery in Old Dalby, Leicestershire has developed a beer made with whey. Not just any old whey but the whey from the making of Stilton cheese. Whey is a by-product in cheese making and has been used to make a perfume and a milkshake. It is also fed to pigs. Stilton is only produced at dairies in Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

The brewery, in the East Midlands, obtains their whey from the Long Clawson Dairy in Leicestershire. They make unfermented wort and add the whey to it before fermentation. A chestnut-colored ale of 4.2% is the outcome. Said to be creamy and not cheesy. Brewers tend to boil the wort and then ferment after a cooling down to prevent infection. Adding whey un-boiled is a bit risky but as it is part of the food making process it should work out well. I don’t see a mad rush on Whole Food in trying to get whey but yes home brewer’s, you can try this at home. This beer may not come to Pittsburgh unless somebody brings it back but one of our breweries could give it a go. I see this fitting in well in Scott Smith’s recipe book at East End Brewery. Just naming the beer could make for a nice quiz night at the pub.