It’s official, my favorite part of working at Hops & Hocks is getting to meet so many interesting, inspiring NYC brewers. Last Saturday, Juan Camilo of Dyckman Beer Co. was in the shop sampling his Café Con Leche, a light, smooth, milk stout with a huge coffee flavor and notes of cocoa.
Four years ago, while working a less-than-stimulating job as an investment banker, Juan started homebrewing as a hobby. Shortly thereafter, while looking at a list of NYC breweries sorted by borough, he noticed a significant gap in his neighborhood of Uptown Manhattan. The wheels started turning. Juan threw all his energy into a business plan for what is now Dyckman Beer Co., a brewery inspired by the people and spirit of Uptown. The Café Con Leche exemplifies this inspiration. It’s made with Café Bustelo, a Cuban-style coffee and bodega standard in NYC. Juan decided to use Café Bustelo because he grew up seeing it in his local bodega and drinking it at home.
Unfortunately, the weather was gray and bleak on Saturday, so it wasn’t as busy in the shop as it’s been during past tastings. This gave me more time to talk to Juan about Dyckman’s plans for the future, though. They’ve been brewing at Thomas Hooker in Connecticut, but are in the process of purchasing an old bread factory in Uptown that will serve as a brewing facility, tasting room, and restaurant! Juan also told me a little bit about the beers he currently has in the works. Those in the NYC area should be on the lookout for Dyckman’s cherry red saison, passion fruit wit, and Suave IPA, a session IPA (love the name!). If those beers are as tasty as the Café Con Leche, Dyckman’s future is very bright. 🙂
HELLO! Happy spring! Happy Thursday! Tuesday was a good day for beer. First and foremost, the new batch of Boulevard’s Love Child has finally landed in Blacksburg! AND GUESS WHO SCORED A BOTTLE? Me, bitches. While I want to drink this Goddess of a beer tonight all by myself, I’ve decided to save it for my graduation in May. Do ya hear that, Rach? Big fun ahead!
Want to know another reason that Tuesday was a great beer day?
Barrel Chest is a beer and wine store in Roanoke with one of the best tap lists in the area, in my opinion. Tuesday I stopped by with my friend Cindy to shop and drink. My favorite thing about Barrel Chest is that you can get reasonably priced 4 oz pours of all the beers on draft. With so many good options, this is a must! We sampled 5 awesome beers, starting with the Founders Rubaeus.
The Rubaeus poured a sweet pink hue, with just enough sweetness and flavor from the addition of the raspberries. Light bodied at 5.7% and slightly tart, this brew had us dreaming of summer dresses and garden parties. This is a warm weather beer if I’ve ever had one!
Next up, Terrapin’s Hop Selection Ella Double IPA. Personally, I’m a Terrapin fan in general, so this DIPA was a must try! Their Hop Selection program features their favorite hop variety of the season; in this case it was Ella, an Australian variety known for it’s floral, spicy aroma. We found the Hop Selection insanely juicy and packed with flavor. Cindy equated it to a Peach Mamba. We both decided Ella hops are straight up de-li-cious as we downed this brew in what seemed like moments.
We moved onto AleWerks Bitter Valentine…and wow.
“How do they make it taste so much like weed smells?”
That sums it up best for us on this one.
I guess it’s something about things grown in the Northwest? 😉
I had long awaited the moment I got to try our next sample: Stone’s Chai Spiced Russian Imperial Stout. I’m about that chai life. The nose was heavy spice, mainly cinnamon, and rich dark grain. It smelled HEAVENLY, YOU GUYS. This RIS was supa smooth and dark chocolatey, with ginger and cinnamon all up in there. I really wanted a bigger pour of this one.
After the heavy stout we were both craving something with a bite, so we went ahead and ordered one more sample. We chose the BFM Square Root 225, a barrel aged saison. For me, this beer stole the show. It was so funky and had the perfect amount of lip puckering. We both decided that sour beers would forever be our favorite style of beer. I honestly can’t get enough sour in my life.
Not too shabby for National Beer Day!
Last night I went to a free beer tasting at a beer shop on the Upper East Side, City Swiggers. The featured brewery was Two Brothers Brewing Company, which is located in Warrenville, IL, right outside of Chicago. It’s kind of funny that there’s a Three Brothers Brewing in VA, and a Four Sons Brewing in CA! Now we need some sisters up in there..dontcha think?
I really liked all of Two Brothers’ beers, even their gluten-free option. The standouts for me were Revelry (an imperial red), Ebel’s Weiss (a hefeweizen), and Sidekick (an extra pale ale). Despite having 120+ IBUS, Revelry is extremely balanced and drinkable. The weiss has a strong, but pleasant banana aroma and flavor, and Sidekick is the kind of light, juicy beer that would be a real crowd-pleaser at a cookout.
I also want to mention their Peppermint Bark Porter; I had never heard of a peppermint flavored beer! When I smelled my tasting cup I was a little nervous, because it has a lot of mint on the nose, but the peppermint flavor is actually quite subtle. The brewey rep said he was hesitant when the brewers decided to attempt this, but was pleased with the result. It’s basically just a delicious, chocolatey porter with a smidge of Christmas.
Swigger City is really cool shop. At the front there’s a huge wooden bar surrounded by shelves and refrigerators of assorted bottles. This is where the tasting was held, and it was nice that there was actually room for everyone to stand around the bar! I didn’t have to fight my way through a crowd of people for each sample, or feel like I was blocking others from getting to the beer.
In the back there’s a bar with 14 taps and plenty of tables to sit and enjoy a pint. I didn’t stay for a full beer because I’m trying to be responsible and save money (groan), but I’ll definitely go back with friends on the weekend. Thanks to the generous pours of the Two Brothers rep, I got my buzz on fo’ free last night. 😉