Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Finishing up Western NY

So, sorry for the delay. It's been a busy week/weekend, with the PSU game and all, which has precluded me from blogging about the end of last week. Fasten your seat belts, this is gonna be quick one!

Wednesday found me at the Buffalo Brewpub in Williamsville, NY for dinner. This brewpub was surprisingly packed with lots of regulars, and featured about a half dozen house brews on tap, along with a rather extensive (for a brewpub, anyway) guest tap list. I tasted their Oktoberfest and then capped the evening with a Southern Tier IPA. The food was adequate, nothing special, but was done well. If you're in the area, swing by. The place seems like it could be good times.

On the way home Friday, I was able to swing into Beers of the World in Rochester. Huge store, all beer and home brew supplies, pretty decent selection, but nothing really crazy rare, at least that I could see. If you want it, though, 9 chances out of 10 they have it. Then on the way home I made a quick stop in Hammondsport, NY just off of Lake Keuka for lunch at the Village Tavern Inn. I stopped here on the recommendations of Nate. This small town bar boasts a huge beer and wine selection and some pretty decent food. Seems like it would be a fun little place in a town centrally located in NY wine country. It seems like a great place for a weekend getaway. I'm looking forward to finding out.

On the home brew front - we need to get some Red Ales in secondary. It'll happen this week.



Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fredonia, NY

I know, right? Who makes it a point to stay in Fredonia, NY, a small college town just off of I-90 next to Lake Erie? Well, work made it a point for me. This gave me the opportunity to visit Ellicottville Brewing Company's brewpub. Occupying an old clothing store in the historic downtown section, this brick-walled establishment boasts a rather thorough menu, and offers (usually) 10+ Ellicottville brews, mostly brewed at ECB's location in Ellicottville, NY. They do, however, house a small English-style brewery in Fredonia, where they do classic British styles using traditional open fermentation methods. Unfortunately, they were out of the most recent porter that was brewed there, along with all of their high gravity brews. This was extremely unfortunate, since that had both a barrel-aged Imperial Stout and Imperial IPA that recently kicked. They were also out of some of their other normal offerings, including their Imperial Pale Ale, all of which would have been nice to try, but, alas I had to settle for some of the other regular beers, including their Two Brother Pale Ale, Mow Master Summer IPA, and the Imperial Raspberry Beret, which was surprisingly tasty for a fruit beer. I must say, though, that the food was pretty stand-out, including the tomato-basil vinegarette and the Buffalo chicken pizza on flat bread. If you ever get to Fredonia, a definite stop, and if the E-ville location is anything close, hit it up the next time you're battling the slopes at Holiday Valley.



Monday, September 15, 2008

Brew Day

This will be the quick and dirty about Saturday's brew session - I don't have much time at the moment.

Justin and I put together two batches this weekend, the Rising Sun Ginger-Sesame Red Ale v1.1 (MB0023) and, shall we say, and experimental batch of Rising Sun Red Ale, this time Rising Sun Oiwai (Celebration) Red Ale (MB0024), in honor of my wife's recent acquisition of a permanent teaching position. This was our Rising Sun Ginger-Sesame, sans sesame, add Peach. This is MB's first true "fruit beer", including a pound of frozen peaches added at the end of the boil, and an undetermined amount of fresh, pitted peaches to be added (muddled) during secondary. Oh, and we used Wyeast's summer Very Special Strain, a French Saison Yeast. Yeah, um, this should be yummy. We're excited to see.

More in coming days. Stay tuned.



Thursday, September 11, 2008


Yes, here I am again sitting in a hotel room blogging about my recent bar hopping experiences in yet another city. This go 'round - Baltimore. Due to factors outside my control (read: work), I've only been able to hit a few of the local haunts, but, boy, did I choose the right ones. I started the the Wharf Rat at Camden Yards, a British-style pub that specializes in open fermented English Ales. The Rat has plenty of them, ranging from classic pub bitters to brown porters, sticking closely to style. . . and doing them very well. The bitter and ESB on cask were spot on. Plus, before 7 PM, they offer a "sampler" of three beers for five bucks, and by sampler, I mean 12 ounce mugs. Quite a sample, I do say so myself.

After a sampler and a few pints, Mr. Sales Manager and I headed over to Fells Point for dinner at a local haunt on the water, John Stevens, Ltd. The establishment was a small, dank and worn bar with a small menu that focused on local seafood. I recommend the crab cakes that are, as the menu states, the size of baseballs and chocked full of lump blue crab meat. The beer selection isn't too shabby either, focusing on local microbrews. Though a bit pricey, this place is a must stop when at Fells.

Following dinner, I headed over to Max's on Broadway, an extraordinary tap house with a huge selection of bottles, including many rarities. I was fortunate enough to hit the place while the local beer club was having a gathering and took company with a great group of beer geeks. The night turned into a sour tasting, including the likes of Stuiselensis, 3 Fontenin oude gueuze, and others that escape me at this time that left my tongue bruised and beaten, even today, two days later. It's like eating too many Sour Patch Kids as a youngin'. Again, Max's is a must hit when anywhere in the Baltimore area. I know, for sure, that I will patronize this place in the future.

I also have to give a shout out to the folks at Slainte, an Irish pub-style restaurant, again at Fells Point, that had the best food of this trip. Mr. Sales Manager touted the seafood gumbo as the best he'd had EVER, and the Guiness and Lamb Pie that I scarfed down was perfect. The beer selection, while not huge, was pretty solid, carrying plenty of micros and imports. Make sure to stop here, too, when in town.

On the homebrew front . . . Saturday is a brew day. As previously posted, Justin and I are going to do a double batch of the Rising Sun Ginger-Sesame, with a little twist of peach in half of it. More to come on this, this weekend.



Monday, September 8, 2008

Bottling Marathon

Fifteen gallons in one night . . . piece of cake, right? Well, it was about five hours of cake - delicious uncarbonated cake. The Saison du Muqunee (MB0022), Stone Soup XXI - The Mustachioed Dark IPA (MB0021) and The Original Missionary Position (MB0020) are all in glass right now. Justin took part in this grueling endurance challenge of liquid packaging. Now all we have to do is wait a couple of weeks.

Up next?? - well, we're taking another shot at the Rising Sun Ginger-Sesame Red Ale (MB0023). We're also going to do our first Rising Sun off-shoot - A Ginger-Peach Red Ale (MB0024) in honor of my wife's new jobby job.

Stay tuned. Saturday's a brew day.