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What’s Been Happening @ Beer Loves Company

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As you can probably see, it’s been more than a little while since we have written here on Beer Loves Company but all definitely hasn’t been quite on the beer front. Over the past three months we have done our fair share of traveling, brewery visiting and of course, craft beer drinking. Here’s a peek at what we were up to and what’s to come from Beer Loves Company.

April 11th was the 11th Annual Cask Ales Festival at Blue Point Brewery and we were there representing Beer Loves Long Island (and LI Craft Beer Week). We brewed a Saison with grapefruit and orange peel/juice and a secret blend of Crimson & Clove spices—more on that later. In addition we had a few under the table selections. One was our “Wedding Cider” (which yes we served at our wedding) and a sour ale we made from a group brewed stein (look for an article on brewing a stein beer by frequent contributor Andrew Luberto soon). As always, the event was a huge success and the tickets this year sold out in record time. People on Long Island are becoming increasingly open to unique craft beers, including cask ales, and the turnout at events like this proves it. Some standouts of the day were the bourbon barrel aged Ol’ Howling Bastard from Blue Point and Southampton’s red wine barrel aged porter with Brettanomyces. For more on the Cask Fest read our article on Edible East End.

Photo Apr 11 copy

We also traveled to the west coast for some nature, flashing lights and craft beer. Yes, we visited Phoenix, Sedona, Las Vegas, The Grand Canyon and our fair share of small breweries and craft beer bars. The Grand Canyon was quite, well, grand in person, though the walk down into the canyon was way more relaxing than the hike back up. The town of Williams, about a half hour south of the canyon has it’s very own brewery—named Grand Canyon Brewing Company. Their Scotch Ale was delicious and very welcome after a long day of fresh air and nature. The Las Vegas strip is a confusing maze of attractions, tourists, casinos and bars and restaurants. However, craft beer was relatively easy to come by, even right in the hotels. Sedona, aka land of the Red Rocks, is where we saw a real live roadrunner. Sadly, he wasn’t holding a witty sign. We did however also get to visit Oak Creek Brewing, a brewpub with a delightful Hefeweizen and Nut Brown Ale.

grand canyon

Not far from our home on Long Island is Long Island city. It’s not an area we have traveled to much until recently, with the opening of three impressive small breweries. Along with a group of friends, we recently embarked on the “Long Island City Beer Crawl” which is exactly what it sounds like. Transmitter, Big Alice and Rockaway breweries are all within walking distance and all offer their own unique tasting room and beer selection. Big Alice prides itself on small, experimental batches that rarely repeat. When we visited they had at least 8 beers on tap and the option to purchase a sample of them all. Transmitter has a much smaller tasting room, with only enough space to stand and nothing on tap. Instead, they pour you small free samples of the beers they currently have bottled and available for purchase. Their selection is also frequently rotating and based on farmhouse ales and sour strains of yeast. Most in our group (including us) left with a few bottles and a desire to join their monthly beer CSA. Rockaway had the most traditional tasting room, with plenty of chairs and room to hang out. Their selection was varied with High Plains Drifter being our favorite that day.

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We also spent a morning with Michael Tonsmire, author of American Sour Beers, at The Good Life in Massapequa. He spoke about sour beers, his experience brewing and a bit about his book. He also answered questions and sat down to a three course brunch paired with sour beer, right along with the rest of us. For a full recap, check out our write up on Edible Long Island.

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May 7th-19th was Long Island Craft Beer Week which kicked off with Craft Cares, an evening of local beer and food benefiting local charities. We organized the event, and the week, which occupied a lot of time but also gave us the opportunity to check out some new Long Island craft beer spots. Craft Cares brought together about ten local restaurants who served up small portions of their dishes to pair with Long Island beer from Blind Bat to Brooklyn Brewery to the new kid on the block, Destination Unknown. All together over $10,000 was raised to support The Lustgarten Foundation, NY Bully Crew and Long Island Cares. Additionally, cans of food were collected all week long to help the less fortunate right here on Long Island. Though it’s always fun to get together and drink beer, it’s easy for people to forget that there are others who are having trouble just feeding their family.

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Image courtesy of That Guy Event Photo + Design

Lastly, but certainly not least-ly, we have launched a spice company—Crimson and Clove. We are selling small batch, hand packed spices and blends both online and at local farmers markets. We have already been doing a lot of brewing experimentation with spices and from that we even came up with a brewing spice set. It’s a new venture but the response has been positive so far and we are looking forward to growing it over time and hopefully providing spices to some of your favorite breweries and restaurants (or even you!). If you like a little spice in your life (or beer) check out CrimsonandClove.com.

Photo Jun 25

We will be covering many of the above topics in greater detail in the near future, hopefully sharing a bit of what these experiences, places and of course people are like. So now that we have (mostly) caught you up where does that leave us? As we move forward, Beer Loves Company is going to focus more on what’s going on with craft beer across the country (and world), recipes, travels and guest posts. Articles which are Long Island focused, for the most part, will be appearing on our sister site Beer Loves Long Island. Up next on BLC, we have a couple articles from our friend Andrew Luberto a nationally ranked BJCP judge and maker of both tasty beers and meads. Thanks for reading and let us know if there’s anything you’d like to see here on Beer Loves Company!

2 Responses to 'What’s Been Happening @ Beer Loves Company'

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  1. You’ve been busy! Congratulations on your new business ventures! Best of luck!

  2. Thank you very much and best of luck with your new website!

    A+K

    29 Jun 15 at 8:13 pm

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