Thursday, October 31, 2013

Brooklyn Brewery's Dark & Twisted

Interview with Justin Rick (Flash version)
  Non-Flash podcast

Justin Rick is the latest Brooklyn Brewery brewer to participate in the Worshipful Company of Brewers program, in which Brewmaster Garrett Oliver gives his staff an opportunity to devise their own recipe and brew a batch -- no matter what the style, no matter what the ingredients. It's a great perk for the staff, a wonderful treat for the patrons, and is also one of the many reasons that the Brewery continues as an exciting, interesting player in the craft beer scene.

The concept for his first ever recipe was to make a beer that mirrored the characteristics of a chocolate covered pretzel. So, naturally, that means chocolate, bread and... salt! Just how he achieved creating a beer that had that kind of profile, and in an incredibly delicious, strikingly unique and brilliantly balanced, is explained by Justin himself in this installment of the podcast.

Justin, who is from Colorado and studied at the Univ. of Colorado, did his post-graduate work in the UC Davis Master Brewers program, studying under Dr. Michael Lewis and Dr. Charles Bamforth. After UC Davis, Justin interned at Stone Brewing, became an assistant brewer there, and eventually ran their the lab before leaving for a brewing job at Leinenkugel, where he worked for three years. In April of 2012 Justin joined the Brooklyn Brewery.


Monday, October 14, 2013

21 Years Of Mugs

  Interview with Eddie of Mugs (Flash version)
  Non-Flash podcast

Mugs Alehouse is a true pioneer of the craft beer scene in New York City. Owner and founder Eddie Berestecki spoke to us about the then and now in Williamsburg on the 21st anniversary of his wonderful neighborhood bistro, which also happens to be one of the oldest fixtures of the modern NYC craft beer scene.
L-R: Bill Coleman of MBAS, Eddie, Warren Becker of MBAS.
As B.R. notes in the podcast, Mugs is a great neighborhood bar -- which also happens to have a great beer list. That's one of the things that sets Mugs apart from the newer breed of beer bars. The place has that warm, authentic feel of the, sadly, vanishing local pub. You can get a solid and reasonably priced meal, excellent and friendly service, along with a great selection of craft beers at a fair price. How many places in NYC, let alone trendy Williamsburg, can you say that about?
Bob, Eddie and B.R. enjoy some Beer Geek Mus.
Eddie has been a staunch supporter and patron of the local beer beer scene as well, hosting the Malted Barley Appreciation Society since its founding, giving up his entire backroom dining area to the club every 2nd Wednesday of each month. He's helped establish and has been host to numerous beer events that bring the beer community together, from the annual Split Thy Skull fest to the yearly Belgium 2 Brooklyn event, and scores of others.
Photo credit: Kristopher Medina of
We congratulate Eddie and Mugs on reaching the age of majority, and we look forward to many more years of friendship and beers!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Victory Brewing's Co-Founder Bill Covaleski At Blind Tiger

Interview with Victory's Bill Covaleski (Flash version)
We ran into Victory Brewing's co-founder Bill Covaleski at a well curated tap take-over at the Blind Tiger recently. It served as the New York City debut for their Dirtwolf Double IPA, the beer that's replacing Hop Wallop, which is being retired. There were about 14 Victory beers on tap, including some interesting brews which we've never tried before.
The busy staff of Blind Tiger.
One of Bill's college pals, Tony Limuaco, was there as well. Tony also ferments things for a living, but the object of his work is kimchee. His Kimcheelicious is seeking to merge the famed fermented Korean cabbage into the American gastronomical world.
Tony of Kimcheelicious, B.R., Bill of Victory, Bob.
In addition to their common experiences at college at Otis Parsons School of Design and their shared loved of fermetation, albeit of different things, Tony has also been involved in Victory, in a very visual context. Tony has designed a number of prominent Victory labels: Golden Monkey, Hop Wallop, Hop Devil, and the newest brew, Dirtwolf.
Labels that Tony designed.
You can hear all about it on this installment of Beer Hear! And if you're unfamiliar with the history of how Bill and his brewery partner, Ron Barchet, ended up forming a brewery -- a brewery that has an annual output of almost 100,000 barrels of fine beer -- the story starts in 1973 on a school bus when the two were in 5th grade. Find out the rest of the story at Victory Brewing's website!

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White Monkey.
Squeaky Wheel.

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