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Though they've been selling in New York State since 2014, Framingham, Mass. brewery Jack's Abby Craft Lagers launched in New York City in mid-April this year, and we got to talk to one of the three brothers, Sam Hendler, who founded and runs the operation. We met in the backyard of Judy & Punch on 30th Ave. in Astoria, Queens.
|Sam of Jack's, Gerard from Judy & One Mile House, and Jack's sales rep Chris V.|
Jack's brews lager beers exclusively, and they make an exceptional authentic traditional German Helles called House Lager. For that beer they import German malts and German hops from a Bavarian farm, employ decoction mashing, and naturally carbonate the clear golden lager with the krausening technique, in which a portion of a newly fermenting batch of the same beer is added to a fully fermented batch, boosting carbonation.
But it's not only about German style Pils, Helles, and Maibocks. Jack's Abby is dedicated to experimentation with lagers, using massive hop additions in some beers, barrel aging others, creating high ABV "lager wines", and basically defying the limited expectations that most people have of "lager beer". Their Kiwi Rising, for example, uses copious hop additions of New Zealand hops, including a dry hopping -- Nelson and Motueka -- to create a very unlikely lager. Their Double India Pale Lager (DIPL), which clocks in at 8.5% ABV and their flagship Hoponius Union (brewed with Citra and Centennial) also redefine what a lager is.
|Sam of Jack's, NYC Jack's sales rep, and Adam of Forest Hills Station House.|
|Brothers Eric (the numbers guy) and Sam (the sales guy) of Jack's.|
|Sarah, Sam, and Colin of Remarkable Liquids, Dan of Singlecut (and general Queens beer fame), |
and an unidentified photo bomber!