Saturday, April 22, 2017

Common Roots' new tanks triple size of its current ones

New tanks at Common Roots (photo provided)
How big are beer tanks these days? Well, in the case of Common Roots Brewing Co. in South Glens Falls, just compare the size of their new 60-barrel stainless steel tanks with the size of the truck delivering them in the photo above.

The tanks arrived Thursday from Fronhofer Design LLC of nearby Cossayuna, Washington County. They are three times the size of Common Roots' current cellar tanks. They were paid for by part of a $100,000 grant to the family-owned brewery as part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council awards.

The brewery was founded by the father-son team of Bert and Christian Weber in 2013 and makes Belgian-inspired brews. It is located at 58 Saratoga Avenue. Phone: (518) 409-8248.
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Savoy Tap Room debuts its spring-summer menu

The Savoy Taproom's spring-summer menu has debuted, and chef Riyonna Caswell has some interesting offerings lined up at the Albany restaurant, many of which should pair well with Savoy's signature cocktail list.

A few examples:

Jalapeño popper deviled eggs (crispy fried hard boiled eggs, jalapeño egg yolk filling, grana padana cheese, greens); Chef Riyonna's mac-and-cheese (with chorizo and caramelized apple); cheese boards, hummus boards, and charcuterie boards; shrimp and scallop truffle risotto; house made fettucine with black garlic cream sauce; cherry brandy pomegranate strip steak, and the Savoy burgers that begin with a blend of short rib and brisket.

The Savoy is located at 301 Lark Street, long them home of Justin's, in downtown Albany. Phone: (518) 599-5140.
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Thursday, April 20, 2017

City Beer Hall cooking dinner at Common Roots Brewing

Beer-and-food pairing dinners usually are held at restaurants. Here's one going in the other direction.

Common Roots Brewing in South Glens Falls will be hosting such an event, called "An Evening of Wild beers," cooked by visiting staff from Albany's City Beer Hall.

The five-course dinner, set for 6 p.m. next Tuesday, will feature food paired with Common Roots’ special sour and barrel-aged beers, some exclusive to the event. Reservations, priced at $60 including tax and tip, must be purchased in advance online.

Common Roots is located at 58 Saratoga Avenue. Phone: (518) 409-8248.
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Brooklyn Crush's spring edition is in the works

The Brooklyn Crush Wine & Artisanal Food Festival is becoming a major player in the state's pantheon of such events. The "spring edition" of the biannual event is set for Saturday, May 13, at Industry City in the borough's Sunset Park.

The tasting will feature more than 175 wines, ciders and other adult drinks, as well as light fare and hors d’oeuvres, plus numerous artisan food tables offering samples of charcuterie, baked goods, olive oils, vegan selections, cheeses, non-alcoholic beverages, salsas and spreads, chocolates, and other specialty foods. Providers will offer full-sized items for patrons to purchase.

Old, new and emerging wine regions will be showcased, including varietals from the U.S. -- with several New York State wineries to be featured, Brazil, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and South America. Vendor and winery lineups will be regularly updated on the festival website.

Tickets now are on sale, priced from $59 to $120, depending upon ticket level and time of purchase. Additional details of the event and ticket purchasing are available online.
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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hobby winemakers conference set for Cornell University

Reservations now are being accepted for the annual WineMaker Magazine Conference, set for  June 1-4 at Cornell University in Ithaca.

The four-day event targeting hobby winemakers will include dozens of seminars and other events. Organizers are cautioning anyone contemplating attending that the last time the conference was held in the Finger Lakes it sold out several months early.

Among scheduled speakers are Kathy Arnink, who teaches enology courses in Cornell's enology and viticulture program in the Food Science Department; Peter Brehm, owner of Brehm Vineyards in California where he has been helping amateur winemakers for more than 45 years, and Meaghan Frank, fourth generation of the Frank family to manage Dr. Konstantin Frank's Winery in the Finger Lakes.

A downloadable conference brochure and registration information are available online.
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Schoharie meadery plans move to Delmar site

From the Times Union
Royal Meadery of  Schoharie County is moving its operation to Delmar's Four Corners, next to The Real McCoy Beer Co.

Royal Meadery, which makes fermented honey beverages, was launched in 2015 in by Gregory Wilhelm, a SUNY Cobleskill graduate who originally put his operation in Richmondville under the state's Start-Up New York program.

Wilhelm is now planning to move Royal Meadery into the former Boxley's car detailing site behind the Delmar Post Office on Delaware Avenue.
Go here for the full story.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Albany's 'Champagne On the Park' tickets now on sale

Tickets now are on sale for the annual "Champagne On the Park" fundraiser for Albany's Lark Street Business Improvement District (BID).

The Thursday, May 11, event in Washington Park's tulip beds will feature the Graham Tichy Band and honor leaders of the Lark Street community for their positive impact on the neighborhood. There will be, among other attractions, hors d'oeuvres and desserts from neighborhood restaurants and food purveyors, Champagne and wine from Capital Wine & Spirits, cider from Nine Pin Ciderworks, craft beer from Chatham Brewing, photos by Rose & Dale, and cigars from Habana Premium Cigar Shoppe.

Tickets, available online, range from $65 to $80 and various offers expire at different times.
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Monday, April 17, 2017

Angelo's 677 Prime going high-end Mexican for a night

A part of the 677 Prime dining room (photo provided)
Angelo’s 677 Prime in Albany is going Mexican for a night. No, not that low-brow or Tex-Mex stuff, but rather a thoughtfully created menu paired with a selection of tequilas and mescals.

The meal will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, May 5. Reservations, which are required, are $100 per person not incuding tax and tip and priced at $100 per person, plus tax and tip, so you're somewhere in the $125-$130 range.

The beverage and food menus, all involving Don Julio brand spirits, are available here.

Angelo's is located at 677 Broadway. Reservations: (518) 427-7463.
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Cornell planning craft beer roundtable seminar

Cornell University will host a two-day CHR Craft Beer Roundtable seminar for people involved, or who want to be involved, in the craft beer industry.

The event, scheduled for Sunday, April 30, and Monday, May 1, will include speakers and specialty panelists from Cornell's School of Hotel Management and its SC Johnson College of Business as well as other colleges, representatives of several leading craft brewing companies, the Brewers Association and the New York State Brewers Association.

Discussion topics include:
• Deepening the Customer Connection: Sharing Your "Authentic" Story
• Beer Ratings, What Does That Mean?
• What Shall We Call Our Beer?
• The Old College Try: How Can the Collegiate World and the Beer Industry Benefit From One Another?
The full agenda and list of participating speakers is available online, as is registration information.
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Saturday, April 15, 2017

13 entries lead the pack in 'World Whiskies Awards'

Judged 'world's best bourbon'
The 2017 winners in Whisky Magazine's "World Whiskies Awards" are out. As always, they are an adventure in trying to see if you've heard of even half the winners, given the limits of production, global distribution, and affordable price points.

You can find the long, long list of awards in many, many categories -- including the separate judging results for American-made spirits -- online. Meanwhile, here are the "world's best" awardees in the 13 major categories.
  • Best Bourbon – John J. Bowman Single Barrel Bourbon
  • Best Canadian Blended – Gooderham & Worts
  • Best Flavoured – J.P. Wiser’s Hopped Whisky
  • Best Corn – Ironroot Republic Hubris Corn Whiskey
  • Best Irish Single Pot Still – Redbreast 21 Years Old
  • Best Rye – A.D. Laws Secale Straight Rye Bottled in Bond
  • Best Wheat – Bainbridge Battle Point
  • Best Blended Limited Release – J.P. Wiser’s Dissertation
  • Best Blended Malt – Johnnie Walker Green Label
  • Best Blended – Hibiki 21 Years Old
  • Best Single Cask Single Malt – Venture Chichibu Whisky Matsuri
  • Best Single Malt – Craigellachie 31 Years Old 
  • Best Grain – Fuji-Gotemba Single Grain 25 Years Old Small Batch

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Friday, April 14, 2017

Dyngus Day bash set for Monday at Troy's The Hill at Muza

In the beer garden (photo provided)
For those unfamiliar with Dyngus Day, Troy restaurateur Adam Siemiginowski has a simple explanation.

"Dyngus Day is like Saint Patrick's Day, but with a lot of crazy Polish stuff," said Siemiginowski of The Hill at Muza. "It's a big party with friends and family the Monday after Easter, when Lent is finally over and you can just let loose."

They'll be letting loose at The Hill, a European-style beer garden behind the 15th Street restaurant Muza, located just off the RPI campus. Entrance to the beer garden is on the Congress Street side. Once inside,  visitors -- who are encouraged to wear red or red and white, the Polish colors, in honor of the day's tradition -- will find live polka music by the Eddie Forman Orchestra of Hadley, MA, from noon to 4 p.m., and DJ Podeswa from 4 to 8 p.m.

An a la carte menu will feature handmade pierogi, kielbasa rolls, stuffed cabbage, euro burgers and the like at multiple food stations indoors in the restaurant and outdoors in the garden. Beer will include Zywiec lager on draft and a selection of Eastern European and American beers in bottles and cans. Beer will be served at the bar, in the restaurant, by servers in the beer garden, and on the street as part of the official block party.

Siemiginowski -- pronounced shim-ig-in-ow-ski -- is a first-generation Polish-American who opened the beer garden in late 2015 behind Muza, owned by his parents Jan and Alicja and operated by them and their daughter Agata.
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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Brewers Association takes aim at classless beer names

From Food & Wine
No more Batshit ale.

Drinking a couple brews is known to lower people’s inhibitions, but when it comes to naming beers, the Brewers Association (BA) wants its members to keep their wits about them. This week, the trade group for small and independent brewers announced it no longer would allow beers with offensive or sexist names to be marketed using the association’s intellectual property.

Importantly, the Brewers Association runs two of the world’s most prestigious beer competitions, the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup.

The BA’s new policy effectively prevents offensively named beers from displaying any medals won at these competitions in their marketing materials. Additionally, though the BA says these beers can still be entered in its competitions, if one happened to win, the victory will not be publically acknowledged. “If a brewery with an offensive name or label were to win an award, we would not read that name from the stage,” said Bob Pease, BA president and CEO.
Go here for the full story.
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Bill would allow out-of-state wine shipments to New Yorkers

From The Business Wire

ALBANY -- With the introduction of Assembly Bill 5991, New York State is poised to open the door for the state's wine consumers to enter the 21st Century.

The bill, sponsored by Assembly Member Amy Paulin of Westchester County -- a graduate of UAlbany -- would give New York wine consumers the right to receive wine shipments from out-of-state wine stores, internet retailers, wine-of-the-month clubs and wine auction houses.

The National Association of Wine Retailers (NAWR) today announced its support for her bill. In addition, a number of the state's major wine retailers endorsed the legislation along with its commitment to free and fair trade.

NAWR also has established a new website that provides New Yorkers with access to a variety of tools for supporting the change to the laws governing how the state’s consumers access the wines they want.

“Consumers of fine wine in New York State are slowly learning that it is currently illegal for them to receive shipments from out-of-state wine stores. They cannot fathom why these shipments would be illegal, while out of state wineries, New York state wineries, and New York state retailers are legally able to ship them wine.” said Tom Wark, NAWR executive director. “A5991 would give New Yorkers access to nearly every wine available in the American marketplace and that is a privilege that they should have had years ago.”

The bill also would increase tax revenue by requiring that out-of-state retailers remit sales tax to New York. Protections against minors obtaining the wine are also in the bill and mimic the same requirements for adult signatures at the time of deliver that are required of wineries that ship wine into the state.
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Basil Hayden's brings its first rye whiskey to market

The next time you're reaching for a bottle of Basil Hayden's in your favorite liquor store, be careful you get what you're there for.

Not that you'd be terribly disappointed, just confused if you didn't know the iconic bourbon brand now is offering a rye whiskey.

The spicy finish of Basil Hayden’s Bourbon comes from its use of about twice as much rye as most traditional bourbons. Brand owner Beam-Suntory wanted to take that mash content a step further and now has unveiled Basil Hayden’s Rye Whiskey.

It begins as a straight four-year-old rye whiskey that is rebarreled for an additional seven years in newly-charred quarter cask oak barrels. A portion of it then is blended with traditional straight rye whiskey to create  the final product.

“The spicy character of rye has always been a signature part of what makes Basil Hayden’s special, so creating a rye whiskey was a natural fit,” said Rob Mason, Beam Suntory's VP for bourbon, in a prepared statement. “This limited edition release gives our fans a chance to experience everything they love about Basil Hayden’s Bourbon -- its spicy character, smoothness and approachable nature -- in an interesting rye whiskey expression.”

The 80-proof whiskey is bottled and packaged in the familiar brand packaging which includes a parchment bib and copper belt. It sells for a suggested retail price of about $45.
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Update: Saturday's 'Drink Schenectady' event has 19 entries

UPDATE (4/13/17): Mad Jack Brewing Co. and Hudson-Chatham Winery have been added to the original list below that I posted for the "Drink Schenectady" event schedule for this Saturday at the Schenectady Armory.

(Originally published 3/1/17)

The Capital Craft Beverage Trail will be leading to Schenectady next month, when "Drink Schenectady" shows off  a wide range of local craft beverage makers' products.

The event will run from 2 to 6 p.m. (VIP admission at 2) on Saturday, April 15, at the Schenectady Armory, 125 Washington Avenue. Live music, food vendors and games are included.

Tickets are available now online. General admission covers four hours of tasting plus a souvenir glass. VIP admission includes an extra hour of tasting. All proceeds for the event go to benefit the Capital Craft Beverage Trail Association.

Scheduled producers:
  • Albany Distilling Company
  • Nine Pin Cider 
  • C.H. Evans Brewing 
  • Albany Pump Station 
  • Druthers Brewing Company 
  • Helderberg Brewery 
  • Helderberg Mountain Brewing Company 
  • Indian Ladder Farmstead Cidery and Brewery 
  • The Beer Diviner 
  • Wolf Hollow Brewing Company 
  • Brown's Brewing Company 
  • S&S Farm Brewery 
  • Altamont Vineyard and Winery 
  • Common Roots Brewing Company 
  • Crossroads Brewing Company 
  • Chatham Brewing 
  • Upstate Distilling Company 

Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
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