Sunday, February 19, 2017

Did anyone attend the 'Gathering of the Cideries'?

Here's a look at the crowd visiting the Nine Pin Cider Works in Albany on Saturday for the 3rd annual 'Gathering of the Cideries" celebrating the burgeoning New York State cider scene. (Nine Pin photo)

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Diageo's Roe & Co. will be latest brand in Irish whiskey boom

The Irish whiskey scene, emboldened by improved domestic legislation and a major infusion of capital funding, is on a major growth spurt.

For generations, four distilleries -- Cooley, Bushmills, Kilbeggan and Midleton, the home of Jameson -- produced the vast majority of Irish whiskies. Now, there are 32 distilleries in operation or being built in Ireland. And, that means many new labels coming to market.

The latest example is from the beverage giant Diageo, the owner of Guinness. It has just announced it will be launching a new premium blended Irish whiskey named Roe & Co. Initially, it will be released across Europe in March, with the U.S. market being added on a schedule to be announced.

Diageo said it plans to invest as much as $27 million into this project over the next three years. This includes the construction of a new distillery in 2019 near its Guinness Brewery at St. James’ Gate in Dublin. The proposed site for the new distillery is the former Guinness Power House, a short distance from the brewery at St. James' Gate close to the old George Roe distillery from which the new whiskey derives its name.

Until the new distillery is constructed, Roe & Co. will be produced by blending different whiskies from various distilleries throughout Ireland, sourced by its master blender Caroline Martin.

In a statement, Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, said, "Irish whiskey is experiencing a renaissance and is truly an Irish success story. It is seeing a return to the success it experienced in its golden era in the 19th Century and is now the fastest growing spirit drink in the world with global sales increasing by over 300% and record exports of over €400,000,000 ($424,580,000) in the last 10 years."
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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Trump wine sells out during VA boycott attempt of Wegmans

From WTVR.com
RICHMOND, VA -- A call by a women’s organization to boycott the popular Wegmans grocery chain for selling Trump wine seems to have resulted in its stores selling out of the wine.

The Washington Post reported the Prince William County (VA) National Organization for Women planned to protest Wegmans in Northern Virginia over its refusal to remove Trump wine from its shelves. “Certainly if Wegmans is carrying Trump wines, I personally will not shop there,” Terry O’Neill, president of the NOW.

A Wegmans spokesperson said the Upstate New York-based grocer sells five varieties of Trump wine in its 10 Virginia stores. Wegmans, which sells 237 different wines from 58 Virginia wineries, began carrying Kluge Winery products in 2008 and continued when Trump bought the winery in 2011. Wegmans commented that its role as a retailer is to offer customers a choice.
Go here for the full story. And, go here for another report on the same topic.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Padre Azul Tequila takes small step into U.S. market

The Padre lineup
The ever-expanding presence of premium tequilas on the U.S. spirits scene goes on. The high-end Padre Azul Tequila, owned by beverage company Tradition Mexico, is now sending its products to Georgia with an eye toward entering more domestic markets.

Padre Azul Tequila already is sold in 16 countries. Hans-Peter Eder, company co-founder and co-owner, says with unsurprising partisan pride, “It should come as no surprise that both retailers and consumers would respond to its quality and value. It is the world’s fastest growing tequila, and although it is somewhat new to the U.S. market, the brand is well known globally. "

Padre was named among the world’s best tequila brands at the World Spirit Competition in 2016 and its Padre Azul Tequila Blanco Aejo 2016 received a 921 out of a possible 1,000 points in the Falstaff Bar & Spirit Competition.

Currently, there are three items in the line exported to the U.S. -- blanco, reposado and añjeo. Padre Azul Tequila Añejo, the most popular item in the line, carries a suggested retail price of  $99 per 750ml bottle.

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Report: Taste NY program helped triple sales in 2016

The state's Taste NY program created to promote the state's food and beverage industries is three years old. So, how is it doing?

Sales of those items nearly tripled in 2016, according to an analysis just released by Governor Andrew Cuomo's office, surpassing what it says was his goal of doubling sales of participating businesses in one year.

Total gross sales of New York products from Taste NY stores, cafés, bars, concessions and events topped $13.1 million last year, the highest annual sales in the program’s brief history.

“Taste NY continues to connect New York’s world-class farmers and food and beverage producers with New Yorkers hungry for locally made goods, as well as those across the nation and around the world who crave the high quality of Empire State-made products," Cuomo said. “These sales numbers are proof positive of Taste NY's success and we will continue investing in this program to help create jobs and spur economic growth in businesses and communities across New York."

The sales increase in 2016 was supported by the addition of four new Taste NY stores and cafés. In addition, the first-ever Taste NY Bar was opened at Barclays Center, home to the Brooklyn Nets basketball team and the New York Islanders hockey team. A second later was opened at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater.

New York products also are offered on 13 Amtrak trains and at five minor league baseball stadiums in the state, and at dozens of major events around New York. Cuomo's 2017-18 Executive Budget proposes support for Taste NY at new welcome centers across the state.

The budget proposal also includes expanding the sale of alcoholic beverages in certain venues, such as movie theaters, an effort to provide a boost to the state’s craft beverage industry, although Cuomo's message does not limit that to New York products as an earlier speech seemed to indicate.  In addition, Cuomo has proposed the launch of a first-ever "New York Craft Beverage Week" and a new grant for craft beverage producers to engage in joint marketing campaigns and enter products in national and international competitions.

Richard A. Ball, state agriculture commissioner, says, “Taste NY has given consumers an opportunity to better understand what the State has known all along -- our local food and beverage companies are truly second to none.  Because of the strong, positive response to the Taste NY brand, agricultural producers and small businesses in every region of the state are growing, expanding their operations and adding jobs, and helping to strengthen the State economy.” 
   

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Catching you up in beer-centric events

Here's a small sampling of the many beer-centric events going on in the Greater Capital Region.

• The 6th annual Saratoga Beer Week will run from next Tuesday through Saturday, February 25, at the Saratoga City Center, 522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, and numerous other venues throughout the city. Many have scheduled sampling sessions for various New York State beers. Go here for the full rundown of all events.

• Executive chef Matt Weekes of Henry Street Taproom, 86 Henry Street, Saratoga Springs, is teaming with Christian Weber of Common Roots Brewing Company of South Glens Falls and Kevin Mullen of Rare Form Brewing Company of Troy for a four-course beer pairing dinner from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Monday. Reservations are $65. Phone: (518) 886-8938.

Bailey's Cafe, 37 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs, will offer a New York beer pairing menu from Tuesday through Saturday, February 25, as part of Saratoga Beer week, from noon to 11 p.m. each day. It will feature such labels as Brooklyn Sorachi Ace, Saratoga Local Session IPA, Saranac Legacy IPA, and Druthers Fist of Karma Brown. Phone: (518) 583-6060.

• A tasting of gluten free beers and ciders will be held at Kraverie from 4:30 to 10 p. m. Wednesday, February 22. A sampling of gluten free food items also will be available. Kraverie is located at  78 Beekman Street, Saratoga Springs. Phone: (518) 450-7423.
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3-night whirl to end Bartenders' Guild first-round competition

With the initial first-round test in the books, the next three in the U.S. Bartenders' Guild Albany's competition will be held in rapid succession.

The 7-10 p.m. events, with bartenders from Troy, Albany, Schenectady and Saratoga Springs using Albany Distilling Company's rye and Deathwish vodka to make two drinks each, are:
  • Friday, February 26, Wellington's at the Renaissance, 144 State Street, Albany
  • Saturday, February 27, Aperitivo Bistro, 426 State Street, Schenectady
  • Sunday, February 28, The Tuck, 104 Third Street, Troy
The first event, held at Hamlet & Ghost in Saratoga Springs, was won by Matt Ferguson of the hometown tavern 9 Maple. He will go against the winners of the other first-round events in the finals on Friday, March 10, at Takk House, 55 Third Street in Troy.
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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Imbibeable Cartoonery

A gallery of artwork honoring those who draw conclusions.


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Update: 9 Maple entry wins initial bartender competition

Matt Ferguson
UPDATE (2/14/17): Matt Ferguson of the Saratoga Springs tavern 9 Maple won the Saratoga edition of Albany Distilling Company's cocktail competition held at Hamlet & Ghost. Three other regional first-round events still are to be held.

(Originally published 12/10/17)

Bartender competitions of various levels of intensity pop up from time to time in this area, but seldom rise to the level of activities in many similarly-sized communities where you get more participants involved. That is about to change.

The U.S. Bartenders Guild Capital Region chapter has created what it is calling the "Albany Distilling Cocktail Competition," with a chance to win $500 in prizes.

First-round competitions will be held in Saratoga Springs, Albany, Troy, and Schenectady. The winner of each of those prelims will move on to the finals.

Competitors and participating bars will be announced at Albany Distilling, 78 Montgomery Street in Albany (adjacent to the Albany Pump Station) on Monday, January 23. The owners also will be providing an in-depth tour and lesson on craft spirits, and offering free tastings, food and giveaways.

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Millbrook Winery offering hands-on 'boot camp' experience

Lollipop Hill at Millbrook Winery
If you're interested in getting deeper into wine -- well beneath the uncorking and tasting -- Millbrook Winery’s "Vine to Wine Boot Camp" offers is an insider’s experience for the adventurous.

As the management team says, "Become part of our winemaking team this season as we challenge you to roll up your sleeves and plunge into grape growing and wine making during our eight-part experiential series. Participants will learn the art of grape growing in the Hudson Valley and tend to their own part of our vineyard, learning hands-on grape growing techniques from a true master, Millbrook's winemaker and vice president, John Graziano."

The class is limited to 20 students. Participants will receive lunch, including a glass of wine, at Millbrook’s Vineyard Grille after each seminar session.

"The program also includes a seat at our annual Tocai Celebration luncheon on May 20 and Harvest Party luncheon on October 14. A final closing luncheon will occur in March 2018 to celebrate the bottling of our 2017 Lollipop Tocai Friulano." Participants also will receive a 12-bottle case of the custom-labeled wine after bottling is completed.

The first session is scheduled for April 8, The cost is enrollment is $795 or $700 for PSR Club members, plus tax. Reservations may be made by calling (845) 677-8383 extension 17. The winery is located at 26 Wing Road in Millbrook, Dutchess County.
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Event reminders

• The 2nd annual "Gathering of the Farm Cideries" at Nine Pin Cider Works in Albany is set for this Saturday. Go here for details from an earlier posting.

• The 8th annual "Mac-n-Cheese Bowl" is scheduled for this Saturday at Siena College's Marcelle Athletic Complex. Go here for details from an earlier posting.

• "Saratoga Beer Week" kicks off next Tuesday, and runs through the following Saturday. The
citywide event will range from specials at individual taverns and restaurants to large public tasting events. Go here for details from an earlier posting.

Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
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Saturday, February 11, 2017

An updated guide to the beverage trails of New York State


Cover image of the beverage trail website.
The recent news that the fledgling Rochester-Finger Lakes Craft Beverage Trail is getting close to official designation by the state was just the latest example of the burgeoning number of tourism trails dealing with more than wineries.

There are 21 wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries on the trail, an informal entity since 2014 but now awaiting an OK by the state Assembly before going to the governor's office for signature.

Keeping up with the many possibilities to visit, with more than 20 trails and hundreds of members spread from Lake Erie on the far west of the state to Montauk Point on the far eastern point of Long Island, can be a daunting task. But, never fear, there is a handy guide to cut through it all.

My recently-updated and redesigned New York State Beverage Trails site offers a complete list of the trails and their members, with live links to individual websites and contact information. Bear in mind, some companies belong to more than one trail, depending on their geographic or product overlaps.
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Friday, February 10, 2017

Catskill Village considering new sidewalk cafe law

The New York Restaurant in Catskill
The Catskill Village Board this week held a public hearing for input on a proposed sidewalk cafe law while seeking to clarify a variety of aspects involving the community's current open container law.

Village President Heather Bagshaw has contended that the current ordinance has more regulations than necessary, and the community needs to be more business friendly.

The current Village Charter includes an open container law that prohibits people from consuming alcoholic beverages on public property, which includes sidewalks. It was modified last fall to allow sidewalk cafes or restaurants to serve alcohol to their customers outside the business.  That essentially affects two restaurants on Main Street, The New York Restaurant and 394 Main.

The board is looking to allow businesses to set up tables outside anytime the weather is unusually warm, but, Bagshaw said, the village will not allow people to drink alcohol on the streets outside of a restaurant setting.

Other aspects of the discussion include requiring sidewalk cafes to leave at least a 36-inche space on a sidewalk to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act by assuring that someone in a wheelchair can get around a restaurant’s tables and chairs without having to go into the street.

The board will continue to discuss potential changes and accept more input from the community before making any final decision.
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Troubled Buffalo Wild Wings chain to sell 60 restaurants

From Nation's Restaurant News
Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. plans to sell at least 60 restaurants to franchisees and improve margins at others as it works to reinvigorate sales and profits amid mounting shareholder pressure.

The chain Buffalo Wild Wings said during an earnings call this week that it has identified about 10% of company-owned restaurants for refranchising. The company owns 631 of the chain’s 1,200-plus locations. The locations identified for refranchising are in markets where Buffalo Wild Wings doesn’t have enough locations to succeed [but have not been publicly announced].

[The decision comes amid shareholder pressure for the company to improve its financial situation.] ... Buffalo Wild Wings’ sales and profits have struggled. Fourth-quarter net earnings fell 38.2%, while same-store sales declined 4%, the company said. 
The only BWW location in the Greater Capital Region is in the Clifton Park Center shopping complex. Go here for the full story of the company using the simplistic marketing mantra "Wings. Beer. Sports."

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Imbibeable Cartoonery

A gallery of artwork honoring those who draw conclusions.


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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Grape Discovery Center gets license to expand beverage sales

Front row: manager Christina McKane, president Patricia Hathaway, board member Bob Patterson holding the new farm winery license. Back row: board members Deb Philips, Helen Baran, Bob Green, John Piper, Carolyn Bills, and Phil Baideme.
The Grape Discovery Center in Chautauqua County has moved another step toward being a full-service visitor center. It has just been issued a farm winery license by the state, which allows it to sell New York State-made wines, spirits, beer and cider by the bottle for off-premises consumption. Previously, it had been limited to selling beverages by the glass for on-premises use only.

"It's been quite a journey for the Center to be able to achieve this goal, but with the support of Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, our license has arrived," said  Christina McKane, manager of the three-year-old facility. "Thanks to their help in obtaining this license, visitors will be able to make a purchase and enjoy these locally made beverages in their hotel rooms or homes."

In addition to gradually building its wine inventory, the Center has added to its events calendar. For example, next Thursday, February 16, Bob Green of the Mercyhurst North East Wine & Culinary Institute from nearby Erie, PA, will conduct a "Tasting Series for Wine, Spirits and Craft Beer."

Also on the calendar, on March 24 the "Grape Discovery Center Wine & Culinary Dinner Experience with Pairings from the Tasting Series" is planned. And, on April 15, A "Children's Happy Easter Party" inclding an egg hunt is planned.

Other events such as a bonsai gardening workshop, a classic cars show, wine parties, live music and so on are scheduled right through the end of summer. Details are available on the facility;s website and its Facebook page.

The Center is located at 8305 West Main Road (Route 20) in the Village of Westfield. Phone: (716) 326-2003.

Arrow shows location of Westfield, Chautauqua County.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Sinclair beer-and-games parlor to debut in Saratoga

Inside The Sinclair
The space at 17 Maple Avenue in Saratoga Springs that opened to over-the-top rah-rah coverage by some of the foodie media as Javier's, then quickly flopped, is in the process of being brought back to life.

Hilary Morrison, owner of what she is  calling The Sinclair, is promising a summer debut for a beer garden and coin-operated game room there. Right now, she is using some of the space for an a la carte event venue.

Morrison, who has signed up Rory Moran of Comfort Kitchen as her consulting chef during the development phase, plans to make a rotating lineup of New York State-produced beers along with a collection of vintage games plus Foosball and board games the centerpieces of her venture.

Javier's, billed as a "nuevo Latino" restaurant, closed in the Maple Avenue location in November 2014 after less than 20 months in operation. It was headed by Javier Rodriguez, a well-known New York City maitre'd who came to the Capital Region after his employer, the popular River Cafe in Brooklyn, was ravaged by Superstorm Sandy and closed. The creation of the restaurant Javier's was met with near-orgasmic coverage by a number of local food-and-restaurant bloggers, but that did not help it translate into long-term success.
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Monday, February 6, 2017

NYers continue success in Florida wine competition

New York State entries historically have done well in the Florida State Fair International Wine Competition, and this weekend's event in Tampa was no exception.

Wines from New York collected a best-of-show, seven Double Golds, eight Golds, 28 Silvers, and 22 Bronzes.

The top individual showing was by Liberty Vineyards & Winery of Chautauqua County. Its 2016 Dry Riesling won "Best of Show White Wine" to go with Double Gold medals for its Fredonia and its 2015 Riesling.

Other Double Gold medals went to Earle Estates Meadery's Strawberry Shadows, Keuka Spring Vineyards' 2015 Millers Cove Red, Lakewood Vineyards' 2015 Full Monty Riesling and its 2015 Sparkling Catawba, and Swedish Hill Winery's 2015 Pinot Grigio.

Gold medals went to Lamoreaux Landing's 2015 Gewurztraminer and its 2015 Red Oak Vineyard Riesling, Swedish Hill's 2015 Riesling and its Blanc de Blanc, Lakewood's 2016 Abby Rose, Liberty's White Side of the Moon, Torrey Ridge's Emmy Lou, and WortHog Cidery's Hard Cider.

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Niagara County winery makes its mark in international test

A Niagara County winery-meadery walked away from a major international competition with an impressive array of awards.

Black Willow Winery, located in the little community of Burt, racked up a Platinum award and three Gold medals at the Winemakers Challenge in San Diego, CA.

The Platinum was for its Classic Diamond NV ($12.95), while the Golds were awarded to its Trilogy Red NV ($16.95), Black Widow Berry NV ($11.95), and Odin's Nectar Traditional Mead Honey Wine, Valhalla Meadery NV ($17.95). 

In addition, Woodbury Winery & Vineyards of Fredonia won a Platinum and "Best of Show Rosé " for its Foxy Blush Renard ($10), a Gold for its 2013 Cabernet France ($24) and a trio of Silvers for other entries.

Go here for the full list of awards in all categories.

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Saturday, February 4, 2017

RateBeer ranks 4 NYS brewers among world's top 100

And, at last, we come to the final look at the annual RateBeer Best awards results, which its organizers have been releasing bit by bit this week.

This portion is the "Best Brewers" worldwide category. Go here and here for other results released earlier this week in which the Suarez Family Brewery of Livingston, Columbia County, did wonderfully.

Two Brooklyn entites are ranked among the top 10, and two other New York State brewers join them in the top 100 category.

According to the competition rules, "The summarization is based on 10 different weighted scales that place an emphasis on reviews of the past year and top performing beers. It also includes historical all-around performance, a brewer's range of performance across styles, and other factors to compare newer and older, larger and smaller brewers under a single method of processing. The winners here are presented as an ordered top 10 and unordered top 100. The members of this list reflect the top performing brewers of more than 22,500 listed at RateBeer.

The top 10, in order:
  1. Hill Farmstead Brewery, Greensboro, VT
  2. Cycle Brewing, St. Petersburg, FL
  3. Trillium Brewing Company, Boston, MA
  4. Cigar City Brewing, Tampa, FL
  5. Cloudwater Brew Company, Manchester, England
  6. Brouwerij de Molen, Bidegraven, Netherlands
  7. De Garde Brewing, Tillamook, OR
  8. Three Floyds Brewing Company, Munster, IN
  9. Evil Twin Brewing, Brooklyn, NY
  10. Other Half Brewing, Brooklyn, NY 
And, some listed in the unordered remainder of the top 100 that may be of particular interest in the Greater Capital Region beer community:
  • Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown 
  • Southern Tier Brewing, Lakewood, Chautauqua County

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Ommegang reveals its annual 'Game of Thrones' brew early

Bend the Knee collectible versions
"Game of Thrones" isn't scheduled to return to HBO for its seventh season until some time this summer. That, however, has not prevented Brewery Ommegang from revealing its annual GOT-themed beer.

To commemorate the usual mix of intrigue, sex, war, sex, treachery, sex and ... sex, the Cooperstown brewery has created Bend the Knee Golden Ale. It will be available on draft and in a series of three collectible 750ml bottles, all finished in matte black and adorned with one of the three Great House sigils: Stark, Targaryen, or Lannister.

Like GOT, Bend the Knee is a potent brew at 9.0% abv, and carries a suggested retail price of $10.99 per bottle. It will be released around Memorial Day, well ahead of the GOT resumption. Incidentally, Ommegang hasn't appropriated the GOT theme. It has a working agreement with HBO's Global Licensing and Retail department.

“With this next 'Game of Thrones'-inspired release, we wanted a beer and a pack that was fit for a king or a queen,” said Brewery Ommegang president Doug Campbell. “Drawing from a rich Belgian brewing tradition, Golden Strong Ales are deceptive due to their unique combination of extreme drinkability and relatively high alcohol content. Bend the Knee walks that line, while also incorporating the delicate flavors of honey into the mix. The subtle noble and floral hop contribution adds to its delicateness, and the beer finishes smooth and dry.”
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NYS brewery count nearing pre-Prohibiton level

Today's beer quiz: How many craft beer producers are licensed in New York State -- 227, 326, 419 or 502?

The New York State Brewers Association (NYSBA) this week released the latest official count of 326, which means the industry has topped the 300 mark for the first time since Prohibition and appears headed for the pre-Prohibition high mark of 350.

The growth in regional breweries adds to a $4 billion economic impact in the state, ranking it fourth highest in the country.

With so many breweries across the state, keeping track of them can be a bit of a chore. Later this month, the NYSBA will debut its first iOS/Android app designed to be a one-stop mobile location for New York breweries and beers. Among its features will be a rewards-based "Passport" program, brewery locations by region, label scanning, suggested brewery tours, beer lists, and style guides.

The Passport program allows users to “stamp” their passport when they visit breweries while incrementally earning rewards such as brewery discounts, gear, and plaques. I'll pass along the details when they are available.
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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Imbibeable Cartoonery

A gallery of artwork honoring those who draw conclusions.

Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
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Go here to visit Notes On Napkins 

Suarez Family Brewery gets another major honor

The latest release of results in the annual RateBeer Best judging -- they release them in dribs and drabs over a week by certain categories -- has a little Columbia County brewery honored once more.

On Monday, the Suarez Family Brewery of Livingston was named one of the 10 best "New Brewers in the World." Today, it was ranked No. 5 and a gold medalist in the pilsners category for its Suarez Family Palatine Pils.

Brewery Ommegang of Cooperstown was awarded a bronze medal in the Belgian-style ales category for its Abbey Dubbel Ale.

Regional pride apart, the part of the announcement today that really caught my eye was the number of honors for the Hill Farmstead Brewery of Vermont.

It was named "Best Bewery in the World" and, obviously, "Best Brewery" in Vermont and in the U.S.  This is the third year in a row and the fourth time in the past five years that the brewery has been honored as "Best Brewery in the World." Twenty-six of its beers were honored with medals, 11 of them Gold, during a ceremony in Santa Rosa, CA, after the judging.

The original inn logo
Hill Farmstead Brewery describes itself as "the culmination of many years of travel and insight -- of experience and education -- of friendships and explorations. The brewery is the revival and continuation of 225 years of Hill heritage and handcrafted history ... . Its logo is retrieved from a sign that once hung in Aaron Hill's (our great-great-great-grandfather) tavern, just up the hill, in the early 1800s."

The brewery is located in Greenstead Bend in northern Vermont, about an hour-and-a-half drive east of Burlington.
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Did anyone show up for Sperry's reopening?

This scene, posted on Sperry's Facebook page today, answers that question.

The longtime Saratoga Springs restaurant and bar reopened on Wednesday after being closed because of damages from a Thanksgiving Day fire at the adjoining Mio Posto restaurant, which since has been razed.

Sperry's is located at 30 Caroline Street. Phone: 584-9618.
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Bartenders Guild to host a major face in distilling game

Dave Pickerell (Bill Dowd photo)
The U.S. Bartenders Guild's Capital Region chapter is stepping up its presence.

The organization, dedicated to enhancing the careers of bartenders, has just established a schedule that calls for meetings the first Monday of each month. That will kick off at 3 p.m. Monday, February 6, at the Savoy Taproom on Lark Street in Albany.

In addition to getting a chance to network with colleagues, the bartenders will be able to meet with renowned master distiller Dave Pickerell.

Pickerell, with whom I had the privilege of working on a special batch of spirits at George Washington's recreated Mount Vernon Distillery a few years ago, first made his name internationally as head distiller for Maker's Mark.

After 14 years there, he branched out on his own in 2008 and lends his advisory and hands-on talents to an array of craft distillers, including Hillrock Estate in Columbia County and WhistlePig in Vermont.

Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Imbibeable Cartoonery

A gallery of artwork honoring those who draw conclusions.

Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook
Go here to visit Notes On Napkins