Sunday, October 14, 2012

Beer Blog For The Ladies

This girl has a pretty neat thing going on. Any celebration of women enjoying beer is something we want to get behind. Get your mind out of the gutter. 

Beer love + nail art love = Nails and Ales

Baird Kurofune Porter

Japan is one of the most enigmatic places on planet earth with a people who have a gift for mastering anything they set their mind to. One needs to only to look at the intense thought and dedication that goes into Japanese tea houses to understand the extent and beauty the Japanese have been able to accomplish. As many of you know, one of my favorite brewers currently in Hitachino (We're doing a beer dinner with them on December 2nd!). So when I stumbled across the Baird brand I had to have it. It not only met but exceeded my expectations.

They truly live up to their motto: Balance + Complexity = Character.

We've had the Red Rose Amber and Dark Sky Imperial Stout in bottle format for some time. I was lucky enough to come across a keg of their Kurofune Porter. Kurofune is the word the Japanese used to describe the American warship that forced open their ports to western trade.  The appearance of this porter is midnight black with very dark mahogany around the edge when held up to light. The head smelled of caramel sweetness, roasted malt and coffee, with a traces of dark fruit. Wonderful mouth feel that lingered long after the first taste. Sat itself right down on the palate and hung out for a few minutes. Coffee, coco, and roast malts prevail with a light hopped background.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

We had our first session of Beer School this week and it went very well. Together with the cheese genius,  David Conway-Lama, at C'est Cheese in Port Jefferson we put together a real tasty pairing. He really helped me out by picking three perfect pairings to our Rochefort beers.

The Rochefort 6 was paired with one of my personal favorite cheeses, the Beemster. This Dutch cheese is aged for an astonishing 26 months. It develops little crunchy sugar crystals and very nice toffee flavors. This was a nice way to pair the light fruit, malt, and yeast flavors that characterize this classic beer.

With the Rochefort 8 we called upon the Comté, a French unpasteurized cow's milk cheese. The slick creamy mouth feel and spice characteristics of the 8 blended with the cheeses herb spice. It gets this quality from the cows grazing on wild herbs in the highlands of the Alps. It was a very interesting combination that had different flavors emerge depending on which you consumed first, the beer or the cheese.

Rochefort 10 is an absolute monster of a beer. David provided a great soft blue cheese, St. Agur, that was able to stand up to this legend. This was my favorite pairing for several reasons. I'm usually not at all a fan of blue cheeses with some of them making me feel like total crap. I'm looking at you Gorgonzola. However this cheese was incredible. Both the beer and cheese had an intense creamy mouth feel that coated the taste buds and didn't budge. Along with the fruity, malty, and dark sugar flavors the beer provided, the funkiness of the blue was undercut. By far David's best choice in my opinion. 

Keep your eyes peeled for new events we have coming up soon. There's a Spanish style pig roast on the 26th and an all Japanese craft beer dinner in December.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Time for Secondary Fermentation

Last Sunday I brewed a batch of English style pale ale with the chefs before we started service. Even Chef Guy came by to see what the hell was going on. Today it had been two days since the airlock stopped bubbling so we transferred our beer into a secondary fermenting pale. The guys over at Brewtopia in Port Jefferson were nice enough to lend me a pail until more glass carboys arrive.  

What exactly is secondary fermentation and why would someone go through the extra step? 

Secondary fermentation is the processes of siphoning off your beer from the initial fermenter into another carboy there by leaving behind the sediment at the bottom of the primary fermenter. The yeast cake at the bottom of the fermenter contains dead yeast, remnants from the malt such as gluten, and any remaining hop particles and resins. 

This can alter the taste of your beer by lending yeasty and other rounded flavors to your beer. Some people are especially sensitive to yeasty flavors and it can turn them off from your otherwise tasty brew. The insoluble compounds also have hop resins that can leave your beer with a very harsh aftertaste. 

An additional benefit from this process is that it will greatly improve the clarity of your brew. There are other ways to improve clarity for more experienced brewers, such as employing slightly longer boils (75-90 minutes), using wort chillers for a very effective cold crash, or Irish Moss in the last ten minutes of the boil. All of these steps will help coagulate the proteins and beta glucans. This will help produce a more clear beer.  To be accurate, there isn't any additional fermentation that takes place during this process. It's more accurate to consider it a conditioning phase. 

Next week we will bottle! 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Beer Fridge

I'm more happy than a seven year old on Christmas. We got our new fridge yesterday! We're going to stuff it full of 18 beers in can format. Thirteen of those will be new to our list. It's also freed up some space in our tall fridge for some classics! I'll be posting reviews of all of the new beers over the next few days.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

We're Finally Moving!

Hello Everyone,

The thing about working with your friends is that they are in fact your friends. Deadlines get pushed back, details forgotten. A web developer friend of mine has been swearing up and down for months that our new custom webpage would be up and running. Eventually it faded to the back of my mind as we worked hard on everything else we do here. Friendships endure as webpages die. Thus is life.

However we still alive. I'll be updating here until we revamp and get rolling again with the new website. I'll also be recapping some of the beers I've had over the last few months.

Sorry for the delay! I hope all of you have been enjoying some great brews in the mean time.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Go Share a Beer

Hello Everyone

I apologize for my absence the last two weeks.  I lost my grandfather very unexpectedly and in a manner totally unbefitting a man of his greatness. He made the Most Interesting Man In The World look like Milhouse. He taught me to garden, clam, crab, fish for and fry up flounder, and offered an amazing example of what it means to be a man. Not to mention that my first ever memory of trying a beer was on his boat after a long hot day digging for clams.

 It was the Silver Bullet. This beer catches a ton of crap with beer nerds(in all honesty, rightfully so) but it holds a special place in my memory and heart. Cases of it have been living in my fridge since he's passed. I implore all of you, call your old man, uncle, grandfather, or that buddy you haven't seen because of work and family obligations, grab a six pack, and enjoy them together.

Friday, February 17, 2012

21st Amendment's CAN do attitude

Canned beer tends to have a pretty uncouth connotation to it. It immediately invokes memories of the cheapest beers we've consumed in the infancy of our beer drinking lives. 21st Amendment shatters the mold with their amazing canned beers. Their philosophy is rooted in their San Francisco home. They believe that craft beer CAN be canned, keeping the beer fresher and helping the environment in the process.

They have certainly done what they set out to with Brew Free Or DIE! IPA, and Back In Black, Black IPA.

Brew Free or DIE! is an amazing west coast IPA that packs a ton of punch, but like Soda Popinski, has great balance. Pouring a deep golden copper color with a nice thick head, the aroma of citrus is evident right off the bat.   As expecting from the smell, this brew has a great citrus, particularly grapefruit, with some pine and a wonderful sweet malty balance. A perfect example of West Coast IPA's. 

7.0 ABV
70 IBU's 

Black IPA's are becoming very popular recently. A dark malty beer that's outrageously hopped seems to appeal to something in everyone, and rightfully so.  This pours very dark with a great tan head. The citrusy hops and chocolaty malts work wonderfully together. The sweet hops and dry malts give this beer it's character. This beer has been living in my fridge for almost two months now and I doubt it'll be replaced any time soon.

6.8 ABV
65 IBU's

Don't be afraid of cans! If these are able to break the stereotype then I highly recommend the Bengali Tiger from Six Point. (review coming shortly) 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Organic Beer

We're proud to announce we now carry two fully organic beers. Best of all, they don't taste like grass or smell like patchouli!

The first is Peak Organic's Nut Brown Ale.  It's a very light English style brown ale with a great mahogany color.  The lacing is an off-white, eggshell color that sticks around for a while.  A nutty, bready, slight roasted malt aroma hits the nose and is followed by a very clean, crisp, and finely carbonated beverage.  This beers light and nutty flavor would make it a good pairing for our Cheese Platter, or one of our cream based soups.

 4.7 ABV
21 IBU's

The Second organic brew we've introduced is Wyld by Uinta.  This Extra Pale Ale pours a gorgeous golden color with white lacing that thins out but sticks with all it's might to the glass.  It's an incredibly refreshing beer, very crisp, with a light mouth feel due to a good amount of carbonation. I instantly wanted to be gardening on on the beach with this beer. Perfect for a session ale. The hops don't overwhelm and in doing so, allow for the citrus to come out and onto the pallet.  I would try this beer with our Moul Frites, Tavern Burger, or Salmon if we're offering it for our fish of the day.

4.0 ABV
29 IBU's

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

100 Members!

Thank you everyone who's shown interest and told their friends. We're really excited about the evolution of the Secret Beer Society and it's upcoming events. We can't wait to share some more brews with you and your friends.

Thank you again for all of your support and interest in what we have to offer!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Hitachino Red Rice Ale

Hitachino Nest is brewed by Japan's best craft brewery, The Kiuchi Brewery. For 170 years they dedicated themselves to brewing the finest Sake possible with only the best ingredients and masterful craftsmanship. In 1996 they started brewing beer and the amazing Hitachino Nest series was born. Since it's inception the line of brews has won many gold medals in world beer competitions. In the past ten years they have branched out even further to start producing Shochu and also purchased four thousand acres near the brewing facility to produce of all things, Merlot and Chardonnay. 

Today we're taking a look at their Red Rice Wine Ale, one of my favorite beers. This brew is by no means a session beer but is so interesting and unique that it deserves to be imbibed on any occasion.

The beer pours a beautiful hazy golden pink color with a thick creamy head that is tinted pink and peach. The smell is immediatly reminiscent of that light sweet medicinal flavor that defines sake.  There's also some rice, light malts, strawberry, and very light herbs and spices. The mouth feel is incredibly smooth and a perfect balance is achieved between the malts and rice with the rice flavors rightfully taking the foreground position.  Much like sake the finish is dry with a slight bite but not at all overly bitter.  

This would go perfectly with the Tavern's Moul Frites, Arctic Char, or the Fish Special du jour. 
7.0 ABV
26 IBU's 
$20 750ml Bottle

Monday, January 30, 2012

Stone Smoked Porter

There are few styles of beer that work better for the soul on a cold winter night than a porter. This is especially true if that porter is from one of the most interesting and creative domestic breweries around. 

Stone Brewing Company's Smoked Porter is nothing short of outstanding. It pours midnight black with a thick creamy head that dies down after a few moments. The nose is full of chocolate, coffee, leather, molasses, tobacco and charcoal which adds a nice subtle smokiness to the standard smell of glorious porters.  Dark beers often suffer from the misconception that they're going to overwhelm the palate and be too heavy, but Stone flies in the face of this idea.  It's smooth and silky with a nice bite from the Columbus and Mt. Hood hops in the aftertaste that remains crisp and refreshing.  This would pair perfectly with grilled meats, BBQ, or rich chocolate desserts.  The Tavern's Duck Confit and Flowerless Chocolate Cake would make perfect partners for the brew. 

5.9 ABV
53 IBU's

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Long Ireland Breakfast Stout

This smooth stout boasts outrageous roast malts hinting of bakers chocolate, and most importantly coffee. Kenyan coffee is combined with flaked oats and milk sugar to give this beer it's unique early morning coffee with cream taste.  It's surprisingly light bodied with a fair amount of carbonation giving it a light airy and dry mouth feel. Depending on the pour you can expect one to two fingers worth of tan head that dissipates over a few minutes but jumps right back to life with a swirl of the pint.  At only 3.5 ABV and it's light body, this stout is a perfect winter session beer.

3.5 ABV
30 IBU's
$6.50 on draft $3.25 on Tuesdays

It's official. Thanks to the guys down at  Long Ireland Brewing Company , we no longer need to feel guilty about having a pint with our eggs and bacon. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Secret's out...

Hello everyone!

The Beer Society is alive and very well thanks to all of you.  We're growing faster than ever and have a few events in the works. What we have in mind for the blog is to keep everyone posted on new taps, bottles, growlers, events, and anything and everything beer related.   We encourage you all to post any comments or beer related suggestions you may have.

We look forward to working with local brewers, the masters both domestic and international, and most importantly, our fellow beer nerds to create a great environment for great beer and beer lovers.