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We’ll Tap “Local” Sierra Nevada this Friday

Ken-GrossmanMaybe you’ve heard? Sierra Nevada is now brewing near Asheville, NC, and we’re getting our first keg from them this Friday (cutting down the shipping time by 2/3 from brewery to our keg room).
The release of Pale Ale from North Carolina is a milestone for the company and officially marks a new era in Sierra Nevada’s history. A couple weeks ago Sierra Nevada reached the 1 million barrel mark and this milestone surpassed every wild dream Ken Grossman had when he started in 1980. Still growing as an independent, family-owned operation, Ken’s son (Brian) has assumed the leadership role at the North Carolina brewery, signifying a new generation of beer innovation. Our palates have grown with Sierra Nevada throughout the years and Sierra Nevada continues to innovate and evolve alongside all of our palates.
Very soon Sierra Nevada will announce some new year-round beers, including a new IPA utilizing distilled hops (the first to do so) to give drinkers a new IPA experience. Other new beers on the horizon:
  • A year-round pilsner called the Nooner
  • An Oktoberfest collaboration beer with a different German brewery each year as a fall seasonal
  • The Beer Camp concept will launch as a spring seasonal starting with the Ballast Point collaboration of this past summer
The Pale Ale is associated with so many fundamental memories that catapulted the movement to where it is today. For craft beer to maintain an impact on drinkers, drinkers need to know where craft beer has been. That is what makes the North Carolina release of the Pale Ale important and exciting. That and tasting the super fresh whole cone cascade hops like it was brewed yesterday. Happy Holidays!

Battle of the Belgians Best Year Ever!

Belgians2014This year’s Battle of the Belgians harkened back to the early days, when two dozen beers were poured for a packed house. While there were fewer actual brews from Belgium, there were great American and European beers, including a surprisingly impressive array of Italian beers. And while the crowd was loving the variety of pours at three separate pouring stations featuring beers from B. United, Union Beer and independent labels, a cheer went up when the pièce de résistance showed up in the form of a roasted half-hog that was deliciously carved up to the hungry revelers.halfhog

Best of Show winner from our first Battle of the Belgians (2000), Brian Strumke of Stillwater Artisanal Ales, returned to pour three of his newest beers that were extremely well received by the crowd. The Dupont Bière de Belœil, which won our second year, returned this year to show us just how good old school Belgian’s could be. (Sadly, our third year winner BFM of Switzerland wasn’t represented this year.) But there was no shortage of great beers to enjoy, with both classics and newcomers taking away people’s choice votes.

So, without further ado, the “envelope” if you please…

Best Belgian-style American:
1st place went to Grimm’s Artisanal (Brooklyn) Beers witha Buzz Triple + honey
2nd place went to Stillwater Artisanal Ales’ Kentucky Folklore, a Bourbon Barrel Belgian Stout (gypsy brewer Brian Strumke)
3rd place went to the Secret Engine/Rocky Point collaboration Madame Saveur, an 11% ABV Triple with grenadine (Brooklyn/Long Island)

Best Belgian:
1st place went to Rochefort 10 Trappist ale
2nd place went to Westmalle Dubble Trappist ale
3rd place went to Dupont’s Bière de Belœil, a dark farmhouse ale

Best Belgian-style from other countries:
1st place went to Birra del Borgo’s 25 Dodici Christmas/holiday beer
2nd place went to Baladin’s Isaac
3rd place went to LoverBeer’s Duva Beer made with grapes

Best of Show:
Grimm’s Artisanal (Brooklyn) Beers witha Buzz Triple + honey

For all our photos from Battle of the Belgians, please visit (and like!) our Facebook page.

The Bruery, Belgians Bring in December

DSC00032While the weather outside is decidedly not frightful, we’re super excited about the line-up of beer events we have this week, including the return of (the fifth annual) Battle of the Belgians this coming Saturday, from 1-4 p.m. But first up, tomorrow night we welcome back Mike Lovullo, who used to curate our Tuesday Tasting program. Mike will be pouring from six different bottles from The Bruery in a guided tasting that will include (subject to availability):

  • *Hottenroth Berliner Weisse
  • *Autumn Maple, A Belgian-style Brown Ale with yams, molasses and maple syrup
  • *Tart of Darkness, A sour Stout aged in wood barrels
  • *Smoking Wood, A 14 percent ABV smoked imperial Rye Porter aged in bourbon barrels
  • *Sour in the Rye, A Rye sour
  • *Oude Tart, A Flemish Red aged in oak barrels
We are offering all six for a $35 ticket (here) or you can pay by the glass. Ordinarily, you have to buy the bottle to get The Bruery, so this is an excellent opportunity to try these beers at a fraction of the retail cost.
And of course our favorite annual event, Battle of the Belgians brings together brewers and distributors from around the globe along with a few home brewers thrown in for good measure. This annual event features the best of Belgium (from 12% Imports, Vanberg & Dewulf, Shelton Brothers, B. United, Duvel) alongside American-made Belgian-style beers. This year’s new representative is Italy! You’ll get three-hours of walk-around sampling plus food (we’re smoking a whole hog, plus vegetarian sides).

Expected to be available (subject to change):

  • *Blaugies Moneuse
  • *Wild Beer Somerset Saison
  • *Mystic Table Beer
  • *Jolly Pumpkin Fuego del Otno
  • *Jolly Pumpkin Bam Noire
  • *Bruery Oude Tart
  • *Grimm Bees With a Buzz
  • *Midnight Sun Trickster
  • *Alvinne Melchior Pur Sang (aged in Red wine barrels with cherries)
  • *Extraomnes Zest
  • *De Dolle Oerbier
  • *De Glazen Toren Saison d’Erpe Mere
  • *Baladin Isaac
  • *Del Borgo 25 Dodici
  • *Loverbeer D’Uvabeer
  • *Ichtegem’s Grand Cru
  • *Smisje Catherine the Great
  • *Saison de Pipaix
  • *Plus selections from Stillwater Artisanal Ales chosen by brewmaster Brian Strumke
Tickets for Battle of the Belgians are on sale here.

Drink NY Wine for Thanksgiving!

Wine2We’re giving thanks here at Jimmy’s No. 43, and we’re particularly thankful for all the great beer, wine and cider produced here in our home state. At the recent Crain’s NY  Business conference, Jimmy Carbone was on a “Made in NY” panel where the question was raise about how to get more NY State products (wine in particular) into NYC restaurants and hotels. Another panelist, Andrzej Bocian-Brown who is Director of Food & Beverage Operations for The Standard (Highline), suggested, “Why don’t we make Thanksgiving a ‘Drink NY State Wine Day’?”

This is a plan we definitely can get behind! We have so many great wineries from Long Island (Shinn Estate, Channing Daughters, Paumanock, Wölffer) through the Hudson Valley and on up into the Finger Lakes region. So, this week our bar menu will have ciders and wines sourced from NY State, including (subject to change):

*Eve’s Cidery, Perry Pear (Van Etten NY)
*Slyboro, Night Pasture Cider (Granville, NY)
*Wölffer Estate Vineyards, Wickham’s Pear Cider (Sagaponack, NY)
*Shinn Estate, Red Table Blend (North Fork, NY)
*Millbrook, Cabernet Franc (Dutchess County, NY)
*Wölffer Estate Vineyards, Merlot (Sagaponack, NY)
*Wölffer Estate Vineyards, Sagaponack Red (Sagaponack, NY)

Every year we read about what to drink on Thanksgiving: One year it’s the Beaujolais Nouveau, then we’re trying California Zinfandel, then back to (am upgraded) Cru Beajoulais like Morgan’s or Mouilin-a-Vents (the junior burgundies of sorts). This year, we’re keeping things local!

So why not drink NY wine (or cider) for Thanksgiving? We’ll have plenty at Jimmy’s No. 43 (and while we will be closed Thanksgiving day, we’re loading up on local wines that you can drink all week long). And we’ll have great local food on the menu, as well. Happy NY Thanksgiving!

Looking Ahead to Battle of the Belgians

BotBPreviewOn Saturday, December 6th, Jimmy’s No. 43 will once again be gathering the world’s best Belgian and Belgian-style beers for the Fifth Annual Battle of the Belgians. This year, we welcome newcomer (and possible upset winner) Italy! Yes, we’ll have some Belgian-style Italian beers, along with a great list of Americans.

Some of the people behind these amazing brews dropped by the bar yesterday, including Michael Opalenski of B. United Importers, Mike Lovullo (who is curating the American side of Battle of the Belgians) and this “brain trust” of beer. We were purchasing beer for an upcoming preview event this Saturday, November 22nd, when from 4-6 p.m. Jimmy Carbone will be doing a guided tasting of six rare Belgian (or Belgian style ales). Take a tour of our beer cellar, help choose your own beer, taste, talk and sample some of our favorite bacons and cured meats (yes, it is another Bacon & Belgians event! tickets here).

We asked the group to “match that brew” in a bit of a beer geek challenge. Jimmy said to choose a beer with a high malt profile (not too hoppy), sessionable (less than 6% ABV), something in a pale ale, and something a consumer could drink all night long.

Mike Lovullo, Union Specialty Rep (not pictured as he was taking a sales call) picked Maine Beer Co.’s “Mo” Pale Ale and the Hitachino Dai Dai Blood Orange Saison (we’ll have Mo on the menu with Dai Dai coming in next week). Andrew (Union rep-in-training) went for our favorite beer from NJ, the Carton Boat Beer. Michael Opalenski  picked Schlenkerla Helles Lager and Hofstetten 1810 Lager (both of which will be available in the run up to Battle of the Belgians). Finally, Mick Bonde (also a Union rep) chose Heavy Seas Winter Storm.
Heavy seas winter storm

Just another typical day at work!

 And be sure to get your ticket to Battle of the Belgians (very limited in quantity). Current beer list and tickets available here.