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Battle of the Belgians: December’s Results and February’s Trappist Edition Tix Available Now

dsc_0156On Saturday, December 3rd, Jimmy’s No. 43 welcomed back the best of Belgium with our annual Battle of the Belgians. We love bringing in these classic style of beers (from any country making Belgian-style ales) during the colder months, and we’ll be featuring Belgian and Belgian-style beers through our annual Liquid Lent, which this year starts in the middle of NYC Beer Week!

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. On the Friday (December 2nd) before Battle of the Belgians, we had an esteemed group of judges (Paul Zocco of Zoks Homebrew, Certified Cicerone James Tai, Gregg Glaser of Yankee Brew News, Sam Barbieri of Waterfront Ale House, among others) gather together at the bar to taste close to two-dozen beers entered in this year’s event. Their winners—along with the People’s Choice—were announced both during Battle of the Belgians and on last week’s episode of Beer Sessions Radio™. The results of each category:

Hoppy Belgian Style:
1st Place – Humulus Terreux, The Bruery (CA)
2nd Place – Monsieur Shelton, De la Senne (Belgium)
3rd Place – XX, De Ranke (Belgium)

Belgian Sour:
1st Place – Flemish Primitive Wild Ale, De Proefbrouwerij (Belgium)
2nd Place – Oude Gueuze, Tilquin (Belgium)
3rd Place – Sour in the Rye Terreux, The Bruery (CA)

Belgian Specialty Strong:
1st Place – – Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen (Belgium)
2nd Place – Blond Bier, Achel Trappist (Belgium)
3rd Place – Oerbier, De Dolle (Belgium)

One of the judges, Paul Zocco, summed up the winning entries thusly: “It’s very interesting that all three category winners were beers with some presence of funk; be it Brett, lactic or acetic notes.”

People’s choice votes were tabulated during the event and the winners announced accordingly:

Best Local NYC on Draft: LIC Beer Project’s Silent Vixen Bier de Garde (Queens, NYC)

Best Classic Sour: Cuvee des Jacobins’ Flemish Sour (Belgium)

Best Classic Triples: Two Belgians tied for this… De Dolle’s Dulle Teve 10 and the Achel Blond Bier

Hoppy Belgian Style: De Ranke’s XX (Belgium)

Belgian Specialty Strong: Another tie of three Belgians… by Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen, Triporteur Full Moon 12 and De Dolle’s Oerbier

And a special mention goes out to Jimmy’s favorite (and the beer he drank all day): Solemn Oath’s Punk Rock for Rich Kids, a Belgo pale ale from Naperville, IL (near Chicago).

If you missed out on this month’s event, you have a chance to make up for it as we will be doing a special Trappist-only version of Battle of the Belgians for Liquid Lent/NYC Beer Week on Saturday, February 25th. Find out more details and get your tickets here.

Peace and Happy: Rounding up the Year that was

While there are quite a few people who won’t be sorry to see 2016 come to a long, tortuous end, we prefer to look back on the year that was and remember the highlights. We’ve shared many a pint with our Beer Family, and we’ve also been social outside what some consider one of the best beer bars in NYC.

As we recap 2016, we wish you and yours a very happy holiday. If you don’t already have plans, be sure to drop by on Sunday, December 25th, for our annual Xpats Xmas lunch (we’ll have pork roast, ribs, roasted Brussels sprouts and root vegetables, mashed potatoes and more – get your ticket here). Otherwise, please enjoy the year that was!

1. Our Backroom was transformed into a 1930s Jazz Club in Woody Allen’s latest film, Café Society.
Our Backroom is one of the best kept secrets in NYC, with private party rentals and performance space available to local arts groups, but we were very excited to welcome auteur Woody Allen selected our bar to be the setting for several locations in the movie. It was our “starring” moment on the big screen!
2. Brewed Food collaboration
Back in June, we welcomed Jensen Cummings and guest chef Andrew Gerson of Brooklyn Brewery to serve up a unique beer and food pairing dinner that featured custom dishes incorporating craft beer brewing processes.  We ended up with some very funky pairings, like Brooklyn Sorachi Ace with Santa Barbara Uni / bonji and dry-hopped yogurt! It was a great night, and we hope Jensen’s tour in 2017 brings him back our way.
3. Hops salon
We held another of our Salon series as we welcomed hops farmers from around the region, including John Condzella from Condzella Farms on Long Island and John Segal from Segal Ranch, a 3rd generation farm that originated in NY State before moving to Washington State. The event was informative and aroma-filled!
4. Best Burger added to menu
We’ve always loved grass-fed ground beef, but our burger went to a whole new level this year as we arranged for a custom grind from Fleishers Craft Butchery in Brooklyn. Now our Best Burger is getting raves around NYC and is one of our favorite dishes to pair with red wine! Perfect year-round.
5. Outdoor events at Solar One
Summer in the city is the time to get outdoors, and we grilled at Solar One at key events throughout the warmer months, including collaborating with the Executive Chef of Georgia Grown to bring a half-dozen of the south’s best chefs to the waterfront for “A Taste of Georgia,” which also allowed a perfect view of the spectacular July 4th fireworks!
6. Opening of next level of NYC-area breweries
Offering up small batch and handcrafted beers, Industrial Arts quickly became a hoppy favorite this fall. Plus we witnessed the launch of two new Brooklyn-based breweries, Interboro in East Williamsburg and KCBC in Bushwick. We’re loving all this great beer that is coming out from local brewers!
We wish you the best holiday and Happy New Year, and we’ll hope for even better happenings in 2017.

Check Out Our Beer Gallery: New Brews and Label Art

walloffoam_kelsoWe’re featuring some great NYC brewers on tap and on our walls, thanks to our latest art installation from Ann V. Reilly called “Wall of Foam.” You can enjoy local beers while checking out the local breweries’ label art. We have everything from KelSo to Brooklyn Brewery to Barrier and Evil Twin logos hanging throughout the restaurant. We always like to support local and emerging artists, so when Ann told us she was interested in assembling the great label art into an installation, we were thrilled to have these quality portraits adorn our walls. Be sure to see which artists have created the label art (or see if you can tell your Daniel Birch from your Milton Glaser!).

walloffoam_bigaliceAnd speaking of local beers, we have quite a few on tap, including favorites from:

  • Industrial Arts
  • Interboro
  • KCBC
  • Strong Rope

So, be sure to drop by soon and enjoy some great local brews… with beer art, too!