Why was the first player I thought of with number 3 Damien Easley? I digress..
Michael, Chris and Jason discuss the Mets so far, just after the LOB debacle Wednesday afternoon. There’s some mind-boggling at Luis Rojas, some discussion of Opening Day attendence rituals, and some Shea Stadium talk too.
It’s almost Opening Day, pending Nationals Covid contact tracing, so here’s a new podcast from your friends at Barley Prose. Today Michael, Chris, Jake and Jason discuss Opening Day, Irish Beers and Mikkeller NYC, baseball stadiums and our hopes and dreams for this baseball season.
Lindor signed his extension right after we recorded, so we were as of yet unaware of that, just like we were unaware that Opening Day was going to get canceled.
Jake: Second Street Brown Ale
Chris: WhichCraft Much Love: Strawberry Basil Lemonade Sour
Welcome to the first episode of Mets On Tap. Bear with us as we settle into a format, pick music and artwork, stretch out our arms to drink a whole game, and figure this stuff out. Please reach out with comments to email@example.com.
This episode we start out by talking about some beers we’re drinking, the Mets rotation going into the season, fans in the stands, Noah Syndergaard extensions and much more.
I mean, how could I not make this pairing? Thin mints and thick mints? Mints! I love mint.
These are fresh Thin Mints, courtesy of my daughter. The Thick Mint is from Southern Tier, and is technically a few years old, though it’s a mint stout so it’s fine. A little flatter perhaps, but it tastes fine.
I trust I don’t have to tell you what a thin mint tastes like, but just in case, it tastes like chocolate and mint. It’s pretty decently minty, on top of a chocolate crisp cookie, and enveloped in milk chocolate. It’s not the best cookie in the world, but if you’re as partial to chocolate mint as I am, it’s definitely up there among the non-homemade cookies out there.
The beer…is not that. And this isn’t one of those gimmicky pastry stouts ‘brewed’ with thin mints in it. But it’s enough to make you think ‘Thin Mint’. It’s definitely a stout, a strong stout, with lots of roasty flavors. It’s got some chocolate notes, but not sweet milk chocolate so much as roasty malt dark chocolate, and it’s all underlaid with a hint of mint. It’s a good beer, and 10%, so it hits you. It’s a little harsher when it’s fresh, 3 years old it’s got a nice mellow cohesiveness that fits it well.
Going TO the cookie from the beer is amazing, the cookie takes all those flavors, and just dials them up, with a crunchy YUM. A nice little punctuation at the end of the flavor.
Going FROM cookie to beer is less impressive. The sweetness of the cookie seems to mute some of the beer richness, and makes the mint stand out in a more medicinal way that isn’t as pleasant.
Was this an appropriate way to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day? Should I really have drinken a 10% beer and a half sleeve of Thin Mints before bed? Well, who am I to judge?
I think this was a fun pairing, and my beer is gone. I’m still eating the cookies though..
Ceetar can be found on Twitter and Untappd where he’s got literally a dozen boxes of Girl Scout cookies in his basement that need delivering. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Barley Prose is creating a new podcast! It’s called Mets On Tap, and will be a casual conversation type podcast about beer and the Mets, and anything else that crops up probably, between 2 or more of the BarleyProse writers, and who knows, maybe some guests too.
No other specific agenda or schedule at this time, probably short bite sized episodes. I imagine it as like, the twenty minutes of conversation you’d have with a friend you ran into at Citi Field just before the game started.
So stay tuned! I’m using this episode to push the feed to everywhere I can think of that it needs to go, but feel free to reach out with any suggestions, or predictions, or what not.
Well, what with the impending return of warmer weather, and, dare I say it, an increased ability to socially comingle with actual people in actual drinking situations, it seems like a proper time to start to loosen up and get into midseason form. A spring training, if you will.
Oh, wait. I drank beer all winter. I’m already stretched out like a marathon runner here!
Still, my ambitions are larger than just “drink beer in 2021.” Though that in and of itself is a lofty goal.
My goal for 2021 is to write more. I try new beers all the time — whether it be at my favoritelocal watering holes or in my weekly selections from the local food jobber. I take photos of them all the time, too — and if you follow our delightfully irreverent (that’s the word, right? not irrelevant?) Instagram account you’d see that as well. So, all that’s left is to put my sorry ass thoughts to words and paper and share them with the world. I have a gift and it’d be abuse to not share it with you!
Take, for example, this beer right here. Now, don’t literally take it. It’s an image on a device of some kind. (Dumbass.)
I had this beer last weekend after a morning five mile run with my local run club, where we start and ended our run at Now and Later.
A morning beer! A breakfast beer! Which of course, really, just means “a beer that is consumed at breakfast time.”
This beer was a real liver stomper from Evil Twin Brewing, based out of beloved Queens, NY. I enjoyed it fully. Described officially as an “imperial stout brewed with coffee and with almond and vanilla added,” at least ITBMCBB*, I found it dark and rich with a predominantly coffee taste but noticeable amounts of those flavors. Even for a palatine Phillistine like myself, I could discern the variances. Paired nicely with breakfast pizza from the local gas station (don’t judge me. DON’T.). And at 11.3% ABV it held a wallop.
I slugged this down and then did my weekly grocery shopping, wishing for much of that errand that I could just lie down on the floor of Wegmans and summon groceries into my cart using the persuasive power of coffee beer buzz and positive mindedness. But alas and alack.
Nonetheless, recommended! And perhaps, also, the beauty of bellying up to the bar and beholding a wonderous sight as this:
I get all verklempt just looking at it, to tell you the truth.
Speaking of Queens, NY, stay tuned for updates about a potential podcast discussing all things beer and Mets baseball related! Starring your favorite non-botty Barley Prose contributors.
Hey! It’s a beer post by a human being who’s not Ceetar!
Like many modern beer drinkers, I tend toward IPAs. But my wife and I decided to check out the new German-style Faircraft Brauhaus yesterday on the way to our weekly pub quiz night. Faircraft opened last year doing just to-go crowler and growler sales of their darker lagers and ales, and over the past few months, they’ve expanded into a full-scale operation, and we came away extremely impressed!
The menu is simple — some wursts, spaetzles, and whatnot — but was really fantastic. Even the pretzel & mustard combo, which is usually comically oversized, is a perfect side dish or appetizer. At a first glance, they’re mostly small plates, good for a snack, but we had the sausage plate, which came with half a loaf of sourdough and a scoop of the most incredible obatzda cheese spread you’ve ever had. We did *not* leave hungry.
Nor did we leave thirsty, of course! They specialize in darker beers, so we went all in. From left to right in the photo above: Spinning Gold, a clean, easy-drinking Helles lager that my wife was bored by but I thought was good; Lucy’s Local, a Rye IPA that was heavy on the rye and light on the hops; Raven’s Ring, a fantastic Schwarzbier, and Low & Slow, their smoked porter.
Not pictured is the Bricklebock, a traditional single bock that I thought was the best of the bunch.
Faircraft is perfectly positioned in downtown Fairport in the former American Can Factory, just steps from the Erie Canal, with plenty of parking and a huge outdoor patio that will get a TON of use once the weather cooperates. They’ve got a ton of space inside as well, including a grand piano, so I’d anticipate some music nights there too. Really looking forward to seeing them continue to grow.
Had a bit of a back and forth with Will Gordon on Twitter about bars, particularly about random super sketchy type bars, like ones in grocery stores or here in NJ where there are some extremely suspect liquor stores that seem mostly empty and also have a bar that only seems to have one dusty tap and also seems to come pre-equipped with it’s own regular drinker. This is probably a weird artifact of New Jersey liquor license rules, which are real confusing and bad.
At this point, I’d be happy with just about any bar, and really in any format. Any port in the storm.
For me the most recent incarnations of this have been brewery tap rooms, but the standard bar works too. I’ve worked in New York City on and off over the years, and have probably interviewed for dozens of jobs during that time. Living in the suburbs and traveling to the city always is a process, you almost always have some time to spare before or after depending on the trains, and hell, you’re in NYC, might as well take advantage and see what you can see. For me I’d often find a good bar, one serving food, and try to arrange it so I’d have time to chill and have a beer or two in a new place. One thing to do, and a lot of time to kill around it.
There’s something pretty zen about just chilling out in a new place. These days it’s hard not to whittle away the time also on your phone, zoning out your surroundings, but it’s good to put the phone down and just absorb the atmosphere. Before smartphones, I remember a nice afternoon at McSorley’s with sawdust on the floor and only two types of beer. I ordered a burger, brought a book, and just read on and off in the dim light of the bar for hours.
Another vivid memory was a lunch I had at Reichenbach Hall in midtown. A German beer hall serving lots of standard German beer and food, just half a block from Penn Station, so it was a great location to kill some time if you got in early, or had a while until your train out. I recall one particular time just chilling at the bar post-lunch when a young man in a suit came in, to this German beer hall, and had three shots of Vodka in pretty quick succession and then left within 15 minutes. It just felt so at odds with the place that it stuck. Was he building up courage for an interview? For a date? For something else? Why this beer hall of all the places on the block?
A third story to leave you with today, this one featuring another person! Strange right? I’m no stranger to the solo bar act, but given quarantine the idea of going to a bar WITH someone, has a certain allure. I harken back to early 2000s, still living at my parents post-college, where my future wife had a job but I didn’t. She’d turned in, but I ended up at a standard irish dive bar with a friend. I don’t know if the craft beer movement has totally killed the “Irish bar” as some sort of default dive, or if I simply don’t notice them anymore, but this one, called the Dubliner, was typical. We’d been semi-regular there for a few months, so it was an easy “Let’s just go there and get a beer or two.”. They did bad pours of Guinness, crappy Half and Halfs, and had some weird bottled mead that wasn’t particularly good either. We had a few beers, chatted for a while, and went home.
Nothing particularly amazing or special about any of these stories, and yet, I’d love to repeat any of them soon. Let’s get on that.
Ceetar can be found on Twitter and Untappd where he’s waiting for new patio to be done so he can at least sit outside with a beer. You can also email him at email@example.com.
January just has that air of resolution about it. Bettering yourself, making plans, forging ahead. Like many, I probably could stand to drink less and exercise more. For me that mantra usually makes it until the first time I see Troegs Nugget Nectar in the store.
Which was last week. I picked up a case, and added a sixer of Bells Hopslam for good measure. I topped that off with a bottle of Allagash Bijoux, a sour ale barrel-aged on figs. I was going to grab a pack of Three Floyds Zombie Dust, but it was three months old and I held on to some thread of that healthy resolution and I didn’t buy beer I would end up pressuring myself to drink quickly before it wasn’t as fresh. Next batch.
So what does 2021 have in store for us, and for me, beer-wise? Well first off, look at that haul. Those are top-flight beers, hell, it’s a subset of top-flight beers available to me at a grocery store. (Wegmans in Montvale, NJ) Even five years ago that sort of availability would’ve been noteworthy, now I pick it up as part of my grocery run during a pandemic like it’s a box of Little Bites. Wegmans was actually out of Little Bites. It’s been harder to buy toilet paper this past year than it has been beers that previously were considered Whales.
One trend I’m noticing in my own beer drinking is that I’m definitely giving more chances to what I’d call “labors of love”, like that Bijoux. Beers that are brewery experiments, or projects, that aren’t necessarily larger volume brews. Last summer I had a beer called Thought Experiment (blueberry) from Threes Brewing. It’s a series of Saisons that they brew from leftover fruit that they use in other beers. I thought it was a pretty neat sustainability thing, and the beer was a nice refreshing and bubbly summer brew. This year I’m going to keep my eye out for fun single bottles like that.
For Barley Prose, my goal is to redesign the site a little bit. I’d like to keep doing some fun Botty McBotface AI beer stuff, but I’d like it to be a sidebar, and not make you scroll through a bunch of bot stuff to get to the individual writers content. Look for that soon.
I’d also like to _brew_ beer more. I’ve been slacking. My goal for 2021 is small–just two batches.
So that’s my early 2021 thoughts on beer and blogging. I’m now going to crack open a nugget nectar for my 85th Untappd check-in of that beer. I’ve got 10 more after than, and there’s no way I’ve checked-in every one I’ve had. 100 Nugget Nectars? That might be worth a post in it of itself.
Ceetar can be found on Twitter and Untappd where he’s probably almost to 100 Nugget Nectars by the time this posts. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beer flavored packaged food items are everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Especially as we approach the Super Bowl, but in general ‘beer’ is being used as an adjective more and more, and I’m the sucker that always falls for it. Sometimes they even say ‘craft beer’, like these pretzels that I did end up enjoying.
Enjoying a product, and it being a ‘beer’ product are two different things though. Take Lays Beer Cheese Kettle Chips that I bought recently. All those words are good! Beer, Cheese, Kettle, Chip! How could it not be good mashed together?
Well, they are. But it’s mostly cheese and crunch. You get some gooey cheddar flavor, the crunch of the kettle chip, and maybe just a hint of malt and hops on the back end there? Or perhaps that’s just more cheese. But that’s not unique to anything, and they’re not particularly beer flavored. They’re just cheesy potatoes, which are awesome. They’re good chips, but there are a lot of good chips, that’s not why I bought them.
I want to be pounded with the beer flavor. I want chips absolutely drenched in rich brown ale flavor. I want a chocolate bar that’s half porter. Gimme a salad dressing that’s been steeped with actual hop cones.
Overall, Lays Beer Cheese Kettle Chips? Pretty good! Just not really a beer snack. Just take a look at the ingredients. Halfway down you get Beer Solids, Barley, corn syrup, hops and yeast. No specifics.
Next up? These naturally flavored Guinness chips. They proclaim ‘Guinness® Flavor’–We’ll see.