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Today we talked a lot about the ballpark experience, as all three of us had recently visited minor or major league parks. Michael imparts knowledge about Citi Field and the beer selection, which might actually be better in the minors. Hop Valley’s Bubble Stash was the Coors owned product Michael kept butchering. There was also plenty of hard seltzer at the ballpark.
There was some talk of bullpens, of offense or lack thereof, and of the games this week.
We briefly got into it about whether or not replay is about reviewing when a base stealer slightly comes off the bag, but we ran out of time to really dig in deep. More to come on that for sure.
Tasting the new United We Cheers beer from The 7 Line Army and MIkkeller NYC.
The 7 Line Army is an offshoot of the T-shirt company created by Darren Meenan that sells creative fan merchandise for Mets games. It’s a dedicated group of fans that have outings and tailgates at the park, and often travel to other parks as well, bringing a dedicated cheering section on the road is something that’s pretty neat, and something the ballplayers definitely notice and appreciate.
They recently teamed up with Mikkeller NYC, a brewery that’s actually attached to Citi Field, to create a special beer called United We Cheers, utilizing Mikkeller’s unique artwork style. It’s a 4.3% German Pilsner, which really makes it an excellent tailgating beer that’s pretty drinkable by most beer drinkers, perhaps even especially non-craft ones.
I stopped at Mikkeler before Opening Day and had a can of it. I also had a delicious Hill Farmstead IPA, but that’s not why we’re here.
The beer had that light sulfury smell many Pilsners do, and a bit of lightly warmed bread. The taste matched that well, crisp, a bit of light phenols from the hops and some of that sulfur taste from the water chemistry. The hop bitterness is present and accounted for, that spicy/peppery noble hop varieties that are typical of the style. It’s full flavored and not at all watery. If the hop varieties were different, you might even call it a session IPA, but noble hops are more crowd pleasing.
This is a beer I’d be happy to drink all day watching or playing sports. It’s a great drinking beer.
A belated Happy New Year to the tens of people who loyally read the Barley Prose Blog and follow our various social media accounts! And Happy New Year to my fellow BP blogger homies! Grateful for you dudes (and our intrepid Instagram dudette who needs to post more, btw), and our friendship forged over our challenging and occasionally rewarding love of the stupid and beautiful New York Metropolitans Baseball Club™! To bigger and brighter things for all of us in 2k19!
The festive period for me was a real slog. A mixture of family, friends, too much food, lots of seasonal beverages, slothy days off of work, and slothy days ‘working’ while not accomplishing anything work-related at all.
The mundanity of those normal work days leads us to enjoy our everyday, go-to alcoholic bevvies the majority of the year, but hoard our rarities for occasions we deem ‘special’, a line of demarcation that likely means something different to all of us.
If I’d been saving any of my special bottles for a New York Mets championship, for example, I would likely die thirsty with those dusty-topped bottles sitting lonely and craving precious oxygen. So while ‘the weekend’ may not be a special occasion necessarily, the capital N, capital Y New Year definitely is. My girlfriend’s birthday is also December 31, so the reasons to celebrate uniquely and in a grand fashion were especially fertile.
We first cracked the out-of-production Trip in the Woods: Barrel Aged Narwhal (with currants!) by Sierra Nevada. It’s a dark beer whose puckery profile (the tartiest stout I’ve ever tasted) did not taste like what the beer hinted at by its color. Enjoyable, but a bit summery with the slightly acidic currants. But it’s the New Year and it’s beer, so it was still better than good.
Not my photo, but the holiday tie-in is perfectly apropos. (photo cred –> http://www.betterondraft.com/beer-reviews/sierra-nevada-trip-woods-narwhal-review)
We also had a bomber of the Double Sunshine Stout by Bosque Brewing from here in Albuquerque. An outrageously tasty golden stout powered by cacao nibs! It’s as contradictory as Trip in the Woods, as the color in no way matches the flavor profile which made me grateful for 1) the risk taken by the brewers, and 2) a wonderful outcome that doesn’t always accompany a great risk.
Sometimes overcoming fear and just taking the leap is rightly more important than the result for us thick-skulled humans, so it’s nice to celebrate both the risk and end result instead of searching for growth and value in a worthy, but ultimately unsuccessful chance taken. So good on ya, Bosque.
Enjoyable as both these beers were, we bought them at the liquor store a block away, the undisputed local champ, Jubilation Wine & Spirits. But special occasions tend to call for that rarity that you can’t get at even the best liquor store, and that’s where our good friends and next-door neighbors came into play. The sweet gift of booze!
Being the birthday/New Year double celebration as it were, our friends gifted us an incredibly rare, nearly 10-year old Scottish ale, which was peaking like 2000 Mike Piazza. Behold the Traquair 2020. From the label:
“An ale brewed to celebrate the first decade of the 21st century and to be consumed before the end of the second decade. Traquair Brewery – tiny, historic, and rooted with deep traditions – is situated in Scotland’s oldest inhabited house. Savour this authentic taste of Scotland.”
As stated, it was brewed in 2k10 and the bottle, in another corner of the label, encourages the drinker to “enjoy before 2020”. Exceptional timing, I’d say.
A single 10% ABV, 11.2-ounce bottle to share between the two of us. The sticklers on Beer Advocate were a little bullish (4.18 out of 5 in 145 ratings), but the less refined and more forgiving crowd on Untappd liked it a bit more, with one asshole in particular raving:
“Dark fruits abound, fig, raisins, plums.”
Nice words, bro. But his girlfriend liked the beer, too, and it was her birthday, so we’ll give him a pass for the lackluster review.
A beer from another continent, sitting patiently in a cooler for 8 full years, then sipped happily to celebrate the flipping of a calendar to a new year, and another trip around the sun for one birthday girl.
Capital S, capital O, Special Occasion.
Enjoy all of yours. And sometimes regular days are special ones, too.
Hey there, it’s the new guy here at Barley Prose, coming to you from the third-largest city in the greatest state in the union, Rochester, New York. Rochester, like many cities, is in the middle of a pretty significant beer resurgence right now, and I’m happy to lend my drinking and writing talents to this fantastic team of Mets fans from around the country.
I’m a relatively recent beer drinker, having only really taken up the habit in the last several years. That means I missed the drink-crappy-beer-in-college phase, which I’m quite happy about. But what that *does* mean is that I’ve gone straight from zero to beer snob.
And I’m *that* kind of beer snob, too – an IPA drinker. Thankfully, we have lots of fantastic options here in the ROC, so I’m in good shape. (Providing that “round” counts as a shape.)
I’m going to spend the first couple of posts here introducing you to some of my favorites locally, and then I’ll work on stretching beyond the 585 area code.
Look for reviews and thoughts in the next few days about Rising Storm and Stoneyard, two of my local favorites. And if you’ve got feedback, drop me a line in the comments and let me know, or find me on Twitter, where I wax poetic in 280 characters on baseball and the Mets, hair metal music, higher education, game shows, and like all good tweeters, general silliness and snark.
(Note: Author is not Canadian; rather, he prefers the quaint mispronunciations depicted in the blog post title.)
Friday night is a low ebb for me. After the rigors of a work week, I can find the energy for only a very small amount of coordinated activity.
Plans with other adults, where I have to interact in meaningful dialogue? Uh, no. That’s not really going to work.
There are a few excursions, however, that I can summon up the mental fortitude for. One of them is a trip to the ballpark. I am blessed enough to live just 15 minutes from the home stadium of a AAA baseball team, the Syracuse Chiefs (soon to be the Syracuse Mets, at which point I am sure they will be afflicted by boils, locusts, hot fire, and other various Biblical plagues).
In an attempt to drum up attendance, in a park that consistently has lots of leg and elbow room available, a number of promotional events have been added to the schedule. New in 2018 is…
CRAFT BEER NIGHT.
Oh, yeah, that’s right.
For $20, the buyer, in this case myself, is awarded a 200 level ticket to the ballgame and two beers from a selection of 16 oz. delights, all served courtesy of a fine local tavern called Now & Later.
While the tavern itself has a dozen or so beers on tap, and several dozen more in cans and bottles, they bring a subset of these to the ballpark to be sold to thirsty baseball fans such as myself.
These beers do normally go for $10 a throw, so, essentially, the Friday ticket to the game is free with the promise of drinking two craft beers.
I CAN TOTALLY DO THAT.
(I suppose you could also look at it as the purchase of a $12 ticket to the game, and then two $10 brews discounted to just $4 each, but, somehow, in my brain, the concept of a free ticket to the game makes more sense).
I chose to partake, first, in this juicy IPA, so juicy, in fact, that the word “juicy” appears multiple times on the can.
My second choice was a Gose, the only Gose that I saw on the menu, this little number which touts itself as being derived from grapes.
These were both good, but not great, beer choices. They got the job done, is what I’m saying. I won’t delve into all of the subtle details of these particular beers because, quite honestly, they weren’t quite memorable enough for me to feel the need to do that. They were cold, and beery, and alcoholy, and went particularly well with the hot dog and deep-fried-cornbread-stuffed-with-jalapeno-cheese-and-bacon things that were also consumed that night.
Sadly, the home team couldn’t muster all that much offense, giving up four runs before we found our seats and ultimately losing 5-0.
Given all of the goodness I was soaking in, though, I didn’t mind that either, particularly.