Author Archives: Tim Rozmus

Kenji’s (Biased) Best Fast Food Awards, Paired

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There are times that call for elevated cuisine. Then there are times when, in the words of Garrett Oliver, you “murder a bag of White Castle Cheeseburgers at midnight.” Today, we celebrate the latter.

This morning, Serious Eats Managing Culinary Editor and James Beard Award-nominated Food Lab writer J. Kenji López-Alt (pictured below) released “Kenji’s Best Fast Food Awards (A Totally Biased, Completely Incomplete List.)” The article has already ignited controversy across Twitter and around our own office, with many at our desks wondering “Well, what are we supposed to drink with all of this?”

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Here on the Brooklyn Brewery blog, I proudly offer my list of pairings for Kenji’s award-winning fast food offerings. I freely admit that my list is just as biased and a great deal more incomplete than Kenji’s with nothing approaching his credentials. I’m just Tim: Brooklyn Brewery copywriter, bartender and tour guide, sweatshirt model, and the kind of guy you’d approach at random for cheeseburger recommendations. I stand behind every entry. Argue it out with Kenji or myself on Twitter, or send positive affirmations at the Brooklyn Brewery.

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Tim’s Beer Guide to Kenji’s Best Fast Food Award (A Stunningly Biased and Rather Truncated Pairing List)

Kenji’s Best Burger: The Original Smashburger with Cheese from Smashburger
Tim’s Beer Pick: Brooklyn Shackmeister Ale
Why: It’s a shame to start this list with a disagreement, but my heart belongs to Kenji’s runner up on this list: the Shack Burger with Cheese from Shake Shack. We brew Shackmeister to match up rich malts and tingling bitterness with the delicious smash-griddled patties Shake Shack has made an international phenomenon. Fortunately, Smashburger is part of the smash-griddled school of thought as well, so Shackmeister will be (nearly) as at home in their domain.

Kenji’s Best French Fries: Wendy’s
Tim’s Beer Pick: Brooklyn Lager
Why: I agree with the crowning of Wendy’s fluffy, crispy fries, replete with skin-on ends and shower of fine salt. The starchy-sweet, salty fries match up with Brooklyn Lager’s caramel malts before the bitter edge kicks in at the end to clear the way for the rest of your sack of fries. Those of you who have made multiple, somewhat shameful trips to a suburban Wendy’s in one night will particularly appreciate this pairing. Moving on!

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Kenji’s Best Non-Fry Side: Giant Onion Rings from Burger Fi
Tim’s Beer Pick: Brooklyn Summer Ale
Why: Giant onion rings are comforting. Brooklyn Summer Ale, even more comforting, especially after this absurd winter. Put them together and let the sunny hops of Summer Ale go to work with the sweet crunch of the Giant Onion Rings. You’ll want to prolong this meal as much as possible to take advantage of your personal vacation.

Kenji’s Best Vegan/Vegetarian-Friendly Option: Sofritas Burrito from Chipotle
Tim’s Beer Pick: Brooklyn East IPA
Why: The new sofritas burritos originally picked up press when Chipotle started giving food away to anyone who bought them, but they’ve since earned a permanent position in the burrito giant’s lineup. Put the spicy kick of the soy-based sofritas to work alongside Brooklyn East IPA and let the citrusy hops carry the burrito to glory. You won’t mind paying for one of these any more; for that matter, it might become your regular order.

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Kenji’s Best Make-Sure-Nobody’s-Looking Indulgence: Fiery Doritos Locos Taco Supreme from Taco Bell
Tim’s Beer Pick: Brooklyn BLAST!
Why: Look, I’m not going to ask why you’re eating this. At some point a craving becomes a need, then a visceral, primal urging. BLAST!’s big hops will crank up the fiery Doritos shell and harmonize with all that gooey, drippy cheese. Just make sure you get home safe, little camper. The world is still a harsh place outside that crunchy shell.

Kenji’s Best Chicken Sandwich: Fried Chicken Biscuit from Chick-Fil-A
Tim’s Beer Pick: Brooklyn Greenmarket Wheat
Why: This chicken biscuit is surprisingly hefty. Juicy fried chicken and the thick, buttery biscuit combine to create a heavyweight snack that’s rich, but rewarding. Lighten things up a little with the lively Greenmarket Wheat, tying in gently zesty wheat to accompany the chicken and a refreshing burst of bubbles at the finish to unite chicken, biscuit and beer into a weirdly refreshing power trio.

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Kenji’s Best Fish Sandwich: Fish Po’ Boy from Popeye’s
Tim’s Beer Pick: Brooklyn Sorachi Ace
Why: If you find yourself wading into the dangerous waters of fast-food fish, you might as well take something along that’ll make it worthwhile. Sorachi Ace pairs with the fleeting, delicate fish flavors within the po’ boy, while it’s lemongrass teams up with the crunchy breading to make this meal seem much fancier than the price tag.

Kenji’s Best Fried Chicken: Popeye’s
Tim’s Beer Pick: Brooklyn Brown Ale
Why: Popeye’s slightly spicy, crunchy, salty fried chicken is delicious on its own, but is clearly crying out for a sweet, full-bodied counterpart. After all, how do you think chicken and waffles got their start? Brooklyn Brown Ale brings just enough sweetness to match the salt, while the roast malts come to play with the tasty chicken and wily spices. Bite, sip, and repeat as necessary until all your problems go away.

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Kenji’s Best Breakfast Sandwich: Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit with Whole Egg and Hash Brown Added from McDonald’s
Tim’s Beer Pick: Orval
Why: If you’re picking up this jacked-up breakfast sandwich from McDonald’s, it’s more than likely you’re dealing with a weapons-grade hangover. Famously gloveless beer writer Michael Jackson mentioned to Brooklyn Brewery founder Steve Hindy that Orval was his favorite hangover beer after a particularly long night in the early 90′s. Trust the master and let Orval’s lively carbonation scrub you clean.

Kenji’s Best Straw: McDonald’s
Tim’s Beer Straw Pick: Penn Station Beers for Your LIRR Trip
Why: As a recently escaped Long Islander, I was one of the many tired masses who commute through Penn Station every day. The time-honored tradition of drinking “train beers,” most often in clear 32oz cups with long plastic straws, has helped generations of harried commuters cling to their sanity on the LIRR. Just remember to be polite, and don’t try to sneak your drink onto the subway or street.

Kenji’s Best Late Night Munchies Fixer Upper: Jalapeño Poppers from Jack in the Box
Tim’s Beer Pick: Other Half Brewing Green Diamonds Imperial IPA
Why: Late night munchies, huh? Get rid of the subtlety and go for Green Diamonds from our friends at Other Half Brewing, packed to the brim with piney, dank hops and bright fruity notes that’ll match your new scent and turn up the heat from the jalapeños. Plus, if you’re lucky you can snag one of their beautiful cans.

London Mash: Tickets Now On Sale!

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The third year of the Brooklyn Brewery Mash Tour once again hops the pond to bring you the London Mash. London has been a beer town from the days of real ale and traditional funky porters. Today, craft brewers like our pals at Camden Town Brewery, Beavertown and many others are teaming up with the ever-vibrant food scene to make London an international star of food and beer. From April 27 to May 3 we’ll be hosting screenings, dinner parties, debates and shows across the city, and we’d like you to join us. Tickets for #LondonMash are officially on sale, so study up on the events below and go get your tickets at BrooklynBreweryMash.com.

Wednesday, April 29
State of Craft Beer: Brooklyn Brewery co-founder and chairman Steve Hindy is joined in a discussion about the craft beer industry by beer writer Roger Protz, Jasper Cuppaidge (Camden Town Brewery), Logan Plant (Beavertown Brewery), and John Holl (All About Beer magazine) at Beavertown Brewery. First We Feast will co-produce the event and release a recording as part of a new podcast series.

Thursday, April 30
Found Footage Festival: Hilarious clips from the best of the best (and worst of the worst) from video stores and bargain bins across the world, projected and analyzed at Wilton’s Music Hall.

 

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Friday, May 1
Mash Edu: Brewing with Mary Wiles: Brooklyn Brewery Brewing Technical Director Mary Wiles and Utobeer’s Eddie Gaines team up to teach a master class on beer and brewing with knowledge culled from their illustrious careers.

Saturday, May 2
Animation Block Party: The largest animation festival on America’s East Coast comes to Wilton’s Music Hall with some of their favorite shorts and features from American and British animators.

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Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir: Reverend Billy and his compatriots hit the stage with a ninety-minute punk gospel celebration that will make you shake, holler and stomp.

Sunday, May 3
Brooklyn Beefsteak: A revival of a time-honored New York City tradition comes from a handful of Brooklyn’s finest carnivores. “All you can eat, all you can drink, all you can stand!”

Can’t get enough of the Mash, but can’t take the time off work to follow us on the road? Check out these other non-ticketed events while we’re in London:

Wednesday, April 28
Brooklyn Uncommon Tap Attack: The Three Johns hosts a full lineup of beers that rarely leave our cellar.

Friday, May 1
Eat, Drink & Learn with Chef Andrew Gerson at Cannon & Cannon: Brooklyn Brewery Chef Andrew Gerson leads you through several pairings of beer and charcuterie.

Brooklyn Brewery Sampling at The Cage: Sample your way through a selection of Brooklyn Brewery bottles.

Brooklyn Brewery Tap Attack at The Rake: A full-scale tap takeover featuring a broad lineup of Brooklyn beers.

Save the Date: SAVOR Returns

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Mark your calendars: the renowned SAVOR Craft Beer Festival is returning to Washington, D.C on June 5 and 6 for its eighth year. Breaking from the mold of standard beer festivals, SAVOR matches each brewery’s offerings with a chef-prepared food pairing for attendees to enjoy. If you’re still hungry, the American Cheese Society will be curating the cheese table and the Choptank Oyster Company will run the popular raw bar. A number of salons are also available, including master classes, rare beer tastings and more. As you leave this wonderland of food and beer, an exit gift of an extremely limited collaboration beer will send you on your way.

Brooklyn Brewery will join seventy-two other breweries for the festival, with brewers Dan Brown and Eric Brown (no relation, surprisingly enough) and your favorite marketing department’s Kaitie and Sam standing by to pour our beers and answer any questions you might have. We’ll be offering Sorachi Ace paired with Olive Oil Poached Albacore, Coriander & Lemon, and Watercress; and K is for Kriek, paired with Roasted Duck Breast with Toasted Farro & Vanilla Cured Cherries.

Tickets for the SAVOR Craft Beer Festival are notoriously quick to sell out, so keep an eye on their page for their release and all of the most up-to-the-minute SAVOR news.

Toasting St. Patrick’s Day

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St. Patrick’s Day is today, which of course means folks have been wearing green since last Saturday and will continue waving their shamrocked accessories until the end of next weekend. After our Dry Irish Stout, one of our favorite parts of St. Patrick’s Day are the traditional Irish toasts that emerge to unite barrooms and parties in rhymes and well-wishes. We’ve gathered some of our favorites below, along with a helpful guide on when to use them. Good luck, and Erin go Bragh!

Toast: Beannachtam na Feile Padraig! (Irish Gaelic for “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!”)

Use it when: It’s the first toast of the day, and you’re showing off your pronunciation; your Irish grandmother is visiting with homemade soda bread and to go out for holiday breakfast; you are accidentally designated Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Toast: My friends are the best friends
Loyal, willing and able.
Now, let’s get to drinking;
All glasses off the table!

Use it when: You’ve generously bought a round for your best friends, and that one guy Brian sitting next to you at the bar; your Irish grandmother is making fun of you for not having your coffee “Irish”; you are required to give a speech as Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Toast: We drink to your coffin. May it be built from the wood of a hundred year old oak tree that I shall plant tomorrow.

Use it when: You and your friends are toasting your new buddy Brian, who’s just such a good guy, y’know?; your Irish grandmother arm wrestles the bartender for a free round; you begin to grow tired of being the Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Toast: Sláinte! (Irish Gaelic for “Health!” or “Cheers!”)

Use it when: You are trying to politely cut off Brian’s rambling, nonsensical toast; your Irish grandmother beats you at darts for the third time in a row; you are trying to remember another dignitary’s name as they shake your hand, because everyone wants to meet the Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, even when you have to go to the bathroom.

Toast: Póg mo thóin! (Irish Gaelic for “Kiss my ass!”)

Use it when: You’ve been kicked out of the bar after Brian tried to start a “donnybrook”; your Irish grandmother ditches you at the bar for backstage passes to Flogging Molly with her new friends; you’re trying to find a way to go home and stop pretending that you’re the Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Happy toasting and travel safe!

 

This Week in Beer: The News You Can Booze

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This Week in Beer is an aggregator of stories we thought were important & fun in our world of potables. If you saw something we missed or hate something we listed, let us know in the comments. 

Are triple IPAs destined to join the ranks of mumme, jopenbier, Peeterman, Cöpenicker Moll and other extinct beers?

Match your beer to this week’s balmy weather. 50 degrees sounds about right.

Okay, lesson learned: don’t cellar your beers in a shipwreck for 170 years. It’ll taste like goat.  

Your favorite single-purpose novelty Twitter account just got it’s own beer.

Learn all about Brooklyn Brewery co-founder Steve Hindy’s worst nightmare.

 

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Blast! Strikes Back

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We were thrilled to first introduce BLAST! in 12oz bottles last year. Not only was one of our favorite beers hitting the shelves, but we were putting our brand new bottling line to work to make it happen:

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In our first design meetings with renowned graphic designer and creator of the Brooklyn Brewery logo Milton Glaser, he focused on the elegant balance of BLAST!. It made sense for such an oddly drinkable, beautifully made double IPA. Now a year later, we approached Milton and his Senior Art Director Sue Walsh and asked them to come up with something that captured more of the true energy of the beer. Yes, BLAST! is elegant, but it’s also a massive beer that we thought deserved a little more oomph.

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Milton seized on the explosively delicious nature of BLAST! and sent us a label that matches the beer within . We think it gives BLAST! the swagger it deserves, and we can’t wait to share it with you. When you see it near you, post a picture tagging us @BrooklynBrewery and #OnBlast! and you’ll be entered to win some free Brooklyn gear.

Brooklyn Brewery Heads to SXSW

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SXSW is packed to the rafters with music, food, technology, film, interactive displays and parties. We here at Brooklyn Brewery aren’t the sort to let a good party (or week of parties) pass us by, so we’re heading to Austin to join the fray. In addition to our big, fuzzy Countryfication 2.0 party on March 15, we’re heading to six other events throughout the week. Check out the details below and come hang with us.

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3/16 NYC Tech Happy Hour hits the Austin WeWork space to bring a little New York to Austin with music, drinks and networking with tech professionals. We’ll be there to give out swag and shake hands, so be sure to stop by and say hello. This event does not require a SXSW pass, so if you’re in the area and were too late to grab tickets, take this as your share of the festivities.

3/18 THC for Recreation at Whip In features an overflowing abundance of bands and Brooklyn Brewery beer. Head inside to check out Wink Burcham, Ali Holder, Don Pedigo and more during the DC Bloom showcase, then pop inside for the COSMS showcase with Vioinda, Brazilian Space Program, Vorcha and many more.

3/20-21 Music By The Slice Home Slice Pizza’s annual charity day is back, uniting good music and delicious pizza to fund excellent work. Sweet Spirit, Weekend Money, Dan Mangan + Blacksmith and several other bands will bring the tunes for you to jam to while you eat.

3/20 Portals sets up shop at SXSW to bring together artists, music, an immersive visual installation, food, drinks and beer for friends new and old.

3/21 Brooklyn Country Cantina brings on the bluegrass with their many-stringed lineup of fine young country bands. Chuck Prophet, The Whiskey Shivers, JP Harris & The Tough Choices and more than seventeen other bands will rock through the day and long into the night.

There’s more parties and surprises on the way, so check back while you’re planning your SXSW route to find out where we’re headed next.

Garrett Explains What It’s All About to Edible Brooklyn

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Brooklyn Brewmaster Garrett Oliver is well known for his strong opinions on food, beer and hipster restaurant names. In a video interview with Edible Brooklyn, Garrett shares his philosophy on beer, his goals as a brewmaster and some of the intriguing projects going on here in Brooklyn. Our brewhouse crew also shows their stuff in the video as the Edible cameras go for a spin through our brewing and packaging lines. Check it all out above and follow Garrett on Twitter @garrettoliver for more from the brewmaster himself.

The Brooklyn Brewery Mash is Back

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The Brooklyn Brewery Mash is hitting the road for its third year of food, beer, and fun. What is the Mash, you ask? Aside from being the first step in the brewing process, it’s a worldwide tour we undertake to celebrate what’s next in eight cities around the world. You can expect surprise dinner parties, discussions on craft beer, screenings of some of the world’s best animated films, feasts, and plenty of other events, all accompanied by plenty of Brooklyn Brewery beers.

You don’t have to take our word for the fact that this festival is a good time. The Boston Examiner praised us, saying “The Mash brought beer lovers together for a good time…the people are what make the tour’s stops worth it.” Good Beer Hunting said, “A huge thanks to Brooklyn Brewery for putting together such an amazing number of thoughtful, focused events that help push our thinking forward in craft beer.” See what nice things some other folks thought of us here. 003_NOLA_slow_supper

This year we’re joined on the tour by partners including our old friends Dinner Lab, experts in pulling off unique meals in unexpected places; Brooklyn Beefsteak and their carnivorous dedication to beef and beer; All About Beer Magazine and their editor John Holl for our discussion series, The State of Craft Beer; the Found Footage Festival, letting us in on their wide collection of weird and woolly hits from the bargain bin; and Animation Block Party, bringing in some of the world’s best animated films for your viewing pleasure.

Check out the list below for tour and ticket sale dates for each city, then click over to the Mash site for the latest information and events in your city.

New Orleans: Tickets on sale February 25. Tour March 23- 29.
London: Tickets on sale March 18. Tour April 24- May 3.
Stockholm: Tickets on sale April 15. Tour May 24- 30.
Boston: Tickets on sale May 6. Tour June 15- 21.
Chicago: Tickets on sale July 1. Tour August 10- 16.
Washington, DC: Tickets on sale August 26. Tour October 5- 11.
Philadelphia: Tickets on sale September 9. Tour October 19-25.
Austin: Tickets on sale September 30. Tour November 9-15.