Author Archives: Tim Rozmus

Cooking with Chef Andrew: Beef Tartare & Jerusalem Artichoke Puree

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Our Chef Andrew Gerson travels the world with our Mash Tour and on his own, developing dishes and folding in culinary inspiration from across the globe. Today, go inside his recipe for beef tartare with Jerusalem artichoke puree, shallots, radish, and malted barley dust, and unlock one of his favorite recent pairings.

Pairing Notes: This dish reminds me of the forest floor. The earthy depth of flavor and funk from the dry aged beef matches the tart acidity of the Framboisie. The slight berry sweetness derived from the infused raspberries accentuates the natural sweetness from the Jerusalem artichoke puree. This light effervescence of the beer cuts through the fatty richness of this dish in a wonderful way.

Ingredients:

½ lb dry aged beef (hanger, sirloin, or short rib work well)
½ lb Jerusalem artichokes
2 tbsp butter
2 shallots, thinly sliced in rounds
2 Tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
3 radishes, sliced in thin rounds
Salt and pepper
Micro radish greens
2 tbsp. malted barley (crystal malt and chocolate malt– you can find these at homebrew shops, some health stores, and your friendly neighborhood brewery)

beef tartare credit-The Beer Trekker

Image courtesy The Beer Trekker

Procedure:

1. For the puree: Place the Jerusalem artichokes in a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until tender. Transfer to a blender, add butter and puree until smooth. Season with salt to taste.

2. For the tartare: Dice meat into into ¼ inch cubes. Toss with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Before serving, toss with lemon juice to taste.

3. For the garnish: Blend crystal malt and chocolate malt to a powder in blender or spice grinder. Reserve in a shaker or sprinkle by hand.

4. Plating: Spoon beef tartare onto plate. Dot beef and plate with Jerusalem artichoke puree and place shallot and radish rounds on top. Garnish with radish greens and sprinkle barley on top. Serve immediately alongside The Discreet Charm of the Framboisie.

beef tartare and framb- credit The Beer Trekker

Image courtesy The Beer Trekker

It’s Almost Time for #ChicagoMash

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Start preparing your appetites, Chicago. Our 2016 Mash Tour is heading to town from August 11-14, bringing in a deluge of beer, food, beer, exploration, music, beer, and a tad bit more beer thrown in for good measure. You can never have too much beer when you’re planning parties like these.

Tickets are on sale at the Mash site now. Check out the events below, then start planning your long weekend with us– it’s going to be a wild ride.

Thursday, August 11: Dinner with Friends at TWO. Brooklyn Brewery Chef Andrew Gerson and his longtime friend and Chicago native Chef Danny Espinoza are teaming up with TWO Executive Chef Kevin Cuddihee to bring you a mind-blowing menu and host of incredible beers to share with your friends. No choosing dishes, no regimented pairings, just show up with your crew and enjoy.

Friday, August 12: Timberland Presents. We’re getting together with our friends at Timberland to throw the best sort of concert: A free one. With plenty of beer, of course. All you have to do is let us know you’re coming, and come ready to dance.

Saturday, August 13: Beer Mansion. It’s like a beer festival, but almost completely different. Forget the convention centers and florescent lights: we’re taking you on an immersive journey through the world of beer. We can promise two things: it’s nothing like you’ve seen before, and there will be plenty of beer for all from us and some of our Chicagoan brethren.

Sunday, August 14: Pilsen Immersion. Meet us at the Timberland Trailhead and get an insider’s look at one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in Chicago. All you need is your guide booklet and you’re off for lunch, beers, shopping, and whatever else the day may hold.

Brooklyn Heads To Holsteins

Brooklyn Brewery, DC Mash, State of Craft Beer, DC Brau, October 2015, photo by Ben Droz (407)

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Nothing says summer quite like a burger and a great beer, and Holsteins is here to help you out on both fronts as we slide into some of the hottest weeks of the year. We’re teaming up with the burger masters to bring you some excellent summer beers to get July started, all for a dollar off. It’s practically a humanitarian move, but you can thank us later.

Stop by Holsteins from June 29 through July 13 and catch a pint for $8 or 12.5oz for $6. You’ll always be able to get Brooklyn Lager and American Ale, but we’ll also be rotating through:

+ Greenmarket Wheat
+ Defender IPA
+ Pilsner
+ Sorachi Ace
+ Summer Ale

Get in there and beat the heat for a while. We’ll meet you at the bar.

Tap That Glass: June 24

Brooklyn Brewery, DC Mash, State of Craft Beer, DC Brau, October 2015, photo by Ben Droz (402)

Summer is the perfect time for getting out of the city and exploring the world around you. Or, heading on down to Brooklyn and exploring our tap lines. We guarantee there will be fewer mosquitoes than the great outdoors, and hey: we have beer!

Our tap list is below, but there’s always a chance it’ll change so be sure to check our board and ask your bartender to see what’s new. Beer tokens can be purchased for $5 or 5 for $20, which is one of the best deals in the city.

Draft | 1 token each (unless indicated)

Cask Offering | 1 token

Sunblockhead IPA  (7.5% ABV) The summer sun is a great relief after a cold, dark winter. Then you go outside for, what, the third time, and remember just how quickly that angry orb can burn the hell out of you. Yet you still love it, despite the pain. Brewed with experimental HBC 291 hops, recently dubbed Loral, for a floral, fruity and peppery aroma. Created by Eric Brown.

Bottle Pours | 3 tokens each (4 tokens for Brooklyn Quarterly Experiment pours), includes a complimentary Souvenir Logo Glass.

Local 1 (9.0% ABV)
Local 2 (9.0% ABV)
Sorachi Ace (7.6% ABV)
Ama Bionda (6.0% ABV)- two tokens
Black Chocolate Stout (10% ABV)
Brooklyn Quarterly Experiment: Wild Streak (10% ABV)
Brooklyn Quarterly Experiment: K is for Kriek (10.1% ABV)
Brooklyn Quarterly Experiment: The Discreet Charm of the Framboisie (7.3% ABV)

The Weekly Sixer: June 24

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Taste It, Sam: According to a Belgian study published this week, music and similar “auditory stimuli” can have a serious impact on the flavor of a beer. Lighter, more playful melodies made test subjects report sweeter flavors in their beer, while bass-heavy tunes saw increased reports of bitterness. Hopheads, it looks like you’ll need some EDM in your lives (or maybe some serious doom metal.)

A Scoop of Beer, Please: The malt wizards at New Belgium have announced another Ben & Jerry’s inspired beer: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale, which will debut this fall. The first beer in the series was their Salted Caramel Brownie Ale, which was unfortunately released before New Belgium’s distribution spread to Brooklyn. We’re looking forward to trying this new brew, and really hoping there’ll be chunks of cookie dough at the bottom.

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Craft Drinkers Inexplicably Healthier: The latest study we badly want to believe says that dedicated craft beer drinkers tend to be healthier people and have healthier habits, such as exercise-related hobbies, fewer binge-drinking reports, and a better diet. A part of us thinks this is true, given all the bicycles and runners found in many craft breweries. Another part of us ate a heap of Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked while standing over the sink last night. Who knows.

Raising Your Rum Knowledge: Rum is a delightful liquor, but has a tendency to be misunderstood. We blame misguided college parties, but Liquor.com took a more solution-based approach and compiled this handy list of rum myths and the truths behind them. We raise an enormous, tiny-umbrella-festooned glass to their work.

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More Beer and Ice Cream: Yes, there’s a lot of ice cream news, but ’tis the season. All About Beer and Baskin & Robbins have teamed up to release a comprehensive graphic of pairings for craft beers and Baskin & Robbins ice cream. Unfortunately, their beer-mug-shaped ice cream cake seems to have been forgotten in the shuffle, so allow us to speak from experience and recommend a good kriek there.

Bringing It Home: The Kings County Brewers Collective is closing in on their opening day in Bushwick, marking the first time beer has been brewed in Bushwick since Schaefer closed its doors in 1976. Braven Brewing is soon to follow, and we can only hope many more follow. We’ve got a great borough, but we can always use more breweries around here. Welcome to the neighborhood!

Brooklyn Brewery and Thornbridge Brewery Present: Serpent

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After months of planning and over two years of aging, Brooklyn Brewery and Thornbridge Brewery have released their eagerly anticipated collaboration: Serpent. The two breweries have worked together in the past, taking great pleasure in swapping brewers to learn and create excellent beer. So when Brooklyn Brewmaster Garrett Oliver started to think about an unprecedented aging experiment, he took it right to Thornbridge Head Brewer Rob Lovatt to call upon his barrel-aging expertise.

“Project Serpent,” as it was first dubbed, began life as a strong Belgian golden ale– floral, fruity, and a touch peppery, all backed up with the strength for a serious stay in barrels. The beer was then blended with cider lees (the leftover yeasts, skins, and other byproducts from cider fermentation) from Oliver’s Cider and Perry. The lees add a uniquely funky, fruity element to the beer that cannot be imitated by anything other than lots of patience. Then, the whole mix moved into Four Roses bourbon barrels, and they waited.

And waited. And waited, for two long years.

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Now, Serpent is finally here, bold complex and utterly beguiling. It is a deceptively smooth beer, with each sip inviting the next as you explore the hidden twists and turns the lees bring to the liquid. It is very easy to reach the bottom of your glass in much less time than you expect, so be careful. And maybe share it with some friends so you can use the buddy system to keep an eye on one another.

Serpent is now available in fine bottle shops across the UK, and a limited bottling will reach US shores later this year. This release is extremely small, so be sure to snap up Serpent as soon as you see it. You can learn more about the beer by watching this video with Rob and Garrett, but we think you’re better served by finding your bottle first. Serpent won’t stick around for long.

In Class at the CIA: I.B.Useless

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Class is in session at Brooklyn Brewery at the CIA, our brewhouse and teaching facility at the Culinary Institute of America. Each month, we’ll take you inside the classroom to learn alongside the students participating in the most robust beer education of any culinary institute. You don’t have to do the homework, but you might want to do some extra reading.

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Summer is a busy time at the Culinary Institute of America, with classes, tons of visitors to their restaurants, and everyone trying to take as much time as they can to enjoy the Hudson River views of their campus. Unlike most schools that take a nice, long summer break, the CIA only closes for two weeks in August. Students are still hard at work in The Brooklyn Brewery at the CIA Brewhouse, making beer and learning the ins and outs of brewing.

As beer has strengthened its spotlight over the last few decades, people have demanded more precise ways of describing their drinks and their experiences. One of the more problematic descriptors to seize popularity recently is IBUs. International Bittering Units once existed solely within brewery labs as a way to measure iso-alpha acids in beer. Now, the term is tossed around by legions of hopheads to describe the bitterness in their prized IPAs and compare stats across breweries. The enthusiasm is undeniably positive. But IBUs themselves are a problem as a drinker’s metric.

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Taking this position tends to bring scorn from the hop-hunters of the bottle shops and bars. Bitterness is a key description for beers, especially for those newer to the world of flavorful beers. IBUs have been pointed to as an unassailable measurement, easy to dole out and simple to understand for even rookie drinkers. Recently, beer writer Kate Bernot’s piece “The Case Against IBUs,” published in Draft Magazine, turned some heads and emboldened some brewmasters– including our own Brooklyn Brewmaster Garrett Oliver– to lay the IBU myths to rest.

The first part of the problem is that IBUs are simply not meant to measure a flavor. Yes, “bitterness” is part of the acronym. But the test measures only the level of iso-alpha acid within the beer. This totally leaves out other bittering compounds in the beer, malt properties, water chemistry, residual sugar, and a host of other variables. What matters is perceived bitterness– how bitter the beer actually tastes, not what a number tells us. To use an example from Garrett, 35 IBUs added to a Bud Light (estimated IBUs: 17) would taste very bitter. But add that same 35 IBUs to a bottle of Coca-Cola, and you still have a sweet beverage.

Another issue that arises is that IBUs are difficult to truly measure. Popular Science has the complete description, but the basics are that a spectrometer must be called in to measure the isohumulones (bittering compounds) present in a beer sample. If the sheer number of syllables in those words didn’t tip you off, this is a very tricky, time-consuming and expensive process. Most brewers make do with formulas and recipes to provide an estimated IBU level.

Imagine if other important measurements in life could be estimated as loosely as IBUs. How much more ice cream would we all eat if the calories were estimated at “gosh, a bunch?” If IBUs aren’t taken seriously enough to stringently measure by those who rely on them most, why are we, the folks with the least science involved in our drinking experience, bothering to throw the word around?

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This brings us to a final important point: IBUs are useless because IBUs don’t actually tell you anything about how your beer tastes. As Bernot asks, “Are you looking for the bitterest beer? Are you looking for the one with the most hop character?” In Brooklyn’s own lineup, Sorachi Ace is undisputably “hoppy.” The bulk of its unique flavor and aroma come directly from the Sorachi Ace hop, and the world is a better place for it. But the IBU measurement of Sorachi Ace could never tell you about the lemongrass in the aroma, or the dill in the finish. We don’t list our IBUs, because we don’t think that’s a useful part of the conversation. That conversation is on you as a drinker, and the bartender, and the brewer, all talking about what’s in the glass.

The only way to describe a beer fully is poetry, but that’s obnoxious in most settings. Numbers– especially ones as highly specialized as IBUs– aren’t delicious. Strike the middle ground, and simply talk about your beer. If someone asks what the IBUs in your latest double IPA were, smile big and say, “buggered if I could tell you, but gee whiz did it sure taste like pineapple!” Your slang could probably use a little work, but your friends and bartenders will thank you. And who knows, you might even find a little poetry in there too.

Any questions? See us after class on Facebook or Twitter and we’ll answer any questions we can to further your beer knowledge

Brooklyn Brewery Records Presents The Graveltones Live

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Brooklyn Brewery Records was born out of a simple dream: we like good music, and we want to help spread it around in interesting ways. So we started things off by getting in touch with our friends in The Graveltones to see if they’d be interested in pressing a live album at The Lexington in London.

Anyone familiar with The Lexington likely knows and loves their venue space, but we wanted a different energy. Something a little more raw, and funky, and plain weird. One thing led to another, and the next thing you know we had The Graveltones tearing it up right in the middle of the bar during the Halloween Death Waltz. We pressed the live recording onto emerald green vinyl, and poof– Brooklyn Brewery Records had their first release.

The Graveltones’ beautiful new vinyl is out now, but it’s going to be hard to find. Your best bet is to check out our Events page for a couple of release parties, or start asking your in-the-know friends where to find a copy. The album is a rip-roaring good time from start to finish, and we’re proud to be starting something as cool as Brooklyn Brewery Records with such a stomping album.

The Weekly Sixer: June 17

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Your Friendly Neighborhood Television Program: Favorite local spot St. Vitus Bar appears to be playing host to a metal-themed late night show, according to an unaired pilot episode that hit YouTube yesterday. We’re hoping the video catches on, as a metalhead late night show hosted in the finest corpsepaint-friendly establishment in the city would be a great step forward for heavy music and boozy television alike. Between this pilot, new albums from Gojira and Nails, and the release of Finding Dory, this is a terrific week for metal. And if you don’t think fish battling against the laws of nature in the deep ocean is metal, why don’t you try it sometime?

In Other Local News: Fellow Williamsburg mainstay The Turkey’s Nest started stocking “eco-friendly” soda cups as an alternative to their traditional 32 oz. Styrofoam cups. The treasured Styrofoam cups came under fire with last year’s attempted Styrofoam ban, so now customers can choose their own disposable drinking vessel. Regardless of your preference, one thing remains the same: be careful on your pacing of the giant frozen margarita.

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Sierra Nevada Goes Platinum: Sierra Nevada’s Mills River facility became the first production brewery in the United States to be certified Platinum by LEED this week, marking a truly impressive environmental achievement. Sierra Nevada is a longtime environmental leader in brewing, inspiring us and many other breweries to improve their green efforts and brew more sustainably. Cheers, friends!

Vodka Keeps Boat Off Rocks: A quick-thinking Russian man saved a sinking boat by volunteering the cork from his vodka bottle, plugging the leak long enough for proper repairs to be made. We’re most impressed that someone drinking vodka had quick enough reflexes to save a stricken vessel. There’s no word on what happened to the rest of the bottle, but we’re assuming it didn’t go to waste.

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A Cautionary Tale of Tipping: A Denver man nearly made an entire restaurant’s night when he left a $1,088 tip on a $60 meal. Luckily for the decidedly drunk patron, the restaurant owners held onto the tip money and were able to return it when the came back the next day to beg forgiveness and for his money. He still tipped $40 on the bill– more than respectable, but still kind of a letdown after that buildup.

On The Frugal End: On the other end of throwing cash around, Williamsburg bar Pete’s Candy Store will now offer free ironing service on Tuesday nights in July, thanks to a local man (and probably pirate captain) named James Hook. Hook claims he just really likes ironing, and wants to offer it as a service. We’re honestly slightly suspicious, but who’s going to iron something on their own in the middle of summer? Thanks for keeping the neighborhood looking crisp, James.