Port Jeff Brewing Company 2nd Anniversary Party – Saturday October 19, 2013

20131016-235411.jpg

Owner & Brewmaster Mike Philbrick celebrating his brewery’s 1st birthday
It’s hard to believe that just two short years ago a trip to the quaint waterfront town of Port Jefferson, Long Island couldn’t be capped off by a brewery visit. Thankfully, Port Jeff Brewing Company came in and changed all that. Replacing The Red Sled Christmas Shoppe (don’t worry Santa enthusiasts, they just moved to the Harbor Square Mall), PJBC became the first and only brewery in owner Mike Philbricks hometown.

20131016-145334.jpg

Port Jeff Brewing Company
What better way to commemorate this occasion than with a full day of over 20 Port Jeff beers on tap? Last year, the brewery celebrated their first anniversary in a similar fashion, with the festivities being held both in and around the brewery on the outdoor deck. We were able to arrive a little before the celebration kicked off and spent the remainder of the day enjoying some Port Jeff staples and trying many of the special timed releases that were offered. One stand out was the rum aged Boo Brew, which was a deliciously boozy take on Port Jeff’s pumpkin ale. There were also casks, brand new beers and old favorites blended with fruit and other interesting additions. Another “off the menu” offering was Wet N’ Wild, which was a originally a wet hop brew using Condzella Hops that took a wild, delicious turn into a sour somewhere along the way.

This year there will be no shortage of great beer and entertainment, with Andrews-Blessing Band performing outside and setting the soundtrack for the day. Like last year, there will be a few staples available in the tap room throughout the event (we are partial to the porter) but they will also be pouring almost 20 special timed releases. The lineup is below, straight from the mouth of the Port Jeff Facebook page (with times of special releases included). We already have our eye on the PJBC/Bobby Rodriguez collaboration which we “helped brew”, Imperial Force as well as Wet N’ Wild to see how it has evolved in the year since it’s birth. WN’W was the highlight of the party for us last year but it faces some stiff competition this time around. The event is free to all who wish to attend with the delicious brews being served pay as you go. It runs from 10 am-7 pm, so if you stick around for the long haul and share with friends you could potentially drink your way through the entire list (or at least give it a valiant effort). Hope to see you all there!

All Day

Boo Brew
Low Tide Black IPA
Party Boat IPA
Port Jeff Porter
Schooner Ale (Winner of Silver Medal at 2012 U.S. Open Beer Championship)
Starboard Oatmeal Stout (Winner of Silver Medal at 2013 U.S. Open Beer Championship)

Special Releases (Limited)

11:00AM
Beer Fields Apricot Amber (Winner of Beer Fields’ 2013 Home Brew Contest)
Imperial Force
Studio 56 (Exclusive for Tap and Barrel)

Noon
Carolina Common (Collaboration w/M. David Gonzalez of Foothills Brewing)
Birra DeNicola (Exclusive for Del Fuego, La Tavola, and Ruvo)
Rumkin (Cask)

1:00PM
Barrel-Aged Porter (Winner of Bronze Medal at 2012 U.S. Open Beer Championship)
Wet ‘n’ Wild (Cask)
White’s Beach Wit (Winner of Gold Medal at Hudson River Craft Beer Festival 2013)

2:00PM
Big Boy Birch Stout (Cask)
H³ (Tripel H)
Runaway Ferry Imperial IPA

3:00PM
Barrel-Aged Oatmeal Stout (Starboard Oatmeal Stout aged in Heaven Hill Distilleries Whiskey Barrel)
Party Barge (Party Boat IPA dry-hopped w/Amarillo)
Schooner Ale w/Cherries (Cask)

4:00PM
Port Jeff Porter w/Cocoa Nibs & Vanilla Bean (Cask)
Ryes-N-Bok

5:00PM
Barquentine Belgian Pale Ale (Winner of Bronze Medal at 2013 U.S. Open Beer Championship)

20131016-235357.jpg

Long Island Fresh Hop Beers of 2013

Well guys, the Long Island hop party is over (for this year, at least). Plants have grown, hops have been picked, brewing commenced and now the fun part is here-drinking the fruits of everyone’s labor. Act fast, because fresh hop ales are brewed in limited quantities and really taste best if you can drink them as close to kegging as possible. Though some Long Island brewers also bottled their fresh hop beers, we tried these four on tap. Sadly, two people often times can not drink all that the beer community has to offer (tragic, we know), so there were a few local options we did not get to this year (we are looking at you, Blue Point and Southampton). Luckily, there is always next year and we look forward to see Long Island hops blossoming again soon.

20130916-133156.jpg

Great South Bay Wet Hop Massive IPA was the hoppiest of the bunch, though we have tried the dry hopped version so we were expecting a bit of a hop bomb. And with a name like “massive”, how could you not? As you can probably see, this beer pours a copper color with orange hues and a thick, white head that leaves behind substantial lacing. Though it is not a seasonal brew, at least in the pumpkin/Oktoberfest sense of the word, it definitely has the look of autumn. The aroma is super hoppy, with some light citrus notes that give way to tropical fruit scents as the beer sits for awhile. The body is mildy carbonated with hoppy fruit notes, accented by light bread and malt flavors.

GSB

Long Ireland’s Wet Hop Pale Ale for this year was brewed to the recipe of their classic Pale Ale, but amped up a notch with fresh hopping. The hops definitely make themselves known in the aroma, with a bit of earthy, grassiness present. This is actually a charachteristic of newer hop plants, so it will be interesting to see how the hops mature in future Long Island wet hopped beers. The taste has a malty, bready backbone with notes of caramel and hops. Bitterness comes through in the finish, making the wet hop presence known, but overall they enhance the pale ale rather than overpowering it.

liwethop

Port Jeff’s Fresh Hopped Ale was the first one we sampled this year, as it was released a few days before the other wet hop offerings. It has the classic look of an IPA or well hopped ale, with a golden yellow body and persistent white head that slowly falls, leaving behind ample lacing. However, the aroma is a bit of a departure from what you would expect. Notes of vanilla, a faint spice and floral hoppy notes dominate the scent, with the taste following suit. The body is smooth with a fair level of carbonation, with a bit more of a malty, woodsy taste than the aroma lets on. It finished on a bitter note that stays with you, in case you needed a reminder you were drinking a wet hopped ale.

pj

We vote Greenport’s Fresh Hopped Harbor Ale most likely to be enjoyed by people who aren’t huge hopheads. Though they brewed this batch of their flagship beer with fresh hops from Wesnofske Farms, they did not overpower the malty backbone that makes this beer delicious. It pours a rich amber color with a quickly dissipating head that leaves a bit of a foam cap ontop the beer as you sip it. The aroma was more roasted and earthy than floral and hoppy, though a bit of the latter two did come out. This beer has a very smooth mouthfeel and elements of light bready malt throughout. A light hop presence comes in for the finish and aftertaste, making this a balanced, easy drinking brew.

20131002-130730.jpg

Long Ireland Beer Company + Greenport Harbor Brewing = Local Hop Support

Tomorrow, Friday September 20, 2013, Long Ireland Beer Company & Greenport Harbor Brewing will both be releasing their recently brewed fresh hop ales. Long Ireland will be hosting a release party at their brewery in Riverhead (817 Pulaski St) from 3-9 pm where both beers will be for sale. All proceeds from wet hop beer sales during the event will be donated right back to Condzella Hops and Wesnofske Farms, who supplied the hops for these brews. John Condzella and Justin Wesnofske will both be in attendance talking about hops and ready to field any questions you may have. Fresh hopped ale is best consumed when it is fresh (go figure) so don’t wait to pick up a bottle. The supply is limited and once it is gone you will not have a chance to try it again until 2014.

liwethop

As has been the theme this entire hop harvest season, brewers and farmers are really working together to make Long Island a stand out in the hop farming scene. Though hops still need to be brought in for the majority of day to day brewing, its clear that the local ingredient base is growing. We are anxious to see how many farmers have already planted the seeds, literally, and will be harvesting their very own hops next year. In the coming years who knows, West Coast breweries might be clamoring for a fresh picked batch of Long Island hops.

ghb_logo

So head down to the brewery tomorrow and buy a pint, bottle or growler and do your part to support Long Island hop farming by drinking some delicious local beer. Also, while you are there you can check out Long Irelands new 12 tap system. Hope to see some (or all) of you there!

longirelandtaps

Condzella Hops: The Season Comes Full Circle

20130916-132534.jpg

This years hop harvest has drawn to an end, as the short window in which hops need to be picked is now closed. Though the season is an extremely short one, we saw firsthand at Condzella Hops all the hard work and preparation that precedes the two-three week long harvest. They had a whirlwind of a year with the acquisition of Beer Loves Company + Hops and the ensuing modifications to make sure it was harvest ready. Though it came down to the wire, John Condzella was able to get the machine working efficiently which greatly increased their ability to harvest their hops.

It was truly amazing just to be a part of the Kickstarter campaign to bring the hop harvester to Long Island and be able to dub it Beer Loves Company + Hops. However, the real fun came when we got to see her in action. As you can see, the speed in which the hops are plucked from the bines and spit out of the machine is amazing, especially if you have ever picked hops by hand and know how time consuming it can be.

Condzella Hops was able to provide fresh hops to Long Island breweries Port Jeff Brewing Company, Long Ireland Beer Company & Greenpoint Harbor Brewing Company, as well as Captain Lawrence of Elmsford, New York. All three locals produced fresh hop ales with the hops, and we were on site for the brew days at Port Jeff & Long Ireland (more on that later this week). Being able to see hops that were still on a bine earlier in the day be dumped into a brew kettle really reinforced the fact that the Long Island hop is here to stay. We were already able to sample Pot Jeff’s fresh hop ale, as it is currently on tap in their tasting room, and Long Ireland & Greenpoint will be releasing their brews later in the week.

Though fresh hop season is wrapping up this year, we look forward to next years harvest which will hopefully involve even more local farmers and breweries. The industry is continuing to develop on Long Island and each year promises to bring New York closer to the hop growing powerhouse it once was. In the meantime, reap the benefits of this season and drink all the local fresh hop ale you can while it’s still, well, fresh.

Brewer's East End Revival OktoBEERfest plus Briess Special Roast Contest w/ Grain from Brewtopia – September 14 2013

20130911-095200.jpg
This Saturday the Brewers East End Revival will hold their annual OctoBEERfest celebration at Cathedral Pines Park in Middle Island. In the traditional German spirit, and despite what the name might indicate, this event is always held in September. However, as the name does indicate, it is also a celebration of beer which is all brewed and contributed by B.E.E.R club members, but more on that later. Additional information about the event can be found on the website, but all you need to know is that it’s $15 (unless you brewed a beer), families are welcome and be sure to bring food for yourself and a little something to share with everyone. There will bee music, BBQ, clams, outdoor games and raffles (with a prize being a 1lb bag of CITRA HOPS!).

In addition to the general BBQ fun, music by White Room (featuring B.E.E.R.’s own Bill Ports) and outdoor beer drinking there will also be a special beer tasting and mini-contest. Mark from Brewtopia was generous enough to donate a 50 lb. bag of Briess Special Roast Malt as a prize for the 17th Annual B.E.E.R Brew Off. Since we assumed (correctly) that no brewer would want to take home a 50lb bag of specialty grain we decided to spread the wealth, dividing the bag among the club. All interested members received a 2 lb. bag with the only caveat being it had to be used to brew something for the OktoBEERfest. We had an overwhelming response and were only left with a couple pounds of malt, so it will be great to see how many different applications the same ingredient was used in. There will be a nut brown or ESB by Chritine Rudowski, a Pale Ale by Lou Zollo, a Belgian Pale Ale by Dave Phillips, a Dunkelweizen by Justin Brian, an American Pale Ale by Greg Woody, a Belgian Dark Mild by Al Raschdor, a Sourdough Roggenbier by Eric Grimm and more. We here at BLC really got wild with it and decided to make a gallon and a half or so of wort using the Special Roast Malt (along with a few other grains) and fresh hops. We then mixed that with four gallons of apple juice and ale yeast. Our beer/cider hybrid is currently fermenting away and we are definitely anxious to keg, serve and most importantly try it (the same goes for all of the other beers too).

20130907-182923.jpg

Everyone involved goes out of their way to make this a great event for the club. This will be our first year attending so we are especially looking forward to participating in all of the outdoor fun and imbibing. So when will you hear more about our brewing a cider/beer with the Special Roast Grain? Soon. First we have articles from B.E.E.R. members, Al Raschdorf detailing the brew day for his Belgian Dark Mild and another from Eric Grimm where he discusses crafting his Sourdough Roggenbier. These will be featured as guest posts in the coming week. We hope you enjoy their writing as much as us and we cannot wait to try their brews.

Condzella Hops: "Beer Loves Company + Hops" is Here!

After a long journey overseas from Germany to New York,  Beer Loves Company + Hops (formerly known as the Wolf WHE 140 Hopfen Pflückmaschine harverster) has finally arrived at its new home: Condzella Hops. As a result of their successful Kickstarter campaign, Condzella Hops was able to bring this machine to Long Island in order to more efficiently harvest their hop crop and start to re-spark the growth of the “New York Hop“. Though this was obviously an exciting arrival, it did not come without its share of work to do. Since the machine is so large it was unable to be shipped in one piece, though John Condzella chose an open air container for shipping so the harvester would not have to be cut in half. Instead, it arrived with a myriad of extra pieces, chains and belts that all need to be reassembled. With a little help from some friends, John has been working diligently on the harvester and it is almost ready to make its debut. Hops have a very short window in which they can be harvested, and that time is rapidly approaching. John estimates that the machine will be ready for action this weekend and the hop harvest will begin next week. We will be there for the inaugural harvest (and hope to bring some hops home for a fresh hop brew day), so look for more coming soon! Also, be sure to visit Condzella Hops and Beer Loves Company at the North Fork Craft Beer, BBQ & Wine Festival at Martha Clara Vineyards this Saturday!