The 10 Best Beers of 2014

Categories: Beer, Our 10 Best

Other Half Brewing
2014, I miss you already. The years seem to go by faster and faster, but at least the beers keep getting better and better. Especially here in the city, where our craft beer scene has blossomed into one of the nation's most vibrant. Not long ago, NYC-based breweries were overshadowed by more prominent players from neighboring regions. But the past half-decade has been defined by a renaissance of first-class fermentation. We now boast dozens of producers with global significance, and even more exciting newcomers on the horizon. As we struggle with the inevitable hangover of a new year, here's a little hair of the dog to help you through. In no particular order, here are the ten best local(ish) beers I drank in 2014.

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Why You Should Attend NYC Craft Beer Festival This Halloween

Categories: Beer

All photos courtesy NYC Craft Beer Festival
A very hoppy Halloween is headed our way as the NYC Craft Beer Festival returns to the Lexington Armory in Midtown, beginning on the night of Friday, October 31. A $55 ticket gains you access to all the hops, malt, and yeast you can handle for 2.5 hours. And to celebrate the holiday in appropriate fashion, a costume contest will award cash prizes to the most garishly garbed participants in the crowd. The event continues into the weekend, with two more sessions offered on Saturday: from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and once again from 7 to 9:30 p.m.

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Drink Away Your Political Cynicism With Our Beer of the Week

21st Amendment
In this column, we're highlighting a beer worth drinking right now. Care for another sip? Check out our A Beer In The Headlights archives.

The beginning of November is nigh. Advertising airwaves are teeming with ominous messages brought to you by nondescript organizations with bizarre acronyms. And so you need a hearty dose of suds to drown your political cynicism. If the only 'PAC' you care about is a six-pac(k), San Francisco's 21st Amendment Brewery campaigns a suitable can-didate.

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The 10 Best Beers to Drink This Fall

Categories: Beer, Best of

Back away from the pumpkin ale and try these fall seasonals.
Always looking for an excuse to party, the astronomically inclined people of Earth recently celebrated another equinox. In the aftermath, many folks anticipate the changing hue of the falling leaves. Others toil under the rapidly diminishing daylight, raking away said leaves. But if the only seasonally affected vegetation concerning you is the particular combination of malt and hops in your pint glass, this is the most relevant list you'll read, ever. Until winter. If you're expecting an avalanche of pumpkin-spiced suds here, shatter those expectations. You and I have been through that. It's boring, yeah? Here's what's new and next in New York's autumn craft scene...

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Thank Keith Olbermann, Weyerbacher's Blithering Idiot Is Your Beer of the Week

In this column, we're highlighting a local-ish beer worth drinking right now. Care for another sip? Check out our A Beer In The Headlights archives.

With autumn officially upon us, it's time to set our sights on a new season of craft beer. Yet our own personal vision is of no matter here. The mavens of microbrewed marketing have decided for us, collectively. It's out with the Helles', the Hefeweizens, the Belgian Wits. Replacing them on the shelves, in descending levels of obnoxious, is the torrent of pumpkin spiced offerings, brown ales, and, of course, the Barleywine. A hard-hitting ale, often boasting a double digit ABV, Barleywines can range in color from amber to dark brown, but they consistently unload a complex bundle of over-ripened fruit, heavily-breaded malt, and alcoholic heat. Subtlety and nuance be damned, they are the blowhards of beer.

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Scale Ale: How a Home-Brew Hobby Launched Third Rail Beer

Third Rail Beer
Third Rail founders Larry Koestler, left; Loren Taylor-Raymond, and Kaitlyn Haubrich
New York City is not exactly a friendly place to launch a brewery. Space that's large enough to hold equipment is scarce, and what exists is expensive. But for Larry Koestler, Loren Taylor-Raymond, and Kaitlyn Haubrich, opening elsewhere was not an option -- all three of them were born and raised in New York City, and they wanted to sell their beer in their hometown.

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Zwanze Day Arrives in New York

Categories: Beer, Events

It's here. It's beer. It happens once a year. This Saturday, September 20, marks the release of the venerable Zwanze. And although it sounds like some sort of infectious disease to be desperately avoided, craft beer connoisseurs line up by the thousands to experience this rare Belgian lambic produced annually at the legendary Cantillon Brewery on the outskirts of Brussels. A sort of Halley's Comet for the craft community, it makes a brief appearance at only a handful of select bars across the globe, flashing brilliantly before vanishing as quickly as it came. Tapping at just 23 locations in the United States, New Yorkers are fortunate enough to have two options for tomorrow's big day: Alewife in Long Island City and Spuyten Duyvil in Williamsburg.

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Here's an Early Look at New Gastropub Fools Gold

Categories: Beer

Eve Turow
Fools Gold on its grand opening night, August 5, 2014

The team behind Alewife and The Jeffrey are at it again with their third craft beer-centric establishment (and a fourth is already on the way). Fools Gold (145 E. Houston St.) officially opened August 5 to a rush of eager patrons edging their way to the bar, scanning the multicolor handles and spouts arranged along the wall.

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Here Are Three of New York's Most Unexpected Bacon Sweets

Categories: Bacon, Beer, Video

Thousands of bacon and beer lovers flocked to Citi Field on Saturday, July 26 for the Bacon and Beer Classic, which featured 25 different bacon dishes and more than 100 craft beers.

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Here's Why You Should Try this Practically Non-Alcoholic Beer

Categories: Beer

All photos by Susannah Skiver Barton

What's like a beer but not actually a beer? Sounds like a riddle, but it does exist, and it's called Hoppy: a malt and hops beverage that's so low in alcohol it goes untaxed in its native Japan. Clocking in at .8 percent ABV, Hoppy has landed on U.S. shores at the Lower East Side's Azasu (49 Clinton Street), where it's spiked with frozen shochu to make a cold and refreshing summer beverage.

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