Tag Archives: CRAFT BEER

A Trio Of Beers From Trillium

A trio of beers from Trillium Brewing Company:


American pale ale that has light, crisp, malt character and an abundance of hop-derived aromatics and flavors from the use of Citra and Columbus. The nose is fresh citrus, tropical fruit, and peach. Flavors of pineapple and mango mix with dank notes of zesty citrus and fresh pine needles. Smooth mouthfeel, gentle bitterness, and dry finish.

ABV: 6.6 %

MALT: American 2-row Barley, White Wheat, C-15, Dextrine

HOPS: Citra, Columbus


Hazy golden in appearance and light in body, this pale ale bursts with floral hop aromatics of honeysuckle and passion fruit. Featuring Mosaic/Citra in the dry hop and a crisp Pilsner malt backbone, Launch Beer has flavors of stone fruit and citrus with a sessionable bitterness.

ABV: 5.7%

MALT: Pilsner, White Wheat, Carapils, C-15, Flaked Oats

HOPS: Mosaic, Citra, Columbus


Stillings Street is hazy, pale orange in appearance with aromatic qualities of kiwi, white grape and lemongrass. Flavors of citrus zest, pineapple and cantaloupe are accentuated with crisp malt character, mild bitterness, and a soft, effervescent mouthfeel.

ABV: 7.2%

MALT: American 2-row Barley, White Wheat, C-15, Dextrine, Dextrose

HOPS: Nelson Sauvin, Columbus

*Quoted sections are shortened versions of the descriptions which appear on Trillium’s website.

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24 Hours In Buffalo —Resurgence Brewing

My wife and I went to Buffalo over the weekend for my birthday.

It was a whirlwind trip, and we managed to pack a ton of stuff in throughout the course of only 24 hours.

The first stop we made was a first-time destination for us. 

We were on the 90 approaching Buffalo and wanted an early afternoon snack, but had no particular place in mind. 

I’d seen friends post pictures of a place called Resurgence Brewing on Facebook so we dialed up OnStar on a whim and took a chance on it:


We had such a good time at Resurgence on Saturday that we decided we’d end our weekend there as well, and we did!

When we left Buffalo on Sunday afternoon, we stopped again so I could try the Sponge Candy Stout — and I ended up winning a beer stein as part of a fundraiser being held at the brewery.


I love that I’d never had this brewery’s beer before nor had I ever been to this brewery, yet it ended up being the beginning and end to my weekend — a sort of bookend for my birthday. And both visits were exceptional in their own unique ways:


I had two beers on Saturday, the WNY Fest and the Oktoberfest.

We also had two snacks while at Resurgence on the first day, a chip-and-dip with a peppers-and-cheese sauce as well as an order of pretzels which came with its own trio of other dips.

Perfect food for a beer-drinking afternoon, but grab plenty of water — most of those dips were spicy.

Saturday was Halloween and we were too early for the brewery’s costume contest (and we weren’t in costume yet), but one of Resurgence’s staff members was an excellent Ace Ventura.

Before leaving, I bought a six-pack of Resurgence’s IPA (which I still have yet to try) — and on our way out we sat by the outdoor fireplace which the brewery has in its closed-off backyard. It was a great way to spend a beautiful October afternoon.


After brunch at Cecelia’s and a quick beer at Blue Monk, we bought sponge candy at Watson’s and then headed back to Resurgence for the brewery’s Sponge Candy Stout (pictured at bottom):

Top left is the Oktoberfest and top right is the WNY Fest.

Both days had their own unique energies at the brewery — Saturday was all abuzz with holiday joy and twentysomethings playing brewery games (cornhole, Connect Four, Jenga). On Sunday there were people there for the football game and also to support the fundraiser happening. 



Otter Creek’s Double Dose IPA

BEER ME: Otter Creek’s Double Dose IPA

This annual release by Otter Creek is a collaboration with Lawson’s Finest Liquids:






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Morning Beer — Foothills Brewing’s Hoppyum IPA

Beer on the beach. Is there anything better?


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My Favorite Southern Tier Beer

Today was quite warm and felt like an appropriate end to August here in Western New York.

Tonight though I’m sipping a fall beer and thinking of the coming season:

Harvest is easily my favorite beer by Southern Tier. Some people fiend for Pumking and others I know like to nurse Old Man Winter on long, cold, snowy nights. But for me, few of their beers taste better than a Harvest — especially outdoors as the summer weather cools and autumn arrives.

And what makes Harvest even better!? A shot of Jameson right in the glass:




Deschutes Brewery’s Fresh-Squeezed IPA


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July 4th, 2015 — Recap

Having the Fourth of July on a Saturday this year felt pretty great (as Saturdays are like Fridays for some of us in the service industry).

All-in-all, it was a great few days.

I drank beer.

I drank wine.

And I camped out:


In terms of liquor, I drank something pretty basic on Saturday that I’ve never had before— gin and ginger ale.

Sure, it’s summer and blah blah blah gin and tonic. But I surveyed what we had on hand and the gin and ginger ale is what I ended up with. I almost went with whiskey & ginger ale (and there was actually a lot on hand to choose from), but I really wanted gin for some reason — which is a spirit I like, sure. but never really reach for. And I think this summer is going to be a turningpoint for me in that regards.

After the basic gin and ginger ale, I cracked open a bottle of Sipp Ginger Blossom and made two cocktails — one with gin for me, and one with Captain Morgan for my mother-in-law:

This flavor of Sipp had the bite of ginger beer, but also had vanilla and lime notes which softened and sweetened the drink. I’m sure it would make a great Dark ‘n’ Stormy. And I was afraid that mixing it with Captain Morgan would be overkill on the vanilla, but I didn’t hear any complaints.

And, finally, I love this photo I took Sunday night:

I was drinking a Great Lakes Burning River and tried to get a group shot without getting out of my chair. What ended up happening was a photo burst of several pics that created a weird vortex around my father-in-law. I didn’t digitally enhance it to look that way or blur it on purpose at all. 

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IPA Simple Syrup

When I woke up this morning, I had the itch to make beer cocktails tonight — so I reduced some IPAs and made simple syrup.

I’ll be making drinks with these simple syrups tonight only at Forte.


The first one I made was, of course, Southern Tier.

I also had a bottle of Sierra Nevada’s new single hop IPA — the Idaho 7 varietal.

According to Sierra Nevada, this newly developed hop has a fruit-forward nose. Expect complex fruity aromas of orange and apricot with hints of black tea-like character and a pleasant fresh herbal bouquet. 

Sierra Nevada kicks is doing a whole series of IPAs this year, all exploring different hopping methods: single hop, fresh hop, wet hop and wild hop.

Beer Simple Syrup

Want to make your own beer simple syrup?

Read more about it online herehere and here.

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Five & 20 Spirits

Today my wife and I were back out at antique shops and wineries.

Seeing a pattern in these posts?

While our day trip didn’t net me another vintage cocktail book, I did get a tour of Mazza Winery’s Five & 20 Spirits:


Five & 20 Spirits is located at Mazza’s Chautauqua Cellars location on Route 20 in Westfield. The site houses the company’s Christian Carl brand still (and will soon be the site of a new, larger still, we learned).

My wife’s parents met us in the tasting room where there was not only wine and liquor to sample, but also Five & 20’s brand-new beer offerings.

I’ve tasted the company’s bourbon before, so today I headed straight for their rye whiskey — followed by their bier schnapps and two of their new beers.

One of the Five & 20 guys was working in the tasting room and offered to take my father-in-law and I on a tour of their still room and storage warehouse.

Notes From The Tour:

The Christian Carl still was impressive, and is capable of both pot still distillation and column distillation. The still wasn’t in use and was being prepared for a cleaning, so our guide disassembled a “porthole” for us and let us take a look inside.

The tour was nice because we got to hear a lot about both the kinks in starting up a distillery as well as the successes. From making mash to distillation to storage and bottling, there are a ton of elements involved with producing the several spirits that Five & 20 is making — and they’re coming out ahead it seems, doing good work and building on their accomplishments.

Back to the still…. The thing’s powered by steam, and we got to see the engine room, so to speak. The temperature that thing has to reach in order to fire the still is just insane.

The secondary structure next to Chautauqua Cellars is more than just a warehouse, it’s Five & 20’s rick house — or rick room, I guess. The filled barrels are stacked in the corner of the warehouse next to the window facing the road, and our guide said the room will soon be filling up with more stacks of barrels, which is an exciting prospect.

More notes about the spirits I tasted are below, but first another photo:  

What I Sampled Today:

  • Rye Whiskey (SB)2RW:

Batch #2 was crafted to be smoother and more approachable than many rye whiskeys. The spirit was pot-distilled and was aged for 18 months in smaller barrels, all of which were new charred American Oak.

Five & 20’s website describes it as having “the spicy grain character of rye and the sweet caramel & vanilla flavors of high quality oak barrels.”

The mash bill is 80% New York-grown rye and 20% distiller’s malt.

On a side note, it’s nice to see that their tech sheet for the spirit not only has a recommended cocktail recipe, but that it’s more than just something basic — specifically, the Westfield Wallop requires both Galliano and strawberry purée. 

45% ABV

  • Afterburner Bierschnapps AB2S:

Five & 20’s Afterburner Bierschnapps are a grain-based spirit created by distilling a finished barley wine. 

On their website, FIve & 20 suggest using the bierschnapps as a stand-in for gin — and now I wish I would’ve had a flask of genever  for side-by-side sipping and comparison, because that spirit is so malty and intersting as well.

50.5% ABV

  • Pale Ale:

Medium-bodied pale ale  with hops for light, fruity, citrus flavors. —  5.4% ABV

  • Rye Pale Ale:

Light-bodied pale ale with spicy grain flavor from its rye malt. — 6.2% ABV

As of this visit, Five & 20’s three beers were only available from the tap. The good news though is that they refill growlers and are selling blank growlers right now, with branded growlers expected to arrive soon. Our guide told us that there isn’t any immediate plan to do 12 oz bottles, but plans for cans and 22 oz bottles are in the works.

What I Didn’t Taste Today:

There’s always next time:

  • Bourbon (SB)2BW — Even though I’ve tasted their bourbon before, that bottle wasn’t mine and so I don’t know whether it’s the same stuff they’re sampling there in the tasting room now.

  • Unaged Corn Whiskey
  • Unaged White Rye Whiskey
  • Limoncello
  • Manhattan Moonshine
  • Sugarwash Moonshine
  • Three Hunters Vodka
  • Apple Eau de Vie
  • Plum Eau de Vie
  • Cherry Eau de Vie
  • Pear Eau de Vie
  • Pear in the Bottle (sale only)
  • Grappa of Steuben

Much of the info in this post came straight from the Five & 20 website, which is online at Five & 20.com.

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Super Bowl XLIX Drinking

Forget the teams squaring off each year on the field, it’s beer that’s the real winner of the Super Bowl each year — and here’s what I had tonight:


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