Barnacles and Buckets!

So how genius of me was it to mess up the link to my own site? Sorry for that folks. I mis-typed the address for the new On Tap beer blog. Check it out at: www.thebeerpirate.com. Today’s review is brought to you by Abita’s Turbodog – a great dark brown ale. Check it out!

And don’t worry, you can also get all of the old entries you find here, plus any new malty-goodness that I come across. I hope you’ll make The Beer Pirate one of your daily stops!

The Beer Pirate!

It be smooth sailin’ from ‘ere Cap’n!
While I love and adore On Tap as a great blog name, I quickly came to the realization that there are about 398 other blogs out there named On Tap as well. So, not long after establishing the blog, I came up with a new name. The Beer Pirate!
The Beer Pirate manages to combine two of my favorite things – beer and pirates! So from now on, check into www.thebeerpirate.com for all of the latest and greatest in beer goodness. Bear with me as I work with the layout and template and tweak things. I promise it’ll be tons of fun! I’ll be pillaging and plundering my way through all of your favorite American craft brews.

The BJCP

I can’t believe it wasn’t until just the other day that I’d heard of the BJCP – the Beer Judge Certification Program. The Beer Judge Certification Program states their purpose very clearly on their site: ” The purpose of the Beer Judge Certification Program is to promote beer literacy and the appreciation of real beer, and to recognize beer tasting and evaluation skills. Founded in 1985, we certify and rank beer judges through an examination and monitoring process.”
While I’m not quite ready to become a certified beer judge, I do find their site incredibly informative and helpful! They have a great style-guide that explains what one should look for in aroma, flavor, appearance, everything! Make sure you check out their site. Maybe you’ll be a judge someday yourself!

Supporting Your Local Brewery

In my post a few days ago I was having a heavy debate within myself about whether or not I should stick with American craft brews or not. Today, I checked out the blog over at the Beer Mapping project. They brought up the new site started by the Brewers Association, SupportYourLocalBrewery.com The purpose of this site is to have a network of beer-lovers on the lookout for smaller breweries and legislation that could harm them.
This made me realize why I felt so strongly about supporting small American craft breweries. I live in New York, and while New York is one of the biggest cities, I think it has one of the last small-town environments. I mean, I know my laundry lady, I know my neighbors. I go to the same little drug store, and the same small restaurants. They aren’t just stores that I go to. These are the people in my neighborhood (if you will). Please support your local brewery by both drinking their brews, AND by receiving e-mail alerts from the Brewers Association.

Chumley’s Me (not-so) Lucky

So while Chumley’s wasn’t all that lucky several weeks ago after the collapse of their chimney, their beer sure is! As I mentioned in an earlier post, we happened to go to Chumley’s only
the night before said event. I tried out their Me Lucky Ale that night. So, while I don’t have a proper picture, I figured that, in anticipation of a someday re-opening Chumley’s, I’d throw this baby at you.
Appearance: Had this one on draft, of course. It arrived at my table with a 1/2″ white head, and a clear, dark amber body. The head fades fast, but there’s actually an OK amount of lacing in this beer.
Aroma: Eh, not much to be said about the aroma of this beer, but that could have been the environment. It was pretty crowded and bustling. The little bit of hoppiness that I could catch was really a hay-type scent.
Taste: Lightly hoppy up front – fruity, followed by a nice lightly toasted malt flavor. The lingering flavor is that hay-hop flavor that I picked up on smell.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with the standard oily-type mouthfeel of an ale. The hoppy flavor leaves it a little drying and leaves your tongue a little coated feeling.
My waitress informs me that the Me Lucky is technically Chumley’s beer, but brewed special for them by Chelsea Brewing Co. So here we have a special NY beer in a special NY place. Let’s hope Chumley’s can come back and keep serving us seedy New York drinkers!

Of Manly Things

I found this blog entry over at the blog Brakar, a blog for guys that live with women. Brakar posted a great entry about an article written up in Men’s Journal The 25 Best Beers of the US. The article says that they “…put this list together by gathering recommendations from the experts and carefully tasting case after case, on deadline”. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I found it a pretty refreshing take on popular micro-brews. Check out the list, and also check out Brakar. A lot of funny takes on “The good guy’s guide to living with a woman”.

Belgian, German, American?

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As people send me feedback in comments, e-mails or in person, I find really mixed
feelings about what beers people would like to see covered. Some feel strongly about Belgian and Czech beers. A lot of people say they don’t like the Belgians and want to see American. Bob posted this weekend that he wants to see German beers.
When I first started this blog, I thought it best to stick with American craft brews. Then, a lot of people in the beer community were saying: You’ve gotta try this Belgian, or Czech or German beer. So now I’m kind of muddling around trying to decide what would be best for this blog. So I think from now on I’m going to try and stick with American craft brews. If someone out there writes me or posts and says that they’d like to see something about a certain style of brewing, or they’d like to see the American micro-brew compared to a Belgian style, etc. I’ll be all over that. Or if I want you guys to know about a style that I can’t find by an American craft brew, I’m going to step over that line.
Ultimately, part of what I love about Craft brewing, is that it is so American. It’s something that started out in Europe, and every country and region has taken it and adapted it to their own. I think that’s great. And there are enough people out there celebrating the great international breweries. Let’s support our local breweries.

Beer and Sprite?!?!

A friend of mine asked me last night if I’d ever heard of mixing beer and sprite. Apparently this is a German tradition. I’d never heard of it, but of course, with a little help from Google and About.Com, I was able to unearth some a little info.
The Alsterwasser is a combination of about 1/2 – 3/4 beer and 1/2 – 1/4 lemon lime drink. That’s about all I’ve come up with to be honest. Apparently, the Alsterwasser is served as a summer refresher. Does anyone else out there know more about this drink? Well anyway, there you go Chad. Thanks for asking about the Alsterwasser. We all learned something new today!!

Chumley’s Toughs it out

Wednesday night, my fiancè, Jim, and I decided it would be a good time to head over to Chumley’s. We live literally 2 doors down and thought it would be fun to taste a beer and maybe get some photos. As it turned out, they were doing some pretty massive renovations, the place was pretty packed and the lighting was so dark that none of my video footage turned out.
I was doubly disappointed when I went home last night and our whole street was blocked off. A cop didn’t want to let me in to my apartment, but eventually he did. Not long after, we found out that a wall in Chumley’s had collapsed! Ironic, huh?
Chumley’s, for any non-New Yorkers, is a former Speakeasy that still exists… well did exist, in pretty much it’s original condition. Built in the ’20s, Chumley’s is rumored to be the origin of the “86 it” expression. They’re located at 86 Bedford Street, and I’ve heard several theories about how “86” came to mean what it does today. The place is full of trap doors and secret entrances. Chumley’s is also famous for being a hangout for such authors as Willa Cather, E.E. Cummings, Theodore Dreiser, William Faulkner, Ring Lardner, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Eugene O’Neill, John Dos Passos, and John Steinbeck. Their works, as you can see from photos, line the walls at Chumley’s.
Check out the story in the New York Times, or check out some cool photos from Forgotten New York here (scroll down a bit). I also found this kind of funny article on Curbed titled “Chumley’s Updated: Safe ‘Til 2086”. Hahaha… safe. Anyway, the article is interesting in itself when you look at how much they want for a building that’s completely falling apart. These few buildings that are connected to Chumley’s have been plagued with bad luck

The Holiday Season…

Yeah we’ve got Passover and we’ve got Easter, but let’s not forget about another big holiday coming up this weekend! Brew Year’s Eve!!! Brew Year’s Eve marks the date that Prohibition was repealed. A lot of breweries celebrate this holiday with specials and events. You can find out what’s going on in your area by checking out the Brewer’s Association site. Eat, drink and be merry!

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