4 Pines Vostok Stout – Space Beer

4 Pines Brewing Company comes from the beautiful seaside city of Manly in Sydney NSW. The brewery in relatively new beginning in 2008 but they have gained a name as a producer of quality handcrafted Australian beers. Their Vostok Space Beer Stout has won a bronze award at the 2011 Sydney Royal Show and a silver award at the Australian International Beer Awards in 2010 and is the world’s first space beer. Yes the stout has become the first beer to be drunk on a commercial space flight. In a partnership between Saber Astronautics and 4 Pines the beer was flown into zero gravity on the 26th of February 2011 and drank.  It is hoped the beer will be a regular offering when commercial space travel becomes more popular. The stout is an Irish styled stout and is very dark almost black with the traditional caramel coloured frothy head. It has some coffee like flavours and although full bodied is very smooth and has a very pleasant balanced bitterness.  As the brewery is small it is not all that readily available throughout Australia although more and more liquor stores are getting onto it including some a few of the larger retailers. Keep you eyes open for it- it is really tasty!

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Rudy’s Hells Kitchen New York City

It’s not always easy to get away from the chain or Irish themed bars and pubs in New York City, but sometimes you come across an absolute classic as we are featuring today- Rudys.  Ruby’s is in Hell’s Kitchen and is an institution in New York City. This small bar is so good you want to pack it up, with its pig, beers and very friendly staff and bring it home- it is so good.  Rudy’s features what is sure to be the cheapest draft beers in the city, and there is quiet a choice including, the Pigslapper we features a few days back.  If you are hungry, well the menu is pretty simple- hot dogs and guess what they are free, yes free a perfect way to enjoy a few beers.  The décor is a bit old school, the 70’s tiffany lampshades are pretty daggy, the wrap around couches have seen better days (much better days)  but it is so fantastic and you wouldn’t change a thing.   There’s great grungy and sultry tunes of the 60’s 70’ and 80’s ad to the experience and atmosphere. The place is not trying to be fashionable or styled to look and feel like it is, it somehow just turned out this way and this is what makes this bar so good and full of character.  It’s just down to earth and real.  Rudy’s has a great friendly place for pitcher or two, the choice of beer is great and it’s a fantastic night out which won’t cost you the earth.

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NYC’s Indian River Light

As we mentioned on an earlier story one of our favourite Brew Pubs in New York City is the Pony in Hell’s Kitchen, well another is Heartland Brewery which are found in about seven locations all over the city.  We tried the Times Square, Radio City and Empire State Building pubs but the one we loved the best was in the historic seaport district on Fulton Street overlooking the tall ship museum. The choice of beers was fantastic and this Indian River Light was one of the highlights.  The pub is housed in a building that dates back to about 1812 and has been beautifully restored with rich timbers, old time charm and some lovely breweania on the walls. Food is pretty good too but it’s the beers we have been visiting for.  The Indian River Light is like a Belgium beer it has a hint of coriander and orange amongst its fruity and aromatic flavours. The beer is a mid-strength beer having only 3.9% alcohol and it is also low carb having about 25% less of those nasty carbs than the normal beer.  The beer is has a low carbonation which makes it pretty easy to knock back and enjoy.

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Brooklyn Lager

Today’s beer is Brooklyn Lager from New York’s Brooklyn Brewery.  The brewery began in 1988 and today is one of the top craft beer breweries in the world with a whole array of awards and one of the biggest exporters of craft beer. This picture we took in New York City but we have a local bottle shop which stocks the Brooklyn Lager in our hometown of Geelong Australia, only problem it’s about 3 times the price!    The beer is a brewed in a Vienna Style with amber gold colour and a very nice caramel malty taste.  The beer has been dry hopped giving it a very crisp bitterness making it quiet easy to drink.

The Lager is delicious but the brewery also has wide range of beers available all through the year and a number of fantastic seasonal beers including a magnificent pumpkin beer called Post Road we tried during the Halloween festivities it has a lovely nutmeg and sweet flavour.

The brewery is open to the public, with tours and happy hours available. Learn more on their website at www.broklynbrewery.com Read the rest of this entry

Porkslap Pale Ale

Well here is a beer which has a name and label just as fun as it is to drink the tasty farmhouse ale. Porkslap Pale Ale is brewed by Butternuts Beer & Ale who are from Garattsville in New York State. The photo is of a six pack we bought in Washington DC, and we first tried Porkslap at Ruby’s in Hell’s Kitchen New York City where we thought it was a great drop.  The beer is brewed with 2 row North American barley and English Crystal Malt.  There is a touch of ginger and crystal hop to flavour the beer and it has a 4.3% alcohol volume.

Take note of the interesting plastic device which snaps on the six pack- we have never seen anything like that and think its pretty cool- just like the Porkslap. Butternuts make a few other interesting named beers including Moo Thunder Stout and Snapperhead IPA to name a few.

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Goose Island Xmas Ale

goose island xmas aleToday being Christmas, we take a look a special brew by Chicago based brewery Goose Island. Every year Goose Island whip up a special batch of their Christmas Ale while changing the recipe slightly. This brown ale is a 6.2% beer with a chocolate color that will develop in the bottle for up to 5 years. Their 2010 batch won a bronze medal at the world beer cup. Here at Hoppsy were are giving Goose Island a 5 out of 5 mince pies award for coming up with a fantasic alternative to socks for christmas. Read the rest of this entry

Most amazing beer ad ever?

YouTube Direct

This is incredible, there have been some epic beer ads in recent times but this one from Japan’s Sapporo takes the cake. Called “Legendary Biru”using a seemless collection of digital and live images to create a breath taking video.  That good I think I need another beer – enjoy!

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The Pony – New York City

The Hoppsy guys have travelled the world and had some great beers in some great bars, but a recent visit to The Pony in Hell’s Kitchen New York City stands out as one of the best in a long while.  The Pony specialises in all American craft beers and they have a wonderful selection.  One of the beers we tried was RJ Rockers Son of a Peach, it was an unfiltered wheat beer with you guessed it peaches- it was amazing – it might not sound great but trust us- one of the tastiest wheat beers we have tried.

The Pony’s price is right on the mark too, at the time of writing they have a flat rate of $5 a 14OZ beer which is incredible for the quality of the beer on offer, they also do 64oz Growlers for those who want to take a drop of the good stuff home. There are usually about 20 beers on tap at any one time and the range is very varied.  There’s a pretty tasty food menu too. Read the rest of this entry

Oktoberfest only 10 weeks away

We just received an email from the Munich Oktoberfest and it looks like It is going ot be bigger and better than ever.  This year’s festivities start on the 17th of September and go through to the 3rd of October- that’s only 10 weeks away!  Beer prices have gone up about 30 Euro cents since last year a Mass or litre of beautiful fresh Munich beer will cost between 8.70 Euro and 9.20 Euro but entry is free.  There are 14 main beer tents including favourites like Hofbrau Festhalle, Café Kaiserschmarrrn and the Hippodrom all serving amazing German dishes and beer.  This year there are two new rides, The Rio Rapidos which is a raft ride and the Monster which sounds pretty scary, a swing which goes 40 metres in one direction before rotating down around its axis. Probably a ride to go on before the beers.  Over 6 million people are expected to attend this year and security has been raised to stop so many beer glasses being stolen, last year over 77000 were collected from people by security. For those planning to attend, start booking your spot in the tents as they are filling up quickly- avoid disappointment… do it today!!!!

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VB’s 1958 Heritage can limited release

VB which is probably Australia’s most iconic beer’s has brought back a bit of its rich past with the launch of a special edition 1958 style can. Now the can design and 1958 were significant as it was the first time a can was used to hold beer. Sure it wasn’t the smooth thin aluminium we know today it was a fairly crude steel can where the drinker had to puncture the can before being able to taste the refreshing taste. Now for can collectors you need to keep your eyes out, as this isn’t the last of VB’s heritage cans, over the next 12 months Carlton and United plan to bring out a few more commemorative cans to celebrate the beer can.  For those wondering, the beer in the can is the current 2011 VB as fresh and as crisp as ever.  Look out for it in your local bottle shop and keep a couple as reminders of the simpler times.