October 4, 2009

Scenes from NY Craft Beer Week 2009 at Rattle N Hum

The scene took us back to our college days - tons of people vying for beer.  But unlike those days of PBR, we were trying to sample cask beers.  This was opening night of the 2009 NY Craft Beer Week Cask Ale Fest at Rattle N Hum (RNH).  RNH had about 28 casks of NY craft beers along with their regular tap lineup of about 40 microbrews. It was a beer lover's heaven (if you could find room to breathe) as there was something for everyone.

First up, we tried the NY3 ($6 for a pint on tap, not cask), a special pale ale made by Captain Lawrence, Ithaca Brewing and Southampton Public House for Craft Beer Week. We love Captain Lawrence beers, however, this one was not one of our favorites. The first few sips were nice but the sweetness from the honey makes the beer tiring and boring. There's just not enough zip to it. It's definitely aimed at the 'sweet' palate.

We did enjoy the Brooklyn 'Blast!' ($4 8oz, 8%), which is an Imperial IPA style pale ale. The beer has 8 kinds of hops! It was balanced by some sweet malt with a nice lingering bitter finish from the hops.

The 'Imperial Stout Trooper' ($5 8oz, 8.5%) from New England Brewing in Woodbridge, CT was smooth with almost an earthy quality along with the dark fruit and chocolate. Very good from the cask.

Shawnee's Pale Ale ($4 8oz, 5.2%): from Shawnee Craft Brewing in PA, this naturally conditioned pale is light with some citrus...it's an okay beer. I would think it's definitely closer to a pale ale than an ESB than the beertenders inferred.

A rather unique beer was the 'Lectio du Chene' ($5 8oz, 8%) from Saint Somewhere in Florida. This is supposed to be a strong abbey-style ale but the aging in wine barrels reinforced the sweetness of the beer. The sweet, tar beer was a little much for us on this night.

And of course we enjoyed the Oskar Blues on tap: the special Whiskey Barrel-Aged Dale's Pale Ale (6.5%) and the Ten Fidy Russian Imperial Stout (10%). The Dale's was sweet (some brown sugar) but not too over the top with vanilla from the barrel aging. It's not as quaffable as the regular Pale Ale but still good. As for the Ten Fidy, though it was bold and strong (at 10% ABV!), it was very easy to drink. It's a dry style, which we like.

Overall, we enjoyed trying different beers - and unlike our college days of beer pong and multiple pints, we happily remembered our 8 oz beer tasting the next day!


  1. That looks like a fun event! I love the shot of the coasters - we collect coasters from all round the world and suspect a few of them would have made it into my purse!!!

  2. Mardi - while the hubby drinks, I do the same thing too! They make interesting souvenirs...


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