Archive for Steele Filipek

Lesser Dangers: Episode 2

Posted in Fun... with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2009 by thebrewyorker

You have been warned. Repeatedly. Yet still you commit errors whilst heavily drinking. We’ll tell you one more time, but this is it: beware!

Youtube link here.

Bar Review – McAleer’s

Posted in Bar or Beer Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2009 by thebrewyorker

One of the best sports bars in the city (and with one of the best deals) gets the BY treatment, courtesy of our guest hosts Erin and Laura! Stop oggling them breasts and watch the video, perv!

YouTube link here.

Bar Review – Manitoba’s

Posted in Bar or Beer Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2009 by thebrewyorker

A fun, old school New York bar in the East Village where the drinks are cheap, the atmosphere rocks, and there’s always something going on. We have Clare Goggin from Beer Goggins to help us out, too!

YouTube link here.

Interview With Chad Polenz

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 17, 2009 by thebrewyorker

Chad Polenz (or Chad9976, as his YouTube channel is entitled) is one of the most prolific and accessible beer reviewers on the web. With nearly 200 videos of reviews and beer information, there’s hardly a U.S. brew that’s been made that he hasn’t tried, particularly East Coast beers.

But unlike other reviewers who may come off as snobbish or unimpeachable, Chad remains a normal kind of guy whose reviews are accessible by both casual beer fans and connoisseurs alike. He is clear and down-to-earth but doesn’t sacrifice knowledge for convenience. All in all, he is a beer reviewer for the people.

Chad updates a few times a week, and took the time to answer some questions for the Brew Yorker over email. If you’d like to join his Facebook page, it can be found here.

1.) Could you give us some backstory: who are you, what do you like (besides beer), and what got you into beer?

I’m just a regular guy from Schenectady, NY (now residing in Albany). I was active duty Navy from 2001-07 and have been in the reserves for the last two years. I’m currently finishing up my Bachelor’s in English at the University at Albany. I’m not sure what I’m doing after that, though.

As Jon Lajoie would say, I’m just a regular everyday normal guy. Pretty laid-back and quiet for the most part, unless the topic at hand is something I’m passionate about – then I will argue about it forever. Anyone who’s seen my Facebook page knows what I’m talking about.

What got me into beer or what got beer into ME!? When I visited other countries in my Navy travels I would always want to try the beers they had there. More often than not they were better than the American beers I was used to (read: “The Big 3”). It would kill me when I would see sailors plunking down like 8 Euros for something from back home just because they were too scared to try something different. Idiots.

When I got back form my first overseas deployment I started getting my beer from the Navy Exchange “Package Store” which had a decent selection of imports and a few craft breweries, and that at least pointed me in the right direction.

When I moved back to New York in 2007 I discovered an outstanding beer store literally right around the corner from my house which carries 1100 beers from around the world and that REALLY expanded my horizons. It wasn’t until the spring of 2008 that I decided to give beer-reviewing a serious try and I’ve been doing it ever since.

2.) While I know it would be hard for you to pinpoint a single
favorite beer, do you ever recall a moment where you were just floored by a beer?

Yes, there have been quite a few beers that from the first sip to the last drop it was like a mouth orgasm. And a few of them have been captured on my YouTube channel, such as Rogue Chocolate Stout and Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA and Magic Hat Roxy Rolles.

I also remember being at a sports bar on a Saturday back in 2004 drinking pint after pint of Newcastle Brown ale and just falling in love with the beer and never getting drunk off it. It’s still one of my all-time favorites.

2a.) On a similar note, was there ever a beer that made you not want to finish drinking it?

Umm… maybe back in my late teens/early 20s drinking Milwaukee’s Best ICE at parties. Ugh. I also remember drinking a lot of $1.75 plastic cups of Red Dog at dive bars back in those days.

I purposely avoid really bad beers these days, but once in a while I come across something I was expecting to at least tolerate but couldn’t. The last really BAD beer I had was probably Heineken – just liquid skunk.

3.) How would you categorize yourself as a beer drinker? Do you prefer beer you can drink a dozen of, or ones that you savor? What kinds of beers interest you on an everyday basis?

As my business card says, I’m “not quite an amateur, but not quite a connoisseur.” Let’s just say that I definitely know about and appreciate the craftsmanship of all the different styles of beer much more than your average Joe Six Pack. But at the same time I do realize I’ve got a long way to go to become a true connoisseur or expert. I would say my knowledge and the sensitivity of my palate doubles every six months.

What’s funny is, as much as I love beer, I very rarely drink it aside from when I’m reviewing it. I haven’t bought a six pack of something just to keep in the fridge in a long time. I told myself once I drink and review every beer my store carries then I can buy a sixer just to have in the fridge.

Now if I’m having people over or I’m at a party or a BBQ it’s a different story. I’ll try to bring something people wouldn’t expect for those situations because it’s always fun to surprise regular beer drinkers with something so much different and better than they’re used to. If it’s the other way around and all there is to drink is “The Big 3” I can at least tolerate a few of them, especially since I use it to wash down food.

But I don’t drink to get drunk. In fact, you could count on one hand the number of times I’ve been REALLY drunk in my life. Having a healthy buzz is nice, though.

4.) What is your favorite brewery in the New York area [that is,
someplace easily driven to within three hours of New York City] and why?

I’ve never been to any of the microbreweries in New York City, but I have tried most of the Brooklyn Brewery’s line and I really love their beer.

As far as all of New York State is concerned, I’d say Saranac is probably the best overall brewery because they make so many different beers and the quality is pretty high across the board. plus it’s available everywhere and it’s reasonably priced.

I also love our two microbreweries here in “The Capital District.” Evans Ales at the “Albany Pump Station” in downtown Albany is a great brewpub (their “Kick Ass Brown Ale” is outstanding). Brown’s Brewery in Troy is probably even better (their Oatmeal Stout won a World Beer Cup Gold in 2004!).

I know Southern Tier, Schmaltz, and Mendocino are making great stuff too, but I’ve only been able to try a few of them.

5.) What are some of your other favorite beer sites and beer reviewers online?

Too many to list! Seriously, before my computer crashed last week I must have had at least 50 various beer-reviewing websites bookmarked and befriended 20-30 other beer critics on YouTube.

I like how some people are funny and entertaining (i.e. “Imasofat” and “jjdaven” on YouTube, and of course you guys at “The Brew Yorker”); and other sites and reviewers are really professional and knowledgeable (i.e. my friend Jay “jjrudy41” and “elharlock” on YouTube, plus TwoGuysOnBeer.com).

For factual information about beer, aside from the brewer’s website, I prefer BeerAdvocate.com.

Also, there are a lot of rookies and amateurs out there that, God bless ‘em, really don’t know what the hell they’re talking about, but at least they’re trying. They’ll learn as they go. I see new people getting into the game all the time so it’s encouraging to know I’m not the only beer geek out here.

– Steele

Failed Advertising Presents: Guinness Boy

Posted in Fun... with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2009 by thebrewyorker

If you’ve ever been at a bar, then you know the kind of commotion that the arrival of a Miller Lite Girl or Corona Lass can cause. Drunken idiots falling over themselves to impress moderately attractive women, free visors, and the subtle but omnipresent pressure to order a brew of the ladies’ employer (no matter how much you don’t want to drink it). Guinness experimented with this kind of thing a few years back, but apparently something in the details was lost on the trip across the pond…

YouTube link here.

Buying A Keg In New York

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 10, 2009 by thebrewyorker

As you’ll all recall from high school and college, a keg of beer is a thing of beauty. It’s cheaper than buying cans, more environmentally friendly, and generally just more bad-ass than any other kind of alcoholic beverage that you can provide at a party. But here in New York, getting a keg can be QUITE a problem. But have no fear: if you were ever wondered just how to secure that 5.5, 7.5, or 15.5 gallon container of wonder, you need search no longer.

New York Beverage

This beer distributor has a good number of brews available in both keg and cases. The staff is helpful and knowledgeable, but also very no-nonsense. It’s a business, and they want to sell you (and others) quality brew at decent prices without fuss. Don’t expect that they’ll be all chummy with you because you call them “brah”.

Phone Number: 212.831.4000
Beers on Keg: 45+
Price (Low-End): $105 for a half (15.5) of Budweiser
Price (High-End): $179 for a half of Brooklyn I.P.A.

New Beer Distributors

Located a couple blocks south of 2nd Ave and Houston, the New Beer Distributors sell a whole lot of fantastic brew. You’ll feel like a glorified beer snob as you check through their selection (separated by continent and country), and their prices aren’t too shabby, either. The last time I checked, their keg selection was limited, but call ahead and see what they have.

Phone Number: 212.473.8757
Beers on Keg: 10-12
Price (Low-End): $110
Price (High-End): $200

Flair Beverages Inc.

I don’t think there’s more of a Beer Mecca in New York than this place. Row upon row of cases and kegs (not just of beer, but also soda and other soft drinks) are available for wholesale and retail pick-up and delivery. The prices can’t be beat, and though the selection of cases is better (by hundreds) than kegs, I can’t praise this place enough. Just remember to bring cash: they don’t take credit.

Phone Number: 212.569.8713
Beers on Keg: 20+
Price (Low-End): $90
Price (High-End): $190

Other Places

115 R&P – 115th and Madison Avenue: (212) 828-5511
Riverside Beer District Inc‎ – 12th Ave: (212) 234-3884‎

Remember that New York State requires a deposit in addition to every establishment’s own deposit charges. Most places will rent out a tap: just remember to soak it in water. And if you “prime” the keg by pumping several dozen times before pouring, I hope you burn in hell for all eternity with all the rest of your massive-head-inducing ilk.

Otherwise, happy drinking!

– Steele

The Brew Yorker Interview with Jeremy Cowan

Posted in Beer Culture... with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2009 by thebrewyorker

The creator of He’Brew and Coney Island Lager sits down with us (or stands, really) and gives a delightful interview. You can find more information about the Shmaltz Brewing Company at their website, shmaltz.com.

YouTube link here.