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Beer Review: Westbrook Gose

Westbrook-GoseRemember in June when you read all of those best-beers-of-summer lists and thought, “I can’t wait to drink those awesome beers once it gets hot”? Now that it’s hot and summer’s days are numbered you’re wondering where your lists went? Stop searching your inbox and just find some Westbrook Gose. Red & Brown HQ has been flush with sour beers this summer and Westbrook is one of the tops. The nose has light citrus notes with a briny backbone and some hints of yeast/wheat. The taste is sour (almost akin to taking a pickleback shot, minus the dill) with a coriander, herbal finish that lingers slightly. It’s thirst quenching and each sip forces you to go back for more (twist our arms). At a low 4% ABV you should be able to have a few of these during a session, as long as your taste buds don’t raise the white flag from so much sourness. A great foil for seafood and equally adept at cutting through fattier fare, we highly recommend finding a sixer before Labor Day hits. –Red & Brown

 

Westbrook Gose

12 ounce cans

4% ABV

Check out all of Westbrook’s beers here.

 

 

Beer Review: Fiddlehead Brewing Company Hodad Porter

Fiddlehead-Brewing-Company-Hodad-PorterWe’re sorry. We’re sorry that we didn’t post this sooner when we hit the Vermont Brewers Festival last month. We’re sorry that by the time you read this you probably won’t be able to find Hodad Porter (especially if you don’t live in or near Shelburne, VT). We’re sorry that you may or may not ever taste the best chocolate coconut porter we’ve ever had. Where other versions fail with either no detectable trace of coconut, or overwhelmingly fake flavors that make you feel like you’re chugging Banana Boat tanning oil, the geniuses at Fiddlehead have managed to create a delicious, harmonious beer. The taste is well-balanced with a light roasted maltiness characteristic of a good porter that transitions into semi-sweet chocolate territory and finishes with a hint of toasted coconut and vanilla. If you were to drop an Mounds candy bar and a pint of porter into a blender this is what you’d get (beer candy, ahhhhhhh). Find an excuse to drive up to Vermont, or make friends with someone who lives there to try to get your hands on some. When asked if they were planning on distributing in NYC any time soon the woman we spoke with said “We can’t even keep up with demand here,” so if you don’t get to taste any, well, we’re sorry. –Red & Brown

 

Fiddlehead Brewing Company Hodad Porter

Sold on tap and in 16 ounce cans

5.5% ABV

Check out all of Fiddlehead’s offerings here.

 

Chasing Cherries 2014

Cherries

If you’ve been following our adventures on Instagram and Facebook you know that July has been, ahem, busy. We’ve been scouring the Hudson Valley for the finest cherries to use in our cocktail garnishes, but Mother Nature just wasn’t having it. First the harvest was late, then it was accelerated, then it was gone. Luckily, we had a car, a can-do attitude, and Brown’s taller, bearded-er brother, Thomas, to join us in our 6:30AM trek north to find an orchard whose crop wasn’t already picked or wiped out by poor growing conditions. Fortunately we filled all of our pre-orders, but if you didn’t get one in you’re going to have to wait until next year (or make friends with someone who did). Check out our Facebook page for the full album, and stay tuned for a few videos rolling out over the next few weeks celebrating the fruits of our labor.

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–Red and Brown.

Craftsman & Wolves Smoked Butter Caramels

Recently, Brown’s travels took him to San Francisco. His first stop was Craftsman & Wolves in the Mission District, where he hoped to get his hands on one of their signature dishes, The Rebel Within. This savory cheese, meat muffin with a soft-boiled egg couldn’t be missed but, unfortunately, he showed up at 3:30 on a Friday afternoon and they were unsurprisingly out. Brown had to “settle” for a savory cake with sesame butter, shitakes, bok choy, kimchi, and togorashi peanuts (highly recommended).

craftsmen-and-wolves-smoked-butter-caramels

But enough about what didn’t make it home. In addition to great coffee, pastries, breads, desserts, and savory items, CAW also has a mini-store with take-home essentials like the smoked butter caramels Brown brought back to Brooklyn. These soft, chewy little morsels have a rich, sweet brown butter taste with just a wisp of smokiness at the end. We can’t wait to try their other candies like yuzu almond caramels and smoked almond brittle. All of them are available online, but you should probably just find an excuse to go pick some up in person. –Red and Brown

Craftsman and Wolves

746 Valencia Street
San Francisco, California 94110

Midsommar Night’s Dream

 

midsommer-nights-dream

No, that’s not a spelling error, it’s Midsommar, one of Sweden’s most revered holidays. Held every June, this nationwide party celebrates the longest day of the year with picnics, games, BBQs, singing, dancing, and plenty of drinking. To capture the jovial spirit and fresh flavors of the season I mixed the Scandinavian standby, aquavit, with notes of celery, elderflower, rhubarb, and artichoke,  yielding a refreshing cooler for a sunny afternoon. Mix a couple up, grab some gravlax and go celebrate in a sunny field. –Brown

Midsommar Night’s Dream

Makes 1 drink

1 1/2 ounces aquavit
1/2 ounce Cynar
1/2 ounce St. Germain
8 dashes rhubarb bitters
4 ounces Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray Soda
1 cucumber disk
1 sprig thyme

In a highball glass, pour in all of the ingredients except the bitters and soda. Give them a good stir, add some ice and top with Cel-Ray soda. Add in the bitters.

Before garnishing, slap the thyme sprig in between your palms to help release some of the herb’s oils. Add it to the glass with a fresh cucumber disc and get to dancing. Skål!

Hot Doug’s

We were saddened to hear recently that Chicago institution, Hot Doug’s, is going on permanent vacation this October. Although we’re not likely to return before then, we’re fortunate to have gotten to stop there last October. The place had a rotating daily menu of sausages made from exotic meats, more standard combinations named after the celebrities they embodied, as well as one of the best versions of a classic Chicago dog around. Here’s to one of the world’s greatest encased meat emporiums. 

Hot-Dougs-sign

Hot-Dougs-2

A solid take on the classic Chicago dog and a not-so-classic but delicious duck sausage with truffle aioli, foie gras mousse & Fleur de Sel.

 

Hot Doug’s (get there before October)
3324 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
 

The Rise ‘n Shine

rise-n-shine

Let’s face it, sometimes you need a little kick to get your day started. If you’re going to be drinking early, you may as well make a decent cocktail and leave the Irish Coffees for the frat boys. Dave’s Coffee Syrup and whole milk serve as the base in this one while orange liqueur gives it a touch of breakfast class. A perfect sipper for brunch, a hot Sunday afternoon, or whenever you just need a little sweet buzz.

Rise ‘n Shine
Makes 1 drink

1 ounce bourbon
1/2 ounce Gran Marnier or other orange liqueur
1 ounce Dave’s Coffee Syrup
2 ounces whole milk

Pour all the all of the ingredients except for the milk into a rocks glass and stir them together well. Add a couple ice cubes if desired and pour the milk over everything. Give it another stir and smile; the rest of your day just got infinitely better.

The Pink Negroni

pink-negroni

 

If you’ve been following the last few posts you know that A) we love rhubarb and B) putting rhubarb shrubs in almost everything we drink is now a thing for us. A recent trip to Attaboy by Red also has us hooked on white negronis. Put all of those factors together and you’ve got the latest cocktail to come from the Red & Brown bar: the pink negroni. A wonderfully refreshing seasonal drink, this little number is versatile enough to pair with a nice seasonal salad or some grilled chicken, or sip on its own on your stoop, porch, backyard, park, wherever. Mix a few up for your Memorial Day weekend festivities and toast to the unofficial start to summer. –Brown

Pink Negroni
Makes 1 drink

1 ounce London dry gin
1 ounce Cocchi Americano Aperitif
1 ounce Vermouth Blanc
2 Tablespoons rhubarb shrub
1 grapefruit peel segment for garnish

In a mixing glass or pint glass add some ice and your liquid ingredients. Stir well, strain into a rocks glass with ice and garnish with a grapefruit twist.

Rhubarb Pop-in

rhubarb-pop-in

Pop-ins are the 17th century predecessor to the boilermaker, where drinkers would add flavors to their alcohol to mask impurities and other forms of nastiness. As with most historic cocktails, no one does them better than The Dead Rabbit in New York; that is, until I made my own version for Red and I. We swapped the gose, a tart and sour ale, with Freigeist Abraxxxas, a smoked Lichtenhainer Weisse (yes, I had to Google it too). The results were refreshingly delicious and a simple but welcome upgrade for spring and summer drinking. If you can’t find Freigeist Abraxxxas (it’s only around us from time to time) go with a gose or wheat beer, just stay away from darker, hoppier styles. –Brown

Rhubarb Pop-in
Makes 1 drink

8 ounces sour beer (the Dead Rabbit uses Leipziger Gose, but I now prefer the unique smokiness of the Abraxxxas)

2 Tablespoons Red & Brown’s rhubarb shrub

 

In a tulip glass or pint glass pour in the beer and gently stir in the shrub. Quaff. Be Quenched. Repeat.