People have an obsession with finding the most unique items and claiming them as their own. Take, for instance, the perfectionist Ash Ketchum who’s gotta catch ‘em all. Or your weird neighbor (we apologize if this is you) who collects stamps and goes to stamp conventions all over the world. Or that fanboy who scans ebay hourly for the rarest of Dr. Who and Star Trek figurines. And then there’s a whole other breed…the beer geeks, crossing off brew after brew from their massive list, then bragging about their finds for decades after. They don’t want a Bud, they don’t want a Corona…they want a beer experience that few have ever partaken in.
Well, we have great news beerocrats, Half Full Brewery Rare Beer Nights! The beer from these monthly events is made on their nano system that produces just one keg at a time. After missing the first two events, we finally had our chance on 7/17 to attend with our friend Christine Montero. When we arrived, there already was the Amber Ale waiting for us…and we needed it. Just hours before the AC went caput (fixed now), but the brave attendees could not be stopped. We drank our brews, cooling us down, and settled down as Conor Horrigan (Owner), Jen (Brewmaster), Chris (Brewer), and John (Brewer) talked to us about Half Full and talked about each beer on the menu while Jordan (Chief Beer Organizer) talked about what each beer was paired with. Enough dilly dallying, let’s share our rare beers and get you excited for the next event:
1) Grapefruit Pale Ale paired with a triple creme Delice de Bourgogne.
Malts: 2 Row, Munich 10L, Special B
Very drinkable, nice aroma, subtle grapefruit taste that awakens at the finish. This was our favorite of the night and it seemed to be a major hit with all the drinkers.
2) Imperial Dark Red paired Prince de Claverolle semi-firm sheep’s milk.
Malts: 2 Row, British Crystal Malt, Roasted Barley
Hops: Columbus, Centennial
Here’s a funny story that Jen told: the recipe called for 4 oz. of roasted barley, but she put in 4 lbs. instead. This made this beer dark and roasty with hints of char and cherry. The toasted flavor hid the bitterness pretty well, too.
3) Columbus IPA paired with Cypress Grove Midnight moon goat cheese.
Malts: 2 Row, Munich
Foamy pour, two fingers worth, with a piny aroma. This was brewed by a guest brewer, Joe. This was actually his first commercially brewed beer. It was super hoppy and quite bitter, but was very popular with the IPA guys and gals.
4) Belgium Apricot Ale paired with Cinnamon Raisin Nut Rugelach from Delancey Dessert in Brooklyn.
Malts: Dark Crystal, Pale, Crystal 40, 2 Row, Chocolate
Christian was the guest brewer for the BAA. This started as a Belgian beer, but got lighter as the brewing process went on. It was actually brewed with apricots and raisins, so you get a nice finish at the end from both of those flavors. What’s good, though, is that it wasn’t over the top. Rather, it was nicely balanced and was a great end to the tasting.
Rare Beer Night was an awesome time and a great deal at just $30 per ticket that included full pours of each beer (plus maybe a little extra from Conor) and pairings of cheese with some olives and dried meats on the side. What’s even better is that each rare beer night will be different, so you never know which brews you’ll get (like their famous Peanut Butter Hefeweizen) or who will be there to pair the beer with food. There is one thing we can say, though: Rare Beer Night takes place on the third Wednesday of every month and is definitely an experience that you don’t want to miss. We’d also be remiss if we didn’t say Happy Birthday because one year ago Half Full began to serve their beer at bars! Congrats!
Here are the next dates so that you can start planning and get your tix:
August 21, September 18, October 16, November 20, December 18, and there are even more planned out for 2014.