Last night at Proof was long Island's Blue Point Brewery's launch party and glassware giveaway.
The night started off a little shaky, my roommate was celebrating her birthday and we wanted to be there early enough to plant our asses in a space at the bar and ensure a free glass as we poor boys do, but we ended up arriving right at the stroke of eight. To our surprise, not only was it fairly dead, but the bartenders had mistakenly started handing out glasses, and as we stepped to the bar to get our own, we got a quick, stonerific, answer of "oh, well, we gave them out by accident, you're gonna have to wait until the beer rep gets here." The place packed out about 20 minutes later.
Luckily, said beer rep was an awesome dude by the name of Parish, who was a Stinky's rep, once upon a time. I was outside smoking when they arrived and missed out on hearing the obligatory "if you have any questions for us, do it now 'cause we're drinkin'" speech, but I was quickly forwarded this information, and i scooted my way in with the shyest, cutest, non-threatening wave I could muster.
Now, mind you, i read up on these guys initially, had a whole set of questions written up in my beer diary which is nice, hard cover, moleskin...and i left it at home. I couldn't of felt more unprofessional approaching him with a Wal-Mart receipt leaning on my wallet to scribble down notes whilst drinking a beer, but after a few words with Pete Cotter, I realized, my inappropriateness was right up their alley.
The beers they they turned out on tap included:
Rastafa Rye IPA
Hoptical Illusion and
Kay: How's it feel to be in the armpit of America?
Pete: I thought that was Nassau County where I'm from.
Kay: Why Tallahassee?
Pete: You know, I go to 3 thousand more towns than anyone else? I don't know, I like Tallahassee, it's a classic beer town, but one of a kind at the same time. I came here 15 years ago with my friend, Attorney Bernie...he's not actually an attorney though, hahaha, and I remembered it as a decent place for beer.
Kay: How far away does Cobblestone Brewery and Winery (now closed) feel right now?
Pete: (This is where he gave me a- ahhhh this little girl did her homework smirk) Not that far away, not much has changed, really.
Kay: Are craft beers hard to come by in New York? You are Long Island's first microbrewery, after all.
Pete: Something like that. A lot of people in that area drink Sam Adams and Bass, Bass is a big one, so we wanted to create something that would speak to the Long Island market, which is why we created our flagship beer Toasted Lager. Those other beers are a bit underdeveloped, we wanted something with a lot more flavor and drinkability as well.
This is about where i ran out of room on the receipt, but we talked for some time about Tallahassee, how I know Parish, how I'm unemployed, what places to hit up in North Florida, etc, but one nice tidbit I got from discussing my unemployment and the closing of Stinky's due to the BP Oil Spill, is that Blue Point Has released a new beer called Toxic Sludge, a Black IPA brewed to help with spill issues and available now.
It was a good time, kids, hope you made it out.
And, without further adieu, the beers:
Toasted Lager: Smooth as a lager should be and wonderfully nutty. It finishes sweet, but not overpoweringly so. Easy to drink and more complex with each sip and as it draws closer to room temperature.
Rastafa Rye IPA: My first rye ale. Remarkably light in rye breadiness and hoppy as an IPA better be. Smooth and crisp for a slightly darker brew. More malt intensive than expected but still delicious.
Hoptical Illusion: Armpitish in aroma, which, as gross as this sounds, is the mark of a great hop intensive beer, to me anyway, and really bitter. Feels more like an IPA than the Rastafar Rye and darker and easier to get down the gullet than expected. Very Tasty!