Life Cafe Blog

Archive for November 2009

Booze Speak @ Life Cafe 983

Whiskey, Whisky, Uisce Beatha?
by Andy Mills, Bar Manager Life Cafe 983
Once upon a time, there was a powerful magician. This magician focused all the power he could muster into one magical act; the creation of usquebaugh (the water of life), today known as whiskey to some and whisky to others. The spelling of the word is a perfect demonstration of how different this stuff can be. “What’s it made from?” you ask. Anything from malted barley, wheat, rye, corn and more. This fact is only the beginning of the versatility of whiskeys or whiskies. Distilleries age whiskey for different time periods, in different sized barrels made from different types of wood. They even dry the malted grains differently. Some traditional Scottish distilleries use peat moss fires to dry the stuff. Believe me, this makes a world of difference. Then, hell, they may even blend many different barrels from many different distilleries to get a particular whisky the way that it was intended to be. Johnnie Walker is a perfect example of this. The big boys, however, tend to not play these games. They give you the real deal. The single malt whisky, always expensive, usually worth the price, is a more complex, intense and usually awe inspiring drinking experience.
I took on the effort of trying to offer examples of the different flavours and textures of these amazing spirits at the cafe. I am now offering whisk(e)y flights. I have one from Scotland, and one from Kentucky, each includes three different pours of 3 of my favorite examples from the particular regions.

Paper Moon Trio at Life Cafe East Village

Come on down and hear their new show, “Sweet American Songbook”! Based on time-honored tunes from Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, and classic Hollywood film….Gershwin, Rodgers, Mercer, and more!

Hope to see you there!!

Free Jazz, Great Food & Drinks, Fun Fun FUN!

Beer Speak @ Life Cafe 983

Why the I in IPA
by Andy Mills, Bar Manager in Brooklyn

It all started in the 18th and 19th century. As is common knowledge, the British have always enjoyed drinking fine ales. Their navy was no exception. They would ration 1 gallon of beer per sailor per day which is equivalent to 8 pints or almost 11 12oz bottles, quite a decent amount of beer I would say. This proved to be a very large problem for sailors taking long voyages into warmer climates such as India (the “I”). The popular ales of that time period would spoil in a matter of weeks, leaving sour, flat beverages for the boys to enjoy. Nutritionally speaking, beer contains essential amounts of vitamin B to long traveling sailors. What could be done? What had to be done?

Freeze it! Nope… Boil more water out! Nope… What?

More hops! Yes… More booze! Yes…

Alcohol makes it harder for microbes to reproduce, while hops discourages growth of lactic acid bacteria. These were the most effective means of beer preservation. Another neat trick was the addition of additional sugars into the beer to keep the yeast alive as long as possible, thus keeping the beer even longer. Just happens, people really enjoyed this new style of beer. Now in the United States the IPA has become one of the most popular styles in the craft beer industry.

It wasn’t a choice then… It was necessity…

Now, it’s a luxury.

Stoudts Double IPA
Adamstown, PA

10.6% ABV

Stoudts Brewing didn’t start out as a brewery and is still much, much more. It started as Stoudts Kountry Kitchen, evolved into a steak house, an antique marll, and finally, turned brewery in the late 70s. All of Stoudts endeavors have been always reaching to obtain the highest quality of craftsmanship. This beer is no different. Packing an extreme amount of hops into this one wasn’t enough. They also needed to balance it with and extreme malty backbone. Amazingly smooth for a beer with a massively high alcohol content, I highly recommend it.

Now at Life Café 983