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Posts Tagged ‘Premium Draft’

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

BEER SPEAK @ Life Cafe 983

Ultimate beer tasting…
by Andy, Bar Manager in Brooklyn

It took about 35 minutes of picking and choosing at Bierkraft + $154 and we had 35 of the world’s best beers ranging from Scheinder’s Aventius Wiezen Eisbock – Dogfish Head’s Raison de Extra (alcohol levels ranging between 6.7% and 28%!!! – average out at about 12%). This was definitely one of the best varieties of beer I have consumed in a sitting. Luckily, I happen to share it with my brother and step-father. We sat in my living room, each one of us had a chalice that we would rinse in between the next sample (at first anyway). We would take turns picking the next beer. It seemed a trend that I would go for Belgians, typically quads, and my family was going toward IPAs with west coast hop profiles. This got me thinking about my next pick.

The best match I could come up with was Houblon Chouffe, a Belgian triple abbey/double IPA blend. When I say this, it is actually NOT two different beers brewed separately and blended together. It is a meld of styles generally so far apart from each other that few would dare such a thing, but not La Chouffe. Being experts at brewing triple abbeys, they wanted to do something a little more challenging. Their take on this unique endeavor, was pure brilliance. In the United States and England, brewers tend to add hops early in the boil if not before the malt is even added, adding a stronger “bittering” effect to the beer. La Chouffe on the other hand, wanted all of the beautiful floral and pine essences that hops has to offer without making the beer overly bitter and acidic. Weighing in at 9% ABV, Houblon Chouffe hit the nail right on the head. Perfectly smooth body of a Belgian triple with a nice balance of hop, not turning the triple into the typical American double IPA. Highly recommended because hey, we were all happy!

Now available @ Life Cafe 983

BEER SPEAK @ Life Cafe 983

By Andy, Beverage Manager in Bushwick, Brooklyn


I love beer. Have for a long time. And I love sharing what I love with our customers, many of whom love beer as much as I do.

Welcome to my first experience with beer.

I was 9 years old in a small rural town in central Pennsylvania. My brother had a friend over for the night and my parents had evening plans. You can imagine what that meant. We were bad, bad boys; we found an 18-pack of Coors Light that my father shouldn’t have left in the fridge in the garage and got really drunk, so drunk that my brother’s friend swung his pants around his ankles and jumped around pretending to be a frog. Hey, we were young; what can you expect! It was a marvelous feeling, of laughing and not knowing why. My first high . . . .

It doesn’t end badly either. I obviously liked it; whether it was the cheap 12 pack of Bud I had when I was broke to that magnificent angels-f**king-in-your-mouth experience of the Belgian quad that I paid $35 dollars for, it’s all good. Good enough for me to base a career on. That good.


Here’s one I found true love for.

It’s St Bernardus Abt 12, A Belgium Abbot – Quad Ale (10.5% ABV).

This style of beer is traditionally saved for the most senior monk of the monastery, the Abbot. “Quad” simply means that sugar was pitched into the fermenting beer four times, making it quadruple fermented. Like most beers of this style, the color is dark brown. The flavor is amazing. Big malt base with a little bit of dark fruit flavor from the Belgian high gravity yeast. This beer was fermented openly. Having no cover on a shallow fermenter allows natural air-borne yeast to cultivate in the beer, instead of being added. Really cool process.

Westveletren Abt 12 – Consider by most beer snobs to be the best beer in the world.
Westveletren is an monastery five miles away from St. Bernardus. The monks at the abbey control the beer they make so strictly that Belgian citizens have to call months in advance in order to procure the beer, at which time, their names and purchases are recorded in a database. Belgian citizens are only allowed to purchase six cases of 12 11.2oz bottles a year. Non-Belgian citizens are allowed only one case. The story goes that 50 years or so ago, this ultra secret, illegal to resell recipe escaped down the road to a little brewery called St. Bernardus. 🙂

Could St. Bernardus Abt 12 be the best beer in the world?

More on hoppy happenings next week.

*(ABV = Alcohol By Volume)