Friday, March 25, 2011

Learning to Beer!

As a resident and lover of the East Village, I’ve been a fan of Idle Hands Bar, the “bourbon, beer, rock” basement below Billy Hurricanes, since their opening.   I was recently told about their weekly beer tastings, and couldn’t resist attending.  Every Wednesday they host Learning to Beer, a series of tastings by brewery.  You’ll learn the history of the featured brewery and the story behind each beer you sample.  This two hour event includes 3-5 beers to taste, at least two full pours after the tastings have completed, and appetizers that compliment the types of beers served.  
This past Wednesday, my lovely friend Kris and I attended Learning to Beer with Two Brothers Brewing Company.  Armed with my camera, a pen, tasting notes, and a glass of water, I was ready to take on the beers.  Rev. David Ciancio, an owner at Idle Hands, who is also highly networked in the restaurant and PR industries, and the writer of the blog Burger Conquest, began the evening by introducing Ben Wood, the representative who would educate us on all things Two Brothers Brewing Company.   The first tasting poured was The Bitter End Pale Ale.  As a fan of lighter beers, I loved this!  With citrus and floral notes, I was a happy girl.  Next, we sampled Long Haul Session Ale, which was still a light beer, but with oaky flavors.  The third tasting was the Domaine DuPage, a French Style Country Ale translated as a “beer to keep”.  This amber colored ale was delicious highlighting both caramel and fruity flavors with a floral and spicy hop balanced to cleanse the palate.  The fourth beer poured into our glasses was Cane and Abel, which is brewed with Thai palm sugar.  I noticed vanilla and tropical fruit flavors (mango and papaya are mentioned in our tasting notes) and it definitely had a kick to it.  
Once the tasting concluded, rock music was pumped back on and an eclectic array of pizzas from Two Boots was served to compliment the interesting beers.  I had small slices of The Newman (sopressata & sweet italian sausage on a white pie), The Dude (a cajun bacon cheeseburger pie with tasso, ground beef, cheddar, & mozzarella), Night Tripper (sun-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic & jalapeno pesto on a white pie with a whole wheat crust), and Bayou Beast (bbq shrimp, crawfish, andouille, jalapenos, & mozzarella).   Each week, Rev. orders local East Village food to accentuate the specific beers.  Everything from Croxley’s wings to Korzo Haus’s fried burgers has been included.  I’d seriously attend these weekly tastings for the food alone, as this neighborhood truly has some of the best restaurants in the city.
While stuffing our faces with pizza, we were poured a full glass of Monarch White, their anniversary beer, to enjoy with our pizza.  This Belgium style white beer was crisp and refreshing.  I’d love to have a glass or two (or more) with a slice of orange on my rooftop during the spring.  The final beer was a huge contrast, as it was a creamy stout.  The Northwind Imperial Stout was too heavy for my tastes, but I noticed the sweet chocolate and coffee notes.  I couldn’t finish this glass, but sipped on it for the dessert-like qualities.

These weekly events are perfect for a night out with your crew, to meet cute guys (hipster and preppy dudes alike), or even for an interactive date!  Check out the upcoming events and buy tickets for only $35 here.

Where do you go for beer or wine tastings? xo


  1. You're too kind. Glad you enjoyed.
    Drinking beer is awesome.

  2. Hard beer, yes. I seldom encounter beers in social events, unless I'm in a bar. But this bar looks great, might try some other time.


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