It’s very easy to imagine some beer-drinking alien from the planet Xorx arriving on Earth and saying, “Let me get this straight. You have 1,716 independent small brewers in your ‘country’—whatever that is—and until now they never thought of putting their beer in cans? Hmmm. You really are lesser beings, aren’t you. I shall now vaporize your cities.”
Thankfully, the craft brewers of America are finally relenting on this bottle-only approach to beer, which (a) will save us all from early vaporization, and (b) will allow people like me to drink their beer at the beach.
Now it’s possible, even likely, that beer purists will insist that the bottle is theonly way to go, that the complex nuances of a fine beer are made flat and anemic by aluminum. I will insist in turn that coming across Brooklyn’s Six Point Brewery’s terrific Bengal Tiger IPA in cans at my local supermarket is a mighty fine thing indeed.
So if you meet a Xorxian (blue, tentacles, loves pale ale), offer him/her/them/whatever a fine craft beer in a can. Unless you want to be known as the dope who got our fair nation wiped from the face of the planet. Here are a few that ought to do the trick.
New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale. The craft-ale-in-can movement has proved so successful for Fort Collins, Colorado’s New Belgium that it just announced the addition of a 16,000-square-foot canline to its brewery. Fat Tire is malty and on the richer side: a good burger beer.
Six Point Craft Ales Bengali Tiger IPA. Sixteen-ounce cans for this one, and why not—it’s a terrific beer (as noted above), balancing its piney hops notes against a fair amount of richness. It’s particularly appealing because Six Point’s ales haven’t been available in either bottles or cans, just on tap or in growlers, until now.
Anderson Valley Brewing Company Hop Ottin’ IPA. Classic West Coast India Pale Ale with a zingy dose of citrusy hops. I’m a little sad the Anderson Valley folks retired their Poleeko Gold Pale Ale in cans in favor of this IPA, but it’s still a darn fine brew.
Harpoon Summer Beer. This is a kolsch-style beer, which basically means it’s a lighter Germanic ale—an ale that drinks a bit like a lager, if you will. If you were on a boat on a scenic lake with a cold six-pack of these cans and a fishing rod/book/tuna sandwich/whatever makes you happiest, then your life would be an enviable one.
Porkslap Pale Ale. That is it about the name Porkslap that says so elegantly, “Buddy, are you kidding me? Of course I'm in a damn can”? Regardless, this lightly gingery ale from New York’s Butternuts brewery was way ahead of the curve—the first release was in 2005. And yes, it is sold only in cans.
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By now you know, the Occupy Wall Street crowd isn’t in any danger of starving. In Jeff Gordinier’s excellent article in last week’s New York Times, a protester said he’d gained five pounds in 12 days. Among the enviable food that’s being served at Zuccotti Park: pastrami and corned beef sandwiches from Katz’s deli, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and cookies from a former Birdbath baker (which means those are some good cookies). All the carbo-loading protesters have got some terrific bread to snack on, too. Sullivan Street Bakery owner Jim Lahey, who is gearing up to open both his University of Bread and his new Ninth Avenue bakery this winter, has been supplying the protesters with bread for three weeks now. Right now, the deliveries are “overage” loaves that get delivered around 3 a.m., but eventually Lahey wants to bake directly for OWS. Maybe he can create a special No-Knead No-Greed loaf.
Jim Lahey: an Occupy Wall Street Bread Donor.
© Cynthia Grabau
Jordan Salcito and Lucy Liu celebrate Salcito's new wine Bellus.
Two things I’m really looking forward to this fall: The release of my friend Jordan Salcito
’s new wine Bellus and the opening of Torrisi Italian Specialties
’ outpost, Parm. Well, earlier this week I got to have my Bellus and eat my meatball subs, too, at the wine’s launch party at the soon-to-open Parm.
Salcito’s inaugural wine, Girasole, is a 2007 Tuscan red; a mix of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It’s got flavors of cherry, pomegranate, herbs and cinnamon. And it happened to be insanely good with Parm’s fresh-from-the-deep-fryer mozzarella sticks and the accompanying marinara sauce.
I’m not the only person who was excited to celebrate the Bellus/Parm pairing. Superstar actress and author Lucy Liu was there; she’s lovely. Hip-hop executive Lyor Cohen smartly positioned himself by the open kitchen, near the sausage-and-pepper heros and pizza knots. Also there: Beyoncé, who’s got to be the world’s most beautiful pregnant woman. And I’m not just saying that because she and Jay-Z shared their meatball parm subs and zeppole with us. Beyoncé was drinking ginger-ale, not Bellus. But she smelled her husband’s wine. “It smells delicious,” she said. “I can’t wait to be able to drink it.”
© Jacques Torres Chocolates
Chocolate maestro Jacques Torres
will debut his latest Halloween offerings in New York City stores and online
today. On a recent tour of the Hudson Street facility, we previewed (and participated in) the creation of chocolaty haunted houses, spiders, Jacques “O” Lanterns and these skulls—not quite creepy enough to scare away chocoholics. Torres also showed off his first batch of bean-to-bar milk chocolate made with beans sourced from the Dominican Republic that are roasted, ground and refined in lower Manhattan. The bars go on sale later this fall.
Related: Chocolaty Recipes from Jacques Torres Super Spooky Halloween Recipes
Michelin-starred chef Thierry Marx made the Mandarin Oriental Paris's party food.
I hate to miss a good party. And it sounds like I missed a pretty spectacular one last week, as the Mandarin Oriental Paris
celebrated its official launch. Among the people I would have liked to hang out with: Liam Neeson and Maggie Cheung, and Pierre Gagnaire
, one of the world’s all-time great chefs). Michelin-two-starred chef Thierry Marx
did the party food—of course he did, he does all the food for the hotel, most especially the impossible to get into Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx
© kate krader
Thierry Marx's outrageous brioche.
But don’t feel too sorry for me missing the party, because I did get to see the Mandarin Oriental Paris earlier this summer and was just fine. I loved the Swarovski-crystal-lined walls in the lobby, the Diptyque shampoos in the bath and the outrageous brioche in the breakfast bread basket and at the Cake Shop. And I found my new hero, hotel concierge Adrian Moore, who knows every single thing about the Paris food scene and has an excellent blog
to prove it.
For more on the Mandarin Oriental Paris, and the fantastic hotel scene in Paris
right now, check out the awesome Paris Travel Guide in the October issue of Food & Wine
Betel is the place to find David Thompson and his exceptional Thai food.
All the NYC-based Thai-food fanatics who are mad that Chicago has Grant Achatz
going full force on his Tour of Thailand
menu at Next
, this is for you. Thai-food superstar chef David Thompson
— who made a name for himself at Sydney’s awesome Sailors Thai and scored the first-ever Michelin starred for a Thai restaurant at London's Nahm—is coming to Manhattan. On October 5, he’ll cook at Betel
, the groovy Southeast Asian restaurant in the West Village.
And Thompson is bringing gifts. Specifically, kanom jin
noodles flown in from Thailand, which you never see fresh in the United States. As part of his three-course dinner, he’ll serve them three different ways, including with smoky grilled fish and shrimp curry.
The wine-paired dinner is $150 (including tip). For reservations, call 212-352-0460 or email email@example.com. There’s also an open-bar after-party (yay!) starting at 11 p.m., where you might be able to ask Thompson your Thai cooking questions; those tickets are $40.
The All-Clad Food Truck is Ready for the M Wells team.
Here’s good news for everyone who wants to see M. Wells
and their outrageous cooking back in Queens. On Sunday, September 25, from 1 to 3 pm, chef Hugue Dufour
and his wife, Sarah Obraitis, will be in Long Island City cooking on the All-Clad Food Truck
. What’s more, they’ll be serving their much-heralded sautéed veal brains (the New York Times
's Sam Sifton called them a "must-order
"). What’s more still: Those veal brains will be free.
The well-outfitted All-Clad Truck will be on the move before that: Ditch Plain’s Marc Murphy will set it up outside Sur La Table locations on Wednesday, September 21st. And next week, Elizabeth Karmel will take it to the Hill Country Barbecue neighborhood. It’s all to celebrate All-Clad’s 40thAnniversary. And the party goes on through October 1.
And here's details for September 25: M. Wells on the All-Clad Truck will be on Center Blvd. near 48th Ave., in Queens. You can get more info on Twitter or Facebook.
© Andrea Todd
Super star home cook Andrea Todd in the kitchen.
While the New York food community continues
to support the farms that suffered damage in the wake of Hurricane Irene, in hard-hit northern New England, entrepreneurial home cook Andrea Todd is galvanizing support in Burlington, Vermont, with a Farmer Fundraiser Dinner series. The three donation-based events, which began on Friday, September 16, and continue on September 25 and October 19, feature live music, local baked goods like rose petal shortbread from Nomadic Oven
in Burlington and produce from superstar farms such as Pete’s Greens
in Greensboro. Details are available through Todd’s supper club Café 51
on Facebook or by contacting her at firstname.lastname@example.org
© NY Beer Week
NY Beer Week Passport
The 4th Annual NY Craft Beer Week starts today and goes through Sunday, September 25. Beer Passports are available for $10 online, or as an iPhone or Droid app, and include a complete list of events as well as coupons for $3 beers at hundreds of local bars. Some highlights by the numbers:
- 6 courses of chef Bobby Hellen’s fantastic Belgian-inspired food at Resto on Monday 9/19 for the Ultimate Brewmaster's Degustation Beer Dinner, with two beer pairings per course. Call 212-685-5585 for reservations.
- 10 days to take part in Beer Week events that include tastings, music festivals and pub crawls.
- 21 breweries pouring special beers paired with charcuterie, cheese and chocolate at the Brewer’s Choice pairing event at City Winery on the 22nd.
- $40 to attend the September 24 Have Beer, Will Travel event at Hudson Terrace and taste 50 obscure beers from NY and Canada.
- 150 mile radius of NYC: Eight breweries in this range will participate in the Just Food: Let Us Eat Local Annual Fundraiser on the 21st. Restaurants providing food include ABC Kitchen, Gramercy Tavern and the Spotted Pig, among others. A portion of proceeds from the evening will go to farmers impacted by Hurricane Irene.
Related: Great American Beer, Bourbon and More
© Colin Clark
Chef Seamus Mullen
Vermont native Seamus Mullen
takes a seasonal, product-driven approach to Spanish food at his new NYC restaurant, Tertulia
, and starting tonight he's showing support for farmers and residents in his home state, where Hurricane Irene caused serious damage. From September 14 through 17, guests can donate any amount on their checks and the restaurant will match a portion of it, up to $50. It's a nice excuse to try Mullen's Asturian-inspired menu, with dishes like mackerel with white beans and roasted and pickled peppers, or chorizo with garbanzos and Cabrales cheese—plus there's cider on tap. Proceeds go to Upper Valley Haven
, a leader in the relief efforts.