Death Ave., NYC

It’s not a street name, it’s a restaurant…

The full name of the place is “Death Ave. Brewing Company”, which is quite misleading actually, as they neither brew nor sell their own beer or specialize in craft beer. And no one there seemed to be able to tell us why they call themselves a “brewing company”, even though they claim to have a “speakeasy brewery” somewhere on the premises. Weird.

What Death Ave. is is a restaurant with “Hellenic inspired cuisine”, aka modern Greek food. I found the menu a mixed bag, really, but a few dishes impressed me enough to post about them. Here’s a look…

This was a winner… their Squid Ink Martini!

Yes, that’s real squid ink in the drink, mixed with Singani63 gin, Agave, lime juice and sweet vermouth. Sweet and savory, more than just a stunt drink! Death Ave. does have a wonderful, creative cocktail program that’s definitely worth exploring further. As for our food…

Their fried pickles were a highlight for me…

As were their Chicken Souvlaki Tacos…

And although I’m usually not a big fan of fries with truffle oil, they added Greek Kefalotiri cheese and fresh oregano which really spiced up these perfectly fried potatoes…

While it sounded then looked great, their slow braised “8 Hour Octopus” was a bit of a disappointment, arriving cold and mushy…

Their homemade Loukanika sausage sliders were serviceable but uninspired…

And while their eggplant tapenade and tzatziki where quite good, the hummus/scordalia spread on the right was thick as glue…

However, the accompanying pita chips were wonderful…

I’ll definitely be hitting up Death Ave. again, as there were other dishes on the menu that intrigued me, and the bites I did enjoy won out over the kitchen’s few stumbling blocks. They also have a 2000 square foot outdoor garden I want to check out once it gets warmer. But I’m most anxious to see if they start living up to their name and begin brewing their own beer!


315 10th Ave.

NY, NY 10001

What’s the Difference Between Porter and Stout?
To get to the root of the question, we have to travel back in time a couple of hundred years to the beginning of the eighteenth century, the time when porter and stout emerged as specific styles....

Ron Pattinson to the rescue again. Nothing here I didn’t already know, but good info nonetheless. What’s the difference between Porter and Stout? Historically, strength. Today? There really isn’t one.

Just as regularly as the discussions about the difference between porter and stout appear on beer forums, someone quotes the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) guidelines that identify the difference between the two as being the roasted malt employed: black malt for porter, roasted barley for stout. Unfortunately, the guidelines were written centuries after the fact and ignore how porter and stout were originally brewed.

To get to the root of the question, we have to travel back in time a couple of hundred years to the beginning of the eighteenth century, the time when porter and stout emerged as specific styles. In the classifications of the day, there were two types of malt liquor brewed: lightly hopped ale and heavily hopped beer. These were further subdivided by the base malt employed (pale, amber, or brown) and strength (small, common, and stout). The first porters and stouts were classified as types of brown beer—common brown beers and stout brown beers, respectively—meaning that they were well hopped and brewed from 100 percent brown malt.

A decade or so ago, I spent much time pondering the meaning of the term “brown stout.” Why did some brewers call their stouts by this name? The answer was stunningly simple: Until the nineteenth century, brown stout wasn’t the only type of stout. There was also pale stout, a beer of similar strength brewed from pale malt. Stout meant nothing more than “strong,” and the brown qualifier was needed to tell you what type of beer to expect.

You’ve probably spotted why the black malt/roasted barley differentiation couldn’t have applied to the first porters and stouts: neither contained either of those grains in the 1700s. Black malt was specifically developed in 1817 to color porter and stout after burnt sugar coloring was made illegal in 1816. That same law also explains why roasted barley wasn’t used in British brewing until the end of the nineteenth century: the law outlawed the use of unmalted grain.

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One of the most annoying stories knocking around the Internet is that Arthur Guinness used roasted barley because it wasn’t taxed. There are just a few problems with that tale. For a start, roasted barley wasn’t developed until long after Mr. Guinness’s death in 1803. And had Guinness been found with roasted barley on the premises before 1880, it would have been in big trouble, facing huge fines and possible confiscation of its equipment. The truth is that Guinness only started using roasted barley in the twentieth century. It’s often forgotten that until the 1970s Guinness also brewed a porter. It contained the same roasted grain—black malt or roasted barley, depending on the date—as its Extra Stout.

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, London brewers didn’t really have separate recipes for their porters and stouts. Even when they weren’t parti-gyling them, they still used pretty much exactly the same recipe. The only variable was the amount of water used. Porter was the name used for the weakest beer in the stout family.

So why all the confusion today? I blame World War I. It had two effects that are relevant here. First, it sent British porter into terminal decline. Second, it caused British beer gravities to tumble. The combination of the two obscured the pattern in the relationship between the two styles. After World War II, few breweries in the world made both a porter and a stout. Reduced gravities meant that British-brewed stouts were often weaker than foreign porters.

Historically, there was no difference between porter and stout in terms of ingredients or brewing methods. Simply put, porter from a particular brewery was always weaker than the same brewery’s stout.

Author: Ron Pattinson

A Little Golden Gem (Bluejacket)

Brewery : Bluejacket
Beer : A Little Golden Gem
Style : Gose
Variance : Brewed with Coriander, Sea Salt, and 200lbs of Kumquats

8.5 / 10

Before today if you asked me what the fuck a kumquat was I would just assume it was some filthy act performed by porn stars but after this beer it has a whole new meaning and that is: delicious. I had to look up what it was because I’ve never seen one in the wild but apparently it’s the result of a cherry tomato and an orange having a little to much fun and bang-a-ranging after a drunken night at the pub. Apparently those two were even less responsible than those assholes on 16 and pregnant (I’m calling your stupid ass out Farrah) but luckily Bluejacket was there to adopt the little bastard and brew this delicious gose with it. When it comes to interesting takes on the style this one takes the cake and honestly might be one of the best that I’ve had so far. It starts with a juicy citrus flavor with some what I’m guessing are kumquat-y flavored before a strong sour burst hits you like a ton of bricks with some herbal flavors creeping in before ending with a nice salty finish. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and if I could get someone to make a cologne based off how this smells I’d probably be elbow deep in poon… Or not. This is a must drink for lovers of the style and the sour patch kids of the world and as far as newbies, there couldn’t be an easier way to get into one of the more unique beer styles out there so open up, suck it down, and pucker up fucker! Cheers!

Written by: Steve B.

Learn How To Cross Stitch

Are you in Chicago (or will you be on 2/8?)

Then puh-leaze come learn to cross stitch and drink some beer with me and other cool people. Start 2016 by putting down your device and learning a fun, analog, hobby! 

In a few hours you will learn how to 1) Read a pattern 2) Get yourself set up 3) Learn to Cross Stitch and 4) Have a completed cross stitch piece for you wall! Boom! 

Class is $30 and includes all materials and some Ale Syndicate Craft Beer. Class is in the Green Exchange in Logan Square. 

What: Cross Stitch 101

Where: Green Exchange, Logan Square, Chicago

When: Monday, February 8th / 6-8:30pm

Cost: $30 includes materials and beer

Register Here today! Let’s hang out. Tell your friends.


Stereotypes about Native Americans and alcohol debunked

A study by researchers at the UA College of Medicine - Tucson dispels myths about Native Americans and drinking.

In contrast to enduring stories about extraordinarily high rates of alcohol misuse among Native Americans, University of Arizona researchers have found that Native Americans’ binge and heavy drinking rates actually match those of whites. The groups differed regarding abstinence: Native Americans were more likely to abstain from alcohol use.

The UA study, published online Feb. 8 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, was conducted by James K. Cunningham, PhD, lead author, a U.S. Fulbright scholar and social epidemiologist with the UA Department of Family and Community Medicine and the UA Native American Research and Training Center; Teshia A. Solomon, PhD, (Choctaw), director of the Native American Research and Training Center; and Myra Muramoto, MD, MPH, head of Family and Community Medicine.

The researchers analyzed data from a survey of more than 4,000 Native Americans and 170,000 whites between 2009 and 2013. Called the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the survey was administered by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The UA study also used another nationally representative survey, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System administered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to measure how often Native Americans and whites engaged in excessive drinking in the past month. Again, findings for the two groups were comparable.

About 17 percent of both Native Americans and whites were found to be binge drinkers, and about 8 percent of both groups were heavy drinkers. Binge drinking was defined as five or more drinks on one to four days in the past month. Heavy drinking was five or more drinks on five or more days in the past month. Sixty percent of Native Americans reported no alcohol use in the past month, compared to 43 percent of whites.

“Of course, debunking a stereotype doesn’t mean that alcohol problems don’t exist,” Dr. Cunningham said. “All major U.S. racial and ethnic groups face problems due to alcohol abuse, and alcohol use within those groups can vary with geographic location, age and gender.

"But falsely stereotyping a group regarding alcohol can have its own unique consequences. For example, some employers might be reluctant to hire individuals from a group that has been stereotyped regarding alcohol. Patients from such a group, possibly wanting to avoid embarrassment, may be reluctant to discuss alcohol-related problems with their doctors,” he said.

Dr. Solomon noted that comparable rates of alcohol use do not necessarily result in comparable rates of alcohol-related health problems. “Native Americans as a group have less access to medical care, safe housing and quality food, which can amplify health problems connected to alcohol,” she said.

“Negative stereotyping of groups of people who have less access to health care creates even more health disparities,” Dr. Muramoto said. “Based on a false negative stereotype, some health-care providers may inaccurately attribute a presenting health problem to alcohol use and fail to appropriately diagnose and treat the problem.”

The researchers feel that their study could impact beliefs about Native Americans’ alcohol use.

“It’s our hope that the media–movies, television, newspapers, radio, Internet–will represent Native American alcohol use more accurately,” Dr. Cunningham said. “It’s time to let the myths about elevated drinking fade away.”

Journal Reference:

  1. James K. Cunningham, Teshia A. Solomon, Myra L. Muramoto. Alcohol use among Native Americans compared to whites: Examining the veracity of the ‘Native American elevated alcohol consumption’ belief. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2015; DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.12.015
you, in beer form

belgian wit: easygoing, refreshingly unfiltered, slightly sweet

saison: dry, wildly varying moods, regional pride

west coast ipa: woodsy, unignorable, bitter yet enjoyable character

east coast ipa: bright, sunny, also a bitter reputation but actually quite nuanced

doppelbock: very sweet but strong as hell

american barleywine: always on eleven on a scale of ten

macro lager: predictable yet reliable, kind of a pushover though

kolsch: clean & crisp, but more to it than you’d think after original assessment, seems straightforward but a trickster

wild ale: completely unpredictable, sour but complex & full of life

belgian triple: seems light & refreshing, will fuck you up quickly

porter: not as difficult as some may think, smooth actually

imperial stout: big presence, best in small doses, rich in the meaningful sense, dark side

THIS IS FUN I THINK I FOUND MY CALLING AAAAAHHH i could keep going all night

Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale (New Belgium / Ben & Jerry’s)

Brewery : New Belgium / Ben & Jerry’s
Beer : Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale
Style : Brown Ale / American Brown Ale
Variance : Brewed with Cocoa and Vanilla Powder

8 / 10

There’s nothing better than beer being drank for a good cause. These two powerhouses brewed this beer to help Protect Our Winters combat climate change. For those of you who don’t know what climate change is, you are probably republican so let me explain (I still love you all I promise). Climate change is when you have a bunch of old men in congress who bring snowballs in as a fucking show and tell items and try and say that super cold winters dispel global warming. Those people are also fucking idiots but once the world heats up a few more degrees and we’re all living on rafts, I’ll be sure to grab one of these and float around on a tube like I’m in the world’s largest lazy river. I got a little off track there, sorry. Anyways, this is a pretty delicious beer from New Belgium and my only real knock on this brew is that the ice cream created in collaboration definitely edges this one out on the scrumptious-ness. It starts with a a chocolaty borderline coffee bitterness before a nice vanilla sweetness joins in towards the middle before just mellowing and leaving you with a nice dessert like finish. I’m glad I got my hands on this because it really is an interesting take on a style that so many breweries either under flavor or downright abuse like Heath Ledger’s blood stream after a long night with a bag of pills. This is a good pickup for the craft aficionados and fans of the style and as for the newbies, this is a great way to get into better beer and also support a great cause at the same time. Cheers!

Written by: Steve B.

TAP: The Ale Project, Hong Kong

I’ll just come out and say it… TAP: The Ale Project in Mongkok is one of the best beer bars I have ever been to!

From the design, to the service, to the beer selection, to the food… oh, the food… I adore everything about this place…

They even use Kylo Ren and Rey on their bathroom doors!

They run 18 taps of craft beer, which rotate weekly as kegs run out and new ones come in, with half of the menu dedicated to local Hong Kong brewers…

I went with a flight, or “beer platter” as it’s known at TAP…

I was going to stick with all local brews, but the manager, Keith, said I really needed to try the Venusian Pale Ale from Garage Project in New Zealand. Brewed with lemongrass, kaffir line leaf, grapefruit peel and something called “Venusian spear fungus”, it turned out to be my favorite beer of the day!

Now, about their incredible menu…

The chef here at TAP takes his inspiration from British and American pub grub, but turns traditional snacks and sandwiches on their ear using local Chinese ingredients and techniques. The result is magical! Here’s a look…

Lap cheong schmear on house baked beer bread…

He makes his pate with local duck livers then blends in Chinese lap cheong sausage, topped with puffed rice and chives…

The bread was so good I would eat it plain, but the schmear was out of this world!

Crispy Asian spiced chicken wings…

But instead of blue cheese or ranch, chef pairs them with a funky fermented tofu dip…

Then there was this magic the Toasted Gai, a cross between kaya toast and chicken & waffles…

Thick sourdough French toast topped with fried chicken thigh and butter, with a malted barley syrup! And I have to say, it was one of the best pieces of fried chicken I think I have EVER eaten! Definite top five worldwide!! Seriously.

Closed with a the Siu Yuk Cubano…

Pressed ciabatta stuffed with house roasted siu yak pork, sweet ham, cheddar, chicharron, hoisin mustard and Chinese pickles! Another winner…

And for “dessert”, it was a glass of Young Master’s Hong Kong Black…

I was just so utterly impressed by what these guys are doing, combining their love of beers and bars with their cultural culinary heritage in inventive and original ways. I will be back every visit to Hong Kong!!

TAP: The Ale Project

15 Hak Po St.

Mong Kok, Hong Kong