one and two), my friends and I drove out to the Captain Lawrence brewery in Pleasantville, NY to go to the release of Rosso E Marrone. The beer is a sour aged in oak barrels and fermented with grapes. For more info, go to their website here.
I woke up at 3:30am and prepared for the trip. Beers, check. Espresso brownies, check. Tasting glass (so important), check. Okay, good to go. Left at 4am, picked up my friend Craig and two others I had met recently, and headed out from Philly by about 4:45am. Totally a reasonable time to start the day. At least I can say I slept for 5 hours. Craig worked late the night before and didn't get any sleep and I'm honestly not sure how he made it through the day. Alcohol may have played a part I guess.
Two hours later we finally made it to the Captain Lawrence brewery around 7am. We were greeted by a small crowd surrounding a picnic table with quite a few bottles of interesting beer.
After getting comfortable and chatting with some people, the most interesting tasting I saw started up, the FiftyFifty Eclipse horizontal.
Time passed, samples came and went, and I got to try tons of things. (Well, not tons as I was driving, but plenty.) Besides the above Eclipse tasting, the best beer I had was the very small sample of The Bruery Chocolate Rain. I can imagine a 6oz sample of that being fantastic. The other two notables would be Bottleworks 12 and Lost Abbey Duck Duck Gooze. The former had a really pleasant raspberry backing with the latter just being an incredibly smooth and super tasty sour. Other notables are Sly Fox Succubus (slightly fruity, slightly sour, pretty tasty), The Bruery Sour in the Rye, and many others that I can't think of at the moment. But seriously a ton.
Eventually the crowd ended up with two entire shelves full of bottles, both super rare and super tasty.
Eleven rolled around and Captain Lawrence finally opened their doors to let us in to buy our bottles of Rosso. They also provided a small sample of it and it was pretty damn tasty. We hung out a bit more inside the brewery, chatted with a few more people, then took the short trip to DeCicco's in Ardsley as it was on the way home. (Mostly. Close enough really.) We all picked up a couple bottles and then wearily made our way back to Philly after a long but awesome trip.
The release shows yet again how awesome people are that are in the beer scene. People shared so much cool beer with complete strangers (some of which was really rare) and everyone was willing to chat about beer for quite a while. I met tons of new people and look forward to seeing them again. This was by far my favorite release and it went incredibly smoothly. The trip was a bit of a pain, but that's just how it goes with releases now. The bottle share part was awesome and hanging out with Craig, Eric and Alan was great. Definitely looking forward to the next release at Captain Lawrence and hope I can make it.