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Gotta Wear Shades

Just in the nick of time, it’s Bob and David¹ Thirsty Thursday! Dan was nervous that his long strong of timely posting might get a black mark, and indeed, my day was such that I couldn’t find a moment until after my own kids were in bed (ok, and a game of Pokemon with the elder one) to get this post underway. So, let’s just jump on in to…

We (Rudy and Ethan) had a good time at The Eagle House on Tuesday, and thanks for coming, all y’all!  It was great to see some new and old faces, and what a remarkable atmosphere as well- we heard a lot about the various hauntings and ate some lovely, well-matched apps. Too bad about the hockey game, of course, but the beers seemed to go down well, and we had to take the empty keg of The Soft Bulletin with us when we left, so folks: thanks so much!

Immediately prior to that event, Rudy and I barnstormed through the Gordon Biersch rauch-schwarzbier release party where we ran into the entire Flying Bison Crew and had GB Brewer Matt Redpath’s excellent, delicately smokey brew. In truth, my only complaint is that I like the schwarzbier as it is so much… so, that’s hardly a complaint. The smoke is deftly layered in the roast and the clean lager fermetaton further modifies its expression so as to make it a lilt more than an even an accent. For me, full-on rauchbiers seem really geared towards pairing with food; the smokey intensity begs some kind of partner. I find Matt’s hybrid utterly sessionable on it’s own, in contrast. I recommend you check it out!


may be subject to copyright.

may be subject to copyright.

But certainly the most intense news of the last week since we met, dear reader, was this: We’re, um… Number One!!!! Yeah, I know, what? Oh, I mean… Well, here’s the deal:  There is a website called where users can log-in and, well… right; I think that’s pretty obvious. Also, meet one another in forums, trade beers and tips, &c. It has competitors—BeerAdvocate, for example, and also social-media apps such as Pintley and Untappd—but nontheless, what they all share is: a tremendous amount of user-generated data. So, we came to find out on Friday afternoon that, having crunched the numbers, we were the top-rated brewery that opened in NYS in 2012. We did not see this coming! I mean, have I ever checked in to see how people rate our beers? Sure, of course. But I have certainly not compiled a DB covering the rest of the field, so I had no idea how we might stand in such a ranking- I am not even entirely sure what the number of competitors were, though they do give a great explanation of the Baysian equation they use to weight the averages. Needless to say, Rudy was more-than-jazzed and I believe may have floated home that night- I only saw him walk out the door. We certainly want to thank those that rated our beer and encourage others to as well. Sure, when taste-makers opine and it comes your way, that’s great, but we’re more geeky than that and we love the data-driven nature of the award. Congrats are also due to Southern Tier for winning both the best brewery in NYS overall and as well the best beer in the state with Choklat, their awesome chocolate and imperial stout.

I am re-using this image because I am lazy. Dan would not fail you so.

I am re-using this image because I am lazy. Dan would not fail you so.

So, hey, enough about the past, right? looking ahead… Well, a few small things first. Please remember again that we have modified our Saturday hours and are now opening an hour later at 11:00 and closing an hour earlier at 7:00. As well, this is a great weekend to come on down because we’re offering our “Big Game” special, $1.00-off growler fills tomorrow and Saturday for the event on Sunday. C’mon by and run us dry! We don’t have any events coming quite round the corner, but towards the end of the month, mind the back-to-back onslaught that will be Jack Astor’s tap-takeover (be sure something fun will show up with us) on February 21st and then the next night, The Art of Beer at the Niagara Arts Center- the furthest north CBW will have ventured yet.

Even more exciting- when last we met, we knew our brite tanks would, well: chill water. That is certainly worth knowing, but not so amazing to brag about. Since that time, numerous tests have been applied, several chemicals have been run through the clean-in-place sprayball (we love CIP, as it’s known in the brewer’s argot) and finally, beer has been pumped over to them: 3bbls each of our beloved The Whale and some aromatic THE IPA. And as of this evening, at least one of them was carbonated, too! So, another learning hurdle down and the last to go, namely: transfer into kegs. This should not require anything like the profound headscratching of carbonating calculations and such, so the road to greater production now lies essentially open before us. Or hey: more beer real soon! Which means, since other details have been fully been sorted, we’ll be picking up a perhaps surprising and certainly high-profile new account in very short order… But it’s best to leave a reader in suspense, is it not? So more on that next week!


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