Hudson Valley Hops 2014: Photos & Recap

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Last Saturday, the Albany Institute of History and Art played host to the annual Hudson Valley Hops festival which showcases our excellent local breweries. Having all these breweries come to you to distribute samples is an approachable way to see what’s out there and what plays into your tastes.

The breweries in attendance were Adirondack Brewery, Brown’s Brewing Company, Chatham Brewing LLC, C.H. Evans Brewing, Crossroads Brewing Company, Druthers, Old Saratoga Brewing Company, and Ommegang Brewery. I tried something from everyone who was there and it was awesome to see the amount of variety across the different beers. I also got excited about some of the new things these breweries are up to, such at as the 8 Barrel Reserve form Crossroads which gets aged in bourbon barrels for four months.

Hudson Valley Hops is an awesome event in a really cool venue. If you have any interest in beer whatsoever, check out the next one and learn what beers get brewed right in your backyard.

Thanks to everyone at the Albany Institute for putting on a great event and for allowing us to give away a few tickets as well.

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Brunch at The Low Beat

On April 27th, Chef Josh Coletto will be holding the first of many brunches at the Low Beat. During brunch, Many Trails will be playing tunes for you to enjoy alongside your food.

From the event page:

The Menu will be as follows:

  • Beans and Greens Omelette (Bacon, White beans, Chard)
  • Huevos Con Chorizo (2 eggs scrambled with (house made) Chorizo, Black Beans, Avocado, Salsa Verde, Tortillas)
  • 2 eggs any style with meat (chorizo, bacon), Hash Browns, Toast
  • Captain Crunch French Toast, whipped cream and seasonal fruit compote
  • Banana bread pancakes, rum spiked maple syrup
  • Biscuits and Gravy, Vegetarian or Meat gravy with 2 eggs any style
  • Jumbo Cinnamon Bun
  • Sides: Hash Browns, Bacon, Praline Bacon, Chorizo, Hash Browns, and Gravy

The Normal menu will also be served with all your Low Beat Favorites. Bloody Mary Specials along with other wonderful drinks!

Mark your calendar, RSVP on Facebook and come enjoy another excellent brunch option in Albany.

Hudson Valley Hops Brewed in History

Hudson Valley Hops 2014: Ticket Giveaway

On Saturday, April 12, 2014 from 4–7pm, the Albany Institute of History & Art presents their third annual Hudson Valley Hops event.

From the event listing:

There will be an exhibition of historic local brewery artifacts, a series of talks by beer historians and brewery experts, local craft beers, good food, and a commemorative glass for participants.

Breweries include: Adirondack Brewery, Brown’s Brewing Company, Chatham Brewing LLC, C.H. Evans Brewing, Crossroads Brewing Company, Druthers, Old Saratoga Brewing Company, Ommegang Brewery.

Sponsors include: The Ginger Man, Hilton Albany, The Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Iron Gate Cafe, Lionheart Pub, El Mariachi Mexican Restaurant, Mazzone Hospitality, The Restaurants at the Desmond, Spectrum Theatres, Times Union, Washington Tavern

This is an awesome event for any beer lover, and the fact it’s all local New York breweries makes this even cooler. For more information check the event on the Albany Institute’s website or the official flyer.

To enter to win a pair of tickets (which were graciously provided by The Albany Institute of History and Art) hit the jump and fill out the form below!

Continue reading…

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Downtown Albany restaurant week starts Wednesday

Starting Wednesday April 2nd, 17 downtown Albany restaurants are participating in restaurant week. Each one of these establishments is offering a three course meal for a set price of $20.14 per person.

Here’s a PDF of all the menus of the participating restaurants. It’s a great excuse to try a new restaurant with some friends or visit an old standby and try something new. I’ll definitely be checking out as many as I can this week.

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Rare Form Brewing coming to downtown Troy

Rare Form Brewing Company located right in downtown Troy (90 Congress St) is set to open sometime this spring.

They’re planning four permanent beers with a rotating cast of four more. They’ve also set up an awesome sound program called Scale Up where select homebrewers can brew their beers on the Rare Form equipment, and then have it served in the Rare Form taproom. They’re planning small food pairings with their craft beers as well.

Once the brewery opens, they will be open Wednesday to Sunday. Wednesdays and Thursdays will be 3-8pm, Friday and Saturday 12-9pm and Sundays 12-8pm.

Check out their recent feature in the Troy Record for more info on the people behind the beers.

Photo: Rare Form/Facebook

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Caffe Vero closing

From Tablehopping:

Maria Congo, who with her husband also owns the original Caffe Vero, in Lake George, tells me business in Albany was too slow to justify keeping the shop open. She said the last day will be sometime near the end of April.

Honestly not surprised at all. I frequently look for places to work from and every cafe on Lark is closed at 8pm. Strange they say business was too slow since there is barely a free table any time I’ve been in there. I hope someone steps up and keeps a coffee shop in there.

Stopping into Bread and Honey

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Earlier this week I heard some great things about a new bakery that opened up along Madison Ave between Quail and Ontario. And since I’m a sucker for an everything bagel and an even bigger sucker for Gimme! Coffee, I stopped into Bread and Honey.

The real draw for me was the fact they serve Gimme! Coffee. I always will grab a bag of their coffee whenever I’m near Ithaca, but for me to be able to grab a bag locally is huge. Their coffee selection shows that they are putting a very strong emphasis on quality. Any place that opens with Gimme! as their coffee option is likely to apply that same high-level of quality throughout the rest of their establishment.

I grabbed an everything bagel and pretzel, and both were incredible. The bagel had the right crispiness and chewiness to the outside and the inside was soft and pillowy. The size of the bagel was perfect as well. They offer a few excellent sounding cream cheese options, but for those of you like me who don’t do dairy, I’ve been assured that a non-dairy option is on the way.

I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to test out their other offerings, but they’ve since been adding sandwiches and other baked goods to the menu. Also of note, they sell their breads, pretzels and other items at Honest Weight. I spoke briefly with the owner Naomi Davies, and she told me they’re working on soups as well. I like how much it seems they are experimenting with the menu and can’t wait to stop by again soon.

I strongly recommend stopping in and grabbing a bite to eat along with a cup of coffee. They’re located at 809 Madison Avenue, right next to Duke’s Barbershop (which I would also recommend). The bagels come out of the oven around 7am and they’re open until they sell out, which has been around 2pm so far. Check ‘em out and let me know what you think!