Hill Farmstead takes over the Capital Region

Nuzzy pouring Hill Farmstead Arthur at The Ruck
Capital Region folks, unless you were living under a rock, you know that a handful of kegs from one of my favorite breweries made their way to the taps of a few of bars in the area last week. Two kegs of Arthur and two kegs of Everett were tapped, and each of the places I visited kicked their kegs in a couple of hours or less. I’m not going to get too wordy here, although you should check out Greg’s post on the topic.

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Rushing Duck Anniversary at The Bier Abbey

Rushing Duck, Remarkable Liquids, The Bier Abbey

The crew from Rushing Duck celebrated their one year anniversary last week and us folks from the Capital Region were lucky enough to be included in part of the celebration. On tap were several of the brewery’s beers, ranging from their Beanhead Coffee Porter on cask with cacao nibs all the way to their Brett-fermented Funkatron series of beers, some special variations and everything else in between. The Bier Abbey had a pairing menu to go along with the beers, as well. I took a few pics of the night, check ’em out!

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The Bier Abbey First Anniversary

Thursday marked the the Anniversary of the opening of The Bier Abbey and was celebrated with a bunch of laughs, great food, and a pretty amazing lineup of beers. Joining the celebration was the crew from Remarkable Liquids (who are coming up on their anniversary this month) as well as Brian Ewing from 12 Percent imports and Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø of Evil Twin Brewing.  I had a lot of fun trying to capture all of the shenanigans that night, let’s check out the pics!

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Team New England Gang Bang BIF #3

Team New England Gang Bang BIF #3
We maybe have been drunk by the time this picture was taken.

Absolutely outstanding time on Saturday banging with Team New England. We were a man down, and Joe was sorely missed, but we were still able to conquer all of the boxes Team Richmond sent us. There was a lot of big beer and a lot of barrel aged beers with an average ABV of about 10% for all the beers of the day. Both Team New England and my rape-stache were ready to tackle this though. Thankfully there were some IPAs and sours to mix things up a bit. Like our packing party, we holed up in the private room at The Bier Abbey owned by George, BA gpcollen1. Continue reading

Team New England Gang Bang BIF Round 3 Packing Party

Well, we survived the packing party (barely). Yesterday Team New England drove in from all parts of the Northeast to drink, pack, eat, and drink some more. George, long-time BA, owner of The Bier Abbey and Team New England member graciously hosted us in the private room and kept the goods coming all night. We were missing team members from NH, VT and NY but still got the job done. Continue reading

Allagash Black Nightcap After The Bier Abbey

— Hadn’t had this yet and I just narrowly missed it while at The Bier Abbey last night before the keg got kicked, so I decided to open up my bottle when I got home. Like everything that comes out of Allagash Brewing, it was exceptional.

Still got some stellar brews at the Abbey though including some La Grande 10 by Brasserie Artisanale de Rulles, Bellhop Porter by Evil Twin Brewing, Rosée d’Hibiscus by Brasserie Dieu du Ciel (thanks Jeremy), and Mad Dog by Evil Twin Brewing. Not to mention the best god damn house battered chicken tenders in the Capital District (ask for extra mustard, though). AND I got to avoid all of the Halloween bullshit. Pretty good night.

The Bier Abbey (link) | 613 Union St. Schenectady, New York 12305 (map) | All The Bier Abbey Posts

Soft Opening at The Bier Abbey

After that Voodoo Doughnut and Utopias (review upcoming) at Jon’s and a quick pit stop at The Ruck for some Hoptimum, we decided to make the trek to Schenectady to check out our area’s new craft beer bar: The Bier Abbey.

Now, I’ve been to Schenectady plenty of times for lunches at Morette’s, dinners at More Perreca’s and Bangkok Bistro, and shows at Proctor’s, but never have I been to Schenectady for just drinks. This was a whole new world for me, one that I probably won’t experience that often, but is definitely worth it for the change of pace.

When you first walk up to The Bier Abbey you’ll notice a few picnic tables outside for people to consume their food and drink during the good weather. Although I didn’t take advantage of this, Wednesday was the perfect night for this and each of the tables were occupied.

When you walk in the front door and pass the stairs heading to the second floor, it opens up to the bathrooms, kitchen, and (potentially) a small tasting room on your right. On the left is a gorgeous bar with adequate seating for about 10 or (more if you wanted to get cozier), with two walls of beer specific glasses sandwiching a huge assortment of carefully selected taps.

Before I even walked in the door, I knew what beer I needed to try: Oskar Blues G’Knight on nitro. The bartender, Spencer, said it tasted like an IPA creamsicle, and he couldn’t have been more accurate. This was god damn delicious, and if it’s something that’s going to be on tap more regularly you can expect me to go out there just to grab one of those every once in a while.

At this point Chad from Tri-Valley offered to take us for a little tour of the rest of the bar. The front has a few larger tables great for seating for big groups and on the way towards the back there are a few booths for the crowd that spills over from the bar.

The back room is a little dimmer and more intimate, featuring many two person tables and a few extra booths, all of which at least have the appearance of reclaimed wood. There’s also a large projector that might feature matinees in future, and some really cool metal artwork, all beer themed:

At this point, it was time for another beer, and seeing as though it was my 5th one of the night, I hadn’t ate dinner and it was creeping on 11PM, food was in order. (The turkey sandwich from Slick’s taunting me from the bar didn’t help, either.) Unfortunately, their kitchen wasn’t open yet, so grub had to be acquired elsewhere. Apparently pizza isn’t much of a big hit in Schenectady late night on a Wednesday, as the 8+ places that I called either weren’t open or wouldn’t deliver. I had to go find my own.

On Chad’s direction, we walked down to Perreca’s to see if they were baking any pies. The place was closed, the lights were off, but the door was unlocked. I saw a couple of people in the kitchen so I knocked and walked in. I asked for pizza and they obliged: 20 minutes later we had a 24-cut in our hands.

We walked back in The Bier Abbey like champions that just won a war. We clearly weren’t the only ones hungry as Spencer, Chad, and several of the patrons grabbed plates and dug in with us. Needless to say, I quickly made a few friends I didn’t pay for a drink for the rest of the night.

Speaking of the beers, I drink more beers from the good ol’ US of A more than anything else, so I let Spencer and Chad pick out the rest of the beers I had for the night. This included some Lava Smoked Imperial Stout, Ichtegem’s Grand Cru, and Samichlaus Bier, none of which I’ve had before.

Overall I can honestly say I was really impressed The Bier Abbey. The atmosphere is amazing, the knowledgeable staff was helpful, the tap list is extensive, and the little things like beer-specific glasses and art add a nice touch. (Although I’d be careful with all of those nice glasses while also having extremely open outside seating, those puppies are going to walk!) As I said, I’ve never had any of the beers I drank on Wednesday (the nitro was a first on the G’Knight) and there are still plenty on that tap list that I haven’t had. This is extremely rare for the Capital District. I’m looking forward to the next time I go back and I wish them the best of luck.

A few more pictures can be found here.

The Bier Abbey (link) | 613 Union St. Schenectady, New York 12305 (map) | All The Bier Abbey Posts