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Joe's Rants and Raves

  • Nov 05 - 06:33 PM: What has tappened at the Mallet (sorry) : Joe McBane

    By the way I apologize for the woeful play on words in the title! It may never tappen again...

    Well we are now 1 year old. Last Sunday was our 1st birthday and we celebrated it with a pig roast. After being sent a pig a few days prior that was frozen solid we managed to come up with a usable pig by Saturday. The only problem with the new pig was the sheer size. Our roasting box can accommodate a 95lb pig. The replacement pig dialed in at 116lb. No amount of pushing was going to get it in. The only choices were to remove the hind legs or head. We made our choice. A few well aimed whacks with a mighty meat cleaver and we had our decapitation. It was like a scene from Lord of the Flies.

    We cooked the pig for over seven hours and it came out wonderfully. Moist and tender. The best yet in my opinion. I am sure that the half gallon of orange juice injection didn't hurt.

    The evening was a real pleasure. An opportunity to thank all of you that have supported the pub over the last year.

    Halloween saw the coming of the Pauls. Our chef Paul Brewer was picked out for some fun poking. Many of us came dressed as him. There was golfer Paul, navy Paul, Mex bartender Paul, broken Paul and of course party girl Paul. All Pauls were sporting the trademark facial growth. Paul took the whole thing in his stride thankfully.

    On the beer front we are through with pumpkin season. I consider myself to have a pretty well rounded palate when it comes to beer but I just can't bring myself to enjoy that particular style of seasonal. I find them to be completely over done and unbalanced. If you want to spice a beer (and wow, they are consistently over spiced) at least allow it a little sweetness to help offset. Aren't pumpkin pies sweet after all? I also find the pumpkin flavor is almost completely washed out by the spice. All that said they all fly out of the door so I am certainly in the minority with this style. Each to their own I say. There were a couple of excellent harvest beers around this year. The ones that really seemed to stand out for me were Harpoon Wet Hop Glacier and the Southern Tier Harvest. The Harpoon just had bags of juicy hop flavor and just enough body to carry it. I am unsure as to the type of hops used yet they had neither the pineyness nor grapefruit flavors that I so often come across. The Southern Tier had a flavor punch similar to a crisp west coast IPA yet a much lighter drinkable quality.

    If anyone reads this blog and has comments feel free to email me through the web site.

    Cheers.

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  • Oct 23 - 04:29 PM: Get Bombed. But not here. : Joe McBane

    Let me explain the weak play on words that is the title to this blog. After mulling ideas around about what the best way was to take out beer I have finally come up with the answer.

    I did not like growlers because half a gallon can be a rather large commitment. Instead we will be selling 22oz bomber bottles to go. Three bottles is roughly equivalent to one growler. I have learnt over the years just how much people enjoy variety and this is what inspired the idea.

    We are selling them at discounted price. The price of a regular 16oz pint in the pub is the price of a 22oz serving to go. We can fill bottles with any of the beers on tap no matter what their regular serving size. I won't bore you with the mathematical calculations, but I think you get the idea. Take out = less $ per oz.

    We cap the bottles so they tend to hold up rather well. Consumption within 24 hours is recommended but you can definitely push it longer if it is refrigerated. We had a bottle in the fridge for four days as an experiment and it held surprisingly well.

    I look forward to your feedback as I am really excited about this project.

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  • Oct 23 - 04:17 PM: It's been a while. : Joe McBane

    So while I have been making a bunch of changes to the website I realized that I have been slacking in my blogging commitment. Let me try and catch you up on what has been going on down here.

    As I was saying I have been working hard on the website. Look for a reorganization of the bottle beer list. Instead of listing by country everything will be listed by style. Hopefully it will provide a slightly better clue to what people are getting in to. If you ever have to do something like this you will find out the tricky task involved with style breakdowns. There are a variety of ways to skin the cat. One way is the minimalistic approach of light, amber and dark. The other end of the scale is something akin to the beer advocate style listing. I favor somewhere in the middle. I look forward to some debates on how other people might have done it differently. I stand firmly behind my style plan - certainly for now.

    Last week involved a trip out to the New York Culinary and Wine Institute in Canandaigua. Garrett Oliver from Brooklyn Brewery was there to make a presentation on beer and food pairings. It turned out to be an inspiring afternoon. As well as being a very engaging speaker, Mr Oliver has the ability to inspire and reaffirm what it is that we love about well crafted beers and properly prepared foods made from good quality ingredients. While at times we can all be lazy and throw back some fast food it is important to take the time on a regular basis to prepare a meal and then sit down without the TV on and enjoy it with friends and family. As a society we spend more time in front of the television and or computer than we ever have in history. We certainly have the time for some good old slow cooking. Like beer, food comes in a variety of qualities. Many of us will only drink craft beers now and I believe that is a good thing. Our palates have developed. We should sometimes ask ourselves the same of certain items in the grocery store. Take for example the cheese that proudly advertises that it is made from 70% milk. What is the other 30%? Cheese is 100% milk. It is not a clever chemical concoction with little flavor but perfect melting qualities. There are many examples like this. These are all modern creations that came about after the second world war. Progress? I think not. I think it is time to regress a little and get back to the way things were done in the kitchen back when our grandparents were young. On that note happy cooking and always enjoy a good beer to help you wash it down. Cheers.

    Following on from the aforementioned trip we hosted a Brooklyn night down at the pub last night. It turned out to be big success. Certain foods were prepared to compliment certain beers and they all seemed to very well received. The big hit of the evening was a cask of bitter that was set on the bar and paired with scotch eggs. The cask was gone in a couple of hours.

    We still have a few tickets left for our pig roast birthday bash so if you are interested come on down. Hot roasted pig with cold delicious beer....mmmn.

    On a sad note, the lengendary bartender Todd has unfortunately left us. You can still find him at 12 Corners Starbucks. We wish all the best of luck and will miss him loads.
    *Todd if you are reading this you can still come back mate. It's never too late!

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