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Just An Online Minute... Starch'n'Brew Gets Craft Beer Aficionados Buzzed And Bloated

NYC Brewer's Choice, City Winery, New York
September 30, 2010

Special Note: you will be receiving two, maybe three (including this one) Just An Online Minutes today! So don't freak out about all the fun in your inbox! (or online!)

NYC Craft Beer Week fell during Advertising Week this year, which to me qualifies it as an Advertising Week event.  Especially since a lot of the breweries and eateries participating advertise and promote themselves via social media channels.  Last night the Starch'n'Brew team presented "NYC Brewer's Choice," an around-the-world style party of craft beers paired with incredible foods, all contained in the wooden walls of one of my favorite spots, City Winery.

The humidity couldn't be beaten.  It ate every tendril of air conditioning that tried to weave its way through the crowd.  Everyone was their shiny best, which hopefully gave us that youthful, rather than slimy dirtbag, glow.  The organizers, Shehan DeSilva and Jimmy Carbone (whom you may know from Jimmy's No. 43) are also the dudes behind Meatopia.  Sadly, I missed the meat masterpiece, but this event more than made up for it with that sausage sweet onion paste concoction I found at the back end of the Winery.  And that concoction rested gently in a house-made pretzel roll.  Salty and sweet = dancing feet!

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Immediately I found one of Franny's most adorable chefs (and one of my first pals when I moved to NYC), Danny Amend, squeezing his mitts into gloves for his table's contribution to the night: a spicy shrimp blorp alongside a mild white cheese.  I know, the specifics are killing you right?  You try to balance a camera, a beer goblet, a notebook, and fancy cheese all at once!

The Franny's table was next to the Greenport Harbor Brewing Company.  Again, I'm a sucker for packaging, so their whale-body tap handle was pleasing to my eyehole, but even better, their brew was pleasing to my mouth hole!  They were set up next to the delicious, devilish eggs with their little bacon hats.

In my old age, I love deep chocolatey stouts and luxurious tongue-hugging nutbrowns over "The Beast" (AKA Milkwaukee's Best, a college staple when Natty Light was unavailable. Don't even get me started on Schlitz), and two of my favorites from the night came in the form of Kelso's Nut Brown Lager and McNeill's Brewery from Brattleboro, Vt.  McNeill's served me Dark Angel Imperial Stout and it was, indeed, darkly angelic.

I also really loved the sweet-first-but-fishy-later (that part I didn't enjoy) Pretty Things Back D'or.  I think I was a sucker for packaging on that one, though.  Ornate, Alice In Wonderland style design makes me happy.

Rustic wine breads, stout breads, frothy heads, oyster beds, cucumbers on sour rye, creamy goat cheeses on tiny toasts, round disks heated with The Griddler, filled with meaty meat-- all made me dizzy and fizzy. 

City Winery was THICK with people, including M Booth Associates' finest Alyssa Galella and Frani Lieberman; AttentionUSA's Karen Ram; SKINNY NYC's Matt Van Hoven; mediabistro's Blake Gernstetter; contributing SportsNewser editor, Noah Davis; Bliptv founder Charles Hope and FearlessCooking.tv's Grace Piper; BrewYork, New York's Chris O'Leary; Thrillist's David Blend and Andrew Zimmer; I Matt My Pants blogger Matthew Allen; my dude; ADA Music's David Factor; and Metromix New York photog Gabi Porter.  Check out the photos for more faces and foods!

I had to skitter off and leave the hops and handwiches behind, for the CollADboration and Facebook GenerationNext Wrap party beckoned loudly, sort of how right now my toes are beckoning loudly for Advil.

Photos are up on Flickr!

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