As you all know, I’ve been working on a bit of a site re-design and decided to re-launch entirely over at the new Nobler Experiment. I’ll be re-posting and referencing some of the great posts and cocktail recipes from this version as a little trip down blurry memory lane so I hope you’ll come follow and join the experiment here!
Archive for the ‘The Nobler Experiment’ Category
The Nobler Experiment is growing! And is in need of a little refreshment. So I’ve gone ahead and hired the best web developer on the planet….
He’s great at his craft, but he tends to take quite a few “coffee breaks”. He promises me, the new and improved Nobler will be ready by next week so let’s hope he’s stocked up on coconut waters to hydrate his way to success. I’ll keep you all updated on his progress.
Cheers to the re-launch of the Nobler Experiment coming soon!
As you know, I rarely post on the weekends. So you have to imagine there’s a damn good reason for me to be writing this today. And to be honest, while I always write for you guys, this post has a slightly larger target audience:
Dear Average NYC Bar:
When serving a whiskey, particularly a good one, an ounce and a half or two ounce portion for $10 is no longer acceptable. We, the whiskey drinkers of New York, are reasonable people (most of us at least). We now, more than ever know what we like, and more importantly know what things ACTUALLY cost. And the thing is, we don’t really care if you charge us $10-$12 dollars for a glass. We get it. You have to make money too! But please, please please please, pour us a real glass of whiskey.
– The Nobler Experiment
In all honesty, it’s really amazing how often I come across this these days. There are so many bars in this city and way too many of them suffer from the light handed pour. And it shouldn’t just be the drinker that has a problem with this. The small brand distilleries that have spent years and years mastering their craft, finally pushing through to gain the respect they deserve in the whiskey community should be just as pissed, maybe more. The human brain is fickle and while it might not be the distilleries fault the bartender and the bar owner are ripping off their consumers, it does impact people tendencies towards whiskey loyalty. And it’s a shame.
One could only hope these words are meaningful to the bar owners of NYC, although unless you all share this a million times over, I doubt it will matter much. But as a drinker, a bar goer, you can at least make a choice. And that choice should always be to frequent and support bars that care just as much of your experience than they do their bottom line. Happy Saturday!
As you might have suspected from my short absence, Hurricane Sandy has left us a bit out of touch, without power and clambering like many for wifi and cell phone service. But this amounts to a measly inconvenience compared to the devastation that has ripped through the Northeast. It’s hard to even comprehend.
For those who made it out okay, I saw a great post yesterday urging the NYC community to support their local restaurants and bars now more than ever. This holds true for all of your local communities and businesses but in NYC, where we take the variety and convenience for granted, I thought this advice was particularly important. Whether it’s helping out in clean up or supporting the restaurants that have found a way to remain open, local businesses need your help more than ever. It’s the least we can do for the folks that keep us well fed and buzzed on a daily basis.
And speaking of well fed and buzzed, this little bit of adversity has proved once again how wonderful friends can be. We’ve been taken in by a number of friends over the last few days offering amazing meals, power and warmth, and of course some wonderful drinks. It’s further proof that when all else fails, all I need is a little bourbon and the company of some damn good people.
In other news, it is looking more and more like we will have to postpone our very first Night Cap event. For those who bought tickets, we will be following up this afternoon with more details so hold tight. But don’t worry, we’ll make sure the re-scheduled event is worth the wait!
I am so pumped to share with you all the news of our newest endeavor, The Night Cap: Liquor, Wine, and Beer tasting series. In collaboration with Nobler Adam, and Keith Beavers from the Alphabet City Wine Co. we have created a late night event series that will be unlike your typical tasting experience. For us, it’s truly about curiosity. We simply enjoy the discovery, the interpretation, and the invention that comes with pursuing great alcohol. And now we get to share this all with you!
Tickets are available for the first Night Cap to be held at 12:30 AM, Sunday 11/4. This of course is actually Saturday night, in case there was any confusion. There is a limited number of tickets so make sure you buy yours soon!
I hope you will be able to join us for what will be a truly special night. But just in case you are unable to make it this time, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment on this posting to be added to our mailing list. In addition, don’t forget to follow us at @NightCapNYC for updates and musings.
Special thanks to Adam and Keith for all the hard work in turning our inspired idea into reality!
The world of fermentation has always been flooded with traditionalists. Year after year, production of historically accurate beer, wine, and liquor is continued and to great success. From a quality and marketing perspective, consumers do enjoy tradition. But like in any long existing industry, technology and innovation find their way in, leading the trend setters into new, uncharted territory.
To round out the little alcohol industry series on the Nobler, I decided to focus today’s post on beer. We’ve seen how the distillation legislation has changed the game for liquor, and how US wine consumption is off the charts but there may be no more obvious expansion and growth, than in the US beer market.
Craft beer has all but taken over the previously popularized term, microbrew, but no matter how you call it, you can’t help but be pumped about what’s on the market today. To think, that I can walk down the block to my local grocery store and find Saison style ales next to the six pack of Bud Light Lime, sort of says it all. Even European consumers have taken note, now demanding US craft beer overseas. One of my favorite trend-setters these days is the Allagash Brewery in Portland, Maine. Their specialty beers are thoughtful and delicious, like this pair of wine inspired beers the Victoria and Victor. Allagash mashes in Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc grapes respectively and ferments directly with the barley grain. The result is mind-blowing.
But the innovation in beer isn’t just in style and quality. As more and more beer production has been generated via this craft beer demand, the waste streams have become near unmanageable. The leftover mash/water mix is pretty terrible for the environment and folks in the industry have been looking for solutions for years. Well over the last half a decade or so, breweries have looked to yet another microorganism to help them in their processes. This time asking help from anaerobic bacteria instead of the yeast they rely on for fermentation.
These little guys digest the mash purifying the waste to some degree but maybe more interestingly, create methane gas and CO2 in the process. These byproducts can be harnessed for energy and in some cases, like the Saranac Brewery in Utica, NY it is expected that this process could replace up to 40% of the current energy utilized. In this example, the beer may not taste any different, but the focus on the future is what makes the US craft beer market so fascinating!
But for the Oskar Blues Brewery it was actually a bit of the past they took advantage of. Because for years, canned beer had a stigma. And that stigma did not fly with craft beer. But for increased efficiency in distribution and storage and a serious dip in costs, cans were the way to go for founder, Dale Katechis. And the decision was obviously wise. Many other brewers have jumped on the bandwagon and now it’s just as easy to find your new favorite in a can as you would in a bottle. By reducing the packaging costs, Dale also managed to lower the hurdle of pricing for his consumers. Making craft beer just a bit more access-able, has simply opened the flood gates.
Starting to make sense why this part of our economy is expanded in spite of all the other BS out there, isn’t it. And what perfect timing to mention BS. Tonight’s the next debate!
Hope you all enjoyed the little mini-series!
Sorry for the lack of posting late last week. I was the victim of awful hotel wifi!
But anyways, it’s just as well we continue our US spirit industry posting with some wine on a Monday. Nothing eases you back into the work week like a good glass of wine. Or in this case, some facts about wine. It really is quite amazing the availability of wine these days. And while the fine wine collectors have been steady with their interest, it’s the average wine consumer that is making all the difference.
Just look at the wine consumption data provided by resident wine expert, Adam. Those numbers are pretty wild. From 1993 to 2010 US wine consumption almost doubled! It shouldn’t be all that surprising, right? Walk into any wine retail shop these days and the number of bottles is in fact overwhelming. Expanded domestic production in the big 4 (NY, Washington State, Oregon, and California) plus a growing number of import regions has made the US number one (by volume) on the world’s wine consumption list. We’re number 1! We’re number 1!
There is one down side to this expansion however. For most of us, who love wine but don’t have the time or the patience to research the wines that fit our expectations in a given price point, we are left with two somewhat frustrating options. The first, which I have become victim to before, is to overspend. By grabbing the bottle just above your price range, you hope to minimize the risk in being left with a crappy bottle. In the end, you are likely to wonder what made this bottle $10 more than the others and next time around default to option two. Option two, of course being to purchase the $11.99 bottle and at least reduce the likelihood of being ripped off. These bottles however, are rarely exciting. The long and the short of it is: there are just so many options!
So with that in mind, I’ve asked Adam to write-up some recommendations of some good solid bets at a few different price points that you are more than likely to find in your local shop. Many of the big producers find their way into national wine stores and these recommendations have proven successful for me before: even once in a rural suburb outside of Chicago, Adam was able to talk me through finding a good bottle to bring as a gift for some friends. (So what, I’m a little needy…)
Check back tomorrow for the last post (for now) on this true US economic success story. A story of technology and innovation pushing the limits.