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Killing Winter

February 7, 2018

Winter is dying. That may take a certain amount of hubris to say on the day of a snowstorm and a low of eighteen degrees. But that doesn’t make it any less true.

The days are getting longer. The sun’s rays are getting stronger. Winter, like the other seasons, will be gone before you know it. So take this as your friendly reminder to make the most out of the opportunity.

I for one, have at least one more big batch of chicken bones in the freezer. Maybe two. With luck, I’ll be able to find some time today to fill up the pressure cooker and fill up the house with the glorious smell of chicken stock. There’s nothing quite like that aroma to keep the cold at bay.

And when it’s all done, I’ll be able to chill down the hot golden liquid in the freezing garage.

But I haven’t made a batch of chili this winter. There has been no bolognese. I did not poach a dutch oven full of tonno del chianti in olive oil. The annual pot of split pea soup hasn’t materialized. I haven’t cooked a single bowl of chana masala. And I forgot all about red beans and rice. Heck, we still are sitting on pounds of slow cooker pulled pork in the chest freezer.

Seriously, this job thing has really cut into my cooking.

With the snow storm raging today, it’s probably a good time to make sure you know about a winter festival that’s happening this Saturday in Schenectady, and the other bloggers I’m going to see while I’m there.

It’s called the Great Nor’easter. And it’s a beer festival. Although it promises to be unlike other beer festivals for several key reasons. It’s organized by a local fellow, it features some really small New York breweries, and each one will be represented by a brewer, owner, or top brewery staff.

Seriously, it’s amazing how many small breweries we have in the region,. And embarrassingly, there are far too many that I have yet to have a chance to experience fully. I still haven’t had a sip of anything from Table 41 Brewing Co., S&S Farm Brewery, Real McCoy Beer Co. or Fort Orange Brewing. Heck, I didn’t even know Bolton Landing Brewing existed.

But Lupulin Events is bringing small breweries from around the state. Singlecut, which I know and love is coming up from Queens. Oyster Bay is making the trip from Long Island. Kills Boro Brewing is coming up from Staten Island. So I’m excited not just to taste new beer from breweries I love, but to experience a bunch of new breweries for the very first time.

Oh, and did I mention it’s being held in a really cool space?

There is this old church on Eastern Avenue that I have driven by countless times. Apparently it used to be St. Mary’s but it has been empty all of the years I have driven past. It’s a really big building for the neighborhood, so it’s kind of hard to miss.

I always had fantasies about how that building could be repurposed. Really, what I wanted to do was put a distillery in there, figuring the spires would mean the building could support a mighty tall column still.

Now, thanks to House of Angels Renaissance Projects this transitional neighborhood on the edge of downtown Schenectady has a beautiful event space.

Usually, I go to these things along. Yelp is a promotional sponsor of the event, so I will be there for work.

But this time, I’m going with a couple of fellow bloggers. Well, Steve N. has hung up his blog for the time being. But I Like Food continues to have a home on the interwebs, and I hope at some point he’s moved to write again.

Joining us will be Janelle from PourReview who I met for the first time at January’s Official Yelp Event hosted by Great Flats Brewing.

All of which reminds me I really need to update the blogroll.

Anyway, I’m totally excited about this event. And just in case it wasn’t on your radar, I thought it should be. The full list of breweries and beers can be found here. And tickets to the festival can be purchased here.

Hope to see you there, because you know the best way to make sure winter doesn’t win? By going out and enjoying all the good things life has to offer, despite the cold and icy grasp of the season. Let’s kill winter together. With beer. In a repurposed church within the Electric City.

It kind of sounds like a movie. It even features a guy named Scooter. Seriously, I can’t wait.

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