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Old Drinks, New Drinks

June 21, 2018

Thursday is a little early to talk about drinking. Usually, I save this sort of thing until Friday. But this Friday I have something special planned for the blog. Anyway, if I remember correctly, back in college Thursday was the unofficial start of the weekend.

Today’s post isn’t really about drinks anyhow. It’s about events. And history. And restaurants. And the present. And ribs. And maybe even a present? Well, if not a present, at least the chance to win something pretty darn awesome.

Let’s start with a little history lesson, and we’ll work our way back to the future.

Albany used to be synonymous with great beer. What made it great? Well, it was strong. How strong? Quite strong. And it caused all kinds of shenanigans, before being almost lost to time.

What time wasn’t counting upon was Craig Gravina. This local beer historian has teamed up with local brewer Sam Pagano to brew a recreation of this Albany Ale. Amazingly, they will be presenting this beer at a panel discussion on Albany and history as part of the Underground Railroad History Project. Because as it turns out, abolitionists didn’t just hate slavery, they also kinda hated inebriation.

Man, people are complicated.

Speaking of complicated people, besides Sam and Craig, some of my other favorite humans are going to be there. Deanna Fox will be moderating, and Johnny Curtain from Albany Distilling Co. will also be talking at the Myer’s Residence on Friday. The event runs from 5-8pm. Details can be found here. Tickets are a modest $23.

I really wish I could be there. But no such luck. You’ll have to let me know what I missed.

Later this month, I will be at the very first Eat Drink Saratoga event. I’ve been saying that this is finally the food and beverage festival that Saratoga Springs deserves. It’s going to be run a little differently than similar types of festivals, in that each ticket comes with two $5 food tokens.

The idea is that instead of restaurants tossing out freebies to everyone in the crowd, they’ll be competing for people’s appetites with some dynamite signature dishes. Each restaurant will be presenting a small dish ($5) and a larger one ($10). And there will be options for all dietary stripes. Well, at least the big ones. If your own personal shaman has set you on the path to nirvana with a diet of only roots and seeds, you may be out of luck.

So think of it like a crazy beverage festival, where for $60 you can get to sample some incredible  beers, wines, and spirits. Seriously, there are going to be some amazing brands in attendance. Check them out here. And the restaurants are some of the best in town.

Prime is Prime, so they will bring their cherry pepper pork, in addition to a beet, goat cheese, and pecan salad. Have you ever tried the Brook Tavern ribs? The place wasn’t on my radar. And for the sake of full disclosure, they cheat a bit. After a dry rub, the ribs are steamed before being smoked. But damn. I didn’t want to like these, but I loved them. Especially with the chef’s piquant green tomatillo sauce to bring all that fatty deeply smoky meat into balance.

My new friend at Bohemian Bulldog took a pic of what Hamlet & Ghost will be presenting. Jessica at 518 Bites & Sights has more pictures and details from Prime, Hamlet, and Brook. And Jen Savino of Bite Me Show has pics and details from Comfort Kitchen, Henry’s Taproom, Fish at 30 Lake, Saratoga Sperry’s, and Boca Bistro.

Over at Yelp, my alter ego is giving away a pair of VIP tickets. It’s a random drawing, but it’s quick and easy to enter.

Should you win, or buy tickets to attend, I’ll look forward to seeing you there. Thanks to my Yelp connection with the event, I’ll be at Eat Drink Saratoga for both sessions, so regardless which one you choose, hit me up. Let’s hang and talk food.

Surely, there are other events coming up soon. But these were two that I had to share right now. Tomorrow will give you something else to think about for the rest of the weekend. Cheers!

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