october

Hotels Offer a New Amenity: Beer Concierge

Photo: 21c Museum Hotels

Photo: 21c Museum Hotels

For October, I tackle a top new travel trend: beer concierges at hotels.

See, going on vacation voids every societal drinking norm. Pre-flight double IPAs at 8 a.m. are as perfectly acceptable as pounding bloodies aboard the plane until you’re flying high above the clouds. And that’s just the beginning. Fo some, the very point of voyaging is to explore a city’s brewing scene, drinking up the regional bounty by the pint.

You can certainly book an Airbnb and explore breweries and bars with your good friend Google Maps. Hotels, however, are making a compelling case for you to plop your head on their excessively high thread count pillowcase. They’re offering specialty beer packages, expert advice from on-call beer concierges and access to hard-to-get bottles, cans and drafts.

Small Wonders: Why Breweries Are Putting Big Beers in Tiny Packages

Revolution Brewing

Step inside my Brooklyn apartment—up three floors from the street and some 900 square feet—and your eyeballs will brim with barley wines and imperial stouts. Champagne-corked and 22-ounce bottles are dustily stacked on shelves like unloved library books because I’m rarely keen to consume that much intoxicant, 25 ounces of 12 percent beer a load too heavy for my liver. I’m not alone.

“I have piles of bottles at my house and a lot of them are big format,” says Firestone Walker brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “I’m just staring at them week after week going, ‘When am I going to have some friends over so we can crack into these things and check them out?’”

Everybody in the world was putting out bombers. We wanted to do something different that stood out.”

Your local beer bar has long served supercharged stouts and other bruisers in eight- or ten-ounce glasses. Now, breweries are ditching supersize bottles and packing strong beers in more reasonable formats. Concerning beer, big things are increasingly coming in small packages

Run the Jewels Puts Extra Hops in Their Hip-Hop

Interboro and Run the Jewels' Stay Gold IPA

For October, I wrote the exclusive early preview about the collaborative IPA between Brooklyn's Interboro and hip-hop duo Run the Jewels. There's more to this partnership than a love of hazy IPAs...

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If fate’s fortuitous twists lead you to hip-hop artist El-P’s bedroom, your eyes might gravitate to his dresser. After all, it’s hard to ignore Steven Seagal’s face on the six-pack of Lightning Bolt, a long-discontinued energy drink stuffed with herbal mumbo jumbo including Tibetan goji berries and Asian cordyceps, a.k.a. parasitic fungus.

“I promise you, I tasted one can of Steven Segal Lightning Bolt and will never taste it again,” El-P says of his unopened can keepsakes — celebrity gag as a gag reflex.

Despite the despicable flavor (“My sinuses are filling up with electric eels,” wrote one Amazon reviewer), the idea of branded canned beverage held real appeal for El-P, one half of rap powerhouse Run the Jewels alongside Killer Mike. “It would just be fucking cool to have a six-pack with my logo on a beer can,” he says. “That alone would make me happy.”

This month, that boozy dream will become an alcohol-laced reality with the release of Stay Gold IPA, named after a banger on the duo’s latest album, Run the Jewels 3. The beer will be unveiled at Run the Jewels’ New York City show at Terminal 5 on February 25 (the first of four dates), before encoring in Charlotte, North Carolina, on March 14 at the October Kickoff Party.