Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø is cooler than you or me, and it’s not just because his name includes an unpronounceable diacritical mark. His coolness comes from his job: he is a gypsy brewer. This means that Jarnit-Bjergsø lives like a rock star, traveling around the world leaving spectacular, one-off brews in his wake like so many dazed and impregnated groupies. Oh, Jeppe (pronounced “Yeppie”) is cool. He’s brewed for Momofuku Ko and Ssäm Bar, Eleven Madison Park, Pok Pok, and Grant Achatz’s The Aviary. Reader, this guy created a collaborative beer with Chef Rene Redzepi of Copenhagen’s NOMA, currently the most fetishized restaurant in the world. FYI, travel PRs: I would love to go to Denmark and to the rest of Scandinavia. I’ll happily eat raw reindeer meat and strange berries before skipping off to slumber (or whatever) on the triple-thick furs of an ice hotel. PRs—call me!
Anyway, I also stalk the beers of Jarnit-Bjergsø who owns Evil Twin Brewery, which is not really a bricks-and-mortar brewery, but more like an idea. Here’s the beauty of someone like Jarnit-Bjergsø: his capital is not in something as dreary as concrete and tanks. His value is intellectual—it’s in his ability to create ever more amazing beers in the host breweries that he graces around the world.
Evil Twin’s one-off brews are like potable poems. Take Jarnit-Bjergsø’s collaboration with Connecticut chocolatier Franz Knipschildt, Even More Denmark. It’s brewed at Westbrook Brewing Company in SC and is currently available solely at local Wholefoods Markets. On Evil Twin’s site, this chocolate stout is described thus: “Much has been said about the Danes. Like, they seem reserved at first and are obsessed with bikes, food, and ‘hygge’” [This is a Danish word defined as ‘the art of building sanctuary and community, of inviting closeness, and paying attention to what makes us feel open hearted and alive’].” It continues, “Danes are always on time, they appear liberal yet traditional, and leave their babies outside in prams while they shop. We at Evil Twin Brewing teamed up with a fellow Dane at Chocopologie and decided to set the story straight with a chocolate stout infused with smoked chestnuts and even more Denmark. The punctual aromas, comfortable taste, and liberating body will make you feel like one of the happiest people on earth.” Reader, I drank the blackly delicious Even More Denmark last week and, it’s true: I felt all hygge and s***.
Oh, and just to make the Evil Twin scene a bit weirder. Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø is the twin brother of an equally esteemed gypsy brewer, Mikkel Jarnit-Bjergsø of Mikkeler. He makes the Rauch Beer Geek Breakfast smoked oatmeal stout that has driven me and several of my neighbors to crawl through DeCicco Family Markets on our hands and knees looking for a single, stunningly priced bottle. Reader, we text pictures to each other holding our treasures. That’s how cool these two brewing brothers are.
So, here’s the deal: On Friday, January 31 between 5 and 10 pm, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø himself will be appearing at the DeCicco’s Brewster (50 Independent Way, Brewster, NY) to meet and drink with his fans. In his honor, the DeCicco boys will offer more than 16 Evil Twin beers on tap, which is an insane number of these beers to see all together at once. Look for the insidious Evil Twin Ashtray Heart which bears the distinct and seductive flavor of the most delicious cigarette that you ever smoked before, reluctantly, you quit. There is the Yellow Cab Lager about which Evil Twin says, “You are noisy, dirty, and cruel. Incredible rushed, cynical, and ambitious. And almost impossible to love. You are wonderful, enchanting, bewildering, and impossible not to idolize out of proportion.” There is the Wet Dream, described as “…amazing, lusty, and incoherent—yes, it’s your wildest desires in a bottle.”
You get the idea. Hire a babysitter, lie to your life-partner, do whatever it takes to get to this event. Obviously, I’ll be there.
Big Brew NY Hits the County Center
February 8, 4-8:30 pm
GA Ticket: $50
VIP Ticket: $80
So those stealth DeCicco boys—who happen to be beer machers masquerading as grocers—are also, in part, sponsoring Big Brew NY, a fabulous beer event at the Westchester County Center. Big Brew NY promises to be to Westchester County what Savor is to Manhattan: we’re talking more than 300 craft beers poured by esteemed breweries from all over the US and abroad. A general admission ticket buys you a souvenir tasting glass that you can take along as you (perhaps increasingly) weave through the sample tables. Meanwhile, a VIP section promises all the above, plus, early admission, 25 still-more-elite beers, and a beer-infused buffet prepared by Chef Anthony Goncalves of Restaurant 42. Click here to purchase tickets—beer geeks, you don’t want to miss this one.
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Fish Taco at Restaurant Maize
Wanna make a surfer cry? Start talking about fish tacos on the east coast where it’s almost impossible to buy a good one. Oh, that surf rat will start blubbering right onto his wetsuit as he waxes nostalgic for the grubby vans that park near the surf spots off the PCH. Boohoo! But, folks—I had a really good fish taco last week at the Chef’s Table of Chef Eric Korn’s thronged Restaurant Maize. This elegant, Mexico-tinged pop-up by the folks behind Good Life Gourmet hit Irvington’s Cupcake Café just for a few nights, but, really, diners could hardly squeeze in the door. And this taco! We’re talking delicately battered red snapper paired with wedges of lime and creamy, perfectly ripe avocado, all snapped to attention with jalapeno slaw, crisp chayote and cucumber. Sadly, Restaurant Maize was a one-off pop-up, but Chef Korn is a kitchen animal—though ostensibly a caterer, he likes to keep his hands in restaurants. Look for more pop ups from this chef soon.