Saturday, June 26, 2010

Brooklyn and NYC

We arrived in Manhattan, NY late in the afternoon on Tuesday.  A long flight from Seattle, a downgrade from some reasonably cheap/clean hotels to a mammoth backpacker hostel, a hot New York summer and a sultry subway meant it was Beer O'clock! 

We headed out to a nice neighbourhood bar near the corner of Amsterdam and 106th (across the road from Mama's Pizza...think the bar was actually called 'Amsterdam 106' may have been 'Amsterdam Dive).  They had a good tap line-up, mostly east coast and international.  But it had a good vibe and the brews were tasting great.

We had heard alot about New York bars.....Blind Tiger, Rattle & Hum, Manhattan it seemed would be the place to see how sharp big city folk would present a beer bar.  Our side trip to Brooklyn Brewery was just that...a side trip.

Our first scheduled brewery visit was late in the afternoon of our first full day.  We decided to check out Brooklyn city first.  We had expected something a little different from what we found.  Instead of gangster rappers shooting each other out on the streets, we found an up-and-coming neighborhood, dog friendly bars and cafe welcoming childrens-prams (Monday to Thursday only thank the Lord).  Its no surprise that real estate was going through the roof and a funky restaurant and bar scene was spreading.

Walking down Court Street we stumbled on Cody's Ale House Grill, it was our first surprise.  A nice old bar with a lot of character and friendly staff.  Staff here say consumption of craft beer over the bar is above average for the area, about 65%.

From there we head for the oldest bar in town, but not without a visit to this cool bottleshop and the growler station.

PJ Hanley's was built by Norweigen settlers in the 1800's.  It was good to see they also had a good tap range of craft beers.  There was a few Coors and the like, however this was a mainstream pub with a great beer garden. 

There was plenty of advice going around about where we should head next.  We decided on Bar Great Harry.  Mo our bartender was a top lady and knew her stuff.  Had some really good taps and bottle list.  Enjoyed a Mikkeller Jackie Brown off tap and a tasty Southern Tier Oak Aged Unearthly.

Brooklyn Brewery was next, and we were well lubricated for it.  Steve Hindy, Owner had given us some time to tour in the afternoon.  The brewery had started a while ago in the 80's when there was not much else in the area.  Many locals credit them with the beginning of the turn-around for the Brooklyn area.

Cat on Malt: Brooklyn Brewery

We were fortunate enough to have Brewmaster Garrett Oliver who took us through a couple of the beers: Seasonal releases Local 1 and Local 2 and the Black Chocolate Stout.

A big day was finished off (and quite quickly) at Spuyten Duyvil in Brooklyn.  A nice space with a cool beer garden out the back.   Not much to say here, as we dont quite remember!

Day two of New York meant another visit to Brooklyn.  Sixpoint Craft Ales a small but rapidly growing micobrewery.  Shane Welch, Brewmaster and Founder took us through a tasting of the beers.  The stand out was the American Brown Ale.  We had a nice burger at Prime Meats (recommended) and headed to a local neighbouhood bar called The Gate.  Not quite the bar you would take some happy tourist snaps in, but friendly none the less and a good beer selection and a beer garden situated right on the corner facing onto the street in a typical Brooklyn neighbourhood.

Barcade was our next stop, a very cool concept.  Walls were lined with 1980's and early 1990's stand up arcade games including the Budweiser Tapper!  Again a good selection and definitley a recommended destination.  Dog friendly if that helps (actually saw two dogs running through the bar sniffing each others butts!).

The night finished up at an iconic Manhattan beer venue, Blind Tiger.  A very well done beer bar catering to a young professional crowd but without the heart & soul of the places we visited in Brooklyn. 

Our last morning in Manhattan was spent enjoying a few pints at Rattle & Hum another beer bar institution.  I would suggest anyone visitng NYC for the beer bar scene to check out the classics but make some time for  Brooklyn.

1 comment:

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