I’m just back from a trip to New York with the family over the Christmas break. Armed with recommendations from a few friends and the Where to Drink Beer book I was more ready than I had been on my last visit over a decade ago. In fact, many of the places weren’t even there the last time! My first stop was Threes on Franklin and Kent in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It was all of a four minute walk from where we were staying and I was off to a good start with their Kicking and Screaming Pilsner. I also enjoyed their tasty burger. Passing Time, their grisette, was delicious. Padraig Fox spoke highly of their Vliet Pilsner so that gave me all of the excuse I needed for a second visit. It wasn’t a wasted trip. The place has a nice vibe and the lads behind the bar are sound.
It was on to Brouwerij Lane next. This place has a great, rotating tap list as well as an impressive range of bottles and cans in a large fridge. There is no bar, as such, but that doesn’t mean you can pour your own! I had great craic chatting with Tegan and Ben. Grimm’s Super Spruce, a gøse was lovely as was Saunter, a mild from Suarez Family Brewery. $60 Nachos from Hoof Hearted is one of those that I had to try as the name tickled my puerile sense of humour. It’s a grand IPA. Unfortunately this place closes at 10 most evenings so I wasn’t able to pay it a second visit. But if you’re in the area you should definitely go in and have one for me!
The Blind Tiger was described to me as ‘the OG craft beer bar of NYC’ by David Clarke. The family was in a loooong que for the Museum of Illusions. The Blind Tiger was only a thirteen minute walk away. Reader, I left them queing. Here I enjoyed another grisette, this time from Seven Doors. They were also pouring Hill Farmstead’s Of First and Last Things IPA, I think I prefer their sours (the couple I’ve had) but it was still very good indeed. I Grimm’s Galaxy Pop!, a Berliner weisse next, yes it did taste like ‘candy’! And I completed my brief session with Revolution’s Deth’s Tar, an Imperial Stout that lived up to it’s name and was as treacley as you’d expect. I rejoined the family at the top of the que and the Museum of Illusions was more fun than I thought it would be.
Shane Smith was one of a few others that were coincidentally over in New York at the same time so we met up with his friend Kristin Elliott in Evil Twin. We all enjoyed the Black Lager. My favourite Evil Twin on the day was Yes I Eat On The Subway And I Don’t Think It’s Weird IPA. There was also a Monkish tap takeover in the back room so we shared some small pour of their very aptly named Foggiest Window and Gang of Four. If you like your IPAs hazy, hoppy and strong, these are right up your alley. Myself and Kristin also shared some yummy Bao buns from the food truck outside.
Next stop for Shane and I was Kings County Brewers Collective. Both of us agreed that their big boozy Ryde to Oblivion was the pick of the bunch there. I may also have indulged in some falafel pizza from Traze.
Our last port of call was Grimm’s Tap Room. This place was cool and I was delighted to get to visit after enjoying a couple of their beers in the aforementioned bars. Gathering with Jester King, a fruited sour was the stand out beer here but we didn’t have any bad ones.
I paid a very brief visit to McSorley’s Old Ale House. Between one thing and another I could’ve enjoyed it more. The beer is easy drink and the place is like something out of Gangs of New York.
Tørst has been on my beer bucket list pretty much since it opened. David had told me to ask for Mark, Mark wasn’t there but Mike looked after me very well in his stead. They have an absolutely savage line up of beers and natural wines, whatever they are. The food menu also looked awesome but I was just after having dinner with the family and I couldn’t even manage a few nuts. I loved Fou D’or Sour from Hermit Thrush and Wood Ya Honey from Jackie O’s. Put this place down as an absolute must. And maybe go hungry.
On New Year’s Eve we went up the One World Observatory and I thought it was too cool a spot not to have a beer. It was great that they were pouring micro brewed beer as I’d imagine a similar spot in Ireland would have a limited selection. And Juice Bomb from Sloop was very tasty. But it was $16 and served in a plastic pint pot. Sure look, had to be done!
I was very happy to see Other Half’s Green City IPA on the menu in Paulie Gee’s. It’s a great match for their pizza. And it’s a deadly spot. After that we went to Prospect Park to catch the New Year’s Eve fireworks. They were way better than watching a ball drop in Times Square. No, really.
Thanks for coming on this trip with me. Sláinte!