Drinks »Shiner Bock

bockThe Pride of Texas

People get fanatical about Shiner Bock – a Texas beer that outsiders once freaked over if they ever found it outside the Lone Star state. (Now it’s distributed to most of the U.S. with the exception of the NE).

Hill Country in Manhattan wooed the company for years in order to get it served in their Austin style BBQ joint, because it was so key in defining the Texas culinary experience (they finally won them over and now even New Yorkers can partake in the admired brew).

Unlike many things with such hype, though, Shiner is really that great. It’s slightly sweet, rich and malty but with zero after taste. Drinkable and satisfying.

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Posted on June 23, 2013

Drinks »Hilliards

hilliardsSeattle Brew in Cans, 550 NW 49th Street Seattle WA

Hilliard’s modern design and small price tag stand out in the sea of fancy beers at the local grocery. The local brewery is making very good beer though, not just pretty cans, with their refreshing Saison tops my list.

They also have a taproom not far that claims to be all ages.. Maybe a visit is in store.

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Posted on May 24, 2013

Drinks »Troost

1011 Manhattan Ave

Friends and I agree, Troost is a very pleasant place. Everything is just right and unobtrusive. The lighting is dim but not too dark, the service is extremely helpful (even offering sips of wines to taste) but not pushy, even the music is just the right volume and nice and jazzy without being disruptive.

A very nice addition to the neighborhood, Troost offers a spot to relax with cava or wine without battling a scene. The list of wines and beers is short but carefully selected and impressive.

I am looking forward to trying both their daytime coffee and the delicious sounding menu of small plates, sandwiches, meats and cheeses.

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Posted on December 14, 2011

Drinks »Second Chance Saloon

659 Grand St, Brooklyn

Seven bucks for two beers? Whaaa? Maybe I just haven’t been to happy hour in awhile but the price is right at the Second Chance Saloon, a dark, divey yet homey spot.

One pool table (occupied by serious players with their own stick carriers and everything) takes up the rear of the bar but there’s plenty of seating, a CSI ping pong table, a juke box and Americas Funniest Home Videos playing on the TV which is way better than sports because conversations are only disrupted by a man breast feeding a kitten.

Good beer selection and a pretty friendly environment. Seems like new bars are popping up all over the area and this ones nice and laid back, open to all sorts with a local hang out feel.

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Posted on December 7, 2011

Drinks »Autumnation

from Sixpoint

I have to hand it to the Sixpoint guys. I am not one to order a pumpkin ale, but I just tried their seasonal Autumnation version and it’s got to be one of the most crisp, refreshing pumpkin spiced beers I’ve had.

It’s described as bold hop flavor on other sites, which has me rethinking my negative stance on hoppy beers. Hmmm

And, it packs a punch, whoooo.

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Posted on November 2, 2011

Drinks »Six Point in Cans

at Your Local Bogeda

I know, Sixpoint cans have been on the shelves for a while now so it’s no big scoop I am sharing with you. Still, we think it’s pretty great that we can crack open a Sweet Action at home.

When we attended a Murray’s cheese and Sixpoint beer tasting, the Sixpoint representative was quite the purist, doubting a day would come when they could stand behind a super market product. I am glad that day has come.

But beware! I’ve found the cost of these beauties fluctuates wildly.

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Posted on August 30, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Eastern District

1053 Manhattan Ave

I’ve been meaning to make it up to the new cheese and beer shop, Eastern District in the northern part of the neighborhood for some time now. A recent “au revoir” party gave us the prefect excuse to head up there and buy some fancy cheeses.

The friendly staff helped me pick some greats: an aged gouda, a raclette, and a lovely goat button called Sweet Emotions. Jim and I also indulged in pricey bottles of Hitachino White Ale, a favorite I haven’t had since getting knocked up (it still tastes delicious!) and were intrigued by their entire selection of canned and bottled beers (including a whole shelf of Saisons and Six Point–now in cans!).

The brightly lit, easily maneuverable shop also offers a rotating assortment of beers available in growlers sans snarky drunk beer snobs (unlike Brouwerij Lane) as well as a wall of local and otherwise tasty treats. Can’t wait to come again for lunch–their sandwich list was making me drool (turkey with bacon marmalade mmmmmm).

A great addition to the neighborhood when you need some specialty foods.

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Posted on June 5, 2011

Drinks »Spritzenhaus

33 Nassau Ave, Greenpoint

The highly anticipated, absolutely humongous Greenpoint beer garden, Spritzenhaus opened the end of last week and I expected crazy drunken crowds Saturday but to many people’s possible horror, but my delight, at 1:00 it was over run with toddlers and there were plenty of tables to choose from. Despite its size, it still started getting crowded around 3:00.

There are 25 beers on tap (as well as bottles, wine and a full bar) including three Six Points, Mother’s Milk Stout, and a great dark Schwarzbier – just don’t expect help in your selection from the bar tenders. Young and bright eyed, they’re as cute as can be but completely clueless about beer. But I can’t complain about the friendly smiles.

I was happy to hear that a food menu is coming, but for now just order some classic greasy pizza from nearby Carmine’s. A perfect accompaniment to afternoon brew.

Airy and rustic, the space is inviting and distinctly new New York with lots of exposed brick and beams, copper, and worn wood. There  are plenty of stool at the bars, individual tables and a long line of communal style ones that ingeniously roll on tracks allowing people to walk between them or join them together.

This is such a welcome addition and so close to my place that we will no doubt become enthusiastic regulars – especially in the coming warmer months when the floor to ceiling windows are all open, allowing for sunshine and people watching.

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Posted on May 2, 2011

Drinks,Restaurants »The Counting Room

44 Berry Street, Williamsburg

I have to preface that my experience of The Counting Room may be very different from yours, unless you too go to bars in the early afternoon when the neighborhood babies along with their booze starved parents take over. So don’t blame me if it’s full of techno and 19 year old jerks at midnight.

During this time, it’s a bright, lovely space with soaring ceilings, picnic tables, and chic barn light fixtures.

I was itching for a cocktail – but those don’t make their appearance until after 6pm, so I went for the Bloody Wilbur, a bacon infused (what isn’t bacon infused at this point) bloody mary that was pretty good, but not mind blowing and very weak as far as the vodka goes.

Much more impressive was the beer list which included the incredibly tasty and surprisingly American Domaine DuPage French Style Country Ale, a brew I will be keeping my out for from now on. It won over everyone at our table.

The food was also a pleasant surprise. Going far beyond expected bar food that can taste like an after thought, everything we tried was excellent: a well adorned sopressata sandwich on criso French bread, and yummy, slightly lemony deviled eggs.

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Posted on January 30, 2011

Drinks »Young’s Chocolate Stout

Luxury Beer

“Pure Luxury” it reads on the can of Young’s Chocolate Stout and while that would usually seem like a bold and 1980’s Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous type boast, I have to agree. As half a can has been my only foray into alcohol these days, the rich, slightly sweet and rich brew is pure luxury – especially when the foam fizzles on my top lip – yum.

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Posted on November 24, 2010

Drinks »Schlenkerla Smokebeer

from Bamberg, Germany

Schlenkerla Smokebeer is not just some mammy pansy “smoke” beer in name, it truly smells of campfires and liquid smoke – a curious and sublime way to begin a mug of dark, strong beer. According to the website the interesting (and admittedly acquired  taste) is made thusly:

Its smoky flavor is being achieved by exposing the malt to the intense, aromatic smoke of burning beech-wood logs at the Schlenkerla-maltings. After mixing it with premium-class hops in the brew, it matures in 700 year old cellars, deep down in the hills of Bamberg, into a mellow, magnificent-tasting beer, best drunk directly in “Schlenkerla”.

The Schlenkerla they speak of is the original ale house in Bamberg where the beer is brewed – the brewery has been around, under different ownership (of course) since the 14th century! Visitors (which I hope to be one of some day) can still stop by, and who wouldn’t want to after reading the site’s inviting description:

There is far more to Schlenkerla than delicious food and drink. If you would rather drink you beer by yourself, be forewarned: it is almost impossible to avoid relaxed, cheerful conversations at the wooden tables. In everyday life the ordinary Franconian acts somewhat reserved when dealing with strangers, but that characteristic is left outside when entering the Smokebeer paradise.
And that is a tradition. For centuries the tasty, dark brown brew has made our guests happy and loosened their tongues. As in the past, when high clerics sat at the same table with farmers, today the musician from the Bamberg Symphonic Orchestra drinks his beer next to the factory worker. Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer levels the differences between classes. It brings together the stranger with the local.

Click here for the rest of Schlenkerla Smokebeer

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Posted on February 21, 2010

Drinks »Barcelona Round Up

cava barcelonaBubbly Wine, Water and Beer

Cava is the name of the game in Spain and we drank plenty of the bubbly. Much like champagne, cava can be sweet or dry (we opted for dry) and goes perfectly with salty tapas. But we didn’t end with cava as far as imbibing.

Vichy Catalan is the table “agua con gas” and made in the nearby town of  Girona (which we travelled through on the train to Figueres). Unlike the Perrier you might be used to, it’s actually kind of salty and delicious for it.

The tea in Spain is also slightly different from my estados unidos norm. Most restaurants serve a naturally sweet red tea, most of which, I believe comes from Africa and may just be the “bush tea” they’re always talking about in this week’s TV pick.

Lastly, they have a local beer, Moritz, which I’ve never seen in the US. It’s tasty and crisp and actually quite sweet in a non-lemon-wheat-beer kind of way. Quite refreshing.

Click here for the rest of Barcelona Round Up

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Posted on January 10, 2010

Desserts »Young’s Double Chocolate Stout

Made with Real Chocolate

You imagine a chocolate stout and you think thick, creamy, rich and strong. Young’s version manages to be all that but really quite drinkable as well. I first tried the brew at Berry Park as the snow fell outside, but was happy to find the British import at out local grocer as well. Young’s is a family brewery that’s been around (impressively) since 1831.

That chocolate flavor by the way, comes from real chocolate, added into the brewing process before bottling making it a great after dinner beer in lieu of dessert.

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Posted on December 26, 2009

Drinks »Berry Park

While the weather still permits it, you should try to make it out to Berry Park, the new super mellow rooftop beer hall behind the automotive high school in Williamsburg.

The views of Manhattan are great and the menu of beers is impressive but be warned – a lot of these brews are quite strong. The German dunkels (dark beers) are always a favorite of mine and currently the HB Dunkel is featured on the menu. Some nights the rooftop bar itself is out of service, but the trek downstairs is not a far one. So far, it's never been overly crowded or obnoxious, which is probably the greatest feature of all.

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Posted on October 12, 2009

Drinks »Rusty Knot

Can you fault a place for its douchey clientele? Not when it's The Rusty Knot, which serves such a delightful menu. There are few places that offer so many of my favorite things: spicy beer (cerveza Cubana, their refreshing and flavorful take on the michelada) and sides of pickles and oysters; even in a sea of pleated khakis, halter tops and going-out-pants, we had a great time.

The interior is tight with only a few coveted tables (one of which we hogged for hours) and a stupidly large pool table taking up most of the largest room. The theme is big-time nautical with a Polynesian twist, expect Tiki cups and lots of wood paneling; the drinks are cheap (regular beers start at 99 cents) and the general mood is low key, but any sense of divey-ness is carefully fabricated – the gentlemen behind the popular hangout come from Freeman's, Milk and Honey, The Spotted Pig, and Momofuku; a group well versed in what's hip and how to convey it without seeming to try too hard.

It's a skill that's made them very rich I'm sure, and I don't mind adding to their coffers when they're serving such yummy snacks and drinks – but next time I'll make a wiser decision than to go so close to the meatpacking district on a Saturday evening.

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Posted on August 17, 2009

Drinks »Beer Island

You may want to go the way we did and get bleary eyed over several beers at Nathans before daring to enter Beer Island at Coney. Even with the veil of Budweiser, the cigarette butt strewn, vomit stained, port-o-potty lined box of sand is glaring to the eye and seems like a dangerous place to spend our time. But spend our time we did.

After all, there was entertainment – if you count burly cretins walking around with unsafe pythons (with their faces taped shut with scotch tape because they bite) and parrots that the pythons are trying to eat. Tons of seedy fun.

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Posted on August 10, 2009

Drinks »Hideout

hideout cocktails fort greeneThe atmosphere of the appropriately named Hideout bar in Fort Greene is mellow, dark, inviting and snug. Unfortunately the bartender is none of these things. Why any self proclaimed mixologist would find it becoming to bitch about having to shake three fizzes in a row or bemoan a couple that dared to leave their empty 12 dollar a drink glasses on the table is beyond me, but the din of regular and clinking glass can drown him out, and hey, maybe he was just having an off night.

I won't let it mar the total drinking experience, an experience that included fig tinted cocktails and flowery strong punches. The impressive menu (you'll have a terribly fun time choosing a drink) are courtesy of onetime U.K. Bartender of the Year, Charlotte Voisey. ?br/>
You find the faux speakeasy behind unmarked wooden garage doors on Adelphi St.

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Posted on August 3, 2009