Monday, April 19, 2010

NYC - Part I

I was going to write several posts during my trip to New York City earlier in the month, but dummy-me forget my cardreader so I was unable to to upload my pictures while in New York.  Rather than try and re-create each stop on my trip, I am going to do one or two summary posts.    I went to
New York with one beer objective, which was to only try only New York or East Coast beers.  I was with my family, so I was not taking detailed notes and all beers were with meals, and I did not make it any of New York City's famous beer bars.  I found craft beers prevalent in New York, even at the tourist traps and my general recollections are below.

The Grand Central Oyster Bar, in Grand Central Station, is way-touristy (especially foreign tourists),  but it had a good beer list, and a solid local selection.  We tried Brooklyn Brewing's Brooklyn Lager and Sixpoint's Righteous Ale, both brewed in Brooklyn.  The lager was crisp and malty, and it was darker and had more favor than I was expecting.  The rye ale was dark, a bit cloudy and had a nice bitter finish.  I liked the rye so much, I had two. 

The following night we went to the cheese mecca, Artisnal Bisto, along Park Avenue in the low-30s.  (It is very close to the beer bars Rattle 'N' Hum and The Ginger Man.)  Artisnal was less touristy than the Oyster Bar and is where I finally got to taste a beer brewed by Captain Lawrence.  I ordered the Pale Ale, which came in a long glass ( I am guessing this the Fresh Chester Pale Ale as it's the only Captain Lawrence pale ale listed on BeerAdvocate).  It was an excellent pale ale, the best beer of the trip.  It had a perfect balance between the hops and malt.  I like when brewers can brew basic beers well.   Fancy special releases that generate a cult following are fine, but brewing an outstanding, basic beer can be difficult for some brewers.   I could drink the Captain Lawrence Fresh Chester Pale Ale every day, and will be thinking about this delicious pale ale for some time.

While my goal was only to drink East Coast beers, I had to make an exception when I saw Blanche de Bruxelles, a Belgian wit, on tap at the Museum of Modern Art (although the $8 price tag was a shock).   It's easy being an art lover when an art museum serves quality draft beer.  This was the lightest wit I ever had, so light that there was just not much to this beer, and the pour was atrocious, but it was restorative after canvassing the MoMA's many floors of art exhibits.

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