Posts Tagged ‘whole foods’

NYC

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

last week AP and I headed east to see what the other side of the continent had to offer.

  • despite having a travel agenda that wasn’t completely beer-centric, we managed to hit up more than a few choice beer spots in both manhattan and brooklyn during new york craft beer week:
  • blind tiger – this bar came highly recommended and didn’t disappoint (it was my favorite of the trip).  a solid tap and bottle lineups were accompanied by great food and even better service.  AP and I ordered up east coast rarities like lambrucha, geektoberfest, and smuttynose’s ice wheat wine (a deceptively smooth ice-concentrated version of their wheat wine that clocked in at 20% abv!).
  • rattle n hum – packed and a little chaotic, this bar normally offers up around forty taps of choice brews.  unfortunately for us, we missed an all-NY lineup by a day and instead were greeted by a plethora of west-coast beers.  luckily, captain lawrence’s captain’s reserve was on draft as an east coast hop bomb alternative, and we scared up a bottle of cantillon geuze to keep things interesting.  meeting the guys behind two brothers at the end of the night was icing on the cake.
  • the ginger man – with spacious, comfortable digs and an upscale feel, this bar seems like a go-to happy hour spot.  has a ton standard craft on tap, and an impressive bottle selection (along with a bartender who wasn’t really into me taking general bar photos).
  • mcsorley’s old ale house: this place is a classic, and has the most personality of any bar I’ve ever been to.  a great slice of quintessential NYC culture, with two styles of beer (light and dark) and a great cheese and onion plate.  full of rowdy firemen and some great upstate visitors, mcsorley’s was my most memorable stop and definitely a must-visit spot.  shit, abe lincoln used to grab a drink there!
  • spuyten duyvil – a tiny hidden nook of a bar with an incredible backyard beer garden, great knowledgable staff, and the best selection of rare belgians I encountered on the trip.  ichtegem’s grand cru was poured on draft, and bottles of tilquin oude geuze and cantillon lou pepe kriek (possibly my favorite beer) were brought to the back for sharing.  just ignore the ridiculously cliche hipsters crawling all over this place.
  • pony bar – this place reminds me of tony’s darts away – good food, local beers, and a draft-only selection that changed up twice while we were there as kegs kicked (at 11pm on a sunday night).  the staff was friendly and had helpful recommendations.  this is a must-visit bar after getting out of a broadway show.
  • after grabbing some bottles at good beer and whole foods, AP and I were ready to head home after some late nights and plenty of good times.  there are enough beer spots in this city to last several trips, so I can’t wait to get back and experience more of what NYC has to offer.  now if I could just figure out the story behind the plethora of left hand and two brothers on tap…

  

  

AP’s birthday beer tour: santa monica

Monday, June 21st, 2010

a little over a week ago AP’s birthday rolled around, so we headed off to santa monica, one of our old stomping grounds, to celebrate.

  • our first stop was library alehouse (not to be confused with library bar), a great little beer bar on main st.
  • I remember stopping by library alehouse many years ago and excitedly grabbing a downtown brown before I really caught on to the craft beer scene.
  • that tap handle is still pouring after all these years, but I have come to appreciate the finer offerings that this beer bar has to offer.
  • AP and I spotted the tap for eric’s ale and immediately ordered up a round.  we were bummed to discover that eric salazar from new belgium was going to be stopping by the next day to pay a visit.  that would have been sweet…
  • the beer was great, the scene was mellow, and the food was tasty, but AP and I packed up and moved on to our next destination.
  • our next pit stop was at wine expo on santa monica blvd.  the selection was varied, and we grabbed a reissdorf kolsch, a berliner weiss, and a geuze for later in the evening.
  • if you’re ever in the area and looking for a brew, wine expo is a good place to check out.  they have a bunch of interesting imports, but stock a pretty ordinary domestic selection.
  • we continued the bottle hunt at whole foods on wilshire, which I remembered as having a pretty decent beer selection.
  • “pretty decent” was an understatement – they had a great selection of hard to fund find beers.  after staring at the lineup for a good while, I could tell AP was done with bottle shopping, so I grabbed a bottle of port’s older viscosity, allagash’s confluence, and dogfish’s burton baton and hit the road.  this whole foods is definitely the place to go with paycheck in hand to grab some rarities for a special occasion.
  • AP and I then cruised down 3rd street promenade, ending with a stop by the fifth amendment alehaus.  I didn’t know what to expect when we stepped in, but the bar was cozy and the bartender/owner was friendly and knowledgeable.
  • my only gripe was the price of a pint – I can see $8 for a pour of eric’s ale or delirium tremens, but for port’s hot rocks lager? gimme a break.  I think the price will keep me from coming back on a regular basis, but if you’re stranded on third street shopping with your lady this place is the ticket.
  • I also tried a taster of the bruery’s coton, and let me tell you, it was one of the first old ales/barleywines that I actually disliked.  it was super hot with an overwhelmingly boozy finish.  all I could taste was alcohol.  come on guys, just stuff it in barrels for a year or two and push it for your usual $30 pricetag!
  • afterwards we grabbed some great italian at a BYOB joint where we shared some beers and then headed home.  our samo excursion was a great success – happy birthday AP!