No, we didn’t reach our goal of hitting 32 beer places in three days. It was crazy to think we could do that. But we finally met in person our friend Andie, who happens to work for Victory Brewing.
Before we met up with Andie and her husband, we wanted to do some ‘normal’ tourist things, like see the Statue of Liberty. So, we headed on down to Battery Park, which turned out to be no easy task. Weekend construction on the subway meant multiple transfers to get down there. The subway platforms were the hottest and steamiest of the trip and we spent plenty of time on them. We did a quick tour of Battery Park, gazed at the Statue of Liberty from afar and filmed the episode closing. Then we headed back uptown.
First stop was Heartland Brewery at Union Square where we met Andie and Greg. Heartland is a chain of six ‘brew’ pubs in Manhattan with the Union Square location being the original. Unfortunately, they no longer brew at any of the locations, so we couldn’t count Heartland on the list. All the beer is made at a production facility in Brooklyn and the nice brew kits are now just decoration.
After the ‘it’s so nice to finally meet you in person’ talk with Andie, the four of sat down to try the beers and have some lunch. The beers were solid, with the IPA (of course) being my brew of choice.
Then we were off to East Village and McSorley’s Old Ale House. You don’t go to McSorley’s for the beer. Established in 1854, one visits McSorley’s for the history of which there is plenty.
As for the beer, there are two house ales, a light and a dark. There really isn’t much flavor difference with the dark having slightly more of a roast flavor. Oddly, they are served in pairs. We ordered three beers and received six glasses. And the beers are brewed off-site so it couldn’t be counted on the list either.
After trying the light and dark and looking around, it was time for our group to move on.
There were three more beer places on the same block as McSorley’s but first we headed down to the Bowery to DBGB, a new beer place in Manhattan. As an aside, I assume the name is a play on the famous music venue, CBGBs, that was a half block away. I went to a show there in the mid 1980s though I can’t remember the bands name. Now it is a John Varvatos boutique, whatever that is…
I knew DBGB was going to be upscale and pretentious. But after reading about the restaurant in an Eric Asimov article in the New York Times I wanted to go… to try the sausages. The article mentioned there were 13 different sausages on the menu and I was hoping they had a sampler plate.
Walking in, my preconceived notion was confirmed; this wasn’t our kind of place. And there was no sausage sampler plate.
But what a nice beer selection! The streak of trying new beers continued as I had a Six Point Righteous Rye Ale and a Captain Lawrence Fresh Chester Pale Ale.
Then it was back up to the street to check out the three places near McSorley’s.
First up was Standings, a sports bar with craft beer. Or was it a craft beer bar that showed a lot of sports? It was amazing how much sports SWAG they fit into such a small space. Apparently, Standings is also the place that Manhattan Cal fans gather to watch the games. I was so enamored with taking pictures of all the Cal stuff, I almost forgot to get a beer.
Peak Organic IPA was the beer I found at Standings. I also tried Dogfish Midas Touch, a beer I liked better than Palo Santo Marron.
We parted company with Andie and her husband after Standings. They headed to the train station while we walked a few doors down to Jimmy’s No. 43.
Without our friends to keep us going we again hit the afternoon fade. We had a few quick beers at Jimmy’s. Then, we walked into Burp Castle, didn’t see anything we really wanted and left. We popped into Hop Devil Grill for a quick bite to eat and a beer. We took a cab back uptown (unfortunately not Cash Cab) to take us back to Rattle and Hum as we needed some more video footage.
We finished up our New York City beer adventure at The Ginger Man. Luckily we were there in the early evening and the place was empty. We were in the stare blankly, talk minimally, watch people walk by phase of the evening and a large, noisy crowd would have ruined the moment. My last beer of the trip was a River Horse Hopalotamus Double IPA… on cask.
The absolute last thing we did in NYC was another ‘normal’ tourist thing, ordering a corned beef sandwich at Carnegie Deli. And we don’t eat beef. We managed to visit 20 of the beer places on our target list and drink beer at 19 of them. Even though that left us 12 short of our goal, we had a good time making the attempt, even taking into account the weather. That just means we need to return to New York City, preferably in the spring or fall.