Tuesday, September 26, 2006

NYC: First Day Reviews

So, this is the first installment blog of my New York trip (which was "awesome", if I haven't said so before).
My first day was technically covered in this earlier blog entry, sans the beer reviews. We picked up 3 six-packs that evening...
Brooklyn Pennant Ale '55
Pretty much a simple ale, mild in flavour all around. A pretty easy drinking beer.... I couldn't find much to comment on. Theres nothing really wrong with it, but its also not very interesting. At least it has some flavour though.

Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA
Fairly yellow in colour (yes, I said coloUr...). I get a fairly mild almost woody hop aroma. Medium carbonation. It has a slightly grassy hop flavour and medium "plus" bitterness... not TOO bitter like many IPAs out there these days, but noticeable. Smooth and not biting bitterness in the aftertaste too. The beer has plenty of malt flavour too, which is very well balanced. I really liked this beer, I have to say their continual hopping over the length of the boil technique does create a distinct hop bitterness/flavour/aroma profile. I wish I was able to try the 90 minute. I grabbed a six pack to take back home.

Sierra Navada Stout:
Unfortunately the six pack of this we got seemed a little old to me. I got the oxidized flavour out of it, but sometimes the good thing about a nice stout is that the roast flavour in it can mask it. I still liked it, but I don't think I'd give it a fair review off an old bottle. It whent VERY well with a chocolate cake a friend had made... :)

On to day 2.... cheers!

Monday, September 25, 2006

New York, city of Awesome

Well, I'm back today from New York city. I had such a great time, which may be evident in the fact that I only added one blog the entire time I was there.

The only thing that I can really say about New York right now that it is just awesome... I'm quite tired and can't articulate any more than that right now. There is just so much to see and do there. I was only there seven days, and I feel as if I was gone a couple of weeks.

I'm sure my opinion of the city was helped by the fact I had a friend living in midtown Manhattan to stay with. In addition, she had lots of excellent friends that I got to know very quickly. By the end of the week, it felt like I already lived there... and living there is tempting. But I think I may just like visiting (and I'm sure my hosts would get tired of a non-rent-paying lump on their couch after awhile).

So, for the next couple of days my plan is to write about my experiences of a day or two per post, along with the beer reviews I did that day.
Speaking of beer, here is a list of the beers I got my hands on while in NYC:
(the *** denotes my picks as best beers of the trip)

Bottles / other draught:
Brooklyn Pennant Ale '55
Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
Sierra Navada Stout
Yuengling Lager
Dogfish Head Raison d'etre (spelling??)
Anchor Liberty Ale
Arrogant Bastart Ale
Leffe Bruin
Spaten Oktoberfest

Heartland Brewpub, Union Square:
  • Apricot Ale (seasonal)
  • Some amber coloured ale, the server forgot which one it was and I couldn't place it (seasonal)
  • Smiling Pumpkin Ale (seasonal)
  • Cornhusker Lager
  • Harvest Wheat
  • IPA
  • Red Rooster
  • Farmer Jon's Oatmeal Stout
  • Empire Ale
  • Imperial IPA***
  • Matrimony Saison
Zum Schneider (East 7th st at Ave C)
An awesome german beer bar...
  • Weihnstephaner Hefeweizen (on tap!!)
  • Schneider Wiesse
  • Spaten Dopplebock
  • Schlenkeria Racuchbier Marzen (bottle)

Peter's Waterfront Alehouse (Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn Heights)
  • Brooklyn Blast
  • Magic Hat Fat Angel
  • Chelsea Hop Angel

Sixpoint Craft Ales (Brooklyn)
I stopped in to visit these guys for about half an afternoon and had a great time, I'll expand more in the blog post later, but they are quite small and make some AWESOME beers. They gave me a few sample bottles to take home too.
  • Sweet Action Cream Ale
  • Brownstone Ale***
  • Got a tast of their first lager that should be out in a few months.

The GingerMan (East 36th St between 5th & Park)
I almost died when I saw the beer selection at this place. Too bad I was getting tired of beer at the end of the week!
  • Sixpoint Bengali Tiger Cask Ale
  • Belhaven Scottish Ale
  • Sixpoint Brownstone*** (again, because it was such a good beer!)
  • Victory Old Horizontal Barleywine***
  • Rock Art Ridge Runner Barley Wine
Holy crap thats a lot of beer. I didn't bring back as much as I thought I would, but I didn't want to lug it around with me anyway.

Unfortunately I left my digital camera on ISO setting 400 while I was taking pictures, and a lot of them have turned out very grainy and crappy. Plus I didn't take a lot of pictures to begin with. So that makes me a little sad.... but I guess I'll just have to go back.

All in all... like I said, it was awesome. I had such a good time and I'm glad I went. Now stay in tune for my stories and reviews this week (as I won't have anything else very interesting to write about, I will stretch this NY thing for all the posts I can get out of it ;)


Sunday, September 17, 2006

NYC Day Zero

Well, this was a long day. My plane left from Edmonton at 00:30 in the morning. I had a middle seat between two people, on the emergency exit row... which means that your seat doesn't recline. Somehow I actually managed to sleep a little bit, but not well.
I changed planes in Toronto, which was actually quite an efficient process as it turns out. In 45 minutes I was driven by bus from one terminal to another, picked up my bag, went through US customs, checked through security again, and made it to my gate 10 minutes before my plane was boarding. All at 6:00 am Toronto time. Better than I expected.

My plane arrived at Newark, NJ on time... I was a little worried about finding my way to my friend's place in Manhattan. But, not for long. There was a big ad for bus service to Grand Central (amongst other places) right by the baggage carosel. $14 US, not too bad. From Grand Central it was an easy hop on the 6 subway to 23rd st, then a short walk to my friend's place at 2nd ave & 24th st. I didn't even have to check a map the entire trip in. Actually, after I bought my metro card, I managed to help another tourist with the subway system map. Its fairly easy once you get it.

I arrived at my friend's place at about 10:30ish. Immediately I was being shoved out the door to go to central park to meet with a group of friends of hers. I was tired... but oh well. Central Park is quite awesome... I played frisbee in the big open grass area on the south side. I felt... like I was in NYC. We walked around the park a bit, then went home... I basically passed out for 3 hours sleeping after that, as I was quite tired.

Following that the evening consisted of a lot of beer drinking until 3:30 am... My reviews of the american craft beer consumed will appear in my next blog entry... for now, I sleep. I also met a friend of my friend's from Brooklyn, and she'll show me around there this week. Thats great, as otherwise I probably wouldn't even know what to do with myself in Brooklyn.


Friday, September 15, 2006

New York City

Well, tomorrow I'm off to NYC for a week. I'll keep notes on beers & breweries and post what I find!
Who knows... maybe this will be a beer blog again after a month or so of laziness :)


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

New York Trip!

Yep, so it looks like I'm going to NY for a week, Sept 16-24. I plan to visit some friends, see the sights, but most importantly, try some beers!!
I'm staying right near the Bellevue medical centre, in Manhattan. I plan on visiting the Brooklyn brewery and Sixpoint Ales in Brooklyn, as well as the Heartland Brewery Union Square (just a few blocks away!) and Chelsea Brewing brew pubs. I've emailed all of them, hopefully they are nice enough to want to have me in for a brewing chat & a pint or three. I think I'd like to bring down some samples of beer from my brewery if I can, we'll see. I definately plan on bringing back lots of beer myself (more than the 24 allowed... but I'll pay the excise tax on them no prob).

Theres a few beer pubs I plan on checking out too... The Ginger Man, Gramercy Tavern, and St. Andrew's Pub. They're all somewhat close to where I'm staying and are highly rated on Beeradvocate.

So, that means I'll have brewery/beer reviews to post while I'm there/when I get back. It'll be a beer blog again!

I welcome any New York travel suggestions!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

New York?

Well, I was thinking I should cross New York off my list of places to go. In two weeks I have a week off... and I can get a return flight from here in Edmonton for $615 total by flying through Vancouver or something. I have a friend in New York to stay with in Manhattan, which helps. I just need to find a list of awesome breweries to visit!

Ok, I'm all excited now... more to come later.