On my 2nd day in New York we went down to the Heartland Brewpub in Union Square. Its a pretty nice place, and it wasn't too busy (being a Sunday evening and all). Lots of beer related stuff all over the place... posters, brewing equipment, etc. It looks like they had a full working brewery from what I could tell, but they don't brew there anymore. The service was ok, not too slow, not too fast. I ordered their beer sample tray, and the results were...
Apricot ale - (Seasonal, 4.5%) Not all that pleasant... some kinda soda flavour in it. Not a lot of noticeable apricot flavour. My brewery makes an apricot ale... this beer was certainly more bitter than ours. Overall... I wouldn't order it myself.
Smiling Pumpkin Ale - (Seasonal, 5.5%) Quite nice! Good spicy/cinnamon note. Maybe even some cloves. However, I wasn't a big fan of the finish, which was fairly bitter that didn't really go with the spicy flavour. I'd drink it for the initial taste though.
Cornhusker Lager - They actually advertise and seem proud of the fact this beer is made with corn. And it certainly is, you can taste the cornyness quite strongly. I didn't bother finishing the 4 oz sample, just terrible, for me.
Harvest Wheat - Was served with a lemon, which I took out but the damage to the flavour had already been done. Cloudy & light coloured. Very clean flavour, with an odd bitterness, probably damaged by the lemon flavour. Might be nice on a sunny patio though.
IPA: This was my favorite one until I tried their Imperial IPA (see below). Decent hop flavour, mild aroma. Dry finish that sticks for several minutes. Seems like some combination of English and American hops maybe? Somewhat spicy, somewhat floral notes. Reminds me of Tree Brewing's Hophead IPA from Kelowna, BC but with less dry hopping. Medium "plus" body. Head stuck to the side of the glass all the way down. Definitely a great beer.
Red Rooster Ale: Nice malty start, but jumps into a harsh bitterness (as well as a strong bite from the carbonation). Not much hop flavour. Seems to be a lot of munich malt in this one. Not too bad of a beer, overall.
Farmer Jon's Oatmeal Stout - This has won several awards. Medium body. Fisrt note very chocolatey & burnt flavour. Not a whole lot of aftertaste. Some bitterness from the roasted malts. No hop flavour or aroma. I ordered a pint of this after the sample tray, its a decent beer... but I wouldn't say it blew me away with its flavour.
Empire Ale - I only had like 2 sips of this, and it was a pretty good Czech style pilsner/lager. Crisp, clean, nice hop finish.
Imperial IPA - (7.75%) Just AWESOME. I came back the next day with a friend because we had to have another two. Slightly cloudy, Amberish brown. Beautiful balance of sweet malty goodness on the forefront with a great bitter balance on the finish that makes you want to come back for more. I like this because while it was quite bitter, it wasn't a harsh bitter... it was quite a smooth and relatively easy drinking beer for an imperial IPA. A lot of IPAs, especially ones labeled 'imperial' seem to go overboard with the bitteness and don't balance it with enough malt. This beer was still balanced towards the bitterness, but not overdone. A very good beer in my opinion.
Matrimony Saison - (5.0%) Golden yellow, cloudy, "hoegarrdenny" yeast character, lots of citrus flavour/aroma. High burpy carbonation. Not bad, I only had a few sips of someone else's pint though.
All in all, it was a pretty good visit. Evidently I wasn't impressed by a lot of their beers, but their Imperial IPA makes this a place I would definitely go back to over and over again... if I only lived in NYC.
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