Even Old New York…was once New Amsterdam.

Posted: July 15, 2012 in Beer Drinking Adventures

To those of you educated people living in New York State…well, you should already know this…but to the rest of you, pay attention, here is some free education.  In the early 1600’s, the city that we now call New York was called New Amsterdam.  It was occupied by a Dutch colonial settlement who named it New Amsterdam back in the day.  Later on in the century, the same area was later settled by a British colonial settlement that renamed to what we currently know it as New York (city) in the year 1674.   Since the year 1674, many brewpubs/microbreweries/nanobreweries have been popping in and around the area ever since then.   Now, fast forward to July 2012, when I had to spend 4 long days in the area north or east of manhattan.

After getting up at 3AM on monday morning, spending a long sweaty day working outside, I had to race across the George Washington bridge, Bronx, and Throgs Neck bridge to beat the traffic so that I could make it to my hotel and eventually several bottle shops and beer bar.  After showing much restraint at several of the area bottle shops, I decided to stop in at the Black Sheep Ale House in Mineola NY.  I only had stopped here because I saw a thread on Beer Advocate about this place the previous week about their decent selection and $4 pints for the summer.  It was only a short 15 minute drive from my hotel and well worth it in my opinion.  The Black Sheep Ale House had 25 taps to choose from, a nice concentration of NY state beers and other decent craft beers.  I also had a chance to speak with the owner Vince who told me about his adventures of owning the bar and where his focus was for the future.  For anyone who may have to venture into the area, I highly recommend this establishment for some nice variety of craft beers, especially local craft beers too.  Here was a quick blurb about the beers I tried there that evening…

  • Spider Bite Brewing First Bite Pale Ale (NY)(5.5% ABV) was a solid Pale Ale that pushed the limits with solid notes of grapefruit, lemon zest and a piney hoppiness.  4.20 Rating
  • Barrier Brewing Bulkhead Red (NY)(6.5% ABV) had a nice piney, malty, grapefruit nose/taste especially for a red ale.  4.03 Rating
  • Port Jeff Brewing Triple H (NY)(10.1% ABV) was a fully fruity triple ale with apple, banana, corriander, mild clove and sweet malts.  3.95 Rating
  • Spider Bite Brewing Eight Legged Rye Pale Ale (NY)(7.0% ABV) was another strong Pale Ale with strong presence of Grapefruit, Rye and Piney flavors, especially released from it being served on cask.  4.35 Rating

After working another long work day on tuesday, I ended up north of NYC in Yonkers.  I wasnt exactly jumping at the chance to try and cross the bridges and hectic traffic of the city so I decided to book my hotel stay in NJ that evening.  But since I was so close to the new location of Captain Larence Brewing, I knew that I had to stop in and check out their new digs.  The new location is situated in a business park with their parcel situated in the very back.  Their tasting room is of average size as it can fit probably 60-70 patrons at one time and also acts as their retail shop and growler fill area too.  The main bar is sectioned off into a quarter/half/quarter for Growler Fills/Retail…Samples…and Full Pours.  My only gripe about the place was that the two bartenders were more focuses on the 8 people getting samples as opposed to the people paying 5/6 dollars for a 12oz glass.  I literally had to wait almost ten minutes at the bar with my cash in hand when I finally had to kncok something off the bar to get someones attention (yep, a total d-bag move but it worked).  Here were the beers that I tried while there…

  • Captain Lawrence Brewing Ginger Man Belgian Pale Ale (NY)(5.75%ABV) was a simple Belgian Pale Ale with a definite Ginger, Belgian Sugar, and Malty presence.  3.78 Rating
  • Captain Lawrence Brewing Breakfast Stout: Pilot Batch #5 (NY)(4.0% ABV) had a solid Oats, Coffee and Dark Chocolate Malt presence (YES, I DRANK A STOUT)  4.08 Rating  Please note: The Pilot Batch series that Captain Lawrence is running a series of beers produced by individual employees of the brewery.
  • Captain Lawrence Brewing Brown Out Ale: Pilot Batch #4 (NY)(5.0% ABV) presented a Malty, Piney, Mild Coffee taste, good but not earth shattering.  3.90 Rating

I had asked several of the Captain Lawrence employees and a patron for advice on where else to go for dinner in the area/Northern NJ and the only place that kept coming up was Peekskill Brewing (which was 20 miles north and 20 miles further away from my hotel)…but I bit and decided to go there anyways.  Upon arrival to Peekskill Brewing, there seemed to be a buzz in the air amongst the employees as a good majority seemed excited about the upcoming move/expansion of the brewery.  I had come to Peekskill Brewery once prior and thought that they were killing it with their IPAs and had to go down that road again, so here is what I tried out this time…

  • Peekskill Brewing Shotgun Willy IPA (NY)(7.2% ABV) has been recommended to me by several people and lived up to the hype.  Solid flavors of Rye, Grapefruit and Lemons, well balanced together.  4.43 Rating
  • Peekskill Brewing Zeitgeist Berliner Weissee (NY)(3.4% ABV) was a standard Berliner Weiss beer with notes of wheat and lemons.  A very boring and run of the mill beer, even for the style.  3.48 Rating
  • Peekskil Brewing Eastern Standard IPA (NY)(6.6% ABV) fitted your typical IPA with notes of grapefruit, lemons, and a lightly floral finish.  There was just the right amount of hops that it didnt burn you out but was definitely hoppy in its own right.  4.23 Rating

On wednesday of the week, due to a lack of organization on my company, I had to spend another night on Long Island instead of the White Plains area as planned.  Well, at least it gave me an opportunity to try and hit another stop on Long Island.  My plans were delayed that evening because after sitting on the Southern Parkway for over 2 hours (and only moving 25 miles), another motorist decided to strength test his side mirror on the back of my rental car and smacked me.  After pulling over to exchange insurance information, the guy tells me that he was a police officer for a local township and then says “Fa-Kin’ Sa-thurn Parkway…um, Ive never been into a car accident before, what do we do?”…after laughing at his statement (and screwed up accent), my reply was only “Dont you write tickets and reports for this sort of thing?”, in which he responded, “Well Yeah, but we dont do any of the insurance bullshit.”  Touche, I guess.  So after trading information and noticing that the only real damage to my car was a small black streak on my taillight and a small scrap where he tried to cave in my bumper,  I had to run my car to a local Hertz outlet to fill out an accident report.  After explaining to the Hertz counter person what happended, she contact a supervisor to come out and inspect my car.  Three minutes later, she gets a call over the radio from said supervisor who says “Tell the customer to stop filling out the paperwork and come out here”.  Upon arrival back to my car, I started laughing and said, “Hey, it was an accident and I had to report it” where he in turn replied “Go get a car wash and that’ll take care of your ‘damage'”.

After running to the hotel, dropping off my luggage, I quickly made a 15 minute drive to the Brick House Brewery in Patchogue NY.  I had visited this place about 4 years earlier and if I recall, it was owned by the head brewer at Blue Point Brewing company.  I figured that if he made beer for Blue Point, then maybe he will make better beer for his own place.  Upon arrival to the place, it was jam packed with college co-eds lining the pbar 4,5 deep in almost every spot except near the creepy old guy on the other side in the corner (we all know where this is going).  So after making small talk with creepy old guy, he got up to leave and offered me his spot at the bar.  (Karma baby, be nice to creepy old guy and you may become the creepy old guy).   The service was way understaffed as they were running some sort of party for the local college and only had 2 bartenders going for about 200 people…needless to say, they screwed up my dinner order, delivered it to the wrong people (who preceeded to eat it anyways) but compensated me by not paying attention when I was ordering and not charging me at all. (Score another one for the new creepy old guy)  Here is what I got to try for free…

  • Brick House Brewery Anarchy Pale Ale (NY)(7.0% ABV) was supposed to be one of their two best beers according to the bartender, had a nice piney, earthy tone with some mild malts on the finish.  4.03 Rating
  • Brick House Brewery Beowulf IPA (NY)(7.5% ABV) has a piney, mildly citrus flavor with a mildly malty finish, somewhat underwelming in my opinion.  3.55 Rating
  • Brick House Brewery Rauchbier (NY)(5.0% ABV) is a Racuhbier, smokey on nose ad taste but that was it, no other real flavor, kinda boring.  3.43 Rating
  • Brick House Brewery Nitroboom Stout (NY)(5.5% ABV) served on a nitro tap, had a smoked chocolate malt and mild coffee nose and taste but not much else.  Guinness would be proud…and this was the other recommended ‘best’ beer of the bartender.  Rather boring.  3.40 Rating
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