Monthly Archives: September 2011

New bar coming to Tribeca!

On a recent Sunday afternoon, I was walking by the former location of Tribeca’s Pig ‘N’ Whistle at 363 Greenwich Street.  A sign in the window read, “Tribeca Tap House coming soon.” (Link to bar’s homepage is here.)  I’m happy to learn that a new bar will be taking over the space.  I don’t know much about Tribeca Tap House.  I hope it’s a quality craft-beer focused bar.  If you know more about it, please feel free to share here.  Once I learn more about the new place, I will blog about it.

A few words on Pig ‘N’ Whistle:  I had good memories of it.  Local neighborhood bar that served the after-work crowd from nearby office buildings and had decent pub grub.  Not quite the semi-upscale look and feel of the Midtown and Midtown East locations.  Likely became a casualty to the changes taking place in the neighborhood.  Not too many places like it remain in Tribeca.  If there were a Tribeca Neighborhood NYC pub crawl, Pig ‘N’ Whistle would have been on it!

Next time you are in Woodside, Queens . . .

I found this clip on youtube recently:


My thoughts:

Four solid spots visited in this video.  I would add Sean Og’s, which is located at Woodside Avenue & 60th Street, just west of Cuckoo’s Nest.  Sean Og’s has a small outdoor seating area in good weather.  Inside, the bar is spacious and the tap beer selection is solid.  In all, that section of Woodside, near the LIRR/7 train station, is a fantastic area for a NYC pub crawl.

Beer Brewing at the White House?

Yes, according to CBS news!  The following story can be found here:

Former Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer, who was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Thursday, had a simple but unusual request when White House staffers talked to him a few days ago, reports CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante.

Meyer said he would like to have a beer with the president.

Great idea- right? And how could the president refuse?

So it happened. Mr. Obama and the war hero hung out together on the patio outside the Oval Office.

Wondering what brand they were drinking? Are you ready?

It was — the White House’s own brew, made with equipment the Obamas bought with their own money — the first beer ever made at the White House, according to historians.

It is White House Honey Ale.

It was the first beer served at the Super Bowl party. A very small batch — 90-100 bottles — all consumed that day.

The White House chefs have been brewing since, a little at a time. There was some for St. Patrick’s Day, another batch in June, and the beer served to Sgt. Meyer.

And just for the record: Home-brewing is legal in Washington, D.C.

Plante says he’s never tasted it – but he keeps volunteering!

My comments:

This is great news.  As someone who has recently started homebrewing, I am gratified to read this story.  Maybe one day, the recipe will be more widely distributed and we can all try this brew during a craft beer-focused NYC bar crawl.  I’m a bit surprised, though, that it’s the first beer ever brewed in the White House.  George Washington was a brewer, but since the White House was not completed until 1800, the first President of the United States did not live it in.  Thomas Jefferson, also a brewer, spent his two terms in the White House, but, apparently, did not make beer there.

Next time you visit Key West . . .

I found this clip on youtube recently:


My thoughts:

I went to Key West years ago and visited some of the establishments mentioned in the video clip.  A lot of good spots to check out.  I look forward to my next Key West visit.  In the meantime, I’ll attempt to come up with a Key West-themed NYC bar crawl.

The first taste of our bottled beer

On a recent weeknight evening, my homebrewing buddy Scott and I got met up with our girlfriends and two mutual friends to taste our first bottled beer.  We had brewed this batch in late Spring, bottled it in July (using bottling sugar in an effort to improve upon our first attempt at carbonation) and were finally ready to taste!  There were two types, an IPA and a porter.  Working from light to dark, we started with the IPA.

Upon opening the first bottle, we heard the familiar “pssst” sound.  The beer sounded carbonated.  The pour provided a visual confirmation of the carbonation.  The look of the beer was almost that of a hefewiezen!  No, our IPA didn’t accidentally become a wheat beer.  This had more to do with the fact that our homebrew method does not have a complete filtration process that the larger brewers do.

Scott pouring the IPA into a tasting glass


The IPA, about to be tasted.

The nose indicated the hoppiness that one would expect with an IPA.  Putting the glass to our lips, we found that our IPA was more mild than the typical American IPA.  Perhaps we had more of an English style IPA on our hands; subtly hopped, but not overly done.  We asked our fellow tasters to be frank in their assessment and they suggested that the carbonation could be more pronounced.  I would also like the hops to be more present.

After the IPA was done, it was time to try the porter.  Similar to the IPA, the porter had the sound and sight of carbonation.  The color and the nose were both solid.  The mouth was toast and malty.  Unlike the IPA, I felt that this one was very well done.  I mean, I think I’ve ordered something similar tasting in bars and brewpubs!  Scott argued that if the porter were just a tad sweeter tasting, it would be perfect.

The Porter, about to be tasted.

So, after several months, Scott and I finally had something we could call bottled beer.  The brewing will continue in the fall and we are both looking forward to improving our IPA and porter experience and trying out new recipes.'s visit to Coney Island's small brewery



On a recent Sunday afternoon, I visited the self-proclaimed “World’s Smallest Brewery”, located in Coney Island (right next to the entrance for the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, aka Freak Show), near the southwest corner of Surf Ave & West 12th Street.  Run by Shmaltz Brewing Company, this location makes several beers of the Coney Island Craft Lager line.  They weren’t joking, the space is very small!  The size of a small storefront, the place is a basically one-person operation that brews in one-gallon batches.  Beer is available for sale, but technically, they are not allowed to offer on-site tasting.  If you want to drink their beer while visiting Coney Island, there are several nearby spots including the café/bar at the corner of Surf Ave & West 12th Street, Beer Island and Bratva. The storefront will be open through Halloween on Thursdays through Sundays, noon until 6 p.m.


The brewery in action!



The one-gallon sized aging tanks's visit to some recently-opened establishments

On a recent weeknight, it was time to check out some recently opened establishments.

Henry’s rooftop bar (at Roger Smith Hotel, 501 Lexington Avenue at 47th Street)
This is located on an outdoor perch on the 16th floor at the Roger Williams Hotel in Midtown East.  Not much larger than a patio, this outdoor spot offers views of Midtown to the south and east.  The drinks are a bit pricey ($7 for a canned beer, $10 – 14 for a “glass” of wine; the “glass” was a clear, plastic 6-oz cup).  The food menu exhibits standard bar & grill fare.  The spot feels almost makeshift.  It’s as though the hotel, seeing the proliferation of rooftop bars in Midtown, took a small, unused outdoor deck and threw together a bar out of it.  For a rooftop bar in the immediate nabe, you would be better off going to Patron or Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel.  No need to include Henry’s as a stop on a Midtown rooftop NYC bar crawl.
Looking south from Henry's

La Carafe (653 9th Avenue between 45th and 46th Streets)
From the people behind L’Ybane on 8th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen, La Carafe, a block west on 9th Avenue, is a cozy wine bar and restaurant.  Much smaller in size than L’Ybane, La Carafe has tables for parties of two and four in the front half and a small bar area with three high-top tables and a ten-seat bar in the back half.  The staff is friendly and attentive.  The food can almost be described pan-Mediterranean, including some Italian pasta dishes and Arabic mezze plates.  Dozens of wines available by glass or bottle.  Definitely a place I’d like to visit again.

Bathtub Gin (132 9th Avenue between 18th and 19th Streets)
Behind a small storefront, Bathtub Gin is the latest bar to join the Speakeasy trend.  After you walking through the small storefront and pass through a doorway, you enter an inviting space with a ten-person bar on the left and tables beyond the main bar area.  Wallpaper evokes the roaring-1920s feel.  The focus is on cocktails, but there are a few beer and wine offerings available. Staff is friendly and the place has one of the more memorable bathroom sinks, which are actually small bathtubs (see picture below).  This place is a good addition to the Speakeasy NYC pub crawl.

This is actually the bathroom sink!

What are your thoughts on these spots?  Please share your comments here.