Sorry I’ve been away for a week.  I’m sure you have been anxiously awaiting the next installment of the blog.  Wait no longer …

So, Leigh and I took off for four days to New York, to experience the fun, the overwhelming crowds, the window-shopping, the great food, and maybe a few minutes to reconnect with just each other – no kiddies around!  However, while there, I felt it was best to do some market research for the burgeoning blog and report back to you on the experiences in the Big Apple.  Here are three highlights:

A fraternity brother recommended a very cool restaurant in midtown called Toloache. We didn’t know what

to expect walking in and were really there for an appetizer and a drink – nothing more.  This is a taqueria with fun, eclectic choices on the menu.  Being adventurous, I felt compelled to order the Michelada.  If you’re not familiar with it (and I certainly wasn’t) a Michelada is a beer poured over ice and hot sauce in a glass.  There is some lime to compliment it as well.  The rim of the glass was covered in a spicy-salt mixture.  It kinda looked like a Bloody Mary, but the taste is nearly impossible to explain.  The beer in mine was Dox Equis Amber.  The taste was equal parts a tomato-juice like flavor, with hints of lime and beer, all while experiencing a bit of heat and some fizz from the beer.  I’m not going to say that I didn’t like it, but I will say that I’m glad I finished it and will likely not order one again.

The next day, while walking back to the hotel after covering 1,193 blocks of midtown Manhattan, we trudged along E 36th Street and came across the Ginger Man.  I have frequented an establishment of the same name in Austin, TX before, but didn’t know they had a satellite campus in NYC.  A quick plead to the wife gained me entry into beer heaven.  So many choices, and so many high-end and exotic choices.  For the first round, I ordered a Kwak, which is apparently not the preferred drink at Aflac, much to my chagrin.

 The Kwak is an Abbey-style beer from Belgium and was tremendous!  It’s easy to get thrown off by the bizarre glass it came in, but the beer was the real winner here.  It’s not as heavy as a traditional tripel, but has some of those same great, deep flavors we all know and love.  Leigh ordered a St Louis Framboise – a thicker (although not crazy sweet & syrupy) raspberry beer.  It was good and we agreed it was a one-beer only choice.  Since I’m a glutton for punishment, my second round was a flight: four 5-ounce pours.  I chose (from L to R) The Bruery Six Geese-a-Laying, Gaffel Kolsch, Left Hand Motherlode and Captain Lawrence Ginger Man Ale.  Quick thoughts on each: I find that many beers will try

to go for a crazy or themed name as a way to hide an inferior beer.  Not the case with Six Geese – it was a nice dark, winter-ish roasted flavor.  The Gaffel Kolsch was smooth, just like Kolsch should be, but with a slight hint of citrus.  Left Hand Motherlode was a great respite from the darker stuff, a nice light golden ale.  The Ginger Man “in-house” beer was really good.  It’s a Belgian-style beer with some ginger added (Get it?  Ginger?)  VERY pleased with my four-beer flight!

For brunch on Sunday, we again heeded advice from friends and went to Joseph Leonard in the Village.  Since it was 10:30 in the morning, my eyes were drawn to the bloody Mary section of the menu, especially the one that included the words, “beer chaser.”  It comes with the drink!  I absolutely had to have it. The Bloody Mary was good, not great and the beer (Reissdorf Kolsch from Cologne, Germany) was exactly what you might expect from a Kolsch: simple and smooth.  Quite good.

So there it is, some highlights from the trip to NYC.  Have you tried any of the above?  What are your favorite winter-themed beers?

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December 26, 2013
Mike Pennington

Author: Mike Pennington

Mike Pennington, normal, 40-ish, father of three, living the suburban dream north of Atlanta.  

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