Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Shields and Beers of New York

Following up a lead on this blog, we headed last week to the Bowery for a visit to DBGB Kitchen and Bar. This latest restaurant in the Daniel Boulud empire is VERY strong in the beer, burger and sausage areas and made for a great evening of tasting. Along with dining companion, we started off with a round that included Einbecker Mai Ur Bock from Germany, Victory Golden Monkey from Pennsylvania and Six Point Otis Oatmeal Stout from New York City. All went particularly well with the excellent burgers from the kitchen which included the Frenchie, topped with smoked pork belly, tomato confit and arugula, and the Piggie, which was slathered with pulled pork and a dollop of chipotle mayo. Our second samplings were Harriestown Best Bitter “Bitter and Twisted” (just like us!!) from England, Avery Sixteenth Anniversary Saison from Colorado, and a Maredsous 8 Belgian Dubbel on the recommendation of the very knowledgeable “beer girl.” The latter went particularly well with the “Omelet Norvegianne” (aka Baked Alaska) that was doused in chartreuse and set aflame tableside. High marks for the attentive service and samplings of beer to help us make up our minds as to what to drink.

Our next stop on the following day was the Blind Tiger Ale House in the West Village. This is truly a beer lover’s dream! While the bar itself was not much to look at (and get there early to get one of the few seats), the blackboard was chock full of unusual offerings including the Sixpoint Brownstone. Based on one of brew master Shane Welch’s favorite homebrew recipes, the brown ale has the aroma of fresh-baked bread, accomplished by using generous portions of Belgian specialty malt and a pinch of the same malt you would find in a stout. The result is a blend of caramel, toffee, and chocolate with a slight nuttiness and roasted tang. We followed up with the Avery Maharajah, a spicy IPA, and the Ridgeway Stout, which had a deep flavor with citrus notes. Make this a stop on your next trip to the city!

Our final day returned us to the Defiant Brewery in Pearl River, NY where we snagged a bottle of Defiant Trippel to split while we waited to be picked up from the train station across the tracks. This classic Abbey style ale is filled with fruity notes followed by a spicy finish. Best of all, it’s now available for take out along with growlers of their other beers.

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