I’ve mentioned before that when I travel I consult Draft Magazine’s America’s 100 Best Beer Bars list and plan at least one or two bar visits (sad perhaps, but it works for me). Last weekend I ventured to New York to watch Marquette’s ill-fated Big East Tournament appearance and managed to check a couple off of the list.
The Jeffrey sits in the shadow of the Queensboro Bridge. I got the impression that the bar runs through a lot of barrels, and they were changing a few out on a quiet Thursday afternoon. The highlight was the amazingly complex Illuminating the Path, an ale collaboration between Cigar City and Ecliptic Brewing, and one that I know I’ll never have a chance to try again. The dark ale is aged in wine barrels and has a delicious slightly tart and fruity finish.
Blind Tiger, a popular spot in the West Village, was packed on a Friday afternoon. And the solid list of nearly 30 taps is the reason why. Regional specialties like Peekskill Eastern Standard IPA and Radiant Pig Junior IPA were tasty, but the standout was the Stone Grapefruit Slam IIPA, a potent brew made with grapefruit rinds that has a nicely bitter citrus finish. Blind Tiger also gets big time credit for having Central Waters on tap.
Barley Pop of the Week
For the second time I got a chance to try The Alchemist’s Heady Topper, one of the most well regarded IPAs out there. A big hop aroma serves as a warning, and the flavor doesn’t disappoint. It’s big and bitter, but has a balance that keeps it from being overpowering. The one big problem, you have to travel to Vermont (or know someone who can travel there for you) to try it.
Keep any eye out for Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA. It’s apparently out there.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all. Hopefully most of you refrain from bad green beer.
Wednesday, March 19: Beer Club at Whole Foods (2305 N. Prospect Ave.) features Southern Tier Brewing Company. Sample beers and cheeses from 6 to 7 p.m. Cost is just $5. Register at 414-223-1500.
Thursday, March 20: Pair brews from Alaskan Brewing with tasty cheeses at Ray’s Wine & Spirits (8930 W. North Ave.). The new Jalapeno Imperial IPA is one of the beers in the mix, which should be intriguing with the right cheese. Tasting starts at 6:30 and costs $20.
Save your spot.
Friday, March 21: Sprecher is bringing big flavors to sample at Discount L
iquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.) including Commando Bourbon-Barrel Scotch Ale and the new Beyond Braggot Mead. MobCraft will have its “crowd sourced” beer on hand as well. The tasting for both runs from 4 to 7 p.m.
Friday, March 21: Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.) offers a wide range of samples from New Belgium from 4 to 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 22: New Belgium visits Discount Liquor Milwaukee from noon to 3 p.m.
Saturday, March 22: Sample MobCraft brews at Discount Liquor Waukesha from noon to 3 p.m.
Saturday, March 22: Try “unique beers” at Three Cellars (7133 S. 76th St.) from 1 to 4 p.m.