Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Brooklyn and Beer

We began Sunday morning of our New York trip with breakfast at a small cafe. (Putting Nutella in or on things seems to be big in Manhattan. The Nutella-Stuffed French Toast was delicious, but too much all around to finish.)

After that, we took a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge. It was crowded, but not so much that you couldn't enjoy it and the view.

Afterward, it was back on the subway to get to another part of Brooklyn for a little brewery hopping. At the top of our list was Brooklyn Brewery.

This past Christmas, I received this poster of "99 Bottles of Craft Beer on the Wall." Ever since, I've been making my way slowly through them (trying them again "for the poster" even if I'd had them before). Possibly because the poster company itself is based in New York, Brooklyn Brewery is actually represented more than any other place -- it has three different styles of beer on the poster. I've never come across their beer in Denver either. And while I maybe could have hunted it down or worked out a swap with a friend or something, this was an opportunity to go straight to the source.

There was something vaguely carnival-like about the place, in that they sold you tokens at the door which you then cashed in at the bar for whatever you wanted. Odd, but their beer was the best we found on the trip, and they did indeed have all three of the "poster beers" to scratch off. We spent a leisurely hour there trying them (and a tasty Tangerine Wit).

Having come that far, we decided next that it was worth a walk of just a few more blocks to get to a second local brewery, Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co. After a taster flight there, we headed back into Manhattan, planning to spend a slow afternoon shopping.

It seems many people think of Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue when they think of New York shopping, so we decided first to go check that out. We walked for a while along both streets, but it quickly became obvious that this was shopping far out of our league. Each store was the kind of place that had three sales people in full suits to watch over like four items in the entire store; they sell one thing, and they've paid the store's rent and their salary for a month. Armani for kids? Seriously?

So we took a different approach and headed to the giant Macy's in Manhattan -- a place so big it devoted the space of a normal-sized department store just to socks and underwear, a place so big that it contained two or three different Starbucks on different floors. We did pick up a couple of things, part practical, part souvenir (I suppose), but it may be that we'll remember this stop for an unexpected item on the Starbucks menu: the Cloud IPA.

This is an IPA (from Brooklyn Brewery, in fact) with the foam from an espresso on top. Drink enough of the beer to make room, and you can pour in more of the espresso to create still more of the foam; drink; repeat. I gotta tell you, I don't much care for IPAs or espresso, but this thing was delicious -- bitters and sweets all perfectly canceling each other out. We'd never heard of this outside of this one Starbucks in New York, but if it makes its way to Denver (with a local IPA, one would assume), it could spell trouble.

We capped off the night with dinner at a local Italian restaurant, with plans for another big day tomorrow.

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