June 29, 2011

Another Classic DNO! The Pony Bar, at the corner of 45th St. and 10th Ave., is a mandatory station on the Manhattan beer pilgrim's journey. The awning says "All American Craft Beer" and that just about sums it up. No foreign beer, no crap beer, just the best of domestic craft breweries.

This special Wednesday edition of Dad's Night Out was sponsored by Syracuse, NY's Empire Brewing Company, who were launching their Empire Amber Ale and Empire IPA. I went for the Amber Ale. Pleasant and hoppy, but it doesn't bite you at all. "P", as usual, chose a hefeweissen, in this case Six Point's Brevity Wit. Wowsers! This is a great Belgian-style witbier (4.2% ABV) that may just be the best beer I've had from Six Point! Definitely worth trying again. Danny had the Empire Cream Ale (5.1% ABV), which we had tried at TAP. Somewhat malty, but it might be more apt to say that it had almost no hops. in fairness, this got better as you drank it.

My next beer was the Left Hand Milk Stout (5.2% ABV, cask ale). Outstanding! A dark roasted malt concoction that was as smooth as a chocolate soda! Not too heavy, not too light—just right! Obviously, the Left Hand does know what the right hand was doing (raising my mug)! Dan tried the Empire India Pale Ale. At 6.8% ABV, this is a strong beer that is richly hopped as is typical for this style. Whatever bite the Empire Amber lacked, this made up for it in spades. "P" stuck with the Brevity.

Dan moved on to the Chelsea Black Hole Stout XXX (8.0%). It's good. A bit lightweight when it comes to mouthfeel, but certainly tasty. Dan felt it was dry, "Almost like Guinness, but lighter." I went for the Captain Lawrence Brown Bird Brown Ale. The initial hit has a sour note, but it grew on me with repeated sips.

Now that I live in Westchester County, Pleasantville's Captain Lawrence Brewing Company is my local brew. If you go to their taproom on a Friday or Saturday you can buy a $12 "growler" (a 64-ounce bottle) that is filled directly from the tap. After you use it, you bring it back for a refill ($9). Recently, I also discovered that DiCicco's Supermarket in Ardsley has ten taps in the store that can refill growlers. It's a great way to get fresher beer (from a keg), and it's better environmentally because you are reusing the packaging, rather than recycling it.

Part 2 >>

Pony Bar,
637 10th Ave.
New York NY 10036?
(212) 510-8415

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Twenty taps—so little time...