June 19, 2014

Barcade combines a compelling group of craft beers on tap, with the best of circa 1980s video games. It's part of a chain with locations in Philly, Jersey City and of course, Brooklyn.

I arrived a few minutes late to find Racine at the bar. Almost immediately, Peter found me, and then Jim. Jim and Kevin had already secured a table in the back. Everyone recognized me, but each other, not so much. Click here to find out how we are connected.

But you wanted to hear about the beer. I started with a Rogue Farms Chipotle Ale (5.5% ABV). It's an amber ale, nicely spiced with smoked Jalapeño peppers. Unlike more strident pepper beers, this beer has a gentle tang, rather than a bite. You definitely get a sensation of heat, but it's not at all overwhelming. It's really quite good.

Next up was a round of Brooklyn Brewery's Soriachi Ace (7.6% ABV). This beer has an unusual story. Soriachi Ace is a type of hops, first developed in Japan, by crossing the British "Brewer's Gold" hops with Czech "Saas" varieties. The resulting hybrid has unexpected lemony notes. While different, it never caught on with big breweries as a hops varietal. The ultra-rare Soriachi Ace hops are now grown on a single farm in Washington State.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Brooklyn Brewery used only the Soriachi Ace hops in developing this farmhouse-style saison, instead of using a blend of different hops (as with most beers). The result is unlike any other beer I've had: Lemony, with complex notes of Honey and exotic spices. You may or may not like it, but it is worth a try, for sure.

This was followed by Peekskill Brewery's Hop Common (5.2 ABV). I found this amber ale a little sour (though not in a bad way) and smoky. There's a piney note as well. Not bad. David had a Sixpoint Encore, a heavy (8.2%) Dubbel-style ale similar to Chimay Red or Ommegang's Abbey Ale.

Finally, I enjoyed an Allagash White Ale (5.0%), a great summer quaff from Portland, Maine. It's an unfiltered witbier very similar to Hoegaarden with its coriander and Curaçao orange spicing. Along with Southampton Double White, it's one of my two favorite American witbiers. Tonight, it's perfect!

After hours of great conversation and good cheer, the group called it a night. David and I were up for one more, however. We ambled over to the Guilty Goose, one block south. It's a modern bistro with a small bar and a handful of taps. To be honest, it's the kind of place that I would typically overlook: pleasant, clean and unexceptional.

Earlier in the evening Racine had asked me what my favorite beer was. I really wasn't expecting that question! In my panic, I am sure I said something like "I like a lot of different syles of beer." (true) I managed to come up with two beers: Hoegaarden Wit and Left Hand Brewery's Milk Stout. As luck would have it, out of the ten taps at Guilty Goose, one had Left Hand's Milk Stout! It was just as good as I remember! That, and a friendly barkeep, made our short stay at the Goose worthwhile.

All in all, it was a highly successful DNO! If memory serves me correctly, it was Peter's first time and for Racine, it had been the better part of six years! For that matter, it had been a few years since Jim joined us, but Dads are always welcome to come back!

Barcade (Manhattan)
148 W. 24th Street,
New York, NY 10011
(212) 390-8455

Guilty Goose
131 W. 23rd Street,
New York, NY 10011
(212) 255-3727

David and Kevin ponder the mysteries of life, while Tapper plays in the background

Jim and Peter looking badass, while Racine photobombs in the background

A sketchy crew of old guys, while attractive young singles lurk in the background.


How We are Connected

  • Kevin has a daughter who was at the same daycare as my eldest son.
  • Jim and Kevin met through their daughters' gymnastics training.
  • Peter's son was a year ahead of my eldest at the same daycare, but I had met him years earlier when he was my preferred salesman at Manny's Music. In fact, when my wife and I first went to check out the daycare, Peter just happened to be walking out and gave the place a glowing recommendation.
  • Racine's son went there with my younger son.
  • And David, who would arrive later, has a son who went the year between my sons, and another son who is a year younger than my youngest.

Got that?

So, in large part, I have to thank Miss Beth and Manhattan Kids Club for hooking me up with a great bunch of guys. The youngest of these kids is now 13, and the oldest is off to college, which gives you an idea of how long we have been having Dad's Night Out. It's been over ten years as of this writing and more than eighty meetings!

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