Friday, April 5, 2013

The most awesome beer day in New York!

Dave Brodrick, founder of Blind Tiger, and Beer Sessions Radio Host Jimmy Carbone
kickin' it with me during our unforgettable episode.
Sixpoint, Beer Sessions Radio, Spuyten Duyvil, Blind Tiger...Yep! It was nuts!
Sixpoint's Alex, Heather and Andrew
had me loving their liquid mastery.

Man, oh man, did I tear up Brooklyn, NY during my East Coast tour this past week! My top highlight next to kicking it at Sixpoint Brewery (look for more pictures soon), is being a guest on my man Jimmy Carbone's awesome radio show, Beer Sessions, and the uncanny happenings that followed. We had an awesome discussion with the owner of one of the best beer bars in New York, Blind Tiger's legendary Dave Brodrick, inside one of the coolest pizza spots I have ever been in, Roberta's
Jimmywho also owns the renowned Jimmy's No. 43 farm-to-table restaurant and barwas humorous, inviting and knew his beer thanks to his stellar history in the New York brew scene. He was the perfect radio host. (Check out this historical episode discussing the Craft Brewers Conference, an interview with Green Flash Brewmaster Chuck Silva, and Atlanta's beer scene here.) But when his partner in crime, Bree O'Connorthe producer of Beer Sessionsexcitedly opened the studio door during a commercial break to tell us we had a surprise in store, things started getting unreal. In a nutshell, the beer gods had a ball making me drop my jaw in disbelief throughout the rest of the evening. Check it out: 
I always bring a beer or two from Atlanta when I travel because bottle sharing is one of the best things you can do, period! Anyway, I brought Wild Heaven's Ode To Mercy Imperial Brown Ale and their Eschaton Quad this time around, and asked Roberta's bartender to put it in the fridge until the show started. Bree grabbed them right before it commenced and behold, a customer sitting at the bar saw the bottles, flipped! He happened to be a good friend of Wild Heaven's brewmaster, Eric Johnson. Crazy, right? He happily gave Bree Eric's number, she hits Eric up, and he does a surprise call-in during the show! This beer is pretty much solely in Atlanta so the odds of something like this happening are astronomical! 
So after the great convo me, Dave, Jimmy, Eric and Green Flash Brewing's Brewmaster Chuck Silva had, beer radio would never be the same. It was that fun! Afterwards, we broke bread, err...lip-smackin' pizza, with good friends Dave from Thrillist, my homey Katie P., and one of the best IPAs I have ever had, the Peekskill Brewery Eastern Standard (6.6 percent ABV). For more beer god coincidences, the brewery's brewmaster is Jeff O'Neill formerly of Ithaca Beer Company, which is based where I was born. Things were certainly getting eerie, but I was not freaked out enough to not bar hop with my new brew crew! 
The 'brew crew' left to right: Dave from Thrillist, Bree, David from Blind Tiger, Katie P., and Jimmy sippin' the phenomenal Eastern Standard at Roberta's.
Jimmy's cool driver John pulled up in a pimped out van, and weaved in and out of crazy New York traffic to safely take us to two of the most revered beer destinations of all the boroughs. 
Spuyten Duyvil was chill.
First up was Spuyten Duyvil. I heard a lot about this spot and its seemingly countless accolades. When we walked in this rustic bar, a bartender was slicing a block of Wine Washed Cabra cheese to pair with one of their 100 or so bottled Belgian beers, a cask ale, and fantastic, rare domestic microbrews on tap. We all justly toasted off our prior radio session with Chuck by grabbing stemmed pints of his phenomenal Bullet Double IPA (10.10 percent ABV). 
From there, my last stop was Blind Tiger. I mean, come on! We were all rolling with Dave, the owner, right? The crowd of craft brew lovers parted like the Red Sea for our entourage and then I stopped in my tracks. Standing there with a beer in his hand was my college buddy Wilson Morales from Cornell University! I haven't seen him in about a decade and there he was also in shock. Hootin' and hollarin', we eventually exchanged info and swore to stay in touch. 
2013 Beerdrinker of the Year Warren Monteiro and Jimmy C.!
And then my mind was completely blown; my man Jimmy brought over a glass of GreenportHarbor Triton Barlywine (9 percent ABV) along with the 2013 Beerdrinker of the Year winnerWarren Monteiro. To win this prestigious award given by Wynkoop Brewing Co. annually, you have to be no joke regarding beer knowledge, dedication, and overall drinking the majority of the world's best ales and lagers. Warren, an esteemed journalist, globetrotter, and beer guru, was the man this year and the fact that he knew me once we were introduced was pretty flattering. We ended up taking some pics, exchanged info, and kicked it with the rest of the crew. 
When I eventually got on the subway, I had a chance to reflect on this day, and the famous logo designed by Milton Glaser said it best:

Oh yeah, and if you see this sticker on the outside of a bar in New York, it's officially a beer lover's destination. Thanks Jimmy!


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