New York, NY. The city remains the same while times and tastes change. First impression: beer and meatballs are trending. Bars and bodegas have squeezed craft into their awnings or at least replaced the ‘d’ in draft. There’s a slew of specialty beer shops in Manhattan without California growler law to slow them down. NYC never fully recovered from prohibition or Sex and The City—the ghost of Carrie Bradshaw still looms large—but breweries like Captain Lawrence, Sixpoint and Southern Tier are leveling the playing field. Everything that’s small has to grow.*
The most satisfying pour since my return was Green Flash West Coast IPA, courtesy of Good Beer NYC. Home truly is where the hops are. It’s good to know what you’re drinking/where it comes from/how it got to you and Good Beer takes macro out of the equation. Imagine a beer store in the east village that doesn’t even deal pabst; very bold for New York City. It began as a pro-bottle alternative to over priced pints during the recession (that’s how much the bubble bursts in Manhattan) and still going strong.
Otherwise, I’ve tried some lesser known beers from NY/NJ and it’s my only regret drinking local. Some east coast brewers are making pale ale as pale and thin as adjunct lagers; not metal. The market is there if not the talent…kinda like punk rock. I’ll hold my tongue until gainfully employed but, rest assured, when time comes the axe will fall. Let the games begin.
*Thank You, Robert Plant.