Monthly Archives: September 2015

Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor

FullSizeRenderaArts & Crafts Beer Parlor
Twitter @ACBeerparlor 

I hadn’t heard of Arts & Crafts Beer Parlor prior to my visit but I can easily say it has made this Gal’s list of top beer bars in NYC. Yup, I loved it that much.

It’s located in the West Village downstairs in the basement of a building that one could easily walk by – almost did – so glad we didn’t. It’s on the smaller side with a decent size bar to the right and several tables to the left and in the back of the establishment. When you first walk in there’s an electric looking fireplace to the right that adds to the atmosphere of the joint which is rustic, cozy and hip but not in the hipster sort of way.  The ceilings are low and there’s lots of wood including a beautiful wood bar.

For the sports lovers there’s a large TV at the one end of the bar and if you’re in need of food a limited snack menu is available. The “kitchen” is located behind the bar. The real star of this place is the tap list – 24 beers and all of them wonderful. The selection rotates on a regular basis and everyday there’s happy hour specials with 4 select beers for $5 each.  Looks like they carefully choose which four so there’s a style no matter your taste.

That’s what’s great about the tap list – the diversity of it. There’s truly something for everyone and if you’re having trouble deciding they offer taster rounds in various sizes. 1/4 Flight 6  6.8oz, 1/2 Flight 12  6.8oz, 3/4 Flight 12  6.8oz and “Run the Board” all 24 beers in 6.8oz pours. Granted the full taster will cost $75 but you’d have a lot of fun for the money. You’re welcome to choose the beers for your flight or if you rather you can leave the decision up to the bartenders. I was fortunate enough to witness a couple ask for the bartender’s choosing for their taster round. They only stipulation was no IPAs on the round. Boy, the bartender gave them a great selection Porter, Black Lager, White Ale, Amber, missed the 5th one and finally AVENTINUS (YES! love that he put Aventinus in the round – love the beer and feel it’s highly underrated).

Breaking Bud
Breaking Bud

By now you know this Gal loves her taster rounds but on this particular day I was in the mood for a full glass of something special so I went for a 12oz pour of Knee Deep Breaking Bud.

Breaking Bud – Knee Deep, CA 6.7%
Very pleasing beer, coriander with light accents of hops, fruit, pine, wheat and malt. Perfect combination.

Piper Down – Ballast Point, CA 5.2%
Toasted caramel & malts with a subtle hop finish.

Mud Puppy
Mud Puppy

Mud Puppy Nitro Porter – Central Waters, WI 5.5%
Indeed! You know this Gal had to go for the Nitro porter and this one is robust with chocolate and hops. Although, I would have preferred it served closer to room temperature. It was a bit to cold for my liking, I had to let it sit for a bit but it was worth the wait.

Cracker White Ale – Cigar City, FL 5%
Orange peels, coriander and saison yeast combined to make a wonderfully refreshing  white ale. This beer is giving Allagash White stiff competition as this Gal’s favorite white ale.


FullSizeRendercSide note – the 2 gentlemen working the day this Gal was there were awesome! Very attentive, know their beer and were happy to pour tasters.

Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing

IMG_3494Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing
Facebook  Twitter @ForgottenBoards

Allow me to make things clear right from the start. Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing is Fun, Fun, and Fun! As soon as you walk in you’re transported back in time to Atlantic City’s hey day. What makes this place works is the details, they nailed it, with themes it can go cheesey over the top but instead the concept was thought out and perfectly executed.

The bar area is a throw back to speakeasy days with wood shelving, a fun spin wheel in the middle and whimsical cat tail tap handles. There’s historic photos displayed through out the tasting room, fun house mirrors, perfect mood lighting that resemble street lights from yesteryear, skeeball machines (one of this Gal’s favorite boardwalk games) and the topping on the cake was the music. The music really sealed the deal for this Gal – classic vaudeville carnival type jazz music.

In no way is this place gimmicky just relaxing and fun. You tend to forget you’re in a warehouse until you look through the glass doors at the brewery then you’re brought back to the reality of present day. It’s hard to believe this is the same brewery that used to house Flying Fish Brewery.

Taster right r to l.

The brewery may be a throwback to a bygone era but  the beer isn’t. David is brewing great innovative beers that stand out in today’s brewing world.

Title Deed Imperial Oatmeal Espresso Coffee Stout 7.5% – I love everything about this beer from the name, style to roasted chicory flavor. Yup, this Gal’s favorite. Unfortunately, no growler fills of this beer allowed. : (

The Tourist Plum Berliner Weisse  – surprised by the color sort of reminded me of coconut milk/water but the taste is very much a sour. Nice job.

Round Trip Hoppy Saison 7% Great balance of spices, bitter hops and refreshing citrus all balanced out by yummy malts.

1916 Shore Shiver IPA 6.9% Wow, the hops are balanced by a interesting combo of fruits (think nectarines ). I brought home a growler of this little delight.

IMG_3498Even the beer names are fun and be sure to read up on the story behind each name.
If you get hungry you’re welcome to bring in your own food from the outside. You’re welcome to either enjoy it inside why visiting another time period or outside in the fun beachy seating area.

IMG_3492I have to give high props to Jamie Queli, the owner,  she really captured the look and feel of a bygone era. IMG_3501

Liberty Craft Brewing

IMG_3075Liberty Craft Brewing – Liberty, ME

This Gal just loves when little out of the way gems are discovered and Liberty Craft Brewing is just that a hidden gem.

This tiny brewpub is located on the brewer’s proberty above the garage which serves as the brewery. They brew 100-150 gallon batches, 1 batch per week.

IMG_3131The brewpub itself is small with lots of wood, a bar that seats 5 and  2 tables inside with a total capacity of 15. There’s seating outback on the deck too and it just happens to offer an amazing Maine view.  Occasionally, they have live music although, I have no clue where they fit a band and for a few of the regulars there’s an exclusive mug club.

This is truly a brewpub in that it serves both beer and food. Like the rest of Liberty Craft Brewing the food menu is small but but there’s something for everyone including a couple of vegetarian options.

Veggie Burger
Veggie Burger

This Gal opted for the homemade malted grain veggie burger which happens to be made using grains from brewing. It was fantastic and if your wondering yes, you can taste the grains which are delicious. My bro had the bratwurst which comes from Morse’s European Market down the street. Another must stop if your up that way. Other food items the group enjoyed included a roasted veggie salad with a stuffed mushroom and lamb/veal gyro. All served with a side of house made salsa which is awesome and offers a nice little kick.IMG_3139

Now on to the BEER! Prices are very good and range from $4 to $5.50 for a glass. The taster round is 4 for $10 which, of course, this Gal had to go for. Since there were  6 beers on tap my brother and I shared 2 taster rounds and then each picked our favorite beer as the 3 & 4 beers on the second round.  To date Liberty Craft Brewing wins for best taster round glass ware. The proper glass for each style really enhances the overall enjoyment of the tasting experience.
IMG_3100Hay Stack Extra Pale Ale  Neither my brother nor I knew what to make of this one. Didn’t really stand out as a Pale Ale.
Night Cap Imperial Porter – AWESOME! Of course, it was his Gal’s favorite of the visit. This is a coffee porter so it has that wonderful roasted chicory quality I just love.
Blueberry Beah This is an American ale brewed using 15 gallons of fresh local blueberries however, the blueberry taste is very subtle.
St George Gold Pilsner A true pilsner, light with just a hint of hops.
Tunk Spruce Double IPA – Bro’s favorite! Spruce + Double IPA were adding up to something I didn’t think I would enjoy but I was wrong. That’s why it’s important to go outside your comfort zone. You never know what you may discover and I discovered that I really liked this beer. It has the slightest hint of spruce that compliments the hops, over all a very good refreshing beer and a wonderful surprise.
Queen Bee Honey Lager – If you like lagers and you like honey this is for you. That being said I’m not a lager fan nor am I big on honey notes in my beer so wasn’t for me. IMG_3087
Some of the beer has the young brew taste to it but I think their beer is going to grow in sophistication, after all, they had only been opened 10 months when we visited. I look forward to visiting again and seeing what sort of growth has taken place at Liberty Craft Brewing.IMG_3137