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Trudging the Road to Beer Rock Stardom – Part Un

May 3, 2010

The life of a guy trying to leave his mark in the beer world is not a pretty sight. Luckily, living in NYC gives me unrestricted access to some of the finest beers in the world. What was supposed to be a beautiful lazy Sunday metamorpohsed into a day involving a trip to Hell’s Kitchen, a visit to the Pony Bar, and getting slightly tipsy.My quest to Beer Rock Stardom entails many things, which often take up some time on precious Sundays (and Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, you get the point):

  • Reading beer blogs
  • Reeding beer news
  • Reading beer books
  • Reading about beer culture (food pairings, etc.)
  • Reading brewery websites
  • Collecting beer
  • Brewing good beer
  • …and of course, Beer Tasting

The Pony Bar (http://www.theponybar.com/) – by far one of the best craft beer bars in New York City was serving two beers that showed up as two large blips on my beer radar and ultimately required a tasting.

The beers:

  • Pretty Things – Fluffy White Rabbits
  • Harpoon – Oyster Stout

It is quite apparent that there is a level of uniqueness to each of these beers, one that is blatantly announced by its hilariously cute name (rabbits!) and the other by its ingredients (wtf, Oysters!?).

The first beer I tried was the Pretty Things Fluffy White Rabbits. Pretty Things (http://www.prettythingsbeertoday.com/site/) is a “beer and ale project” based out of Cambridge, MA that’s led by two seemingly cool characters, Dann and Martha. You get the feeling that these two are brewing beer to make the world a better place and are inspired by “pretty things.”

Based upon the fact that I decided to nix the lazy Sunday, I was filled with a childish type excitement as I hopped on the Q and decided to bear a 35 minute train ride from Brooklyn to Manhattan.

[Begin boring part] -Pretty Things fits into the Belgian Tripel style, but is unique in it’s own way because it’s described as a “hoppy springtime tripel.”

Hoppy indeed. The appearance was yellow. The aroma was fruity and spicy, typical to any Tripel, but maybe slightly enhanced by the hops. A slight phenolic aroma (think band-aids, yes band-aids) was definitely present as typical of any beer made by Belgian yeasts. In simple terms the taste was sweet (more malty than fruity) and extremely hoppy for a tripel. Mouthfeel was medium light and I thought carbonation was nice and prickly. Because I am not privy to bitterness, the lingering bitter taste on my tongue was not pleasing to myself.

I think the real value and function in the beer is that it can serve as a gateway beer for those that like IPAs and want to transition their palate into the Belgian world. All in all an above average beer, with a unique twist.

Food pairings would be those standard to a tripel, or even venturing further to an IPA or more hoppy beer, whiter meats (poultry and pork), Chinese, spicy foods, sea foods, etc. As far as when you should drink this, how about after work or a weekend meet up with friends, sipping the beer in an open air bar during the spring and early summer. Maybe there will be some Vampire Weekend in the background. Horchata, anyone?

Oops, part deux tomorrow!

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