Sometimes I forget where I live. Even after a year, it’s still weird to think that I can hop on a subway train and arrive at Times Square less than an hour later. Weird that I’ve been (unsuccessfully) attempting to get rush tickets to Hamilton, a probable 2016 Tony-Award winner, with a friend on a weekly basis. This week, it was nice to be reminded why I love this city so much, even if it’s big and loud and cluttered and dirty and sometimes more than a little smelly.
On Wednesday evening, I decided to venture out to Greenwich Village by myself to check out Blind Tiger Ale House, a bar I’ve been meaning to check out for a long time. It’s just one of those craft beer places that seems to show up on every single list of best bars in Manhattan. The deciding factor yesterday was an Other Half Brewing Company event. A ton of their brews would be available on tap at Blind Tiger – 27, to be exact. I’ve only tried a few of Other Half’s beers, but they’ve all been stellar. Considering this brewery is still less that two years old, I made attending this event to try a couple of pints a priority. (Ironically enough, Other Half’s brewery is actually located in Brooklyn, about three subway stops away from my apartment.)By the time I made it over to Blind Tiger, it was PACKED. I had expected it to be full – even if it is lower, it is still Manhattan, after all – but this was nuts. It was an adventure just to get near the bar, and even more so to put in a drink order. I decided to pick the beer I wanted most, and go from there.
That beer was the red wine barrel-aged Grand Cru Tripel, quite a heavyweight at 8%. Although it was very dark, I noted the deep red hue. The aroma was heavy on the berries, with a bit of wine-like tartness and perhaps a lingering hint of banana and spice. It was a delicious beer; starting off with the taste of dark red berries and a little bit of wood and a slow but steady build-up of robust red wine and booziness. It had a bitter, dry finish. Another one knocked out of the park by Other Half, as far as I was concerned.
After my beer, I decided to go outside to regroup. I had had the intention of trying a few beers, but I hadn’t banked on it being quite that busy (a silly move). So, already a little tipsy (I’m a lightweight, what can I say), I started to wander around Bleecker Street, just for fun. Luckily, I found an open bookstore right around the corner. Since my defenses were down and I have an addiction to bookstores, I left with a couple of purchases.
Then, I had gelato for dinner at GROM, a little shop that had caught my eye on the way to Blind Tiger. Although it was quite pricey for such a small serving, it was fortunately very delicious. My particular favorite was the lemon and ginger sorbet, which wasn’t overly sweet and definitely made the ginger the star of the show. Then, I just wandered around, taking in the night and the noise until I retreated back to Brooklyn. Even though the night didn’t quite go as planned, I still had a great time and got to try at least one new, delicious beer. After a long summer in Ottawa, I just found myself feeling like I was back in my element, back in this crazy place. And without a doubt, Other Half’s brewery will be one of my stops in the near future!