I headed out to a neighborhood not too far from where I live in Downtown Brooklyn. This neighborhood is called the Waterfront District, and for good reason. It is a narrow neighborhood bordered by the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE) to the east and the New York Harbor to the west. It used to be a really rough and tumble area and not too many years ago it wasn't a place you felt comfortable in after dark. Now it has become a fairly hip neighborhood where a lot of East Village types have migrated too when the East Village became a bit pricey and, some would say, a bit plastic. For the record, I still think the East Village is cool, but then I am a bit of an old fart. There was supposed to be a small street fair but it had been canceled due to the threat of rain. It was a bit overcast and drizzly.
I could see from a distance that there wasn't any fair, but of course I also saw something that caught my eye.
Gosh, Could That Be A Bar?
It Was!! It Was!! Actually, it was Moonshine, the bar at 317 Columbia Street that was supposed to be sponsoring the fair.
Well, fair or not, I was going to stop in and have me a beer.
Marni was the friendly and very busy bartender who poured me my Brooklyn Brown Ale in an old mason jar. Get it, Moonshine, mason jars. Cute, but effective. The Brown Ale is a nice dark creamy concoction that is a bit hoppier than most brown ales. Very drinkable and not so heavy that you couldn't have a few.
Barman and Marni
They also sold buckets of four cans of beer for five bucks. A great place to go to basically get hammered.
There was a bit of an assorted crowd hanging out here on a dreary Saturday afternoon.
Sonia and Orion
Sonia was the one with the visible tattoos. I don't know if Orion had any yet. Sonia used to live in the East Village and had recently moved to Redhook, an adjacent neighborhood. I don't know if you are allowed to have children in the East Village, but there were plenty of them in here. It was a true neighborhood bar in the style of the pubs you find in Ireland where the whole family hangs out.
A Good Spot To Just Hang Out
They have a pool table in here and darts and the obligatory Big Buck Hunter game. They also had a really neat area out back.
The Back Yard
The really cool thing was that they had a couple of nice grills and you could use them to fix whatever you brought.
Considering that Barman loves to grill but lives in an apartment this place rates a return visit. Next time with a slab of ribs or something.
All in all it was a very friendly place with a nice crowd and I could easily have settled in for a long stay. But, I just had my one beer and toddled off down the street. Maybe I could have taken their limo, a nice touch.
The Moonshine Limo
Not too far away was Sugar, a bar I hadn't previously visited.
I can't say they spared no expense on their window decoration, which was basically just packets of sugar.
Sugar at Sugar
No kids in this bar but, interestingly, except for me everyone in the place was there for a baby shower.
The Party Room
I was offered a piece of cake but because I was watching my girlish figure I settled for a Brooklyn Pennant Pale Ale 55 instead. This is a nice English style ale the color of honey with a nice malty flavor. It is named in honor of the Brooklyn Dodgers who won the pennant in 1955.
Barman Wins The Pennant
Heading on home I had to pass, or at least try to pass, Pete's Waterfront Ale House. They were running the Preakness today but I decided to hit a trifecta of my own by having a Brooklyn Blast.
Barman Having A Blast
Brooklyn Blast, which I have written about before, is a strong (8%) ale with some notable hops to it, but not at all over-the-top. Dangerously drinkable.
The bartender also gave me a taste of Sly Fox Amarillo IPA and I liked it so much I had one of those as well. Amarillo is the type of hops that they use to make the beer and it gives it a bit of a pine flavor. Nothing overpowering though and this is an excellent IPA with a crisp citrus flavor. Sly Fox started out in 1994 as a brew pub and restaurant just outside of Philadelphia but has since added a full brewery. You don't see too many of their beers here in New York but if I ever get out their way I will certainly stop in. They put out a large selection of beers and I would like to try some of their other offerings. The Jake's ESB sounds like it would be mighty tasty.
I often mention about how the food at Pete's is well beyond the usual pub grub so I decided to take a look at today's specials.
The Wild Boar Meatballs sounded interesting as did the Braised Buffalo Short Ribs with Asian Blackbean Sauce. Tempting, but the Asian Blackbean Sauce reminded me that the Mysterious Chinese Woman was fixing duck legs for dinner and I dared not linger.
The talent behind the food at Pete's is Jim who, busy as he is, always has a bit of time to chat with the customers.
The Talented and Creative Jim
As always, if you are in the neighborhood you should stop in for a beer and, time permitting, a bite to eat. You can't go wrong.