Friday, May 04, 2007

Rib Ticklin' Good

Every once in awhile Barman gets a craving for barbecued ribs. Luckily, on of his favorite haunts has some of the best you can get anywhere (unless you do your own).

Pete's Waterfront Ale House

The somewhat disreputable fellow standing in the doorway is actually one of their bartenders opening up for the day. He cleans up well and is quite knowledgeable about the beers he serves and if you ask nicely will offer you a taste before you commit to actually paying for one.

Gulden Draak Ale

No, this is not a beer brewed on Long Island, once famous for their ducks. Gulden Draak actually means Golden Dragon and this is a mighty fine Belgian Ale brewed by Van Steenberge.

It has a dark amber hue that sparkles when you hold it to the light. There isn't much of a head, but what little there is clings to the side of your glass almost like spun sugar. The beer is thick and sweet, almost like a Scottish Ale and has a noticeably caramel taste to it. It is a triple and has a nice kick to it, 10.5% in fact. You can pick that up just by sniffing, but it is just as noticeable going down. This would be a great beer to drink while ice-fishing. It would also go well with a chocolate desert or a good cheese.

Legend has it that Prince Arn, a knight of the Round Table, drank this after he slew the golden dragon. I would guess he probably drank quite a bit before attempting it too.

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA

Another strong (9%) beer from the ever reliable Dogfish Head brewery in Delaware. IPAs are all the trend now and, interestingly, beers like this that I would never have put in that category a few years ago are claiming the title. True to IPA tradition it is strong and hoppy. This was originally necessary to keep the beer from spoiling on long ocean voyages. However, there is a trend among some brewers towards making them both sweeter and heavier then they used to be. This falls into that category. Whereas I would normally think of drinking an IPA to quench my thirst on a hot day (hey, they were once sent to India for the troops) this would not do the trick. Very good though.

Harpoon Refsvindinge Private Stock Ale

I was about to sit down for my ribs when the bartender suggested that I try this beverage. A good call. Harpoon brewery in Vermont collaborated with Refsvindinge brewery in Denmark to produce the exceptional farmhouse ale in a limited edition, only 100 barrels (so you better try to get it quick).

A very pretty dark golden color with a nice creamy white head. It has a nicely fruity, think apricots, and spicy, think pepper, nose to it and is very smooth and crisp. Very easy to discern both the malt and hops in this one. At "only" 7.8% alcohol it was almost like a soft-drink at this point. But much better.

Ribs At Last

The Mysterious Chinese Woman (yes, she is still around) and I finally sat down to our ribs with a bottle of Brooklyn Brewery's Local 1 (which I have described elsewhere). The ribs were delicious, as usual. After splitting a reasonably priced rack we still had plenty to take home for lunch the next day. I may have mentioned that the food here is always exceptional.

Sam Barbieri, the manager of Pete's Waterfront Ale House, is an avid barbecuer and has several trophies to attest to his prowess (although I am not sure if he is directly responsible for the ribs, they also have a mighty fine chef). At any rate, Sam along with Jeff Riley of The Smokin' Grill and Rob Richter of the Long Island Barbecue Team will be serving up barbecued delights at 7th annual Brooklyn Pigfest next Saturday, May 12th. It will be held in Dumbo (God, I hate that name) in Brooklyn at the Empire State Tobacco Warehouse. There will also be live music and beer supplied by Brooklyn Brewery (the beer, not the music, unless Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery's brewmaster, decides to sing). The music is by The Cobble Hillbillies and the South Slope String Band. Admission is $75 in advance and $85 at the door. A bit pricey, but you get a lot and it is for a good cause, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. It runs from 1:00 P.M. until 6:00 P.M. so you should be able to eat, drink, and dance your money's worth.

Waterfront Ale House in Brooklyn

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