Sunday, May 02, 2010

Cask Festival At The Brazen Head - Day Two

Got off to a bit of a later start yesterday and meandered over to The Brazen Head around 2:30 PM.  Although there was a good crowd, it wasn't as packed as I expected it to be.  I suspect the beautiful weather, high of 85 and bright sunshine, after several weeks it being windy, chilly and damp was part of the reason.  The beaches and parks were really crowded so just the die-hard cask-heads were holed up inside.  The Brazen Head does have a nice little outdoor area, though.

I showed up alone but was soon joined by the Mysterious Chinese Woman and her brother Jim.

The Happy Crew

I was glad to see that The Nazz was still playing, er, I mean pouring, so that was my first beer of the day.  And no, there won't be any long discourses today.  I am off the mushrooms.

At an ABV of 10% it had a kick to it, but nothing like the Belgian Quadruple that I had yesterday.  It was smooth and a bit hoppy, but not overpoweringly so.  The malt came through as well as a burnt coffee flavor with a hint of caramel.  Very good, indeed.

Alex was here again to provide information about the offerings.  He really knows his stuff so you know he loves his job.

Ask And Ye Shall Know

I moved on to the East End Black Strap Stout, and black it was.  It looked pretty potent but at an ABV of 6.2% it wasn't overpowering.  It is brewed with blackstrap molasses and  brown sugar and had a distinctive coffee taste.  This would be a great beer to have first thing in the morning before heading out to work.  Particularly if your work involves heavy machinery  No! No!  Scratch that last one.  I can already see a potential lawsuit from someone who followed my advice and injured themselves.

Jim was drinking who knows what.  but was certainly enjoying whatever it was.

It Is All Good

My next beer was a Clipper City Peg Leg.  A fairly strong 8% ABV and another black one.  It must have been my day for beers that had a hint of coffee to them, this one mixed with a bit of caramel or toffee and more molasses.  And yes, I did use a clean glass with every beer.

Enjoying The Day

Alex had some help today and despite what it says on his glass, his name is Ron, not Karl.

Alex And Ron

Now, no offense to Ron, but I liked his other helper a bit better.

It Was Her Personality

Her name wasn't Karl either, it was Lauren.  I have no idea who Karl is or how he lost his glass.  Well, that isn't right, I can figure out how you might lose your glass in this kind of an environment.

Pizzeria Uno, a chain of pizza places, actually has a brewpub in their Metuchen, New Jersey restaurant and I had their Pale Bock, a hefty 7.2% ABV but quite good.  Finally a beer that was kind of a pale gold.  Smooth and malty but the alcohol did come through.  There was a bit of an herb (no, not that kind of herb) flavor to it.  Maybe some of the oregano from the pizzas permeates the brew.

Pretty Things of Fluffy White Rabbits fame had a St. Botolph's Town as well this time around.  Milder than the Fluffy White Rabbits, an ABV of 5.7% versus the Rabbits ABV of 8.5%.  It initially had a sweet malty taste to it but a bit of a secondary bite.

My next one was a Shawnee V.S.O.P.  The tasting notes said this was a very rare beer brewed with honey and aged in mature apple brandy barrels.  It was a robust 8.3% ABV and, to me, had a distinctive strawberry or raspberry jam taste.  Quite good.  Pair this with the East End Black Strap Stout and a piece of toast and you have what may be the ideal breakfast.

My last one, recommended by Alex, was another rare one, Kuhnhenn Anneliese Amber.  Not overly strong at an ABV of 5.8%.  Now maybe it was because I had just had the fairly sweet and fruity V.S.O.P., but this one tasted a bit sour and musty.  Not off-putting though, reminiscent of those Belgian beers that are naturally fermented.

I plan on heading back today for another round of tastings so I had enough beer for today.  Enough beer, but not enough to drink.  We headed off in search of another bar and were going to stop in at Henry Public, a relatively new place that I hadn't visited before.

Not Recommended

I can't say anything too bad about this place because we didn't stay.  Why?  Well the front was pretty full, no room at the bar and all of the tables were full as well except for small ones that wouldn't comfortably seat the three of us.

The Strollers Should Have Been A Warning

The back room was completely empty though so we asked if we could sit there.  We were told only if we were having dinner, this despite the fact that it was a bit early and there wasn't anybody eating.  Now how silly is this, you have an empty room and three people who want to buy drinks but you won't seat them.  Who knows, if we had a few drinks we might even have been inclined to stay and order dinner a bit later.  Suffice it to say I won't be rushing back here anytime soon.

We headed over to Cody's Ale House where they had no problems letting us sit at a table for a few drinks.

Highly Recommended

Comfortably Seated

Those pictures in the background are for sale and the guy selling them is Gaid, the world's friendliest bartender who works at Pete's Waterfront Ale House but does most of his drinking here.  Now Gaid is old, well, not as as me, but not old enough to have taken the pictures.  He gets the plates or negatives and then does the enlargements and touch-ups.  He has a whole portfolio of interesting pictures of old New York.  I have a couple of nice ones of Coney Island back in the good-old-days.

On our way over to Cody's we passed pile of books that were being thrown out so, scavenger that I am, I picked up a few.  The fat one on top is Sartre's "Being and Nothingness" that I will probably never read, but carrying it around makes me look intellectual.  One of the books was a beautifully illustrated cookbook, "The Heiritage Of French Cooking."  That one will get some use.  Another one was "Favorite Recipes of American Home Economics Teachers Meats Edition (including seafood and poultry)."  Hey, any cookbook that has almost nine pages of meat loaf recipies can't be all bad.  How can Bacon Meat Loaf with Olive Stuffing not be good?  Not so sure about the Creamed Brains in Nests of Mashed Potatoes, though.

Okay, just a bit after 1:00 P.M. and time for me to take a quick shower and then head out to another session at The Brazen Head.  A Bar Man's work is never done.


Joe non Papa said...

Gaid's photos sound really interesting. Do you know if he has a website?

Bar Man said...

He does, I think, and I have a card of his but I don't know where it is. I think I will head to Pete's Waterfront Ale House (doesn't take much of an excuse) to see if I can get another one. I will post the info when I do. Good point, though, and I know Gaid will be pleased that that you were interested.