Tuesday, May 11, 2010

dba Brooklyn's Cask Festival

On Saturday I headed over to Williamsburg for the Cask Festival at dba Brooklyn.  The dba in Manhattan was one of the first bars around here that sold cask ales.  They had two of the hand-pump casks installed but usually only sold the ale during the cooler months.

I overestimated the length of time it would take me to get to Williamsburg.  From here, in Downtown Brooklyn, you take a subway into Manhattan and then at Union Square transfer to another subway back into Brooklyn.  Convoluted, but this time I hit all the connections and showed up a bit early.

Where's The Beer?

I actually walked right by the place the first go-around.  When it is closed there isn't much to distinquish it from the places on either side.  One metal door looks pretty much like any other.

Although dba Brookyn wasn't open yet Spike Hill was ready for business so I passed a bit of time there.

An Early Morning Kind Of Place

They have a few interesting beers on draft here and the Hacker Pschorr Maibock caught my eye.

Smooth, A Glass Of Brunch

Maibocks are a lighter form of Bock beer and, as you might guess by the name, is typically served in May.  Very good.

I may have had a glass of brunch, but the Mysterious Chinese Woman thought something more substantial might be in order.  Just down the street is a nice little Asian restaurant that we have been to before.

RED BOWL or redbowl

They seem to have a bit of an identity problem.  One sign uses all Capitals and two words while the other signs use all small letters and run the two words together.  I know, picky, picky, picky.

I had a plate of noodles to wash down my Sake.

Sake And Flowers, How Springy

Then it was time to head back to dba Brooklyn.

Better Luck This Time

And there was Alex, setting up his wares.

A Hard Working Guy

Well, it isn't like it was all fun and games for me, either.  I had some drinking to do.

Started out with the New Jersey '1787 Abbey Single Ale,' a relatively mild 4.8% ABV.  It is in the style of a Belgian Pale Ale and is considered a session ale.  This means it is low enough in alcohol that you can make a session of drinking it.  I thought it was pretty good but had kind of a coppery taste to it.

My next beer, a Fuller's 'London Pride,' was even milder at 4.1% ABV.  You can get the London Pride in both bottles and on draft, but the cask version has much more flavor.  Nice and well-rounded.

I finished up - yes, I know, a short session - with a fairly strong 10% ABV Stoudt's 'Double IPA.'  As you can imagine, this was a fairly hoppy pour.  And the hops was long lasting.  It uses three types of hops, Warrior hops for bitterness and Cascade and Williamette to impart the hoppy aroma.

Savoring My Ales

For some reason, maybe because it turned out to be a nice Spring day, I didn't feel like sitting inside drinking cask ales all afternoon.  Note, it was chilly and drizzling earlier in the day, hence the somewhat inappropriate jacket and hat I was wearing.

Anyway, I had been to the nearby Surf Bar before and thought that would be a nice change.  For some reason I thought they served Australian beers.  Maybe the used to, or I am getting it confused with the Sunburnt Cow in Manhattan, which is an Australian bar with a surf theme to it.

The Surf Bar

Well, no Australian beers this time around, but they had a nice outdoor seating area.

Lovely Little Place

They had a number of Tiki drinks, but I didn't like the looks of the recipes.  A bit on the sweet-side for me.  On the other hand, the Mysterious Chinese Woman found the Zombie to her liking.

What A Pretty Zombie


I have been on a bit of a Margarita jag lately so that is what I had.  Not bad, but not as good as the ones I make.  Alton Brown had an episode of Good Eats the other day where he demonstrated his Margarita making skills.  I will have to try it his way.  He doesn't use any orange liquor, kind of a staple, but does use fresh orange juice.  He also makes a big deal about muddling the limes and ornages with a bit of agave syrup to extract all of the oils from the skins.

Another tip, he dips the glass in tequila and lets it dry for ten seconds before dipping it into salt.  I will have to try this next time.

Not One Of Alton Brown's

Then it was back home after a quick stop at Spike Hill for a bathroom break and one final Margarita.

It would have been a perfectly fine day if it had ended there.  However, such was not to be.  Jim called and wanted to know if the Mysterious Chinese Woman and I wanted to hook-up at Capucine's.  He was taking the Mysterious Chinese Mother-In-Law out for an early Mother's Day.  Well, how could I say No.

After heading back to Manhattan there was Jim, but he was by himself.  Apparently the Mysterious Chinese Mother-In-Law didn't feel like going out.  So we ended up the evening with dinner, a couple of Rob Roy's and an after-dinner Rusty Nail.

Sadly, the next day I was supposed to go with the Mysterious Chinese Woman to meet the Mysterious Chinese Mother-In-Law and a Mysterious Chinese Sister-In-Law for dim sum in Chinatown on Sunday at 11:00 A.M.  I say sadly because I begged off on going and now, I am sure, I am in the doghouse with someone.

The life of Bar Man is not an easy life.

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