Barcade Jersey City A Recap

On Saturday, I made my way over to the newly opened Barcade in Jersey City. Let me start off by saying, I’ve been to Jersey City maybe 10 times in my entire life, despite growing up about 15 miles from it and now living about 10 miles from it in Manhattan. The neighborhood Barcade is in really reminds me of Queens, a little like Long Island City.

I got there about 10 o’clock. There was a short wait on line, about 5 minutes. You could tell people were excited about a new place to check out in the neighborhood. It’s very similar to when Barcade Brooklyn opened up. The space is large with one bar to the right located in the middle of the space. Tables set up in the middle and the arcade cabinets to the sides. Lots of the usual games you grew up playing, Outrun, Galaga, Pong, Tetris, Punchout, Ms. Pacman, etc… The clientele this evening, was probably not what you’re going to normally see. There were a lot of beer drinking “dudes” with no idea what they were drinking. There were also a lot of over dressed girls with no place better to go. I’m sure it’ll balance out, as time and the freshness passes. It did in Brooklyn.

The beers on draft were excellent, though I will say, they ran out of a lot of them, including almost all the pilsners and wheat beers. That wasn’t a surprise as you could tell there were a lot of newbies to craft beers there and generally those are the ones they tend to feel the most safe with, as was evidenced by my company for the evening, some of my cousins. But, I did get them to try some really great beers from Victory, Founders, Blue Point, Brooklyn and Terrapin. My favorite of the evening was the Terrapin Rye Squared and the Founders Red Rye. Seriously, why can’t we have Terrapin beers in NYC?

I did not sample any of the food, in fact I’m not sure they were even serving food on the night. However, the menu looks pretty good. Cheese and meat plates, pickled stuff. There is supposed to be a Nutella and bacon thing that is great. There are also a bunch of sandwiches on the menu. Like I said, looks pretty good.

Overall, a fun evening with my cousins. I’ve seen a few posts from people that live in the area complaining about how expensive the beers were, the lack of “regular” beers, the service and waiting on lines. My answer is, you’re paying for good beer at a new place. It’ll wear off, lines will get shorter, so will the wait for a beer. However, don’t expect a Budweiser, learn to drink better beer.

Listening Pile:
Thursday – A Gun In The First Act
Some old friends just came out with a new record. Pretty crazy to see how they’ve evolved as a band. I did their very first radio interview on my college radio show some 10 or 11 years ago. They are great guys and really pushing the boundaries of their sound. Check out the song. Oh yeah, and they are from Jersey. Curtains should match the drapes, right?

Brewery Profile – Flying Dog

Flying Dog Brewery, located in Frederick, Maryland(pretty cool eh), is a great mid-Atlantic brewery. Many people know them of course for their bottle labels featuring artwork from longtime Hunter S. Thompson collaborator, Ralph Steadman. 2010 was a really memorable year for them. They celebrated their 20th anniversary, which is pretty rare for upstart breweries. Also, their Doggy Style Pale Ale was rated the #1 Pale Ale by a panel composed by The New York Times.

I’ve really been enjoying a bunch of their brews over the last few years. A couple weeks back I picked up a fantastic six pack of their Snake Dog IPA, which has turned into a go-to beer for me. Some of my favorite brews of theirs include the Raging Bitch which is a tasty Belgian-Style IPA and not too hoppy despite an ABV of 9.3%. Their Garde Dog is a fantastic Bier De Garde, a traditional farmhouse ale brewed in March for drinking during the spring and summer months.

I’ve sampled a couple of their other seasonal brews including the Dogtoberfest Marzen, K9 Cruiser Winter Ale and Woody Creek, a Belgian style Wit. They also have their Canis Major series, high gravity & abv’s and full of immense flavor, that includes the Intense Gonzo Imperial Porter, an homage to the brilliant, but insane Thompson.

Just this past week, they released The Alpha Collection locally in Maryland. This limited-release package is “an homage to the hop” 12-pack that features the Single Hop Imperial IPA with Simcoe, Raging Bitch , Snake Dog IPA, and Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale. It’s a first time bottling of the Single Hop Imperial IPA. Hoping some of those make it up to NYC. I love beers made with Simcoe hops.

This May, they will be sponsoring the Frederick, MD beer week. Confirmed breweries include Flying Dog, Brewer’s Alley, Barley and Hops, Heavy Seas, and DuClaw Brewing Company. Sounds like a fun time.

Listening Pile:
The Stooges – I Wanna Be Your Dog
This is one of the most bad ass songs ever. I thought it was completely appropriate for talking about an awesome brewery that has some of the most bad ass labels around. Enjoy!


Yankee Stadium, A Monumental Failure

If I Can Make It There…
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, for the amount of money, time and effort that went into building the new Yankee stadium, it’s a shame they really let the fans down. I’m a lifelong Yankee fan. I was essentially born into a Yankee family and I’m thankful for that. I am obsessed with baseball, I have two fantasy teams, I read numerous sports sites and blogs on the subject. I occasionally mess around with stats myself, especially during the fantasy season. They even brought us a title in the first season of their shiny new ballpark.

So for me, to say that that Yankees have disappointed me, hurts. While the new stadium is vast and provides many, many more amenities, seating options, restrooms and concessions, it really just lacks the quality and intimate feel I’ve experienced and read about in other ball parks. While sure, they have Nathan’s hotdogs from Coney Island, or local eatery, Brother Jimmies BBQ and a fancy NY Steak, it just doesn’t live up to the inventiveness and options at other stadiums across the country, even it’s cross-town rival, Citi Field.

It’s not just with food options either. Take for instance last week, I read in Tampa, the Devil Rays serve at least two of local brewery Cigar City’s beers. In St. Louis, they serve Schafly next to Budwieser. In Cleveland, they are selling a couple different craft beers, some costing as much as $30 a pop. At Citi Field, out in Queens, they are serving a special Brooklyn Brewery batch made just for Citi Field and Blue Smoke. (Also, just got wind they have Sixpoint on tap in certain sections)

What did I drink at Yankee stadium last weekend at their “Beers of the World” stand, how about a $12 Guinness, which certainly hit the spot, but it’s no Cigar City beer or anything close. You can also get a $11 tall boy of PBR, which I’m sure would outrage any hipster from Williamsburg. To be honest, it outrages me. The only “somewhat” craftbeer option at the stadium, is Goose Island(I know), which is limited to a few areas in the stadium. You have to search it out if you want one. If I’m paying $12 for a beer, there better be a lot of hops, abv, flavor or quantity.

It really is a shame the city and its inhabitants helped subsidize this wonderful stadium, yet many can’t afford to attend a game, nor watch it on TV(thanks Direct TV/Yes). And on the rare treat when they do get there, they are handed sub-par food and beverage options that cost a day’s salary. I’m not really sure who or what is to blame, but it makes me sad to be a supporter of this place, despite the team I love playing there.

The Yankees are supposed to be the standard of baseball, so I hope there’s more fan outrage and more public outcry against this stuff and the outrageous prices. I mean, we live in the greatest city in the world, with the best of everything, food and craftbeer included. I’ve noticed a lot of empty seats in the stadium this year and they’ve already had some of the lowest attendance figures in the stadium’s 2+ years. I really hope they see the writing on the wall. Fans are fed up.

And please, don’t get me started on the whole stupid subway race thing(the B doesn’t run half the time!?!) and Michael Kay’s awfulness. And why do you always have to wait on line despite more entrances, food vendors and bathrooms, yet less people in the stadium? Ugh! At least they got rid of Cotton Eye Joe.

I know, I know. I’m going on and on. But it’s a passion and to be honest, I never thought I’d say this, but for once, the Mets did something right. Citi Field is beautiful, has a great atmosphere and incredible food and beer options. Too bad the team stinks and it’s all the hell out in Queens. Grass is always greener I guess.

Listening Pile:
Public Enemy – Don’t Believe The Hype
I think you can guess why this is the song of the day. Check it!

The Ocho

Saturday I was privledged enough to attend my 2nd BrewYork meet up, wonderfully nicknamed, The Ocho. It was a celebration of good friends, good times and most importantly good craft beer. We gathered at NJ Beer Co in North Bergen, NJ for a great time.

Here are some photos and below is the bottle list for the evening. Many, many thanks to all that helped organize this wonderful event including host, Matt Steinberg of NJ Beer Co., Jonathon Moxey, Chris O’Leary and everyone else in attendance that made this a great experience. I cannot wait til the next one.

BrewYork 8: The Bottle List

Russian River Sanctification
Russian River Consecration
Liefmans Goudenband
Deschutes The Dissident
Russian River Temptation
Firestone Walker Parabola
Homebrew Russian Imperial Stout aged on Woodford Reserve oak cubes
Cantillon Saint Lamvinus
Capt. Lawrence Smoke From The Oak: Wine Barrel – Batch 4
The Bruery Papier
Boulevard Harvest Dance Wheat Wine
Haverhill Brewery Joshua Norton Imperial Stout
Opa Opa Brewing Co. Winter Strong Ale
Homebrew Triple IPA
Homebrew Smoked Porter
Half Acre Baumé
Señor Scotch Ale
Ithaca Beer Co. Excelsior! alpHalpHa
De Molen Hel & Verdoemenis Wild Turkey barrel-aged imperial stout
De Molen Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
Klosterbrauerei Andechs Andechser Dopplebock Dunkel
Pivovar Náchod Primátor Specialni Tmavé 24°
Pivovar Herold – Herold Cerny Lezák (Bohemian Black Lager) 13°
Amerherst Brewing Co./Berkshire Brewing Co. ABC + BBC = CBC
HomebrewYork IPA
Sierra Nevada/The Abbey of New Chairvaux Ovila Dubbel
Capt. Lawrence St. Vincent’s Dubbel 2006
3Floyds Gumballhead
3Floyds Robert the Bruce
St. Thérèse Belgian Ale – Homebrew
The Bruery Trade Winds Tripel
Brasserie Des Rocs Brune
New England Brewing Company Wet Willy Scotch Ale
Flat Earth Black Helicopter Coffee Stout
Homebrew pothole porter
Homebrew irish red
Homebrew kolsch g1
Homebrew fred’s everyday ipa
Left Hand Brewing St. Vrain Tripel
Terrapin Side Project Vol. 11 Boom Shakalager
Hill Farmstead Edward
Just Beer Hot Cocoa
MYSTERY GROWLER #2! (Lagunitas Pils)
Ommegang Gnomegang
De Ranke Noir de Dottignies
Left Hand Wake Up Dead
Founders KBS
Fantome de Noel
Firestone Walker Abacus 2011
De Proef Reinaert
La Caracole “Nostradamus”

Listening Pile:
TV On The Radio – Nine Types of Light
Their new album comes out today and they’ve made a movie, or sort of video for each song. Really cool concept. Check it out.