Category Archives: Puppies

Zeppelin Hall Restaurant, Biergarten & Bar

A Whole Lotta Love and Beer and Sausage

Made my way over to the Zeppelin Hall Biergarten in Jersey City on Saturday. It was a surprisingly quick trip over from the City on the PATH. From the station, it was about a five minute walk through Jersey City. Once you find it, it has an unassuming entrance, sort of tucked away in the corner of a building complex. However, once you walk in, you actually see the massiveness of the place. There’s a huge outdoor courtyard with large picnic tables, covered by trees and umbrellas. Then there is a large hall with a stage in the center. It was a warm day, so at first we started off inside, but as our party got a little bigger, we longed to be outside. It was really pleasant with a nice breeze, good friends and nice cold beers.


Now on to the good stuff, the beer. I was really happy to see a lot of variety in the beer, from tons of German, English and Belgian beers, to great craft stuff including selections from Ommegang, Ithaca, Magic Hat, Victory, Brooklyn, Blue Point and Yards, amongst others. I had a couple different samplings from Blue Point’s Toxic Sludge, a great Black IPA which donates proceeds to charity, to the Brooklyn Brewery’s Concoction, based off a Scotch-based cocktail, flavored with lemon, ginger, and honey flavors. I had a Yards Thomas Jefferson Tavern Ale, a strong golden ale inspired by der!, Jefferson’s original recipe. I also had the classic Bavarian style German pilsners of Jever and Spaten. Both are two of my favorite of the style. Also had a Newcastle Summer Ale, which is the first seasonal beer from the Newkies.

In terms of food, the menu was comprised mostly of Bavarian classics like bratwurst and kielbasa, to schnitzel, sauerbraten, schweinhaxe and spaetzle. I had a chicken schnitzel, a fried breaded cutlet served with a German potato salad. There is lots of other stuff too, like large pretzels, chicken wings, burgers, salads, soup, a couple different desserts, including a Belgian waffle and even a kids menu. Portions are huge, so bring an appetite or a person to share with. It’s just the perfect amount of food to soak up all that great beer.

Needless to say, I had a great time. I really enjoyed the venue, the beers, the food and sharing the afternoon with my good friends. I had heard some bad things about Zepplin, but don’t think I experienced any of it. They had a good selection of beers and food. Sure it got kind of crowded and yes, there were a lot of babies. But, they let you bring dogs under 20lbs, which is always a plus in my book. They also had this great misting thing going on at the bar, which certainly helped fight the heat. It’s not the Bohemian Hall Beer Garden in Astoria, but that’s had a hundred year head start. And, yes. It’s in Jersey City, but to be honest, it took me just about as long to get there as it did to Astoria. All in all a good time had and definitely would visit again.

Listening Pile:
Led Zeppelin – Whole Lot of Love
See what I did there. Led Zeppelin song for the Zeppelin Biergarten. Anyhow, sort of thought this song went with the theme of the afternoon. Lots of love for the beer, the food and friends. Plus, it’s a badass song.Enjoy!

Cheers,
-fred

Thursday’s Links

Flo-rida Beer
Nice write up about the honors Florida breweries took in the annual Ratebeer and BeerAdvocate awards. Can’t say I’ve tried all those breweries, but I do love the Cigar City stuff from Tampa. One day I will get down there to check it out and a Yankee spring training game. Jai Alai IPA is one of those beers I’m glad I can stock in my fridge these days. I did also have a Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale last week that was fantastic. And I love the idea of using mango, peppers and papaya in their beers.

Beers for Beasts
Great news from the BeerAdvocate and Sixpoint camps. The two are joining forces to host an awesome event showcasing creative beers, food, and people, with all proceeds benefiting The Humane Society of NYC. The event is taking place at the Bell House in Brooklyn on March 26th. Tickets are $60, but include beer, food(Calexico Cart will be there) and entertainment.

Not only is this a great event for a great cause, you all know puppies are near and dear to my heart, but Sixpoint is going to be unveiling at least 16 new beers, brewed exclusively for the event. From the PR release:

Many of these beers will be collaborative brews, made with other members of the community at Sixpoint’s facility. The beers at Beer for Beasts will be the cumulative effort of months of collaboration, mentorship, and “Mad Scientist” innovation, with each member of the Sixpoint staff proudly representing a brew of their own. “Our goal is to showcase a community overflowing with talent, and celebrate their ingenuity and genuine good spirit with our friends by fostering a really positive experience,” said Shane Welch, Sixpoint Brewery President.

Mayor Rocks Facebook
Don’t know about you, but having Facebook work with government agencies just sounds kindy fishy to me. Here’s some news about Mayor Bloomberg reaching out to Facebook to begin talks about creating a New York City Facebook site, as part of a larger effort to share information, ideas and harness the power of crowd sourcing. Dunno, sounds a little strange to me. This on the heels of the city appointing it’s first Chief Digital Officer, who from everything I’ve read seems to be more of a self-promoter than social guru.

Listening Pile:
No Age – Fever Dreaming
Cool new video from LA based No Age. Their album Everything in Between was one of my favorite albums of last year. Mixing shoegaze, post punk, noise and good ole 90’s indie rock, they create an awesome sound. Just read they are opening up for the Cold War Kids at Radio City Music Hall here in NYC next month. Hope we get a one off show at a smaller club as well. That would be an awesome time. Check out the video below>>>

Cheers,
-fred

Seven Things I Think I Think

Here is the first of my Seven things I think posts. Some of you might remember this theme from my old blog and also something Peter King does on SI.com about football.

1. Green Flash Brewing Company. Where have you been all my life? I’ve just recently been turned on to this brewery from San Diego County California. They have a bunch of year round offerings, as well as seasonal and barrel-aged beers. They have a couple West Coast style beers that are super hoppy and full of amazing flavor. The West Coast IPA, Hop Head Red Ale, and Imperial bottles are all recent tastings of mine. I also sampled the Summer Saison, which was citrusy and gingery. I also made their tap takeover at Rattle N Hum, where along w/ some of the aforementioned brews, I had the Fizzy Yellow, American ESB, and the exception Super Freak and 8th Anniversary. Both just amazing. This is the kind of beer that made me think about taking a trip to San Diego. But I chose Mexico, partly because I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop with just Green Flash. San Diego/Orange County, has a ton of great beer.

2. OK, so am I disappointed the Yankees didn’t get Cliff Lee? Sure. Am I glad we won’t be paying a 39 year old Cliff Lee over $20 million in 2018? Yup. I’m no baseball writer, I’m only a fan. So, you’d think I’d be going into panic mode, but I’m not. I have always thought finding good, young pitching is the hardest thing to do in baseball. So, Brian Cashman, you have a lot of work ahead of you. You’ve been preaching patience. So, lets see what we got. Lets give the kids in the minors a shot. Shoot, why not give Joba Chamberlain a shot. He’s only 25 and didn’t pitch horribly as a starter. Just inconsistent. We’ve ruined him so bad jerking him around from starter to bullpen and back, what could it hurt? Best case, he turns into a solid, young pitcher under team control for years to come. Worst case, he bombs and we stick him back in the bullpen or trade him to someone willing to give a young hurler a shot. If the team needs pitching in July, we make a trade and use the well stocked minor league system to get a stud. If things go well, we got young pitchers full of promise. Don’t mess this up Cashmoney. Don’t!

3. Re-branding. Been thinking about this lately. There’s a bar by my apartment that went from being a fun Mexican themed spot with good food, large beer selection and rock music to a tapas/wine bar. It’s one thing they changed the name, style and atmosphere. But it’s another that they did it with no effort what so ever to make what they were serving quality. Bland food, bland wine, crappy techno music and they got rid of some of their good beer selections. Now this gets me thinking about Red Hook Brewery, who are changing logos, labels and names of beers amidst slumping sales. I really hope this isn’t just a name change thing, but something that hopefully gets them into really looking at the quality of their brews. I like the idea of them canning their beers. And hopefully this helps an old stand-by beer regain some excitement amongst craft beer enthusiasts.

4. Sam Adams Infinium. Sure, lots of collaborations are great. Some are epic, Dogfish/Sierra Life and Limb, looking at you. Some are so-so. The Infinium, which is a collaboration between Boston’s Sam Adam’s and the world’s oldest brewery, Germany’s Weihenstephan. Essentially, they were to make a groundbreaking brew, made with the four traditional ingredients malted barley, hops, water and yeast. It had a nice crisp champagne like quality to it and under enough bottle conditioned aging, maybe this could have been better. However, I found it lacked any real flavor, with apple hints and way too much carbonation for me. I tried it in a flute and a Sam Adams Infinium glass. Both times it did nothing for me. Good try, but better luck next time.

5. Dammit! That’s all I think any NY Giants fan could say after this weekend’s embarrassing game against the Packers on top of the 4th quarter collapse against the Eagles the previous week. After the meltdown at the Meadowlands, in which I made the mistake of being a bragging and assured fan, only to being stunned at the Eagles 4th quarter comback. I’ve never seen so many speechless fans in one place when I arrived at the other bar to watch the end of the game. They, had a big game this weekend against the Packers. Needing a win to assure a playoff spot. And they didn’t show up. They were marred with big mistakes and countless turnovers. It was just horrible to watch. I switched on to 60 Minutes. 60. Minutes. So, last game of the year and they need a big win to get into the playoffs. I wonder which team will show up.

6. Sorry, but if you have a dog, why bring it somewhere with you only to tie it up outside on a freezing or scorching hot day, while you’re in a comfortable restaurant or bar. On four separate occasions this week, I’ve seen a dog tied outside in freezing cold weather while it’s owners eat inside a warm restaurant. Last night during the snowstorm I actually saw a guy leave his dog outside while he got coffee. In a snowstorm! This maddens me to no end. I feel bad for leaving my dog outside while I go inside for a minute and won’t do it unless I can see the dog at all times. I tend to go to places that will allow my dog to come in. I will even go so far as to occasionally sneak my dog into places by hiding her in a bag. I think those of you that know me, know I’m serious about being a dog owner and treating them like a family member. I spoil my Lulu Guinness and it saddens me when people don’t take the responsibility seriously.

7. With Christmas now behind us, it’s time to reflect on a truly great year. So many great meals, runs, dog adventures, Yankee games and wonderful beers had. Some of my favorite beer adventures of the year included brunch at Floyds, Get Real NY cask festival, NYC Craft Beer Week, Beer to Garden, Sierra Nevada, Winter Beers & Green Flash tap takeovers at Rattle n Hum, Brooklyn Brewery afternoons, my friend Mike’s bachelor party pub crawl and The Beer Fest on Governors island. Also, discovering new spots in my new neighborhood, the Upper East Side of Manhattan, including David Copperfields, Jock Tamsons Bairns, Kinsale Tavern, Merrion Square and more. All in all a fantastic 2010 and makes me look so forward to what I’m sure will be an even better 2011.

Listening Pile:
Neon Indian – “Children of the Revolution (T. Rex Cover)

Chillwave kingpin and T. Rex fan Neon Indian has covered the triumphant glam-rock anthem “Children of the Revolution” in his own warped style. The cover version, which you can download above, isn’t intended for a new release; it’s just a way for Neon Indian main man Alan Palomo to introduce his listeners to Marc Bolan’s glittery wonders.