Tuesday, July 11, 2006


This is the last of my “NYC beer exploration” posts until the next time I go back East for more spelunking. The same night that I went to the Ginger Man bar & sampled both the Smuttynose IPA and the Avery Karma, I also took a dinner detour and headed to the Upper East Side at 88th @ 2nd Avenue to worship at the newly-heralded CAFÉ D’ALSACE, a place the New York Times wrote up as being an amazing gastropub, wholly focused on pairing beer with food. The way their article told it, their “beer sommelier” would handhold you through your meal selection & make sure you had the perfect high-end European beer to accompany it. I looked at their selection online & despite the criminal per-beer prices (New York City, you’re killing the common man), I decided to give it a go anyway. Well, no sommelier was helping me out, and this place seemed just as focused on wine & liquor as it was beer, but man o man was the food incredible. Having no idea what would go well with ravioli & asparagus, I winged it and picked one of the few non-bottled beers on the menu and ordered up something called HACKER PSCHORR DUNKEL WEISS and hoped for the best.

This might have been my greatest shot in the dark yet, as this was simply put, the single best German beer I’ve ever had (including altbier in Dusseldorf, no lie!), and the newest addition to my grand slam club. That’s right folks, I’m giving this the fabled, hallowed 10/10 – it was really something else. This is a dark wheat beer that went down as easy as lemonade in Tucson in July, with no aftertaste or bitterness to speak of. It poured a rich amber brown out of a big-ass bottle, and the restaurant knew well enough to not drop a slice of lemon in there – that would have been flat-out wrong. It had this really rich, smoky taste to it but was far from overpowering – just an all-around incredible drink. This one was on tap, but it looks like this Dunkel Weiss is available in bottles and is imported all over the United States – and is likely pretty easy to find within Old Europe too. I’m usually partial to trying something new every time I get a chance but this is one that will immediately go into the normal rotation. Give it a look-see-drink when you get a chance.

1 comment:

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