Monday, July 03, 2006


I was in New York City for work last week and decided to make a heroic effort to break away from the day-to-day and get to a bar I'd read about called THE GINGER MAN on 36th, near the Murray Hill neighborhood in Manhattan. It was advertised as having 60+ taps, and I reckoned that there might be a few good'uns sprinkled in there - perhaps even the fabled Dogfish Head, a beer that no one on the west coast can get??!? Well, the only Dogfish Head brew on the premises was some pumpkin or apricot thing in a bottle, so I stayed well on the limb and chose the SMUTTYNOSE IPA instead. Theirs is a name that's not easy to forget, and I knew that their brewworks were "just up the road" in New Hampshire (that's like an hour away, right?) - had also heard that theirs were some of the favorite elixers of the east coast beer dorks. As the Smuttynose web site puts it, "...this is definitely not a training-wheels IPA..." and I'd second that emotion in a hurry. Smuttynose IPA is intensely hoppy to a fault, and while drinking it I vacillated between being blown away by its flavor & being a bit annoyed by it. It is not for the meek, and I'd just finished workin' and all and was maybe still getting my beer legs for the night. Then - hey, lookee there, it was all gone! I concluded that I was pretty impressed with the thing - a very almost lemony taste spread throughout orange citrus clouds of hops, and while it wasn't smooth, it was a fine choice for a Tuesday evening happy hour & I'm glad I made it. The Ginger Man's a great place, too - after dinner I came all the way back there & tried something else -- we'll chat about that later. In the meantime, Smuttynose IPA rates an impressive 7.5/10. Next time you're in New Hampshire, give 'em a call!

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