Monday, September 04, 2006

UP & IN AT THE CHELSEA BREWING COMPANY

It's not hard to conquer all the microbreweries in New York City. I believe if you set your sites on Manhattan Island only, you've got two - that's it. 48 million people on one single island, and they get the mediocre HEARTLAND BREWING company and this one, the CHELSEA BREWING company, way out at this fish-out-of-water entertainment complex called "Chelsea Piers". We taxied to this place and were blown away to find this clean, safe, Midwestern-style multi-use retail/restaurant complex - you might ever call it a MALL if there'd been more shopping at hand - at the edge of the water overlooking New Jersey. Bowling lanes, movies, shops selling crystals, a golf driving range, and that's right, ye olde microbrewery.

Once inside we could've been in Chico or Bend or King of Prussia, PA. The copper vats, big stools, the polo-shirt clad waitstaff, the mostly-clean tables with beer residue left behind from the previous occupants, etc. In other words - and I'm proud to say this - home. I felt at ease here, and since it was a gorgeous night out, 70 some-odd degrees out w/ no wind nor humidity, we sat outside for hours & sampled their wares. Unlike at the Heartland a few months ago, I found all of my selections here to be passable-to-very good. My favorite was their HOP ANGEL IPA,which I don't remember much about but it had to be pretty solid since that's, like, my "favorite style" and I awarded it a 6.5/10. Next best was the STOUT
(no clever name that I could find, just the stout), which was creamy and not too thin-tasting the way some weaker stouts are - I gave it a 6/10. I had started the evening off with their SUNSET RED ALE, and that was OK (5.5/10), a little tasteless at times but it found its way to the back of my throat quickly, which always bodes well for an evening. Most of all I just flat-out enjoyed this place - attitude-free wait staff, decent food (Salmon, even), good atmosphere, and a full-blown view of New Jersey just feet away. Ahhhh! Maybe it was just my mood or something; I could just as easily have seen it as ridculously run-of-the-mill, but I dug it. Beer that's better than average just cinches it & makes me wanna come back sometime.

2 comments:

Tripeler said...

You were too kind to Heartland. It was dreadful. Something I would not expect in a city like New York.

Ginger Man, however, is probably one of the best beer bars I have ever been to. Recommended to me by Michael Jackson, this place has the finest beer, service, and attitude.

Thanks for your neat HBJ blog. I get the HeeBeeJeebees when I read it.

Ed said...

In additon to previously mentioned Ginger Man, other good places to have a beer in NYC include:

David Copperfield's (Upper East Side/Yorkville)

Barcade (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

Mug's Ale House (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

Those places should each have a good selection of East Coast micros. Other NY local brews to try include Bluepoint (Long Island) and Sixpoint (Brooklyn).