I've got a backlog of beer stories to share with you, so let's go all the way back to early December 2009. Dateline: December 2009. Location: New York City. Hedonist Beer Jive is on a business trip. We've, in the preceeding 48 hours, been to both the RATTLE-N-HUM and GINGER MAN bars in Midtown Manhattan and imbibed fantastic ales. Now we've finished all work-related activities, which concluded in Times Square around 3pm. We know that the secret H&H Bagels store is walking distance away, and needing to bring something special home to the family the next day, proceed in that direction. Having done our homework, we also know that Manhattan craft beer hotspot THE PONY BAR in only blocks away, so, with a spring in our step, start walking just a little faster.
The second half of this SMUTTYNOSE BREWING story isn't quite as fabulous. Flash-forward three hours. We're in Brooklyn getting dinner at an excellent, but totally empty, Italian place called PT. I order up a SMUTTYNOSE IPA - seems like all restaurants in NYC these days have good beer available with your grub. I immediately wished I'd ordered something else or refrained from beer entirely. Sharp, highly hopped, piney and just a little "off" - this is like a "microbrew" IPA from ten years ago, before the form started being perfected in this country. Honestly, I've come to expect really good things from Smuttynose, but their IPA ain't one of them. 4.5/10. More spine-tingling beer tales to come in this new year.