MANHATTAN, NEW YORK
Located directly across 8th Avenue’s Port Authority one block from Madison Square Garden in midtown Manhattan’s Hells Kitchen section, BEER AUTHORITY opened April 2012. Inside a spacey two-storey golden browned corner spot, this emblematic beer-centric sportsbar gained initial acceptance from true beer geeks as well as casual businessmen and curious tourists.
Initially visited in the late afternoon during November ’13, Beer Authority’s bountiful brewery banners cover nearly every wall and crevice. Its glass-windowed second floor illuminates the large-lettered gold-on-brown signpost glistens upon arrival. And a spacious open-air rooftop bar with bright blue parasols adds to the overall magnificience of this prime urban hotspot.
Upon entrance, a dimunitive ground level 8-seat bar with antique bronze ceiling tiles, fine wood-shelved liquor, 16 tap handles (of familiar craft beers) and large-screen TV welcomes patrons. Chimay, Rogue and Sixpoint banners proudly display the walkway to the sizable second floor.
A massive oak-furnished, beige-sided, duct-exposed expanse with 20 stooled dinner tables cornering the well-kept 20-seat inner-walled bar and TV’s at every conceivable angle bedecking the beer-bannered wall of fame (featuring Flying Dog, Green Flash, Smuttynose, Founders, etc.), its impressive Stone Brewing murel truly seals the deal.
At the bar, two opposing refrigeration units center the two brass tap mounts (pouring 60-plus tapped beers) and a blue Weihenstafaner flag hangs over the prominent Beer Authority NYC mirror. Formidable red and white wines are available on the Brit-twisted pub-fared menu (Roasted Vegetable and Lentil Shepherds Pie; Beef Pot Pie; Lamb Shepherd Pie; Roasted Wild Boar Sausage). “The Authority,” a petite filet mignon with shallot-buttered onions, deserves to be tried.
As night falls, I enjoy one obtuse South American stout and three unconventional Midwest pale bodies (fully reviewed in Beer Index). Out of Brazil, Guanabara Imperial Stout allowed sour-fruited burgundy to upstage expectant brown chocolate creaming. Underwhelming, perhaps, but slightly intriguing.
While Illinois-bound Goose Island Lolita brought vinous raspberry-soured white grape tartness to the fore, Michigan’s Kuhnhenn showed off sweet and sour sides. Kuhnhenn Fluffer Gone Wild (a brettanomyces-funked IPA with sour Gose-like coriander salting dabbing herbal lemon zest) and White Devil (a mellow vanilla-sugared banana bomb with cane-sugared sweetener).