Tag Archives: BEER PUB


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Just off Times Square in Manhattan’s Midtown West Garment District, lively library-like prohibition-styled pub, DISTRICT TAP HOUSE, retains its olden vibe with antique wood furnishings and wall panels. But the real draw is the double-decked 50-plus draught system that serves well-selected brews alongside a fabulous culinary-designed food menu.

District Tap’s elongated 30-seat bar features 4 TV’s, doom lights, colorful displays and hand-picked liquors. A few private backrooms offer elegance, comfort and quietude while right side dining tables fill out the tidy mid-sized beer parlor. One artful blackboard boasts “Drink The Boroughs,” a righteous slogan reinforced by a large contingent of fine local brews on draught.

During my initial March ’18 visit, I discovered four previously untried beers, including NYC’s Five Boroughs Class of 2017 Pale Ale and Iconyc Dropping Bombs IPA, Cleveland’s Platform Speed Merchant White IPA and Illinois’ Destihl Moon Jumper Nitro Milk Stout (reviewed fully in Beer Index).





Coming into existence during the fall of 2015, Bloomingdale’s RIVER OF BEER proved to be a fabulous family affair on my initial May ’16 sojourn. Owned by Fred Soule (whose wife runs the antique shop next door) and featuring his son Dave’s fine craft beer selection (served on this rainy afternoon by Fred’s niece), this friendly neighborhood joint is only three miles from Route 287 on Hamburg Turnpike’s Main Street corrider.

Inside an antique brown Victorian house, River Of Beer’s reminiscent of an Old World Parlor with its vintage front door, custom-designed warmth and cozy pub-styled L-shape bar (with 14 seats, 4 TV’s, well-stocked bottled-canned beer refrigerator, top-shelf liquor, decorative overhead tap handles and small back kitchen). Its delightful upstairs bar matches the first floor’s homey rusticity with its beautiful recycled wood furnishings, barnstable-pitched ceiling, tongue-in-groove pine arches, front corner recliner and love seat (plus the exquisite four tabled widow’s peak).

My wife and I quaff several previously untried brews at the back deck, which is adorned by an awning-covered patio table, a leather-seated wood barrel table, red brick fire pit, porch furniture and beer-bannered wood fence.

As for today’s elixirs, I grab four reliable Jersey suds, a rye-barreled double bock and one choice Milwaukee offering (reviewed fully in Beer Index). Just up the road, Butler’s Ramstein Pale Ale brought lemony spiced hops to the fore. Meanwhile, Little Ferry’s Brix City Gloria Belgian Blonde trickled citrus spritz onto white-peppered hops and candi-sugared malts; Roselle Park’s Climax 20th Anniversary Barleywine retained a soft-toned fig-sugared cherry tang and fruity hop astringency; Atlantic Highland’s Carton Eden Saison, a simple table beer, provided jasmine-flowered grains of paradise tropicalia and herbal lemon tones. Wisconsin’s Lakefront Hop Jockey Double IPA gathered pine-needled grapefruit and mandarin orange juicing to override the crystal-sugared caramel malting.

But today’s finest brew was a specially-made Ramstein Winter Wheat Doppelbock soaked in Dad’s Hat Rye barrels. A true godsend, its smooth rye-dried frontage picked up a large rum-spiced bourbon contingent to elevate the molasses-sugared brown chocolate sweetness, cherry jubilee liqueuring and red grape tang.

Not to be outdone, River Of Beer’s entrepreneurial home brewer, Dave Soule, showed off his brewing prowess with a richly creamed doppelbock (?) full of sugared fig, stewed prune and ripe raisin overtones placed directly above dewy peat earthiness.

To quote soul legend, Al Green, Take Me To The River (Of Beer, that is)!


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It’s hard to find fault with forward-thinking FLYING SAUCER DRAUGHT EMPORIUM, despite the fact such large-scale beer pub endeavors merely scratch the surface promoting local independent brewers’ true obsession crafting off-center hybrids, hard-to-find limited editions, daringly ambitious seasonals and obscure one-offs. While bigger beerpub chains such as Yard House and World Of Beer offer hundreds of great microbrew choices, there’s barely any specialty brews amongst the obvious best-selling fare. Ultimately, this standard predictability led to the future demise of Bud-Coors-Miller, three boring macrobrewers scrambling to find a cool niche while selling watered-down versions of timid mainstream recipes to vapid sycophantic dilettantes.

Originating in Fort Worth, Texas, during 1995, the mighty Flying Saucer now operates 16 locations scattered through Missouri, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and the Lone Star State as of my April Fools Day 2016 sojourn.

Taking up the entire first floor space and large outdoor deck of a red brick downtown Industrial edifice within walking distance of Busch Stadium (home to the historic St. Louis Cardinals), this vibrant craft beer mecca sports exquisite wood tone elegance, high-ceilinged exposed ducts and prominent recessed columns. The 20-stool central bar services multiple interior tables and the open-air deck. The copper-topped bar matches the acrylic penny-medallion keg taps (featuring 1oo draughts). Silver plates adorn the walls alongside cool Chimay, Petrus, Duvel and 4 Hands souvenir saucers. 100-plus bottled beers and a fine liquor selection also get scattered across an exhausting menu boasting “famous make your own pizzas” and good pub food.

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Stopping by lunchtime on a crisp springtime jaunt thru the Gateway to the West, my friend Dennis and I quaff nine previously untried libations (reviewed fully in Beer Index). From Missouri came Modern Arkham’s Finest Stout, O’Fallon King Louie Toffee Stout and Charleville Down With OGP English Porter. Illinois offered Excel Flash Bang Wheat Ale and Old Bakery Porter. Kansas brought forth Tallgrass Wooden Rooster Tripel and Tallgrass Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat Cream Stout while Colorado kicked in New Belgium Blackberry Barleywine and California tossed off Ballast Point Victory At Sea – Peppermint. This veritable cornucopia of stylistic intrigue cannot, at this time, be matched by Flying Saucer’s larger competitors.

Perfect for local businessmen, die-hard Cardinals fans and curious beer seekers, Flying Saucer seems to have all corners covered as a truly iconic large-scale American beer pub.