It occurred to me yesterday, as I was thinking about these pub crawl blogs, that I have some amazing bars literally five minutes away from where we are currently living in Brooklyn. Franklin Ave is coming up right now, and has loads of bars to choose from. For beers though, two places came to mind for sheer selection:
Berg’n Beer Hall and The Crown Inn
After I got off of work I had a mission. Burgers and beers. Burgers and beers. Burgers and beers. That was all I could think about.
We knew that Berg’n would have some pretty exciting food, and to date had always arrived at the place after closing. But on this evening we managed to arrive at 9pm – prime Burger and beer time.
Berg’n Beer Hall reminds us of a University cafeteria. It’s HUGE, but the decor and furnishings are plain, IKEA like almost, and from the outside it is a bit of a turn off. But once you get inside, and feel the atmosphere, all of that is scrapped. There are loads of people at the bar, at the tables, engaged in conversation over delicious brews. It has the atmosphere of a proper pub, in a way, because it isn’t obnoxious. It’s relaxed. Oh, and the beer selection is excellent, if a bit pricey. I went with a Two Roads White IPA Honeysuckle, as I had had their Wheat in the past and thoroughly loved it. The White IPA was very intriguing – I’ve never seen this style before, so I’ve gotta try it.
It turns out to be quite a nice beer. If you’ve read anything or met me you’ll know IPAs aren’t excatly my favorite. However, the esters from the wheat malt balance out the US hops in a way that makes them quite enjoyable. This could easily be a session beer for me, which could be a bit dangerous at it’s slightly higher 6%. Will on the other hand goes with one of our standby favs – the Coopers Sparkling. He lovingly rolled that beer to get the sediment, let me tell you!
Now, usually I don’t get too heavily into food here – but the eclectic food selection at Berg’n is too fantastic to leave out. They’ve got four food vendors there, and it’s reminiscent of the big food hall in Brick Lane, London. As the original mission was Burgers and Beers, we decide to try the new craze – the Ramen Burger. The bun is ramen. Yes. The picture speaks for itself, I think:
We also delighted in a panko crusted corndog (organic beef), and while we couldn’t taste the Jalepenos, we still enjoyed the hell out of it. I also got a full lesson on Kimchi (fermented cabbage) – yay!
After that we moved on to The Crown Inn. This place, on the other hand, looks more like a pub, but it is always PACKED, loud music and bouncer included. They’ve got a great beer garden out the back, which sadly closes at 11pm (but hey, at least they care about their neighbors!), and the best part – great beers at amazing prices for craft beer. Most are just six bucks, with a handful of rarities coming in higher.
This go, I got Will a Sea Salt Ale from Fire Island, while I said “Why not?” and shelled out seven big ones to try the Boulder Shake Chocolate Stout. I brought the beers out to the backyard, because even if we aren’t smokers, the night was crisp and the noise less. We sat down with a couple that we met, Khemeka B and her fellow, and got down to the beers.
Oh my GOD. OMG. The Sea Salt was nice, don’t get me wrong, but it was completely overshadowed by the creation that Boulder had made. I was so thrilled with this beer that insisted that the veritable strangers next to us try the beer. It was that good. This is what I wrote while imbibing:
“The head won’t go away. The head is the best part with the liquid underneath touching my lips, and it has the essence of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. Yet the beer is not so heavy in my mouth – there’s something light and refreshing at the end and no bitterness. I wish I could take a picture of the taste of this beer and show it to you right now. Will who usually shuns porters is greedily sucking it down.”
Everyone loved it. I loved it, Will loved it, Khemeka (who said I could quote her on that). Now, where can I buy a keg for my house?
And that was the evening. We then promptly hit up our favorite deli Shorey at Lincoln and Franklin, for a philly cheesesteak, chicken tenders, and ice cream. By the way, the Chubby Hubby was not nearly as good as that beer. Then we watched the newest South Park and passed out. A good night in the neighborhood.