Brewmaster Nate Says Frogs & Babes Love Beers in the East Village

June 6, 2006   

"I love beer. Beer, beer, beer. Here it goes down, down into my belly..." -Me, about 2am last Saturday/Sunday.

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -Benjamin Franklin, 1am sometime a few centuries ago.

I can't say much could have gone better on Saturday night for our little brew pub tour of the East Village. We had beer and I got a cute girl's number. The beer -- staying on topic -- was amazing. Starting at d.b.a., I delighted myself by having a Hoegaarden Witbier. This really did tantalize the tummy, though the beer reached my mouth almost too hot too drink: d.b.a. was so packed it was uncomfortable, and we probably only stayed there as long as we did because it was the first stop and it took a while for the last folks to arrive. On a frog scale (1 - 4), d.b.a. earned the following score: Beer quality: 4 Beer selection: 3.5 (so the frog hobbles a little) Atmosphere: 2 Staff: 2

Next on the tour de bar de hops was old McSorley's. Now, this place is just special. We arrived in a group of 15 and were lucky when the 50 year old Sean Connery wannabe (okay, I know Sean's not Irish) cut our wait time to less than a minute, giving us a table for 8 in the already packed bar. In true American-Irish fashion, we made the foreigners in our group stand. Anyway, three rounds of "dark or light?" beers later we felt we had "had enough" of the McSorley's experience, and left. On the frog scale: Beer quality: 2 Beer selection: N/A (bars founded the same year Hard Times began serialisation in Charles Dickens' magazine, Household Words, are exempt from being judged in this category.) Atmosphere: 4 Staff: 4 (Try plopping down 20 beers at a time. The dude was money. And he didn't even know it!)

We then spent a hot 30 minutes in Burp Castle, just down the street from McSorley's on 7th, between 2nd & 3rd. The beers were great considering the limited selections. The whole abby thing though.... Maybe not such a good idea. I like my beer consumption to be disassociated with my irreligiousness. Anyway, my suggestion: the chocolate beer. Yum like gum! The frog says: Beer quality: 4 Beer selection: 2 Atmosphere: 2 Staff: 3 (nice, but doesn't-talk-much-and-only-smiles nice.)

At this point we got impatient. It was getting late, and I there was no reason not to head to our last and most anticipated locale: The Hop Devil Grill. There waiting for us when we arrived was a case of newly minted "Mr. Nate Ale," a first attempt by yours truly to grow booze at home. And it was a success! By night's end we had finished off an entire case of my bad boys, and even the Hop Devil regulars had tried a few (and mostly approved). And while winning the approval of respectfully-snotty beer enthusiasts was a great reward, and also while hearing the rounds of "not bad..." from my Scoutsider friends was pretty cool, and while drinking a number of the Hop Devil Grill's fine fine beers was nice and cool, winning the attention of a particularly and devilishly cute Hop Devil Grill waitress was really fucking nice and cool. Muchachos and muchachas out there: Brewing beer... definitely a good idea. So, with out much hesitation the Hop Devil Grill rockets itself to the first perfect 4Legger. Beer quality - 4 Beer selection: 4 (we didn't even get into the Belgian Room, hidden away in the back like a fine wine or a pre-liberation movement wife (also fine)). Atmosphere: 4 Staff: 4+ (all of them)


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