Monday, 2 February 2009

New Jersey with Lew

Lew Bryson took me to to a couple of places last night. A chance for me to try some American beers in their natural habitat.

First stop was a brewery. Defiant brewing. Not a brewpub, but, like Het Ij in Amsterdam, a brewery with a bar attached. Come to think of it, more like a brewery with a counter stuck in front of the fermenters. Right down my street.

We didn't have long to sample, arriving just an hour before closing. I kicked off with a Porter. Fairly pleasant and pretty drinkable.

Beer number two was described by the barmaid as "an English Ale with ammarillo hops". It sounded like just the sort of monstrosity I regularly sound off about. It turned out to be surprisingly mild. I'd been looking forward to having my tastebuds stripped.

There was still time for a Stout before we were kicked out. The next bar we tried was closed. Frustrating, as I spotted two handpumps on the bar. So we headed on to the Railroad Cafe. That was open, thankfully. It's a cosy, old-fashioned place. With a small range of craft beers. When Lew told me Railbender (from Erie Brewing) was definitely not a session beer, my choice was made. It was sweetish and a bit chewy. Where were they hiding all the hop bombs? All the beers I'd tried were, well, quite mild. Not quite Mild, but quite mild.

We caught the last five minutes of the Superbowl. I say the last five minutes. That was five minutes playing time. Which equated to 45 minutes elapsed time. The Pittsburgh Steelers won with sconds to go, much to the relief of Lew and most of the other customers.

Today has been much quieter. Just a couple of Boston Lagers with dinner. And maybe some of the bourbon Lew gave me as a nightcap.

Railroad Cafe,
179 Union Avenue,
East Rutherford.


jonbrazie said...

Delicious hop bombs. Seek them and drink them, Ron. Even if that's not your thing, you're overseas, and supposed to just get "pissed" as you might say. If I knew more about east coast beers I would throw some suggestions your way. But I can't.

Loren said...

Glad Lew "dragged" you to Neill's. He's making some great stuff there for sure. My only gripe is the growlers you take out are flat within minutes due to the filling method right off the tanks. One day I'll spend an overnighter at the's been too long.


Lew Bryson said...

Good time; sorry about the lack of hop bombs. We maybe should have tried the Shepherd and the Knucklehead, but it's real small, and a bitch to get to. If only Andy's had been open! And of course, I brought you American doublebock...should have brought the Southern Tier Unearthly DIPA. ARGH!

Ron Pattinson said...

Lew, you have nothing to apologise about.

Bourbon . . . .

Mmmm . . .