Toss back a microbrew while learning about a staple of New York culture
Posted on Friday 08 June 2012
in United States of America, New York
By Dylan Thomas
A Kiwi's first visit to the United States is not complete until they have taken a bite out of the Big Apple. Often chaotic and bustling, New York City can bring new experiences even to those who have lived among its busy streets for their entire lives. While the concrete jungle is brimming with activities and sightseeing adventures all year round, New York holidays in the summer are the perfect remedy to cure any person's serious case of wanderlust.
A historic exhibit sheds light on the city's history of drinking habits
One of the most integral parts of the culture of New York City is, surprisingly enough, frothy micro-brewed beer. Since the earliest point of colonization, the libation has been a common drink of choice to help bring community members together in taverns and various watering holes found around town. In fact, in the early days, beer was often healthier to drink than water, according to New York Historical Society Museum curator Debra Schmidt Bach.
To celebrate this staple of American culture, the historic museum has compiled a commemorative exhibit entitled "Beer Here: Brewing New York's History." Sections within the informative display explore topics including the nutritional properties of colonial beer, the emergence of large-scale brewing in the 19th century as well as the present-day production of world-renowned ales. From educational exhibitions to special beer tastings, the temporary exhibition, running from now until early September, is worth the trip when visiting the lit-up city.
Brooklyn Brewery brings edge to the NYC borough
After learning all there is to know about New York brews, Kiwis can take their discoveries to the streets and visit some of the best microbreweries and beer shops in the country. One of these beer havens, named Top Hops Beer Shop, boasts 700 different ales that are rotated on 20 different taps all year round. Hailing from all over the world, the beverages suit all palates - from cloudy, hearty lagers to light and frothy ales. Kiwis can ask for a flight of freshly poured beers, allowing them to taste small samples of a plethora of different types. The Top Hops workers often take a seat with guests to talk about the drinks and offer their opinions on which beers reign as the best of the bunch.
One of the most up-and-coming breweries in the city is Brooklyn Brewery, known by many as the hip beer company with the minimalist old-school logo. With an award-winning lager, as well as top-notch pale and summer ales, the industry leader is a great place for Kiwis staying in New York hotels to start their brew tour.
Not only is Brooklyn Brewery renowned for its libations, but it's also a leading publisher of craft ale literature. Company brewmaster Garrett Oliver wrote "The Brewmaster's Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food" back in 2003. The work became acknowledged as one of the most influential writings on the art of craft beers.
After taking a tour of the facility, city visitors can step into the prized tasting room, whether they choose to book it for a group or visit during a Friday evening happy hour with Brooklynites and other New Yorkers from across the great metropolis. In this cozy space, guests can sample some of the company's seasonal ales - including the Black Chocolate Stout, Oktoberfest or summer ale - and the perennial favorites - such as the Brooklyn Blast, East India pale ale or the Pennant Ale '55.
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