12 August 2011

Mystery Beers

On a trip to New York City, Liquor Piglet and I stopped at the Village Pourhouse in Manhattan's East Village (64 3rd Ave at 11th Street) for lunch one afternoon. The Pourhouse is a great place with that old New York atmosphere, with 36 feet of stained glass, an expansive bar lit with the warm glow of gaslights and boasts eight HD TVs to watch your favourite team crush their rivals! The massive oak bar boasts 100 different beers on tap, and it's simply a great place to stop for lunch, watch the big game or just to stop for a pint on a warm spring afternoon.

Upon being seated, I noticed a sign on the wall that simply stated "Mystery Beers $2". Of course this was a siren's call for an adventurous boozehound like me, so I asked what the deal was. The waitress stated that for $2, they will bring you a random "mystery beer" for you to try (wino-style in a paper bag, nonetheless). Knowing this was likely to quickly become a fabulous disaster, Liquor Piglet and I placed our order and waited to see what we would get.

When the waitress returned, we quickly tore open out brown-paper packages to see what hell awaited us. Both were products from the 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco (who seem to have a knck for coming up with LSD-induced concoctions, by the way). I received a can of Brew Free or Die! IPA and Liquor Piglet got a can of Come Hell or High Watermelon wheat beer.

The Brew Free or Die! IPA is a concoction made from six different hops varieties, boasts a hefty abv of 7% and is apparently the biggest seller at their San Francisco brewpub. The initial scent off this stuff was a fresh hoppy smell that resembled the green stuff you use to clean the kitchen. Throwing caution to the wind, I tipped it back. My palate was immediately assaulted by a taste that can only be described as "bitter, with a hint of ass". The taste did not improve on a second pull, and as I told Liquor Piglet, "it just coats the mouth and won't let go!"

New to the whole Liquor Pig review system, Liquor Piglet was understandably nervous looking at her can. Come Hell or High Watermelon starts as a standard American wheat beer that is subjected to a secondary fermentation with fresh watermelon (!) and has an abv of 4.9%. The initial scent off this hooch is fruity and not that unpleasant. However, the illusion of a pleasant beverage was quickly shattered by the horrific taste resembling what Liquor Piglet described as "gym socks with a hint of watermelon". Her final word on the subject was "blech!"

All in all, the Village Pourhouse was a great venue with an awesome opportunity to try some random beers, LP-style! Check it out if you are ever in Manhattan.

Final Review:

Live Free or Die! IPA - 3
Come Hell or High Watermelon - 2

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