For the fourth year in a row, I present the 100 most exciting dishes I’ve consumed during my food adventures around the five boroughs. Look for another five dishes every few days.
The beer possibilities in this country continue to expand. Not only are there literally new breweries and nanobreweries opening every month, but the flavors and styles that are possible keep evolving. I even read about a white stout from some craft brewer in Wisconsin. Not sure how that would work, but if it tastes good like these five NYC brews did, I’m all for it.
NUMBER 90: SCORCHER #366 from BROOKLYN BREWERY
One of the popular new styles in the beer world are low alcohol IPAs – hop bombs that you could drink all day long without falling on your face (at least for a while), Brooklyn Brewery’s entry into that world was through one of their special Brewmaster’s Reserve beers. The Scorcher #366 (which might be tough to find at this point, as it was a limited release) was one of the first beers in the world to use a brand new hybrid hop from Washington state – the aptly named HBC 366. It gives the beer a surprising peppery flavor that might be rough for some, but is full of minerally, citrus flavors and has spice notes that I’ve not stopped craving since my first sip.
|79 North 11th Street (between Berry Street and Wythe Avenue),
NUMBER 89: JAN OLYMPIC LAGRRR from SINGLECUT BEERSMITHS
The new Astoria brewery Singlecut does not rely on hops for their spice. In their surprising white lager, they steep the beer with Szechuan peppercorns. Anybody that’s been to a spicy restaurant in Flushing knows that these peppers are no joke. Here, they only enhance the spicy yeast notes of ginger and citrus typical in a wheat beer. Yet those peppercorns retain a slightly numbing and floral quality making this an easy drinking refreshing beer that also has some bite.
|19-33 37th Street (between 20th and 19th Avenue),
NUMBER 88: BLACK PALE ALE from BRONX BREWERY
For someone as indecisive as me, Black IPAs can be the perfect style of beer. When done right, you get the best of both worlds – a bold, hoppy pale ale mixed with the sweet, roasty notes of a chocolaty stout. The trick is to get that balance just right. Bronx Brewery has certainly succeeded with an addicting beer that is citrusy and crisp up front with a smooth smoky finish.
NUMBER 87: MONEY IPA from BARRIER BREWING COMPANY
When it comes to big, bold juicy IPAs, the West Coast has got us beat. Breweries like Green Flash, Stone, and Lagunitas are known for these bitter and strong beers. Yet little ol’ Barrier out in Long Island created an IPA that fits right in with anything you can get in California. And it’s immensely delicious. Appropriately named Money, this strong IPA is full of tropical fruit flavors, grassy notes, and an overwhelming aroma of paradise.
|BARRIER BREWING COMPANY|
|3001 New Street, A2
Oceanside, Long Island
NUMBER 86: SRIRACHA BLONDE ALE at BARCADE
I guess I was into the spicy beers this year, as this is the third beer on this list with some pepper, chili, or spice coming through the malts and the hops. This might have been the most exciting because it took on all the savory elements of sriracha (the most popular hot sauce with Brooklyn hipsters) without being too spicy. Technically not brewed in the city, this was a special beer brewed by Harpoon Brewery in Boston exclusively for the exceptional beer/arcade hall, Barcade. It was here that I basked in the savory flavors of garlic, vinegar, and chiles while also experiencing some mellow yeasty notes that sop up the unusual beer flavors. It was a beer experience I will not soon forget.
|388 Union Avenue (between Ainslie Street and Hope Street),
Photo courtesy of eastxmidwest.wordpress.com