December 23, 2009

Guest post: Visit to Swift Hibernian Lounge

A new post from guest blogger, Robeer

We moved to NYC in July 2009. We had made many a trip to NYC in the past, and the overwhelming feeling was that there was good beer, but not great beer in NYC. Northern California (where we lived prior to NYC) and the Pacific Northwest (where Robeer lived even further in the past) seemed the US meccas of beers.

We now live within a 5 block radius of two of the best beer spots in NYC: Swift Hibernian Lounge and The Blind Tiger. Both spots sport rotating taps of craft brew from around the US and world. We hope that this post will be the first of many that celebrate the great beers that these two places offer.

A couple weeks ago, we stopped in at the Swift Hibernian Lounge. Robeer sampled a 12 oz glass of the Monks Cafe Flemish Sour Ale (picture below).

Monk's Cafe Sour Ale

Monks was sour, as advertised, having almost a sour apple flavor (in a good way, not in a sweet, over-the-top Jolly Rancher way). After a day of walking around NYC the sour ale was found to be light and refreshing, very drinkable. It had a thin head with small bubbles as you can see in the picture. The color was a dark red amber. The taste was surprisingly good, but the type of beer to drink once in a sitting before moving to another beer....

Which is what Robeer did next when he sampled the cask conditioned Sierra Nevada Stout (picture below).

Sierra Nevada Stout, cask conditioned

The Sierra Nevada Stout was perhaps not the best beer to follow the Monks (a floral IPA might have been better), but the Stout didn't disappoint. It was full flavored, dark, woody. We have been impressed with Sierra Nevada's attempt to put out interesting beers instead of just focusing on their mainstay beers (the fresh hopped IPA was recently profiled in the New York Times). The Stout is a Sierra Nevada mainstay, but this is the first that we've had it served cask conditioned.

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