|Baker Street Brewery's founder and head brewer Art Hannemann takes you
on a journey to find the ales. Catch the train for Arty's ride to the New Jersey
suburbs in search of, what else, great beer!
It's going to be a fun trip as Arty reviews and rates a new stop each month
as he takes the rails to the ales.....and beyond!
Take The Rails to The Ales
The Ginger Man
11 East 36th St, NY,NY
First I would like to thank everyone who came along for the ride this time for our second open
invitation trip. It made for a fun time going as a group, and everybody enjoyed the Ginger
Man experience. We all met at The Office bar in Summit, across from the Summit train
station, and then hopped on the 12:49 to New York Penn Station. From there we walked 4 1/2
blocks to The Ginger Man. Easy enough !
When we arrived we were impressed by the number of taps behind the bar, and when we read
the tap list we didn't know what to start with. The popular first choices were Professor Briem
1809 Berliner Weisse and Rodenbach Grand Cru. My strategy was to enjoy my Grand Cru
while deciding what four beers to have as a sampler.
There was a lot of talk like, what the heck is this beer ? And have you ever heard of this one?
Who knew they made any good beer in Italy ?
Lucky for us there was no problem finding out what we wanted to know. I don't know how
many times I've gone to a good beer bar, and asked a question only to hear the response....Oh
like I don't know, like maybe I can like ask someone, like I don't drink beerI only serve it, I
think its like a dark, bitter Heineken but not as strong. That won't happen here!
Not only does all the staff know all about the beers on the list, some of them have visited the
actual breweries. Two of the girls I talked with were actually home brewers as well. The truth
is that you can't serve beer here unless you pass a test of knowledge about the styles,
countries and breweries.
This is the reason that The Beer Hunter Michael Jackson called The Ginger Man ( actually
the original one in Texas ) one of his favorite pubs in the U.S.A. And also "one of the best
beer bars in the world." I have to agree with him. It's a philosophy of not only having a wide
variety of beer from across the planet, but also being able to explain and teach the customer
about each selection. It is definately a REAL BEER ATMOSPHERE.
I decided to try four beers that I had never heard of before as my sampler. Alvine Podge
(Belgium), Birrifico del Ducato Nuova Mattina (Italy), Goose Island Matilda (Illinois) and
Pretty Things Baby Tree (Mass). I was really impressed with the Birrifico, a full flavored ale.
The Alvin Podge was roasty and toasty with a decent hop profile for a Belgian. Goose Island
is not available yet in New Jersey, and I have loved every Goose beer that I have tried. The
Matilda was no exception. My favorite so far was their oak age Bourbon County Stout.
Kevin (The Tap Room) Torpey and I decided to share a 25 oz bottle of Alesmith Grand Cru.
We had heard alot of good things about Alesmith. This was also very good. A little lighter than
the Rodenbach, and not as sour, but very full flavored in it's own.
Meanwhile Vince (Adventures In Beerland) ordered a barley wine from Netherlands Emelisse
Brewery. Vince asked... Hey Arty want to try this one? Like he didn't know the answer
....Sure pass it on over !!
Rob Montemurro ordered up a Kelso Saison from New York. I think I remember this brewery
from our trip to Tap New York with our good friends at Gaslight Brewery. His lovely wife
Lorriane ordered a Glazen Toren Cuve'e Angelique. Both very different styles of ales. One
light and spicy, the other fruity and slightly sour like a wine.
Jay (The Alechemist) Eichberger and brewer Arny Lands were comparing IPA's. One was the
Goose Island Honkers Ale, while the other was the Bear Republic Racer 5. I think they had
fun anddecided to try double IPA's...Oskar Blues Gubna IIPA paired with Captain Lawrence
Tom Nooney was working on the big ones, Smutteynose Big A IPA followed by Dogfish Head
120 minute. Not too shabby.
At one point we had the choice to leave at 4:45 for the 5:11 return train or we could stay
another hour until 5:45 and take the 6:11 return train. As a group we decide to wait 45 minutes
to decide..HA HA...by then it was too late. The idea of the 7:11 and 8:11 trains were jokingly
thrown into the debate. Kevin expressed his desire to just live at The Ginger Man.
We had a hard time leaving, and vowed to be back at least once or twice a month until we die
or they open a Ginger Man in New Jersey. (If they do I hope they keep me in mind when
hiring managers). We took a growler of Chelsea Hop Angel for the ride home.
This place has the absolute best beer selection I've ever seen in one bar. The most
knowledgeable staff, and friendly manager (Joshua). Pouring every beer in the appropriate
glass. Each beer has a clean taste thanks to the well maintained lines. It's a real pub
atmosphere here where beer is the main focus and not just something to go next to your food.
Take The Rails to The Ales and you will be well rewarded with a great time! Say hello to
Joshua and also the lovely Anne. And please tell them Arty send you!
The Ginger Man deserves a Five Engines rating.
ATTENTION ALL RAILS TO ALES FANS
We are now planning our next unorganized open invitation Rails To Ales trip so check back here
soon. All are welcome. Meet beer lovers just like you and me, enjoy some great beers, and have fun.
Here's some good info on planning your trip. First step go to www.njtransit.com web site. Then
click on train schedules. Next click on "use our map to plan your trip." Now select your train
station on the map. And next select your destination on the map. A new page appears and you
want to select weekday, holiday or weekend accordingly. A new page appears with your
schedule of departing times and length of travel time. Print this up and then go to the bottom of
the schedule and it will say click here for return schedule--click away. Now print this page up
as well and you have all the info you need to plan your trip. Remember to allow walking and
Gotta catch my train back-- see you at my next stop!
Remember to leave the car at home and......Take The Rails To The Ales !!!!!!
Rails to Ales........and beyond ////////////////////////////////
by Arty Hannemann
Five engines= the very best
Four engines= excellent
Two engines= fair
One engine= bad news
Zero engines=stay away