There are lots of things to love about New York City. Being able to order take out food from just about any ethnicity you can imagine, lazy summer picnics in Central Park or playing Frogger on 3rd Avenue after a pint or two are just a few that come to mind. But perhaps our favorite attribute of city life is being able to construct the perfect six-pack at your local bodega. Beer selection at the little grocery stores that line the corners of our city blocks is improving tremendously. It’s not just Bud or Miller but rather great wheat beers from Belgium, craft beers from the US and stouts from England. Our favorite little place to get our beer is Dual Spice Specialty Store located on 1st Ave between 5th and 6th street, which claims to have over 400 beers. Our friend plans to have his ashes spread around the store as his final resting place. This place is conveniently located next to about 12 different BYOB Indian restaurants. Beer and cheap Indian food. God I love it here.
During our latest visit we put together our international variety six-pack. What we love about this 6 pack is it has a little bit of everything – covering flavors, styles and countries. As we gear up for football season tailgating, we’ll be throwing back these beers faster than Larry Johnson gets scooped up on your fantasy football team.
The International Variety Six-Pack:
Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier, Germany, Cost: $2.25/bottle
Style: A German Hefeweizen
Description: The bottle boldly claims to be the oldest brewery in the world, so with all that practice it better be good. Luckily it did not disappoint. This hefewizen is crisp and refreshing with notes of citrus, wheat and a hint of clove.
Trappistes Rochefort 8, Belgium, Cost: around $4/bottle
Style: Strong, Dark Ale
Description: We first tried this beer in Amsterdam and we’ve been hooked ever since. This beer has complex notes of dried fruits like figs and raisins with hints of spice and leather to bring it all together. The mouth-feel is creamy, smooth but not too heavy.
Samuel Smith Pure Brewed Lager, England, Cost: $3.50/bottle
Style: Lager Beer
Description: What first lured us into this beer was toffee, hoppy notes that were concentrated but not overwhelming. This goes down smoothly and is a great beer to kick off the six-pack with.
Harpoon Oatmeal Stout, 100 BBL Series, Encore, USA, Cost: $2.25/bottle
Style: Oatmeal Stout
Description: What we like about this beer is it is lighter than you would expect from an Oatmeal Stout. The flavors don’t hit you over the head with subtle notes of chocolate, espresso and a slight bitter finish. If you are a big Oatmeal Stout fan this might not be the beer for you, but if you want to dip your foot in to test the waters, this is a good place to start.
Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, USA, Cost: $2.35/bottle
Style: India Pale Ale
Description: Our love for IPA’s may make us slightly biased to this beer, but the refreshing citrus notes, big hop aromas and clean, smooth finish make this beer a perfect fall go-to selection.
Karma, India, Cost: $1.95/bottle
Description: It would be wrong to visit our beer Mecca, neatly tucked away among the kitschy restaurants without purchasing an Indian beer. Therefore it seemed appropriate to pick up this Lager called Karma. The light, crisp citrus notes make this beer a great pairing with some of the scorching, I’m sweating out of all parts of my body, Indian dishes that we can’t help but order.
And to finish the night we couldn’t resist Lindemans Peche Lambic. The perfect ending to our international beer extravaganza. Ok, so perhaps extravaganza is overstating it just a little, but that’s the great thing about the international six-pack. With just the addition of some friends, beer munchies and the Rolling Stones mix on our iPod, we turned a rainy Friday night into a closet sized, indoor beer garden of fun. We don't question the magic. As the Diary of Brother Epp Capuchin monastery (Munjor, Kansas 1902) says, "...without beer, things do not seem to go as well.."