Sour beer is, for me, the next great thing. It’s the new frontier, a view into a wide world of flavors that have only just begun to be discovered. It’s a beer style that needs to be sipped and appreciated and did you say NINE &*@%ING DOLLARS!?!!?!?
Let’s back up. I’m on my “mini-moon,” which is to say that we blew all our cash on our (actually not over the top) wedding and all we can afford are train tickets to NYC and a stay for a few days at a Airbnb that, against all odds, is smaller than our apartment in Boston but still up the same 4 flights of stairs.
My Mom was born and raised in Manhattan and my grandparents lived on 89th street for most of their lives, so trips to NYC were frequent for me as a kid, and I tried to keep it up as I got older. When I was able to start (legally) drinking, the beer scene started to explode in the city, and it has only continued to do so over the years. The Blind Tiger in Greenwich Village was and continues to be a touchstone for me every time I travel to New York. However, I think shit’s officially jumped the shark.
Nine American dollars, for (wait for it) seven (7) US fluid ounces of beer. It’s served in what can only be called a votive candle holder. I’m sure when the bartenders get an order they need to pause and inspect the glass they’ve grabbed for residual wax to be sure it’s intended for beer and not candle lit ambiance.
The hook, however, is that it’s a Cascade Brewing “tap takeover.” More like “take a handful of taps over,” there were about five or six Cascade beers on, almost all sour. But that’s just it, it’s sour beer on tap. And not just any sour beer, but one of the best sour breweries in the US. And when you look at the bottle prices they’re commanding, one of the most expensive.
So I guess I can’t really blame the Blind Tiger here. The fact that they even secured this many sours on draft makes me think someone somewhere owes somebody a really big favor that may or may not involve sex, drugs, or first-borns. While my newfound wife looked on and shook her head, I counted out the wrinkled singles from my much abused wallet and handed them over to the inexplicably aloof and inattentive bartender (what, the fat, sweaty, poorly shaven thirty-something not a patron demographic you want to encourage?).
I opted for the Apricot Sour, and was astounded. Here was one of the best examples of sour beer I’d experienced, balanced, fruit forward but not sweet, tart but not jarringly acidic like so many industrial goses out there. An absolute joy to drink, something to savor but still quaffable. Damn, I thought, this beer might be worth 9 dollars.