My search for the best beer in New York continues….
Every so often in New York, a craft beer bar or shop announces a brewery takeover. That means a brewery brings a wide selection of their beers (and some rare options) and fills the bar’s taps. It’s an exclusive, exciting taste-athon. Especially if that brewery is further than a few subway rides away.
So I was excited that I was able to stop by The Pony Bar, a wonderful bar in Hell’s Kitchen that specializes in American craft beer, to taste as many of Empire Brewing Company’s beers as possible. Empire is located all the way up in Syracuse, but much of their product is brewed at Greenpoint Beer Works in Brooklyn.
Perhaps I misunderstood the event. I heard that they were debuting the re-release of the White Aphro, but that also there would be a “tap takeover.” When I arrived to the bar, they only had two Empire brews on tap. Slightly disappointed that I wouldn’t get to taste the Live & Let Rye or the IPA, I still managed to get a pint of the White Aphro, which just sounded delicious to me. Call me racist, but I’m in to white food and drink (white peaches, white asparagus, white grape juice).
It seems that Empire only makes the White Aphro (short for aphrodisiac) for the spring and summer and upon tasting it, I can see why.
The Belgian-style wit ale is perfect for a warm day when you need something light and refreshing. The peach colored liquid was hazy and most certainly unfiltered. It had a creamy white head that dissipated rather quickly. It smelled like lemon candy with strong yeasty aromas. The sips revealed a gingery, honey laced wheat flavor. It was quite delicious and once I detected a subtle flowery note in the background (they include lavender in the brew), I couldn’t stop drinking it. The flower notes tasted fresh and far from soapy as could be the case.
It was a delicious, balanced beer that reminded me that spring is finally here. If I could only taste one beer from Empire that night (the other option was the cream ale, which I’ve had before), I’m awfully glad it was this one.
Is Empire Brewing Company’s White Aphro the best beer in NY? It’s an utterly drinkable, refreshing wheat beer that’s not too sweet and perfectly balanced earning a 9 out of 10.
|EMPIRE BREWING COMPANY|
|THE PONY BAR|
|637 Tenth Avenue (between 45th and 46th Street)