The first of these brew has a link to my home country of Australia. The beer is Mikkeller Green Gold. Now the link to aussie land is obvious for any Australians. Green and Gold are the colours that our athletes will be sporting when they are off dominating at sports that no one else plays.
That’s right I have a theory that Australian’s are only good at sports that no one else cares to play. Sure there was a time in the 1950’s when dudes from Queensland dominated tennis, but since then nothing. Yeah we are okay at sports like Cricket and Rugby Union, we even occasionally win a world cup, but the world cup is made up of 5 nations that can actually play the sport, and then 12 teams of ex pat aussies and interested Americans who once saw this strange sport on ESPN and thought they would give it a go.
But in sports that everyone plays it turns out we are not that great. Soccer, yeah we made the world cup, but we eventually lost, something New Zealand never did. Athletics, there was Cathy Freeman and then, well no one (and no I’m not counting commonwealth games, because I could when a gold medal at the comm games and I’m an old fat guy with a beard.)
I know what you are saying. ‘Swimming, we are great at swimming.’ But when was the last time you saw a swimming pool in Africa, outside of a 5 star resort that is? Nope, in Africa people swim to outrun hippos (or possibly Rhinos on stateboards) not for sport.
But we are getting distracted, back to the beer.
I partook in this brew when we popped over to Andre and Cat’s sublet apartment – It is what is called a 6th floor walk-up that is six floor of stairs. I can assure you that we I plonked myself down on the couch I needed a drink.
Luckily Andre produced a growler from that fridge (this led to a discussion about how growlers are really starting to take off in this country, Andre tells me he is very excited by this, so I expect this to be the first of many a beer from a growler I will have when he returns.)
The beer itself (remember how this started as a post about beer?) was an amber brew, slightly cloudy, it had an off white head. There were some nice yeasty citrus and even grassy smells. The taste is dominated by the hops and it has a strong lingering aftertaste. If you were one of those beer geeks who love hops I’m sure you would love this. I found it interesting, and I appreciate what they were doing, but I just ain’t my bag – Schooner.
Next up is the first ever Slovakian beer to be tested in these here pages. It came about one Saturday night after we stumbled upon what I shall claim is my favourite Slovakian restaurant anywhere in the world (or at least in NYC) – Korzo.
We were wandering the streets trying to find somewhere for a beer and some nibbles. We were struggling, until we came upon Tompkins Park. (Which the internet claim is named after a vice president or something but I assume it actually named after my friend Claire – Hi Claire *Wave*). We decided that we would do a lap of the park to find somewhere to go. We had got no more than a couple of shops in when Andre was attracted to a sign with Andre the Giant (of WWE wrestling fame) on it. It was enough for us – we entered.
Upon entering it was discovered that this was a Slovakian restaurant/bar. It seemed only apt therefore to order up a jug of the what I like to call Zlanty Bazant, but which Jordan likes to called Golden Peasant (clearly her Slovak to English translation skills are better than mine).
The beer itself was pretty much what I expected a pale looking Euro lager, but it had better malt characters than most, but it was still very easy to drink crisp and highly sessionable (if I remember rightly there might have been a second jug ordered). Definitely schooner worthy.
The real highlight though was the food. Now I could tell you that I just had a burger, but that would be underselling it. What I had was possibly the best burger that I’ve ever had. It’ll be hard for me to explain this burger to you, but think meat pattie, with special home made mustard (which is made by soaking organic mustard seeds in beer), apple smoked bacon and then you wrap this in Langos dough and deep fry it. The fact that it’s served with pickled beetroot, and these things that are like gnocchi dumplings but deep fried just makes it all the more amazing.
I loved this place so much I bought the T-shirt – In fact here is me wearing the T-shirt starting next to the command module of Apollo 11 (that’s the one that went to the moon kids)
Mikkeller Green Gold – Let’s have a Schooner
Zlaty Bazant (Golden Pheasant): Let’s have a Schooner