Home brewing in Connecticut Discussions - CT Beer Trail

Thursday, November 8, 2007

New York City Beer Tour Part II: McSorley's

After the long walk to Barcade, we found that it wasn't open for business yet. Not a big deal, we would need to find our way back to Brooklyn by the end of our adventure so we could get back to Chris's truck and make our way home. Barcade would be our final stop...

So, I whipped out my trusty GPS device and quickly located McSorley's Old Ale House, based on the recommendations of our new friends we met at Brooklyn Brewery's tasting room. Good thing Chris knows the subway system, because I don't... As you can see from the photo above, the place was established back in 1834, when the nation was only but a 58 year old pup in the big scary world. Needless to say, this place is full of history, oh and beer too...

It was nice of the chick in red to walk into our photo like that...



Speaking of walking into photos... I noticed Kenn managed to avoid the camera's all seeing eye for most of this adventure. So you're blessed with yet another shot of me and Chris enjoying some fine NYC beer. I can't explain what the heck is happening to my face in this image, but I can only assume it is symptomatic of my joy and excitement when I learned McSorley's give you two beers when you ask for one. Granted they're not that big, but I do so enjoy a good deal when I see one...

McSorley's beer, is good honest beer, and it only comes in two styles; dark and lite. (McSorley's Cream Stock Ale and McSorley's Famous Lager) Don't be fulled by the term lite, it merely refers to the color and flavor of the beer, this isn't some weenie diet beer that I often find myself drinking in the hopes of keeping old man obesity off my trail. This is real beer and a real bar...


The image above captured one of the more unique highlights of the day for me. Our friends over at Brooklyn Brewery told me about a chandelier covered in turkey wish bones and a thick layer of dust, hanging over the bar at McSorley's. Ordinarily, I would find this to be a pretty nasty bio hazard in place where I purchase fine food and beverages, but there's a pretty compelling back story here. (Take a tour)

Apparently a large group of regulars enjoyed a last beer together at McSorley's before shipping out to fight in one of the World Wars. I'm pretty sure it was WWII, but I can't confirm that. At any rate, the story goes like this...

The men enjoyed a few round together knowing full well that the last beer that night might very well be their last beer ever. So they all hung their wish bones on the light fixture, toasted each other, and vowed they would come back after the war and take down their bones together and perhaps make a wish for bright future. The bones that remain are from the boys that didn't make it back from the war and the bones remain as a monument of sorts, so we never forget the price they paid for our freedom. The dust is there because no one touches the bones out of respect.

As a military man myself, this hit home. We toasted those boys that left their bones behind, thanking them for what they did...

Chris reflects on the toast we made to those that never returned.


We didn't stay at McSorley's very long because the place was packed. Not a free table in the joint. But I was glad we got the chance to see the place and enjoy a couple of beers. I hope to return on a less busy day so I can take in all the history that covers nearly every inch of the place. The walls are covered with old photos, newspaper clippings, awards, etc. There's a lot to see here.


As stated previously, beer makes Chris happy. Apparently it makes me look up...


I wonder who's job it is to update the number every year...



A view of me and Chris talking it up... Kenn was not feeling so well at this point of the day, so he decided to sit the beer drinking out for a little bit and man the camera... Poor Kenn... Bah! More beer for us!


"We were here before you were born..." Very true...

Kenn finally gave up the camera...

And on that note, I'll end this lengthy post. Next time I'll wrap up this whole New York City beer tour with some additional locations, images and some final thoughts. Stay tuned!!!

In case you missed the early parts of this tour check them out here!

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