Voyage of Beers, Heartland Brewery, Manhattan

I really wanted to visit Heartland Brewing while I was in town.  Having walked past them before, I assumed it was some kind of shitty tourist place. It’d we were one of those snobby beer connoisseurs I would probably poo poo this place, but I have to be honest, I loved it.  The waitress was great, and it was a family friendly place to have ribs and beer.

Since it is fleet week, it is also full of people in uniform getting their drink on, with a complement of hot sluts competing for their attention.  Good thing it is only 6pm, this place probably gets ugly late at night.

We started with the buffalo chicken spring rolls, an interesting twist on a Vancouver-Asian staple.  Then we had the “voyage of beer.”


It is like a cup of hot chocolate on the peak of a powdery mountain after slaying hip-deep tracks into it’s virgin slopes against a blue spring sky.


The beers are listed in the menu with number one starting at 6:00, and moving counterclockwise.
Indian River Light was light and fruity with a nice orangey finish, and slightly burnt aftertaste.
Cornhusker Lager has a more homegrown taste with a smooth finish. It’s a good ‘drinkin beer.
Harvest Wheat Beer… Well, I was stupid and squeezed the lemon into the little glass, so it just tastes like lemon… Which is good.
Red Rooster Ale: this is very flavourful with a toffee aroma and subtle aftertaste. It goes well with the Buffalo Chicken spring rolls.
Indiana Pale Ale (haha, I get it!) is different from an IPA, I guess. It tastes a lot like Lemon Pledge, with a bitter aftertaste. It’s a bit disappointing, but good for variety, I guess.
Farmer John’s Oatmeal Stout: OMG this is soo good. It is like a cup of hot chocolate on the peak of a powdery mountain after slaying hip-deep tracks into it’s virgin slopes against a blue spring sky. I have to admit though, it would be hard to finish a whole pint, it is just a little rich.
Buffalo Bock (in the middle) is meh!
Kelly’s Irish Red Ale (not shown), nope, tastes like river.

The member of this beer family worth remembering is (by far) the Farmer John’s Oatmeal Stout. I am not a stout expert, but I was really impressed.

Overall, there is plenty to choose from and a good laid back atmosphere so this is a really great experience.

Farmer John’s Oatmeal Stout 5/5 (G2)

Ribs at Heartland

Birreria Gina, Wanda, Cask Conditioned Beers

Well today I turn forty, and as the day winds down (one minute left in NYC) I look fondly at my lunch at the Birreria located on a rooftop at 5th avenue and 23rd. The Birreria is part of Mario Battali’s Disneyland of Italian cuisine known as Eataly. It is a crowded maze of market kiosks and restaurants selling everything that is Italian. It is a jaw dropping place for any food enthusiast.

The Birreria: It’s like a pizzeria…but for beer!

With the aid of some huge signs, we are guided past a cooler displaying a wall of Italian craft beer (being careful not to slip in my own drool) and to the elevator to go to the 14 th floor.

To get from the fourteenth floor to the roof with a stroller, you need to use a tiny service elevator which was a bit of a horror show, but we made it.

These in house beers are great. First we tried the Gina, which has a hint of Thyme. Leave it to an Italian chef to try to blur the lines between cooking and brewing. Surprisingly, (although gently reminiscent of the brine from my thanksgiving turkey) it wasn’t a waste of thyme at all, and it tasted pretty good. It has a mild aroma with a nice bold bite, and a nice citrus aftertaste.

The food was unreal. The beer, surprisingly, actually complemented my grilled steak quite nicely.

Before dessert I tried the Wanda, which is a little darker, and has a bit of hazelnut flavour, like you are drinking beer and eating Nutella at the same time.

I was fortunate to get some tiramisu away from home, because my mom makes it for me every year on my birthday. This one was not as good as my moms, but it was really quite nice.

As we left, that scary service elevator was broken…haha… At least we weren’t inside.

This rooftop restaurant certainly manages to take your food and beer experience to the next level (literally). The staff, like most people in New York, we’re helpful and friendly, although, having the word’s cutest two-year-old boy in tow probably helps.

Beer ratings: Gina 3/5, G1; Wanda 3.5/5, G2


Steak from Birreria

From Birreria

Tiramisu and cappuccino from Birreria



AMA Bionda

Visiting New York is always exciting, and more exciting if you like pizza. A friend of mine gave me a great tip to visit Keste on Bleaker St in the west village. They had a great beer selection from which I chose this AMA bionda, a gorgeous honey lager. Actually, I am lying, I chose something else, but then the guy said they were out and suggested this.

Brewed by Amarcord Brewery in the small medieval town of Apecchio, Italy, AMA Bionda is a beer made specifically for the Italian dinner table. Designed by Brooklyn Brewmaster Garrett Oliver, AMA Bionda is a golden beer with a soft but complex floral and fruity character, born of aromatic malts, three types of hops, Italian Orange Blossom honey from Sicily, and water from springs that date to Roman times.

Yah, what he said! We were lucky enough to get a burrata pizza that was listed in the specials, and the house Keste pizza with prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella.

The pizza was “magic” and the beer was pretty great too. We followed this up by playing with the kid at the Bleaker playground, then a walk on the high line. It was a nice little afternoon.

Beer rating: 4.75/5

AMA Bionda (At "Keste," Bleeker St, New York)

Burrata pizza from "Keste" New York

Keste pizza