On Monday I checked out a new beer shop/bar that’s super close to Union Square, Milk and Hops. The owner has two similar stores in Astoria (Astoria Bier and Cheese), and just opened the Manhattan spinoff in late February.
The Milk and Hops space is sleek and inviting. They have a decent selection of bottled/canned beers and 10 taps. I took a seat at the white marble bar (#loveit) and asked to sample the SingleCut George Calme Ale D’Abbaye, a Belgian Dubbel. This was actually the first non-IPA SingleCut beer that I’d come across since living in NY, so I was obviously intrigued. The George is medium bodied with dark caramel sweetness and a bitter finish. As the beer warmed I got a bit of booziness, but it remained refreshing and drinkable throughout.
As I sipped my beer (and took notes, obviously), I chatted with the extremely friendly bartender, Caroline. We talked about working in beer shops and she entertained me with stories from her many years of New York living. She once had a gig spray-painting the side of a bus in Bushwick, and was almost finished when it started to pour! She powered through and finished the bus, and then promptly schlepped to the closest bar for a beer..or five.
Next I ordered the Other Half Forever Ever, but not without annoyingly asking to sample three other beers: Captain Lawrence Frozen Flowers, Finback Double Sess, and Big Alice Queens Honey Brown (sorry Caroline!). Milk and Hops tries to keep mostly NY beers on tap, and other than SingleCut’s Billy 200-Watt DIPA, I hadn’t had any of their other offerings. I particularly enjoyed Big Alice’s honey brown, but was in the mood for hops, so I went for Other Half.
I hate to say it, but Forever Ever is probably my least favorite of the Other Half beers that I’ve tried. This could be because it’s a session IPA, and I’m not typically a big fan of sessions. It’s light bodied and well balanced with with a nice piney hoppiness, but I just didn’t find it to be that flavorful. I enjoy their bolder, hoppier IPAs a lot more.
Milk and Hops has such a pleasant atmosphere, it’s hard to believe they are just down the street from the chaos of Union Square. Their cheese plates, which are artfully arranged and served on slabs of jagged slate, look amazing. I was enviously eying the couple’s next to me, although I did have complimentary salted corn nuts to snack on! I want to make the trip to the Astoria locations soon, and the lovely Caroline promised to come visit me at Hops & Hocks!
Have a great Wednesday!