Fill It or Spill It

Beer Spot: Beer Authority NYC

In Beer Spot on April 15, 2012 at 5:37 pm

The buzz around the Beer Authority was big and so was the frustration at the delayed opening.  I read their FB page a while back and saw comments from people who were annoyed at the delays in opening dates.  The Beer Authority is finally open and any place that boasts more than 50 beers on tap and 100 bottles, deserves a visit.  I was in NYC on Friday, so me and my wife decided to stop in for some lunch.

The location is great, right by Port Authority, so it makes it easy to get to.  A lot of the beer places in NYC (at least I have noticed) involve a train ride, which I don’t typically enjoy.  Of course, from time to time you get a funny “I was on the train yesterday and ……” story, but sometimes I’m not in the mood to ride the subway.  So, to have a beer bar right by Port Authority makes the ride in and ride out relatively painless.

The place is nice.  It has that new bar smell and it has a cool & trendy, but it isn’t a stuffy NY place.  There are TVs lining the dining and bar area, so I was watching Sportscenter and some MLB games during lunch.  Food, beer, and sports not much else you can ask for.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t overly impressed with the “on tap” menu.  There some good beers on there, but nothing that jumped out at me that I had to try.  There was also no bottle list which was a little annoying.  I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt because it just opened and from the sounds of it, they had other things to worry about.  However, when I ask the waitress “do you have a bottle menu” and she says “we don’t have one, but you can go to the bar and look at the beers” it’s a little off-putting.  At the very least, she should have given me a couple of names or something.  To her credit, she was very nice.

Another note, I don’t know how realistic it is, but beer bars should have waiters/waitresses that are familiar with the beer menu.  It is troubling when I go to a beer bar and have to point to the beer name on the menu.  I have this paranoid feeling that I’m ordering a beer I never had and the waitress/waiter has no idea what I’m talking about and brings me something completely different.  I would know, of course, if I ordered a stout and got a saison instead, but what if I got the old bait and switch on my beer?  I have nightmares about that sometimes.  Not really, but just trying to drive home the point.

So, I took the walk to check out the bottles and was pleasantly surprised.  There were some of the usual suspects like Orval, Dead Guy Ale, but also some cool looking beers like Pretty Beer.  I couldn’t see everything in there, because there was a stupid glare and some guy sitting directly in front of the fridge , so I had to look around him.  It is a selection that deserves a bottle menu.

The food was good and the service was pretty quick.  I had the brisket sandwich which was pretty tasty and I would order it again.  My wife had the shrimp salad, which looked good (for a salad) and she enjoyed it, so if you like salads then you would probably enjoy it.

I plan on visiting the Beer Authority again.  There are a few shortcomings, but no place is perfect and nothing that would deter me from going back.  Good food, a good beer selection, and great location.  If you are in NYC I say check it out.


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