Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Barcade Empire Moves Westward

WFMU's Beer Hear! Barcade J.C.

If it looks like Brooklyn, but it's not... it's Barcade! (Jersey City.)

The 2nd beer stop on our pub crawl of Jersey City on Saturday May 28, 2011 was the recently opened Barcade Jersey City, which started pouring beers in April.  Those familiar with the original bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn would recognize the vintage 80s arcade video games, some familiar faces of the staff, and the vast list of American craft beer, but to completely psyche you out, the bar itself looks like a twin of the microbrew mecca on Union Ave. Though unlike the original, the Jersey bar offers some light fare, and more light thought some windows.

You can clearly see what was on offer that day in the picture above. I started out with the Walt Wit, a wit beer from the Phil. Brewing Co. It was a the right one to start with at 4.2% abv -- murky pale yellow in color, a bit of a cereal aroma, tangy, slightly tart & citrusy, and completely refreshing. B.R. went for the similarly low in alcohol Anderson Valley Wee Geech, their American Pale Ale session beer (about 4% abv). Then I noticed one of those familiar faces from Brooklyn -- Kevin, one of the co-owners of Barcade. I spoke with him about how Barcade J.C. came about. You can hear the interview on the Beer Hear! podcast on WFMU.

Kevin said that they plan on opening up a Barcade Philly over the summer. He also told me that he ends up playing up to 50 games of Defender each time he's at B.J.C.  He might want to start playing 51, because I don't see his name on high scores hall of fame. And, yes, that "BOB" at 23,700 is yours truly -- "Today's Greatest!" (And only 10x lower than the #1 All Time Greatest... yeah, I'm not that good.)
After the interview Kevin treated me to a Climax Hefeweizen on cask. I love hefeweizens. I love cask beers. But not all beers benefit from being put in a cask and served at a higher temperature and lower carbonation. Wheat beers generally fit into that category. And hefeweizens, in particular. I suppose that it's a matter of personal taste, but I'm happier with a weizen that has tartness and fizz to offset the sometimes cloying phenolics. Without some acidic carbonation, this beer was kind of muddy, muddled and sat very heavy. I guess it's worthwhile to experiment, though.

Like its original version, Barcade J.C. is a great place to spend a few hours relaxing with friends on a lazy summer weekend day. We can't wait to check out the Philly version, too!

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