Monday, May 28, 2012
Victory Beer Garden Open Again
It's become a much anticipated sign of summer -- the re-opening of the Victory Beer Garden in Battery Park, at the southern most part of the park, next to the Battery Gardens restaurant and beside the Coast Guard station!
This year they've done a very smart thing and created a gate into the garden from the most heavily trafficked pathway near the garden. In the past, the beer garden was quite hard to find unless you already knew that it was there. Hidden behind thick, high hedges, and with the entrance located behind the garden away from the pathways, it was no wonder that this gem of a watering hole was always so undeservingly empty.
B.R. and I both had the Summer Love ale, which was satisfying and refreshing -- malty, without being too heavy, and with plenty of hop flavor. Our new companion, who was on holiday from Australia, looked to be having a Victory Lager, which is what B.R. had next. The Lager was a bit more bitter and had a deeper amber color than the style which inspired it, the German Helles.
When asked what our Aussie friend thought of the American beers that he'd tried, he said that he'd quite liked them, finding them more flavorful than the average Oz-brew. When pressed for a favorite he mentioned Blue Moon. When he offered to get us a round, I insisted that we get him a round, he being a guest in our city. I asked what he'd like, and he allowed me to choose for him. So, considering his liking Blue Moon, I got him a Witte from Ommegang. And, as expected, he liked it very much!
I went for the Headwaters Pale Ale, which hit the spot on a very warm, muggy afternoon. Its soft, malty body -- unbothered by any aggressive, biting hop bitterness -- went down slowly and gently, like a lazy summer sunset.
Also on tap at the beer garden was Hop Devil, and, as in recent years, other breweries' beers in bottles and cans, such as Sierra Nevada Stout and some Sixpoint varieties, to accompany the standard outdoor grilled fare -- hot dogs, hamburgers, and the like.