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Have liver, will travel

Thursday, May 04, 2006

TAP New York

This past weekend, the Alcotourist and I made our way up the winding roads to Hunter Mountain ski resort in the Catskills. The ingenious folks at Hunter Mountain have figured out a way to bring us out of our city experience when there is nary a snowflake in sight: TAP New York, a beer and (supposed) food tasting weekend featuring some of the best breweries in the state. A mere two hour drive from the city (at Alcotourist speed), the beauty of the Catskills on a late-April day, a proffered fold-out in a friend's suite--how could we refuse?

Tasting began at noon, and the first thing the Alcotourist wanted to taste was an advertised "wasabi veggie dog." A little something to slow the alcohol and keep us standing for more tastings. But after several rounds in all rooms, tents, porches of the festival, we found no such veggie dogs. There were mystery meat hot dogs, foot long hot dogs, and "pizza" that was really a triangle of flour tortilla with some sort of cheese-like substance melted on top. The food protion of TAP New York was truly leaving much to be desired. Finally, I found some warm and salty pretzels and the Alcotourist and I had a quick snack before trying the beer.

I must confess that, unlike the ever-ambitious alcotourist, I did not try a beer at every station. The fourteen or so I tasted (mind you, I only drank the whole glass if it was worthy of such attention) were enough to leave me passed out on the aforementioned fold-out by nine thirty. That said, there were some fine beers to be had at the festival, and I will report a few of my findings here, leaving the "awards" and definitive judgement to he who tasted from all.

My few additions to his fine list:
  • I am in wholehearted agreement of with the Alcotourist's praise for the beers of Sixpoint and Chelsea. In fact, I had 2 from each of them, in lieu of a single beer from some of the brewers whose swill made the Alcotourist grimace. I have no regrets.
  • I'm always glad to see Lake Placid Pub & Brewery--I've enjoyed far better pub grub in their glorious lakeside dining room than was to be found anywhere at TAP. In fact, the Alcotourist and I enjoyed an Ubu from Lake Placid Pub & Brewery at Easter dinner with my family, courtesy of my Ubu-loving cousin, Justin.
  • Unibroue is overrated, and the Porkslap Pale Ale from Butternuts is lucky to have an intriguing name to lure folks into trying a sip.
  • I was pleasantly surprised by Duncan Kincaid's "Dacker" from Davidson Brothers. It isn't to my usual dark and bitter taste, but it was perfectly balanced and refreshing--a great summer treat on a hot day.

I hope we will have more to report soon on our forays to Chelsea and Sixpoint and Brooklyn where they (and we) live. I for one will pass on any "gourmet" hot dogs.


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