The beer odyssey continues: enter singlecut
For me the borough of Queens is synonymous with adventure. I openly refute recent Hollywood portrayals of a run-down shit hole rampant with crime, on the contrary, the complexity of its simplicity is both beautiful and awe inspiring.
Beer Today Beer Tomorrow really loves Queens. Especially Astoria and a trip to Astoria never disappoints.
On a rainy Saturday afternoon I find myself heading there to drop off my dad and two of my kids. I have three if you’re wondering; I know that’s a lot. Shout out to my wife who has to deal with these maniacs on a daily basis. We were coming back from the Boogie Down, where we just saw New York City Football Club’s 5-1 victory over Colorado, a game that featured Tim Howard in goal for the rapids, a ludicrous and unnecessary 45 minute rain delay and Super Frankie Lampard netting his first MLS Hat trick. What a joy it was for 3 generations to get together to watch Frankie Legend, one of the greatest Chelsea players of all time, do what he does best. While we enjoyed NYCFC’s spanking of Colorado, my dad and I sipped on a rather pleasing Farm House American IPA, brewed by Long Trail Brewing Co. in Vermont, coming in with an ABV of 6.4%.
With the game behind us, now my focus was on Astoria. I have a special place in my heart for my old haunts and I always relish in marveling at the sights, sounds and ever evolving landscape. It’s been several years since I lived here with my parents, and with my grandparents on my dad’s side briefly before that, but every time I come back I always feel at home. Astoria, she always greets me warmly, she is as much of me as I am of her and even the new seems vaguely familiar. We pull up by my dad’s garage. The three of them are about to embark on their week long summer getaway out east, Suffolk that is, where my mom will happily meet them with an impeccably crafted dish of her choosing. What can I say; trips to Astoria always get me nostalgic. But I digress; the stage was set for me to meet Pete at one of our favorite breweries, Single Cut beersmiths. We hit up Darwin on whatsapp but he was blowing in the wind so it was just the two of us for the outing.
Enter Single Cut, not just one of the best in the borough, arguably one of the best on the east coast. Fun fact, the gang at Single Cut has an affinity for music, the inspiration for the name of their Does Anybody Remember Laughter? IPA comes from Robert Plant’s impromptu adlib in the middle of “Stairway” on “The Song Remains the Same”. The name Single Cut comes from a body style of guitar and guitars are hung up on the walls in the tap room, a visual that catches your eye immediately upon entering.
The staff is friendly and engaging and eager to chat up beer and the magic behind the craft that is Single Cut brewing. Pete and I stared at one another with the unspoken assurance that we would taste in excess this evening. We are big IPA guys, we thoroughly enjoyed half stack, full stack and Does Anyone remember laughter?, Is this real life? and Bon Bon 2X TNT IIPA (sadly not on the menu this evening). We know Single Cut can brew some mean IPAs and Double IPAs but now we wanted to see what else they had to offer. And with the 1985 cult Zombie classic, Return of the Living Dead directed by Dan O’Bannon, projected on the wall above us, we were ready to get the evening’s festivities underway.
1933, named after the address of the location and ironically the year that prohibition ended, is a Czech German Hybrid Pilsner with an ABV of 5.4%. They describe this pilsner as their ode to great Pilsners of yesteryear with some intense modern hop aroma. It is dry, crisp and drinkable and served as our kick off brew.
Jan Olympic White Wheat Lagrrr (not a typo, it’s the name) with spices has an ABV of 5.2% - You can taste the subtle spiciness of Singlecut’s proprietary blend. This was a nicely balanced hoppy wheat beer with hints of citrus and ginger.
Pete and I are not big on sours, although Darwin is a fan and in honor of our missing comrade who was recuperating from his latest endeavor, we decided to give Kim Sour Lager with Hibiscus with an ABV of 4.2% a try. This one’s not bad as far as sours go. You can taste the Hibiscus along with black currants.
Dean Pacific North West Mahogany with an ABV of 6% has grainy malt and hops on the nose. This one has a medium body with malt, piney hops and a touch of fruit on the tongue. The finish is mildly sweet with a light malty aftertaste.
Next up was Billy 18 Watt Session IPA with a smooth ABV of 5%. Single Cut bills this one as a sessional IPA with all the lupulin crunch you demand. And I tell you what, they certainly deliver, this one is dangerously drinkable and delicious.
So I know we said we weren’t going to veer into IPAs but we lied. That last one was a session but we absolutely could not pass on Softly Spoken Magic Spells, an American Double / Imperial IPA with an ABV of 8.6%. This one’s quite good in the bottle but phenomenal on tap. The body is a full orange with a golden hue; it tastes of tropical citrus and pine with lightly sweet malt. This one tantalizes the taste buds and has me salivating as I type. Good thing I left with a 32 oz. Crowler (their canned growlers), Pete did too, and he left with a Billy 18 Watt as well.
All in all a successful outing and we certainly plan on being back soon. Later that evening at home with the Missus’, I enjoyed Single Cut’s Is this real Life? IPA that I had stashed away as I watched the WBA 126 pound featherweight title fight that took place at Barclays in Brooklyn. It was an all action bout between Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton that was fought a frenetic pace. Both men were relentless in their aggression from start to finish, indicative by the nearly 200 combined punches thrown in the 12th round. In the end Carl Frampton became the first 2 division champ out of northern island. What a tough fight between two warriors, and what a day it was!
The beers that me and Pete had at Single Cut were largely superb beverages concocted in this great borough and the complexity of their simplicity is what the borough is all about.
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