On a low-key Wednesday evening before going to dinner with Rachael and little Matt (my parents took Peter and Derrick for a couple days during winter break) I stopped in to one of my favorite beer shops in Queens, Astoria Bier and Cheese located at 34-14 Broadway, Astoria, NY 11106.
To me Astoria possesses a certain kind of nostalgia fueled magic; it’s a place that permanently occupies lodging in my heart. Having lived there from the late 80’s to the early 2000s, Astoria has defined a large cross section of my life. My parents still have an apartment in the neighborhood where I came of age. It’s home to many of the major mile stones of my life, from holidays with my parents, to my introduction to craft beer (and before that wine), to wild house parties, to nefarious predicaments, to grade school through to graduating college to meeting my wife and future mother of my children, my formative years were greatly influenced by Astoria. I’m old enough to remember Astoria just before it expanded, and young enough to enjoy the spoils of expansion. Needless to say I always cherish return trips to a place that I still very much consider my home.
You may have read about my current workout routine , and if you have you know that I’m trying to reserve my cheat days to podcast episodes and special occasions only. Yet I stop and think, well a blog post should be a cheat day too right? All #BTBT events are special occasions. Sure, why not, a couple of beers always breaks a week up nicely.
Bier and Cheese possesses a vibrant craft beer ambiance and you’ll find quite a few people in the know talking craft beer. Outdoor seating is available although I perched up on the bar; You can drink from their rotating drafts or you can pick and choose from an extensive selection of bottles and cans which can be drank on the premises or saved for future consumption. Cheese and meat platters are worthy companions to your beer of choice and I suggest exploring this option. Much like many local watering holes it’s a place to drink away the concerns that plague all of our daily routines; yet what separates it is that it caters to a crowd of craft beer heads that thankfully, for the most part, aren’t pretentious beer snobs.
For a brief spell my problems escape me, I drift in and out of conversation with fellow craft beer aficionados at the bar, each sip compels me to distance myself further and further from the daily burden of responsibilities and accountability. Of course I check myself, reality is omnipresent I have a job, a wife, 3 wonderful children, and a co-obligation to launch BTBT into the stratosphere. Besides, what would else what I do? Oh loaf I suppose but such thoughts dissipate fairly quickly, they aren’t feasible; my drive to succeed and aspire to something greater consumes me almost to my detriment.
Bar conversation drifts from rating local Queens Breweries to drunken antics at a bachelor party to Fifa 17 to the Bartender telling a story about being accused of nearly drowning a fellow student when in actuality she just threw mulch at her face. Laid back, yet enjoyable is how I would characterize my time there and oh by the way here’s what I drank:
Daisy Cutter by Half Acre Beer Company 5.2A% ABV West Coast style pale ale, a slightly hazy amber honey color on the pour; Citrus peel, grapefruit and tropical fruit on the nose and tongue. Well balanced and quite sessionable Drank this from the can and enjoyed it thoroughly.
Blazing World by Modern Times a 6.8% ABV American Amber/Red ale loaded with Nelson, Mosaic, and Simcoe hops. Pine, citrus and tropical fruit on the nose and tongue. Slight toasty bitter finish. Quite enjoyable, also had this from the can.
Space Cake by Clown Shoes is a 9% ABV DIPA. Citrus, tropical fruits and hints of malt on the nose and tongue. Not an overly aggressive DIPA despite the ABV. Had this from the tap; enjoyable but it didn’t blow me away.
Candle Power by Grimm is an 8% ABV Saison with sage and pink pepper corns on the nose, similar flavors on the tongue along with clove and lavender. Hint of a bitter sweetness on the finish. Had this one from the tap as well; Saisons are not my area of expertise, not yet anyway but I enjoyed this one, likely wouldn’t have more than 1 in a session.
Astoria Bier and Cheese has two locations: 3414 Broadway, Astoria, NY and 35-11 Ditmars Blvd., Astoria, NY. If you’ve never been check them out, they’re a good time for sure.
BTBT Photographer and Videographer young Mark Villacis is slowly but surely spreading his wings. For the second year in a row he was taking pictures at New York Fashion week and he’s about to (finally) release a website. We’ll keep you posted on when he does. Cheers to Mark!
We’ve also updated some of our pics on the home page, check it out and let us know what you think.
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Don’t forget to check out the BTBT YouTube Channel. We will be dropping videos much more frequently in 2017. A BRAND NEW content showcase series is in the works! More on that soon!
- BTBT Episode 45 - Strong Rope
- BTBT Episode 44 - BierWax
- BTBT Episode 43 - Controlled Chaos Art Show
- BTBT Episode 42 - The Pittsburgh Take Over pt2
- BTBT Episode 41 - The Pittsburgh Take Over Part 1
- BTBT Episode 40 - Absurd Conclave Charity Event pt2
- BTBT Episode 39 - Absurd Conclave Charity Event Pt 1
- BTBT Episode 38 - Island to Island Brewery
- BTBT Episode 37 - 2017 Brew For A Cure
- BTBT Episode 36 - Zocktoberfest ‘17
- BTBT Episode 35 - 2nd Annual Beer In The Gardens
- BTBT Episode 34 - The Last Day of Summer Fest pt2
- BTBT Episode 33 - The Last Day Of Summer Fest pt1
- BTBT Episode 32 - Braven Brewing
- BTBT Episode 31 Craft Culture
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