St. Patrick’s Day in NYC means a variety of festivities from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade to Irish pub crawls. To prep you for your day, whether you’re looking to expand your beer knowledge or try a new style of brew NYC has a vast and exquisite beer scene waiting to be discovered by visitors and locals alike! Here are 5 tips to get you started on your journey from the experts at City Brew Tour. Photo © NYC & Company/Malcolm Brown
Better understand the beers you already like
The first step to finding your perfect beer is to better understand what you already know. Make a list off all your favorite beers and, as you’re making your list, be sure to jot down the qualities of those beers. Think about more than just the taste, and pay attention to all the other aspects of each beer — the color, smell, mouth feel, ABV, packaging — everything you can think of. As your list unfolds you’ll almost certainly notice a few trends. This is a great starting point for you to cultivate a deeper understanding of what you tend to like and why you gravitate toward those types of brews.
Drink craft and drink local
Brooklyn and Queens has a great craft beer scene and it would behoove you to take advantage of it! Not only are you able to support the local economy, but focusing your attention on local craft brewers will inevitably lead you to better tasting beer. Craft breweries focus their attention on artistry and quality, which pays off in the taste of the beer. While you can still find good craft beer from out of state, nothing beats experiencing the freshest brews right from the source.
Take a City Brew Tour
City Brew Tours hits three birds with one stone. Taking a tour not only provides you with a chance to experience the best local brewing companies, but visiting multiple breweries (with a flight included at each stop) gives you the opportunity to try up to 16 styles of beer. The flights you’re given are curated around diversifying your experience, so you are basically guaranteed to find amazing beers that suit your palate among the incredible variety that you’ll be getting on this tour. Furthermore, the tours give you the opportunity to learn so much more about beer. They offer lessons about the brewing process, beer history, the different styles of beer, and a beer-expert guide that can answer any other questions you can possibly come up with.
Ask questions at the local liquor stores
Local liquor stores are an important piece to this puzzle, especially those with a good selection and knowledgeable staff. Don’t just go in and poke around, but also be sure to ask the staff for recommendations, using everything you’ve discovered so far to help them give you informed and conscientious suggestions. Many local liquor stores also host mini-tastings from time to time that you can take advantage of!
Don’t let the framework become a pigeonhole
This means staying open to beers that lie outside of the assumptions you have about what you will like. You may be cultivating a deeper understanding of your beer preferences and building a framework to work from on your journey to find the perfect beer, but taking a chance by going outside of your comfort zone is also extremely important and can really surprise you. You don’t always know how certain flavors that you might not like in other contexts translate over into beer. Whether stepping outside your comfort zone leads you to your dream beer or to a did, you’ll still be a more educated and well-rounded beer enthusiast for having tried it!