August 7th is the 4th anniversary of National IPA Day. IPA's or Indian Pale Ale's have become some of America's favorite style of beer and no time of year is better to enjoy a IPA then the summer for what it was designed for. First I'm going to give us a little background on the IPA and then a good place or three to enjoy a good IPA and something to buy some collectors items.
For those of us not in the know, IPA stands for Indian Pale Ale, which was actually started by the British in the 1700's as they were doing what the British tended to do in those days, colonize another country's people and land and exploit that same people's land and natural resources, in this case it was India. The British created Indian Pale Ale because they had find a new market to sell beer due to high taxes in other European and Russian markets. I have also read that British Pale Ale makers added more hops to combat more bad yeasts on the long trip to India around Africa by boat. Whatever combination of these stories and others are mingled in never forget that British Sailors love a good drink and as they continued by boat and worked in India, Indian Pale Ale came to be sold and greatly demanded by these same sailors and to British Ex patriots.
IPA's are known for being a hoppy beer, one that has not only hops but usually too a bitter but tangy taste to it. The Pale Ale you drink in America is not the pale ale you drink in England because again of the different tastes involved in the different hops.
Today every microbrew seems to have some sort of IPA of some sort of fashion. So as you celebrate the long day and weekend because hell you cool like that and you can just do it here are some places to enjoy a good IPA.
Peculiar Pub (145 Bleecker Street off Laguardia Place) This Greenwich Village landmark bar has over 340 beers from all across the world, both tap and mainly bottles. I bet you can find a few dozen IPA's here. I love the bottle cap designs that are made to look like modern art masterpieces there.
Blind Tiger: (281 Bleecker Street off 7th Avenue) Another Village bar, another great place to drink and always great food. They constantly rotate around 30 beers on tap and quite a few bottle choices too, but the real action here is off the tap with a couple of choices being IPA's. Its rarely calm in here, never crazy just busy with people taking a break between work during the day; Then there is your after work crowd; Then there's your local watering hole crowd who didn't want to go far but they're having a good time; and of course your "the night is just beginning let's start it out with a bang crowd too". I did say it was rarely calm but not crazy.
Pony Bar: (1444 1st Avenue at 75th street) It's time I got the Upper East Side involved in this here beer affair. They list all their bars everyday and they have a good selection. Just putting it out there for people who up North and East and wanna find a good beer bar.
Bier International Harlem: (2099 Frederick Douglass Blvd at 113th street. Take B,C, to 110th or 116th.) Going to uptown Manhattan, Harlem World baby. This Harlem foray into beers with 18 on tap and 30 on bottle. I love the outdoor bar on Frederick Douglass Boulevard with the interesting foot traffic of West Africans, Black Americans and the gentrifiers.
Also Spiegelau is offering a great six pack of IPA beer with their signature glasses for home consumption. The 6 pack consists of having a Russian River Blind Pig, Bell's Brewery Two Hearted Ale, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA, Firestone Brewing Company Union Jack, and DogFish Head 60 min. Check Spiegelau's website again or go online for more details.