A New York State of Mind

A New York State of Mind

You’ve been to New York City, right? It’s all neon, glitz, great art and “that vibe” that says anything is possible here. It’s also a cold slap in the face, outrageously expensive, traffic that buckles your knees and a general sense that New York hit it’s “best before” date round about 1957…..and yet I love it. A recent weekend semi-spontaneous trip landed me in NYC in mid-March, with swirling rain and a stiff Atlantic wind as constant companions. So what’s a pooch to do when the weather hits – nip inside and try some beer. It’s like a bit of comfort food when you’re cold and far from home. Turns out I wasn’t as far from home as I thought.

First stop was lunch at a small place on the lower west side where they had Brooklyn Lager from Brooklyn Brewery on tap. I’ve tasted Brooklyn Lager before and it reminded me that I need to make more of an effort to hunt down American beer. There’s just so much to try. I’m also a sucker for red and amber beer….which lead to dinner that evening…

Bottle and Glass with Beer
River Horse Amber

We ate at a place called Cookshop on 10th Avenue at 20th Street. The food and service were spectacular but no meal is complete without a crack at another beer. The menu had a modest collection of interesting craft beer. I chose a River Horse Amber Ale. River Horse is a New Jersey craft brewery.


My somewhat limited photographic skills here don’t do the colour of the beer justice. It was a rich copper colour, with lots of haze and a nice malt flavour. It was a great start to a wonderful evening.

But so often in life, and especially in travel, it’s the unexpected that captures your imagination. That came on a trip to Chelsea Market in Manhattan’s lower west side. It is a market in the conventional sense, you can buy bread, vegetables, cookies, chocolates, flowers – on and on. There are some delightful little stand up eateries too. But for my money, the place in the market that’s got it nailed is called The Filling Station. They sell four products; vinegar, salt, oils, and beer.  Now that’s a combination!Sign says Craft Beer to Go

The concept is pretty simple, four items everyone needs, huge variety, and an easy shopping experience that’s reasonably priced. Now I love salt, love olive oil, and we must have 7 different kinds of vinegar in our cupboard. But I was here for the beer. They sell it in refillable growlers and the process is dead simple – see!

Chalk board with beer

Ok – so the rules are simple. Let’s see what cornucopia of exotic American craft beer is on tap at the Filling Station.


Yes – you are reading that right – two of the five beers offered were Beau’s. I think my little Ontario Craft Beer Heart grew three sizes that day. It’s hard not to be proud of an Ontario beer making good in the big city. It’s also a great reminder that we excel at making beer in Ontario, we are spoiled for choice, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that what Ontario craft brewers create should travel to places that appreciate great beer. Still, it was nice to see. I didn’t go looking for Ontario in New York City, but a little bit of it found me anyway – comfort food indeed.

See ya next time Big Apple.


Feature Photo Credit: Mark Asthoff – Unsplash









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