Hell’s Detective

Hell's DetectiveHell’s Detective by Michael Logan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For some reason I like reading non-fiction, primarily true crime and the grislier the better. My other genre is fantasy. Which can also be grisly.

This is definitely fantasy. Dark fantasy. A detective among the damned. A detective haunted by what she did to go to hell. And then she gets a job offer from someone not among the damned, who offers her a price she cannot refuse.

It’s not a simple case, the twist and turns could make you dizzy. Three stars because I wasn’t “in love”, don’t know if I recommend it, but was able to finish it.

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The Hidden Child

The Hidden Child (Patrik Hedström, #5)The Hidden Child by Camilla Läckberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While I don’t normally read fiction mysteries, I have never been disappointed by a mystery translated from Swedish. I find them to be rather straight-forward and the people seem to be ‘real’. There don’t seem to be any outlandish scenarios. In short, I find them to be ‘believable’.

This book is no exception, and even though it switches between now and World War II, it does not get confusing.

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Chelsea in the Bronx

There is one more brewery in the Bronx. I actually found out about this from my snarky tweet about Gunhill. Chelsea Brewery’s social media game is on point and one of their beers is served at Yankee Stadium.
It was after a Saturday day game (I think Saturday) and I asked my friend Chris to come to the game(possibly), and to the brewery after. The brewery is about 2.5 miles from the stadium, the 4 train gets you close enough to walk. The first thing I noticed was there were more dark beers than anyplace else I’d been. This made me very happy. I ordered my usual flight of beers.
It is very interesting seeing how different places keep track of the beer you get in a flight. Greenpoint had a card to write the beer down on, here, the beertender stood by the taps, and as you picked a beer he set a glass under the tap. They had these wrought-iron holders to put the glass in. I asked how long they had been in the Bronx and in doing so got the answer to why Chelsea Brewery was in the Bronx. The brewery opened in Chelsea in 1995, a few a years ago they moved to the Bronx. Since they were already known as Chelsea Brewery, they kept their name.
Chris ordered ribs and said they were good. I ordered a pretzel, which the beertender said was ‘bigger than what you get at Yankee Stadium’. A woman came over to ask if I had just checked in on Untappd, she was their social media person. Like I said their social media game is on point.

From reading other reviews I realize my reviews are sadly lacking in content. For instance, are they kid friendly? Well that time of day sure. Dog friendly? They serve food so NO. Gender neutral bathrooms? No freaking clue. I can say it is well lit and clean. The brewing tanks are off to the side instead of in a seperate room. It’s a place I would go back to if I was in the neighborhood, as in after the game. Also if they were having a special event.  

It was a long time coming

During the Queens Beer Week, one of the beers I had to have to get my ‘passport’ stamped was “Rock and Hammer”, it was being poured at Rockaway, but the stamp was for “Fifth Hammer”. At the time Fifth Hammer didn’t have a taproom or even a brick and mortar location. They did have an Instagram account which stated the brewery would be opening July or August 2017. I scouted out the location, found the address and the building, wasn’t impressive. I thought, well maybe it’s all closed up because they want to have a big reveal. So I waited, and waited, July ended, the end of August was coming, their Instagram still said, July or August. Then it was September and still nothing.

Somewhere along the way I noticed the door open and stooped down to take some pictures of the tap room and the brewing tanks. Unfortunately between then and now my phone broke and my backup crashed so I don’t have those pictures.

Finally they opened and I dragged C. along to the grand (or not) opening on October 6, 2017. Our server was Julio, who was as delightful as the beer, more so than some of them. **wink wink**. Another server was Zach, we renamed him since he didn’t look like a Zach, his new name is Caesar. We told him and he was cool with it. Their taproom is a decent size, they have hammers everywhere, I never found out why they call themselves Fifth Hammer.

FifthHammer1 FifthHammer2 FifthHammer3 FifthHammer4 FifthHammer7 FifthHammer5 FifthHammer6

Murder of Innocence by Joel Kaplan

Murder of Innocence: The Tragic Life and Final Rampage of Laurie DannMurder of Innocence: The Tragic Life and Final Rampage of Laurie Dann by Joel Kaplan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an account I am very familiar with, however this book was very enlightening. Laurie Dann’s whole life is brought forth, including her history of mental illness. It would be easy to say she slipped through the cracks, except the two people who could have got the ball rolling to help her failed miserably. One because of denial and the other because of disinterest or narcissism.

To say Laurie was bat-shit crazy is easy, and also rather dismissive of the very real problem of mental health. Besides the people who were shot and their families, and Laurie Dann’s family, there were other people whose lives were ruined by her actions.

A very well done account.

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And the after was Strongrope

If you read my “I have a plan” post, here was the plan Brewery, Knitting, Brewery. I was able to do this because of what I am starting to call ‘clusters’ of breweries. For instance in LIC there is Transmitter, Rockaway, Big aLICe, and LIC Beer Project. All in LIC and almost within walking distance of each other. In fact I can walk to Transmitter, Rockaway and Big aLICe from my office and LIC Beer Project is just a short subway ride.

In Brooklyn, Other Half, Folksbier, Three’s Brewing and Strong Rope are in two neighborhoods that touch, (see map). Also you can see Whole Foods Market, which is where my knitting group meets. On this particular night, the brewery after knitting was Strong Rope. I planned it this way because Strong Rope is closest to the subway train I need to go home. Also on this night they had live music, which I didn’t know before I showed up and per the bartender is not a planned thing. People just show up with their guitars.

Although I have been getting flights so I could try a variety of beer I abandoned this practice at Strong Rope because they had a “Wee Heavy”, which is one of my favorites. They also have a stout with the name “Loneliest Nomad”. It was busy the night I came, but not crazy. The taproom is pretty with a polished wood bar. Besides 8 to 9 taps, they also serve wine, cider and spirits. No food, outside food is allowed and the bartender will give your phone a charge if you ask nicely.

I had a plan

It’s written in a pretty notebook I bought when I realized if I wanted to get to all the breweries by the end of summer I had to get organized. My plan for this night was two breweries, one before knitting and one after. This is the before brewery, Folksbier Brewery.

My memory is a little hazy since it has been a while since I was there, but my impression is that the brewery is rather small. I do remember they had beer named Glow Up on the menu, their website describes them “A Berliner-style weisse with an ample wheat body and soured using Lactobacillus for a tart, sour finish. We then age the Glow Up base beer over seasonal fruit, adding a pleasant sweetness.” Since they are wheat beers I didn’t try any. The night I was there they had Strawberry, watermelon was on the list but not ready yet. A fact a couple of people were rather upset about. They don’t serve flights here, maybe because they don’t have a lot of beers (I seem to remember there were 6 taps), however you can get a taste of any beer you want. The brewery is actually next to the taproom, I didn’t ask for a tour or if I could see the tanks, I hadn’t gotten that bold by this point.

No kitchen but they have a light snack menu of pretzels and a few varieties of cheese. You tell the server what cheese you want, I think I also got mustard with the pretzel. If you don’t like French bulldogs you might want to steer clear of this place, there are two of them and they kind of run the place, kind of fitting since their humans are the owners.

Overall a nice low key place with good beer and friendly service. This brewery is in the Carroll Gardens section of Brooklyn. I took all these pictures because of how cute the neighborhood is.

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Beer on the Beach

My friend came to visit and wanted to go to Coney Island. For some reason she wanted to come to the city and then go to Coney Island. It’s not like she hasn’t ever been there, in fact one year ago to the day we went to see Rob Thomas at the Ford Amphitheatre in Coney Island. So we got on the subway and headed to Coney Island and the beach.

It wasn’t a problem for me since I am doing a “Summer Brewery Tour” and there is a brewery in Coney Island, coincidentally named, Coney Island Brewing Co. The only problem I could see was convincing my friend to go there since she is not a big beer drinker.

So we get to Coney Island and walk along the beach. Eventually she wants food. We find this little place to get food, I think it was the same place we got food a year ago before the concert. She asks if I want to get a beer – so here goes.

“Well,” says I, “I wanted to get a beer at the brewery since they’ll have a bigger selection, and they might have my favorite summer beer, Tart Cherry Berliener.”

She thinks about this for a second and replies that she thinks that is a good idea. We ordered grilled cheese sandwiches and fries. They were O.K., nothing great and when finished we headed to the brewery. When we got there I got a little worried, it didn’t look like there was anything she would like, but the last item Lime Twist, she said sounded good. A woman at the bar turned around and said, “Oh it is, it tasted like cream soda.” She got that, I got my Tart Cherry and we headed outside.

It wasn’t our choice to sit outside, it was rather warm and inside was cool with the AC, however, the tap room at Coney Island is very small and all the seats were taken. Even though we were outside, there was a bit of a breeze and all the tables have these big umbrellas so it wasn’t unbearable.

The best thing for me was being able to spend the day with my best friend and check another brewery off the list.

Across from the Bushwick Inlet!

This is how Greenpoint serves its flights. The bartender, when I asked about getting a flight, handed me a card so I could write down the beer I wanted. How fuckin’ cool is that? If you look carefully at the picture you can see the brewing kettles. It was when I looked through the window and remembered a review and started to write one in my head that I realized, I should have been blogging about my ‘Summer Brewery Tour’ not just documenting it on Instagram. What an idiot I am.

Greenpoint is near my office, I could probably walk there, or maybe bike 🚲 there, but not home, I learned my lesson about biking after beer the hard way.

This brewery has a kitchen and I got mac-n-cheese (what is it about breweries and cheese?). It has been too long for a review. The fact that it was so forgettable speaks volumns.

However I will come back, the beer and service were good and it is family friendly.

La Birreria at Eataly

I was wondering if I should write a blog post about a new brewery when I hadn’t finished all the old ones. The obsessive side of me was voting for finishing all the old ones. The practical side of me said, “Write it! People don’t care what order they are in!” The pessimist side of me said, “Who gives a fuck no one is reading this.” So here goes.

After being told by someone whose opinion I respect that there are no breweries in Manhattan, I found one, possibly three. One is indeed at Eataly, on the top of the building where one of their restaurants is. After talking with a friend we decided to go together, since I didn’t know if we could just go for beer we got reservations for dinner. Now that I’ve been I know you can go up just for drinks.

At the time we went there was only one brew from Birreria on the menu. I didn’t inquire if they brewed more than one at a time since the waitress didn’t seem to be that knowledgeable, we even got the wrong beer, my friend got mine and I got hers. The beer was a wheat with watermelon, I looked for it on Untappd but couldn’t find it. I did find other beer from Birreria.

Overall I wasn’t that impressed with them. I was more impressed with the beer I bought in the store part and drank on the way home. Cheers!