All aboard NJ Transit

Wet Ticket
1435 Main St.
Rahway, NJ 07065

Today’s brewery is Wet Ticket in Rahway NJ. “Wet Ticket” refers to the individuals who ran for office during the 1930’s with the intent to repeal Prohibition.

img_0378This brewery is a short walk from the NJT Rahway stop. As noted before, breweries in New Jersey are not allowed to sell people food, unlike Departed Soles, Wet Ticket doesn’t have a restaurant right next to it so I had to order from Grub Hub. After a few mix-ups ‘dear GrubHub, I am not in Jersey City!’ I was able to get some take out – which was rather bad. The tap water also tasted bad. Neither of these statements should be taken as a knock on the brewery or the beer, the brewery is roomy, clean, and well lit with a welcoming ambiance, staff was attentive and knowledgeable and the beer was tasty (they must filter their water). They are not dog friendly, but are family oriented, as in the crowd is older and generally well behaved. I had to take a tour before I could be served, and when I got my growler filled, they taped around the cap with what looked like yellow electrical tape. The tour is New Jersey law, I didn’t ask if the tape was NJ law or their policy.

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Here are some pictures. Worth the trip from NYC.

Beer I sampled: Flight with: Pecan Porter, Spanktown IPA, Trolly Hopper, Bipartisan Blone. Glass of Dream Ticket, Kick the Bucket.

To go: In a 32 oz Crowler: Trolly Hopper, in a bottle: Imperial Oatmeal Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels

Peekskill Brewery You Have Failed Me

The Peekskill Brewery
47 S Water St.
Peekskill, NY 10566

For the record Peekskill Brewery was not supposed to be number three on my list. I had planned for Hudson Valley Brewery and 2 Way Brewing to be numbers 3 and 4 since I was coming to Beacon to watch the game between the Bills and Jaguars at my friend’s house. The weather changed my plans. My original plan was to have my friend drop me at Hudson Valley and I was going to walk to 2 Way, but it was too cold. Not to be deterred from my Brewery Tour, I came up with another plan. Since I was traveling by Metro North train from Beacon to NYC, I would get off in Peekskill to go to that brewery, since it is close to the train station.

This means I had to buy a ticket. My ticket was from Beacon to GCT, I didn’t ask but I am pretty sure you can’t split a ticket you already bought. I thought, no big deal it’s only $x.xx and it’s less than if I bought a ticket from GCT to Peekskill. So I just bought it and asked my friend it she minded if I left early so I could buy some beer in Peekskill. She said she was O.K. with it.

As the train was pulling into Peekskill I could see the brewery, and it looked dark, but the lights on the building were on, and the website said they were open Sunday’s ….. maybe the windows are tinted and that is why they are dark. I got off the train and walked over, there was a note on the door that they were closed. I walked past the note and looked in the windows, mainly because I couldn’t believe it …… yep, closed. I walked back to the train station and I was angry.

img_0291img_0290Not angry because they were closed, angry that they didn’t post it anywhere but on their door. They have a website, they have Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. In none of those places was there there a notice, “We are closing because of a private event on 1/7/2018.” A friend said, “You should be incredibly pissed.” Yes I am and I am never going back, I bought some Peekskill beer in NYC, at a bar, and paid twice as much as I would have at the brewery, because I wanted to have pictures of Peekskill Beer in this post, but these are the last Peekskill beers I am drinking. The beer is fine, it’s the principle of it.

Departed Soles #2

For stop number two on the great 2018 brew tour I have ventured out of state to New Jersey.
img_0260-1And the first stop was Departed Soles. It is “Jersey City’s First Brewery”. It might be their only brewery. Since it was not busy the night I was there, which I was told was not the norm, must have been the hella cold temps that night. I was able to chat up the workers. This brewery opened in 2015, my notes say February, started shipping in June and opened the tap room in October. If these dates are not right, any Departed Soles people are welcome to -comment- email- and I will correct. P.S. Doesn’t this sign look like a NYC subway sign?

img_0263-1This is the brewery dog, Bogen. He barked at me when I came in. Maybe he sensed I wasn’t a Jersey Girl? I mean, I am Short, Fat, and Ugly …. but he also, didn’t get up when he barked so …. maybe he was just grumpy.

They sell dog treats, made from spent grain and they add egg whites and peanut butter (I think, didn’t write it down), but I know for a fact, dogs love it them! The reason I know this, is I got a bag, and I took it to .(redacted). and donated it. While I was there, the bartender gave it to a pup, and he spent the rest of his time there looking at the bartender with the, ‘I want another one’ look.

img_0265-1They have flights, but they were so nice about samples that I didn’t get a flight, just kept sampling, and just got a full glass of beer. And such a pretty glass! So I just kept sampling and chatting up the bartender about the brewery and the alcohol laws, which vary state to state. For instance: in New Jersey, they can fill any growler, in Massachusetts the growler has to come from  the brewery. Also in New Jersey, breweries are only allowed to sell beer. They are not allowed to sell any human food (not even chips or popcorn) or other alcohol including cider. Brewpubs are allowed to sell food and other alcohol, it’s a different license, but the beer is not as good since they are focusing on the other aspects of their license. However, Departed Soles shares a store front with Bucket & Bay Craft Gelato Co, they have more than Gelato and they will bring your food into the brewery. I did not order from them while I was at the brewery, but I saw the server from there bring food in. So you can bring food into the brewery. They are also dog friendly (obviously), as long as the dog is not aggressive.

These are the skateboards the flights are served on. As stated previously I didn’t get a flight. I did observe Brant, (you can see part of him in this picture), writing on the skateboard the beers in the flight. As I mentioned before, if I’m wrong, I welcome corrections, just please be polite.

Just a few more thoughts, they have gluten-free beer (first brewery I’ve come across that does), they fill growlers and sell cans. Their Belgian Triple tasted like a Triple, but was more drinkable. Right now they only distribute in New Jersey. They have a giant Four Square game, they used to have a giant Jenga but one of the giant pieces fell on someone.

After my visit, I read on their Instagram they were having a “Tap Takeover” at the Prudential Center, where the Devils play on Jan 22, 2018. In a happy coincidence, I will be at that game. WOOT! Oh and I noticed owner was wearing a Boston College shirt, and there was a Boston College flag in the brewery. Huh, well the beer was certainly tasty, the next time I go to the Rock, I might stop here before/after.


2018 Summer Beer Tour

Yes I know it’s still winter 2017-18, I’m starting early. Last summer I had a plan to go to every brewery in NYC. Sadly I was not successful, when summer ended I was a few breweries short. While I was traveling around the city I hatched the plan for Summer 2018. Not being a backward looking person I am going forward with my plan, while I still have my list of NYC breweries and will be ticking the few remaining off my list.

My tour this year is breweries outside of the city that are easily accessible by train, light rail, or bus. By train I mean Metro North, NJ Transit, or LIRR. Light rail is whatever passes for what I would call the subway. The list of breweries I’m visiting this summer is much shorter which is a good thing since it’s costing me more to get to each one. Also this year I will be writing blog posts as I go along. Not reviews of the beer, those are plentiful and not what I’m good at. I don’t know what tasting notes and mouthfeel is, I say things like “Yummy beer” and “Meh”.

The tour starts in Yonkers at the Yonkers Brewing Company. The brewery is about 2 minutes by foot from the train station. While you can’t see the door from the platform you can see the building it is in. Exit the train station in the city side, where the taxis are, take a right, cross a four lane road. If you look right you will see this road goes under the train tracks toward the river, also looking right on the other side of this road is the brewery. Right now there is a big tree in front decorated with beer kegs. Yes I should have taken a picture.

First up was a flight, there are specific flights here, I got the Yonkers Ave Flight which was Squeaky Clean, Tilting Trolly, Descendant Cider, and Moral Turpitude. Except I asked to get the sour ale instead of the cider. Which they had no problem doing. I was not a fan of the sour ale and the imperial stout. The stout tasted like your typical stout and I guess I have gotten used to stouts with a little extra oomph to them, like milk stouts or Chipotle Porter. Still they were all rather drinkable, except the sour ale. I didn’t expect that. After the flight I had a glass of 914 which is their ‘flagship’ beer, a Viennese lager. Pretty good, then I got a growler (32 oz, so some would call it a crowler, filled with Squeaky Clean, which leads to why this brewery got 5 stars.

But before that, this Yonkers has a lovely taproom, and a good food selection. The bar is not huge but the room is big with lots of tables. I don’t know if you can bring dogs, but it does appear to be family friendly, in fact they had a ‘Pictures with Santa’ event. Now on to the crowler …..

The crowler, which was glass ended up on the floor. I think I need to stop holding things with my left hand, there is definitely a weakness there. Anyway, someone ran out with a mop and then the bartender picked up my bag and started rinsing it out in the sink. So now it just to dry so I can take it apart and re-knit it. The glass cut some of the yarn.

So they get 5 stars because of how nice they were, I am not even taking points off for no longer having the 32 oz. bottles, they now only do 32 oz. can crowlers, which the environmentalist in me objects to, but the klutz in me approves.

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.

View all my reviews

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.